Lit The 181st Imperial Discussion Group: Star Wars! (As in: A New Hope!)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Grey1, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    It's strange that Foster would choose something not backed by the script or the designs, and not have him think of Owen and Beru, for example, or of his speeder or skyhopper.
  2. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    Might have been an attempt to get real-life kids who've owned pets empathising with Luke.
  3. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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  4. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

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    The ANH novelization is an oddity, it doesn't really fit in the EU, because it was based on old ideas, but it does add to the film like the other novelizations to a certain extent.
  5. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    And one more scene that's somewhat questionable when it comes to inclusion in the EU: Luke not really being conscious when blowing up the Death Star. He flies towards the target, opens himself up to the Force, and the next thing he knows, he's already heading away. The movie obviously implies a very different thing, and I'm not sure how many instances of Jedi or Force-sensitives not remembering doing stuff under the influence of the Force there are. I know that Luke's actions at Nkllon in HTTE are somewhat like that, but wasn't that meant to be really strange (instead of "just like when I blew up the Death Star")?

    This will be really intriguing when we combine it with SOTME next month, in which Luke is doing stuff he shouldn't be able to at that point of time, and which have been retconned as Luke funtioning as a Force conduit, not really performing the actions that the book ascribes him. Here it's the other way round: Luke is writen as a Force conduit but "got retconned" by the movie and all subsequent interpretations of the scene.

    Do you mean it doesn't fit because there's elements in it that aren't "canon", or because the old ideas are generally describing "a different world"?

    That would open an interesting question - whether a movie is more flexible than a story in prose, because prose would always be tempted to explain stuff, to give a temporal dimension to stuff that's simply visible onscreen (up to Luke not just living through what we see onscreen, but having inner reactions based on the feeling he connects to having had a dog years ago). And whether a movie is therefore more forgiving when you talk about the idea of "canon stuff".

    That's an interesting take: Did Foster think he'd write this book mostly for kids? Are there more parts that would imply that the book was written with kids in mind?
  6. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

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    A little of both really.

    I think movies are more flexible for those reasons exactly.
  7. tjace Force Ghost

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    My favorite part from this novel was the interactions between Luke and Biggs. In the movie he's kind of a flat, stereotypical childhood friend character, but in this book you can really see that he's more than that. My favorite passage in particular is the "shooting stars" part during the Trench Run.
  8. Iron_lord Force Ghost

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    Not sure- but given the sheer amount of merchandising that was, it's not that big a jump to think the book was, as well.

    It was at a school library that I first read it.
  9. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    The friendship angle isn't in the movie at all, is it? And seeing it on page I couldn't help but think that Lucas did the right thing pulling it out. First of all I agree with Luke first entering the story when the droids meet him. Then, the friendship doesn't really help the story except for 1) exposition on Rebellion and Empire, which we don't need; and 2) having someone to vouch for Luke's piloting skills, which still isn't very much and is better left out in the open, unexplained, if you ask me.

    In addition, Biggs' death doesn't leave a huge dent in either Luke or the audience. Granted, the shooting star motif can be touching. But at that time, Luke has already moved on from his old life; he doesn't need another coda back to Tatooine, ending in another "the Empire has to pay for this" moment mirroring Owen/Beru, not taking the next logical step that Luke shouldn't just stop his own suffering, but everyone's (and that's a point that Alderaan's destruction has already made as epic as the other pilots dying have made it personal). And Luke/Leia/Han is a much more interesting "friendship" combination (because even though they meet as strangers at odds, we know right from the start that they are friends at heart).

    Finally, I feel like EU never really could work out what to do with the seeds of Biggs' story left by Lucas. The timeline is off unless you convince yourself that the Falcon is the slowest starship in the universe. Well, not really off, but Biggs would probably leave Tatooine right away, mutiny the next day, and sit in the Yavin briefing room one day after that (I know, most people are convinced that hyperspace travel takes pretty long, but in my opinion the movie obviously implies that everything happens in three or four days).
  10. fett 4 Chosen One

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    Agreed I think you can probably find the scenes filmed on youtube, where Luke is with his pals and Biggs says goodbye to him. All pointless and I am glad they go cut.

    Side note I wish the whole Jabba/Falcon scene had remained cut too. It added nothing to what we an audience had already been told in the Greedo scene and I could've had lived fine without seeing Han step on his tail.
  11. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    I agree that the scene adds nothing to the single movie, but I think it works better in that entire saga connotation, when you have Jabba as a recurring player from TPM right to the end, especially if you include his TCW appearances. The big problem has always been that Lucas tried to get rid of old versions instead of using them to blow up his reputation as a master of cinema - see Ridley Scott giving the world five different cuts of his master piece Blade Runner in one box in a time when he's turning out a movie like Prometheus that would objectively have been better if it had Jar Jar in it. If Lucas had been more "cooperative" with his fandom, the movie critics, and common sense, everyone would love the fact that you have a "single movie mode" and a "saga mode" to watch Star Wars in. And that you can still watch the version that all the critics and Harrison Ford hate because voice over, less unicorn, and more Shining woods.

