It took 6 months to read my title.
- Apr 3, 2020
But that's the point isn't it? All the complaints are that TLJ spearheaded this 'new and exciting' story where force users can come from anywhere, lineage be damned, but that's actually the bog standard. All those people along with a very very long list if you go outside the movies don't have any explanation for why they're so strong except 'hard work, training, and luck'. Making Rey Palpatine's granddaughter to explain her force power isn't a good move, but it's not like her being a nobody was anything special.Hawki said:I think that's a bit early to say. It's well on its way to earn 1 billion.PsychedelicDiamond said:What did that get them? The "safe" movie ended up considerably less commercially succesful than the two "risky" movies that were Rogue One and Last Jedi.
You're right that Anakin is arguably tertiary in the first two episodes. I think that's more due to poor writing than anything else.crimson5pheonix said:Anakin isn't actually that important to the prequels, all things considered. He doesn't do anything really important to the galaxy until the third movie, and that was just killing Dooku and then killing children.
All true, but again, Anakin's linneage (or lack of it) is touched on. Both remain true.The prequels are about deconstructing the chosen hero narrative (so deconstructing the normal SW story happened nearly 20 years ago), Anakin is told he's super special awesome, and it ends up warping him into a villain.
I think you can cross Mace and Qui-Gon off that list in the context of the movies by themselves - Mace is never that important in the films, and Qui-Gon is only important for a single film. Dooku, Maul, and Palpatine aren't heroes, so that's a moot point. Yoda is insanely powerful and clearly not a nobody, since he's got a seat on the Jedi Council and held in high regard by Jedi and non-Jedi alike. That leaves Obi-Wan. Now, even if we treat him as a "nobody," he still isn't the main character of the prequels. Obi-Wan's linneage, or lack of it, is a non-issue. The same can't be said for Luke, Anakin, or Rey.Meanwhile, literal nobodies are the heroes and villains of the force, even if you only know the movies.
Yoda, Mace Windu, Qui-Gon Gin, Obiwan Kenobi, Count Dooku, Darth Maul, even Palpatine himself. And that's if you only know the named characters without reading the credits to know all the other jedi names.
It's bland and I just assumed it from the start. I don't know why TLJ made it a big deal.Again, Anakin is the Chosen One, and that hangs over him. Luke is the son of Anakin/Darth Vader, and that hangs over him. Rey dealing with granddaddy issues via Palpatine is an extension of this. Rey being a nobody, bereft of family ties or some prophecized destiny? In the context of the films by itself, that's more interesting. And, IMO, far more humanizing.
Maybe-ish, but it still comes across like a bunch of bad guys. They're just bad guys because they're greedy instead of authoritarian though.The entire point of Canto Bight is to show Finn that the galaxy isn't a moral binary. That there isn't just "good vs. evil," but plenty of people who exist only for themselves. There's also DJ, who subverts the archtype pioneered by Han. Not every rogue has a heart of gold, some are just in it for themselves.Not really. mostly because there aren't a lot of moral grays presented in TLJ.
You can argue that this isn't a lot of moral greyness, but it's a lot more than the films have usually portrayed.
So I guess they're Jabba the Hutt now.
Yes, but what about the stuff that isn't the sequel novels that spin off into silliness? SW is also a lot of stuff about the Old Republic and various side stories. When it gets down to it, Anakin's family are the weird ones in a very long internal history.SupahEwok said:There's a thing to poke at. Firstly, although I agree with you in general principle for most of your post, Anakin being a flop in the prequels is more due to Lucas mucking it up than actual intent. The Star Was saga, at least as professed by Lucas by the time the prequels were going, was the tale of Anakin. His fall, and his repentance. That would make intent to be that Anakin is the main protagonist that the series revolves around. The fact that he was at best a deuteragonist in the prequels who didn't actually move the plot all that much is more a failure of Lucas' direction.crimson5pheonix said:I think I posted it here (but it's been a while, I've slept), Anakin isn't actually that important to the prequels, all things considered. He doesn't do anything really important to the galaxy until the third movie, and that was just killing Dooku and then killing children. The prequels are about deconstructing the chosen hero narrative (so deconstructing the normal SW story happened nearly 20 years ago), Anakin is told he's super special awesome, and it ends up warping him into a villain.
