Saga The Saga: Single Story in 6 Parts, or Six Individual Films?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Merlin_Ambrosius69, Jul 26, 2011.

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  1. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    I had expected STAR WARS to be a single movie and was rather surprised when Lucas released ESB to continue the story.

    However, I'm more than satisfied with the six films. Are they perfect? No. None of them are, as far as I'm concerned. I have yet to see a perfect film. But I do believe that the STAR WARS saga is one of my favorite and one of the best film franchises I have ever seen.
  2. DarthPhilosopher Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2011
    star 4
    It's one story called "STAR WARS" split into six episodic parts, and that's the only true way to watch it in my opinion. Ultimately I find that the great fables of the modern era are all stories split into separate parts.

    Star Wars: 6 PARTS
    The Lord of the Rings: 3 PARTS (4 if you include The Hobbit)
    Harry Potter: 7/8 PARTS

    All of those are what I regard as the 'three pillars' of modern mythology, with Indiana Jones playing a supporting role. In fact I regard Star Wars as much more than six parts with The Clone Wars, Clone Wars, The Thrawn Trilogy and other stories adding to the main structure of the film Saga.
  3. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    5 if you include the second film. 6 if you include The Silmarillion...
  4. CoolyFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2003
    star 4
    Its a six part movie. The only real thing separating them is the crawl and the credits. Replace the crawl with an info screen and add 10 years later, 3 years later, 19 years later etc etc and the six parts could easily flow together with the right edits.
  5. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
    I appreciate your wanting to see the Saga as flawlessly unified, but the unique visual style of each OT film alone (see my post upthread) contradicts this. Different film stocks, editing techniques and production design make it impossible for anyone with a close, critical eye to consider the Saga "a six part movie".

    Thematically, the films are unified. I have no problem with that approach. The Saga works nicely as a tale of tragedy and redemption, employing mirror imagery, repeated dialogue, similar scenarios and "shadowy reflections" to make moving statements about the human condition, father-son relationships, pacifistic spirituality, morality, etc.

    But it does so in different ways, with a distinct tone and a unique style with each separate film. If we remove the crawl and the credits, as you suggest, the differences will stick out like a sore thumb. The transition between III and IV, for example, is almost absurdly jarring. The Grievous-Kenobi chase on Utapau is crazy-frenetic, while the entire style of 'ANH' is stark, stately. The two movies, which are intended by Lucas to be viewed back-to-back, do not mesh well together. They are wildly different both visually and in tone. There are many other examples of this disparity throughout the Saga.
  6. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    The point has already been somewhat made, but Star Wars is really a multitude of parts, existing beyond media, beyond the physical, and even here, its span is impressive (e.g., you can visit Tikal in Guatemala and be "at" Yavin). For Star Wars is also imaginative and metaphysical: it exists as a series of non-physical abstractions in (physical?) things we call minds. That goes for any story or visual-auditory experience, but it feels multiplied in Star Wars' case (at least, to me), given its (apparent) wide-ranging (sensory, intellectual) appeal and scope of (potential) commentary and applicability.

    But as for, more locally, the parameters of this topic, if we're taking it more literally;

    Yes. It is hard to argue that the saga, I-VI, IV-VI + I-III, or however one watches it, is entirely consistent or unified. It isn't. At the least, I fail to see how it is. However, I have previously argued -- as Merlin seems to be arguing, here, also -- that there is a difference between consistency and coherency. To wit, Star Wars cuts a bumpy path in the area of consistency (visual aesthetics, feel, intonation, etc.), but is remarkably straight and smooth when it comes to coherency (themes, motifs, ideas: patterns). Lucas himself has described the saga as "cubist". It's one picture made of smaller, esoteric, non-conforming "images". Or in the best words of Leia: images and feelings.

    Therefore, while I might intellectually recognize a huge clash, if you like, between ROTS and ANH, let's say, I don't really feel it's a problem when I'm watching either. Because, when I'm watching ROTS, it's isolated: it doesn't feel like ANH really exists. Likewise, when I'm watching ANH, *it* is isolated: it doesn't feel like ROTS really exists. Yet, by the same measure, it feels like their narrative events are "out there": that they happened or are due to happen. I suppose, in a way, it really is like the films themselves are duelling, but unlike any of the duels in the saga, there's no decisive outcome, and no-one gets away. It is, maybe, fitting that there is at least one duel in each of the movies, and in ROTS, there are no less than five. The films themselves pay homage to the divisive nature of the firmament to which they belong and which they contribute their own divisiveness to. Think, too, of Anakin's dialogue to Obi-Wan, in the most climatic of all lightsaber duels: "If you're not with me, then you're my enemy". This is, literally, the position some take to certain of the films: if the films are not conforming to perceived standards, they must be apocryphal and they must be destroyed. All of this is quite radical of Lucas, I'll submit.

