Live-action series,  Prequel Trilogy

Reliable sources confirm that Ewan McGregor is in talks for an Obi-Wan Kenobi series

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The following articles are from reliable Hollywood medias. The coming of an Obi-Wan Kenobi live-action series starring Ewan McGregor is now almost certain.


From Deadline

“Ewan McGregor may be picking up his lightsaber again. The 48-year-old Scottish actor is in talks about reprising his role as the heartfelt but headstrong Jedi master known as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a yet-to-be-titled Disney+ series, Deadline has confirmed.

Details about the series following the Jedi master are being kept under wraps. McGregor played the younger version of the wise but irascible Star Wars icon in the three prequel films: The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005). McGregor also revisited the role to make a voice-only cameo in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).

Plans to produce a stand-alone Kenobi feature film morphed into the current plan for a big-budget series for Disney+, just as the discussion of a Boba Fett film gave way to the similarly spirited The Mandalorian series.

It may sound like a demotion in status and priority (and a reaction to the disappointing returns on the Han Solo film) but Disney+ is a small-screen venture of colossal importance to Disney. The digital subscription service has become an all-hands-on-deck mission for Disney with a bevy of shows from Marvel Studios and major-budget original programming, such as the high-profile remake of The Lady and The Tramp.

Disney+ plans are expected to be a core component of the on-stage preview presentations at Disney’s D23 Expo later this month in Anaheim. That programming will likely include the introduction of McGregor as a returning screen star in the Jedi universe. […]”


From The Hollywood Reporter:

“The Jedi Order is once again calling Ewan McGregor into service.

The actor, who famously portrayed the masterful Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi in three Star Wars movies, is in negotiations to reprise the role in a Kenobi-centered series for Disney+, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

The development positions the series as the third Star Wars title being made for the upcoming streaming platform, which is set to launch this fall and is meant to take aim at rival digital services such as Netflix while taking Disney and its brands into new audience  realms. […]

In 2017, THR revealed that Disney and Lucasfilm were developing a feature spinoff for the character, to have been directed by Stephen Daldry, the Oscar-nominated helmer behind Billy Elliot and The Hours. However, those plans, and other movie entries, were shelved after the poor performance of another spinoff, Solo: A Star Wars Story, in summer 2018. […]”

 

0 Comments

  • Cryogenic

    So, you’re saying… he’s “negotiating”, right now?

    Ah, yes. General Kenobi. The negotiator. We’ve been waiting for you…

  • archdukeofnaboo

    RePosting this in the correct thread:

    I refuse to believe Kenobi spent 19 years in secrecy, doing nothing than minding a child. After defeating someone as powerful as Anakin, why wouldn’t he fancy taking on the Emperor himself? Or maybe not – Yoda had failed that one, after all. But Yoda’s powers were waning, and he’d been blundering all through the Clone War, to tell the truth.

    One last shot. One last crack at Palpatine. One last chance to restore all that was once good, sweet and noble in the Galaxy.

    A chance at Redemption for the Jedi Order.

    But it goes deeper than that my friends, and it’s one word:

    Atonement

    • Cryogenic

      @ Arch Duke:

      It’ll be interesting to find out what he was doing all that time — besides playing Scrabble and talking to dead people.

      Imagine, too, if he befriended one or two of the locals, and quite a friendship developed, like Dex and Obi-Wan — Dexiwan? — only for his friends to come to his hovel, one day, and find him gone, their hearts full of sadness.

      I don’t think he’s going to go anywhere near the Emperor. Maybe. He did originally tell Yoda: “Send me to kill the Emperor.” And in Yoda not letting him do that, he was forced to confront his wayward padawan, instead — and we all see how that went.

      Of course, when he said that to his elfin master, he was deflecting, deferring, ducking from the inevitable, but even so… Perhaps he is still itching to bust ol’ Sids up. Then again, as they’re being pulled into the Death Star, he does counsel Han: “You can’t win, but there are alternatives to fighting.” Obi-Wan wises up a lot between the trilogies. Let’s see this gentle flowering in an engaging and intelligent manner. And let it be Ewan.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic

        As someone who hasn’t watched Clone Wars through yet, I gotta say, you really are missing a crucial part of Obi-Wan’s history! It occurred on a stunning planet called Mandalore, and is well done.

        Or, maybe you’ve already heard what happened?

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        No. I must plead ignorant.

        I’ve contrived to remain innocent of most TCW lore, until I get a bit tougher with myself and sit down and watch it for myself.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic

        “Come to your senses!” said Obi-Wan. I think I have now: it’s unlikely they’ll be a big spectacular plot by the Jedi Master to take on the whole empire.

        What there may be happening, action-wise, instead is a bit of subversion on the part of the rebels. Maybe they’re trying to get key Empire staff to change sides? I doubt an assassination plot against Palpatine would happen, I believe they’d be much too wise to try that. That’s why Kenobi is minding Luke so closely, he believes he’ll be the one to take him on one day when he reaches adulthood.

        I feel that the series (especially if it is a series) will be as much about Obi-Wan dealing with the trauma (the PTSD) of loosing Anakin as any other significant storyline. That would turn it into a character study, as opposed to a swashbuckling adventure, and it could make for some high quality drama which would really test out McGregor. The dessert setting of Tatoinne may well be very conductive to this aim.

        The battles to overthrow the empire came 19 years after RotS. This series will be long before that.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        Yep. Obi-Wan recovering and trying to find the joy in life again. Perhaps we’ll see him tracking and interacting with the local wildlife, the rocks, the canyons, the dunes, seeking contentment and oneness with the universe, with everything around him…

        Even Sir Alec Guinness spoke of the eerie, sublime nature of his surroundings, when he was in the Tunisian desert, making the original.

        Remember, too, how, in Episode I, a young Obi-Wan stiffly complains to his master, from the queen’s ship?

        “What if this plan fails, Master? We could be stuck here a very long time.”

        And they are. Those twenty years in the wilderness could feel like eons.

        Tatooine has a strange magic about it. A time-warping, perception-bending magic.