    And I must say that I loved the tailstepping bit. I could say how it gives Han's character a nice note of him not caring for risks and always getting away with it, but thereal reason I like it is a different one: Having played on a theatre stage, I really love the idea of working with what you've got. And these guys had Han walking around Jabba, and they had Jabba growing a digital tail, so they put one and one together and just did what a good actor would improvise if given the same elements. It's fun. For me, that is. Boba breaking the fourth wall, now that was too much (but again, I like his inclusion when watching the movies in "saga mode").
  12. fett 4 Chosen One

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    At first I thought it had been written by Jar Jar but then realised it was worse when I saw Lindolfs name.
    Prometheus had scratching my head asking the question WHY
    For instance
    Why was the Engineer asleep on his ship, why not simply take off which was what he did when he woke up ?
    When he ship crashed, why did he run after the girl with the dragoon tattoo rather than simply take off on another ship?
    Why if there was an outbreak did the Engineer which died by pratfall, die running into the place where the outbreak occurred ?

    Why did highly trained scientists act like complete idiots ?
    Why did highly trained scientists with the maps get lost ?
    why did highly trained scientists that ran when told there might be a lifeform 10 seconds later suddenly decide to pet an alien Cobra ?
    Why did the Stringer Bell go off for some hanky panky with Charlzie Theron without even bothering to have another crewman take over watch?
    Why did the girl with the dragoon tattoo suddenly decide that the Engineers wanted to wipe out life on earth when she had no evidence or reasoning to jump to that conclusion?
    Why did Stringer Bell go along with that without even bothering to ask why?
    Why did Charlize Theron not know her left from her right when running away from a rolling ship?
    Why did Guy Pearce hide, when it was his ship, funded by his money ?
    Why did the Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo decide to go look for the Alien planet when maybe warning Earth might have been smarter ?

    Now there are probably other
    Last edited by fett 4, Feb 11, 2013
  13. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    See, the novel adaptation of the movie probably answers all of those questions.
  14. krtmd Jedi Grand Master

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    @fett 4 - lol at Stringer Bell.

    I'm not sure a novel adaptation could fix all that was wrong with Prometheus.
  15. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    I think adaptations rather lampshade problems than try to explain them in a dignified fashion, anyway. The best are probably those who go with the flow and just write down what's in the script. But since ROTJ and ROTS have such a huge fandom for their character work, it seems to be possible to take a script and make it your own without stomping all over the premise...

    ANH, however, seems to be one of those cases where the few parts that get additional work only prove that Foster was in over his head when having to imagine the soon-to-be-seen SW universe. We get ducks and dogs, for example. Would you agree that the little authorial touches mostly show that Foster didn't really know what to do? I'm asking this especially since we have a chance to look out for authorial disctintiveness in SOTME next month.
  16. fett 4 Chosen One

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    Agreed besides you should not need to have to read the book to explain something that's in a film.
  17. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    I haven't read the book in quite some time, but I will say I thought the Brian Daley radio drama handled the friendship between Luke and Biggs fantastically.
  18. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Actually, I'm wondering about RC's whereabouts... since there is a radio adaptation of this, where is he? o_O
  19. blackmyron Force Ghost

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    The weird thing when I was a kid was that I had a picture-heavy kids book that covered the first portion of the movie, and they had the scenes (with photos) from the bits with Biggs and Luke together on Tatooine. Since the movie wasn't available to view again, I kept wondering why I didn't remember the scene from the movie....
  20. RC-1991 Force Ghost

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    Dealing with Capstone crap, unfortunately (basically Senior Thesis, though I'm dealing with it a year early). Though if I get the chance this weekend, I'll try to listen to some of the Daley drama, since it's supposed to be fantastic. Also, I seem to remember Hydro doing a thread on this novelization a few years ago, might try to dig that up as well.
  21. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Biggs's timeline is hilariously broken unless you theorize that Biggs was lying to Luke about thinking about defecting in the cut scenes, and had actually defected like a year ago and was just hinting at the fact that he might to test Luke's reactions (and consequently, that the comic Darklighter is out of sequence as regards that scene).

    I actually really like Biggs and his storyline as it develops Luke as a character and helps humanize him as a backwater kid bumming around with a gang of friends, and with a little older friend who he idolizes, and the whole dynamic there -- but Luke and Biggs aren't given enough interaction at the end of the movie for it to work, and it's probably fair for Lucas to have cut it down to focus the film more.
  22. lazykbys_left Jedi Master

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