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PT The reaction to the Rogue One Vader scene is exactly what Lucas wanted to avoid in ROTS

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Darth Nerdling, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Darth Nerdling

    Darth Nerdling Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 20, 2013

    Some Star Wars fans have criticized Lucas for not showing Vader hunt down and slaughter Jedi. The above reaction is exactly why.

    Lucas didn't want people to be glad that Anakin became Vader. He wanted it to be tragic, and including a scene like the one above in ROTS would have gone exactly against that dramatic goal. It would have inspired this reaction: "Yes! Vader is finally evil and killing Jedi!"

    I would argue that this is why the only part of the Jedi temple massacre that appears in the film is Anakin about to kill the younglings. Anakin clearly fought other Jedi. We see that in the hologram that Obi-Wan later watches, but Lucas purposely didn't want those killings to appear on screen. In fact, considering how desensitized people are to violence, most likely only the killing of children would have seemed horrific in that situation and enhanced the tragic effect of Anakin's fall. (Maybe killing puppies would've had the same effect lol.)

    I don't mean to criticize the inclusion of the above scene in Rogue One (though some might criticize it for other reasons -- glorifying violence, its tonal contrast with what came before it, etc). It serves a totally different dramatic purpose here than it would have if it was included in ROTS. By this point in the Saga, Vader has long ago lost his humanity, and I enjoyed this "slaughter porn" as much as the next despite that he's wiping out the good guys. However, for the same reason, it would have been completely out of place in ROTS.

    (BTW, the guy watching Rogue One in the video is faking it or he's smiling because he knows he's being filmed or because he's homicidal. He already has a smile on his face right after Jyn and Cassian got nuked.:p)
  2. grd4

    grd4 Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 11, 2013

    One of the noblest endeavors in art concerns the de-glamorization of evil, whereby the formidable antagonist is stripped of all majesty and reduced to pathetic, even pitiable stature. I say "noble", because by exposing the allure of wickedness as false, the artist directs the audience attention to the emotional/corporeal devastation that arises from said darkness. We learn to empathize with the victims, to mourn what was lost and what could have been--the very approach we ought to take in life.

    Some of the finest works of art expend great effort in stripping evil of its mystique, whether it be classical pieces such as Paradise Lost and Macbeth, or modern films like No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood. Satan returns to his realm--his mission accomplished--only to be greeted by a cavalcade of witless snakes. Macbeth perishes in the throes of nihilism. Anton Chigurh is stripped of agency and thus rendered impotent. Daniel Plainview is left writhing in his kingdom of ashes, while his hypocrite cohort bleeds out beside him.

    So it goes with Revenge of the Sith. In what may be the finest Star Wars film, the viewer is exposed to the discomfiting image of Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, weeping on the Mustafar bridge for his lost soul, raging at his wife like a petulant, fulminating at his brother as he burns alive, and bellowing his beloved's name (with his new slavemaster delighting in a mordant joke only he could comprehend).

    Vader's descent isn't visceral; it's transcendent. And I do hope Lucas's work is rediscovered and reappraised in the decades to come. Because I know a masterpiece when I see one.
  3. rpeugh

    rpeugh Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 10, 2002
    Yeah, I wish I could find the essay where I found this from, but Lucas is basically making a moral statement by portraying Anakin the way he did in the PT. I will admit that there was a part of me at first that was disappointed we didnt get to see much of him killing Jedi in ROTS, but Im definitely at peace with it right now.
  4. Deliveranze

    Deliveranze Force Ghost star 6

    Nov 28, 2015
    Yeah I agree. I was honestly kinda let down by that scene. It reminded me of a video game and, while I enjoyed it, I think Vader killing the Seps on Mustafar was far more terrifying. I was hyped for it, but it kinda fell flat for some reason. I think because deep down I know it was blatant fan-service since killer Vader is far more popular than emotional Vader. Also, the tone was off like Darth Nerdling said. Like are main heroes die while sacrificing for Rebellion and then BAM! A minute of glorious violence and mayhem.

