ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:39 am

pinhedz wrote:Obi wan beams himself into Ruslana's Dacha.

Ruslana -- "Light sabers will not help us. They are only for hand-to-hand combat."

Grushch -- "That's right, Bozo. If you want to make yourself useful, come back with some long-range weapons. bounce "

[Please excuse Grushchenka's bluntness. She was never one to mince words.  ]  

pinhead -- "There's another problem--the size of our forces. There have been so many defections that the group we have left would be overwhelmed by the enemy." Neutral

Ruslana -- "The Kreakly will support us." bounce

pinhead -- "Yes, and the audience at Woodstock was the 5th latest [5th largest. spell check is our enemy bounce ] army in the world." Rolling Eyes

Mack -- "we're goners." Neutral

pinhead -- "But we might be able to infiltrate--I can try to make use of my past friendship with RUSLAN!"

Ruslana -- "My evil twin?" affraid

pinhead -- "Yes the movie man. He's Putin's BF, and Putin made him an honorary citizen--and they both know my music from the movie soundtracks." What a Face



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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:21 am

The wheels are turning in pinhedz head again:

-- "If Ruslana wears her Miley Cyrus costume, the infiltration will be a sure thing." silent

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:58 am

Teaparty News haters ridicule Ruslan with hurtful comments about his paunch and funny hair. Shocked

And O'Reilly stereotypes women by saying they are "into hair."


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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:06 am

Yakima Canutt wrote:
Yakima Canutt wrote:
Introducing: Machete Order

But there is a further modification that has been named by the networks "Machete Order"

Next time you want to introduce someone to Star Wars for the first time, watch the films with them in this order: IV, V, II, III, VI

Notice something? Yeah, Episode I is gone.

Episodes II and III aren't exactly Shakespeare, but standing next to the complete and utter trainwreck that is Episode I, they sure look like it. At least, III does anyway. [ some would argue that cinematically, II sucks more than I, but II contains salient narrative information]

Episode I is a failure on every possible level, some have posited. Luckily, George Lucas has done everyone a favor by making the content of Episode I completely irrelevant to the rest of the series. Seriously, think about it for a minute. Name as many things as you can that happen in Episode I and actually help flesh out the story in any subsequent episode. I can only think of one thing, which I'll mention later.

Every character established in Episode I is either killed or removed before it ends (Darth Maul, Qui-Gon, Chancellor Valorum), unimportant (Nute Gunray, Watto), or established better in a later episode (Mace Windu, Darth Sidious). Does it ever matter that Palpatine had an apprentice before Count Dooku? Nope, Darth Maul is killed by the end of Episode I and never referenced again. You may as well just start with the assumption that Dooku was the only apprentice. Does it ever matter that Obi-Wan was being trained by Qui-Gon? Nope, Obi-Wan is well into training Anakin at the start of Episode II, Qui-Gon is completely irrelevant.

Search your feelings, you know it to be true! Episode I doesn't matter at all. You can start the prequels with Episode II and miss absolutely nothing. The opening crawl of Episode II establishes everything you need to know about the prequels: a bunch of systems want to leave the Republic, they are led by Count Dooku, and Senator Amidala is a senator who is going to vote on whether the Republic is going to create an army. Natalie Portman is called Senator Amidala twice in the first 4 minutes of the movie, so there's no question of who's who.

But what have we removed???

Here's some stuff that you no longer have to see as part of your Star Wars viewing experience, thanks to skipping Episode I.


Buh-bye, Binks!

*Virtually no Jar-Jar. Jar-Jar has about 5 lines in Episode II, and zero in Episode III.

*No midichlorians. There is only one reference to midichlorians after Episode I, and in the context it appears to mean something as benign as "DNA."

*No Jake Lloyd. Sorry Jake, your acting is terrible and I never really wanted to see Darth Vader as a little boy.

*No confusing Padme/Queen switcheroo. The whole subplot with Padme and her decoy makes absolutely no sense. It's clear that this was just so people could interact with Padme without knowing she was the Queen, but it's incredibly convoluted and pointless.

*Less confusing master/apprentice relationships. Darth Sidious is training Count Dooku, Obi-Wan is training Anakin. No other trainer/trainee relationships exist to confuse the backstory.

*Fewer characters to learn about, so the story is more focused.

*Nothing about trade disputes. The "problem" as of Episode II is that a group of systems want to leave the Republic. This is much easier to understand for a kid than trade disputes.

*No pod racing. Seriously, who gives a shit? An action sequence for the sake of an action sequence and it goes on forever. A huge number of plot holes surrounding gambling and the subsequent freeing of Anakin are removed as well.

*No virgin birth. We simply don't know or care who Anakin's father is, and the subtle implication that it's Palpatine is gone.

But booting Episode I isn't merely about pretending a crappy movie doesn't exist. Viewing Episode II immediately after V and Episode III immediately before VI actually tells the story better than including Episode I does.


Why does this work better?

As I mentioned, this creates a lot of tension after the cliffhanger ending of Episode V. It also uses the original trilogy as a framing device for the prequel trilogy. Vader drops this huge bomb that he's Luke's father, then we spend two movies proving he's telling the truth, then we see how it gets resolved. The Star Wars watching experience gets to start with the film that does the best job of establishing the Star Wars universe, Episode IV, and it ends with the most satisfying ending, Episode VI. It also starts the series off with the two strongest films, and allows you to never have to either start or end your viewing experience with a shitty movie. Two films of Luke's story, two films of Anakin's story, then a single film that intertwines and ends both stories.

Beyond this, Episode I establishes Anakin as a cute little kid, totally innocent. But Episode II quickly establishes him as impulsive and power-hungry, which keeps his character consistent with eventually becoming Darth Vader. Obi-Wan never really seems to have any control over Anakin, struggling between treating him as a friend (their very first conversation together in Episode II) and treating him as an apprentice (their second conversation, with Padme). Anakin is never a carefree child yelling "yippee", he's a complex teenager nearly boiling over with rage in almost every scene. It makes much more sense for Anakin to have always been this way.

