Original Saga,  Prequel Trilogy,  The Rise of Skywalker

Palpatine’s return won’t weaken Anakin’s sacrifice, says Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker writer

rotj_redemption

From Uproxx:

“Chris Terrio, along with J.J. Abrams, co-wrote a movie coming out later this month called Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. We spoke to Terrio by phone to ask him a whole bunch of questions, like when it was decided to bring back fan favorites Emperor Palpatine and Lando Calrissian. […]

Last week J.J. Abrams told us he was thinking about Palpatine as far back as The Force Awakens. But was there a moment writing the script for this where there was an “a-ha” moment of bringing back Palpatine?

Oh, geez, I should probably steer away from specifics on that stuff until after the film comes out. Then I’d love to talk to you about it in detail. I’m afraid anything I’d say about it would give away some plot stuff and I’m not as fleet of foot as J.J. at avoiding stuff. But, what I can say is we felt that this story, these nine films, were a family saga. We decided pretty early on that we wanted to really think of this as the Skywalker Saga. And from the beginning, the chess game has been between Palpatine/Sideous and the Jedi. Specifically, the Jedi as represented by Anakin and the Skywalkers. So, we were convinced someway or another Palpatine had to be a presence in this film.

Of course, the sacrifice of Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi and bringing balance to the Force, we still had to honor that and I think we do honor that in the film. We don’t take the end of Return of the Jedi lightly at all, because it is one of the most beautiful moments in any film, really — in seeing what Vader does for his son. Return of the Jedi was the first movie I ever saw in a theater, and I remember just being rocked by what I saw in that moment. Because it almost never had occurred to me as a kid that the bad guy could cease being a bad guy and be a good guy. That moment when Vader lifts Palpatine was a genuine shock to me and it’s full of truth and beauty. We had to be careful about that, but if you look at some of the lore of Palpatine and the Sith and the way that George has embedded ideas about the Sith into the mythology of Star Wars, there are ways the presence of that character can still cast its shadow in the future. I guess I’ll leave it at that. […]”

0 Comments

  • Arnav “RayO1” Bhattacharjee

    Honestly, I don’t know how to feel about what Chris Terrio has to say, but compared to JJ his heart seems to be in the right place. Based on the recent Anakin leaks, I hope he’s hiding something bigger to justify a Palpatine comeback without Anakin.

    I’ve still got a drop of hope left, Terrio. You wrote Argo, BvS, and Justice League, the latter two of which (while poorly written) were movies I mostly enjoyed. Don’t fail me now.

    • archdukeofnaboo

      @Arnav

      What do you mean bigger than Anakin? You are talking about the guy who literally destroyed the Sith in Episode VI. There’s no way he’s going to be a no-show in something named “Rise of Skywalker”, especially with all the numerous signs that have been pointing to it (which I’ve detailed in previous comment sections).

      • Arnav “RayO1” Bhattacharjee

        @archdukeofnaboo

        I want Anakin to appear in the flesh more than anything. He’s my favorite SW character. Nothing about what I said argues that I don’t want him in the movie, and I didn’t intend to make it sound like what will be in the movie will be “bigger than Anakin”. But I’m keeping my expectations realistic in light of recent news:

        https://naboonews.wordpress.com/2019/11/28/is-anakin-in-star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker-a-reliable-source-has-the-answer/

        Now, I know that recent stuff just came out about these guys completely fabricating/incorrectly guessing the plot of Colin Trevorrow’s Ep. 9, but the description in this video matches with the Paxis leaks, so I’m worried he won’t make an appearance outside of a voice cameo.

        So because of that, I’m only keeping my expectations in check.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Arnav

        It’s only natural that people invested in something have expectations. There is no way of getting around it. If there wasn’t then Star Wars wouldn’t be doing so well at the box office each time. Disney can complain all they want about angry fans, but that is an inevitability with a massive fanbase (for better or worse).

        If they’re blatantly dragging the villain from Episode III into a sequel, I don’t see what the issue is with looking for his greatest victim and later murderer to come back is. To my mind, you can’t have one without the other: they encapsulate all the strengths and weaknesses of the two sides of the Force.

        I’ve deliberately stayed away from all of those leak pages. One minute they say x, the next minute they say the opposite. I can’t trust them. I think Christensen smiling at a question about his inclusion in IX is a lot better evidence than any 3rd hand rumour.

        Why wouldn’t you include Anakin? That is the question. And I’m afraid to say it all boils down to the hatred of the actor (one of the most genuine actors in real-life, and this cannot be repeated enough).

