Sneakily taking the hinges off the doors of perception

Skip to content

Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Sean Daugherty
    February 13, 2017 @ 8:33 pm

    This has definitely been interesting so far. You’re far more gracious to the franchise than I tend to be, and your rankings are thus far the opposite of mine (I dislike all three prequels, but find AotC easily the worst of the lot), but it’s refreshing to read an analysis that isn’t blinded by fannish rage. I’ve never really been much of a Star Wars fan, per se, but I do find them culturally interesting, so I often think my engagement with the series is different than a lot of other people’s.


  2. Ozyman.Jones
    February 14, 2017 @ 4:56 am

    Interesting read, as usual.

    I remember my greatest, and continuing, impression coming out of the theatre was how much the (set-in-stone) requirements of continuity and the plot points to be ticked off took control of the characters, their decisions and dialogue in the last half of the film. Leaving the final impression that I had not just finished watching a complete movie, but something more akin to a long running TV series story ‘catch-up’ special before the new season starts.

    Rogue One performed a similar trick, but without displaying its underlying intention quite so obviously.


  3. Allyn
    February 14, 2017 @ 2:38 pm

    I usually say “LEGO Star Wars ruined Revenge of the Sith for me,” but, in truth, I think the film was always going to be ruined for me. (What I mean by the LEGO Star Wars comment is that the game came out a month before Sith, so I experienced the story in LEGO fashion before I saw the film. Which is why I laughed uproariously in the theater at the post-Mustafar Darth Vader reveal and Padme’s death in childbirth, as both moments are played for laughs in the game.) The film’s problem was always that it had to line up with films made twenty years before, so it rarely did anything unexpected. I kept expecting a swerve on a massive scale, like perhaps Obi-Wan, not Anakin, was the real father of Padme’s children. (The film makes a few weird hints in that direction, hints I think the film should have embraced.) It’s the film’s inevitability — or rather, it’s lack of unpredictability — that has me rank it at the bottom of the Star Wars films in my estimation. It is, like The Force Awakens, a well-made but not very good film. Unlike The Force Awakens, it’s not a film that will be built on in future installments in ways that will redeem it.


  4. Michael
    February 14, 2017 @ 8:36 pm

    “Your old master, Qui-Gon, figured out how to be a force ghost. Hmm..expected a cameo, I obviously did. When Neeson didn’t show, why we left this scene in the movie, I don’t know”


  5. Josh Marsfelder
    February 15, 2017 @ 2:15 am

    I remember when Revenge of the Sith first came out, the general consensus being that, while still not quite as good as the original movies, it was the best Star Wars movie since them by far.

    In hindsight, this was almost certainly because the second half of the movie is nothing but fannish set-up. Why this movie was allowed to get away with pure fanwank and Phantom Menace wasn’t I never understood, but I never pretended to understand Star Wars or its fans to begin with.


    • Jack Graham
      February 16, 2017 @ 11:41 pm

      Also, it’s ‘dark’. ‘Dark’ means ‘serious’, which means ‘good’.



  6. Aylwin
    February 15, 2017 @ 6:11 pm

    the name “Darth Plagueis,” which is very possibly the best thing in the entire saga

    And I suppose Darth Maul had already broken the pattern (two examples is enough for a pattern, right?) of Sith names being a word with the prefix “in-” removed. I wish Lucas had kept on with that, just because I want to believe there was once a pair of Sith Lords called Darth Sinuation and Darth Nuendo.


  7. thesmilingstallioninn
    February 15, 2017 @ 9:21 pm

    Interesting conclusion on the possibility of neither light/dark or Jedi/Sith, because…

    SPOILERS for Star Wars Rebels/SPECULATION on The Last Jedi

    With Star Wars Rebels, they’ve been working around the whole Jedi/Sith continuum with Kanan, a former Padawan who escaped Order 66, training Ezra, and while Kanan takes a couple steps toward becoming a full-fledged Jedi, they’re not really Jedi. Ezra learned some Dark Side knowledge from a Sith holocron at end of season two/beginning of season three, and while he wasn’t corrupted like Anakin, he’s sort of in an interesting position, if he might develop an in-between state.

    In the second season, they’re assisted by Ahosaka, who was Anakin’s Padawan in the Clones Wars, and she never became a Jedi either when she was forced to flee false persecution or something like that. And during the first two seasons, they’re hunted by these Inquisitors, Dark Side force users who aren’t Sith either.

    This whole not light/dark idea was also brought up by a character called Bendu, a Force-Sensitive creature voiced by Tom Baker, who lectures Kanan when he’s worried about Ezra becoming evil at the start of season three. Bendu brings the Sith and Jedi holocrons together, and they reveal some information, or he remarks that he’s neither light or dark, but just uses the Force.

