Dear young people who have Star Wars prequel nostalgia: Stop it

Yes, this time we tackle the totally new question of which Star Wars movies are better. I heard there might have been a little bit of a discussion about this subject pre-apocalypse, but it's not been explored here in the post-apocalypse. In fact, I haven't given it the tiniest bit of thought before. This is all completely off the top of my head, even if I have said some of this word-for-word in a previous "Postal Apocalypse." (cough)


Original Sins

Utsav:

Dear Rob,

I don't know if people in your time still get enraged when talking about it, but here when I put up the debate about Star Wars Original vs Prequels I tend to brace myself for some serious backlash!

I like most people hated Jar Jar Binks, didn't like the Anakin as that annoying toddler either. but otherwise, i have no major complaint from it, and what i am astounded by is the fact that so many people prefer the originals over the prequels despite the fact that the characters from the original were so black and white. Obi-Wan Kenobi's 'idealism' too seemed unfounded many times and well I would say the Ewoks and Chewbacca were the Jar Jar Binks of the Original trilogy! The prequels had a political undertone for a while and it made the whole thing much more intriguing than the simple good vs evil that Star Wars served in the 70s.

Now of course for the generation that grew up on Star Wars and then saw the prequels when they were more mature can be excused of that, they have a certain nostalgia attached, and the story and effects of Star Wars were phenomenal for that period. But for the people who came after, I don't understand what is bad in the prequels that was good in the Original? As in, personally for me apart from the effects and the world building Star Wars was pretty much a normal movie, and whilst I don't count the prequels as examples of good storytelling, I can't put the originals any ahead!

Sorry for the seemish rant, the intention was just to discuss something that had been bothering me for some time. Thanks and Regards!

In all seriousness, I imagine that the kids who grew up with the prequels and liked them just fine are sick and tired of my generation continually ranting about how much better the original trilogy was. So maybe there's some value in having this discussion; It is for you young'uns that I dredge up this argument. Also, because I still want to rant about about how much better the original trilogy was.

The original trilogy is not perfect. We old people like to pretend it is, but it isn't. The dialogue, especially in the first movie, is terrible. The performances in the first movie are also terrible. Luke is a whiner. Obi-Wan Kenobi is kind of a dick. There's the whole Luke-Leia weirdness. There are the Ewoks (although if you compare Chewbacca to Jar Jar again I will cut you). The three movies have issues.

But the prequels have those issues, and then some. The reason A New Hope has such performance and dialogue problems is because it was written and directed by George Lucas on his own, while in ESB and RotJ he had collaborators for both screenwriting and the directing gig. But Lucas wrote and directed all three of the prequels, so they all had these flaws. Plus, there is nothing in the original trilogy that comes close to the wretchedness of Anakin's attempt to romance Padme, or his terrible "I hate sand" rant.

And while Luke and Anakin are both whiners, Luke grows out of it by RotJ, while Anakin journey goes from insane child who thinks a clearly human girl might be an angel to a sullen crybaby to an even more sullen brat. It's not a very captivating character arc, and it does not compare to Luke's.

And yes, I hated the childishness of the primitive teddy bears who managed to defeat a Galactic empire in Return of the Jedi, but at least they did some actual fighting and had some conflict to overcome. Jar Jar was pure comic relief, used for no other purpose but to step in shit, be socially inappropriate, and scream. Jar Jar might have been fine if he had served the plot in some way, or been genuinely funny, but he was neither.

Most of all, the setting presented in the original trilogy was one I wanted to visit: one of infinite possibilities, of heroes and villains, of never-before-seen sights and experiences. I wanted to see more of this galaxy, I wanted desperately to learn about the Jedi, I wanted to know the backstory that led to the momentous events of ANH, ESB and RotJ. But then the prequels came, and took us right back to Tatooine and shoehorned in as many characters we already knew as possible; the Jedi are assholes who outlaw love and can't see the biggest threat in the galaxy even when he's sitting 20 feet away; and then Lucas didn't even bother to rewatch the first three Star Wars movies to make sure the continuity lined up.

There are other problems; the prequels' lack of a strong central villain like Darth Vader, the focus on evil political maneuvering over a scrappy band of heroes trying to save the galaxy, and the inherent problems of prequels and trying to tell a story whose confines are pre-existing. But for me, it all boils down to this — there is nothing in the original trilogy that is even a tenth as godawful, wretched and horrible as this:


See No Evil

Joseph L.:

Postman Rob,

Am I crazy for thinking Forever Evil has been one of the best DC storylines in ages?

Villains take over (i.e., Crime Syndicate),

Villains become "heroes" (i.e., Lex Luthor, Black Manta, Sinestro, Deathstroke),

The freakin' Metal Men are returning!!!

This is just a small samplling of the awesomeness. Of course, Marvel's Age of Ultron also had a great setup, only to sorta fizzle in the end, so there's always a chance DC could frak this up. I'm enjoying it for the time being though.

Honestly, it's as if DC threw everything at the wall and... well, something good actually stuck. What say you?

I'm on the fence on Forever Evil for a variety of reasons. I think that Pandora's Box of Evil basically being a hole to a dimension of evil, where the Crime Syndicate popped out, was pretty clever. It's certainly epic, seeing as it's being run though like five titles, two spin-offs, and is affecting several other issues. Honestly, I think maybe it's too spread out — there are so many plotlines its tough to keep track of them. And sorry, I just can't stand the Metal Men, and I can't stand that they're apparently going to save the day when three Justice Leagues failed.

Honestly, though, I think this is just my Marvel fandom and personal taste showing through, and not really criticism of the story itself. If you're a DC fan and loving it, more power to you.