        Or let me put it this way:

        Ian is back as Palpatine
        Ewan is getting his own Obi-Wan TV drama
        Ahmed we now learn is getting his own Star Wars TV gameshow
        Frank Oz and Anthony Daniels are already in the ST
        Samuel has another Disney-owned property,
        Whilst Natalie has no interest in Star Wars (her career is flying as is),

        Do we really think Disney are thus going to let Hayden out in the cold? This is a priceless opportunity to value him, and to honour what his character – including its Darth Vader alter ego – has meant for so many fans across so many years. There’s literally nowhere else to accommodate him. I know I give Disney plenty of criticism on this site, but I do not believe they’re heartless enough to do this. With all the tell-tale signs across the last few months, it would seriously rub me the wrong the way were it to all be malevolent teasing (it would truly be insidious). No, he’s in this, and if they can hide Maul for Solo, they can damn well pull it off here too.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        Star Wars titles tend to come with deliberate ambiguity. Let’s go:

        The Phantom Menace: Palpatine as the disguised villain, but could also mean the young, reckless Anakin Skywalker or even the shadowy Trade Federation lurking for a victim planet.

        A New Hope: Luke. Or Leia? Perhaps the two together? Maybe even the Rebellion as a whole.

        Return of the Jedi: Anakin by overthrowing the yoke of Sith and reclaiming his former self, but could equally refer to a fully trained Luke returning to face his father. May also signal the return of the Jedi as an institution following the destruction of the Empire.

        The Last Jedi: Luke? But is he really the last one remaining in the whole Galaxy? On watching the film, it doesn’t even look like he is the last. It’s the most confusing title to me.

        The Force Awakens and Attack of the Clones less ambiguous, but arguments could be made. I would say Revenge of the Sith and The Empire Strikes Back are the two with zero.

        The Rise of Skywalker? Are you telling me they’re going to pass on the opportunity to ‘rise’ a few famous faces with a title like this? Mark my words, this title was chosen after they’d realised a lot of “rising” had occurred in the final script.

      • Juju

        The trailer and the TV spots have already confirmed many parts of the leaks. They’re true. VII and VIII didn’t care much about honoring the legacy of the prequels, there’s no reason to believe IX will be any different.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Juju

        “No reason to believe”

        Please go on. I’ve gone into lots of detail to the contrary, and I expect the same from those who feel different.

        Episode IX is the “conclusion of the Skywalker Saga”. We can debate the merits of that branding elsewhere, but the fact is that is a very different way to the way VII and VIII were pitched. TFA in particular played to the OT fanboys and that’s what we got. The Approach to TROS is different.

        And you want to know why? Fans like those on Naboo News (and the Prequel Appreciation Society) who have tirelessly championed the prequels and their significance *long* before it became fashionable with the scuffle over TLJ.

      • Arnav “RayO1” Bhattacharjee

        @archdukeofnaboo

        “Why wouldn’t you include Anakin? That is the question. And I’m afraid to say it all boils down to the hatred of the actor (one of the most genuine actors in real-life, and this cannot be repeated enough).”

        I didn’t say that. I didn’t say that at all. I’m saying I WANT Anakin to be in the movie, but these leaks have me demotivated. So there might be a next best thing that isn’t as good as Anakin. I don’t want to speculate anymore on what it might be because too many of the Paxis leaks have been proven true in the trailers and other secondhand accounts.

        But why do I get the impression that you’re questioning each thing I have to say? It’s like you’re suspicious that I’m a prequel hater or a ST apologist. I’m not. I’m a proud PT fan yet I’m just keeping an open mind, especially since Chris Terrio is a writer who I haven’t heard lie through his teeth yet. Hearing something from him is hopeful, and if he is referring to Anakin (which he probably is…along with a few others, probably), I’ll be more than thrilled.

      • Juju

        Just watch the trailer, there is only one prequel reference, it’s a battle droid in the back. It speaks volumes. I believe the leaks, we’ll just hear Anakin’s voice a few seconds, among many other Jedi, and that’s it

      • jarjarbacktattooguy

        Wow, we get to hear Hayden’s voice for a few seconds and we get a busted battle droid in the background of one scene. This is all the prequel love Disney is willing to give us.

        Um…no thanks!? I’ll be home watching Mame with Lucille Ball instead. There’s a bad movie I can at least have fun with.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Arnav

        I’m saying “you” as in the general sense of “one”. Not the literal sense. eg. You can cross the street to buy wine. One can cross the street to buy wine.

        I’m attacking the phony logic of these leakers, which you are buying up too easily, not yourself (an honest prequel fan like everyone else here)

        Here’s the magical source of your leaks folks, a guy whose proven to get quite a lot wrong:

        https://preview.redd.it/430zj8pcju241.jpg?width=656&auto=webp&s=f469329a7f59664fbe88bcc72a6b71db450ca62e

      • Juju

        The trailer and the TV spots have already confirmed many parts of JediPaxis and MSW’s leaks. That’s a fact. MSW’s error about an older script (which was apparently written by Jack Thorne and not Trevorrow) doesn’t change this fact

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Juju

        Error? This is the screenwriter rebuking your beloved leakers nonsense. That’s what I call and fact, and you are severely downplaying that. What appears in a trailer doesn’t necessarily make the final cut, and you should know that by now.

        You’ve joined this site just to pedal your negativity. Would you mind actually waiting for the film to release first? Thanks!

