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Discussions Official Disney/EU discussion thread.

Discussion in 'EU Community' started by Guinastasia, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. starbuck_archer

    starbuck_archer Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2019
    If Lucas thinks Star Wars was about Vietnam, he is woefully ignorant on the Vietnam War or the Nixon administration (and he was alive for it!). The North Vietnamese regime was no innocent rebellion fighting "evil U.S. imperialism": it was a satrapy of the Soviet Union, committing daily war crimes against "enemies of the proletariat." If Star War was about Vietnam, them the Galactic Empire is the Soviet Union, the rebels are various Balkan, Caucasian and Baltic states who didn't want to be part of the Hammer and Sickle, and the United States was the "Republic" supporting various rebel groups fighting their galactic adversary. At no point when watching Star Wars do I think "wow, that has something very wise to say about Vietnam!" Whereas there is a Trek episode that directly addresses the Vietnam War and actually takes a position supporting military action in SE Asia.

    Roddenbery is also talking about the OT (he was dead by the time of the PT) and the 2005 article mostly references the PT and all the silly "Bush is the Emperor" messages. Star Wars is apolitical (unless the year is 1940 and Nazism is still vogue), and when it gets political we usually are blessed with some of the worst entries of the series. Other media (such as Trek) does social commentary far better, and not many 10 year old kids seeing "Star Wars" for the first time care about the politics of Vietnam (contrast this to Trek, which has inspired the careers of many real astronauts and scientists).
     
  2. Outsourced

    Outsourced Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2017
    Ah, OK. So you're just gonna ignore the creator's intent, the best evidence we could have when trying to figure out deeper meanings in fiction, citing... someone who had no involvement in the series. Great. Gotcha. Good. I don't have to waste my time in this discussion anymore.
     
  3. starbuck_archer

    starbuck_archer Jedi Padawan star 1

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    Jul 23, 2019
    So you're going to ignore how likely the majority of fans, and people actually doing real political message-fiction, think of a creative work? If we put "Star Wars: ANH" next to "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield", one clearly has a political message. The other doesn't, and clearly one had a topical political message and the other was about space wizards. George's word is not godlike, particularly given the mess he made of his own PT.
     
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  4. Outsourced

    Outsourced Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 10, 2017
    Yup. Because, in this specific instance, it matters more what the creator has to say about it than what some other schmucks have to say. Because we're getting into 'authorial intent' grounds. And Lucas, point blank, says he intended for Star Wars to be political. Open and shut. Case closed.
     
  5. starbuck_archer

    starbuck_archer Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Except, accepting statements blindly with no context is intellectually bankrupt and doesn't prove your case. In none of the old interviews of George (dating back to the Leonard Malton interviews) do I recall George making political statements about Star Wars. After years of reading the "Star Wars Insider" in the 90s I don't recall politics being a "Star Wars" thing (even while watching the "Trek" of the time, which had the first on screen same sex kiss) or any Lucas interview before the 90s that talks about how the OT was meant to "political" aside from a few odd letters to the editor about the Ewoks being the Viet Cong. Star Wars is not the political message fic franchise, that is Trek. A huge portion of Trek is devoted to diversity and tolerance, whereas Star Wars is about having fun. The inspiration for "Star Wars" was not politics: Lucas himself credited the Hidden Fortress and the SciFi serials of his childhood. It isn't until over 20 years later that Lucas started making overtly political statements during a politically divisive presidency.

    Accepting statements blindly with no context or discussion is how tyrannies rise.

    EDIT: I actually went and looked at some of the things George was saying while the OT was coming out.
    "What I attempted was science fiction without the science. I wanted an engaging Saturday matinee movie, but not camp or parody. And not a heavy intellectual trip like ‘2001.’ Think of this as ‘The Sting’ in outer space.”

    “I wanted a contemporary version of the myth and the fairy tale. Storytelling has always been about the faraway. The Victorian era had the exotic East. In early America, there was the lure of the West. It was savage. Until about 20 years ago we believed we could go to Treasure Island."

