Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Drewdude91, May 22, 2011.
If you liked ESB then you would've liked the original concept for ROTJ.
I get the feeling some fans will defend Lucas' work whatever he does.
I liked ESB, but I liked ROTJ better.
Because it would've been more uniform with how the story was developing when ESB was made, not such a Muppet Show, rollercoaster paced, fairy tale ending. It would've had the same sober dramatic atmosphere based on characters rather than on action and gags. ESB had the air of mature dramatic opera about it, almost all lost when ROTJ started focusing more on toy friendly comedical and cutesy aliens, burp gags, rushed conclusions, and "filling the screen up with as much s*** as possible", rather than on character drama and plot developement. And it would've been a set-up for Ep. VII, which would've been a big bonus for all those so-called fans who claim to want an ST.
Why would you assume that ROTJ would be uniform with ESB, though? Look at ANH and ESB, ESB is far, far different in tone and focus than ANH. ANH is, literally, a fairytale, with black and white heroes and villains. There's very little "mature dramatic opera" in it, no pathos, as the characters don't react to torture, the slaughter of loved ones, or planetary genocide with anything more than a quick look back. We also have long action sequences (the opening space battle, the run through the Death Star, the trench run, etc.). ESB took all that and made it much darker, shifted the tone from a light fairytale to an operatic drama and put far heavier focus on characters' reactions. ROTJ attempts to meld the two styles -- giving us the light, primeval scenes on Endor and the dramatic conflict centered around Palpatine, Vader, and Luke. You apparently did not enjoy it, but anakinfansince1983 is certainly well within her rights to like both films, but prefer ROTJ.
Also, I would contend that ESB actually has the least plot development in the entire Saga (not character development, mind). Consider, on a large scale, how has the Rebellion or the Empire's position changed from the beginning of the movie to the end? Really, all that happened is that the Rebels were chased off Hoth, but they seem none the worse for wear. And the movie spends very little time following the Rebellion. Besides that, all that really happened, in terms of the plot, was that Han was captured (which is more of a subplot to the main Empire vs Rebellion conflict anyway) and Luke began his Jedi training and learned the truth from his father (which I would say is more character development). Compare this to the other five films which, in addition to character development, also have an overarching plot.
TPM: The blockade/invasion of Naboo (with Palpatine's rise to Chancellorship)
AOTC: The creation of a Republic army and what to do about the Separatists
ROTS: Bringing and end to the Clone Wars and establishing the Empire
ANH: The destruction of the Death Star
ROTJ: The destruction of the second Death Star and the elimination of the Empire's leadership
ESB does not have as clear of a plot as the other films. That's not necessarily good or bad (it depends on your point of view), but I'd actually say it has comparatively little plot development. Just my opinion, of course.
I view ANH as a good set-up for ESB. The first half is a little like 2001, with its slightly surreal droid walk across the wilderness of Tatooine. Up until the Falcon's departure it has a "look around at this wierd alien world" feel to it. Or at least that's how I've always viewed it. And when the battles took place, not only were they more realistic and comprehensible space like battles, but they did have a point to them (even though the asteroid chase in ESB did make the Falcon vs TIE battle in ANH rather redundant). I like the plodding nature of the first half of ANH. It let the movie breath compared to the SFX traffic jam of ROTJ onwards.
But I agree, the parts of the film where they show Leia no worse for wear after her torture and witnessing her planet being destroyed weakens the movie, as did the idea that a bunch of civs could run around a heavily manned battle station having gunfights without a scratch. It should've shown Leia a bit more like Han was after his torturing in ESB, as well as showing some signs of depression after what happened to Alderaan, and have the gunfights a bit less light hearted. Also, I remember reading before the so-called SE came out, that there was going to be a new scene showing Alderaan from the planet's surface moments before it was destroyed. I believe it would've shown Bail Organa looking up into the sky as the ominous skull like new moon appeared above in the blue sky. Now that would've made things a lot more dramatic!
I don't really think ANH had a happy ending as such, more like a triumphant ending, that the Rebellion had struck their first major blow of the war, but at the same time knowing that the Empire was still out there and still presented a powerful foe. ANH's task was to get us to know and like the heroes, as well as setting up the scene for the rest of the story, which it did. It also punctuated the story with relatives being murdered, bar fights and battles where you saw pilots being blown up in their cockpits; pilots you actually got to know during the battle rather than simple extras that you only saw for a split second (something mirrored in The Battle of Hoth).
Now that would have been awesome.
One of the best aspects of the prequels to me is the fact that I felt more attached to both Alderaan and Bail Organa at the end, in spite of only seeing Alderaan for a minute or so.
A triumphant ending? Hmm...perhaps. I always thought it was meant to be a purely "happy" ending -- where good triumphs over evil and the heroes have won, mainly because ANH was conceived as a stand-alone picture at the time. I guess I just find the contention that ANH is more mature than ROTJ a little odd. I mean, ROTJ showed us a slave-girl getting eaten by a monster for the amusement of a gluttonous overlord. The burp never bothered me that much because I always viewed it as a visual short-hand for describing the decadence of Jabba's court. It's funny, too, because a lot of the points you bring up about ANH are present in AOTC as well. There's a bar fight (although it's more of a club), relatives are killed, we see Jedi dying on Geonosis, etc. Heck, AOTC didn't even feature burp or fart jokes. I guess it's just down to personal preference, in the end.
Maybe it?s all down to presentation, scripting, direction and acting how it all comes out?
