Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Awesome Obi-Wan

Like a lot of boys at the time, I preferred Han Solo to Luke Skywalker, considering him a much more interesting character, even if he didn't have a lightsaber (though I always had hopes that, one day, he too might become a Jedi -- hey, I was a kid). Unlike a lot of boys at the time, I also preferred Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker. I thought "Old Ben" was a great character, what with the way he scared away the Sand People and kicked major ass in the cantina. He's like that wise old kung-fu master who's ten times more impressive than his hotheaded young apprentice and I found Alec Guinness's portrayal of him quite affecting, particularly the way he sacrifices himself to give Luke and his companions a chance to escape the Death Star.

Obi-Wan is a very mysterious character in Star Wars. He alludes to a lot of things in the past, like the Clone Wars and the Jedi Knights. He also knew Luke's father and speaks of Darth Vader as his former pupil. I often wondered what sorts of adventures Ben had "before the dark times, before the Empire." In issue 24 (June 1979) of the Marvel comic series, Princess Leia recounts a tale her father told her about one of Obi-Wan's adventures in the days before the rise of the Empire. It's a fun little story that takes place entirely aboard an interstellar cruise ship and I remember it well because it showed up Obi-Wan at the height of his powers:

There are a lot of things I like about this issue's rendition of Obi-Wan's past. Firstly, and perhaps most superficially, I like his costume. One of the things that bugs me about the way the Jedi dress in the prequels is that, somewhere along the line, Lucas seems to have forgotten that Uncle Owen wears clothes very similar to those of Obi-Wan:

Or rather I think that Obi-Wan wears clothes very similar to those of Uncle Owen. The robes Ben wears in Star Wars are loose-fitting Tattooine peasant attire. If you pay attention when Luke and Obi-Wan go to Mos Eisley, you see other people wearing the same general style of clothing. Heck, the bartender at the cantina (back before he had a name and a melodramatic backstory) wears the same kind of robes and he certainly wasn't a Jedi.

Anyway, my point is that I never figured that Ben wandered around Tattooine dressed in his Jedi robes, especially considering that Jedi were supposed to have been hunted outlaws under the Empire. I assumed that, in his day, he wore some other kind of clothing, something that did identify him as a Jedi Knight. I never had a good sense of what such clothing would look like -- until I saw this issue of the Marvel comic. I love the simple black tunic and pants, with the white gloves (and, though you can't see them in the pic above, white boots as well), and that honking big belt that so many people seemed to wear in the Marvel Star Wars comics. This became my idea of what the Jedi looked like and so, when Return of the Jedi was released, seeing Luke all dressed in black as he prepares to confront Jabba the Hutt was a vindication of that comic artwork from 1979.

The other thing I love about this portrayal of Obi-Wan is that he's old even before the Empire arises. I always felt that, at the time of Star Wars, Ben was even older than he looked, like 90 or 100, but, just like those aged martial arts masters, he lived simply, meditated, and kept spry by whooping bad guys he came across as he wandered the Dune Sea. I wouldn't have accepted back then, as I don't now, that he was only 57 years old at the time of the movie's events. That just doesn't make any sense to me and it doesn't really fit the way he talks about the downfall of the Jedi and the "Old Republic," which imply a much greater distance in the past. Marvel's take was closer to what I imagined as a kid and so I accepted it readily.

Wow, I wrote rather more about this topic than I ever intended to. I guess rereading these Star Wars comics is really getting to me.

55 comments:

  1. And in the second paragraph you reveal everything that's wrong about the Prequels. It was cool when alluded to, it made for a richer, deeper feeling universe. Then they had to go and parade every second of what was alluded to on the screen and it mostly didn't live up to the hype. In fact, it was made even worse because they felt compelled to connect everything up, often in a very disappointing fashion.

    Feh...

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  2. An Empire that lasts 18 years, isn't much of an Empire.

