Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

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tenia
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1201 Post by tenia » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:54 am

I too have probably already said all I thought about the movie. Again, I understand who is bobby dylan points, but like Brian C, I still believe that while the movie contains these elements for sure, they're treated in a way which is too superficial (or contradictory), and the movie ends up being shallow in this regard. That's what I meant when I wrote they're "barely touched".

For instance, on these couple of specific points :
who is bobby dylan wrote:
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Finn and Rose do not get anyone killed. Poe does when he relays the evacuation plan over a radio and DJ hears it, it is specifically his fault and of obvious great consequence to the Rebellion. Holdo's sacrifice prevents the entire Rebel fleet from being destroyed. The Rebellion specifically survives because of her actions, her action is literally not pointless. Why doesn't every army engage in kamikaze attacks at all times on everything? This is not a serious question to pose to this movie. I would also add, that what makes Poe cool, is not that he's a badass. He was boring as a badass, it's that he's matured into a leader and we have a sense of how that was achieved in a very un-glamorous way, through mistakes resulting in lots of unnecessary deaths.
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Finn and Rose are the ones who blindly trust DJ, which is obviously played like somebody you can't trust. Because they can't do a simple thing such as recruiting the Codebreaker and instead end up with that guy, they're part ofthe Rebels being sold to the First Order.
They're in any case the ones who have the idea to sneak into Snoke's destroyers in the first place, and that's just because the Rebels admirals, for some unheard reason, don't want to tell their crew they're not brainless people leading their whole fleet to die but they actually have a plan (and a good one, seemingly).

Holdo's sacrifice ? When she cut in half the destroyer, we've already been more plenty of ships having been destroyed by the destroyer. Her act only saves a handful of them.

Kamikaze act : why not putting the ship on auto-pilot ? Or with a droid as pilot ? Why des it absolutely need human presence for what is a single action ?

Finally, Poe as mature as a leader ? How ? When ? Through which actions to which consequences ? He's part of the whole reason the Rebels went from probably 150 people to roughly 20, and that's by going behind every leader's back. His hidden plan with Finn and Rose probably got more people killed than the behavior that got him demoted at the beginning of the movie. How come then this got him demoted, despite having destroyed a Dreadnaught in the process, while the stupid sub-plot with Finn and Rose achieves nothing except more Rebels getting killed, the "secret-for-some-reasons" plan being revealed to the First Order (so the Base-Planet position gets compromised too), Holdo having to sacrifice herself and losing the main ship in the process ? This guy isn't a leader, he's a hot-headed moron that shouldn't have anybody under his orders !

While this "failure is the best teacher" could be a nice plot, do we really need to spend all this time on it ? The movie is 2h32 and spends about 90 minutes on this theme without being able to go deep on it. Couldn't have it been done in a way much more concise and efficient ?

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1202 Post by All the Best People » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:28 am

I wrote at nearly 1600-word length about the film and the fan reaction to it here at Letterboxd; includes citations of Jonathan Rosenbaum and Jacques Rivette! And references to the TV series of Westworld and the third season of Twin Peaks!

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1203 Post by McCrutchy » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:45 am

Can somebody please explain to me how this film was surprising or at all original? Because this is what I keep seeing, and it's something that I (so far) haven't been able to agree with, or even understand. It's really odd to see Johnson continually being praised for subverting expectations, when to me, the entire film feels manufactured by Disney, in service of their larger corporate agenda. And while Johnson is able to add some visual flair and is able to intertwine the subplots well, there wasn't really anything in The Last Jedi that I felt like I hadn't seen before, oftentimes in the original trilogy films, at that.

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who is bobby dylan
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1204 Post by who is bobby dylan » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:10 pm

Can somebody please explain to me how this film was surprising or at all original? Because this is what I keep seeing, and it's something that I (so far) haven't been able to agree with, or even understand. It's really odd to see Johnson continually being praised for subverting expectations, when to me, the entire film feels manufactured by Disney, in service of their larger corporate agenda. And while Johnson is able to add some visual flair and is able to intertwine the subplots well, there wasn't really anything in The Last Jedi that I felt like I hadn't seen before, oftentimes in the original trilogy films, at that.
I don't think there's anything else to explain. Without over belaboring it, I've tried to provide some reasons why I at least enjoyed the film and found it to be different from other Star Wars films. I think people are correct that if you focus on the movie at just the level of plot and story and sort of the sum total of what the characters accomplish then the film doesn't seem like much. For me the enjoyment to be had from the movie is in seeing how far it moves and fills out the characters and there's so much in the film that does that, that it seems like the films purpose to me. Of course how effectively this registers will differ from one person to another and I can totally understand how what happens could not register for some people. All films are like this. There's no universally beloved or understood film.

