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StillKirok

General Star Wars Discussion

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I actually didn't think lifting the X Wing out of the water was bad ass.  I think it illustrated a point that the weight of the object has little to do with the use of the Force.  That said, when I meant showing he was a bad ass, I meant fighting.

 

And I think Yoda did win that fight.  The only reason Dooku got away was because Yoda chose to save Obi Wan and Anakin rather than go after Dooku.

 

Edited by StillKirok

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It was unexpected to see him that amazing.  Finally, after all those years, the audience gets to see why Yoda was such a badass, and that laughter was joy at seeing Yoda kick so much butt. 

But in that one scene, everything mystical about Yoda and the Force is ruined. 

'Look at me! Judge me by my size, do you?'

Yoda was so special and magical because you'd never think that this tiny creature could be so powerful in the Force. Everything he taught Luke - and the audience - in Empire revolved around the notion that the Force wasn't limited by handicap; That you could move anything from rocks to starships with your mind, sheer willpower, and belief in yourself and the Force. That fighting was only the last resort, that the Force was for knowledge and defense. But by giving Yoda a baby-sized lightsaber, and making him leap around just in order to reach Dooku, you base and limit his ability in the Force based solely on his handicap. On his size.

I actually didn't think lifting the X Wing out of the water was bad ass.

 

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Edited by Happy Russia

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When he lifted Luke's x-wing fighter out of the swamp on Dagobah?  THAT was badass.

No doubt. A little kid could watch that in awe. ]

I still watch it in awe.   It's Yoda's finest moment, as far as I'm concerned.  His fight with Dooku didn't even require a lightsaber if he could do that.   If anything, his drawing a lightsaber kind of ruined his powerful pacifism; he told Luke not to bring weapons into the cave, and he told Luke that "wars not make one great."  He statement was in mockery of Luke for referring to him as a 'great warrior'; clearly Yoda was a pacifist. 

So what does the prequelized Yoda do in a confrontation?  Draws his stupid little weapon.  Nice retcon, George...  

I actually didn't think lifting the X Wing out of the water was bad ass. 

cce08e4ddc38b89270cc7f3efaef27fc.gif 

Supremely bad ass, it was.   That it was not appreciated?  Sad, that is... 

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So what does the prequelized Yoda do in a confrontation?  Draws his stupid little weapon.  Nice retcon, George... 

What galls me is Lucas' recent little 'nobody appreciates me' pity party. Good God, man, what did you expect? You systematically destroy people's childhood memories and then, with the prequels, prove in spectacular fashion that you suck hard as a filmmaker and you find it upsetting that people aren't fans?

Just wow.

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So what does the prequelized Yoda do in a confrontation?  Draws his stupid little weapon.  Nice retcon, George... 

What galls me is Lucas' recent little 'nobody appreciates me' pity party. Good God, man, what did you expect? You systematically destroy people's childhood memories and then, with the prequels, prove in spectacular fashion that you suck hard as a filmmaker and you find it upsetting that people aren't fans?

Just wow.

I was reading about that earlier; Lucas says "The Force Awakens" should "please the fans."   Well, let's hope so.   His own prequels certainly didn't... 

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So what does the prequelized Yoda do in a confrontation?  Draws his stupid little weapon.  Nice retcon, George... 

What galls me is Lucas' recent little 'nobody appreciates me' pity party. Good God, man, what did you expect? You systematically destroy people's childhood memories and then, with the prequels, prove in spectacular fashion that you suck hard as a filmmaker and you find it upsetting that people aren't fans?

Just wow.

I was reading about that earlier; Lucas says "The Force Awakens" should "please the fans."   Well, let's hope so.   His own prequels certainly didn't... 

It almost worries me that he says he liked it.

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So what does the prequelized Yoda do in a confrontation?  Draws his stupid little weapon.  Nice retcon, George... 

