My thoughts on the new star wars.
Sometimes I feel frustrated with the fan base of how much they hate anything. I feel happy to see star wars finally back after it’s fifteen year absence. There’s a lot I enjoy about the new movies, and many of the problems they do have are classic Hollywood storytelling limitations, like focusing on action instead of plot. Or using suspense to hide a lack of plot.
(You can really feel jar jar’s power in this shot. Props to JJ Abrams. Jar Jar is a real role model to adults and teens everywhere, Binks is a guy who can keep things lighthearted, but also channel immense dark side rage. Jar Jar is an Icon for edgy teens carrying the heavy responsibilities of millennial ambitions like getting better at mine craft and fortnight. Lonely fans identify with the way Jar Jar is hated on the internet, and being outcast by his own kind. And when Jar Jar reveals his true Sith self in Star Wars Episode 11, it inspires other outcast star wars fans to channel their own inner rage for political gain.)
The force awakens was like a copy cat movie, stalling to buy time. it didn’t do that many interesting things, maybe at the very beginning, like when kylo stopped that laser. Kylos force anger is comically exaggerated and actually makes him look childish and non threatening. The most terrifying thing about Kylo Ren is his absence of back story. The total absence of any reason to relate to him or justify his motivates, and it’s scary potential to derail the entire excitement of the story. Kylo Ren turns bad because “Snoke”? Do they realize how not interesting that is. People think good story is about powerful wizards and great battles…. but really it is about character. Game of Thrones… Lord of the Rings… those are actually stories about character development. The characters drive the stories in good stories… when the story is driving the characters the entire time… that becomes 2 dimensional.
I liked the last Jedi, but it felt like a filler episode at times, it was drawn out, the character development details were not there, even though I liked to plot. (they go on this whole crazy journey just to learn about ‘failure’ and it turns out the stubborn annoying general (Holdo) with her plan, was actually right) I liked that Luke has a struggle of faith, even though it was exaggerated over the top. They did not explain it well enough to justify. A kid goes bad, bam, Luke the great Jedi has a forever melt down, but it was an interesting concept. One of the best parts of the movie was when Luke talks about Palpatine, because it’s nice that they -finally- did something to show that these movies are connected and that Luke has had time to learn more about the past actually. But that only goes to show how much better and more detailed the old movies were, just being reminded of them was like the best part.
Rise of Skywalker
(spoilers, don’t read until you watch)
I loved it
when we see Kylo talk to Rey, and fight Rey, he redeems his character, he seems threatening.
i loved the return of Palpatine, even though it is missing all explanation, and was too obvious, too easy a choice, it fits thematically with the story of star wars, which is so important because Star Wars was at risk of loosing it’s theme, it’s purpose.
I loved JJ’s lost. and loved his ideas, but people have since pointed out that he is good at ‘creating suspense’ without unveiling much of anything. and you can see that with the sequel trilogy. however i just loved the new one. The first two movies are like filler episodes, you could condense them into 30 minutes and put this movie on top of it, and then call it something cooler like “Rise of Palpatine” because that sounds more creative and has a double meaning. Titles like “Last Jedi” “Skywalker” “Force Awakens” Those are all attempts to borrow on the previous greatness of star wars. they are ‘safe’ titles, as they are also ‘safe’ movies. Not so creative as “Attack of the Clones” “Revenge of the Sith”. You can tell just from the title that these movies are different then the previous ones. Even to someone who isn’t fully paying attention you look at the title and feel a bit discouraged because you know there won’t be anything truly new. (I think the words Sith and Clones were mentioned in the OT, but they were certainly not the focus, it was brave,or just natural, of Lucas to bring the creativity to explore those ‘history’ elements of the story)
there were many things in Rise of Skywalker that fit with the essence of star wars even though they lacked explanation that could have made it much more interesting. it leaves it open to imagination, but it would have been better with explanation. like when Palpatine says “I am all the Sith” that is really interesting, but they have never introduced this concept, and at no point is there further explanation of it. it has cool implications. It’s the same thing with Palp’s resurrection. We don’t see it on screen. that is just bad. his return is the most shocking part and we don’t even see they was people react to it. That aside, From the very beginning, and if you read the (Darth Plaguius book) they have suggested that Palpatine and his master were learning how to use the force to create life and defy death. but it would have been better if they had a flashback of Palatine falling down the shaft after Vader throws him. then somewhere else much latter, maybe on the sunken death star, or in his dark sith building on Exogol, he just ‘wakes up’ in this clone body that he had prepared ahead of time. that would make sense. another less practical method, is that someone uses both technology and a sith ritual to conjure his spirit back into a new body, a new cloned vessel for him, sometime later, but I like to keep it on the technological side. there is opportunity for so much interesting technology, story, and philosophical dialogue, but they just don’t go there.
