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Clonehunter

Death of the Star Wars EU

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This isn't exactly new, as it was to be expected. But, it has finally happened: The Current Star Wars EU is now officially Non-Canon. What is canon is the original six films, the new Star Wars Clone Wars Movie/Show (Not the old one anymore), Star Wars Rebels (A new show), and any future works. Old works are simply non-canon, though some older material is being reprinted under a "Legends" label (Which is just a fancy way of saying Non-Canon).

While yes, this does mean garbage like The Holiday Special, The Ewoks cartoon (Not that it was that bad, though it had some really weird shit in it like the Sun King and a Crying Sentient Mountain), the latter half of the whole Lumiya story, and a warehouse of Planet Destroying Superweapons... This also means goodbye to the Thrawn Trilogy, Mara Jade, Kyle Katarn and the Dark Forces Saga, the X-Wing/TIE Fighter stories, Jaina Solo, Cade Skywalker, KOTOR 1 and 2, Zeltrons, and the names of almost every background character who was given some kind of role in the EU.

This also means Boba Fett is still dead, Bossk is dead, the Emperor never came back (Probably a plus, as Dark Empire was kinda silly anyways), Luke, Leia, and Han never married, Chewbacca is still alive, Darth Vader's inner conflict is now back to basics, all of Anakin's character has more or less reverted to his whiny prequel personality, even with the Clone Wars stuff still available, and Aunt Beru and Uncle Own are both still dead (Not that this was ever changed).

So, anyone giving a shit? In truth, none of this stuff is gone, as you can still go and read it and play it, but now no future stories have to adhere to it at all, so there will be even more conflicting stories than there were previously. Also, from the sounds of things nothing will be re-added into the new canon, with the possible exception of The Old Republic, as it is an ongoing game.

http://starwars.com/news/the-legendary-star-wars-expanded-universe-turns-a-new-page.html

Ah well, a life is a life. Lets see how Abrams does with the new films.

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Well, damn. There goes a LOT of good/bad/weird stories to the "non-canon" rubbish pile. Seriously though, KOTOR 1 and 2 were really good games, and it's a shame that they have been shat on so unceremoniously.

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Good. For the most part the EU was masturbatory fan-boy nonsense. My personal take was pretty much always to consider the movies canon. In addition, I chose what I liked from the EU to flesh out a few characters (or had my own thoughts on the matter!!!!) and so on but the endless pish of the EU was just an out of control sprawling mess. The fact it was given credence by being "canon" did no one any favours and certainly not the credibility of the franchise, even though, ultimately, I personally chose to ignore almost all of it and people who swore by it.

Some nice snippets of backstory etc may have "gone"* but the EU was a vile, almost uncontrolled nonsensical beast packed to the gunwales with utter rubbish. Even most of the "big" elements were utter shit IMO. I'm very happy for the new broom to be sweeping clean. Let's hope they can do a better job of managing this aspect of things than the previous setup did.

As for games, they don't need to be canon to be fun and I really don't care if characters or events from games are regarded as canon or not. Playing in the universe is fun and what happens in the game need be no more official than, say, the details of the role playing campaigns I have had in the universe. i.e. they are official to me because "I lived them" (lol) but I don't care that no one else regards them as canon (or even knows about them).


*When I say "gone", of course, they haven't really gone anywhere. If a person wants to keep those back stories (etc) in their head as their own personal take on a character/event/whatever, then they haven't gone anywhere.

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Clonehunter said:

the new Star Wars Clone Wars Movie/Show (Not the old one anymore)


I am a bit confused. Is the clone wars cartoon considered cannon or are they making a new clone wars show?

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Dark Forces and X-W/TF still exist as games, no one is taking those away. Any bullshit piled on top of them by serial writer hacks for a quick buck can go jump into lava. If anything, not diluting the good "extra" stuff may be a positive in the long run. The EU in its entirety was one of the biggest jokes out there anyways.

