Star Wars 9: The Sky of Ricewalker: A senseless, incoherent nightmare.

crimson5pheonix

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Hawki said:
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.
I think that's a bit early to say. It's well on its way to earn 1 billion.

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.
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.

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.
All true, but again, Anakin's linneage (or lack of it) is touched on. Both remain true.

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.
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.
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.

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.
It's bland and I just assumed it from the start. I don't know why TLJ made it a big deal.

Not really. mostly because there aren't a lot of moral grays presented in TLJ.
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.

You can argue that this isn't a lot of moral greyness, but it's a lot more than the films have usually portrayed.
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.

So I guess they're Jabba the Hutt now.


SupahEwok said:
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.
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.

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.

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."
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.

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.
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.
 

EvilRoy

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Asita said:
PsychedelicDiamond said:
Agema said:
PsychedelicDiamond said:
Eventually the movie reveals to us, and I'm not making this up, that Rey is the grand daughter of Emperor Palpatine
I think you're right here. One might hope for a message that anyone, with luck of the talent genes and hard work, can make it to the top. But Star Wars has instead decided to teach us that if you're not born to greatness because mummy/daddy was the dog's bollocks, then fuck you redshirt (to mix a science fiction metaphor). It's all very medieval aristocratic.
It's so frustrating, though. Between Rogue One and Last Jedi it really felt like they were finally getting over it and starting to evolve the series past all of this King Arthur crap. It's not just that Rise of Skywalker shat all over George Lucas' work, it even shat all over LucasFilm's work under Disney. I like Star Wars but I don't want Star Wars to be this relic that's locked away into a museum where no one is ever allowed to do anything with it because they're afraid of breaking it. "Your parents were no one of consequence, you're your own person, make your own destiny." was a genuinely positive moral and they just destroyed it. "No, actually you're the granddaughter of this evil dictator who was supposed to have died 50 years ago" is just nothing. It's meaningless. I she had actually been raised by Palpatine and the movies were about her learning to reject his morals and become a hero despite being raised as a villain, that might have been a compelling character arc, but as it is that revelation matters little to her and matters little to the audience. It just undermines a perfectly good and pretty universal message. That's the note the new trilogy ends on. "You ain't shit unless you're related to someone important.". Thanks, I hate it. Then, of course, both of Abrams parents were television and film producers so I imagine that's what helps him sleep at night.
Except all of that is fan-reading. Rey's parentage was never treated as a point for or against her in-universe.
Well yeah, but even if its never specifically stated, the theme of the movie still effects the perception of the movie. Its hard not to note there are extremely few people worth a damn in the universe that haven't come from somewhere notable. There was a whole big conversation just now about how homosexual encoding was a big thing done to disney villians, and agree with it or not, its impossible to say that the perception didn't effect how some people took the movies.
 

Hawki

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crimson5pheonix said:
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'.
All of whom are subordinate to Luke and Anakin.

In fiction, the "somebody" is usually more important than the "nobodies" from both in-universe and out of universe.

It's bland and I just assumed it from the start. I don't know why TLJ made it a big deal.
TLJ made it a big deal because TFA made it a big deal. TFA raised a question, TLJ answered it...then Rise gave it another answer, but whatever.

So I guess they're Jabba the Hutt now.
Yeah, but Jabba is evil. We know he's evil because he keeps slaves, some as rancor bait, some as sexual toys. Jabba's evil is far more on the nose than Canto Bight.

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.
I know about the Star Wars EU. But as I've said before and I'll say again, IN THE CONTEXT OF THE MOVIES BY THEMSELVES, Rey being a nobody would have broken the mould that Anakin and Luke epitomized. Bear in mind that this is breaking from the mould of fiction in general.
 

crimson5pheonix

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Hawki said:
crimson5pheonix said:
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'.
All of whom are subordinate to Luke and Anakin.

In fiction, the "somebody" is usually more important than the "nobodies" from both in-universe and out of universe.
They're the protagonists, of course the movie focuses on them. You can say Luke is actually instrumental to the plot in the OT (he is), but Anakin is far from the driving force of the prequels. You could say that's because Lucas flubbed on his directing (he did), but the fact of the matter is that Anakin is the chosen one and isn't that important, and Luke is just one character (albeit the main protagonist) alongside several others who are also very very important to the story and who aren't descended from anyone.

It's bland and I just assumed it from the start. I don't know why TLJ made it a big deal.
TLJ made it a big deal because TFA made it a big deal. TFA raised a question, TLJ answered it...then Rise gave it another answer, but whatever.
No it didn't. Rey was concerned with finding her parents because she was an orphan, never once did the movie imply she wanted heroic parents or to be important to the galaxy or anything, she just wanted to know she was loved. TLJ made it a big deal that they were nobodies, it came out of nowhere.

So I guess they're Jabba the Hutt now.
Yeah, but Jabba is evil. We know he's evil because he keeps slaves, some as rancor bait, some as sexual toys. Jabba's evil is far more on the nose than Canto Bight.
They sell weapons. Arms dealers are another staple villain.

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.
I know about the Star Wars EU. But as I've said before and I'll say again, IN THE CONTEXT OF THE MOVIES BY THEMSELVES, Rey being a nobody would have broken the mould that Anakin and Luke epitomized. Bear in mind that this is breaking from the mould of fiction in general.
No to both. I can bring up that list again of people who are far more important to galactic events than Anakin and who rival Luke in importance, and how not a single one of them come from some bloodline. Anakin's family are weirdos who rely on lineage (and as Ewok pointed out, Luke isn't even that gifted by his bloodline nor is the chosen one-ness that important, his bloodline is important in it's most basic sense as a father-son story). Her being from no bloodline at all makes her like every other force user and big figure in the galaxy.

