Saga SW Saga In-Depth In-Depth Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by only one kenobi, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. Ezekial Force Ghost

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    May 24, 2002
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    Nostalgia is about an imagined past that someone claims was better, but is simply wishful thinking and denial of reality...well, that's not really the case with the OT. We can still view the OT in their (mostly) original form to this day. And it holds up. The Prequel trilogy was worse in many ways, as I've posted many times...much of the fundamental logic is nonsensical, it is way too scatterbrained, too much villain dilution, and yes...it didn't fulfill *any* (and I really mean it: the prequels didn't give any significance to the later events of the OT, which is WHAT PREQUELS ARE SUPPOSED TO DO) of what I hoped to see based on my impression of the original trilogy.

    And the SFX weren't magical. Beyond how special effects pre-CGI were more wondrous because they relied more on clever camera angles and techniques...there are subtle ways by which real models are simply better because they give more detail. There is so much more detail in the cockpits of EPIV Xwings than there were of whatever the prequel craft were. Several of the shots in the OT are actually reminiscent of the real US space program of the time. It's actually really neat. The prequels are simply off...the special effects aren't quite solid...they're too computerized and mushy.

    I don't hate the prequels for Jar Jar Binks. I don't hate them for Jake Lloyd. I hate them because the SFX was basically a computer screensaver. I hate them because they don't develop the motivations at all for the fundamental conflict. There is simply no debate. Palpatine is an evil man who perfectly executed his evil plan. That's it. And he manages to trick...a good man...multiple good men...into being evil...it's just stupid.
  2. MOC Yak Face Classic Trilogy and Saga Co-Mod.

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    It's a bit of a circular argument really isn't it? One person puts forward their reasons for preferring the OT and someone else claims that they only see it that way because they're blinded by nostalgia. Beyond that it's really just an 'am not', 'are too' kind of debate.
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  3. DRush76 Force Ghost

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    Jan 25, 2008
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    I really don't see the big deal in these long posts that attempt to convince everyone that the OT is superior to the PT . . . or that the PT is superior to the OT . . . or that both trilogies are equal in quality.

    All of these so-called "facts" are nothing more than opinions. Everyone has his or her own opinion about the saga in large. I really don't see the need for a long post to justify one's opinion in an attempt to pretend that it is a fact.

    If you prefer the OT, fine. If you prefer the PT, fine. If you consider both trilogies as equal in quality, fine. But please . . . don't try to pretend that your opinion is a fact. I'm sure that many of you will claim that you are merely stating an opinion. If so, why with such long posts? I get the feeling that these forums are being bombarded with propaganda for one's preferred trilogy in some silly attempt to convince others who feel differently. Or there seemed to be this attitude that by posting an essay on why this trilogy is superior or that trilogy is inferior, one's opinion will be accepted as fact. And no matter how many times some members complain about these attempts to convince others that their opinions are facts, the propaganda goes on . . . and on. . . and on.
    Last edited by DRush76, Dec 28, 2013
  4. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    While there certainly exist people trying to state those kinds of "facts," I think the real point here was that there are actual differences between the trilogies, and the OP and later interlocutors are arguing for the legitimacy of preferring one set of films over the other for those reasons, not simply because one grew up with them (which seems a common refrain).

    For example, while the OT can be (from a certain point of view) be seen to mesh with a PT where the balance of the Force itself is in jeopardy, my personal read in the OT is that this aspect, definitely a part of the PT, is not necessarily present in the OT alone and, while a possibly interesting narrative, it is one that distracts from the bits of the story and backstory and worldbuilding I am personally enamored with. Did I encounter the OT first? Yes. That set up my expectations for what SW would be. But I was a kid when the PT came out, too. So it's not just "nostalgia."

    It has to do with my preferences for story in general. Imagine a story where the characters can move at superluminal velocities. Then imagine one where they can change, universe-wide, the speed of light. The second option moves the goalposts. For me, it changes the parameters so much that I don't find the characters so compelling, because the story is necessarily now about changing the universe itself, the cosmos... not just about the characters against the backdrop of that universe. The most "epic" scope is actually a detriment sometimes, in my opinion. If it had clearly been there from the start, I may or may not have been interested (maybe I'd have liked it in spite of that aspect, or maybe I'd have stayed away because it might have never appealed in the first place), but adding it halfway through (or making it explicit, if that's more parsimonious to say) is a problem.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 28, 2013
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  5. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Couldn't have put it better myself (although I think I might have tried at some point in another thread;) ).

