Saga That moment when...

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by KilroyMcFadden, Feb 26, 2013.

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  1. KilroyMcFadden Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 31, 2012
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    ...you saw the Falcon slowly pulled into the Death Star hanger from the point of view of someone standing inside the hanger and forgot to breathe for a moment.
  2. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    ...you heard the Trade Federation cronies ask "Have you ever encountered a Jedi Knight before?", realized that you hadn't really, and watched as Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan carved their way through a small army of battle droids with a grin on your face that kept growing bigger.
  3. Benjamin Bunny Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2013
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    ....you watch Yoda become one with the Force, and you realize that Luke is the last of the Jedi.

    ....when you see Darth Vader standing in the Death Star hanger bay watching the Emperor's shuttle land in ROTJ, knowing that this will be the first time you see him fully on screen.

    ....when you read the opening scroll to a new Star Wars film, and hang on every word. Then eagerly await the ship that will surely be flying in from the top of the screen to start off the film.

    All of them give me chills.
  4. EHT New Films Manager

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    ... when the Star Destroyer rumbles overhead in pursuit of the Tantive.

    There are really tons of these for me from both trilogies, but that popped into my head first.
  5. Alexrd Force Ghost

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    Jul 7, 2009
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    One of the reasons that made the theatrical experience so great. People cheered on those scenes.
  6. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

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    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    That scene didn't get cheers at the theaters I saw. It got "oh, s***!" and stuff like that. Which is the same thing, I suppose. It got laughter, too, because it's just plain fun to see Jedi kick ass.
    Jarren_Lee-Saber and Feelicks like this.
  7. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
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    ...Palpatine suggests Anakin "sit down", quietly commands his cronies to "leave us," the operahouse performers bellow, and then, for the first and only time, we're allowed a glimpse into the heart of Lucas's Satan.

    A more subtle, but equally chilling iteration of "I am your father."
  8. Han Burgundy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2013
    star 3
    ... when two adorable Ewoks narrowly dodge a blast from a chicken walker

    ... Until one of them doesn't get up when his friend shakes him, and suddenly you're on the verge of tears over silly teddy bears
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  9. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    :confused:

    It may have been an "opera house", but what they were watching was a kind of ballet rather than an opera.
    Last edited by Arawn_Fenn, Feb 26, 2013
  10. KilroyMcFadden Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 31, 2012
    star 3
    ...prolly referring to the kind of whale song music vibe
  11. J_Girl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 4
    That moment when.... you saw the rebel's feet dangling a couple of feet off the floor as Vader held him by the neck and it truly scared you because you had never seen anything like that. That moment, Vader became a serious villain to be feared.

    That moment when .... the words "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away" and the screen fades black for a microsecond and you wait to be launched into that galaxy with a blast from John Williams and 'Star Wars' filling your screen. [I NEVER get tired of that and it happens EVERY time.]
    anakin-the-chosen-one likes this.
  12. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

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    Apr 16, 2008
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    What they are watching is called 'Mon Cal Opera'.
    But that is off subject.
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  13. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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  14. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
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    That's a great scene.

    Resonates more strongly than 12-hours of hack-n-slash Orc nonsense in those overrated LOTR movies.

    "For Gondor!" ... "For Frodo!" ... "For my bladder!"

    Or in ROTJ: no words at all.

    The Ewok death scene is somewhat reminiscent of that scene in "THX-1138" when SRT crashes his car: tragic, random violence portrayed with a minimum of fuss.

    And there are other scenes with a less emotional quality, but with just as much impact (if you'll excuse the pun): e.g., that N-1 fighter being downed moments after leaving the hangar on Naboo in TPM, a snowspeeder being shot down by a laser bolt mid-battle and streaking across screen on Hoth in TESB, the X-Wing pilots snuffing it one-by-one in the Battle of Yavin in ANH, etc.

    * * *

    A ton of moments in this saga that make this fan go "wow" and/or forget to breathe.

    "You're sweating. Relax. Take a deep breath."

    But Obi-Wan, you don't know what it's like to WATCH Star Wars!
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Feb 27, 2013
  15. Ingram_I Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 7, 2012
    star 2
    ...when R2 wakes up inside the sandcrawler, looks around and sees all kinds of other droid characters (some functioning, some not), each doing their own little droid thing, before he starts walking around like a curious kid in a cave.

    Translation: a feature-length movie of its time being the first to sideline its main plot in order to explore a strange new world from the POV of a robot.
    Last edited by Ingram_I, Feb 27, 2013
  16. Han Burgundy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2013
    star 3
    Ooh, I'll have to disagree with you there... The LOTR films are epic masterpiece. Honestly, Peter Jackson had an eye for dynamic and intense action that GL sorely lacked at times... But I digress.

    ... That moment when you're unbelievably stoked to see the Anakin vs Obi Wan duel for the first time, thrilled that you finally get to see how Anakin becomes Darth Vader... when the duel ends, and Obi Wan just matter-of-factly chops Anakins arm and legs off and you see his torso skid down the hill, nobody in the theatre is stoked anymore. They're horrified.

    That's what I remember most about ROTS. Everyone thought it was gonna see so "cool" to see all those things that the prequels had been building up to, but George Lucas played it for tears. And he got them.
  17. sg1A Jedi Padawan

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    Feb 20, 2013
    star 1
    Anakin and Obi-wan face off on mustafar "we were brothers" best line ever.
  18. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
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    Gee guys, thanks for deconstructing my moment. What is this, a Monty Python routine?

    "I love the moment when they're in the operahouse, and the performers bellow..."
    "Actually, it was a ballet. No bellowing."
    "More like a whale song, actually."
    "Nope, says right here, 'Mon Cal Opera.'"
    "I could swear it was a lemur's mating call! What did Ben Burtt say about this?"
    "Ben Burtt can ---- off! It was a lemur!"
    "You know, if Gary Kurtz were still producer, the whole movie would take place in that operahouse. Fancy that!"
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  19. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    To me, the LOTR films are less than the sum of their parts: epic, but overcooked; forbidding, yet hackneyed; encompassing, yet small-minded. And I can barely think of more intensive action than the podrace, Duel of the Fates, the last 40 mins of Clones, the Order 66 montage, and the twinned duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan and Yoda and the Emperor in the prequel trilogy's action climax. And the opening shot of ROTS alone, in my opinion, is more dynamic than anything in Peter Jackson's visual arsenal. Let's agree to disagree.

    As Camile Paglia notes in her fabulous essay on George Lucas and the prequel trilogy:

    "The sound mix, overseen by Lucas, is unnerving: a tempest of roars, hisses, sputters, clangs, and splashes goes shockingly blank and silent when Anakin's arm and legs are severed midair."

    It shook up the two audiences I saw it with pretty bad. In both screenings (technically, in separate countries: one on the east coast of England, the other in North Wales), there were gasps and remarks made about the removal of Anakin's legs from people in my vicinity, right after Obi-Wan cut them off. Real shock.

    Right. ROTS depicts a tragedy. It is heaps of fun to watch, but it delivers an emotional wallop, too.

    For me, though, one of the most remarkable things about it is its overarching visual design: a moody mix of off-reds, blacks, greys, and hushed pastels, with occasional primaries, like lanterns in a yawning abyss. There are also the aggressive metal decals: rusting steel, burnt copper, blacked iron. The feel of a furnace is brought to mind; which, given the picture's dramatic destination (Mustfar), is exactly right. And for all this harshness, it's just so beautiful to watch it all unfurl, even though, because of said harshness, it's less visually captivating than TPM and AOTC in some ways.