        And Obi-Wan remains one of the franchise’s best-loved characters.

        This series has terrific promise.

  • Thulsa

    It will be nice to see McGregor as Obi-Wan again, but surely the atmosphere will be much closer to the original trilogy, just like every Star Wars film or series since 2015. So I’ll glady watch it but I’m not that excited for now!

    • archdukeofnaboo

      Yeah, it’ll be close to the OT in the sense that it’s set in the Galactic Empire era – Palpatine dictatorship, no organised Jedi Order, and a powerless Senate (it only still exists to fool the general public).

      But it’s heart is still from the PT. The lead actor is Ewan McGregor and he will be continuing the story of the Obi-Wan we know and love from Episodes I-III. Other familiar faces like Bail Organa are bound to appear, especially if Kenobi had any role within the early days of the clandestine alliance to restore the Republic.

      Hopefully they’ll be able to canonise the deleted scene of Padmé starting the rebellion. Some sort of reference to this meeting having occurred via Obi-Wan conversing with her senate friends. Maybe Mon Mothma?

      How many of you are aware that Mon Mothma was born 4 years before Anakin, yet is alive in Episode VIII?

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        There is an interesting push-pull tension you have just identified there. A series that superficially aligns with the basic plot circumstances of the OT, yet is very PT-centric in other areas.

        They definitely should acknowledge the early rebellion material, one way or another. “Rogue One” also did this — loosely — in the sense of having those same prequel actors appearing in a scene together.

        I guess Mon Mothma is one of the saga’s octogenarians. Obviously, many people reach that age in our world (all my grandparents, for instance), and a few such individuals have appeared in the movies, including Christopher Lee/Count Dooku (Lee was 82 when he filmed his sword fight scenes in Episode III), and “Dooku” surrogate figure Lor San Tekka, played by Max von Sydow (von Sydow was 85 when cameras rolled on “The Force Awakens”).

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic

        You’ve reminded me of a scene during the ST where I was genuinely hooked: Lor San Tekka confronting Kylo Ren. Man, did the TFA get off to a flying start – it had everything possibly going for it. So much mystique, so much promise… but then it devolved into a copy & paste of ANH. The Christopher Lee comparison is spot-on.

        The thing about Rogue One, well, discussing it online anyway, is that it is so often poorly described as a “prequel”. It bugs me! When I talk about prequels I mean the Galactic Republic era – that is, all of Lucas’ 2nd trilogy and the Clone Wars animation. It just isn’t that, as it’s far removed from the events of RotS and, in reality, a prologue to the original film.

        So even though it did feature those prequel actors as you say (other than Bail and Mon, I can’t recall, I haven’t seen the film in so long), it wasn’t the focus – rather a little background to what was a war movie. In the case of an Obi-Wan series, these prequel alumni would be provided with a real outing. It’s the early stages of the Rebellion, where it’s ability to survive and prevent infiltration will be challenged. There’s a lot of good writing possibilities here. And so what if Leia isn’t involved? Bail Organa is a brilliant character!

        Yes, that’s right, I want Bail Organa to play the most important role after Kenobi. I would love to see scenes between Smits and McGregor.

        I won’t forget that moment where he attempts to enter the Jedi Temple, but is prevented by the Clone troopers. Just the way he handled the dire situation with such dignity, humility and self-restraint – there’s something about it. It’s a very different kind of defeat to the one members of the Jedi Council experience in the office of the Supreme Chancellor.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        I loved the confrontation between LST and Kylo Ren, too. Sadly, they squandered an absolutely terrific actor in the form of Max von Sydow (surely one of the greatest actors on the planet). To feature him in all of two scenes, with about five lines of dialogue, is criminal! Granted, Christopher Lee doesn’t get much more than that in ROTS, but at least he gets the honour of having the first duel of the movie. Moreover, there’s his appearance in AOTC backing him up, and his character’s involvement in the Clone War crisis more generally. And, of course, his character is a major driver and significant milestone in Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side.

        In the case of LST, you can see they were trying to evoke the magisterial Lee/Dooku, and they even gave LST similar lines. He baits Kylo a similar way to Dooku baiting Anakin — and then suffers the same fate:

        “I sense great fear in you, Skywalker. You have hate, you have anger, but you don’t use them.”

        “The First Order rose from the Dark Side. You did not.”
        “You cannot deny the truth, that is your family.”

        And then there’s LST resisting Kylo by saying “you may try”, which echoes Anakin saying to Obi-Wan, seconds before their duel, “you will try”.

        You also get the sense that they didn’t quite know what they were doing with TFA. LST is offed in record time, and then they were going to kill Poe. His surviving to the third act and re-appearing at the “Resistance” base was a late change. Hence his lame non-explanation to Finn. Did they even have a plan for Episode VII? It seems they were winging it most of the way.

        Yeah. It’s disingenuous to call “Rogue One” a prequel. Lucas actually imbued that word with several dimensions. It’s like calling a Ford Model T and a Lamborghini Diablo a “car”. Technically, they’re both automobiles, and yet they’re a million miles apart.

        Essentially, “Rogue One” is a war movie, as you said, with some espionage elements thrown in. The prequels barely touch war head-on (or head-off — poor Jango) until the end of Episode II. Even Episode III mostly dispenses with the war angle and is more of a focused character drama. War feeds into the tonal and thematic architecture of the prequels in a more thoughtful and elliptical way. I guess this is something that some fans had a problem with. “It’s called Star Wars”. Yeah — Lucas was trying to explain the ways a beleaguered and barely-functioning democracy can lead to war…

        I also love the character of Bail. Perfect casting in Jimmy Smits. His size, his posture, his gait, his clothing, his coolness under fire… all those facets remind me of Qui-Gon. Bail even sports a Qui-Gon-esque beard. Bail trying to enter the Jedi Temple and getting blocked (threatened) by those clone troops is a highlight of the film’s second half. Smits handles it with such authority and dignity. I, too, would love to see scenes between Smits and McGregor.

        But that one scene! How darkly beautiful and haunting it is.