    Back on topic, please people, this thread is about the effect that 'nostalgia' has (or doesn't have) on one's own perception of the films. There's plenty of directions such a discussion can take that don't have to end up with the usual bashers vs gushers nonsense and the inevitable locking of the thread.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Dec 28, 2013
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  6. Han Burgundy Force Ghost

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    Jan 28, 2013
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    Well, as someone who has written my fair share of long posts, my feeling is that sometimes, when you're really passionate about a topic of discussion, you have a lot to say. I don't ever start a post with the intent of writing a 4 page essay. But sometimes, as I'm typing, another thought comes in to supplement the previous one, and then another one here, and I should add this paragraph back here- and soon, I've written a novel. I usually try to edit myself, but sometimes there's just nothing to cut. I don't pretend that the length of my post is proportional to its truthfulness, but as long as I've stated my opinions in a way that adequately satisfies my own desires of expression, I'm happy.
  7. Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
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    I think the OP's point in starting this thread was a reaction to how "Nostalgia" was being used.
    It was used to INVALIDATE certain opinions. In particular those that saw the OT first and prefer the OT over the PT. Some people used "Nostalgia" to argue that this opinion was not valid, that the only reason they had this opinion was that "Nostalgia" had blinded and deluded them. In essence that the PT is better and anyone that disagrees is wrong because they are blinded by nostalgia.

    I have seen these kinds of arguments as well and they bother me because they try to say that certain opinions are wrong or not valid. I've also seen arguments of the type "Those that prefer the PT are blinded by fancy effects.", "Those that dislike the PT only does so because it is "Hip" and "Cool"."

    All of these kinds of arguments rub me the wrong way and they rarely give a good and healthy discussion. For similar reasons I don't much like the labels of "Basher", "Gusher", "Hater" or "Lucas Apologist." They also get in the way of a good discussion, tries to dismiss certain opinions and only entrenches both sides.
    As SF-Debris said about polarized fan-bases: "They have declared open war on each other and confuse anyone in the middle for being the enemy."

    Those that prefer the PT should be able to give their reasons why and those that prefer the OT can then give their reasons and then we can discuss those reasons and whether or not we agree. This way we can have a good argument instead of trying to invalidate the other persons opinion and prove him/her "Wrong".

    In closing, about Nostalgia, as I've said before it is a double edged sword, it can color opinions both ways. But I would never argue that a persons whole opinion is entirely due to nostalgia, good or bad.

    Bye for now.
    Blackboard Monitor
  8. gezvader28 Force Ghost

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    Mar 22, 2003
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    I've never agreed with the 'nostalgia' argument , it's a very negative argument which seems to be trying to argue that 'the old movies weren't that great either ' . And it doesn't help the PT either 'cos it's essentially admitting they're not so great and the OT has to be argued down to that level .

    and also - nostalgia would only work if it were something you hadn't seen since it's time originally , but we're SW fans , we've been watching these movies quite regularly for 30 years .

    for me the OT is better because the characters work , and that means the acting was great (doesn't mean the actors were better , but they suited their roles far better than the PT bunch) , and there's an alchemy involved - New Hope had all sorts of drawbacks in it's making but somehow it came together in a magical way . TPM had everything going for it , but it just didn't come together , thats movies for ya , they don't always work .


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  9. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    That couldn't be farther from the truth.

    More detail in the cockpits? They look about the same between the T-65 X-Wing and the N-1 Fighter. And models were still used in the PT, just scanned into the computer digitally to give it motion.


    Why? It's happened in the real world. Good people can be tricked by someone manipulative. Be it politics or in intimate relationships.
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  10. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    I realize you weren't responding to me, I hope you don't mind. Personally I really like the effects in TPM. There is one shot of Artoo in the droid socket that is a bit off (too obviously CG, or maybe just fake-looking) but other than that the effects in that film are quite excellent. In the space battle I think they used models pretty much exactly the same way they did in the OT, except with better motion control and everything. The latter two prequels also used a lot of models, especially for locations (greenscreen set + model for background). But for some reason the effects in those films generally feel less 'real' to me than in TPM, or the OT. I don't think many of the ships are models in those films, and the CGI characters get more and more audacious (Watto vs. General Grievous). Compare the space battles in TPM and ROTJ to the one in ROTS, there's just a difference in (for lack of a better word) texture between them. It may also have to do with how the camera moves, how the characters move, etc. That might affect it more than anything else.

