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MaddockKrug

What's the "spirit" of Star Wars?

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 I'm curious how the prequels violated your notion of what the spirit of Star Wars is.

 

 

One word: midichlorians. (That proved to me Lucas actually had no ideas whatsoever, and was just pulling random nonsense out of his ass). 

 

More words:  See that picture of Sebastian Shaw as Anakin further up the thread? Such a powerful moment, sums up so much of what SW means to me. Hope, sacrifice, redemption. 

 

Now imagine that rat-faced little no-mark who played him in the prequels in his place instead.

 

Now imagine me weeping bitter tears as yet another of my favorite childhood  moments is indescribably violated.  

 

(and I'm not hard to please; I genuinely didn't mind JarJar). 

 

We just didn't need to see the coolest movie character ever as a whining, sulky brat. We didn't need 'Darth Vader, the Spotty, Awkward Teenage Years'. 

 

Oh, and Kevin Smith.  The moment I heard he liked it, I just knew I was gonna hate it with the white-hot searing heat of a thousand exploding suns. 

Edited by Maelora

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 I'm curious how the prequels violated your notion of what the spirit of Star Wars is.

 

 

One word: midichlorians.

 

More words:  See that picture of Sebastian Shaw as Anakin further up the thread? Such a powerful moment, sums up so much of what SW means to me. Hope, sacrifice, redemption. 

 

Now imagine that rat-faced little no-mark who played him in the prequels in his place instead.

 

Now imagine me weeping bitter tears as yet another of my favorite childhood  moments is indescribably violated.  

 

(and I'm not hard to please; I genuinely didn't mind JarJar). 

 

We just didn't need to see the coolest movie character ever as a whining, sulky brat. We didn't need 'Darth Vader, the Spotty, Awkward Teenage Years'. 

 

Oh, and Kevin Smith.  The moment I heard he liked it, I just knew I was gonna hate it with the white-hot searing heat of a thousand exploding suns. 

 

 

I suspect you may have to elaborate a bit more than midichlorians though.

 

Perhaps you mean that midichlorians were a symptom of the much larger issue of the de-mystification of the Star Wars franchise?  The Force needed to stay much more mysterious and opaque.

 

Something along those lines?

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Yes, I'm sorry.  I'm getting a  bit ranty, FangGrip. 

 

I think it was two things: one, Lucas no longer seemed to care about the original movies he made. The interim time had seen him grow self-indulgent and convinced that everything he did was perfect.

 

Two, the lessening of the whole spiritual aspect of the Force, the idea that mystical science-fantasy just couldn't appeal to a modern audience.  

Edited by Maelora

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Okay, in an effort to be constructive and say something beyond 'I hate the prequels', I will offer this:

 

What is SW to me?

 

1) NOT grimdark. Not 40K, not all those angsty 1990's RPGs.  There is hope and the possibility of redemption, though victory comes with sacrifice.

 

2) Spiritual and karmic.  The Force should defy cheap hard sci-fi conventions.  Bad acts really do come around to bite you in the ass.  The Dark Side is not more powerful, it's quicker, easier, more seductive.

 

3) Pulpy - fast moving, adventurous, full of heroics.  Players should be able to try really crazy stunts and they might succeed.  Everything can be that much more awesome than in our world.

 

That's my best three, though personally I also love all the grimy, retro technology and how everything looks like it's about to fall to pieces, whether it's a droid, or an ATAT.  TIE fighters blow up when bugs spatter across the windscreen. The Death Star self-destructs when some poor droid drops its tools down the wrong ventilation shaft. Flickering holograms, rusty old freighters (that are secretly epic)  and trash compactors. I love all that.

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Yes, I'm sorry.  I'm getting a  bit ranty, FangGrip. 

 

I think it was two things: one, Lucas no longer seemed to care about the original movies he made. The interim time had seen him grow self-indulgent and convinced that everything he did was perfect.

 

Two, the lessening of the whole spiritual aspect of the Force, the idea that mystical science-fantasy just couldn't appeal to a modern audience.  

Movies tend to be better when actors actually act instead of reading lines, and you don't know the plot 15 years in advance.

 

Combine that with reducing entry to the Jedi order to a blood test, and cutsy stupidity like Jar Jar, and you're trending downwards.  Then ignore the gritty, old used look of all your tech traded for something not gritty, old or used looking, and you've essentially gutted what made the originals successful and replaced them with something simply riding their popularity and coat tails.

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I know the feeling. I could rock the Bun Leia outfit, but would never be brave enough to do Slave Leia:

 

And here's where a pic being worth no words hurts. :(

 

From Maelora's response, I imagine that image must be real funny. Can anyone describe it funny, too?

 

 

Man, you need a real computer! :)

 

Here, have a direct link: http://dessslok1138.deviantart.com/art/The-Halloween-Party-at-EA-409948266 - now, no looking at my other photos!

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I know the feeling. I could rock the Bun Leia outfit, but would never be brave enough to do Slave Leia:

 

And here's where a pic being worth no words hurts. :(

 

From Maelora's response, I imagine that image must be real funny. Can anyone describe it funny, too?

