Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

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tenia
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1676 Post by tenia » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:10 am

Though we probably already guessed that, it's good to be able to have figures to understand the exact intensity of it. However, I was wondering : why Russians ? It seems like an unlikely pool of people, but I suppose this is just some kind of Six Degrees stuff "SW evolving - Alt right not liking it - russian trolls", and in a way to either bias the discussion between a more progressive or a more conservative stance and to spark controversies in there, I suppose the visibility offered by the evolution of SW (especially with a more diverse ethnicity and more female protagonists) was perfect.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1677 Post by bearcuborg » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:53 am

connor wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:05 am
swo17 wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:40 pm
Two?
Yeah, what are the two? Solo and what? The Last Jedi made a ton of money, was very popular with audiences and critics (but unpopular with a loud group of fanboys). I thought Solo was fine and The Last Jedi was fantastic.

I hope this doesn't mean Rian Johnson's new, non-Skywalker-related trilogy is getting canned.
Even if one likes TLJ, I did for the most part, it was clearly divisive. And we can stop with the fanboy take, that’s not the entire story. There are SW fans who aren’t deplorables or George Lucas haters who didn’t like the movie.

Rian has gone on record a couple weeks ago saying that he is still making those movies, which kinda surprised me. I’d rather see him do an Obi Wan/Luke movie. His take on the force was the most interesting take since the original movies.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1678 Post by moreorless » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:02 am

Hasn't the individual behind the initial report spoken out against the media pushing the "Russian" angle? honestly to me falling back to the standard "Russia ate my homework" story really just further confirms the feeling that films like The Last Jedi are almost an out growth of the current political climate. To me it doesn't feel like blockbuster cinema that's much interested in actually making a political point in the way say Mad max Fury Road did about "toxic masculinity" so much as it is exploiting existing public feeling in a rather cynical fashion. You basically have a film were any criticism can be written off as bigotry rather than due to a lack of quality.

Honestly my feeling is that the nub of the problem really goes back to the Force Awakens, it might have been successful at the time due to the massive pent up demand featuring the return of the characters from the original films but I feel that stylistically Abrams was a poor choice for re launching a franchise like this. To me his style is far too insubstantial, he puts very little time or effort into building setting and character instead favouring very rapid plotting heavy with action/nostalgia/humour. The general tone of his work as well is I think clearly more cartoonish, if it resembles anything from the originals its the Ewok sections of Return of the Jedi.

I actually felt between these two films Lucasfilm did largely "get things right" with Rogue One, a film that feels much more like a modern update of Empire Strikes Back in terms of tone to me. I think its notable that dispite having a female lead to it you did not get the same mass backlash against it, if anything its reputation seems to be growing rather. Really I think the lesson there should be simple, hire a talented director who actually wants to make a Starwars film.
Last edited by moreorless on Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1679 Post by domino harvey » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:10 am

They did

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1680 Post by moreorless » Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:14 am

I don't think they did with Johnson, for one thing he seems more interested in following Abrams in style than the original films, for another I think that dispite clearly drawing heavily on them he doesn't seem to have a great deal of respect for them. The end result to me is a film that feels incredibly smug yet is ultimately a bit of a cartoonish mess with very little weight behind its grand standing.

I wouldn't be surprised if studio pressure was a big factor there though, the entire climax of the film to me felt tacked on as if Rey potentially joining Kylo was the original idea that Disney baulked at. The end result is I feel a film that backs down from its own premise, the idea that the simplistic good/bad divide has been was led to the current situation. In the end though we get Rey and Kylo retreating to even more simplistic good and bad positions than we saw previously and the message of the film seems to end up as a rather dodgy authoritarian one, "don't try to understand your enmies their just evil" and "don't trust your own morals, your superiors know best".

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1681 Post by nitin » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:50 am

When will people admit the original Star Wars Films (as great as the first two are) are also cartoonish and also insubstantial?

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1682 Post by tenia » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:03 am

I think they felt less ambitious than the newer ones. Like they weren't taking themselves as seriously than the new ones. That can make a lot of difference on how one can overlook a movie being insubstantial, inconsistant or cartoonish.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1683 Post by bearcuborg » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:47 pm

moreorless wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:14 am
The end result to me is a film that feels incredibly smug yet is ultimately a bit of a cartoonish mess with very little weight behind its grand standing.

