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Saga If introducing someone new to SW. Which trilogy would you have them watch first?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Jcuk, Mar 31, 2013.

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  1. Legacy Jedi Endordude

    Legacy Jedi Endordude Jedi Knight star 3

    Sep 9, 2012
    Chronological order. I-II-III-IV-V-VI

    I think that gives you the most emotional satisfaction!
  2. PiettsHat

    PiettsHat Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 1, 2011
    Just a question for those intending to show them in production order, but what will you do regarding the new trilogy?

    If the films are viewed chronologically this isn't really an issue, but don't you think production order kind of makes things confusing for new viewers?

    You're essentially starting with Luke and company, going back to his father, and then finishing with Luke. I just wonder that the narrative thread won't get lost...

    There could be any number of reasons Lucas would have made IV through VI before I through III.

    He may have felt that starting with number IV would give him a far greater chance of being financially successful and having the other films made than starting with Episode I. Don't forget that if the first film flops, the rest won't be made. This is certainly a possibility, since Episode I-III are much more politically heavy than Episodes IV through VI and thus risk turning off parts of the audience. Lucas even cut out some mildly politically scenes from A New Hope because he didn't want it to come across as American Graffiti in space. So I definitely think it's a concern.

    Similarly, the PT takes place in the heart of the Republic and it's going to take a lot more special effects work to bring a city like Coruscant to life than a backwater like Tatooine. Lucas might have felt he stood a better chance of pulling it off.

    Or, there's always the chance that the OT was Lucas' favorite portion of the story and if he was only able to tell part of it, that's the one he would wish to tell or would feel could stand on its own the best.

    As it is, the OT can be watched by itself, but that doesn't mean that when Lucas was creating the prequels, he couldn't have made them hoping future generations would watch them I through VI. In crafting the prequels, he's free to make them so that they can be viewed either before or after the OT. It's his choice either way -- just because the OT was released first doesn't mean Lucas can't have designed I-III to be watched before. It worked quite well for me. But none of us can say definitively, of course.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  3. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    Well it is hard to say for sure now, without having seen the ST.
    In part it depends on how good the films are. If they are rat garbage, then I would probably not recommend them to others. But I don't think this is very likely.

    If the ST has lots of references to the PT, like Sifo-Dyas, Plageius or having Hayden as Anakins Force ghost then yes, 1-9 make sense.
    As you say 1-9 also makes sense because of narrative, jumping around might be confusing.

    If the ST has little to no nods to the PT then I suppose that OT-ST could work and then have the PT as backstory.

    On the other hand 1-9 has another benefit, the first four were written/directed by Lucas and the last five were not, at least not fully.


    Well since the writing process of SW/ANH is fairly well documented due to old scripts and what Lucas said back in the day, we can get a fairly good idea about why he did what he did.

    He started with one film set in another galaxy and that was based in part of the old serials.
    This film changed a lot over time, at one point it was a SF-remake of the Hidden Fortress. Over time the basic plot became what it is now. The characters changed as well, sometime the focus was on older characters, then younger ones. The main hero's father was alive and active, to alive but distant, to dead but remembered to finally dead and not remembered.

    While he wrote the film Lucas created a backstory, which is common in writing. You create a backstory for the universe and a backstory for your characters. However that there is a backstory doesn't have to mean that this backstory is meant to be a film someday.

    Given what Lucas said, he planed to make one film and if that did ok then maybe he could a few low budget sequels and very maybe one prequel. He had some ideas what they would be about, the further adventures of Luke and the prequel would feature Obi-Wan, Luke's father and Vader and show how the Jedi were betrayed and how Luke's father died.

    When ANH did better than anyone, including Lucas, could have dreamt of, the concept changed.
    Now he could make many films, at one point they were meant to be loosely connected films, like James Bond. Some featuring other characters and written/directed by different people.
    Then we had a trilogy of trilogies and then even later just 1-6 and the ST, Lucas said never existed.
    The overall focus also changed, from Luke to Anakin.

    But I think it is clear that Lucas made the first film as a stand alone movie with some ideas for future movies. Given that ESB was called ep II at one point shows that he didn't have three films in mind before ANH.

    When you are writing a story, you have a starting point and the writer needs to answer the question, "Why this day?" Why did you decide to start the story right here and now, why not tomorrow or yesterday? Lucas made the choice to start the story in ANH.

    As for the argument that Lucas was going to wait for better effects to do the PT. That argument relies on Lucas having knowledge of the future and the advancements in special effects. Remember in the late 60's, early 70's, SF films were not as popular as before. Sure you had 2001, Planet of the Apes, Silent Running and the like. But in the US, many of the big studios had done away with their effects people. Which is partly why Lucas had to go the England to find people. Effects were improving yes but nowhere near as fast as they have done in the last 10-15 years.