Here's my favorite youtube critic with his positive takes on the film:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If0JN8tlqUw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7UKW-dgZMU
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Finn and Rose trust DJ and they're correct to. He is committed to helping them up until the point that they're caught and will be executed. It's only then that he turns on them because he has the information that Poe recklessly communicated over the radio.

It would be nice if Holdo had her idea earlier as more of the Rebellion would have been saved, but her action is still not pointless.

I agree with you about the ships not having auto pilot. Also, why do Jedi's need to hold a light saber, why not just fly it through the sky with their minds or do that with six of them, etc. These are nitpicks. They can be made of any and every movie. They're the kinds of things that stand out a lot when you don't enjoy a movie and don't matter when you do.

Poe's maturation as a leader is basically learning the efficacy of running away. His instinct is to always fight it out. The fact that this plays out so badly for him is why it's a lesson. He does things his way and it nearly leads to the destruction of the Rebels. Also, the issue of whether Poe knows the plan or not is immaterial. Knowing the plan doesn't change his actions for the better because once he knows it he stages a mutiny! and shuts down the transport plan so that it can't take place at all. Your take is fine that all of this disqualifies him from being a leader. I think it sets the stage for him to be one going forward. He's acting out one idea of leadership, that we've seen work before in all of these movies, it doesn't here and its complete failure forces him to change. His willingness to change and recognize the lesson he's learned makes him a leader. I mean the whole point of the movie is to not forever feel destroyed or trapped by your mistakes and failure, but to learn from them. Obviously, I liked this theme, so the fact that every story line in the movie is about it worked for me. If you didn't like it or feel it was well executed then the movie is indeed excruciating.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1205 Post by aox » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:10 pm


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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1206 Post by DarkImbecile » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:06 pm

The thing I don’t understand about the (thoughtful, non-red pill) criticism of this entry is how they don’t apply as much if not more to every other film in this franchise; it seems to me that the criticisms regarding undercooked characterization, tonal inconsistencies, unlikely or inexplicable strategic or tactical decisions, overly corporate/commercial influences, and so on are inextricable from Star Wars itself, not just this one film. With that in mind, it’s hard for me to see an argument that this isn’t the best directed and most visually accomplished of the series, and I’d argue that the thematic concerns here are more interesting than any of the other films.

I’m not directing this at anyone here in particular, but it generally seems like people who have a strong attachment to the films that dominated their childhood (whether the original trilogy or the prequels) are somewhat blinded by that sentiment from seeing the same flaws in those films that jump out at them from the new films. I’m sure the children of the mid-to-late aughts will feel the same about this trilogy.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1207 Post by movielocke » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:13 pm

One of my biggest problems with secondary world creations of recent years is what I call the "magical semen theory of heroism".

That is to say, Luke Skywalker, or Jon Snow or StarLord or Aragorn or whoever is only a hero because they come from special magical semen male bloodlines.
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To see Star Wars utterly reject the divine-right theory of heroism in this film is something I find profoundly satisfying, and for that main change, I am really happy with the film.

that said, I feel like I need to really see it again, now knowing how the plot unfolds, to really try and figure out where it rates within overall Star Wars films. My feeling is that it is probably fourth, behind Empire, Force Awakens, and New Hope, but I also feel like there are a lot of eliptical resonances within the film that are going to work so much better the second time around.

This film continued the serialization remixes of the first trilogy that Force Awakens did so expertly, particularly impressed to see Kylo do what Vader proposed at the end of Empire, and take over. We've always had the "bad guy" be an underling to the mysterious higher power of the emperor/snoke, so we're in uncharted territory in the next film with how they handle Kylo.

I particularly loved Leia's use of the Force to stop Kylo from firing on her and her ship (which precedes her self rescue from space), showing she's perhaps more skilled at the telepathy than Luke or Snoke (as she uses feelings rather than relying on physical projection or words, and as Luke tells Rey, the Force is about stretching out with your feelings, not physically nor with intellect). And I like that her use there foreshadows the use of this skill throughout the film. I really liked the call back to Empire Strikes back with this force skill, and the way it was used throughout the film to take the storytelling in interesting new directions.