    Perhaps it is so intriguing because, in my estimation, it is the most unlikely-looking of the films in its microscopic details, with calm, sleek Sci-Fi whites (e.g., the Tantive), haunting Stygian blacks and seething orange, autumnal gold rays (the way Padme's veranda is lit), and a gentle, peaceful-looking end sequence: four tiles for the four Skywalkers in various states of animation. Grievous, too. He's like, so crazy, being the de facto moustache-twirling villain of the entire saga, yet plugging into the tapestry of the film in a deeper way: a sort of Da Vinci-esque contraption but with a doomed being inside his carapace; an epic perversion of nature as primer for this movie's (and this trilogy's) little shop of horrors.

    Quite poignantly, the film transitions from Anakin to Grievous after Padme announces her pregnancy and we see Anakin repressing the urge to squirm, and it's here, in this brief scene of Grievous racing out his ship to greet a spectral Darth Sidious (like Anakin later races to the same person in the flesh) where we, arguably, get the Fates of the soundtrack wailing at their tightest pitch. Because Anakin is this figure, right here, right now: bent, crooked, twisted, metaphysically struggling to breathe; "under a lot of stress" as Padme almost-comically puts it later on (but this is clever wording, as stress is something materials -- especially metal used to hold up bridges and, oh, I dunno, lava collector arms -- undergo). It's very bold and dramatic. Almost to a ridiculous degree. Yet Lucas' salient poetry links it all together.

    So, Sith's look and feel is... I dunno. Special. Unique. It has this elusive, fresh quality: its own momentum, its own voice. Its opening, for example, is not only the only time we get a dynamic, flowing action shot with a nakedly three-dimensional feel, but also the only time we see ships twisting through an invisible breeze (a thin, tenuous atmosphere, which even the film is conflicted on: "We're in the atmosphere"), as if sowing a thread, or tightening the strings on a mounting cataclysm, which poor ol' Grievous could almost be the puppet for (he's sort of an analog for Jar Jar in this movie). That's cool. There's still an enlarged element of "play" at work here: but now transformed by a heavy, brooding aspect. Yet the serial shenanigans, as the opening sequence proves, couldn't be greater, even here, in the saga's proverbial 11th Hour.

    Sith sorta cooks in its own way: we get the dramatic goods, but all those prequel riffs and hooks are still retained. In short, this isn't just the birth of Darth Vader; it's the prequel trilogy's birth of Darth Vader. If we're familiar with the term "rose-tinted", let me add a new one: digi-tinted. Sith connects to Episode IV and the OT, but never fully. It creates this bright, sensational digi-verse that holds something back for itself; almost as this tragedy is too intense to portray with anything less than an uncanny visual opulence. In this way, George Lucas truly reinvented the wisdom of the Ancient Greek scribes -- and the rich theatrical tradition since those times -- anew. What happens to Palpatine is probably demonstrative: a seasoned theatrical actor who does his Shakespearean bit in the first half, but gets to ham it up -- is almost forced to ham it up -- in the second. Because this is the old tradition and something else combined. Maybe they share a bit of an uneasy "alliance", but it gives the movie a grander architecture: a propellant elan.

    But really, it all goes back to the visuals. I quite enjoy how it was all pulled off. Somehow, ROTS really has that "Last Days of the Republic" vibe going on, as an industrial feel, begun with the droid factory in AOTC, closes in on the characters and constrains their choices. It sort of all condenses with Anakin choking Padme: he's using his gloved hand (black with silver latches) which conceals an artificial limb mechanism. And then he duels Obi-Wan on a collector arm. Which then topples and burns up in the lava (while Anakin's artificial limb is spared). There's a kind of poetry to this last episode that manages to successfully suggest, in my view, a fresh range of factors in the decline of Anakin into Vader, beyond the rote confines of the interpersonal drama. In other words, ROTS, like all the other films, but more impressively in some ways, proves that cinema -- especially the George Lucas kind -- is way beyond what's written on a page. It is manifestly visual. With aural accompaniment. There was still a lot to weave together here, but as usual, Lucas refused to concede entirely to the utilitarian demands of the story, once again creating a mosaic -- one with a certain finality to it, completing his six-movie masterpiece -- on the life and times of a singular mythic character. That's where he triumphed: delivering the story, but a lot more besides.
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Feb 27, 2013
  20. Han Burgundy Force Ghost

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    Jan 28, 2013
    star 3
    ^^^Fantastic post. I will admit, I'm not entirely convinced that the poetic significance of every detail you observed was done intentionally by GL, but then again, knowing the unbelievably specific vision with which his brain creates things, I wouldn't be surprised.