In the opening of Episode II, Padme refers to Anakin as "that little boy I knew on Tatooine." The two of them look approximately the same age in Episode II, so the viewer can naturally conclude that the two of them were friends as children. This completely hides the totally weird age gap between them from Episode I, and lends a lot of believability to the subsequent romance. Scenes in which they fall for each other seem to build on a childhood friendship that we never see but can assume is there. Since their relationship is the eventual reason for Anakin's fall to the dark side, having it be somewhat believable makes a big difference.

Obi-Wan now always has a beard for the entire duration of the series, and Anakin Skywalker always wears black. Since these two characters are played by different actors (and are the only characters in the series with such a distinction), having them look visually consistent does a great deal toward reinforcing they are the same people.

This order also preserves both twists. George Lucas knew that watching the films in Episode Order would remove the Vader twist, so he added the Palpatine twist to compensate. Since we don't really meet the Emperor until Episode VI (you only see him for one scene, in hologram, in V), this order preserves the twist around Palpatine taking over as Emperor. Episode I establishes that Darth Sidious is manipulating the Trade Federation in the opening scene of the film, and it's pretty obvious Sidious is Palpatine. But if you skip Episode I, all we ever see is that Count Dooku is leading a separatist movement, all on his own. Dooku tells Obi-Wan that the Senate is under the control of a Sith lord named "Darth Sidious", but at the end of the movie, after Dooku flees from Geonosis, he meets with his "master", who turns out to be Darth Sidious. This is the first time we realize that the separatist movement is actually being controlled by Sidious, and it's the first time we see him, which doesn't give the audience a chance to realize he's Palpatine (remember, nobody has ever referred to "Emperor Palpatine" by this point in the series).

Machete Order also keeps the fact that Luke and Leia are siblings a surprise, it simply moves the surprise to Episode III instead of VI, when Padme announces her daughter's name. This is actually a more effective twist in this context than when Obi-Wan just tells Luke in Return of the Jedi. We get to find out before Luke, and we discover she's carrying twins along with Obi-Wan when the Gynobot tells him. Luke's name is first, so when Padme names the other kid "Leia" it's a pretty shocking reveal. As an added bonus, there are now about 5 hours of film between the discovery that they are siblings and the time they kissed.


What Works Best?

Best of all, this order (  IV, V, II, III, VI ) actually makes a particular tension in Return of the Jedi stronger.

Remember, we see in Episode V that Luke's vision in the cave on Degobah is that he turns into Darth Vader, then we find out Vader is his father. Then we watch Episodes II and III, in which his father turns to the dark side in order to protect his loved ones. After that we go back to VI, where eventually Luke confronts the Emperor.

Remember that we never saw Anakin as a little kid, he's about the same age the first time we see him as Luke was in Episode VI. Hayden Christensen's incessant whining in Episode II is actually less annoying now, because it's helping to link the character to Luke, who was just as whiny in Episode IV. In other words, because we skipped Episode I, the parallels between Luke and Anakin are much stronger. We've seen Obi-Wan train just the two of them, and never had to see anyone training Obi-Wan himself. The viewer is naturally linking the paths of these two characters together at this point.


The first time we see Luke in Return of the Jedi, he's wearing all-black, just like his father did. He gives R2D2 and C-3P0 to Jabba the Hutt, much to their surprise. Luke isn't exactly looking like a clean-cut Jedi like he claims. Then, when he finally enters Jabba's palace, the musical cue sounds a bit like the Imperial March, and the way he enters with the light behind him makes it unclear if he is Luke or Vader. Then, he force chokes Jabba's guards, something only Vader has done in the series! Nobody else sees him do this.

When he confronts Jabba, he warns him that he's taking his friends back. He says Jabba can either profit from this, "or be destroyed." Furthermore, he tells Jabba "not to underestimate my power." The last time this phrase was used, it was by Anakin when dueling Obi-Wan. When watching Jedi on its own, Luke just seems a tad arrogant during these scenes. When watching Jedi immediately after watching Revenge of the Sith, the message is clear: Luke Skywalker is on the path to the Dark Side.

Why does this matter? Because at the end of Jedi, Luke confronts the Emperor. The Emperor explains that the assault on the new Death Star is a trap and that his friends are going to die, and he keeps taunting Luke, telling him to grab his lightsaber and fight him. The film is trying to create a tension that Luke might embrace the Dark Side, but it was never really believable. However, within the context of him following in his father's footsteps and his father using the power of the dark side to save people, with Luke's friends being killed just outside the Death Star window, this is much more believable.

Shortly after, Luke goes apeshit and beats the hell out of Vader, clearly succumbing to his anger. He overpowers Vader with rage and cuts his arm off, just like Anakin did to Windu in Episode III. Having the very real threat of Luke following in his father's path made clear by watching II and III before VI heightens the tension of this scene, and it actually makes Return of the Jedi better. Yes, watching Revenge of the Sith makes Return of the Jedi a better, more effective film. Considering it's the weakest of the original trilogy films, this improvement is welcome.


The Qui-Gon Issue

The most common complaint about Machete Order ( IV, V, II, III, VI ) by far, is that it eliminates Qui-Gon, and he's important (or that his lightsaber battle is "cool"). Since this is so common, I thought I'd respond to it in this very post. Because it's just not long enough, right?

The argument goes, Qui-Gon is extremely important, because it's his intense desire to train Anakin that Obi-Wan feels responsible to continue when Qui-Gon dies. Obi-Wan wasn't truly ready to be a teacher, so as a result Anakin is poorly trained and that's why he's so susceptible to the dark side. In this way, Qui-Gon "may arguably be the most important character of the whole series" (this is a direct quote from a comment).

People who make this argument say that the saga is only understandable with Episode I included. I disagree, and I think it's easy to illustrate why.

