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Assumptions the Prequels Made


22 replies to this topic

#1
Filthy Jawa

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It's time again for some good ol' prequel bashing. I was thinking recently less about all the typical things we can complain about with the prequels (Jar Jar, Jake Lloyd, insane CGI...), but some of the things that we just took for granted that didn't need to be. I even remember thinking about a lot of these on my first viewing, or even before first viewing - the assumptions that were made that many of us never even questioned.

Jedi wear brown robes
This isn't really a bad thing, I mean it does give them a solemn, monastic look, but before the prequels came out I thought ANH Obi-Wan dressed like that because he was in hiding on a desert planet. He wore basically the same thing as Uncle Owen if you notice, so I assumed that was the local Tatooine fashion. And he had the cloak to protect from sand blowing in his eyes. So was that really meant to be the 'Jedi uniform'. If he's one of a few remaining Jedi and he's in hiding, shouldn't his outfit not be that of an iconic recognizable Jedi?
Today we take it for granted that that's how a Jedi looks, but at the time, it was only based on Obi-Wan in ANH. In 1999, they could have looked like anything.

Obi-Wan and Yoda are two of the greatest Jedi of their time
So they're the two we knew, and sure you could argue that the mere fact they survived means they were good, but it always felt lazy to me that in the prequels Yoda is the greatest Jedi Master and Obi-Wan is the greatest Jedi Knight.
I mean how does it really help the story that these two are renowned throughout the galaxy as exceptional among the Jedi? Why not just make them sort of average...or even flawed? Obi-Wan is supposed to have failed, but do we ever see him as anything other than the perfect shining white knight?

Anakin and Obi-Wan duel at a volcano
This doesn't really bother me, but there's no reference in the OT that said this had to be how it went down, that this is how Vader ended up like that. I think this just came from some EU story, didn't it? In the lead up to Ep. III, I remember everyone here just assuming that was what would happen ("can't wait for the duel at the volcano", kind of comments) and I remember thinking there was absolutely no reason it had to happen that way. This isn't an adaptation of real-life events, but fans talked about it like that was historical fact.
So Lucas either didn't want to contradict the EU (cough) or was too lazy to come up with an original way to explain Vader's injuries.
I secretly wanted Anakin (maybe prior to his full turn) to have been force lightninged by a Sith Lord almost to death. How dramatic would that be? And how much more powerful does that make the end of ROTJ?
Yeah but copying some hack EU author is fine too.

#2
The Choc

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I think the first one they did consider some other looks for the Jedi. I'm fairly certain that there is concept art of the Jedi being in almost like law enforcement type uniforms. So that coulda gone either way, they just chose the robes. Which I think work fine.

 

The 2nd one I somewhat agree, somewhat disagree. I think most fans assumed Yoda was sort of the leader of the Jedi or the one who taught most of them.He does say in ESB that he has taught Jedi for centuries. They could have changed him up some, but I do think they made him flawed. His advice to Anakin about just being happy Padme is going to die is just brutally terrible advice. For Obi Wan, I agree with you more strongly. I think it would have worked for Obi Wan to sort of be a "workmanlike' Jedi who is kinda overwhelmed trying to teach this amazingly power Anakin. At the least they should have tried to show him make some kind of mistake that lead to Anakin's fall. I woulda loved if he had done something bad enough that when we first see him in ANH we think "you POS".

 

The third one, I don't think it was really EU that did that. It was one of the novelizations right? Which isn't the movie and thus could be switched up but the novelizations are probably the closest thing to the movies in terms of stuff they don't wanna flip around too much? Also in ESB and ROTJ Vaders appearance without the helmet shows that he was burned up pretty badly. Could have switched it up some, have it in some sort of industrial setting where he falls into a vat or something? In the end though the volcano planet is the right choice because of all the allegories of hell that is encompasses. 

 

Personally I would have loved if the prequels flipped some of our pre concieved notions of them around. However I also think it's fairly obvious that many Star Wars fans can't accept anything that doesn't fit into their own neat little box of what Star Wars is supposed to be. So I'm not sure that changing around some long held beliefs of fans like Yoda being the leader or the volcano would have been smart. 



#3
Tank

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I agree that as of ANH the brown robe was just tattooine gear-- but the gave a similar robe to Yoda in ESB and then ROTJ made It official at the end we see Anakin wearing the same thing is Ben.