    ROTS is pretty flawless imo. My only critique is that in the most action-packed SW film, women don't get any action scenes. That seemed really peculiar to me. Sure, we see women in combat roles, and humanoid females like Boga kicking ass, but we never see a woman legitimately fighting on-screen. Maybe that was intentional tho as one could see as the xenophobic, sexist, racist Empire rises, womens' role in the Empire is reduced.
  5. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    "The" reaction?

    If I didn't read internet message boards, and gauged only from my friends and my own responses then I would have assumed that "the" reaction was overwhelming positive.

    The idea that showing Vader doing what Vader does, wiping out all dissent or insurrection against the Emperor, somehow diminishes George's vision is absurd. Considering it leads into the first scene of George Lucas's first Star Wars movie where... he shows Vader doing pretty much the same thing only with less lightsaber action.

    Why would anyone be somehow disabused of the notion that Vader is a tragic figure having scene Rogue One, any more than they would after seeing him in action in A New Hope, is beyond me.

    No disrespect but it's a totally spurious claim.

    We know now why Vader does what he does. He's a compromised figure stuck in the belief that indulging his anger somehow empowers him. Rogue One does not change that, at all.

    Nobody is glad that Anakin became Vader. Everyone is glad at Anakin and Vader being consistently depicted in compelling and entertaining and consistent ways.

    What is it that people want? Vader crying as he pursues the rebels? "Forgive me Padme! But I must get these plans. Afterl all. This is how my story started."

    It's not even that violent. There's not many kids who could copy from Rogue One and lift their friend of the ground telepathically then kill them with a laser sword. It's not that difficult for them to choke one of their friends to death - which is the very first piece of action Vader was shown doing by Lucas.
  6. ezekiel22x

    ezekiel22x Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 9, 2002
    I didn't much care for that R1 scene. At best it struck me as a redshirt sequence presented as some epic finale. At worst the common fan sentiment that the scene "redeemed" Vader after his I-III portrayal unnerves me as far as the current rights holders' thematic priorities. Just cheapened the character to see him framed to look so "badass" against a bunch of nameless soldiers. There's a giddiness there that, yes, is not wholly uncalled for given that OT Vader is definitely made to be an entertaining baddie with his ironic apologies and unique way of firing subordinates. However, for me one reason the PT is so good is that it put a human face (both literally and thematically) on Vader and his actions. The R1 scene feels like a regression as far as filmmaking priorities are concerned.
  7. son_of_skywalker03

    son_of_skywalker03 Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 7, 2003
    I feel both ideas work in concert with one another. Yes, the PT successfully put a "human face" on Vader. Yes RO "regresses him" (as you put it) in line with the original movies. But by the time we get to those movies, Vader has all but lost his entire humanity. It isn't awoken back up until the name Skywalker drsgs it back out of his past. Do I disagree that the scene in RO "redeemed Vader" as a badass villain? Yes, yes I do. Do I also admit to buying into the moment as I saw it? Absolutely. By this point in time Vader is meant to be absolutely terrifying to the average individual. I think the scene showed that quite well.
    Strilo, smoothkaz, Tho Yor and 8 others like this.

    JEDI-RISING Force Ghost star 6

    Apr 15, 2005
    i don't know. that's a good question. we certainly see Vader killing quite a few beings, mostly Seperatists,- -just not in the suit.
    He did say in interviews a couple years after TPM there was some backlash because people expected basically episode III with episode I, so he knew there was that craving, but the story was the story.
  9. ezekiel22x

    ezekiel22x Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 9, 2002

    That's why I called it a regression of filmmaking priorities. In-universe timeline wise the Vader of R1 is mostly a natural progression as far as surface traits go. Great characters have depth, though. If Vader had to appear, I would've preferred he done so in a manner that felt less caricatured, less like part of a theme park ride. We already saw the tyrant of the OT and the man of the PT. Is there no space in between? The PT showed us an Anakin washed in some pretty heavy darkness at times even before taking on the suit. Was Vader entirely truthful when he told Luke "there is no conflict," or were there times when the man managed to briefly shine through the darkness? Rogue One might not have been the right place to explore these ideas. Fair enough. Although for me, that doesn't make what we did see of Vader in that film a meaningful extension of the character's arc.
    Cryogenic and jimkenobi like this.
  10. ConservativeJedi321

    ConservativeJedi321 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Mar 19, 2016
    I agree, while seeing Vader go up against the Jedi would have been cool looking, it wouldn't have jarred properly with the intent of the film, it would have undermined Lucas's intent to cast the fall of Anakin as a tragedy, instead it would have just fed the notion of "Dark side is cooler" and turning what is suppose to be a somber moment into a Crowning moment of Awesome. But its not suppose to be a Crowning Moment of Awesome, it is suppose to be a tear jerker, and that is what it ended up being, rightfully so.

