Author Topic: How Star Wars was saved in the edit  (Read 4424 times)  

Offline P.J. Post

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2018, 04:56:09 PM »
Films differ from books, of course. But the principles of storytelling are consistent.

Thanks for the post. I watch a lot of screenplay and movie analysis, because of exactly what you said - the principles of storytelling are consistent. This one did a nice job of explaining how pacing and emotional engagement can be dramatically affected by how we present information.

For me, it also underlines the importance of revision.

I totally agree. Personally, I believe ALL books would be vastly improved by...   :-X

If only Marcia Lucas had been around for 'The Last Jedi'.

Or the prequels.

I loved-ish the prequels; but with the inclusion of politics, they became slightly more 'serious' SF (slower), as opposed to the pirate/western adventure in space that the originals were. And, yeah...Jar Jar...but I thought the adventure they had was great, the battles and saber duels were pretty awesome too, especially Maul's. I think it was both visually compelling and served the story by furthering character and tension. And pod racing? Come on, that was pretty cool, even if the announcers nearly wrecked it. We got Trantor Coruscant, and Anakin's arc - that was pretty neato.

But editing wasn't the downfall of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, they simply ignored basic storytelling in favor of...no idea...money? The movies were well edited and looked beautiful, lens flares and all, but they didn't develop their characters, or even maintain consistency from canon or film to film. Characters did what the plot/screenplay/director said they should, not what we had been led to believe they would have, or even what seemed logical. And Rey was wasted as a completely one-dimensional Mary Sue, an idea Johnson cemented into canon by making her parents callous nobodies. She just 'knows' this stuff. Who needs Luke [expletive]ing Skywalker when we have Rey? (Spoiler, she kicks his ass.)

The last two movies failed horribly at the writing stage. Why did anyone think it was a good idea to redo 4? Why did anyone think it was a good idea to abandon everything developed in TFA or the previous 6 movies in favor of the subversion of expectation? I mean, the First Order? Starkiller Base? Darth Luke? Hoth? Um...I mean Crait - look it's salt...not snow, really...we even put a line of dialogue in to avoid any confusion, cuz that's what people do on new planets - taste the dirt, um snow...uh...salt.

These movies are pathetically lazy...but they sure look good.  ::)

lol yep. That'd be a tall order for even the brilliant editorial crew of the original.
Combined with the appalling story-telling in the prequels, it would be impossible. Anakin was a self-absorbed jerk from the start and had gone full psychopath WAY before he fully "turned to the darkside". Slaughters an entire village and Padme soothes him with "Aw, it's ok Anakin. I know you only slaughtered them because you were feeling angsty. You just need some lovin'. A little sexy time will keep those nasty ol' corpses from hurting your feelings." Of course, then he slaughters a daycare of kids and Padme and Obi-wan are still imploring him to not "go to the darkside". That ship had long sailed and made port... disembarked, canvassed the neighborhood, found a nice little 3-2 split-level, and put a down payment on it.

The entire prequel trilogy was not only bad but morally confused as h#@!

The moral ambiguity was deliberate.

Amidala was In LoveTM, and made excuses for Anakin all along, even to herself. Sure, it was an incredibly toxic and unhealthy relationship, but that was the impetus for all of the darkness that followed. Ultimately, Anakin murdered the young-lings and declared his loyalty to the Emperor to save Amidala. And she wasn't much better. When she lost Anakin, she bailed on not only the people of Naboo and the fledgling resistance that was so dependent upon her, but she bailed on her kids! That's super selfish, destructive and way [expletive]ed up - but great story.

There's movie parts of the prequels I could definitely have done without, Vader's 'No' scene, for example, The Jarster...medi...midio...clorine...whatever, just...ugh. But the story beats were mostly well done-ish, even if they weren't what the fans expected.

As for these last two [crap]-shows...the television Clone Wars series showed them how to do it right - really right. Such a great series. The whole thing is a head-scratcher. So much wasted potential.

Um...sorry...sort of turned into a rant there.  :)

Thanks again for the post, Anarchist.

eta: And both of these directors know how to make movies, which is why it's so disappointing: Looper rocked and I really like most JJ Abrams movies. Super 8 and Star Trek were both a lot of fun.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2018, 09:02:08 PM by P.J. Post »

Offline Jeff Tanyard

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2018, 08:57:00 PM »
Um...sorry...sort of turned into a rant there.  :)


Good rant.   ;D
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Offline C. Gold

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2018, 09:12:12 PM »
I still remember almost shedding a tear when hearing the 'But you're the chosen one!' and then the camera pans to Anakin who is waving his burned off appendages like some wriggle worm. I literally went from almost crying to uncontrolled giggling. I don't think it was bad acting so much as bad script writing in the prequels. I think they were trying to be too many things--funny, serious, political, showing a person diving into darkness--and failed at doing any one of those things well.

Offline Kal241

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2018, 10:20:20 PM »
I still remember almost shedding a tear when hearing the 'But you're the chosen one!' and then the camera pans to Anakin who is waving his burned off appendages like some wriggle worm. I literally went from almost crying to uncontrolled giggling. I don't think it was bad acting so much as bad script writing in the prequels. I think they were trying to be too many things--funny, serious, political, showing a person diving into darkness--and failed at doing any one of those things well.

