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Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain my personal spin on the Machete Order would add after Ep 6, and then Ep 7. Questions, 1) did you watch the original trilogy with or without the pre-prequel digital tack-ons ("specialized" or "unspecialized"), 2) if you first saw the prequels as a child, have you rewatched them as an adult?

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey

I watched them all as they were released: original series, special edition, prequels, and now sequels & anthology.

I read a bit of that Machete Order thing, but discount it. It's release order for me.

As for ranking them, best to worst, here's mine:

5
Rogue One
4, 6
2, Solo
1
8
7
3

Can I ask how you would rank the movies?

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain

9 (I live in hope, and it would be such a massive save by JJ!)
1 (despecialized)
3 (despecialized)
7 / Solo/ 5 (despecialized)
8
R1 (had a lot of the narrative/ character fails of the prequels but at least got the aesthetic)
A prequels fan edit that cuts them down to one decent movie
3
2
1
Specialized versions of 1-2-3

What make Empire and R1 so much better for you than 4 and 6, and what didn't you like about 3?

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Ep. 5 & Rogue One had more emphasis on character & there was more of an emotional connection. It's hard for a novel or movie to get a reaction out of me, so I appreciate it when one does. They also had more thought-out plots, even if Rogue One was a bit rushed.

Ep. 3 was utter tripe. Anakin's conversion to the dark side was thin (& poorly acted). The whole plot was just a collection of loose ends that needed to be tied up in a haphazard way.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain agree about 5 too, but I have to say I find it hard to understand how you can describe this way. For me, R1 had the broad strokes of a solid plot, but totally failed to take the time required for characters development, in their rush to get to the big 'throw in every piece of tech we've ever seen into one battle' climax. I didn't care when characters died in that battle. I still didn't know who they were enough to care.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain to this day I struggle to remember all the main characters' names, and I've seen it 3 times (out of curiosity, how many can you name without consulting or ?). I've seen twice, and I can at least tell you the first name of every character that has one (clearly stated in dialogue that is). I cared when Qi'ra was left behind on Correlia. I cared when Val and Rio died. When Has shot Beckett, I felt vindicated an conflicted along with him.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain as for the plot, the pacing had some serious issues (see rush to final battle as already mentioned). The writers can't help what we already know (from 1-6), but they don't have to give away what few mysteries there could have been. That prologue scene would have been more effective, narratively and emotionally, as a flashback when Jyn sees her father on Eadu. Up to then, she could have been using only her first name, never revealing her parentage to us.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain the whole plot would have worked better if it gave us more time watching the characters interact, and get to know and trust each other. That way we get to know them too, rather than just watching them wander through an endless series of Bang! Crash! set pieces (Kidnappings! Explosions! Tentacled, mind-reading creatures who have no effect on the outcome! More explosions!)

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Regarding R1, names aren't important to me. I watched Molly's Game a couple of weeks ago & can only remember Molly & Player X (the latter one for obvious reasons). Yet I loved that movie. I can remember the names Finn, Rose, Rey, Phasma, Kylo, Maz, Poe, Haldo, BB8, from 7 & 8, yet I despise those movies. (That may be because there is a lot more discussion about the main series online than there is about R1, so I see those names mentioned more often.)

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I agree about the opening of R1, though. It was horribly rushed. A good example of how not to do things. But, once it hit its stride, it seemed to carry its own (I've only seen it once when it was first released). I think we knew who everyone was, what they were doing, & why. It seemed to be good adventure story-telling from that point on. I don't think the characters are any worse than the original series or Solo. They were certainly better than the prequels.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain for me, 's ending is as bad as its beginning. The characters mostly vanish into a maelstrom of every single piece of tech used in every movie ever. It's hard to care when they all die, because it happens so fast, the movie never pauses to mourn them, not even for a beat. The final scene with Vader crashing through rebels to get at Leia's is forced and surplus, we've seen that already at the start of Ep 4. The movie could have had a stronger ending.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain the second act was by far the strongest. After they leave Jeddha and that irritating Che Guevara guy buys it (*finally*!), and before the battle of Scariff, where we're at least starting to find out who the characters are, and how they fit together with the world, and each other. With a bit of a prune, and some nurturing, it could have been a great film, but for me, it was just ... OK.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I haven't watched the 2 YouTube videos you mentioned, and I probably won't. I'm just interested in this discussion with you.

I also am not interested in any fan edits, machete orders, or or even Lucas's own special editions. I just stick to the original versions in the order they were released.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I want to start with a post you made midway through this last discussion about Luke's arc.

