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Star Wars Day

Grey Havoc

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Grey Havoc

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Deutsche Grammophon


Published on May 4, 2020
John Williams’ movie soundtracks are among the best-loved of all time. Before a single note had been played at the Hollywood legend’s debut concert with the Vienna Philharmonic, Maestro Williams received a standing ovation. Their sensational performance of the “Imperial March” from “Star Wars” underlined the rapport and affection between orchestra and composer. “It was honestly one of the best presentations of that March I’ve ever heard”, Williams reflected afterwards. “They played it as though they owned it.”


Deutsche Grammophon releases Williams’ historic Vienna Philharmonic debut concert in audio and video formats on August 14, 2020.

“From Star Wars to Harry Potter – John Williams conducts Vienna Philharmonic” will be broadcast on ServusTV in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on Whit Monday, June 1, 2020 at 10 am and 10.15 pm CET.

John Williams & Vienna Philharmonic – Williams: Imperial March (from “Star Wars”)
Discover “John Williams in Vienna”: http://dg.lnk.to/Williams
Subscribe here – The Best Of Classical Music: http://bit.ly/Subscribe_DG
 

chimeric oncogene

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Well, it's not all doom and gloom. The sequel trilogy may be unsalvageable, but The Clone Wars S7 was very good (even if the cartoon was lacking in scale as a whole), and I hear the Mandalorian is good too.

Also, I rewatched the Prequels. Much better than I remember - and I loved the Prequels. Even TPM was pretty good past act III, and the Podracing scene (which I used to skip on DVD) was very good.
 

Orionblamblam

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the Prequels. Much better than I remember
After the "sequel" trilogy, *anything* looks better in comparison. Even the Holiday Special and the Ewok movies go up a notch after seeing what was done to the legacy characters in 7,8,9.
 

chimeric oncogene

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the Prequels. Much better than I remember
After the "sequel" trilogy, *anything* looks better in comparison. Even the Holiday Special and the Ewok movies go up a notch after seeing what was done to the legacy characters in 7,8,9.
It is a strongly held opinion of mine that the Phineas and Ferb Star Wars special (that episode was great, BTW, one of the best) feels more in-universe and is better Star Wars than the ST.
I was not so much annoyed as what the ST did to the characters as what it did to the setting. You can tell character stories any way you like, but why ruin the RPG rulebook for everyone else by screwing up the setting and coming up with something... bland and uninteresting?
 
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Orionblamblam

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It is a strongly held opinion of mine that the Phineas and Ferb Star Wars special (that episode was great, BTW, one of the best) feels more in-universe and is better Star Wars than the ST.
I was not so much annoyed as what the ST did to the characters as what it did to the setting. You can tell character stories any way you like, but why ruin the RPG rulebook for everyone else by screwing up the setting and coming up with something... bland and uninteresting?
Captain Ed Mercer nods sadly and knowingly.
 

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Clone Wars makes the Prequels so much more watchable, although their problems remain. I for one enjoyed the sequals even if they do have their problems as well, TFA - another death star, TLJ - feels like a side quest and not part of the main story, RiseS - two movies squeezed into one due to TLJ.
 

chimeric oncogene

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although their problems remain
I'm looking at everything through rose-tinted glasses, since I grew up with the Prequels... but the Prequels were totally awesome. The worldbuilding was great, the setting was interesting, the galactopolitical conflict just hummed along beautifully (flawed Jedi Order, corrupt Republic, just ripe to be toppled), and the universe was filled with normal people doing normal people things while Jedi flew by on annoying adventures and armies marched across the cosmos. We actually got to see clone factories and droid factories, Coruscant and downtown Tatooine - places where the wealth, scope, and scale of a galaxy-spanning civilization was on full display.

TCW is good, but it actually doesn't really do the clone wars justice, IMO. Battlegroups and actions are on the small side; but this is not entirely unreasonable for a war machine spread thin across a few hundred thousand systems (although one always thinks that concentration of force by 20,000,000c hyperdrive would win the day).
 

