Ring Theory

Check out this new essay/site called Ring Theory: The Hidden Artistry of the Star Wars Prequels by Mike Klimo. Here he examines how the saga is told in a “ring composition.” It’s pretty compelling stuff and it does make you wonder how these new movies will fit into that structure.

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29 Responses to “Ring Theory”

  1. mikeklimo (@mikeklimo) Says:

    Thank you so much for posting about this–and taking the time to read it. It means the world to me and I really appreciate it. Hopefully, it can help all Star Wars fans gain a new appreciation for the prequels and maybe better understand why Lucas made the creative choices he did. And with any luck, it’ll help sound the death knell for the “George Lucas ruined my childhood” nonsense. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Brian47 Says:

    Well, this looks like a great read, I am always up for in-depth studies of the saga and this one seems pretty insightful. What irks me is the inclusion of comments from Red Letter Media’s “criticisms” of the prequels. Since when were the biased, hyperbolic ramblings of that guy given such weight? An article such as this doesn’t even need to reference those videos to somehow provide contrast. The Red Letter Media videos to me were nothing more than petulant whining from someone who couldn’t grasp that Lucas didn’t somehow read his mind on what he wanted from new STAR WARS films. His reasons for disliking the films were subjective and often based on double-standards, critiques leveled against the prequels that could be placed on any movie, any time.

    Anywho, back to checking out this new article!

    • mikeklimo (@mikeklimo) Says:

      Thanks Brian! I can’t wait to hear what you think. Yes, the decision to include anything from RLM wasn’t made lightly. While it’s unfortunate that his videos (which admittedly, can be very funny at times) can somehow pass for serious criticism these days, I do welcome the debate. I wanted to spark the discussion and maybe help a little towards showing the difference between the shallow, vacuous ramblings of Mike Stoklasa and the nuanced, thoughtful, informed, and analytical teachings of Professor Anne Lancashire.

  3. Obi-Rob Says:

    I have been saying this!!!

    Thank god this is getting out!

    This is what I always meant when I was always saying “The Saga mirrors itself and uses subliminal left to right patterning” !!!

    Its very intricate and hard to explain but it is very consistent and intentional and VERY WELL DONE by Lucas in ALL SIX FILMS.

    Please spread this everywhere you guys can!!! USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO GET THIS OUT!!! ITS VERY REAL!!!

    This also proves that the intended way to watch the Saga by its creating artist is in chronological order 1 to 6. The way it was intended to be viewed. Not as a hipster craze, owned by a mob –as a great Saga made by George Lucas.

    • mikeklimo (@mikeklimo) Says:

      This. This. This. A thousand times this. Thank you so much for taking a look. I hope we can get this out to the masses and so Lucas can start getting the respect he deserves for this monumental contribution to cinema. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  4. M. Marshall Says:

    โ€œInstead of destroying the Death Star [like Luke], [Anakin] destroys the ship that controls the robots. Itโ€™s like poetry. Every stanza kind of rhymes with the last one.โ€

    Consider Mike Stoklasa unimpressed: โ€œThatโ€™s the stupidest thing Iโ€™ve ever heard.โ€

    Me: You’re the stupidest man I’ve ever met.
    (Honestly, this guy sounds like he’s never read a book in his life.)

  5. Keith Palmer Says:

    In reading this work I remembered the times I’ve seen “resonances among the Star Wars movies” pointed out (Star Wars Verses is particularly handy there), but the sense of structure to the essay gave me a sense of pieces being fit together into something really impressive. I suppose I managed to wind up thinking that mentioning some of the more infamous negative comments (if comments that dwelt on dismissing the mere possibility of “story” instead of trying to tear down the “execution,” which might mean we have a bit less to grapple with) just suggests their vacuousness and refusal to actually engage with the movies by comparison.

    • mikeklimo (@mikeklimo) Says:

      I’m already researching another essay–to address many of the beliefs people have regarding Lucas’ “execution” of the prequels. There’s an enormous amount of misinformation out there (shocker, I know) and I think people are going to very surprised to learn more about why Lucas made the creative choices he did. Contrary to popular opinion, he was in complete control of every aspect of his craft and was very purposeful and deliberate in his decisions-everything from shooting and editing to acting and dialogue.

