TCW Episode The Clone Wars - Episode 5.11 - A Sunny Day In The Void - discussion thread

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Seerow, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    The concept of sentient droids has been around for awhile. 3PO seemed pretty sentient to me. The bit of discussion on whether droids can think was semi-interesting and probably the only redeeming quality of this episode.

    As far as demographics--my oldest son still likes the show, but he wasn't feeling this episode any more than I was.
  2. Seerow SWTV★Mod

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    Jun 7, 2011
    star 6
    My niece is younger than the target but enjoyed it with me. I'm the Christmas party daycare of something like that tonight (How freaking lame). Maybe I'll try it out on a larger audience.

    Droids remind me of pets, specifically dogs. But the way they are treated and used does remind me of service dogs which people also tend to bond with. There are lots of arguments out there about whether dogs are self aware or understand death which are key to being sentient but alot of owners consider there dogs 'like humans' anyways. It seem Anakin and Luke had similar relationships to the kind say a K9 Officer has with his trained police dog. Don't hurt me! I know what Filoni has said in the past about Artoo and I don't agree with that at all.

    Droids seem to think and solve problems but how much is beyond programming is still questionable. I assumed when R2 set guidance to straight he was actually referring to just using a compass to find magnetic north. Why go north? I'm not sure. He has scanners and maybe he had detected the weird crop circle city all along. WAC also seems to talk about limits to his programming as if they are barriers like giving up. That reminded me of the haunting scene of the astromech repeatedly running into the wall in the Maul ravaged city in revenge.

    I like how enigmatic this question is. I don't see droids as sentient regardless. This droids may have an awareness of death but don't understand it. Only battle droids died apparently. Likely because they don't get repaired or backed up or anything like a droid like R2 would get.
  3. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5

    3PO is such a strange case for me.

    I think a lot of people (including the EU) have always treated 3PO and R2 as special cases, as if the "rules" of droids don't apply to them, probably because Lucas uses them as comic relief and has them do things you'd never expect droids to do. R2 is absolutely Lassie, he's the most heroic droid ever.

    3PO:

    For a protocol droid, 3PO seems completely oblivious of his own behavior. He's constantly screaming like a lunatic, as if that were at all acceptable behavior for humans. He's constantly whining and moaning all emo. Shouldn't a protocol droid know that **** is annoying? He's a complete detriment to everything the heroes try to do, he's always slowing them down. In ESB he's screaming in Han's ear and falling all over him while he's trying to fly the ship. Shouldn't a protocol droid know to stay the hell out of the way? Later, he totally C-3PO blocks Han when he's getting intimate with Leia. After he gets blasted to bits, Chewie is trying to put him back together and 3PO is *****ing the entire time. Chewie actually wasn't doing that bad a job, he got his limbs back on, he just made a simple mistake and put 3PO's head on backward. Who hasn't put something on backward? It's not like it was hurting 3PO any. Then Chewie lowers himself and carries 3PO on his back, and 3PO has the nerve to continue *****ing. "Turn around Chewbacca, I can't see!" STFU DROID! No one gives a **** if you can see, you are not important. For a protocol droid, 3PO doesn't know his place. Chewie is performing manual labor (the job of a droid) to carry your worthless *** around. You're lucky Chewie didn't leave you in that junk pile. Shouldn't a protocol droid know to be grateful?

    Who the **** programmed 3PO? Anakin? No way, Anakin is way too competent with machines, he must have just put the parts together. 3PO is the worst protocol droid ever, the worst droid ever. It seems like he was programmed to be as human as possible, he's given complicated thoughts and feelings like fear and maybe even pain. But he comes off as an exaggeration of human. He doesn't just get afraid, he gets hysterical. He spends more time talking about his "lot in life" and his doom more than any human I know, which by the way would be considered bad protocol by some. His programmers tried to make 3PO human, but he just ended up annoying in a way you'd only expect from humans, so it's like he's both a success and (mostly) a failure.

    This is what happens when you start thinking about these things instead of taking them as entertainment, or at least attempted entertainment.
    Last edited by CT-867-5309, Dec 15, 2012
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  4. KenobiSkywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    I know people that are way worse than 3PO.. [face_sigh]

    The protocol droid at the beginning of TPM is how I would have envisioned 3PO, at least in the early years.
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  5. Seerow SWTV★Mod

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    star 6
    Yeah, 3PO would have made a better prom date than the guy who took me. <<;
    Last edited by Seerow, Dec 15, 2012
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  6. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    On one of my AOTC viewings, when we got to the part in the droid factory where 3PO is telling R2 that he's programmed to understand human behavior, one of the people with me came back with, "And he's programmed to save your ass!"