Agreed. Missed opportunities all around.

I still think the unused plotline where Jar Jar was actually Palpatine's master, pretending to be an idiot but secretly controlling it all, would've been the shocker that film needed.

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Offline kw3000

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2018, 12:36:53 AM »
Thanks for the post. I watch a lot of screenplay and movie analysis, because of exactly what you said - the principles of storytelling are consistent. This one did a nice job of explaining how pacing and emotional engagement can be dramatically affected by how we present information.

I totally agree. Personally, I believe ALL books would be vastly improved by...   :-X

I loved-ish the prequels; but with the inclusion of politics, they became slightly more 'serious' SF (slower), as opposed to the pirate/western adventure in space that the originals were. And, yeah...Jar Jar...but I thought the adventure they had was great, the battles and saber duels were pretty awesome too, especially Maul's. I think it was both visually compelling and served the story by furthering character and tension. And pod racing? Come on, that was pretty cool, even if the announcers nearly wrecked it. We got Trantor Coruscant, and Anakin's arc - that was pretty neato.

But editing wasn't the downfall of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, they simply ignored basic storytelling in favor of...no idea...money? The movies were well edited and looked beautiful, lens flares and all, but they didn't develop their characters, or even maintain consistency from canon or film to film. Characters did what the plot/screenplay/director said they should, not what we had been led to believe they would have, or even what seemed logical. And Rey was wasted as a completely one-dimensional Mary Sue, an idea Johnson cemented into canon by making her parents callous nobodies. She just 'knows' this stuff. Who needs Luke [expletive]ing Skywalker when we have Rey? (Spoiler, she kicks his ass.)

The last two movies failed horribly at the writing stage. Why did anyone think it was a good idea to redo 4? Why did anyone think it was a good idea to abandon everything developed in TFA or the previous 6 movies in favor of the subversion of expectation? I mean, the First Order? Starkiller Base? Darth Luke? Hoth? Um...I mean Crait - look it's salt...not snow, really...we even put a line of dialogue in to avoid any confusion, cuz that's what people do on new planets - taste the dirt, um snow...uh...salt.

These movies are pathetically lazy...but they sure look good.  ::)

The moral ambiguity was deliberate.

Amidala was In LoveTM, and made excuses for Anakin all along, even to herself. Sure, it was an incredibly toxic and unhealthy relationship, but that was the impetus for all of the darkness that followed. Ultimately, Anakin murdered the young-lings and declared his loyalty to the Emperor to save Amidala. And she wasn't much better. When she lost Anakin, she bailed on not only the people of Naboo and the fledgling resistance that was so dependent upon her, but she bailed on her kids! That's super selfish, destructive and way [expletive]ed up - but great story.

There's movie parts of the prequels I could definitely have done without, Vader's 'No' scene, for example, The Jarster...medi...midio...clorine...whatever, just...ugh. But the story beats were mostly well done-ish, even if they weren't what the fans expected.

As for these last two [crap]-shows...the television Clone Wars series showed them how to do it right - really right. Such a great series. The whole thing is a head-scratcher. So much wasted potential.

Um...sorry...sort of turned into a rant there.  :)

Thanks again for the post, Anarchist.

eta: And both of these directors know how to make movies, which is why it's so disappointing: Looper rocked and I really like most JJ Abrams movies. Super 8 and Star Trek were both a lot of fun.

I quite enjoyed your rant. Well said. I completely agree.  8)

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2018, 05:14:00 AM »
Again, somewhat off-topic, but I think Disney's owning the SW franchise is going to either kill and/or dilute it.  Disney certainly knows how to milk a franchise for all the $$$ it's worth, but what does that do to quality?

I admit I'm not a huge fan and haven't seen all the movies....  the last one I saw was The Force Awakens, with the FMC Rey.  When I left the theatre and thought about it I realized the movie was pretty much a re-do of Episode IV (A New Hope).  Same characters (types), same basic plot, same adorable droids for comic relief.  I assume the newest movie is better.....
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Offline Jessie G. Talbot

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2018, 06:31:27 AM »
I never saw Star Wars on the big screen as a kid, I had to wait until the re-issues when I was in my mid-twenties. I don't recall the big destroyer making much of an effect (maybe the bass wasn't cranked up enough) but, ohhh, GIANT HAN SOLO! Be still my heart.

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Offline kw3000

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2018, 12:23:56 PM »
Again, somewhat off-topic, but I think Disney's owning the SW franchise is going to either kill and/or dilute it.

Yep, you're right about that.

Quote
I assume the newest movie is better.....

 :-X

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2018, 01:26:43 PM »
The Last Jedi has its problems but it is not on the same level as the prequels in terms of failed execution. Not even close.

Somewhat off-topic, but as the resident sequel defender, I have to step up to bat for my home girl Rey.

Offline valeriec80

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2018, 01:46:54 PM »
Not to get way off topic, but The Last Jedi is probably my second favorite Star Wars film after Empire, and it's the first movie that I came out of really excited and inspired and blown away by since I was a teenager.  I think it is brilliant.
 

Offline P.J. Post

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2018, 03:14:42 PM »
Not to get way off topic, but The Last Jedi is probably my second favorite Star Wars film after Empire, and it's the first movie that I came out of really excited and inspired and blown away by since I was a teenager.  I think it is brilliant.