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Sadly (IMOHO) Star wars Lost along the way all the Space things that made it a success. There is no physics or time that impact the scenario anymore, leaving only masks and poorly acted scene on the stage. The last episode was to me (and I went to see it on release day) only Comedia dell' arte.

@Orionblamblam : I hope the poor devil in the video above was not a kid :(
 

Orionblamblam

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I'm looking at everything through rose-tinted glasses, since I grew up with the Prequels... but the Prequels were totally awesome.
A bit of editing *could* have made the prequels actually awesome. Given how much Lucas liked to tinker, if he hadn't sold out to Disney, it's interesting to consider the Special Editions we might've gotten in, say, 2019. Tinker with only two things, and TPM *could* be made awesome:
1) Do what you can to remove Jarjar. Shudder. Alternatively, slip in a few frames that show his eyes glowing yellow when nobody is looking, force lightning crackling around his fingertips, something *hinting* at the fact that this isn't some ill-conceived irritating clown, but is actually that most devious of Dark Lords, Darth Jarjar. He who is so far behind the scenes that even Sidious isn't aware of him.
2) "Qui Gon, Sir? I was wondering, what are midichlorians?"
"Well, it's like this. Midichlorians are..."
And then the camera pulls back and Qui Gons explanation gets drowned out by ambient Coruscant traffic noise. He explains the Force to Aniken, but not to the *audince.* Because there was *never* going to be an explanation of Mystery Space Magic that was going to satisfy the majority of the fandom, nor should there have been an attempt. Leave The Force something for the fans to argue among themselves about. Something to hurl invectives at *each* *other* about, but not at the film writers. It's not somethign that needs explaining. it's as bad as the plot screechign to a halt while Han explains how the hyperdrive works, or Obi Wan goes into detail about the physics and functioning of the light saber. Or a movie that explains how Han and Chewie first met. Some stories don't need to be told.
 

chimeric oncogene

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I'm looking at everything through rose-tinted glasses, since I grew up with the Prequels... but the Prequels were totally awesome.
A bit of editing *could* have made the prequels actually awesome. Given how much Lucas liked to tinker, if he hadn't sold out to Disney, it's interesting to consider the Special Editions we might've gotten in, say, 2019. Tinker with only two things, and TPM *could* be made awesome:
1) Do what you can to remove Jarjar. Shudder. Alternatively, slip in a few frames that show his eyes glowing yellow when nobody is looking, force lightning crackling around his fingertips, something *hinting* at the fact that this isn't some ill-conceived irritating clown, but is actually that most devious of Dark Lords, Darth Jarjar. He who is so far behind the scenes that even Sidious isn't aware of him.
2) "Qui Gon, Sir? I was wondering, what are midichlorians?"
"Well, it's like this. Midichlorians are..."
And then the camera pulls back and Qui Gons explanation gets drowned out by ambient Coruscant traffic noise. He explains the Force to Aniken, but not to the *audince.* Because there was *never* going to be an explanation of Mystery Space Magic that was going to satisfy the majority of the fandom, nor should there have been an attempt. Leave The Force something for the fans to argue among themselves about. Something to hurl invectives at *each* *other* about, but not at the film writers. It's not somethign that needs explaining. it's as bad as the plot screechign to a halt while Han explains how the hyperdrive works, or Obi Wan goes into detail about the physics and functioning of the light saber. Or a movie that explains how Han and Chewie first met. Some stories don't need to be told.
Eh. I'm fine with midichlorians (I don't give two craps about space magic; any competent army can blow space magic users away anyway), and I actually liked Jar-Jar. Annoying as frick, but that was his entire schtick, and his victory-by-sheer-incompetence act was reasonably funny. Neither of those things seriously affected the setting, and can be easily ignored if need be.

