Writing 101 - The Good and the Bad

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Aunecah_Skywalker, Feb 18, 2004.

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  1. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    The rules vary, but they do still exist.

    When I say different kinds of writing. I mean as in.

    Writing for a story and writing for a report fo let's say the place you work at. They are two different ways of writing.
  2. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    Writing for a story and writing for a report fo let's say the place you work at. They are two different ways of writing.

    Of course they are, but they still have their own sets of rules.
  3. Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2002
    star 5
    Exactly, anidan. The rules are different for each genre and the rules aren't set in stone, but the rules are still present. Also, all stories - no matter what the genre - still share some rules. Such as: Have characters in your story that are sympathetic, give your characters weaknesses, don't spend the first thirty pages describing the weather, etc.

    -Aunecah
  4. Formerly_Tukafo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2003
    star 1
    I completely agree with Aunecah and I think that a few here totally misunderstand what (s)he's trying to get at.

    Storytelling has its rules. These rules can be broken but only for a good reason.

    A simple example: The film Memento. that film tells its story (chronologically speaking) backwards. This breaks a fundamental rule of storytelling that says that your story should be told forwards. Imagine a Star Wars film being told in Memento style - it would be pointless, confusing and serve absolutely no purpose. So why does Memento work? Nolan breaks the rules because it serves a purpose for HIS story that HE wants to tell. The setup for the story really happens chronologically at the end and the conclusion happens chronologically at the beginning. The last scene really IS the ending even though it is chrnologically the first scene. It also puts the audience into the mind of a person with short-term memory loss.

    So the rule is not to tell your story backwards, you can break it but only if it enhances the story and makes sense for it. To tell Lord of the Rings backwards would be pointless.
  5. Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2002
    star 5
    I love Memento. I read the screenplay for a fiction class and it is a true masterpiece, even though it can be a little intimidating for people. It's a brilliant example of how breaking rules can serve your purpose.

    There are also other stories that break rules. I once read a story that was told completely in dialogue - not a single sentence of exposition. And it worked rather well, too. There is another story (I think it's the Doorman Always Rings Twice, but I can't be sure) which has atrocious grammar. It's a little tough to go through, but it's a good story. There are stories that switch between point of views every other paragraph (mostly romance stories) but the authors do it well and the transition between each POV is neither confusing nor awkward most of the time. Other stories include run-ons, and there are stories that don't even have punctuation to help the readers get through those run-ons. But they're all there to serve a purpose.

    When an author is breaking a rule, it is pretty clear that he or she is breaking a rule. I've read more books than I can count that don't follow one or more rules.

    In SW, it isn't clear that GL is breaking the "show, don't tell" rule for any purpose.

    TWB: I missed you somehow. I'll give you most of what you said, but you really got to be kidding about the gunship debate, right? Anakin does NOT listen to Obi-Wan until Obi-Wan brings up Amidala and asks him what he thinks she would do. In effect, it isn't Obi-Wan that makes him stop jumping after Amidala, but rather Anakin's perception of what Amidala wanted - and Obi-Wan knows this.

    Anakin is also a Jedi and Obi-Wan is his master. We can't discount that Anakin has an interest in keeping Obi-Wan alive because if Obi-Wan dies, it's unlikely that another Jedi will take him as a master.

    Anakin constantly argues with Obi-Wan, shows little respect for him, insults him in front of Amidala, and does a lot of other things that show that whatever friendship he feels for Obi-Wan is outweighed by enemity.

    There's also a major shift in Anakin's character from TPM to AOTC. In TPM, he was an innocent kid who helped others. In AOTC, he was whiny, bratty teenager who seemed to have come to, at best, a love/hate relationship with his Master, with whom, btw, he shared like two sentences during the entire first movie. They seem like two different characters. I realize that the films take place ten years apart, but imagine if GL had EpIII starting with Anakin already being Vader, murdering Jedi and butchering senators and being a Sith Lord in all but name.

    -Aunecah
  6. All_Powerful_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2003
    star 4
    Star Wars may not be told backwards, but we saw the end before we saw the beginning. We're working our way to the middle and, to release the last three movies before the first three, does break one of those fundamental rules of storytelling.