        Your last line is cogent. In some ways, it’s a much darker defeat than what any of the Jedi experience. Bail’s resigned remark — “And so it is” — is also a sad, stern, and composed valedictory for the death of the Republic. Lucas handled that part with astounding economy and grace. In a way, too, Lucas performed his own version of that line when he was shut out by Disney. Thank you, Mister Lucas/Senator Organa, we’ll take it from here…

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic

        It’s that Bail scene that caught my eye in my recent PT rewatch. It really struck me this time, more than ever.

        I get the sense that the wise Alderanian senator isn’t in in total surprise. Yes, he’s in shock, like anyone would be, but he was a lot more of an intelligent type of person that what we got on the Council. He’s never been cool with the militarization of the state, and I believe he knows the game is up for the Republic. The petition of 2,000 has flopped. Palpatine is not going quietly into the night.

        Quite simply: they’ve played a game of chess. They’re now at the endgame, but Palpatine has kept his queen all along on the board, while they have long since lost theirs – and many other useful pieces to boot. It doesn’t matter what move the Republic plays now, for the result is inevitable.

        Organa has resigned the game. But he lives to fight another day.

        Palpatine is the ultimate grandmaster – a prodigy, a genius, a player with a limitless number of strategies to defeat his opponent. And when you’re a mediocre player (or players: 20 vs 1 chess matches are possible) up against that calibre, defeat is only a few blunders away. You can sense it half way through the match – as we the viewers can in Lucas’ very own Episode II.

        The Republic plays “Queen’s gambit” as an opener and it fails spectacularly.

        That’s enough chess analogies for one day! For those who also play, feel free to add.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        You might enjoy this excellent thread on TFN. The scene with Bail and the clone troopers was discussed in there as an underrated PT highlight. Here’s the exact post you’ll want:

        https://boards.theforce.net/threads/the-anti-memes-the-overlooked-and-forgotten-in-the-prequel-trilogy.50037391/#post-53107299

        *sigh*

        I wish we had all those guys on here and at Naberrie Fields…

        You’re right that Bail seems smarter than many on the Jedi Council. He hasn’t been fighting a war the past three years — well, a quiet, secretive political one, maybe. His vision is arguably less clouded. He maintains a strong perspective on the Republic and a solid moral centre. After trying to argue down the military act, he tolerated the clones, but barely. He knew where it would lead. Witness his discreet fist-banging at the end of AOTC as he looks out at the departing gunships with Palpatine and those other dignitaries. He knows in that moment that the Republic he loves has slipped away.

        Chess analogies are quite fitting. Those Trade Federation guys at the start of Episode I, when they’re consulting with Darth Sidious, seem to deliberately look like chess pieces (their hats) — and, of course, Sidious is the Grand Master. He doesn’t even have to “move” the pieces himself. He just has to convince them to move (and checkmate) themselves. He’s an ingenious strategist. You’re right that Palpatine has seen the other moves in advance and has countless other options “up his sleeve”. Like when Amidala unexpectedly arrives at Coruscant. He adapts. And once the Clone Wars are in motion, as someone on TFN once said, Palpatine essentially has the Jedi over a barrel: “Heads I win, tails you lose.”

        There isn’t really a more fiendish villain than Palpatine or a more fiendishly-plotted set of movies than the prequels. And yet: people talk about them like they’re the worst movies ever made. No, they *say* they’re among the most horrible films ever made (ah, fanboys), but their constant, continuous obsession with them suggests a strange attachment to the genius embedded inside of them. These people need to search their feelings. They *know* it to be true.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Joe:

        Ah, yes!

        “This will begin to make things right.”

        Well, at the time, I said as much. Perhaps I started that meme…

        However, “this” is also an anagram of “sith”, and “Revenge Of The Sith” is the title of the last (in production-order) of Lucas’ six-part space-fantasy odyssey. And “sith” is the final word of the title. So, in a way, it’s sort of an easter egg-ish, back-handed compliment to Lucas and the prequels.

        The last component of Lucas’ grand space opera is the part that makes everything right. TFA is like ANH and the OT seen through a ROTS prism. Kylo is Vader in a state of semi-undress: Anakin 2.0. There are things about the sequels that are quite compelling. Everything about them owes a great debt to ROTS and the Prequel Trilogy! Never forget it.

  • Natalie

    Not sure why everyone is so excited considering what they did to Luke. Caution is more appropriate in this case, otherwise we’ll face disappointment again.

    • Cryogenic

      @ Natalie:

      It’s clear they didn’t know what to do with Luke and feared turning him into a “Gary Stu”. So it seems they went in the opposite direction and made him into a “Gary Poopoohead”.

      In the case of Obi-Wan:

      I think there’s a bit more cause for positivity. Even if cautious, restrained optimism is still the best path.

      Oh, and I do think Luke’s arc was revolved quite poignantly in TLJ, actually. Despite indications to the contrary, I’m less down on his treatment than some fans.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Joe:

        I know you addressed that to Natalie, and I said I’d sworn off discussing Screen Rant, so I should be pretending I didn’t see that, just now, and yet…

        I love how that article pretends to offer a balanced premise (“5 Things The Prequel Trilogy Did Better Than The Sequel Trilogy (& 5 Things The Sequels Are Doing Better”), but the first line instantly goes after the prequels, just to remind everyone for the nth time that mockery and contempt are still the appropriate responses:

        “Until Disney squeezed out George Lucas and started butchering the Star Wars saga even more than the prequel trilogy already did, Episodes I through III were the most maligned films in the franchise.”

        What is it with these hack writers and their hack assertions???

        If all these films are so butchered and unfortunate, why devote space talking about them? We know why: clicks.

        10. SEQUELS DID BETTER: DIALOGUE

        In your dreams.

        Oh, sorry, that wasn’t much of a response, was it?

        Personally, I think the dialogue of the prequels is much more memorable, from Anakin mistaking Padme for an angel (innocent and sweet), to Palpatine’s cold and casual instruction to Commander Cody: “Execute Order 66”. And everything in-between. There have also been pitifully few Jedi-isms in the new films. But in the prequels, one instantly recalls some of Qui-Gon’s pithy remarks and epigrams, like “There’s always a bigger fish”, and “Your focus determines your reality”.

