Saga Watching the Star Wars Saga Eps I-VI for the first time

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Darth_Articulate, Dec 5, 2012.

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  1. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    If the reveal at the end makes TESB part of the TODV then why not ANH? Vader was no more tragic or sympathetic in one film than the other. He's neither of these things until at the earliest the reveal.

    The relevance of all this to viewing order is that ANH and almost all of TESB are telling a different story than the rest of the films and as someone wisely posted recently ROTJ is really a far better sequel to the PT than it is to Eps 4 and 5. Hence, 45 1236.
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  2. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 28, 2001
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    Indeed. That's why Lucas said that the films work in either order, because you get different perspectives.

    "If you see them in order it completely twists things about. A lot of the tricks of IV, V and VI no longer exist. The real struggle of the twins to save their father becomes apparent, whereas it didn't exist at all the first time [audiences saw Episodes IV, V and VI]. Now Darth Vader is a tragic character who's lost everything. He's basically a bitter old man in a suit.

    "I am your father" was a real shock. Now it's a real reward. Finally, the son knows what we already know.

    It's a really different suspense structure. Part of the fun for me was completely flipping upside down the dramatic track of the original movies. If you watch them the way it was released, IV, V, VI, I, II, III - you get one kind of movie. If you watch I through VI you get a completely different movie. One or two generations have seen it one way, and the next generations will see it in a completely different way.

    It's an extremely modern, almost interactive moviemaking. You take blocks and move them around, and you come out with different emotional states."

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


    As to the tragedy aspect, no, Lucas wasn't planning the story that way at the time. There was no BS con being pulled by him. As he dove into the backstory, he saw where the story was connecting together and that is why he labeled it as Vader's story.

    The two Star Wars trilogies share many characters but have different structures. Instead of telling another heroic coming-of-age story, Lucas has crafted the prequels as a historical drama, at whose center is Anakin Skywalker. His story is tragic; that of the Republic-turned-Empire, uncomfortably familiar. Anakin begins as a nine-year-old boy who is physically enslaved. He ends the prequel saga a spiritual and mental slave to the Emperor, who is his metaphorical if not biological father....

    But the end of Revenge of the Sith is not the end of Anakin, whose story really closes when it merges with those of his children, Luke and Leia, in Return of the Jedi.


    Anakin Skywalker's final confrontation with the Emperor occurs during Luke's final confrontation with the Emperor, which compliments his father's dealings with the same man many years earlier. Indeed the life of the father and the life of the son are commentaries on each other.

    "The Star Wars saga is like a symphony, which has recurring themes," he adds, "You have one theme orchestrated in a particular way and place, which then comes back orchestrated as a minor theme somewhere else. There are these little threads running through things that are constantly turning events on their head. You see two people confronting the same things, with different ends. It's a rhythm. I like the idea of seeing something from a different perspective. An advantage I have in this particular situation is that I have literally twelve hours to tell a story. It has the epic quality of following one person from the time he's nine years old to the time he dies. It's Anakin's story, but obviously there are many other characters in that story- his children, his best friend- and their stories carry through. So this isn't just a tune- it's a symphony. When you do it as a symphony, I think it actually becomes beautiful."

    --George Lucas, The Making Of Revenge Of The Sith; page 221


    And yes, as noted, you start to see Vader as a tragic figure in ROTJ because the good man that he was, is starting to resurface. He's starting to regret the choices he's made and is conflicted between his son, his own dark ambitions and to Palpatine. Yes, ANH and TESB don't read that way because Lucas didn't have it all mapped out that way. This works because at the time, no one was expecting Vader to say it and for it to turn out to be true. So when he got to ROTJ, Lucas and Kasdan were able to take the story to where it went. Then we have the prequels which adds to the story. The two points of view give a different perspective.

    "It's a downer, the saving grace is that if you watch the other three movies, then you know everything ends happily ever after. Nevertheless, I now have to make a movie that works by itself but which also works with this six-hour movie and this overall twelve-hour movie. I'll have two six-hour trilogies, and the two will beat against each other: One's the fall, one's the redemption. They have different tonalities but it's meant to be one experience of twelve hours."