As to that being 'fiction in general', kinda? It's a trope, sure. There are many stories with chosen ones. There's also many many stories that don't use that trope. Using or subverting that trope is all in execution, and TLJ coming out of nowhere and subverting something that wasn't even set up isn't a good use.

But neither was retconning it in RoS.
 

Asita

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EvilRoy said:
Asita said:
Except all of that is fan-reading. Rey's parentage was never treated as a point for or against her in-universe.
Well yeah, but even if its never specifically stated, the theme of the movie still effects the perception of the movie. Its hard not to note there are extremely few people worth a damn in the universe that haven't come from somewhere notable. There was a whole big conversation just now about how homosexual encoding was a big thing done to disney villians, and agree with it or not, its impossible to say that the perception didn't effect how some people took the movies.
Ok, first of all, that's simply not true. Finn didn't come from anywhere notable, nor did Poe, Han, Lando, Chewbacca, Wedge, Obi-Wan, Qui-gon, or Padme (Heck, she was the daughter of a cloth weaver). With the exception of the Skywalker line, most of the major characters don't actually come from notable backgrounds.

Second, it's not just 'never specifically stated'. That implies the existence of appreciable subtext or contextual implication, and my point is that those also have no presence here. The scene we're all pointing to here is literally the first time in the films (and only time in the first two films) that any attention was drawn to the specifics of her parentage. Everywhere else up to Rise, the story didn't care. At most you can say that Abrams decision not to show the parents teased that they were probably familiar, but that's about the extent of it.
 

Agema

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crimson5pheonix said:
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'.
Except for those who only watch the movies, which will probably be most people aware of SW, that supposed "bog standard" is not the message at all. There are plenty of other force users, but they are mostly supporting roles and their backgrounds are not discussed: the prominent implication of the movies is that the ones who matter most are force users, and to be a great force user, be born to it.

crimson5pheonix said:
They're the protagonists, of course the movie focuses on them. You can say Luke is actually instrumental to the plot in the OT (he is), but Anakin is far from the driving force of the prequels. You could say that's because Lucas flubbed on his directing (he did), but the fact of the matter is that Anakin is the chosen one and isn't that important
I don't think this claim is a strong one.

Fundamentally, I think it mischaracterises what the trilogies are about. Eps 4-6 are at core a quest/war story about a bunch of varied heroes taking down an evil empire. However, eps 1-3 are at core a bildungsroman where galactic politics more play out as the backdrop. To think Anakin is there to as a "driving force" (implicitly of the big picture of galactic politics, although that strikes me as a very limited notion of "plot") is to misunderstand the nature of the trilogy.
 

crimson5pheonix

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Agema said:
crimson5pheonix said:
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'.
Except for those who only watch the movies, which will probably be most people aware of SW, that supposed "bog standard" is not the message at all. There are plenty of other force users, but they are mostly supporting roles and their backgrounds are not discussed: the prominent implication of the movies is that the ones who matter most are force users, and to be a great force user, be born to it.
There's a long list in the movies too, and most of them are either more important than Anakin or more powerful than Luke. Even if all you know is the core movies, Anakin and Luke are the outliers.

crimson5pheonix said:
They're the protagonists, of course the movie focuses on them. You can say Luke is actually instrumental to the plot in the OT (he is), but Anakin is far from the driving force of the prequels. You could say that's because Lucas flubbed on his directing (he did), but the fact of the matter is that Anakin is the chosen one and isn't that important
I don't think this claim is a strong one.

Fundamentally, I think it mischaracterises what the trilogies are about. Eps 4-6 are at core a quest/war story about a bunch of varied heroes taking down an evil empire. However, eps 1-3 are at core a bildungsroman where galactic politics more play out as the backdrop. To think Anakin is there to as a "driving force" (implicitly of the big picture of galactic politics, although that strikes me as a very limited notion of "plot") is to misunderstand the nature of the trilogy.
These complaints get narrower all the time. What's the complaint then? I thought it was that TLJ set up that anyone can be cool, not just people with a lineage, which is something that was already in the movies extensively. Now it just sounds like you're complaining that the movies with a Skywalker as the protagonist have a Skywalker as the protagonist? Anakin is an anomaly, that's why he's noteworthy at all in the prequels. Him being a chosen-one is novel in universe. And like others have pointed out Luke is special since Anakin is his father, but it doesn't make him special in anything like force abilities or leadership, it just gives him an emotional connection with his father and the story is eventually resolved by family bonding.

I think people who read a bunch into SW saying you have to be from a prominent family to be important aren't paying much attention.
 

EvilRoy

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Asita said:
EvilRoy said:
Asita said:
Except all of that is fan-reading. Rey's parentage was never treated as a point for or against her in-universe.
Well yeah, but even if its never specifically stated, the theme of the movie still effects the perception of the movie. Its hard not to note there are extremely few people worth a damn in the universe that haven't come from somewhere notable. There was a whole big conversation just now about how homosexual encoding was a big thing done to disney villians, and agree with it or not, its impossible to say that the perception didn't effect how some people took the movies.
Ok, first of all, that's simply not true. Finn didn't come from anywhere notable, nor did Poe, Han, Lando, Chewbacca, Wedge, Obi-Wan, Qui-gon, or Padme (Heck, she was the daughter of a cloth weaver). With the exception of the Skywalker line, most of the major characters don't actually come from notable backgrounds.

Second, it's not just 'never specifically stated'. That implies the existence of appreciable subtext or contextual implication, and my point is that those also have no presence here. The scene we're all pointing to here is literally the first time in the films (and only time in the first two films) that any attention was drawn to the specifics of her parentage. Everywhere else up to Rise, the story didn't care. At most you can say that Abrams decision not to show the parents teased that they were probably familiar, but that's about the extent of it.
Well in general we aren't told about most characters origins or they're glossed over with the implicit meaning that they aren't important. Padme is sort of interesting in that they try to do the humble beginnings thing with her but it falls short because most people don't remember she wasn't the princess and also she's barely a character so who cares. Applying this to side characters in a series quite explicitly not about them doesn't really work - maybe Wedge is secretly a prince from a far off land, but it doesn't matter because the story isn't about him, so why bog down the story with superfluous information. Yes, Han Solo had a movie where we learned about his past, but we aren't watching his series - different series can have different themes even if they share universes.