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  3. That is some interesting insight there with the clothing and Uncle Owen, I never made that connect but you are exactly right. In hiding, and to match his cover some local loon, he would have dressed as the locals did and not as a Jedi. I must admit that the way Ben talked about the clone wars I never really thought he had fought in them and that they had taken place decades, if not longer, in the past....but then, I was never a huge SW fan.

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  4. An Empire that lasts 18 years, isn't much of an Empire.

    An Empirette?

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  5. I was always a fan of Obi-Wan, he was far more interesting to me then other characters. Mostly for the same reasons that James mentions above.

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  6. Interesting insight re: Obi-Wan's robes. Looking back, I think we can actually pinpoint the moment when Lucas screwed the pooch: that last shot of Return of the Jedi, where the three ghosty Jedi appears in those robes.

    I suppose it's an honest mistake: you're putting together that scene in 1984 or whatever, you've already got costumes for Alec Guiness and the Yoda muppet that look pretty similar (brown/tan robes), and so the costume designer has to make a decision about what ghost-Anakin is going to wear in the afterlife. He's going to look like the odd man out if he's not wearing brown/tan robes like his compadres (since the whole point of the shot is that they're all BFFs now in the hereafter). So you go with the robes for Anakin, at which point you've established that old-shool Jedi dudes all wear those robes, even after they're dead.

    And let's be honest: if the three of them showed up in that last shot wearing shiny black uniforms, that would have been very weird (especially since the films had firmly established that black clothes = the dark side).

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  7. I believe that George Lucas not only modelled Obi-Wan after a character from Akira Kurusawa's movie "The Hidden Fortress", but even considered casting the actor (Toshiro Mifune, who appeared in many of Kurusawa's films) for the part. Now for the juvenile me, Alec Guinness was a far better choice, but the adult me kinda wishes that he'd acted on that impulse.

    Actually, what I really wish is that he'd made a choice like that for the part of Qui-Gon Jinn.

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  8. Mifune was also considered for the Mr Miyagi role in The Karate Kid; that would have also have been an interesting diversion!

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  9. I'm glad that I am not the only one who thinks the Tattooine/Jedi robes costume thing is dumb. Its the first thing I point to in discussing how I feel the prequels let us older Star Wars fans down.

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  10. These Star Wars posts are very bittersweet because it just goes to show how wrong the whole thing has gone.

    I recently re-watched the whole series and that first movie (especially in its original version, which is the one I watched) holds up so brilliantly. Even Empire, which in many ways is the best film, kind of nags at me because of the unresolved ending. Today the Star Wars universe feels more like a really awkward small town family reunion, thanks to the prequels and so much of the expanded universe crap, but that first movie still gives off that sense of a wide open setting in which anything could happen.

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  11. I think you have to go back and ask why Yoda is wearing those robes in Empire then? They are not very typical swamp attire.

    But the point still stands since the whole theme is how much could have happened if they was never a sequel to Star Wars.

    I believe that George Lucas not only modelled Obi-Wan after a character from Akira Kurusawa's movie "The Hidden Fortress", but even considered casting the actor (Toshiro Mifune, who appeared in many of Kurusawa's films) for the part.

    The basic plot of Star Wars is lifted from The Hidden Fortress. It starts with two silly guys escaping a losing battle and falling in with a guy who is trying to rescue a princess. However, the analogy only goes so far. Toshiro Mifune is a general NOW (not a long time ago) and is the protagonist.

    I also heard that Lucas thought about getting Mifune for Obi-Wan, but couldn't for some reason

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  12. If you're a Jedi on the run, of COURSE you're going to hide out on the one planet in the galaxy where everyone just happens to dress in Jedi robes.

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  13. These Star Wars posts are very bittersweet because it just goes to show how wrong the whole thing has gone.

    Yes, this. Moreso than any gaming property that's fallen victim to canon bloat (Forgotten Realms, Rifts, what-have-you), Star Wars fills me with the deepest sadness. Bittersweet indeed.

