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Author Topic: Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi  (Read 50517 times)
jgsugden
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Reply #805 on: April 07, 2018, 09:35:00 AM


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eldaec
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Reply #806 on: April 07, 2018, 11:53:32 AM

The First Order has shown no onscreen capability to even turn on a light switch.

Am I the one who remembers they blew up like 8 planets in one go (in a scene that is far worse than any scene in TLJ, I might add)?

To be fair the problem isn't them having the machinery, it is them having the competence to acquire and use it.

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Reply #807 on: April 07, 2018, 05:07:14 PM

The First Order has shown no onscreen capability to even turn on a light switch.

Am I the one who remembers they blew up like 8 planets in one go (in a scene that is far worse than any scene in TLJ, I might add)?

To be fair the problem isn't them having the machinery, it is them having the competence to acquire and use it.


Yeah, that scene in TFA? It's fucking terrible and has absolutely no emotional impact nor does it impart any sort of menace on them at all. I mean, yes, it should but it doesn't. Probably because it's so laughably implausible as to be just glossed over in the mind. It was one of those I just kind of hand-waved it away as "homage to Star Wars," the kind of thing JJ Abrams does all too often.

However, there isn't even that one bit of competence shown in TLJ.

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Reply #808 on: April 07, 2018, 07:02:56 PM

The idea that TLJ is less competent in some sense than TFA seems to me almost inexplicable. It's less cynical? Less risk-averse? Less a lot of things. But the notion that somehow Abrams delivered a competent story and TLJ didn't is more weird fan mentality. It's ok to not like it--why is it so hard to say, "This is not my cup of tea?" I have plenty of things whose competency, virtues, etc., I readily concede and I simply say, "This is not my cup of tea." That seems like it's an essential distinction for anyone with a cultural life--to not confuse, "This is poorly made" with "It's not to my taste".
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Reply #809 on: April 07, 2018, 09:36:19 PM

That's the problem though. Neither is a perfectly great film but yes, TFA is much more competently written. Certainly it doesn't try anything risky. It's actually in a sense one of the most perfect franchise movies - it doesn't really break any new ground but at the same time is mostly a competent, retread of a similar formula. TLJ does try new things but it does them without any real basis for them within the context of the universe it's set in. And in a pure storytelling sense, most of its story beats are really really poorly conceived and poorly executed. It is not a bad film in the sense of its technical accomplishments  - it looks good, it's visually well done. I don't really think there are any poor acting performances. It is a storytelling disaster however.

BobtheSomething
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Reply #810 on: April 07, 2018, 10:27:28 PM

The First Order has shown no onscreen capability to even turn on a light switch.

Am I the one who remembers they blew up like 8 planets in one go (in a scene that is far worse than any scene in TLJ, I might add)?

To be fair the problem isn't them having the machinery, it is them having the competence to acquire and use it.


Yeah, that scene in TFA? It's fucking terrible and has absolutely no emotional impact nor does it impart any sort of menace on them at all. I mean, yes, it should but it doesn't. Probably because it's so laughably implausible as to be just glossed over in the mind. It was one of those I just kind of hand-waved it away as "homage to Star Wars," the kind of thing JJ Abrams does all too often.

However, there isn't even that one bit of competence shown in TLJ.

It's hard to even tell if we are supposed to view the scene as an actual event or rather as an emotional interpretation of events.  Are the five unnamed planetsplosions visible from Maz's sky supposed to be metaphorical? 

But I guess wanting to know the physical, social and emotional scale of events is just nitpicking.  How dare the audience ask for things to make sense.
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Reply #811 on: April 07, 2018, 10:50:10 PM

The idea that TLJ is less competent in some sense than TFA seems to me almost inexplicable. It's less cynical? Less risk-averse? Less a lot of things. But the notion that somehow Abrams delivered a competent story and TLJ didn't is more weird fan mentality. It's ok to not like it--why is it so hard to say, "This is not my cup of tea?" I have plenty of things whose competency, virtues, etc., I readily concede and I simply say, "This is not my cup of tea." That seems like it's an essential distinction for anyone with a cultural life--to not confuse, "This is poorly made" with "It's not to my taste".


