Idolizing the Original Trilogy

I’m getting a little nervous.  It seems like as we move closer and closer to December 18th and this new world of Star Wars (aka post-Disney takeover), the more I realize how much of an emphasis we are placing on the Original Trilogy.

Of course I’m a fan of the OT, but it seems like ever since Disney took over the franchise, they want to bury the Prequel Trilogy six feet underground.

star wars canon timelineIt started with Star Wars Rebels that takes place 5 years before the Original Trilogy.  This is leading us up to The Force Awakens, set around 30 years after the Original Trilogy.

We then have news of the first in the Anthology series, Rogue One, which will take place before A New Hope (no one seems to be quite certain on how soon before) and it involves stealing the Death Star Plans…which is basically what all of ANH revolves around.

Most Star Wars comics and books that are part of the new unified canon since Disney has come onboard take place after ROTS.  The only novel prior to ROTS is Dark Disciple, released next month that follows the unfinished story of Asajj Ventress.

I understand where Disney is coming from.  They want to play it safe and they want to start with a bang.  George Lucas, unfortunately, ruined the beloved Star Wars universe for many die hard fans when he brought the Prequel Trilogy into the world.  It was so different from the OT that it was almost a whole new breed of sci-fi movies, almost unrelated to the Star Wars universe they knew and loved.

But what Disney is currently staying away from, and what I hope they realize eventually, is that the PT also brought Star Wars to a whole new generation of fans, myself included.  I had seen the OT before, but I didn’t fall in love with Star Wars until I saw The Phantom Menace – many fans least favorite film of the Saga.

Let me phrase it this way:

The Original Trilogy is a universe I could see myself living in.  The Prequel Trilogy is a universe that I hope to someday live in.

The PT was clean, had interesting costumes, the ships were sleek, shiny, and new, and we got to see a government that star wars nubian prequel shiphad functioned for thousands of years crumble to the ground.  It was a universe of the future, even if it was the past in the complete Star Wars saga.

My main concern is that I don’t want Disney to forget that the Prequels are part of Star Wars too.  I know I’ve said this multiple times, but when you love something, you love the whole thing – good and bad.  I admit the Prequels are definitely not as strong as the Originals, nor are they as good as a whole.  That doesn’t mean that I think we should lock them in a broom cupboard and hope no one knows they exist à la Harry Potter style.  If anything, we should embrace those movies and if Disney really wanted to, perhaps they could work on repairing some of the damage that was done to the reputation of the PT and make it almost as beloved as the OT through Anthology movies and Expanded Universe releases.

I believe strongly that the PT universe has a lot of potential to breed very, very interesting stories, while still appealing to the Prequel haters.  The Jedi could produce an interesting action movie; we saw examples in The Clone Wars.  Any bounty hunter during this time would be interesting to watch from AOTC all the way to the fall of the Republic.  I’m guessing bounty hunters probably flourished more when the Republic was dismantled so seeing that transition could be fascinating.  There’s a lot you could do with that time period and I hope that Disney realizes this and explores the Prequel era with Anthology movies.

If there’s one thing I know, if you stretch an elastic too tight, eventually it will snap back.  The extreme focus on the OT time period will hopefully ultimately lead to an extreme snap back and willingness to re-open the Prequels.

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Darth Tyranus vs. Darth Maul Showdown!

In April, I promised a post on the Sith. I started writing it and got bored writing it, and left it alone, and went back to it, and got bored again, so I realized that if I can’t even be interested in my post, nobody else would be.   Then this past week I started thinking about pitting Jedi against Jedi and Sith against Sith and I thought…actually, this is a more interesting way to think about my post.

I was planning on writing an entire post on the four Sith we see in the saga, including Vader vs. Sidious, but it’s too long! So I’m cutting it up and today’s excerpt will just be Darth Tyranus vs. Darth Maul. And yes, I am also planning on doing a Jedi Showdown at some point, I just need to get to it.

So introducing our first pair in the rink! (They can’t be paired with Sidious because of the different weight class. Sidious is obviously much heavier with the Force and would ruin them as soon as the buzzer went off)

This is ranked on a point basis: 10 means they exhibit the qualities to the extreme, 1 being that they show too many Jedi qualities 😉 Points will be given based on intelligence, ruthlessness, experience, and lightsaber combat.

 darth-maul-vs-count-dooku

DARTH MAUL VS. DARTH TYRANUS SHOWDOWN

Presenting Darth Tyranus! A formidable fighter, but can he withstand the brutality of his Dathomirian counterpart? 