Imagine for a second that George Lucas releases an Episode 0. In Episode 0, we see that Qui-Gon moves away from his family's home on Blahtooine, leaving behind his sister and mother to go become a Jedi. After many years, he returns home to visit his family and discovers they have new neighbors. One of the neighbors is a young boy who seems to have some degree of force sensitivity. He asks Qui-Gon if he is a Jedi and says he wants to be a Jedi too, but Qui-Gon tells him that he's too old to begin training, and rules are rules.

Fast forward a few years and the neighbor kid has become quite adept at force manipulation. Unfortunately, with no formal training he cannot really control his powers, and accidentally kills his family, as well as his neighbors -- including Qui-Gon's mother and sister -- and himself. Qui-Gon returns to his home to find his family dead, and blames this on the Jedi order's prohibitions against training older children. Qui-Gon argues to Yoda that, if the boy had been able to receive training, his family would still be alive.

Now, when we watch Episode I, we have a new answer to a "why" question, we understand why Qui-Gon so strongly wants to train Anakin. Episode 0 provides explanatory power to the series. If someone wrote a blog post about a Machete Order Prime which is simply Episodes 1-6 in order, without Episode 0, you'd be forced to argue this order is unacceptable, because it completely ignores the reason why Qui-Gon insists on training Anakin. Machete Order Prime, by the very logic used to argue against Machete Order, is not acceptable. And yet, it's the EXACT order we are currently faced with when we include Episode I.

This can go back forever. Episode Minus I comes out and shows why the young force sensitive child and his family had to move away from their home and go to Blahtooine, because the parents lost their job at the corporate Moisture Farm or something. Episode Minus II comes out and explains why the Moisture Farm had to cut expenses that led to the firing or whatever.

The fact of the matter is, we don't really need to understand WHY Anakin is even susceptible to the dark side. In fact, it makes him more sympathetic if the reason is simply "it's tempting" or "to save his wife". But we're actually given the why in the elevator scene in Episode II - Obi-Wan is a shitty teacher who has no control over Anakin and who Anakin sees himself as better than. Qui-Gon only provides an answer to "why is Obi-Wan so unprepared to have a Padawan?", but at what point are you so far away from the central characters that the why's stop mattering? Everything that happens has some kind of cause, and at some point those causes happen off-screen, in prequels that don't exist. Qui-Gon is two why's removed from what's interesting here, which is the reason it is completely unnecessary and serves only to distract from the central narrative that Machete Order tries to emphasize.


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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:54 am

You're completely ignoring the most serious misstep of all--the misstep that ruined everything that came after. Mad

In the first movie it was made abundantly clear that the light saber was from a more civilized time, and that it was for ceremonial occasions, not for swashbuckling charges into wartime engagements.

When they started swinging it around in the next movie, it was a real eye-roller. Rolling Eyes

These folks had rayguns after all--would anybody with a raygun choose instead to swing a saber around?

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:10 pm

not for ceremonial purposes, but used by Jedi / Sith with a high enough midi-chlorian count to make it an effective weapon ( via enhanced athletic ability, and super fast reflexes [ fast enough to use a saber to deflect and redirect laser blaster fire etc. ]

make no mistake, the Jedi were a major peace-keeping force, and the lightsaber was their weapon of choice.

Yes, it would be foolish for one not skilled in the ways of The Living Force to use a lightsaber against those with guns, but this never happens in the saga

I don't think you understand the power of The Force


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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:44 pm

Yakima Canutt wrote:I don't think you understand the power of The Force

I totally get it.Cool

Instead of saying "I'm so good I'll fight you with one hand tied behind my back," the Jedi say "I'm so good I'll take you on with nothing but a light saber." Razz

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:40 am

Not quite.  Factoring in the acrobatic skills of a trained Jedi, in many combat situations a lightsaber is preferable to a blaster.  You also don't have to reload a laser sword.

Midi-chlorians are commonly grouped with SINS OF EPISODE I, but I don't really have a problem with the concept.

It could be argued the original trilogy was sometimes an uneasy mix of science-fiction ( clones, light speed, parsecs etc.) and magical fantasy ( all the Jedi shit).

Through the clarification of midi-chlorians, we learn that The Living Force is not "mumbo/jumbo" but is REAL SCIENCE.

Midi-chlorians were intelligent microscopic life forms that lived symbiotically inside the cells of all living things. When present in sufficient numbers, they could allow their host to detect the pervasive energy field known as the Force. Midi-chlorian counts were linked to potential in the Force, ranging from normal Human levels of 2,500 per cell to the much higher levels of Jedi. The highest known midi-chlorian count—over 20,000 per cell—belonged to the Jedi Anakin Skywalker, who was believed to have been conceived by the midi-chlorians.

Midi-chlorian counts were measured through a blood test; the Jedi used this method to locate Force-sensitive children before their Order was purged by the Galactic Empire. With the rise of the Empire, research into Jedi and the Force was banned, and though midi-chlorians continued to be tested for, sometimes by the Empire itself to root out hidden Jedi and other Force-sensitives, knowledge of them was diminished and inquiries into them were branded as illegal medical research. Midi-chlorians were only rediscovered after the New Jedi Order was founded.

When not forbidden, studies of midi-chlorians occurred among those who could master the Force and those who could not. While medical teams worked to understand the relationship between midi-chlorians and the Force, Jedi healers performed their own studies of the organisms. Even more esoteric studies were conducted by the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Plagueis, who discovered a way to manipulate the midi-chlorians to create new life.


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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:00 am

Correction: one does have to eventually "reload" a laser sword, the point is that one can go much longer without changing the batteries on a laser sword, compared to a laser blaster.


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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:10 am

Yakima Canutt wrote:Correction: one does have to eventually "reload" a laser sword, ...
You said that just in time to salvage the laws of physics.

I was going to point out that I saw Liam Neeson burn through 8 inches of titanium with his light saber, which makes me think it must be an energy hog--the Humvee of space side arms.