    That's why, despite it not working for the story, I wish we had seen Anakin duel Grevious rather than Obi-Wan, to more concretely establish that visual foreshadowing. Obviously for plot reasons Anakin needed to stay on Coruscant, but one can dream.
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  21. Cryogenic Force Ghost

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    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    I think he intended the basics; and most of my posts -- though I appreciate the compliments -- tend to just cover the basics.

    It wouldn't matter if he didn't, though. The films are art: inevitably, and ineluctably, the expression of a range of impulses, some the artist is aware of, and many that he/she is not.

    I think it is better not being concretized. Instead, this alt-encounter, between Obi-Wan and Grievous, is what Palpatine uses to drive a wedge between Anakin and the Jedi. The conclusion to Obi-Wan battling Grievous is even sandwiched between serious scenes between Anakin and Palpatine and Anakin and Mace -- his two other "masters" -- respectively.

    Oh, and consider that Anakin not taking on Grievous is also a rhyme, of sorts, with Anakin being powerless in the face of Darth Maul: told to "drop" by Qui-Gon, racing to the queen's ship to get assistance, and later starting up a starfighter on autopilot, seemingly oblivious to Maul's presence or how Qui-Gon's life is now imperiled (although I guess he watches the beginning of the duel).

    The only mirror he took on -- and this was really Obi-Wan's mirror, not Anakin's -- is the aged, aristocratic Dooku. And very briefly, mainly in the dark, then put to sleep right as his arm was matter-of-factly removed. So it's sort of like Anakin is doomed not to know his mirrors; unlike Luke. Maybe the message is: know your mirrors or else.
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  22. StarWarsVerses Jedi Master

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    Feb 14, 2013
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    I'd like to riff on your point about Grievous/Jar Jar here, as it relates to a larger suspicion I have about the visual conceptualization of Star Wars characters, specifically how their appearances and roles seem to overlap and progress along both parallel and perpendicular planes. Jar Jar begins (there's a superhero movie I'd go to see) as a precise organic mirror of the battle droids in TPM, sharing both shape, size, colouration and behavior - and Grievous, as the 'fiendish droid general', has a more than passing resemblance to the machines he commands in the final act of the prequels. One could illustrate the form-flow like so: Battle Droids > Jar Jar > Gungans > Geonosians > Super Battle Droids > Grievous (Sebulba's sloping head, yellow eyes and rhyming with the Geonosians, as well as Dex's four arms and familiarity with Ben, fit in there somewhere). You could build quite a complex Darwinian family tree cataloguing the physical resemblances between these characters.

    Other serial villains in the series are part of similar form-flows. Grievous's bodyguards and the Tusken Raiders are clearly part of the same visual continuum as Darth Maul: horned crowns, distorted faces and double-sided (mirrored) pole weapons. If we treat all three of these characters as a single entity it becomes clear that it has a long-running rivalry with Obi-Wan Kenobi, beginning with his conquering of Maul in TPM, continuing through ROTS with two MagnaGuard battles, and finally ending with Old Ben's entrance in ANH. In all cases Ben defeats the form by cutting the proverbial Gordian Knot and solving a mythic puzzle (keys in these puzzles: Qui-Gon's lightsaber, the ceiling extrusion on Utapau, finally the form runs at the mere sound of him). One recalls poor Agrajag in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker novels, an entity doomed to be reincarnated and subsequently murdered by the same oblivious person for all eternity. As the fourth bisected MagnaGuard scrambles for his weapon in ROTS, before being cruelly and casually decapitated by Ben (a scene that never fails to solicit laughter and cheers whether I'm watching the film alone or with an audience), I wonder if some lingering ghost of Maul isn't in there somewhere, still looking to even the score (and as a Christ-figure Maul isn't new to resurrection, recently GL himself brought the back from the dead and then proceeded to cast him as Centaur, Satyr and Gilgamesh in that order...the crucifix on the bridge of his nose in TPM, missing in his Clone Wars appearance, provides a clue).

