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Author Topic: Star Wars Episode IX  (Read 50059 times)

Professor Bear

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Re: Star Wars Episode IX
« Reply #690 on: 15 May, 2020, 11:10:59 PM »
8 dared to do and be something different

As someone who already loathed VIII, all this stuff from Mr. Prime and Mr. Panther about gentler heroism and so forth helps further crystallise some of why I hated it.

There's a scene in Last Jedi where Luke, framed in shot over Ray's shoulder so it looks like he's looking at the audience, says anyone expecting to see him jump in with a laser sword and save the day is an idiot, and it always struck me as weird that Last Jedi stans can read deep thematic meaning into almost anything in the movie, yet can't understand why someone who may have waited four decades to see the return of their childhood hero might be less than receptive to seeing him look into camera and call them a big dumbass for wanting to see the movie they expected*.


* And which, to be fair, Disney kind of promised in how pedestrian and familiar TFA was.  If fanboys just argued that they were promised pretty-but-unambitious fanwank going by TFA and Rogue One, they'd have had a pretty solid case.

TordelBack

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Re: Star Wars Episode IX
« Reply #691 on: 15 May, 2020, 11:24:49 PM »
I dunno,  I still think it's a pretty standard, bordering on predictable, element of an adventure movie to have a world-weary older character rubbish the naive expectations of the aspiring hero in the first act, only to be inspired by the young hero fulfil those precise expectations in the third.


Greg M.

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Re: Star Wars Episode IX
« Reply #692 on: 16 May, 2020, 09:51:13 AM »


Arguably Luke in ROTJ had already opted for the 'gentler heroism' route and TLJ just reiterated it.

I wouldn't argue with the first part - I know, he wins by refusing to fight, albeit after a really good fight. It's more the notion that anyone's top priority from a rip-roaring laser-blasting space opera was "I hope it's got some kindness in it." One of my problems is that TLJ has to rewrite many of its characters to make them joyless assholes in order to try and promote its viewpoint, when, as you suggest, elements of that viewpoint were always present in the franchise, albeit employed in a far-less cack-handed way.
« Last Edit: 16 May, 2020, 09:53:22 AM by Greg M. »

sheridan

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Re: Star Wars Episode IX
« Reply #693 on: 16 May, 2020, 11:00:19 AM »
One of my problems is that TLJ has to rewrite many of its characters to make them joyless assholes in order to try and promote its viewpoint, when, as you suggest, elements of that viewpoint were always present in the franchise, albeit employed in a far-less cack-handed way.

The things that helped elevate original Star Wars beyond a standard sci-fi B-movie haven't come in to play in non-original trilogy films.

stackexchange

Quote
He let his friends (among them director Francis Ford Coppola) read the scripts and tape-recorded their comments in order to get some advice. However, the suggestions from his wife Marcia (a film editor who later won an Oscar for Star Wars) were the ones he took most seriously, even though her criticism sometimes made him angry.

Lucas had consulted his co-writers from American Graffiti (Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz) to sharpen the dialogue, which he felt lacked humour and bounce, and although he rejected most of what they came up with, their new ideas gave Lucas renewed confidence in his work.

Lucas later commented on the contributions of Huyck and Katz, in the book Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays

Quote from: George Lucas
Dialogue has never been my strong point, and so I talked to Willard and Gloria and asked them to do a quick dialogue polish. I gave them the fourth draft of the script, and they just improved the dialogue where they felt they could make a contribution. Then I took their changes, and sometimes I rewrote some of their lines. Some of their dialogue of course changed again when we started shooting. Some of it survived; some of it didn’t. They did about thirty percent of the dialogue.
« Last Edit: 16 May, 2020, 11:02:23 AM by sheridan »

Colin YNWA

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Re: Star Wars Episode IX
« Reply #694 on: 16 May, 2020, 11:35:09 AM »
I'd argue that TLJ does rewrite characters but instead developed. Many in much needed directions.

Greg M.

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Re: Star Wars Episode IX
« Reply #695 on: 16 May, 2020, 11:46:49 AM »
Finn needed to become dour and self-destructive to the point of idiocy? Poe needed to become a complete dick? Fair enough if that's the direction you enjoyed seeing them go in, or if doing so helped illustrate a theme of the film that you bought into, but whatever substantial issues I had with TFA, I actually liked those fellas. Finn was the highlight of TFA - in TLJ, his character just seems to lose so much of what made him shine.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Star Wars Episode IX
« Reply #696 on: 16 May, 2020, 12:04:01 PM »
I'd argue that TLJ doesN'T rewrite characters but instead developed. Many in much needed directions.

Thankfully Greg saw through my typos.

You can see the way Luke, Leia and Han all moved on in Empire compared Star Wars - become a little darker, more rounded. I'd say complete.

I'd suggest that's just what happened with Finn and Poe in TLJ and Lucas forbid Luke. That folks don't like it then that's cool. But to dismiss it as completely rewriting them just seems to dismiss the idea that folks in extreme circumstances will change significantly 'cos someone doesn't like that change.