    I wouldn't change a thing about the film, it was perfect for me. Completely perfect.

    Would I like some future media to expand on Operation Knighfall once again? Yes. Whether it be by book, comicbook, video game or whatever, I think it would be very interesting to see. But I do believe it had no place in the movie itself.

    It doesn't undermine Lucas's vision for outside sources to show us what happened, to do "Slasher Vader" moments. Because even as they are part of the greater franchise, they are not part of the films proper. We can go from Episode I to Episode VI without Rogue One, or any extra media if we want. But they are still fun additions, even if they are not essential to the overall story, so I don't mind.:)
  11. Darth__Lobot

    Darth__Lobot Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 29, 2015
    It's really not that different from the separatist massacre... except that I felt a lot more empathy for the rebels being slaughtered in Rogue One.

    The scene works because it shows the true horror of what Vader has become and how terrifying he is to a normal person.

    I actually think the scene works really well as a follow on to ROTS..... it's the first time we see Vader in action since the PT and we see how far he has fallen and what he has become and the true consequences of his actions.
  12. Alienware

    Alienware Jedi Master star 3

    Apr 19, 2013
    I didn't see anything like that mentioned by OP. As far as I understand he tried to convey why a scene like this wouldn't work in ROTS and the prequels in general. I have to say I completely agree with him. And I really like the scene from Rogue One, but I don't see Vader as badass because I still see a tragic figure in that suit.
  13. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 18, 2013
    This is the essence of it.

    The Darth Vader we see in ROTS is in human form as Anakin then freshly in the armor but Anakin still exists in there. 20 years later Anakin is basically gone. The recent canon stories have done very well going over this in Rebels, the comics and books showing the development.

    Having the ANH Vader appear fully formed makes no sense in ROTS but makes sense in R1.

    For those who don't want true character growth or development but simply a one-dimensional destroyer Vader then nothing Lucas would do in ROTS was going to please them anymore than ROTJ did.
    mikeximus, wobbits, Snafu55 and 2 others like this.
  14. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    It doesn't make Vader one dimensional. After credulously agreeing to kill Younglings, how can a suited Vader shown to be similarly ruthless in the service of evil make no sense until twenty years later?

    I'm not saying that ROTS should have included this. But the argument that it makes no sense is senseless.
    Mostly Handless and Strongbow like this.
  15. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 18, 2013
    That doesn't make sense to me.

    What about it is senseless?

    We are talking as the OP had in this way:

    In ROTS Anakin becoming Vader is about his failure and being Vader is a failure is obviously not something that a certain segment of fans are into. Hence why in ROTS and ROTJ they aren't into that but when Vader is powerful and dominant they are.
  16. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001

    "If I'd taken the prequel trilogy to a marketing company, Episode I would've started here [III] and Episodes II and III would've been about Darth Vader killing people. But in the end, I wouldn't be able to write movies like that."

    --George Lucas, The Making Of Revenge Of The Sith.

    Lucas felt that he couldn't tell the story that he wanted with that kind of storytelling that a marketing department wanted. That doesn't mean that he would be against Vader killing like in RO. Just that it wouldn't work in telling the fall of Anakin Skywalker. In RO, he's already Vader. He's just as ruthless as he was presented in ANH and TESB. The tragedy of Vader in those three films is that he's not what he wanted to be when he knelt before Palpatine and envisioned taking over the Empire with Padme. He's not as powerful as he wants to be and there are those within the Empire who are not intimidated by him unless he puts on a display of power.

