If the Saga isn't perfect, where did it go wrong?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by GaryGygax, Nov 15, 2005.

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  1. GaryGygax

    GaryGygax Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 7, 2005
    For those fans who think the Saga is perfect, that is great! This thread is for those of us who have some problems with it as it came out. My question is, in your opinion, where did it go wrong? Where was the train derailed? I am not asking so much about scenes you might not have liked or thought could have been done better, but rather major plot points that took the story in the wrong direction.

    For me, Star Wars was as close to a perfect film as possible from this angle. While Empire Strikes Back is probably the best executed and acted of the lot, I think the story starts to go wrong here; while the "I am your father" line is great, this is where a great galactic story becomes a family story (which I, in the minority, I know, find disappointing)--it also leads to all of the "point of view" stuff which I find weak in the sequels and pathetic in the prequels. Also it is in Empire Strikes Back where the force ghost first appears physically: a can of worms that is never resolved in a saticefing way. For me also, it is here where the force becomes fantasy RPG style magic--telekensis, etc., which is somewhat disappointing. In the OT, other than Vader's hypnotic choke, Ben's powers of suggestion and Luke's good luck it is all very mysterious, culminating in Ben's "death".

    However, I still loved the story and where it was going. It was return of the Jedi where I think the train was derailed: I always hated Leia being Luke's sister, the uncreative re-hash of the Death Star and the Emperor being a force user/Sith Lord rather than a supreme bureaucrat like Tarkin, only more so.

    Largely, for all its faults, the PT had to be the way it was to justify these by then established Star Wars facts.

    What do other people think? As I said, if you find the saga perfect, I understand and respect that, but the point of this thread is to find out where people who find it flawed think it went astray.
  2. stajedi

    stajedi Jedi Youngling

    Nov 15, 2005
    The answer is Episode II
  3. DarthWolvo23

    DarthWolvo23 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 30, 2005
    although i love all the films i always think a lot of the plot points that arent really resolved in the PT are actually the fault of the OT not actually agreeing with itself all that much

    im tired but i hope u know what i mean

    PS i thought AOTC addressed a lot of issues in a satisfying way so this certainly wasnt the film where it all went wrong
  4. Carnage04

    Carnage04 Jedi Knight star 5

    Mar 8, 2005

    In a way, I agree with the original poster. Don't get me wrong, I love every movie in the saga. I don't like the PT more than the OT or the OT more than the PT. I enjoy all of the movies very much. However, as much as I love Empire, it does set the standard for how powerful the Jedi are/were/will become. ANH does show us the force as little more than some mind tricks and some good luck. From Yoda in ESB forward, it's much more like fantasy and magic. I may have liked it better had force use been a more subtle and elusive thing. Especially in the PT, the Jedi seem to have quite the grasp of the Force, yet they still don't understand it's will? Hmmmm. If they were "Less Attuned" The will of the force may hold more water.

  5. Patrick Russell

    Patrick Russell Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 9, 1998
    Where it began to go wrong, I think, was ROTJ. This was where Lucas condensed four movies worth of story down to one 2 hour film, and got into the habit of rushing his storytelling which became such a problem in the PT. I thought he made a lot of weak, lazy story choices in ROTJ (Han Solo? Who's he?) and this lackadaisical approach to storytelling became even more pronounced in the PT.

    It also marked the first real descent into the blatant kiddie-fication of the saga. There were always a few cute elements in SW like Artoo, and Yoda, but they tended to be fairly isolated and, particularly in Yoda's case, had a lot more depth beyond the surface cuteness.

    ROTJ gave us teddy bears, for cryin' out loud! Instead of the originally-intended Wookiees, no less! That's a whole different level of kiddie dreck. But even in Jabba's palace there ended up being a fair number of cute, chittery little monsters. Hell, even the Jawas were robbed of all their oily creepiness from the original movie. Instead of the eerie little pinpoint eyes from the original film, Lucas chose to give them big yellow flashlight eyes in ROTJ. Basically, they were reduced to being cute little children in robes.