    “There’s a whole generation today with a great need for fantasy. The Lone Ranger and Long John Silver. ‘Star Wars’ is hopefully a feeble attempt to make up for that lack, without goriness or violence."

    ‘THX’ was my 20-year-old consciousness; I used my head as a filmmaker. ‘Graffiti’ was me at 16 using my heart. This movie was using my hands, at 12."

    I think George changed his mind in 2005 about what Star Wars was.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
  6. Outsourced

    Outsourced Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2017
    Or.

    You don't want to accept that a thing you like has, and has always had, embedded politics that you disagree with.

    I'll go with the latter.
     
  7. starbuck_archer

    starbuck_archer Jedi Padawan star 1

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    Jul 23, 2019
    Or, George changed his mind, and there is proof of that. Clearly, George was saying something different about what Star Wars was in the late 70 and early 80s vs 2005. None of those statements in the interview talk about how political star wars is. In fact, Lucas alludes to the opposite by distancing his film from 2001.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
  8. Outsourced

    Outsourced Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 10, 2017
    If you can find a source for that, be my guest. Otherwise, well, we're back to the second option.
     
  9. starbuck_archer

    starbuck_archer Jedi Padawan star 1

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    Jul 23, 2019
    @Outsourced It was in an edit to a previous post:

    EDIT: I actually went and looked at some of the things George was saying while the OT was coming out.
    "What I attempted was science fiction without the science. I wanted an engaging Saturday matinee movie, but not camp or parody. And not a heavy intellectual trip like ‘2001.’ Think of this as ‘The Sting’ in outer space.”

    “I wanted a contemporary version of the myth and the fairy tale. Storytelling has always been about the faraway. The Victorian era had the exotic East. In early America, there was the lure of the West. It was savage. Until about 20 years ago we believed we could go to Treasure Island."

    “There’s a whole generation today with a great need for fantasy. The Lone Ranger and Long John Silver. ‘Star Wars’ is hopefully a feeble attempt to make up for that lack, without goriness or violence."

    ‘THX’ was my 20-year-old consciousness; I used my head as a filmmaker. ‘Graffiti’ was me at 16 using my heart. This movie was using my hands, at 12."

    I think George changed his mind in 2005 about what Star Wars was.
     
  10. Outsourced

    Outsourced Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 10, 2017
    Alright, that's fair. I can at least see where you're coming from.

    Buuuuuuut I'd counter that things can mean more than one thing. I mean, some of the absolute best works of fiction have multiple layers of meaning that can be peeled back. Is it impossible that Lucas had both in mind when creating the series?
     
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  11. Darth Nobunaga

    Darth Nobunaga Jedi Master star 2

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    Jun 1, 2018
    This is a very true statement. Even in an ideal world where meddling producers and Hollywood's most imbecilic creatives hindering the adaptation was not a problem, trying to condense NJO into the film format, let alone a trilogy of trilogies, would be disastrous. Even putting aside the length of the story, the Yuuzhan Vong Crusade is waged for far too long even in-universe for that to be a possibility. If one were to attempt to condense the events of the story into the movies, it would mean making diluted versions of the main books (Vector Prime, Balance Point, Star By Star, etc.), and doing away completely with the in-between entries like Traitor or the Edge of Victory Duology....and anyone familiar with the character development and world-building in those novels is well aware what an unthinkable omission that would be.

    The only feasible way to do it would be in a TV Miniseries format, like that of Game of Thrones or Daredevil, which host episodes that are practically movie-length, and aired on a specialty channel that hosts such content like Starz or HBO Max (also to account for the content). But that kind of content releases was a staggering unlikelihood under the old regime of LucasFilm, and virtually unthinkable under the new one. They won't even let something as high-stakes, mature or bleak as NJO exist in the current books, let alone in a tangible format like TV.