    More and more I find myself wanting to go back to the original source material only and extrapolating on my own from there when I contemplate running a game in an existing setting. I'd certainly be sorely tempted to do so if I ever ran a Star Wars game.

    I mean, the bartender has a backstory now? Really? Good grief.

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  14. "I mean, the bartender has a backstory now? Really? Good grief."

    Dude, every character that appeared on screen seems to have a back-story now! There was a series of books called Tales From..., such as Tales From Mos Eisley Cantina, Tales From Jabba's Palace, and Tales Of The Empire that provide a name and back story for every character on those particular scenes. So, you find out that there are Rebel scouts in the Cantina, you find out who the guy is that Chewie is standing next to at the bar before Ben and Luke meet Han, and you get this whole background on the dancer and singer chicks from Jabba's Palace. When I was in my early 20's, I thought that was kind of cool. Now I just think it's ridiculous.

    It's like how someone related to RPGs and how you want to keep some things a mystery. I've found that 9 times out of 10, my imagination came up with way cooler things than what someone else got paid to write.

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  15. Were I ever to run another Star Wars game set during the films, I woudl defintiely begin it with Rule No. 1 (adapted from Steve D's There is no Spoon):

    There is only Star Wars. Any sequels are a figment of your imagination.

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  16. "One of the things that bugs me about the way the Jedi dress in the prequels is that... The robes Ben wears in Star Wars are loose-fitting Tattooine peasant attire."

    Great observation.

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  17. Yup, 100% with you...Lucas however made a very specific point in the prequels that we see an evolution of material culture to the original trilogy. Not the revolution hinted a little by Ben. Those black threads would be more in keeping with a serious break than continuity and Lucas never would have it no matter how cool it looked. For Luke is Lucas' Mary Sue later transferred to Padame in the prequels.

    For when I watch the prequels...I wanted to see much more of what I saw in Revenge of the Sith as the beginning...in fact there are many fanedits out there that agree with me. However, the story was about the Skywalkers which is probably why I am disappointed.

    So, what Lucas cannot really control is the whole Extended Universe spawned by his vision. Which is where I currently find the most fertile grounds are for RPGs.

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  18. I've definitely become more and more of a purist as time goes by. I was lucky enough to know Star Wars before the Special Editions and the Prequels, unlike most kids growing up now.

    I remember renting Star Wars on video and watching it twice that first night.

    As a kid, I read the EU books and tried to get my hands on all the Star Wars related media I could. As I grew older, I could not help but see the failings of the Expanded Univers and the way it diminishes the films.

    I've recently decided to pretend that the Prequel Films never happened, so that the rich backstory I've always imagined doesn't have to be tainted by Lucas' late CGI blandness.

    However, I love Empire and Return too much to pretend they don't exist (The idea is madness! I have an ESB poster hanging on my wall!). It does intrigue me though to create a sort of parallel Star Wars universe where only the first film happened and extrapolate from there in the vein of pure Space Fantasy pulp. Vader as a bad guy instead of anti-hero! Luke's strange mystic quest to become a Jedi!

    How gorgeous and evocative is this Obi-wan artwork here? As a bit of trivia, Lucas originally planned to have the official Jedi outfit be an all black suit, resembling Luke's outfit in ROTJ. He ended up changing it because he felt it would confuse young people into thinking the Jedi were evil.

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  19. I was never as emotionally involved with Star Wars as I was with Star Trek. Even as a kid I thought the original trilogy movies were flawed - how DOES the Falcon get to Bespin with a busted hyperdrive? When the prequels came along I didn't hold them to a particularly high standard. There are actually many discontinuities in the "canon" laid out in just the six films. The jedi/tattoine robe conundrum is just one obvious example.

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  20. "I'm glad that I am not the only one who thinks the Tattooine/Jedi robes costume thing is dumb."

    As has been pointed-out, though, Yoda wore similar robes on Dagobah and Anakin Skywalker even sports a ghostly set of the same in Return of the Jedi.

    So the "Jedi robe (tm)" was canonized long before 1999.

