Archive for February, 2018

AOTC Star Words Part 22

February 22, 2018

The difference between how Cliegg Lars and Anakin Skywalker mourn Shmi’s loss:

Why is Anakin’s response so much more selfish? I think we can cut him a little slack, considering his traumatic background. This inward-focused reaction isn’t outright evil; it’s just immature. And Anakin’s relationship with his mother was basically stopped short at age nine. So in many ways, he still views her as a nine-year-old would. Unfortunately, while he has a child’s simplistic mentality toward her, he has the extraordinary capabilities of a trained Jedi. The combination of those two things has made him believe that it is his privilege, even his duty, to keep those he loves completely insulated from any harm.

An In-Depth Analysis of “Across The Stars”

February 22, 2018

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this piece from December 2015 until it was linked through a Tumblr post about another topic re Star Wars music.  It’s very technical but very fascinating, especially for you music geeks out there:

One could also argue that, because Across the Stars is the most pervasive theme in the film, these thematic connections emphasize that Anakin and Padmé’s love will have drastic effects on just about everything in the prequels’ universe. That is, Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side is grounded in his love for Padmé, without which there would not have been Darth Vader to contend with, nor the Emperor, nor even the Empire for that matter (as Anakin is the one who saves Palpatine’s life in the next film). In any case, it is difficult to overestimate the impact that the couple’s falling in love has on the saga. One could even call it the event that precipitates Anakin’s downfall.

How Did Anidala Fans Do With Their ROTS Predictions?

February 20, 2018

Edited and paraphrased from a post I made elsewhere:

I’m going to address what we Anidalas guessed correctly about the events of Episode III and what we didn’t.

There is one obvious point to keep in mind that distinguishes where we are now re Episode IX from where Anidala fans were 2002-2005:  EVERYBODY knew Padmé was going to give birth to Luke and Leia and Anakin was going to become Darth Vader, therefore things won’t end well.  We as Anidala shippers dreaded it.  The prequels were basically a journey from Los Angeles to New York where you always knew the destination, but we just didn’t know the route or where we were going to stop along the way.

The fates of the ST characters are as open-ended just as the fates of the OT’s characters at the end of TESB.  We know where we left from but we don’t know where we’re going.  We can only guess from the landmarks.  This of course causes a lot more consternation but a lot more thoughtful and careful consideration.  Indeed there was meta here and there about Anidala and lots of thoughtful discussion but nothing on the level of what I’m seeing now.

Still we had to guess how the endgame between Anakin and Padmé was going to play out aside from the obvious pregnancy and giving birth.

It was a given to me that poor Padmé was toast; I didn’t see her hiding on Alderaan for a few years and her fate left off-camera.  It’s just not how stories are told in films, what Leia said in ROTJ and the assumptions fans made about it notwithstanding.  I knew for sure she was going to die in ROTS.

When I saw the digital (and current) cut of AOTC in 2002 where Padmé took Anakin’s roboclaw hand in hers during their wedding, I knew right then and there that she was going to lose her life trying to save Anakin from the Dark Side.  Why?  I saw it as a symbol of her accepting the monstrous side of Anakin along with his good side and that she was invested in him as a whole.  Of course she would do anything and risk anything for him.  As soon as I saw Padmé running off to Mustafar, I knew her doom was approaching.

I predicted that Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side was predicated on losing Padmé.  Most Anidala fans agreed.  It was obviously the one thing he feared the most and that soliloquy he delivered at his mother’s grave wasn’t for nothing.  Shmi’s death had hurt him deeply and like hell he was going to let the same happen to the love of his life.

I’d also predicted in a fan fiction I wrote in 2003 that he would dream of Padmé’s death and it would shake him to his core.  The difference was that in the movie Anakin dreamed of Padmé dying while giving birth while in my story he dreamed of her being shot in battle.

There were other fans who more or less agreed with me and some who had very different ideas.  For instance, it was a popular theory that the Jedi Order was going to rain hell on Anakin for breaking their no attachments rule (expulsion, jail, scandal) and that’s what would push him to the Dark Side.

The big one most of us missed?  Vaderkin attacking Padmé.  Nobody believed or wanted to believe Anakin would ever hurt a curly hair on Padmé’s head.  He loved her too much!  Most of us thought that Padmé would come to harm or meet her demise via a third party, such as the Trade Federation or Count Dooku’s forces.  We didn’t think he’d Force choke her and break her heart.  In retrospect it makes sense; once he became Darth Vader, he would do evil stuff including things we didn’t think he would’ve done before.

Nobody predicted Padmé would die in childbirth (those avoiding spoilers anyway).

I was also surprised that discovery Anakin and Padmé were in a relationship wasn’t treated as a big deal.  It seems to have been the worst-kept secret in the universe rather than a star-shaking scandal.

 

 

A Possible Influence On Star Wars?

