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Saga Did TFA make the OT pointless?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Darth Weavile, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. Tal0nkarrde2

    Tal0nkarrde2 Jedi Knight star 1

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    Apr 20, 2018
    In a way, you could say that The Force Awakens makes the original trilogy pointless, or you could look at it from a historian's point of view. I am a lover of history, not a historian by any means, but in all I have read over the years, one thing has always been certain - history is doomed to repeat itself because humankind finds it very difficult to learn from its mistakes. All through history, wars have been fought over the same issues and once those issues are thought to be eradicated, the same issue pops up in a different form, perhaps starting as well-meaning, but eventually turning into something worse until it becomes the very thing we once went to war over. If you look at TFA in that respect, the Star Wars universe is no different from our own.
     
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  2. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

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    Mar 10, 2005
    History repeats itself, alright. The nature of this discussion reflects that quite beautifully ;)
     
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  3. DarthTalonx

    DarthTalonx Jedi Master star 4

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    Nov 12, 2014
    I concur. The fact that everything is unravelled by this person, means the backstory, and WHO they are, is vital. It surely isn't irrelevant! Frankly even who Rey is, backstory, the backstory of Luke and the Jedi, what happened to the Empire. All of this is important. And I also agree, in the PT/OT we get the backstory and information about everyone!
     
  4. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

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    Nov 10, 2011
    Well, I think it's arguable. Back in the OT era, only one planet was destroyed rather than five, and the Rebellion wasn't reduced to only a shipful of people. Regardless, this isn't really the crux of the argument in the first place, which I suspect is why you seized on it.

    That's your opinion. But you can't say the PT doesn't give us those things at all. We see Anakin's background as a slave, we see his attachment to his mother, his dreams of becoming a Jedi and freeing the slaves, his dashed hopes, his shattered expectations, his struggling under the strictures of Jedi dogma, his rebelliousness, his authoritarian sympathies, his love for Padme, we see him cradling his mother in his arms as she dies, his slaughter of the Tuskens, his secret marriage to Padme, we see his heroism, his loyalty to Obi-Wan, his relationship with the Chancellor, his resentment toward the Jedi Council, etc. Anakin is an extremely well-rounded character in the PT.

    The ST objectively doesn't even provide us with even the technical details of Snoke's background or motivations. It gives us nothing. Absolutely nothing. That you would think comparing him to Anakin in the PT would be a good argument is ludicrous. He wouldn't even need to be nearly as well-rounded as Anakin in order to function as a villain, but that's because Anakin is probably the most thoroughly explored character in the entire saga. Again, weird that you chose Anakin as a comparison.

    If you'll recall, the point of all the mirroring going on between the PT and OT was to show how history repeats itself but by learning and making different choices we can affect the outcome for the better. That was Luke's story. He made different choices than his parents and secured a better future for the next generation. Except....not, apparently.

    The "history repeats itself" argument is just yet another excuse used to justify the return to the OT status quo which was determined not by narrative compulsion but rather by commercial concerns and a lack of new ideas.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  5. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Force Ghost star 6

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    Jan 23, 2011
    I didn't choose Anakin to compare his character development to Snoke's, I chose it as an example of the story not giving us all the details and added material providing it later. Anakin being a main character, and Snoke being a side character, the development gaps are similar in scale.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
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  6. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 18, 2013
    Everything we need to know about Anakin and his journey to being Vader is directly in the movies. Anything else provided is nice extra detail that Lucas gave us in TCW but it's not necessary. Snoke isn't in I-VI. He gets next to nothing in the ST so they have exactly one more movie to do the next to impossible and tell that story even in a barest of bare bones way which at this point is probably the best that can be hoped for.

    The "gaps" with Anakin are of the kind that Lucas did with Star Wars but the way he did it those additional details he gave in the books and comics adaptions and other places were just that additional background but not key to understanding the story in the context the movie tells them.

