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Saga OT Fans' Reactions to the PT

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by march162015, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. march162015

    march162015 Jedi Youngling

    Mar 16, 2015
    I've noticed that most people who hate like the PT seem to be older fans. Now besides some legitimate grievances against the PT (there are some instances of HORRIFIC acting; I don't even think the writing is that bad, it's the acting), I think there are some other reasons as well.

    I think when Lucas decided to make Darth Vader Luke's father, the entire nature of the series changed. Fans who were alive to see the original release of Star Wars and Empire saw what one could describe in a simple little expression as, "The adventures of Luke, Han, and Leia." Luke was clearly the focus of the series, the hero and main character. Darth Vader was the personification of Evil, barely even a man. He was ruthless and cruel - the ultimate baddie, the ultimate antagonist. Luke and the Rebels fought against Vader and the Empire, and it was a straightforward good vs evil conflict.

    Then, when Return of the Jedi came out, all of this changed. (I think it's no surprise that many people who hate the PT think ROTJ sucked too). In ROTJ, the story became much more personal. It was about a son trying to reconnect with his father. Vader became more human, feeling regret and remorse. The bada$$ of Empire was gone. He was a contemplative and sad man. More than that, we see that he is not really all that powerful - he was nothing but a slave and pawn to the Emperor.

    I think a lot of people didn't like seeing their favorite villain turned into such a pathetic figure. And then, when Lucas decided to make the PT, it was a necessary result that Luke lost his status as the main character of the series. Anakin now is clearly the focus of the saga. His rise, fall, and redemption. Luke plays a pivotal part, but it is no longer uniquely his story, and this has aggravated a lot of fans.

    Also, the PT has continued the "humanization," if you will, of Darth Vader, showing him as a real person, who was once good but turned to evil. Older fans were outraged by the fact that Anakin was nine years old in TPM because it was so far removed from the ESB Vader. Vader's status as an iconic villain is somewhat lost, because not only was he once a good guy, he was THE good guy.

    It is my personal opinion that this is great, it makes for a more compelling character, but it has angered most fans. I think these fans are right that the PT doesn't seem to have a "classic" Star Wars feel to it. The addition of the PT changes the OT in so many ways. I think some fans wanted the PT to be a kind of "directors cut" of scenes tacked on to the OT. Imagine the OT as a novel; these fans wanted the PT to be nothing more than an appendix to the OT, providing some interesting background info but being nothing more than a supplement to the OT.

    Lucas has not followed that path. He fully intends the PT to be on an equal footing with the OT; he wants one, cohesive, 6-part saga, and he does not care if the original meaning or feeling of the OT is changed. Personally, I'm on Lucas' side. So I guess, to sum up what I'm saying is this:

    "The adventures of Luke, Han, and Leia" have become "The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Anakin Skywalker," and many fans can't stomach this.
  2. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Chosen One star 7

    Jun 8, 2006
    Interesting thoughts. I much prefer the OT and most of your reasons do not apply to me.
  3. SatineNaberrie

    SatineNaberrie Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2014
    I'm a young person(born 1992) and I like the OT era over the PT and I like Vader being Luke's father. I would prefer the father-son relationship expanded. I am not really interested in Leia or Han very much. Vader doesn't have to stay the same and I wouldn't want him too.
    Cushing's Admirer likes this.
  4. MOC Vober Dand

    MOC Vober Dand Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 6, 2004
    I have a bad feeling about this...

    There are some interesting issues raised in the OP. Could we perhaps change the title of the thread though? It's a bit of a broad, sweeping generalisation and more than just a bit inflammatory. I'm going to see how this unfolds for a bit but if it ends up as just another PT v OT slugfest I'll lock it up.
  5. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    OT generation here, and I'd say I prefer the OT but I don't hate the PT, and ROTJ is my favorite of all six.

    I like Vader as Luke's father and Leia as his sister. I was fine with Luke losing his status as a main character. I wanted to sympathize with Darth Vader and understand why he fell.

    And I did sympathize to an extent, but not to the point of understanding why he fell, and therein lies the problem I had. Plus, going off one of your ending paragraphs, I have a hard time seeing the cohesive, six-part saga if the original meaning/feeling of the OT as a whole is changed, along with rewriting many of the details.
  6. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 16, 2005
    I'm an original OT'er (college freshman when ANH came out) and Luke was my fav character (now 2nd). I loved the light, campy tone of ANH, the comraderie, the immersion in essentially an updated fairy tale in space.