Well, I can't speak for Haemish, but I am not a fan of TFA at all, and more and more of the fans I talk to feel the same way.  It's the Star Trek Into Darkness effect; TFA is more easily recognized as a failure these days than when it was new. 

And your own argument works against you, too.  Why can you not recognize the flaws riddled through TLJ while being able to say it's still your cup of tea?  There's a lot to like in the film, but it's not flawless.  There seems to be a Madonna/whore complex about the film from all sides.
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Reply #812 on: April 07, 2018, 11:45:42 PM

The idea that TLJ is less competent in some sense than TFA seems to me almost inexplicable. It's less cynical? Less risk-averse? Less a lot of things. But the notion that somehow Abrams delivered a competent story and TLJ didn't is more weird fan mentality. It's ok to not like it--why is it so hard to say, "This is not my cup of tea?" I have plenty of things whose competency, virtues, etc., I readily concede and I simply say, "This is not my cup of tea." That seems like it's an essential distinction for anyone with a cultural life--to not confuse, "This is poorly made" with "It's not to my taste".


At a narrative level, I think the film is poorly made. It has long stretches of side-plot that don't actually advance the story like the casino. It has character arcs that either don't make sense, like Poe's (rather than try to be the hero, you should blindly trust that your superior has a plan they're just not sharing with you) or are contradictory (Rose's monologue explaining why Finn shouldn't sacrifice himself, which is delivered in a movie where two of the biggest moments are heroes sacrificing themselves). Overall the heroes of this trilogy feel like side characters in their own story, with Kylo, Luke, and Laura Dern actually having the biggest effect on the story. The slow speed chase doesn't build any tension visually so it falls on characters periodically reminding the audience that the fuel is going to run out soon. I don't feel like this movie is telling a story. It took a couple pieces off the board and answered a couple questions left over from the previous movie, but "good guys escape villains, each hero learns an important life lesson" is more like a filler episode of a TV series than the 2nd part of a trilogy that's presumably meant to set up a finale.

And yes, I realize that the original trilogy has it faults which is probably why nobody praises those movies for being well-written.
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Reply #813 on: April 08, 2018, 01:49:11 AM

The idea that TLJ is less competent in some sense than TFA seems to me almost inexplicable. It's less cynical? Less risk-averse? Less a lot of things. But the notion that somehow Abrams delivered a competent story and TLJ didn't is more weird fan mentality. It's ok to not like it--why is it so hard to say, "This is not my cup of tea?" I have plenty of things whose competency, virtues, etc., I readily concede and I simply say, "This is not my cup of tea." That seems like it's an essential distinction for anyone with a cultural life--to not confuse, "This is poorly made" with "It's not to my taste".


Except it's really not. Now, I should put in a disclaimer here. Unlike a lot of people on this board I enjoyed TFA but even if I didn't TLJ has some major issues. In no particular order:

1) Rian discarded story beats left, right and center without much thought to how that will affect the continuity of the trilogy. The best example of this is Snoke. I am not someone who cared about Snoke's back-story which is one of the gripes I hear a lot. "He died and we didn't even get his backstory!" But I do think he was clearly set up and forecast as the series main villain. So why was he killed off? What narrative purpose did it serve? You could say it was to further Kylo Ren's story arc but did it really? It just pushed him into full-on evil guy when he was much more interesting as a conflicted man who does awful things but doesn't seem to be evil to the core. This movie even seemed to be leaning into that theme when we got the backstory about how Luke had a moment of doubt and ignited his saber which was the moment that fully pushed Kylo to the Dark Side. And then Rian just utterly switches gears and it feels like a bit of a cheap change just to be like "SEE? I'm not following the formula!"