    Also Lucas thought that the sequels would have a smaller budget than the first one, so if he did have a clear idea what the PT would be about, doubtful, then he should have started with that as he would have less money later on. Remember, ANH wasn't a low budget film. It wasn't very expensive but far from a low budget or B-movie.
    The book, "Splinter of the Minds Eye", which was based on Lucas initial ideas for sequels is evident of the lower budget. Most of the film is set on a misty, swamp planet which saves cost and the there was no Han or Obi-Wan which would also save money.

    So ANH was made with the intent that the people that saw it had NOT seen the PT, obviously.
    It was also made with the intent that people would see it and not wait for the PT films, again obviously.
    So the OT is self-contained and stands alone. The PT is not self-contained as it needs the OT to finish the story. So Lucas clearly made the films in one order and he wanted people to see them in that order. Otherwise he is making films that no one is meant to see.

    Could Lucas have made the PT in such a way that it can be watched before the OT and not spoil anything? Yes. You would still have the problem of older effects, slower pacing and other things that date films.
    Did he do that? In my opinion, not fully.
    I think that the PT was made with intent/knowledge that 90% of the audience had already seen the OT and thus things the OT explained need not be explained again, nods and hints could be dropped and some of the surprises of the OT were spoiled.
    But we have argued about that before to perhaps we'll better avoid repeating all that again.

    Bye for now.
    Blackboard Monitor
  4. sith_rhino

    sith_rhino Jedi Master star 1

    Jul 9, 2007
    I'd show the Original Trilogy first. Mainly because I feel that showing the Prequel Trilogy first weakens the OT (Darth Vader no longer an imposing villain, losing the big reveals of Vader being Luke's father and Leia being his sister) much more than showing the Original Trilogy would weaken the Prequels. In addition, being a bigger fan of the OT, I just lean that way.
    Jedi_Lover and CaptainHamYoyo like this.
  5. Jae-Dec

    Jae-Dec Jedi Knight star 3

    May 20, 2013
    I would have to show them in the order that I saw them as a kid; IV-VI then I-III. If for no other reason than to ensure the same shocked response I had when Vader first proclaimed to Luke that he is his father. Wouldn't get the same reaction watching the PT first.
    Jedi_Lover likes this.

    FRAGWAGON Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 3, 2012
    I imagine that if I had seen the PT first, the hell that is unleashed in ROTS would be way more shocking than the parentage revelation in ESB.

    I don't think the OT revelations are a very strong argument for production order. The compelling argument for that is how (ANH in particular) introduces us to the Force, lightsabers. I-III do take that knowledge for granted.

    Still, watching Luke at the hermitage it's really poignant to see it now through Kenobi's eyes.
  7. sith_rhino

    sith_rhino Jedi Master star 1

    Jul 9, 2007
    The most comelling argument for OT first (to me) is that otherwise you lose one ofthe greatest movie villains of all time, Darth Vader, otherwise. I'd hate to think of how I'd view Darth Vader if I'd seen the PT with the whiny Anakin first.
    JediWheelz and CaptainHamYoyo like this.
  8. jc1138

    jc1138 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 16, 2004
    Perhaps it would really only matter if the new viewer is becoming invested in SW as they watch the films. As in, a "fan" of the work rather than one with more passive or casual interest. One that would be questioning what comes next and excited to find out rather than a viewer who, upon first viewing, is saying "oh, so that's what happened, hmm, okay." To the more passive viewer the surprises probably wont be what converts them to the series.

    These thought-experiment viewing order ideas are from a pretty controlled standpoint, but many people who are into SW had a messy initial viewing order. I am 33 years old and my order was RotJ (initial theatre run), ANH, ESB, TPM, AotC, RotS. The revelations only impacted me as I became aware of the complexity of the characters and their relationships, and a IV, V, VI viewing probably wouldn't have changed that for me at the age I first saw them. We can be somewhat more controlled now, with dvd's and such, and I have an almost 2 year old son in which I will be the final say in when he sees starts to see them. However, it will depend on how he responds to ANH as to what comes next. My plan (see above) is IV, V, I, II, III, VI, but we may need to see IV a few times together before moving on to V.