Darth Tyranus comes into the ring:

  • Intelligence: 8/10. As someone once respected by the Jedi (known as Count Dooku), I’m sure he was able to get away count dooku sidiouswith a lot more before anyone caught on that, hey, wait a minute, you’re no longer a Jedi. Tyranus took over the clone army project and erased Kamino from the Jedi Archives. He also was a leader of the Separatists and trained quite a few chilling opponents of the Jedi. This guy was pretty organized and intelligent – helping Sidious pave the way for an Empire ruled by Sith. He lacks two final points because he was not quite smart enough to realize that he was just a pawn in Sidious’ game.
  • Ruthlessness: 6/10. Once turned to the dark side, Tyranus had no qualms killing those he loved. Looking at his backstory, you can see that he was once good friends with Jedi Sifo-Dyus, and murdered him in order to become a full Sith and take over the clone army project. He also took on Asajj Ventress as a pseudo apprentice but ordered her killed as well. Though he didn’t succeed, it shows that he has no problem abandoning those he should also have some sort of attachment to. The only reason I don’t give him more points is because he seems to be a bit of a coward. He ran away from Yoda in AOTC and sent someone else to try to kill Asajj Ventress.
  • Experience: 9/10. Tyranus was pretty formidable even in his older age. All those years as a Jedi and now a Sith leads to one thing: he knows his stuff. He knows how the Jedi fight and also how to outmaneuver them, as we saw in AOTC. He is experienced in politics and the Force, which makes for a deadly combination. He trained Jedi and then went on to train leaders in the Separatist Droid Army: Durge, Asajj Ventress, and General Grievous. Plus, he knows how to create Force lightening and you can’t do that as a rookie.
  • Lightsaber combat: 8/10. Wookieepedia says that Dooku was a well respected instructor at the Jedi Temple and “one of the most renowned swordsmen in the galaxy”, up there with Yoda and Mace Windu. I think that was pretty obviouscount dooku vs yoda when in AOTC, he took on Obi-Wan, Anakin, and finally Yoda in a battle where he bested 2/3 of his opponents. He even did pretty well in ROTS when he again took on Obi-Wan and Anakin. Though he lost his life, he held out for quite a while. It’s clear that Obi-Wan wasn’t much of a match for him. I almost gave him 9/10, but the fact that he ran from Yoda and died at Anakin’s hands shows that he wasn’t the best.

Tyranus total points: 31/40 or a 78% chance of winning in the rink.

And now we have…Darth Maul! A formidable, rage-filled opponent, but does he have enough experience to defeat the older veteran?

dooku vs maul

 Darth Maul comes into the ring:

  • Intelligence: 5/10. I always got the impression that Darth Maul was more of a mercenary than an intelligent being valued for his input and ideas. Reading up on his history in Wookieepedia, I see that I was kind of right. Apparently he was trained while Sidious was still an apprentice to Plagueis. Plagueis was aware of Maul, but agreed to train him to be “expendable”. You don’t train intelligent people to be expendable, because they will catch on and turn on you. Also, Maul failed to see that Obi-Wan was using the Force to jump up and grab Qui-Gon Jinn’s lightsaber. Do you remember his baffled look as he slowly tried to figure out what Obi-Wan was doing? Not the brightest bulb.
  • Ruthlessness: 10/10. Yes, I give Maul a perfect score on this. This dude is legit crazy. Not only was he trained as a Sith, he was also trained as a Sith Assassin, where horrible torturing techniques were used on him to hone him into a skilled, heartless warrior.darth maul tcw Maul survived his encounter with Obi-Wan Kenobi by living off of his rage (I like to pretend this storyline doesn’t exist but alas, it’s part of canon now) as his “mental equilibrium slowly became undone.” If you watch these TCW episodes, you’ll see how ruthless he really is. When he is brought back to some sort of normalcy (well, “normal” for him) he goes off on a mad hunt for Obi-Wan, killing multiple people in the process in bloody rage. He is cray cray, and that leads to him being a ruthless Sith.
  • Experience: 7/10. When Maul starts out, he doesn’t have much experience other than his training. He almost dies on Naboo (okay, he totally does, grrr), but then goes on to lead his bloody rampage. When we last see Darth Maul, Sidious has kidnapped him and plans to use him for his own purposes once more. Darth Maul built his way up from almost being killed, to gaining more experience battling Jedi, pirates, Nightsisters, and even dabbles in the politics of Mandalore. He definitely does not have the same amount of knowledge as Tyranus does, but given time, he may be near indestructible when his rage is combined with his experience.
  • Lightsaber combat: 7/10. I struggled with this ranking. We only see one fight from Maul so it’s almost unfair to rate him.darth maul fighting However, from this one battle we can see he did manage to kill Qui-Gon, but in the end was bested by Obi-Wan. But to be defeated by Obi-Wan means that your lightsaber combat skills cannot be the best of the best. I only say that because, well, we’ve never actually seen Obi-Wan kill any Sith Lord other than Maul. He failed against Tyranus, Anakin (though that may have been emotional), and couldn’t even really hold his own against Grievous who doesn’t even have the Force. I’m not saying Obi-Wan is easy to fight, I just don’t think he’s the best. Maul does a much better job in lightsaber combat in TCW, so I upped his points, but he still can’t manage to beat Obi-Wan.

