Has anyone looked into the way luck helps the good guys in Star Wars?

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TeamCanadaWhat about bad luck? One of Vader's droids locating Luke & the Hoth rebels. Darth Vader surviving the Death Star battle 1.0. Luke & Leia's mother dying at birth. Alderaan being destroyed. Millennium Falcon never quite functioning at 100%.

This isn't particularly on topic, but I've had it in my head for a while that Palpatine killed Padme, maybe even gave Anakin those nightmares. It makes an otherwise terrible plot point a lot stronger. Know what you call a woman who just "loses the will to live" during childbirth? A shitty mom.
Oct 10, 2017 8:01 PM
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TeamCanadaWhat about bad luck? One of Vader's droids locating Luke & the Hoth rebels. Darth Vader surviving the Death Star battle 1.0. Luke & Leia's mother dying at birth. Alderaan being destroyed. Millennium Falcon never quite functioning at 100%.

This isn't particularly on topic, but I've had it in my head for a while that Palpatine killed Padme, maybe even gave Anakin those nightmares. It makes an otherwise terrible plot point a lot stronger. Know what you call a woman who just "loses the will to live" during childbirth? A shitty mom.

Yeah, except I try not to fill in SW exposition with fan logic even if we make it better. It's like Rey's flashbacks or whatever in TFA. If the movies tell us why or who instead of happenstance because of the force, thank you. I'm not counting on Luke telling Rey (i.e. the audience) that force dreams/memories are a type of mystical tool.
This feels like Harry Potter with ppl's ability to read & feed other's minds... which was addressed & used well enough for storytelling.
Oct 10, 2017 8:12 PM
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The beauty of the whole force angle is that any coincidence in Star Wars can be chocked up to fate.

That is a beauty that robs us of tension, leaves us with a theodicy, and invites the most needless and ridiculous of "explanations." Case and point, the mystery of R5's blown motivator.

I didn't say it couldn't be abused. Do you just disregard the entire fantasy genre?

The entire fantasy genre is not necessarily or even typically predicated on hard fatalism with regard to all particulars such that we would speculate why the Red Squire Reginald the Fifth, loses his motivation to accompany his knight, allowing for Blue Squire Roger Secundus Deacon, Second of his Name to follow the knight instead. Even in fantasy universes, most shit just happens to happen.?

At the point that ANY coincidence (to use your own words) can be chalked up to the force the background device has fallen into abuse at the hands of speculators.

When Luke gets his burning bush - the voice of Obi Wan telling him to eye ball the shot on the Death Star instead of use his computers, that is certainly the magic of the universe stepping in to tip the scales. But if we get no sense that the forces of good could ever lose (because the universe won't allow it), then there is no tension.

It's bad enough that from a story-telling point of view we already know that the good guys usually win (almost always so in hero tales) and that main characters, as a matter of structural necessity, have characters shields until they're done moving the plot forward. It is already hard enough to suspend disbelief and REALLY believe Luke won't blow up the Death Star from a narrative perspective without the bloat of fatalistic content added to the mix which aims to explain away all chance occurrences.
Oct 10, 2017 8:38 PM
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TeamCanadaWhat about bad luck? One of Vader's droids locating Luke & the Hoth rebels. Darth Vader surviving the Death Star battle 1.0. Luke & Leia's mother dying at birth. Alderaan being destroyed. Millennium Falcon never quite functioning at 100%.

every random occurrence is just a momentary frustration (a retarding device) or a mini-Deus Ex Machina (an advancing device).?
Oct 10, 2017 8:40 PM
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TeamCanadaWhat about bad luck? One of Vader's droids locating Luke & the Hoth rebels. Darth Vader surviving the Death Star battle 1.0. Luke & Leia's mother dying at birth. Alderaan being destroyed. Millennium Falcon never quite functioning at 100%.

This isn't particularly on topic, but I've had it in my head for a while that Palpatine killed Padme, maybe even gave Anakin those nightmares. It makes an otherwise terrible plot point a lot stronger. Know what you call a woman who just "loses the will to live" during childbirth? A shitty mom.


I just watched all three prequels with my kids. Enough time has passed that I am over any shock / disappointment from when The Phantom Menace hit the theaters. For me they are fun movies, and they get better going from part 1 to 2 to 3.

Anyway, when I watched part 3 the whole thing with her dying for no reason at all made no sense to me and left me confused. Lost the will to live? Yeah, your husband may be one of the biggest asses in the galaxy, but you have two kids to raise, you don't have to ever see him again, and you're rich enough to raise the kids and just enjoy life.

The first time I watched it I thought Vader choking her and tossing her to the ground hurt her, but then the medical robot says that there is nothing wrong with her.

So yeah, interesting theory on Palpatine.

edit- wow, I am used to the double space / question mark bug, but now when I quote and reply my paragraphs disappear? This poor forum.
Oct 11, 2017 1:34 PM
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This overall topic reminds me of a thread I wrote years ago about the way the forces of good are portrayed in the movies compared to evil. Wish I could find it, but in general, I noticed that with evil, it is usually very clearly present. Whereas good tends to show up in more subtle ways. Think of The Exorcist, with clearly impossible things happening for all to see. But the people going up against the demon are just normal people, often flawed ones at that.

