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Author Topic: Star Wars Episode IX  (Read 1354 times)
Khaldun
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Reply #35 on: September 21, 2017, 04:10:44 PM

Really, this next movie either makes Episode IX by forcing Abrams to execute a new story to go along with the new characters or it screws Episode IX by leaving Abrams to figure out what's the overall arc of these three movies, at which point he'll just have the Rebels blow up another killer superweapon while working with cute aliens while Rey finds the goodness in Kylo Ren and saves him from Snoke.

I didn't find TFA objectionable because it was an attempt to figure out what was attractive about Star Wars by re-enacting it. This movie and Episode IX become objectionable if they do the same. If The Last Jedi really mixes it up and tells a new story about the engaging characters that TFA created, Abrams is enough of a journeyman director to finish that story out in a good way. If he's left without guardrails, he'll descend into his more typical hackery.
Ironwood
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Reply #36 on: September 21, 2017, 04:24:57 PM

Rogue One was fucking Miles better than that shite TFA.  Miles.  It's not even a comparison.

Not that I'm saying you were making one.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
HaemishM
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Reply #37 on: September 21, 2017, 04:42:32 PM

Sure, and it's partly because it didn't have to re-establish the universe, it just had to expand it into something that we hadn't seen before. Despite it being a prequel that had a very specific ending, it didn't have to be a movie that revitalized a franchise, it could be its own type of movie (which it was - a war movie). TFA is a pretty great movie when you consider how moribund the entire franchise had become and how much ill will it had to overcome. Did it do that by essentially making a love letter to the original Star Wars? Yeah. It didn't really have a lot of leeway to step off a well-beaten path. Now it certainly could have done so without repeating so many story beats, and with a more capable writer/director, it might have.

What Abrams has to work with after Ep. VIII will determine how well he can do. At the very least, the movie will be well-paced and watchable even if it's total shit (see Into Darkness).

Ironwood
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Reply #38 on: September 22, 2017, 02:12:21 PM

He's an arse.  It'll be shit.

You heard it here first folks.

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Riggswolfe
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Reply #39 on: September 23, 2017, 12:06:06 AM

Rogue One was fucking Miles better than that shite TFA.  Miles.  It's not even a comparison.

Not that I'm saying you were making one.


I actually really disagree. I apologize if I've linked this video before but it does an excellent job in breaking some of it down. In particular, Rogue One fairly consistently broke the rule of "show, don't tell" and Jyn is a very passive protagonist who just sort of gets dragged from scene to scene until the last 30 minutes or so of the movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsIQa7sH5_Y

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Velorath
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Reply #40 on: September 23, 2017, 05:02:16 AM

I never need to watch Rogue One or TFA again so it doesn't matter which is better.

But fuck, even the prequels' characters are more memorable than the Rogue One cast.
Khaldun
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Reply #41 on: September 23, 2017, 06:50:39 AM

Really? I thought they were very well-drawn characters.
Cyrrex
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Reply #42 on: September 23, 2017, 07:52:07 AM

I thought they were pretty blah, and especially Jyn Erso.  I remember distinctly thinking in the last act where they were getting the data disk that she was all dressed up for action and never did a god damn thing.  That said, this is all space lasers pew pew zwoosh zwiish kerboom in a galaxy far far away, and it all looked amazing.  Can say similar things about TFA, but of course that had Rey in it.  And I want to have Daisy Ridley's babies.  And, well, Kylo Ren is pretty memorable as well.

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Ironwood
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Reply #43 on: September 23, 2017, 01:08:53 PM

Really? I thought they were very well-drawn characters.


Yeah, me too.  Dirty Dozen in Star Wars.  Loved it.  (Yes, I see the irony.)


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Khaldun
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Reply #44 on: September 23, 2017, 07:30:59 PM

It's a pretty classic thing? It's not a problem to do it, it's only a problem to do it badly. I don't think they did it badly.
Velorath
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Reply #45 on: September 24, 2017, 02:37:45 AM

It's a pretty classic thing? It's not a problem to do it, it's only a problem to do it badly. I don't think they did it badly.


