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John Byrne
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Posted: 30 March 2018 at 6:39am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

LINK

Of course, if Lucas and company hadn't devoted so much effort to pushing the original movie out of continuity, the answer would be literally by the numbers.

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Robert Shepherd
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Posted: 31 March 2018 at 1:37am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I know there are huge continuity issues for the whole series although I'm not so devoted to the franchise to know what they are, except for one - I never understood why midichlorians were introduced. That alone screwed everything up.

When Episode Nine does come out, I plan to watch the entire series in order. By the numbers.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 31 March 2018 at 8:17am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

When Episode Nine does come out, I plan to watch the entire series in order. By the numbers.

••

Well, only if you want the lack of continuity to be even MORE glaring -- not to mention ICKY!!

Weirdest thing, to me, is that Lucas felt trapped by something he said in an interview (that Kenobi had chopped up vader and left him to die in a volcano*) but not by what he had characters say on screen (that Vader and Skywalker Sr. were distinctly separate people).

____________________________________

* We know this was not part of the plan "all along", since Vader's outfit being a walking iron lung was added in post.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 31 March 2018 at 10:00am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I think it was less a case of Lucas feeling trapped than it was his liking and sticking with the volcano idea, but having to reshape the specifics of the story around it. 

The volcano idea was still floating around during the making of JEDI (with dialogue from Kenobi in which he described it almost making it into the movie). It’s not as if Lucas came up with it during the post-production of STAR WARS, abandoned it for the sequels, then suddenly felt obligated to put it into the prequels, nearly 30 years later. The volcano concept seems to be something that he liked and stuck with in his head for the all those years, until he was finally able to implement it on film.

At the time STAR WARS was filmed, it seems the idea was that Vader 
literally just left Kenobi to work with the Empire (as he says, “When I left you, I was but the learner...”). Once the suit became a walking iron lung, Lucas came up with the volcano duel to explain it, and that bit of backstory appears to have stuck with Vader even after Lucas retconned him into Father Skywalker. Makes sense to me: Not only does it explain Vader wearing that suit, but, especially with the revised, “Father Vader” backstory, it would provide a climactic final showdown for the prequel films which Lucas was just starting to plan out in 1978. 

I haven’t seen any evidence to indicate that Lucas ever toyed with an alternate explanation for Vader’s condition, aside from one reference in STAR WARS: THE ANNOTATED SCREENPLAYS. Apparently Lucas, Kasdan, and company tossed out with the notion of Kenobi throwing Vader down a “nuclear reactor shaft” and turning him into a deformed mutant, which is mentioned as a story conference idea during the writing of the sequels. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 31 March 2018 at 11:34am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

At the time STAR WARS was filmed, it seems the idea was that Vader literally just left Kenobi to work with the Empire (as he says, “When I left you, I was but the learner...”).

•••

I didn't hear that as Vader saying he'd JUST left Kenobi. Saying he was then the "learner" (PUPIL, George, pupil), but now the "master" indicates a longish time lapse.

(In the shadow of the revisions, it seems odd that Kenobi should address Vader as "Darth". Why would he use a title the emperor had given his former pupil?)

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 31 March 2018 at 3:56pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Sorry, I didn't mean to indicate that Vader had literally just left Kenobi. I dunno why I said "literally"! I was still half-asleep when writing that post.

I meant "just" as in "suddenly", with there obviously being a major time-gap in-between Vader turning to evil/abandoning Kenobi and the events of STAR WARS. In other words, no duel or confrontation between the two. Just Vader going bad and running off to help the Empire kill the Jedi, and Kenobi going off into his long solitude.

My interpretation of that dialogue--PRE-retcons--is that Vader was Kenobi's student, left him for the dark side and the Empire, then arrogantly proclaims that he's now the "master" (i.e. wiser, more powerful) when they meet up again on the Death Star. This being the first time they'd seen each other since Vader went bad and left.

Of course, in post-production, Lucas came up with the iron lung idea, and so the idea of Vader simply abandoning his mentor turned into a violent falling-out between them (with Kenobi also seeking to avenge Father Skywalker), and knocking Vader into the volcano.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 06 April 2018 at 4:47pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I prefer the machete order. Other than Darth Maul, you're not missing anything really important by skipping TPM.

But I'd prefer a version of ROTJ without young Anakin replacing old Anakin's Force ghost.....
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 07 April 2018 at 2:53am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I prefer this viewing order:

1. STAR WARS (AKA ep. IV)
2. EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
...

and that's it. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 07 April 2018 at 7:29am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Speaking of viewing order, I must have been dreaming STAR WARS last night, as I woke this morning with a photocomic version of the REAL story churning in my brain.

You know, the story with which all us first viewers emerged from the theaters back in 1977. The story Ben Kenobi told, before Lucas changed him into a manipulative liar.

The ultimate fanfic. The one that would drive me finally, irrevocably insane.

AARRRGGGGHHHHH!!

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John Byrne
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Posted: 07 April 2018 at 7:38am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

1. STAR WARS (AKA ep. IV)

•••

Originally, Lucas said he made STAR WARS as if it was the final episode of a serial. And that was a great part of its charm -- that we were walking in on a "work in progress".

But soon the myth-making began. It wasn't the final episode, it was the fourth. Of nine! No, six. No, nine! And that it wasn't a fun, nostalgic* romp. It was as SAGA.

sigh

----------------

* As we have moved further away from 1977, and thus also from those Saturday Matinee serials that were Lucas' inspiration, more and more of the ever growing audience has been increasingly unaware of the nostalgia aspect. The original movie itself is "nostalgia".

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 07 April 2018 at 10:41am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

The rock bottom truth is that STAR WARS is the story of Luke Skywalker being drawn into an amazing adventure and destroying the Death Star. The ultimate popcorn movie, with a beginning, middle, and end. A loving homage to entertainment of the past which is much more than the sum of its parts. Everything else after the original film is varying degrees of superfluous. 