Acid Reign

Deggsy:

Has it ever been worked out whether or not the Xenomorph's molecular acid blood could melt through Wolverine's claws?

Well, we're dealing with two completely fictional materials here. Alien blood is indeed a "molecular acid", which is dumb because all acids are made out of molecules, just like everything else. It's like calling milk "molecular milk." Meanwhile, Wolverine's claws are made of adamantium, which is way stronger than titanium.

Fluoroantimonic acid is basically the strongest acid we know of. It eats through anything that isn't Teflon. There's pretty much no way a Xenomorph's blood is that strong because there's no way their bodies could contain it, but let's pretend it is.

Without getting too bogged down in decades of inconsistencies in both universe, Wolverine's claws are made out of adamantium, which has a few different types in the Marvel-verse, but basically adamantium cannot be broken except by gods and people who can control molecular matter, which are for all intents and purposes gods. My gut tells me Xenomorph blood would have no effect on Wolverine's claws or Capatain America's shield. Maybe if Wolverine literally dipped his claws into a vat of Xenomorph blood and waited a while, the blood would start to — slowly — eat away at them. But in terms of just stabbing Aliens in the face, Wolverine's claws would be fine.

Here's a fun question for you: If Xenomorph blood got on Wolverine's skin, would the acid eat his flesh faster than the acid could dissolve it, or vice versa?


Dear young people who have Star Wars prequel nostalgia: Stop itSRider on the Storm

Brian L.:

Dear Postman,

So a lot of people pointed out how the Nova Corps will play a part in Guardians of the Galaxy and how that could open the possibility of Nova actually appearing in his own film.

And while everyone was talking about how this could lead to Nova (Richard Rider) to getting his own film, I thought "wouldn't it make more sense to use the new Nova instead?"

I mean it could fill the void of a teenage superhero since X-men and Spider-Man are off the table and The Runaways film is sitting at the bottom of development hell. Plus some people are always complaining that we are getting that the MCU doesnt have enough diversity and teen superhero groups are usually always diverse.

So if they were to give Nova the spotlight which one would you pick?

If/when Marvel brings Nova to the big screen, they will choose the new Nova, Sam Alexander. This has less to do with Marvel wanting a teenage superhero or a potential Runaways film and everything to do with not naming the hero of a major PG-13 motion picture "Dick Rider."


Fact or Friction

Dan H.:

Dear Postmaster,

After reading the recent question about Science Fiction vs Science Fact, another though popped up. Where would the line between Fiction and Non Fiction be drawn when it comes to adding elements to movies to spice them up? How much bullshit should a writer be allowed to add, and still call it a biography? Thanks!

There's no hard and fast rule, although there probably should be. And apparently it's getting more and more fucked up, thanks to theoretically "reality" entertainment, which is edited to present a certain narrative at best, or outright scripted at worst. Hell, apparently in Edmund Morris' 1999 biography of Ronald Reagan, he added fictional characters, which is madness to me. But the 1982 book of Schindler's List was based on actual people and actual events, based on a great deal of historical documents, but added imagined conversations to it, and thus is considered a novel.

I don't know that there's a line between fiction and non-fiction anymore, but I think there should be. Basically, if you add anything that you present as real that isn't, it's no longer non-fiction. No bullshit or any kind allowed. I also want a barrel of scotch delivered to me on the first Thursday of every month, so we'll see which one happens first.


Dear young people who have Star Wars prequel nostalgia: Stop itBring On the Bad Guys

Kitt D.:

Dear Postman,

How are thing going over there in the US? We haven't heard from you guys in a while what with the apocalypse and everything, so here's hoping you get this letter i'm jamming into a bottle and throwing into the sea...

I've always been a big Marvel fan, but I don't think there is any denying that DC has many of the more iconic superheroes. But who cares about them?! I want to talk bad guys. Because to me, the best superhero movies are always the ones with the most compelling villains. I love me an arch nemesis and I really think that this is where the MCU falls down (Loki not withstanding).

So my question is this: who would you choose as the next Marvel big bad? Who do you think has been ignored too long? Who do you think is crazy enough, nefarious enough, down right dastardly enough to really demand our attention on pain of death?

Thanks and don't let The Man/zombies/robots get you down!

Well, first and foremost, we need a quality, imposing, regal, non-ridiculous version of Doctor Doom on the screen. The worst part of Marvel needing to sign away Spider-Man, X-Men and the Fantastic Four is that Doctor Doom went with the latter, meaning he won't be battling the Avengers any time soon. Doom is Marvel's best villain, the Avengers are their best superhero team, and there we go. Baron Zemo would be a reasonable back-up, though.

I think the time-traveling dictator Kang has a lot of potential, as does MODOK — actually, want I really want is a modern HYDRA or an AIM organization that dresses up and doesn't even pretend to be a legitimate business. Just a straight-forward evil organization run by a villain with a giant head, like Arnim Zola or MODOK.

Also, thanks for the kind words. The Man-zombie-robots wandering the post-apocalypse are complete assholes.


Dear young people who have Star Wars prequel nostalgia: Stop itSSexytimes

Robert:

Dear Sirs, How close are scientists to creating a real sexbot? Best Regards, [name, address, phone and email redacted]

Yes, this email came to the Postman with all this gentleman's contact information included, so that I would have multiple methods of apprising him of the most up-to-date sexbot information possible. Whatever the current state of current fuckable robot technology is, I'm confident the answer is this: "Not as soon as you would like."


Do you have questions about anything scifi, fantasy, superhero, or nerd-related? Email the postman@io9.com! No question too difficult, no question too dumb! Obviously