    What's Lucas' reasoning for doing it? Well, he started with "Episode IV," so I guess he has to fill in the blanks. :)
  7. Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2002
    star 5
    But is he filling in the blanks? I think that's still under debate.

    Ben said that Yoda was THE Master who instructed him. Why did Qui-Gon enter the equation?

    How does Leia know about Ben and where he's hiding? Through Bail obviously. How does Bail know? Presumably, he and Ben are friends. Maybe we'll be shown that in EpIII.

    Why did Amidala give Leia to Bail? Probably because they're good friends. We have yet to be shown that.

    Ben hadn't gone by the name "Obi-Wan Kenobi" since before Luke was born. Well, as of right now, he's still Obi-Wan.

    Anakin is a cunning warrior. Well, until now, Anakin destroyed the TF Battlestation through pure, dumb luck; couldn't even capture Zam Wessell; slaughtered an entire tribe of Tuskens; tried to rescue Obi-Wan and got captured himself; rushed to Dooku and ended up getting his arm cut off.

    Jedi are guardians of peace and justice. Hmm, they left Shmi to remain a slave in Tatooine because Tatooine was not under Republic law?

    Yoda says that Anakin's a powerful Jedi. But we haven't seen how Anakin's powerful. The only "powerful" thing that Anakin did was destroy the battlestation, and he didn't even do it himself - the Force did it through him.

    There are others, obviously, but I'm too lazy to type them all up. The problem is that GL is leaving all these up to EpIII and there's only so much time. :(

    *Most of the above I got from watching SW and making a list for my own rewrite - and from Malthus's list. :)

    -Aunecah
  8. That_Wascally_Droid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2001
    star 6
    Anakin is also a Jedi and Obi-Wan is his master. We can't discount that Anakin has an interest in keeping Obi-Wan alive because if Obi-Wan dies, it's unlikely that another Jedi will take him as a master.

    Actually, yes we can discount that. Completely.
    Absolutely nowhere was it hinted that no one else would take him. Both Yoda and Mace (albeit showing uncertainties in TPM) showed a great interest in the boy. That's also not taking into account the thousands of other Jedi Masters and their thoughts,
    Also, nowhere is it hinted that Anakin was doing it for his own sake. Absolutely nowhere. Anakin refers to Obi-Wan as a father figure twice. There is nothing but evidence to suggest he was saving a friend. Show a movie to anyone who has not seen it (without affecting their judgment in anyway) and ask them why Anakin saved Obi-Wan. I don't think too many would come to your conclusion.
    In fact, from what you were showing, not telling ( ;) ) from your posts, one could easily come to the conclusion that you think all this of Anakin simply because you don't like the character and not because of any of Lucas' short comings.
    No, I was not joking about the gunship. But thanks for excusing my point away as a joke all the same [face_plain] :p :p
    Actually, you bring up a good point inadvertantly. Obi-Wan and Anakin must be somewhat close if Obi-Wan will know what will make Anakin come around when direct orders fail.
  9. Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2002
    star 5
    n fact, from what you were showing, not telling ( ) from your posts, one could easily come to the conclusion that you think all this of Anakin simply because you don't like the character and not because of any of Lucas' short comings.

    The point I was trying to make (and clearly failing) is that Anakin might as well have been acting for selfish reasons. Just because it hasn't been hinted that no other Jedi will take Anakin as an apprentice does NOT mean that a Jedi will take Anakin as an apprentice if Obi-Wan dies. And that isn't even the relevant point; Anakin during TPM saw that the Jedi Council was rather adamant about not bringing him into the Jedi Order; and he presumably knows that the only reason he ever became apprenticed to Obi-Wan is because of Qui-Gon. To say that Anakin wouldn't have any misgivings about his future in the Jedi Order without Obi-Wan is ridiculous.

    Anakin, despite being a giver in TPM, is also shown to do things for himself. He entered the pod race in TPM for his own sake as much as for the Jedi. It isn't a stretch by any imagination to say that Anakin is saving Obi-Wan for his own sake as much as for Obi-Wan's.

    I have no problems with GL and there are many things I like about the PT. It is true that I don't like Anakin Skywalker, but that's because I don't like his character, not because I have something against the kid.

