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Star Wars Original Series - My One Critique

Posted 11 Months ago by Weird Occurance

A lot of people consider the original series to be a gem, and I see why. They revolutionized the genre and created tropes and contributions to pop culture that'd be around forever.

My only criticism with this series is that I think Vader should've started having his redemption arc near the end of ESB instead of RotJ, and spent most of RotJ struggling with his Sith identity, until ultimately taking his stand.

I guess I just felt it would be better for character building, but this may be more of a modern character building arc that wasn't as prevalent back when the original series was written / made.

As a further complaint, I don't feel like Lucas had any idea what he was doing when he made the Prequel Series because the Anakin from the prequel series doesn't seem like he could turn into Vader; the motivation just didn't seem there, especially when you consider the other shows and lore in the series, like the Clone Wars series. Sure, he always had moments of being... not so jedi-like, but evil sith Darth Vader because of a broken heart seems like a stretch.

I'm not even touching the recent trilogy with a 10 foot pole, not even if you ask me to lol

I imagine this might be a bit controversial, but what are your thoughts?
What's your favorite movies in the Star Wars series? Or favorite tv series?
How big are you on the lore?

¤¤♅êîrÐ Øccu®@n瀤¤

There are 8 Replies


I guess I just felt it would be better for character building, but this may be more of a modern character building arc that wasn't as prevalent back when the original series was written / made.


I really go back and forth on how much George Lucas had ever actually planned of that original series. When you go and watch those films, it *really* feels like he's making it all up as he goes along. That's why he has to retroactively spin Obi-Wan's comments about Vader betraying and killing Luke's father. That's also why you have the seeds of a Luke/Leia romance planted in that first movie, then sort of abandoned in the second.

On the *other* hand, he did name the character Darth Vader, a misspelling of the German word for father. With Lucas, I feel like it's so hard to tell what is intentional and what is not. (I mean, that first movie is literally made by the editing. Honestly think Marcia Lou deserves a li'l more credit for the success of that film than George Lucas. Almost none of it works without her editing. And especially seeing other George Lucas-directed films really highlights his inconsistencies and flaws as a director.)

But I think it's also worth keeping in mind that Lucas crafted that original trilogy to play like the sci-fi fantasy serials he loved as a kid, and those weren't exactly beacons of strong character arcs. Again, it's hard to tell what is intentional and what is not. Was Vader's arc not depicted well on screen because Lucas isn't a great screenwriter? Or was it that he was imitating the ways these things unfolded in things like old Buck Rogers serials, in which case he was accurately mirroring those?

As a further complaint, I don't feel like Lucas had any idea what he was doing when he made the Prequel Series because the Anakin from the prequel series doesn't seem like he could turn into Vader;


Oh no doubt. What's sort of interesting though is that even though those prequels were nominally meant to be "the Anakin story" in greater detail, Lucas seems *substantially* more interested in using the world of Star Wars for allegorical effect. For the love of god, he *starts* the trilogy with talks of trade negotiations and blockades!

There is some good stuff in the prequels (and I think Lucas does a pretty good job actually breaking down the myth of the Jedi and how they...kinda suck, actually...) And I think he does a decent job depicting how manipulative people ultimately are toward Anakin. That he isn't just the product of Palpatine, but also the antiquated and frankly kind of cold rules of the Jedi Order who weirdly view love as kinda bad for them for some dumb reason.

But yeah, that similarly goes from like, 10 to 100 in an instant.

I'm not even touching the recent trilogy with a 10 foot pole, not even if you ask me to lol


We've talked the new trilogy to death, obviously, but the one thing I'll say is that the new Star Wars movies are infinitely more cinematically interesting. Say whatever you want about the plot or the characters or the "lore" of these movies; there has been something kinda neat about watching more cinematically-minded and gifted directors being able to do visually interesting and engaging things that Lucas was never really known for. Not that Lucas was *bad,* but he was a very simple man when it came to thinks like shot composition, framing, and camera movement.


I have the somewhat controversial take that "A New Hope" is the only Star Wars movie that's itself a "good movie." And that everything else is judged primarily on whether or not it is a good "Star Wars movie." So even though I love Empire Strikes Back and The Last Jedi, I think they're good only in the context of Star Wars. Whereas that first film I think is good in the context of just cinema. If that makes any sense.

And, not starting anything, but I don't reeeeally care about "lore" in general.