      • Cryogenic

        Is that JuJu Abrams? 😀

        But seriously…

        To echo Arch Duke, it’s a little premature to judge without having the full film in front of us. It’s encouraging that Chris Terrio seems to be such a ROTJ fanboy. Maybe he sufficiently swayed Abrams to get onboard with the idea of including Anakin — if only as a short cameo.

        On the other hand, I also hear jarjarbacktattooguy, who suggests that the prequel nods we’ve glimpsed so far are largely crumbs — yes, they are. But there are more substantive prequel references, too, as Arch Duke has pointed out elsewhere. For instance, the water world that Rey and Kylo are duelling on — taking account of the platform and the camera angles (and this being the third film of a trilogy/climax of three trilogies) — seems to be a blend of Kamino and Mustafar.

        Moreover, comments from both J.J. Abrams and Daisy Ridley hint that Episode IX will uniquely tie all the trilogies together, with possibly something of a “twist” ending designed to bridge past, present, and future. The leaks surrounding TFA were pretty accurate, but it’s still worth keeping an open mind. Only a couple of weeks to go.

        • archdukeofnaboo

          @Cryogenic

          I’m trying to keep optimistic. But if it sucks, folks, I will be the first here to admit it and I will not be taking any prisoners.

          A “cameo” for me is an on-screen appearance. It can be 1 minute long or even a scene or two. It can be as a traditional Force Ghost or indeed some kind of resurrected form which the title seems to be hinting at.

          Much like Star Wars Theory and other significant commentators have said, if Anakin doesn’t play a part in either speaking to his grandson and/or fighting his nemesis, I will be pretty upset. I can get over the annoying Rose or BB8 characters hogging screen-time, and the silly writing of Finn too, but I will not do so in this case.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic but also @Anthony

        Trevorrow doesn’t say “Sacrifice of Anakin, he saids “”Sacrifice of Vader”. Now you can call that nitpicky, and you’d be right, but it still means the title of this page is misleading. It is not concrete enough: it implies a disconnection between Anakin of the PT and Vader of the OT.

        There is not enough in that article to suggest that he really has a proper understanding of Anakin’s journey. For all the hollow talk of “9 films” or “Skywalker Saga” he still finds himself talking from an OT fanboy mindset, where the prequels are simply supplementary material. I hope I am proven wrong, but I have no indication that he fully appreciates Anakin as a character yet. Like Abrams, sadly, he seems to be completely out of touch with my generation, who interpret the saga in a vastly different way.

  • Cryogenic

    He definitely sounds like he has a lot of passion for the ROTJ! That’s encouraging.

    “That moment when Vader lifts Palpatine was a genuine shock to me and it’s full of truth and beauty.”

    “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ode_on_a_Grecian_Urn

    “It is the name of your true self — you have only forgotten.”
    “Who is she? She’s beautiful.”

    “We had to be careful about that, but if you look at some of the lore of Palpatine and the Sith and the way that George has embedded ideas about the Sith into the mythology of Star Wars, there are ways the presence of that character can still cast its shadow in the future. I guess I’ll leave it at that.”

    He is absolutely leaning in the direction of the opera scene, if you ask me — couldn’t be more obvious. But what do I know?

    • archdukeofnaboo

      @Cryogenic

      Well, I’m glad to see Chris Terrio being brought up on this site. The fact that he’s described as “the Rise of Skywalker writer” in the headline saids so much. It’s the screenplay where the majority of our critiques come from, and we need to recognise that Abrams and Terrio are equally responsible to that. Directors don’t always do the writing as we saw in Episodes V and VI.

      I’m also happy to see Terrio bring up Anakin’s sacrifice at the end of ROTJ, and that he was thinking about it while writing the script. It is a hugely important cornerstone of Star Wars, and one thing that has always united OT fanboys and prequelists. It remains to be seen whether that will be undone or whether Anakin will have something to say about Palpatine’s reemergence. It may well make or break the film.

      Let’s hope more journalists can ask them this question.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @self

        Terrio doesn’t say “Anakin”, he saids “Sacrifice of Vader”. The latter is OT fanboy-speak 101, and I should no better than to trust a bad headline.

        He only references Anakin once, and at that it’s arguably belittling: “Anakin and the Skywalkers”. It’s as if Anakin is just one figure out of a long and illustrious family of the middle ages. No, it’s not a dynasty, it is simply Anakin, his son Luke and his daughter Leia. We’ve yet to see any of his grandchildren interact with the Sith (missed opportunity in VII and VIII).

  • Juju

    Just watch the trailer, there is only one prequel reference, it’s a battle droid in the back. It speaks volumes. I believe the leaks, we’ll just hear Anakin’s voice a few seconds, among many other Jedi, and that’s it

  • jarjarbacktattooguy

    Daddy Mack Palpatine’s reemergence does finally tie the prequels into the ST, but it isn’t what George would have done. They just don’t have any original ideas.

    Bringing characters back from the dead is what they do in comic books and soap operas. This is reminiscent of Norman Osborn’s return in the Spider-man clone saga in the 1990s. They want a big payoff but it doesn’t make any sense.