    ESB: well, much as I loved the drama/characterization compared to ANH, it wasn't as much "fun," the "big 3" were separated far too much and Leia's role reduced to more of a female romantic foil for Han.

    ROTJ: 1st movie I thought was a bit too "kiddy" overall, though I've softened. I don't hate the Ewoks, either.

    TPM: LOVED it at first - but too much like a "game" and TV commercial (endless pod racing circuits, etc.). It left a bad taste in my mouth and I've never yet seen AoTC in the theater - but caught it on TV. Enjoy AoTC. LOVE LOVE ROTS.

    Movie I most rewatch: TPM. It grew on me. I prefer the PT to the OT, I think. It's close, as I like them all. Never was too fond of the change from the tale of Luke Skywalker to Anakin Skywalker, but don't hate it. Luke wasn't diminished by it (though in the upcoming movies?).

    So, yeah, I'm an older fan. I have a certain nostalgia for the OT. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the PT just as much, tonal changes or not.
  7. AndyLGR

    AndyLGR Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 1, 2014
    Very true that the thread title is just a broad generalisation. I prefer the OT over the PT, but not for the reasons that the OP wants to paint all OT fans with.
  8. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 18, 2012
    From my own OT perspective I think it has to do with
    Poor characterisations (imo, of course)..and further to that a disjoint between the characters in the OT and the PT...Vader in particular (though not for the reasons you suggest here, more to do with how ROTS betrayed Anakin becomes so enamoured of the Empire)
    Poorly considered plot; it appears to be written on the fly and requires people to act in incredibly stupid ways - which reflects on character developments. If you're going to do a complex story then....give it some decent thought beforehand...don't expect to make it up as you go along.
    Trying to fit too many ideas into too short a time. Again if you are going to limit yourself to three shortish movies then...give some thought to the spread of storyline and concepts you are going to address.
    Most of all...a religious motif which I find actually a little offensive.
  9. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    First, broad, sweeping generalizations often don't give a good discussion but I'll try.

    1) I think that the number of people that actually, really HATE the PT are not that many. Most are instead just disappointed or find them to be bad or poor films. Hate? Not so much I think. Net-speak tends to be hyperbolic and someone that just dislikes something might say he/she Hates it instead.

    2) I don't hate them or find them to be bad films, ok to pretty good.
    What I and others have an issue with is the execution more than the basic ideas.
    The story is told poorly, it isn't a poor story.

    Some examples,
    RotJ. The main reasons why this film tend to get more criticisms than the previous two, to me, has nothing to do with Vader's redemption. The Vader/Luke scenes were some of the best in the film to me.
    It is instead both execution, recycling of ideas and the occasional overload of cute and child friendly.
    Mark's performance was very good and had evolved from the two previous films but Harrison and Carrie were less than great. The former didn't want to do the film and it shows, the latter had some other problems. And the two characters weren't give all that much to do characterwise.
    Another DS, logical in some sense but it had been done before. Now don't get me wrong, the space battle is great and possibly the best in all six films to me.
    Leia becoming Luke's sister, a quick way to tie up the "other" ploth thread and neatly resolves the love triangle.
    But Leia saying that somehow she had always known wasn't the best line of dialogue.

    The PT, the basic story to me is really good. It has tons of dramatic potential as does the characters.
    But where it falls down is again execution. Characters are sometimes played bland and wooden to the point where they become boring and uninteresting. The love story feels fake and forced. Far too often characters have to become stupid in order for the plot to work. Or their actions are dictated by the plot.

    Lucas knew he was going to make three film but he didn't write all three at once. And sometimes it shows, important character come in late in the game instead of being introduced early. Ex Dooku or Griev.
    The plot is complicated but sometimes it doesn't hold up under scrutiny.

    In closing, I've seen some ask why those that dislike some aspects of the PT still talk about it. Why they don't move on?