        Also, while much-derided (yes: even I’ll admit that much), Anakin’s fireplace dialogue to Padme is much more raw-boned, passionate, and honest than anything in the Disney movies. Two other notable “home runs” where people have a conversation is the dinner table scene in TPM (very well directed, too), and the opera scene in ROTS (perhaps the pinnacle of dialogue-driven scenes in the saga). Again, nothing remotely comparable from the Disney films to these moments, that I can see.

        There’s also the layers of dramatic irony embedded in much of the prequel dialogue, which gives it a certain delectable quality unique to the PT era. “I’d much rather dream about Padme.” Oh, don’t worry, Anakin, you will. Or Obi-Wan’s epic puns, delivered with that cool, beau-boy charm that only Ewan can bring. The prequels do well in other areas, too: e.g., lines that are resonant and tragic, like Shmi telling Anakin, “Don’t look back”, or hilariously understated, like Padme informing Qui-Gon on the sudden appearance of Maul, “We’ll take the long way.” Damn right, you will.

        But maybe this author gets a kick out of Poe, a captured pilot in fear of his life, being snarky toward the murderous Kylo Ren from the start, or Rey telling Finn to stop taking her hand — the epitome of badass screenwriting. Or Rey crowing, “Master Skywalker”, or Finn quipping that his former occupation, before becoming a hardened stormtrooper, was being a janitor. Dialogue that will echo down the ages.

        Of course, snark aside, I do think the sequels have *some* good dialogue, like when Han and Luke confront Kylo and their short back-and-forths. The actors handle those scenes with wonderful grace and powerful understatement. But it’s a hard slog getting there when you have to put up with ten pounds of talk-down, Marvel-movie-wannabe, shallow, unengaging filler dialogue first.

        9. PREQUELS DID BETTER: ORIGINAL STORIES

        At least they actually acknowledge something of serious worth here:

        “The prequels, on the other hand, had engaging and unique narratives we hadn’t seen before in the Star Wars saga: a Jedi’s forbidden love, the creation of a Clone Army, a politician who is secretly a Sith Lord slowly taking over the galaxy.”

        Right. And in other words: the prequels considerably expanded the scope, believability, and texture of that galaxy far, far away. Whereas the sequels have traitored and narrowed it.

        8. SEQUELS DID BETTER: DRIVING THE PLOT WITH ACTION

        Nope. Their bash at the prequels comes at the end:

        “The Star Wars sequel trilogy has been doing a better job of using action sequences to advance the plot than the prequel trilogy, which had long dialogue scenes in locations such as libraries, ever did.”

        While there are moderately digressive action sequences in the PT, like the podrace, they’re all extremely well-designed and executed. And most of them do advance the plot; and some, like the airspeeder chase in AOTC, are gloriously clever pieces of character exposition too. Others, like Obi-Wan and Jango’s cat-and-mouse etude amongst the skittering rings of Geonosis, or Anakin and Dooku’s brief face-off in the dark, are hypnotic and balletic.

        And the most plot-advancing sequences in the prequels are devastatingly compelling, like the Order 66 montage and the last duels of ROTS between Anakin and Obi-Wan and Yoda and the Emperor — formidable imagery, music, choreography, and yes: emotional impact. Far and away beyond most of the drab, recycled crap in the sequels, which barely even pretends to be original. Another Millennium Falcon turret sequence? Please. Another Death Star attack run? Get outta here. A bomber-ship battle where the bomber ships appear to be made of tissue paper and move at a snail’s pace? In the words of Luke: go away.

        Bashing libraries says it all. Libraries are foundational to human civilisation. To paraphrase Carl Sagan, we inherited genes, than we developed brains, than we built libraries. Our interest in knowledge became so enormous that we exceeded our brains’ capacity to retain all the knowledge we hold valuable many times over. Prequels pay beautiful homage to this. Even the Jedi know they can’t possibly know everything and need a library to keep track of it all. Despite Jocasta’s arrogance (which is another important plot point). And it’s one scene.

        7. PREQUELS DID BETTER: CHARACTERS ARCS

        “Where are the journeys of Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and Kylo Ren heading in The Rise of Skywalker? It’s entirely unclear.”

        Yeah, audiences don’t know, either. In fact, according to some reports, they’ve already given up trying to find out. And kids haven’t taken to the new films as expected, according to these same reports, either. The sequels have clearly been a letdown in this critical area.

        Prequels obviously offer superior plot and character arcs. Why? Because they were actually thought out ahead of time. That’s why. Lucas wasn’t just putting in what pleased him, or what he felt needed to be there to please fans and shareholders. He actually had a story to tell and characters to tell that story with. Kind of a novel concept since Disney took hold of the franchise.

        6. SEQUELS DID BETTER: KILLING OFF A MAJOR CHARACTER

        Eh? I’ll give them Han’s death — it was well done. Harrison earned his pay check that day. But I think drawing a comparison with Qui-Gon is unfair. Qui-Gon’s loss still tugs at the heartstrings and has important ramifications for Anakin, the Jedi Order, and, in fact, the entire Galactic Republic. And this writer is overlooking the death of Shmi in the next film, to say nothing of the killing fields and tragic losses that occur in the third movie. Even Jar Jar dies a kind of symbolic death across the movies. The Republic and Jedi Order, too. The meta theme of the prequels, like LOTR, is actually death. Well, death and the stirrings of a rebirth.

        5. PREQUELS DID BETTER: TYING IN TO THE OVERALL SAGA

        Yep. That’s because Lucas actually cared. It was his story and he put the leg-work in. Moreover, he constructed the prequels to fit into a wider “12-hour movie” vision of the saga. In other words: Star Wars is one story in six parts. That’s all. The sequels feel like an awkward attachment. Like someone sliced the ear off Lucas’ masterwork and tried painting it a different colour and re-attaching it with glue.

        4. SEQUELS DID BETTER: SLICK VISUALS

        Huh? There’s some slickness to the visuals. You can see the subtle advancements that have taken place since the prequels. But those advancements mean very little without thought-out, coherent action sequences that are both imaginative and connect to the wider story being told.

