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Steve De Young
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Posted: 08 May 2015 at 2:00pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I think that
led to the trap of modern superhero comics that resist
the simplicity and beauty of "good" vs. "evil."
---------------------------------
I read an interesting article a while back that argued that this is why superhero movies are so popular right now. It argued that essentially superhero movies are the current equivalent of the Westerns of the mid-20th century. You have a clearly defined good guy and bad guy, they battle, good guy goes through tough times and hardship but ultimately wins.

The real world is complicated and messy and good and evil aren't always so clearly defined and good doesn't necessarily win out in the end, so people crave that sense of clarity in their escapist entertainment.

Whatever you think of Empire and Return of the Jedi, it seems to me that this point draws a clear line of separation between the first three movies and the prequels. Whatever ambiguities Lucas may have wanted to introduce in the first two sequels, you still, in the end, had a story in which the good and the innocent came through triumphant in the end.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 15 July 2015 at 11:21pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

That Vader sketch from several years ago has haunted me... the eerie, moist eyes seemed to evoke something creepy from my childhood but what?  I think I finally figured it out today... it's not really even that physically similar, but somehow expresses the same foreboding feeling of a powerful yet pathetic alien form.  The Stalker From Beyond (Swamp Thing #9.) 

JB, were you a reader of the Wein / Wrightson Swamp Thing?  If so, what did you think of it?


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John Byrne
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Posted: 16 July 2015 at 4:57am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

JB, were you a reader of the Wein / Wrightson Swamp Thing? If so, what did you think of it?

Not just a reader! A huge fan!

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 16 July 2015 at 9:08am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Me, too (along with hundreds of thousands of others in the 70s I'm sure!)  I was heading away from comics but it was a fateful encounter with five Wrightson Swamp Things and a couple Adams Batmans (243, 255) all picked up from Million Year Picnic in Boston in the late 70s for the sum total of about a buck (they were all coverless issues basically being given away.)  Reading them shook me to the core and forced me to realize that at their best, comics are a high art form capable of moving me in ways I had never imagined up to then.
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Joe Welsh
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Posted: 16 July 2015 at 11:56pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Another snippet that Lucas didn't have it all figured out, even as late as ROTJ:

Luke to Leia (paraphrasing a Little) Do you remember your mother? Your Real Mother?
Leia: A little bit, she died was I was very young.
Luke: What do you remember?
Leia: Just images really
Luke: Tell me, What do you remember?
Leia: She was very Beautiful , but sad...

Why would she be Sad?  The mother she remembers is her adoptive mother.  There is no way she would remember Padme'  Since she died 2 minutes after she was born.  Her adoptive mother would be extremely happy(as adoptive parents tend to be), as she now has a a little girl she always wanted and knows nothing of her origins.  

Everytime this I mention I get some such explanation as Leia remembers through The Force...Neat Trick...

Whatever...

Joe


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John Byrne
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Posted: 17 July 2015 at 4:48am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Everytime this I mention I get some such explanation as Leia remembers through The Force...Neat Trick...

Since Lucas himself has finally admitted* he was making it up as he went along, it amazes me there are still people who cling to the mythology. Some potent Kool-Aid, there!

____________

* To be fair, Lucas never did quite say in so many words that he had it all figured out from the start. It was the fans who started that, and he mostly just allowed it to happen. I'm reminded of the back cover notes on the paperback release of Roger Zelazny's LORD OF LIGHT:

His followers called him Mahasamatman, and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the Maha and the Atman however, and called himself Sam. He never claimed to be a god. But, then, he never claimed not to be.

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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 17 July 2015 at 9:59am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Joe Welsh: Her adoptive mother would be extremely happy(as adoptive parents tend to be), as she now has a a little girl she always wanted and knows nothing of her origins.

**

Not to contradict your main point, (and I am not in love with the storyline of the SAGA that these movies represent) but I think your reasoning here is a little faulty. There is no way to predict if Leia's adopted parents would be happy or sad. The story tells us she was sad, so sad it is- reasons untold. Unless adopting children leads to happiness every time without fail.

This simply has to be taken as a fact: Leia remembers her mother as sad. It seems to follow that Leia's adoptive mother knew Leia's father was a murderous thug who basically brought down the Republic. This would be a more natural "in-story" reason for her to be sad around Leia.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 17 July 2015 at 10:05am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

The "taken as fact" rules doesn't work for STAR WARS. As we know all too well, we cannot trust anything we are told by any character, or even the "narrator."
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 17 July 2015 at 10:07am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

She isn't talking about her adoptive mother.

That is made clear by Luke asking about her real mother.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 17 July 2015 at 10:08am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

And, as noted, Leia could not possibly remember her real mother.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 17 July 2015 at 11:54am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I agree, it doesn't add up with what we are shown in the prequels. No argument there.
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Mark Haslett
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Posted: 17 July 2015 at 12:07pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

The "taken as fact" rules doesn't work for STAR WARS. As we know all too well, we cannot trust anything we are told by any character, or even the "narrator."

**

True- things in this universe are true only until it isn't convenient. For example, this exact silly story point.