When it comes to writers communicating details either it matters and they tell the audience, or it doesn't matter and they either don't mention it or use it as window dressing. But that falls apart when you have audience questions or ambiguity in the plot. If there is ambiguity about something that the audience is invested in, and you add information that addresses that ambiguity, then it must be important. If you put a really interesting set piece in a story that's always around and then, three hours later, tell us about where it came from, we're gonna assume that it's important and the background matters. If it isn't, why did you split our attention with it? Doing so only weakens the rest of the story.

The question of why Rey is better than everyone else in the plot is something that the audience has, even if it's never discussed in universe. It could just be totally ignored in plot for the whole series, the implicit meaning that Rey is just exceptional. That isn't unusual for movies (read: any superhero movie where the origin story hasn't been written yet, or most 80s action flicks) so nobody is really going to sweat it if the ambiguity isn't addressed, even if some don't consider that great writing.

By choosing to add to the background of Rey, you are choosing to step away from the baseline "exceptional individual" option. From there you have options - humble beginnings makes this an underdog story; dark past makes it a redemption story; important parents makes it a return of the king story. You don't need to have a scene in a movie where characters stand in a circle and talk pointedly about the meaning of lineage for the story to have it as an element of the theme. That doesn't mean that the entire story is only about her past, but if they told us, particularly this late in the game after everyone had been wondering why Rey is so great for two and a half movies, then it must matter, and if it matters then it's probably going to be interpreted as part of the theme.
 

Asita

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EvilRoy said:
Well in general we aren't told about most characters origins or they're glossed over with the implicit meaning that they aren't important. Padme is sort of interesting in that they try to do the humble beginnings thing with her but it falls short because most people don't remember she wasn't the princess and also she's barely a character so who cares. Applying this to side characters in a series quite explicitly not about them doesn't really work - maybe Wedge is secretly a prince from a far off land, but it doesn't matter because the story isn't about him, so why bog down the story with superfluous information. Yes, Han Solo had a movie where we learned about his past, but we aren't watching his series - different series can have different themes even if they share universes.

When it comes to writers communicating details either it matters and they tell the audience, or it doesn't matter and they either don't mention it or use it as window dressing. But that falls apart when you have audience questions or ambiguity in the plot. If there is ambiguity about something that the audience is invested in, and you add information that addresses that ambiguity, then it must be important. If you put a really interesting set piece in a story that's always around and then, three hours later, tell us about where it came from, we're gonna assume that it's important and the background matters. If it isn't, why did you split our attention with it? Doing so only weakens the rest of the story.
Certainly true, but also wholly irrelevant in the context of a conversation that revolves around the statement "it's hard not to note there are extremely few people worth a damn in the universe that haven't come from somewhere notable". By necessity, that casts a broad net which reaches from focal characters and protagonists down to significant secondary characters, claiming that most of them come from meaningful - if not downright prestigious - backgrounds. And that's a completely unfounded claim, as the character's background being so much as mentioned is the overwhelming exception.
 

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crimson5pheonix said:
They're the protagonists, of course the movie focuses on them. You can say Luke is actually instrumental to the plot in the OT (he is), but Anakin is far from the driving force of the prequels. You could say that's because Lucas flubbed on his directing (he did), but the fact of the matter is that Anakin is the chosen one and isn't that important,
Anakin being the chosen one is important though. It's important in Ep. 1 because it's part of Qui-Gon's drive to have him be trained. It's important in Ep. 2 to an extent in that Obi-Wan comments that Anakin's abilities have made him arrogant. And it's sure as hell important in Ep. 3.

and Luke is just one character (albeit the main protagonist) alongside several others who are also very very important to the story and who aren't descended from anyone.
Gee, imagine that, secondary characters not being as important as main characters.

Also, Leia. She's one of the three main characters of the OT, and Luke outright states that the Force runs strong in the Skywalker family. Leia's also very much a somebody, being a princess/senator/rebel leader.

No it didn't. Rey was concerned with finding her parents because she was an orphan, never once did the movie imply she wanted heroic parents or to be important to the galaxy or anything, she just wanted to know she was loved. TLJ made it a big deal that they were nobodies, it came out of nowhere.
One leads to the other. TFA makes it a big deal, because we can see that Rey is counting down days, is in denial (tells BB-8 that they'll be back for her), and has flashbacks to being abandoned. Maz tells her that "in your heart, you know that they're not coming back," but Rey never has a moment where she's shown to accept this. The plot point is left dangling. And given the theorycrafting that followed after it, it was clearly a plot point that had weight for many people (me personally though I was hoping even then that she would be a nobody).

TLJ builds off TFA in that it shows Rey wanting to connect with her parents, to know that she's loved, as you say. That she might entertain that they were somebodies fits in with what's going on in the story. She's powerful, she knows she's powerful, Luke knows she's powerful, and it would make sense if she came from someone important, since hey, Luke did. The reveal works on the character level, as well as the meta level, since a lot of TLJ exemplifies that just because things go a certain way in the past doesn't mean they'll go the same way in the present.

They sell weapons. Arms dealers are another staple villain.
Arms dealers that sell to the Resistance as readily as the First Order.

Canto Bight still manages more moral ambiguity than Jabba. JD's use of the holograms in of itself shows more moral greyness than anything in the OT.

