Speculation Who's The Baddie?

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII - Spoilers Allowed' started by fishtailsam, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Dra--- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2012
    star 4
    We're taking Palpatine's word that he's dead. Who is the real Phantom Menace?

    You know, when we think of a new villain for the ST, we should consider the episodic, serial, pulpish, generic roots of the series. It comes from a tradition that values villains who don't die or can't be killed, or who we think have been killed, but secretly lurk in the shadows pulling the strings of their next plot.

    This doesn't preclude a new set of enemies, but it makes of think of serials like Flash Gordon, where someone like Ming the Merciless can, in principle, always return. Like villains on soap operas; Star Wars is a space soap opera.

    Also: one person's cliche is another's beloved genre convention.
  2. Trebor Sabreon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 15, 2010
    star 4
    I don't mean to derail the thread (or be a jerk about it), but Yoda never said any such thing about having his own council during the OT. I imagine that you're referencing his line, "My own counsel, will I keep, on who is to be trained." This change in spelling makes Yoda's message something entirely different than it would, had he indeed said "council." It's simply a more poetic manner of saying "Thanks very much, but I can decide for myself who I'm gonna train."
    Last edited by TreborSabreon, Feb 19, 2013
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  3. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    You are aware some of this conventions resulted because the writers had to fill a quota in a certain amount of time, right? It is just much easier to reanimate an old villain you know worked the first time instead of starting from scratch. Star Wars shouldn't mindlessly copy SF-pulp conventions.

    I mean, you do want the ST to have some quality, no?

    If not, then lets bring out the superweapons, Deus ex Machinas, big breasted space babes, evil twins and reanimated badguys.
  4. Dra--- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2012
    star 4

    You make a good point about not mindlessly following conventions (of course, I'm not arguing for that). But that doesn't mean it isn't fun to play with conventions, or follow them to a certain extent, doing honor to the story and the roots of the series. Obviously there are some conventions people like and others don't.

    I happen to like evil twins, superweapons, big (or small) breasted space babes, and reanimated badguys (even deus ex machines can be cool if done well, or for comic purposes). This isn't a realistic genre to begin with, so why pretend that it is?

    When people talk about "realism" in relation to Star Wars, I always find myself wondering why they're not watching another genre, maybe a cop show like The Wire, or a documentary, or the news. What do we mean by realism in this context? According to Aristotle, and most modern and contemporary storytelling (non-avant garde), realism is achieved by probability, while the less believable or implausible has to do with possibility. In other words, a plot or villain is believable if and only if it has a reasonable level of probability of happening in this world; if it's only possible, people will begin to object. So based off that traditional standard accepted by popular narrative, if an established world like Star Wars contains elements like clone armies and tech, monsters, immortal ghosts, superweapons, cyborgs, paranormal beings (Jedi, shape shifters), then it seems highly probable that a villain like Plagueis might really be pulling the strings somewhere in the shadows, either having achieved eternal life, or cloned himself, or perhaps never died at all (we never see this onscreen and are only told about it via an untrustworthy source). So, while some might object to Plagueis on the grounds of implausibility, that would seem to really ignore the universe we're in.

    Now, if the only objection is about "quality," it's obvious that this kind of critique can never be totally objective, but is one of personal taste. Since I love these old serial conventions (as George Lucas did, and Spielberg--notice how their Nazis never go away in Indy, or when they do, maybe it's not the Indy we love anymore), I think it's good quality to have resurrected, or unkillable, villains.

    There must be some conventions you like, or other people like, that others would frame as lacking quality, but in good genre storytelling, the key element that makes it good isn't necessarily innovation, but executing the beloved and expected elements in exciting ways. After all, if quality was only about newness or innovation, then we should scrap almost everything that makes Star Wars identifiable as Star Wars. Good guys, bad guys, princesses, space ships, space battles, droids, rebels, the force, it's all been done before (Star Wars qua Star Wars), you see, so why should we keep watching and making it?