I've stood by TLJ a lot here as I think its a really successful film that is much bolder than the weak, dare I say it corwardly TFA (opinion, opinion, opinion).

Mind I'd also dare to suggest that we have so much invested in this universe (for good and ill) that whatevers done is going to please some, annoy others and there's probably little point trying to convince folks one way or another...

...look I'm watch Attack of the Clones with the boy this weekend, and do it with an open mind... I'm probably not in good place to discuss Star Wars right now...

TordelBack

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Re: Star Wars Episode IX
« Reply #697 on: 16 May, 2020, 12:12:43 PM »
EDIT: well this whole post was revealed as a misunderstsnding in the time it took to type it, so apologies to Greg and Colin. But it took ages to bash our on my phone so I'm leaving it here. Feel free to skip it's familiar irrelevancies.


Who are we talking about here? Luke and Leia? I don't see any real re-writing there beyond that imposed by 30 years of life at the centre of things. It'd be a damn sight odder if they were the same as when we last saw them in RotJ.

Here i go again, but my personal conclusion is that the issue is that these characters were involved in these sequel films *at all* - once they were, their happy endings had to be undone, and the opening situation of galactic threat could only be a result of their failures. How could Luke be an all-powerful badass Grand Master in charge of a happy and balanced Jedi Order, Leia a wuse Chancellor and Han a doting husband and fsther and there still 3 films of drama left? Once the films took place in their lifetimes, everything they built had to be destroyed.  It should never have happened, they should have been left as pleasant menories and maybe ghosts, but it did. And for my money the sequels made the best of this bad premise.

I've offered my view on Luke's character in TLJ a dozen times so I won't go all-out again, but as someone who has failed completely in my endeavours, withdrawn myself from life and friends, and yet find myself somehiw still alive and still with responsibilities, I draw huge comfort from my childhood hero's path to redemption - and find every word of it plausible. I get why people don't like it, but it's not a betrayal of the character at all. (And please don't tell me about the actor's supposed views on the character, until he has the writing credit they are completely irrelevant).

If it's Leia"s Force powers that concern, these are a feature as far back as Empire, when she becomes the first of only 3 living characters in the first 6 films to communicate 'telepathically' - the others are her father and her twin. Her potential is hinted at in Empire by Yoda and explicitly confirmed in Jedi. That it's realised in TLJ and developed in TROS are writing, not re-writing.
« Last Edit: 16 May, 2020, 12:15:58 PM by TordelBack »

Greg M.

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Re: Star Wars Episode IX
« Reply #698 on: 16 May, 2020, 12:30:15 PM »
I deliberately didn't mention Luke - not because I don't consider his set-up in TFA and subsequent portrayal in TLJ as a betrayal, because I absolutely do, as vehemently as TordelBack absolutely does not - but for that very reason: he's too emotionally charged a subject, tied up with everyone's mutual childhoods in a way that Finn and Poe are not.

My position isn't a million miles away from TordelBack's, in the sense that I don't want these films to exist. As soon their premise was 'you know that childhood fairytale you loved so much? Well, it didn't have a happy ending, screw you!" my response was 'well, screw you too, bad fan-fiction!" I find the premise of Han being a deadbeat dad murdered by his own son utterly offensive. And yet, even from this horrible, horrible starting point, I found that Finn and Poe stood out as really likeable characters - which I don't feel they are in TLJ.

However - and I'll be positive here - whilst I utterly despise the core concept of Kylo Ren, the character actually flourished, and is easily the best thing in TLJ, in part because of a superb performance by Adam Driver, and in part due to being developed in a fairly interesting way.
« Last Edit: 16 May, 2020, 12:33:30 PM by Greg M. »

TordelBack

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Re: Star Wars Episode IX
« Reply #699 on: 16 May, 2020, 02:43:07 PM »
Many thanks to Greg for not taking umbrage with my misdirected witterings.

It's interesting what you say about the core concept of Ren - in so many ways the Disney stories followed the broad outline of the old EU novels and comics, where Han & Leia's son styles himself as Vader's heir, and becomes a new Sith Lord, following the manipulations of an ersatz Dark Jedi. Rather than killing Han, he kills Luke's wife. His force-linked twin sister Jaina ultimately has to stop him, with Rey filling that role. I hated that concept at the time, in fact I stopped reading EU novels (after about 50) because I just didn't want to see such pain and failure visited on Han and Leia (their youngest son had already been offed a few years previously, Chewie too*).

So I suppose I was both disappointed to see the sequels heading down that exact same dark path, and also somewhat inured to it already. I went in with low expectations, and ended up enjoying them - while I wish they'd taken a different tack and left my heroes entirely alone, I'm still surprised at how well they gave them appropriate endings - Han and Luke because I think they perfectly encapsulate the characters' journeys, and Leia just because of the sensitive and technically ingenious way it was executed. 