Maul total points: 29/40 or a 73% chance of winning in the rink.

And the winner is…drumroll…

darth tyranus

Darth Tyranus! Also known as Count Dooku, this man possesses the right combination of experience, intelligence, and combat skills to defeat one who relies primarily on his rage.

I really enjoyed writing this post and learned a lot in the process about these two Sith. We all know I’m a Jedi girl, but this was just pure fun. Personally, I like Darth Maul better than Dooku and I wish he hadn’t died in TPM. The lightsaber battle is one of my favorites of all time.

Do you guys agree with my little assessment? Think Tyranus would win if he was placed against Maul?

Also, Rebels finally has a release date!

 

Haiku 04.03.14

Bringing in a little EU today…

Two blue lightsabers, Accompanied by two red. Asajj holds her guard

Two blue lightsabers,
Accompanied by two red.
Asajj holds her guard

 

As for my life?

I’m bored with all this
Within, I’m getting antsy
Driven.  Obsessive.

Ahsoka’s Departure: Clone Wars Season 5 Finale Part I

Yup, my post was so long that I will have to split it into two parts to get all my thoughts on the latest episode out onto this blog.

Ok, ok, everyone.  Let’s stop crying.  Let’s stop acting like this is the end of the world.  It’s a TV show.  Yes, the finale involved a major moment for Ahsoka and Anakin, but it’s still an animated TV show.

I can tell you, though, that these past 4 episodes have been a fresh of breath air for The Clone Wars.  After spending most of December with a boring side plot line that involved droids and a little frog character, TCW got back on the right footing with the Darth Maul/Death Watch story line.  I mean, they even killed off a semi-main character (Duchess Satine, if you’re wondering)!  But it wasn’t until these past four episodes of TCW that it began to get interesting and intense.  I’ve been holding off writing on it only because I wanted to know what happened in the Season 5 finale episode.

In a nutshell, this is what has happened in the past four episodes:

A portion of the Jedi Temple is blown up.  Jedi’s die and so do civilian workers.  Is a Jedi behind this or a civilian?  Investigation begins, led by Anakin and Ahsoka.

While Ahsoka is interviewing a main suspect, the suspect is Force strangled in the air and it looks like Ahsoka killed her.  Conveniently, the security cameras had their sound disabled so we can’t hear Ahsoka crying for help as the woman is strangled.  We now know that a Jedi is behind the attacks, but it looks like Ahsoka is the culprit.

Image on Security Camera in Jedi Temple

Image on Security Camera in Jedi Temple

The Jedi want to bring Ahsoka in for questioning, but Ahsoka runs for it and every step she takes makes it look more and more like she is the one behind the attack.  Anakin seems to be the only one who believes she is innocent, but the council bans her from the Jedi Order.  Ahsoka meets up with Asajj Ventress and they try to get to the bottom of it.  Ahsoka finally ends up being captured and is put on a trial in front of Tarkin (yes, Grand Moff Tarkin when he was younger) and is given the death sentence.  Thankfully, Anakin comes in to save the day and you realize it was actually Ahsoka’s friend, Jedi Barriss, who was behind the attacks.  The Council ends up apologizing to Ahsoka and asks her to rejoin the Jedi.  Ahsoka declines and leaves the Council and Anakin.