2) This one is worse for me in some ways as a nerd. He introduces new technologies without thought of how it will effect things. For all of Star Wars, jumping to hyperspace equaled escape. Now it doesn't anymore. For all of Star Wars, it was essentially World War 2 battleships and fighters duking it out. Now we know they can just hyperspace ram each other. Also, I can't think of a single time in Star Wars fuel has bee an issue. I know fuel tanks have been mentioned mostly in the "shoot the fuel tank!" type of dialogue in the clone wars but it's never been a consideration. Now it is. This all can have major impacts on the universe going forward but clearly Rian didn't think it over.

3) The entire Casino planet side trip is mostly wasted screen time. They just sort of bumbled around and did very little except look impressed when BB-8 saved the day in antics very reminiscent of the prequel trilogies.

4) A lot of the Luke and Rey scenes make very little sense when you look back at them. Luke didn't really teach her hardly anything. Now, in some ways you can say it is an inversion of the trope as Rey convinced Luke to let go of his fear and reenter the fight but still...

5) Which brings me to characterization. It feels like the only character he really "got" was Rey. He utterly screwed up Poe and to a lesser extent Finn. In particular, he had Finn fall back on his "I'm scared and leaving" arc from TFA, an arc that had clearly already been dealt with. The whole point of Finn volunteering to go to Starkiller base was to show he was now committed to the fight. But in TLJ we get the scene of him getting ready to bail on the Resistance when Rose catches him...

I mean in a lot of ways TLJ feels like a movie made by a man who either didn't understand Star Wars (as in 'get' the universe) or just really disliked it as it was and wanted to remold it into something different.

"We live in a country, where John Lennon takes six bullets in the chest, Yoko Ono was standing right next to him and not one fucking bullet! Explain that to me! Explain that to me, God! Explain it to me, God!" - Denis Leary summing up my feelings about the nature of the universe.
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Reply #814 on: April 08, 2018, 08:01:40 AM

TFA was also bad. JJ shameless remake of a new hope plus his inability to give me any reason to care about the characters or whats going on will always be beginning of the fucking shitshow. Episode 8 is suppose to be course correction but no it merely double down about what was stupid about TFA while throwing away the plot elements TFA promised will fill in the giant holes in the ongoing plot.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 09:11:55 PM by MediumHigh »

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Hoax
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Reply #815 on: April 08, 2018, 08:19:39 AM

TFA was worse. Way way way worse.

Man fuck TFA. That's probably the worst I've felt after watching a movie in theaters in the past 5 years or so. I mean I'm trying to think if anything else has come close. Avengers: Ultron might have been the second worst off the top of my head and while it wasn't a good movie it didn't make me feel anywhere near as bad, just letdown that it wasn't anywhere near as cool and fun as the first Avengers.

I agree with 2-5 wholeheartedly but I've never heard the discarded TFA stuff thing be explicit except with regards to Snoke and I don't give a fuck about him. His death while super extra telegraphed was still one of the better parts of this shitpile.

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Khaldun
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Reply #816 on: April 08, 2018, 10:04:41 AM

The discarded story beats thing more than anything else makes me think some of the negative reaction some people have is because they personally feel criticized by what Johnson did.

What Johnson did is say: here are the bells that are being rung where you salivate. Here's what you've been trained to expect--not just by Star Wars but by reams of by-the-numbers heroic narratives. You already had in your mind what was supposed to happen: Luke would take the lightsaber and say 'I have been waiting for you, youngling...it is time to begin the training'; Poe would hatch a desperate plan that defied the dull bureaucratic leadership of women admirals and it would work; Snoke would reveal his sinister plans and turn out to be a millennia-old menace from the Outer Reaches; Kylo would be turned back to the good side by the love of a good woman; Rey would turn out to be a Skywalker or a Kenobi; Luke would show up at the last and do a Starkiller where he throws planets around using the Force, but then dies and Snoke has to retreat snarling, hatching yet another Ultimate Plan of Evil.