    3PO is at his best as comic relief when he's getting verbally pwned by either R2 or Han.
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  7. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    That's it - the droids are programmed to mimic human behavior, but unlike human "programming" cannot rise above it or break it (well, possibly the show has given us a few exceptions). It must be a comfort factor to associate with simulated human behavior - don't we all much prefer a warmer/natural voice to our answering machines, etc. than a cold mechanical voice?
  8. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

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    Oct 16, 2008
    star 5
    I think Apple's Siri would be a lot more personable if she regularly whined about my life choices.
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  9. KenobiSkywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    She already does somewhat about my choices. :p
  10. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    That's why I never use her, even if she does regularly pop up and ask if she can help me. :p

    A friend of mine once ended a very circular conversation with Siri with "You're drunk." Siri replied with "I'm sorry you feel that way."
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  11. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    I've tossed this around in my head for years, too. When 3PO is screaming in fear, when he seems to be crying out in pain, is he just mimicking human behavior or does he really feel it?

    Yes and no on comfort. Sometimes human behavior is not at all desirable. If you're programming a droid and can control its responses, why would you include undesirable behavior? It doesn't make sense. That's why I came up with the idea that the droids have CPUs that are so advanced that they function more like human minds than computers, so you have to take the good with the bad. Still, you'd think they could add some control, like brainwashing. Personally, I love the cold mechanical voice, I find it far superior to 3PO's shrill.

    I've actually asked myself the same question about the clones. Are they "real", or are they mimicking? Does it make a difference? Claiming behavior as mimicry is a very convenient way to dismiss a being, I really like it in an evil way.
    Last edited by CT-867-5309, Dec 15, 2012
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  12. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    I'm not sure if you refer to my post as regards droids, or are applying it to clones...?

    I agree that it is all too common to dismiss beings by assigning them a subset of behavior (etc. and all) but regarding droids - they are mechanical constructs. Whether in the GFFA or real life droids can attain consciousness...hmm, hard to see, the future is.

    As for clones, yes, they are modified human beings, but they are still human beings. Even prior to TCW and it's personalization of the clones, I felt they were, well, modified human beings - in some respects, they (supposedly) lacked certain human attributes (unpredictability, a sex drive, a unique sense of self) but they were still HUMAN. Even non-cloned humans could lack a trait that the gene modifiers took out of the clones, so I never put the clones on a lower level than the other sentient beings in the GFFA.

    Droids - well, I've always liked Artoo. Just a smart little friend/pet but as to actual "soul" - hmm. I'd hate to see Artoo destroyed and miss the little guy if he was, and yet - yet, he is a walking, talking, life-saving piece of machinery. So...I dunno.
  13. Dark Lord Tarkas Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2011
    star 4
    After my first viewing of this episode, I commented in the worst TCW episode thread that it's perhaps even worse than Secret Weapons, but on repeated viewings I've decided I definitely like A Sunny Day in the Void better. Even though I don't think TCW is the proper place for them, I'm still a huge fan of the themes explored in this episode.

    Ultimately, I think this episode failed to do in 22 minutes what Woody Allen could do in less than two minutes (literally):



    But I still gotta give the episode at least one extra point for having these themes, which would bring it up to a 2/10. The meaninglessness of life is a fun topic!

    There's one other thing about this episode that I find intriguing, and that's the extent to which it may be the final outcome to an idea GL had tossed around for awhile, which I think it is. When there was still only one Star Wars film out simply known as Star Wars and GL was asked about possible sequels, he said that in addition to extra stories relating to the main saga that he also had ideas for more esoteric, abstract Star Wars side-films. One of these ideas was for a film all about droids that wouldn't have any humans.

    From a 1980 special issue of Prevue magazine:

    GL: Most screenplays run about 100 or 110 pages. That was my second screenplay. I decided it was too long. It covered too much material, and what was in the script wasn't really filled out enough. It was too episodic and too fragmented. So I took the screenplay and divided it into three stories, and rewrote the first one. As I was writing, I came up with some ideas for a film about robots, with no humans in it. When I got to working on the Wookiee, I thought of a film just about Wookiees, nothing else. So, for a time, I had a couple of odd movies with just those characters. Then, I had the other films, which were essentially split into three parts each, two trilogies. When the smoke cleared, I said, 'This is really great. I'll do another trilogy that takes place after this.' I had three trilogies of nine films, and then another couple of odd films. Essentially, there were twelve films.
    Prevue: Do you still plan on producing all twelve?
    Lucas: No, I've eliminated the odd movies, because they really don't have anything to do with the Star Wars saga. It gets confusing trying to explain the whole thing, but if I ever do the odd movies about the robots or the Wookiees, it'll be just about them, not necessarily about Chewbacca or Threepio--just about Wookiees and robots. It's the genre that I'm intrigued with, not necessarily the characters. I'm just going to keep it pure. It's a nine-part saga that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It progresses over a period of about fifty or sixty years with about twenty years between trilogies, each trilogy taking about six or seven years.