    --George Lucas, The Making Of Revenge Of The Sith, page 62


    For people used to the idea of a reverse viewing, that's mostly because a lot of you have seen it one way. People seeing it the other way will have different feelings and a different perspective.
  3. The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost

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    Indeed, why not ANH? I would argue that we should include ANH retroactively, but I was being generous to the opposing viewpoint and conceding the point, because my argument is valid even without it.

    And, as I just pointed out, TESB isn't telling a different story than the rest of the films. They didn't film all the early scenes, then suddenly decide to make Darth Vader Luke's father at the last minute. TESB is telling a story which starts out with Darth Vader doing bad deeds and culminates with Luke discovering that Darth Vader is Anakin Skywalker. It's part of the same story that the prequels tell.

    I don't agree that ROTJ is a better sequel to the prequels than it is to ESB. ESB ends on an extremely bleak note, with Han in carbonite, Luke maimed, and the fate of the galaxy uncertain. ROTJ is there to resolve the bleak storyline by wrapping things up in the happiest way possible given the circumstances. Whereas if you watch the prequels after TESB, you just hop from a bleak ending right to a trilogy that ends on an even bleaker note. It's weird. Even weirder than watching a series that has been explicitly chronologically numbered, and deciding that instead of watching it in either episodic order or order of release, you're going to sandwich an entire trilogy in between the second and third installments of another trilogy. It would be extremely hard to make a series of movies that works that way, even intentionally. Yet in this case, you're apparently arguing that Lucas managed to pull off this feat without even trying to.
  4. Yanksfan Chosen One

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    Anakin's reasons for falling to the dark side are explained in Episode III. And truthfully? I feel like *not* seeing the "love story" in AOTC gives it more credence. You can make up your own backstory for this couple, and it'll probably be better and more believable than what we were given in the actual films.

    Also, I'm admittedly one of those who found the "political storyline" in the prequels both difficult to follow and terribly boring. I've seen the films, and I still can't explain with any confidence how that plot line works. So, Episode I and II did very little help me in that regard. So, yeah. Filler.

    No, not really. Because Episode IV and V while very entertaining, were also pretty good at letting us know the main characters. If we jumped in at ROTJ, we'd be like: "who's this Han Solo? Why is he stuck in a rock? Who cares if we save him? Who's this Leia? Who cares if she's this guy's sister? And what's the deal with Luke and his "father"? He doesn't seem so bad, just a little whipped by the emperor…." (And he really doesn't seem that bad in ROTJ. Its the first two films where he really lets his evil side shine). There's actually very little that you would understand about the movie without seeing the first two. Besides, you'd miss a really entertaining ride. Can't say that about the first two prequels, IMO.

    But Episode III? It actually does the best job of showing the good and the bad in Anakin from the first sequence. It also seems like the only time that him and Obi Wan actually act like *friends*. So it sets up their relationship more effectively, too. I already explained the love story angle, and the politics. So yeah. As far as I'm concerned, skip the first two, watch the third though. That had some decent moments.
    Last edited by Yanksfan, Jul 20, 2014
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  5. Rabs Jedi Grand Master

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    Jul 15, 2014
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    I was 4-5 years old when I first saw the OT in the 80's. I watched all three back to back and that was my reaction.
  6. The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2011
    star 4
    These are Anakin's main reasons for turning the dark side:

    1) He has attachment issues due to being removed from his mother at a young age.
    2) He's prone to overreacting to visions of future calamity, due to his ignoring visions of his mother's death until it too was late.
    3) His political views tend towards authoritarianism due to his association with Palpatine.

    1 is never mentioned in Episode III.

    2 is certainly mentioned, but it's not nearly as effective without having seen him cradling his dying mother in his arms and then commencing to slaughter an entire village of people. The whole point of movies is to witness the turning points in the characters' lives, not hear about them secondhand. It would be like if Episode V cut off before Luke got to Cloud City, and then in the next movie Luke offhandedly mentioned to Yoda that Vader told him he was his father. Would that be nearly as satisfying? Of course not.

