Everyone needs to stop saying that. You feel that way because you’ve had to deal with crappy sequels and TV shows!
You want a little secret? The best Star Wars ever made is THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY!!
Every other statement that contradicts that is false and “fake news.”
Star Wars is about the Hero’s Journey. The Original and Prequel trilogies supported this. The Clone Wars is a great episodic and serial TV show and deserves much debate and discussion.
ANDOR is a very interesting look at the galaxy from a more mundane perspective. Yet, unfortunately, this can still be seen as a bit boring for many. Its a difference from high action adventure to high drama. I remember people bitching about Phantom Menace was too political with all the “trade route disputes” talk. Yet, thats all ANDOR does. I’m exaggerating here but half the show is about politicians and dissidents arguing and debating on how to move money around or keep secrets to support a rebellion. This may be boring to many. Maybe those Star Wars fans are getting older and want to be entertained by the sophisticated aspects of the galaxy. I like it too but give me some more clues and a bit more action -since I want to have fun in this viewing experience.
For all of you that think you’ve seen the best Star Wars….step back…watch the Original Trilogy…and then re-evaluate your opinion…. it’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to say it’s good Star Wars…. but is it really the best? No not really.
Are we seeing delusions of grandeur with Andor because Book of Boba Fest and Obi-wan Kenobi were bad?
I’ve watched all 10 episodes. I keep hearing how great it is. Many viewers are saying it’s some of the best Star Wars ever. Or at least, the best Star Wars from Disney. These comments are coming from both dedicated Star Wars fans and fans of science fiction and other Sci-Fi.
I’m not sure I can give it that much credit.
Is it good Star Wars? Maybe. We’re so used to bad Star Wars recently, it’s hard to tell if this deserves its accolades.
I don’t hate it.
But as I’ve told my friends, it’s a bit slow. It’s a bit melodramatic. Feels like Downtown Abby in Space.
Yet, I think Downtown Abby presented character development better. There’s a lot of talking yet very little is said. Or at least, to push the plot along or even the point of the series. We get several minutes that feel like hours of lord-of-the-flies-like scenes of a young Andor and (of course) we have no clue what the language is or what they are saying. This is meant for us to learn more of Cassian Andor yet he says about 10 words an episode. Technically more time is spent with the supporting cast than Andor (which is an issue with almost everything Disney does of late).
While watching the show, I was trying to guess what’s the genre: suspense? thriller? heist movie? cops and robbers? political drama? Star Wars has always been action and adventure with a focus on the hero’s journey. The story of good vs. evil. Yet, I’m not sure what this is. I’ve seen 10 hours of it. That’s a lot of time. I feel like the writers are treating this like a government contract. Go nice and slow so they can stay employed for as long as possible.
As George was known to say, “Faster! More Intensity!” I felt this needed to move much faster. Throw the audience a bone. Stop trying to keep the viewer in the dark. It’s okay to give the audience something while keeping the characters in the dark. Instead this show keeps everyone in the dark.
Some have said, they like the show as it’s more for adult viewers. Some have said, Star Wars has always been for 12 year olds, but finally we have a Star Wars aimed at 35 year olds. Maybe. Yet, the original Star Wars facisnated everyone from 5 year olds (like myself in 1977) to 90 year olds. That’s the beauty of the original story. This new show doesn’t do that. Can that be a bad thing?
Well, maybe Andor needs more viewings, more analysis, and more discussion. All I want to say is: I want more Star Wars in my Star Wars….
Luke Skywalker has vanished! In only a decade after the Battle of Endor, the Imperial Remnant continues to struggle for control of the galaxy. Without Luke’s guidance of a new JEDI council the Empire has created the FIRST ORDER – FORCE users that have complete loyalty to the new EMPEROR.
With the support of the NEW REPUBLIC, Chancellor Leia Organa leads a brave RESISTANCE. She is desperate to find her brother Luke and gain his help in restoring peace and justice to the galaxy.
After a decade of searching, Leia has sent her most trusted Jedi advisors on a secret mission to Jakku — a planet ravaged by war. There, an old ally has discovered a clue to Luke’s whereabouts. Time is of the essence as a new threat rises from the ashes of the SITH….
As I stated, the movie started out with lots of potential. Yet, it didn’t know what it wanted to be. The writer and director didn’t create a natural extension of the Skywalker story. Instead, they created a story and production they thought the audience wanted. Or to be more precise, what the producer thought the audience wanted.
So, the new leadership at Lucasfilm decided to nix everything in the expanded universe. A horrible idea to millions of fans that spent decades enjoying the stories and respecting the chronology. But a fabulous idea for a new writing staff so they don’t have to worry about the past and all thats come before it. Or as I really think, they didn’t have a clue of any of that source material and like a slacker high school student, why actually read the book and know the material when you can just petition the teacher to throw out the textbook altogether. Yes, I am calling out those writers for not actually being SW fans and actually knowing the chronology. When you have a clean canvas you can create anything without remorse or worry.