In that silly 1999 Arnold movie End of Days, Satan appears as a huge winged demon rampaging all over the city. Going up against all that very obvious evil is Jericho Cane- a drunk, depressed, ex cop.

Someone made the point that if your typical all powerful Christian God showed up, the movie would be over in an instant because he could just crush anyone coming up against him. So the Devil can be powerful and seductive and more obvious, but to have any challenge in the plot God (or whatever force) has to work in more subtle ways, through normal people.
Oct 11, 2017 1:50 PM
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The beauty of the whole force angle is that any coincidence in Star Wars can be chocked up to fate.

That is a beauty that robs us of tension, leaves us with a theodicy, and invites the most needless and ridiculous of "explanations." Case and point, the mystery of R5's blown motivator.

I didn't say it couldn't be abused. Do you just disregard the entire fantasy genre?

The entire fantasy genre is not necessarily or even typically predicated on hard fatalism with regard to all particulars such that we would speculate why the Red Squire Reginald the Fifth, loses his motivation to accompany his knight, allowing for Blue Squire Roger Secundus Deacon, Second of his Name to follow the knight instead. Even in fantasy universes, most shit just happens to happen.?

At the point that ANY coincidence (to use your own words) can be chalked up to the force the background device has fallen into abuse at the hands of speculators.

When Luke gets his burning bush - the voice of Obi Wan telling him to eye ball the shot on the Death Star instead of use his computers, that is certainly the magic of the universe stepping in to tip the scales. But if we get no sense that the forces of good could ever lose (because the universe won't allow it), then there is no tension.

It's bad enough that from a story-telling point of view we already know that the good guys usually win (almost always so in hero tales) and that main characters, as a matter of structural necessity, have characters shields until they're done moving the plot forward. It is already hard enough to suspend disbelief and REALLY believe Luke won't blow up the Death Star from a narrative perspective without the bloat of fatalistic content added to the mix which aims to explain away all chance occurrences.

All good points, and when you think about it, they apply to storytelling as a whole. When you think about it, fiction is largely a means of placatinh the masses, i.e. falsely assurinh them that one day, too, they will triumph over what's holding them back from defeating their demons both internal and external. If you grow up in a healthy and constructive manner, you will find yourself consuming more news articles and documentaries than works of fiction. After all, the proportion to the religious to the non-religious is roughly the same as the proportion of documentary ticket sales to fictional film ticket sales. Let that sink in for a bit.
Oct 11, 2017 7:51 PM
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I can only say that I consider some of these things, at least in the first movie, merely plot-points which must occur for anything to happen. Almost like saying, "well, boy wasn't it lucky that Dorothy met that Scarecrow, Tin-Man, and Lion. I mean, isn't it convenient that the tin-man just happened to rust and get stuck there til she came along?"
Otherwise, I understand your point, I can only tolerate a certain amount of Deus Ex Machina in my plots before I will simply turn a movie off.
The egregious example that we see over and over and over again is the "discovery" of some crucial piece of evidence that was right under our noses all along through some "accident". We see this when someone spills an envelope of pictures or a briefcase is spilled or (worst possible and so cringeworthy every time it happens) someone gets angry and just sweeps all the evidence off the desk or wall, in all cases only to then in the moment of despair, see the crucial clue in some document or photo or recording seen anew under these circumstances.
One could probably put together a collage of over a hundred of these on youtube in under a day.
But I digress. That's the kind of luck I can't stand. "Wasn't it lucky Han Solo was at the bar" does not phase me that's just plot.
Oct 12, 2017 1:54 PM
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WooleyI can only say that I consider some of these things, at least in the first movie, merely plot-points which must occur for anything to happen. Almost like saying, "well, boy wasn't it lucky that Dorothy met that Scarecrow, Tin-Man, and Lion. I mean, isn't it convenient that the tin-man just happened to rust and get stuck there til she came along?"
Otherwise, I understand your point, I can only tolerate a certain amount of Deus Ex Machina in my plots before I will simply turn a movie off.
The egregious example that we see over and over and over again is the "discovery" of some crucial piece of evidence that was right under our noses all along through some "accident". We see this when someone spills an envelope of pictures or a briefcase is spilled or (worst possible and so cringeworthy every time it happens) someone gets angry and just sweeps all the evidence off the desk or wall, in all cases only to then in the moment of despair, see the crucial clue in some document or photo or recording seen anew under these circumstances.
One could probably put together a collage of over a hundred of these on youtube in under a day.
But I digress. That's the kind of luck I can't stand. "Wasn't it lucky Han Solo was at the bar" does not phase me that's just plot.

I think this is right on the money.
Oct 12, 2017 4:51 PM
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Wooley I can only tolerate a certain amount of Deus Ex Machina in my plots before I will simply turn a movie off.

How do you feel about the climaxes of every Indiana Jones movie, minus Temple of Doom?
Oct 12, 2017 9:21 PM
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