What galls me is Lucas' recent little 'nobody appreciates me' pity party. Good God, man, what did you expect? You systematically destroy people's childhood memories and then, with the prequels, prove in spectacular fashion that you suck hard as a filmmaker and you find it upsetting that people aren't fans?

Just wow.

I was reading about that earlier; Lucas says "The Force Awakens" should "please the fans."   Well, let's hope so.   His own prequels certainly didn't... 

It almost worries me that he says he liked it.

Yeah, I know what you mean; I think I felt better about it when he complained that it strayed from 'his vision'... :laugh:

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I think we saw that scene differently.  For me, Yoda fighting Dooku reinforced his Force badassery. 

His power with the Force was greater than any Jedi we had seen up until that point.  Granted, our experience with different Jedi were limited, but this was the first time someone stood up to Force lightning and handle it.  Yoda took it and shook it off.

The fight begins with the traditional Yoda, slowly entering and looking very much like the 850 year old he is.  But as necessary, he uses the Force to do what had to be done.

If the Jedi were pacifists, they wouldn't even TRAIN in lightsaber duels.  However, I don't see the Jedi as pacifists.  I see them as people who will defend those who can't defend themselves when necessary.  And when that has to happen, they are pretty bad ass.

As Yoda is the Jedi of all Jedi, it makes sense that he has to be brilliant with a lightsaber.

To show that, they had to come up with a Sith that was capable of taking down two of the best Jedi we know.  By defeating Kenobi and Anakin so easily, Dooku established himself as someone just short of the Emperor himself in terms of being formidable.

Yoda doesn't draw his weapon and rush in, but he got there at a point where he had no choice--fight or let two great Jedi die. 

Yoda took on Dooku without a lightsaber at first, and both of them showed ridiculous control over The Force. 

Dooku wanted to kill Yoda.  It was like a battle of great wizards at first. 

When that proved to be a stalemate, Dooku pressed the battle with the lightsaber duel and Yoda responded in self defense. Dooku realized quickly he couldn't win, so he used the Force to attack Anakin and Kenobi, and Yoda, acting in defense of others, saved them as Dooku escaped.

It was fun only because the audience knew Yoda so well but never saw a demonstration of how great he is. 

But by giving Yoda a baby-sized lightsaber, and making him leap around just in order to reach Dooku, you base and limit his ability in the Force based solely on his handicap. On his size.

 

Did we judge him by his size?  You bet we did, and made the same mistake Luke did in Empire.  We judged Yoda by his size, and in that battle, he showed that size matters not.  I think it was a great moment for Yoda.

 

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Yoda using a lightsaber negates everything that he was in Empire. Period. The point in Empire was that being a Jedi was more than waving around a lazer sword. But a fight between two masters using anything but a lightsaber became unfathomable to Lucas. I would've loved it had it been them using a more mental less physical form of fight.but it had to be this ridiculous tiny sword and flipping around. Why is he walking with a cane again? 

I liked it better when what a Jedi wereand what the force is was more fluid. Before it became a creepy cult of sword wavers. 

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If the Jedi were pacifists, they wouldn't even TRAIN in lightsaber duels.  However, I don't see the Jedi as pacifists.  I see them as people who will defend those who can't defend themselves when necessary.  And when that has to happen, they are pretty bad ass.

"A Jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense... never for attack."

"Wars not make one great" (Yoda's mocking response to Luke's referring to the Jedi master as "a great warrior").

"Your weapons... you will not need them."

^
Examples to the contrary; maybe not entirely pacifists, but they don't take delight in aggression or hostility (as a 'warrior' would).

And if Yoda were as in tune with the force as he was in "Empire" (the ability to move starships with his mind) using a lightsaber would be like taking your daughter's tricycle to work when you have a fully fueled BMW in the garage. 

Did we judge him by his size?  You bet we did, and made the same mistake Luke did in Empire.  We judged Yoda by his size, and in that battle, he showed that size matters not.  I think it was a great moment for Yoda.

How??