    My answer, I still like the PT, just not as much as the OT. But more than that, I can see the potential of it. If a film is just bad in every sense, acting, directing, writing etc then I won't spend much time talking about it. But if a film has a lot of potential but doesn't quite reach that potential, then I am more interested in discussing it. What could have been done to realize the potential better? What worked, what didn't and why?
    Again this is my opinion, I am totally aware that a lot of people have fewer problems with the PT and find them great films. And that is totally fine, great, I wished I liked them as much as the OT. But I don't and neither of us is right or wrong.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
  10. Messi

    Messi Jedi Padawan star 2

    Jan 14, 2015
    I'm 32 years old and I consider myself an old fan. I have been waiting for the TPM about 5 or 6 years.

    Star Wars its a huge trademark that embrace comics, novels, action-figures, games, mugs, clocks, calendars, and any kind of stupid things, just depend what are you looking for. But above every single stupid thing, STAR WARS are MOVIES, and the PT fails in a lot of aspects in what I consider a good movie.

    A good movie must have a good script, good direction and good acting, these are the most important aspect to define or to realize a good movie. The Prequels fails in all of them.

    The PT trilogy fails in using the level of midiclhorians to explain how the force works destroying the mysthical and spiritual knowledge that we saw in the OT.
    The PT trilogy fails when the cast was not good enought in the art of acting, or they were bad directed by Lucas, or the script and the story are poors.
    These are just a few exmples.

    There are a lot of things that I really like in the PT but its not enought to consider them as a good movies.
  11. The Supreme Chancellor

    The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    The PT took a new approach to SW, established new canon, and wasn't a complete regurgitation of the OT.
  12. MOC Vober Dand

    MOC Vober Dand Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 6, 2004
    march162015 Having not had any feedback from you regarding the thread title, I'm going to go ahead and change it. If you have a better suggestion, please let me know.

    To address the OP...

    I'm an OT fan primarily and an OOT and ANH/TESB fan in particular. Do I hate the PT? No, and not even close. I actually quite like it on the whole and TPM in particular has really grown on me over the years. Did I find aspects of it somewhat disappointing? Yes. A bit confounding? Yes.

    I think it's a fair point that some OT fans were unhappy with the way in which the PT altered the OT and the saga as a whole. Personally the thing that I found most difficult to swallow in this regard was the prophecy / divine birth storyline. Not only am I not a fan of that kind of predestination in stories, but I felt that in this case it completely altered what the OT and the saga had to say thematically. With regard to the shift from the adventures of Han, Luke and Leia to the Skywalker Saga, that had happened somewhere between TESB and ROTJ so it's not about the PT altering the OT.

    With regard to Anakin / Vader, I'm not so sure that I agree with you that OT fans objected to his humanisation in the PT. His traits as a human maybe, but not the fact that he wasn't the dispassionate, faceless monster who we'd come to know in the OT. Vader became a different character to the one that we thought we'd been introduced to in ANH in 1980, so it's not really a PT v OT issue. The humanisation of him? Well, it was inevitable wasn't it? We knew that Anakin had once been a Jedi and that something had happened which had turned him to the dark side. The character in that story was never going to be out and out badass a la TESB Vader. He was always going to be 'human'. Decent but flawed was what I was expecting. The problem for me is that instead of decent but flawed I encountered a character who I found to be not very likeable and ultimately somewhat stupid.

    I would have liked to have liked Anakin and been moved by his fall. I would like to have had the PT and the OT hang together for me better as a unified saga, but the fact that those things didn't happen for me doesn't make me hate the PT. I can watch them and enjoy them for what they are.
    Darth__Lobot, Sarge, FARK2005 and 3 others like this.
  13. LZM65

    LZM65 Jedi Knight star 4

    Feb 24, 2015
    I like all of the films, but I'm more inclined toward the PT.
  14. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
    I grew up with the OT. No, I wasn't there for the original releases save for ROTJ, but I did grow up between 1982 through 1997 when the SE's came out. And for me, it didn't matter that Lucas changed them. Two years later when TPM came out, I enjoyed the film. I didn't understand what all the complaints were about and largely still don't. I enjoyed AOTC and ROTS and still find myself watching them often. The changes brought on by Lucas didn't change my opinions on who or what Vader was.. Either by seeing him humanized, or seeing him doing something deemed inhuman.