i like that idea that ‘intention’ can lead you to the light side or the dark side, even more so then action. if Rey kills Palatine out of desire for Revenge she could be possessed by the will of the Sith and the dark side, if she kills him out of necessity, to protect the people and the fleet, she is still true to the light side, her mortals. but they give this no explanation, and there is so much room for interesting dialogue around this. all that is to be expected with American action movies where they expect. It was just so much better then it could have been. And i was concerned more then once, like concerned Palpatine would die too easy, which did happen in one of JJ’s “Six endings” that they filmed. Episodes seven and eight were like two time watch movies. Meaning i watch them twice. where all the other star wars movies i could watch them once a year, so that’s like 20 watches. George created those movies. These movies have more classic Hollywood stile of action and less complex dialogue and world building detail. Hollywood thinks people don’t like that. It’s too much of a risk, a break from the formula, the formula of big exploding robots. So i feel we should encourage movies like this for going in the right direction. I never expected them in a million years to go with the “Rey is a Palpatine” twist, and that was exactly what myself and many other fans wanted. And i think Ryan Jonson’s idea was of having her be “Nobody” sends a really inspiring message that you can succeed without being from an important bloodline. But the Rey Palatine thing ties into the essence of star wars, that you are not your parents, you are not your past, you can change things. but it is scary because it means recognizing the temptation for the dark-side in you. There were many cool concepts they could have elaborated on but didn’t. But I’m still glad they put it out there.
It would have been cool is Palpatine after he drains Rey and Kylo, they are too week to do anything, so Palpatine boards a ship, and flys away somewhere, maybe there is some place he can go to increase his powers, or find a new apprentice, he becomes the “Emperor” again, or the “Supreme Leader”. That would be a cool moment, to have the old Palpatine return, now that he is juiced up on life juice. That way the movie has more plot, where before many of the different planets Rey goes to are just to draw out the suspense and don’t add anything to the story or characters. Cut that out. Palpatines return to being the Emperor could be like a stage three of the movie. Rey and Kylo experience failure. but now they are on the right course. they are united together. and the true evil is revealed. Palpatine gets a chance to demonstrate his political cunning, his ‘two faced’ nature, which is the reason he is interesting. and not just be this ‘classic evil monster guy’ that he is in the movie. In the prequels he was one of the most motivated and sophisticated two faced villains of all time. Here he is just ‘evil guy’.
Kylo’s death at the end of the movie is ok. but it’s just for drama. it’s like some ‘hack’ to make your movie seem like shakespeer. But they had an opportunity to further the ‘message and purpose’ of star wars. by having kylo has to live on with his sin and redeem himself. that would be interesting, like Boyaga stops being a storm trooper. Kylo now has to redeem himself, though there is way more to redeem for him. It would be cool, knowing people like Fin and Poe will hate his guts for a long time. But Rey will love him. I liked that they kiss, even though it doesn’t make sense because they have like very little dialogue after he turns good. People think dialogue is ‘mundane’ to ‘basic’ to be important. I like the kiss though because you can feel attraction without talking. and he sacrificed his life to bring her back.
But it would be more interesting to see them both living on together, redeeming the force together light side and former dark side working together. they learn to deepen their understanding of the force and accept things they couldn’t accept before. like some kind of link between the light and dark side, where before they were separate and divide. no one wants to forgive Kylo, but they need his help to stop Palpatine, and when people like Fin start to see the good in Kylo that helps strengthen them with the force. Getting past the anger and revenge stuff.