    I'm much more interested in how the Obi-Wan from that comic scan resembles Christopher Lee in his Star Wars appearances.

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  21. "Even as a kid I thought the original trilogy movies were flawed - how DOES the Falcon get to Bespin with a busted hyperdrive? When the prequels came along I didn't hold them to a particularly high standard."

    I do rather feel the same way. I love the original film (as mentioned in the comments on James' first Star Wars post this week), but as a series/saga/whatever? Nah. I don't find later sequels to be notably more fundamentally flawed than earlier ones.

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  22. Questionable science isn't exactly a death note for space fantasy.

    I don't like to be dismissive, but...really? You see no difference in quality between the Prequels and the Originals? Have you watched the Red Letter Media reviews of the Prequels? Well argued and insightful points mixed with humor.

    Star Wars is more light, kiddy, escapist fare that introduces the universe, Empire puts the meat on the bones in every conceivable sense, and then Return of the Jedi brings it home in a middling way.

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  23. So very glad I wasn't the only one confused as to why Jedis wore peasant dress. It could be retconned to make them appear as humble monk like figures, but it still never set quite right with me after Lukes wardrobe in the Original Trilogy.

    Nice series, tho. I want more!

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  24. "I don't like to be dismissive, but...really? You see no difference in quality between the Prequels and the Originals?"

    Depends on what you mean by "quality." Empire had a lot of polish compared to the original, but correspondingly less fun. From Jedi on, the only real issue is whether the wacky critters are being worked by puppeteers or computer modelers.

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  25. That being said, I think even sequels 2-5 are entertaining enough when the chase scenes and swordfights are ongoing. The first two films are just unique in having some measure of good bits the rest of the time.

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  26. "Empire had a lot of polish compared to the original, but correspondingly less fun."

    To suggest that Empire had "polish" over Star Wars is, while not necessarily wrong, missing the point. Empire is the strongest film of the series because its characters are all actual human beings. Even Vader has moments of depth. There is genuine emotion in ESB and a degree of psychological realism that isn't present in the rest of the saga - mostly because Irvin Kershner brought a New Hollywood sensibility to the film that George Lucas could not and would not replicate.

    As to the charge that ESB is "less fun", well I think that is a relatively common charge. It has something more of a sombre tone, I guess, but the lightsaber duel between Luke and Vader is so well choreographed and has so much atmosphere that it easily overshadows all other duels in the series. There are moments of wonder in ESB that outshine anything in the original film. All the things that make Star Wars space opera/space fantasy are there in ESB, and they are as well executed as they would ever be.

    I tend to agree that things dropped off after ESB, but ROTJ still works for me at least somewhat more than the prequels. At the very least, the Throne Room sequences involving Luke, Vader, and the Emperor hit the right notes to bring the series to a satisfying conclusion. I wonder if ROTJ works better because it has the quality of the previous two films to bolster it up?

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  27. @ James:

    Like you, I preferred Obi-Wan to Luke (though I preferred him to Han as well). I never owned this comic, but if I had, my whole perception of the the film series would be incredibly skewed. Certainly Vader's outfit is more "tight-black" than "brown robes" in the original films...and he's not hiding anything.

    I wrote a whole series of blog posts awhile back about why Ben was my favorite character in the films. The only one who holds a candle to him is (IMO) Count Dooku...another old geezer...er..."learned master." At least as far as "interesting/mysterious/intriguing Jedi are concerned.
    : )
    (and yeah, I blogged about him, too)

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  28. "Empire is the strongest film of the series because its characters are all actual human beings."

    That's my complaint! I don't want actual human beings in Star Wars. I want a Earnest Farmboy Hero, a Dashing Rogue, a Fiesty Princess, a Wise Mentor, a Sinister Villain in Black, and some Comic Relief.

    And I want them swashing the hell out of every buckle in sight until the credits roll. :)

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  29. You know, I always just figured Jedi dressed like humble peasants. That is a great story from the Marvel series though.