I wouldn't be surprised if studio pressure was a big factor there though, the entire climax of the film to me felt tacked on as if Rey potentially joining Kylo was the original idea that Disney baulked at.
I never felt smug, and I don’t think Rian wrote anything under studio pressure either. However, he seems to lose Rey in the ending, I just remember thinking that I didn’t care if she hadn’t met Poe yet, and Leia could have easily lifted the rock. His idea for Luke made me want more, even if the Rashoman idea was a bit silly.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1684 Post by moreorless » Fri Oct 05, 2018 1:15 pm

bearcuborg wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:47 pm
I never felt smug, and I don’t think Rian wrote anything under studio pressure either. However, he seems to lose Rey in the ending, I just remember thinking that I didn’t care if she hadn’t met Poe yet, and Leia could have easily lifted the rock. His idea for Luke made me want more, even if the Rashoman idea was a bit silly.
I don't extend the criticism of smungness to those who enjoyed it. :wink:

To me it felt like it was rather too keen to show us the simplistic nature of Starwars previously yet ultimtaley the film felt far simpler itself that Empire Strikes Back that had the guts to see though its central concept. Here though whatever the cause it felt to me that the film was clearly building in one direction in the rejection of the previous more simplistic view of dark/light only to revert to it and throw in a recycled climax along the lines of Hoth, it just felt like a very safe and gutless move to me akin to say having Luke defeat Vader in Empire and reveal his claims of being his father were a lie.

The entire plot around the rebels/resistance felt like it was massively unwritten to me as well with characters acting in non sensical fashions to push the plot along.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1685 Post by nitin » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:05 pm

tenia wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:03 am
I think they felt less ambitious than the newer ones. Like they weren't taking themselves as seriously than the new ones. That can make a lot of difference on how one can overlook a movie being insubstantial, inconsistant or cartoonish.
Well yes (I did say in my post that I think the first 2 films are great), and I don’t think either of the new ones are anywhere in the same league as those first two overall, but they are better than ROTJ and any of the prequels and Rogue One, all of which did take themselves very seriously and many of the same criticisms apply to them.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1686 Post by moreorless » Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:42 pm

nitin wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:50 am
When will people admit the original Star Wars Films (as great as the first two are) are also cartoonish and also insubstantial?
I think that's just a very simplified defence of these sequels personally, yeah the original films are blockbuster cinema that include a lot of action and humour and take place in a space fantasy setting but still they treat that setting with a good degree of seriousness as they do the characters and the majority of the humour takes the form of wit.

It seems a bit strange to me that "better than Return of the Jedi" is often used to praise the sequels yet the main reason people put down that film is the Ewok scenes within it which are actually the scenes that reflect the sequels most closely in tone, even then though I think you see a good deal less goofiness. Being better than the prequels isn't exactly high praise.

By comparison to the originals I think Abrams film especially is much more insubstantial, more cartoonish and far more poorly written generally. I think its a style of cinema that hopes that by throwing action, humour and nostalgia at the viewer quickly enough its faults aren't going to be noticed in the one off viewing its designed for.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1687 Post by tenia » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:12 pm

nitin wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:05 pm
tenia wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:03 am
I think they felt less ambitious than the newer ones. Like they weren't taking themselves as seriously than the new ones. That can make a lot of difference on how one can overlook a movie being insubstantial, inconsistant or cartoonish.
Well yes (I did say in my post that I think the first 2 films are great), and I don’t think either of the new ones are anywhere in the same league as those first two overall, but they are better than ROTJ and any of the prequels and Rogue One, all of which did take themselves very seriously and many of the same criticisms apply to them.
True and I actually thought of ROTJ taking already itself quite seriously. However, I'd counter-argue that the prequels were getting a lot of flak at the time (and still do), so I suppose one can attack the newer episodes AND the prequels. And I'd also argue that Rogue One was taking itself so seriously that combined with Ep 8, Disney had to make Solo as a lighter funnier movie because of that.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1688 Post by What A Disgrace » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:43 pm