I also appreciated the structural parallel between Poe's film-opening standoff/distraction, and Luke's film-closing standoff/distraction. Not only was this an excellent storytelling elipsis within the body of the film, but it provides a superb contrast between the two men's goals and effects on their foes with each distraction. Poe's is impetuous and antagonizing towards Hux, and doesn't change anything. Whereas Luke's conversation with Kylo is directed not perhaps at persuading him, but at still instructing him, it is an extremely nice callback to Vader and Kenobi's showdown on the death star.

I also was left reflecting on that old line "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine." So I'm very curious if they do something with that.

Loved opening up the economics of the galaxy, and relating back to the under-done Anakin-slavery component. and I loved that from Rose's sister, to the little boy, people can access the force. The film's whole ethos of abandoning the magical semen archetype is just something I really, really love.

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Feiereisel
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1208 Post by Feiereisel » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:27 pm

McCrutchy wrote:Can somebody please explain to me how this film was surprising or at all original? Because this is what I keep seeing, and it's something that I (so far) haven't been able to agree with, or even understand. It's really odd to see Johnson continually being praised for subverting expectations, when to me, the entire film feels manufactured by Disney, in service of their larger corporate agenda. And while Johnson is able to add some visual flair and is able to intertwine the subplots well, there wasn't really anything in The Last Jedi that I felt like I hadn't seen before, oftentimes in the original trilogy films, at that.
To chime in and add to (though not particularly expand upon) the two thoughtful posts that have been added since I started typing this...

The "subverting expectations" praise, in my view, pertains to a few specific decisions within the film rather than to the story as a whole.
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These include: Luke's characterization and behavior, specifically his bitterness following the events of the original trilogy; the revelation that Rey's parents were of no significance; Kylo killing Snoke, the presumed "big bad" of this cycle, in the middle of the film; the explicit and repeated rebuke of the "long-shot missions" that figure prominently into the original films; the ongoing discourse about the perceived totality of "good" and "evil" characters or organizations and their actions; and the explicit social commentary associated with the good/evil discourse.

These aren't novel ideas in the history of storytelling or filmed entertainment, but they are new--or at least unexpected--relative to the tone and content of previous Star Wars movies. (The notable exception here being Rogue One, which like The Last Jedi foregrounds resolved but internally conflicted characters who are "trapped" between the ideology and reality of their particular galactic factions.) But who knows--this is a middle chapter, and it's entirely possible that Johnson's deliberate muddling of previously established narrative concepts will be tightly resolved by the end of the next film.
I would appreciate it if the point about about Disney's "larger corporate agenda" in the post I quoted above was expanded upon. Obviously I'm aware of the insidiousness the phrasing conveys, but I'm not really sure what Disney's monstrous plan is supposed to be beyond releasing a Star Wars movie every year for the foreseeable future. The franchise is a pan-generational pop-culture juggernaut; for Disney to have a very clearly delineated plan or set of goals for such a hugely expensive and historically lucrative franchise seems entirely reasonable.

I don't know. My big concern heading into these new films was that they would be plagued by empty nostalgia, and so far that has not been the case. Some new ground has been broken--especially formally--and the references to previous films have by-and-large been meaningful within the franchise's larger narrative. I'm into it, and it's nice to have it back, but Star Wars is not the only thing, and don't expect perfection from something that has always been viewed, depending on the movie, as wildly imperfect in the eyes of its creators and/or fans.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1209 Post by Apperson » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:31 pm

movielocke wrote:
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I also was left reflecting on that old line "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine." So I'm very curious if they do something with that.
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if Episode IX goes the way I think it will and have Kylo Ren be lead away from the dark side I think that moment will lead into a self-reflection on how bloodthirsty he has become in his quest to destroy the past, possibly involving some force-ghost shenanigans.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1210 Post by bearcuborg » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:33 pm

I would expect to see a lot of force ghosts in IX. Hayden will return-the Skywalker saga is not over.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1211 Post by McCrutchy » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:40 pm

Feiereisel wrote:To chime in and add to (though not particularly expand upon) the two thoughtful posts that have been added since I started typing this...I'm into it, and it's nice to have it back, but Star Wars is not the only thing, and don't expect perfection from something that has always been viewed, depending on the movie, as wildly imperfect in the eyes of its creators and/or fans.
(Edited to shorten the length of this reply.)