        Funny how prequel fans used to be accused of being in love with fancy effects and explosions, but this author literally describes the impact of explosions in the new space battles as being “much more tangible” than in the prequels. Really? Okay. Whatever. I’ll take the opening space battle in ROTS over the one in TLJ, any day.

        Prequel vistas and characters and vehicles — all the “stuff” of the world — is a lot more sumptuous than in the sequels, too. There’s an admirable eclecticism at work, also helping to tell the story. Like Obi-Wan pursuing Grievous on his lizard, while Grievous tries to flee in his wheelbike. Far more chimerically ravishing than anything in the sequels, in my opinion.

        Prequels are packed with stunning imagery. The action scenes never let up on delivering it. The lava geysers on Mustafar, for example, are amazing. Podrace sequence? Stunning. Laser gate sequence at the end of the TPM duel? Still one of the coolest action interludes I’ve ever seen. But I guess the author is more concerned about an additional shader to make the lightsabers glow more pretty.

        3. PREQUELS DID BETTER: OVERARCHING STORYLINES

        “However, as it stands, there is really no overarching storyline in the sequel trilogy. It’s vaguely about the Resistance fighting the First Order, but there’s no forward momentum or discernible endgame.”

        He keeps repeating this notion that the sequels have no real storyline. Then why are you defending them, you dingle-dong? What do the sequels have, without an overarching storyline, that makes them so noteworthy or commendable? He’s defending a ship without sails. I guess he likes the view from the harbour.

        2. SEQUELS DID BETTER: DIVERSITY

        “Until the sequel trilogy came along, each Star Wars trilogy had just one major character of color and one major female character.”

        Ugh… I hate that term, “character of color”…

        Here are some characters of colour:

        C-3PO
        R2-D2
        Chewbacca
        Yoda
        Jabba
        Jar Jar
        Watto
        Darth Maul
        Dexter Jettster
        General Grievous

        (and all the rest)

        What I am saying is: every character in Star Wars is “a character of colour”, but especially the non-human ones.

        Some are even referred to explicitly by their colour:

        “Patience, my blue friend” (Qui-Gon to Watto)
        “I have waited a long time for this moment, my little green friend” (Palpatine to Yoda)

        And various characters, including several of those named above, are treated as lesser and inferior; at times, like absolute trash. Even by characters like Leia (“walking carpet”) that should know better.

        Star Wars has always been a commentary on racism, prejudice, bigotry, and not judging by an appearance or by first impressions. It has also served as a tract on sexism for just as long. It didn’t start under Disney. In fact, if you want a diverse employer in Star Wars, you should check if Jabba’s Palace are hiring. Jabba is quite happy with interspecies mingling based on the on-screen evidence.

        This diversity thing is a total non-issue that Disney disingenuously made into one using self-serving progressive doublespeak. If they care so much for diversity, they should have come out swinging in defence of maligned characters like Jar Jar and the real-life African American performer who brought him to life. You know? Ahmed Best. The guy the industry repeatedly overlooked and ignored in favour of Andy Serkis (a white guy — last time I checked). The talented but horribly neglected black performer who was effectively “blackballed” (no pun intended) and driven to the brink of suicide. All because he played a character whose very purpose was to jab at racist and exclusionary attitudes.

        Furthermore, Kathleen Kennedy, the President of Lucasfilm, bashed Bikini Leia in an interview as being inappropriate for today’s audiences. She even suggested Lucas made a mistake showing Leia that way in the 1980s. Like any hardcore feminist, she echoes more the fanaticism of a religious puritan than a person who actually believes in real diversity and progress. Maybe she should go to a Gay Pride march and see how loosely people of all sexualities — and ages — commonly dress at those. Maybe she should walk the floor at a Celebration event and see the range of cosplaying that now frequently occurs there and at similar events like Comic-Con. Prudery is not progress.

        A female Jedi was also Lucas’ idea — one he had been pursuing, in some form, or hoping to include, since the original film. Disney don’t get to take the credit for even that. Mary Sue fan fiction is also not true progressivism. Padme Amidala remains the most developed and multi-faceted female character in the Star Wars saga.

        And wow… A black and a Latino man in Star Wars. Never seen that before. Nope. Not ever.

        All of this also skips over another important element:

        Lucas borrowed — leftist ideologues would say “appropriated” — from many other cultures in designing the ships, worlds, and appearances of his various (and multifarious) characters. Amidala’s first appearance, for example, exudes a strong Asian aesthetic, because her makeup and dress are based on Mongolian imperial fashion. The Disney films often nothing half as striking. They are the hobbled product of a very dull conception of Star Wars and a coward’s sense of the visually fantastical. They are literally monochrome (the opening Lucasfilm logo). A closed system. Once again, the hardcore leftist sense of diversity is more the opposite: Machiavellian misdirection and flagrant abuse of language to sell a package of hollowed-out, faulty, phony goods. Even the Galactic Empire would like to tell you it’s diverse, meritocratic, and cares about bringing peace to the galaxy.

        1. PREQUELS DID BETTER: UNDERSTANDING STAR WARS

        I’m glad the author saw fit to give the prequels the top slot. Their last bit of writing isn’t bad and can serve as an effective summary of the difference between Lucas-authored and Disney-owned Star Wars, and the cavernous divide between the two:

        “Unlike the Marvel universe, which has been shaped by literally hundreds of writers and artists over the years and is open to interpretation, Star Wars is and always has been whatever George Lucas says it is. The prequel trilogy took risks, developed the political arena of that galaxy far, far away, and built on the dichotomy between the Jedi and the Sith – whether you like those movies or not, they are true works of Star Wars media. And they introduced brand-new planets in every movie to avoid cheating the audience.

        From Disney’s forced snowflake-friendly messages to Kathleen Kennedy’s focus on creating products and not movies to J.J. Abrams’ irritating mystery-box habit, the sequels just don’t get Star Wars. The new movies don’t even class as space operas – they’re even in the wrong genre!”