    Then, there was the recycling business. Another Death Star? Come on... why? It's almost as though Lucas was already running out of ideas way back in '81 and '82. And then there was the fact that there was a boatload of recycled music in ROTJ, which irritated me to no end at the time, because as a big fan of the soundtrack albums I thought we were getting badly shortchanged in terms of new battle music. I was never sure of whether it was Lucas or Williams who made that choice, but it was a bad one.

    Now granted, I have always felt that ROTJ came out okay despite these problems, but it definitely was at least a step below SW and Empire. What it did do, I feel, was to provide us with an early indication of what was likely to go awry with the prequels when they finally got made. Everything that was a problem in ROTJ was an even bigger problem by the time TPM rolled around, and in many ways it got even worse in AOTC.
  6. soriano329

    soriano329 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jun 22, 2005
    I think you hit the nail on the head Patrick Russell (i'm not gonna copy your text, it's too long!). The Ewoks are mainly where the saga went wrong, and it became more for little kids. I believe it's the reason for Jar Jar, and as much as I may love him, he has no place in Star Wars. The Ewoks definetly screwed things up the most, and it's where the saga went wrong.
  7. WolfEgo5

    WolfEgo5 Jedi Youngling

    Jun 25, 2005
    Even though I'm a guy I would have liked to see more women in the saga. I think it would have made it more interesting. We don't really see that much from the female jedi, and at least one of them should have been a main character. And the treatment of the two main female characters, Padme and Leia, was not very fair in the movies. So many of Padme's scenes were cut. Padme died because she lost the will to live despite giving birth to twins. And Leia being Luke's sister actually hurt her character. They just said Leia has the same powers but never showed it, making it seem like out of equal twins the boy is the best hope for the galaxy.
    --Another problem I had is that it never really shows the effect of the things happening on ordinary citizens. If the saga did this more maybe we wouldn't have people keep saying "is the empire really evil?"
  8. acidfireeyes

    acidfireeyes Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 1, 2005
    I admit that maybe the Ewoks and Jar Jar don?t agree with most adults.
    However you must take into account that the Star Wars films are basically for ?little kids?.
    As proof all you have to do is consider how many Star Wars fans became fans when they were ?little kids?. The films are just so good that they can be enjoyed into adulthood. How many films can a parent sit down with there child and watch and enjoy. You both may not enjoy the same parts but you both enjoy it.
    The Ewoks and Jar Jar are for the kids and the cool stuff is for the adults. These don't make the films bad just more able to cross generations.
  9. colivo

    colivo Jedi Youngling star 3

    Dec 25, 2004
    In my opinion the saga started going wrong with ROTJ. For me, The Original Star Wars and ESB are classic movies that can stand up as classics.

    I think it was a combination of things, but the success of ESB may have been its own worst enemy. After Lucas financed ESB, and the movie succeeded, not as much financially as the original, but still the #1 movie of 1980, Lucas had us as fans.

    I think after ESB, Lucas lost alittle of his creative edge, began to make the SW less collaborated, as he always said, "Star Wars is my baby." And he began to look for a wider audience for merchandising where he tended alittle too much for the kids.

    Now, I was 5 years old when the original SW came out, and Lucas may or may not have been going for that young age of a target, though I believe he was going for the teenage/high school market. ESB is a very adult movie, it is dark, and it does have its moments of cheese and C-3PO, overall it is the least kiddy.

    ROTJ had the ewoks, TPM had Jar Jar, and now Star Wars was definitely trending younger, but how could you argue they were still the king of box office of their respective years!

    AOTC, was the first sign of Star Wars not being the 'King of the World' as it was for the first time outgrossed by another movie in its year of being released. Spiderman trounched it making 100 million more at the Box Office. Later that year, The Two Towers outgrossed. This I feel was the low point of SW, many people were unhappy with the love story, and didn't understand where this new trilogy was going. Now the counter argument is it still made 310 million dollars, that is pretty damn good! For any movie, yes, for Star Wars, no. Star Wars is always been the king, people had fear when each movie came out, for the first time, it was swallowed up like another summer blockbuster.