I just feel like we have seen most of these before, that's all.
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Crabby old Luke is a million "old master" characters from a million different films, and for a guy who was supposed to have been the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy, it's surprising how much he sucked at his job. Just like Obi-Wan and Anakin, Luke couldn't save Ben from the dark side, and just like Obi-Wan, he becomes a hermit, and eventually meets someone connected to his failed pupil, who he can educate successfully, before dying, in this case, a truly pathetic death, by remote control. As has been pointed out, not only did he repeat the same mistakes his master did, but he also retreated into whiny little bitch mode for no reason, either. Luke, who grew so much as a person in the original trilogy, here disappeared to an island to shirk his responsibilities until he was shamed into action by the first person to come along. Why? Luke had Han and Leia, Luke had R2-D2, C-3PO and Chewbacca, and he had a responsibility to protect them from what would become Kylo Ren and the First Order. But of course, Johnson and Disney don't care about Luke, because he's here for fan service, to get the older asses in the seats, along with his sister. The same could be said of Han Solo and The Force Awakens, because Han was basically in that movie to ejaculate and die. Now, by proxy, we're all supposed to care that much more about what happens to Kylo/Ben because of his bloodline (Aha! There it is!), and once Abrams had established that relationship, why not dispose of the older character by having him killed?

(As an aside, just personally, I would have loved to see Luke get off the damn island for a bit. Like many people, I was hoping for a Han/Leia/Luke reunion, if only for a short while, but The Force Awakens mortally wounded that idea, and now The Last Jedi has really delivered the death blow.)

And I would suggest that Rey's bloodline matters just as much if not more. It's mattered for two films of this trilogy, and it matters to her, personally. And in any event, she came to her present station by dumb luck, which is otherwise known in most films as "destiny", which isn't exactly a merit-based system. The statement that her parents might be "nobodies"--a dubious assertion, considering it came from Kylo Ren--isn't really enough to say that The Last Jedi isn't concerned with bloodlines. Remember, also, that Luke casually mentions that Ben Solo took some of Luke's other students with him as he left. Ostensibly, these people are at least semi-powerful Jedi-in-training, and where are they? Have they been killed? Are they in the First Order? No, they're nowhere, that's where, because this trilogy, like the previous trilogy, is becoming all about one "bloodline", and this is emphasized through the intriguing "force link" that Rey and Kylo have, as well as the fact that Rey and Finn don't even see (and barely even mention) each other again until the end of the film.

The other things you mention: Long-shot missions: Doesn't the Resistance end up in another one of those, anyway? Don't, Rey, Kylo, Hux, Poe, and especially Finn and Rose end up in ludicrously dangerous situations where they should die, but miraculously survive? Of course, Vice Admiral Holdo isn't nearly as lucky, and Johnson even disposes of Admiral Ackbar, but then neither of them were in their twenties or thirties, and the young audience isn't likely to be pining that hard for a Laura Dern doll, are they?.

As for characters being good or evil, you can draw fairly exact parallels between Luke in The Empire Strikes Back and Rey, as well as Kylo and Vader/Anakin in Return of the Jedi, right down to Kylo killing Snoke to [strike]save Rey[/strike] overthrow him. As for the timing of this, that's down to the writers, and if they know what they're doing. For myself, the way the scene was structured and set up, along with how it was drawn out and eventually dragged on, made it painfully obvious what was going to happen. After all, I doubt Disney/Lucasfilm would have sanctioned killing Rey in such a deliciously evil fashion.

And this is where the corporate agenda comes in. First of all, the series has a taste for blood regarding original trilogy characters that is all but absent from any of the new characters. Han sacrificing himself is okay, but now Leia is dead in real life, and then The Last Jedi comes along, and ends with Luke "fading away" a la Obi-Wan in Star Wars, which in all likelihood, means he's dead, as well. And I'm sorry, people can fall back on "Force Ghosts" as much as they like, but Star Wars isn't Ghostbusters or The Frighteners, so either Episode IX is going to feature an extremely odd tonal shift, or Disney is pushing the audience to dispose of the Skywalker saga and get used to the franchise without the characters they have loved for decades. I was ready for that in Episode IX, but I certainly would have preferred that two or all three of them survived, and their ultimate fates were left open-ended. It seems very dismissive to blot out these heroes simply because they've gotten old--you would think our present generation would have a bit more sense, if not sensitivity, than that.