    I don't necessarily have the same views as Ezekial, but I would point out that just because things can or have happened in real life doesn't automatically make them fulfilling in storytelling. Especially when that story seems to have been set up a certain way that's different than what is finally shown. Compare the 1981 story conferences prequel story to what's on film in the prequels; enough references to that '81/OT-era idea came through in the OT and novels and just generally through the cultural ether - and there are enough differences between that and the filmic PT - that I think it's understandable to detect a sort of mismatch between the two trilogies. That doesn't mean it's impossible or wrong to enjoy the prequels either. There's a lot of good stuff in them. And many things did stay consistent, too. But there are mismatches, and other flaws too. And it's okay for one's opinion to be shaped by those things also. That's not nostalgia, it's not rose-colored glasses. It's a simple preference for a certain kind of thing.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 29, 2013
  11. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    CGI characters aside, I just don't see much difference in the design of the ships. Space battles, yeah, I can agree there. But more than anything its the use of camera angles and the larger number of ships in ROTS versus ROTJ, but that still isn't really a deal breaker.

    I wouldn't label something like that as nostalgia. As I've said, it's about other areas that I believe it to be nostalgia and not just personal opinions about the films.
  12. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    I wasn't talking about design, but about the use of physical models, which reflect light in certain ways, interact with the camera and movement rigs in certain ways, and that shapes how they appear on film. CG doesn't have those limitations, which sounds like a good thing, but it can also be used to make things ever more frenetic. There's a term for this - Chaos Cinema. This isn't something unique to Star Wars. It's permeated filmmaking for the last decade. The Prequels aren't, I think, a particularly egregious example, but there is enough of it in their style that it can be slightly more confusing to watch, and it's also a departure from the originals. I could be completely mistaking this whole dynamic (I haven't watched them in awhile, and I don't have them here with me), but it seems applicable.

    Think about the scene where Obi-Wan is fighting Grievous, and Grievous gets his hands chopped off, flips over, runs around on all fours, and climbs upside-down into his giant motorcycle thing. Could any of that be shot that way in real life? By using models? Just because it can be done now, all in one shot, doesn't mean that the eye will accept it. If you saw something like that in real life, it would be amazing, it'd be a feat of robotic coordination and it would really wow you. And if it were filmed with moving camera angles and everything, perfectly done, it would be a real achievement. Here, it's treated as just one more piece of the spectacle. I think this affects how the film works and how we relate to it.

    And since you brought up the topic of design, it depends on the ship. They used one of the unused Joe Johnston designs from Jedi in Sith, so there's that. And the donut-looking Trade Federation ships have a pretty clean design, very Star Warsy in my opinion. But the Jedi Starfighters, in my estimation, lost something between Episodes II and III. The II design works for me. The III design seems a bit too kludgey (too many different things stuck together).
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 29, 2013
  13. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    I think that's not entirely accurate that the eye will not accept it. It's more of the mind than the eye. Whether or not you can accept something as fantastic. Its how much of an imagination and how much suspension of belief you have. To me, my imagination isn't that far removed from what Lucas could imagine. Meaning that if something could be possible, regardless of how fantastic it was, then it would be acceptable to me. Sam Jackson said something along those lines when it came to discussing the CGI criticism in the PT. That he could buy these things and interact with the most minimum of surroundings, because of how strong his imagination had been growing up.

    Could it have been done with models and stop motion? Sure. The only difference would be the "herky jerky" movements associated with stop motion, versus clean movements of CGI.
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  14. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    It's a turn of phrase.

    That's exactly my point. With go-motion, or even using a real robot like, say, BigDog or Petman, the motion would have been different. And more than the motion, the way it would be filmed would look different. Using a different example, Elysium as a film has tons of problems, but compare the motion and the way the camera moves (minus the slo-mo, of course) in some of the robot fights there with that shot of Grievous, or him breaking the window and going out into space, and back to the hull. Maybe I'm drawing a distinction that doesn't exist, but those things just don't feel naturalistic to me. A New Hope has a pretty documentary style to it. The other OT films, I think, don't deviate too far from that. Even TPM doesn't (the one thing I can think of is that aforementioned shot of Artoo). AOTC and ROTS include different styles of shots and motion, I think. Again, I could be mistaken, but that's how I remember it.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 29, 2013
  15. MOC Yak Face Classic Trilogy and Saga Co-Mod.