There is nothing that says, "These story beats have to be paid off in a particular way." A former hero, broken by his failures, hiding from the world? Maybe that's not your Luke, but it makes emotional and narrative sense and there's nothing in the prior movies that promises something else. A lost young woman, strong in the Force, who was simply abandoned by neglectful parents? All you saw of her folks before was a ship taking off--nothing more. That's a resolution with its own epic resonance (not all heroic fantasy is a story of a lineage--a hero who overcomes abandonment and loss is another perfectly common template!) A derring-do pilot who is so headstrong that he makes horrible errors in judgment but who learns some lessons and begins to be more like a real leader? How much did you know about Poe before that makes that a "failed story beat"? Snoke? All you knew about him was two short, vague menacing conversations--about as much as you knew about the Emperor in ESB, when the Emperor could have turned out to be anything, really.

There's no failed story beats here: there's your expectations, conditioned by a thousand cookie-cutter plot templates. Johnson decided to surprise us all. Some of us plainly don't like be surprised; some of us do.
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Reply #817 on: April 08, 2018, 11:43:15 AM

In particular, he had Finn fall back on his "I'm scared and leaving" arc from TFA, an arc that had clearly already been dealt with. The whole point of Finn volunteering to go to Starkiller base was to show he was now committed to the fight. But in TLJ we get the scene of him getting ready to bail on the Resistance when Rose catches him...

TBF, I have to disagree with this one. He wasn't bailing on the Resistance, he was trying to go save Rey, or at least try to save Rey and get her to come back to help the Resistance. It was a dumb idea, however, and it really feels like Rian didn't get Finn at all as anything other than comic relief. And neither JJ or Rian were able to mine the "I'm a Stormtrooper trained from birth to be a killer but I rebelled against that" or even explain what any of that means. Which meant that Phasma character, which was wasted by both directors, didn't really have any reason to exist either.

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Reply #818 on: April 08, 2018, 11:44:59 AM

There's no failed story beats here: there's your expectations, conditioned by a thousand cookie-cutter plot templates. Johnson decided to surprise us all. Some of us plainly don't like be surprised; some of us do.

You're right, the movie isn't paced and structured badly with long diversions that don't really add up to anything or advance the story, Johnson has invented a whole new way to do narrative that the rest of us just don't get. Clearly I just don't like the surprise that comes from realizing you could lift half of the main characters out of the movie and the only thing that would change is that the movie would be 45 minutes shorter.

Also I don't think very many people here have complained about Luke. My only issues with his stuff is a) playing it for laughs by tossing the lightsaber away at the beginning in what feels like something Hamill might have done in an outtake that Johnson latched onto, and b) Luke even slightly contemplating killing his own nephew in his sleep.
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Reply #819 on: April 08, 2018, 11:51:25 AM

What Johnson did is say: here are the bells that are being rung where you salivate. Here's what you've been trained to expect--not just by Star Wars but by reams of by-the-numbers heroic narratives. You already had in your mind what was supposed to happen: Luke would take the lightsaber and say 'I have been waiting for you, youngling...it is time to begin the training'; Poe would hatch a desperate plan that defied the dull bureaucratic leadership of women admirals and it would work; Snoke would reveal his sinister plans and turn out to be a millennia-old menace from the Outer Reaches; Kylo would be turned back to the good side by the love of a good woman; Rey would turn out to be a Skywalker or a Kenobi; Luke would show up at the last and do a Starkiller where he throws planets around using the Force, but then dies and Snoke has to retreat snarling, hatching yet another Ultimate Plan of Evil.

Fuck right the everliving fuck off with that. It is utter horse shit and you ought to know most of the posters around here, including me, better than to expect ANY of that bullshit. If indeed Rian Johnson wrote those story beats the way he did with a "SEE HOW PAVLOVIAN YOUR DESIRES ARE NERDLINGS!!!!" then he can fuck right off with it too, because he's supposed to be writing a script that builds organically rather than trying an experiment in GOTCHA storytelling. It's not any more interesting to take a paint-by-numbers narrative structure and then just insert negative numbers in where there were positives. That's just as hackneyed as bringing in the typical pablum only with a side note of comic book guy "AIN'T I SO CLEVER!!!!"

