Star Wars

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Thad
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Thad » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:28 am

The second episode of The Mandalorian was a lot less impressive; like many Star Wars things, it had some very cool action setpieces (I like the Lone Wolf and Cub thing they've got going) but didn't really do anything. You could skip from episode 1 to episode 3 and not realize you missed one.

Bit of lore that bugged me -- and I'm guessing this isn't the first time in Star Wars media this has been introduced, but it's the first time I've seen it: baby Yoda can force-lift shit. So is Yoda just from a race that's inherently Force-sensitive? We've always known Force sensitivity was genetic, but an entire race of Force sensitives makes Yoda seem a lot less special. Like, being the greatest Jedi Master of all isn't as impressive if you were born with a racial bonus of +10 WIS or whatever.

...so was the desert planet Tatooine, or just a suspiciously-Tatooine-like planet? Because if it's Tatooine, then we can probably assume that baby isn't just a member of Yoda's race, but actually a member of his family, and I suspect we'll see more of this story in the Obi-Wan series.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Thad » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:58 am

Not hearing much good about Episode 9, but I'm continuing to enjoy The Mandalorian.

I've come to really appreciate the "wandering warrior" format, be it the Man with No Name, Conan, Mad Max, Usagi Yojimbo, or whatever the setting and trappings may be. (I've dabbled myself.) It's just the perfect combination of strictures and freedom, versatility and convention. The kaleidoscopic variety of stories that we've already heard a thousand times.

The Mandalorian isn't groundbreaking, but y'know, I'm not old enough to remember when Star Wars was groundbreaking. I know the first movie was fresh and unique when my dad saw it in the theater 25 times, but for me it's always just been a part of the cultural zeitgeist. Hell, I saw Spaceballs before I saw Star Wars.

So I've never experienced Star Wars as something innovative and new; I know that it was, forty years ago, but I wasn't around for that seismic shift. For me, Star Wars at its best has always been about taking old stories and retelling them with style and panache. And The Mandalorian does that. And if it dedicates a whole episode to riffing on Seven Samurai, well, it's hard to fault a Star Wars series for doing a Kurosawa homage given that it was always a Kurosawa homage.

Plus, the quality of the cast is a constant reminder that everybody loves Star Wars. There's a seemingly endless supply of talented actors lining up to appear for one episode and then die.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Niku » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:06 am

It's bad, everybody.

Not the Mandalorian, which is good.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Niku » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:13 am

There is literally a moment where a pilot asks something along the lines of "why don't we just pull the Holdo maneuver?" and someone else responds with something like "that was a million to one shot we could never do that again!" and I heaved out such a big sigh because I was so fucking bored and done even before the movie was LITERALLY responding to pissbaby arguments about The Last Jedi in the dialogue itself.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Büge » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:22 am

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Re: Star Wars

Postby beatbandito » Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:11 am

Last Jedi literally had Snoke say "You lost to a GIRL who had never held a lightsaber". All this trilogy has ever been is failed attempts to milk the fanbase, you can't really think there was a story to be told.

Force Awakens: prequels weren't orig trig enough, just crib from them

Last Jedi: people don't want to see the same stuff, let the director make up whatever he wants

SkyRise Miami: people don't want to be taken in a new direction, focus group the perfect movie


Arguing that any single decision or movie from this trilogy is somehow more "right" or certain aspects are cops outs or fanservice is super dumb, because that's all any of this every was.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Brentai » Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:57 am

pissbaby arguments


THIS is where you're going to go rabid for TLJ? All right then.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Friday » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:42 pm

"Movie series that has been badly written and derivative of itself for the seven previous movies in the franchise continues to be badly written and derivative of itself"

the arguments in 2127 are going to be like "well yeah episode XXXII was bad when they literally hired CIA wet team thugs to go into theaters and drill holes into my/our brains and then light us on fire but maybe they'll redeem themselves with episode XXXIII"
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Re: Star Wars

Postby beatbandito » Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:08 pm

I would honestly love for Lucas to talk more openly about the prequels, if he even legally still can.