Now that Palpatine is seen to be a serious real danger, that the battle can potentially go either way, it’s more exciting to see this next fight because Palpatine has beaten them before and we don’t even know if he has played all his cards yet. He is going somewhere to become even more powerful. Maybe he is contacting some other sith. Or maybe like some kind of fallen Jedi, that would mirror Kylo as the former ‘sith’ kind of. Rey vs Palatine, Kylo vs fallen Jedi person. There seems to be this idea that the story has to revolve around Rey Kylo and some other big villain guy and you can’t introduce new ‘key’ characters, additional characters have to be majorly less significant then the main two or three. that limits the story. it is fear to show creativity. the Star-wars Prequels introduced new formidable opponents all the time. It felt like each movie had two major villains, it was dynamic, where the new star wars, there are only two or three villains, Palpatine, Snoke, Kylo, who are a true threat, and even then kylo is defeated in the first movie, and is unstable like a child.
In conclusion, what is the meaning of Jar Jar? George Lucas said, in the outrageously out of context statement “Jar Jar is the key to all this”. what did he really mean by that?
Over the decades Jar jar has played an integral role in star wars. His central position in starwars is only highlighted all the more so by his total absence from Epsidoes 7 to 9. While Jar Jar has disapred from the big screen, seemly taken a humble bow, his infamy on the internet is stronger then ever in recent years. “Good Gooo00oood” To quote the Dark Lord of the Sith, all hail my master Supreme Chancellor Palps. Binks has been at the heart of many memes and hilarious youtube videos.
Maybe Lucas meant that in their hated of Jar Jar, the fans themselves abandoned our Gungan friend. Jar Jar had little guidance, and screen time, and in his isolation he fell pray to the dark sides manipulations and granted emergency powers to Supreme Chancellor Palatine.
Which allowed the secret Sith lord to turn the Republic into the Empire, aka Disney. We abandoned jar Jar Projected our sadness over lost Original Trilogy nostalgia in the Prequels onto the goofy funny innocent Gungan. when the fans delved too far into their hatred, they awakened the Belrog of Kylo Ren. the sad edgy over hyped Vader Copycat (Who is redeemed only by the great acting of Adam Driver).
The fans blinded by nostalgia for the Original Trilogy, projected their hatred onto Jar Jar, witch lead to haters on the internet, witch lead to Lucas handing Star Wars to Disney, witch lead to Disney rejecting Lucas’s Sequel Trilogy Treatments, because of fear that the fans hated Lucas’s newer ideas, and they coped the Original Trilogy in the new films to please the fans as they themselves say. They made safe movies.
As the philosopher Nitchie said “when tho doth hate Star Wars Prequels, be careful tho doth not becomith onto the dark side.”
Argo, we the fans, in our hatred of Jar Jar, we became Darth Jar Jar. We turned ourselves and star wars to the dark side, into the dark side Empire of Disney capitalism. Lucas foresaw all of this when he channeled the force through his high medichlorian count, thus the true meaning of his statement “Jar Jar is the Key to all this” finally unveiled decades later in a random blog post.
The truth is…
I am a fan of the prequels.
Star wars was already good. But the OT fans hated the Prequels so relentlessly for not being exactly like the originals, for being a wildly new and different kind of star wars story, that Lucas became discouraged and gave star wars to Disney. And Disney also felt uneasy to included any of Lucas’s ideas for this very reason. Ironically the fans who thought they hated Lucas’s ideas, hated the Disney films that were designed specifically to give them what they thought they wanted.
And finally Disney not knowing what to do for their third final film, finally went back to Lucas for help, and that was when they created a movie everyone could enjoy that actually went back to the heart of star wars. they didn’t even have to think that much. the material is already there, they just had to evoke it. All they had to do was bring back the “Sith”, just putting that word in the film was a risk they had not been willing to take before, because “Sith” is a prequel word. Yet it evokes so much lore, so much depth and history and demotion to star wars, what hte new movies were lacking.
Fans of the OT, raved on the Prequals for their ‘bad dialogue’, but the thing is that is so irrelevant, or at least secondary to what star wars is about. those movies sold so many copies, and inspired hundreds of EU novels. The OT fans came out about their hatred of the Prequels, and my generation, the ‘younglings’ of star wars, followed suit to our elder star wars fans. But those of us like me who grew up with the prequels, we loved them, and i even think Jar Jar is hilarious, Jar Jar is 1000 times more hilarious specifically because so many people hate him to this ridiculousness degree. but yeah, I’m glad that episodes II and III became more adult. Kid Anikin was not important to the story. It was like a marketing thing to make the movie appeal to children, even though Star Wars obviously has themes that are serious to the fullest degree.
