From the previews McDonald provided not that long before my copy of the book arrived at last (but weeks sooner than I'd been expecting it to at the time), I had been anticipating "literary" comparisons. They were indeed there and nicely done, but I did find the book able to shift up and down from "Palpatine's plot" to "the fall of Anakin Skywalker," both reading the new movies for "story," to allusions, references, and symbolism, all with ease. In looking at the movies that way, I suppose I did have to imagine certain people reacting (if they would even bother to read the book at all) just by saying that while the plot and the pre-production might have had some depth to them after all, they could still proclaim the production and post-production were where things didn't work. However, as I read through the book casual, positive comments about the acting in this scene and that began to seem a small counter to that revamped objection.
I also knew the book's text had been completed just before the sale of Lucasfilm. This didn't seem to affect the preface and closing too much for me, but I did take some notice of "A Certain Point of View" being mentioned in the opening acknowledgments, and feeling bad that weblog hasn't been updated for a while. Given it had often made a strong case for "part of the appeal of Star Wars can be the very thing some people complain about, that George Lucas has managed to make a very personal statement in the field of 'blockbuster movies,' and we can't just demand it be adjusted to fit the way our expectations froze up decades ago," though, it's all too easy to see where things wouldn't have been the same afterwards. After that, though, there was a reference to Saga Journal (as "The Saga Journal," a perhaps even improved way of saying it), which just pointed further back. However, I was interested to see Bob Clark cited several times; Clark seems to be able to make positive comparisons between the Star Wars movies and cinema at large, a useful perspective to add to the book.
If the book did have a more "literary" aim to it, though, that might have been shown by it quoting all the novelizations and a few of the original Star Wars novels. That, I suppose, just pointed out to me how hard-line my own position of not having read any Star Wars novels for years is. (There were at least some references to the Clone Wars animated series, anyway, something that managed to engage me with the first thought "well, it's different.") In being aware of that, though, I might have started to wonder a bit the way Obi-Wan was being presented as the analysis got around to Revenge of the Sith and contrasting that to possibile interpretations of both him and Yoda as having been "compromised" by that movie and their attempt to "destroy the Sith," tying in to them holding the truth back from Luke later and even allowing for dark glimmerings of Obi-Wan putting Padme in at least the possibility for harm to try and place his former apprentice in a place where he can be condemned. These thoughts, though, may well have been picked up from the people I first encountered and their "Anakin-centric" view. In the end, though, I can think back to the preface and its call for "a certain creative interaction"; I may have added that interaction to the book as well.
This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/199534.ht