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Whatever happened to the "used future"?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Frinkahedron, Apr 7, 2005.

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  1. Frinkahedron

    Frinkahedron Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jul 22, 2004
    While watching the Original Trilogy DVD special features, the George Lucas' concept of the "used future" was brought up, which i now remember as one of the reasons why the OT worked so well.

    If you're not familiar with the idea, it's the notion that even in a highly developed space-faring society, there will always be mud and grit and sand that gets everywhere. So the droids were oily and rusty, bars were grimy places, storm troopers' armour got scuffed up, etc. All of which worked very well in bringing a sense of realism to the films.

    However this idea seems to have been almost completely abandoned or forgotten in the Prequel Trilogy - everything is shiny and clean and far to "futuristic" to feel believable. It looks like they've spent too much money on making everything look perfect.

    Does anyone else know what I mean and agree/disagree?
  2. Jedi_Insurance_Guy

    Jedi_Insurance_Guy Jedi Master star 5

    Jul 27, 2004
    I see what you're saying, and I would have to say that I agree that Lucas has gotten away from the original idea of the "used future". But he'll probably explain it by saying "things looked grimy in the OT to reflect the decay of the society under the Emperor's rule." Republic = better times = shinier stuff, Empire = bad times = more worn stuff.
  3. Reverend_Duck

    Reverend_Duck Jedi Youngling star 2

    Feb 20, 2005
    I know what you mean, and Lucas has actually commented on this himself. According to him, while the Republic still reigns, everything is clean and shiny. When the Empire takes control, however, everything becomes dirty and worn-down, because of the chaos that is raging in the galaxy because of the civil war.

    I don't remember exactly where he commented on this, but I think it was in either the Empire of Dreams documentary or something on the Prequel Trilogy DVDs.
  4. Reverend_Duck

    Reverend_Duck Jedi Youngling star 2

    Feb 20, 2005
    As to my opinions, I think it's quite nice, because it shows that the galaxy was indeed better off when there were Jedi and a strong republic. It sets the two trilogies apart in a good way, if you ask me.
  5. Frinkahedron

    Frinkahedron Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jul 22, 2004
    Yeah I suppose that's one way you could look at it. I feel that's more of an excuse that GL thought up to explain it, rather than doing it intentionally. I know it's supposed to be a "more civilised age" where people clean their droids regularly and don't drop chewing gum on the streets, but I think it very much lessens your ability to feel involved in the movie, or that it could really be happening somewhere.
  6. BareBodkin

    BareBodkin Jedi Youngling star 1

    Apr 6, 2005
    Insurance_Guy speaks true. Its a time of prosperity for their society.

    Its kind of ironic that there is no problem as long at your looking at the surface of things, while inside you would find rot. I think thats what GL was trying to get across.
  7. IEatPoodoo

    IEatPoodoo Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 11, 2000
    One thing I did notice was that both the battle droids and the clone troopers were scuffed and damaged during the battle of Geonosis. They were even "used" looking in the arena, which I always find odd, since they're both supposed to straight off the assembly line.
  8. Frinkahedron

    Frinkahedron Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jul 22, 2004
    Yeah, I should concede that point I think i did notice some scuffed clone trooper armour... perhaps things are being made to look progressively more 'used' as the Prequel Trilogy draws closer to the OT era??

    Interesting point that the droids were dirty coming off the assembly line!
  9. Mace Windy

    Mace Windy Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 3, 1999
    "I feel that's more of an excuse that GL thought up to explain it, rather than doing it intentionally."

    I feel that your conclusion lacks merit for one reason: George made the OT look used. Obviously if the technology allowed him to do this in 1977, it would have allowed him to do it again. Therefore, the decision not to make the PT look as "used" as the OT had to be a premeditated one.

    I know that some people will try to tell me that CG does not allow for environments and vehicles to look as used, but this is simply not true. ILM could easily add the grit and grime to any of their CG models.

    :cool: Mace Windy,
    too windy for spoilers!

    DARTHMORDOR Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 17, 2003
    exclllent question. I have felt the same way since TPM. tar wars became very slick and clean. not as "used" but the argument can be made that since this is a golden age things are better cared for. and keep in mind most of the ships you see are royal transports or beloning to the government of the republic. or are rich peoples ships, speeders. or could be brand spanking new from the dealer.
  11. Boola Cronk

    Boola Cronk Jedi Youngling star 2

    Apr 5, 1999
    I think some of those Republic ships look a little rustic. Look at the Republic Cruiser at the beginning of TPM, definitely not sleek or elegant. Same thing with the Jedi Starfighters in AOTC, they look like they have been through alot.

    In regards to GL's comments, that is true. The looks of the ships are supposed to represent the way automobiles looked before the industrial revolution. Back then they were more stylish and were basically works of art. When the industrial revolution came, they started standardizing the production of the vehicles which detracted from the overall "beauty" of the vehicles.
  12. Billy_Dee_Binks

    Billy_Dee_Binks Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 29, 2002
    I feel that's more of an excuse that GL thought up to explain it, rather than doing it intentionally.

    Well then, quote something or someone who could state this as a fact.

    Besides the is a ton of used future stuff (OUTSIDE of the Republic).
    Check TPM's and AOTC's Tatooine. The Pod Racers, the places, the speeders, everything. Those slick ships everyone is talking about are Nubian Starships. They are shiny and slick because that's the way the culture reflects on their technical aspects. Even those have their scratches and dark corners (check out the Naboo Fighter in the banner).