    ROTS, Lucas regained momentum as he went with a PG-13 rating, and went all out. Sure it still has what I call Prequel-Problems, bad acting, bad dialogue, and doesn't mesh well with OT on some plot points, but overall it was the best of the PT, and many older fans feel atleast it went out on top outgrossing every movie to date as of November.

    Now grossing aren't everything, because if you adjust for inflation, nothing comes close to the original Star Wars. But I feel the success of the saga, gave Lucas the leeway to maybe, just maybe, lose his zest for putting out the perfect movie. Is that unfair, yes, but again, this is Star Wars, we hold are movies to very high standards.

    I always look at the quote Lucas said to Kershner before filming ESB, "We have to make this movie better than the original, because if nobody likes this, then I can't make anymore Star Wars movies." Success is a double edged sword sometimes.
    Whistling Birb likes this.
  10. Binary_Sunset

    Binary_Sunset Force Ghost star 5

    Oct 28, 2000
    I agree almost 100%.

    Let me take it one step further. There is some dispute as to when exactly the "Episode IV: A New Hope" was added to the crawl. It certainly wasn't there in 1977, but whether it was first added in 1980 or 1981 or some other year, I don't know. I think the very fact of later making the original Star Wars film part of a series was a mistake. Just watch it. It is so obviously a stand-alone film. In the crawl it says that the Death Star plans can "restore freedom to the galaxy". That sounds pretty final. It doesn't say "strike a blow for freedom". It says restore freedom. At the end of the film, Luke blows up the Death Star. He restores freedom to the galaxy. That's the end of the Empire. Luke wiped it out. Just watch the medal ceremony. Does that feel like there are hordes of Star Destroyers out there coming after them? Clearly not. The Rebels won, and the Empire lost. All that's left of the Empire is Darth Vader, who is more of a salaried bounty hunter in the employ of the Empire than anything else in the original movie, so now he's out of a job.

    That's a long-winded way of saying that since the story is complete in the first movie, it was all but inevitable that the plot would go south as soon as any sequels were made.
  11. apology__accepted

    apology__accepted Jedi Youngling star 1

    Sep 6, 2005
    Don't know why anyone would have a problem with ROTJ or the Ewoks. And yes the ewoks are in the movie for a reason. If anyone watches the movie something dawns upon you. It is funny how Palpatine accuses the Jedi for being arrogant in ROTS and that is their downfall. He tells Yoda that his arrogance has blinded him. Funny that he did not listen to his own words in ROTJ, because his arrogance is exactly why the ewoks defeated him. I believe the battle on endor represents that the emperors arrogance has a chain effect all the way down to the imperial officers who are working for the empire. Once you are engaged in a battle with the rebels and the ewoks, the officers realized too late that they were a formidable opponent and got confused and ultimately flustered at the chaos of the situations. I think the ewoks take complete advantage of using the resources of their homeland and familiarity of the enviornment to even further fluster the officers. Had the emperor played his cards right and taken every precaution for the rebels not to obtain the technical read outs to the battle station their would be no way he could be defeated. I love the whole saga, I have no problems with anything from episodes 1-6, the hell with people who hate the ewoks, to me it is a stupid baseless arguement!
  12. Patrick Russell

    Patrick Russell Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 9, 1998

    [blockquote]However you must take into account that the Star Wars films are basically for ?little kids?. [/blockquote]

    Actually, no.

    The Star Wars movies BECAME for little kids, but they didn't start off that way. Originally, the Star Wars films were for "kids of all ages", and it was primarily aimed at young teens, if anything. It was only in ROTJ that Lucas first started with this misguided belief of his that he had to shove stuffed animals in kids' faces to keep them interested in his movies. I was nine when Star Wars first came out in 1977, and I sure didn't need teddy bears and poop jokes to get me into that film. Dangerous looking aliens, dogfights in space, sword fights, wisecracking space pirates... THAT was what got me hooked on Star Wars. There really wasn't any cutsie-poo crap in that original Star Wars, and as far as what vaguely cute stuff there was... well, I always dug the sandpeople a lot more than the Jawas (though they always struck me as more eerie than cute) and as far as Artoo and Threepio were concerned, they were really the least of what I was interested in when I saw that first film.