 

 

Man, you need a real computer! :)

 

Here, have a direct link: http://dessslok1138.deviantart.com/art/The-Halloween-Party-at-EA-409948266 - now, no looking at my other photos!

 

Uhm, there is a reason she can not see it. You've heard of audio description? She would probably benefit from it here.

 

Haley it is a pic of Desslok dressed as Princess Leia (or I am assuming it is Desslok), beard and all.

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I liked the cleanliness of the prequels.  Most of it took place in places that should be nice.  The capital of Naboo, Coroscant senate districts, etc.  To me it really helped to sell the going from a clean peaceful universe (on the outside) to a beaten down universe.

 

Midichlorians I can do without and Jar Jar was was a whatever.

 

I really need to watch them again in Machette order.  I've heard that it really helps.

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Ok my favorite thing about the prequals.

I don't look at it as the fall of Anakin Skywalker, but the rise of Darth Sidious and Empire. That's why I don't mind the over-complicated political dribble.

 

It's an even more enjoyable experience if you read and enjoyed the Darth Bane trilogy. Watching the prequals in the light that this is the culmination of a thousand years Sith living in the shadows and carefully gathering power politically and in the force.

 

I don't mind admitting I enjoyed the prequals. For all its faults, it gave me more facets to a world I already loved.

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I caught parts of Star Wars here and there, but the first movie I remember watching start-to-finish was The Phantom Menace, so I don't seem to have the same hang-ups over the prequels that others do.  That said, there is something special about the original trilogy.

 

I think the spirit of Star Wars is that it becomes what you want to see in it.  There are so many layers to the stories told by all the different sources, but you'll pick up on whatever interests you the most at the moment.  The best way to express this in a game would be to offer lots of different opportunities.  Not exactly a sandbox, but with enough ambiguity in situations for players' gut instincts to take over.

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My issue was that the Anakin of the prequels never lived up to what he became. Bad acting, bad scripting, bad story. Take your pick. Any or all can apply. I had no reason to believe this character would go on to be the bad ass of the original trilogy. The prequel trilogy was real pretty (the fights, the aliens, the planets), but that was all for me. The only part of the story I enjoyed was the rise of the emperor.

 

I remember seeing this pic

 

20050520-anakin-darth.jpg

 

and thinking what a thought provoking image. And people slam Jake's Anakin, but I enjoyed his much more than Hayden's. I remember picking up on aspects of his future darkness at points in The Phantom Menace.

Edited by mouthymerc

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My issue was that the Anakin of the prequels never lived up to what he became. Bad acting, bad scripting, bad story. Take your pick. Any or all can apply. I had no reason to believe this character would go on to be the bad ass of the original trilogy. The prequel trilogy was real pretty (the fights, the aliens, the planets), but that was all for me. The only part of the story I enjoyed was the rise of the emperor.

 

I agree.

 

I enjoyed the prequels (or at least didn't hate them). As far as fulfilling the "spirit" of Star Wars, I think they technically hit all the marks. The Vader arc was just a little disappointing. The thing that bugged me most was that it was all so predictable. I mean we already knew how he's going to end up, and still they spent three films just foreshadowing his slow progression down that path.

 

To play "If I was a film exec" for a moment, the only major tweak I would have made would have been to make Anakin the big hero of the prequels. Start him out at Luke's age (as of Ep4) and show how awesome Luke would have been if he had spent his childhood in Jedi training. I would have made Anakin the kind of Jedi that members of the Order could rally around, and stood him squarely in the Light, but with a measure of pride that really only worried Yoda. Then through the films, while Sidious was secretly executing his master plan, Anakin and Co would have been out there thwarting it. Tension would come from the fact that every step of the way, it would seem more unlikely that this guy could become Vader. Then finally in Ep3, Sidious orchestrates a few key betrayals, bring's the Jedi's MVP to his knees, and then props him back up with a few cybernetics, making a mockery of the Order's former glory.

 

At least, those are the stories as they play out in my head  :)

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My bad - I thought you were just inhibited by imbedded photos. Yeah, it's me about 2001 (or thereabouts) crossdressing as Buns Leia for halloween, beard and all.

I was afraid to ask why but I hoped it was for Halloween!

A bearded Leia sounds icky enough but for Halloween, getting someone (your preferred gender!) to go as Luke and... Well... Staging a make out session might add just the right amount of creepy, too!

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To me the spirit of Star Wars has to have three things:

 

Good vs. Evil - There is not much grey area in starwars for who is good and who is not. They have their own freakin theme songs. People can argue all they want but in all the movies there is a clear good guy and bad guy. Sometimes they switch sides *cough* Anikin *cough*, and sometimes you don`t know which side they are on until later but they are definately on one side or the other. Hell they even make you change your name when the switch sides. Start calling you Darth.

        I have the hardest time with this as I love grey areas. Sadly most my players are grey area players which makes moral dilema's for them practically non-existent. I mean how can you have a crisis of concience when you don`t have a concience?!