No to both. I can bring up that list again of people who are far more important to galactic events than Anakin and who rival Luke in importance, and how not a single one of them come from some bloodline.
And solely within the films, those people are...?

The only person I can think of is Yoda, and even then, Yoda is presented as an outlier even for the Jedi.

These complaints get narrower all the time. What's the complaint then? I thought it was that TLJ set up that anyone can be cool, not just people with a lineage, which is something that was already in the movies extensively.
Except it wasn't. Again, look at how the movies are framed:

OT: Luke is the son of Anakin Skywalker. The Force flows strong in the Skywalker family. Luke is implied to be special in part because of bloodline.

PT: Anakin is the Chosen One. Anakin is the most powerful Jedi ever because he was concieved by the Force itself.

ST: Rey is maybe somebody...then a nobody...nup, she's Palpatine's granddaughter.

In the ST in particular, my main contention is the shift between TLJ and Rise. TLJ has the theme of how anyone can be a hero, how the Force can flow through anyone. We see this in Rey, and we see this at the end with the child. We arguably even hear this argue through Luke, stating that the Force does not belong to the Jedi. Rise, in contrast, carries with it the implication that Rey is only as powerful as she is because she's a Palpatine.

There's also the argument to be made that the ST was originally rejecting the concept of bloodlines via Ben. We have a Skywalker by blood if not by name turn out to be a villain, and who stays a villain after being offered an out in two films, and apparently would have stayed a villain in Trevarrow's version of the story. It's why Rey calling herself "Rey Skywalker" carries weight, even after being outed as a Palpatine, because it's a name that she's earned rather than be born into. It's a moment that I'd argue would have had more weight if she'd remained a nobody, but whatever.

Point is, in the films, Rey was a break from Luke and Anakin. Rise forces the paradigm back into things, and it not only undermines TLJ, I'd argue it undermines the ST and Rey as a whole as well.
 

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I don't even remember if I commented here already, but some observations:

1) I laughed out loud when they sidelined Rose. It made me think of Homer getting shoehorned into the basement with the "very important" job of looking at a bee in a jar, while the plant inspection goes on upstairs. Bold move, guys.

2) Did Finn and Poe have an arc at all in this movie?

3) Called 100% the trailer fodder (Rey in black).

4) Carrie Fisher somehow looks less awkward as a collection of footage, doubles and CGI than she did when she was alive in TLJ.

5) If the movie is about being better than your heritage, why does Rey pose as a Skywalker at the end rather than just embrace her real name?

6) How did Palpatine survive RotJ, again?
 

crimson5pheonix

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Hawki said:
crimson5pheonix said:
They're the protagonists, of course the movie focuses on them. You can say Luke is actually instrumental to the plot in the OT (he is), but Anakin is far from the driving force of the prequels. You could say that's because Lucas flubbed on his directing (he did), but the fact of the matter is that Anakin is the chosen one and isn't that important,
Anakin being the chosen one is important though. It's important in Ep. 1 because it's part of Qui-Gon's drive to have him be trained. It's important in Ep. 2 to an extent in that Obi-Wan comments that Anakin's abilities have made him arrogant. And it's sure as hell important in Ep. 3.
And yet what's actually important to the plot is the trade federation starting a civil war. Even within the movies, and II is the worst about it, the plot focuses on other characters more than Anakin and his chosen-y ness. The other half of episode II is Obiwan's adventure to finding out about a shadowy conspiracy behind the civil war.

and Luke is just one character (albeit the main protagonist) alongside several others who are also very very important to the story and who aren't descended from anyone.
Gee, imagine that, secondary characters not being as important as main characters.
Wow, I didn't realize that being a secondary character makes you a non-entity and Not Count(tm).

Also, Leia. She's one of the three main characters of the OT, and Luke outright states that the Force runs strong in the Skywalker family. Leia's also very much a somebody, being a princess/senator/rebel leader.
She also doesn't show much force use in the OT and yes, she's adopted by a political family, but the rebel leader aspect is entirely on her. Just like with Mon Mothma.

No it didn't. Rey was concerned with finding her parents because she was an orphan, never once did the movie imply she wanted heroic parents or to be important to the galaxy or anything, she just wanted to know she was loved. TLJ made it a big deal that they were nobodies, it came out of nowhere.
One leads to the other. TFA makes it a big deal, because we can see that Rey is counting down days, is in denial (tells BB-8 that they'll be back for her), and has flashbacks to being abandoned. Maz tells her that "in your heart, you know that they're not coming back," but Rey never has a moment where she's shown to accept this. The plot point is left dangling. And given the theorycrafting that followed after it, it was clearly a plot point that had weight for many people (me personally though I was hoping even then that she would be a nobody).

TLJ builds off TFA in that it shows Rey wanting to connect with her parents, to know that she's loved, as you say. That she might entertain that they were somebodies fits in with what's going on in the story. She's powerful, she knows she's powerful, Luke knows she's powerful, and it would make sense if she came from someone important, since hey, Luke did. The reveal works on the character level, as well as the meta level, since a lot of TLJ exemplifies that just because things go a certain way in the past doesn't mean they'll go the same way in the present.
You had me until you got to fan theory crafting. That's by definition not something in the movie. TFA made absolutely no buildup to her parents being somebodies, some fans did. To the rest of us who didn't, and just assumed she was like literally everybody else in the galaxy except for Luke and Anakin, it came out of nowhere. Because we were paying attention to the narrative instead of assuming the film makers were catering to us.

They sell weapons. Arms dealers are another staple villain.
Arms dealers that sell to the Resistance as readily as the First Order.

Canto Bight still manages more moral ambiguity than Jabba. JD's use of the holograms in of itself shows more moral greyness than anything in the OT.
I'm not going to say the OT is a bastion of complex characters, far from it, but I'm not buying that the new trilogy has shown any more moral complexity. "Arms dealers sell to both sides!" is about on the level of "Han shot first".