        Thank you… and good night.

        And Joe:

        Please don’t do this to me again. :p

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic

        In all fairness, it seems that Screenrant handed the PT the bulk of the better awards on that occasion. Visuals are certainly debatable, though I would hand it to Abrams for doing a good job in that department, at least. And as for diverse casting? The PT and ST are about equal, to tell the truth.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        I though I already did that above.

        You assert that you feel the PT and ST are “about equal” in diverse casting, seemingly in reference to the second-to-last item in the article, which commends the ST for superior diversity in its casting compare to both the prequels and the originals. However, I gave a lengthy disquisition on that very point, breaking down the Orwellian term “diversity”, in which I suggested there’s much more to the concept of diversity than just gender or skin colour — and complaining that if Disney actually cared about diversity, they would have put in a defence of Jar Jar and Ahmed Best, instead of throwing them under the bus. You apparently passed right over this material because you a) said nothing about it, and b) reaffirmed the author’s strawman premise.

        And I don’t think Abrams is a particularly great, let alone distinguished, visual stylist. His use of the camera is a bit more fluid and Spielbergian than Lucas, which some people seem to find more involving (though it’s debatable if it really adds anything interesting or unusual to anything), but I much prefer Lucas’ classical, objective sense of composition and multi-layered juxtapositional editing. Then there’s the actual world and character design, which is far punier in “The Force Awakens” (the film is mostly just rehashed OT garbage) than anything in the prequels.

        The prequels utterly trounce the sequels in visual imagination. They brought fantastic, sweeping vistas to the screen, and an awesome array of designs pulling from Elizabethan and Mongolian imperial fashion, to Early Neoclassical and Moorish Revival palace architecture, moody, THX-interior, grey-alien-occupied water worlds, 1950s sci-fi action-comic robots battling white-suited clone warriors in an immense dust haze, to opulent Art Deco ultra-high-rise apartments, cavernous political chambers, a viscous, weirdly-pulsating water-ballet performance inside a strutted opera house, kabuki-inspired assassin characters, strange worlds of crystal and organic, fifty-foot high pods under charcoal skies, and a lava planet almost monochromatic in its furious intensity.

        We also had rad podracing machines to behold, banana-yellow, chrome-bellied fighter craft, flying termites and deadly gunships, fetid droid factories, and an insectoid robot general with retractable arms, deploying strobes of light in a frantic windmill attack, and escaping in a bizarre contraption that looked half-way between a giant wheel and an angry buzzsaw. And this all occurred on a world with emerald skies bejewelled with several large moons, and a windswept surface below, where the inhabitants dwell underground in enormous, interconnected sinkholes: the cities some mixture of the religious, the clinical, the curated, and the profane. And in the middle of all that, a Jedi warrior riding a dragon.

        The Disney films offer nothing as remotely gorgeous or eye-popping as a tenth of what you can find jumping out of the screen in the prequels. To compare the films on this level is — in my opinion — a total joke.

        The article may have handed the PT “the bulk of the better awards”, but it still damns them with faint praise in several places (including at the beginning, which sets the tone of the piece), and it only makes it even more questionable what, exactly, the sequel trilogy has going for it.

        Especially, I might add, when the author has to massively oversimplify and effectively lie for Disney on the concept of diversity, implying a good deal more about the sequels, and a good deal less about the prequels and the originals, than all those trilogies (and respective filmmakers and regimes) deserve.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic

        When I speak of diversity I mean country of origin, background, language. I haven’t done any extensive research, I’m just going on by memory of the sequel films (which I haven’t seen in quite some time now)

        I think you’re getting a little too bothered by these lazy top 10 articles. They’re not worth it, honestly.

        But, you know, a 5,000 word comparison between the PT and ST might make a good blog article for you in the near future. You have the passion!

        As for me? I’ve got a ST Luke Skywalker critique that still hasn’t a reply…

      • jpieper668

        @Archduke
        that was my fault no more links to screen rant anti-pt articles and where’s this Luke critique that you Speak of?

      • Cryogenic

        @ Joe:

        Don’t worry about it. You were only seeking input.

        @ Arch Duke:

        Yeah — I probably should pour this passion of mine out in a more appropriate and visible form.

        However:

        You involved yourself in this sub-discussion some time after my lengthy response got posted. You were not obligated to say anything. But you did, and by addressing me, as if attempting a rebuttal. Albeit, it seems, one attempted in a hurry, and not up to your usual standard of eloquent, attentive response.

        It was already clear that your interpretation of the concept of diversity aligned with the article writer’s. I was not suffering any confusion on that point. Hence my terse response to you earlier. You then asked me to elaborate as to why I felt you were missing the point — to “explain” myself, so to speak — and I did so. Only for you to revert to providing me with redundant information.

        These lazy articles may not be worthy of much discussion (I already declined, for the most part, to address an earlier Screen Rant article Joe put into the comments section the other day — I dismantled the top item of the list and decided not to waste my time going any further), but they still present opportunities for elucidation on both the brilliance of the PT, and the comparative failures of the sequels.

        They also allow one to address insidious concepts circling the new films, like the “diversity” concept, which is useful in framing a sociological attack on Disney and in exposing the vacuous character of various Star Wars articles kicking around online (not merely inane “top ten” clickbait tripe) — which might be individually insignificant, but sadly, have a cumulative effect on shaping people’s attitudes toward these movies and pop culture in general

        And if you can’t be passionate here, where can you? Despite that, I am still trying to pick and choose my battles, and I only speak up when the mood strikes. I thought you, of all people, might recognise that I said a few salient or reasonable things in response, but maybe your frustration with articles like these outweighs your ability to give praise or acknowledgement or to properly weigh in. I understand.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic

        I wasn’t trying to disrepute what you’d written. If I was, if I would have taken on all of what you’d said, and I clearly didn’t do that. Your response to the article was outstanding, even if I did feel like pointing out that the PT had won the war, according to the writer.

        Of course the PT wasn’t awarded every battle, and there’s where you come along.