I had forgotten Luke made it clear they were only talking about Leia's real mother. It's only in light of "later" revelations that anyone would know Leia couldn't possibly remember her real mother. Then, as so often with Star Wars sequels, the context changes and provokes a lot of "maybe this would work" type thinking to come up with another explanation of her line.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 17 July 2015 at 12:24pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I have sometimes wondered if Lucas turned the Jedi into apparently celibate "monks" in order to further distance himself from the awkward incest subplot created by later "revelations." Spared him having to actually deal with Luke's obvious infatuation with Leia.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 17 July 2015 at 9:40pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

And, as noted, Leia could not possibly remember her real mother.
++++++++

At the time JEDI was written, the idea was that Mother Skywalker took
Leia into hiding on Alderaan, and died a few years after the Empire
took charge. So, Leia remembers her mother because she spent a few
years with her.

Of course, as eventually realized, Padme was seen to have died in
childbirth, a change to the story which created the inconsistency with
what JEDI told us.
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 18 July 2015 at 8:56pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply


Oh come on, guys! Just like any other religion, fictional or otherwise, "The Force" is the answer for everything!

This includes plot holes, of course!

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John Byrne
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Posted: 19 July 2015 at 8:38am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

A Force is a Force

Of course, of course,

And no one can talk to a Force, of course.

That is, of course,

Unless the Force

Is the famous Obi-Wan!

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Tim O Neill
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Posted: 19 July 2015 at 8:46am | IP Logged | 17 post reply



LOL!  Oh no, now that song will be in my head all day!



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John Byrne
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Posted: 19 July 2015 at 9:08am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I'd give credit where credit is due for that little verse, but it floated around the Marvel offices for so long, I have NO idea who actually started it.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 19 July 2015 at 9:48am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

If STAR WARS was remade with today's sensibilities in mind, Luke's
contact with Obi-Wan would probably be revealed as a series of
hallucinations caused by a head injury he'd sustained when the
Sandpeople attacked him. Gotta be "realistic", y'know!
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Rich Marzullo
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Posted: 20 July 2015 at 6:42am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Ugh, I just threw up a little. 
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 22 July 2015 at 9:15am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 July 2015 at 9:31am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

The above modified "quote" pretty much sums up everything the went wrong, doesn't it? Lucas' late-in-the-game decision that he "always intended" his story to be "The Tragedy of Darth Vader" is completely undercut by the absurd depths to which he pushes "Annikin" during his "seduction" by the "Dark Seid -- sorry, Side" of the Force.

The atrocities committed by Skywalker Sr and Vader are far beyond any redemption, most especially not the "Oops, my bad!" of JEDI.

I left the theater after each of multiple viewings of the original STAR WARS with a spring in my step and hope in my heart. I look at the ponderous, lumbering, disjointed mess that followed -- and has been embraced by so, so many -- and I sort of give up on any hope for Humanity's future!

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Stephen Robinson
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Posted: 22 July 2015 at 1:49pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

When Padme mutters, "There's still good in him" or something like that
before dying, after she's learned that her husband has killed defenseless
children* and tried to strange her when he knows she's pregnant with
their children, it defies any actual emotional logic. I would have preferred
Padme have lived and gone into hiding with Leia on Alderaan while
sacrificing Luke to be raised elsewhere (but safe). At least then it would
be clear that instead of someone suffered from battered wife syndrome,
she has the sense to basically wash her hands of her deranged spouse.

*Lucas having Anakin kill children was a bizarre choice. Even if he's
convinced that the Jedi are themselves evil and corrupt (a dumb
decision, but whatever) rather than the waking mummy who was behind
all the destruction and death of the past 20 years, how are harmless kids
responsible? Or even a viable target? I mean, Michael Corleone kills a lot
of people in THE GODFATHER but I think if he'd murdered children *with
his own hands*, the ability to connect with even a villain protagonist
would have vanished.
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James Reese
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Posted: 24 July 2015 at 7:00am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

The "taken as fact" rules doesn't work for STAR WARS. As we know all too well, we cannot trust anything we are told by any character, or even the "narrator."

***

The "narrator" in the opening crawl of Episode I contradicts that film as well. It states that the Republic sent 2 Jedi Knights to deal with the trade dispute. However, Obi Wan Kenobi doesn't earn the title of Jedi Knight until the end of the movie.
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James Reese
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Posted: 24 July 2015 at 7:29am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Michael Corleone kills a lot of people in THE GODFATHER but I think if he'd murdered children *with his own hands*, the ability to connect with even a villain protagonist would have vanished.

***

When Michael kills Fredo in PART II, he really becomes a villain, in my opinion. Vito is a sympathetic character because he takes cares of his family, gets justice for people, etc. Michael has to win at all cost. In the original, when he takes out the heads of the 5 Families and gets revenge for Sonny and his father in the process, this resonates in a positive way for the audience. In the second movie he kills his own brother, which goes against everything his father was. What makes it even worse is that you then see that Fredo was the only person that stood up for him when he enlisted in the Marines.   

Michael is just as bad as Anakin is, as far as I'm concerned. Both are consumed by a lust for power no matter who has to die in the process. If Michael felt like he had to kill children to keep power/not appear weak he would have (like Don Ciccio). It doesn't matter if he ordered it or actually carried it out, the blood would still be on his hands.

Edited by James Reese on 24 July 2015 at 7:30am
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