    Notice nobody is arguing we shouldn't have a villain, only what kind they want? Villains are cliches that sophisticated storytelling ("serious" dramas) have long abandoned.

    But we don't want that kind of quality, do we?
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  5. Darth kRud Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3
    Towards the end of the book Plagueis retreated to his scientific machinations surrounding cheating death- a specific detail he dedicated most of his study of the force to achieving. In this sense it makes he and his knowledge more dangerous, something to be defeated, something to be suppressed as unnatural which would throw the entire force out of balance as has never been experienced in the Star Wars galaxy. Resurrection, in his case, was his entire life's work and he didn't share his complete knowledge with anyone. I don't think it would set the stage for everyone and their momma to come back to life. Plagueis is sadistic, he's the one who laid the foundation for Palpatine to kill his parents. He's the one who formulated the political plans to take over the galaxy (although Palpatine tried to take credit, I think while he was "killing" Plagueis).

    With Star Wars A new Hope they were starting from a clean slate- the villain (Vader) was introduced in that first scene where he blasted through the rebel ship and BANG! We understood what was going on. We were right in the middle of a 'Star War' and the lines had been drawn. With the new sequels there's a six film history and (presumably) they're taking up the story a couple/few decades after the end of ROTJ. The villain plan in Star Wars first six films took 1,000 years to come to fruition steeped in Sith unique connection to the dark side of the force. To me, in the new trilogy, if they all the sudden face a new dark side threat that has nothing to do with the last 6 films and is a major threat to the order of the galaxy or balance of the force it will completely trivialize the past 6 films. The only way I could see that happening is if the new trilogy was 100, 500 or 1,000 years after ROTJ. At the same time I guess they could skip out on there being a darkside or Sith threat to the galaxy all together but that doesnt sound appealing to me. In my opinion they either need to bring Plagueis in or bring in a small army of Sith or dark side force users in order for there to be a sense of urgency.
    Last edited by Darth kRud, Feb 19, 2013
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  6. Dra--- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2012
    star 4
    Someone also mentioned that undying villains aren't scary. Well, then why can the Terminator be scary or intense? Why can a psychopath with a big blade that you shot yet keeps coming after you be scary? Zombies? Vampires? The Devil?

    Once again, I would argue that the cliche aspect has little to do with the scary effect; whether its there or not depends on the execution.
  7. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    If I'd mind superweapons, I wouldn't like ANH. The same applies to deus ex machinas. I think there was at least one deus ex in every movie so far. But overdoing anything is bad. Too much repetition is also bad (like say if we get yet another superweapon in the ST).

    But I'm not sure there is a sensible way of doing resurrections. Lets say Arndt is really careful. He only uses reanimation once to good effect. Like, I dunno, Harry Potter 4 (besides Dark Phoenix saga that was the only reanimation I really enjoyed).

    But what happens later? The spinoff-movies aren't written by Arndt. We don't know what future writers will do. Maybe they will look back and think "Hey, we don't have a good villain. Lets reanimate Palpatine?" Or maybe some suit wants ... Boba Fett back. Who the hell knows?
    And suddenly we have a new BSG situation on our hands. Death can't be taken seriously anymore because everyone returns. This would take a lot of tension out of the story, and tension is important in any adventure flick.

    I consider tension extremely important in adventure movies. If there is a lack of tension (say, because reanimation became common) then yes, the quality is lacking imo. Because then the story couldn't function like it did before the whole resurrection fiasco was started. It would be boring (and that is an absolute worst case scenario).
  8. Darth kRud Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2012
    star 3
    You just shot down my whole "Star Wars (art) needs to reflect life" argument ;)
    Last edited by Darth kRud, Feb 19, 2013
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  9. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    All it takes to make reanimations en vogue is one single suit deciding they want Boba back because the whole Plagueis thing gave them the (bad) idea. These story reasons you listed here are fine, but when it comes to business they don't matter in the slightest. You can easily come up with some hackneyed explanation on why someone else got hold of the knowledge. I think it would take me five minutes (hm, a spy in his lab perhaps?).