My beef is with the new canon ripping any semblance of economic, demographic and industrial grandeur from the galaxy. I have a really hard time talking to the chunks of the fanbase that insist that million-ship fleets and trillion-man armies are "noncanon and also stupid and all the old EU that quoted such figures were stupid". Sure, a lot of the old EU was silly. And these numbers are no longer canon because the new writers of the Disney EU couldn't figure out scale if you walked them around a VR Death Star construction project, can barely tell a megaton from a megawatt, can't spell the word "quadrillion", and have no grasp of the operatic scale of space opera!

But dear god, such ludicrously large numbers are entirely reasonable, and indeed unavoidable, when your million-system galaxy-spanning civilization that has lasted thousands of years with no restrictions on growth (cheap hyperdrive) can build a second multi-million-cubic kilometer Death Star with a star-like burst power output within a few short fiscal years. Multi-megaton (to gigaton) turbolasers are entirely reasonable - why else would nobody use multi-hundred-megaton nuclear missiles?

There are ~300 billion stars in the Milky Way! With cheap terraforming, cheap planets, and space habitats, supportable populations are virtually limitless! At 1% growth pa, human populations hit 3 quintillion by the Year 4000 AD! It's not that hard to wrap one's head around, isn't it? The Russians can build hundred-megaton nuclear warheads today!

Hard sci-fi can get these numbers easy. Why not soft sci-fi, which removes so many physics restrictions?
 
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Orionblamblam

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Hard sci-fi can get these numbers easy. Why not soft sci-fi, which removes so many physics restrictions?
Indeed. One Star Wars thing that a lot of people seem to have trouble with but which I *don't* is how the galaxy basically blew off first the extermination of the Jedi, and eventually the sheer *existence* of the Jedi. Han Solo referred to it as a "hokey religion," and other characters seem to disbelieve that Jedi actually existed. "How can you fail to believe in the space wizards when they were so obviously terribly important" one might ask. Well, the answer is simple: there were, canonically, on the order of ten thousand of them. In a galaxy with perhaps a *hundred* *billion* worlds. That means there are ten *million* worlds per Jedi. Statistically speaking, nobody ever met a Jedi. Nobody ever met anybody who met anybody who met anybody who met anybody who met a Jedi. Depending on sources, the Empire had from 20 thousand to two hundred thousand Star Destroyers. There were at least twice as many mile-long planet-killing warships than there were arrogant Jedi with flashy swords and buggy superpowers. The Empire could simply toddle along with a Star Destroyer and Base Delta Zero nearly every planet the Jedi ever visited and the galaxy would hardly notice.

 
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overscan (PaulMM)

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The Prequel Trilogy had serious flaws, but could have been saved by a decent director and editor (able to tell George "no" more) and some better casting.It seemed like Star Wars, just a bit crappy Star Wars.

The Sequel Trilogy is just awful. Its not Star Wars, it's bad Star Wars fanfic by an 11 year old. I wrote a novella based on the Sword of Shannara at 11 and really its just the same damn story with a bunch of new names and a handful of minor plot tweaks. I didn't try and sell it as sequel...

The first one, JJ Abrams seemed to think he was hired for a reboot, not a sequel. It was... ok.... I guess.... if the next two episodes had been good, then I could have forgiven it. The second one took a giant crap on pretty much everything JJ Abrams had set up. Then JJ Abrams tried (well, not terribly hard) to bring some semblance of a conclusion and wallpaper over the cracks a bit. The last one is mildly entertaining if you disengage all logic circuits and watch the pretty stuff exploding, but its not so much plot holes as plot chasms. Nothing makes any sense, there's no character development...

I really liked The Mandalorian though.
 
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sferrin

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I really like Rogue One but I don't recall seeing any Bothans.
 

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Time for a sad admission. Back in the 90s when Jar Jar Binks was being sold as a plastic jiving toy figure with real sound effects I pressed the demo buttons on ten of them in the old Woolworths shop in High Wycombe and slunk off to the other side of the store to watch the reactions. Predictably children loved it, adults hated it.
The first Star Wars film came out when I was a student. A friend of mine had the French poster of the film which made Carrie Fisher as sexy as the only just born Sophie Marceau. I preferred Jenny Agutter in the otherwise dull Logans Run.
Never thought it and Star Trek would still be churning out nearly half acentury on.
As forHarry Potter its a bit like my generation's Lion theWitch and the Wardrobe, I find magic boring compared with real life tech and weapons.
Oh dear this Lockdown is getting to me....
 