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:33 pm

It's interesting that by the time of the Duinuogwuin Contention around 15,500 BBY, already Jedi studies and researches with "frozen blaster" technology yielded success; they developed a method to generate a focused beam of energy that arced in a circumferential path back to its source, creating a controlled energy circuit and leading to the first portable high-energy blades. However, these preliminary lightsabers were highly unstable and inefficiently guzzled energy from a belt-mounted power supply; they could only be used for a brief duration before overheating. As a consequence of these flaws, the first lightsabers were little more than ceremonial objects, seldom worn, and much less utilized. ( I guess pinhedz was referring to this, approx Episode Minus LXXIII )

The extreme lack of stability that plagued the weapons' early designs were gradually corrected through the ages, and the cumbersome and rarely used siege-weapons gave way to elegant and much more commonly used lightsabers. However, while these archaic lightsabers were far more stable than their ungainly predecessors, they still suffered from energy consumption issues, requiring the belt-worn power pack of previous generations. The power-cable tended to restrict the wielders movements in battle and prevented the usage of Force-powered and long-range telekinetic saber combat. However, despite the shortcomings, the highly stable blades granted them a superior advantage in hand-to-hand combat against heavily-armored foes, and saw a great deal of use during the period of the Hundred-Year Darkness.


Sith developments and usage

"Although lightsabers are a superior weapon, there is still nothing quite as satisfying as feeling the warm spray of blood when one cleaves through one's enemy with a real sword."
―Komok-Da

It seems the Dark Lords of the Sith Empire were ultimately responsible for the advancement of lightsabers, replacing the belt-mounted power pack with a power cell within the hilt. An internal superconductor was introduced, which transferred the returning looped energy from the negative-charged flux aperture back into an internal power cell. With this modification, the power cell would only expend power when the energy loop was broken, such as when the lightsaber cut something, solving the power supply problem. According to the Tedryn Holocron, the Sith also created the schematics for the first double-bladed lightsabers. Wielders of these original modern lightsabers include Karness Muur, a Dark Jedi who had wielded an archaic lightsaber, but later switched to a curve-hilted modern lightsaber. The Sith crew of the Omen were also equipped with modern lightsabers.



Muur also appears to have been one of the Sith Lords to establish the tradition of wielding lightsabers with synthetic lightsaber crystals, which was maintained until its resurgence in 3653 BBY. However, this tradition was disregarded by Exar Kun during his reign, as he and his followers opted instead to continue using their Jedi lightsabers in combat, though at least one follower used a lightsaber with a red crystal. However, this tradition was reestablished by the Sith acolyte Haazen and the Dark Lords Revan and Malak. After Revan and Malak, the tradition continued to be observed by virtually every noteworthy Sith Lord.

Despite the advancements in lightsaber technology apparently pioneered by the Sith, most Dark Lords of the era spurned the use of lightsabers in favor of Sith swords.


Adoption by Jedi
With Naga Sadow's invasion of the Republic in 5000 BBY and the subsequent start of the Great Hyperspace War, the technological innovations pioneered by the Sith Empire were brought to the Republic and the Jedi. However, the majority of Sith forces held to the use of Sith swords, while the Jedi continued to use the protosabers, as they had not yet had time to adapt and implement these new designs. With the Sith defeat at the end of the war, modern lightsabers were adopted by the Jedi Order. By 4800 BBY, they were almost universally utilized by Jedi.

During the Great Sith War, Jedi converts who flocked to Exar Kun continued using their Jedi lightsabers, disregarding the tradition laid down by the original Sith Empire. However, other innovations entered their ranks, with Kun modifying his lightsaber into a double-bladed lightsaber, using schematics from a Sith holocron. While Exar Kun's insurrection ultimately failed, he did introduce the double-bladed lightsaber to the Jedi, and it began to see relatively widespread use during the period leading up to the Jedi Civil War.

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:44 pm

There are several literary precedents in science fiction for a "sword" of pure energy that can cut through anything, notably:

Edmond Hamilton's story Kaldar: World of Antares (1933).

Fritz Leiber's Gather Darkness (1943): the priests' "rods of wrath" (energy projections) only end where they cut into solid matter, so that a single duel led to numerous casualties of bystanders and charred scores across all nearby walls.

Isaac Asimov's Lucky Starr series (1952): The force-blade is "a short shaft of stainless steel" which can project a force field that can cut through anything, making it "the most vicious weapon in the galaxy." Asimov's force-blade expands on his earlier invention of "a penknife with a force-field blade," first used in his Foundation novel (1951).

Larry Niven's Ringworld (1970): Louis Wu uses his "flashlight laser" as a sword of indefinite length.

M. John Harrison's The Pastel City (1971): the energy baan are used by the Methven, an order of knights sworn to protect their empire.

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:39 am

Alright, I'm sold; we'll take the Jedi knights with us to Donetsk (but they can't hit on Svetlana--she's married). bounce
We will need to anticipate what countermeasures the wiley Putin might be able to deploy.
What are the weaknesses? The "Achilles heels" if you will?
I know that if countermeasures are theoretically possible, Putin will field them in short order.

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:50 pm

I have got bad news.  Gropius has informed me that EVERYTHING, from the Duinuogwuin Contention to the Hundred-Year Darkness and beyond the Great Hyperspace War - ALL THIS HAS BEEN PURGED ... WIPED FROM THE PAGES OF TIME by Disney Corp. following their acquisition of Lucasfilm.

Yes, all the crucial data of the "Expanded Universe" novels, comic books, gift baskets etc. has been rendered by Disney Corp. as "Star Wars Legends" as in "bullshit" as in IT NEVER REALLY HAPPENED.

Now Disney is saying only Episodes I through VI and Star Wars: Clone Wars - The Cartoon Show ACTUALLY HAPPENED...


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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:32 pm

I can't say I'm surprised.