Hi, it's been a while, hope everything's going great!   :)

I think we're already 'way off' here....what was it that excited you so much?

Offline P.J. Post

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2018, 03:18:01 PM »
The Last Jedi has its problems but it is not on the same level as the prequels in terms of failed execution. Not even close.

Somewhat off-topic, but as the resident sequel defender, I have to step up to bat for my home girl Rey.

I obviously disagree about the prequels, but what is it about Rey that you're connecting with?

Offline baldricko

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2018, 04:46:47 PM »
Excellent, OP.

One of the many advantages we indie authors have over the traditionally published must surely be our ability to continue to make changes to the story after it's published. And another good reason why (insightful) reviewers are important to us.

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Offline C. A. Mitchell

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #38 on: February 13, 2018, 02:39:47 AM »

But editing wasn't the downfall of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, they simply ignored basic storytelling in favor of...no idea...money? The movies were well edited and looked beautiful, lens flares and all, but they didn't develop their characters, or even maintain consistency from canon or film to film. Characters did what the plot/screenplay/director said they should, not what we had been led to believe they would have, or even what seemed logical. And Rey was wasted as a completely one-dimensional Mary Sue, an idea Johnson cemented into canon by making her parents callous nobodies. She just 'knows' this stuff. Who needs Luke [expletive]ing Skywalker when we have Rey? (Spoiler, she kicks his ass.)

The last two movies failed horribly at the writing stage. Why did anyone think it was a good idea to redo 4? Why did anyone think it was a good idea to abandon everything developed in TFA or the previous 6 movies in favor of the subversion of expectation? I mean, the First Order? Starkiller Base? Darth Luke? Hoth? Um...I mean Crait - look it's salt...not snow, really...we even put a line of dialogue in to avoid any confusion, cuz that's what people do on new planets - taste the dirt, um snow...uh...salt.

These movies are pathetically lazy...but they sure look good.  ::)

eta: And both of these directors know how to make movies, which is why it's so disappointing: Looper rocked and I really like most JJ Abrams movies. Super 8 and Star Trek were both a lot of fun.

I politely, but forcefully, disagree with all of the above  :P

(Thanks for the video!)

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2018, 05:31:30 AM »
I never saw Star Wars on the big screen as a kid, I had to wait until the re-issues when I was in my mid-twenties. I don't recall the big destroyer making much of an effect (maybe the bass wasn't cranked up enough) but, ohhh, GIANT HAN SOLO! Be still my heart.

I have a life-size Han Solo cutout right in front of me.


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Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2018, 01:38:38 PM »
Thanks for the post. I watch a lot of screenplay and movie analysis, because of exactly what you said - the principles of storytelling are consistent. This one did a nice job of explaining how pacing and emotional engagement can be dramatically affected by how we present information.

I totally agree. Personally, I believe ALL books would be vastly improved by...   :-X

I loved-ish the prequels; but with the inclusion of politics, they became slightly more 'serious' SF (slower), as opposed to the pirate/western adventure in space that the originals were. And, yeah...Jar Jar...but I thought the adventure they had was great, the battles and saber duels were pretty awesome too, especially Maul's. I think it was both visually compelling and served the story by furthering character and tension. And pod racing? Come on, that was pretty cool, even if the announcers nearly wrecked it. We got Trantor Coruscant, and Anakin's arc - that was pretty neato.

But editing wasn't the downfall of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, they simply ignored basic storytelling in favor of...no idea...money? The movies were well edited and looked beautiful, lens flares and all, but they didn't develop their characters, or even maintain consistency from canon or film to film. Characters did what the plot/screenplay/director said they should, not what we had been led to believe they would have, or even what seemed logical. And Rey was wasted as a completely one-dimensional Mary Sue, an idea Johnson cemented into canon by making her parents callous nobodies. She just 'knows' this stuff. Who needs Luke [expletive]ing Skywalker when we have Rey? (Spoiler, she kicks his ass.)

The last two movies failed horribly at the writing stage. Why did anyone think it was a good idea to redo 4? Why did anyone think it was a good idea to abandon everything developed in TFA or the previous 6 movies in favor of the subversion of expectation? I mean, the First Order? Starkiller Base? Darth Luke? Hoth? Um...I mean Crait - look it's salt...not snow, really...we even put a line of dialogue in to avoid any confusion, cuz that's what people do on new planets - taste the dirt, um snow...uh...salt.

These movies are pathetically lazy...but they sure look good.  ::)

The moral ambiguity was deliberate.

Amidala was In LoveTM, and made excuses for Anakin all along, even to herself. Sure, it was an incredibly toxic and unhealthy relationship, but that was the impetus for all of the darkness that followed. Ultimately, Anakin murdered the young-lings and declared his loyalty to the Emperor to save Amidala. And she wasn't much better. When she lost Anakin, she bailed on not only the people of Naboo and the fledgling resistance that was so dependent upon her, but she bailed on her kids! That's super selfish, destructive and way [expletive]ed up - but great story.

There's movie parts of the prequels I could definitely have done without, Vader's 'No' scene, for example, The Jarster...medi...midio...clorine...whatever, just...ugh. But the story beats were mostly well done-ish, even if they weren't what the fans expected.

