Star Wars. Not many film sagas carry as much weight as the Star Wars franchise. With millions of fans worldwide since the 1970's the force filled science fiction saga has pleased and enraged fans for as long as most can remember. With the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the third and arguably most divisive trilogy of these films, will be coming to a close. Whether you loved or hated the most recent film, I am about to remind you why you need to go and watch this one in December.
Not a Fan Rant *DISCLAIMER*
While I could easily nerd out and rant about Star Wars, listing all of my clear biases supporting why you should watch this and every installment again and again, this blog post won't be that. We will be going though the history of Star Wars, the filmography and story telling that have lead up to this newest movie. When taking the whole story, and the history of Star Wars into account this final film is a must see for anyone who is or has been a fan.
Poetry in Star Wars
"You see the echo of where it's all gonna go, it's like poetry, it rhymes."
This video by Pablo Fernandez Eyre, a Hollywood commercial and television editor has always stood out to me as a fan. It does a great job of showing how the first two trilogies mirrored and echoed each other as George Lucas worked on his epic saga of space art. If you watch the video you'll see how carefully the tones and themes of the trilogies told their own story, one big story, while always paying homage to and complimenting each other in a unique poetic way. I believe this runs deeper then story arcs and scenes, I think the structure of the movies and how they are released also echo each other, let me explain.
Classic Storytelling: Beginning, Middle, and End
All stories have a structure. If you remember your middle school English class reading and reciting the classic Shakespearean plays you spent months where your teacher tried to teach you about how a good story is written and how the protagonist progresses. The basic structure of these tails always starts with conflict, bridged by a journey of growth, this coupled by rising conflict that leads to a conclusion that resolved that conflict. Each movie tends to follow this pattern.
Take each movie and apply this narrative arc. It works, keeps audiences interested during the film and then lulls us into the conclusion as things are calm again and we can go home and figure out what Star Wars toys we want to buy. While this works great for the structure of a story that you watch in a single sitting what the trilogies of Star Wars have consistently done is tell three part stories that turn this arc upside down.
The Star Wars Trilogy "Narrative Dip" theory
Each Star Wars Trilogy has started out with a huge amount of hype. While it's still a set-up for the next two movies the audience reception is typically overwhelming. Everyone goes and sees it and the climax right out of the gate is strong and exciting.
The Original Let Down
When the first Star Wars trilogy was underway The Empire Strikes Back received mixed review. While before the angry comment section and meme days people were still confused, annoyed and frustrated that their questions weren't answered and that they didn't get the payoff they were expecting. Having never seen anything quite like the original Star Wars they were dissaointed by how different the second movie was and it left them wanting more.
Some of the reactions to this movie were saved by archive.org and it's pretty interesting to see.
I know they wanted to leave something to settle in the other sequels, but they left a little too much. For instance, Han Solo’s predicament. The movie should not have ended until Han was either killed by Boba Fett or Jabba or rescued by Lando Calrissian or Chewbacca, the former, preferably. Also, the fate of Bespin is not told. Was it taken by Lando’s troops, taken by Imperial troops or destroyed by Vader? I like Lando Calrissian and Billy Dee Williams was very good playing the part. -Sean Bernard
Return of the Jedi, the third Star Wars movie released answered the questions many had and ended on a high note concluding the initial story and giving audiences a triumphant finish.
The Prequel Dip
Although highly criticized when released the prequel trilogy followed this exact same pattern. The second movie in these triogies seem to take a dip while building up what becomes the finale. I remember the friends I knew mostly enjoyed the film but we're annoyed by the cheesy romance and felt like it was a bit underwhelming leaving a lot to be concluded. Poor writing criticisms aside the film was mostly enjoyed but a bit confusing and misunderstood until the next movie. Once the last movie of the trilogy came out it became clear that it's predecessor set everything up for a shocking dark conclusion computing Anikan's fall and the beginning of Darth Vader, perfectly setting up the conflict that begins in the original trilogy.
The Skywalker Conclusion
The Last Jedi was very divisive. Fans were in uproar when it felt like everything set up in The Force Awakens was forgotten and tossed by the way side just to allow the director to do what he thought was best.
Questions weren't answered and people were very confused with what direction the trilogy intended to go from there. I believe that this disappointment is the Star Wars trilogy dip we've seen twice before.
With one movie remaining I predict that this last addition to the sequel trilogy will follow it's predecessors in giving a spectacular conclusion and exceeding our expectations. The pattern of subverting expectations and setting the next movie up for a big end is a Star Wars staple and with the trailers that have been released it certainly seems like things will be going that way. Not only will this end the trilogy it will be a conclusion to the last two trilogies that came before it. This movie is set up to be a final note in a story that's been developing since the beginning of Star Wars and you need to see it if you are a true Star Wars fan.
Thank you for reading! We at Pulse Productions are huge Star Wars fans, the films and stories I've watched growing up have shaped my understanding of good story telling and what makes a video worth watching. The art behind creating a video is important and I love being in this industry. If our team can assist you with telling your story whether it be a commercial, wedding film, music video or documentary don't hesitate to reach out. We are story tellers by trade and would love to work with you. Let's Get Visual.
Owner Pulse Productions