To tell you the truth, I always suspected that other stuff didn't really happen. Suspect

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:34 pm

Just think, even SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE, the 1996 video game which finally told us "WHAT REALLY HAPPENED BETWEEN EPISODE V & EPISODE VI" ( call it Episode V.V ) ... now Disney is saying that was all LIES, now we cannot be certain WHAT REALLY HAPPENED BETWEEN EPISODE V & EPISODE VI...


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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:50 am

As Sister Jude once said: "The cruelest thing of all is FALSE HOPE."



And truer words were never spoken; the sudden announcement of Disney's ill-advised decision dashed the hopes of the little group of heroes gathered in Ruslana's dacha. Without the Jedi knights and their light sabers, what hope was left? Putin would have his way with the rest of Ukraine, then the Sudetenland would fall, and then .... Neutral


Last edited by pinhedz on Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:30 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:37 am

A stunned silence gripped Ruslana's dacha. The pinhead cleared his throat to speak (this could be portentous):

pinhed -- "It's for the best we found this out in time--before pursuing a reckless course of action that would have been disastrous."

Ruslana -- "Does not this mean that we are, how you say--screwed?"

Svetlana -- "Yes, I hear how they say this way -- screwed." Neutral

Grushchenka -- "If you ask me, it sucks big bananas." [Grushchenka always had a way with words I love you  I love you ]  

pinhead -- "Or … not. I have something out behind the barn that might interest you."

Ruslana, Svetlana, Grushchenka and Mack --  scratch  Rolling Eyes  scratch  Rolling Eyes

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:48 am

When they were gathered outside, the pinhed pulled the camouflage netting off the load on the trailer behind his Scion:


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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:53 am

pinhed -- "I told you rayguns are the way to go."
Svetlana -- "You took this from work?"

pinhed -- "No, of course not. Mad " [That imagination of hers Rolling Eyes ]

Ruslana -- "What is a 'raygun?' "

pinhed -- "It's my 30 kilowatt fiber laser. I made it in my garage, how do you like it." Smile

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:07 pm

Mack is the kind of person who thinks that the proof is in the pudding:

Mack -- "I see a piece of hardware, pinzer. But that doesn't mean it can do anything."

pinhead -- "Fair point. So, get in your truck and drive at me with the pedal to the metal-- flatten me."

Mack -- "I don't want to hurt you, pinzoid."

pinhead -- "The proof is in the pudding--don't be a wuss!"

Mack had been called many things, but never a wuss. So he came at the pinhead with the pedal to the metal:




Ruslana -- "I LIKE it!"


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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:10 pm

Grushchenka -- "That is SO typical. Men Mad "



pinhed -- "Ruslana LIKES men.  I love you  I love you Mack, you like it, too?" Smile

Mack -- "You're paying for the truck--yes?" Suspect

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:25 pm

^
Dang. You've got to admit Grushchenka wears it well. I love you I love you Jackie Onassis got nuthin' on her.

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  pinhedz on Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:40 am

Moment of truth:

Are there any heroes left in this day and age? Or are heroes a thing of the past? Neutral

I think Klichko has failed us--he cannot be out hero.

Ruslana says she is not a politician.

There are others who say "I don't want to be your hero!"

But ATU cannot be a movie without a hero.

So now is the time for nominations--who do you think should be our hero?

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Re: ATU--The Movie, EPISODE I (with epilogue part 1 and 2) -- and EPISODE II -- and EPISODE III -- and EPISODE IV -- and EPISODE V -- and EPISODE VI

Post  Yakima Canutt on Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:49 pm

Yakima Canutt wrote:
Yakima Canutt wrote:
Yakima Canutt wrote:
Introducing: Machete Order

But there is a further modification that has been named by the networks "Machete Order"

Next time you want to introduce someone to Star Wars for the first time, watch the films with them in this order: IV, V, II, III, VI

Notice something? Yeah, Episode I is gone.

Episodes II and III aren't exactly Shakespeare, but standing next to the complete and utter trainwreck that is Episode I, they sure look like it. At least, III does anyway. [ some would argue that cinematically, II sucks more than I, but II contains salient narrative information]

Episode I is a failure on every possible level, some have posited. Luckily, George Lucas has done everyone a favor by making the content of Episode I completely irrelevant to the rest of the series. Seriously, think about it for a minute. Name as many things as you can that happen in Episode I and actually help flesh out the story in any subsequent episode. I can only think of one thing, which I'll mention later.

Every character established in Episode I is either killed or removed before it ends (Darth Maul, Qui-Gon, Chancellor Valorum), unimportant (Nute Gunray, Watto), or established better in a later episode (Mace Windu, Darth Sidious). Does it ever matter that Palpatine had an apprentice before Count Dooku? Nope, Darth Maul is killed by the end of Episode I and never referenced again. You may as well just start with the assumption that Dooku was the only apprentice. Does it ever matter that Obi-Wan was being trained by Qui-Gon? Nope, Obi-Wan is well into training Anakin at the start of Episode II, Qui-Gon is completely irrelevant.

Search your feelings, you know it to be true! Episode I doesn't matter at all. You can start the prequels with Episode II and miss absolutely nothing. The opening crawl of Episode II establishes everything you need to know about the prequels: a bunch of systems want to leave the Republic, they are led by Count Dooku, and Senator Amidala is a senator who is going to vote on whether the Republic is going to create an army. Natalie Portman is called Senator Amidala twice in the first 4 minutes of the movie, so there's no question of who's who.

But what have we removed???

Here's some stuff that you no longer have to see as part of your Star Wars viewing experience, thanks to skipping Episode I.


Buh-bye, Binks!

*Virtually no Jar-Jar. Jar-Jar has about 5 lines in Episode II, and zero in Episode III.

*No midichlorians. There is only one reference to midichlorians after Episode I, and in the context it appears to mean something as benign as "DNA."

*No Jake Lloyd. Sorry Jake, your acting is terrible and I never really wanted to see Darth Vader as a little boy.