I always thought the ewoks and Jabba's palace were the best parts of Return of the Jedi. The problem is that *those* were the best parts of Return of the Jedi.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1689 Post by Big Ben » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:54 pm

The Ewoks were made specifically for toy sales and their buffoonish behavior was intended to appeal to children. Even then some the juxtaposition between them and the serious confrontation Luke has with Vader at the end always struck me as fairly bizarre. As a kid it sure was fun but fifteen years later I just went "Huh?". I think they're a sore spot on what I consider the worst film in the original trilogy. I understand why they're there but they strike me now as little more than toy sales.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1690 Post by What A Disgrace » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:10 pm

I've always felt that the goofier elements of the original trilogy were a big part of its heart. In the case of the Ewoks, in keeping with the thematic tradition of Yoda, I appreciate how they're a deadly serious (and deadly in general) bunch of critters despite their goofy, silly exterior, and the Empire suffers for their foolishness in underestimating them - they even give our heroes a run for their money. The fact that they are not CGI, but real actors in real costumes, limited by the technology of the time, certainly makes them more palatable than stuff in the prequels, where they had the material freedom to do almost anything, and reminded us, thus, why material restrictions aren't always such a bad thing for viewers.

I think Jabba's Palace, while the highlight of the movie as far as entertainment value goes, maybe, is practically irrelevant to the main plot of the movie (which only really starts afterwards), and doesn't have much thematic resonance with the rest of it, in my opinion. Worst of all, Harrison Ford pretty much phones in his Han Solo, so the rest of the movie just feels like its coasting on fumes from the earlier two movies after a brief, fans-need-it interlude that takes up 1/3 of the movie.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1691 Post by bunuelian » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:24 am

One component that gets lost in the argument that the originals were just as banal as the rest is that the originals involved original invention of a lot of the look and sound of the "universe" that is simply be copied with minor embellishments in the present iteration of the franchise. The present films are simply repeating and rehashing the old films, with standard Hollywood comic book film components layered on top for contemporary audiences. For me the new films are disappointing because they are simultaneously thinly veiled remakes and uninspired sequels, rather than something entirely new and risky.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1692 Post by moreorless » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:42 am

What A Disgrace wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:10 pm
I've always felt that the goofier elements of the original trilogy were a big part of its heart. In the case of the Ewoks, in keeping with the thematic tradition of Yoda, I appreciate how they're a deadly serious (and deadly in general) bunch of critters despite their goofy, silly exterior, and the Empire suffers for their foolishness in underestimating them - they even give our heroes a run for their money. The fact that they are not CGI, but real actors in real costumes, limited by the technology of the time, certainly makes them more palatable than stuff in the prequels, where they had the material freedom to do almost anything, and reminded us, thus, why material restrictions aren't always such a bad thing for viewers.

I think Jabba's Palace, while the highlight of the movie as far as entertainment value goes, maybe, is practically irrelevant to the main plot of the movie (which only really starts afterwards), and doesn't have much thematic resonance with the rest of it, in my opinion. Worst of all, Harrison Ford pretty much phones in his Han Solo, so the rest of the movie just feels like its coasting on fumes from the earlier two movies after a brief, fans-need-it interlude that takes up 1/3 of the movie.
I felt Yoda in The Last Jedi actually summed up the films rather condescending view of the originals, it seemed like a characterisation based on some vague memory of watching Empire Strikes Back 20 years ago. In that film the "crazy Yoda" we see when Luke first meets him is actually revealed to be an act to test him, after that point the character is very serious and even a little threatening "I'm not afraid" "you will be, you will be". Johnson though has the character as "silly Yoda" thoughout even when delivering a serious scene.