    3 isn't really mentioned either. We see that Palpatine is a sort of father figure to Anakin, but without the Episode II meadow scene, we wouldn't understand that Anakin is already politically oriented towards the Sith philosophy of government.

    You personally being unable to understand the plot of the first two prequels doesn't make them filler. It just means what it means: you weren't able to understand it. I'm sure some people couldn't make heads or tails of the plot of The Godfather, Part II. Doesn't mean it's a worthless movie to watch.

    Han Solo is a smuggler who owes Jabba money. This is mentioned in the movie.

    He's stuck in a rock because he's been frozen in carbonite and imprisoned by Jabba, because he didn't pay Jabba back in time. This is helpfully pointed out by Threepio, the opening crawl, and Han.

    We care if he's saved because the heroes of the film all seem to think he's a swell guy.

    Leia is a beautiful woman who loves him.

    We care that Leia is Luke's sister because Luke cares. We like Luke because we've just seen what a charismatic badass he is in the previous sequence.

    Luke just found out that the evil villain in scary armor from the beginning of the movie is his father. This is very shocking news and was kept from him until recently. We know Darth Vader is bad because we just saw him fly onto an evil space station and start barking out orders to space Nazis, so that the space station can be completed on time and used to destroy a coalition of galactic freedom fighters. We're given all of this information.

    Sure, it's not as satisfying when we're given the information instead of being shown over the course of two previous movies. But you don't strictly need the previous two movies to fully understand what's going on. However, that's no reason to skip them.


    Yes, it sets up Anakin and Obi-Wan as friends very well. But without the previous two movies establishing that Anakin harbors some very deep-seated resentments towards Obi-Wan going all the way back to his childhood, it makes very little sense when he suddenly turns on him. It makes some sense, given their earlier argument over Anakin being asked to spy on the Chancellor, but it makes less sense than it should.
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  7. Yanksfan Chosen One

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    @The_Phantom_Calamari I was gonna go on some point-by-point rebuttal to your post, but then I realized that it wasn't necessary. My position can be summed up pretty much as this (keep in mind, this is all just *my opinion*--that's all): Episodes IV and V are solid, entertaining movies. A pleasure to watch. They are also filled with important storyline and character information, and to skip ahead to ROTJ would not only leave serious gaps, but would also cause one to miss out on some seriously fun movies. So no, I would *never* suggest you could get away with skipping them. Absolutely not.

    Meanwhile, Episodes I and II? Not so entertaining. Not so enlightening. And character development? A serious deficit in the prequel trilogy. There were a few key, important moments in there, I'll grant you that much, but the rest of the movies are so weighted down by excessive, unnecessary plot points, and convoluted political story lines, that they are hardly worth the trouble of finding them (in my opinion!) However, I find Episode III to be a pretty decent, entertaining, movie. It also is where we get the "meaty" background info on Anakin becoming Vader. And for the most part, you can get all that same pertinent information that was in the first two films, from the third film as well. And since, in my opinion, the first two movies are a boring mess, and since it's not really necessary to see the first two movies to understand the third anyway, my recommendation would be to skip them altogether.

    And yes, you make a fair point about "seeing" something is better than just hearing about it. That's true, for the most part. UNLESS the visual telling of the story is an unfulfilling, incomprehensible mess. And also (ugh!!) contradicts it's own story, and therefore doesn't do the saga any favors. Seriously, if I could go back in time again, before the PT, and have all my info about the "clone wars" and Obi Wan and Anakin's relationship come just from the dialogue in ANH? I would find that preferable to "seeing" them acted out in the prequels. So in this case, I'd rather just hear about it again. And it's from this viewpoint, that I would also recommend skipping the first two prequels.

    Again, just my opinion. You're free to dismiss it. But you're not going to change it.
    Last edited by Yanksfan, Jul 20, 2014
  8. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    As @Yanksfan says, it's all a matter of personal opinion, but to address a few of your points:

    Why is it weird to have a bleak ending at the end of the second and fifth films, but not weird to have them at the end of films three and five? There are two particularly bleak endings either way.

