Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson, 2017)

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tenia
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#401 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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What A Disgrace
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#402 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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Big Ben
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#403 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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What A Disgrace
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#404 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-∞)

#405 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-∞)

#406 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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tenia
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#407 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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Big Ben
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#408 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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tenia
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#409 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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Kirkinson
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#410 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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bunuelian
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#411 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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