I actually don't think Luke (or any Star Wars character, for that matter) is a well-developed character. They are adequate for the adventure genre, but not in any way well-developed. Some are poorly developed (Anakin, Finn, Kylo, Poe, Qi'ra<--although she's at least likable). Most characters, like Luke & Jyn, are serviceable.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Yes, I missed mentioning Luke coming to terms with his father who is on the dark side & his own possible flirtations with the dark side because I feel that was just window dressing. It wasn't delved into in any meaningful way. They could've done more with that, but didn't. I'd say glossing over that is par for the course for the original trilogy & the anthologies. Not a sin (like the prequels & sequels), because there is something there, just not well-developed.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I'm not trying to belittle Luke. He's my second-favorite character after Han. I'm fine with people resonating with Luke, Han, Jyn, Rey, Rose, Leia, or Obi-Wan because they are all serviceable & have something worthwhile about them. Actually, the sacrifice made by the entire R1 team probably elevates them to worthy status as well.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain I'm really confused by what you mean by a developed character, you clearly mean something quite different by that phrase than what I do. Can you expand on that?

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain do we have to elevates the entire population of Alderan to worthy character status, because none of the events of 4-6 would have played out as they did if their planet hadn't been destroyed, sacrificing them to the needs of the story? Having an executive function in the narrative, however pivotal ("I'm the pilot!"), and nothing more, makes someone a type. Making them a character requires much more.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain what makes a type into a character is things like emotional depth. They don't just react according to type, they have emotional responses to what happens, which sometimes drive their decisions and actions. The hero type kills the villain type. But Luke didn't do this, why? Because he let emotions like compassion and hope contribute to his decision-making.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain Annakin, on the other hand, became the villain by killing villains, as we see in the prequels (however poorly handled). When he goes ape shit on the sand people who killed his mother, this is one of the few believable and emotionally affecting events in the prequels. Annakin doesn't work as a character because most of the time his decisions are dictated by his type, villain to be, and don't seem to proceed from, or result in, any change in his emotional state.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain another thing that makes a type into a character is relationships (not just family ones, any kind). There are almost no relationships between any of the characters in , and the few that exist, are crucial to the few moments that work. K2S0's death is more affecting than most of the human characters' deaths, because I can *feel* his sacrifice for his old friend Cassian, and Jyn, who he has come to grudgingly respect despite his initial scepticism of her.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain another thing that makes a type into a character is motivations the audience can relate to, which change in response to their experiences. Luke's motivation is to escape his boring life on the farm and fight the good fight, then to save the princess, then to avenge his aunt and uncle's deaths, then to save his friends on Yavin, then to become a Jedi, then to save his friends on Bespin, then to complete his training, then to redeem his father.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain what are Annakin's motivations? Initially it's to win pod races, then, as a result of meeting Obiwan and Qui Gon, it's to become a great Jedi master. That doesn't really change again for most of 1-3 until, for ... reasons? ... he believes his anxiety dreams about his wife's death are prophecy, and decides to become a powerful Sith so he can save her from death. Saving her must be a powerful motivator to make him turn 180 like that ... but then he kills her. Huh?

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain this is part of why I agree Annakin can't work as the protagonist of Eps 1-3. Even an anti-hero has to have some redeeming qualities, so we can identify with them. Annakin's arc requires him to lose those as he goes along, so we need a protagonist whose angst we feel as they watch this happen. It didn't have to be Obiwan, it could have been Padme, if they made her a character, not just a type, and put her in the centre of the narrative. What a missed opportunity

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain to recap, to be more than types, characters need emotional depth, meaningful relationships, and believable motivations. Padme does exactly what the plot requires of her, regardless of how she seems to feel about anything. The only relationship of any depth she has is with Annakin, and again, it feels forced, the plot requires it. It doesn't seem to emerge organically from their shared history, in which she's more of a mother substitute than a love interest.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
My view of character is slightly different. I get what you mean by "types" & am not disagreeing too much. I'm just saying that in order to be a "character" it has to be in a novel or movie that devotes a great deal of time to understanding that character--which is almost impossible in an adventure movie. Adventure movies have a lot of plot elements that need to happen, so they don't have time to develop their characters fully.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Let me use Han as an example because Harrison Ford has had a better career than Mark Hamill has.

I enjoy Han Solo the best of the Star Wars characters, and I'm a huge fan of Indiana Jones. Yet I'd say both are "types". Good types, but types. If I want to see a "character" from Harrison Ford, I'll look more to John Book from Witness or Rusty Sabich from Presumed Innocent.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Luke & Han are well written, but I don't view them as overly remarkable. They're "types" for me. They're serviceable. Same goes for Jyn & Cassian from R1. Luke, Han, Jyn, Cassian: they all serve their purpose.