I don't want to call them derivative, they were part of Lucas' original story and brought a lot of their own weirdness. But ninja yoda and abandoning what had to, at one point, be a real plotline involving jarjar certainly feels like caving to the fanbase. Plus we've all seen the videos of Lucas doing a first draft after sets have already been built and just kind of giggling at designs and storyboards.

They've all been messes (hell, even episodes V and certainly VI were already doing some crazy shit) but still, if the two types of mess are a fucking 50s-style space diner with new, weird designs and characters talking about new concepts, or a "star wars appropriate" designed bar where all the main characters sit in a circle and chant "skywalker, vader, skywalker, lightsaber!", I actually prefer the first.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Grath » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:30 pm

This just reinforces that the only reason the original trilogy were good was because Marcia Lucas saved them.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Friday » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:34 pm

I'm willing to accept the argument that the Prequels' version of mess was less bad than the Disney mess, or that the prequels were less derivative (they were) but they were still a mess and they were absolutely still derivative. For example, the ending of Phantom Menance was directly and intentionally modelled off the ending of Jedi.

Now, some level of "fanservice/you love this thing here is more of this thing" is always going to be a part of any sequel/prequel and that's fine. Even good. But if you want to say "the prequels had an acceptable amount of fanservice" then I am going to show you clips of kids using lightsabers until you admit that maybe, just maybe, they might have gone a bit overboard.

But yes, if your argument is just "the prequels were less bad and less derivative" I will accept that (I personally agree they were less derivative but do not agree they were less bad) as an argument with merit. The problem is when people start saying "you know, the prequels weren't as bad as everyone thought at the time" because yes, yes they were.

I enjoy talking to Bongo about the prequels and their merits because he tends to take a really wide view of them, looking at what they were INTENDING to be rather than what they were when you were watching them. I can get behind that view. Accepting the idea that "the prequels were a vision badly implemented" is a lot easier for me than "actually, the prequels are legitimately good storytelling with solid characters" which is what a lot of people are pushing by comparing the prequels to Disney Wars.

EPISODE 1:
BAD: 8/10
DERIVATIVE/FANSERVICE: 7/10

EPISODE 2:
BAD: 10/10
DERIVATIVE/FANSERVICE: 6/10

EPISODE 3:
BAD: 6/10
DERIVATIVE/FANSERVICE: 8/10

EPISODE 7:
BAD: 3/10
DERIVATIVE/FANSERVICE: 10/10

ROGUE ONE:
BAD: 5/10
DERIVATIVE/FANSERVICE: 9999999999999/10

EPISODE 8:
BAD: 999999999999999999999999999999999999999/10
DERIVATIVE/FANSERVICE: subverted expectations/10

SOLO:
BAD: 9/10
DERIVATIVE/FANSERVICE: 10/10

this concludes my off the top of my head feelings about each movie you may now nitpick these scores and give examples as to how i am wrong
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Friday » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:45 pm

They've all been messes (hell, even episodes V and certainly VI were already doing some crazy shit) but still, if the two types of mess are a fucking 50s-style space diner with new, weird designs and characters talking about new concepts, or a "star wars appropriate" designed bar where all the main characters sit in a circle and chant "skywalker, vader, skywalker, lightsaber!", I actually prefer the first.


for the record, I 100% agree with this paragraph.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby beatbandito » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:54 pm

I think the Orig Trig was written, filmed and edited like a story, that needed control along the way to stop Lucas from going totally insane.

Prequels were remnants from what was actually made of the 30-year-old story except now Lucas doesn't care as much and lets cool tech and producers make decisions on the details.

The new trilogy is literally a corporation buying a property so they can make money on it. They have different directors and writers come in on their word to make changes they think are important.