I think they did it terribly. Those kind of movies only work if you actually give a shit when the characters start dying at the climax. I didn't care about Jyn, blind force guy (aside from liking Donnie Yen), blind force guy's buddy, and... fuck I actually have to look up who the other characters were. Take out all the Star Wars stuff and just look at the plot, writing, and acting, and this thing is so unremarkable at best and outright bad at worst that it should be even less talked about than the Magnificent Seven remake. Even that last battle, while pretty, has all the emotional resonance of watching a Star Wars Battlefront stream to me.
lamaros
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Reply #46 on: September 24, 2017, 05:45:45 AM

Put me in the I didn't care about the characters camp. Not because of the acting, but because they seemed to fast-forward through most of the plot and I wasn't given enough time or back history with any of them to care.

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Khaldun
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Reply #47 on: September 24, 2017, 08:20:52 AM

I think the only thing I'd complain about is that Jyn Erso should have been fiercer, more angry, more passionate.

I think otherwise it's pretty much Dirty Dozen/Magnificent Seven/When Eagles Dare/Guns of Navarone or any similar film following this template. The characters are always broad sketches. I cannot think of a single "assemble a team of misfits to take on an impossible task" film where more than 2-3 of them are sketches or archetypes. They only seem memorable in some cases because we've not only seen the movie itself more than once, we've seen its echoes through pop culture in various homages and remakes. When I think on Magnificent Seven (original), here's what I get:

Bald honorable leader
Silent killer
Young impulsive punk who learns to be a man
Slightly shady gambler guy who might be a coward
Tough dude
Old friend of bald leader
I forget


When I look it up, that's sort of right but I've kind of misremembered some of the implied or quick-sketch backstories--and I've seen the movie four times. The only thing those stories are for is to tell us something about their combat proficiencies and specialities to help structure the action when it gets rolling, to give them some motivation to go on what is basically a dumb mission where they're getting paid shit for something that might get them killed, and to help fill in the two or so inevitable moments before the climax where we wonder if the good guys are going to give up or are going to betray the leader. That's it. They're not complex human beings with their own dramatic arcs.

Having seen Rogue One once, here's what I get:

Slightly angry, slightly post-trauma, woman who hates the Empire for what they did to her family
Rebel intelligence officer who is willing to do immoral or desperate things to help the Rebellion
Blind martial artist who is loyal to the Force
His friend who carries a big gun
Tech guy who is switching sides and is kind of nervous
Funny droid

So it feels to me roughly equal to those films. The nervous tech guy is very underdrawn and forgettable. The droid is memorable largely because he feels like he stepped out of an older Star Wars videogame; none of his quips really stick with me. The blind martial arts is memorable because he's Donnie Yen. (But look at the casting for all those other movies I mentioned and you'll see that's the principle there too.)  The intelligence officer actually felt like the most interesting character to me, but that's partly because he changes what we think of the Rebel Alliance (along with Forest Whitaker's character) in ways that offer some new story directions overall, not because he's an intrinsically interesting character.

For Star Wars made by *anyone* to have characters even more memorable or deep than its genre cousins is going to be very difficult. I'm not sure it's really built for that. Basically, I don't think you get interesting characters in action films unless the film is built around one or two characters in a very exclusive way (usually a protagonist and an antagonist), which is something no Star Wars film has done yet. It might be an interesting direction to take a future side film in, but it's also hard considering that the DNA of the franchise is the Saturday matinee, battle of good-and-evil, etc. It just might not be the platform for a story of a complicated hero versus a complicated bad guy.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 01:32:50 PM by Khaldun »
Abagadro
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Reply #48 on: September 24, 2017, 11:56:10 AM

It's a pretty classic thing? It's not a problem to do it, it's only a problem to do it badly. I don't think they did it badly.


I think they did it terribly. Those kind of movies only work if you actually give a shit when the characters start dying at the climax. I didn't care about Jyn, blind force guy (aside from liking Donnie Yen), blind force guy's buddy, and... fuck I actually have to look up who the other characters were. Take out all the Star Wars stuff and just look at the plot, writing, and acting, and this thing is so unremarkable at best and outright bad at worst that it should be even less talked about than the Magnificent Seven remake. Even that last battle, while pretty, has all the emotional resonance of watching a Star Wars Battlefront stream to me.