Lucas attempted something more with Anakin in the prequels. He attempted to write something deeper. And he failed miserably because he only really can do "types". What Lucas had in mind for Anakin would've required a screen-writing master to pull off.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Again, I'm OK with Vader in R1. Fan service or not, the only problem I notice is his power is stronger at the end of R1 than what it is throughout the whole of the original trilogy. I think his role works within the frame of the story. It's internally consistent & logical with regards to that story.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I get what you mean about the the relationship of Han & Qi'ra in Solo, but it was just too spare. That kind of relationship needed more screen time. If she absolutely had to stay in there (& I'm still not convinced a totally different character couldn't work), then either reduce the time of the other plot elements or else add several more minutes to the movie's run time. However, as it sits, it's not convincing.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I agree a fair bit with what you say about Padme (but I'm not going to go too far down the rabbit hole of rewriting the entire trilogy). But, Leia isn't exactly a stellar character, either. I'd say George Lucas has a more traditional view of women.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain I've already written quite a bit about Leia, no much point in repeating myself. Just compare Leia in the original trilogy, where she gets quite a bit of time with blaster in her hand, or otherwise making things happen, to Leia in Ep 8 and 8 where she's basically furniture, like Padme for most of Eps 1-3.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I actually don't find Leia to be a stellar character. Perhaps the case could be made that she is marginally better than Padme, but I think it's just George Lucas who made them what they are. I also think Carrie Fisher's health played a part in her diminished role in 7 & 8. That, and Jar Jar Abrams inability to write adult characters very well.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain
> "I actually don't find Leia to be a stellar character."

So you keep saying, but as with a lot of the opinions you keep restarting, we're quickly going to run out of grounds for further discussion unless you go into some details as to *why* you think this. Ideally with some reference to why you disagree with the many points I've raised on the topic. Otherwise, all we can do is contradict each other around and around in circles
youtube.com/watch?v=uLlv_aZjHX

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I think Leia is OK, but not great. She's confident when talking with Vader, gets rescued, then has to show her rescuers how to escape. She's a commander-of-sorts on Hoth & then Han's love interest. She rescues Han, finds out she's Luke's sister, & helps bring down the shield generator. I'd argue we learn a lot more about Padme & her motivations--faults & all--than we do about Leia.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain you've described Leia's executive function in the plot. I could give a similar list of Padme's functions in the prequels, But this doesn't tell us whether either of them are well-written characters. I've already given you the short list of what I think we learn about Padme's motivations? What did I miss?

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain In contrast, Leia's motivation are; defeat the Empire > convince Obiwan to come out of hiding and back her up > save her planet > find Obiwan and escape the Death Star > comfort Luke over Obiwan's death > get R2 back to Yavin with the Death Star plan > destroy the Death Star and save the rebel base, and that's all just in Ep 4! They continue to change like this through 5-6, as the events of the plot produce both emotional responses, and forced changes of plan.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I think if you're going to be that generous with Leia, you're going to have to cut Padme more slack. The two are very similar, actually. The main difference is Lucas attempts more (& fails) with Padme. We see her at a younger age, go to war, & become a mother. She is presented as a tragic character in Ep 3, whereas Leia never was.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Padme's character gets points for trying & loses points for not being successful. Leia's character was kept simple, so there was less to go wrong. Lucas should've kept the characters in the prequels as straight forward as the ones in the original series. That would've solved a lot of problems.

Follow

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain ok, so you're saying that Leia was a more developed and realized character (I would add better acted), despite having less significant plot points to work with. Yes? My work here is done ;->

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain
since our discussion of character development seems to be petering out, how about we switch focus to editing? I watched this great video (20mins-ish) recently about how Ep 4 was saved on the edit. I would argue that the prequels, and all the new films - even the ones I liked (Ep 7 and Solo) were cases where their editing teams failed to save them in the edit
mastodon.nzoss.nz/@strypey/100

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain this is why I'm so intrigued by the rise of fan edit culture. Even with much less to work with than that original editors - who have every piece of footage shot and access to the actors for new dialogue and so on - a good fan edit can sometime make a silk purse out of sow's ear. Eg the 4 hour fan edit of is a great pair of 2 hour films, made entirely from epic turds

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I think I saw that video a couple weeks ago. It was interesting.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain I guess we'll have to agree to disagree about Leia vs. Padme and about . What I found interesting in that editing video was the way lines were cut from George's screenplay, both in production and in the edit, which improved the characters. That's why I find the of the so intriguing; the cinema releases were badly under-edited.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain for example, in the climactic scene where Padme says "you're breaking my heart!" Natalie does her best but its turgid, pointless line. It's obvious from her *acting* and everything else she says, and that line should have been left on the cutting room floor, along with much of the dialogue ("I'm not the Jedi I should be", "You won't get away this time, Dooku" etc etc)

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain another example of under-editing spoiling the prequels is the light sabre fights, which are all *far* too long, and overly elaborate. Also, they lack any dramatic tension, because they do a lot of static talking first (boring), then a looong fight, with none of the tension building of dialogue over crossed blades etc. Ep 7 does this much better, and even Ep 8 does it better than the prequels.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain for example, imagine and had their dialogue about killing during their fight, with only the final lines delivered with the blades at his throat. Dooku's fighting would have higher stakes as the fight goes on, as he realizes his master won't save him if he loses, and Annnakin might not just arrest him.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Leia was not more developed, Padme was--and by a fair margin, too. Leia was more realized, though, because they kept her character simpler. Lucas does better with simpler characters (Han, Luke, Leia) than he does with characters requiring more complexity (what he attempted with Anakin & Padme). Other writers may have been able to pull it off, but not him.

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