He leaped around like a WB cartoon, didn't even land his blade on Dooku once, and then let him get away without so much as a scratch:  How, oh how, is that a "great moment" for the character?  He didn't even win, for chrissakes....  

At least when he moved the X-wing out of the swamp he PROVED a point to Luke.  His fight with Dooku could've NEVER EVEN HAPPENED and the outcome of AOTC would've been unchanged.   Yoda's battle with Dooku was entirely without consequence; how is that a 'badass moment'? 

When that proved to be a stalemate, Dooku pressed the battle with the lightsaber duel and Yoda responded in self defense. Dooku realized quickly he couldn't win, so he used the Force to attack Anakin and Kenobi, and Yoda, acting in defense of others, saved them as Dooku escaped.

Dooku chose to end the stalemate not because he was in jeopardy, but because it was pointless; and his diversionary attack proved he was the more clever of the two because it WORKED.   I saw AOTC as Yoda's (and Star Wars') lowest point, really.... 

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Ok--your first Yoda quote--a Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense--never for attack. 

That is what Yoda did against Dooku.  He used the Force to defend both himself and Anakin and Obi Wan. 

With not needing the weapons in Empire, Yoda was talking about that particular situation--not in general.  Jedi use lightsabers.  It's a big thing for them.  That goes back to Obi-Wan introducing it to Luke.

You're right--a warrior would not take pleasure in fighting, and I don't think Yoda did at all.

Dooku took out two well skilled Jedi with absolute ease.  He couldn't touch Yoda.  Like you said, if a Jedi isn't supposed to use the Force for attack, and only for defense, then killing Dooku was not his goal.  You're looking at it that Yoda didn't hurt Dooku.  I'm seeing that Dooku, the number 2 dark Jedi out there, couldn't lay a finger on Yoda.

 

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Lightsabers were overused in the prequels and Yoda having one turned what started off as an interesting idea for a fight (you know, something other than the lightsaber fight we just sat through) using the force to fight as opposed to using a weapon...and then through it all out the door when they pull out their weapons..  All the magic and fun of Yoda was sucked out of him when he just pulls out a weapon and flips around. I can't feel anything for the cartoon flipping Yoda, because I can barely see him as hops all over the place.

The character of Yoda was supposed to be above all the fighting stuff.  He expanded the idea of what a Jedi is into something more. Something greater.  The prequels then made him just another Jedi who likes to play Knight. 

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Ok--your first Yoda quote--a Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense--never for attack. 

That is what Yoda did against Dooku.  He used the Force to defend both himself and Anakin and Obi Wan. 

With not needing the weapons in Empire, Yoda was talking about that particular situation--not in general.  Jedi use lightsabers.  It's a big thing for them.  That goes back to Obi-Wan introducing it to Luke.

You're right--a warrior would not take pleasure in fighting, and I don't think Yoda did at all.

Dooku took out two well skilled Jedi with absolute ease.  He couldn't touch Yoda.  Like you said, if a Jedi isn't supposed to use the Force for attack, and only for defense, then killing Dooku was not his goal.  You're looking at it that Yoda didn't hurt Dooku.  I'm seeing that Dooku, the number 2 dark Jedi out there, couldn't lay a finger on Yoda.

 

Prequelized Yoda went spoiling for a fight with the Emperor; who more or less kicked his little green butt, too.  Again; George forgot how his own creation worked.

And about needing 'no weapons' in the cave?  Yes, it was for that specific occasion but refer to the other quotes I listed; Yoda (and presumably the Jedi) have no appetite for war and aggression.   Yet, in the prequels we see both Obi wan and Anakin gleefully killing their enemies and even Yoda takes a bit of pleasure in taunting the Emperor (not to mention slicing/dicing stormtroopers; whom he could've simply force-pushed off a ledge).  

That is not the Jedi as I imagined them.   I pictured them as more Buddhist/Samurais.  Skilled in combat, but even more skilled in avoiding it.    But we see them only as super-soldiers in the prequels; which is contrary to almost everything we've been told about them.   The Jedi of the prequels rush into battle with lightsabers blazing;  we rarely (if ever?) see them try to avoid conflict without a weapon...