    -Aunecah
  10. That_Wascally_Droid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2001
    star 6
    because I don't like his character, not because I have something against the kid.

    Well, no lol
    I wouldn't imagine you'd hate Jake or Hayden personally :p
    If that's what you meant. Otherwise, it would appear you do have a heck of a lot against Anakin himself ;)
    The character of Anakin is the person of Anakin.
    Although that get's into the realm of philosophical with character makes a person and what not.
    Anyway, with Anakin the glass always seems half empty with you which is coloring your perception of all his actions, thus the writer's ability to convey certain aspects of the character. Like friendship and his great power.
    That's all I'm trying to get at here :)
  11. Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2002
    star 5
    Otherwise, it would appear you do have a heck of a lot against Anakin himself

    The only thing I have against Anakin is how he acts toward Obi-Wan. Otherwise, I rather like Anakin and I even (gasp!) felt sorry for him a couple of times in the PT.

    And, of course, Vader is one of my favorite characters of the OT. [face_love]

    -Aunecah
  12. That_Wascally_Droid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2001
    star 6
    Well obviously, he needed to be smacked at times :p
    But I mean, he does become Vader so I can't keep excusing away everything he ever did lol
    I'm not saying they were perfect buds mind you. I'm just saying he wasn't all bad you know?
  13. Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2002
    star 5
    Anakin wasn't bad in general. But he was rather snotty toward Obi-Wan, and I didn't think that was the right way to show how they both were good friends. If GL really wanted to show us that Anakin and Obi-Wan were having problems, then I think it's better if he concentrated on their friendship in AOTC and then showed their conflict in EpIII, when Anakin presumably slowly and steadily descents to the Dark Side. Whatever he does, I just think it's important that he show - not hint at, but actually show - their friendship on some scale during one of the movies.

    -Aunecah
  14. SWJaggy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2003
    star 4
    Analysing, this should be good for me.

    The Phantom Menace- First off, I think that the writing could've been better. Reason being was because some of the scenes didn't really go along with the story for me. Take the Jar Jar Binks non-sense. I think that for entertainment wise, GL could've at least made his character a little more funnier. Jar Jar was a good character, I'll admit that but he had no brains. Thats the part that got to me. All of the characters and creatures we have had had brains including the droids (3PO being an exception). It just felt awkward to see a brainless character in a world with brains. Other than that the rest of the story line was great. All though I do have to bring this into play. I think that they should've made Darth Sidious' voice much more deeper because Sidious & Senator Palpatine both had the same voice so its easy to tell that they are one in the same. I'm not saying make it more deep like Darth Vaders but just deeper so you could think that Sidious & Palpatine are one in the same.


    Attack of the Clones- Now the plot for this episode was good. I'll admit that. The Jar Jar Binks role got better because he was acting more serious as if he had developed a brain. But he probably didn't since he had given those emergency powers to Chancellor Palpatine. So you can tell where that is going to lead. The droid factory scene was okay. The Tusken Raider duel on Tatooine was good but I think they should've elaborated more on it, show Anakin's true power and anger. The Kamino scenes were good as well. There was never a time when I said that I wish they had taken a scene out or made it shorter. The Jango/Boba connection, superb. When Mace Windu had killed Jango you could tell where Boba will end up, in his father's footsteps.The love scenes were great. No complaint there. Having 3P0 sit down was a good scene because in the Original Trilogy he wasn't able too. The lightsaber duel between Count Dooku,Obi-wan, and Anakin was great. Even though it was a deleted scene, I would've liked to see Count wield two lightsabers. But I guess thats what DVDs are for. The wedding scene at the end was great. Something sweet yet simple.

    I'll get my analysis for the Original trilogy put up later.
  15. Aunecah_Skywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2002
    star 5
    Actually, I see nothing wrong with Jar Jar binks in and of himself. If the more important details of the story (Obi-Wan/Anakin relationship, Obi-Wan's character, Jedi/Sith History and info) have been handled well, I have no objection to having Jar Jar in the story whatsoever. He's funny, though at times he did get a little annoying. :)

    -Aunecah
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