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    I think it's the eye, not the mind, which sometimes struggles with special effects. The mind will accept otherwise impossible things happening in a fantasy realm. You don't look at people using force powers and refuse to believe it's happening because on planet earth it's impossible. The eye, however, balks when it sees something which just doesn't look 'right' in a physical sense. Not right in the 'that's impossible' sense, but right in the 'that just doesn't look right' sense. Even if you can't articulate why it doesn't, it just doesn't and I think that's the issue with all special effects at times. Which limitations bother an individual more is a question of visual taste. CG creates amazing expansiveness and fluidity of movement which other methods can't, but there are photorealism issues there. Models etc lack the fluidity and expansiveness, but because they're actual, solid objects, there's a degree of reality there which CG is still a long way from matching. Which you prefer and which limitations bother you more is a matter of preference. Some people like looking at Jackson Pollock, others Da Vinci.
  16. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Agree, but it's also a matter of consistency. Four of the six films have a certain kind of movement-effects-possibility space, and two of them (because of technological developments) can change or expand that space. It isn't just that they're different, it's that they don't quite match up. If TPM had established the different look, it might be easier to accept, because you could just say "the trilogies have different visual sensibilities." But that's not quite the case, I don't think.
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  17. MOC Yak Face Classic Trilogy and Saga Co-Mod.

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    Yeah, it's fairly striking when you hit the heavily digitally-dominated AoTC isn't it?

    As I've said many times, I find that I enjoy all of these films a lot more when I don't devote energy looking for consistency. I agree that visually there's not a consistent set of 6, or even two sets of three. I'd also argue that there are really two distinct series - the pre-paternity revelation films, and the post. For me, ROTJ sits better with the PT in many ways than it does with it's two predecessors, with it's emphasis on family connectedness.
  18. Ezekial Force Ghost

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    That's not the case at all. In real life, there is significantly more grey in conflicts, and both sides have real legitimate claims and grievances. In the Star Wars movies, it all amounts to the *completely* illegitimate side using trickery to win and defeat the *completely* legitimate side. That is simply not how the real world operates.

    In EPIV there were hints of real world realism...it was a shame to see it all squandered in the prequels.

    I mean, the politics in the prequels are on the level of the people who think that 9/11 was an inside job, that sort of ****.
  19. PiettsHat Force Ghost

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    I'm not quite sure what you mean by this post. The Empire vs. Rebellion conflict was a black vs white conflict. There may have been individuals among the Imperial ranks who weren't evil, but the cause itself was evil. They were essentially space Nazis. The Rebellion, however, was lily-white in its depiction. No Rebel was ever portrayed as anything but wholly good and on the side of freedom and justice.

    By contrast, the prequels had a very gray vs black conflict. The Separatists had people such as the Trade Federation (who showed no compunction about invading a peaceful planet, rounding up its inhabitants, starving the masses, and then killing native Gungans) who were only interested in using military force to take over the Republic and make it accede to its demands. Meanwhile we had the corrupt and inefficient Republic using a clone army in desperation. This is more reflective of a real world conflict since neither side was wholly good. Even in WWII (which is as close as you get to having a bad side in a conflict, historically), the Allies were hardly paragons of virtue. Stalin, for one, makes that an absurd notion. And the United States isn't clean either, given the treatment of Japanese citizens.

    Moreover,the idea of a false flag operation has basis in history. See here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_flag#As_pretexts_for_war

    I don't know why you're drawing comparisons to 9/11 when the prequels draw from many points in history -- such as Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, and Nixon era politics. If you want a film that is blatantly tied to 9/11, go watch Star Trek Into Darkness.
    Last edited by PiettsHat, Dec 29, 2013
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  20. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    I mostly agree. But there is the line from Vader where he's trying to appeal to Luke, "end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy"... if that is legitimately part of Vader and the Empire's motivation (if not the Emperor's), then their cause becomes a little more sympathetic than Just Plain Cardboard Evil.

    But again I must return to my problem of scale and scope: even Space Nazis and Space Hitler would be a far cry from Space Satan. You see what I mean? One is on a political, historical scale, even if some characters have superhuman capabilities. The other is on a nonmetaphorically mythological, magical scale. I think the prequels took the milieu towards the latter, when the OT (and possible PT, as delineated for example in 1981) functioned perfectly well in the realm of the former.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 29, 2013
  21. DRush76 Force Ghost

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    Could you explain how you came to this conclusion.



    I agree. But for some people it worked in the PT. And for people like you, it didn't.
    Last edited by DRush76, Dec 29, 2013
  22. Ezekial Force Ghost

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    The trade federation was manipulated by the sith lord and so was just a puppet. That's not gray at all. Being inefficient is not a gray area either...and furthermore...it's not even shown in the movies, you don't feel it. It is simply stated that the Republic is...inefficient. As if that's a reason for outrage. Gray areas would be something like...ObiWan Kenobi grooming a man's lost son to kill that man. Lying and bending the minds of people using force powers. That was plenty obvious in the OT, and yet in the PT ObiWan is a simple saint who does *no* wrong at all...