    Again, the tone of the films changed towards "aimed at very small children" in ROTJ when Lucas gave us a planet full of teddy bears. It was the first time that Lucas had really openly and blatantly catered to toddlers in the SW films, and it really was when the bloom started coming off the rose IMHO. The first two movies simply were not like that.
  13. Zombi_2_1979

    Zombi_2_1979 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 13, 2005
    I disagree about Return Of The Jedi, sure it had alot of cuteness and drivel such as these little oomp-loompa furries taking down elite squadrons of stormtroopers. In the technological-driven setting of the SW universe, how the hell did that happen?

    Really it comes down to two facts, fire the writer and director of The Phantom Menace and Attack Of The Clones.

    DARTHIRONCLAD Jedi Youngling star 3

    Apr 28, 2005
  15. Sanctuary_Moon

    Sanctuary_Moon Jedi Youngling star 3

    May 20, 2004
    Agree with what Patrick said.

    Star Wars was not exclusively aimed at the kiddie market to begin with. And with good reason - look at the reaction to TPM. The two-headed announcer, fart jokes, Boss Nass and the antics of Jar Jar couldn't be further away from the tone of ANH and ESB. When I watched that movie, I wondered if it was even part of the same series as the ones I grew up with.

    As soon as Lucas decided to target the movies primarily towards young children, he also felt the need to dabble in revisionism, which resulted in inanities like Greedo shooting first. The original scene had the atmosphere of a do-or-die shoot-out in the Wild West. The new version says "Look boys and girls, you should never hurt someone unless they are trying to hurt you". Questionable logic at best, and a botched attempt to sanitise a satisfyingly no-holds-barred scene. The addition of slapstick humour to ANH was, in my opinion, equally unwelcome and another attempt to make the movie more "kiddie-friendly". Lucas could have made the movie in a more childish tone in the first place if that was what he wanted.

    Consistency was never Lucas's strong suit of course. And true to form, he painted himself into a corner with his inability to decide who the movies were actually for. The events leading to Anakin's downfall needed, by definition, to be dark. Hence the warning that ROTS was "not for young children" - it even received a different guidance rating. Now, unless Lucas was deliberately targeting a different demographic with each movie, this approach makes no sense. Why draw the kids in with toilet humour and cartoon characters with one movie, then tell them they're not allowed to watch another? So much for "one twelve-hour movie".

    If one thing has resulted in the Saga being described as imperfect, then it has to be Lucas's changing whims. And don't forget that we probably still don't have the "final" version of the Saga - more changes are undoubtedly on the way, and who knows how it will look ten, twenty years from now?
  16. Rubberdirky

    Rubberdirky Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jan 14, 2005
    I think the way to tell 'IF' the saga isn't perfect is to watch GL. He will come out with more box sets with added this and that. Just like he said the OT wasn't perfect. Isn't that proof enough? If he isn't satisfied, why should we be. As far as the overall tone, I am filled with a love for SW. There are things we all would have done different here and there for sure. But in the end, nothing can be perfect. Our wants and desires change when we grow up and things we once liked, now start to bother us. Likewise, things that once bothered us, we now find appealing.

    That isn't the answer you were looking for most likely, but maybe it does point out the 'why'.
  17. Greedo_forever

    Greedo_forever Jedi Youngling star 3

    May 24, 2005
    People sure hate those ewoks. I was born in '81, so I was at a good age for them. I STILL like the ewoks, and I hate Jake Lloyd.

    I don't know, Jawas were pretty cutesy. Why don't people have a gripe about them?

    DARTHIRONCLAD Jedi Youngling star 3

    Apr 28, 2005
    I know I'm not supposed to say anything here but this is not the basher sanctuary and I do respect the basher sanctuary and I stay out of it.

    I do not know if Darth Vader was Luke's father in A New Hope and I really don't care. It's not reality, it's not human history, so it doesn't matter. What matters is that Owen Lars is very adamant that he (Owen) is afraid that Luke has too much of his father in him. "That's what I'm afraid of." Owen is afraid. Owen is fearful of what will happen to Luke if he leaves. Now of course, this is open to interpretation, but what happens after Luke leaves? Luke is found by his father and asked to join the dark side. So where are all these so called plot holes?