As for these last two [crap]-shows...the television Clone Wars series showed them how to do it right - really right. Such a great series. The whole thing is a head-scratcher. So much wasted potential.

Um...sorry...sort of turned into a rant there.  :)

Thanks again for the post, Anarchist.

eta: And both of these directors know how to make movies, which is why it's so disappointing: Looper rocked and I really like most JJ Abrams movies. Super 8 and Star Trek were both a lot of fun.

Except that TFA and TLJ are some of the best reviewed and highest grossing films of the franchise. Indeed, of all time.

It is perfectly okay if they are not your cup of tea. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

But you should be aware that even though it seems cool to hate on things these days, if you didn't like TFA and TLJ, you are very much in the minority. It is a VERY vocal minority, but make no mistake, the vast majority of people who saw these movies has very positive feelings about them.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/markhughes/2017/12/29/almost-everything-everybody-is-saying-about-star-wars-the-last-jedi-is-wrong/#48bde4a039b5

Personally, I think TLJ was my favorite of the series. It's not perfect, but none of them are. It is the first Star Wars movie that ever really included anything worth talking about after you left the theater. (Not that it stopped me or any of my Star Wars geek friends!) But honestly, we've all seen the hero's journey done a bunch of times. I think the way TLJ challenged that was borderline brilliant. Of course, it couldn't exist without the originals. And tearing down the structure we've all come to love was bound to rile up some fans that had a different idea of where the movie should go. But on the whole, I am so glad we got to see this take on it, rather than just another retread.

I have to say, the preview for Solo isn't really doing anything for me. I'm much more interested in where Star Wars is going than where it's been. But I guess we'll see.  :)

Offline wittyblather

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2018, 02:31:16 PM »
I obviously disagree about the prequels, but what is it about Rey that you're connecting with?

I think she's a likable, smart, good person who is both an excellent role model for young women and a character I'm interested to see explored. I find the way that her abandonment issues are written is extremely true to life: they're not always outwardly visible, but they drive a good part of everything she does, and they can destroy her when they're forced too close to the surface. She's loyal to her friends, open to changing her beliefs when confronted with new information (see: her relationship with Kylo in TLJ), and holds fast to her convictions, but also has a ruthless kind of efficiency when it comes to getting what she wants that she's never thought to question because it was born of her lifestyle as a scavenger (see: her first meditation with Luke).

I don't think her arc is perfectly executed, and I do wish we'd see a larger failure beat from the flaws we've seen her demonstrate -- though I would argue that the entire point of the last act of TLJ was Rey did fail to turn Kylo, and that's part of why the Resistance got as destroyed as it did, so it's not like we've never seen her naive worldview never have any consequences. But while I don't think she's perfectly executed, she is still my second favorite new Star Wars character, I've thoroughly enjoyed every scene she's in, and her entire dynamic with Kylo and Luke was the best thing about TLJ (apart from the lightspeed ram.)

Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2018, 03:47:34 PM »
I think she's a likable, smart, good person who is both an excellent role model for young women and a character I'm interested to see explored. I find the way that her abandonment issues are written is extremely true to life: they're not always outwardly visible, but they drive a good part of everything she does, and they can destroy her when they're forced too close to the surface. She's loyal to her friends, open to changing her beliefs when confronted with new information (see: her relationship with Kylo in TLJ), and holds fast to her convictions, but also has a ruthless kind of efficiency when it comes to getting what she wants that she's never thought to question because it was born of her lifestyle as a scavenger (see: her first meditation with Luke).

I don't think her arc is perfectly executed, and I do wish we'd see a larger failure beat from the flaws we've seen her demonstrate -- though I would argue that the entire point of the last act of TLJ was Rey did fail to turn Kylo, and that's part of why the Resistance got as destroyed as it did, so it's not like we've never seen her naive worldview never have any consequences. But while I don't think she's perfectly executed, she is still my second favorite new Star Wars character, I've thoroughly enjoyed every scene she's in, and her entire dynamic with Kylo and Luke was the best thing about TLJ (apart from the lightspeed ram.)
+1 to all of this!

Offline Kal241

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2018, 05:23:21 PM »
I have to say, the preview for Solo isn't really doing anything for me. I'm much more interested in where Star Wars is going than where it's been. But I guess we'll see.  :)

Have to disagree there. Han Solo is the only one of the "OT main squad" that hasn't had an origin hinted at or shown, until now. His story has never been fully told; we've seen the middle, and the end, but not where it began. We see Luke's origin in the OT/PT, Leia's in PT/Rogue One, and Chewie's origin is hinted at in Episode III. Where Han came from is a total enigma. It had an explanation in the old EU, but that is no longer canon. Han is such a great character, really, and a key component of the franchise. He deserves to have his story come full circle, in the way the others did.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 05:31:19 PM by Kal241 »

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Offline kw3000

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2018, 06:24:55 PM »
He deserves to have his story come full circle, in the way the others did.

I would've liked Luke's story to have gone differently. I didn't like the way Rian Johnson chose to wrap up his main arc.

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #45 on: February 13, 2018, 08:25:25 PM »
But you should be aware that even though it seems cool to hate on things these days, if you didn't like TFA and TLJ, you are very much in the minority. It is a VERY vocal minority, but make no mistake, the vast majority of people who saw these movies has very positive feelings about them.