    Finding faults in the Star Wars series is less like shooting fish in a barrel and more like trawling for fish with a net. It's basically a mess under periodic revision, but full of fun ideas; I think that in most any period of the history of the galaxy there is good fun to be had by throwing together an unlikely assortment of characters and watching a standard pulp narrative come alive through the idiosyncratic character personalities.

    Here's a big reason SW is a gold mine = it's visual and full of promising eye catching details. Players can pick out a random alien from 2 seconds of screen time and say "I'm one of those guys." You can get a ton of mileage from just using the same "hidden fortress" scenario as the first movie, it just becomes different if, just off the top of my head, the party is a reprogrammed 3P0 droid as the ship captain, a former tentacle-headed dancing girl who's now bounty hunter with a bionic arm, and two guys who are both clones of Jango Fett, except one is a disillusioned stormtrooper and one is a rookie student of the force looking for his lost master.

    One of the many things SW has in common with D&D. The basic scenario of "go into a dungeon and find treasure" gets infinite variation given who's at the table and in the party.

    Canon "closing off" possibilities isn't the problem of the series - it's the problem of letting appeal to authority define your game. Maybe it says in some or another novel that clones can't use the force. If a player has a clone Jedi PC, as long as the ref is cool with that, and he probably should be, I say "as it turns out, they can."

    The people writing the SW stuff, including George Lucas, are making it up as they go along mostly on the basis of what they think would be fun or compelling, just like gamers. I'm not sure why Star Wars 'canonicity' ought to be inviolate, when in Superhero games, people seem pretty willing to play pretty fast and loose with Spider-Man or Green Lanterns' respective galaxies, and to be a little more general, I think it's genuinely rare to hear someone call foul in the middle of a D&D game on monster's traits because they aren't like that in the Theogony or Metamorphoses.

    "Medieval Fantasy" is easier in a way than "Science Fiction" or "Space Fantasy" since most people already have an idea what an elf or a werewolf is. Science fiction is something you have to kind of find out on your own, and you find different little islands of it - except Star Wars, which almost everyone knows to some extent. Think of it as stuff you can use rather than stuff you have to use. Even if you're running, say, Traveller in your own homebrew setting, maybe think about throwing in an alien with a suspicious likeness to Greedo, Darth Maul, or Walrus Man. It might make it seem a little realer to the player who just decided to give the game "a try."

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  30. Count me in as an Obi-Wan fan from back in the day, too. And then count me in as someone who decidedly not happy with how they treated him in the, ahem, prequels.

    Basically, as someone born in 1970 I was pretty much the perfect target for Star Wars. And believe me, I loved it, at least when it was a wide open universe where a farmboy from the the place furthest from the bright center of the galaxy could become a hero. But once it turned into the story of a dysfunctional family (right about the end of Empire and then, sadly, for rest of the damned "epic") I lost interest.

    When the Empire ceased to be ancient, when the Jedi ceased to be a small band of mystical knights (and turned into a huge army of wuxia pinballs), it all stopped being meaningful to me.

    This is, of course, the curse of having grown up as the films came out. We had all those years in between episodes to use our imaginations to fill in the spaces - mostly by creating my own stories with my little plastic dudes in my case. And I'm willing to bet none of "our" individual Star Warses (bad construct! no cookie!) are all that similar. So there's no way Lucas (or anyone) could have met my vision. More's the pity. Mine's the best, after all :)

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  31. When the Empire ceased to be ancient

    Um, it never was. In Star Wars itself, the Senate has just been abolished, while the Jedi were necessarily hunted down after Luke was conceived. The Empire's existence is just a matter of decades, whether the two-ish of the post-prequel timeline, or the five-ish in the timeline that was generally accepted before the prequels came out.