February 18, 2018

I spotted this meta on Tumblr about George Lucas’s mother Dorothy and how the events in her life may very well have influenced some of the events of the prequels and the saga as a whole:

And finally, when George Jnr was eight months old (possibly. Some sources say he was actually three?), Dorothy gave birth to another girl. By this point her health was utterly and completely shot, to the extent she couldn’t even really raise the kids and go out with them and such. George and his sisters were mostly raised by their housekeeper, Till Shelley, whom the Lucases have spoken fondly of but whom we know pretty much nothing about.

Obviously that is all very much different from dying in childbirth, considering Dorothy actually lived to be 75, but there’s no way in heck it didn’t have some effect on her only son.

Anyway. Dorothy is described in various Lucas biographies as being strong-willed (especially considering, you know, the era she was in), rather fragile physically even before the pregnancies, dark-haired, dark-eyed, and a loving mother. Obviously, Star Wars fans know a couple of characters fitting that description:

 

Skating To Star Wars Music

February 15, 2018

Chinese Olympic skaters Yu Xiaoyu and Zhang Hao brought a little saga magic to their routine Wednesday night.  I don’t think they won or got the top scores but their taste in music gets a 10 from us.

They’ve skated to Star Wars themes before.

 

Disney’s Galaxy Edge To Include Toydarian Street Market

February 12, 2018

Hmm, interesting.  From Travel Weekly:

At the Galaxy’s Edge lands in Orlando and Anaheim, guests will be able to explore a street market run by a Toydarian, a character introduced in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.” Among his wares will be handcrafted toys made by local artisans.

I guess that means Republic credits won’t be accepted and waving your hand around like a Jedi won’t get you any discounts.
 

Song: Padmé’s Message

February 12, 2018

Sacha Feldberg wrote her own song about Anakin and Padmé’s love (forwarded to me by her dad Greg) and I have to say, it’s pretty good!  Check it out:

AOTC Star Words Part 20

February 11, 2018

One of the saddest and most consequential moments in the saga:

Being separated from his mother for ten years, all the while not knowing whether he’ll ever see her again, is painful enough. Even adults usually get to go back and visit once in a while, or at least stay in contact. Anakin has instead been expected to behave as if he never knew his mother, like all the other Jedi. That’s hard enough. But now they are reunited under the most brutal of circumstances, only to have her die in his arms mere moments later.

For Anakin, the pain is unthinkable, unbearable. It drives him to murderous vengeance. It leads him, ultimately, to the extremes of the Dark Side in a futile attempt to prevent such pain from ever happening again.

But for Shmi, the moment is miraculously peaceful. It seems like that she has been clinging to life for some time in spite of her mortal injuries, waiting perhaps for her son to return. Through her agony and exhaustion she recognizes him, smiles and expresses how proud she is.

 

Because Of Course I’m Posting About This

February 4, 2018

Natalie Portman returned for her second SNL guest hosting gig last night (the only SW alum to have done it twice) and the beauty of the internet is there’s always video of the highlights in case you missed it.

As we all remember, Portman did a rather infamous rap on the show in 2006.  Twelve years later she’s back at it again and when an interviewer tries talking smack about the prequels, she wasn’t having it:

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“Say something about the (bleeping) prequels, bitch” needs to be our new slogan. Thanks, Natalie.

 

Rian Johnson Re The Prequels’ Influence On TLJ

February 1, 2018

Last night TLJ director Rian Johnson did a Q&A session over Facebook.  Here he confirms the influence the prequels had on the film:

“So I was watching Revenge of the Sith recently and I noticed there are a few echoes from that film to The Last Jedi, like when Anakin’s talking to Padme in Revenge of the Sith just before they face off Obi-Wan, there’s some similarities there with the “join me” and the lashing out of Kylo to Rey and Anakin to Padme. Did you watch the prequels while you were writing?

Yeah, I watched the prequels a lot actually, and that goes for the writing and while we were in prep. I think partially because the original trilogy was the ones that I know by heart, shot for shot. The prequels – I knew them really well but I saw them less so I kind of wanted to steep myself in that visual language a lot more before I got into it.

The notion of finding echoes, not just in the original trilogy but also in the prequel trilogy felt like just a really rich well to draw from. So I kept the original trilogy and also the prequels just on my iPad that I had with me all the time and at night I would just put it on in a random spot and watch pieces of it.

My question is about the last scene between Rey and Ben. He’s kneeling on the ground, he has his father’s dice in his hands that his uncle gave to his mother and his mother left for him, and he’s looking up at the person who’s the most important person in the world to him and before that door shuts, if he could have a do-over to go back to that moment, what do you think he would say or do differently and why?

That is such a great question. Will you be mad if I said that it’s such a great question, I don’t want to answer it? Only because I think that’s such a beautiful notion of “what does he regret in that moment”, it’s the same way I think about in Revenge of the Sith, that mask is coming down, that beautiful shot of Anakin’s eyes right before it goes over and you see that glimpse of… Is it fear? Is it regret? What is it? What is going through his mind at that moment? That’s that kind of moment for Ben and I don’t want to put that moment in your guys’s head. I feel like that’s a moment that everyone should read into themselves. But just posing that question is really beautiful.”

Transcript by sleemo.tumblr.com; H/T Naboo News