    • Cryogenic

      @ Arnav:

      Interesting — though it sounds identical to fan speculation. Not calling it fake, per se, but it’s certainly telling people exactly what they want to hear.

      I’d rather they’d gone with a plan: Lucas’ plan. Of course! And yet, I don’t think their approach is all that bad.

      Kennedy has said several times she was giving every filmmaker scope to make a story that fit their sensibilities, and this is what seems to have happened. If each filmmaker were confined to what Lucas wrote, it wouldn’t be so much of a personal expression, and they would have essentially been scholars/scribes — or priests, if you like — instead of artists/artisans with passions and perspectives of their own.

      Even Lucas originally looked forward to the Sequel Trilogy being “all someone else’s vision”:

      https://www.starwars.com/news/the-long-winding-and-shapeshifting-trail-to-episodes-vii-viii-ix

    • archdukeofnaboo

      @Arnav

      I find it kind of funny how the people who decry everything about current Star Wars keep referring to Marvel as a filmmaking model. Curiously, its makers are always labelled as “Disney”, while Marvel is just “Marvel”.

      A lot of things wrong with the above. Firstly, the assumption that Star Wars fans love all these other film franchises is rubbish. I for one can’t stand the Marvel movies, and I’ve never found any artistic value in them. Secondly, if you’re going to bash Disney (and not Lucasfilm) for the failure of Star Wars, for the sake of honesty, please raise your hand and announce how happy you’ve been with Disney Marvel.

      I believe there should have been a greater understanding of how the ST would end from the very beginning (2013). At the same time, however, the notion that you can plan everything in advance, as if its filmmaking is a mere factory line process, is ludicrous (Marvel fans are sadly buying into that strange ideology). If a producer like Favreau had been in place to coordinate the three films and their story, I do think we’d be in a better place right now. Kennedy’s heart clearly isn’t in Star Wars.

      I would be much more critical of Disney Lucasfilm’s mistreatment of the prequels. It’s changed for the better over the last 12 months, as I’ve catalogued on this site, but we will have to see what Episode IX brings with their handling of Anakin. The Sequel Trilogy’s biggest accomplishment may very well end up being, dare I say it: the marginalisation of the Chosen One. And wouldn’t the OT fanboys sure be satisfied with that?

      “Yeah, we dumped on your Luke, but we also disinherited the Prequels. Can you be happy now?”

    • Cryogenic

      @ Arch Duke:

      “A lot of things wrong with the above. Firstly, the assumption that Star Wars fans love all these other film franchises is rubbish. I for one can’t stand the Marvel movies, and I’ve never found any artistic value in them.”

      Ooooooooh. Them’s fighting words! But that’s exactly how I feel, too. Glad that another prequel fan feels the same way. Actually, you might be one of about three or four… 🙂

      “I would be much more critical of Disney Lucasfilm’s mistreatment of the prequels. It’s changed for the better over the last 12 months, as I’ve catalogued on this site, but we will have to see what Episode IX brings with their handling of Anakin . . . “Yeah, we dumped on your Luke, but we also disinherited the Prequels. Can you be happy now?””

      Ouch! You do come out with some zingers! You know, I disagree with you a bit on Luke, but not so much on the prequels being disinherited. Good term. Of course, the prequels are also the special SW movies that just won’t die…

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic

        So, how goes the SW book you’ve working on? It’s been many months since I last asked.

        I’m after creating my own blog, whose design I’m experimenting with at the moment. I’ll probably do one on predictions for Episode IX shortly. Maybe one on the Clone Wars before next February too.

        Also, is it me or does the blatantly CGI-setting of Kylo vs Luke’s Force Projection come under little scrutiny? You know, if a critic is going to wax lyrical about AOTC’s Kamino or the Genosean arena, they can at least apply the same standards to the glorious Sequels. Adjusted for inflation (ie developments in CGI and hardware) I don’t think Unkar Plutt performs any better than Jar Jar Binks either.

        British election detour (I’ll try to keep this short): doesn’t reflect well on the electoral system that people are turning to tactical voting. Big shame you didn’t dump the FPTP when you had a chance with the Alternative Vote referendum. Did you know in Canada’s recent election, where they have the same system, Trudeau’s party won considerably more seats than its nearest rival despite loosing the popular vote? He’s in the same boat as Trump now.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        “So, how goes the SW book you’ve working on? It’s been many months since I last asked.”

        It basically got a bit stalled. That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of content. There is. However, with my shifting thoughts on the Disney transition in recent months — or, if you will, my change of heart/softening toward “The Last Jedi” — it is possible I suffered a bit of an existential dilemma, and this affected my passion (or my mental orientation) toward the films and the precise purpose of my book. So it has been left untouched for several months.