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Even if it's "officially" non canon, I personally don't believe very many people will adhere to that. Obviously not all of the EU has been good, but just to throw it away like that is a bad move on their part I think. For my part, I'll pick and choose what I consider to be canon, as I have always done. This doesn't really change anything for me.

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Thank fucking God. Best thing they could have ever done. Could you imagine trying to write a script that compliments thirty years of bullshit?

hardcore_gamer said:

I am a bit confused. Is the clone wars cartoon considered cannon or are they making a new clone wars show?

There is an earlier Hanna Barbera cartoon with the same name. It's superior to the 3D show in almost every way.

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It's not as if any new Star Wars movies were gonna follow any of the EU anyway.

The Star Wars nerd in me still enjoys some of the EU, I just couldn't restrict myself to the movies only.

However I'm hoping since DICE is said to be able to make new Star Wars games that they are still able to make any which are non-movie based.

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Technician said:

Could you imagine trying to write a script that compliments thirty years of bullshit?


Funny enough, the films are stated to take place during a time where basically no EU fiction ever took place.

dew said:

Dark Forces and X-W/TF still exist as games, no one is taking those away.


Pretty much. From the games, no one can stop playing them for any story or fun value they hold. And if anyone wants backstory for those they can still read the Dietz novels. Some of that multi-media project stuff can all exist. It's not like they're taking everything to burn and forcing people to only buy their new stuff... Or at least they haven't found a method to do so yet.

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The only EU stuff I ever got into was Shadows of the Empire. And since that intertwines with the movies (plus I think the Outrider makes a cameo in one of the updated scenes) it is easy to keep as "pseudo-canon". I'm not too butthurt about it.

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I just want to say that Admiral Thrawn was a badass original gangster of the actual canon, I don't care whatever they retroactively declare; I read the books and analyzed them, goddamn it. Sure, there was a lot of bullshit stuffed in but I don't care, Zahn's novels stand up on their own as true to the universe. If Thrawn's presence is even mentioned obliquely in Abrams' films, I would squirm delightfully in my seat.

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I will have to say that for the most part, FUCK George Lucas. The guy had a head full of great ideas and technical skill that he ultimately flushed into the toilet for CGI and cash. Most of these books sucked, yes, but I will have to say that on a personal note I loved the Shadows of the Empire storyline.

Technician said:

Thank fucking God. Best thing they could have ever done. Could you imagine trying to write a script that compliments thirty years of bullshit?


Again, I have to partially agree with that, but I can't do so 100%. MOST of the books were just utter shit, others not so much. When you take into consideration that a huge percentage of them were just fanboy nonsense spanning 3 decades its easy to forget about some at least decent works in the muck that shouldn't have been so...disregarded I guess. Either way, SW on its own is to me at least, a benign story that others did what they could to flesh out. I have enough issues with Lucas being a sellout pussy fuckhead and selling his company to Disney of all things, and going so far as to get lensflare jockey JJ Abrams to direct the new movie but I'm going to give this a pass because its one of the more sound things he's done recently. We all suspected this anyway so its not THAT big of news...

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The EU sucks and I don't just mean the European Union.

It's always been picking and choosing for me. The amount of stupid exceeds any form of acceptable level. While I do like certain aspects of it, like Kyle Katarn's personal journey, Mara Jade and Tie-Fighter which was based on Thrawn (but actually color him as competent), I don't really like much else. I don't even like the Thrawn trilogy. All he seems to do is study culture and lose battles. Also, why the hell does Luke, Han and Leia (Lando, whatever) need to be in every single conflict? Some times they're just there by chance and decide to save the day. It's stupid and undermines their characters in the OT.