The audience liked-it score for TLJ is 48% on Rotten Tomatoes.



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« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 07:34:19 AM by Becca Mills »

Offline P.J. Post

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #46 on: February 13, 2018, 09:28:33 PM »
 :D

*Deep breath*

I think she's a likable, smart, good person who is both an excellent role model for young women and a character I'm interested to see explored. I find the way that her abandonment issues are written is extremely true to life: they're not always outwardly visible, but they drive a good part of everything she does, and they can destroy her when they're forced too close to the surface. She's loyal to her friends, open to changing her beliefs when confronted with new information (see: her relationship with Kylo in TLJ), and holds fast to her convictions, but also has a ruthless kind of efficiency when it comes to getting what she wants that she's never thought to question because it was born of her lifestyle as a scavenger (see: her first meditation with Luke).

I don't think her arc is perfectly executed, and I do wish we'd see a larger failure beat from the flaws we've seen her demonstrate -- though I would argue that the entire point of the last act of TLJ was Rey did fail to turn Kylo, and that's part of why the Resistance got as destroyed as it did, so it's not like we've never seen her naive worldview never have any consequences. But while I don't think she's perfectly executed, she is still my second favorite new Star Wars character, I've thoroughly enjoyed every scene she's in, and her entire dynamic with Kylo and Luke was the best thing about TLJ (apart from the lightspeed ram.)

Thanks for the reply. I agree with a lot of what you said, sort of - maybe I should say I want to, a lot. I'm a big Rey fan, too - remember when she repels down that cable in the bowels of the Star Destroyer? And slides down the sand dune to her speeder...and then...and then she cruises past all of the crashed spaceships from the Battle of Jakku? Oh, man...and that's why TFA/TLJ frustrates me so much.

Promises were made!

Luke had friends, many had already gone to the academy, including his best friend, Wedge; besides wanting to go himself and being impatient, he had hobbies like racing his T16 and hunting womp rats; he even built models, he knew about droids and moisture farming and the Empire...and then he was full of whiny, self-centered teenage angst and frustration, in part, because he believed his parents to be dead and he was stuck on a nowhere planet with no future, when he dreamed of adventure. He had too much of his father in him to be a framer...

Rey is completely one-dimensional, defined by her abandonment issues, but even then, just sort of. She's an engineering savant for...reasons? She's tough and totally self-sufficient, again, for reasons. But she has no friends, no hopes or dreams, no nothing, just longing for her parents. After two movies she's still right where she began. She was coming to terms with her abandonment by the end of TFA, and then TLJ did a reset and then promptly ignored it. By the end of TLJ, Rey hasn't changed at all, learned anything or overcome anything. Luke never even trained her. She's magically the strongest Force user in the universe, because...screenplay? She has next to no arc...and she could and should have been amazing, out-Luking Luke.  :(

Compare her "arc" to what Luke went through between Hope and Empire.   ::)

Ultimately, she's a questionable role-model because she doesn't earn anything, there are no sacrifices - everything is given to her, as if it is expected.

Except that TFA and TLJ are some of the best reviewed and highest grossing films of the franchise. Indeed, of all time.

It is perfectly okay if they are not your cup of tea. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

1. Who said it wasn't my cup of tea? It's Star Wars...duh.  ;D
(It just turns out Rian's a [crappy] film maker, but he hired a great cinematographer and special effects team. Yay, he gets a whole series to himself...)
2. My issues are not all opinion, most of my frustrations are objective story failings - which, since this is a writers forum, we can learn from.

Quote
But you should be aware that even though it seems cool to hate on things these days, if you didn't like TFA and TLJ, you are very much in the minority. It is a VERY vocal minority, but make no mistake, the vast majority of people who saw these movies has very positive feelings about them.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/markhughes/2017/12/29/almost-everything-everybody-is-saying-about-star-wars-the-last-jedi-is-wrong/#48bde4a039b5

I'm not hating; like many fans (a pretty big minority), I'm greatly disappointed that Johnson refused to get with the program. He was making the second movie in a trilogy, not a stand alone. It is the second movie's responsibility to build on the character and plot threads established in the first movie (Act 2), not ignore them in favor of whatever he thought was a better idea. If he wanted to do his own thing, he shouldn't have taken the gig. Forget the OT, canon and the longtime fans, he gave the finger to JJ Abrams and his mystery boxes and all of the set up from TFA. Call it subversion if you want, I call it crappy storytelling.

Poe went from the best pilot and warrior in the resistance to an idiotic, emotional hot head who can't accept the chain of command or orders, even from Leah.
Finn went...just nowhere...backwards? He had no arc...until the very end, when he finally had a real character moment...learning that there were some things worth dying for....wait...nope, that didn't work out. Never mind.
Poor Chewie was relegated to a meme, had to hang out with the Porgs.
Admiral Ackbar...cya. What was that?...It's a what?  Can't hear you. Buh-bye.
Hux went from Nazi bad*ss general, second only to Snoke himself, to a prattling and bumbling fool.
Luke...Jesus Christ...what a train wreck. If you're going to take Luke to the Dark Side - and sorry, but canon clearly establishes that killing young-lings is a Dark Side move - then you've got to earn that [crap]. You can't just toss it out there, like, oh yeah, so that happened, and expect fans to accept it.