No to both. I can bring up that list again of people who are far more important to galactic events than Anakin and who rival Luke in importance, and how not a single one of them come from some bloodline.
And solely within the films, those people are...?

The only person I can think of is Yoda, and even then, Yoda is presented as an outlier even for the Jedi.
Yoda, Han Solo, Quigon Jin, Obiwan Kenobi, Mace Windu, Count Dooku, Palpatine, Mon Mothma, Tarkin, Biggs, Wedge.

SW if full of characters, tons of characters, and with the backdrop of space battles (star wars, if you will), Luke may be the one to face down the evil space wizard, but that chance only comes on the backs of a ton of characters.

Saying these characters aren't important and thus Don't Count(tm) when talking about where people in the story come from is like saying Frodo isn't important in LotR because Aragorn is the one fulfilling prophecies. Or the reverse saying Aragorn isn't important because Frodo got the ring to the volcano.

These complaints get narrower all the time. What's the complaint then? I thought it was that TLJ set up that anyone can be cool, not just people with a lineage, which is something that was already in the movies extensively.
Except it wasn't. Again, look at how the movies are framed:

OT: Luke is the son of Anakin Skywalker. The Force flows strong in the Skywalker family. Luke is implied to be special in part because of bloodline.
And proceeds to get carried to the final fight to redeem his father, everyone else goes on to actually win the war.

PT: Anakin is the Chosen One. Anakin is the most powerful Jedi ever because he was concieved by the Force itself.
And ends up the pawn in a scheme by Palpatine, the actual most important person in the galaxy while the other jedi fight in a war and try to uncover his plot.

ST: Rey is maybe somebody...then a nobody...nup, she's Palpatine's granddaughter.

In the ST in particular, my main contention is the shift between TLJ and Rise. TLJ has the theme of how anyone can be a hero, how the Force can flow through anyone. We see this in Rey, and we see this at the end with the child. We arguably even hear this argue through Luke, stating that the Force does not belong to the Jedi. Rise, in contrast, carries with it the implication that Rey is only as powerful as she is because she's a Palpatine.
I admit that it was a bad plot twist to make her Palpy's spawn. However the first part of your statement is flat out false. The fact that there is a Jedi order at all (and that Jedi are celibate) implies that the force can flow through anyone. And we had several movies showing exactly that. TLJ wasn't saying anything new or exciting by saying this.

There's also the argument to be made that the ST was originally rejecting the concept of bloodlines via Ben. We have a Skywalker by blood if not by name turn out to be a villain, and who stays a villain after being offered an out in two films, and apparently would have stayed a villain in Trevarrow's version of the story. It's why Rey calling herself "Rey Skywalker" carries weight, even after being outed as a Palpatine, because it's a name that she's earned rather than be born into. It's a moment that I'd argue would have had more weight if she'd remained a nobody, but whatever.
Now this I can actually wholeheartedly agree with. Unlike Rey, Ben actually had a character arc and it was turning villainous like his grandpa, and it was being executed far better than Anakin's was (whining aside).

Point is, in the films, Rey was a break from Luke and Anakin. Rise forces the paradigm back into things, and it not only undermines TLJ, I'd argue it undermines the ST and Rey as a whole as well.
See now, Rey being not part of the Skywalker family is fine and perfectly valid. And I'd agree is smart. But that's a huge difference from "SW is only about destined heroes from prestigious bloodlines".
 

EvilRoy

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Asita said:
EvilRoy said:
Well in general we aren't told about most characters origins or they're glossed over with the implicit meaning that they aren't important. Padme is sort of interesting in that they try to do the humble beginnings thing with her but it falls short because most people don't remember she wasn't the princess and also she's barely a character so who cares. Applying this to side characters in a series quite explicitly not about them doesn't really work - maybe Wedge is secretly a prince from a far off land, but it doesn't matter because the story isn't about him, so why bog down the story with superfluous information. Yes, Han Solo had a movie where we learned about his past, but we aren't watching his series - different series can have different themes even if they share universes.

When it comes to writers communicating details either it matters and they tell the audience, or it doesn't matter and they either don't mention it or use it as window dressing. But that falls apart when you have audience questions or ambiguity in the plot. If there is ambiguity about something that the audience is invested in, and you add information that addresses that ambiguity, then it must be important. If you put a really interesting set piece in a story that's always around and then, three hours later, tell us about where it came from, we're gonna assume that it's important and the background matters. If it isn't, why did you split our attention with it? Doing so only weakens the rest of the story.
Certainly true, but also wholly irrelevant in the context of a conversation that revolves around the statement "it's hard not to note there are extremely few people worth a damn in the universe that haven't come from somewhere notable". By necessity, that casts a broad net which reaches from focal characters and protagonists down to significant secondary characters, claiming that most of them come from meaningful - if not downright prestigious - backgrounds. And that's a completely unfounded claim, as the character's background being so much as mentioned is the overwhelming exception.
I'm willing to relax my broad claim, but not the claim that Rey's lineage is meaningful. Luke mattered because of who his father was, and in a clean mirror of the same story Luke experienced its pretty clear the writer told us where Rey came from for the same reason. Whether that reason was well planned, or landed at all, is more an issue about apparent disagreements (or poor planning) between the various writers and directors across the series.
 

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crimson5pheonix said:
There's a long list in the movies too, and most of them are either more important than Anakin
Gibberish. Anakin is vastly important across eps 1-6 by any stretch of the imagination. His interventions both save Palpatine from death and allows Palpatine to create the empire in the first place. And I guess he finally achieves his role as the chosen one in ep6 by destroying the emperor.

or more powerful than Luke.
There is no meaningful way to compare how powerful various force users were to each other, Luke included.

