Saga timeline issues

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by musicman07, Feb 26, 2013.

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  1. musicman07 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2013
    So I was thinking... Anybody else feel like the timeline is a little off in star wars? When you watch ep IV, and obi-wan talks about the dark times and the empire and the defeat of the Jedi, you get the feeling that he's talking about events that happened a long time ago and that he's a very old man (like in his 70s or so). You also get the feeling that Darth Vader is kind of old too (ish... Like in his 50s) when he takes off his mask in ep VI, especially if you're watching the original version and you see the ghost played by Sebastian Shaw. But the prequels confirm none of this, with ep I 33 years before ep IV, and Anakin is 9 and obi-wan is... 20? So that makes Obi-wan 53 when he dies and Anakin 47 when he dies. I was thinking... What if the clone wars lasted six years instead of three? One for each season (I'm assuming the show has to end sooner rather than later...) And what if the gap between III and IV was 25 years instead of just 20? This would make Obi-wan 61 in ep IV, which is...ehh...closer at least. It would also make Anakin 55 in VI and Padme would be 29 in III. And Luke and Leia would be 25 in IV. I personally feel this would create a more believable timeline without bashing or altering the prequels (which I love, by the way XD). Anybody else feel this way? Also, it kind of makes me wonder if GLs original intentions were to have the prequel trilogy be a clone wars trilogy, but decided that it was more important to start earlier and show a younger Anakin and show the Jedi as peacekeepers before they were generals.. Thoughts?
    sinkie likes this.
  2. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4
    Anakin was 9 years old in TPM, 19 in AOTC, 22 in ROTS, 41 in ANH, 44 in ESB and died at the age of 45.

    Obi-Wan was 25 years old in TPM, 35 in AOTC, 38 in ROTS and died at the age of 57 in ANH.
    SithLord_1270 likes this.
  3. Eryndil Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 18, 2012
    star 3
    I know what you mean about the way Obi-Wan talks about the events of the past. They do sound like a very long time ago, but that may be a natural consequence of them taking place in what seems like a 'different life'. You couldn't have more than about 20 years between III and IV as Luke is visibly no more than early twenties in ANH. The only way to avoid this would be if his birth (and therefore Anakin's turn) happened off-screen between the two films, which would be quite an anticlimax!
    Arawn_Fenn likes this.
  4. kubricklynch Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    star 3
    Alec Guinness was in his early 60s when they were filming. Not too far off from 57. Plus living on Tatooine makes you age faster.
  5. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4

    Obi-Wan was speaking of a time that passed 19-20 years ago for him. For me, that's long enough.
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  6. DARTHSHAME Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 2003
    star 4
    I always thought the timeline was plausible and made sense.
  7. Joe Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 25, 2012
    star 6
    I think it's long enough. Twenty years is a long, long time when you are hiding from a empire in a desert.
    SithLord_1270 likes this.
  8. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    The timeline became somewhat fixed when it was decided that Darth Vader was Luke's father - the gap between the end of the PT & SW/ANH had to be roughly the same as Luke's age, stated as 18, 19 & 20 years old in various sources. Anakin's age in the PT also had to match that of "a young Jedi named Darth Vader", although it mightn't have been the case when SW was actually made (when Vader & Luke's father were separate people) - Luke's father could have been about the same age as Obi-Wan, who was described as being in his 70s in SW (Alec Guinness was playing him a bit older than his own age).

    The original timeframe of the Clone Wars is something I've always found intriguing - I always felt that they would have occurred much earlier than they did, perhaps being the major conflict of Episode I, or maybe finishing up as the film started, or even an event that had been over for a few years. Instead, it appears that GL saw the war as being more effective presented later and merged with 'The Jedi Rebellion of 06' he refers to in early drafts. Not a lot is known about what GL originally had in mind for the Clone Wars back in the days of the OT, if anything. Personally, I think it was little more than a cool-sounding name.

    It all works OK, for my money - the only real contradiction is Sebastian Shaw as Anakin (both unmasked & as a ghost), as he's clearly well into his 60s at least (Shaw was actually 77 in 1982, when ROTJ was filmed), while Anakin's no older than about 25-30 at the time of ROTS, therefore no older than 50 in ROTJ.
  9. Seagoat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2013
    star 4
    The age of Shaw for the unmasking scene helps Anakin seem more disfigured, so it really doesn't bother me. As for the ghost thing, Shaw's non-canon anyway.
    Last edited by Seagoat, Mar 3, 2013
  10. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Yeah...I've always felt Shaw's appearance to be more indicative of Anakin's injuries (which are quite apparent in ROTJ) and general infirmity, not necessarily actual age.