As story development proceeded, The Force Awakens could literally be anything the writers could dream up. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that it fit in with the previous movies, character developement nor even the wishes of Mr. George Lucas. He handed treatments over yet Lucasfilm leadership decided to toss them and proceed with the what the rockstar director wanted.
Story may be the weak link but the saving grace was the art design and characters that were created. Except I think they needed a slight tweak….
What many fans saw as a copy cat of Star Wars New Hope, I actually took was part of a long history of Star Wars formula.
George Lucas used a similar formula with the Prequel Trilogy thus seeing something similar in the Sequel Trilogy wasn’t that surprising. If you compare The Phantom Menace to A New Hope you see several formulaic concepts: the discovery of a threat to peace, an rescue mission, a introduction of a main character through accident, an old mentor dies, a big battle to help liberate the galaxy (or planet) and a big celebration ceremony. See, those two movies were very similar. Yet, I will admit that formula went a little bit too far with The Force Awakens and did appear to be a remake of A New Hope. The first strike.
The movie opened with a problem. Luke is missing. The First Order has risen and taken advantage of the disappearance of Luke. Yet, I think the movie wasn’t clear on what it was meant to do. Why’s Luke missing? And how did the First Order become so powerful just because Luke disappeared? Why isn’t there a new Jedi Order helping protect the Galaxy?
The Star Killer Base, this trilogy’s version of the Death Star, is literally thrown in with no real reason to the story elements we were introduced to in the opening crawl. It felt like JJ Abrams was like “oh yeah, I need a Death Star-like thing to be the threat to everyone.” If the First Order arose and became a galactic threat since Luke disappeared, how long has Luke been gone? Was it weeks? Years? Decades? We never know. We have to know its been a while because the First Order has had time to raise massive amounts of capital, built a fleet of Star Destroyers, and had time to convert a planet into a gigantic laser gun. This can’t just be done in a few short years.
With oblivious plot holes, I never really believed the First Order as a real threat to our characters. Nor did I understand how they got so powerful when the Republic was still governing the galaxy. Was this something like Cobra was to G.I. Joe? I believe this is why fans critiqued the First Order so much. In 1977, we didn’t know the specifics how the Empire was born, and we didn’t need to know actually. But when we know how the characters defeated the Empire, to see a new clone of the Empire arise, the audience needs a bit of back story. Thus, I think the film’s villain (i.e. the Empire in OT and now the First Order in TFA) is cliche trope. There were so many other threats our old and new characters could have faced.
In 2005, we watched Episode III with great enthusiasm and excitement. Then, we were saddened when George Lucas announced that the Star Wars Saga was complete and there would be no more movies. The dreams of seeing Episode VII through IX (7-9) were destroyed. Yet, we excepted it as this was a story about the life and redemption of Anakin Skywalker.
Suddenly, George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney. Every fan suddenly realized maybe more Star Wars movies would be on the horizon. The news broke really fast that yes indeed Star Wars would return with a new Sequel Trilogy that would take place 30 years after Return of the Jedi. The movies would reunite the original trilogy cast and introduce new characters. When we got The Force Awakens, we were confronted with the truth that perhaps we were deceived. Just like the Jedi were deceived by Chancellor Palpatine and the Army of the Republic.
The new trilogy wasn’t going to focus on the classic characters. It was a clear and present bait and switch. The new characters were going to be the complete focus. The original characters weren’t even given the respect to be supporting characters. No, they were basically cameos. This was the first mistake made by Disney Star Wars. You sacrificed established characters. The right course would have been introduce the new characters but they should have been an extension of the classic character story.
Episode VII opens with a crawl that informs the audience Luke Skywalker is missing. I loved this concept. Like any classic fantasy story, we set up the quest. The journey the characters must take to resolve the conflict. Where could Luke be? Was he captured? Or was he just lost? I could see this resonating out of George Lucas mind and based on his appreciate for Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. Regardless of the reason behind Luke’s disappearance, it reminded me of the exile of Yoda. Yoda wasn’t running away from the problem. He was simply waiting for the opportunity of returning to the battle. After learning that Luke went in search of old and lost Jedi Temples, I figured this could have been his motivation. He was looking for the knowledge. He was waiting for the right time to return and take on the First Order.
Then, Last Jedi was released and our perception of Luke was destroyed….
Well, not ruined per se, but it was something the Prequels and the Sequels haven’t been able to live up to. Or perhaps they forgot about it — a key dramatic element of the Original Trilogy.
Everyone remembers the time they first saw that dramatic scene in Empire Strikes Back where Darth Vader tells the young hero Luke Skywalker that he is in fact his father. The shock would plague some of us for nearly 3 years waiting for the release of Return of the Jedi. Yes, I was a kid, 8 years old, back then and saw it in the theater. I’m not sure I even believed it. I figured Vader was lying to Luke just to get him to turn to the Dark Side.