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  32. It would appear, as strangestones said, that the big change was when Darth says 'I'm your father.' At that point, Star Wars stopped being a space opera, and became a soap opera in space. Perhaps that's why all the magic I remember from the movies seemed to exist between the first and second films (born in 1966, I was a ripe old ten year old the summer SW was released). The second film was still great, perhaps better than the first. And even the third had much to enjoy (particularly the book-ends of the first act and the final act), but something was lost when it stopped being that kid out of nowhere who can save the galaxy, and became a long story about the kid who was apparently destined to fight with his father against the backdrop of a galactic struggle. Just an observation for my first post on this blog.

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  33. "Dude, every character that appeared on screen seems to have a back-story now!"

    My favorite backstory is the one that depicts the events leading up to Walrus Man's loss of a limb, as shown in Robot Chicken. :)

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  34. Not sure why people are complaining about the Empire "ceasing to be ancient". Obi-wan was supposed to be alive when the Empire came in to existence. The Empire's seizure of power was ALWAYS supposed to have been relatively recent, tied to the lifetime of a single ruling figure, even in George Lucas' earliest proto-Star Wars.

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  35. I liked the recent Darth and Droids revelation:

    Count Dooku: Anakin, I am your fa...
    Anakin beheads Dooku.

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  36. When I was 7 the Empire seemed to be a very big, very powerful and very old thing. False impression, sure. But also a very strong impression. The dissolving of the Senate seemed to me to be the whisking away of some last vestige of a time well past, not the culmination of 30-odd years worth of mustache-twirling, scenery-chewing, melodramatic evil.

    But I'm not here to argue Star Wars minutia. I more-or-less turned my back on the epic when the teddy bears hit the scene. I've read none of the EU books (save the "Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina" collection, which, oddly, I enjoyed). I've never actually taken part in a Star Wars RPG. I forced myself to watch the prequels because, well, I thought I should. I rather wish I hadn't, though.

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  37. "I more-or-less turned my back on the epic when the teddy bears hit the scene."

    I always thought it was some kind of tie-in with the Teddy Ruxpin toys at the time.

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  38. [telling himself he shouldn't post because it just fans the flames of fan-boyism. Loses internal struggle]

    The dissolving of the Senate doesn't say anything about the age of the Empire. I always assumed it was a Rome-type thing where the appurtanance of Republic persisted long after the fact of Republic had passed away.

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  39. I think that the prequels are a lot less irritating than the whole EU mess.

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  40. It's funny, because the feeling that the empire was something great and ancient is something that I had when I watched the movies as a child, too. That Obi-Wan must be ancient, and so was Vader. Logially, however, the Empire had to have been around the same age as Luke. Perhaps when I was a kid, I thought that a few decades was a long time, an eternity. It makes the story much less epic when you think that the Great Galactic Empire lasted only twenty years.

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  41. Not to be pedantic, although it's a bit late, but there is a reason storywise for those robes: Namely that they are meant to resemble attire of peasants and laborers all around the galaxy as a reminder to the Jedi of their humility.
    This isn't as visible in the prequels because the protagonists of the story mostly tend to run in richer circles, but if you look at the handful of times they're slumming it similar styles show up a fair amount.

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  42. Back in '80/81, I had acquired a really nice set of Ralph McQuarrie prints, featuring his concept designs for Empire. After that I tracked down other McQuarrie concept work. For me, That is what Star Wars 'should' look like. I loved that the lead character was Leia Starkiller, Han WAS a jedi; Stormtroopers had light-sabers, implying they were 'standard' melee weapons.

    I'm with most everyone here, Prequels and 'expanded universe' very nearly destroyed my life-long love affair with Star Wars. The surprising thing is, I rather like the Clone Wars series, though only because I can now envision how cool Stormtrooper gear would be, if they followed naturally from the Republic Army. And there are some nifty new characters.

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  43. The exchange between Luke and Ben about Luke's father -- a combat fighter pilot who was also a knight with an energy sword -- conjured up a very specific vision of what the Jedi were like, based on my childhood as an Air Force brat who read stories about King Arthur and Robin Hood. In my mind they wore military uniforms and flight helmets (like the one Luke wears during his training session.) I never read the Marvel comics, but this depiction of Obi-Wan is not far from what I imagined.