    After watching quite a few SF-series going down the drain (to great part because of the resurrections), I'm pretty adamant in my position.

    Maybe Plagueis was a sadist too. Idk. I thought he only wanted Palpatine to cut his ties so he couldn't go back from the dark side, but again, idk.

    I'm in favor for a political motivated non-force using person as big bad. The Sith could play second fiddle this time around. That's not a bad place to be in. Mooks are cooler than bosses anyway (case in point Vader and Palps). Generating a potent threat isn't too hard anyway. Why wouldn't a badass cyborg space marine warrior be capable of killing a Jedi?
    I'm thinking here of Mandalorians of course.
  10. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 4
    Sort of like the Raistlin Majere and Fistandantilas storyline?

    The only problem I have with this is that it takes away from what Sidious accomplished to be the Sith Master and eventual sole ruler of the galaxy.

    But if they can bring this character back and explain why he wasn't around all this time, then I'm all for it. But if they bring his ass back and don't give us a good enough explanation of how and why, then it's just a cheap way to come up with another villain.

    Bottom line is: give us a good reason to like this old but new atagonist and make us feel the way Vader and the Emperor did back in the day and we'll be totally for it.
    Last edited by DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR, Feb 19, 2013
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  11. Dra--- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2012
    star 4
    Sorry I didn't mean to. :(

    I just happen to come from an avant-garde perspective that there is no distinction to be made between art and life; they're more similar, or even the same, in many respects, than we often think.

    That doesn't mean that art shouldn't speak about life, but that "reflecting" it exactly, as though in a mirror, is less important a value than the experience or conversation we're given.
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  12. Dra--- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2012
    star 4
    We both want tension. I just think it's other things like execution that makes it happen; or being invested in the heroes. Even the biggest cliche can create tension if you have the right people executing it.

    So it really comes down to function: will a cliche always block the ability of tension to work in a story. I don't think so. Good filmmakers and writers use cliches all the time; and make them work so well we often forget they are cliches.
  13. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    That's the heart of the matter, ain't it? If they refrain from using resurrection as a cheap gimmick and if they use it in a sensible fashion only, then yes, it could work.

    But that's a mighty big "if" considering how reanimation is commonly used in SF. In 99,9 of 100 cases reanimation is not done well.
  14. Death T Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 1
    I see what you're saying. Anyone here read Naruto?
    Show Spoiler
    I thought it was cool the first time Orochimaru reanimated the first and second Hokage to fight with him against Sarutobi, but now the 'Edo Tensei' jutsu is being used left and right. The latest arc just concluded a zombie war for crying out loud and now another villain is at it again.


    But the reason I would feel more comfortable with Plagueis's revival (if that would be the case) is because he's the only real Sith left and he hasn't shared his knowledge with anybody. Destroy Plagueis, and the secrets he harbored die with him--at least for another thousand years give or take.

    Many EU stories have already set ridiculous precedents, but you haven't seen them repeated to the point that they kill the franchise. Like the clone Emperors for example. Other authors might have gone crazy with this idea since then but they haven't, and if there's an EU story you don't like it's pretty easy to ignore it anyway. Let's be real. There are some EU books out there you just pretend don't exist. We could make a whole new thread about them. And I doubt the movie makers, who care at least enough about quality storytelling not to destroy the franchise, will abuse any sort of resurrection plot device in future installments. Also, can't Disney and/or Lucas Films reject certain ideas being used in future works?