        However, because I have been feverishly working on an enormous response to your flagged-up Entertainment Weekly bashing article on AOTC (which I’m now fine-tuning before posting to Naberrie Fields), I have rediscovered a lot of my zest and enthusiasm for the prequels. Or, more accurately, since my zest and enthusiasm for the prequels has always been there: I reconnected with my mojo for writing about them. Defending the prequels, interpreting the prequels, and expounding on Lucas’ methods and intents for the prequels are topics/outlets that I have long found stimulating, and I’m feeling the tingle once more!

        I’ll add, however, that crafting this epic bugger of a response has also served to remind me that I probably have the greatest affection for AOTC, overall — certainly, it seems, when it comes to expositing my feelings toward the film, and all the good and interesting things I see inside of it. I go back and forth on which prequel is my favourite. At this point, it’s either Episode I or Episode II. I used to love Sith, too, but it fails to pique my interest in quite the same way, anymore. Just love the open-ended, exploratory, and highly “thematic” feel of Episodes I and II. Ironically, this may be why “The Last Jedi” is resonating with me more than it used to.

        “I’m after creating my own blog, whose design I’m experimenting with at the moment. I’ll probably do one on predictions for Episode IX shortly. Maybe one on the Clone Wars before next February too.”

        Bloody awesome!!! I hope you go through with something along those lines. It’s still slightly possible I’ll go the blogging route myself. I don’t intend for my writings (those I’ve already made for “the book”) to go to waste. I mustn’t let that happen.

        A Clone Wars blog sounds interesting. But predictions for Episode IX? Boy, you don’t have long — could be great to get something out quickly for posterity. You will hopefully be able to look back and laugh at a lot of the rumours and speculation many years from now.

        “Also, is it me or does the blatantly CGI-setting of Kylo vs Luke’s Force Projection come under little scrutiny? You know, if a critic is going to wax lyrical about AOTC’s Kamino or the Genosean arena, they can at least apply the same standards to the glorious Sequels. Adjusted for inflation (ie developments in CGI and hardware) I don’t think Unkar Plutt performs any better than Jar Jar Binks either.”

        That’s the worst-looking part of TLJ for me. The lighting is quite off in several of those shots — which is a blight on the high standard of the rest of the movie. You could let them off and say, “Well, Luke is projecting himself. It fits.” But it looks a bit cheap and weird. Very cut-and-paste at several moments. And yeah, it’s the climax, so it feels like they should have striven harder to get every shot exactly right.

        Unkar Plutt is a pile of crap! In the words of Han Solo: “I hate that guy.” And he’s played by Simon Pegg — which is appropriate, I guess. Maybe there are a couple of wonky-looking aliens and effects shots in AOTC, but we’re talking passing moments in a film stacked with epic, gorgeous, eye-watering, and pulse-pounding delights. Gah!!! The Disney films are so trite and pathetic (or TFA certainly should be looked at askance) compared to the PT!!! Imagination??!! *What* imagination?

        And yeah, on a technical levels, the PT is well ahead of its time and still looks remarkably solid even now. AOTC has probably aged the worst in this regard, yet even the middle prequel still looks great: distinct, ambient, unusual… like nothing else in the world of cinema.

        “British election detour (I’ll try to keep this short): doesn’t reflect well on the electoral system that people are turning to tactical voting. Big shame you didn’t dump the FPTP when you had a chance with the Alternative Vote referendum. Did you know in Canada’s recent election, where they have the same system, Trudeau’s party won considerably more seats than its nearest rival despite loosing the popular vote? He’s in the same boat as Trump now.”

        Ha! It’s funny how things swing around. A bit like the change in attitude toward the Disney films and the prequels in the last few years. My God, our system needs reforming. Can we also dump the BBC (or at least make some sweeping changes): state propaganda arm for the Tory Party that it currently is. Could be in for a hung parliament. I hope we get a Labour government (despite Corbyn’s weakness on Brexit), or short of that, a Labour-Lib Dem-Green coalition.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic

        “feverishly working on an enormous response to your flagged-up Entertainment Weekly bashing article”

        And I’ve almost forgotten it, ha. Well, actually, I did write a descent critique which you’ll notice, but I thought I’d leave the romantic scenes up to you. As you know I have my own issues with Anakin’s dialogue in the film, so what better than to pass the hammer to somebody who truly can swing with full might?

        It’s funny – or might I say, frustrating – how we forget things. During a recent discussion on Reddit one user asked me to list the occurrences where Anakin is deemed the “Chosen One”, in cannon or otherwise, and I’m like “Let me just find my notes….”. You know, the things you take for granted so much, that you realise you’ve forgotten where you sourced them? Another user, unbelievably, queried whether or not Anakin was conceived by The Force. I kid you not, for in the land of Rey = Shmi, anything and everything is potentially challengeable. But hey, bringing back Palpatine didn’t send the appropriate signal to the fans, now did it?

        I believe there is a thread here somewhere where we went to great lengths to exhaust out all such bad theories. I’ve got to create a more deployable, better indexed file on Anakin that I can unleash on all of these people. It’s fun correcting them the first time, but after that it becomes a chore.

        The Episode IX predictions are already in bullet points on my phone. I’m not looking for 2,000 words either, so it won’t be long.