That said, I had assumed that Luke's black outfit was official Jedi gear.

I thought, going into the PT, that the brown robes are what they wore whilst chilling around the temple, but that the black outfits would be their going into action outfit.

I actually held into this hope all the way up until ROTS.
  • El Chalupacabra +1 this

#4
The Choc

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As for your thought of Anakin being lightninged, I don't dislike it. I just think that the whole visions of him actually going to hell is just too perfect not to do. 

 

If you ever read the "my version of the prequels" in the thread Tank started I had a similar idea in that something would tie into the end of ROTJ. Basically Padme is brought before Palpatine and Vader, she doesn't know who Vader is. Palpy gives her one last chance to support him, she refuses and he lightnings her to death while Vader looks on, unmoved. 



#5
The Choc

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I agree that as of ANH the brown robe was just tattooine gear-- but the gave a similar robe to Yoda in ESB and then ROTJ made It official at the end we see Anakin wearing the same thing is Ben.

That said, I had assumed that Luke's black outfit was official Jedi gear.

I thought, going into the PT, that the brown robes are what they wore whilst chilling around the temple, but that the black outfits would be their going into action outfit.

I actually held into this hope all the way up until ROTS.

 

I guess I just take it as Jedi are encouraged to dress humbly and in a way that doesn't look individualized. We do see Anakin wear a somewhat different type of outfit through the PT. We see the one twi'lek Jedi wearing something totally different. 



#6
El Chalupacabra

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The jedi robes never bothered me, and made sense considering that Obi Wan and Yoda wore their robes in the OT.  But when you analyze it more deeply, Obi Wan wearing robes and using his same surname for 20 years on Tattoine makes little sense, unless he just assumed people would think he was wearing desert robes or something.  But I have to admit, prior to PT and based on ROTJ, I just assumed Luke was wearing a jedi outfit.  Turns out, he wasn't, I suppose.

 

I was never bothered with Yoda being one of the most powerful force users during the PT.  Obi Wan never really demonstrated he was uber powerful. TESB establishes he was a pupil of Yoda, so we knew he wasn't the best of the best.  I have always thought of him as a cross between  Merlin (from his OT appearance), and sort of a Sir Galahad in the PT.  



#7
The Choc

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The Jedi were so different that I had thought. I never thought they would be like an official wing of the govt. I figured it was just more like getting a  black belt in a martial art. Not exactly like that but somewhat. Like Yoda is off in some temple on some mountain and people seek him out, if Yoda feels you are worthy then he will train you. Then maybe throughout the galaxy there are a few other Masters operating in the same way, including Palpatine. I never thought there would be thousands of Jedi, which I suppose is why I never expected a large scale Jedi vs Sith battle. I thought maybe there were a few dozen Jedi throughout the Galaxy total. They were more like Knights errant, when something bad was going down they would show up and try to help.  



#8
The Choc

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I agree with Chalup about Anakin's turn. I did figure it would be a slower process. However I don't think making it a choice, or a deal with the devil, is a bad move. Having said that if Lucas was going to do in that direction then why spend so much time showing Anakin with anger issues?

 

Personally I feel it should have been either or.

 

Ether Anakin is a great Jedi, doing everything right and then Palpatine offers him what he wants if he joins him. Anakin knows its wrong but has enough hubris to think he can "handle" using the dark side, accomplish what he wants to accomplish, and then just turn back to being good. Ofcourse he can't "handle" it.

 

or

 

Anakin slowly is twisted to the dark side over the course of the entire trilogy.

 

Lucas tries to give us both which in some ways lessens the impact of either. 



#9
El Chalupacabra

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#10
Filthy Jawa

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Basically Padme is brought before Palpatine and Vader, she doesn't know who Vader is. Palpy gives her one last chance to support him, she refuses and he lightnings her to death while Vader looks on, unmoved. 

I like that too.

It's the biggest missed opportunity of the PT to me. I often say I don't want every little thing from the OT explained in the PT (and all the call-backs in the newer movies are a bit much too), but that moment when Vader watches Luke getting fried, it's like you can see him going over some past memory and being reawakened by it. I would have loved to see that explained. It wouldn't have been a cheap call-back, it would have brought it all home and tied the whole thing together.
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#11
Filthy Jawa

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Also this thread was supposed be be about assumptions the movies themselves made (or that Lucas made), not assumptions WE made about what the movies were going to be.