*No confusing Padme/Queen switcheroo. The whole subplot with Padme and her decoy makes absolutely no sense. It's clear that this was just so people could interact with Padme without knowing she was the Queen, but it's incredibly convoluted and pointless.

*Less confusing master/apprentice relationships. Darth Sidious is training Count Dooku, Obi-Wan is training Anakin. No other trainer/trainee relationships exist to confuse the backstory.

*Fewer characters to learn about, so the story is more focused.

*Nothing about trade disputes. The "problem" as of Episode II is that a group of systems want to leave the Republic. This is much easier to understand for a kid than trade disputes.

*No pod racing. Seriously, who gives a shit? An action sequence for the sake of an action sequence and it goes on forever. A huge number of plot holes surrounding gambling and the subsequent freeing of Anakin are removed as well.

*No virgin birth. We simply don't know or care who Anakin's father is, and the subtle implication that it's Palpatine is gone.

But booting Episode I isn't merely about pretending a crappy movie doesn't exist. Viewing Episode II immediately after V and Episode III immediately before VI actually tells the story better than including Episode I does.


Why does this work better?

As I mentioned, this creates a lot of tension after the cliffhanger ending of Episode V. It also uses the original trilogy as a framing device for the prequel trilogy. Vader drops this huge bomb that he's Luke's father, then we spend two movies proving he's telling the truth, then we see how it gets resolved. The Star Wars watching experience gets to start with the film that does the best job of establishing the Star Wars universe, Episode IV, and it ends with the most satisfying ending, Episode VI. It also starts the series off with the two strongest films, and allows you to never have to either start or end your viewing experience with a shitty movie. Two films of Luke's story, two films of Anakin's story, then a single film that intertwines and ends both stories.

Beyond this, Episode I establishes Anakin as a cute little kid, totally innocent. But Episode II quickly establishes him as impulsive and power-hungry, which keeps his character consistent with eventually becoming Darth Vader. Obi-Wan never really seems to have any control over Anakin, struggling between treating him as a friend (their very first conversation together in Episode II) and treating him as an apprentice (their second conversation, with Padme). Anakin is never a carefree child yelling "yippee", he's a complex teenager nearly boiling over with rage in almost every scene. It makes much more sense for Anakin to have always been this way.

In the opening of Episode II, Padme refers to Anakin as "that little boy I knew on Tatooine." The two of them look approximately the same age in Episode II, so the viewer can naturally conclude that the two of them were friends as children. This completely hides the totally weird age gap between them from Episode I, and lends a lot of believability to the subsequent romance. Scenes in which they fall for each other seem to build on a childhood friendship that we never see but can assume is there. Since their relationship is the eventual reason for Anakin's fall to the dark side, having it be somewhat believable makes a big difference.

Obi-Wan now always has a beard for the entire duration of the series, and Anakin Skywalker always wears black. Since these two characters are played by different actors (and are the only characters in the series with such a distinction), having them look visually consistent does a great deal toward reinforcing they are the same people.

This order also preserves both twists. George Lucas knew that watching the films in Episode Order would remove the Vader twist, so he added the Palpatine twist to compensate. Since we don't really meet the Emperor until Episode VI (you only see him for one scene, in hologram, in V), this order preserves the twist around Palpatine taking over as Emperor. Episode I establishes that Darth Sidious is manipulating the Trade Federation in the opening scene of the film, and it's pretty obvious Sidious is Palpatine. But if you skip Episode I, all we ever see is that Count Dooku is leading a separatist movement, all on his own. Dooku tells Obi-Wan that the Senate is under the control of a Sith lord named "Darth Sidious", but at the end of the movie, after Dooku flees from Geonosis, he meets with his "master", who turns out to be Darth Sidious. This is the first time we realize that the separatist movement is actually being controlled by Sidious, and it's the first time we see him, which doesn't give the audience a chance to realize he's Palpatine (remember, nobody has ever referred to "Emperor Palpatine" by this point in the series).

Machete Order also keeps the fact that Luke and Leia are siblings a surprise, it simply moves the surprise to Episode III instead of VI, when Padme announces her daughter's name. This is actually a more effective twist in this context than when Obi-Wan just tells Luke in Return of the Jedi. We get to find out before Luke, and we discover she's carrying twins along with Obi-Wan when the Gynobot tells him. Luke's name is first, so when Padme names the other kid "Leia" it's a pretty shocking reveal. As an added bonus, there are now about 5 hours of film between the discovery that they are siblings and the time they kissed.


What Works Best?

Best of all, this order (  IV, V, II, III, VI ) actually makes a particular tension in Return of the Jedi stronger.

Remember, we see in Episode V that Luke's vision in the cave on Degobah is that he turns into Darth Vader, then we find out Vader is his father. Then we watch Episodes II and III, in which his father turns to the dark side in order to protect his loved ones. After that we go back to VI, where eventually Luke confronts the Emperor.

Remember that we never saw Anakin as a little kid, he's about the same age the first time we see him as Luke was in Episode VI. Hayden Christensen's incessant whining in Episode II is actually less annoying now, because it's helping to link the character to Luke, who was just as whiny in Episode IV. In other words, because we skipped Episode I, the parallels between Luke and Anakin are much stronger. We've seen Obi-Wan train just the two of them, and never had to see anyone training Obi-Wan himself. The viewer is naturally linking the paths of these two characters together at this point.


The first time we see Luke in Return of the Jedi, he's wearing all-black, just like his father did. He gives R2D2 and C-3P0 to Jabba the Hutt, much to their surprise. Luke isn't exactly looking like a clean-cut Jedi like he claims. Then, when he finally enters Jabba's palace, the musical cue sounds a bit like the Imperial March, and the way he enters with the light behind him makes it unclear if he is Luke or Vader. Then, he force chokes Jabba's guards, something only Vader has done in the series! Nobody else sees him do this.

When he confronts Jabba, he warns him that he's taking his friends back. He says Jabba can either profit from this, "or be destroyed." Furthermore, he tells Jabba "not to underestimate my power." The last time this phrase was used, it was by Anakin when dueling Obi-Wan. When watching Jedi on its own, Luke just seems a tad arrogant during these scenes. When watching Jedi immediately after watching Revenge of the Sith, the message is clear: Luke Skywalker is on the path to the Dark Side.

Why does this matter? Because at the end of Jedi, Luke confronts the Emperor. The Emperor explains that the assault on the new Death Star is a trap and that his friends are going to die, and he keeps taunting Luke, telling him to grab his lightsaber and fight him. The film is trying to create a tension that Luke might embrace the Dark Side, but it was never really believable. However, within the context of him following in his father's footsteps and his father using the power of the dark side to save people, with Luke's friends being killed just outside the Death Star window, this is much more believable.

Shortly after, Luke goes apeshit and beats the hell out of Vader, clearly succumbing to his anger. He overpowers Vader with rage and cuts his arm off, just like Anakin did to Windu in Episode III. Having the very real threat of Luke following in his father's path made clear by watching II and III before VI heightens the tension of this scene, and it actually makes Return of the Jedi better. Yes, watching Revenge of the Sith makes Return of the Jedi a better, more effective film. Considering it's the weakest of the original trilogy films, this improvement is welcome.


The Qui-Gon Issue

The most common complaint about Machete Order ( IV, V, II, III, VI ) by far, is that it eliminates Qui-Gon, and he's important (or that his lightsaber battle is "cool"). Since this is so common, I thought I'd respond to it in this very post. Because it's just not long enough, right?

The argument goes, Qui-Gon is extremely important, because it's his intense desire to train Anakin that Obi-Wan feels responsible to continue when Qui-Gon dies. Obi-Wan wasn't truly ready to be a teacher, so as a result Anakin is poorly trained and that's why he's so susceptible to the dark side. In this way, Qui-Gon "may arguably be the most important character of the whole series" (this is a direct quote from a comment).

People who make this argument say that the saga is only understandable with Episode I included. I disagree, and I think it's easy to illustrate why.

Imagine for a second that George Lucas releases an Episode 0. In Episode 0, we see that Qui-Gon moves away from his family's home on Blahtooine, leaving behind his sister and mother to go become a Jedi. After many years, he returns home to visit his family and discovers they have new neighbors. One of the neighbors is a young boy who seems to have some degree of force sensitivity. He asks Qui-Gon if he is a Jedi and says he wants to be a Jedi too, but Qui-Gon tells him that he's too old to begin training, and rules are rules.

Fast forward a few years and the neighbor kid has become quite adept at force manipulation. Unfortunately, with no formal training he cannot really control his powers, and accidentally kills his family, as well as his neighbors -- including Qui-Gon's mother and sister -- and himself. Qui-Gon returns to his home to find his family dead, and blames this on the Jedi order's prohibitions against training older children. Qui-Gon argues to Yoda that, if the boy had been able to receive training, his family would still be alive.

Now, when we watch Episode I, we have a new answer to a "why" question, we understand why Qui-Gon so strongly wants to train Anakin. Episode 0 provides explanatory power to the series. If someone wrote a blog post about a Machete Order Prime which is simply Episodes 1-6 in order, without Episode 0, you'd be forced to argue this order is unacceptable, because it completely ignores the reason why Qui-Gon insists on training Anakin. Machete Order Prime, by the very logic used to argue against Machete Order, is not acceptable. And yet, it's the EXACT order we are currently faced with when we include Episode I.

This can go back forever. Episode Minus I comes out and shows why the young force sensitive child and his family had to move away from their home and go to Blahtooine, because the parents lost their job at the corporate Moisture Farm or something. Episode Minus II comes out and explains why the Moisture Farm had to cut expenses that led to the firing or whatever.

The fact of the matter is, we don't really need to understand WHY Anakin is even susceptible to the dark side. In fact, it makes him more sympathetic if the reason is simply "it's tempting" or "to save his wife". But we're actually given the why in the elevator scene in Episode II - Obi-Wan is a shitty teacher who has no control over Anakin and who Anakin sees himself as better than. Qui-Gon only provides an answer to "why is Obi-Wan so unprepared to have a Padawan?", but at what point are you so far away from the central characters that the why's stop mattering? Everything that happens has some kind of cause, and at some point those causes happen off-screen, in prequels that don't exist. Qui-Gon is two why's removed from what's interesting here, which is the reason it is completely unnecessary and serves only to distract from the central narrative that Machete Order tries to emphasize.



“I'd always envisioned it as six movies.  When you see it in six parts you'll understand that it really ends at part six.” – George Lucas (1997)

It has never been made official that the Star Wars films have to be watched in chronological order, from Episode I straight through to VI. George Lucas has said that the sixth part is ultimately the final piece of the puzzle, but what is the best way to reach this concluding chapter? It is sometimes assumed that watching in numerical order is the best way, but as we demonstrated last year, watching the prequels before the originals works well, too.

Personally, I feel that watching the Star Wars movies from Episode I through to VI doesn’t work. The story feels disjointed, tension builds haphazardly, and the overall experience is messy. I used to be a fan of the original trilogy, but the prequels, since their appearance, had left a bitter taste that was hard to ignore.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across this MACHETE ORDER, that promised to improve the viewing experience of the entire saga by changing the order of the films. Though slightly sceptical, I was intrigued. Could Star Wars regain its magic?

This particular arrangement of Star Wars episodes has been christened the Machete Order. To summarise, it chops out Episode I completely, and encourages the viewer to watch the films in the following order: IV, V, II, III and finally VI.

I decided to give it a go to see if the Machete Order could resuscitate this once great franchise for me. For five consecutive mornings I pulled shut the blinds, sat down on the sofa with my pet tortoise, Monty, and let the iconic titles roll. I must say to a large extent it has allowed me to overcome my differences with the saga, and appreciate the web of storytelling that George Lucas had spun throughout it. In fact, by the end of Episode VI, (the fifth and final film I watched), Return Of The Jedi, I was a firm believer that this was story that George Lucas had been trying to tell.