11 Months ago
Jet Presto

I really go back and forth on how much George Lucas had ever actually planned of that original series. When you go and watch those films, it *really* feels like he's making it all up as he goes along. That's why he has to retroactively spin Obi-Wan's comments about Vader betraying and killing Luke's father. That's also why you have the seeds of a Luke/Leia romance planted in that first movie, then sort of abandoned in the second.


I heard from a potentially unreliable source that A New Hope was originally just "Star Wars" and didn't have a name attached to it. It was planned to be a standalone thing. So in that movie, having a Luke/Leia romance and Darth Vader (yes, I know, Dark Father) as a standalone thing to prompt intrigue seems totally... sensible and self-contained. Maybe he had a plan for Vader being Luke's father from the start, but didn't know if he wanted to confirm it or not within the story or try to make a series of it one day or what.

But it does feel like a lot was retconned / fixed as he went, leading me to largely agree that a lot of it was made up as he went along. But, what do I know lol

(I mean, that first movie is literally made by the editing. Honestly think Marcia Lou deserves a li'l more credit for the success of that film than George Lucas. Almost none of it works without her editing. And especially seeing other George Lucas-directed films really highlights his inconsistencies and flaws as a director.)


Oh *agree*! But that's part of what I meant by Star Wars being super revolutionary, even in the editing and effects department. My god these movies were appealing - a good score, good effects, good choreography throughout the series, and so on. It's impressive.

But I think it's also worth keeping in mind that Lucas crafted that original trilogy to play like the sci-fi fantasy serials he loved as a kid, and those weren't exactly beacons of strong character arcs. Again, it's hard to tell what is intentional and what is not. Was Vader's arc not depicted well on screen because Lucas isn't a great screenwriter? Or was it that he was imitating the ways these things unfolded in things like old Buck Rogers serials, in which case he was accurately mirroring those?


Right! Like I said, I wasn't sure if it was a matter of writing or just how things were back then. I didn't realize he was trying to "imitate" serials he was into as a kid. That's fascinating backstory and I'd love to learn more about this. I also think George Lucas is just, not a great writer. I mean, the third prequel movie he told fans not to bring their kids to because the fight on Mustafar would be too intense for them... which just... lol

Oh no doubt. What's sort of interesting though is that even though those prequels were nominally meant to be "the Anakin story" in greater detail, Lucas seems *substantially* more interested in using the world of Star Wars for allegorical effect. For the love of god, he *starts* the trilogy with talks of trade negotiations and blockades!


Right! This always conflicted me. I, personally, found the Anakin story to be far more interesting than the politics of the movies, which, I generally find dry and hard to follow in most media. I thought it was trying to cram a lot of information into the story, though. I like how Anakin tied into all of it through his relationship with Padme, but it still felt like it was trying to be a bit too ambitious.

There is some good stuff in the prequels (and I think Lucas does a pretty good job actually breaking down the myth of the Jedi and how they...kinda suck, actually...)


This I agree with. I always like when the story is flipped and the good guys are actually not-so-great... for reasons of being manipulative, or arrogant, or whatever. And I think this theme stayed with the series for a while. I thought it was clever, and I'll say I can see why Anakin was so torn and struggling and how a little bit of empathy from the "good guys" would've changed everything. But it just seems... so extreme that he went *that far* by the end.

But it's normal for people to say the prequel series sucks for any number of reasons. All this has probably been said before a billion times.

We've talked the new trilogy to death, obviously, but the one thing I'll say is that the new Star Wars movies are infinitely more cinematically interesting. Say whatever you want about the plot or the characters or the "lore" of these movies; there has been something kinda neat about watching more cinematically-minded and gifted directors being able to do visually interesting and engaging things that Lucas was never really known for. Not that Lucas was *bad,* but he was a very simple man when it came to thinks like shot composition, framing, and camera movement.


Agree with this completely, too. The new trilogy does look great. It's so impressive that it really makes you realize how far this series can go, what it can look like, how it can *feel*. It's pretty amazing. I didn't like the new trilogy for story, character, and plot reasons - and found RoS to be... shameful and frustrating in every way, to the point of being almost comical at times, but yes, the movies are visually and musically stunning. I appreciate every single set and most of the takes are great.

I have the somewhat controversial take that "A New Hope" is the only Star Wars movie that's itself a "good movie." And that everything else is judged primarily on whether or not it is a good "Star Wars movie." So even though I love Empire Strikes Back and The Last Jedi, I think they're good only in the context of Star Wars. Whereas that first film I think is good in the context of just cinema. If that makes any sense.