    All the stuff about the Tragedy of Darth Vader's been well covered before, so there's no point dragging it all out again. If you can watch episodes 4 and 5 and see them in that light, then fair play to you. For me, they will always be the story of Luke Skywalker and Vader will always play the role of his nemesis. No subsequent directives from Lucas or alternative numbering systems will change that. I judge the films on what appears on the screen.

    Regarding what Lucas 'pulled off', accidentally or otherwise, as @darth ladnar suggested the other day, Lucas actually does do a pretty good job of tying this whole thing together, considering the way in which the thing was written and released. Does he manage to create a unified six film saga? For me, no. This is why I tend to like to watch them as two distinct series. A set of four and a set of two.

    Regarding the trilogy within the trilogy. I consider ROTJ to sit much more naturally with the PT than with ANH and TESB, which is why the natural place for me to watch that film is at the culmination of the prequels.
    Last edited by MOC Yak Face, Jul 20, 2014
  9. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    I'm not really posting about "proper" viewing order because to that implies that there is a correct viewing order. I think whatever works for an individual is proper for that person. I guess it's really more of an issue when your suggesting what order to see the films for someone else, but even then, I think there are too many variables to say one is the best. If a new viewer has learned of the big twist in TESB and the basic idea of the Force, then that changes a lot. A lot would be spoiled. Or for a lot kids today, their first experience is through TCW, so they've got a ton invested in Obi and Anakin. So, it's even hard to say one viewing order is best for newer viewers.

    For me, Vader as an evil badass actually has tragedy to it, but we don't see it because he looks like the embodiment of evil and acts like terrible person, but actually, there is tragedy to that in itself. At some point, all terrible people were once pretty normal (if only a few very early childhood years for some). There really is a tragedy in anyone ending up like that. It's just that most movies don't like to put any emphasis on that and they like to simplify things because it's easier to root for the good guys when they are up against evil. I think that's the important thing that the PT does.

    When I watched ROTJ before the PT, I always saw Vader's redemption through Luke's POV. Luke was regaining his father, seeing that his faith had not been in vain, having an opportunity to connect with his father as a good man before he died. IV-VI are Luke's films, and I saw the ending of ROTJ in that way.

    Right after returning from the theater after watching ROTS, I popped in ROTJ and I watched the Vader-Luke scenes again, and it was even more powerful to me. After watching Anakin's story in the PT, for the first time I felt Vader's redemption from his perspective as well. I saw this pathetic man, who really was married to the dark side because he had lost everything and his sole purpose in life was to find the opportunity to kill Palpatine, the evil man who had helped fool him into losing everything, but when the time finally came, he didn't kill Palpatine out of vengeance but instead out of compassion for his son. Ultimately I wasn't just glad to see Vader's redemption because of what it meant to Luke. What it meant to Vader felt just as meaningful at this point, and in a weird way, this actually made the Luke's experience richer for me as well.

    Luke's sole purpose was finding good in his dad, and so when I felt good for Vader regaining the good in himself, I could see how that would make it a more powerful experience for Luke too. Now I could understand what Vader's redemption meant for Luke on another level. In a sense, by acting selflessly, Luke's only focus was on what's was going on his father's head, and by seeing the PT, I could finally understand what it was like for Vader to be brought back from how far he had fallen, and that understanding of Vader's POV, then that made Luke's experience more powerful because Luke really only cared about his father's POV in the first place. In fact, because of the PT, I could even feel how much it meant to Vader to see how much his redemption meant for his son. This might sound sappy, but really, the whole thing is about the love of a son for his father and a father for a son, and love really can't be fully understood from one point of view, because love, at its essence, is two people caring about the other's feelings more than they care about their own.