And another reason Yoda doesn't need a lightsaber; he is not a Jedi knight, but a Jedi MASTER.  A teacher, an educator; he's above simple combat.   Yoda is (or was, in the OT) an all-wise sage whose means of defense had apparently evolved beyond swordplay; that's (literally) something he teaches kids.   He can pull spaceships from swamps (!); he'd need a lightsaber like Jackson Pollock would need a paint-by-numbers kit.

Lightsabers were overused in the prequels and Yoda having one turned what started off as an interesting idea for a fight (you know, something other than the lightsaber fight we just sat through) using the force to fight as opposed to using a weapon...and then through it all out the door when they pull out their weapons..  All the magic and fun of Yoda was sucked out of him when he just pulls out a weapon and flips around. I can't feel anything for the cartoon flipping Yoda, because I can barely see him as hops all over the place.

The character of Yoda was supposed to be above all the fighting stuff.  He expanded the idea of what a Jedi is into something more. Something greater.  The prequels then made him just another Jedi who likes to play Knight. 

^
Very much this.

His swordplay was silly and only served to diminish him as a character.   Not to mention it bordered on retcon at times; he's so powerful but both times, he didn't win (?!).   

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Dooku took out two well skilled Jedi with absolute ease. 

No. He took out ONE skilled Jedi only because said Jedi felt the need to jump in to protect an idiot.

 

Lightsabers were overused in the prequels and Yoda having one turned what started off as an interesting idea for a fight (you know, something other than the lightsaber fight we just sat through) using the force to fight as opposed to using a weapon...and then through it all out the door when they pull out their weapons..  All the magic and fun of Yoda was sucked out of him when he just pulls out a weapon and flips around. I can't feel anything for the cartoon flipping Yoda, because I can barely see him as hops all over the place.

The character of Yoda was supposed to be above all the fighting stuff.  He expanded the idea of what a Jedi is into something more. Something greater.  The prequels then made him just another Jedi who likes to play Knight. 

Totally agree. 

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I suppose I could take his time in solitude in Dagobah as reflectionary period in which he comes to a different understanding of the Force. I know, it's a stretch, especially for a character that's supposed to be a couple of hundred of years old that should have figured out that stuff some time ago. 

While I was amused at the 'active' Yoda, there were plenty of people in the theater laughing it off. It became a very divisive scene for sure. The whole notion of reducing the fight to a saber duel sounds wrongheaded considering what The Force is, you know, THE ultimate weapon. I expected something different from those encounters between Yoda and Dooku and Palpatine. 

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I suppose I could take his time in solitude in Dagobah as reflectionary period in which he comes to a different understanding of the Force. I know, it's a stretch, especially for a character that's supposed to be a couple of hundred of years old that should have figured out that stuff some time ago. 

Well, complete, unqualified failure in saving the galaxy from potentially unending tyranny can cause some serious introspection. 

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Could think of the 'resort to lightsabers' as not wanting to go into an hour+ fight with special effects/CGI to show their respective Mastery of the Force, showcasing and possibly explaing how each's master is better.  Shonen Anime/Manga go down that route, and it drags out fights for months if not years of RL time.  Can't do that in a movie. 

 

Based off the original trillogy; use of the Force was done very understated.  You had 1 instance of Force Lightning (multiple applications) when Palpatine tortures Luke; but all other uses of the Force were visually simple.  Throwing objects, moving objects, acrobatics, mind reading/control, ESP-like sensing and Force Chokes.  I

 

Prequel trillogy was more of the same, except with more of most of the above.  Even in the canon Clone Wars/Rebels, use of the Force stuck to easy to show and not need to explain things.

Admittedly, they should have toned down Yoda's kiai'ing (shrieking etc) for the entire Dooku lightsaber fight.  It was way too much.  Corrected for the Yoda vs Palpatine fight.