    This is an apt assessment. The Yuuzhan Vong are an entity that thematically represent the dangers of religious fanaticism, something that you can bet any number of religious groups in the world would whine and misconstrue as representative of their religion. Some circle of thin-skinned moral busy-bodies would look at the Vong and shriek about how it's some form of degradation of an existing religion, or even some form of cultural insensitivity (although I can't imagine what sensibile religion in this day and age would find common ground with a vicious cult that performs self-flagellation and literal human sacrifices to appease multiple deities, but you can never underestimate the lengths people will go to draw laughable parallels with things that exist in real life in a transparent showcase of wanting to be offended). And @Darth Invictus very astutely mentions how risk-averse and terrified of controversy Disney is. One look at the kind of pedantic, nonsensical revisions they've made for their live-action remakes of older animated films, on top of the alterations they've made to films like Doctor Strange and even TROS to placate international audiences, is proof that they value guaranteed controversy-free profit over creative integrity.

    The EU, and especially NJO, was never about that. It was about telling stories without treading as suffocatingly-safe as the current regime does. It was about taking the narrative to new places, even if that meant brutally killing beloved characters, establishing unapologetically mountainous amounts of world-building and lore, relying on concepts outside the SW norm, exposing the audience to unpleasant scenarios and then salting the wound with soul-crushingly depressing instances, and confronting a very ugly and very real part of human behavior that has maintained a presence throughout several conflicts in human history, particularly religious warfare. By implementing those things, by thinking outside of the box and pushing forward without the fear of offending anyone or straying outside of the SW's fuzzy nostalgic parameters, NJO has aged incredibly well, and has maintained a sense of novelty and creativity because of it. In contrast to the kind of play-it-safe, milquetoast non-gambles that comprise of modern blockbusters, which age like milk, and vanish into the void of obscurity after only a few years.
     
  12. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    I'd say give me moments, like Leia's SBS speech (Okay, can't be this one but what if Carrie Fisher was able to record that speech?), Han and Leia meeting Boba Fett in TUF, Han and Leia returning to Mon Cal, Pellaeon's "The Empire Will Always Strike Back" moment, Ackbar is Back!, the lights on Coruscant going out, Luke's thought's on Chewie's death in the Chewbacca comic, And more.
    Full on movie, tv adaptations will never happen. Would love it, but not realistically feasible.
    Would love a game though.
     
  13. starbuck_archer

    starbuck_archer Jedi Padawan star 1

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    Jul 23, 2019
    @Darth Nobunaga You are spot on, and I recall Vector Prime even started with Leia and the Mediator (under the unimaginative and low-energy Commander Ackdool) trying to diffuse a volatile diplomatic situation in a twin-planet system with Nom Anor fanning the flames of religious fanaticism. Suddenly, her careful diplomatic efforts are interrupted by a "cowboy Jedi" named Wruth Skidder (and Leia didn't need to slap Skidder, either).
     
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  14. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Also think of the Peace Brigade.

    Does anyone sincerely believe that they wouldn't be interpreted as a negative allegory or razor thin political screed against certain political factions, ideologies and organizations?

    They are natives who align with alien invaders intent on destroying the native civilization. For what are generally self interested or outright criminal reasons. Either that or they are incredibly naïve and believe the Vong mean peace, and not domination. Portraying them as either criminal drug addicts, self interested quislings, or naïve but also treasonous bleeding hearts would offend a lot of people, or people would say it was the aim to attack anyone who might be identified along such in the real world.

    People would interpret that, especially in today's world as having a definite political bent.

    And no way would Disney want to do that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
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  15. Reepicheep775

    Reepicheep775 Jedi Knight star 2

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    Jul 27, 2019
    The funny thing about saying that the NJO is too dark for Disney is that, although, yes, the NJO is darker in tone, I find the ST way more depressing.
     