Grey Havoc

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In the original script and the novelisation (written by Allen Dean Foster), it was the Bothans who acquired the plans of the first Death Star as well.
 

sferrin

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In the original script and the novelisation (written by Allen Dean Foster), it was the Bothans who acquired the plans of the first Death Star as well.
I knew that bit but in Rogue One the plans were GIVEN away by the designer.
 

Desertfox

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I'm looking at everything through rose-tinted glasses, since I grew up with the Prequels... but the Prequels were totally awesome. The worldbuilding was great, the setting was interesting, the galactopolitical conflict just hummed along beautifully (flawed Jedi Order, corrupt Republic, just ripe to be toppled), and the universe was filled with normal people doing normal people things while Jedi flew by on annoying adventures and armies marched across the cosmos. We actually got to see clone factories and droid factories, Coruscant and downtown Tatooine - places where the wealth, scope, and scale of a galaxy-spanning civilization was on full display.

TCW is good, but it actually doesn't really do the clone wars justice, IMO. Battlegroups and actions are on the small side; but this is not entirely unreasonable for a war machine spread thin across a few hundred thousand systems (although one always thinks that concentration of force by 20,000,000c hyperdrive would win the day).
I agree, those things are great. The problems I mainly refer to, are the poor acting, dialogue, some of the CGI, the whole cringeworthy Anakin-Padme love story, no Darth Jar Jar, and the Khaleesi-esq (GoT Season 8) turn by Anakin to the dark side.

The new sequals I beleive are hurt mainly by their lack of coherent storyline. TLJ very clearly took a side detour that RoS tried to fix in one movie. All three are good on their own but they don't quite fit together, ironically the exact opposite of the prequels, were all three fit together but are not as good. JJ Abrams should have done all three, with Rian Johnson instead doing a stand-alone like Solo or Rouge One.
 

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Rogue One is my favourite of the lot. Maybe I’m slow but the realisation very late on that this was the true prequel if you like, directly setting up the first Star Wars, blew me away.
The acting was great, the plot great, effects great and they all died (GoT like!).

The only thing that bothered me is that the Empire for all it’s power and knowledge, had omitted the lesson of pretty much all human conflict - namely artillery indirect fire rules. A single battery of guns or mortars would have suppressed the rebel incursion if not wiped it out.The reliance on direct fire weapons in star wars makes for very inefficient fighting and loses a lot of otherwise quite winnable battles. I suppose you can’t lob lasers over a hill, but the lesson of that is don’t get obsessed with lasers!
Although thinking of many defence projects, yes we do instantly forget lessons of aeons for new shiney things!

Equally, TLJ hugely annoyed me with (1) BS fuel madeuppery (2) needing one person to fly the cruiser back into the stardestroyer fleet (we have uavs now... and if you need one, why not humans in engineering or nav ie a crew) (3) total leadership fail of comms and above all (4) if you could destroy things by hyperdriving into them aka suicide, why the puck haven’t you got missiles or expendable ships and so on. This of course followed the bombers at the start of the film - Bomber Command and 8th Air Force would have been more effective with Lancs and B17s as at least they did pathfinding, escort and deception! After all the amazingness of space battles in the originals and prequels it descended to utter nonsense.
 

Arjen

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I saw the first three in the cinema. The next three had to wait until I bought a cheap boxset. I haven't seen anything Star Wars that followed - reading this thread, I'm not tempted to see the rest.
 

Purpletrouble

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Yeah, I think I just pretended I wasn’t seeing that

Oh and the single beacon thing that 10s of 1000s of star destroyers were dependent upon. You wouldn’t have gone for a bit of redundancy - oh they had 2, the spare being on the command ship aka principal target - well that sounds fine for something your entire strategy depends upon and each of which is probably about 1% of the effort of each of your 10s of 1000s of ships...