I love Knights of the Old Republic. It's one of my favorite games. That however doesn't change the fact that it brings absolutely nothing good to the Star Wars lore. The amount of laziness is just too big. It's so obvious that they wanted to do Star Wars, but wanted completely free hands with it, so they just copy/pasted whatever already was into another time, 4000 years earlier. Come on, technology improved more in between the PT and OT than KotOR and the PT. And like the prequels, it takes things way too literally. Sith = evil somewhat non-humans. Good = boring retarded jedi (assholes in robes). Bad guys use triangularly shaped starships. Good guys use corellian corvettes (lookalikes). KotOR is excellent as a self contained story and universe, but as a part of the SW universe it's godawful fanfiction.

Wait a few years, then make the PT non-canon as well and replace them with proper movies where the force is rolled back from being a video game mechanic into reclaiming its former role as a metaphor for believing in yourself, personal growth and so forth. Yes, the force was a real thing in the OT, but it wasn't much more than a device for Luke's personal journey. It wasn't about dancing with a lightsaber, it was about dreams, destiny and purpose.

Retarded stuff like bringing down a Star Destroyer with it (I'm looking at you, The force unleashed) completely destroys everything that was beautiful about the force in the original trilogy. Midi-chlorians is only a symptom of the problem. The real problem is focusing on the force instead of letting it flow through the story (lolz). The whole concept of "Jedi vs. Sith" as a battle with two sides was a biiiiiiiiiiiiig mistake. The Jedi council was another huge mistake. Oh well, could go on forever.

Bottom line, fuck the EU.

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Clonehunter said:

the new Star Wars Clone Wars Movie/Show (Not the old one anymore).

By that you mean The Clone Wars (the cartoon with 3D models)? Then good, because I like it. Cool that it made it.

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Clonehunter said:

This also means Boba Fett is still dead,


Isn't disney planning to make boba fett movie? Is it then about bobas life before Battle of the Great Pit of Carkoon?

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Clonehunter said:

This isn't exactly new, as it was to be expected. But, it has finally happened: The Current Star Wars EU is now officially Non-Canon.

This doesn't change anything.


This really, really doesn't change anything.

Before they had some complicated setup where you had different levels of canon, with the so-called G-canon overriding everything else.

Now there is instead just two levels: canon and legends. Just like before, nothing prevents you from considering the Star Wars Legends stuff (formerly EU) as being what really happened in that fictional universe, as long as it's not contradicted by a new canon Star Wars thing. Also from now on everything that's released outside of the Legends reprints will be official canon, so it means they'll have to pay more attention to continuity than before.

The Legends stuff remain a resource of potentially canon stuff which they may reuse in future movies/TV series/novels/games/toys/processed food products.

In short, nothing really changed, it's just that obsessive nerds are having a stroke.

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Gez said:

link to Wookieepedia

You know, I've never actually gone there. After clicking on it, I went skimming around, I never knew how absurdly detailed and complex the Star Wars universe was. No wonder they wanted to make it clear that they won't hold themselves to the EU. As you said, it's not really any different, more of just a clarification of what already was. That they're free to pick and choose elements that they like and incorporate it into canon, and whatever else not necessarily conflicting could or could not be canon and could freely be contradicted by canon later on thus solidifying its non-canon status.

I also never knew of Splinter of the Mind's Eye. Really interesting that it could have been used as the basis for a low-budget sequel if A New Hope didn't perform well. I also wonder about what the original plan for the story arc was circa 1977-1980. It's for sure that Luke and Leia were NOT related, and was only retconned in Return. I get the impression that Empire and Hope were closely consistent, and that Return took a drastic turn with almost all of the original plans being altered. Han dies, Wookiees instead of Ewoks, the "other" Yoda mentions was a completely different character than Leia, no second Death Star, no emperor appearance, and much darker tone overall.

If Return was that radically different in Empire's contemporary timeline, what the hell would the prequel trilogy be? Surely there would be no Jar-Jar, the tone would have been different, and any other stupid bullshit often criticized would have different stuff in its place, right? Luke and Leia originally never being related might have significantly altered things in the prequels, or would they have? I wonder if some rancid old manuscript still exists in an archive far far away, probably never to be accessed by the public.