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  16. Darth Nobunaga

    Darth Nobunaga Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Probably because the ST lacks something that NJO had in spades: however dark or bleak NJO got, there were pockets of hopeful, endearing moments between the Solo family to counter the overarching bleakness that was enveloping the stakes and tone of the story. Remember how the kids would try to banter and make light of a bad situation? Remember how Leia and Han rekindle their relationship after the strain of Chewbacca's loss? Remember Anakin's heartfelt reunion with Tahiri? Remember how Han is hellbent on not letting Anakin go on the crazy mission to Myrkr, how he has a fretting and anxious argument with him about not going? Remember the blossoming romance between Jaina and Jag during the Borleias battle? Remember how overjoyed and tearfully-happy everyone is when they find out Jacen's still alive, after being presumed dead in the wake of the Myrkr battle? We spent time with these characters, watched them grow together, suffer together, cry together, rise to the call of battle together...so that even in a war as harsh and emotionally-straining to the reader as NJO's Vong Crusade, those little glimmers of emotional relief feel earned, and necessary.

    You don't have that with the ST movies, because not only do the main characters spend virtually no time together to warrant those kind of powerful moments (and even when they do in TROS, they're still not believable), but not even the original characters from the previous films are allowed to spend time together. I don't care about anyone in these new movies, young or old, because the films have done nothing to make me care about them. I literally have about as much investment in Rey and Co. as I do in the vapid teenage campers waiting to be hacked to bits in the Friday The 13th movies, because they're about as emotionally fleshed out and have about as many meaningful relationships.

    If the ST is depressing, it's because it is so without the relief or the character moments to catch the audience. NJO, in spite of all accusations of being "grimdark" and "not Star Wars-y" enough, had those moments, and with characters that made them work.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2020
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  17. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Aug 8, 2016
    The grimdark is balanced and actually made more effective because one cared about the characters.

    I very fondly remember the scene where Luke greets Jacen and hugs him, "my boy, my boy", its so genuine and affectionate and affecting in a way nothing the ST did ever matched.

    There is a ray of hope, and a earn your happy ending element in the NJO, it isn't unrelenting darkness and defeat, and it certainly isn't Warhammer 40K.

    The ST failed to make audiences care about the new leads and also didn't allow the OT cast to spend much if any time together.
     
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  18. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    May 11, 2016
    There are actually quite a lot of hopefull moments like that in several 40k novels...
     
  19. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Aug 8, 2016
    Ah but the theme of Warhammer 40K is raging against the dying of the light. The victory of chaos/the tyranids/orks/xenos is inevitable. But there is courage and honor in fighting for every moment and every second we have left.

    In the NJO-victory is to be attained, not given up in return for heroic defeatism/
     
  20. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    May 11, 2016
    Well I think the main reason for that is that 40k is a game universere generally meant to last, it can´t really end without makeing like 90 percent of minatures worthless. Each faction has its fans and people rooting for it, and so each get victories in the lore. But that also makes the victories the character you root for more genuine. Cause in SW, especially ledgends its basically always "the big three always win". In 40k yeah you have characters that are save because they have models but even they can loose sometimes and there is usually just one of them, if at all, in the stories.
     
  21. Outsourced

    Outsourced Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 10, 2017
    I didn't really like the NJO very much. Glad it wasn't adapted.
     
  22. Tython Awakening

    Tython Awakening Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Oct 12, 2017
    George seemed to invent new and interesting parallels for his interviews. In one interview, he was saying SW is The Sting in outerspace. In another interview, he was comparing SW to Lone Ranger and Long John Silver. George splintered and confused his audience this way. All of these parallels he invented for his interviews weighed the films down with new baggage.

    We went through George's Flash Gordon period (Saturday matinee). Then there's a Star Wars v. Battlestar Galactica period. Then there's his Star Trek period (technical journals). Then there's his Lone Ranger period (star Wars is a western). Then there's a Long John Silver period somewhere. Then there's the period where George integrated SW with the philosophies of Joseph Campbell.

    These interview anecdotes became a distraction from telling a cohesive saga. He had an audience eager, to the point of biting their nails, for new films in the early 90s but it took a decade to get there. Over the 90s what did we get in terms of new films besides Phantom Menace? We got the Original One Last Time and then three Special Editions. The saga development in the 90s happened with the books and comics and video games.