    Well, that was quite a tangent! I was planning to say more things about what this all means for what order someone should see the films in, but oh well! Instead, I think I'll go give my wife a cuddle.:)
  10. Dartht Punk Jedi Master

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    Jul 17, 2014
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    For me, the big moment is watching Episode III and then watching Episode IV immediately afterward; does it match up?

    I know others have different opinions about it, but it matches up better in my head; that is to say, watching the end of Revenge of the Sith, with the two Tatooine moons and Luke's theme and Obi-Wan going off into the distance, is a spine-tingling moment for sure, it's wonderful and it feels like everything has fallen into place for A New Hope.

    But that feeling is stronger if you don't then watch A New Hope, because it matches up much better in my head than in reality.
  11. BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost

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    Nov 12, 2012
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    I'm definitely another vote for IV, V, I, II, III, VI and while I'll admit it's odd to cram a trilogy in between OT episodes, but I like this way of having it be an extended flashback - which still kind of preserves the "prequel" feel of how they were released, while setting up the pieces for the climatic viewing of ROTJ. Also the power of the ESB ending is preserved because it "Darth Vader is Luke's Father" and then you jump right into all that detail and pause where Our OT Heroes are currently at. (Yes, the ESB to PT may load up on downers but that's what makes ROTJ such an involving experience. All of the pieces are set up) And, as I've mentioned before, and as darth ladnar mentioned, there is a whole bunch of "Sith" moments that pay off in "Jedi," everything with Vader, Luke, and the Emperor in particular, which are interesting to view in such close proximity to "Sith". the PT history and backstory tends to get diluted after ANH, ESB, there's all this other stuff, while ROTJ is (retroactively) recalling very specific beats from Sith. The only reveal that viewing the PT in between ESB and ROTJ would "spoil" is that Leia is Luke's sister but, honestly, I think it's a defter reveal in "Sith" than how Luke finds out from Ghost Obi-Wan in Jedi.

    There isn't anything particularly *wrong* way to view the movies, nobody is wrong when it comes to how one can experience art and it's all about how it affects the individual, but in how it's cobbled together for the viewer is the fun part. As Lucas mentions himself, as quoted above, "It's an extremely modern, almost interactive moviemaking. You take blocks and move them around, and you come out with different emotional states." I personally think the purest emotionally powerful way is to go from "Sith" to "Jedi".
    Last edited by BigAl6ft6, Jul 21, 2014
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  12. Seagoat Force Ghost

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    This, this, this and THIS

    It frustrates me to no end how there are people who INSIST that people should watch it in a specific order. Just because I happen to like the I-VI order doesn't mean I'm going to say someone else is wrong to view it another way, and I just find it rude and disrespectful when people do so to me or anyone else. Kudos
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  13. The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost

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    I'm not trying to change your opinion if you just didn't like the movies. That's fine. But I think you're objectively wrong if you're claiming that I and II are structurally unnecessary in a way that IV and V aren't. That's what I was trying to rebut.

    edit:
    It's weird to have them basically back-to-back, with no resolution in between. It's like, yeah, everything's terrible and we're all doomed. Now here's the backstory showing why everything's terrible and we're all doomed, and by the way it'll take a little over six hours to explain.

    Whereas if you watch them I-VI, you get a trilogy which starts out looking like it's going to be a traditional hero's journey where the protagonist overcomes his inner demons and fulfills his destiny by destroying the bad guys. Instead, of course, it ends up as a subversion of the hero's journey where the hero fails and actually ends up joining the bad guys. This is a pretty dark ending, but it's capped off relatively optimistically, and proceeds right into the second trilogy which features a new young hero and a galaxy where things are finally looking up. Episode V again introduces tension into the storyline by putting everybody through the ringer and leaving Luke's final allegiance up in the air, but then Episode VI quickly resolves everything when it's revealed that the hero from the first trilogy ends up being the true hero after all. It just works much better and makes more sense structurally.