If Rian was directing the Wizard of Oz, right after the 'Follow the Yellow Brick Road' song, Dorothy would take off cross country and never mention the yellow brick road again, or the wizard for that matter. She'd kill the Wicked Witch of the West with her newfound Ruby Slipper Magic, and everyone would love her the mostest and make her Princess for life, and she'd never go back to Kansas, because it's in CGI-less black and white. [expletive] Home.

Story is built, brick by brick, deed by deed, establishing character and motivation, and we, the audience, understand where everything stands, because the characters behave consistently with who they are, as defined by past events, and within the guidelines of the universe as shown. Subversion is a cool way of taking the audience in unexpected directions, but unless someone is being wished into the cornfield, the subversion can't simply undo the story's history, well, not without being lazy crap writing - which is my belief, in case there was any doubt.  ;)

And Box-office has nothing to do with how good a movie is or isn't.

Grown Ups 2: $247 million
Ex Machina: $36 million

If this movie wasn't stamped with Star WarsTM, it would have tanked because there's no story, no characterization, no arcs and no meaningful feelz - just super cool action and effects, which is not story.

Two issues that demonstrate what I'm talking about.

1. Holdo's light speed ram. Super cool, like one of the most amazing things I've seen in a movie in a long time - freaking beautiful - but, it makes no sense within the Star Wars universe. Why didn't she set the autopilot, or send a droid? Why didn't Poe do this with his x-wing in the first scene? And I know this is wicked cool, but it totally undermines the Death Star stuff, like the whole freaking OT...just sayin'. It destroys universe continuity. Now that I think about it...what happened to the Star Destroyer's shields? Oh right, they're like Zaphod's sunglasses, plot sensitive.
2. Snoke. It doesn't matter how much you loved the throne-room scene, or how cool Snoke's death was, or how cool Bella and Edward's Skype romance is, TFA built Snoke up to be a mysterious super villain that we expected to survive and threaten our heroes until the end of the last movie - because that's how story works, Rian. But like so many threads and subplots and themes, he was just thrown away, he doesn't matter, not who he is, not where he came from, not how he became the most powerful Force user in the...oh wait, that's Rey, never mind.

That's not subversion, and it has nothing to do with fan expectations, it's just not how story works - it's how confusion works. I winced all of the way through this movie.

And I'm not even going to go on about Darth Luke anymore, if we can't watch the OT and agree on who and what Luke Skywalker is and ISN'T, then the OT is as irrelevant as Johnson wants us to believe - kill our past, if necessary. Yay! Old heroes suck.  :)

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Personally, I think TLJ was my favorite of the series. It's not perfect, but none of them are. It is the first Star Wars movie that ever really included anything worth talking about after you left the theater. (Not that it stopped me or any of my Star Wars geek friends!) But honestly, we've all seen the hero's journey done a bunch of times. I think the way TLJ challenged that was borderline brilliant. Of course, it couldn't exist without the originals. And tearing down the structure we've all come to love was bound to rile up some fans that had a different idea of where the movie should go. But on the whole, I am so glad we got to see this take on it, rather than just another retread.

I'm glad you loved it, I really am. I thought it was fun and okay the first go 'round, even with my frustrations.

But I think there's a [crap]-ton of room between a retread and whatever TLJ was. Go watch the Clone Wars animated series - no retreads there, and lots of subversion while remaining true to the universe. One of the show's big themes was how the Jedi philosophy was unhealthy and self-destructive. Ahsoka's arc was really well done. They even have an ongoing theme that explores the individuality and feelz of the clones. Star Wars fans, it's on Netflix, do yourself a favor. It starts slow, but finds its legs near the end of season one. Asajj Ventress has a great arc too, so dark, especially for Disney.

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I have to say, the preview for Solo isn't really doing anything for me. I'm much more interested in where Star Wars is going than where it's been. But I guess we'll see.  :)

Like all of these movies so far, I hope for the best, but expect a clumsy and insulting money grab.  :(

I would've liked Luke's story to have gone differently. I didn't like the way Rian Johnson chose to wrap up his main arc.

Totally agree. Rian had THREE huge opportunities for on screen HISTORY.

1. Luke's reaction to Han's death, but he cuts away for no reason without allowing us to grieve with Luke, no reaction, just [expletive] it.
2. Luke's death. After 40 years, fans deserved a hero's send off, [expletive] subversion. Luke doesn't get a do over - and it doesn't matter what the next movie does, this was Luke's moment. Han's death was completely unearned and JJ totally fumbled the whole thing emotionally. And it's Rey that comforts Leah and tells her that Luke's death was all just totally okie-dokey?
3. Luke taking Anakin's, Darth Vader's, his father's, his own light saber - a weapon with history and meaning and import. Nah, [expletive] it - off the cliff it goes - cuz that's funny and that's what this moment is all about after nearly 40 years - a [expletive]ing joke.

Maybe Rian's just not that good of a writer and he was petrified to actually risk going there? Doesn't matter now.

___

To bring this back around to our books and writing craft - do not write books like this, they will fail - badly. Books actually require some minimal amount of continuity and character consistency to keep from confusing readers into a DNF.