    Vader in RO is an extension of Vader in ANH. Just as the Vader of "Rebels" is an extension of ANH and seeing him fight Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka doesn't change what Lucas wanted when he made the PT.
  17. PymParticles

    PymParticles Cruel but Fair Tyrant of New Films star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 1, 2014
    I didn't have a fist-pumping "Hah, yeah, Vader is killing some guys!" reaction to this scene. I was scared beyond belief for the Rebels, despite knowing that they get the plans off. It's just that, in the moment, after everything they've overcome, at the last stretch they run into the boogeyman. They know they're screwed, which is why there's a moments' hesitation before the "Open fire!" order is given. They're not making it out of that hallway alive, and the most they can do is distract Vader long enough to buy some time to get the door open and get the plans onto the Tantive IV. When the lever was pulled and the ship broke away, I was genuinely relieved, not disappointed that the carnage stopped. Similar reaction, when my girlfriend first saw the movie, she watched that scene with her hand covering her mouth.

    I will agree that such a scene would have been out of place in Revenge of the Sith, but only because to get Anakin in the Vader suit early enough for it to happen would have required rushing his transition from Jedi to Sith even more.
  18. fastcooljosh

    fastcooljosh Jedi Padawan star 1

    Mar 15, 2017
    I once read somewhere that the prologue of TFU1, where Vader hunts down a Jedi on kashyyyk, was originally a after credit scene of ROTS.

    could be totally fake tho.
  19. Big_Benn_Klingon

    Big_Benn_Klingon Jedi Master star 3

    Nov 14, 2013
    You can even flip the argument. The fact that there wasnt a cyborg-Vader killing-spree scene in ROTs made the RO scene (which I loved) all the more dramatic.
  20. {Quantum/MIDI}

    {Quantum/MIDI} Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 21, 2015
    Fan service. That's all it is. A superficial enjoyment of ones chaotic and pathetic attitude, bringing an overly emotional tone which excites the young. Nothing at an attempt of depth whatsoever.

    Lucas wasn't the type who wanted to exemplify killing others for enjoyment. That's the eaiser way in bringing your audience(which Lucas resented). I can understand why one would love such scenes, and I even caught myself somewhat enjoying the demise of others, running away from the "Big Bad Black Man"(isn't that so twisted? Yet we are so desensitized to it, we don't care).

    I consider RO Vader a shallower, condensed version of himself. I expected much from a director who is such a fanboy. Or, can I blame him? So many hands....The plot thickens.
  21. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 19, 2015
    Darth Nerdling I agree with your analysis. The same scene form RO included in ROTS would have been completely out of place.

    Even tough, as many others here, I also enjoyed how RO ended with the slaughter of the Rebels, showing that Vader as lost all his humanity, more a demon than a man, and that's how the Rebels sees him when he lights up his lightsaber.
    Darth Nerdling likes this.
  22. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    Qui-Riv-Bird Regardless of the OP, you said a scene of Vader in action like we saw in RO would have made no sense in a Rots context.

    It does make sense.

    And this stuff about rebels making sense of Vader's character development between episodes III and IV is ludicrous. This implies that audiences who followed the saga all the way, watching each film as it was released would have been scratching their heads after episode III, wondering "So how does Vader become like the character we see at the start of a new hope." Ridiculous.

    Now your invoking notions of taste and presuming that Anakin killing Jedi would have been gleefully cheered on by the audience. Which is a completely different argument from it making no sense.
    AndyLGR likes this.
  23. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 18, 2013
    First off there is a scene like that in ROTS:

    In the context of how it is presented in the movie. A before the armor Vader cutting down "the bad guys" and Vader shedding a tear. A part of him knowing what he is doing is wrong but he is trapped. He's already trapped BEFORE the armor. The armor is the final symbolic finisher. This is not a triumph for Vader. It's hollow.

    The new canon from the storygroup have a very definite plan when it comes to going from the Vader at the end of III as he develops over the years before version we see in ANH and then from there the development between ANH and TESB.

    That is just the way it is. If you find that ludicrous then you have to bring it up with them.