On the other hand, all of the new, young characters (read: new toylines) seem invincible. Perhaps one of them will die to end the trilogy (likely Poe, if I had to guess), but it does seem interesting that in spite of so many new characters coming in, all of them, in this dangerous, wartime situation, are allergic to death. The original trilogy sort of suffered from this, at least we had the whole "frozen in carbonite" thing to keep people guessing for a while.
I guess I could go on, but to be honest, I'm tired. :) You are right to a certain point that really neither The Force Awakens, nor The Last Jedi have gone the way I wanted, but I could accept that if the films got to their destination down less well-traveled paths.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1212 Post by Brian C » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:42 am

I don't think I'd be so quick to claim victory on
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the magical semen front. Maybe I missed something, but the whole basis for believing that Rey's parents were nobodies was that Kylo said so, right? But how would he really know? I wouldn't rule out that we're being set up for a reveal of her true lineage in the next film. Hopefully she won't be revealed to be conceived by midichlorians again, at least.
DarkImbecile wrote:The thing I don’t understand about the (thoughtful, non-red pill) criticism of this entry is how they don’t apply as much if not more to every other film in this franchise; it seems to me that the criticisms regarding undercooked characterization, tonal inconsistencies, unlikely or inexplicable strategic or tactical decisions, overly corporate/commercial influences, and so on are inextricable from Star Wars itself, not just this one film.
Well, I would agree. Speaking just for myself, of course, I never had a strong emotional connection to any of the films in the series. I was far more excited for this as a Rian Johnson film than as another Star Wars entry, and it's on that basis that I feel disappointed. A mediocre Star Wars film on its own terms is hardly worth remarking upon at this point.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1213 Post by Feiereisel » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:43 am

I'm tired too, McCrutchy, so I will be brief. (Or at least as brief as I can be.)
An argument, I guess?Show
I don't disagree with everything in your critique, but I do think it would benefit from some perspective (i.e. less focus on Disney's marketing plans) and closer reading of the events of The Last Jedi, especially when viewed in conjunction with The Force Awakens.

We have seen versions of these plot beats before, but now that we're two films into the new trilogy and perhaps have a better sense of its shape, it's easier to view the recasting and remixing of familiar plot beats as a motif that allows the filmmakers to explore the theme of the burden of destiny and dig into the nature of the Force. This is why I'm so curious to see where the next film goes, even though--as has been mentioned--it's possible it may not resolve into anything particularly novel or substantial. I'm assuming the broad narrative arc for this set of films was sketched out all at once, and the filmmakers are working toward a predetermined endpoint.

Yes, the filmmakers have chosen to make the middle trilogy's main characters central to this new one rather than delivering something wholly new. Despite the imperfect results, it's a sensible approach, and it's hard to argue that a series of films that did not directly connect with the middle trilogy would have been more enjoyable. It's even more difficult, if not impossible, to think that any new films would not have been measured against the previous six. So the filmmakers have decided to make that point of comparison a central element of the new trilogy's plot, which is as reasonable creative decision as any. The rest of it flows from there.

At a certain point, it becomes necessary to reckon with the films as they are rather than what you as a viewer want them to be. And even then, it's possible--and okay--to wind up with the same negative reaction.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1214 Post by Apperson » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:36 am

On the subject of 'magical semen' theoryShow
It seems entirely obvious to me that one of the main thesis's of the film is the move away from a conflict built around one family line and giving it back to the entire galaxy.

Luke teaches Rey about the universality of the force compared to its elusive qualities in the prequels and even the OT.

Kylo Ren's speech to Rey about here being nothing, but to to him can strike one as petulant, but to me it also says that Kylo is trying to tell Rey that her lineage would make her a nobody in previous stories within this universe and that plainly isn't true (The flaw of course being his violent and dismissive nature).

And that boy at the end clearly brings the point home that the new blood will be 'nobodies' inspired by those outside of a noble bloodline.
We can talk about how Disney is milking nostalgia for these characters, and maybe everything I wrote above will be walked back by noted crowdpleaser J.J Abrams, but this is obviously the new mode of Star Wars as Rian Johnson has written it.

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tenia
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1215 Post by tenia » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:01 am

About the OT vs the new trilogy (or, in my case, more specifically Ep 8) : I never felt as so obvious the tricks used in the OT. Sure, its internal coherence has always been discutable, it has some easy stuff thrown in by the team behind them, etc.
But it never felt as easy, as superficial, etc, than this last movie.

I never really watched the Eps 4 to 6 (hell, even the Eps 1 to 3) and felt "wow, that's just such a poor narrative structure", or "that's really poorly included here". It's just a question of "intensity".
I'm not myself a "hardcore" fan of SW or whatever, though yeah, I like a lot the OT (just like I like a lot, say, the 1st Indiana Jones movie, Die Hard or Back to the Future). But again, as a I explained before, even outside of its inclusion within the SW canon, The Last Jedi really felt like a superficial movie to me at movie level, not SW movie level.
So when on top of this, it feels like a re-hash that won't admit it (and actually keep being claimed otherwise), it's beginning to be a lot to swallow.