Isn't that personal preference too, though? For example, I know many people who dislike (to say the least) the acting of the PT, but I'm quite fond of it. It's got a formality, rhythm, but touch of awkwardness that makes the characters seem like they do live in another time/place without sounding rehearsed. Obviously, though, I can't speak for everyone on this.
Return of the Jedi isn't a toy commercial any more than any other Star Wars movie. I recognize your sentiments, they're well known and probably being parroted by twelve year olds across the internet as we speak.
But just because someone likes ESB doesn't mean there's no more room for zany fun. To be completely honest, I was fascinated with ESB's ending as a kid, but I wasn't satisfied. Return of the Jedi is sort of the reward for getting through all the trials and tribulations in Empire Strikes Back for many of us. Maybe it's not for you, but its best that way.
So Empire is good because it's dark but ROTS is not???
You're absolutely right about the plot. It has no beginning and no end and leaves you vaguely unsatisfied and longing for more. It's great in other respects (particularly acting and character development), but I would be even better with a more interesting plot than simply "run, run, run".
IF the PT came out in 77 - 83 it would be the greatest trilogy of all time, the OT would be the "red head step child" and everything about the OT would be wrong. The OT would ruin the childhood of everyone who saw the PT in theaters with their dad. Fans would be mad that Obi Wan is still alive and Chewy would be on the cover of Rolling Stone. The PT fans would tell their children that this new OT that came out in 99 - 05 is total garbage and make lonely fans would make 9hr youtube videos explaining whay A New Hope is the most boring movie in the history of film making. Womens rights movements would criticize GL for having Padmes little girl being chained to some Worm Pimp for palace entertainment. The PT would need edits and updates to make it look closer to the newer more polished OT. After its all done GL would put them together on Blu Ray and the PT fans(OT haters) would point out all the flaws from the PT that needs to be fixed. Thats how it would have happened.
Don't forget Obi-Wan shooting first against Grievous in ROTS......
Good thing it didn't happen that way.
Maybe, but his point is made regardless. And in a hilarious manner.
Yes not only would Obi Wan shoot first in 1983, but he would also open up Grievous chest plate, rip his heart out and hold it up like Kano!! Then in 1997 GL would edit it to Grievous shooting first and cut the Kano scene out of the movie, cause old school PT fans to cry rivers of polluted water.
I don't think the storyline and characters of TPM would have held up in the same way. The movie would likely be viewed as "just another wacky sci-fi", and would largely be ignored. Much like "Zardoz", starring Sean Connery. I don't think Lucas would have been greenlit for a sequel, and the franchise would have died. We would not be SW fans today and we would not be posting on this board.
And you're basing this on what? Your personal views on the two trilogies?
Is that not what this entire thread is about?
In my opinion it still would have worked if the TPM was made in 1977... although the story would have been quite different in my opinion (or in other words the "STAR WARS" Saga would be completely different - you literally couldn't make the Prequels in 1977)
If the TPM was still released in 1999... well that is impossible to judge given without "STAR WARS" being made in 1977 the film industry would have been quite different. I still think however that it would have worked - "STAR WARS" works because it is a mythology and has key human themes (while also not appealing specifically to any single demographic).
If the prequels were made first then they would be revered as beloved classics, and cynical fans would bitterly complain about how Lucas ruined a perfectly good saga with those awful sequels about the whiny farm kid.
If the prequels were made first, there'd be a lot of special editions by now and we could never see the original.
That's true if he made the movies with great actors and had a great script. The problem with the PT is mostly bad dialogue and subpar acting. There are exceptions of course. But the reason why the OT works is because of the chemistry between: Luke, Yoda, Ben, Han, Leia, C3P0, Chewie, and yes R2. The dialogue is so good, especially in TESB. The acting seems so wooden in comparison with the PT. If Lucas casted better and had better scripts for the PT, then they would also be loved by all fans. It's not like it's impossible to make a big action movies great these days with good acting. Look at the Dark Knight for example. Pretty well acted and a pretty good script. When you think of the PT, is there any moments that flow as smoothly as some of those scenes on the Falcon between the main stars in TESB? There are so many scenes in the OT that make you think you're watching people living in this George created world instead of reading from a script without emotion.
Case in point: most of Natalie Portman's lines in the PT(not really her fault, she's a great actress). And of course Hayden, and just a lot of the flow of the story and characters. The CGI doesn't help either. I wish Lucas was more like Nolan in terms of only using CGI when he has to. The idea is to always use practical effects when he can. They hold up much better over time and they make you feel like the characters are acting in a real world. Lucas would have made a far better PT if he had that same philosophy. Again, George just didn't make great choices with the PT or they could have been great sci-fi movies too.
As it stands now, they are fun to watch if your a star wars fan. There is great emotion and there is some great insensity in ROTS, but there is also some really weird script decisions like having Padme give up on life at the end, and Hayden's turn makes a lot of people cringe. But even though there is some great scenes in ROTS, they don't reach any level of greatness as a complete film like TESB. It's hard to capture movie magic over again, and Lucas didn't in my opinion.
You could legitimately say the same about the originals if you were to really nitpick them, but they don't receive nearly the same unfair scrutiny that the prequels are regularly subjected to.
Indeed. And there are many people who became Star Wars fans because of the prequels.
And the originals have similarly odd stuff like establishing a romantic relationship between Luke and Leia only to reveal later that they're brother and sister, or Han and Lando suddenly being bestest buds even though Han's last memory was that Lando had double crossed him.
You're looking at this the wrong way around. If "Revenge of the Sith" had come first and "The Empire Strikes Back" came 20-years later, you'd be leveling the same criticism at "Empire".