      • mikeklimo (@mikeklimo) Says:

        P.S. Also, THANK YOU for reading!

      • Keith Palmer Says:

        A second essay sounds pretty good. I suppose I’m sort of conscious certain people seem have worked themselves to the point of being incapable of seeing anything positive about the “Republic Trilogy” (which may have pushed me to the counter-reaction of either trying to counter or just sort of shrugging any criticism whatsoever off), and as much as certain complaints just may wind up cancelling each other out and the temptation becomes to just say “there are subjective reactions somewhere in there,” I’ll be interested in seeing what you have to say.

      • PrinceOfNaboo Says:

        I’m really looking forward to reading your next essay, wondeful stuff. I’ve just shared your work on my tumblr page (although I don’t have too many readers, haha ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

    • Mike Klimo Says:

      Prince of Naboo, I saw the link. THANK YOU so much for sharing. And what a fantastic site. I think you’ve got some extremely insightful things to say about the imagery in the films. I’m just setting something up on now on Tumblr myself and reblogged your site.

  6. discoewok Says:

    This is a FANTASTIC read! I was aware of many of the connections but the ring theory was a new concept for me. Many times while reading the article I uttered ‘wow’ aloud or chuckled at many little details I had managed to miss over the years. It was fun for me to share this with my wife who has a degree in English composition who now has a new appreciation for George.

    Overall, great job Mike! I’m curious, was this essay originally for a class or just personal research? I’m also interested in how long you’ve been working on this.

    Either way, thank you for this significant contribution to prequel fandom. From now on when I see a snarky post I will sharing a link to your page.

    Going forward, I think JJ has the appreciation of storytelling to continue this structure as well as the respect for George and the films to honor what has come before. But only time will tell. If he doesn’t then I still hope the films are entertaining and we will always have Lucas’s genius workin I-VI out there for us to admire .

    • Mike Klimo Says:

      I just uttered “wow” aloud at your comment. I can’t thank you enough for your kind words. Believe it or not, it took almost two years to complete. It wasn’t done for any class. Just for the fans, for the films, and for Lucas.

  7. Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

    I didn’t think it was possible anymore, but you totally blew my freaking mind with that. I’m sending it around to people I know, and I’ll also give it a shout on my own blog sometime over the weekend. Awesome stuff!

  8. slicer87 Says:

    Great article.

  9. Stefan Kraft Says:

    First of all: Mike, I have only roughly read a part of your article, but I am already impressed. The shere length of the article, the research you have put into it… And it is (at least for me) a completely new idea to view the Saga.
    Now, is everything you write intended by Lucas? Well, GL probably knows best. But even if not and some structural ring properties you have discovered have in reality not been planned by GL, I would not be surprised if most of them are indeed meant the way you have described them.
    Will your article change the mind of some prequel haters? Well, similar to Paul F. McDonald’s “The Star Wars Heresies”, I do not think that this will be the case in general. If they do not like the acting (for whatever good or not-so-good reason) in the PT, they will not really change their opinion on the movies, ring structure or not. But it may persuade them to show some respect, something like “well, I do not really enjoy these movies, but I respect/like some things GL did with them/tried to do with them”. Haters, however, gonna (still) hate.

    That said, this last paragraph is obviously not meant as a criticism of your article. It is a great idea and a well-written essay. Last but not least, it is something original! (Nothing (!) agaist TESB, but it is refreshing to read something different to the usual “why Vader is so great in ESB and Boba, too” articles. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Essays like yours are the reason I keep visiting SWPAS.
    Mike, I am looking forward to your next article!

  10. discoewok Says:

    Haters gonna hate indeed. As I’ve posted the link to this around a few places I’m still waiting for the reaction from those with anti-prequel bias. What I’ve found unnfortunately is that they’re going to blow it off by not reading it or ignoring large swaths of it writing it off as retrospective ‘coincidence’ by a fan that’s ‘reaching’. I couldn’t disagree more.

    In the future I still plan on responding to any prequel hate with the following:
    http://www.starwarsringtheory.com ‘Nuff said.

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