    What people didn't like about his fall was that it wasn't what they were expecting it to be, nor how far he would go to get what he wanted. Especially killing kids and attacking his wife. As a society, we are largely conditioned to reject people who behave that way. So it is hard for people to understand that he was a monster by his own hand, but that does not mean that he couldn't become a good man again and repent for his sins.
  15. thejeditraitor

    thejeditraitor Chosen One star 6

    Aug 19, 2003
    this pretty much.
  16. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 18, 2012

    Hmmm...what I didn't like about his fall was its...alacrity. It seemed rushed to me, and not convincing. I also was not sure that there was a good man that I saw that he could become again. There were moments, in ROTS, where I caught glimpses of someone I might consider a good man, but they are just that. Too fleeting.

    I think it would have worked better had Anakin been a good man who began to believe the justifications that Palpatine put his way....rather than a sort of half-hearted nod toward that (by which I mean....hardly the case at all) and a 'fooled you' last-minute trick. That last-minute 'Faustian pact' idea just doesn't work, as I see it, in explaining the Vader we see in ANH and TESB particularly. It doesn't work because it becomes apparent the minute he wakes up in the suit that he'd been done...and I just don't see how that (Anakin in a suit at the end of ROTS) becomes the Vader we see in the OT.
  17. Ord-Mantell70

    Ord-Mantell70 Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 9, 2009
    OT era fan speaking.

    The PT is a complete U-turn by many ways from the OT. Stylistically (CGI, design, Jar Jar Binks in TPM, sleek and artificial kind of feel), and regarding story themes (prophecy of the chosen one, virgin birth, midichlorians etc...). It had always been more or less envisioned that way from the beginning by Lucas (1979-1980). I guess that's what many OT fans, like me, didn"t realise.

    The "feel" like you say is way different, after seing the OT movies many times, that's for sure. The fact that they were produced 15 years after ROTJ didn't help and further increased the gap.

    I don't think it is due to the progressive humanisation of Vader from ROTJ. Such a thing was inevitable in a way. Although I agree that the iconic and fascinating character was kind of "destroyed" by the story arc devised for Anakin Skywalker (9 years old TPM, over-attachment to loved ones, mushy love story, Faustian arc). I clearly hoped for something else. It is more a matter of execution here according to me.

    I guess this is it.
    Darth__Lobot, TX-20, Sarge and 5 others like this.
  18. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Sep 2, 2012
    Grew up in the 90's and 00's but didn't see OT SE's in theaters. Prefer the OT movies but still love a lot of parts of the PT. The PT just doesn't work as well as the OT imo.
  19. Jason79

    Jason79 Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 31, 2012
    I have much more fondness for the originals having grown up with them but the prequels were alot of fun too! I remember being blown away by the new much faster lightsaber duels! Darth Maul was pretty bad ass and the martial arts flips he did during the fight were wicked! I always grin and sorta mime it when he force throws that chunk of whatever it was at the door switch to open it! So yeah i liked them.

    It just irks me how alot of purists who claim to be such fans of star wars can't mention the classic trilogy without bashing the prequels.
    Like it's some sorta confirmation of your elite fan status by trashing them and saying they suck. Just because someone was a kid when the originals came out doesn't mean they have to hate or despise the later ones. It's like they're just trying to be part of the in crowd. Know wut i mean vern?
  20. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 18, 2012
    Or...perhaps its because the issues we describe as having seen are...actually the differences we have seen. Why is there an urge to define opinions that don't match your own as being, in some way, not actual opinions?
  21. jakobitis89

    jakobitis89 Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 27, 2015
    The two trilogies are basically entirely separate in terms of how they were made and for who. The OT was kind of cobbled together, there were rewrites of rewrites, Lucas and the other writers changed their mind on plot points, sometimes they had their minds changed for them when the vision just couldn't be made to work onscreen with the technology of the time. And this is part of it's charm I feel, the story evolves alongside the characters, Hamill in particular grows as an actor as the films go on, Vader goes from 'menacing dude, cool armour' to an actually compelling character in his own right, the story evolves from a pretty standard 'hero's journey' of one farmhand to a contemplation of good and evil.