Ahsoka Refusing to Return to the Jedi Order

Ahsoka Refusing to Return to the Jedi Order

Yup.  We see Ahsoka leave the Jedi Order for good – hence the many internet wails of sadness, real or otherwise.  I have to admit, I was a little surprised.  I’ve been wondering for a long time how they would get rid of Ahsoka on TCW since we all know she doesn’t end up in Revenge of the Sith.  I held the belief that she would fall in love with Lux and leave the Jedi Order for love, doing what Anakin could not.  But this is more poignant.  It’s a crash of beliefs and ideals that Ahsoka held so high.  Being a Jedi is your life.  There’s no turning away and why would you want to?  It’s a hard life, but also an extremely gratifying one and a life that not many people get the ability to experience.  You are the special elite – almost more so than high officials of the Republic.

The tables were turned in this episode where Ahsoka was once viewed as the deceiver, she now looks at the Jedi as traitors.  They did not believe her innocence and they were her family, her life.  She was betrayed by them, and now they are betrayed by her as she turns her back on them.  The mirroring was so perfectly done.

Ahsoka does what Anakin cannot, or does not, have the will to do. She leaves.  Anakin should have left when he married Padmé.  His life would have probably been better and easier without the pressure of the Jedi.   As things get worse within the Jedi Order and as the Dark Side begins to cloud everything, Ahsoka sees clearly enough to know that it’s time to get out of there and to figure things out on her own.

What’s great about Ahsoka’s departure is that you still root for her.  You know and understand that she cannot be part of the Jedi Order after how they turned on her.  She was basically treated as a prisoner and her only advocate was Anakin.  At the end of the episode, Anakin says to her, “I understand wanting to walk away from the Order.”  All Ahsoka says in return is, “I know.”  You get the feeling then that she knows more than she let on.  Does she know about Anakin’s marriage to Padmé?  Probably.  Does she understand Anakin’s frustrations with the Council, the inner Jedi politics, the outward politics affecting the purity of the Jedi?  I think she definitely does now.

What a great way to end TCW…especially as we don’t know what will happen next season.  Now that it’s in Disney’s hands, we still don’t know if it will continue to air on Cartoon Network or if it will continue to air at all.  If this is the end of TCW, they did it perfectly, which almost makes me hope they don’t keep the series going on.  We have an open page now for Ahsoka, which I’m sure the EU would love to expand upon.  She is technically no longer a Jedi so she may not be killed with Order 66.  Also with this ending, you see why Anakin never mentions his former Padawan in ROTS since it may be too painful for him.  It also sheds more light on how the Jedi react to events in the third prequel movie and to Anakin’s continuing frustration with the Jedi.  It provides a good foundation for Palpatine to start gnawing into Anakin’s doubts and uncertainties regarding the Council, Mace Windu, and Yoda.

Bravo.  Clone Wars – you definitely converted me.  From a fan who was enraged over Ahsoka and the choice of even creating an animated series, I am now a huge fan of hers and glad I came around.  Thanks Clone Wars!  Hope to see you soon, but if not, it’s been fun.

Ahsoka leaves Anakin and Jedi Order

Standalone

(Hi-does anyone think this picture on top of the blog is too much?  I realize that most blogs have a big picture like this, but after having nothing up there for so long, it feels overwhelming!)

Has everyone heard that the standalone films are official now?  Right?  Yes?  Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger confirmed that Disney and LucasFilm will release standalone films that are separate from the trilogy.  He said in a statement:

“I can confirm to you today that in fact we are working on a few standalone films, Larry Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are both working on films derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga.  We still plan to make Star Wars 7, 8, and 9 roughly over a six-year period of time, starting in 2015. But there are going to be a few other films released in that period, too.”

At first, all I could think about was how he said that the films are going to be “derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga.”  My imagination exploded because I took it the wrong way.  In my head – every character is part of the overall saga so I assumed that they would go in a completely different direction by making up new characters.  We could have spin-offs on characters 1,000 years before the Prequels, smuggler/underworld characters during the saga, even bring to life some of the Clone Wars or EU characters (think Asajj Ventress or Mara Jade).