It really did make me wonder, would George Lucas actually approve of the Star Wars Machete Order? There are five benefits to the Machete Order that I believe would sway his opinion...
                               
The phantom elephant



Before starting the Machete Order, I was concerned that by omitting Episode I, The Phantom Menace, I might feel like I was missing out, and just ignoring the elephant in the room. Lucas made it, so surely it is meant to be there? Well, thankfully, because the story now starts with Luke, and Anakin’s backstory is now told as a flashback, the elephant in the room is neither present nor noticeably absent. The story just tells itself without a need for Darth Maul or pod racing. This is probably because all the story elements of The Phantom Menace are either resolved by the end of this movie, or reintroduced in Episode II, Attack Of The Clones.
                                         
The double downer

Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back, the second film in my Machete Order marathon, ends with Luke losing a hand, Han Solo being frozen in carbonite, and the evil Empire appearing indomitable. How can Luke be expected to defeat his dad now? His dad is evil, you don’t know how he got that way, but when he intentionally cuts off his own son’s hand, you know there must be something truly messed up in his past. If you tried to guess, at that point, how the series might end, you could be forgiven for assuming that they’d join forces, strengthening the Emperor’s manipulation through the bond of the Skywalker family. A happy ending is unlikely.

It is then that you watch the extended flashback. Episode II and III chart Anakin’s rise and fall, from Jedi to Sith Lord. By the end of it, even when he screams “Noooo” at the death of Padmé, you cannot see past the betraying child-murderer whose pursuit of power is selfish and ultimately tragic. That is when you would doubt a happy ending the most. How could someone who murders children and kills his own wife – albeit by accident – find redemption?  The answer is simple: they can’t.

Then there is the Emperor. Until this point, the main thread of the story has dealt solely with Luke’s battle with Vader, but to reach a truly happy ending, it is clear that he will also have to defeat the puppet master himself, the Emperor. Seeing the Emperor’s true powers of corruption, the execution of Mace Windu, and the very creation of Vader raises the stakes and makes the challenge ahead for Luke in Episode VI, Return Of The Jedi, the biggest mountain to climb in the entire series. Think Mount Everest, but bigger.

The hubris of Yoda



Yoda is powerful. He can lift a spaceship that is 50 time his size; he can sense the revolution of the clones quicker than any other Jedi (and survives as a result of it) and he is the only Jedi that can catch lightning bolts. While Luke is Darth Vader’s equal, Yoda is the Emperor’s, and so when the Emperor defeats him at the end of Episode III, Revenge Of The Sith, he becomes the greatest failure in the entire saga.

Watching the films in the Machete Order gives greater understanding of Yoda’s troubled past. When he warns Luke “Do not underestimate the power of the Emperor”, you realise he is speaking from experience. It’s is a level of reading that would otherwise be missed. As his defeat at the hands of the Emperor happens only one film prior, his words bite with a bitterness that would be commonly overlooked in the more familiar chronological running order.

The realistic redemption



With the dawn of the prequels, Lucas tried to make people believe that the story has always been about Anakin’s redemption, rather than Luke’s heroism. In the normal order, it can feel like it has just been hammered onto the beginning - almost like Lucas is trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

The Machete Order actually facilitates Lucas’ intention, and works as a story of redemption. To the viewer he is initially an intimidating antagonist. After Episode V, the viewer may hope that the flashback reveals a weakness, or an element of goodness in him, but by that time the flames have peeled the skin from his bones, he has become a monster and a slave to the Emperor’s will.

In the traditional I to VI viewing order, there are two reasons for this monster changing his ways and killing his master of over 20 years. One is that the Emperor is electrocuting his son – that Skywalker bond we expected only with a slightly different outcome. The second is that minutes earlier the Emperor had betrayed this 20-year trust by asking Vader’s own son to kill him.

Through the Machete Order, there is also a third reason for Vader’s change of heart; there is clear duality between the Emperor’s electrocution of Mace Windu and his attempted murder of Luke. The brainwashing of Anakin, that occurred through shock when Windu was electrocuted into the Coruscant skyline, is washed away. The real realisation for Anakin, now Vader, is that Emperor Palpatine has been the bad guy all along, and as remembers the original incident - he realises the side he picked all those years ago was the wrong one. His subsequent self-sacrifice is the price he willingly pays for correcting the atrocities he committed over the previous 20 years of oppression, which began with one foolish decision decades ago.

The ecstacy of equilibrium



I remember as a child watching Star Wars, the ending always seems bigger than necessary. This became even bigger with the remasters. Yes, the Emperor had been a very, very bad man. But did the entire universe need to celebrate? With just the originals, or even watching the episodes in order, the ending seems more than necessary.

With the Machete Order, the control of the Emperor over the universe feels absolute and tyrannical. His knowledge of the dark side of the force is insurmountable. The end of the Emperor is the greatest day for the universe in 30 years; it gives justification to the scale of the celebrations that follow.

In the traditional order, the story is filled with so many peaks and troughs that it is hard to tell how bleak the Alliance’s hopes are in a dynamic way. The tension and drama builds and resolves so frequently that, by Return Of The Jedi, defeating the Empire really does just feel like just another George Lucas MacGuffin.

Through the use of the double downer in the Machete Order, the mountain that Luke and the Alliance must climb in Episode VI is easier to appreciate. Defeating the Empire and the Sith is what the five films have been building towards. As a result of this, the celebration comes across as proportionate.

Aside from omitting one of the films that he strived to bring to the big screen, I believe Mr Lucas would find the order agreeable. By establishing each film as an episode in a story, there can be no arguments against the possibility of creating a workable Tarantinoesque cross-narrative film series. Just as he is able to remaster his films, we as viewers are also able to redefine the way the story is told. Whether it makes it better is ultimately a matter of opinion.


David Pallant loves film almost as much as his pet tortoise, Monty.


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