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Well they seem to have evacuated unlike the empire.
The OT really is the smarter movie.
When has the actual trilogy ever talked about those things?
Yeah, it should be noted The Empire running into logistical problems with losing The Death Star isn't mentioned directly in The Trilogy proper. It's more "Ascended Fridge Logic" than anything.
With The First Order losing Starkiller Base yet still coming back from it, I will say two things in their defense:
-Starkiller was built out of a planet, rather than from scratch, which probably saved them a ton of money.
-Starkiller actually managed to do something useful before being blown up. Without The New Republic to stop them, they could easily begin expanding and recuperate losses.
I do agree, it would have been better for The First Order to have had a Star Forge or something. Actually, I would have Exogol be a Star Forge or something of that nature. It would explain the off-screen villain dark matter, if you will.
In fact, part of my frustration with The Final Order Fleet is that making them all be planet-killers is unnecessary to sell them as a threat, and even strikes me as a case of Viewers Are Morons. In fact, before they did reveal their planet-busting capabilities, I was thinking "Wow, that's a whole new kind of threat, one that is way more practical than another stupid planet-buster!"
And besides, it's not like blowing up a planet is really scary these days. Seeing the sky filled with Star Destroyers, though? That's much scarier.
Yes, Ascended Fridge Horror. But there were clues that things are not going the Empire's way. The Second Death Star was behind schedule and the labor demands were nearly impossible to live up. Plus, the Empire is still the Empire. It still has the vast amount of resources to be a threat even with the Death Star gone.
Starkiller Base should have been more crippling to the First Order considering that it's still bigger than the Death Star and uses brand-new technology. And the First Order is supposed to be tiny compared to the Empire.
This is why I hate the concept of biggering old concepts. Bigger doesn't mean better and unfortunately, nobody on the ST's helm really thought about that.
"But there were clues that things are not going the Empire's way. The Second Death Star was behind schedule and the labor demands were nearly impossible to live up."
Or maybe The Empire needs better contractors. This happened with the first one, too.
Edited by fredhot16 on Mar 25th 2020 at 3:25:51 AM
Who here knows of the You Tube channel the AT-AT Chat?
The original trilogy portrayed the Death Star as a major blow, but TESB said it only encouraged further engagement from the rest of the Imperial Fleet and all of ROTJ was saying how building the Death Star II was a final, major gamble for the Empire. Starkiller Base wasn't mentioned in TLJ opening crawl or the rest of the movie as far as I can remember, and the entire movie was more based on the destruction of the New Republic, and combined with the decimation of the Supremacy and pursuing fleet it felt contradictory to the initial claims about how the First Order was strapped for resources. Starkiller Base was only brought up as an embarrassment in TROS while they also complained about being stretched thin as it was, which was an Author's Saving Throw but like most of the movie was too little too late.
I agree that blowing up background planets isn't scary, but I also don't have the necessary frame of reference to be impressed by a sky full of Star Destroyers.
Because. Like. The First Order already had Star Destroyers? So how scary that is depends entirely on logistical statistics not readily available. Specifically: how many Star Destroyers do they have?
If the First Order has 5 Star Destroyers, then wow, adding a few hundred to their arsenal is a HUGE game-changer.
If the First Order has 8,567,123 Star Destroyers in action, then who the f*ck cares about the sky full of Star Destroyers? It's a drop in the pond.
So no, I disagree with the notion that they would have worked just fine as a threat by simply being Star Destroyers. It kinda runs into the same menace problem that the Star Forge does. "The bad guys will be able to manufacture as many ships as they want!" They already do that. It's called Offscreen Villain Dark Matter. I don't want to pore through the EU trying to find precise accounting numbers on the bad guys' financial budget for weapons manufacturing so that I can be properly wowed.
Edited by TobiasDrake on Mar 25th 2020 at 5:07:33 AM
Blame it on Abrams for not resisting the urge to make everything bigger. Why is this a problem with Hollywood? Make everything bigger... heh, can't they make the villains be more like the Red Lotus from The Legend of Korra? You can be a deadly threat without be bigger than your rival faction.
Edited by Shadao on Mar 25th 2020 at 4:08:48 AM
Its bigger so it stands out and it more..attention grabbing thus dramatic.
Ironic that shows final season ended with the villain somehow pulling out a mountain-sized mecha.
Because the people in charge have internalised Viewers Are Morons as part of their worldview, so everything needs to be a big spectactle to entice the (in their eyes) dumb masses.
Good writing doesn't mean that things need to get bigger, but certainly a different kind of intensity. The Joker in The Dark Knight is a far smaller threat in terms of scale and resources than the League of Shadows in Batman Begins, but his habit of targeting public figures, bombing hospitals and all around unpredictable nature makes him almost more dangerous. Likewise, seasons three and four of Arrow revolved around bigger and bigger threats made by large organizations (a contagious disease and nuclear apocalypse) which only resulted in diminishing returns with audience reception, while season five went with a more targeted, personal threat that made it more intense while the lives at stake were much smaller.
If you think about it, the sheer loss of life in the Galactic Civil War pales in comparison to the Clone Wars, but both work as different sort of conflicts.
That's why I want Naboo-scale conflicts in future films. The occupation of a single planet like Naboo could be insignificant in the grand scheme of things with thousands of other planets, but it'd be devastating to the people living there, particularly if we've grown to care for the characters.
