There and Back Again

The vexing thing about OCD levels of continuity between trilogies is the same vexing thing about writing about the OCD levels of continuity between trilogies.  We last left The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with a couple of wizards a fairy prince Elven King and his domanatrix superior in the elf world sitting around the table getting stoned and making up celebrity predictions controlling middle earth like a 4-headed Sauron (sans jewelry).

What we left out:

  • the sword found by the brown wizard was not just a morgul blade (like the one that pokes Frodo in about 60 years), these guys can tell instantly that it belongs to the “Witch King of Angmar.”  It must, because that guy is in the earlier later movies.
  • Gandalf: “Hello Elrond.  Except i must call you ‘mellon,’ the elven word for friend because that was in FOTR at the door to Moria.”
  • Oh Moria.  Yes, we have to give a back story on why the FOTR found all the dead elves and a bunch of Orc squatters.  Because irrelevant filler.
  • Maybe what happened is that Peter Jackson was on a leash for LOTR.  A long one to be sure, but at some point they said “Enough!” to all the gratuitous details.  Now that LOTR is a $3 billion franchise (plus merchandise and theme parks and arena football teams), the studio has probably decided that maybe the kid is on to something and they should just let him do his thing his way.

Some other thoughts:

  • Ambivalence about the title.  Less fucked up and stupid about naming than calling movies 1-6 “Episodes” IV, V, VI, I, II, III.

Star Wars 2 II was stupid.

Nuh-uh. Star Wars 2 was the best in the series because Lucas did not write or direct.

Wait.  Which one are we talking about?

  • More ambivalence. LOTR: FOTR, TTT, ROTK, TH:AUJ, TDOS, xxxx.  This naming convention works for Star Trek (TOS, TNG, DS9) but it’s still ham handed.
  • In both cases, I am grateful that they figured it out at the beginning.  That way we don’t have to suffer Lucas-sized revisions that include the title (Raiders of the Lost Ark being later retitled Indiana Jones and the________; Star Wars being retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope).  Goddamn heretic George Lucas.
  • In that vein, at least if we MUST tie Hobbit and LOTR together at every opportunity, it’s done.  We won’t have to suffer movies that change entire scenes (HAN SHOT FIRST) in later versions while they’re cleaning up some plot details.
  • And finally, there won’t be gratuitous re-releases where they reinsert deleted scenes (Jabba personally telling Solo on-screen what Greedo already told him in the bar) because there literally will be zero deleted scenes.  There is the theater version and the there will be that and the extended version on DVD (why else were there 37 different spots to end ROTK (the 45 minutes after “You bow to no one”)?  Because Peter Jackson saves everything.

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