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Master Azronger
Master Azronger
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Why a sequel trilogy doesn't work Empty Why a sequel trilogy doesn't work

October 3rd 2020, 2:25 pm
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This essay isn't about the new films (I've already given my thoughts on them elsewhere), but rather the sequel trilogy as a concept. This is about why to having more movies taking place after Episode VI is fundamentally a flawed idea, and can only work well if very specific, nearly-impossible-to-attain criteria are met.

First, let's establish that the Star Wars films at their core are the story of Anakin Skywalker. Episode I shows him as a small kid, explains his origins, and has him set off on a grand adventure to become a Jedi Knight with the intended purpose of bringing balance to the Force since he's the Chosen One and all that. Episode II shows him on his quest, learning the Jedi ways, and sets up the threat of the Clone Wars and the hardships Anakin will have to endure to prevail. Episodes III and IV serve as the second act in the classic three-act structure where the heroes lose and are at their lowest point; for Anakin, this is when his hamartia results in him losing his loved ones, his humanity and his soul to the devil who in this case is represented through Darth Sidious, and he's reduced to a tool for the Empire whose only purpose in life is now is to please and run errands for his Master. Episode V is where things start to work in Anakin's favor again, and he sees an opportunity to set things right and get out of his misery through his son, Luke, and starts working towards that goal. Episode VI is where all the plotlines culminate, and Anakin redeems himself by fulfilling his intended purpose in bringing balance to the Force and destroying the Sith, meaning the Emperor but also himself, and he regains the things that he lost, mainly his humanity, but also his loved ones as seen at the end.

Thus, the purpose of Anakin's death at the end of Episode VI serves three narrative functions. First, it is the fulfilment of his existential purpose, the reason for why he's in this story in the first place: to bring balance to the Force, and he does this by killing the Sith, which he is a part of, so his death is in a way part of the prophecy. Second, it is the fulfilment of his personal goal: Anakin isn't just a plot device, he is a person, so he has some personal stake in the story as well, and that is to love and to be loved eternally, motives that are mostly explored in Episodes II and III, where he exclaims his desire to learn to prevent himself and others from dying so that he can feel and express his love forever; by sacrificing himself for the sake of his son, he has regained his love for his family, and in death he can finally be with his loved ones eternally as is shown in the final scene with him as a ghost, which is what he wanted all along. And finally, the third narrative purpose Anakin's death serves is as a signal that the story has come to and end; it's his story, so you can't tell the story without him in it, so when he is gone, it means that there is no more story to tell.

And that's the fundamental reason why the sequel trilogy should not exist. Anakin's story has already been told. No, Anakin isn't the only person in the universe and the galaxy will continue to exist and evolve long after him, but that's what the Expanded Universe of books, comics, and other media is for. The films are meant for this particular story - Anakin's story - and for nothing else. You might say that the films are also Luke's story, since he's the protagonist for half of them, but that's a misconstrued view things. Even in the original trilogy, when viewed in the context of the larger saga, the story is still about Anakin. It is told through Luke's perspective, yes, but it is not his story like how much of the prequels is told from Obi-Wan's point of view, but the story still isn't about him. The original trilogy is the conclusion of Anakin's story but only a small chunk in Luke's: he still has a Jedi Order to rebuild and a New Republic to establish, but all that was told in the books because the films aren't about Luke. They're about Anakin - his birth, life, and death.

The only possible way to make a another trilogy after Episode VI that I can see is to have it be about Anakin's legacy, the immediate consequences of his life's decisions and what he left behind in the galaxy, but the proper execution of something like that would be so hard I honestly have no clue where you would even begin. The primary reason for that is that the new trilogy cannot tell its own story; it has to be part of Anakin's story. You'd essentially have to produce three films of material about a guy who isn't even alive anymore; come up with a narrative and thematic purpose for these films' existence, so that it feels like an organic part of the story, enrichens the previous films, and is important enough that the overall narrative would be lesser without it; and extend plot threads for three whole films when every single one of them has already been concluded, basically meaning that you'd have to somehow make Episode IX a more meaningful, satisfying and fulfilling ending for Anakin's story than Episode VI, the part where he dies and finishes both his existential quest for the prophecy and personal quest for love everlasting. If you somehow can pull all of that off (you can't), then I'm onboard with your sequel trilogy, but otherwise, no thanks.

Now, I'm perfectly aware that what I'm describing might not even be humanly possible, but that's the thing: you don't edit art after it has been finished. The sequels as a concept are essentially the equivalent of someone making unnecessary additions to the Mona Lisa or whatever work of art you can think of, with the end result being undoubtedly worse.

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Thij
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Why a sequel trilogy doesn't work Empty Re: Why a sequel trilogy doesn't work

October 3rd 2020, 2:45 pm
Good Post. Anakin's story was already told and a new trilogy honestly really wasn't needed imo.
The Adventurous Jedi
The Adventurous Jedi
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Why a sequel trilogy doesn't work Empty Re: Why a sequel trilogy doesn't work

October 3rd 2020, 3:25 pm
Great post, I'm fully agreed with you here.
Latham2000
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Why a sequel trilogy doesn't work Empty Re: Why a sequel trilogy doesn't work

October 4th 2020, 5:13 am
Agreed. Didn't you also post this as a thread back on KMC shortly after TLJ was publicly released?
Master Azronger
Master Azronger
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October 4th 2020, 7:41 am
Yeah but I decided to repost it here.

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Primarch
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October 4th 2020, 8:12 am
What are your thoughts on episodes 7-9?
Master Azronger
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October 4th 2020, 8:56 am
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Complete shit

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Primarch
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October 4th 2020, 9:22 am
Why a sequel trilogy doesn't work 1076326320
xolthol
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Why a sequel trilogy doesn't work Empty Re: Why a sequel trilogy doesn't work

October 4th 2020, 10:30 am
@Master Azronger I mostly agree with what you've explain. But I think that you are too pessimistic on the possibility to create a sequel. Let me suggest you an idea of a story based on the legacy of Anakin (I agree on the fact that this should be the point of this trilogy).


Here are the three main ideas that from my point of view should lead a sequel:

  • At the end of Ep VI Sidious is dead and the Empire is collapsing. However neither the republic nor any really stable political system are in place to lead the galaxy. Obviously the rebel alliance will be a part of this but there won't be alone. I can easily imagine a moff or any imperial high officer that decide to take part into the new political system and maybe even someone from the Hutt Cartel. -> All this part will be link to Anakin via the remembrance of both Bail Organa and Padme Amidala. We can see through some flashbacks some discussion about politics and war between Anakin and Padme during the clone war. Thus developping the relationshipp between this two characters which haven't been so greatly present during the prequel to be fair.
  • Even though the Empire is crumbling it won't be fully dead. We can here invent two characters: one leading the military forces (including the remains of the imperial fleet) which can try to reactivate the cloning facilities on Kamino, hunting some allegedly dead clone (such as Captain Rex or any other clone) to find the perfect genetical code; the other one should be a more classic vilain, DS users trying to revived Sidious via Sith Sorcery or alchemy and who have still deadly agents insert into the new system.  -> Here the link is also pretty easy to create. For the clone hunt and Kamino once again create flashback from the clone war where you see both Anakin and its clone. For the second character, I think that a direct intervention of Anakin under its ghost form at the very end (or something like this) to stop the return of Palpatine could work well also.
  • Last but not least, the recreation of the Jedi Order. Obviously this will be under Luke guidance, but it would be really interresting to add some jedi who survived the Order 66 into the story. They won't have the same idea than Luke for this jedi order, and we can even imagine that they don't see the Force Ghosts (at least for a part of the sequel) while Luke and Leia do. -> Here once again the link with Anakin can be easily created on two different aspects: one we could see the survivors of Order 66 and of the Jedi Hunt that Vader lead, hating Anakin and refusing to admit that at the end he redeemed himself and saved them all, once again flashback this time of Vader slaughtering jedi and innocent people; the other possibility are about some discussions (and flashback) about Anakin padawan time


By this way, we can easily improve the deep of Anakin as a character, create and learn to know new characters,  developing a complex and well build story with intricated plot that isn't  bunch of copy/paste of the initial trilogy merged with lots of SJW bullshit...

I have lots of idea about this, for example the fullfilling of Anakin destiny can be the sacrifice of his ghost form (why not as a link with all other jedi ghost) to ultimately stop Sidious from cominng back from the dead.

It could been awesome, in the continuity of what made SW a great story.
CuckedCurry
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October 4th 2020, 11:46 am
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Jacob218
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Why a sequel trilogy doesn't work Empty Re: Why a sequel trilogy doesn't work

October 6th 2020, 3:02 am
Couldn't agree more tbh
Zenwolf
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October 6th 2020, 10:17 am
Yet people kept talking about wanting more movies and cursing GL(because that's fair to him while he was telling HIS story).  Guess they got shot in the foot...twice. In all honesty it's pretty impressive that 6 movies were excellent/decent/good. Something like that is hard to pull off when you start going past the 3rd movie and even at the 3rd movie you could start seeing a decline.

I could see more movies being made sure, just not trilogies. Or at least trilogies going off the back of the original 6 and basically retreading them.
Master Azronger
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October 6th 2020, 1:24 pm
If more movies were to be made, they should have been anthology films, not marketed as the continuation to "The Skywalker Saga" which already had an ending.