    With Snoke and through him the entire context of the ST could actually be provided in a manner that it was with Sidious (as well as having this menacing and superb villain). Instead he's just a very cut-rate Sidious who looks like a counterfeit "Emperor" just to say there was one there.

    This is the exact key term.

    Snoke is apparently less importance to the ST as a villain then I don't know who. Sebulba makes more sense in every way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  7. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Force Ghost star 6

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    Jan 23, 2011
    My contention is that the deficiencies narrative-wise, which Snoke creates, are no more substantial than the deficiencies that Anakin's arc creates. It's technically not illogical, but ultimately it requires, for me, additional information to become adequate.
     
  8. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

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    Nov 10, 2011
    No, they're really not, because Anakin is the most thoroughly developed character in the saga, while Snoke is among the least developed characters in the saga despite being a primary antagonist on the level of Palpatine for two films. I really don't know where you're coming from with this comparison, because it makes absolutely no sense no matter which way you look at it. To be blunt, it's absurd.
     
  9. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Force Ghost star 6

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    Jan 23, 2011
    Anakin is a main character. Snoke is, at most, a secondary character (the looming big bad) the level of Palpatine in the OT. Both instances are as deficient as eachother relative to their characters centrality to the story.
     
  10. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

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    Mar 10, 2005
    Snoke is unique in the Saga in that he's suddenly just there as the new big bad, seven chapters into the story, treated as though everybody knows him from before despite the fact that there is literally no sign or mention of him in any of the previous installments. The FO itself is a fairly straightforward continuation of the Empire, but the fact that they're led by a brand new dark side Force user akin to Darth Sidious does raise questions.

    The only type of character I would compare him to in this regard would be goons and seconds-in-command like Grievous and Phasma, or commanding officers like Hux, Tarkin or Piett. These people rarely need backstory, as they're primarily tools used to support the larger plot of the major players.
    With Dooku, we got quite a bit of context (former Jedi, Qui-Gon's master etc) mainly because there was a point to be made about the dangers of the dark side, but it did make him emotionally interesting in a way that he wouldn't have been had he just been another Sith Lord that Sidious pulled out of his sleeve (hah, imagine him literally doing that).
    Of course, the choice to have Dooku be a former Jedi was also made to make it believable that Sidious would have another fully trained apprentice so soon after Maul's defeat...

    That said, there's nothing wrong with the Snoke approach per se, but it definitely adds to the isolated feel of the trilogy in relation to the previous ones... and make no mistake, GL would have provided more context to create a smooth transition.

    This trilogy is without question a standalone sequel to GL's original saga.
     
  11. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 18, 2013
    I simply don't follow this premise you are proposing. Snoke is massively deficient narrative-wise with some character (which changes from TFA to TLJ even though they take place at the same time!) .

    Anakin's narrative and character arc is the very best, most explored and deepest of ANY character that there ever will be in Star Wars (I don't think anyone else is going to get six movies!) but if we compartmentalize that to "Anakin" then it's still the same but in 3 movies (and again I doubt we'll get anything anywhere near that again but over 3 movies it's possible if someone does a trilogy about one character).

    Does Snoke need reams of additional work to even make sense? Yes.

    Does Anakin needs anything else outside the movies? No but if there is material (and there is) then that is nice in addition but as with what we see in TCW directly from Lucas himself if that was so important then he'd have that in the movies.

    Now I understand that for a lot of people they really wanted to see the hero Anakin of the Clones Wars in the movies but we only got glimpses of that in ROTS and they wanted more but that isn't where the story was. He was a hero and that was established and we saw that. What TCW does is gives us that story which is not directly relevant to a story about his fall to the Dark Side.