    The Prequels on the other hand were made with much better technology and planned out to fit alongside one another and also the story of the OT - a lot of plot points were not about where we the fans and they the characters were going - we already knew that - but exactly how we got there. In terms of the running story it was a lot more about the epic plot of the Sith threat and the fall of democracy than it was about any one individual character; even today there are debates about who the main character actually is/was. At the same time however the films were also intended to be the first step into Star Wars on the big screen for a new generation of fans (like myself, aged 10 when TPM came out and already a fan having seen the OT so many times the videos had been worn out.) while the OT never had that kind of generational balancing act to try and play.

    They are basically different types of story and different kinds of film that happen to be set in the same galaxy and as part of an overall story bigger than either trilogy on its own. You don't NEED the prequel trilogy for the originals to make sense (hence it taking a while to get around to them) but equally you don't NEED the original trilogy to cap off the prequels. They reach a natural but depressing ending of their own (the baddies win... but Obi-Wan and Yoda fight on.) It's the fans of either who try to make one CLEARLY and INARGUABLY more important or valuable than the other that cause problems for the vast majority who whilst we may have a personal preference we are well aware that both are in their way extremely fine examples of film making, and that it's quite alright to like both.
    VMeran, Andy Wylde, Jango723 and 3 others like this.
  22. only one kenobi

    only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 18, 2012

    I agree with a great deal that you say here. The only thing I would argue with is... I don't think the PT is a particularly fine example of film making. I think narratively it is poorly held together and requires people to behave either stupidly and/or uncharacteristically to move it along.

    Now, that is only my opinion, but it is my opinion...and it is not through some sort of 'blindness' that I have that opinion. I say it exactly as I see it, not through some sort of desire to define it that way - whatever the motivation for that is supposed to be (other know, actually preferring one set of movies over the other)
  23. jakobitis89

    jakobitis89 Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 27, 2015
    Well, it has it's weaknesses, beyond question. And ask three people about the acting etc and you'll get four opinions, which is natural for anything that engenders such passions in fans. For me, the strengths of Lucas attempting to tell the one story spanning decades over three films is admirable; there is a lot to admire and enjoy even if it's not perfect. And of course there are those who would say that there are plenty of problems with the OT too - quite correctly.

    The real point is that as far as I can tell, the vast majority of fans seem to enjoy both the OT and the PT on their own merits - acknowledging there are strengths and weaknesses to both, and perhaps preferring one to the other, as is well within their rights. Personally due to my age I will always have a more personal connection to the PT than ever to the OT, for example. The rabid haters and ****-stirrers from both factions are the ones who make the loudest noise and cause all the fights but really, save for those few morons we all get along pretty well... and that's exactly how it should be.
  24. Darkslayer

    Darkslayer #1 Sabine Wren Fan star 7

    Mar 26, 2013
    Could you explain this one for me please? :)
  25. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 4, 2012
    I very much agree.
    What I think draws some ire from those that prefer the OT is the argument "What people didn't like about his fall was that it wasn't what they were expecting it to be, nor how far he would go to get what he wanted."
    It tries to dismiss the opinion of those that have problems with the PT as just "You only dislike it because it wasn't what you thought it would be."

    This argument is both bad and also quite rude. It tries to invalidate the opinions of a lot of people.
    People should be allowed to say they find the quality of a film lacking and not have that dismissed as "You only dislike it because it was different from what you wanted."

    The reverse of this, which I have also seen, is "People that like the PT are blind Lucas fanboys that will love anything with the SW label on it." This is equally bad and rude.

    Skyfall wasn't at all what I thought it would be but I enjoyed it a lot.
    Stardust was totally different from what I thought about it and I loved it.
    Transformers 2 was exactly what I thought it would be and I found it to be terrible.

    I've said this before, this whole putting labels on people never leads to a good and interesting discussion. This only polarizes the fan base to the point where they declare war on each other and confuse anyone in the middle from being the enemy.

    In closing, things are never as easy as this. If something is unexpected that won't make it good or bad. The quality is what determines if something is good or bad.

    I dislike the prophecy plot in the PT. Not because it was different but because it felt rushed, under developed, put there just to make the film more "epic" and the films didn't do anything interesting with the concept.
    I expected there to be political plotting in the PT and was actually looking forward to that.
    But I found most of it lacking because the motivations were again under explained and things just happened because the plot demanded it. And characters frequently had to become dumb in order for the plot to work.
    If someone loves the PT then great, I am happy for you and I would not question or dismiss that opinion. I only ask that those that have issues with the PT are given the same respect.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface