May the fourth be with you!
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Creature: (irritated) I cannot teach him. The boy has no patience.Luke's head turns in the direction the creature faces. But there is no one there. The boy is bewildered, but it gradually dawns on him that the little creature is Yoda, the Jedi Master, and that he is speaking with Ben.
Star Wars - The Annotated Screenplays, page 175
This scene is completely ruined if Yoda is in the prequels. Any kid watching the prequels before Empire Strikes Back are robbed of the experience of discovering that this is Yoda together with Luke. I don't know at the moment whether or not George Lucas always considered to have Yoda in the prequels. He certainly weren't in the backstory of A New Hope, as Lucas didn't invent him before the work on the script of Empire Strikes Back began. When he needed a new teacher for Luke after he decided to kill off Ben at the end of A New Hope.
Yoda do of course not need to be in the prequels. The story of Anakin's transformation can be told without the future Darth Vader knowing who the teacher of Obi-Wan is and where he lives.
I suspected it is the popularity of Yoda that is the reason for his inclusion in the prequels. But my feeling is that the way he is portrayed in the prequels is retracting from the character. He is less of a Jedi Master with his action in the prequels. It is a clear example of less is more.
The most in your face example of that is the lightsaber duels of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. It is out of character in two senses. First of, making Yoda trow away his cane and then jumping up and down like a yo-yo on speed is just ridiculous. Secondly and more seriously, if Yoda is the most powerful Jedi Master he should be beyond fighting with a lightsaber. True mastery whould be to have him deny others to fight him. It is mind over body.
Lawrence Kasdan: "I'm a big Samurai movie fan, as is George. The stories I find most interesting are stories of Zen education and the Zen master teaching a pupil how to transcend physical prowess into some kind of mental prowess. That's what all the training sequences are about. My favorite director is Akira Kurosawa, and Star Wars was inspired by his film The Hidden Fortress, so George and I had an immediate connection there. All through Kurosawa's movies you have the idea that it's one thing to be physically adapt and something else to be spiritually adept."
Star Wars - The Annotated Screenplays, page 180
I think Lucas must have forgotten all the lessons he must have taken from Kurosawa as inspiration for the Saga. Because the Jedi knights of the prequels are pale shadows of what they could have been.
Another lesson forgotten is that Yoda has to be believable. All involved with Empire Strikes Back knew that if Yoda looked like a muppet it would not have worked. Look at the picture above. Clearly they succeeded. Now look at the picture below. It is still the acting and voice of Frank Oz, but this is a soulless muppet. The charactermodel is just terrible. It simply is not Yoda.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Luke: Leia... do you remember your mother? Your real mother?Leia: Just a little bit. She died when I was very young.Luke: What do you remember?Leia: Just... Images, really. Feelings.Luke: Tell me.Leia: She was very beautiful. Kind... but sad. Why are you asking me this?Luke: I have no memory of my mother. I never knew her.
George Lucas: "The part that I never really developed is the death of Luke and Leia's mother. I had a backstory for her in earlier drafts, but it basically didn't survive. When I got to Jedi, I wanted one of the kids to have some kind of memory of her because she will be a key figure in the new episodes I'm writing. But I really debated on whether or not Leia should remember her."
Star Wars - The Annotated Screenplays, page 291
So George Lucas was really conflicted about whether or not Leia should remember her mother, but as we know the decision was that Luke never did know her and that Leia had vague memories from when she was very young. And as we also know this is not the story of the prequels.
I don't know... it just feels off to have vague memories from when you are just minutes old. Certainly that your mother was kind but sad. And why didn't Luke remember anything? Is there a special mother daughter relationship going on here?
The story should of course be that the twins were separated. Luke was given to the care of his uncle and aunt, while Leia went with her mother to Alderaan. And she dies at least three years after the birth of the twins, and not in childbirth as told in the prequels. Whether or not this death happens in the remade prequels is a matter of consideration when rewriting the story.