    Anyway, if the writing is good enough I think it would work very well. Or maybe he doesn't really 'come back to life' but never died in the first place, and has been recuperating or bidding his time. Who knows. Like I said earlier, I don't think the specifics of it are too important at this stage in our speculation. I agree with some of what you're saying though. If whatever machinations they use to bring Plagueis back into the picture (whether it be some form of reanimation or just a really hokey explanation for him being gone the whole time) sound too ridiculous then it probably is sensible to go an other route. I don't want to 'shoe horn' him into the new trilogy. The difference is I think they can bring Plagueis back into the picture in convincing fashion, and I feel like he would fit the part of the final bad guy for the 9-episode saga really well because of his involvement behind the scenes with so many important aspects of the first 6 episodes. Instead of some random new Sith villain.
    Last edited by Death T, Feb 19, 2013
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  15. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    I agree with most of what you are saying.

    Just one question: How do you think Disney would handle something like that? I'm fairly pessimistic but I'd be curious what others think.
  16. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Balance of the Force, not balance of the Force-users. There is no contradiction.
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  17. Bullhead CIty Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2012
    star 2
    That's my way of checking to see if anyone was paying attention, or just flying in to chop at the thread!! :)
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  18. FloydB1Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 13, 2002
    star 1
    no, sith are done lets move on
  19. The Bops Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2012
    star 1
    I stand corrected. :) But, I am still opposed to another fallen Jedi.
  20. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 7
    14 pages in... where is Joey Arnold?
  21. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I know where you're coming from, but that's what makes Plagueis so unique and dangerous. It's obviously a very rare dark side ability. This is like the Horcruxes of Harry Potter, or the One Ring of Lord of the Rings. It's not "ordinary evil."

    Also, if Plagueis comes back, I doubt he ever really died. Though, Lucas did let (or perhaps even demand) that Plagueis be shown resurrecting the dead in the book that came out last year (after we know he had decided on a ST)...



    The Force was unbalanced long before the Empire was created.

    As the book says, it is Plagueis (with Palpatine) actually overthrowing the will of the Force, resurrecting the dead, and attempting to create a Force-strong sentient being that actualy unbalances the Force.

    There were Sith Empires ruling the galaxy in the past, but they never unbalanced the Force, at least not like Plagueis did.




    One of the few things the movies tell us about Plagueis is that he could cheat death, even using those exact words.

    And how would some random new Sith or Rogue Jedi justify a Sequel trilogy, a continuation of the main saga's story?
  22. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    I think it was implied to be the first one specifically.

    And also that he was killed.
  23. Darth Chiznuk Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 5
    While I'm not a fan of resurrecting good ol' Darth Plagueis (for no other reason then I absolutely love the pleasure Palpatine seems to be having recalling his master's death and I don't want to see that undone) if that is the road they go down in the ST I will say if he is even half as great as Voldemort I think we're in for a treat! What a wonderful villain and played so brilliantly by Ralph Fiennes. They should even cast Ralph Fiennes as Darth Plagueis (I just want him in a Star Wars film darn it!!!) However, if they do bring him back the absolute last thing they should even consider is trying to tell us that Darth Plagueis was secretly manipulating Palpatine the whole time. That would be such a cheap cop out. But Lucas and Arndt are much better storytellers than that and I fully expect whatever they give us will blow all our expectations away.
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  24. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    That Cosinga "your overconfidence is your weakness" Palpatine (Jr.) thought he killed a guy who could cheat death... ;)
  25. Darth Chiznuk Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 5
    I will also say that I don't want to see the prophecy retconned with some silly explanation like, "Oh, see you thought Anakin was the chosen one but remember when Yoda said a prophecy that misread could have been? See it turns out it wasn't him all along and it's really this new guy/gal." Now I would love to see the prophecy more fully explored and I would be open to the idea that Anakin's destiny is not yet fulfilled. I think an unused element of the original scripts that could be a factor in the ST is when Obi-Wan actually came back to the physical galaxy during the end battle of ROTJ. If Darth Plagueis is able to cheat death and return then I could see the Force reacting by resurrecting the Chosen One for the final battle between good and evil. Then the Star Wars Saga could be the Fall, Redemption, and Resurrection of Anakin Skywalker. It could turn out to be very cheesy but who knows. It worked for Gandalf IMO.