    Obi-Wan says, "he was a student of mine until he turned to evil."
    Oh my God, it's another plot hole so lets denounce Lucas.
    Anakin was still Obi-Wan's student. Anakin even still uses the title Master when addressing Obi-Wan in ROTS. Anakin was not yet a Jedi Master so he is still a student of all the Jedi Masters.

    The truth is I could pick apart these movies better than any basher because I was once a PT basher myself, however, I only bashed the PT for what I thought at the time was bad story telling because as I stated earlier I could of cared less if Leia was really Luke's sister or Vader was Luke's father. I am not lost in a state of gusher blindness.

    The truth is my favorite part of the entire saga is the first hour of A New Hope. To me, that's as good as Star Wars ever got and I knew it was as good as Star Wars was ever going to be. I did like the Mustafar duel, especially when Ewan says, "I have failed you, Anakin. I have failed you." That first hour of A New Hope was enough for me to love the saga even when I didn't like The Phantom Menace and Attack Of The Clones. Notice I used the word when, because now I think I see what Lucas was doing with TPM and AOTC, and although I would rather just watch the first half of ANH, I have come to appreciate all six movies as a whole.

    I don't care if there is bad acting, because it's Star Wars and it's a child's fairy tale, not adult drama. No matter how many of you fans want it to be adult drama it never was and will never be. These movies were always for children that's why I fell in love with the OT when I was a child.

    To a child the PT Jedi can be the heros, that's why Lucas doesn't come out and say the Jedi are corrupt. The PT was made for the adult fans like me that where the child fans of the OT, but they're also made for today's childrens. Star Wars is just a very liberal story. That's why in the past when I have had conversations with Star Wars fans that have conservative political views they become almost enraged and accuse me of being a liberal. Everything in Star Wars is cause and effect. The characters aren't coming out and telling the audience that the Jedi are corrupt.

    Many adult fans are not coming to terms with the fact that Lucas has made Anakin the victim and the Jedi are the ones who are corrupt and the Jedi corrupted Anakin. It's that simple, the Jedi are corrupt but many fans just will not accept that because the Jedi are supposed to be the heros. And I believe that's why the PT seems like such a failure.

    A New Hope can be a stand alone if you want it to be or not. There is no right or wrong answer here. The Emperor is clearly mention by General Tagge and Tarkin and he was not aboard the Death Star, he was somewhere else getting rid of the Galactic Senate because he didn't need the Senate anymore because the Death Star is finished. The Empire was not one battle station. Lucas clearly left A New Hope open for a sequel that's why Vader and the Emperor were left alive at the end, that's why Vader had a long range fighter. Notice how Vader's ship had four engines instead of just two like the standard TIE. That's why Lucas refused more money from 20th Century during the making of A New Hope and opted for sequel rights instead. When Lucas was making A New Hope, he wanted the crawl to have an episode
  19. battlewars

    battlewars Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 5, 2005
    i dont like lucas trying to explain things, like thier being two sith, (why does the emperor send vader after luke when he could be supplanted by both, why is count dooku so easily suckered?) and the reason there are force ghosts (which he really didnt explain). how did qui gon learn to keep his identity anyway, what made him special? and not really following his own story as set up in the ot, (owen having a closer relation to both obi and anakin, obi wan forgetting leia, obi wan thinking he failed training anakin in comparison to yoda) and not explaining exactly why obi went to look after luke (why does he need to be looked after and not leia?) also having obi wan explain everything to luke (which will seem incredibly redundant if you watch them in order). also one trilogy having a bright shiny look(pt) against one that is all messed up(ot). in short i wish the two trilogies flowed as one
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  20. Obi-Kris_Kenobi

    Obi-Kris_Kenobi Jedi Youngling star 3

    Sep 13, 2002
    I'll keep my answer short and simple. I think the Saga went wrong since Ep.I and the fact that Qui-Gon, NOT Obi-Wan, discovered Anakin. Anakin's discovery, training and mentorship should have been Obi-Wan's alone, with some interference from Yoda later on.
  21. Rubberdirky

    Rubberdirky Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jan 14, 2005
    Now that I think about it, i don't think we had a memorable, or epic space battle in the PT. Sure, the opening of ROTS was a massive space battle that looked awesome, but it was basically Obi and Ani flying in a straight line, almost, into the Invisible Hand. After that, there was some explosions, but no equivilant, in any PT episode, to the ROTJ final space battle.
  22. Lolkje

    Lolkje Jedi Youngling

    May 21, 2005
    Many of the points here put words to how I have felt that the saga has lost its luster. There are several things that both the EU and the Saga put emphasis on that I would have rather seen remain ambiguous.