The constant Offscreen Villain Dark Matter was intended to increase the stakes of the series, but I think all it accomplished was the opposite.
It devalues both the things the characters were fighting for and the individual moments of how they fight (who cares about this a hail mary to save the galaxy from destruction, when the First Order can just pull an equivalent or stronger force out of their armpit once they're inconvenienced), and devalues the things that are being thrown at them in the first place (as Tobias noted, a hundred Star Destroyers coming out at once breaks meaning and menace of a single Star Destroyer, thus causing the whole threat to cease to matter).
Typically you can get away with not explaining a lot about a bad guy's forces at the start of a series. When A New Hope opens with an Empire having vast resources and control over the galaxy, the audience can easily accept that because they don't know anything else about the setting yet.
It's a much harder swallow when the audience is familiar with the setting and its rules. So the Empire pulling more and more ships out is accepted because it's the only named fish in the pond. Not so when it's the First Order doing the same thing but now the audience knows to ask why it wasn't competing for construction space with the Republic, the Hutts, etc.
Edited by Tuckerscreator on Mar 25th 2020 at 5:00:22 AM
At some point, the audience starts actually thinking about all that stuff, and wonder how they get all that stuff, how do they keep all that in working order and whether the heroes make any real damage every time they blew their stuff up.
If nothing else, everything shown should have needed a couple wars to get, or something.
Edited by Blueace on Mar 25th 2020 at 9:22:12 AM
This is why Palpatine's takeover of the Republic in PT was so brilliant. He didn't conquer the galaxy with an invading army from the Unknown Region. He just manipulates everyone to give him unchecked power and thus enabling him to turn the most powerful government in the galaxy into his own playground. He took over from within.
That is how you earn an Empire.
Arguably, they didn't even need the backstory of a Sith Eternal pipeline to create the Final Order fleet. Just claim that now the First Order has control of the galaxy, they're using the former Republic's manufacturing to build these threatening fleets. Probably more widespread than one planet, which might be a problem for the final battle, but at the very least it actually plays by the setting's rules plausibly.
Edited by Tuckerscreator on Mar 25th 2020 at 5:36:38 AM
I will say that it actually earned it on the grounds that it's from the Earth Empire, which has the means and resources to build such a ridiculous weapon, and that the show did know how to fluctuate the threat level (From city-threat Amon to universal threat Vaatu to a terrorist cell threat to a Fire Nation threat Earth Empire).
If you can fluctuate the threat level of your enemies, the burden of overriding the happy ending of ROTJ isn't that much of a burden to begin with.
Edited by Shadao on Mar 25th 2020 at 5:41:29 AM
I'd argue that there is actually a pretty clear escalation of threat in Korra.
Civil dissidents who want to eat the privileged -> Bomb-Throwing Anarchists -> Brutal authoritarianism.
Vaatu is the part that stands out as the sequence breaker, but his season is also generally agreed to be the stupidest trash that Legend of Korra ever put out, with little to no redeeming qualities once he takes center stage as the season's real villain. So maybe "Do it like Korra did with Vaatu!" isn't the greatest advice.
Edited by TobiasDrake on Mar 25th 2020 at 9:56:33 AM
You can do it when the story is already ongoing, but it has to be part of the plot - have an effect on the story.
If the enemy suddenly has tons of units the heroes didn't know about, fine. Let that change the way the story goes. Maybe the heroes now lose the battle they thought they would win, a downer ending. Maybe the nature of the fight escalates, with things rising far beyond what they expected it would be (which is what happened at the end of AOTC). But it has to do something.
The ST largely used it to explain away its status quo. "The First Order attempted to become the Empire again, but lost their hail mary superweapon" -> "nope! Turns out they had a larger army than the rest of the galaxy combined, so they're the Empire again! Status Quo Is God!" -> "the First Order lost their flagship and their leader, hobbling their attack" -> "nope! They've got an infinite fleet of Star Destroyers! Status Quo Is God!"
And thus the characters actions don't have consequences, but even beyond that TROS is Skywalker is a good micro-example of why just throwing new reserves out there hurts you if you don't want to commit to it: the infinite fleet of Star Destroyers is a threat that completely breaks the conflict if taken seriously, so the story doesn't. It handwaves something about all of them having planet exploders for cheap elevation, and then conspicuously handwaves a way in which none of those Star Destroyers can impact the final battle. The heroes fly too low to be shot by any of them, they have an instant-kill weak spot, and a single target far below them that renders them all useless.
The Star Destroyers might as well not even be there.
In short, the bad guys were mantain pretty much by author fiat in a sense of "they need to be a threat for three movies" so the FO power is giving the narrative equivalent of life suport.
Oh there might be gradual escalation underneath but one cannot say that the Red Lotus has an army of Equalists with planes and mechs patrolling the city. Or alliances with dark spirits. They were smaller and theoretically easier to shut down but that's why the Red Lotus makes up for by being highly specialized as well as striking where the weak-points are in a government.
That's how you make a threat very distinct and cover the so-called "escalation." The First Order could have been like that. Smaller but more ruthless in tactics. Unlike the Empire, they don't like wasting precious lives of their Stormtroopers because that means less manpower to govern the galaxy. Instead, they focus on crippling the New Republic by attacking trade routes and assassinating leaders. They wouldn't actually get to rule the galaxy but the chaos benefits them in the long run, and it's up to the heroes to stop before the First Order can rally the disillusioned star systems to their cause.
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