I would agree the films having a bit of character to them was certainly part of their charm but I would say the Ewoks became rather too broad, prior to that as with Jabba's Palace I think you get the mixture of the outlandish and the threating. Honestly if anything I feel that the sequels actually feel like they follow on from the prequels more in terms of tone, however downbeat the story of those films was sposed to be they ended up being rather silly packed full of goofy aliens and rogering robots with little sense of menace to them.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1693 Post by tenia » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:24 am

bunuelian wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:24 am
One component that gets lost in the argument that the originals were just as banal as the rest is that the originals involved original invention of a lot of the look and sound of the "universe" that is simply be copied with minor embellishments in the present iteration of the franchise. The present films are simply repeating and rehashing the old films, with standard Hollywood comic book film components layered on top for contemporary audiences. For me the new films are disappointing because they are simultaneously thinly veiled remakes and uninspired sequels, rather than something entirely new and risky.
For an universe which is supposed to be huge and extended, I always have been surprised by how, much like the MCU or the DCU, all the main subsequent movies are just holes-fillers. They never truly create anything new or wander about within all that the universe has to offer, but instead either fill holes (The Clone Wars, Rogue One), serving as Origins Stories (the prequels, Solo), or continuing the past stories (the new movies).
The worst is how it often feels as if the holes are created on purpose so that something can fill it up later. "Let's leave a gap between Ep 2 and Ep 3 so we can have a TV show to fill it up." "Let's leave a gap between Ep 3 and Ep 4 so we can have stuff to fill it up."

In a way, it's true that the reception of the newer movies can't be the same than the older movies' one, simply because it's not new anymore, and "original" anymore, but we have this SW background now that probably bias our way of watching those new movies. This is an additional prism we didn't have 40, or maybe even 20 years ago (I discovered the OT before the PT, but not in theaters).

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1694 Post by Big Ben » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:46 am

bunuelian wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:24 am
One component that gets lost in the argument that the originals were just as banal as the rest is that the originals involved original invention of a lot of the look and sound of the "universe" that is simply be copied with minor embellishments in the present iteration of the franchise. The present films are simply repeating and rehashing the old films, with standard Hollywood comic book film components layered on top for contemporary audiences. For me the new films are disappointing because they are simultaneously thinly veiled remakes and uninspired sequels, rather than something entirely new and risky.
I disagree rather strongly with the last part here. The Last Jedi blatantly rewrites basic concepts of the past six films, particularly Lucas' obsession with the monomyth. Rey's existence in the narrative itself exists contrary to both Luke and Anakin.
SpoilerShow
She's essentially a nobody and not some preordained mythic character. She's essentially a peasant without any famous lineage. The film also implies that many people can learn to become great and do not have to be a part of some chosen path. This is contrary to Lucas' insistence plot-wise on the contrary for the past six films. Also the new films have no problem killing off main characters. Something Lucas expressly forbade due to his belief that doing so would diminish toy sales. A dead Han Solo and dead Luke Skywalker are a big deal.
There are most certainly narrative similarities but this idea that no risks were taken just doesn't strike me as particularly true especially when looking at Lucas' past narrative bullet points from both behind and in front of the camera.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1695 Post by tenia » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:37 am

Just a guess of course but I'm quite certain that a movie, book or TV show will explain us it actually just was a wordplay and she actually is somebody.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1696 Post by Kirkinson » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:38 pm

Maybe, but that would clearly be a retcon and not a reflection of Rian Johnson's intentions, so Big Ben's point stands.

It's also worth pointing out that, despite Simon Pegg's comments on the subject that sucked up a lot of headlines, Daisy Ridley has claimed (or at least strongly implied) that Abrams & Johnson were on the same page regarding Rey's lineage.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#1697 Post by bunuelian » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:05 am

Big Ben wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:46 am
The Last Jedi blatantly rewrites basic concepts of the past six films, particularly Lucas' obsession with the monomyth. Rey's existence in the narrative itself exists contrary to both Luke and Anakin.
I see your point, but I think the "blatant rewriting" is rather too self-aware. In a sense it is taking the opposite tack of what has come before, but in doing so it is still heavily dependent on the model of its predecessors. The inversion of the original can't exist without the original as its reference point.

Of course, inverting original concepts can lead to interesting results, but here I think Disney's fundamentally conservative approach to this property is preventing things from getting more interesting. Lucas took significantly greater risks with the prequels (mostly for the worse). Hardly a surprise that Disney would take this route.

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