Uncle Obi Wan

George Lucas tried to write the Star Wars prequel movies as a tragedy; it is possible his difficulties here were because tragedy is relatively less common in the pulp tradition he was using for inspiration. For the most part, the pulps were romances, a series of marvelous adventures. In a romance, usually the hero defeats the bad guy and gets the girl. The original trilogy roughly does that, but the prequel trilogy does not. Tragedy is a great form for a story, but Lucas did not succeed at it, but I appreciate that he tried.

Things really went off the rails with the sequel trilogy. Writers literally have no idea how to continue the story after the bad guy is dead, because Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey seems to be the only kind of story that can be written now. So you end up with a lame rehash of the original story, another Hero’s Journey, instead of a continuation of what happened before. Unless you are Tim Zahn, who seems to be the only author with enough imagination to write a genuine sequel that does not descend into irony.

While these “Happy ending for Anakin” memes don’t match up with the origin story one of the 20th century’s most iconic movie bad guys, I have a soft spot for them. They are of the almost forgotten form of comedy, recognition of a newborn society rising in triumph around a still somewhat mysterious hero and his bride.