    As I've said many times here, I've always thought that the prequels should have demonstrated the threat that the Empire was fighting against...a *genuine* threat that justified the imperial navy, the death star, and all of those troops. Instead, in the prequels you get evil for the sake of evil, which is simply stupid.
  23. PiettsHat Force Ghost

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    Of course it was manipulated by the Sith Lord. But so was the Empire. Or did you forget that a Sith Lord was the head of the Empire and Darth Vader's master? That does not prevent them from acting and having their own goals, however. They may have done so based on promises of a Sith Lord, but that doesn't change the fact that the Trade Federation invaded a peaceful planet, rounded up its inhabitants into camps, starved them, and then killed native Gungans and Naboo security personnel who fought back.

    Likewise, the Republic's inefficiency is a major point given that they were unable to respond to the threat against Naboo, did nothing for Tatooine, and made use of a clone army.

    Also, you'll note that I said the Rebellion was lily-white. Obi-Wan wasn't part of the Rebellion given that he hid on Tatooine until Leia's message arrived and then died. But the Rebels' cause and tactics are never anything other than pure. And I would like to point out that Obi-Wan in the prequels is not without his flaws. He's a good man, but he's complex and has his own shortcomings as do all the characters -- such as his reticence to help struggling, powerless individuals (such as Jar Jar or enslaved Anakin) when such people would later prove instrumental to freeing Naboo -- should helping them risk distracting him from his mission.


    I don't follow your logic here. Conquerors and imperial leaders do not always build "super weapons" in response to legitimate threats. In fact, if you look at Hitler, his militarization was not in response to a threat against Germany. Rather, he was the aggressor who sought to subjugate others. The Empire of the OT is largely the same in that it builds such weapons in order to oppress its own citizens. Hence why they are rising up against it and leading a civil war.
    Last edited by PiettsHat, Dec 29, 2013
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  24. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Which conclusion? That the OT had less than cosmic stakes, or that the PT changed that, or that Space Nazis are different from Space Satan?

    In the OT, things like "balance of the Force," "Chosen One"s, ancient prophecies, etc, are never mentioned.* Palpatine wasn't a Sith, so though he was a very powerful adversary, there wasn't really a sense of long-term historical and religious significance to the rise of the Empire, or at least not the same kind of significance. "Once more the Sith shall rule the galaxy" is what I'm saying was missing... until the prequels made Palpatine a Sith and not just a dark sorceror counterpart to Yoda.

    The stakes in the OT seem to be personal (Luke's self-fulfillment, for example) and political (the Rebels want to defeat the Empire), but not cosmic (there is no concept of the Force's long-term or large-scale health and stability being an issue at all).

    *The prophecy angle doesn't seem like as much of a change as the virgin birth and Force-balance stuff. The Jedi in the OT were able to see the future too. But the other things lead to strange places, the Force becoming more of a character than part of the setting, questions about 'well since the characters use the Force to see the future, why didn't the Force know the future and prevent Palpatine's rise to begin with,' etc. There was a long conversation about this in another thread (multiple others, I'm sure).

    I didn't say that. I was only arguing with the logic of the statement, not necessarily the content. I can appreciate the prequels for what they are. I just also have other ideas and wishes too.
    Last edited by Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn, Dec 29, 2013
  25. PiettsHat Force Ghost

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    In regards to the issue of nostalgia and its influence on our perceptions of works, I'll just say that (in my opinion) the idea that you can't like an older work without being clouded by nostalgia is bunk. From personal experience, I've found that I like earlier works in some series more than the later works. A recent example for me is Star Trek where I love the original series while I only like the new movies (which I used to be rather apathetic to or dislike until watching the series made me invest in the characters more). And my preference is not due to watching the series first because the opposite is true -- the 2009 movie was actually the first Star Trek-related media I ever viewed. So I completely understand those who say that it's unfair to ascribe preference for an older work to nostalgia alone.

    That being said, I feel that it's unfair to say that one's perspective isn't influenced by one's age. Particularly if one saw one series/film/piece of media as a child and the other as an adult. Sixteen years passed between ROTJ and TPM and I think it would be wrongheaded to state that the passage of time and growing maturity isn't going to affect your evaluation of the film. One you first saw as a wide-eyed child and beheld with wonder; the other was viewed from a more critical adult's perspective.

    Of course, that's not to say that one can't hold the OT to be superior films. It's a perfectly legitimate opinion and, in fact, many people who watch all 6 together for the first time do prefer the OT. I would say, though, that I feel that a lot of the harshness directed towards the PT -- the more emotionally-driven criticism, for example -- is tied to nostalgia. It exists and denying that fact would be just as disingenuous as trying to use it as an excuse to dismiss all criticism of the PT out of hand.
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