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  44. Agree with Matthew S. ~6 posts above. If you take the whole as an homage to the Roman Republic/ Empire/ Senate, etc., that Senate was maintained for hundreds of years through the Imperial period.

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  45. "An Empire that lasts 18 years, isn't much of an Empire."

    Heck 18 years is pretty quick for "the force" to become something Han Solo can dismiss as superstition.

    Especially if it involves something quantifiable like 'midichlorians'.

    I mean, surely Han would know some slightly-older smugglers who would have been personally acquainted with actual Jedi.

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  46. For that matter, Han himself was probably 10 years old or so when the Republic Fell!

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  47. [Oh, I give up: full fanboy rant]

    Is there anything that requires the Empire to be no older than Luke as a fact (as opposed to a name)? Imagine that the mysterious Emperor had been enthroned 50 years ago in exactly the same fashion as Octavian/Augustus: the Republic still stands as an ideal and an apparent reality. Maybe the idea is that this Imperator is a temporary dictator (in the Roman sense) who would repair the crumbling Republic before turning it back over to the control of the Senate. Only as time goes on and that day always seems to be “next year” and the Emperor never seem to age and die, does the idea of an Empire begin to seem normal.

    Remember that great scene at the end of “I, Claudius” where old Claudius (the 4th Caesar) sends his son off to hide, so that one day he can return and restore the Republic, only to find that his son has no memory of the Republic and only intends to be a “good” Emperor.

    That’s the story that I more or less told myself. I always assumed that Jedi Masters, like Taoist adepts, lived much longer than regular folk.

    Remember one other thing: if there is only Star Wars, then Darth Vader is not necessarily Luke’s father. That means that Luke’s dad (whose name we don’t know if there is only Star Wars) might have been one of the very last Jedi. The purge may have occurred decades before.

    Just sayin’.

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  48. I swear the longer I live the more certain I am that I will never understand people more than 15 years older than I am.

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  49. As an addendum I forgot to mention, if an empire that only survives about 23 years isn't much of an Empire, what about a Reich that lasts barely 12? I hate to invoke Nazis, but if you can believe the changes that took place in their short regime, surely you can believe the same of the Empire.

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  50. One of the things that bugs me about the way the Jedi dress in the prequels is that, somewhere along the line, Lucas seems to have forgotten that Uncle Owen wears clothes very similar to those of Obi-Wan:

    Lucas seems to have forgotten a lot of things.

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  51. I think you have to go back and ask why Yoda is wearing those robes in Empire then? They are not very typical swamp attire.

    The Emperor wears a plain black hooded robe in The Empire Strikes Back. You can also go back to the beginning of the first movie, where Princess Leia is wearing a hooded robe. The only difference is, her robe is white and made of fine cloth. The snitch who leads the stormtroopers to where Solo's ship is docked was also wearing a hooded robe. Face it, hooded robes were common attire a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.


    "Even as a kid I thought the original trilogy movies were flawed - how DOES the Falcon get to Bespin with a busted hyperdrive?

    Uh, because it's close enough for them to make it, as Han Solo says in the movie.


    When the prequels came along I didn't hold them to a particularly high standard."

    The movies aren't flawed so much as the cognitive abilities of some fans.


    I think that the prequels are a lot less irritating than the whole EU mess.

    The Holiday Special is less irritating than most of the EU.

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  52. Napoleon's Empire and Alexander's Empire both lasted much shorter time periods than Palpatine's did.

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  53. I swear the longer I live the more certain I am that I will never understand people more than 15 years older than I am.

    I feel sorry for your parents.

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  54. I just reread that issue of the comic with young(-er) Kenobi. I had totally forgotten the scene in whichhe quite causally kills a guy who is so outclassed it isn't funny. Zwoosh! goes the saber and the punk is dead.

    The comic Obi-Wan was baaad-asss.

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