Mara Jade

Mara Jade

Around 15 minutes later I realized that they wouldn’t do that – at least, not at first.  It doesn’t make sense.  If you want people to come to these Star Wars movies, then give them characters they know and want to know more about.  By also dropping in the name of Larry Kasdan (Lawrence Kasdan who was involved in ESB and ROTJ) , I think the first standalone movie will focus on a character from the Original Trilogy.

There are tons of rumors out there saying that the first movies will feature Boba Fett or Yoda.

“Finally!” fans on the interverse are saying, “We get to find out more about the most elusive characters like Boba and Yoda.”  Unfortunately, I agree.  I think the first standalone will feature a prominent character from the saga.

Who would I want to see get their own movie?  I tried to look at this in two ways: (1) Realistically and (2) Anything is possible.

Realistically

  1. Oola/Aayla Secura.  More twi’leks please!  I love these species and I think men will go as well to see some possible slippage.
  2. Lando Calrissian.  Scoundrel, handsome, dashing.  Tries to steal Princess Leia right under Han’s nose.  Used to own the Falcon.  That could be an awesome movie.
  3. Darth Maul.  Most terrifying looking bad guy, had only a few lines in TPM, awesome lightsaber skills, and dies too soon.  TCW has not done him justice.  Let’s get a REAL back story here.
  4. Boba Fett.  I’m not as fascinated as others are with him, but I do want to see some underworld/bounty hunter action.
  5. Bail Organa.  This way, you can bring in young Leia and her childhood without focusing purely on her.  Also could make some nice West Wing type movie with politics and finding out more about the Rebellion’s roots and foundation.
Oola

Oola

Anything is Possible

  1. First Sith/Jedi era.  I know this isn’t a person, but obviously they would make up someone to focus on.  This is the era referenced when Ki-Adi-Mundi says, “The Sith have been extinct for over a millennium!” So the era that was over 2000 years before TPM – I want to see that!
  2. Mara Jade.  Oh, please…give us fans a bone!  Let us see something from the Thrawn books!  Even if they don’t want to tread into the novels, at least give her a pre-Luke movie.
  3. Cad Bane and the underworld.  Yup, I still want to see some smuggler/bounty hunter action in the movies.  But Cad Bane should be in it.
  4. Darth Maul.  Yes, I also still want to see more of him regardless of which list he’s on.
Cad Bane

Cad Bane

Notice how Yoda was not on either list.  I don’t know; I just am not interested in seeing anymore of him.  I feel like he’s had a good run and I want to keep him as is: the best Jedi Master with a shroud of mystery.  It’s kind of like when I found out more about Dumbledore’s background – I was like Harry, sad to realize he was only human and that *gasp* other people actually didn’t like him.  But…but…he’s Dumbledore!  And that’s what would happen if Yoda got a movie.  I would be sad and disappointed that Yoda may have dark sides to his past or that not everything is as it seems.

But another thought arose when I was thinking about these standalone movies.

Is it too much?

I never, EVER thought I would say you can have too much of Star Wars.  In some ways, I still believe this.  But it’s almost an oversaturation as these movies will be released in between the trilogy movies.  This could play out really well if it’s done right (which everyone is hoping will be the case) or it could backfire and the hype for the trilogy may die down.  This has never been done before with the movies – we always had a Star Wars movie and knew a sequel was on its way.   I think it could succeed if they stick with simple standalones that really are just good movies on their own and not too tied into the Skywalker saga or what we know.  Don’t create a movie with the possibility of expansion or sequels with the character because then you have two ongoing series at the same time and I think that will cause confusion or just exhaustion from viewers.

Sometimes these standalone movies just reek of desperation/cash grabbing and it’s a little disappointing.  I’m trying to keep an open mind but it’s SO HARD when you’re inundated day after day with new Star Wars rumors and I can feel myself just getting tired.  Some of me just wants to say, “Hey, give me the real stuff Disney.  Just tell me what’s true before I have to sit through 3 days of tweets about rumor that may or may not be real.”

Am I being a spoiled fan?  After thinking we’ll never get Star Wars movies again and being petulant about that, now I have what I wished for and instead I’m whining about the possibility that the standalone movies will suck (great word, I know).