    http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/loststarwarsstories.html

    We know from the episode featurettes on SW.com that GL himself took the idea for this episode out of his massive binder of unused and otherwise previously discarded Star Wars ideas, so I think there's a strong case to be made that there's some relationship between this idea of his and A Sunny Day in the Void.

    Truth be told, even though I spotted this right away, at first I wasn't happy about it. We just found out that there will be more Star Wars films, and GL even said that he has outlines for other Star Wars films after the sequel trilogy is done. So why on Earth waste a TCW episode (or whole arc) on this concept when you're finally in a position to make a real film of it as originally intended? Then @Watto comes along and makes some sense of it for me. Given that Star Wars is now run by Disney and no longer as directly by GL, it stands to reason that this weird, odd, abstract droids film would not be something Disney would be interested in since by its very nature it would be anything but commercial and thus not a major blockbuster money-maker.

    So even though I originally was unhappy with this choice, now I actually kind of appreciate it and am willing to give the episode a third point for it. Something about the idea of GL bringing all these tiny sparks of ideas he had in the 70's when Star Wars was still brand new into full flame has some automatic appeal for me.

    Ultimately, I still find it a disappointing way to spend an episode of TCW, especially since I'm big into Flash Gordon and I see TCW as GL's spark coming into full flame more in that regard and would prefer more pulp stories like that (feels more like Ep. IV, my favorite SW film) to abstract, experimental stuff like this. Better than Secret Weapons, Evil Plans, and Bombad Jedi (the three episodes I've rated 1/10), but still not what I want out of this series in theme or tone.
    Last edited by Dark Lord Tarkas, Dec 15, 2012
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  14. wmu'14 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2012
    star 1
    I liked this episode. Thought it better then the one prior.
  15. Darth_Harmon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2005
    star 3
    Enjoyed this one, but it was the worst possible episode to end the year on. An episode about nothing, followed by a month long break? :p At least the third episode of the arc sounds great, but why not end on that one then?
  16. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
    "Careful Artoo, your singeing my circuits..." do droids feel?
  17. Tzizvvt78 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2009
    star 4
    If they have sensors that make them react like people with nerves do, yes.
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  18. Seerow SWTV★Mod

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    If prosthetic can be given nerves that feel than maybe droids can be given though as well. The sense of touch is a handy one.
  19. rumblewagon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2004
    star 4
    "This oil bath is going to feel so good." - C-3PO
  20. Senator Kelberry Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2010
    star 3
    Which then begs the question, do they feel pain? ROTJ would suggest they do, but then what's the practical purpose of making a droid who can feel pain? Also, is their sense of pain as debilitating as it is in humans? Droids get limbs shot off and tend to keep going...in fact most of them, curiously, don't seem to feel pain in that particular circumstance. Whereas if we suddenly loose an arm or a leg, we tend to stop what we're doing, and scream at the top of our lungs.
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  21. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
    Now, if only droids could "Wilhem"...
    ;)
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  22. Seerow SWTV★Mod

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    star 6
    This episode, "A Sunny Day in the Void" IMO is all about the immortality of droids. If you can't die, pain is meaningless anyways. Its like WAC said here. Todo 360 got blown the hell up and rebuilt. I'm not sure exactly what sensations a droid would have. Perhaps he could feel the resistance of something pushing on him. Maybe a droid like 3P0 could feel something a minute as me placing my hand on his chest with the slightest pressure. Maybe they would feel temperature, hot vs cold.
    Last edited by Seerow, Dec 18, 2012
  23. quigonobi3 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2012
    star 1
    goodness was it that bad!!!!!
  24. rumblewagon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2004
    star 4
    A great point. Perhaps a droid is "programmed" to feel pain, but doesn't feel pain in the same way we feel pain. Humans can increase their tolerance to pain and there's the rare case of a person who cannot feel pain at all - they get a cut or broken arm and don't realize it. In ESB, C-3PO yells "ouch" and tells R2 to watch what he is doing as he's welding 3PO's leg back on. Is that just a programmed "ouch" to warn C-3PO that a potentially destructive welding tool might cause damage to his leg?
  25. Seerow SWTV★Mod

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    star 6
    Umm... PM me, I'll tell you all about it.