Indeed if that's why he chose to take the story beats where he did, that's exactly why they are so terrible. They don't feel organic. They are forced. They make the audience stop and go "WUUUUT?" And again, they aren't even logically consistent within their own movie. The entire Poe story arc is a clever attempt to highlight the stupidity of the rogue maverick hero, only it also highlights how utterly stupid and convoluted Lara Dern's plan is to the point of "why wouldn't you tell the leader of your fighter squadrons what your plan is?" Because the story says so, which is what takes the audience out of the story.

I like Rian Johnson's previous work. I thought Brick was fantastic. This was just a fucking mess and I can't understand why Disney gave him a separate, standalone trilogy based on this movie.

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Reply #820 on: April 08, 2018, 01:06:19 PM

I like Rian Johnson's previous work. I thought Brick was fantastic. This was just a fucking mess and I can't understand why Disney gave him a separate, standalone trilogy based on this movie.

Is it really that hard to understand that your opinion constitutes an insignificant minority?

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Reply #821 on: April 08, 2018, 01:13:11 PM

I like Rian Johnson's previous work. I thought Brick was fantastic. This was just a fucking mess and I can't understand why Disney gave him a separate, standalone trilogy based on this movie.

Because this movie made moolah. If people would actually stop going to see these servings of shit, then the production companies might actually have a reason to stop serving them.

Instead its the same old story. People flock to them, say "wow its fantastic Starwars is back we are saved!!" and then over the next few months people slowly start to admit that they were shit, but then the HYPE for the next serving of of even more watery shit starts and people queue up again.

It is possible to wait a week to see if word of mouth says this piece of crap is worth seeing, you know. But, as things stand for right now, there is zero and no reason for them to stop making piles of crap.

Sometimes irony is pretty ironic.
jgsugden
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Reply #822 on: April 08, 2018, 01:21:57 PM

I like Rian Johnson's previous work. I thought Brick was fantastic. This was just a fucking mess and I can't understand why Disney gave him a separate, standalone trilogy based on this movie.
Is it really that hard to understand that your opinion constitutes an insignificant minority?
Except it isn't the opinion of an insignificant minority - a lot of people share it.   

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Threash
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Reply #823 on: April 08, 2018, 01:29:24 PM

I like Rian Johnson's previous work. I thought Brick was fantastic. This was just a fucking mess and I can't understand why Disney gave him a separate, standalone trilogy based on this movie.
Is it really that hard to understand that your opinion constitutes an insignificant minority?
Except it isn't the opinion of an insignificant minority - a lot of people share it.   

Of course, that's why this movie bombed so hard and Rian Johnson will never get to direct another movie again. Or we could look at the actual reality and see that in fact it is a tiny minority that for some reason holds some completely irrational hate for this movie.

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Reply #824 on: April 08, 2018, 03:09:11 PM

It's good to have you back WUA.
 Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

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Reply #825 on: April 08, 2018, 03:59:29 PM

I like Rian Johnson's previous work. I thought Brick was fantastic. This was just a fucking mess and I can't understand why Disney gave him a separate, standalone trilogy based on this movie.
Is it really that hard to understand that your opinion constitutes an insignificant minority?
Except it isn't the opinion of an insignificant minority - a lot of people share it.   

Of course, that's why this movie bombed so hard and Rian Johnson will never get to direct another movie again. Or we could look at the actual reality and see that in fact it is a tiny minority that for some reason holds some completely irrational hate for this movie.

First off, I didn't pay to go see it - my company bought tickets for everyone. So I didn't actually pay for this movie.

Secondly, Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score is 47%. Force Awakens audience score is 88%. So while true this is a small portion of the overall audience, it's enough numbers to get a good idea of where the sentiment stands. In other words, about half the people who saw this did not like it compared to TFA where almost 90% did. We're talking about somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000 respondents which is more than you normally get with most polling of any kind that is considered scientific.