So far as the wider point about bloodlines go, I sometimes wonder how much people conflate themes from the old EU with the new EU. The old EU did, as a matter of fact, have a lot to do with bloodlines, just by how much of the dang thing revolved around the Skywalker clan. Luke, Leia, Han, and their children are the focus for nearly all the novels (and the galactic events they focused on) that wrote canon for 30ish years in the "Star Wars moving present". The ultimate expression of which was the "Legacy" time period that's actually Star Wars future which revolves around Luke's descendant saving the galaxy from the Sith - twice. Peppered throughout the past, present, and future timelines, you also have some recurring families, although I can't actually think of any where the fact they were descended from somebody had an effect on plot; rather than a theme, they were more of the kind of easter egg wink which is the delight of tortuous continuity contortions (example: "Cassius Fett", a Mandalorian warlord 4000 years before the movies, who goes on to never actually being mentioned as a famous ancestor by the contemporary Jango or Boba Fett).
But the thing is, from my observation, most of the people who think that TLJ is "liberating Star Wars storytelling from bloodlines" don't actually know much or anything about the old EU, and as a matter of fact disdain the very idea of decades of collective pulpy stories of uneven quality which make up the mythos. They regard all that as so much baggage that they were happy to see Disney jettison. So you'd think that they'd only know about the movies, and would be taking those on their own merits. And you're right: taking just the movies, there isn't any theme on dynasties of power. The only thing that comes close is Vader and Luke's father-son relationship, naturally, but that isn't a theme that you have to have a notable parent to be notable. That's a theme of kinship, and Lucas reading too much of Campbell's Hero's Journey and taking it literally.
Hell, compare Luke's power to Anakin's. Anakin was the only human in the galaxy who had the reflexes for podracing, and he fought and blew up a capital ship in a space battle, when he was like, 9. Luke was a grown-ass man, and all he did was keep up with his friends in Beggar's Canyon in a recreational flying shuttle thing (in deleted scenes, if you wanna take that pinch of salt), and he needed Obi-Wan's coaching over his shoulder to complete the Death Star trench run. I think these were intentional parallels: what Luke did, his daddy had done better. And if you want to bring in the sequels, Rey kicks Luke's ass in regards to learning and using the Force. Luke is weaker than Anakin, cuz it's Anakin, and only Anakin, who is the "prophesied one"; there is no "prophesied dynasty". And Luke's place in redeeming his father is a simple theme of the healing power of family and belief in each other.Step 9/17 of Campbell's interpretation: "Atonement with the Father/Abyss: In this step the hero must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in his life. In many myths and stories this is the father, or a father figure who has life and death power. This is the center point of the journey. All the previous steps have been moving into this place, all that follow will move out from it. Although this step is most frequently symbolized by an encounter with a male entity, it does not have to be a male; just someone or thing with incredible power."
So this whole bloodlines theme? I can only really see it coming from a few directions. One is that the old EU managed to build a monolithic conception on what Star Wars is, and what this really comes down to is cheering for spiting that old, noncanonical conception of that interpretation. So that's just fan war bait, really.
Another direction I see it coming is generational conflict. From the beginning of the millenium on, heat's been growing between the boomer generation and the millennial generation, which is basically insultingly simply spelled out in the sequels: the old generation managed a fairy tale rise to good and plentiful times, only to fuck it up and pass on the mess to a new generation who are shaken out of their mystified conceptions on the legends of yesterday. It's a very, very 2010's theme (when things really started heating up when the zoomers came in to reinforce the millennials), just like how the prequels got a massive chunk of inspiration from 9/11, the War on Terror, and the Patriot Act. So the classic movies are framed as a boomer narrative, a legacy for millennial storytelling to tear down. And that leads folks to conflate boomer "traditional family" values (or class values or however you want to frame it) with a perceived "mythic dynasty" theme, and the "deconstruction" of such values is in vogue with the current generational conflict, no matter how slapdash said deconstruction is.
And a third direction I see it coming from is people conflating the Star Wars movies with Disney themselves. Disney has a long history of movies with chosen ones of prophecies, descendants of heroes taking on the charge, princesses claiming the protagonist role by right of birth, etc. So mixing Star Wars as a mythology within the greater, averaged out Disney set of mythos does make a repudiation of bloodright themes transgressive and revolutionary and whatever, something which I've heard Disney has been doing with its other movies as well. I guess you could draw a connection between this one and the previous point about generational themes.
Tl;dr: Last Jedi is not nearly as smart and sophisticated as it wants to be. It's mostly logic chains of apologetics that want it to be. Fucking thing didn't even have the god damn balls to see its big, transgressive theme of Luke coming to terms with his mistakes through. Just killed him off after a magnificently executed twist that only matters if Luke doesn't get killed off (answer me this: if Luke was gonna die anyway, what was the point of him not dying in person? And don't give me crap about leaving an X-Wing on that island for Rey in the next movie, we all know the movies weren't planned that far ahead). And this is what people hold up as "revolutionary" storytelling.