    Star Wars is digital. Star Wars is chemical. Star Wars is conservative. Star Wars is progressive. Star Wars is brash. Star Wars is understated. There is the Light Side. There is the Dark Side. There is the father. There is the son. There is you. There is me. There is no contradiction or divide. But, of course, THERE IS! "There is no conflict". Vader reminds us that a bold-faced assertion is usually a simple fiction sold in place of a complex reality. There *is* conflict here, I'll wager, without trying to be too bold-faced about it. But that's part of what makes Star Wars Star Wars. Too bold-faced? Maybe. In that case, to guard against error, and because it just makes more sense in matters of art, seek your own truth. That's the beauty of the saga. The beauty of all art. In my opinion.
  7. Pendulous_Dewlap Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2011
    star 1
    Blah, blah, blah...

    Put simply, it's an epic comprised of two parts: Star Wars, and The Empire Strikes Back. Everything else, from Return of the Jedi through to Revenge of the Sith, is just EU. The other films exist almost theoretically; I scarcely acknowledge their existence as part of the "official" SW canon.
  8. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
    Yeah, welcome to Saga forum! We like to chatter here. :D

    That's an interesting take, one I've encountered before -- and one that I can empathize with owing to the various artistic failings of ROTJ and the PT films.

    That said, how do you reconcile ESB's cliff-hanger ending with your staunch rejection of everything that comes after it? Do you have your own version of ROTJ in your mind; do you read the ROTJ novelization instead; or are you content to just leave the "Saga" as a pair of films with no definite conclusion?
  9. CoolyFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2003
    star 4
    1. What unique visual style?? Yoda is yoda, Palpatine is Palpatine, Clone Troopers and Storm Troopers wear white....what unique visual style??

    2. I dont have "a close, critical eye" if it cause me to segregate chapters in the same story, then I dont want this physical feature on my eyes.

    3. I watch Ep 3 & 4 together all the time, in fact I dont watch Ep 3 if I dont have the time to follow with Ep 4. You see a difference? I don't the only difference I see is Obi Wan got older, the babies Luke & Leia are older, Anakin still wears black with the helmet.

    4. You saying they do not mesh well is not fact, thats your subjective opinion. My suggestion about removing credits is just an idea, its not an expectation. I dont see it happening, but it would be cool. I see the Star Wars Saga being retold in different ways in the future. I see the Star War Saga as ONE story, one film in six parts. Others may see it differently.
  10. Drewton Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 8, 2009
    star 4
    Color palettes, cinematography, film/digital, every technical part of the visuals is different. As has been said, for example, you would never see the Boga/Grievous wheelbike chase in ANH. Even more of a jarring change for me is the sound.

    Lucas did not try to make a film that looked like it could have been made around 1977. I'd say there are so many and obvious differences in technicality of the visuals that it's a fact that they have a completely different visual style.

    +1. Not that this is my viewpoint, but I feel that these are the only two Star Wars films that can be called great.
  11. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    It's bad form to blithely dismiss those who put considerable effort into analyzing the sextet.

    Thoughtful folks like Cryo are a boon to this forum. (If you don't believe me, take a gander at the other SW sites.)

  12. EHT Manager: New Films

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 5
    Well said. =D=

    I really like the point about coherency versus consistency. The films are not truly consistent, but IMO they are very coherent. It is one story, but the chapters do have different "feels" from each other. So it is not truly one movie split into six parts, but it could be seen as being akin to a novel where each chapter has a different feeling. In Star Wars, part of the reason for those differences is due to out-of-universe factors (such as the time they were made, available technology, etc.), but much of it could also be seen as being because of in-universe factors; the necessity to tell a certain part of the story in a certain way. The story that ANH has to tell us differs greatly from the story that ROTS has to tell us, for example.
  13. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 6
    Well said.

    And I say "single story split into six parts". It's the story of the Skywalker family, and the fall and rebuilding of the Jedi Order.
  14. Pendulous_Dewlap Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2011
    star 1
    Please excuse my abrasive comments. I'm just a surly young man, twisted and evil.:p

    I just regard the story as being incomplete. Jedi, Phantom Menace, and Clones are, to me, works of staggering mediocrity. Each film had its moments, but unfortunately they were fleeting and cushioned in between remarkably misconceived narrative passages that made me feel embarrassed to be a Star Wars fan.