As for Rey's origins, I'm with Brian C here and wouldn't be surprised if what we're told here actually turns out to be a lie.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1216 Post by McCrutchy » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:39 am

The likely problem with Episode IX, especially in view of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, is that Abrams has to decide how to make a film that reconciles both previous installments
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largely without the benefit of the original trilogy characters, and is likely open-ended enough to allow for future films. On top of that, Disney has seen reaction to films like the DCEU and MCU, which is probably a good indication that they won't allow the series to go dark, which they certainly haven't thus far. That means you can probably forget about Rey and/or Finn dying, or going over to the Dark Side. Kylo's fate is up in the air, but whether he dies, or converts back and lives, both of those scenarios are, in my opinion, boring as hell. After that, I really don't know what, if anything, the new film can accomplish, because so few of the other characters have really had any character development. Is Finn going to become a Jedi? Seems unlikely now, since Johnson has pretty much diluted the idea of Jedi being rare and special with the end of The Last Jedi. All that's left for Finn to do, is to pick a girl, and call it a day. As for Poe, it seems all he can do is become a Resistance leader, like Leia and Holdo. And once Rey decides she really is a Jedi, and (probably) that her lineage "doesn't matter" (which is a convenient loophole around the importance of bloodlines), all that's left for her to do is defeat Kylo--because let's face it, after the events of The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren is now the First Order--and then be covered in glory, as the bad guys retreat. That scenario is also really boring, and while having Carrie Fisher around may have allowed for some touching mother/son dynamics, the whole thing feels just as stale as what The Last Jedi is.

I think what a lot of people would have wanted going into this trilogy is to have Luke, Han and Leia in all three films, with all three, as well as Chewie, 3PO and R2 going on the adventure in their own ways, and mentoring the new characters. I know that's what I hoped for going in, and all seemed okay until the last part of The Force Awakens, with Han being killed, and Luke being reduced to an actual cameo.

But okay, I thought, I can deal with no Han. Harrison Ford never liked the role that much, and so he probably didn't like the idea of doing another trilogy. Besides, he could come back in flashbacks, or as a Force Ghost, or whatever. Then Carrie Fisher died, so now, no more Princess Leia. Okay, we still have Luke Skywalker. But then, when I finally saw The Last Jedi, a movie where Luke doesn't even leave his retirement island, and often behaves like an old crackpot before finally killing himself via virtual exertion (or however you want to describe it), I knew that the creators of the new trilogy were and are not interested in giving anything but lip service and a hasty exit to these characters. And sure, no one had any control over Carrie Fisher's death, and Disney/Lucasfilm were likely going to have her in Episode IX, but now that that isn't possible, the least that they could have done is given Luke the final film in the trilogy. Bring in Hamill for a quick reshoot, at least get Luke off the goddamn island, and possibly, meeting up with the new characters. Then, if you must, let Luke go out in a blaze of glory in Episode IX. As much as The Last Jedi has issues, its biggest problem, far and away, is its borderline disrespect of Luke Skywalker. If, especially in light of Fisher's death, Johnson had rectified that, I think I would have come away with a mixed reaction, but ready and willing to see Episode IX because of Luke's expanded role. Now? Well, because the Skywalker saga is essentially over, and I've never really warmed up to any of the new characters, I really just don't have any reason to go and see the film.

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tenia
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1217 Post by tenia » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:55 am

Of course it probably will be all the movie will advance, but don't worry, it'll still last 150 minutes.

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who is bobby dylan
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1218 Post by who is bobby dylan » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:58 am

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the magical semen front. Maybe I missed something, but the whole basis for believing that Rey's parents were nobodies was that Kylo said so, right? But how would he really know? I wouldn't rule out that we're being set up for a reveal of her true lineage in the next film. Hopefully she won't be revealed to be conceived by midichlorians again, at least.
On this single point. Kylo asks Rey if she knows who her parents are? She admits, before his elaboration, that she knows that they were nobodies. He supplies the specific details of why they abandoned her and their deaths, but it's clear that she knows they were nobodies and presumably must have known they were also junk traders. His information also ties into her vision in the cave, which basically tells her that her parents identities have nothing to do with who she is. In Theory this could be retconned in the next film, but it's hard to see how that would not be completely stupid on both a story telling and thematic level.

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movielocke
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1219 Post by movielocke » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:03 pm

Regarding what Kylo tells Rey:
SpoilerShow
i think there is both lies and truth. And also a “certain point of view “ element.

To Kylo, or the Jedi/samurai order, they were nobodies, remember Snokes loving little line about the Skywalker genetics, obviously the status quo is all about the magical semen of divine right.