    Edit: The Star Wars Technical Commentaries has some excellent VHS-era screencaps of Vader's translucent skeleton when he gets electrocuted by Palpatine; there's alot of mechanical replacements in there, more than what we saw him suffer in ROTS.
    Last edited by DarthBoba, Mar 3, 2013
  11. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    Oh, don't get me wrong, Shaw is great performance-wise - both as unmasked Vader & the Force ghost - it's only an issue if you want to address specifics after the fact. Typical sci-fi franchise rationalisation easily explains away his appearance under the mask as being due to his injuries & aging twice as fast in the suit for twenty years.

    The Shaw vs Hayden Force ghost debate has been done to death & still continues. Count me out.
    DarthBoba likes this.
  12. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Likewise. It's a pointless debate; if SW is just the sum of it's f/x work, well, why are we talking about it exactly? :p

    Injuries of Lord Vader for those who are interested.
  13. Ingram_I Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 2
    The difference of 20 years can mean an age, particularly when accounting for war. Take a look at our own past and consider how pretty much every 20 year stretch involving war and/or societal uprising drastically changes the course of history; the culture, politics, economics and even infrastructure within such timeframes. For example, a lot happened between 1960 and 1980. America, especially, lost so much of its innocence. And from 1980 to the end of the millennium there's an entire generation spanning three continents who, after experiencing first-hand the fall of the Soviet Union, can tell you that a mere 20 years did nothing short of redefining the world as they new it. And not even that compares in magnitude to the events depicted in these films, where a sole existing, 1,000 year Republic is replaced wholesale with a tyrannical Empire and an equally ancient Jedi Order is all but eradicated. So from Ben Kenobi's perspective, looking back to the events of the Prequels would likely seem like something that happened in a different lifetime.
    StarWarsVerses likes this.
  14. KilroyMcFadden Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 3
    The timeline is clearly off. There are tons of retcons to explain the why. Because it's a made up universe in which the laws of physics and so forth are selectively applied, it's up to you if you want to play the retcon game and accept all of the "people age differently under different conditions" nonsense.
    Last edited by KilroyMcFadden, Mar 3, 2013
    sinkie likes this.
  15. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    The prequels don't really match up well with the original trilogy.
    sinkie and KilroyMcFadden like this.
  16. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    The question is, does the date of the prequels match up?
  17. The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    Well Anakin was bathed in the dark side of the Force for 23 years, so you would expect him to age faster. Look at Palpatine, in ROTJ he looks like a walking corpse.
    Katana_Sundancer likes this.
  18. Darth_Harmon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2005
    star 4
    Here's a thought: what if the force lightening Palpatine shot at Vader caused Vader/Anakin's face to deform in a way similar to how Palpatine was deformed in Revenge of the Sith? Probably not, but its a thought.

    I've always have found it odd that people apply the same rules of aging that apply to people on Earth to characters in the Star Wars galaxy. Who knows? Maybe the rate in which humans age is based on the planet they came from and their genetic makeup? Obi-Wan could come from a planet or genetic make up that is prone to aging faster, same goes for Anakin. Meanwhile people from Naboo age at a slower rate.

    As for aliens, I've found it very strange that people have a problem with Greedo appearing in The Clone Wars when he also appears in ANH, to the point that it just has to be two different Greedos. What if Rodians, like Hutts and whatever Yoda is, age at a slower rate?

    Anyway, I'm just speculating, but I do find it odd that so many thing aging in the GFFA is 1:1 with reality.
  19. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Main reason was that in the EU, it was clarified that Greedo was a very young bounty hunter, just starting his career, which was cut short by Han.

    Not sure if Lucas (Filoni?) decided to ignore that.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Mar 5, 2013
  20. sinkie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2004
    star 1
    My personal take, without even including the PT, is that the vagueness and tone of Kenobi's speech is meant to have the "dreamer" in you feel that it was further in the past than is possible. It needed to seem as if from a golden age, an era that one can only dream of (rather than find holonet documentaries on). I don't think we were meant to think too hard or logically about how far in the past it may have been and instead allowed our childish ability to misconstrue time to come into play. Whereas Tolkien seems to actually go for characters that age differently (Aragorn, Gandalf, the elves...) so they can actually be from a very distant time. SW just fudged that by using music, dialogue etc to instill a sense of it.

    Then when the PT comes a long and the story needs to be told, yeah, then it gets fuzzy, or at least for me less mythological and more logical. It then becomes a bit less interesting to me. As a kid, for example, I always pictured Anakin and Kenobi adventuring about the galaxy as middle aged guys and it didn't bother me at all! Again, probably because Kenobi was "sooooo old" to me and his character symbolized wisdom and the past that for me it was more satisfying to imagine him having always been somewhat like this.

    I too started to think the Clone Wars should have been a longer war, there for centuries perhaps even, and only winding down when the PT starts.
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