But whatever - can't control a thread once it's out there.

#12
Filthy Jawa

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I agree that as of ANH the brown robe was just tattooine gear-- but the gave a similar robe to Yoda in ESB and then ROTJ made It official at the end we see Anakin wearing the same thing is Ben.

That said, I had assumed that Luke's black outfit was official Jedi gear.

I thought, going into the PT, that the brown robes are what they wore whilst chilling around the temple, but that the black outfits would be their going into action outfit.

I actually held into this hope all the way up until ROTS.


True, I suppose the robes were official Jedi wear by ROTJ.

But I like that they did branch out later with Anakins black/burgundy leather gear and OWK's white battle armour thing.

#13
El Chalupacabra

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#14
Filthy Jawa

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I think most fans assumed Yoda was sort of the leader of the Jedi or the one who taught most of them.He does say in ESB that he has taught Jedi for centuries.  


True. I guess, the assumption I didn't like was how famous or known Yoda is. Kind of like you're saying, I would have preferred Yoda is this secret Jedi legend you have to seek out. I'm not sure Palpatine should have even know about him (let alone have the most embarrassing lightsabre duel of all time with him, but we won't go there right now).

#15
Dark Wader

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Anakin and Obi-Wan duel at a volcano
This doesn't really bother me, but there's no reference in the OT that said this had to be how it went down, that this is how Vader ended up like that. I think this just came from some EU story, didn't it? In the lead up to Ep. III, I remember everyone here just assuming that was what would happen ("can't wait for the duel at the volcano", kind of comments) and I remember thinking there was absolutely no reason it had to happen that way. This isn't an adaptation of real-life events, but fans talked about it like that was historical fact.
So Lucas either didn't want to contradict the EU (cough) or was too lazy to come up with an original way to explain Vader's injuries.
I secretly wanted Anakin (maybe prior to his full turn) to have been force lightninged by a Sith Lord almost to death. How dramatic would that be? And how much more powerful does that make the end of ROTJ?
Yeah but copying some hack EU author is fine too.

If I remember rightly, it was in the Return of the Jedi novelization, so I always assumed while Lucas didn't write it, the author had the idea from Lucas. Honestly I a lot of my expectations & assumptions from the prequels came from that novelization. 



#16
Tank

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Yeah, it was the novelization, the radio drama, and a quote from Lucas all pre-EU. There were a few of these things— things that while never official were considered canon.

#17
Filthy Jawa

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I knew you nerds were gonna say that.

#18
Zerimar Nyliram

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It was the novelization of Return of the Jedi that first mentioned the volcano duel and Anakin being burned by Lava. Unrelated: the original Trilogy novels were pretty bland, but Jedi's was mildly interesting.



#19
Filthy Jawa

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Well, I'm glad you cleared that up.

#20
Jacen123

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But then they also threw out Obi-Wan's claim in the ROTJ novelization about Owen being his brother.



#21
Dark Wader

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Yeah, it also mentioned Anakin didn't know who Yoda was. But then the prequels also threw out the concept that Leia spent more time with Padme than Luke. 



#22
Filthy Jawa

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Good points.

So it didn't have to be volcano or lava or whatever.

The Leia remembering her mother is an assumption the prequels should have kept. So sloppy.

#23
Zerimar Nyliram

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Exactly. I meant to mention those things but I forgot. Obi-Wan's kinship with Owen even made it into the script for Jedi, which ended up as cut dialogue, and their kinship was assumed in the EU all the way up until the mid-90s, being mentioned in various source books but never in any actual stories, probably because the Clone Wars era was off-limits at the time. That kind of tells me that this stayed in the mind of George Lucas for a long time, though at what point he changed his mind is impossible to pinpoint. Owen turning out to be Anakin's adoptive brother was kind of close.

The novelization also presented two brilliant scenes not in the movie. When Threepio tells his story to the Ewoks, they are not immediately convinced to let our heroes join the tribe. It's not until Leia tells them to "do it for the trees" that they are convinced, which plays in perfectly with the Ewoks' apparent reverence for nature. The other scene sees Palpatine making fun of Yoda in front of Luke, trying to rile him up. "Still alive, is he?" is one of the things he says. This implies that Sidious and Yoda had a history together, lining up perfectly with the prequels.





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