I’m not asking for Op Orders and real time where mid battle people stop to boil up some rations - but just some sense of actual human thought would be nice. Hopefully it’s all over now...
 

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Second the anakin thing. He was throughout, far more annoying than JarJar. Acting skills inferior to a lump of coal (which can at least act being a lump of coal well) and a script Alex Guiness would have self immolated over rather than just do it but seek to get killed off.

Otoh - having binge watched GoT, Danaerys end point is actually quite clearly signposted from series 1. I think many people missed the “born to rule” drive under the faux liberalism of “breaking the wheel - but not totally because don’t think I’m going to walk away afterwards...” quite telling on Western sense of the innate superiority of liberal democracy... plus after her upbringing it wasnt so much Targaryians being born mad but made mad.
 

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I have never shared the American love of teenage and kid heros in films
I remember a Brit friend and I watching a showing of Jurassic Park with a large friendly group of Ameticans. They gasped suitably when kids were in danger, we went oh poor thing when a Raptor went down. Animals yes kids no.
 

GeorgeA

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I may be the only person on (this) planet to have never seen any of the Star Wars movies with the exception of the first one, aka A New Hope. I saw it two days after it opened, the Fine Arts theater in Westport, Connecticut, with my then-fiancé Julie. I liked it, but she remarked afterward, “that’s a half-assed version of the Odyssey connected to a really weird WWII air combat movie”. Julie has long been departed from our mortal coil, but I think her words have colored my view of the franchise ever since. The phony religious overtones coupled with supremely inept tactics from what is clearly a state of vast wealth and unlimited military power, just make it all hard to take. Based on the commentary here and elsewhere, it has all turned into the cinematic equivalent of a dumpster fire since 1977, so I guess I haven’t missed much.
 

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Equally, TLJ hugely annoyed me with (1) BS fuel madeuppery (2) needing one person to fly the cruiser back into the stardestroyer fleet (we have uavs now... and if you need one, why not humans in engineering or nav ie a crew) (3) total leadership fail of comms and above all (4) if you could destroy things by hyperdriving into them aka suicide, why the puck haven’t you got missiles or expendable ships and so on. This of course followed the bombers at the start of the film - Bomber Command and 8th Air Force would have been more effective with Lancs and B17s as at least they did pathfinding, escort and deception! After all the amazingness of space battles in the originals and prequels it descended to utter nonsense.
The hyperdrive attack was foreshadowed in Rebels. I belive the reason it wasn't done before was 1) Needed very precise timing, too soon and you miss, too late and you hit the shields 2) Needed very large mass to cause damage, no one is going to waste a battleship as a missile unless complete last resort.

Second the anakin thing. He was throughout, far more annoying than JarJar. Acting skills inferior to a lump of coal (which can at least act being a lump of coal well) and a script Alex Guiness would have self immolated over rather than just do it but seek to get killed off.

Otoh - having binge watched GoT, Danaerys end point is actually quite clearly signposted from series 1. I think many people missed the “born to rule” drive under the faux liberalism of “breaking the wheel - but not totally because don’t think I’m going to walk away afterwards...” quite telling on Western sense of the innate superiority of liberal democracy... plus after her upbringing it wasnt so much Targaryians being born mad but made mad.
Clone Wars Anakin is so much better, really helps save the prequels.

While Danaerys twist is foreshadowed, it was way to fast and sudden, it felt like they needed another season to properly pull it off. Much the same way Anakin's turn to the dark side using the movies alone is too fast and sudden, add the Clone Wars and now it starts making a lot more sense. Both where good twists, just the execution was lacking.