Makes perfect sense. I still don't know what my favorite is. I think ANH was ruined for me because I watched it, then TFA before getting into the rest of the series and was like ":X They repackaged the first movie?" Technically, that's more of a flaw with TFA and its creativity, so I can't fault ANH for this. I do think ANH started the trend and the journey and was so great by cinematic standards that it was what opened the doors for the series to take off. That takes a lot for a series to establish itself with one movie that was honestly new and risky. Impressive, to say the least, I'll give it that. ESB is a bit overrated in my opinion. It took time to grow on me. I think I would've liked it more with my one critique mentioned in my OP, but I just can't say which movie in the series is my favorite. Maybe ESB? Maybe ANH? I'd really have to think about it.

And, not starting anything, but I don't reeeeally care about "lore" in general.


That's fair. I can appreciate the complexity of it, and hate that Luke didn't feel like Luke in TLJ, but I know very little about the lore. I think I just care more about blatant retcons lol

¤¤♅êîrÐ Øccu®@n瀤¤

11 Months ago
Weird Occurance

As a further complaint, I don't feel like Lucas had any idea what he was doing when he made the Prequel Series because the Anakin from the prequel series doesn't seem like he could turn into Vader; the motivation just didn't seem there


The traumatic death of his mother sets up what I think is more than enough psychological precedent for him to be triggered by the idea of losing Padme. I think it would have been better if he experienced that earlier in life, when he had no power, because that would set up further insecurity that would later turn into power-mongering. As it is, I think the worst part of his development is the massive disconnect between tiny larvae Anakin and snarky adult Anakin between movies. If they knew they were going to do something like that, why not one actor for kid, one actor for teen, one actor for adult? It's far from being the most awkward thing about the prequels, but damn.

I'm not even touching the recent trilogy with a 10 foot pole, not even if you ask me to lol


The Sith stuff was cool-looking, and Kylo Ren is actually a legitimately compelling character at various points. That's about it.

They teased doing some interesting progressive writing and then forgot or denied it at every turn. That's what changing directors as a gimmick gets you, I guess.

11 Months ago
galbraith

There is some good stuff in the prequels (and I think Lucas does a pretty good job actually breaking down the myth of the Jedi and how they...kinda suck, actually...)


This I agree with. I always like when the story is flipped and the good guys are actually not-so-great... for reasons of being manipulative, or arrogant, or whatever. And I think this theme stayed with the series for a while. I thought it was clever, and I'll say I can see why Anakin was so torn and struggling and how a little bit of empathy from the "good guys" would've changed everything. But it just seems... so extreme that he went *that far* by the end.


He brought balance to the Force, exactly as it was said he would. The Jedi were the overpowering dominant faction in the Force and in politics for like a bajillion years. They totally betrayed the idea of balance and developed irrational bullshit justifications for their total supremacy that revealed their own hypocrisy to anyone capable of thinking about them for one second (e.g. "only a Sith deals in absolutes"). This is literally why their connection to the Force was waning before Anakin went full incel. The Jedi were so condescendingly exceptionalist that they were actually killing the Force.

It's weird that the filmmakers still cloak the Sith in symbology and narratives correlated with the "inherently evil", if that inherent evil is necessary to provide balance to the galaxy and therefore promote the flourishing of the life within. In this sense, the franchise is stealthily approaching a kind of Berserk-esque nihilism, though the property is literally too popular to survive provoking actual troubling philosophical considerations in it's audience. I anticipated that they might do something actually interesting with the relationship between Kylo Ren and Brickface Girlboss, like maybe both of them turning Grey, but I guess I may have expected too much.

11 Months ago
galbraith

The prequels are better than the originals just because 3 is in them.



My only criticism with this series is that I think Vader should've started having his redemption arc near the end of ESB instead of RotJ, and spent most of RotJ struggling with his Sith identity, until ultimately taking his stand.

I feel it was better that way because it kept the question going on if he could even possibly reform.

As a further complaint, I don't feel like Lucas had any idea what he was doing when he made the Prequel Series because the Anakin from the prequel series doesn't seem like he could turn into Vader; the motivation just didn't seem there, especially when you consider the other shows and lore in the series, like the Clone Wars series. Sure, he always had moments of being... not so jedi-like, but evil sith Darth Vader because of a broken heart seems like a stretch.

Hard disagree. Anakin represents the potential for good and bad within a person quite well imo. Monsters are often TOO human despite what people think.

but evil sith Darth Vader because of a broken heart seems like a stretch.