    Boba Fett is part of a similar villainous colour/form-flow, worthy of discussion, and all of the threads I've mentioned ultimately lead to Vader. What all of this suggests is a visual play on Plato's theory of a world of forms, and the idea that all these characters are material reflections of a higher reality of unchanging abstractions; in other words, the real story of Star Wars, the one that we can only glimpse by making conscious connections.

    There's even a precedent for this idea in the Clone Wars series, which has been carefully supervized by Lucas since its inception and now almost rivals the films in terms of hidden visual narrative. In a series of episodes, the heroes journey into a symbolic pocket dimension and there encounter a patchwork dark side entity made up entirely out of visual and vocal features of all the villains in the series (and even Pernilla August lends her voice to the amalgam in a short scene). The whole arc is practically screaming at the viewer to see the connections. Something to think about, anyway.

    Back to Grievous. And I suppose the original topic. The final battle between Ben and the General seems particularly synchronistic - or synchromystic - to me. As a brawl on a landing platform it recalls the two main duels in AOTC, both of which were fought by Ben with the intent of keeping (D)Jango and Dooku from taking off in their escape vessels. With Grievous, Ben finally succeeds in his mission. As a scene initially brought to life by Steven Spielberg it's appropriate that much of it rhymes with scenes in the Indiana Jones films, particularly the vivisection and organ-removal that so traumatized me as a child in Temple of Doom - shots of Obi-Wan looking into Grievous's gutsack are not unlike shots of Mola Ram tearing out the still-beating hearts of sacrificial victims in the name of Kali. And now the real synchronicity begins, as Grievous is obviously a visual reference to the many-armed Hindu goddess worshipped in that film. In a deleted scene Grievous would have burned out the heart of the character Shaak Ti, who herself is named for the mantra Mola Ram and his Thuggee chant during the bloodthirsty ritual. Kali ma shakti de! Mola Ram and Grievous also share a penchant for hilariously over-the-top serial villain escape routes, suffer burning deaths and end up diving into watery chasms, voluntarily or otherwise.

    When the struggle reaches its climax it becomes a subtle repeat of the end of Ben's mirror-duel with Maul. Grievous menaces the dangling Jedi with a double-sided weapon and Ben calls an unexpected advantage to his hand just in time - once again, to mix my metaphors, cutting the Gordian Knot with Ockham's Razor seems to be what Obi-Wan does best. The holocaust of Grievous is repeated by Irina Spalko at the end of KOTCS, another Spielberg connection. Ben tosses the blaster away, like his protege Luke at the end of ROTJ. The final shot of Ben appraising the immolated corpse of his cyborg opponent will be repeated in the next film, as Vader stomps down Ben's empty robes. A grievous omen from an Eastern god of both death and rebirth.

    "...you must realize, you are doomed!"

    [IMG]
    Last edited by StarWarsVerses, Feb 27, 2013
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  23. StarWarsVerses Jedi Master

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    Feb 14, 2013
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    Apart from all that...

    That moment on the night of May 19th, 2005 when Nute welcomes Lord Vader and informs him that his arrival has been expected.
    Last edited by StarWarsVerses, Feb 27, 2013
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  24. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

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    Oct 1, 2012
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    LENS FLARE!


    No it isn't. [face_plain]
  25. anakin-the-chosen-one Jedi Knight

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    Feb 17, 2013
    You hear the Fox fanfare, you see those familiar blue words appear on screen... "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...". Then those 3 seconds of complete and utter silence as you wait. You see the opening crawl explode onto the screen, and the best theme song ever begins to play...
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