    As far as I know, there have been no binding directives from Lucas or weird "alternative numbering systems". The movies have been numbered a specific way ever since the first sequel was released 34 years ago. It's never changed since then.
    Last edited by The_Phantom_Calamari, Jul 22, 2014
  14. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    The numbering hasn't changed, very true - however, exactly what that numbering was meant to represent did. When 'Episode V' was attached to ESB in 1980, all that meant was that three episodes yet to be made were meant to chronologically precede the film we first knew as 'Star Wars', which had been renamed the year before for the first time as 'Episode IV: A New Hope', in an illustrated screenplay publication (The Art of Star Wars, 1979).

    Exactly what Episodes I-III would be entirely focused upon wasn't 100% clear, although GL's quotes from the time (1979-1983) emphasised that it would be about 'the young Ben Kenobi, the young Darth Vader, and Luke's father'. The most likely eventuality, from what little was revealed, was that this 'Prequel Trilogy' would be 'The Adventures of Obi-Wan/Ben Kenobi', much as the trilogy we knew had been often referred to as 'The Adventures of Luke Skywalker' - not simply earlier episodes of one whole story, let alone the Skywalker family.

    (I've got a Google doc which includes all the relevant quotes regarding various SW Saga 'visons' over the years linked in this thread: http://boards.theforce.net/threads/notes-quotes-on-the-changing-star-wars-saga-1975-2012.50008758/)

    It's also quite telling that included in JW Rinzler's The Making of The Revenge of the Sith is a simple, one-word note from GL that simply reads 'ANAKIN', in early developmental notes, clearly indicating that he's decided to focus on Anakin, not Obi-Wan or any other characters - as opposed to the previous two films of the PT. TPM is very much an ensemble cast, AOTC a split story between Anakin and Obi-Wan (with, admittedly, a heavier thematic focus on Anakin). For ROTS, however, it was all about the fallen knight - not the flawed master - but it seems this decision came very late in the game, and this note points toward it being a decision he'd only just settled upon - around 2003.

    As earlier drafts of TPM show, Obi-Wan was the main character of TPM - Qui-Gon only appeared later on Coruscant - and some other notes have even pointed towards a very bizarre plotline GL considered where Obi-Wan died, and his apprentice, Qui-Gon Jinn, took on his identity!

    So, despite the episodic numbering having been set in cinematic stone since 1980, the vision of exactly what 'Episodes I-VI' were going to be 'about' certainly hasn't been as rock-solid. Circa 1979-83, it's most likely that Obi-Wan Kenobi would have been the main character, with Anakin Skywalker a supporting one who played a significant role later on. Earlier ideas regarding Darth Vader's backstory, prior to him being merged with Luke's father (plus Obi-Wan's line in SW/ANH) suggest that Vader may have appeared to have been a minor player, assassinating Jedi Knights in secret:

    Although this pre-dates the creation of 'Father Vader', i.e. the merging of Luke's father with Vader (as clearly indicated in the quote itself), GL may well have intended to retain this backstory for the merged Anakin/Vader character.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Jul 22, 2014
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  15. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    All true. Though when some people talk about viewing order, one must consider that while Lucas does say you can view them in different ways, he's intended for some time that the end result be I-VI and now I-IX. He doesn't outright say that you can view it in different ways, but what he has said is in reference to how the films developed up to that point in 2005. What he has said is that one generation has seen it one way and another will see it differently. That's why I referred to leaving your personal bias at the front door and just let the newcommers have their own experiences. Sure, it blew your mind that Vader was Luke's father, but it is that important to let your children see it that way because you did? Couldn't they be equally surprised to see Anakin go bad and how things go from there? After all, as one father demonstrated through his viewing experience for his sons, though he didn't go I-VI, his sons elicited the kinds of responses that demonstrate that even going I-VI, a young child will become emotionally invested.
  16. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    The numbering hasn't changed, very true - however, exactly what that numbering was meant to represent did. When 'Episode V' was attached to ESB in 1980, all that meant was that three episodes yet to be made were meant to chronologically precede the film we first knew as 'Star Wars', which had been renamed the year before for the first time as 'Episode IV: A New Hope', in an illustrated screenplay publication (The Art of Star Wars, 1979).