The initial trilogy which developed out of the film’s success stretched that basic story and its arcs out into three movies (with buckets of retcons), which I’m okay with giving a pass to, since the characters end up in pretty much the same place as they did at the end of the first film. The prequels filled in the backstory to that trilogy (which is of course a different backstory from that of the standalone original film). Disney’s sequel trilogy is an unfocused, unnecessary, nostalgia-driven cash-grab.

STAR WARS is fundamentally that original film, and everything else has pretty much been either a riff on it or a supplement. Some good, some bad. I’ve come to the conclusion that less really is more, though. 

The horrifying thing is just how much the original film has been lost in the shuffle. Retconned, ignored, ripped-off and rehashed. We’ve now reached a point where it’s “that boring old movie” for a lot of young people I’ve talked to, many of whom have never even seen it, or have no interest in it at all. Its time has passed, and it is no longer a fundamental building block for young nerds-in-training. 

I’ve been dancing around actually discussing the latest developments in STAR WARS filmdom and fandom, because I know it’s gonna be an uphill struggle and a big can of worms. And perhaps even a waste of time and energy. For now, suffice it to say that it’s all become toxic to me, and I kinda wish that STAR WARS—or, rather, the thing it’s become—would just go away. The damage has already been done, and I don’t see things getting better soon, if ever. The original films are now irreparably tarnished, given the recent films’ treatment of the original characters. Some will say that the rot began with the sequels/prequels, but, for me, the new films are on a completely different and irreversible level of destructiveness. 

Maybe some good will be done with the franchise if it moves to greener pastures and characters, but I’m not optimistic. That’s simply how I feel, so I’d prefer not to get a bunch of responses from people telling me that they disagree or that I’m wrong, thanks.

Of course, no one “raped” my childhood, and no one can ever take my nostalgia and my memories away from me. I can watch the film(s) anytime I like, after all. But it’s been pretty friggin’ depressing (but not unexpected) to see things play out the way they have. I’m personally done with the franchise, and would now rather see it laid to rest than completely and utterly (udderly?) milked to death. That’s not gonna happen, though, so c’est la vie.

Less is more, more doesn’t always equal better, and remember to be grateful for what you already have. That is the bitter lesson of the STAR WARS franchise!
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 07 April 2018 at 10:33pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

The ideal viewing order is STAR WARS...before it became an episode of a trilogy or saga, or spawned "anthology" stories that aren't. 

The more new stuff that comes out, the more I gravitate to the singular original film.

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Richard Stevens
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Posted: 08 April 2018 at 4:49am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

It's almost too bad the main cast met for the first time in Star Wars. If not, Empire could have pulled a Temple of Doom and be set before Star Wars. You'd get a great film and not mess with the original ending.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 08 April 2018 at 5:20am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

It boggles my mind ever time I hear EMPIRE referred to as a "great" film. Bigger, louder, shinier, yes. But great?

EMPIRE serves to underscore the fact that much of what was so brilliant about the original film sprang from its limitations. Once Lucas was off the leash, the limitations gone, the bloat set in.

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 08 April 2018 at 7:40am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

The kindest comment I have about EMPIRE is that in my opinion it's far and away the best of all the sequels and prequels.

Beyond that, as a "Star Wars" movie, EMPIRE is... well, if you can't say anything nice...!

Although it's impossible for me, and likely untold billions of other people, to view EMPIRE as a purely stand alone film, i.e., as if you'd never before seen the original movie, even trying to put my brain in that mode, I don't see EMPIRE as a particularly excellent bit of film-making... let alone great
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John Byrne
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Posted: 08 April 2018 at 9:02am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

As I have said, when I heard the title of the second movie was THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, my first thought was "With WHAT??"

(Actually, that was my second thought. My first was "What a clumsy title!")

What the first two sequels did, basically, was snip off the end of the first film, and pick up more or less right after the destruction of the Death Star, as if the rebels had to flee after accomplishing this victory.

It did not help that their flight looked like footage from BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 08 April 2018 at 9:06am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

I think it was less a case of Lucas feeling trapped than it was his liking and sticking with the volcano idea, but having to reshape the specifics of the story around it.

••

Whether he FELT trapped or not, he was trapped. To change that part would be to admit everything was not worked out from the start. (And in this case we most definitely know it was not, since the "walking iron lung" aspect was an afterthought.)

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 08 April 2018 at 9:46am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Whether he FELT trapped or not, he was trapped. To change that part would be to admit everything was not worked out from the start. (And in this case we most definitely know it was not, since the "walking iron lung" aspect was an afterthought.)
+++++++

The really strange thing is that there are any number of instances of him in print and on film making contradictory statements! If he wanted to preserve the myth that it was all planned out, you’d think he’d at least be consistent with what he said to the press!
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 08 April 2018 at 11:22am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I'm reminded of a line from LAWRENCE OF ARABIA: "A man who lies merely hides the truth; but a man who tells half-lies has forgotten where he put it."
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 08 April 2018 at 8:00pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

For me, EMPIRE is a great film. I was 12 and had not seen anything like it in my life. Same was true of STAR WARS.

Empire did things no other film I had seen did - the heroes pretty much lost every scrape they got into, it ended on a cliff hanger - this really was Saturday morning serial stuff on the big screen (I know those started on the big screen, but I’d met them on TV in the six week school holiday).

I’d seen films where heroes lost before, but not like this. For me, EMPIRE is every bit as good as STAR WARS, even accepting that it retcons a lot of that original film. I can squint and make it fit. Even JEDI I can squint and make it fit.

The prequels don’t fit at all. Set too close with Anakin turning too late.
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