DYM OFF-SEASON STAR WARS SPECTACULAR PART 1!
WELCOME TO THE DYM OFF-SEASON STAR WARS SPECTACULAR!!!!!!!!! If you're just joining us, check out the full introduction here. PART 1: SYNCHRONICITY The first crux of the DYM Ultimate Star Wars Theory is the trilogies are synchronized. They tell the same story with the major plot points appearing at the same time in each film - so that the story is told at the exact same pace every time. Mike Klimo's "Star Wars Ring Theory" (starwarsringtheory.com) is an exhaustive analysis of the myriad examples of synchronicity between the Original and Prequel Trilogies. Ring Theory also explains why Episode I imitates Episode VI and III mirrors IV. You can click over to his site for the full treatment of his theory, but that's the thesis right there. DYM's analysis has found that the Sequel Trilogy (thus far) adds far more depth while strengthening his argument considerably. Klimo's probably chomping at the bit to get Episode IX on digital so he can complete The Ring. There's no way he hasn't already picked up on the Sequel's continuation along the path he laid out. He's probably gonna wait a while to digest the whole new Trilogy before he commits to anything. BUT NOT US!!! Only thing we keep under our hat is this silky head of hair. DYM Scholars know we always shoot from the hip. If we got an idea, you're gonna hear about it, right or wrong. Shooters gotta shoot, and we're feeling like JJ Redick right about now. So, without further to do, let's start with a look at some of the scenes Klimo culled from the Original and Prequel Trilogies and see how they play out in the Sequel Trilogy. Act 1: Arcane and Esoteric References Klimo has many more examples of things that happen at the same time in New Hope and Revenge of the Sith, some even more arcane than these. We found many more examples too, which we'll get back to in Part 5. For now, here's a few of the choicest cuts - Some are meaningfully tied into one of the major themes of the films, and others are really just for fun. Like this one: The New Ship At the 21 minute mark of Episodes IV, III, and VII a pilot boards a strange ship. His partner then asks something like “Do you know how to fly this thing?” The pilots all do know how to fly the ship, but their results are mixed. The Snitch At the end of the first hour, a snitch contacts the authorities and informs them of a fugitive's location. The Prequels have a number of these little role-reversals like how Obi-Wan was the fugitive in the Original and becomes the authorities in the Prequel. Hiding from troopers At the 1:25 mark of Episode IV and III Obi-Wan is back on the wrong side of the law. Rey's scene comes in about ten minutes later, but it looks exactly like Obi-Wan's Death Star scene. The scenes in Episdoes IV and VII both end with an old man catching a lightsaber in the gut with exactly 33 minutes left. Apply Directly to the Forehead The hero falls down. A friend come to their aid and immediately places a hand on the hero’s forehead. These three don't happen at even close to same times but still, it's weird right? Act 2: Love & War The principal themes of the second act of each Trilogy (Empire Strikes Back, Attack of the Clones, and Last Jedi) are Love and War. This is an interesting set piece for any sequel or second chapter where, in the heat of battle, familiar friends become lovers and familiar enemies become more entrenched. But Star Wars takes the opportunity to play out the themes three times in contrasting settings. All three films treat both themes in their own unique way. But The Last Jedi makes the most profound statement while paying a touching tribute to the late Carrie Fisher. War All three films feature battle scenes at the beginning and at the end with contrasting visual styles - one large-scale and intense, the other smaller and more subdued. These synchronized War scenes all feature Luke or Anakin winning the day on the strength of their lightsabers. That's significant, as we’ll see the weapon being employed differently in each film as to demonstrate the ways the characters have grown throughout the saga. In short: Young Luke rushes into a fight alone, and loses. Anakin depends on his friends’ help to win the fight. Old Luke wins without fighting at all. The opening of Episode II has Obi-Wan and Anakin rescuing Padme from an assassin, and cutting off one of her hands. This clearly mirrors the final scene in Empire where Luke attempts to rescue Leia and Han only to have his hand cut off by Vader. Clones' final battle takes place in an arena on the mountainous desert planet of Geonosis - a clear contrast to both Hoth and Crait. The planets Hoth and Crait are doppelgangers, and the scenes are set with a series of nearly identical establishing shots. A Resistance soldier inspects the white substance covering