View Full Version : Who the underdogs represent.

10-23-2007, 07:12 PM
In ANH, the Rebels themselves are the underdogs. They represent the generic David (Rebels) vs. Goliath (Empire).

In ESB, the character of Cloud City sort of represents the "normal" guy who gets inadvertently dragged into a larger conflict.

In ROTJ, the Ewoks represent the quintessential battle of man vs. machine. "au Naturale" vs. Technology. That sort of thing.

In TPM, the Gungans represent the oft lambasted Star Trek nerd. Jar Jar is that dork everyone remembers from school who just never understands how geeky he really is. And Revenge of the Nerds style, it is the dorks who come to save the day.

But what about AOTC and ROTS?

El Chuxter
10-23-2007, 07:51 PM
The Jedi who can't fight, but swing their lightsabers in circles while running around; and the kids who get sliced in half.

10-23-2007, 10:11 PM
In TPM, the Gungans represent the oft lambasted Star Trek nerd. Jar Jar is that dork everyone remembers from school who just never understands how geeky he really is. And Revenge of the Nerds style, it is the dorks who come to save the day.


Interesting point, there really are no underdog characters for the audience to empathize with in Ep2 or 3. Everyone is just a badass fighting other badasses. How boring is that?

That's probably why the prequels feel so cold and detached. Even in Ep1, the Gungans are too dorky and mentally-challenged for audiences to want to empathize with them

10-24-2007, 02:37 PM
The senate, who is lazy and totally apathetic.

10-24-2007, 04:43 PM
The senate, who is lazy and totally apathetic.

Interesting thought, although "the Senate" isn't really personified by anyone in particular. Also, the "Senate" winds up being destroyed, more or less, as it is supposedly the icon of the Democratic Republic. The Senate essentially killed itself by accepting the idea of a Galactic Empire. It would be as if the Rebels in ANH raised the white flag or if those on Cloud City didn't run away from the bad guys after Lando made the announcement. In other words, while the Republic (represented by the Senate) is really the overall victim of the Star Wars Saga, it is difficult to feel any sympathy for "it" when "it" allowed its own demise "with thunderous applause." Perhaps I could feel a bit more sympathy for "it" if "they" (Senators) didn't just cave into the announcement by a creepy old man as easily as Hayd-akin dropped to his knees to pledge his allegiance. The Senate accepting the dictatorial rule of Palpatine is as logical as Hayd-akin threatening to turn Palps in one minute, then joining him the next.

What I think I'm getting at is that we feel sympathy (and maybe a little empathy) for the Rebels in ANH, Bespinites in ESB, the Ewoks in ROTJ, and (try as we might not to) the Gungans in TPM. They were all true victims and didn't want to go down without a fight. But nobody in the Senate raised any objections (even Padme and Bail) so they get what's coming to them, which is ultimately death (we presume from Tarkin in ANH). AOTC and ROTS may have the Senate as the underdog for their stories, but to be an effective underdog, you have to generate some kind of sympathy for the audience to want to root for you. But the Prequels never ever show us a Republic that works or anyone willing to fight for it to work. Oh, we get Padme whining a little bit in TPM, but after that, even she is willing to just sit around and let things happen.

10-24-2007, 09:07 PM
The Naboo were the underdogs in TPM as well, they were heavily outnumbered and had to run to the Senate for help. And the Senate's apathy and bureaucracy ultimately doesn't help them out, which in turn makes the Senate the very underdogs (bloated and powerful though they may be) in the next 2 prequels. I mean, technically the Separatists are supposed to be the underdog in AOTC, but it never feels like it. I guess Lucas forgot to make an emotional hook for those movies, burying himself instead in the soap opera personal interplay so deeply that nothing ever resonates in that respect. Lucas even wrote scenes to show that the Senate was trying to make things better with Padme and some of the others, but he ends up leaving that on the cutting room floor because it's deadly dull and seems totally toothless anyway.

10-24-2007, 09:56 PM
I guess that was my problem with the Senate in the Prequels. Except for Padme, Palpatine and later on, Bail Organa, the Senate is a generic wall of shouting aliens and nothing else. I feel no pity for the Republic at all and find myself actually agreeing with Palpatine by the end. What I mean is, the Senate certainly seems completely ineffectual and gutless regardless of whatever Palps thinks he is manipulating. As I said before, the Senate (and thus the Republic) deserves what it gets and despite Palpatine's nefarious goals, the Republic was due for an overhaul anyway. With Padme and Bail not having the balls to actually do anything meaningful, the path is clear for the spineless shouters of the Senate to be dissolved later on.

So the Senate is the ultimate underdog which represents the metaphorical "sheep" of the world who like to play it safe and not make waves. Hard to feel any sympathy for that underdog at all. It kinda takes away any enthusiasm we might have had for the OT Rebellion, doesn't it? I mean, what exactly are they fighting to restore? Palpatine didn't do anything out of the ordinary to take over. The Senators gave it to him. The Republic deserved to die.

10-24-2007, 10:01 PM
AOTC - I think you could iew theJedi as underdogs. They have theSith to deal with as well as the trade federation and the Separatists. 3-1 odds against them......

10-25-2007, 03:15 PM
It's hard to think of ubermensch as underdogs. I mean yes, Lucas' CPD made them outnumbered and inept, but then just as quickly the deus ex machina (literally, if you think about it :p) came in and redefined that anyway.