anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (lightsiders (OT))
[personal profile] anghraine
I recently re-watched Return of the Jedi, the film which began my love-hate relationship with SW as a whole.  On the upside, it contains many of the characters' best moments.  I love the entire Jabba sequence.  Han/Leia loses all squickiness and becomes simply adorable.  We really see Luke morphing into the Rebellion's Vader.

On the downside, Ewoks, wonky pacing, the plot requiring Luke to periodically forget he can use the Force (I guess he might have been using it to ensure that the rock hit the switch -- but not, inexplicably, to simply flip the switch, or to lift his dying father, or to tell Leia about the trap, or or or), and the retroactive incest.  Now, I've already talked about the meta reasons why I dislike that particular retcon -- but one of the things I've noticed is that each retcon, including the first (genuinely cool) one, makes the previously established canon creak a bit.  ANH and ESB, in particular, all but stagger under the weight of the retcons -- especially ANH.

For instance:  in Star Wars, Anakin Skywalker was Obi-Wan's friend, fellow Jedi Knight, and war buddy, who asked Obi-Wan to give his lightsaber to his little boy.  Darth Vader was Obi-Wan's apprentice wh went evil.  That is, Vader was still Obi-Wan's apprentice when he turned to the Dark Side.  He was never a full Jedi Knight.  This isn't just Obi-Wan being a lying liar who lies, either -- Vader himself unambiguously states that he was 'but a learner' the last time they met. 

In Empire, of course, Vader and Anakin are the same person.  So apparently, Anakin became a full-blown Jedi Knight, war hero, best starpilot in the galaxy, etc etc, all while remaining Obi-Wan's student. 

Um ... no wonder he was pissed off.  (I may hate most of everything in the prequels and consider them as little more than an AU of the original backstory, but I freely admit that they had a near-impossible job to do.)

And when Anakin turned, Obi-Wan pinned all his plans on Luke, their 'last hope.'  It's Yoda (y'know, who's still alive) who has to tell Obi-Wan (the one no longer bound to this earthly coil) that there's another potential Jedi out there. 

In Jedi, Anakin was already strong in the Force and a great pilot when he met Obi-Wan.  Okay, he was a fourteen-year-old prodigy or whatever.  And Luke has a twin sister, who is actually Princess Leia, who spent her first few years with their mother or something, and was totally snogging him last movie.  Moreover, Obi-Wan was the one who separated them, he saw Luke's instant infatuation with her, and fully encouraged it. 

The downside of being Mr Exposition in a retcon-heavy series:  after awhile, you end up looking like a total asshole.  Obi-Wan constantly lies, even when there's no reason for it (yes, Obi-Wan, you were different from Anakin -- not that Yoda would know what you were like as a young man, since he wasn't your master), he kidnapped Force-sensitive twins and took it upon himself to separate them, completely forgot about the existence of the girl because ... he's a great big sexist, and, oh yeah, he cheerfully enabled Luke's incestuous crush.  Hey, their inbred children would probably be really strong in the Force!

So yes:  each successive retcon seems to make the backstory more and more incoherent.  Even the first retcon created contradictions, but ever since Jedi, canon appears to be entirely held together by fanwank.  And since Obi-Wan provided the early exposition, his character suffers the most under the weight of the retcons, retroactively turning into a ruthless, compulsively lying manipulator.

All for a good cause, of course!


anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (Default)

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