 

Epic adventures - Criss-crossing the galaxy in lots of different planets with different aliens. By and large whom have a brethable athmosphere and speak your language. Throw physics and reality out the window when it gets in the way of good storytelling. Lord knows George did and look at him now. Players should feel they are making a difference in the planet they are on, or the universe as a whole. For example there are hundereds and thousands of smugglers out there, but only one who helped destroy two deathstars breaking the empires hold over the galaxy.

 

A PG-13 rating - There was another thread that was removed discussing the darker side of things but if you watch all the movies especially the first three there is a great sense of what is appropriate to describe and what is not discussed. Evil, *see above*, does some really nasty things. Murders a planet just to prove it can, chokes its own admirals, guns people down and lobs off limbs, even tortures its own daughter. But in the end you don`t see blood and guts everywhere. It gets implyed that bad things are happening to good/innocent people and then cuts to the next scene. You see people getting blasted with energy weapons but they just fall over with a smoking hole in them, no blood, no gurgling death.  

           With our more modern ideals this might seem dull and predictable but part of that spirit of Starwars has remained is that cut scene dynamic. This is another one I have struggled with. How can I have people being blasted, shot, stabbed and sliced and not have blood everywhere? Sometimes I still don`t have the answer. But ask yourself how often you see blood in the movies, three times? Episode 1 when maul gets diced in half there is a red mist for just a brief moment. Episode 2 when Padame gets scratched (even then she doesn`t bleed just turns red), and episode 4 in the cantina when Obi-Wan lobs off the thugs limb and you see it for a brief moment on camera.

           As GM's we feel we have the obligation to make our players feel horrified when they should be horrified, scared when they should be scared and sick when they should be sickened. In truth you can never MAKE a person feel that way, especially vicariously through a piece of paper and some dice, they have to and should feel it on their own as their character does through roleplaying. So going with the extra blood gore and swearing will not increase your players feel for the game, they usually turn into gore hounds or become jaded. Believe me, I`ve tried it, you can never scare/gross most of the people who play RPG's.  Do not get me started on the Clone Wars series, I once tried to do a body count on clones and it was the WORST DRINKING GAME EVER.

 

Well that's my opinion on what the the 'Spirit of Starwars' is. Sadly my group never hold it together long enough to get to epic. If it were the movies they would make it to escaping the deathstar (probably where they all got separated) before they got distracted and forgot where they were and why they were doing it.

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I enjoyed the prequels, jar –jar was not even to annoying to me and I am old enough to have seen the first movies actually in the movies.  Evil was not just borne vader was slowly   led down a dark path

He really did love his wife but he went too far with obsession and anger took over. What if Yoda and the others in the counsel took him under their wing earlier?

I also enjoyed the slow study dissolving of the republic to the points where even the illusion of democracy was shattered.

I think in both cases ‘ the road to hell is paved with good intentions “ applies

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For me, the prequels weren't actually a violation of the Star Wars spirit -- after all, when I saw them for the first time (I was nine or ten when Episode I came out) I loved them. The world presented was definitely Star Wars, albeit cleaner; the characters fit the mythos, even Jar Jar; and there was a sense of adventure, even though it was bogged down by uninteresting politics. Every actor they got for those roles was acclaimed for their other work and beloved by many.

 

The issue was bad writing. Even Hayden Christiensen is an excellent actor, and you can see him doing everything he can to work with what he was given, but the part was just written poorly. And no one wanted to stand up to Lucas and tell him his scripts needed to be vetted by other writers, since this was the guy who gave everyone Star Wars to begin with. He must know what he's doing, right? Midichlorians are also a sign of terrible writing, but not because they were added. The issue was they were completely forgotten about in subsequent movies; the only other reference to them in the prequels was a sideways line in Episode III.

 

But the prequels still had their moments. In my mind particularly is the memory of seeing Episode III in theaters: the pregnant pause as the mask lowers onto Anakin's face, the shiver that ran through the theater as we all heard him take his first breath as Darth Vader.

 

What the GM could learn from the prequels, however, is that planning is just as important as execution. Lucas had all the pieces he needed to make something incredible except the planning -- the writing. And that's because, as others have pointed out, he let the success of the Original Trilogy get to his head. He forgot that it was a team effort that made something so meaningful possible, and he tried to do it all himself, though whether he did it out of greed or some misplaced sense of responsibility I don't know.

 

Translating that into table-talk, the players will contribute just as much of the Star Wars spirit as the GM will. It's not solely the GM's responsibility to bring that to the table, since all the players will bring what they love about Star Wars with them.

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The issue was bad writing. Even Hayden Christiensen is an excellent actor, and you can see him doing everything he can to work with what he was given, but the part was just written poorly. And no one wanted to stand up to Lucas and tell him his scripts needed to be vetted by other writers, since this was the guy who gave everyone Star Wars to begin with. He must know what he's doing, right? Midichlorians are also a sign of terrible writing, but not because they were added. The issue was they were completely forgotten about in subsequent movies; the only other reference to them in the prequels was a sideways line in Episode III.

 

I have not seen most of his body of work.  Aside from Jumper, which was a horrible adaptation of a coming of age novel, I have only seen him in Star Wars Ep 1-3.  I was not impressed with any of those.  What role did he do a good job in?  I would love to see him actually act.

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