Craft Issues with TLJ:

1. The tone was way off and inconsistent and just plain old weird.
2. The humor was inappropriate, off-putting and way too meta - "can you hear me?" Really? A nearly ten year old cell phone commercial joke? This is Star Wars, right? Did Disney buy Sprint or something when I wasn't looking?
3. The pacing sucked, from act to act, scene to scene, even during scenes. Why did Kylo have any trouble dispatching the Elite Praetorian Guard? But more importantly, why did they even fight him in the first place since he just took over?
4. The drama was manufactured and illogical and pretty stupid. If Holdo had just explained what the plan was to Poe (and like, everyone else, so they could prep the ships and load supplies and be, like, you know - ready when the time came), we would have saved 30 minutes of stupid. I have no issue with a Canto Bight sub-plot, just earn it. And how did Finn and Rose just take a FTL ship unseen and return...unseen? Why didn't everyone just hop in these ships and escape?
5. The characters had no consistency and changed as the plot dictated, you know, or didn't change at all.
6. The character and plot threads that were established as important, crucial even, were randomly discarded, demonstrating that, in the end, nothing really mattered and nothing could be trusted.
7. The science was, Jesus...I know we give FTL a pass, but canon ball trajectory isn't a thing in space, it's a thing in pirate movies. A little research goes a long way.
8. Plot holes are something to avoid, not collect like Easter eggs - no pun intended.
9. Easter eggs are something to avoid unless they make sense. "Rebel...scum!" Why would Finn say that? Just...ugh. :(   **
10. I'm getting tired of having to turn my brain off to watch movies anymore. It's possible to make fun, original and compelling movies, I know, I've seen them - Wonder Woman, anyone?

**"Chrome dome" was the dumbest line ever, it's a pejorative for bald FFS, not literally a chrome, dome-shaped helmet. How is that an insult? How does it even make sense? I think this line encapsulates everything wrong with this movie.

___

It was pretty, but then, that's how Disney Princesses roll.  8)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 10:58:40 PM by P.J. Post »

Offline wittyblather

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #47 on: February 13, 2018, 11:11:02 PM »
I think it's a bit misleading to say that there is an actual objectivity when it comes to storytelling and storytelling decisions. Yes, there are common mechanics to stories. Genre tales like Star Wars especially cling to established mechanics. However, these are not objective in the same way that rules in math and science are. Otherwise, all stories that do things 'right' would be massively successful, and any story that did something 'wrong' would languish. Stories have made decisions outside of traditional narrative rules, and they've still worked. So I disagree that any objective lesson can be learned from TLJ other than that a huge number of people can see the exact same movie, and some will think it's an insult to cinema while others will think it's the best in the series.

I'm baffled when I hear people discuss Rey's arc in particular because there are so many points I just don't agree on. I typically agree on where people say Poe's and Finn's arcs are flawed, and I do also agree with specific instances of where Rey's arc is, but the sweeping comments like her being one-dimensional or overskilled...I'm sorry, I do not see it, not even a little bit. There's a character in Disney's Rebels that's (I think) a Mandalorian warrior-princess with a one-of-a-kind Lightsaber and a fully trained loadout of bounty hunter skills at age 16. I think THAT character is overskilled. I've defended Rey dozens of times online, and I don't want to get too much into it here where it's off-topic, but I honestly don't know how I can perceive her as a compelling, lifelike character while others perceive her as a cardboard cutout. There has to be some kind of disconnect here in how we perceive the source material, but hell if I know what it is.

(Also re: Rotten Tomatoes audience score...selection bias and brigading are both things to consider when looking at an unmoderated online poll. Most casual reviews I've heard from non-hardcore audiences have been positive, with a few criticisms. Which is in itself anecdotal evidence, I know, but I can only offer what I know to be true. This is far from the reaction the prequels elicit, which is near universal disdain.)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 11:14:46 PM by wittyblather »

Offline kw3000

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2018, 04:16:00 AM »
Interesting takes here. A lot to learn from a storytelling perspective.

My issues with the Disney Star Wars films are as follows... it's about to get real nerdy up in here:

I believe the main characters from the original trilogy were only included in these new films as a cynical money grab on Disney's part. Okay, fine, those three established characters were never going to be the focus of these new movies, but you also didn't have to bring them back only to tarnish their legacy.

The way Leia, Han and Luke are portrayed is not consistent with the characters original trilogy fans have known for 35+ years. But I think Disney/Lucasfilm excuses those choices away or sees them as an afterthought because really these new films are about establishing a new set of characters to root for, and that's totally fine. It's to be expected of course. It's great to get new characters and tell new stories. But don't then toss the iconic characters we grew up on into the mix and write them in a way that is inconsistent with who they were and where their arcs had left them at the end of the original trilogy.

It would have been better to have these new films without the original trilogy characters included at all, but again, Disney wouldn't do that because: money. So, of course there are going to be older, original trilogy fans that will feel a bit betrayed, lured to these new films after decades with the promise of seeing their favorite characters in action once again only to be met with versions of their heroes that are nearly unrecognizable from the characters they've known and loved since the '80s.