    That is the thing. Snoke has been treated lesser than Tarkin, Maul, Dooku, Grievous, Jango etc relative to his station. Yet he's supposed to be Sidious level or beyond even that. Yet does he compare to Sidious of the PT? No. The argument put forward is that he is like Sidious before the PT and as the Emperor except even then we knew that was IV-VI and his story was in I-III. Snoke's story is not in I-VI unless of course he turns out to be Sidious all along.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  12. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

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    Nov 10, 2011
    At the very least, we could have gotten some insight into some unique aspects of Snoke's character just from the way he was depicted and performed, even if we never got any explicit info about his background. But no, he's just another deformed megalomaniac who corrupted a young Skywalker and now sits on a throne hatching Machiavellian schemes. He's archetypally indistinguishable from the Emperor. And so in yet another display of metafictional storytelling, Johnson acknowledges the utter uselessness and redundancy of the character and does away with him, just like any reasonable storyteller should have done way back in the pre-production process of the trilogy. And this is supposed to be brilliant for some reason. You know what would have been brilliant? Creating a compelling villain. Then Kylo killing him in the second act would have exponentially more impact and would have actually been subversive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  13. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 18, 2013
    Which falls back on JJ for making him such a nothing and passing the duties to RJ who was intent on doing nothing but Sidious minus 1000.
     
  14. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

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    Mar 10, 2005
    That's my point.
     
  15. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 9

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    May 18, 2017
    Maybe the point of having Kylo hesitant in TLJ was to have him go full on, red eyed evil in episode 9. No turning back. I expect Rey to say something like "you had your chance" and Kylo saying "I never asked for one" before their final duel. If Luke helps Rey in some way that would be a start.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  16. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Force Ghost star 6

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    Jan 23, 2011
    For me Snoke requires slight more additional information to make him for better into the narrative.

    For me Anakin requires slightly more character development to make him empathetic.

    I don't see what's so difficult about that concept? I'm not saying that Anakin's character development was as little as Snoke's.
     
  17. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

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    Nov 10, 2011
    Because we're talking about a character about whom we know virtually nothing vs. a character about whom we know more than literally any other in the series. I can re-state it yet again using yet another slightly different word arrangement if you like.
     
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  18. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Force Ghost star 6

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    Jan 23, 2011
    But I'm not contrasting their character development, I'm contrasting the narrative deficiency.
     
  19. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

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    Nov 10, 2011
    I'm having a hard time seeing how there is any narrative deficiency given the exhaustive attention that was paid to fleshing out Anakin's character in the films.
     
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  20. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Force Ghost star 6

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    Jan 23, 2011
    Because as I've previously explained, I thought there were certain inadequacies in his character development.
     
  21. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

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    Nov 10, 2011
    Like what? Allow me to quote myself:

    That's an awful lot of character development. Definitely more than any other character in the series has ever gotten. What's missing?
     
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  22. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Force Ghost star 6

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    Jan 23, 2011
    In the films we only really see Anakin in very turbulent times in his life, and, due to the problematic dialogue and direction, Anakin comes across as a bit unlikeable in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  23. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 18, 2013
    Which is of next to no importance to the narrative. I like Anakin just fine but Lucas isn't asking us to like him. He's asking us to follow his story by giving us everything we need not everything we want. A movie with Anakin during the Clone Wars as a hero wouldn't serve the story. I know it'd make some people feel better because they want to like him but this trilogy was not about having a likeable guy who suddenly out of nowhere becomes Darth Vader which was what some people apparently wanted.

    This is what underlines the pointlessness of the ST's story. They are more concerned with likeability and ignoring faults of the characters like Rey and Ren who simply make no sense because there is no clear narrative or context for anything going on.
     
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  24. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

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    Nov 10, 2011
    That's your opinion. But there was clearly lots of thought and effort put into developing Anakin's character, whether you liked the execution or not. Absolutely no thought or effort appears to have been put into Snoke's character, and this would be a bad thing even if your opinion about Anakin's development were objectively true.
     
  25. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Force Ghost star 6

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    Jan 23, 2011
    The ability to like, relate and empathise with a character is essential to the narrative effectiveness of a story.