Even if all you know is the core movies, Anakin and Luke are the outliers.
Unfortunately, they're also the main characters, thereby granting them particular prominence. We also know that Leia is a fallback Jedi last chance in case Luke fails. (Why are the few remaining Jedi sitting around waiting for Luke/Leia if they can train up new ones?) And then in eps 7-9, it's Leia's son, Kylo and Palpatine's granddaughter - again, the main (Jedi) characters - who appear to have the big power.

All the other Jedis are greater or lesser supporting characters whose lineage is unknown. The truth lies strongest with the known, and shouldn't be effectively countered by the unknown.

These complaints get narrower all the time. What's the complaint then? I thought it was that TLJ set up that anyone can be cool, not just people with a lineage...
That argument has got nothing to do (from my perspective) with the argument that lineage appears to matter for Jedi power in Star Wars. I'm just saying that some argument Anakin is "not important" to "driving the plot" is somewhere between wrong and nonsensical.
 

crimson5pheonix

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Agema said:
crimson5pheonix said:
There's a long list in the movies too, and most of them are either more important than Anakin
Gibberish. Anakin is vastly important across eps 1-6 by any stretch of the imagination. His interventions both save Palpatine from death and allows Palpatine to create the empire in the first place. And I guess he finally achieves his role as the chosen one in ep6 by destroying the emperor.
3-6 I might grant, but definitely not 1 and 2, which is 2/3 of his story and the vast majority of the rise of Palpatine. He plays second fiddle to Palpatine as soon as he becomes important.

Because Palpatine is more important than Anakin to the galaxy.

or more powerful than Luke.
There is no meaningful way to compare how powerful various force users were to each other, Luke included.
Well the prequels tried, though I don't blame anyone for ignoring that.

However we can see that by the standards of basically every other jedi shown in any movie, Luke has the least powerful (or at least the least dramatic) displays of force power.

Even if all you know is the core movies, Anakin and Luke are the outliers.
Unfortunately, they're also the main characters, thereby granting them particular prominence. We also know that Leia is a fallback Jedi last chance in case Luke fails. (Why are the few remaining Jedi sitting around waiting for Luke/Leia if they can train up new ones?) And then in eps 7-9, it's Leia's son, Kylo and Palpatine's granddaughter - again, the main (Jedi) characters - who appear to have the big power.

All the other Jedis are greater or lesser supporting characters whose lineage is unknown. The truth lies strongest with the known, and shouldn't be effectively countered by the unknown.
Well as to why we don't see other Jedi during the OT, there's actually supplemental material showing what was going on, but what the movies show us is that Jedi are hunted down and killed. There are necessarily going to be a dearth of force users in the galaxy, story as written.

As to the rest of it, gymnastics to avoid the fact that SW has a whole lot of important people who aren't part of any bloodline.

These complaints get narrower all the time. What's the complaint then? I thought it was that TLJ set up that anyone can be cool, not just people with a lineage...
That argument has got nothing to do (from my perspective) with the argument that lineage appears to matter for Jedi power in Star Wars. I'm just saying that some argument Anakin is "not important" to "driving the plot" is somewhere between wrong and nonsensical.
But it's true, even if it's a flub on Lucas' part, he does a bit in 1 and literally nothing in 2, then in 3 he's finally important. As a pawn of the emperor. He doesn't have agency again until the end of 6, when Luke pulls him out. Anakin is important narratively, but mostly as a tool. Funnily enough, that's his importance to the universe as well, as a tool.
 

Agema

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crimson5pheonix said:
3-6 I might grant, but definitely not 1 and 2, which is 2/3 of his story and the vast majority of the rise of Palpatine. He plays second fiddle to Palpatine as soon as he becomes important.

Because Palpatine is more important than Anakin to the galaxy.
Sure, but what constitutes a story plot goes way beyond geopolitics. To follow your argument to a logical conclusion, Andrei Bolkonsky is unimportant to the novel War And Peace, because Napoleon and Tsar Alexander are the guys making things happen in the big picture of world events. But that's an insane way to assess the plot of War and Peace.

Well the prequels tried, though I don't blame anyone for ignoring that.

However we can see that by the standards of basically every other jedi shown in any movie, Luke has the least powerful (or at least the least dramatic) displays of force power.
Sure, we're told there's a way to measure midichlorians and thus force power, but apart from saying Anakin is super-high, no-one else's score is recorded so we are not given a comprison.

We know Luke can lift however many tons of starfighter with his mind, and project his image across lots and lots of light-years of space, neither of which are small beans as far as I can see. One might also argue that he beats Anakin/Vader in an even fight (Obi-Wan does so only with a huge positional advantage and Anakin's enraged misjudgment), which is more than any other Jedi accomplished.

(Although we can't really apply it to the argument as we have to take the movies as they are, force powers seem to me to undergo power creep throughout the three trilogies.)

Well as to why we don't see other Jedi during the OT, there's actually supplemental material showing what was going on, but what the movies show us is that Jedi are hunted down and killed. There are necessarily going to be a dearth of force users in the galaxy, story as written.
If Luke as of ep7 was trying to retrain Jedi alone, the most realistic assumption is that at the start of ep4 there are the grand total of 2 active, non-Sith force users in the galaxy and by the end of ep6 there is one.

I terms of supplementary material the pre-Disney stuff I know of was declared non-canon and I've not seen any any post-Disney stuff, so you can feel free to fill me in on anything I'm missing.
 

crimson5pheonix

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Agema said:
crimson5pheonix said:
3-6 I might grant, but definitely not 1 and 2, which is 2/3 of his story and the vast majority of the rise of Palpatine. He plays second fiddle to Palpatine as soon as he becomes important.