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Could think of the 'resort to lightsabers' as not wanting to go into an hour+ fight with special effects/CGI to show their respective Mastery of the Force, showcasing and possibly explaing how each's master is better.  Shonen Anime/Manga go down that route, and it drags out fights for months if not years of RL time.  Can't do that in a movie. 

 

Based off the original trillogy; use of the Force was done very understated.  You had 1 instance of Force Lightning (multiple applications) when Palpatine tortures Luke; but all other uses of the Force were visually simple.  Throwing objects, moving objects, acrobatics, mind reading/control, ESP-like sensing and Force Chokes.  I

 

Prequel trillogy was more of the same, except with more of most of the above.  Even in the canon Clone Wars/Rebels, use of the Force stuck to easy to show and not need to explain things.

Admittedly, they should have toned down Yoda's kiai'ing (shrieking etc) for the entire Dooku lightsaber fight.  It was way too much.  Corrected for the Yoda vs Palpatine fight.

For a movie that was 75% CGI you can't tell me this one fight was too much for them.  It doesn't have to be crazy, it just needed to be something a little more ethereal and less average. 

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  Can't do that in a movie. 

They sure tried in Sith.

 For a movie that was 75% CGI you can't tell me this one fight was too much for them.  It doesn't have to be crazy, it just needed to be something a little more ethereal and less average. 

This.

That's what it boiled down to: it was just the easiest way for Yoda to fight. They wanted it done, no one cared about how the character would do it. 

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You had 1 instance of Force Lightning (multiple applications) when Palpatine tortures Luke; but all other uses of the Force were visually simple.

Well, the lightning (at least in Jedi) was more of a storytelling element than a show of special effects. The Emperor is so powerful, so irredeemably evil, that he could've just stopped Luke's heart from beating. But he wanted to torture him, as you said, because it's part of the narrative. The next time we see someone use lightning (Dooku), it's not as a storytelling element, it's because he achieved Level 12 Sith status and had a shiny power to show off. It lost the awe, what made you think, 'S***, that's one evil dude.'

Edited by Happy Russia

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Going to keep TFA stuff out of this thread for at least a week or two, but to prepare, like probably millions of others, I've been watching the OT this week.

Finished ROTJ yesterday.

Some thoughts--it's still unclear as to when and how Vader found out Luke was his son.  It's very clear he had no clue in Episode IV.  Lucas screwed up in the special edition by having the opening scroll say that Vader was looking for Luke, Vader mentioning Luke by name, and THEN have the Emperor's dialogue imply that HE was the one revealing Luke was his son.

Onto Jedi.  I saw "How ROTJ should have ended" on Youtube, and they bring up some funny points.

My first thought on the rewatch was that Jabba should have bargained.  Ok, I get he didn't take Luke seriously when he arrived.  But Jabba knows the Jedi.  He's old enough. 

When Luke calls himself a Jedi and Jabba laughs it off that's fine.  But Luke immediately shows Jabba that he knows the mind trick, which is a good sign that he has some Jedi power.

Then he tries to kill Luke by sending him through a trap door into a cave where there is a monster so large, it eats everyone, and Luke was unarmed.

Luke proceeds to kick the crap out of that beast, and kills it, walking away without a scratch.

Jabba's a smart guy.  You would think logically, he would realize, Luke can back up his threats and as a Jedi, Luke is a threat. 

Therefore Jabba should know the party is over.  Luke has a good plan.

Jabba has 2 options:

1. Kill everyone

2. Bargain.

He chose option 1, but why not just SHOOT them and THEN go to the pit? 

Either way, trying to kill them?  That was the dumbest idea of his life.

Just take the money.

Other thoughts--

 

Is it me or did the Emperor die too easily?  He was older than when we last saw him but thought he LOOKED a bit frail, that can be deceiving.  He's still a badass.

So when Vader picks him up, even if he could somehow get him into the pit without some Force backlash, couldn't the Emperor have turned the lightning off and used the Force to levitate himself out of the pit and break his fall? 