        Again, as for “diversity”, it’s my belief that it shouldn’t even be a subject when comparing the two trilogies, as the gains for US minorities long precede them both. It’s superficial of the writer and reeks of complete ignorance of the listless number of non-American influences on the prequels, not to mention the international cast itself, who speak different dialects of English.

        And yes, I did cobble together the earlier message in a hurry. Getting a bit weary of these bad articles, more than anything.

        @Joe

        Thanks for asking! I sent Cryogenic the critique (a detailed one) of Luke in Episode VIII over on:

        https://naberriefields.freeforums.net

        I might repost it on a suitable thread on NN if a suitable thread arises.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Joe

        It was via a PM. So, what I told you was true, from a certain point of view 😉

        I’ll repost it in the next ST or Luke article posted on this site.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Joe

        You should check out this video for now. If you enjoy listening to other people speak about what the PT means to them, you’re going to love it!

        https://youtu.be/JTVdKJPIa2Y

        I’d encourage everyone else to give it a watch too. It’s only got 1,800 views and deserves so much more.

  • Alexrd

    Don’t do it, Ewan. Be remembered for playing the character as it was intended to be, as opposed to a fan fiction (mis)interpretation.

    Look what happened with Mark Hamill.

    • jpieper668

      and Harrison(even though he only did it so He could be killed off)and Carrie(who should become a Jedi she and the fans got screwed)

      • Alexrd

        Definitely. I simply mentioned Hamill because he got the most heretic treatment, and unlike Harrison and Carrie, he was also the one who cared about it the most.

    • Alexrd

      1. I’m not a Disney Star Wars fan.

      2. Buy a pack of tissues. It’s not my problem that you can’t handle different opinions.

    • Cryogenic

      @ Alex:

      “2. Buy a pack of tissues. It’s not my problem that you can’t handle different opinions.”

      *mic drop* !!!! 🙂

  • maychild

    @ Cryogenic

    Oh Cryo, my Cryo…

    I very much enjoyed your evisceration of the “things the sequels/prequels did better” article, which was just another excuse to bitch about the prequels, despite the grudging praise given to them here and there.

    “Sequels did better…diversity.”

    Say WHA-? This point is particularly fatuous, and that’s saying something. It reminds me of a whinge of the LOTR fanboyz on (where else?) TF.N: that the holy LOTR did everything better than the prequels, including having a multinational cast.

    Now, I can’t vouch for the ENTIRE cast of each trilogy, down to the last extra. However, I would point out that the major cast of LOTR consisted of mostly Americans — Ian McKellen, a Brit, is the only non-American among what I’d call the major cast. As for the prequels, the only American with a major role in all three movies is Natalie Portman, and even she was actually born in Israel. Jake Lloyd is American, but he was only in one movie. Sam Jackson is American, but he plays a supporting character. Liam Neeson is Irish (although to be fair, he, like Jake, was only in one movie), Ewan McGregor is Scottish, Ian McDiarmid is British, Hayden Christensen is Canadian. Most of the rest of the cast is a mishmash, mostly of Aussies and Kiwis — kind of like LOTR in that, actually. The prequels were filmed in Australia, LOTR in New Zealand.

    Lucas was sensitive to the criticism he received for the lily-whiteness (and American-ness) of the original SW movie. That’s why he made the subsequent movies more racially and culturally diverse. Pernilla August, a Swede, fretted about her accent when she was chosen to play Shmi. Lucas joked that Shmi was from “the Swedish planet.”

    I admit, I’ve thought of writing a fanfic that focuses on Shmi’s childhood, and casually dropping in (small Shmi is studying a religious catechism, or something) that in her native language, the world for “miracle,” or perhaps “mystery,” is “anakin.” Corny, huh?

    • Cryogenic

      @ maychild:

      “Oh Cryo, my Cryo…

      I very much enjoyed your evisceration of the “things the sequels/prequels did better” article, which was just another excuse to bitch about the prequels, despite the grudging praise given to them here and there.”

      Thank you for the compliment, maychild. I try my best! Not sure I completely agree with your assessment of the article, however. Certainly, the article seems like an excuse to bitch about the prequels, but that actually reads as secondary, to me, to the author wanting to vent disdain at Disney and tear into the sequels, half-heartedly looking for the odd thing to praise about them. As Arch Duke noted, it seems the writer gave the more substantive award categories to the PT. But the writer still casts aspersions at the prequels, which is as unfortunate as it is predictable (not to mention tired beyond belief).

      It’s funny there are so many Americans in the cast of LOTR, given the fact that Tolkien was a thoroughgoing Englishman with a love of the British Isles and a deep fascination with the peoples, land, and mythology of Scandinavia. America, of course, is a relatively young nation, with a limited (if still rather dense and voluminous) history (excluding Native Americans, the land mass’ original inhabitants, of course). It doesn’t have the same roots. And excluding only the Orcs (who are obligingly and unendingly swarthy and vulgar all the way through), the entire cast of LOTR is dominated by lily-white faces — far worse than Star Wars.

      Yet LOTR was the trilogy that ended up being lionised by critics, lauded by fans, and showered with enough Oscars to risk making the award an endangered species. Everyone repeatedly certified the LOTR trilogy triple-platinum everywhere you looked, heaping one superlative after another on Jackson’s allegedly “towering achievement in the annals of filmmaking”, and instantly jumping on any noises to the contrary as illegitimate at best, a flaw in one’s moral compass at worst — especially if you dared to defend the dreaded prequels in the same instant. Funny how many so many people collectively agreed and toiled to carry LOTR up the summit and vigorously defended it from insult.

      Therefore, anyone who praises the Star Wars sequel trilogy must, by definition, if they’re being consistent, consider LOTR a flawed entertainment by today’s standards. If not, they’re being hypocritical. Why should Star Wars bend to modern trends (remember: it is meant to be a family soap opera set “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”), if LOTR, similarly archaic and lineage-obsessed, is completely fine the way it is?

      And how come, more to the point, Lucas — in the face of modern “diversity” talk — gets so little praise or attention for casting people with varied ethnic backgrounds in OT sequel installments and prequels, when he actually DID do this, and everything, on this particular level, was widely embraced without a scintilla of complaint at the time?

