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Star Wars Prequels Movies

An Animated, Open Letter To J.J. Abrams About Star Wars 376

Posted by Soulskill
from the ease-off-the-lens-flare dept.
juliangamble writes "Designer Prescott Harvey has written and animated an open letter to J.J. Abrams about the plans for the next Star Wars movie. He says, 'Like so many people, I've spent most of my recent years wondering why the original Star Wars trilogy was so awesome, and the new movies were so terrible. What are the factors that make Star Wars Star Wars? I took an empirical approach, determining what elements were in the original movies that differed from the prequels. My first major epiphany was that, in the originals, the characters are always outside somewhere very remote. The environment and the wildlife are as much a threat as the empire. All three movies had this bushwacky, exploratory feel. Contrast that with the prequels, where the characters are often in cities, or in the galactic senate. In order for Star Wars to feel like a true adventure, the setting has to be the frontier, and this became my first rule.'"
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An Animated, Open Letter To J.J. Abrams About Star Wars

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  • by capaslash (941889) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @10:36PM (#44983139) Homepage
    If you wanna know why the original trilogy worked, read about Joseph Campbell's book "The Hero with a Thousand Faces." [] "George Lucas' deliberate use of Campbell's theory of the monomyth in the making of the Star Wars movies is well documented. On the DVD release of the famous colloquy between Campbell and Bill Moyers, filmed at Lucas' Skywalker Ranch and broadcast in 1988 on PBS as The Power of Myth, Campbell and Moyers discussed Lucas's use of The Hero with a Thousand Faces in making his films.[11] Lucas himself discussed how Campbell's work affected his approach to storytelling and film-making." "I [Lucas] came to the conclusion after American Graffiti that what's valuable for me is to set standards, not to show people the world the way it is...around the period of this came to me that there really was no modern use of mythology...The Western was possibly the last generically American fairy tale, telling us about our values. And once the Western disappeared, nothing has ever taken its place. In literature we were going off into science that's when I started doing more strenuous research on fairy tales, folklore, and mythology, and I started reading Joe's books. Before that I hadn't read any of Joe's books...It was very eerie because in reading The Hero with a Thousand Faces I began to realize that my first draft of Star Wars was following classic I modified my next draft [of Star Wars] according to what I'd been learning about classical motifs and made it a little bit more consistent...I went on to read 'The Masks of God' and many other books." []
  • by sumdumass (711423) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @11:20PM (#44983323) Journal

    He brought an alternative timeline in the New Star Trek (two spok's and all that) which means it doesn't have to stick to the original or be loyal to mythology around it.

    I have only seen the original too. But I saw where it was setting up the ability run off in any direction it wanted to. From what other people have told me, the other movie has taken advantage of that. Imagine a prequil that can ignore the future that has already happened. But it gets pretty stupid in the process. A better critique can be found here with a lot of spoiler information and a jackass who doesn't like the movie at all it seems. []

  • Re:Transcript please (Score:5, Informative)

    by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Sunday September 29, 2013 @12:26AM (#44983585) Homepage Journal

    I actually agree with your perspective on those matters as well, and was mostly just trying to be flippant. Certainly they're key to the tone of what makes Firefl—I mean, Star Wars—what it is.

    However, the prequels committed much worse crimes than merely not being Star Wars-y, as Plinkett thoroughly demonstrates, and that's a much more important consideration. If the prequel trilogy had been made with a competent and coherent artistic vision, it wouldn't have caused such a nostalgia-hugging cringe response. I bet these same people would now be accepting Star Wars as a bigger universe than just the operatic romp encoded in episodes IV–VI. The Expanded Universe covers a ton of subject matter (admittedly, I haven't read any), not just gritty frontiersing, and yet it's still been successful as a book series. This is despite having Spooky Space Mitochondria and Senate debates for decades. Perhaps most surprisingly, Midi-chlorians have been Star Wars canon since 1977 [], before The Empire Strikes Back was even written.

    That's not to say it wasn't good sense on Lucas's part to keep such exposition out of the actual films (especially the embarrassingly bad names—seriously? Darth Plagueis? You couldn't even remove the "e" so it would look like you were at least trying? Thank god he didn't get a shout-out or we'd never stop laughing), but they're not really barriers to competent or captivating cinema on their own. These other elements could most certainly have been put together into good pictures that could mesh naturally with the original trilogy, and they'd still feel like meaningful parts of the Star Wars world, despite the different tone, as demonstrated by the contrast between Battlestar Galactica and Caprica.

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas