Give Me Those Star Wars 35: Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

On the newest episode of Give Me Those Star Wars, special guest Omar Uddin asks Ryan Daly if he wouldn’t be a happier fan if his beloved Star Wars franchise had ended in 1983.

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21 responses to “Give Me Those Star Wars 35: Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

  1. Hi guys,

    Neat show. I am one of those people who thinks Revenge of the Sith is easily top 5 (possibly 3). Yes, some of this is the Clone Wars and some of it is that I really believe the prequel eras CHARACTERS and SITUATIONS has more depth and places to explore than either the OT or the PT. This wasn’t realised perfectly on screen, I grant you, but I still think Sith works more often than not.

    Secondly, Luke COULDN’T try to speak to Vader of the forest moon of Endor as he clearly is trying to distract both the Emperor and Vader from what the Rebellion is up to. This is made quite clear when the Emperor points out that he’s COMPLETLEY aware of what’s going on and digs the lightsabre in by telling them that the Death Star is fully operational.

    1. That was made explicit in the novelization. Luke’s internal monologue at that point makes it clear that he has no intention of fighting his father and that he is planning to be killed when they blow up the Death Star.

  2. It’s nice to hear how passionate Omar is about this subject. I’ve honestly been completely flummoxed by the turn against the Disney films, and the new adoration to the prequels. It could partially be a generational thing too, with younger folks who were kids in 1999 now being of age to kind of “steer” the pop culture ship, and move that needle toward the things they loved as children. That always happens, and suddenly what was disdained for the better part of a decade and a half is “good” due to nostalgia.

    I still say the prequels are the worst films of the series, overall, for all the reasons Omar mentioned. Badly acted (often by good actors as I said previously), with incredibly cringy dialog, and a reliance on untested special effects which now make them look far inferior to the original trilogy. The sequels may have taken the franchise and characters in directions diehard fans didn’t want to go, but as movies, they are hundreds of times better than the prequels in almost every conceivable way, in my opinion. There are aspects of the prequels I still enjoy, but yeah…they aren’t very good.

    Chris

  3. All these movies are just okay for the most part. Even the classic series has a serious misstep in Jedi. Nostalgia be damned!

    But if kids are into them – well, they are kids’ movies and toy commercials. They’re the audience.

  4. In the spirit of “finding my joy,” I simply can’t waste any more of my time listening to a podcast that has to struggle so HARD to find anything good to say about the current state of Star Wars. I’m unsubscribing from this one for now.

    1. I thought you stopped listening years ago when the intro theme of Shag and me singing made you bleed from your ears.

  5. I loved the prequels from day one. I went and saw The Phantom Menace eight times in the theater, still a movie-viewing record for me. I’d have been happy if Revenge of the Sith was the last film, because episodes 1-6 tell a complete story and nothing more is needed beyond that. The sequel trilogy really dropped the ball, but I love both the Clone Wars and Rebels animated series, so needless to say, I’m glad Star Wars continued beyond 1983.

  6. The biggest failing of Disney was not making sure they had the Sequel trilogy mapped out. George gave them an outline and they chose to ignore it completely. Kathleen Kennedy made bad choices in putting them together. But Disney is not going to remove her as the movies made billions.
    Ultimately though, these movies were made for kids, and each time we saw a new one, we saw it through older, more experienced eyes, affected by what the world has painted us with. this is what makes us love or hate them.
    But as far as the prequel trilogy goes, I think the resurgence is because the contrarians see everybody hating on them, so they have to go the other way. JK. Kinda

    thanks
    Brian Hughes
    3rd Degree Byrne

    1. I’m with you there, Brian. The lack of a plan is, at least in part, why the sequels don’t hold together very well. Of course, being who I am, I wrote a blog post immediately after listening to this episode exploring that very idea: http://www.thehammerstrikes.com/2020/04/the-mcu-killed-star-wars.html

      As far as the prequels go, I still contend that Episode 1 is completely unnecessary. If that story had been dropped and the story-line from 2 & 3 expanded over 2 movies, then it would have made a big difference. Something else that would have REALLY improved things would be if Lucas had not been the director. Writer (with others helping) and Executive Producer would have been more than enough. He should have left the directing to someone who could actually direct actors.

  7. Omar is a wise man. The reason I was never bothered by the flimsiness of the sequels is that the originals were just as flimsy! We’ve used that to pretend I hate Star Wars, which isn’t the case. Because I didn’t get into the expanded universe much (Han Solo and Lando books, Splinter, some of the recent Marvel comics), I just didn’t think it was as deep as my favorite franchises. So my expectations are not low – that’s the wrong word – but they are not tied to a feeling I got as a kid, or based on anything from the expanded universe (including whatever I might have imagined myself, because it never took up much mental real estate). I hate the prequels because they bore me, so they fail as films. The sequels are naturally more derivative, but they generally have better dialog and humor. All three parts of the trilogy have clunky plots in some measure, focused on getting us to set pieces and logic be damned (the originals do it best, the prequels do it worst).

    Don’t believe the Russian bots trying to divide us: Vengeance of the Sith is TERRIBLE.

  8. I won’t let the Disney films paint Lucas and his prequels in a better light. There was a reason we looked forward to Disney taking over in the first place. I personally rank the prequels I, II, III in decreasing quality, all beneath the original trilogy. But for reasons others have touched on, I dare say that – taken as a whole, the prequel trilogy is indeed superior to the sequel trilogy.

  9. Jon and I were talking about this exact question the other day. We both initially went with the idea that we kind of do wish there was only the first three, but almost immediately realized that this would fly in the face of our main criticism of TROS, in that it comes across in parts as desperately trying to win back fans that were disappointed by TLJ, which still feels yucky. We got what we got. Or like Jon said on our show: “Whether I like it or not, it’s canon now.”

  10. Omar needs to be on the show more often.

    A) He tends to provoke great reactions from Ryan by thoughtfully, and with great respect, challenging him. This leads to great discussions.

    B) My biggest takeaway was the question of whether the Star Wars universe has finite storytelling potential. My knee-jerk reaction was to say, “no.”

    This was based on shows like Rebels, and The Mandalorian.

    But, unlike Star Trek, the Star Wars universe has set some expectations on what constitutes a Star Wars story- elements like the Force, rebellions and Empires, and bounty hunters.

    The question that I ended up with was, “How far can the universe stay from the core elements before it stops feeling like Star Wars?

    1. Good question. The fact that is started as a film rather than a TV series makes a big difference. Trek and Who had (and still have) the luxury of breaking their own rules, doing one-offs that are not, specifically, in line with their root philosophies as set down in their series bibles. In fact, a lot of what we consider those root philosophies evolved over time, not just as their creators’ original intent, but in the accumulation of stories. When Trek goes to movies, that’s when people scream THAT’S NOT TREK!!! even though there are plenty of episodes across all series that, if they were a movie (i.e. the only Trek you got that year or for three years) you’d scream THAT’S NOT TREK at.

      So it seems true of SW as well. The TV series can have fun building the world, but the movies are held to a different standard. Get off track from the elements in the original trilogy and fans scream THAT’S NOT STAR WARS!!! And that’s an attitude built up by the three trilogies telling variations on the same story and tropes over and over (to the point of being a big problem in the Disney cycle). Either it’s a world, or it’s one single story. If it’s a world, you can do anything in that world. If it’s a story, then it has a definite ending.

      The MCU is a world. Is Middle-Earth? Was Middle-Earth always just the story of the One Ring, from Bilbo to Frodo? If so, it’s over and fans would not accept movies set in the world but not innate to those specific books, even if Tolkien wrote plenty of other tales to build up the world. We’ll see with the Amazon series if and when it comes to pass. And then again, it may be a case of Madolorian. An episodic series can do things movies can’t.

      The future of Star Wars may well be on Disney+, where the stakes are seemingly lower, fans are more patient, and lesser stars can be used who don’t have the baggage Luke, Leia and Han did. Then again, Mando is filled with the usual SW tropes – a bounty hunter, the Force, the dregs of the Empire, a desert planet… What happens when they make a show that’s clearly in that galaxy far far away, but doesn’t really feature any of the clichés of Star Wars? Will there be an outcry then? We’ll see.

      1. Siskoid, man, this comment was fantastic, “Either it’s a world, or it’s one single story. If it’s a world, you can do anything in that world. If it’s a story, then it has a definite ending.” I never really thought about Star Wars that way but I hope it turns out to be a world, or in this case, a galaxy. There are so many stories you could tell with all the people in that far away galaxy! Bring on the horror Star Wars story! The noir Star Wars! The period piece Star Wars with butlers! Okay, I got a little carried away with the last one, and joking aside, I would love to see Star Wars stories from different points of view.

  11. Great discussion, everyone! Omar was a great guest as you could hear the passion in his voice for Star Wars. And this was a great discussion, but I do agree with Mark Baker Wright that the question wasn’t so much about “finding your joy”. Having said that, I’m one of those rare fans that enjoys all of the movies. Now at the time, when I was in my twenties, I did not like everything about the prequels, but over time, and especially with having kids, I could see what these movies were for. They were made to be fun adventures for kids and with that, it made me enjoy the movies so much more. That’s not to say that every Star Wars movie should get a blank cheque as there are definitely well made kid’s movies and terribly made kid’s movies, but I found if I let go of my expectations and just enjoyed the movies for what they are, I got more enjoyment out of them. It’s great that there are kids out there that love the prequels the best and I hope that there are kids out there that will love the sequels the best. Because of that, I’m glad they made more Star Wars films after 1983 so a new generation can get the same feelings that I had as a kid. I honestly feel like I could talk about Star Wars forever so I will just end with this…..To me, the only thing I wish we could take away after 1983 is the toxic fandom.

    Keep up the great work!

  12. Just finished listening. My issue with Solo was that they tried to put everything from Han Solo’s past into one adventure. It was like a check list:
    How did he get his name?
    When did he serve in the imperial fleet?
    How did he become a pirate?
    When did he meet Chewbacca?
    How did he rescue Chewbacca from the Empire?
    Where did he get his gun?
    How did he become a smuggler?
    Where did he meet Lando?
    How did he get the Falcon?
    Where did he get that gun?
    How did he do the Kessel Run?
    All in one adventure; really?

    They could have had young Han and Chewie in the Falcon having an adventure and who cares about the whole secret origin stuff. So we all only get one Han Solo movie and that was it, I suppose. Such an opportunity wasted.

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