And the fight between Luke and Vader--why didn't Vader do what he did before, and fling objects at Luke?

And how did Luke get so much better?  What happened between Empire and Jedi?  Did Obi Wan appear as a Force Ghost and continue Luke's training?  It's the only thing that makes sense.

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And the fight between Luke and Vader--why didn't Vader do what he did before, and fling objects at Luke?

And how did Luke get so much better?  What happened between Empire and Jedi?  Did Obi Wan appear as a Force Ghost and continue Luke's training?  It's the only thing that makes sense.

1) He didn't want to kill him in Empire, and he didn't want to kill him in Jedi either. He said it himself in the previous film, "You can destroy the Emperor, he has foreseen this. Join me, and together, we can rule the galaxy as father and son." That was always Vader's intention. To turn Luke to the Dark Side for his gain. To have an apprentice of his own to topple the Emperor and rule as he saw fit.

2) It's been understood by fans, for years, that Luke returned to Tatooine, taking up residence in Ben Kenobi's old shack, and training there. Before the prequels ruined everything about the Jedi, building a lightsaber was the most daunting task -- and the rite of passage -- for a Jedi Knight. So he did. He trained more, learned more, and eventually taught himself how to construct a new lightsaber -- and like most apprentices -- he modeled his after Obi-Wan's.

Edited by Happy Russia

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My first thought on the rewatch was that Jabba should have bargained.  Ok, I get he didn't take Luke seriously when he arrived.  But Jabba knows the Jedi.  He's old enough. 

He was also old enough to remember that they were extinct (for the last 20 years) and for all Jabba knew, Luke was just some nutty kid pretending to be a Knight of the Round Table, or Don Quixote.   Jabba probably thought Luke was too young to be a 'real' Jedi; hence, he didn't take his threats seriously.

When Luke calls himself a Jedi and Jabba laughs it off that's fine.  But Luke immediately shows Jabba that he knows the mind trick, which is a good sign that he has some Jedi power.

Which also didn't WORK on Jabba; hence the mockery.

So when Vader picks him up, even if he could somehow get him into the pit without some Force backlash, couldn't the Emperor have turned the lightning off and used the Force to levitate himself out of the pit and break his fall? 

 

Three words: Element Of Surprise.

Palpatine was using all of his power (and focus) on directing his energies (literally) at Luke; so when Vader picked him up, he was caught off guard and was not thinking rationally (hence, his screaming like a frightened child).  

Imagine if your loyal ally of three decades suddenly grabs you and throws you off a cliff.  Your thought is on the betrayal and the surprise, not how to increase your aerobrake profile to slow down....

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Vader didn't want to kill Luke in Empire--this is true.  But what was interesting was that Luke was holding his own in the fight until Vader turned the tide by using the Force to throw objects at him.  Vader wasn't taking a dive.  He neutralized Luke to try to talk to him.

In Jedi, there was no indication that he took a dive when fighting Luke.  But he was inconsistent in not flinging stuff at him.  It might have been interesting if he tried, but Luke was able to counter by using the Force himself to stop it. 

 

2) It's been understood by fans, for years, that Luke returned to Tatooine, taking up residence in Ben Kenobi's old shack, and training there. Before the prequels ruined everything about the Jedi, building a lightsaber was the most daunting task -- and the rite of passage -- for a Jedi Knight. So he did. He trained more, learned more, and eventually taught himself how to construct a new lightsaber -- and like most apprentices -- he modeled his after Obi-Wan's.

This makes some sense, though clearly some time had to pass between Empire and Jedi.  The above quote makes sense, if Kenobi's ghost helped with the training, and there's no reason that couldn't have happened. 

I don't see how the prequels ruined that, as at least in the cartoons, building a lightsaber is also a big deal.  The impression I got from the cartoon is that yes, it is a right of passage, though I didn't feel it was a final test.  It was something that padwans do.  I think in the episode where Ezra designed his lightsaber, he even had a vision of Yoda.