    Material objects: I prefer to think of the Force as intertwined with mind, soul, and life. I'm glad the Kaibur (sp?) Crystal was dropped from ANH drafts because of this. However, the Crystal re-appearing in Splinter, plus the telekinesis in ESB and ROTJ, opened the door to a vast array of holochrons and other Force artifacts in the EU that get silly after a while. Why work hard and have a character-building experience to learn the Force if you can just have some adventure and excitement, find an artifact, and take a shortcut?

    Midichlorians: I prefer to think that one's Force potential is intertwined with personality traits such as perception and persistence. Personality traits can be passed on through both genetics and environment, allowing both for whole families to be more proficient with the Force, and for new individuals to find the Force because of their personality. Midichlorians disempower the serious individual from seeking the Force of their own volition, saying that you either have to be born into a good family, or hope to chance and/or the "will" of the Force that you have a decent midi count.

    Marketing: I would prefer that LucasComm (my generic term for all of the varied commercial entities related to SW) either have held more creative control over the EU, or loosen their legal stranglehold on the SW IP. In the first scenario, instead of the Saga being this amorphous thing that Lucas largely made up as he went along, then handed over to the EU authors and artists who have defined most of Jedi and Sith culture since then, Lucas could have firmly said "This is the way it is," and fans could take it or leave it and move on. In the second scenario, the EU (and perhaps the parts of the PT that were lifted from the EU) are just one possible interpretation of the SW universe as set down in the OT, and it's not illegal for fans to have websites (like this one) that circulate creative work based on their own personal interpretations and preferences. Fans are extremely fortunate that LucasComm hasn't heavily enforced its IP rights.

    On a more lighthearted note, I'm a rare person who actually doesn't mind the Ewoks as a symbol of a vibrant and organic rising culture that flies under the Emperor's despotic and mechanical "radar." The Gungans play the same role in Ep I, so I don't mind them either, but I really can't stand JarJar as an individual character.
  23. DarthWolvo23

    DarthWolvo23 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 30, 2005
  24. Lolkje

    Lolkje Jedi Youngling

    May 21, 2005
    IMHO, the story of Anakin's and the Emperor's relationships with the Jedi is a little more subtle than just the plot twist that the the Jedi are partially responsible for Anakin's fall. My theory is that there's room to have the Jedi be heroes AND have them be corrupted if the Force's omnivision of the future and places far away ISN'T infallable, but filtered through the user's mindset. Your mindset influences what you see, and your choices influence whether it comes to pass. Thusly:

    The Jedi have been the noble guardians of peace in the Galaxy for so long that they take the overall civility for granted, much like the Senate. The Jedi optimism leads to complacency which Palpatine can take advantage of. Because the Jedi see what they want to/are used to seeing, Palpatine slips under their radar until it is too late, when they choose to take drastic action and ask Anakin to spy on Palpatine (hoping that their earlier visions that Anakin might be dangerous won't come to pass). The smug Palpatine always sees what he wants to see: his triumph (which turns out to be wrong in the end). The angsty Anakin and Luke see what they fear: losing family and friends (Anakin fulfills his own vision, but Luke changes the ultimate outcome of his).

    One reason that the PT rings dully is that it doesn't take time for this kind of nuance as I perceive it.
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    DARTHCLANDESTINE Jedi Youngling star 3

    May 17, 2005
    I think the title of this thread is misleading. If something isn't perfect, it doesn't mean things have gone "wrong".

    Oh and Im so glad it was Qui Gon who discovered Anakin. [face_peace]
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