Crait's ground and informs us that it is salt (not snow). This is a clear message to the audience that the scene is not what it seems, subterfuge abounds and the similarities we see between Crait and Hoth are only surface deep. The opening battle scene in Last Jedi (the Dreadnaught battle) looks nothing like any of the others and Luke is not there. But curiously, the film cuts away from the battle to look in on Luke and Rey from minute 20-26. Here Luke says a line that ironically echoes a line of his from minute 25 in Empire, while also foreshadowing his eventual role in the Battle of Crait. The sequence of War scenes plays out as: First, Luke rushes into a fight and takes down a Walker with his lightsaber (Walkers enter @ 26'). Later Luke rushes to fight, and lose, a lightsaber duel with Vader (26' from the end). Next, Anakin is aided by Obi-Wan's lightsaber (24'). Later Anakin is aided again by a legion of lightsabers when the Jedi army attacks Geonosis (22' from the end). Last, Luke refuses to fight during the first battle ("Time for the Jedi to end" spoken @ 26'). Later he seemingly appears in the battle only to reveal he had kept his promise, and wins the battle while still refusing to fight (Luke appears on Crait 25' from the end). The original and Prequel versions offered diametrically opposed images of battles. The Last Jedi subverts them both by removing Luke from the physical battle and instead highlighting his internal struggle with the morality of violence in general. By winning the battle, and saving his family NON-VIOLENTLY, Luke has learned lessons from his past mistakes and has truly transformed himself into a Classical Hero with the ability to save others and transform his world as well. Love There is a budding romance in all three films (Leia+Han; Padme+Anakin; Rose+Finn) where the couple begin the film at odds with one another, then find each other during an off-world venture, and finally kiss at the end just before the climactic battle scene. They all fit this pattern but there are complicating factors in The Last Jedi, with multiple characters entangled in romantic soirees. Rose+Finn follows the same basic arc as Leia+Han and Padme+Anakin. Except, while Finn starts out at odds with Rose, he clearly pines after Rey. Rey does not reject Finn (actually seems to like him a lot), but the circumstances at the end of Force Awakens keeps them apart for most of Last Jedi (she goes to find Luke while he's unconscious). While Rey is away she reaches out to Kylo Ren, who embraces her affections at first, only to be rejected by her at the end. Leia+Han and Padme+Anakin are tortured romances, and the romantic web of Last Jedi is exponentially more tortured. This is why it's so interesting that following the pattern of synchronized scenes through Last Jedi bring us to a different type of love scene altogether. While escaping Hoth, Leia bickers with Han over the Falcon's ongoing mechanical issues (34'). Later, Leia kisses Han then says “I love you” (32' from the end), just before the lightsaber duel. After the bounty hunter is dispatched, Padme rejects Anakin's first romantic advances (29'). Later, Padme says “I love you” then kisses Anakin (38' from the end), just before the lightsaber battle. At the end of the Dreadnaught battle, Leia is alone, reaching out to her son with the force (30'). Later, Leia is alone again, waiting for her son to arrive on Crait (35' from the end) before the final battle. The first thing to notice about these conjoined Love and War sequences is the subterfuge The Last Jedi employs against the audience: In the War sequence, the Dreadnaught battle becomes an afterthought once Luke pays off his promise to not fight. The Dreadnaught presents a more obtuse parallel with the other large-scale battle scenes, but carefully watching the scene leads us directly to Luke's quiet scene with Rey. Likewise the Rose+Finn romance is an eye-catching parallel to the other two love stories. Like Leia+Han, and Padme+Anakin, they are driven into each other's arms amongst the terrifying backdrop of galactic war. But we realize Rose+Finn is a red herring when Leia appears at exactly 30 minutes into the film. Thus when we line up the three films side-by-side, another message emerges. While the war had sparked the passions of young lovers, Last Jedi's Leia (once the young lover, now the wizened mother) becomes introspective in the heat of battle and refocuses on the most important relationship in her life: Mother and Child. An expression of a mother's love, the purest love of all, helps make Last Jedi a true sublimation of Episodes II and V. That's why The Last Jedi is the BEST Star Wars film (so far). Act 3: COMING SOON!!! Stay tuned for our Phantom Menace/Return of the Jedi/Rise of Skywalker breakdown in Part 2 of the DYM OFF-SEASON STAR WARS SPECTACULAR!!