        ” laugh at a lot of the rumours and speculation many years from now.”

        To tell you the truth, I regret participating in online speculation for the last month-ish. A combination of the TV spots, which seem to delight in exposing a new part of the plot each time, and the silly discussions above (one of the users seems thrilled that he’s spoiled the film for himself), have left a very bad taste in my mouth. I should have gone dark by early November. That is in fact what I did for VII and VIII.

        All the trailers and TV spots give the idea that it’s gonna be one giant rollocking adventure before the inevitable showdown at the end. Sounds very ROTJ, doesn’t it? People are looking for explanations for Snoke and x and y, but when they’ve loaded themselves up with unnecessary add-ons like Kerri Russel’s character, Finn’s friend, or even Dominic Monahan’s character, their hands are practically tied. Think about it, they already have to dedicate God knows how much time to that done-to-death, cliché extraordinaire, put-your-mortgage-on-it-happening, stuck in the 70s, Rebellion war room scene!

        Make no mistake about it, they will be no deep introspection like in TLJ or ROTS in this film.

        I’m going to have to switch off in the next day or two. Shall we agree to reconvene sometime Sunday, 22nd December to discuss the film? I might start a special thread on NF.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        ““feverishly working on an enormous response to your flagged-up Entertainment Weekly bashing article”

        And I’ve almost forgotten it, ha. Well, actually, I did write a descent critique which you’ll notice, but I thought I’d leave the romantic scenes up to you. As you know I have my own issues with Anakin’s dialogue in the film, so what better than to pass the hammer to somebody who truly can swing with full might?”

        I thought you might have forgotten it or moved on. Who can blame you? In so many ways, the article is forgettable trash. That’s why I was reluctant to start a response. It’s pretty much nothing us prequel fans haven’t read/seen/heard a million times before. Yet, for just that reason, I found myself suddenly taking up the sword (or the pen)… and writing… and writing… and writing… and writing…

        Seriously! I don’t think you have any idea how ridiculously large this response is. Once I started, I found I couldn’t stop. I’ve brought in many quotes and citations to argue my case. It is much more of a pamphlet or a novella than a forum response. Although it’s also a bit too casually worded and slightly ham-handed in places, perhaps, to be published — but maybe with some tune-ups, it could be. It’s big. Really big. Then again:

        “Size matters not.”

        Ironically, not only were the regurgitated criticisms putting me off, but I couldn’t actually see how to crack the second half of it — some of which you annotated, some of which you didn’t. I couldn’t quite get a good grip on it initially. I basically ended up going down in linear fashion, with a couple of exceptions, answering it line-by-line, or quote-nugget by quote-nugget.

        All your quotes are included. Might as well have them there. I know they’re already in the thread, but you gave me a few things to latch onto — though I really did my own thing. As for the Anakin/romance stuff you didn’t attend to in your response:

        Gah!!! I was fearing that part the most for some reason. I don’t know why. I’ve always loved Anakin and always loved the romance. So it should have been easy. It became easy once I got to it. Thanks for the strong compliment there. I think you might enjoy that section! I put as much into that section as any of the others.

        Basically, for every word the reviewer wrote, I have written about 20 back. That’s not an exaggeration, other than the fact my response employs a lot of quoted material. So that should give you some idea of what you’ll be dealing with.

        Well, if you still care to read anything in response! I think it would be near impossible to do it in a single sitting. Unless you are the kind that can devour an entire book in a night’s reading.

        But it’ll be good to have sitting around as a reference piece. Or just a mantel piece in digital form.

        “It’s funny – or might I say, frustrating – how we forget things. During a recent discussion on Reddit one user asked me to list the occurrences where Anakin is deemed the “Chosen One”, in cannon or otherwise, and I’m like “Let me just find my notes….”. You know, the things you take for granted so much, that you realise you’ve forgotten where you sourced them?”

        Yes. I find that happening with myself. But for this response I’m about to post in the next few days, it came a little easier, because a) I have a fairly good memory (or a head for quotes/sources, anyway), b) I’m quite nifty on Google at retrieving stuff, and c) Due to the book I started, I have a lot of quotes and links already stashed in there (I did refer to it a few times in the crafting of this upcoming response).

        This is the other disappointing and frustrating thing about constantly responding to bashes, etc. Humans repeat themselves all the time. And if there’s 100 people repeating, and only one of you, it’s an onslaught. How can you be original and thorough every time you go to rebut something or argue a different view? The same criticisms keep getting dredged up time and time again, and you’re somehow expected to be a “master chef” in each situation.

        Well, the way to make that easier is to archive your responses, and to keep a file of quotes, useful links, etc. This is also some of my thinking behind the response I’m about to deploy on Naberrie Fields — or drop like a boulder! If there’s something meaty in an accessible location, half the work is done when similar situations come along. If you’ve put a ton of work into a document/response that might prove helpful down the road, and you can easily get back to it, then you can treat it like a Wikipedia article and pull from it what you need, when you need.