I don't know. I'm confused and overwhelmed by all this extra info*. I'm not sure whether to take Lucas's current statements at face value or assume that his word is untrustworthy. Well, there are many reasons to not trust him. Many people who worked with him have a somewhat consistent narrative of the original plans, even though Lucas dismisses it as untrue, and often claims he planned it all out in full detail from the start, despite much evidence to the contrary.


*I already knew of Return's different plot, but not the insane timeline or the alternate sequel, or any other vast madness on that wiki.

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printz said:

By that you mean The Clone Wars (the cartoon with 3D models)? Then good, because I like it. Cool that it made it.


Yah, that one, more or less due to Dave Filoni's hand, as he was behind that and is behind the new Rebels show too. I just find it odd the old TV show got canned, which the newer show had built upon. For example, if you were to watch the current canon stuff in chrono-order, characters like Asajj Ventress and Grievous literally pop right the fuck out of nowhere and no one questions their rather active roles in the show/war. I'm assuming that was done because the characters were both established already in the old cartoon, and as such we didn't need to retread how or when they entered the war as relative unknowns. Besides, Samurai Jack meets Star Wars is too cool to throw away :P

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Clonehunter said:

I just find it odd the old TV show got canned, which the newer show had built upon. For example, if you were to watch the current canon stuff in chrono-order, characters like Asajj Ventress and Grievous literally pop right the fuck out of nowhere


The old TV show was also the only place where Grievous was portrayed as competent. Something they failed to do in the new Clone Wars and especially in Episode 3.

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Star Wars seems to have a problem with incompetent villains in general, almost. Not all of them, but it seems like, especially in the Clone Wars, that the heroes always win. Maybe instead of Star War Rebels we should have Star Wars: Empire that shows us Vader and everyone just killing rebels and Jedi all day long?

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The only problem with the old Clone Wars cartoon was that most of the episodes were incredibly short. Well, I say problem, but I really liked it - you didn't get a comprehensive story, but it was rather like little mood pieces to set the stage for how the Clone Wars were affecting the Galaxy. That was something sorely lacking in the movies - you never really got a feel for the scale of things in the movies themselves. And yeah, without the cartoon you end up with things like Obi Wan going to hunt down Grievous, but the weight of the confrontation doesn't really come across unless you've seen the shorts and seen Grievous kicking all kinds of Jedi ass. But yeah, as much as I would have loved to see more of the old cartoon, I'm glad it didn't carry on too long, or the effect of the shorts might have worn thin - in fact, I remember in the second series of them, when they extended the length, while the stories were enjoyable, I didn't feel the emotional impact as much.

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Aside from 10 things or so, the Star Wars EU was mediocre-to-awful and officially semi-canon anyway, so whatever.

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That's really too bad. They did not need to make any sort of official statement like that.

Not that I give a fuck. The EU had a ton of crud, but some of it was quite excellent. Better than anything they'll likely write.

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Farewell ye fond clusterfuck, I can honestly say I enjoyed a good 10% of your content... if that.

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i also wrote this on a starwars jk2 clan forum and got a clusterfuck of
responses to it... But i find this to be the best they could do for the movies their sake, it even opens doors to movies more like the originals and less of that 'special effects are all' type of stuff.

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Shaviro said:

The EU sucks and I don't just mean the European Union...

Well said. I agree with everything in that post.

StevieCybernetik said:

I will have to say that for the most part, FUCK George Lucas. The guy had a head full of great ideas and technical skill that he ultimately flushed into the toilet for CGI and cash.

We have a video about geology (and, yes, I mean VHS) at our school and it features a guy who goes around Arizona looking for sites for movies to be filmed. He recounts a tale where, when planning for "Return of the Jedi", he showed George Lucas a cave system carved out of sandstone by a flash flood and says that Lucas told him "I'd love to film here but the audience would never believe it was real". Move forward a few decades to the prequel trilogy where, by the end, almost nothing was real (and the audience could easily tell it). :/

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I find the hate towards the prequel trilogy overly inflated. It's not like they were out of inconsistencies, stiff acting or silly speeches in the original trilogy. And complaining about CG when it's a lot more reasonable to use CG than complicate oneself is silly. Some of the scenes looked off in Episodes like 6 (such as the Endor speeder chase) as well.