Original Trilogy Luke Skywalker would not try to murder a child out of fear that he's turning to the dark side, and certainly not his own nephew. Han Solo's progression through the OT left him as less a scoundrel and more a hero of the rebellion and so there's no way he'd have returned to being a selfish smuggling space pirate as portrayed in TFA. Leia, in my opinion, wasn't given enough to do and should have been an even more commanding presence.

The poor storytelling with Luke's character is what gets me the most though. And really, with some tweaks TLJ could have been far less divisive. For instance, we get Chekhov's X-Wing early in the film. We see Luke's ship sitting there at the bottom of the bay and yet it's never brought back into the story later. What a missed opportunity.

Instead of Luke force projecting himself to Crait to face Kylo Ren, we could have had a scene with he and Yoda standing on the shore and this time Luke, knowing that Leia et al are in trouble, raises the X-Wing from the sea, sets it on land successfully. That would've been a great call back to where he'd failed to do so in Empire in Yoda's presence. Then he and R2 could fly together to Crait, engage in few space battles along the way, fighting through TIE fighters and the like to get to his friends in peril. What a thrill that would've been for OT fans.

Then Luke could be there, on Crait, in person. We could have witnessed him in all his Jedi Master glory stopping laser bolts flying toward him and holding them mid-flight, similar to what we saw Ren do in TFA only to an even greater extent.

Then we could have witnessed Luke literally pulling those giant walkers down to the ground with his Vader-level command of the force, crushing their metal bodies with mere waves of his hands as everyone looks on in awe. Then we could have had a real lightsaber battle between he and Ren.

And, with a call back to A New Hope, as Rey looks on he could have a knowing smile and allow Ren to strike him down, passing the torch and going out in a much more cohesive, emotionally satisfying way. What a climax that would've been. People would've been cheering in their seats that entire scene. Luke gets to go out on a high, and the audience gets to experience something they'd waited decades to see. Everyone wins.

Instead, Johnson sent Luke out with a whimper with barely a battle with Ren at all and with him fading away from doing Skype yoga on a distant rock. It's like Johnson chose to ignore the original trilogy version of Luke altogether. Fine. But then don't include Luke in the new films if that's what you're going to do because old OT fans are bound to call you out. In a popcorn movie like this, why go out of your way to pull back from full-on audience pleasing?

Subverting audience expectations and approaching things from a deconstructionist standpoint is fine for more nuanced cinematic fare, but this is Star Wars. Come on. Get over yourself.

This isn't Citizen Kane. This is Star Wars. It's space fantasy. It's cotton candy. It's potato chips. Chocolate cake. Give the people what they want, it's not long division. This is easy, chicken salad, over-the-plate, audience-pleasing stuff.

Challenge audiences with an original work, save the brussel sprouts for something that isn't a beloved, well-worn favorite sweater in the form of a big schmaltzy space opera epic.

It's about spectacle and grandeur, not subversive cleverness. Star Wars in the original trilogy was always earnest and swashbuckling. It was the embodiment of John Williams' score. It isn't hard to give the fans the meat and potatoes they're looking for ('these aren't the meat and potatoes you're looking for' - lol).  Just like it isn't surprising to see a raft of negative opinion spring forth when you don't.  ;)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 04:19:15 AM by kw3000 »

Ken Ward

Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: How Star Wars was saved in the edit
« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2018, 07:17:08 AM »
(Also re: Rotten Tomatoes audience score...selection bias and brigading are both things to consider when looking at an unmoderated online poll. Most casual reviews I've heard from non-hardcore audiences have been positive, with a few criticisms. Which is in itself anecdotal evidence, I know, but I can only offer what I know to be true. This is far from the reaction the prequels elicit, which is near universal disdain.)

Exactly. There have been numerous online campaigns that were perfectly open about their intent to sabotage TLJ's review scores.
When I talked about the vast majority liking the movie, I wasn't just taking a shot in the dark, or judging by the applause it got both times I saw it opening weekend. Movie companies do exit polls. It was not just my opinion. There are hard numbers to back me up:

http://deadline.com/2017/12/star-wars-the-last-jedi-rotten-tomatoes-metacritic-imdb-users-cinemascore-posttrak-1202228837/

"Last Jedi earned an 89% overall positive score and a five-star rating from moviegoers. That's in the wheelhouse of what Force Awakens earned (90% overall positive/ 4 1/2 stars) and Rogue One (91% positive, 4 1/2 stars). These are scientific, statistically accumulated audience exit polls that studios can take to the bank, and which they rely upon to deconstruct various elements of a film's opening."

Nothing dubious about that. :)

Once again, everyone is entitled to their opinion about the movies. (And let's be clear that they are opinions.) But the fact remains that the vast majority (which is what I'd consider 89-90%) of people are digging these new movies.

The reason I mentioned it being cool to hate stuff was not meant as a personal attack on anyone in here. I was thinking more about the fact that if you looked at the articles written in the weeks after the opening of TLJ, you would have thought the movie was an abject failure, universally hated by fans. The complaints of the minority were amplified to a deafening level. Why? Because it gets clicks. It's cooler to hate stuff than it is to love it. Which says a lot about the state of the internet, and us in general.

Personally, I'd rather geek out on my own stuff than explain to people why they are wrong for liking something.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 07:33:16 AM by Steve Voelker »