    Exactly what Episodes I-III would be entirely focused upon wasn't 100% clear, although GL's quotes from the time (1979-1983) emphasised that it would be about 'the young Ben Kenobi, the young Darth Vader, and Luke's father'. The most likely eventuality, from what little was revealed, was that this 'Prequel Trilogy' would be 'The Adventures of Obi-Wan/Ben Kenobi', much as the trilogy we knew had been often referred to as 'The Adventures of Luke Skywalker' - not simply earlier episodes of one whole story, let alone the Skywalker family.

    Wise words @Darth_Nub ^:)^

    @darth-sinister

    Certainly what Lucas says about something years later should be given due consideration, but that doesn't make his suggestion the 'correct' viewing order, any more than any other sequence is. I agree with you that personal bias should be left at the door when showing the saga to a new viewer. Explain how it unfolded and then let the viewer decide where to start.
    Last edited by MOC Yak Face, Jul 22, 2014
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  17. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    Why would his preference for how it should be viewed be wrong? He is, after all, the creator and went out of his way to put it in a specific order. That's like saying "The Godfather", "The Godfather Part III" and "The Godfather Part II" is the correct way to view the films.
  18. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall ever saying that it was wrong. There is no right or wrong in this matter. In fact, earlier in the thread I recommended a 1-6 viewing for new viewers, particularly younger ones. I'm merely saying that for me, it's not my preferred way of viewing the films.

    Regarding The Godfather, it's more like Coppola right now making The Godfather Part 0, the story of which clearly wasn't being considered at the time of The Godfather 1 and 2, and saying that the films should be watched in order 0-3.
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  19. BigAl6ft6 Force Ghost

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    Nov 12, 2012
    star 5
    Lucas' version of how they should be viewed isn't wrong. Your version of how to view them isn't wrong. My version isn't wrong. It's a personal preference as to how they can experience it. Once an artist puts something out there, it's up to how it's viewed and interpreted by the viewer. What the artist intended isn't solely how the viewer is supposed to interpret or experience it. Art is not unbreakable, forevermore, bound by rules set down by The Artist. I can experience it however I want because art is about what personal response it creates in the viewer. Likewise, I, as the viewer, cannot tell the artist what they should or should not have done. I didn't make it, not my job. You can only comment on how you experience it.
    Last edited by BigAl6ft6, Jul 22, 2014
  20. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2004
    star 4
    Dead right, Big Al. Furthermore, we need to be mindful of the effect that the passage of time has on perceptions, both ours and Lucas's. A comment someone makes about something they did 20-30 years ago, whether it be making or watching a film, or anything else, needs to be interpreted with discretion I think.
    BigAl6ft6 likes this.
  21. The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2011
    star 4

    I don't see anything in there indicating the prequels were meant to focus on Ben Kenobi as the main character--especially not after the story for Episode V was set, which is the cut-off point being argued over, remember. In all those cases, I see Lucas saying the prequels would deal with Ben Kenobi and Luke's father, with no indication of who the main character would be. And I also disagree that the first two prequels are focused on anyone more than they are Anakin. Even in Episode I, where Anakin is arguably not the sole protagonist, after we meet him he quite clearly becomes the focal character. I mean, we very quickly discover that he's Space Jesus, conceived by God and destined to save the entire universe from evil, for crying out loud.

    Episode II is also clearly Anakin's story, as he's the main character with the most developed story arc. Obi-Wan is really just Indiana Jones-ing it up having an action-detective adventure. As far as her character development goes, Padme mostly just reacts to Anakin. Meanwhile, Anakin is actively pursuing an illicit romance, coming to grips with the great powers that come with being the Chosen One, and struggling against inner demons that cause him to slaughter an entire village and inadvertently rip the ghost of his mentor out of the Netherworld.