    The comics and novels carried Star Wars forward for almost the entire 1990s. There were long periods where George had very little created in terms of new saga content. It seems like George should have been spending his time explaining to his audience what the Journal of the Whills was at least by the mid-1980s. He might as well have explained why SW is set "A Long Time Ago, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away." But he didn't. George tantalized us along the way with buried tidbits here and there but never the frank, honest explanation he seemed to be building up to early on.

    George gave up, retired, and now SW has a new owner. We may never see George's "Long John Silver period" for SW. But for the saga elements that truly hold up his creation, like "Long Time Ago, Galaxy Far, Far Away," George really had no explanation his entire active career. The fairy tale explanation and myth explanation are a cover story to me. The truth of what George intended for SW lies buried inside of his 40-year-old mind. This is the George many of us remember from the 70s and 80s. But, it is not the stodgy, corporate George of the 1990s onwards. It seems like the stodgy, corporate George of the 90s, had a problem reaching the younger George that created SW.

    New interviews with George simply create new parallels.

     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  23. Darth Invictus

    Darth Invictus Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Aug 8, 2016
    I think the issue is that George never had set ideas as to a lot of things SW related, his conceptions were always changing and that is expressed in his interviews.
     
  24. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

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    Nov 15, 2004
    Which is just as much a problem with the ST, arguably.
     
  25. Tython Awakening

    Tython Awakening Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Oct 12, 2017
    But then George mythologized the SW films by making ANH the fourth episode in the Middle Act trilogy. Its seems that George had two "Modes of Operating" going on when it came to talking about his plans for SW films. Grandiosity eventually gave way to entrenched commercialism.

    First, there is the George who was slowly unveiling his film saga that had been in planning since the early 70s (starting right after the release of THX in theaters in 1971). This George would like his audience to believe everything new in the SW was something he planned in the deep, dark 1970s. This is a George that perhaps believes the SW saga to be an imprint in the deep recesses of his mind, slowly manifesting from his dreams on to the paper story treatment before him.

    Second, there was the George who was constantly revising his plans for the SW films. This George viewed his films as if he was a member of the audience rather than the filmmaker responsible for the films. This George was along for the ride just like his audience were. This second George would have preferred his audience to forget that the first George existed. In time, the second George took over and defeated the first George.

    The first George set boundaries where the peripheral material could go (Expanded Universe, 'Based on Characters and Situations Created by George Lucas") so that it would not interfere with his 'grand vision' for where new SW films would go.

    Meanwhile, the second George became exhausted from all that scheming and settled in to become an audience member of his own creation. This second George is the one that came out during interviews. This George portrayed himself as a bit stumbling and confused over his film creations and the audience reaction.

    In my opinion, the second George is dishonest, compromising, prone to gaffs, and betrayed the original grandiosity of his creation. Every now and then I see a light shining through the politics of these films. I am interested in the first George and not the second George. The second George is a distraction.

    I believe the first George had something great and profound to say about the human condition, locked to planet Earth, with a mysterious galaxy and universe of potentials out there waiting to be discovered. It is a shame that we lost the first George to last-minute notions that crept in like "kids film," "fairy-tale," "High noon Western Shoot-out," "cops and robbers." "Long John Silver" is a new one to me. These are diversions and distractions compared to the grandiosity of George's original ideas (if he could only get it all on screen).

    The artists in film, television, and music who built successful careers and persisted from the late-1960s through to 1980s so deeply entrenched their forms of artistic expression that the original, honest inertia of their work is lost in the commercialism and industry that was built up in the 80s. George fits the bill as one of these handful of artists who transcended their mediums. When George started erecting barriers for where SW would go, that is when the audience lost out big time. The financial rewards were greater for settling SW into the ho-hum tedium of the trilogy format Predictable, Predictable, and Predictable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
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