      You can equally look at some of the significant crew members Lucas employed on the prequels and see a similar “diversity” quota at work (in the loose, abstract sense of the term): e.g., Trisha Biggar, a female costumer designer (fulfilling the “gender” criterion), and Doug Chiang, a Taiwanese-American design director (fulfilling the “minority” criterion). And then the typically-reassuring mix of British and American talent, familiar from the days of the OT.

      Good spot on Pernilla August. One can also get furious on behalf of Ahmed Best and all the people involved in Jar Jar, given the way people began speaking of the character after TPM was released, engaging in protracted, collectivised mockery, complaining, and caterwauling, all reducible to the notion that Jar Jar (according to this incessant Greek chorus) is invalid and has no place in the Star Wars saga — a knee-jerk, intemperate, and fundamentally bigoted notion, which, by extension, is tantamount to calling the otherwise-invisible African-American performer who brought Jar Jar to life invalid, and proclaiming that he and his blackness are equally unwelcome in their beloved space wizard saga.

      Disney are encouraging people to “talk the talk” where diversity is concerned, but these people certainly haven’t “walked the walk”. I love how the urgent focus on “diversity” is now such an overriding concern for people. And it’s funny that the Disney movies are being so easily championed on this level. It is somehow being continually ignored that the “minority” characters are secondary to the whites — Han, Leia, Luke, Rey, Kylo — who are quite obviously still at the centre and the main draw. The generational, Force-driven conflict is all about them. The melodramatic brio and operatic climaxing of the films remains firmly fixed on the capacity of this narrow subset of white people for extreme acts of good and evil, including savage acts of personal violence and the redemptive, Christ-like power to forgive and forget.

      Even the kid looking out to the stars at the very end of “The Last Jedi”, supposedly in poignant illustration of a theme near-and-dear to the sequel trilogy’s awkwardly-beating heart — that “anyone” can be a Jedi and become a hero with enough strength and determination (regardless of race, gender, orientation, economic class, background, or basic circumstance) — is unmistakeably white-skinned: another cookie cut from the mold of little Jake Lloyd as “Ani”, and antecedents like Mark Lester as the title character in Carol Reed’s 1968 “Oliver!”

      These Disney films may not be quite as progressive as some people have artfully convinced — or more accurately: shamed — each other into believing. But Disney has, of course, taken their money, regardless.

      • maychild

        @Cryogenic

        It could be that bashing the prequels is a reflexive thing by now; people just HAVE to throw in an insult or two because the “universal loathing” of the prequels and the “fact” that the prequels are “terrible” has been transformed into pseudo-fact by 20 years of repetition.

        The Disney films have their good points, but the way they have been put on a pedestal, with any criticism of them being treated as a defect, as you pointed out, is fairly nauseating, not least because it’s so hypocritical. The people that ferociously protect the Disney movies are generally the same people who, for years, assailed Lucas for turning LFL into a soulless corporation, and patted themselves on the back for favoring so-called “small, independent, underdog” movies like LOTR is supposed to be (excuse me while I laugh hysterically). But now, Disney has somehow been transformed into something other than a soulless corporation, worthy of protecting even at the cost of one’s life. You and I have discussed this curious cognitive dissonance before.

    • archdukeofnaboo

      @Maychild

      That’s an interesting bit of trivia about Pernilla August, I never knew that. Your fanfic idea sounds cool, keep going with it!

      Great points too about the cast.

      • maychild

        @archdukeofnaboo

        Thanks! I may write the Shmi fanfic, but I don’t want to write it just as an excuse to put in that Anakin/anakin bit. That would be too cute by half. Lots of fanfic writers just write a story as an excuse to have love scenes featuring whatever characters they lust after. I like fanfic that has an actual story.

        I forget where I heard the anecdote about Pernilla. I think someone told me about it. Anyway, it shows Lucas’s dry sense of humor. The Lucas-haters claim he doesn’t have a sense of humor, but as usual, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

        To Cryo’s endless chagrin, I have a soft spot for Rogue One, if only because it acknowledged the prequels instead of acting like they’re a mistake that should be ignored. I also liked seeing Jimmy Smits again. Carrie Fisher once joked, “Jimmy is a lot better-looking than any of my real-life stepdads.” (Of course, Bail was Leia’s adoptive dad rather than stepdad — although before ROTS, plenty of people speculated that Padmé would survive the movie and Bail would marry her, which would’ve made him Leia’s stepdad.) He didn’t get much screentime in the prequels, but he made the most of the time he did get. The scene at the end of AOTC is a prime example of saying so much while having no lines at all.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Maychild

        Have you written any other SW-based fan fictions in the past? I’ve read one or two really short ones on “Archive of Our Own”, which were alright, but I’d like to read something longer, that a lot of people have already enjoyed.

        Whatever happened to Pernilla anyway? That’s one member of the prequels cast you rarely hear being spoken about.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Maychild

        I must go back and re-watch Rogue One. It was only much later, through a YouTube video, that I realised there was a scene showing Coruscant in the background. When I was at the cinema, I never even thought to look out for prequel things. I suppose with Disney Lucasfilm constantly droning about the greatness of the OT-era, I’d simply given up hope.

        A lot of PT fans have come out of the closet since 2016, and I suspect we’ll be seeing much stronger references to the prequel/Republican era in future movies & TV. An Obi-Wan series would be a terrific start. And I would love Jimmy Smitt’s Bail Organa in it more than anything!

        I’d never heard that quote from Carrie before, thanks for sharing. Have you seen the photos of Carrie and Natalie from the 2000s? They’re really nice.

  • maychild

    @archdukeofnaboo

    I’ve written a couple of SW fanfics that I posted on a message board that is now, I’m pretty sure, defunct. They were just brief throwaway fics, nothing big.

    Pernilla is still acting; she’s currently filming a Swedish miniseries.

    Yes, I saw some pics of Carrie and Natalie, taken at some event Natalie attended and Carrie spoke at. Natalie is short, but she’s still taller than Carrie in the pics.

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