        “Another user, unbelievably, queried whether or not Anakin was conceived by The Force. I kid you not, for in the land of Rey = Shmi, anything and everything is potentially challengeable. But hey, bringing back Palpatine didn’t send the appropriate signal to the fans, now did it? I believe there is a thread here somewhere where we went to great lengths to exhaust out all such bad theories. I’ve got to create a more deployable, better indexed file on Anakin that I can unleash on all of these people. It’s fun correcting them the first time, but after that it becomes a chore.”

        I’ve heard that rumour and I’m okay with it. I want some crazy twist!!! But then again, perhaps I don’t. Something sort of mind-bending would help justify the sequels in a deeper way, as “gimmicky” as many might suspect anything coming from J.J. Abrams of being. That’s my feeling. Like, really, what is this trilogy for, if not to startle people a bit at the end of the journey? Kind of like watching the prequels in reverse? Imagine starting with ROTS and wending your way back to TPM. How many revelations are in that first prequel!

        “To tell you the truth, I regret participating in online speculation for the last month-ish. A combination of the TV spots, which seem to delight in exposing a new part of the plot each time, and the silly discussions above (one of the users seems thrilled that he’s spoiled the film for himself), have left a very bad taste in my mouth. I should have gone dark by early November. That is in fact what I did for VII and VIII.”

        Yes. I’ve been detecting some frustration on your part over recent developments. Those TV spots — or the release strategy behind them — are bizarre. I don’t understand the hardcore self-spoiling mentality that some have. They seem to be treating the films like a puzzle, or some Pokemon game, where they need to acquire as many pieces as furiously as possible. I’d rather try and take a more chilled-out view. Of course, I do get seduced by trailers and TV spots.

        “All the trailers and TV spots give the idea that it’s gonna be one giant rollocking adventure before the inevitable showdown at the end. Sounds very ROTJ, doesn’t it?”

        That’s a good point. I hadn’t actually thought of it like that. I was probably thinking more “Finn And Rey In TFA: Now With C-3PO and Poe Dameron!” Or JJ Trek. It has more that sort of texture. But yeah, it wouldn’t surprise me if they’re ripping off the basic story structure of ROTJ. *sigh* What else is new with these people?

        “People are looking for explanations for Snoke and x and y, but when they’ve loaded themselves up with unnecessary add-ons like Kerri Russel’s character, Finn’s friend, or even Dominic Monahan’s character, their hands are practically tied. Think about it, they already have to dedicate God knows how much time to that done-to-death, cliché extraordinaire, put-your-mortgage-on-it-happening, stuck in the 70s, Rebellion war room scene!”

        You make a very good point here. This is something that has gone through my mind, too. Because I remember, in the run-up to TFA, I kept thinking: “How are they gonna pull a film with this many characters off within a two-hour run-time?” Now, TROS is going to be the longest Star Wars film, but even so, we’re not talking a four-hour LOTR “Extended Edition” epic here. So we’re back to the TFA situation again: The promise of lots of characters, side quests, and quirkiness, but probably little of any of those things transpiring in reality. You forgot Lando! And D-O!

        “Make no mistake about it, they will be no deep introspection like in TLJ or ROTS in this film.”

        Yep. A statement that should make any respectable PT fan weep. Just some plot twists (maybe) and a lot more whizz-bang. A shallow racer. Not like TLJ or ROTS, which as you imply, have oodles of subtext and a lot of rich character drama and psychological complexity to feast on. I don’t mind a bit of a light, lyrical end, but it’s sad if the saga closes on something wispy and insubstantial. ROTS is a throbbing powerhouse of a movie — THAT’S how you close a saga.

        “I’m going to have to switch off in the next day or two. Shall we agree to reconvene sometime Sunday, 22nd December to discuss the film? I might start a special thread on NF.”

        Oddly, I may not have Internet access for a few days, beginning on that date. So if I’m not around a few days, that’ll be why. Also, if you switch off in the next day or two, you might miss my epic response to your thread on Naberrie Fields! But a hardcore prequel fan’s gotta do what a hardcore prequel fan’s gotta do.

      • archdukeofnaboo

        @Cryogenic

        “then you can treat it like a Wikipedia article and pull from it what you need, when you need”

        That’s it. If I can attach suitable tags to each blog article, I’ll be off to a good start. But it’s important not to let a siege mentality get the better of us either. With the remarkable embracing of the PT over the last 3-ish years, I think we need to adopt (gradually, of course) a more strident, self-assured and vibrant tone to our writing, that is less-inclined towards aggravation and bitterness. Obviously rebukes have to start on the defensive, but when it comes to pieces that celebrate Lucas’s second trilogy, we do need to pivot away from stuff like “I thought the prequels were actually good” to something like “In 1999 motion capture was being revolutionised”.