    Revenge of the Sith had numerous faults, but it was nevertheless an awesome spectacle that contained scenes of overwhelming emotional power. Episodes I and II were so lacking in any sort of feeling that I was actually rather surprised to find that Episode III was infused with a sense of human intimacy that had all but vanished from the frnachise since 1980. Yes, the movie had its share of bad scenes, and the storytelling was pretty shaky, yet somehow it worked. It's not great, and I don't consider it canon, but it is a superior piece of mainstream moviemaking. On some level, that's enough.
  15. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    You know, this position struck me as peculiar, until I came to the realization that that's how I view Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Well-crafted, but unpalatable in the way they compromise the purity of the original films.
  16. Drewton Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 8, 2009
    star 4
    These are exactly my thoughts.
  17. PTisgreat Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2011
    I personaly see the story as 6 parts, but the beauty of SW is that you can look at the movies in very different ways:

    1. Episode IV - Or Star Wars as just a standalone movie with a beginning, middle, and true ending.

    2. Episode IV, V, VI - The story of Luke and a band of rebels who fight and defeat the Empire.

    3. Episode I, II, III, IV, V, VI - The story of Anakin Skywalker, the rise, fall and redemption.

    4. Episode IV, V, VI, I, II, III - The story of Luke and the band of rebels defeating the empire with a huge flashback and backstory to how everyone and everything got to Episode IV.

    Can you name me another set of movies that gives you that many ways to look at them? :)
  18. rpeugh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 4
    There are only two that I cant seem to justify.

    1. Anakin wanting Luke to have his lightsaber? Why would Obiwan know this and why would he care?

    2. Leia seeing images of her real mother? No she didnt. If she did it wasnt her real mother. It was Bail Organa's wife. And if so, what is the point of introducing something like that in the story?
  19. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    1. They may have had a conversation along those lines, about a hypothetical future child, at some point. If not, it's "just another one of Obi-Wan's lies" ( FACPOV ), expressing what likely would have been the case if things had turned out differently.

    2. This can be explained by the Force, but maybe not in the most obvious way. Clues are in TPM, ROTJ, and EU. I don't know how to answer "what is the point of introducing something like that in the story" because this is basically a deliberate Lucas retcon between trilogies. In the OT era, if the ROTJ script is any indication, Leia's mother remained alive for a few years after her birth.
  20. CoolyFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2003
    star 4
    NO!!

    Also to me the saga is about Palpatine & the Jedi. Everything happens because of Palpatine. Even in ep 4 the DeathStar represents Palpatine. When you watch Ep 4...you cant really tell who runs things Anakin or Tarkin...both seem to be calling shots, I think the emperor is mentioned but again his essence is present because of the first three chapters. There is no rise and fall of Anakin..he started as a worker and stayed a worker though out the entire story. First Watto, then Qui Gon, then Obi Wan, Mace & Yoda, then Palpatine. Anakin never really called any real shots. He always had to check in with someone. Just a point of view no one ever points out. Luke actually had more control and freedom then his dad. He didnt have to check in with anyone. The drama starts when Palpatine takes office in Ep1. After that, the main goal is to remove him from office. The whole Anakin-Luke thing plays no roll in Palpatine gaining his power. He knew the Jedi were going to come for him. Order 66 was already in place and who ever survived would easily be hunted by hired guns or Dooku, if he had defeated Anakin. Once the Clone Wars were over the reunited Republic was still going to become the Galatic Empire.
  21. DarthPhilosopher Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2011
    star 4
    At its core "Star Wars" is about its two main heroes - Luke, the Hero and Anakin the Tragic Hero. Anakin is the more overarching of the two. While Palpatine plays a key role ultimately he is the antagonist... the story isn't really about him, its about the Skywalkers. Palpatine, while the puppet master and the primary villain, is in no way the focal point of the Saga... he has a secondary subliminal role in contrast to the story of Anakin and Luke.

    In my opinion that's like saying "Harry Potter" is all about Voldemort.
  22. CoolyFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2003
    star 4
    Anakin & Obi Wan were close, some do not see this, but from EP 1 to EP 4, you can see they are very familiar.

    Luke did see his mother, Obi Wan actually held Luke next to Padme....Not sure if Obi Wan ever held Leia, but Obi Wan did recognize Leia on R2s message.
  23. CoolyFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2003
    star 4
    We have different point of views....in the same story. Thats a good thing. I never seen any of the Potter movies.
  24. Alexrd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2009
    star 5
    Same with Episode I.
  25. CoolyFett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2003
    star 4
    I guess if someone looks for problems and difference they will find them, but what if the viewer is not looking for these so called differences? Even we as viewers have the ability to edit the movie to some degree to unify them.
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