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Zenwolf
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October 6th 2020, 1:46 pm
@Master Azronger wrote:If more movies were to be made, they should have been anthology films, not marketed as the continuation to "The Skywalker Saga" which already had an ending.

I could see that sure. I mean they did....ok with RO I suppose(still prefer Kyle Katarn). Haven’t seen Solo though but from what I’ve seen about it, it’s just....no I’ll stick with his novels on that front.

I think also the issue was that they wanted to get their money back as quick as possible, so they had a giant hook to use for the money fish. Which I find silly, because I'm pretty sure Disney got it for far less than what it was actually worth.

I mean if they just made good stories, they would have gotten the money either way and a loyal fanbase, they own the property, not like they were on some kinda deadline. Now everything is just....divided and....meh. Yeah sure some of the games might be decent and the novels/comics, but there's still that sour bitter taste of the ST hanging in the air.
The Merchant
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November 26th 2020, 1:39 am
I heavily disagree with the idea that the ST can't work simply because it isn't beholden to the Chosen One Prophecy, something that Lucas himself was ready to throw away if he got the chance to make the sequels.


The Original Trilogy didn't even portray itself as Vaders story, but the OT crews with the big idea being Rebels vs. Empire at the time. While I like the Chosen One and Balance to the Force concepts, I feel these concepts weren't very well executed in the Prequel trilogy, which is probably why 3 was somewhat ambiguous with what it was about. This is not taking into account what Lucas himself said after the Prequels, since again he didn't really flesh out what "Balance" even really meant within them.


The Sequels should have been about the rebuilding of the Republic and Luke and Leia (Anakin's legacy) being what keeps "The Balance" intact. The villain could be someone trying to bring back imbalance (Cult of Palpatine/Sith?) or try and find a way to make their own "balance" within the Force (Misaligned higher being?)
TheNuisanceBird
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December 15th 2020, 10:54 pm
Pretty much agree with everything. What's irritating is them bringing Sidious back but not having Anakin involved at all beyond just hearing his voice. Having Anakin as a Force ghost confronting Sidious would not only open up a legendary dialogue between them but having Force ghost Anakin kill Sidious would've saved the Chosen One Prophecy. It would've been stupid but the movies existing anyways is stupid. The only reason the sequels were sequels is because the original cast at the time were all still alive.
TheNuisanceBird
TheNuisanceBird

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December 15th 2020, 10:55 pm
@The Merchant wrote:
which is probably why 3 was somewhat ambiguous with what it was about.

Lol What? ROTS was about Anakin's downfall.
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LOTL

Why a sequel trilogy doesn't work Empty Re: Why a sequel trilogy doesn't work

December 16th 2020, 3:02 am
First, let's establish that the Star Wars films at their core are the story of Anakin Skywalker.

Don't necessarily agree, no. Even for the prequels it is debatable, but certainly not for the OT. You mention that the OT is told from the POV of Luke, yet it isn't his story, but that is flat out wrong. The OT is essentially Luke's story. It is "Luke's" discontentment with his current standing on Tatooine, his meeting with Obi Wan Kenobi and getting set on the path to mastery of the force, his initial learning and experience and his proper initiation to the force while destroying the Death Star. It is his tutoring at the hands of Yoda, his impulsiveness and recklessness in his confrontation with Vader that is at the core of the next movie. Finally the last scene with Palpatine and Vader too is almost uniquely about him. His anger teetering on the edge, his losing control and his refusal to play by Palpatine's rules that are the central events. Thematically, it is through Luke that the themes of emotional, physical and mental mastery are displayed and it is Luke who embodies the "Hero's Journey" archetype. The biggest reveal of the saga, that of Vader being his father is also all about Luke, the way it sets the tone is to the tune of "Luke's father is Vader, what will he do now, will he join his father or stay true to the Jedi way, how will it impact the dynamic of the movies going forward", and the emotional and mental impact of the reveal is all about how it will affect Luke, not Vader( who is also subjected to the reveal early on, but the story doesn't care how he responds to it, only how Luke does). Vader's motivations, insights, his thoughts or feelings or even wishes are either neglected or strictly set in the background because he is not the central character in that story, Luke is. It is through Luke, that Lucas wants to relate to the audience, through Luke that he expresses almost every core theme in the saga and Luke whose actions and choices are explored, not Vader's. His little moment of redemption at the end doesn't change all that.

Similarly, Anakin spends a great chunk of even the prequels being relegated to the background. Sure, you can definitely argue that he is the central character of the prequels( and your argument that the prequels are from Obi Wan Kenobi's perspective but are actually about Anakin does hold merit), but this doesn't change that Anakin's story ends where the prequels end, from a "He is the central character" standpoint. Even for Lucas, the story he wanted to tell about Anakin is about his rise and his fall. What happens after the fall is certainly relevant, but it is not Anakin who is in the driver's seat anymore.
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