MSQuigg

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    A Comparison of the Star Wars Expanded Universes

    Take a survey of how both expansions – Legends and the Disney canon – differ in scope, focus, style, and tone. This may be better explored after the release of episode IX and the coming books/comics surrounding it. Possible questions: How do both expansions implement and/or break away from the source films? How do their stories differ? What have been the reactions from fans over the years to both expansions?

    • Love this topic. I think about this a lot. Scope of article could be problematic, I suggest that you focus on several comparable texts/eras. – Sean Gadus 1 year ago
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    • I would explore certain eras from both old and new canon material to help differentiate specific traits between the two continuities. – BMartin43 1 year ago
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    • This is a great idea, but both canons are so massive so it would be great if you could pinpoint specific topics and stories to compare in similar timelines in order for this article to more concise – cbo1094 1 year ago
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    Latest Comments

    Solid summary of many points that authors who write about writing make all the time. Simple and concise, but effective.

    The "Write" Way

    I agree with some of your points – pretty much all of the second part, parts of the third and fourth – but there are a few too many times you use the “the prequels did it too” position. I get what you’re trying to say, but if you’re going to be arguing for the inherent quality of the films, then pointing at the negative stuff and saying that the negative stuff appears in the prequels too doesn’t automatically approve the quality of those decisions. In fact, in some ways, it compounds them.

    I think the reason people point to the acting and dialogue so much as negatives is that, well, they’re just bad. Sure, there are probably pieces of the acting and dialogue that really fit the characters, but it all seems unintentional. It feels as though the actors are trying their best with what they have but it isn’t enough. There is such a wide disconnect of what the audience is supposed to understand about the characters and what is often portrayed.

    I agree on your points about how good some of the lines though – can’t forget the classic: “Only Sith deal in absolutes,” which I think is a great line that has a lot of double-meanings behind it. But sure, we can point to some good lines here and there, but that does little to quell the rest of the dialogue, which is largely lacking and stiff.

    I come at this as a big Star Wars fan, by the way. I love the prequels for their visuals and how they expand the universe, but I can’t ignore that, as a film trilogy, they are sorely lacking.

    In Defense of the Star Wars Prequels

    This is something I think about quite a lot when thinking about the history of the history of narrative art in general. In some ways, its comforting that we can look back on these films like Grease and be able to identify what parts of these films go against today’s standards and separate these points from the central idea of the film. However, seeing as though there are still movies like 50 Shades of Gray being released, exhibiting these same problems that we (so we assume) have moved past, it definitely seems to be a persistent problem.

    This could also be used to argue why film as an art medium should be taken more seriously. A lot of times behavior like this is excused, and in a comedy’s sake, laughed at, because it follows a sort of “logic” that’s expected in these sorts of films. This is probably most prevalent in romantic comedies, where its expected for the two love interests to come together and fall in love without much thought to the consequences or paths that each character takes to get there.

    The Dark Side of Romance in Movies

    In some ways, at least with these examples, the current form of the Byronic hero (which I wasn’t aware there was a term for before this article, so thanks!) could be seen as response to the traditional masculine archetype. As you say, they exhibit these grounded, rough-edged, and seemingly uncaring traits, but the focus of their narratives turns to how this exterior breaks away rather than emphasized more. Instead of the situational challenges strengthening their masculine resolve, their archetypal moment is when their humanity and sympathy bleeds through. In this way, it goes to show how this result (at least it seems in practice) is more appealing than the straight-edge, sweat-coated image of a male hero. (Not to suggest that masculinity is not part of humanity, of course.)

    Bad Boys, Bad Boys: The Persistent Presence of the Byronic Hero