    The general audience isn't doing anything but watching the movies as entertainment. They don't watch the animated series or read books or comics or go behind the stories in that way. They are not scratching their heads because that is not how they view the movies. They are simply viewers who accept the story presented there. Fandom is so much about filling in the gaps between movies and even then plenty of fans don't both with any of this either. Some follow in the mediums they like already.

    Audiences don't follow just by watching each film as it was released. Many people have seen the prequels and never got around to the OT. To them Star Wars was the prequels then TFA. I know that some fans have a hard time believing this and find it incomprehensible that this could be the case. For even younger viewers they haven't seen any of the original 6.

    Depends on the context of how it was presented.

    Going back to the OP: It serves a totally different dramatic purpose here than it would have if it was included in ROTS. By this point in the Saga, Vader has long ago lost his humanity, and I enjoyed this "slaughter porn" as much as the next despite that he's wiping out the good guys. However, for the same reason, it would have been completely out of place in ROTS.

    It wouldn't make sense in ROTS as Lucas pointed out. There are those who would have like an entire movie of Vader hunting Jedi. Basically the 40 seconds of cutting people down as a 2 hour movie.

    As I said there are those who love Vader in ANH, TESB and now R1 but not ROTS or ROTJ. They don't even recognize Vader outside of the armor as Vader.

    Here is an excellent commentary I came across:

    And whether or not you like that Vader sequence, you do have to admit that looked at like that it is a little odd. He's the bad guy who is part of the fascist empire that the people we're supposed to care about in this film are fighting against and just sacrificed themselves to help strike a blow against, and he gets a cooler, more audience-pleasing moment than any of them. Even Chirrut Îmwe. I mean, even being played by Donnie Yen, and even with that first blind stick fight against a bunch of stormtroopers, all the chatter afterwards was about how badass Vader was. And Chirrut is the only one of the heroes who gets any moment that's even vaguely comparable.

    So why does a villain, who isn't connected to any of the characters and who is barely connected to the plot at all, get the hero shot?

    Of course the answer is "because he's Darth Vader", but all that answer really says is that they're sacrificing the story and the focus of the film (which, let's not forget, is supposed to be about Jyn Erso and the rest of the Rogue One crew) for the sake of fanservice. For the sake of memberberries. For the sake of saying "well, we know that the Alec Guinness fight is ¤¤¤¤, so here, have Darth Vader being as cool as you always imagined he was when you were a kid".

    Which is understandable from a marketing point of view, and from the point of view of these films being made by people who grew up watching the original trilogy and now get to play with the toys for real, but from the point of view of looking at it as a film in its own right, it's peculiar.

    The point being that after everything in R1 what do people come out all hyped about? Vader stealing the movie from those characters the movie was supposed to be about. It undercuts the preceding 2+ hours.

    Now to me that does not matter as such because the reality is that R1 was about the Death Star plans being stolen and the characters (as well done as they are) were irrelevant to the real story. In the context of the movie though they are supposed to be important and much of that was taken away because at base we know they don't really matter to the saga.

    Point is that you could take the last section of R1 and recut it into ANH in place of the opening crawl.

    JEDI-RISING, Darth Nerdling and DrDre like this.
  24. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 6, 2016
    That is incredibly arrogant to presume what causal viewers are not thinking about. What kind of viewer watches episodes III then IV and accepts behaviours from Vader in the beginning of episode IV and in Rogue One which you claim make no sense and are out of character for the suited Vader we saw at the end of episode III?

    Any audience member should be taken out of the movie by this inconsistency in character and would therefore not be entertained.

    The audience does not need to watch rebels to understand Vader's behaviour in Rogue One or Episode AND IV if they've seen Episode III. They saw Vader slaughter younglings and murder the Separatist leaders before choking his wife, plus he had the rest of his limbs severed and transformed into a cyborg.

    No matter how tragic the circumstances, which any audience undoubtedly appreciate, the idea that Anakin has lost his humanity at least partially is certainly not lost on them either. A further loss of humanity is not required to justify Vader's behaviour being consistent with the ruthless instrument of the Emperor he became twenty years previously.
    AndyLGR, wobbits and Slicer87 like this.
  25. Kenneth Morgan

    Kenneth Morgan Chosen One star 5

    May 27, 1999
    You've just described Kylo Ren.