And how do we know the TLJ did not succeed as well as TFA? MONEY. TFA made over $2 billion worldwide, while Last Jedi is at $1.3 billion worldwide. It had a lower opening weekend, with more theaters available than TFA. It was in theater release 8 weeks less than TFA. While clearly it made it's money and isn't a financial failure, it empirically not as much of a success as TFA, and the audiences clearly did not return for multiple viewings because the box office was lower, which matches the audience score.

Nobody said it bombed. It wasn't as good, and that's not just my opinion, that's the opinion of at least half the people who saw it and the numbers back that shit up.

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Reply #826 on: April 08, 2018, 04:28:55 PM

The people bothering to submit a rotten tomato score are not representative of the general viewership. I’d also be hesitant to base my argument off of something that can be as easily manipulated as online user ratings, hence why metabombing is a thing.

200,000+ ratings in three months. It took phantom menace years to reach that point and TFA two years.

Neither of which has as many “why Kathleen Kennedy/SJW ruined Star Wars” YouTube tirades as this one.

None of the actual decision making by Disney shows that they view TLJ as anything other than a success. Including but not limited to the fact that they didn’t shitcan Rian Johnson but instead gave him even more Star Wars movies.

If you hated the movie, fine. If you think that it’s the worst movie of all time, fine.

It was the highest grossing movie of 2017, had the highest grossing domestic opening weekend of all time and currently sits at the #9 spot of highest grossing worldwide release of all time, though. Arguing that it is anything other than a huge success just because it didn’t beat the #2 all time highest grossing worldwide release TFA or because of about 100,000 people and bots voicing their displeasure on Rotten Tomatoes is beyond ridiculous though.
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Reply #827 on: April 08, 2018, 04:53:52 PM

Never said it wasn't a huge success or that it meant that Disney wasn't happy with Rian Johnson, as they clearly were. I merely pointed out that it was not as great a success as TFA, both in terms of box office numbers AND audience score.

And frankly, even if it's been manipulated, most pollsters would be quite fine making a conclusion with 1/4 of the numbers of respondents as the two movies got on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Reply #828 on: April 08, 2018, 05:23:32 PM

It wasn’t as much of a success is technically correct but I feel it is a bit of a pointless argument when the two movies being compared to each other are the #2 and #9 all time highest grossing films. It doesn’t make any statement on quality either because Avatar is still #1 and that movie is utter shit.

Disney won’t change its approach. Firstly because it’s insanely successful with Disney dominating  the top twenty highest grossing movies of all time list. Secondly because they know all of the people complaining now will dutifully buy tickets to the next Star Wars installment anyway.

They might if Star Wars 9 fails, which it won’t

TFA and TLJ alone have already more than made up the 4.5 billion purchase price of Lucasfilm if you include merchandising.

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Reply #829 on: April 08, 2018, 09:11:18 PM

TFA was peak interest in Disney Star Wars. TLJ is a significant jump downward but your still talking a difference between say 2 billion and 1.3 billion. So either a lot of people didn't watch this twice, TFA threw enough of the "whiny nerd" crowd off the franchise, or a combination of both. Even if the 9th movie follows the trend, your still talking a box office of 800 million + world wide...maybe. Sony cut the amazing spiderman series short for a difference of 50 million. But spiderman isn't star wars.

Disney doesn't need the older fans, I mean whiny nerds, to sell movie tickets for a profit and will probably continue to do so because they found a audience that is easier to please. Disney has no obligation to make these movies good, and their pretty much saying they won't. And not because their an evil corporation but because star wars is too big to conceivably fail and if a star wars movie did bomb in the not so distant future... well Disney made their money back. Even merchandising not selling at the rate predicted is but a small set back. Disney can always kill the brand wait 5-15 years and release a new series of even more kid friendly movies to an audience of 20 year olds who found the The Force Awakens nostalgic.