Addressing the ‘bad dialogue’ of the prequels. that is something that can be learned from. not a sign that Lucas was some kind of unhinged creative gone off the deep end. as a visionary it’s not his job to get the specifics of dialogue, and he could have hired someone else to review his dialogue and improve it. it is something to learn from. not a sign of the end of star wars lol. but it became the end when fans attacked Lucas as a person. that was scary. to me he is still an idol.
You also hear about the overuse of ‘CGI’ witch is infuriating, because Lucas basically invented CGI. i saw a documentary about it. it is amazing. i had no idea. I thought he was just the idea man, but the company he started revolutionized the modern movie making industry into what it is today. and those movies use CGI in ways that are more fascinating then even most movies today use it. People should have been in awe of the CGI and instead it was criticized for going to far. But that is normal considering it was just invented for them to be excited about it.
When you look at the plot lines of the Prequels they are all so dynamic and exciting compared to the new trilogy. And there is all kinds of deeper meaning that isn’t even mentioned in the dialogue. Such as how on the surface Anakin is a spoiled brat, but in reality it is the Jedi who push him over the edge by being to strict. Anakin is a guy who is motivated by love, he loves his mother and wife, and the Jedi reinforce that he keep these feelings a secret rather then open up about them. It kind of reminds me of when people are really optimistic relentlessly all the time but hide their problems and can’t stand to hear others mention a problem in the world. The Jedi are ‘selfless’, yet they don’t have the whole picture. and when i wanted the movies as a kid i always figured Anakin was the bad one, and the Jedi were good, but over time watching this movie over the years there is so much more to glean from it. Palpatine pushes Anakin to the dark side by planting a vision of his wife dying into his head, and we never even get this ‘on screen’. but you can infer that it happened. as you can infer, that Palpatine only had so much influence over Anakin because his support system in Obi Wan and the Jedi Council was not actually that strong or emotionally deep. It was just like this absolute buddhim kind of “let go over everything” attitude, that sounds noble, but isn’t even human really. the Jedi were selfless, they saw themselves as beyond human.
The Sith are selfish. they channel the shadow self, and even though they are truly evil, they actually have a hidden message to teach the Jedi about something they do not understand or accept about themselves. the Jedi have abstracted themselves out of reality. and it is there if you look for it. when anakin says “I”M sorry Obi Wan, I’ve just been so frustrated with the council lately.” you see it, that he is missing a support system, and it is not because he doesn’t want one, it is the opposite, he wants the wisdom and guidance of the jedi, but he feels, he just knows something is missing. because being with Padame feels right, even though it is forbidden. he is driven by these big love emotions that make him powerful with the force, more so then other Jedi. because he doesn’t understand these emotions, he is turned to the dark side.
As a kid I always saw Obi Wan as the good guy, and he is a real role model and cool character, but in a strange way I always felt like Qui Gon gin was even cooler. and someone pointed out that Qui Gon understood the contradictions of the Jedi council, he was not a ‘grey Jedi’ but in fact the opposite, he was a true Jedi, he saw Anakins potential, but after he died, Obi Wan didn’t know what to do other then whatever the Council told him to do. Qui Gon was a Jedi who trusted his own intuition even over the collective advice of the council. we know little about him. but i like to think that he was more liberated, in a good way, liberated from the ‘hive mind’ kind of thinking.
The movies -never- take credit for how brilliant they are. there is no character in the movie who points it out (as you see in many anime), or puts into words what is really going on, their are so many gray areas, and it is up to the audience to see the deeper meanings.
As an aside, why is it that bilbo Baggins reminds me of my mothers mother (a round happy surviver of depression). and Palpatine reminds me of my fathers mother (paranoid, cunning, wise).
Palpatine “I have waited a loooong time for this… to welcome my grandson.”
“You will take a seat”
“You will eat a prune”
“We will chat while I play jeprody reruns all day in the background.”