But obviously they were not nobodies to Rey, so this is a certain point of view element, classic jedi deception. ;)

Additionally, I think it is pretty clear that Kylo is lying to Rey about why they left. Because what he says is obviously a goad to make her angry, to make her vulnerable by playing on her worst thoughts about her parents, and also to try and persuade her to his side by being the “only one who understands”.

So I Think telling Rey that they sold her to buy alcohol is pretty obvious (and obviously unsuccessful) manipulation on his part, it’s a particularly cruel set of lies laced with enough truth (a family of subsistence junk traders) to hurt Rey the most while attempting to sever her from the things which might be her salvation (Luke’s relationship with Leia means he didn’t kill his father (ideally in ignorance of the implications of this vile dark side act) as the “light side” Jedi masters wanted him to do. Rey’s relationship and knowledge of her family will ultimately be crucial to her overcoming Kylo and the appeal of the dark side.

One thing that is impressive, I can’t tell if Kylo is going to have a redemptive Snape arc, or if he fully breaks bad in a way Vader never did, or if he even has a Gollum moment of inadvertently causing the ultimate success of his enemies because he’s Persuing his own selfish short term goal.

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Feiereisel
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1220 Post by Feiereisel » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:25 pm

Another thing I’ve been reckoning with when it comes to these new films is the way the story is being told as it compares to the previous trilogies. We’re arguavly in a new mode of storytelling for the franchise, which affects the way we view the films, which informs our opinions of them in a way I haven’t really been able to fully consider. Unlike the previous trilogies, we’re only seeing part of the full picture; we’re out on a limb in an unusual way for STAR WARS, which is a bit frustrating, even for someone who is enjoying the movies.

To dig into this a bit more: The original films have always existed as a “complete” work for me due to my age, but their structure is also fascinating—while the original trilogy tells a three part, beginning-middle-end story, it does so in an unusual way. A NEW HOPE tells a complete, standalone story, while EMPIRE and JEDI work as a two-part story that expands the scope of the narrative and resolves the good-vs-evil plot. Because the whole is so compelling and available, it’s easier to forgive or ignore its inconsistencies and digressions.

Because we know where it’s heased, we also understand how the prequel trilogy “fits” within the context of the franchise. Even though we still had to wait for the the individual films to come out, we still knew the ending.

But with these new films, we truly lack the broad scope, which is arguably what makes them feel somewhat insubstantial when viewed in isolation. At least for me, THE FORCE AWAKENS and THE LAST JEDI are most interesting when viewed together. What’s missing is a truly compelling “ring-to-Mordor” meta-narrative, but given how the prequels failed to make a real meal of Anakin’s transformation into Vader, I see why the creators here are content to let the viewers puzzle out the big picture.

I do think it’s there, and the two recent films have clear (if slight) individual plots, but how it all fits together may only be truly appreciable once the third film is released and viewed alongside the other two. As I’ve mention above, motifs are emerging and I do think the filmmakers are working with a clear theme in mind, which may help us account for things that seemed strange or unfinished in the context of a single film, especially a middle chapter.

So, um, yeah. I liked the movie and had fun watching it, even though it’s not perfect and I’m
trusting that it’s all headed somewhere.

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Brian C
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1221 Post by Brian C » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:42 pm

movielocke wrote:Regarding what Kylo tells Rey:
SpoilerShow
i think there is both lies and truth. And also a “certain point of view “ element.

To Kylo, or the Jedi/samurai order, they were nobodies, remember Snokes loving little line about the Skywalker genetics, obviously the status quo is all about the magical semen of divine right.

But obviously they were not nobodies to Rey, so this is a certain point of view element, classic jedi deception. ;)

Additionally, I think it is pretty clear that Kylo is lying to Rey about why they left. Because what he says is obviously a goad to make her angry, to make her vulnerable by playing on her worst thoughts about her parents, and also to try and persuade her to his side by being the “only one who understands”.

So I Think telling Rey that they sold her to buy alcohol is pretty obvious (and obviously unsuccessful) manipulation on his part, it’s a particularly cruel set of lies laced with enough truth (a family of subsistence junk traders) to hurt Rey the most while attempting to sever her from the things which might be her salvation (Luke’s relationship with Leia means he didn’t kill his father (ideally in ignorance of the implications of this vile dark side act) as the “light side” Jedi masters wanted him to do. Rey’s relationship and knowledge of her family will ultimately be crucial to her overcoming Kylo and the appeal of the dark side.