Ya, if it was Star Wars Dirty Dozen you needed the training camp/exercise bits from that movie where you get to know the characters and start liking them because they were misfits rebelling against the system.  If they wanted to do that (and they should have), they should have dropped the entire father/daughter nonsense that went nowhere beyond setting up the McGuffin that could have been done better in 5 minutes of dialogue.

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Khaldun
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Reply #49 on: September 24, 2017, 01:32:33 PM

Fair enough. Jyn Erso's story certainly doesn't add all that much in terms of starting it off--it might have been better for it to be added indirectly as the story went along. That's the thing about Dirty Dozen/Mag Seven stories, there usually isn't a 'main character' whose story is strongly privileged.
Soulflame
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Reply #50 on: September 24, 2017, 01:33:34 PM

Khaldun - I think you made a slight typo in your last post. Where you said "Rebel intelligence officer who is willing to do immoral or desperate things to help the Empire" I think you meant "desperate things to help the rebel cause" or possibly "hurt the Empire".
- well shit and you've already fixed that.  My bad.



I do agree that the characters were too lightly sketched in.  More backstory, or more time for the team to gel, or something, would have had a shot at my caring more about the entire team.

I still think it's a better movie than all of the prequels, and I definitely enjoyed watching it.  Not sure I would go out of my way to view it again though.
Velorath
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Reply #51 on: September 24, 2017, 04:37:07 PM

I cannot think of a single "assemble a team of misfits to take on an impossible task" film where more than 2-3 of them are sketches or archetypes.

The problem I have is that Rogue One doesn't even have 2-3 memorable characters. The droid is somewhat entertaining I guess and maybe they could have done something with the fact that he's only fighting on the Rebel's side due to being reprogrammed but since they don't he's just a comic-relief character with zero agency. As leads, Jyn and Cassian don't have an ounce of charisma between them. If they had killed Jyn off and made Mads Mikkelsen the star of the movie as a galactic-scale Oppenheimer who has to stop his own creation they might have had something.

I realize it's not fair to compare anyone to Kurosawa and Mifune, but when Kikuchiyo starts telling the Samurai the extent to which the fuck over the lower class revealing himself to be a peasant in the process... that's how a well written monologue can define a character. Even some of the villagers get character development, and when characters die, even if they're lesser developed ones, you end up caring because of how it affects others. Again, I know Seven Samurai is considered a classic for a reason and there's no way Rogue One was ever going to stack up favorably against it, but you can look at it to illustrate how you do this kind of story right.
eldaec
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Reply #52 on: September 24, 2017, 05:38:59 PM

I was pleased JJA was doing tFA because he usually doesn't screw things up on the scale of Into Darkness, and at that point SW desperately needed at movie that wasn't abject shit.

But seems like a real step back from R1 and the promise of a tLJ directed by Johnson.

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Khaldun
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Reply #53 on: September 24, 2017, 08:31:58 PM

yeah, I fixed it, noticed it earlier. Sorry.
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Reply #54 on: September 25, 2017, 09:29:32 AM


I realize it's not fair to compare anyone to Kurosawa and Mifune, but when Kikuchiyo starts telling the Samurai the extent to which the fuck over the lower class revealing himself to be a peasant in the process... that's how a well written monologue can define a character. Even some of the villagers get character development, and when characters die, even if they're lesser developed ones, you end up caring because of how it affects others. Again, I know Seven Samurai is considered a classic for a reason and there's no way Rogue One was ever going to stack up favorably against it, but you can look at it to illustrate how you do this kind of story right.
While I'm not going to wade too far into the conversation here, I think the current trend of over-editing isn't helping this. How can you have a coherent narrative when huge swaths of it are left on the floor, or the entire movie is shot with multiple scenes that may or may not be used?

The fiancee has a habit of asking me to explain films to her after she watches them, I get a long battery of questions. Now, this bums me out, because I mostly enjoy films at face value and don't get into things like, ahem, this thread  why so serious? But we just saw something (I forget what) that was a mess and obviously was cut up pretty heavily in post. So I just told her movies don't make sense anymore (explaining the editing thing) and now I have a good out for those questions.

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