But its ok, the nerds don't matter their only a small vocal minority.
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Reply #830 on: April 08, 2018, 10:39:18 PM

TFA was peak interest in Disney Star Wars. TLJ is a significant jump downward but your still talking a difference between say 2 billion and 1.3 billion. So either a lot of people didn't watch this twice, TFA threw enough of the "whiny nerd" crowd off the franchise, or a combination of both. Even if the 9th movie follows the trend, your still talking a box office of 800 million + world wide...maybe. Sony cut the amazing spiderman series short for a difference of 50 million. But spiderman isn't star wars.

I was just thinking of the same comparison with Amazing Spider-man. It's not just about how much money these movies make, it's about how much the studios feel they could be making. TLJ is by no means a bomb, but anybody would be fooling themselves to think that there's not a single person at Disney thinking about if anything could have been done differently to prevent at least some of that $700 million drop-off. Obviously it's not all on Rian Johnson's head. TFA had the benefit of being the first SW movie in 10 years, and the first one under Disney's control and without Lucas involved. It was an event, and each subsequent SW movie being released is less-so.

And there's a lot of ways you could look at the numbers. On the one hand you can say $1.3 billion worldwide is great. On the other, you could say that Star Wars was the biggest franchise and now Star Wars movies are getting passed up by stuff like Avengers, Jurassic World, and are getting challenged internationally by stuff like Fast & Furious movies. At the same time, depending on if they bring Luke back as a force ghost or not, Star Wars is running out of original trilogy characters they can bring out for nostalgia. They've got Lando as an option and that's about it, and when they're done with that Kylo is the only character they've got that has any sort of connection to the original movies.

After Episode IX, pretty much everything is going to be a spin-off movie by virtue of having no connection to the original movies, and they're going to need to do something with the franchise other than Dengar: A Star Wars Story or Episode X: The Empire, First Order, Guys Who Currently have the Star Destroyers and TIE Fighters Fight the Rebellion, Resistance, X-Wing People. I'm curious to see where they take things, but one thing none of Disney's Star Wars movies have done yet is to actually make me excited to see to what's coming next.
Riggswolfe
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Reply #831 on: April 08, 2018, 11:57:00 PM

The discarded story beats thing more than anything else makes me think some of the negative reaction some people have is because they personally feel criticized by what Johnson did.

What Johnson did is say: here are the bells that are being rung where you salivate. Here's what you've been trained to expect--not just by Star Wars but by reams of by-the-numbers heroic narratives. You already had in your mind what was supposed to happen: Luke would take the lightsaber and say 'I have been waiting for you, youngling...it is time to begin the training'; Poe would hatch a desperate plan that defied the dull bureaucratic leadership of women admirals and it would work; Snoke would reveal his sinister plans and turn out to be a millennia-old menace from the Outer Reaches; Kylo would be turned back to the good side by the love of a good woman; Rey would turn out to be a Skywalker or a Kenobi; Luke would show up at the last and do a Starkiller where he throws planets around using the Force, but then dies and Snoke has to retreat snarling, hatching yet another Ultimate Plan of Evil.

There is nothing that says, "These story beats have to be paid off in a particular way." A former hero, broken by his failures, hiding from the world? Maybe that's not your Luke, but it makes emotional and narrative sense and there's nothing in the prior movies that promises something else. A lost young woman, strong in the Force, who was simply abandoned by neglectful parents? All you saw of her folks before was a ship taking off--nothing more. That's a resolution with its own epic resonance (not all heroic fantasy is a story of a lineage--a hero who overcomes abandonment and loss is another perfectly common template!) A derring-do pilot who is so headstrong that he makes horrible errors in judgment but who learns some lessons and begins to be more like a real leader? How much did you know about Poe before that makes that a "failed story beat"? Snoke? All you knew about him was two short, vague menacing conversations--about as much as you knew about the Emperor in ESB, when the Emperor could have turned out to be anything, really.

There's no failed story beats here: there's your expectations, conditioned by a thousand cookie-cutter plot templates. Johnson decided to surprise us all. Some of us plainly don't like be surprised; some of us do.