As to Poe and Finn, I like them both a lot, but I think Finn comes off the better of the two as the story plays out - although that really only comes to fruition in TROS, and doesn't get enough time in the spotlight there,  it's very well seeded through the previous two flicks. He has a great story, but it just isn't told clearly enough. His indefatigable platonic devotion to Rey annoys some people, but I think its utterly charming. 

Poe's problem is that his character has nowhere to go - he's already his best self when we meet him in TFA, in order to give him some kind of arc they basically set about undermining his strengths. That he's right in his actions in TLJ (the dreadnaught would have destroyed the fleet if he hadn't pushed on, Holdo's command style was appallingly counterproductive) doesn't help, but at least he seems to grow into a more thoughtful leadership role. By TROS he's lost all that easy affection, inspirational confidence and boundless positivity, and he's instead become distant, needy and a bit whiny - plus he goes from displaying unabashed love for BB-8 to being cavalier and downright sneery towards Threepio (which gives us some of TROS's best scenes, but still, it didn't have to be him).  I still think he's a fun character, but his journey from "We're gonna do this" to "My friends, I'm sorry , I thought we had a shot" is hardly an inspiring one.

The legacy character who comes out best from TROS is undoubtedly Threepio - it's (finally) his movie, and he is both hilarious and disarmingly heroic throughout.

*(And of course there was a resurrected Emperor who transferred his essence into clone bodies in a secret cloning lab, a hyperspace weapon, a secret fleet hidden in the unknown regions etc etc)
« Last Edit: 16 May, 2020, 02:46:51 PM by TordelBack »

JOE SOAP

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Re: Star Wars Episode IX
« Reply #700 on: 16 May, 2020, 04:00:19 PM »
I have my own fistful of Sequel critiques and how they were put together but I've no problem with the idea of them or the older characters being a bit tarnished – I expect that to happen and then to do something with it, but that wasn't entirely successful due to different executions/time pressure/death, whatever. Any emotional attachment I had or have for them as a kid, or adult, doesn't really come into it or even bother me as those are a separate bunch of stories that are unchanged.

I'm posting these snippets not as comment on any particular opinion but as context for the Hollywoodland thinking behind the films in the earlier stages and how they compare to execution and reaction.


« Last Edit: 16 May, 2020, 04:04:13 PM by JOE SOAP »

TordelBack

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Re: Star Wars Episode IX
« Reply #701 on: 16 May, 2020, 04:11:01 PM »
Nice stuff,  Joe. Where's the Kylo's Bedchamber 03 bit from?

JOE SOAP

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Re: Star Wars Episode IX
« Reply #702 on: 16 May, 2020, 04:26:37 PM »
Nice stuff,  Joe. Where's the Kylo's Bedchamber 03 bit from?

Both are from this (the artbooks are great).










auxlen

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Re: Star Wars Episode IX
« Reply #703 on: 16 May, 2020, 04:38:03 PM »
If Anyone is interested.
I got Disney+ for the Mado (enjoyed it) and watched TROS (over six sessions). I found it a bit dull but nowhere near the crapfest of TLJ bbut i think it played too safe. Overall it revealed that they had no clue for the arc of the trilogy. I actually enjoyed all the Palp[atine bits (even though I wanted to hate it) and the film had some great moments (none of which involved Poe and Finn - shame)
I really was kind of moved by the death of kylo..the kiss the smile then he died..very well done iIMHO

the han solo bit and the luke bit seemed a bit out of place
REGrant was great
and although I was a bit meh on the Hux spy angle, I could see how his hatred of Kyl.o might force him to make poor decisions

TordelBack

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Re: Star Wars Episode IX
« Reply #704 on: 16 May, 2020, 04:59:04 PM »
Have to disagree about there not being an overall direction - Kylo having a history of chatting to Vader, when we all knew Vader no longer existed, always meant there was someone pulling the strings other than Snoke, and the Emperor was the logical candidate.  Ditto Finn being force-sensitive is fuly woven into TFA - it only looked like a red herring because we expect those (especially from JJ).

The Rey Palpatine thing is most likely to be a later solution, but rhe Skywalker/Palpatine dyad it creates definitely works within the context of the 9 film 'saga', just not as well as Rey Nobody dido (for me).

It's obvious that IX was supposed to foreground Leia (and Joe's excerpts above support that) , which would have created a more convincing structure. What they managed to pull off in that respect underctrahic cirvumstances was astounding, and buys all concerned a lot of leeway from me.

Ultimately I was pleasantly surprised how well they managed to fill JJ's mystery boxes that were thematically, and even partly emotionally, satisfying - and even the degree to which the ST fits into the 'rhyming structure' and broader themes of the 9. Once that was achieved, I'm not sure it really matters how tightly planned (or not) it all was. Three movies with different tones feels right, as long as they all work together.

It is a pity that this couldn't have been completed with a slightly more coherent plot, and rather less of 'then this happens and then this guy just happens to be here then that happens' approach.

Also, lots more Maz would have been nice. And more Rose in TROS. And leaving in the Caretaker's Village scene in TLJ.

And no Dominic Monaghan at all.