    I guess my thought here is that initial run through orders probably aren't too important as to whether or not one will be invested in the saga.
    FRAGWAGON likes this.
  9. Jarren_Lee-Saber

    Jarren_Lee-Saber Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 16, 2008
    As someone who's showed it to 3 people in the I-VI order, I absolutely agree with this! My last girlfriend cried twice during her first viewing of ROTS.
    FRAGWAGON and thesevegetables like this.
  10. KilroyMcFadden

    KilroyMcFadden Jedi Knight star 3

    Oct 31, 2012
    The way I introduce it to new people and children is 4,5,3,6. The adults obviously knew there was a 1 and 2, had already heard how bad they were and had no objections to sticking to the core story, and the children simply weren't made aware of 1 and 2. There are some really good fan edits out there that fix the problems with 1 and 2 to a degree, but they don't really make them relevant to the story of the rise and fall of the Empire contained in the 4 core movies.
  11. thesevegetables

    thesevegetables Jedi Knight star 4

    Nov 11, 2012
    The prequels were more dear to Lucas. That's why he waited on them, so technology could catch up to his vision.
    I think we should respect that.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber likes this.
  12. Seagoat

    Seagoat PT and Music Section Dictator star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 25, 2013
    I don't think Lucas prefers one trilogy over another.
    I think he loves and values his whole saga
  13. Jarren_Lee-Saber

    Jarren_Lee-Saber Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 16, 2008
    I feel so bad for those kids who will miss out on the beauty of the whole Saga because of your prejudices. =((
    FRAGWAGON, -NaTaLie-, VMeran and 4 others like this.
  14. Visivious Drakarn

    Visivious Drakarn Jedi Master star 3

    Apr 20, 2013
    Yeah, I've been reading some really long essays about which is the best way to watch the saga and I'm amazed by the effort they made in presenting their ways. Mostly it goes 4-5-1-2-3-6 or 4-5-2-3-6. I consider that order to be ridiculous, so I'm going to purpose one. 1-2-3-6. Star Wars at it's best, Anakin's story all the way without annoying distractions to a farmboy or space-worm.
  15. CaptainHamYoyo

    CaptainHamYoyo Jedi Knight star 2

    Aug 18, 2011
    Oh yes, because removing the 2 best movies of the saga isn't ridiculous, lol
  16. Carbon1985

    Carbon1985 Jedi Knight star 3

    Apr 23, 2013

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  17. Seagoat

    Seagoat PT and Music Section Dictator star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 25, 2013
    One strange method that someone once told me about:

    Start by introducing the person to SW with ROTJ. Show them the first 30 minutes or so, but stop the movie once it gets to the scene where Luke mentions his promise with Yoda. Then show them I-V, and resume with ROTJ

    Strange method, I admit. But... something oddly mysterious about it
  18. KilroyMcFadden

    KilroyMcFadden Jedi Knight star 3

    Oct 31, 2012
  19. darth fluffy

    darth fluffy Jedi Knight star 2

    Dec 27, 2012
  20. classified

    classified Jedi Master star 4

    May 24, 2005
    I introduced my girlfriend to Star Wars last year, and decided to go in production order. She loved the OT so much she couldn't wait to see the PT. I warned her it wouldn't live up to her expectations, but we watched it anyway, and she hated it.

    So I would say OT every time. I am kind of of the opinion that unless you see the PT before the age of about 14, you probably wont like it.
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  21. MOC Vober Dand

    MOC Vober Dand Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 6, 2004
    I've always favoured 4,5,1,2,3,6. Wouldn't try and pre-empt anyone's thoughts on which films are good or bad. That's for each person to decide for themselves. Just like the flow of this method. Get to the 'What the?!' moment at the end of 5, have it explained (to a point) and then resolved.
  22. AntilllesRedTwo

    AntilllesRedTwo Jedi Youngling

    May 4, 2013
    My dad showed the movies to me in this order, ANH, ESB, ROTJ, TPM, AOTC, ROTS. So might as well do it in that order.
    CaptainHamYoyo likes this.
  23. Jarren_Lee-Saber

    Jarren_Lee-Saber Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 16, 2008
    16 year old boy, 19 year old boy, girl in her 20s, girl in her 30s. Those are the people I know who never saw Star Wars and watched it for the first time I-VI. Three out of four of those PREFERRED the PT to the OT.

    I'm of the opinion that if you tell them the PT is bad, and that everyone hates it, they will conform to a stereotype.
  24. Seagoat

    Seagoat PT and Music Section Dictator star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 25, 2013
    Preconceived notions, precisely
  25. KilroyMcFadden

    KilroyMcFadden Jedi Knight star 3

    Oct 31, 2012
    Mod edit: No baiting, flaming, whatever you want to call it. Other users are perfectly entitled to their opinions without you 'correcting' them.
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