Because Palpatine is more important than Anakin to the galaxy.
Sure, but what constitutes a story plot goes way beyond geopolitics. To follow your argument to a logical conclusion, Andrei Bolkonsky is unimportant to the novel War And Peace, because Napoleon and Tsar Alexander are the guys making things happen in the big picture of world events. But that's an insane way to assess the plot of War and Peace.
This entire argument has been about their power and importance in universe. If not you, then other people are complaining that the only force users are Skywalkers (and now Palpatines). So if you're not arguing that, you've walked into the wrong argument. I've already said they are of course narratively important, being the main characters and all. But the people who are complaining aren't complaining that lineages are the only main characters, they're arguing that lineages are the only powerful characters, which is BS.

Well the prequels tried, though I don't blame anyone for ignoring that.

However we can see that by the standards of basically every other jedi shown in any movie, Luke has the least powerful (or at least the least dramatic) displays of force power.
Sure, we're told there's a way to measure midichlorians and thus force power, but apart from saying Anakin is super-high, no-one else's score is recorded so we are not given a comprison.

We know Luke can lift however many tons of starfighter with his mind, and project his image across lots and lots of light-years of space, neither of which are small beans as far as I can see. One might also argue that he beats Anakin/Vader in an even fight (Obi-Wan does so only with a huge positional advantage and Anakin's enraged misjudgment), which is more than any other Jedi accomplished.

(Although we can't really apply it to the argument as we have to take the movies as they are, force powers seem to me to undergo power creep throughout the three trilogies.)
Force powers are at their strongest in the prequels, which makes sense since there are tons of force users around. So you get super speed, super lightning, fighting entire armies, etc. OT is the weakest since it's right after and during the culling of force users so lifting rocks (and a starship) is super impressive. The ST is ramping back up which does make sense since the cullings stopped and force users can start to proliferate again, but there's not really anyone around to teach anymore.

Well as to why we don't see other Jedi during the OT, there's actually supplemental material showing what was going on, but what the movies show us is that Jedi are hunted down and killed. There are necessarily going to be a dearth of force users in the galaxy, story as written.
If Luke as of ep7 was trying to retrain Jedi alone, the most realistic assumption is that at the start of ep4 there are the grand total of 2 active, non-Sith force users in the galaxy and by the end of ep6 there is one.

I terms of supplementary material the pre-Disney stuff I know of was declared non-canon and I've not seen any any post-Disney stuff, so you can feel free to fill me in on anything I'm missing.
There is some post Disney stuff, Rebels on DisneyXD has other force users during the between of the prequels and the OT, along with Anakin's old apprentice. I've only watched some clips of it, but I don't think it's concluded so we don't know if any of them die or survive to the OT.

But in any case, it's established force sensitivity is largely random, it stands to reason there are force sensitives born every once in a while. Point of fact, Luke has a school. What they don't have is any way to teach people what to do, since the Jedi temple was the big repository of that knowledge.
 

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Johnny Novgorod said:
1) I laughed out loud when they sidelined Rose. It made me think of Homer getting shoehorned into the basement with the "very important" job of looking at a bee in a jar, while the plant inspection goes on upstairs. Bold move, guys.
Not really bold when at least some of it is due to the backlash Rose/Kelly Marie Tran received, some of it being...fine, disgusting.

2) Did Finn and Poe have an arc at all in this movie?
Poe has the conclusion of his arc from TLJ as we see that he's less willing to throw lives away. Finn, not so much, but his arc is acknowledged by proxy through Jannah and the other defectors. On the other hand, his whole "I have something to tell you [Rey]" schtick goes nowhere.

5) If the movie is about being better than your heritage, why does Rey pose as a Skywalker at the end rather than just embrace her real name?
It could be said to be representing that theme by Rey walking away from her heritage and being her own person.

Course, I think it would have worked better if Rey wasn't a Palpatine, thus giving more of the sense that she's 'earned' the Skywalker surname rather than trading one surname for another, but meh.

6) How did Palpatine survive RotJ, again?
"The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to abilities many consider to be...unnatural."

...oh wait, you wanted a real answer. Um...

The only thing I can think of is Palpatine's spirit transferred to a new body or something. I mean, this is a movie that establishes that spirit transfer is a thing, and clones have long been a thing as well. On the other hand, if that's the case, I'm left to ask why being thrown into a reactor doesn't do the job, while being zapped with lightning does. Maybe he was out of bodies?

I'd also be remiss that the EU did the whole body/spirit thing first with Palpatine. :(
 

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crimson5pheonix said:
And yet what's actually important to the plot is the trade federation starting a civil war. Even within the movies, and II is the worst about it, the plot focuses on other characters more than Anakin and his chosen-y ness. The other half of episode II is Obiwan's adventure to finding out about a shadowy conspiracy behind the civil war.
Yet he remains important. Important enough that it dictates a lot of Qui-Gon's actions in Ep. 1, and by virtue of his death, Obi-Wan's.

Wow, I didn't realize that being a secondary character makes you a non-entity and Not Count(tm).
In fiction, primary characters usually get more backstory than secondary characters. That's what makes them primary. But even then, are we supposed to brush aside that the two main characters of the first two trilogies are "the special?"

She also doesn't show much force use in the OT and yes, she's adopted by a political family, but the rebel leader aspect is entirely on her. Just like with Mon Mothma.
Mon Mothma's barely a character in the movies. I don't think she's even named in RotJ. Holdo's more of a character than she is.

And Leia being a member of the rebellion is implied to have been made possible because of her dad. Bail helps the Rebellion, Leia helps Bail, plans transmitted to Tantive V, cue start of Ep. 4.