    And the technical question with the past looking more modern than the future? Well, the Empire stays modern, the rebels have to keep with their battle worn, often repaired ships. Also, the Clone Wars take away the galaxy's beauty- just like it happened to our civilasation as the second World War raged on. No time for glorious designs, we need the material for military purpose. What? No material for bullets? Then melt in some tin soldiers so we have some more ammo (that actually was the case during WWII!)
  13. Strilo

    Strilo Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 6, 2001
    I bet this idea goes away after ROTS.
  14. bswb

    bswb Jedi Master star 1

    Dec 2, 2000
    The other thing to consider is that in the OT, the planets we see are either not inhabitated by 'modern' societies (Endor moon, Hoth) or they're pretty crappy to begin with (Tattooine). Look at the aesthetic of the PT Tatooine and it's essentially the same. Watto's shop, the Lars' moisture farm, etc.

    The only 'new and shiny' stuff we get is essentially from Naboo and Coruscant. GL has stated from the very beginning (before TPM opened) that the sleek stylings come from the start and you'll see a gradual transition as Palpatine gains power and the Clone Wars take their toll. Theoretically, by the end of ROTS, things should start to look like their OT counterparts - not totally, of course, since there's still 20 years of evolution to go.

  15. Strilo

    Strilo Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 6, 2001

  16. Lars_Muul

    Lars_Muul Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Oct 2, 2000
    I second that("Bingo", I mean ;)).

    The Clone Wars changed everything
  17. KennyT

    KennyT Jedi Youngling star 3

    Mar 25, 2005
    Great Post bswb. It's exactlly what I was thinking. It is not ALL clean and pollished, just in the Senate and on Corsucant, and sometimes Naboo. But Tatooine still looked as it did in ANH. And Genosis did not look all polished. You would expect the Senate and Senators to look crisp and clean.
  18. battlewars

    battlewars Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 5, 2005
    its funny because lucas made that comment on anh commentary probably accidentally forgetting the pt
  19. That_Wascally_Droid

    That_Wascally_Droid Jedi Knight star 6

    Jul 29, 2001
    Dirty PT:

    Mos Espa
    Geonosian factories
    The war machines

    Clean OT:
    Cloud City
    Leia's ANH gown
    Death Star looked pretty clean
    As did the Star Destroyers

    You wanted Naboo and Coruscant to be pig styes? Where things can be scruffed up, they are. Where things can be clean, they are. Look at Cloud City's populated areas. Looked pretty squeaky clean to me!
  20. TiniTinyTony

    TiniTinyTony Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Mar 9, 2003
    The idea of the PT that it is all new. It is a time of prosperity, and things are supposed to look used, but new. So this concept of "used future" wouldn't apply to the PT.
  21. JediStu2

    JediStu2 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Sep 1, 2003
    I always heard that the reason for the "gritty" style of the Original Trilogy was because of the Emperor's rule. Instead of focusing on architecture he focused on military designs and cold dark designs at that.

    Poor Palps gets the blame for the "Dark Times" and the terrible public image around the galaxy...go figure!
  22. battlewars

    battlewars Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 5, 2005
    cg just looks unnaturally clean end of story. the only movie it could look good in is tron 2 or a tron like movie
  23. Genrader

    Genrader Jedi Youngling star 3

    Sep 12, 2003
    Let's look at the places we see in the two trilogies:

    Old Trilogy:

    We see Tatooine, the outbacks with moisture farming, the people working all day to make a comfortable living, the scum and back alleys of Mos Eisley, showing that obviously the world isn't clean.

    We see Yavin, it's a jungle planet with a military base that looks reasonably what you'd think a rebel base would look like hidden in an old temple.

    We see the Death Star, it's reasonably clean because hey, it's a space station and military ran.

    We see Hoth, it's gritty yet snow covered. It seems like a makeshift base, as you can tell, not extremely high-tech or brand new looking. We see Dagobah, which is self explanatory. Then Bespin is pretty clean and looks more PT like a PT place to me. The Star Destroyers are normal for what we'd think they looked like.

    There's Endor, Tatooine again, and Death Star II. All of the OT seems pretty "used"...anything that looks new probably is.

    Prequel Trilogy

    Notice here we see Naboo and Coruscant, Naboo is sort of like the rich version of Rome. We see a lot of Italian reaissance looking stuff that's been kept clean..we also see the ROYAL palace and starport mostly, so we aren't expected to see used worn-out stuff here.

    On Tatooine, we see a lot of the same stuff we saw on the first one. We even see slaves and a sandstorm, we can tell it's not a high society there.

    On Episode II, we see the high levels of Coruscant again (except the bar, which wasn't that gritty, but wasn't the cleanest place around). We also see the Kamino people, but you can tell people like them would keep it nice and neat. Geonosis looked pretty used to me.

    All in all, I'd say it's pretty fair. The things that should look gritty and used in the PT do. Why would the high levels of Coruscant or the royal palace in Theed look old and worn out?
  24. Darth-Seldon

    Darth-Seldon Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 17, 2003
    It is still a used future, just not to the degree seen in the originals.
    If you were to compare the prequels to earlier SF films like 2001, you would see just how "used" the prequels can appear.
    Coruscant, Geonosis and Tatooine really have that used feeling in the prequels. Naboo doesn't but that is a reflection on their society not on George Lucas. The same could be true about Kamino.

    The idea is revolutionary (first used in THX) and it is one of those small things which sets GL above so many other film makers and story tellers.

  25. That_Wascally_Droid

    That_Wascally_Droid Jedi Knight star 6

    Jul 29, 2001
    It's like others have said. It's all dependant on location.
    People see one shiny chrome starship and suddenly everything's squeaky clean ;p

    I'd say the TF Ship was as clean as a Star Destroyer. Just smoother.
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