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The Hidden Artistry of Star Wars

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1 The Hidden Artistry of Star Wars on Sun May 10, 2015 12:02 pm

Someone I talk to regularly on a different forum linked this interesting article written in October of last year.  It was an elaborate breakdown of an ancient style of storytelling, and how George Lucas used these techniques to tell the generational spanning Saga of Star Wars.

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2 Re: The Hidden Artistry of Star Wars on Sun May 10, 2015 4:50 pm

Oh my God, are we still trying to defend the Prequels (all three, as the article more or less says) by reading too much into them? "I think I may have gone a bit too far in a few places..." sums up The Phantom Menace perfectly, by George himself.

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3 Re: The Hidden Artistry of Star Wars on Mon May 11, 2015 1:14 pm

Where are you getting the notion this is trying to defend the PT?  This article is talking about a literary technique that was used throughout all of Star Wars.

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4 Re: The Hidden Artistry of Star Wars on Tue May 12, 2015 9:57 am

Page 2 and 3. The said quote from behind the scenes that I used was just to give an example. I view this theory as nothing more than the Indoctrination Theory that fans created after Mass Effect 3 came out. It's nice and all, but no way intended by the actual creators, it's simply reading too much into things.



Last edited by Jango32 on Tue May 12, 2015 10:46 am; edited 3 times in total

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5 Re: The Hidden Artistry of Star Wars on Tue May 12, 2015 9:59 am

For reference I'm pretty much fully in agreement with the overall idea behind the post and it reinforces things I couldn't properly articulate that I mentioned back in my rumination. There was so much potential in the prequels, and Lucas is not a bad director. With a better script I honestly thing Episodes I and II could have been great films.


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6 Re: The Hidden Artistry of Star Wars on Tue May 12, 2015 10:40 am

Expanding on why I do not believe any word present in this article...

"Another theme carefully woven throughout Episode I is greed. For example, the film’s opening crawl describes a “greedy Trade Federation,” a fact that Darth Sidious exploits over the course of the film to get his alter ego, Senator Palpatine, elected Supreme Chancellor. Qui-Gon uses the junk dealer Watto’s greed to his advantage (“Greed can be a powerful ally,” he says), to get the parts to repair the Queen’s ship and to free Anakin (again, who “knows nothing of greed,” says his mother). Also, Senator Palpatine says that the Senate is full of “greedy” delegates. And Yoda’s observation that Anakin is afraid to lose his mother foreshadows the emotional greed at the heart of Anakin’s fall from grace."
Wait, so "greed" is a theme? But we only know people are greedy because someone says they are. In every example here it's all delivered in dialogue. Much like whatever suffering happened on Naboo we never see, people dying etc. How about show someone stealing something? You have a story in the slums on Tatooine, maybe show some greed there? Perhaps have Anakin have something stolen from himself and instead of complaining he willingly gives more of it to people who need whatever? That's a lot better than saying "he knows nothing of greed".

Hell even the Jedi think Anakin is special because of numbers. Show us something. Maybe show something which stands out to the audience. Saying something like "Oh, he is very powerful with the Force, it helps him drive podracers which is normally too hard for humans" doesn't give the audience any indication as to what is 'impressive'.
Why not have some object that no Jedi can lift up with the Force because it's too powerful, and then have Anakin lift it up with the Force easily. Instead we get some vague prophecy with no real details (how does bringing balance to the Force involve killing off two Dark Side Force users with one Jedi remaining?) and which also feels shoehorned in based on the fact that audiences know Anakin redeemed himself. He wanted to make it seem like Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader was some sort of Space Jesus. What makes it worse is that by Revenge of the Sith the plot starts backtracking with Mace Windu's dialogue "a prophecy that has been misread" which turns out to have no bearing on the plot at all, seeing as the film was designed for people who'd seen Empire Strikes Back (otherwise it wrecks the twist). We know nothing about this prophecy and it's these expositions that Lucas calls a story are just jangling keys in front of our faces going "maybe it is, maybe it isn't".
It is interesting to see the depth George Lucas has gone to mirror the original trilogy in the prequels, however. This bit is referring to the attack on a character at the start of the second films in each trilogy:

"In both instances, the injured character ends up on the ground (laying in opposite directions).
Also, notice how the “blood markings” are placed on opposite sides of the characters’ faces."

It's kind of sad, really. More examples are between Clones and Empire, that I will point out if anyone wants to. Yes, maybe some art house people will say "Oh my God, you've reused the same imagery in the prequels as you did in the originals". But with such small details like this it makes me wonder if he did it because he had no idea what to have in the films? No original ideas? It's not as if Luke was always meant to be scarred, that was written into the plot because of Mark Hamill's accident, kind of like how they retold the way Indiana Jones got the scar on his chin that Harrison Ford has.

"Now, if we look at the six films the way Lucas intended"
Lucas intended one film with Vader as the villain. Then he said "oh I envisioned the trilogy and had planned Luke's family beforehand".

During the production of the first film they hadn't decided anything of what was to come. Why else would they kind of hint at Leia being Luke's love interest and then remove scenes from Empire Strikes Back where Luke's like "I'm going to go away for a bit" and act like he wants to make out with her and the two literally move to kiss each other. But they cut that, because by then they had decided they were related. In fact, it could be that they only shot it to fool most of the cast and crew of the twist. It was, after all, a detail only edited in in post-production. If they had decided Leia and Luke were related during the making of the first film, then Luke wouldn't have said "good" when Han said on the way to the rebel base that he didn't like her and then act worried when Han seemed to change his mind. They were toying with a love triangle.

That said there was planning going into creating the world of Star Wars beforehand. Luke was going to be the general from The Hidden Fortress and Annikin Starkiller was to be his apprentice. Starkiller's father was a mostly robotic organism. It's kind of screwed up, like only his head and arm were the only things not machine. I can definitely agree that they did move ideas around, Lucas probably thought "hey we can make Vader Luke's father" but I hate it when people go around as if the existing Star Wars films are how they existed in Lucas's mind before he started writing The Star Wars, or even during production of the first film.

This is why I think all this repeated stuff seems silly. Okay, you repeated it. How does that have any bearing on the experience at all? The only thing visible other than the rip offs (or "call backs") is the idea that the prequels go from happy to dark and the originals go from dark to happy. Adding things in like a prophecy like "it was all meant to be" didn't work. Yes, we can tell Luke saved his dad. Yes, we know the story of Vader and Anakin just by watching the original trilogy. We don't need to see what you've already told us in the original film.

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