    The beginning note you mention in The Making of ROTS indicates to me that Lucas was reminding himself to focus on Anakin more than ever, not to focus on Anakin for the very first time. Everything you've posted so far seems very circumstantial and suspect in light of the way the prequels actually turned out, and the fact that it wouldn't have made very much structural or thematic sense for the prequels not to focus on the main character of the OT's father. I admit I'm probably not as well-versed on this stuff as you are, so maybe you have more conclusive evidence, but so far I haven't seen it.
    Last edited by The_Phantom_Calamari, Jul 24, 2014
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  22. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    Oh, it's entirely circumstantial, given the lack of any other evidence (i.e. actual outlines of the PT from the OT era), and I probably shouldn't have said that GL actually 'emphasised' that the PT would focus on Obi-Wan Kenobi. There is a quote from 1975 which does emphasise the focus a bit more heavily:

    What's important to understand about this quote, however, is that it's from the period before Luke's father and Vader were merged, just as the other quote about Vader assassinating Jedi in secret was. This would have only been one film, not a trilogy.

    I still believe that GL's original vision of the PT, circa 1979-1983, could have been dubbed 'The Adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi', simply because it made a bit more sense - Obi-Wan was a character audiences would have been familiar with, as opposed to one we only discovered the name of half-way through the final film of the OT. He's also the only character in the OT to ever connect us to what actually happened in the PT - Yoda, Vader and Palpatine never really say anything about the specific events.

    However, given the change in Vader's character from ESB to ROTJ, I think GL's thinking was already changing, and when he sat down to write the PT in the early 1990s, it changed further, and continued to evolve. In the original drafts of TPM, Obi-Wan was basically the main character - Qui-Gon didn't enter the story until the heroes arrived on Coruscant.
    As for that note - yes, it could have been a reminder, rather than a sudden revelation, but if Anakin was clearly meant to be the main character, why bother to remind oneself of something so fundamental?

    All my opinion, of course, but it's important to try to read such quotes and the like in the context in which they were made, rather than with the benefit of hindsight, now that the PT is done and dusted. What's telling from them regarding the main character/protagonist is the one actual name that keeps getting mentioned - Ben Kenobi. The story of the PT was clearly about the fall of both Anakin Skywalker and the Republic, but at the same time, it could have been focused upon Obi-Wan's involvement in these events, essentially being told from his POV (as the early drafts of TPM were). Had Anakin been closer to the earlier, less sympathetic vision of Vader, this would have made more sense - instead, GL chose to investigate, in his own words, just what is it that makes a good person turn bad.

    There's another thread suggesting that the SW Saga could be the Saga of Palpatine, rather than the Skywalkers - which I disagree with, although the storyline of the SW Saga is almost entirely due to Palps' machinations. Point being, there's a difference between what happens in a story and what it's actually about.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, Jul 27, 2014
    MOC Yak Face likes this.
  23. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    That's why Lucas said that while it is Anakin's story, there are other characters at play throughout the first six films. Each character has a part to play, but they are all invariably tied to Anakin's story. That's why he likens the six films that he made to a symphony. Each instrument is like each character and each one can be played in a solo piece, but still contribute to the greater whole with Lucas as the conductor and Kershner and Marquand as the guest conductors.
  24. lovelikewinter Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2014
    star 1

    Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back are the big disconnects though. They are the ones that show Lucas pulled this thing out of the air after 1977. The whole "Tragedy of Darth Vader" nonsense really limited the scope of Star Wars. It was obvious he has some issues with the OT and tried to push Luke, Han and Leia aside or pervert their characters to be only tools. Luckily JJ Abrams is taking Anakin out of the focus and putting more on the Skywalker family as a whole.

    I will only show new people the movies in this order: The Star Wars Trilogy Theatrical cuts, then the Prequels (they can watch them on their own). I still think that is the richest way to view them, and I feel bad for the people who came onboard with the PT. With Episode 7, I think the PT is even less important, people will want to be ready for 7 and the OT is the way to go.

    Star Wars is simply a better film than Phantom Menace. It connects more with the audience. I recently showed it to a person who had only seen part of the PT and was in no hurry to see any more. He loved it.
    Yanksfan likes this.
  25. solo77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2002
    star 5
    When I introduce my kids to it they will view as follows:

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9....

    That is all
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