One thing that is impressive, I can’t tell if Kylo is going to have a redemptive Snape arc, or if he fully breaks bad in a way Vader never did, or if he even has a Gollum moment of inadvertently causing the ultimate success of his enemies because he’s Persuing his own selfish short term goal.
This is all plausible but it still begs the question of why Kylo would know anything about her parents in the first place.

Thinking about it, it's not even clear to me that we're supposed to think he has specific information. He might have just been making an assumption based on what he knew of her background.
who is bobby dylan wrote:
SpoilerShow
His information also ties into her vision in the cave, which basically tells her that her parents identities have nothing to do with who she is. In Theory this could be retconned in the next film, but it's hard to see how that would not be completely stupid on both a story telling and thematic level.
SpoilerShow
Maybe so, although there are a lot of ways to interpret the idea that "her parents identities have nothing to do with who she is." For example, that idea would be thematically consistent if she was descended from someone who turned to the dark side and fell into evil, which would also resonate both narratively and thematically with Luke's story from the original trilogy.

And speaking of the original trilogy, I don't think a revelation about Rey's bloodline would be any stupider than making Luke and Leia siblings in The Return of the Jedi after low-key (but still definitively) establishing Luke and Han as romantic rivals.
Feireisel wrote:But with these new films, we truly lack the broad scope, which is arguably what makes them feel somewhat insubstantial when viewed in isolation.
I think this is a good point. Maybe I'm just getting old, but the serialization of cinema - where stories never really end, and every movie is a setup for a sequel or spinoff (or increasingly both) - is a trend that I'm really having a hard time getting on board with. Yet at the same time, I realize that it's part of the appeal to fans who want the movies to emulate the structure of comic book universes.

And that's fine as far as it goes, but as someone who never got into comics, I don't see much appeal. I checked out of the Marvel movies long ago, and out of the DC films after Batman v. Superman. While I'll probably see Episode IX just to close this particular loop, I strongly suspect that'll be it for me for Star Wars also.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1222 Post by RIP Film » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:10 pm

Feiereisel wrote: I do think it’s there, and the two recent films have clear (if slight) individual plots, but how it all fits together may only be truly appreciable once the third film is released and viewed alongside the other two. As I’ve mention above, motifs are emerging and I do think the filmmakers are working with a clear theme in mind, which may help us account for things that seemed strange or unfinished in the context of a single film, especially a middle chapter.
I kind of think you're giving them too much credit, they're making this all up as they go along. Each movie sort of has their own chef doing their own thing, and you can see this not only in how some plot points from Force Awakens are ignored, but also thematically. Force Awakens is very conservative/nostalgic, and The Last Jedi's takeaway theme is the past gets in the way; it's also progressive to the point of taking huge liberties with the lore. How the third one will reconcile all of this both thematically and plotwise, will be very interesting, but my expectations aren't high.

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who is bobby dylan
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1223 Post by who is bobby dylan » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:16 pm

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And speaking of the original trilogy, I don't think a revelation about Rey's bloodline would be any stupider than making Luke and Leia siblings in The Return of the Jedi after low-key (but still definitively) establishing Luke and Han as romantic rivals.
I agree that Leia being Luke's sister is a stupid twist. I think any further twist regarding Rey's parents would be equally if not more stupid. Obviously I don't know what they will do in the third film, but to me Kylo was telling the truth. They each had visions about each other, they each shared them truthfully because they each believed that the truth would turn the other one. Having it be a lie or partial lie on Kylo's part would be a stupid and unnecessary twist. I hope they don'y go in that direction.

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movielocke
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1224 Post by movielocke » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:48 pm

who is bobby dylan wrote:
SpoilerShow
And speaking of the original trilogy, I don't think a revelation about Rey's bloodline would be any stupider than making Luke and Leia siblings in The Return of the Jedi after low-key (but still definitively) establishing Luke and Han as romantic rivals.
I agree that Leia being Luke's sister is a stupid twist. I think any further twist regarding Rey's parents would be equally if not more stupid. Obviously I don't know what they will do in the third film, but to me Kylo was telling the truth. They each had visions about each other, they each shared them truthfully because they each believed that the truth would turn the other one. Having it be a lie or partial lie on Kylo's part would be a stupid and unnecessary twist. I hope they don'y go in that direction.
if it is a lie it is not really a twist, lying goes part and parcel with the dark side. As theses things often go, it being a lie would reveal more about Kylo than about Rey.

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denti alligator
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1225 Post by denti alligator » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:07 pm

My hunch is that
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DJ
will be revealed as Rey's father, which would obviously work nicely, since it would affirm Kylo's statement, but also not just be
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"nobody"
.

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