    As for the Last Jedi, I read up on sci-fi news on io9, and either in the comments or in an article/essay about The Last Jedi, someone brought up the possibility that Luke is the last Jedi, this is the end of the Jedi as we know it. Going forward, characters like Rey and Kylo will bring about a new concept or idea of the Force where it’s not Sith or Jedi.

    My personal speculation, if George Lucas indeed came up with some outline for an epic series of movies, which he might’ve shown or shared with Disney when they bought his company and continued his work, then perhaps he did have some notion about how this series was about the downfall of the Jedi and the rise of something else in its place.

    Shrugs Just a thought.


    • Aylwin
      February 15, 2017 @ 10:11 pm

      It does open up some possibilities. Personally, I’ll be disappointed if we get to the end of Episode 9 without Snoke saying to Luke “From now on, all that anyone will know about will be the COBRA KAI FORCE!”


    • SeeingI
      February 17, 2017 @ 4:51 pm

      “That was me.”


    • Dave
      August 20, 2018 @ 11:48 pm

      And events have proved you right. Have a gibbon.


  8. John Biles
    February 17, 2017 @ 12:06 am

    I’ve always regarded the prequels as a noble failure; Lucas is more ambitious with the prequels than anything else he ever made, and that’s saying something, as Star Wars was also a very ambitious movie. He often fails, but I’m glad he tried to stretch beyond his limits. Lots of creative figures hit a plateau and then never try to rise above it.

    I think the reason that Lucas doesn’t show a third way beyond the rotten republic and the rise of the Emperor is that it’s the job of the original movies to do that, to show something new which will deal with the problems of the old republic and of the Jedi Order. Padme Amidala and Annikan Skywalker were the hope for a better future and by the end, Padme is dead and Annikan has fallen to the Dark Side and become Vader. Yet out of their illicit union will come Luke, who will do what his father could not, and Leia, who will do what her mother could not. The fact that their union had to be illicit, that the Jedi had walled themselves off from humanity and human needs, is part of why the Jedi’s sight had failed. The Jedi became cold and distant. And so had the Republic; the ability of Palpatine to create a huge Seperatist movement so easily shows that the Republic had also become alienated from those who lived in it; the fact that they use a clone army, unwilling to risk their own people, even to save the Republic, further shows that.

    The Republic and the Jedi have become grey, indistinct, distant, failing to respond to people’s needs; the Jedi don’t care if people are enslaved. The Republic doesn’t care if Naboo is trashed and enslaved by the Trade Federation. The mere fact that one member of the Republic can make war on another shows the system is rotten.

    This alienation makes it possible for Palpatine to play both sides against each other; once the war begins, Palaptine has won; even if he is exposed and died, the Republic will have smashed itself to pieces and the Sith will have their revenge. If one side or the other wins, Palpatine controls that side and rules whatever survives the war.

    This makes Palpatine one of the most brilliant villains ever; too often, villains aren’t allowed enough victories to remain dangerous but Palaptine wins when the good guys win.

    And thus he becomes the symbol of the great danger for liberal democracy in the ‘war on terror’. Fighting the war creates pressure to abandon everything that makes them any different from their foes. A perpetual war that can never be won makes it easy to throw away all the protections and rights of civil society in a desperate quest for security. And that is what Lucas is pointing to in the prequels. The harder you fight fire with fire, the more you burn yourself.

    Once Palpatine wins, once he creates the Empire, he ironically also lays the groundwork for rebirth. The age of grey is over, replaced by an age of black and white, but also an age in which heroic deeds can turn the tide, because Palpatine is no longer playing both sides of the board. And it’s an age in which another way can flourish, in which Leia will help lead the Rebellion, and bring about a new Republic, and Luke will create a new Jedi Order, each purged of the flaws of the past.

    So the Prequels serve a lot of purposes, but a big one is a cautionary tale about how a state of perpetual ‘war’ can undercut and destroy democracy, especially if we’ve already let it rot.


  9. порно видео
    March 1, 2017 @ 8:43 am

    I too always learn something new from your post.


  10. Ryan
    March 7, 2017 @ 11:02 pm

    Rather bizarre and incoherent review. Maybe one should try and look at the actual film that exists as opposed to one that others wanted?

    The character and story of Anakin Skywalker is one of the best in movie history played out over 6 movies.

    ROTS is THE best SW movie of all as far as I am concerned but the others are so close that it makes little difference. Others as in Lucas’ movies not TFA (R1 is very good).

    Then again some people actually think TFA is great and if that is what they like then fine but for myself that is the nadir of the Star Wars saga. A nice recap of Lucas’s story but rather irrelevant as we have his movies already. So a new introduction for a new audience who can then go back and watch the original 6.


    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      March 7, 2017 @ 11:09 pm

      The character and story of Anakin Skywalker is one of the best in movie history



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Eruditorum Press

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading