« on: January 10, 2005, 02:00 PM »
I think the issues of character and story are what set apart the OT and PT. I think it's actually pretty easy to see why there are such differences between the two.
The OT deals with (somewhat) everyday people. Meaning people who are NOT Jedi. As a result, we've got a story full of people who are struggling to make a better life for themselves, and it tends to make them a little saltier.
-Leia is an adept political operator who will resort to unorthodox methods.
-Luke is a dreamer trying to follow in his father's footsteps.
-Han is a loner who is mainly wrapped up in his own problems and has a scurrilous past.
-Chewie is his loyal sidekick.
-The droids are the comic relief
-Obi-Wan & Yoda are the mystical guides
-Lando: a traitor/scoundrel who redeems himself
-Vader is the villain who seeks greater power, hunting the heroes to serve his own purposes.
-Palpatine is the overseeing evil genius.
This is where things differ greatly from the PT. Everyone has some sort of overriding motivation. The PT is quite different in contrast.
-Padme/Amidala is much like Leia, but probably more idealistic
-Qui-Gon Jinn is something of a Jedi rebel, but he still serves the Jedi Council loyally. His story needed to be further fleshed out.
-Obi-Wan Kenobi has developed slowly from an apprentice to a master, but is still a Jedi. Hence, no ordinary personal conflicts arise for him aside from the master/apprentice relationship between him and Anakin.
-Anakin is the dreamer in the PT. He seeks to become a Jedi and does. His ambition, attachment and quest for power are the source of his undoing.
-Jar Jar Binks is something of a loyal sidekick, but really more comic relief in TPM.
-R2-D2 seems to have taken on the Chewie role of loyal sidekick in the PT.
-C-3PO is more of the comic relief side of the droids.
-Darth Maul is the malicious villain with very simple motivations: destroy the Jedi. In other words, a very one dimensional character. None of Maul's backstory is important, and we don't even see his ambition to destroy his own master.
-Count Dooku: the traitor. Someone of great power and knowledge who has turned on the Jedi. This is somewhat similar to Lando's role, since Dooku is used by Palpatine to get to Anakin, much in the same way Vader uses Han, Leia et all to get to Luke.
-Darth Sidious: again, the evil mastermind.
Even though there are numerous parallels in how the characters function in the stories, the key differences are their own personal motivations. How are they so drastically different? Easy answer. In the OT, our heroes are constatnly on the run from the evil authorities. In the PT, they're part of the authority system and they're also part of something of a religious order, but they don't see that the system they serve is evil until it's too late. This makes for a more subtle kind of story, and I think that's why it hasn't taken root as well with many fans.