I may be the only person on (this) planet to have never seen any of the Star Wars movies with the exception of the first one, aka A New Hope. I saw it two days after it opened, the Fine Arts theater in Westport, Connecticut, with my then-fiancé Julie. I liked it, but she remarked afterward, “that’s a half-assed version of the Odyssey connected to a really weird WWII air combat movie”. Julie has long been departed from our mortal coil, but I think her words have colored my view of the franchise ever since. The phony religious overtones coupled with supremely inept tactics from what is clearly a state of vast wealth and unlimited military power, just make it all hard to take. Based on the commentary here and elsewhere, it has all turned into the cinematic equivalent of a dumpster fire since 1977, so I guess I haven’t missed much.
I might be in the minority in that I do not like the A New Hope as much as everyone else does. Your fiance was correct in her assessment, but I wouldn't let that movie stop you from watching the rest. The next two movies really bring it up, while the prequels have a great plot, and the sequels have great cinematography, and the storytelling in the animated TV shows and the Mandalorian is superb, and definitely worth watching.
 

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I’ve never seen anything but the films so in a way see “my canon” as those :) I agree both those twists were too fast, but that reflects the lack of time and also wanting to create a surprise. I didn’t mind that in either really, just Anakin’s entire character was so one dimensional, wooden and without any believability. Almost boring and I kind of wanted him to die from the moment he was introduced! Obi Wan and Padme were the exact same but came to life thanks to Mcgregor and Portman.

hyperdrive wise - it’s a bit like in one of the later matrixs where morpheus cuts a car in half with a sword he pulls from his coat. If he had this sword thing, why hasn’t he used it before? It is never seen again. I hate that kind of madeuppery. Leias space walk was another particular low point.

The use of battle wreckage in the sequels I thought was awesome. Also Mark Hamil now had some gravitas. The casino world bit needed to be entirely cut, but I suppose the writers hated Trump that much it had to be in. I really hated the CGI Leia and Cushing - I wanted to retch in those scenes. Not homage, just wrong.

And yet, still a spectacle and my life has tracked it - I was born in the year the first came out and Return of the Jedi was the 1st film I saw in a cinema! Every Christmas until mid 90s when channel numbers started to grow exponentially and we had a video, was dominated by which Star Wars film we could watch on Xmas/Boxing day.


Anyway, May 4th be with you all:)
 

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The hyperdrive attack was foreshadowed in Rebels. I belive the reason it wasn't done before was 1) Needed very precise timing, too soon and you miss, too late and you hit the shields 2) Needed very large mass to cause damage, no one is going to waste a battleship as a missile unless complete last resort.
The *real* reason why the hyperdrive attack wasn't use before was because it makes every cargo vessel a superweapon. Something the size of the Falcon could split a Star Destroyer in half (as the "Arrowhead" did in the canon-adjacent "Freemakers" series), and one of those ramshackle cargo barges the rebels seemed to have in abundance would probably burrow so deep into the Death Star that its reactor would detonate. Consequently, why didn't anyone use this before? Because it's entirely too lazy. It's about as exciting as having a superhero with actual godlike powers and invulnerability, or having an actual god show up and set things right at the last minute. Feh. No competent writer would spring that on an audience late in the game.
 

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No competent writer would spring that on an audience late in the game.
If you want to change the fundamentals of warfare in the galaxy... do it properly, with a huge story arc.
If you just want a cop-out, use some lost tech - a Sith holocron-thingamajig, a Maw prototype, anything! Space Magic is literally there to give people cop-outs!
It's space opera 101.
 

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George I am sorry Julie is no longer around, she sounds good value. I think she was in fact being too kind, I would rather enjoy a version of the Odyssey coupled with a WW2 air combat movie!
Star Wars is in fact just the usual Hollywood cowboy movie with its favourite bad guys, the Nazis, thrown in. To be fair, this works and the audience knows what its getting. Put Carrie Fisher and Natalie Portman in a Western Saloon as Ranch Owner's daughter and glamorous feisty owner respectively, add Harrison Ford as the traveller turned reluctant sheriff and Mark Hamill as the ranch hand playing his guitar for the boss's daughter and you are back in 40s heaven
 
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