I mean it was more than that, and also a long time coming. How he acted after his mother died is one example of this. He slaughtered them all like animals! So ya it definitely didn't feel out of place.

What's your favorite movies in the Star Wars series?

3.

Or favorite tv series?

Clone wars I guess.

How big are you on the lore?

I like it, and I'd want even more. Yet... diving into the expanded universe seems intimidating too.

This is literally why their connection to the Force was waning before Anakin went full incel.

Never say this again lol

11 Months ago
Grey Echelon

That's what changing directors as a gimmick gets you, I guess.


More specifically, what changing the writers gets you. All of the originals have a different director. (And arguably, doing so made that trilogy better, because you can definitely tell there are more competent directors behind the camera in Empire and Return of the Jedi.) And I'd argue that even that wasn't itself the problem. It was starting with Abrams, then going back to Abrams to finish up. Dunno why anyone would trust JJ Abrams with a good conclusion to a story. Not exactly his forte.

He brought balance to the Force, exactly as it was said he would.


I think it's just always been funky in terms of how they define "balance." Because you're right about the Jedi being the dominant force for so long. But bringing balance meant...swinging it completely in the opposite direction. There always seems to be confusion, even from Lucas himself, about what exactly it means for the Force to be "balanced."

Ultimately, it doesn't really mean anything, except to provide a basic, vaguely defined motivation for characters to act, of course. So it's fine.



I heard from a potentially unreliable source that A New Hope was originally just "Star Wars" and didn't have a name attached to it. It was planned to be a standalone thing


So this is definitely true, in the sense that it was not released as "Episode IV: A New Hope." It was just "Star Wars." No one knew anything about it and most thought it would bomb. The episode and subtitle came later.

George Lucas generally claims to have had the entire story written, and then when it came time to actually shoot it, he had no idea if he would get to make a bunch of films. So he essentially boiled the entire thing down into one script. That kind of then makes some sense when you get to Return of the Jedi and all of a sudden there's another Death Star. Is it that George Lucas couldn't think of another threat to wrap up the trilogy? Or is it that the Death Star was always supposed to be the conclusion and he couldn't figure out a way to re-write that last script without one, so just found a way to bring it back? Either way, it lacks ingenuity and creativity, in my opinion.

But yeah, Star Wars is sort of the first truly successful "remix" movie. There's not a lot about it that's wholly original. It borrows so many different elements from many different things. But it also isn't any of those things that it's remixing and is something new and - for the time - unique. Lucas kind of lives in nostalgia (I don't think it's a coincidence that his only other Hollywood film was also basically a '70s movie that reflected his love of the '50s pop culture and iconography.) The main conceit of Star Wars though was that it was always supposed to play like an old serial for kids.

11 Months ago
Jet Presto

He brought balance to the Force, exactly as it was said he would.



I think it's just always been funky in terms of how they define "balance." Because you're right about the Jedi being the dominant force for so long. But bringing balance meant...swinging it completely in the opposite direction. There always seems to be confusion, even from Lucas himself, about what exactly it means for the Force to be "balanced."



Balance for one may be imbalance for the other.

I wonder if Obi Wan, when he said "you were supposed to bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness" was thinking of a scale, where an object on one side is balanced by the weights placed on the other side. All nice and harmonious, yin and yang, hanan and hurin.

But there is another kind of balance, that of the pendulum. It swings now towards the Light and now towards the Dark. When it's stuck on the Light side for a "bajillion years", that means the Force is out of balance. Bringing down destruction on the Jedi and forcing the pendulum to swing back towards the Dark simply completes a cycle of balance.


So this is definitely true, in the sense that it was not released as "Episode IV: A New Hope." It was just "Star Wars." No one knew anything about it and most thought it would bomb. The episode and subtitle came later.



Yep. Both opening crawls can be found on the You Tubes. Look for original 1977 crawl and episode iv crawl.

Also of interest is the change in the Lucasfilm logo. The familiar logo with fancy gold letters appeared in the revision. The original just said LUCASFILM LIMITED in this ghastly argon green colour.

The original also features Jabba the Irish Hutt.

11 Months ago
elemtilas
 

I thought Jabba was cut from the original? I know they shot the scene, but they didn't include it in the theatrical cut.

Somewhat related to logos: I couldn't have been the only one who used to always associate Fox's logo music specifically with Star Wars, so that even when it appears on something like Alien, my brain defaults to Star Wars. Right?

11 Months ago
Jet Presto

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