Some of my favorite movies challenge cliches in precisely the way you are describing. I love Big Trouble in Little China precisely because Jack Burton is the sidekick but thinks he is the hero, for example. This can be done and be done in a clever way but I don't think TLJ did it. It just had too many plot issues to successfully pull it off.

I'm not bothered by Luke withdrawing in despair. It was the biggest failure of his life and I suspect the First Order rising made him just go "Was any of it even worth it?" I'm not even bothered by Rian wanting to show Poe having to learn some hard lessons about leadership. Buit he did it in hamfisted and dumb ways.

For example: Why didn't Holdo tell Poe what she planned? There was literally zero reason to keep it from him. And she didn't just keep it from him, she kept it from most of the senior crew resulting in a mutiny which could have been disastrous. Also, her plan was stupid anyway. Why didn't she realize the First Order would target the shuttles? Or that the Resistance would now be trapped in a bunker with no ships to escape with?

For example: Why doesn't the First Order have a few ships from its fleet make a small hyperspace jump ahead of the Resistance fleet? Why just go on a slow motion chase until they run out of fuel? Also, when they saw Finn's shuttle leave why not shoot it out of space like they did the other shuttles at the end?

For example: Why show that Luke has lost faith in the Jedi but then have him lose the courage to burn the tree down? And why have the entire scene if Rey has already stolen the books anyway? Also, is Luke suddenly so dumb that he didn't walk in there and see that his bookshelf is now empty?

For example: Let's talk about some of the bad editing decisions. Regardless of how you feel about Snoke the entire throne room scene is ruined by one shot. The shot showing the Skywalker saber rotating on the arm of his throne a few seconds before it ignites. That one shot utterly robs the scene of tension. There are other examples like that but that one stands out to me the most. It also makes you realize that Snoke is apparently deaf as he did not hear the metal of the saber rubbing against the armrest as it turned.



"We live in a country, where John Lennon takes six bullets in the chest, Yoko Ono was standing right next to him and not one fucking bullet! Explain that to me! Explain that to me, God! Explain it to me, God!" - Denis Leary summing up my feelings about the nature of the universe.
TheWalrus
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Reply #832 on: April 09, 2018, 12:30:34 AM

That was good, do Black Panther next.

Paelos: Somebody find that post where I declared Seattle dead, because those fuckers are NFL cockroaches in the NFC.
Ironwood
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Reply #833 on: April 09, 2018, 04:16:17 AM

Please don't.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Threash
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Reply #834 on: April 09, 2018, 08:00:59 AM

That was good, do Black Panther next.

Nah, do the original trilogy next.

I am the .00000001428%
Ironwood
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Reply #835 on: April 09, 2018, 08:03:23 AM


"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Draegan
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Reply #836 on: April 09, 2018, 05:45:45 PM

Luke made out with his sister.
Darth Vaders first name was Darth.
lamaros
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Reply #837 on: April 11, 2018, 12:37:18 AM

I've not seen this movie, but this repetitive and mostly tedious thread does have some humor in it. Khal, you do realise that you and Tele are making the same point? Just, you really like the movie, and he don't.

Also, Something can be more or less good (or interesting), without that being correlated to how more or less Star Wars it is?

Expect poison from the standing water.
Khaldun
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Reply #838 on: April 11, 2018, 04:41:04 PM

Sure. But I think these are actually interesting conversations. Culture isn't meant to be consumed in privacy; opinions form and become more substantive in conversation. And I really do find the intensity of reactions on both sides interesting; I would rather have a cultural work be polarizing than to have a consensus that it's just ok or fine. (Which seems to be the view on TFA.)
eldaec
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Reply #839 on: April 12, 2018, 02:01:52 AM

It has been brought to my attention that there is one serious issue with tLJ we have not discussed.

It has paper in it.

There is no paper in star wars.

Twelve prior theatrical productions, three animated series and a holiday special managed to get this right.

"People will not assume that what they read on the internet is trustworthy or that it carries any particular ­assurance or accuracy" - Lord Leveson
"Hyperbole is a cancer" - Lakov Sanite
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