You had me until you got to fan theory crafting. That's by definition not something in the movie. TFA made absolutely no buildup to her parents being somebodies, some fans did. To the rest of us who didn't, and just assumed she was like literally everybody else in the galaxy except for Luke and Anakin, it came out of nowhere. Because we were paying attention to the narrative instead of assuming the film makers were catering to us.
Okay, fan-crafting isn't part of the movie, I'll give you that. But TFA never resolves the parent thing. The last we hear of them is Maz telling Rey "in your heart, you know they're not coming back." However, Ben says (paraphrased) "Han would have been a poor father" [for Rey]; acknowledging the bond that's formed between them. Even if TFA isn't in of itself suggesting that Rey is of special linneage, it never closes the lid on the issue either. Rey is never shown to come to terms with it. And also, this J.J. "Mystery Box" Abrams. I highly suspect that the parents were left ambiguous for the trilogy to follow up on. And even if he didn't, Rey is insanely powerful, able to best a Skywalker in lightsaber combat. Suspecting she's from some Jedi line is pretty reasonable fancrafting, even if we accept that the film isn't pushing for it.

I'm not going to say the OT is a bastion of complex characters, far from it, but I'm not buying that the new trilogy has shown any more moral complexity. "Arms dealers sell to both sides!" is about on the level of "Han shot first".
There's still more moral ambiguity in Canto Bight than Han. Han's moral ambiguity is based entirely around his character, and it's resolved by the end. You could cut the scene out of the film entirely and lose nothing plot-wise. Canto Bight, on the other hand, IS relevant to the plot, as well as driving Finn's character arc.

Granted, Canto Bight drags on for too long IMO, but meh.

SW if full of characters, tons of characters, and with the backdrop of space battles (star wars, if you will), Luke may be the one to face down the evil space wizard, but that chance only comes on the backs of a ton of characters.

Saying these characters aren't important and thus Don't Count(tm) when talking about where people in the story come from is like saying Frodo isn't important in LotR because Aragorn is the one fulfilling prophecies. Or the reverse saying Aragorn isn't important because Frodo got the ring to the volcano.
Arragorn and Frodo are both important, but it's importance that comes from different sources. Aragorn is Isilidur's heir, true king of Gondor, yadda yadda yadda. Frodo is a nobody, but has the strength of character to bear the One Ring. By Star Wars, Aragorn is Luke, Frodo is Rey pre-Rise.

That isn't to say these characters aren't important, but they're still subservient to the protagonists. Lord of the Rings simultaniously embodies traditional heroism (Aragorn) and subverts it (Frodo). Star Wars arguably subverted it as well through Anakin, but he was still "the special" in that context.

And proceeds to get carried to the final fight to redeem his father, everyone else goes on to actually win the war.
Which doesn't diminish his "the special" status. Obi-Wan outright states that Luke is their last hope, Leia aside.

And ends up the pawn in a scheme by Palpatine, the actual most important person in the galaxy while the other jedi fight in a war and try to uncover his plot.
None of which negates his "the special" status. Him being manipulated doesn't diminish his raw power, or origin via immaculate conception.

I admit that it was a bad plot twist to make her Palpy's spawn. However the first part of your statement is flat out false. The fact that there is a Jedi order at all (and that Jedi are celibate) implies that the force can flow through anyone. And we had several movies showing exactly that. TLJ wasn't saying anything new or exciting by saying this.
Yes, Jedi are around, and we know that the Force isn't bound by blood (though IIRC, one of the reasons the Jedi forbid magic in the old EU was to stop 'Force dynasties' rising). But EU, old or new aside, the films aren't free from bloodlines either. Again, Luke says how "the Force is strong in my family," and considering what we see him, Vader, and even Leia do, that's a fair assessment. In the OT, Qui-Gon asks who Anakin's father is - actually dipping into the old EU for a second, the novelization establishes that Qui-Gon could sense that the Force was strong with Shimi, but that the strength wasn't so great that it could explain Anakin's raw power).

Point is, the existence of Jedi in of themselves doesn't negate that even going just by the films, bloodline apparently plays a key role.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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immortalfrieza said:
And you're correct that that would take a whole tv show to adequately explain. The problem is that Johnson destroyed the resistance at the end of movie 2 out of 3 with absolutely nothing stopping the FO from taking the galaxy, so movie 3 would have to be about going into hiding and building up to the new new trilogy. Nothing could realistically stop them now.
Not really, though they'd have had to extend the movie a bit (RoS was already 2 movies crammed into one) to do it. Just have a scene somewhere along the line of Poe and Co convincing some rich guy or military commander or someone like that to support the Resistance, maybe throw in a space battle to show that they were worth the time to recruit. After that, a throwaway line or two about similar groups they've brought into the fold for the Resistance would've been enough to adequately explain with just a movie's length. Yeah, building back up the Resistance could've been the basis for a TV show, but it didn't have to be to work as a plot setup.
Hell, have Finn's defection set off a cascading series of First Order defections instead of a random pack of Stormtroopers lay down their guns because of the Force or whatever. Then, the FO is losing troops and material at the same rate as the Resistance is gaining it *and* Finn's one-in-a-million choice has narrative weight.

Though if I were running the show, I would've delayed the movie another year or two and started with Leia's funeral. Lots of dramatic and important people in history die inconveniently of mundane circumstances. It sucks from a financial standpoint but Disney could've sucked it up.

So the FO is bleeding resources and the other Imperial remnants either aren't enough to break the stalemate or are actively antagonistic to them, the Resistance is fragile but gaining momentum, Hux is zealous but bad at Realpolitik and unwittingly cuts off FO supply lines by destroying the degenerates of Canto Bight, and Ren is stuck between not being the monster that Hux is but wanting to be. He sees the Resistance gaining recruits and resolve despite every war crime Hux is throwing at them and realizes that the Dark Side is easy power, not lasting power.

Yes, I'm still mad that he doesn't end up having a redemption arc, just a truncated heroic sacrifice.

Of course, if I were running things I'd definitely go to great lengths to point out that Kylo Ren is a dark Jedi and Rey is a light-side Sith. She runs off almost pure emotion and connection,