See, I was naive and believed Obi-wan Kenobi when he told Luke that Vader betrayed and murdered Luke’s father. Yet, once I saw ROTJ and the audience got its confirmation that Ben Kenobi lied, I learned a very important dramatic element of story telling. Some call it the “big reveal” or some might say “the redirect”. The goal is to surprise your audience with some information they weren’t expecting. This information is meant to change the dynamic of the characters relationship with one another. Not only providing melodrama but layers of complexity to the story.
Now, when the Prequels debuted in 1999 with The Phantom Menace, we knew this was going to be a story about a young Anakin Skywalker — Luke’s father. But what we didn’t know was how and what drove Anakin to the Dark Side. So millions of Star Wars fans waited and then we were disappointed. Okay, fine, we saw how he fell to the Dark Side, yet George Lucas made it a very long turn. Instead of something dramatic, we were told that Anakin was troubled and manipulated by Palpatine — spending over a decade slowly mind controlling him.
We all have the version of new Star Wars we wanted in our heads. My imagination over 20 years allowed me to think of a few different versions of the prequels. Yet, I know that is the definition of exaggerated anticipation — and there’s no way to be completely satisfied with the result. This is a common affliction in a Star Wars fan. We put too much of our own desires into future stories that we hopelessly know will never become reality. This is why a Star Wars fan can hate and love a movie at the same time.
In my Star Wars, Anakin fell to the dark side in one tragic and dramatic moment. Something very similar to what we saw in his final moment of his fall in Revenge of the Sith. But something much more powerful. I saw him using the Dark Side only to save someone he loved — i.e. the “young queen” (mother of Luke and Leia) but because it truly was the only way to save them. Almost to say, he sacrificed himself to save them. But this isn’t my point. Yet, I mention it as this could have been the “I am your father” moment. And maybe it should have been.
In all aspects of the Prequels, we never got this “reveal” moment. We were never shocked or surprised by the story. It really felt like the three movies were telegraphed to us in a very long exposition of images. I blame George Lucas for not giving us our surprise. Where was “I am your father” in the Prequels? We didn’t get it! Maybe Palpatine should have told Anakin that he was Anakin’s father? Or that Qui-Got was? Something. This is the same thing that happened in the Sequels. We almost had it with the tease on Rey’s parents but then we didn’t get anything. I believe if we had gotten this moment in Attack of the Clones or in The Last Jedi, those trilogies would be inherently better. But then, what do I know….
In the documentary, George gives some interesting insight on his film making philosophy. One of those insights: “you don’t have to spend much film time to create an environment.” George continues to say that sci-fi movies are notorious to do this to show off the amount of work and it slows the pace of the movie. Star Wars pulled this off. Perhaps it was simply there wasn’t a budget to do it. Yet, it worked as he said. I don’t need a 3-4 minute fly-over of Manhattan to get a sense the characters are in a big city. But when it came to the prequels, I found George was showing off more and more of the environments: Coruscant, Naboo, etc. The magic of CGI and digital paintings made them great eye candy but the feel of the movies changed.
George also stated, “my effort was to use less exposition and tell the story cinematically.” Again, the prequels are riddled with dialog to tell us where the action is going. The dialog is there to enrich the story – not tell us what we’re looking at: “They went up the ventilation shaft.” “There’s a problem with the main reactor!” Both were just seen only seconds ago. Either George thought we weren’t so bright or he was catering the story to a different audience (more on that later).
The Force was also one of the big issues with the Prequels. George needed to somehow convey that Anakin is more powerful in potential than other Force users / Jedi. But how do you do that? Simple. You make it a scientific explanation. In the previous Trilogy, The Force was a mystical entity, a source for a faith and religion. Yet, in the new Trilogy, it’s all about how many microbial parasites you have in your blood. More exposition. Dialog could have easily fixed this – would have benefited the story not try to explain it. I think this tarnished the mystery and power of The Force.
In the original expanded canon, it was told that Anakin Skywalker married a young queen. This was the mother of both Luke and Leia. We never got a name nor a true definition of her royal line. We really didn’t need it. The mystery was sorta interesting. Yet, now we have the opportunity in the Prequels to explore her character. Yet, is she really a Queen. No. George’s personal political opinion interfered with the fantasy. She needed to be elected to the position because an elected official seems more moral, right? Again, this failed the overall story in a galaxy, far, far away. And by the time she was married to Anakin and gave birth she was no longer a Queen but a simple Senator.
That last example could also lead into another one: changing the previous known canon. In Return of the Jedi, Luke asks Leia if she “remembers her mother, her real mother?” This clearly points to the idea that Leia as well as Luke and Han know she was the adopted daughter of Bail Organa. Could it just be an error in the writing and Luke is projecting his own knowledge toward Leia? Possibly. But why didn’t Leia freak out and say “what do you mean, real mother!?” By the time we got Revenge of the Sith, Padme Amidala died in child birth. So how could Leia possibly remember her. (I know fans have tried to explain this as Force memory) But why did it happen in the Prequels? George could have easily supported what he’d already told the audience.
These are just some examples. Next time, I’ll propose alternatives….