        I also intend to write an article where I can list all of the best pro-prequel writing, both as links on the web and as books. I also hope to list all the commentators I find have contributed most to improving the discourse on the PT. To that end, I may have to enlist your help! I know Mike Klimo, Bryan Young, Paul F. McDonald, Becca Benjamin and Kyle Newman are certainly in the hall of fame. This little project may well be dubbed “Good Prequel Writing for Dummies” with approved audio material (insightful podcasts) on the included CD. I’m kidding there, but you get the idea.

        The book examining the change of public perception on the PT (a sociology project, if anything) will be for another scribe.

      • jpieper668

        @Archduke
        and now the hack writer on ew called Anakin a Fascist Abusive Husband WHEN WAS HE ABUSIVE? THAT’S BULLSH**T!!! the only time he was abusive was when he choked Padme

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        “But it’s important not to let a siege mentality get the better of us either. With the remarkable embracing of the PT over the last 3-ish years, I think we need to adopt (gradually, of course) a more strident, self-assured and vibrant tone to our writing, that is less-inclined towards aggravation and bitterness.”

        Obi-Wan (to Anakin): “Oh, I agree…”

        In fact, I’ve never been keen on stridency where these movies go — even though I’ve fallen into that trap innumerable times, myself. It is much more productive and much more healthy to emphasise positives over negatives — especially where these movies are concerned. The trick is: To be positive. And charitable. And enthusiastic. Or as Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

        “Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.”

        Of course, it’s easy to slide into full-on denunciation and derogation of people throwing negativity at these films (like Disney/LFL). I mean, I still think that has its place, but one has to be careful — it’s basically like using the Dark Side.

        “I also intend to write an article where I can list all of the best pro-prequel writing, both as links on the web and as books. I also hope to list all the commentators I find have contributed most to improving the discourse on the PT. To that end, I may have to enlist your help!”

        Sure. I’ve even made a few posts over the years along such lines. Mind you, they are by no means definitive or anything.

        You’ll definitely want to pay attention to my upcoming AOTC article rebutting that Entertainment Weekly review.

        It’s going to have a lot of sources you’ll want to read! You will probably be aware of some them already, but I hope you also discover some you’ve never read or seen before. I hope every prequel fan who bothers to read it, or comes across it in the future, takes something positive from it in that regard.

        “I know Mike Klimo, Bryan Young, Paul F. McDonald, Becca Benjamin and Kyle Newman are certainly in the hall of fame.”

        Yep. I’m even friends with Mike Klimo and Paul F. McDonald on Facebook. And just the other day, for the first time ever, courtesy of Paul’s wall, I crossed paths with Bryan Young. You may remember that TLJ article I showed you a few months back on Slash Film:

        https://www.slashfilm.com/last-jedi-rashomon/

        Well, I complimented Bryan Young for that article, and he acknowledged the compliment, which I thought was pretty cool.

        “This little project may well be dubbed “Good Prequel Writing for Dummies” with approved audio material (insightful podcasts) on the included CD. I’m kidding there, but you get the idea.”

        Oh, yeah. I’ve come up with a few candidate titles over the years. Basically, it would be good to have something, I think, like Brain Pickings, but for the prequels:

        https://www.brainpickings.org/

        “The book examining the change of public perception on the PT (a sociology project, if anything) will be for another scribe.”

        Yeah. The book I’ve been developing is more a celebration of the PT along the lines you’re talking about: a compendium of existing authors and sources speaking positively about the PT, and some negative ones, with me rebutting them. Plenty of my own commentary, too.

        In fact, the enormous challenge in writing my book has been less about not knowing what to say (I have plenty to say), but rather: trying to sound unique, and also trying to gather sufficient quotes/citations (not necessarily just Star Wars ones) to buttress my arguments and observations. Tricky!

        Because, when it comes to books, or writing anything, there’s no end of trying to justify and ground what you say in other sources. It’s a bit like constructing Wikipedia and writing all the articles from scratch. There’s also the fear of missing really juicy bits and then coming across them after you’ve published your book — or worse, maybe, never learning about them at all.

        But to make this all sound a bit less overwhelming:

        In terms of compiling positive prequel commentators, well…

        I don’t think there are that many to draw from, though I may be underestimating the amount of material that’s out there. It also depends what you consider material worthy of inclusion — e.g., message board content (even, potentially, awkwardly worded and poorly punctuated content?). Is that suitable? It has less prestige than a blog entry or an existing book or magazine article, but some board content is incredibly insightful (trying not to sound narcissistic or arrogant here — I’m referring to a lot of people!).

        I do love the democratic nature of the Internet, see. Insight can basically come from anywhere. And certain kinds of blogs can make a huge impact and be game-changers — e.g., Mike Klimo’s Ring Theory.

        But with the relative sparsity of “good” content that’s out there, it may at least make a compiler’s job a little easier (albeit, perhaps, somewhat boring). It’s also exciting to personally discover an article you haven’t read before.

        Here, it would probably be good to comb back through Lazy Padawan’s SWPAS blog. She has pulled out a lot of good articles/blog pages over the years. There are definitely other resources that are compiler-friendly by prequel fans. It’s just putting the personal effort in. The prequels deserve it.

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