He was also old enough to remember that they were extinct (for the last 20 years) and for all Jabba knew, Luke was just some nutty kid pretending to be a Knight of the Round Table, or Don Quixote.   Jabba probably thought Luke was too young to be a 'real' Jedi; hence, he didn't take his threats seriously.

 

That makes sense, until Luke started showing he was a badass.

Which also didn't WORK on Jabba; hence the mockery.

That shouldn't make a difference in terms of power.  Given the rules of the mind trick, even Yoda couldn't have made Jabba do anything.

 

Palpatine was using all of his power (and focus) on directing his energies (literally) at Luke; so when Vader picked him up, he was caught off guard and was not thinking rationally (hence, his screaming like a frightened child).  

Imagine if your loyal ally of three decades suddenly grabs you and throws you off a cliff.  Your thought is on the betrayal and the surprise, not how to increase your aerobrake profile to slow down....

Makes some sense but it was a pretty long fall.  Palpatine's whole story involves a survival instinct, and it would make sense that the first thought is to survive and after that get all mad.

It was interesting that the Emperor was so vulnerable.

Another thing--

 

The Emperor flat out lied to Vader about Padme.  He told Vader that Vader killed her.  Given that dead women don't give birth, the second Vader learned of Luke, he would have known the Emperor lied--seems a bit odd that he remained so loyal after that.

 

 

 

 

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That shouldn't make a difference in terms of power.  Given the rules of the mind trick, even Yoda couldn't have made Jabba do anything.

Yoda could've lifted Jabba and slammed his two-ton a$$ against a wall if he wanted to.  Yoda hoisted a sunken x-wing fighter out of a swamp; lifting a giant slug would be considerably easier....

This makes some sense, though clearly some time had to pass between Empire and Jedi.  The above quote makes sense, if Kenobi's ghost helped with the training, and there's no reason that couldn't have happened. 

It's also heavily implied in the deleted scenes of the ROTJ blu ray; it shows Luke in a dwelling on Tatooine putting the finishing touches on his new lightsaber... 

The Emperor flat out lied to Vader about Padme.  He told Vader that Vader killed her.  Given that dead women don't give birth, the second Vader learned of Luke, he would have known the Emperor lied--seems a bit odd that he remained so loyal after that.

No, but some dead women could have their still living babies cut out of them.  Not common, but it does happen.   But this is another example of the prequels f--king up the OT; in ROTJ, Leia says she vaguely remembers 'her real mother' (one assumes that's Padme).   Now, she died during Luke and Leia's birth.   WTF?!

Screw the prequels.   Like Tasha and Data's tryst, they never happened... :P

The impression I got from the cartoon is that yes, it is a right of passage, though I didn't feel it was a final test.  It was something that padwans do.

Ah, again; screw the prequels with their rat-tailed Jedi  and midichlorians. 
It was heavily implied in ROTJ that building one's own lightsaber was a final test: Darth Vader says to Luke, "I see you have constructed your own lightsaber... your skills are now complete."  Complete.   Implying that building a saber was the final rite of passage.  

And we never actually see any of the padawans in the prequels building their own lightsabers... maybe they're hand-me-downs, or 'training sabers' till they make their own?  It also parallels better with Luke's journey; Luke used his father's sword till he lost it (and a hand), completed his training on Tatooine, and then made his own. 

In Jedi, there was no indication that he took a dive when fighting Luke.  But he was inconsistent in not flinging stuff at him.  It might have been interesting if he tried, but Luke was able to counter by using the Force himself to stop it. 

Vader was inconsistent because he was conflicted about having to kill his own son.  Luke's earlier suggestion that there was 'still good' and 'conflict' within Vader was starting to get to him.  Vader didn't take a dive exactly, but he clearly didn't give 100% either.  

That makes sense, until Luke started showing he was a badass.

.... which was precisely why Jabba ordered Luke and Han to be executed immediately after Luke killed the Rancor monster.  

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