Recently on The Twitter, a conversation along these lines came up again.
Perhaps I jumped in because I was in the process of migrating a lot of these into draft format; I was up late doing so when I saw something that I knew to be incorrect regarding how much the prequels were supposedly shaped by Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars work. It was something I consider a complete misrepresentation considering all Mr. Zahn did was roll out ideas that Lucas had already written but not used.
Love them or hate them, the prequels are completely original works by Mr. Lucas using his own concepts that were left dormant when he made the original films. He picked up a few bits here and there, like Aayla Secura as a background character, or dropping in an off-hand reference to Quinlan Vos, but all those did was solidify his revenue sources as legitimate and ensure fans kept up their fanaticism.
Did Lucas never actually name Coruscant (from the potential other draft names like Had Abbadon) until Zahn committed it to print? Yes. But that’s like giving the EU credit for all of Christmas when all it did was hang an ornament in the perfect spot.
I love to point to it, but Lucas threw out all of Boba Fett’s supposed back-story with the prequels, because he wanted to use him in the story he saw. He did pretty much kill the idea of “force madness” being what drove the clones to problems. The EU later went back and shoe-horned these things back into the firmament of lore, but it just proves that they’re not the owners of the story, just fellow fans lucky enough to get paid for what they dream up.
Anyway, it’s strange how relevant this blog is, still. It’s a real chicken–and–egg conversation.
Small note: The ref to “PH” is to Pablo Hidalgo, who was/is content manager for starwars.com/indianajones.com. He read my original blog and would comment occasionally. I’d like to think that at some future point, our paths will cross so I can shake his hand for being a pretty level head and voice back in the days of the old, crazy message boards. I’d hope he’d think the same of me.
Maybe we’ll meet at a future Star Wars convention, where I’ll finally wear a shirt stating “I am kesseljunkie” just to see if anyone remembers those old Message Board days. They are, after all, where kesseljunkie really began.
Flashback Blog: It’s Likely That Mr. Lucas Doesn’t Know
Originally published at blogs.starwars.com/kesseljunkie on Oct. 17, 2005
George Lucas knows a lot about Star Wars. He knows that Jedi are good and Anakin turned bad. He knows that the Jedi Starfighter is a visual predecessor to both the Star Destroyer and the TIE fighter, depending on which incarnation you are viewing. He knows that in Star Wars, space carries sound.
He does not, however, know that Plo Koon was a better fighter than Saesee Tinn – or that Tinn was a better pilot than Koon. Even if he knows, he does not care. This did not weigh in his mind at all when he directed Episode III. He simply knew that they were both members of the Jedi Council, and so he wanted to show each member of the Council get struck down in some way when Palpatine was revealed.
I remember that it was an actual point of contention for some on the boards that Tinn whould have been the pilot, and Koon should have gone to fight with Mace Windu. Not that it would have mattered, because in the grand scheme they both would have died still.
The fans have blurred the line, much like Star Trek fans, who hold their writers accountable for violating what was written in the tech manuals (exploit psuedo-science for fun and profit!). Saesee Tinn is the pilot! Plo Koon is the fighter! Both are echoes of “You can’t transport at warp speed!”
(And before you ST geeks jump all over me – yes, I know that now you can if both ships manage to merge warp fields…blah, blah, blah…)
Guess what? If the writer and/or director needs for it to happen, it does. He needed Tinn to go with Mace windu because – well, whimsy if that’s what it boils down to. He wanted the guy with horns to die with Sam Jackson. Okay.
Star Wars fans in general are mighty good sports about it, but for those of you that can’t let it go, just accept that it got re-written on the spot, and now Plo Koon is the better pilot. The EU is remarkably flimsy when held against Mr. Lucas’ wishes for his story.
Just ask Jaster Mereel.
[P.S. Thanks to PH for mentioning Plo Koon in response to an earlier blog, and tossing some fresh fuel onto the embers in my never-ending Reform the Fans Crusade.]