My take on the prequel films is this:
- Episode 1 was a bit boring because it was too far in the past, it had too few elements from the original trilogy, it didn't even have much of the same music. The overly byzantine architecture of Naboo's capital looked too conspicuous and Earth-like compared to the rest of the series. The only thing missing was Muslim-style music to match.
- Episode 2 was significantly better. We see lots of hints of pre-Empire here: clones' outfit, Republic's logo, a new Sith with actual electrocution powers, star destroyers on the heroes' side (Obi-Wan's rocket looks like a mini-star destroyer)!
- Episode 3 was the best and most dramatic. Nevermind Palpatine looking and cackling like a toothless old man, I don't think we're supposed to like him.

And if the most damn cast of Episodes 4-6 appeared in 1-3, so what? It's the rule of cool. C3PO is funny. Sure, that wasn't enough to make Episode 1 very interesting, which focused too much on characters too far away in the past to relate with: Qui-Gon-Jin(sp?), too young Obi-Wan, child Vader, boring Maul.

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printz said:

I find the hate towards the prequel trilogy overly inflated. It's not like they were out of inconsistencies, stiff acting or silly speeches in the original trilogy. And complaining about CG when it's a lot more reasonable to use CG than complicate oneself is silly. Some of the scenes looked off in Episodes like 6 (such as the Endor speeder chase) as well.


Not trying to start up a Star Wars fanboy war or anything and if you're able to enjoy the prequel trilogy more or less on the same level as the original I envy you.

However I have to say that the text you posted there is the go-to argument of the (extremely provocative term incoming) prequel trilogy apologists. You'll be able to find weaknesses and flaws in every movie, but there is a difference of how much importance those flaws have. If we compare scenes like the speeder chase from Episode 6 with Obi-Wan vs. Grievous in Episode 3, there are a few characteristics and properties that set them apart. Where one contributes to the movie and the other detracts from the movie.

The actions in Episode 6 make sense in a practical manner. They didn't want a trooper to escape and alert the main force on Endor, so they chase him. The effect is then them portrayed against a bluescreen. For the most part, you'll see their faces, but not what they see. This way, you won't really question much of what's going on onscreen. The scene helps set the mood and the tension in stone. It really is a risky operation and they can't afford slipups.

Then we have the Obi-Wan vs. Grievous fight. Obi-wan for some reason managed to find the biggest, loudest most idiotic animal on the planet. A huge lizard-bird thing. He uses this to sneak up on Grievous (wtf?). He then jumps down in the middle of a billion battle-droids and purposely alerts everyone. Was the addition of a billion droids the idea of someone in "post production"? Why don't they just shoot him? Why does Obi-Wan expect them not to? Then Grievous decides to fight Obi-Wan and he performs this very impressive quadruple flurry of lightsabers just in front of Obi-Wan, but he doesn't even flinch. It's almost as if Grievous was never there. Wait a minute.

I'm sure you can come up with a lot of convoluted explanations for all of this, but remember that the language of cinema dictates that actions should be natively logical to the viewer. There are exceptions of course, but more often than not the illogical actions would be underlined as points in the movie.

You have to realize there is a huge difference between asking an actor to act as if he's flying on a speeder, make-believe dodging branches and asking an actor to imagine he's fighting a 4-armed lightsaber wielding lizard in a robot suit. Don't worry, we'll add the COOL and MEANINGFUL stuff to the fight later with our awesome computers.

The problem isn't so much with CGI as it is with an over reliance on green screen and making the movie good later. The prequels actually used a lot of miniatures as replacements for green screen "sets". It doesn't matter if it's miniatures or CGI; it still looks like crap. CGI and miniatures are great for a whole array of things, especially including spicing up the background, making flyover shots, adding fx to lasers, light sabers, whatever.

But acting is reacting. If you rob the actors of their ability to react with the environment and its characters, you're in reality robbing yourself of the extremely valuable input from professional people who know a lot about their field, the range of human emotions, how people react to different things etc.

Remember in Episode 5 when Han and Chewie were frantically trying to fix the hyperdrive on the falcon? The ship was almost literally falling apart and chewie almost goes into a panic, hammering an electrical tool against the components. They're all running around and we can feel the desperation and intensity of the situation. You will never ever get something like this with green screen. I bet you at least half of this stuff was improvised on set. The prequels have NOTHING like this. It is completely drained of creativity regarding the conveyance of the plot and emotions of the characters. That is why they fail.

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Personally, and this is just my opinion, the biggest flaw with the prequel trilogy had less to do with the CGI and more to do with the lack of emotional investment in the characters. I'm not sure how best to articulate this - there was ridiculous dialog and bad acting in both sets of movies, but there was something about the original trilogy that just felt more genuine. Fittingly enough, I feel my own argument here is based more on emotion than logic, because I find I can't really explain it, but I bought more that the characters were real people facing real problems in the original trilogy, and that kept me invested in the movies. With the prequels, I just don't get that vibe. Maybe it's not even a real thing, maybe it's all in my head, but it's just that the prequels feel more like people just reading off of cue cards to me - with the exception of like, Obi Wan... Ironically, the person who did the best to convey emotion and make you feel for him was the person who was supposed to suppress strong emotions. Go figure.

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geekmarine said:

there was ridiculous dialog and bad acting in both sets of movies


There may have been spots with bad acting, especially in Episode 4, but ridiculous dialog? Again, the worst of the bunch is probably in Episode 4, but the lines in Empire are excellent and concise. Overall, the acting and dialog in the original trilogy is good and serves its purpose well. The dialog in the prequel trilogy is on a whole different level of bad. You really shouldn't put them in the same boat. It's almost insulting.

As for the rest of your post, I agree. I think what you're looking for is motivation. In the original trilogy, the movies were driven by the actions and motivations of the characters. In the prequels crap just happens on the screen in a semi-arranged order. Why do they bring Jar-Jar along? Why did they bring Anakin back to Naboo?? Why does Anakin hide in a fighter instead of back on the ship they came in with? What happens in the clusterfuck that is Episode 2? I still have no idea and I've watched the movie maybe 10-20 times over the years. Palpatine's plan is overly convoluted and impossible to understand. What the fuck is going on in the start of Episode 3? Was that planned? What is Obi-Wans goals and wishes? Who the hell is Padme? Why does she rage against democracy in Episode 1 and take matters into her own hands, but in Episodes 2 and 3 when she isn't directly involved, she becomes a hippie? What exactly does Padme want out of life other than simply be Anakin's wife? Does she have a personality? What is the purpose of the Jedi Council? Why are they all retarded?

At the end of Episode 4, we know exactly who Han, Leia and Luke were at that time in their life. We knew what they were searching for in life. I still have no idea who fucking Padme is. Other than the most boring and soul-less character ever created.

The fights and confrontations also lack any sort of emotional context. Only the part of Episode 1 where Obi-Wan is pissed off at Maul has a little. Obi-Wan vs. Grievous? None. Dooku vs. Anakin? None. Anakin vs. Obi-Wan? Well it had potential, but any emotional impact was flooded by the fight being waaaay too long and seemed to be choreographed by a 15 year old teenager.

Compare those to how in Episode 6, Luke for a moment gives in to his anger and lunges at Vader, bringing that story arc perfectly to a finish and paying off the huge set up of the three movies. A moment that sends chills down my spine every time. When the Ani - Obi fight starts in Ep3 I sigh in the realization that there will be 5 minutes of incredibly stupid and almost comical fight choreography.

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