I know all hollywood big budget stories are going to ultimately be some kind of sellout bullshit by their nature, but the new trilogy was literally a retelling Frankenstein. Disney in their boldness decide to create an adonis of a franchise, realize they can't control it as they thought they could. Unwilling to learn or change they let the monster destroy their lives and themselves. Except instead of a former-aristocrat on a junker ship in the arctic it's a billionaire corporation that will never die or let the monster rest.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Mongrel » Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:41 pm

I don't have much add here other than my biggest "Star Wars regret" is that we probably never will get to see the Prequels done as they ought to have been.

The sequels are just a complete mess. A dumpster fire, a trainwreck, a trainload of toxic waste on fire, headed for a gorge which is also on fire, and also the train will fall directly on a nuclear plant - whatever you want to call it, it's totally incoherent. Which is what you get when you have two directors and eight or nine writers all ACTIVELY FIGHTING EACH OTHER over the course of three films, with a monstrous corporate paperclip maximizer overseeing the whole mess.

On the other hand (and I'm pretty sure I've said this before here) the prequels are meant to depict the rise and fall of a great hero turned traitor, a classic tragedy story which follows a path which is very well-worn because it's that effective (just like the "Plucky hero destroys evil empire, saves day" of the original Star Wars). The seed of greatness was there. It's just that of course Lucas got in his own way, spectacularly so.

The biggest crime of the prequels being that you never ever like Anakin; he's always a shit character, with shit lines and shittier acting, and if the hero of the entire trilogy is never actually a HERO but is just a whiny little twerp with sand in his vag, then no one gives two shits about his fall. So we ended up with an entirely different tragedy, that of the famed artist who could have produced something great, but whose hubris ultimately destroys him and robs him of everything he ever made.

But what really stands out in my mind is that I feel like the prequels are at least worth talking about, whereas the sequels you just want to forget ever existed.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Brentai » Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:07 am

I think I actually liked Episode 9? I haven't decided yet.

It's not a good movie, no. If you're inclined to complain about a movie because the writing is hokey or overly sentimental or generic or contrived or fanservicey or just plain incredibly dumb then you'll have a lot to complain about here. Too much, in fact. If anything, this movie seems to do it on purpose a lot of the time, rolling around in the deepest excesses of cinematic trash to make damn well sure you don't ever even think about making the mistake of taking it seriously. And like Solo, once I acclimated to the idea that the movie was what it wanted to be instead of what I expected it to be, I started to get into it.

If somebody in this movie was like "I'm gonna lightspeed this big ship into this other big ship because it's awesome" I wouldn't have even batted an eye, because this movie does not spend two hours trying to convince you that it's being clever or that it has bleeding edge commentary. This movie would have introduced fleets of lightspeed ramming vehicles or missiles equipped with lightspeed and the only reason why it didn't is because the writers came up with something else really stupid that they wanted to do.

What makes it "I haven't decided I like it" is the inevitable; the movie tries its best but just cannot get out from under the weight of Star Wars. I feel like it's finally - at the very end - putting the series back on its proper track of being a pulpy, fantastical series of space adventures where wizards and laser knights mix with spaceships and plastic Nazis and fuck all this stuff about drama and theme and pseudoreligion and, you know, all that crap that was in Empire and none of the other ones. But every so often - and increasingly often as it runs - it has to address the lore. What happened to this character from the Original Trilogy? How do you resolve this crazy idea with this established event in the series? How do we shoot a scene with these actors? How do we backpedal almost everything that happened in Episode 8? The parts that are "Hey, Star Wars!" were the parts that made me palm my forehead in the theater, not the immediately silly parts like Rey doing a sweet somersault over a TIE Fighter and other bits of trailerbait.

They also love to recreate iconic bits from the OT in this movie, not just as a subtle callback but as a very definite "THIS IS THAT SCENE, DO YOU REMEMBER IT?", which gets pretty obnoxious.

So should YOU see Episode 9? I'm going to point up there to where I mention Solo "clicked" for me and I enjoyed it; that had to happen for this movie too, to get to a point where I could accept and appreciate it for the B-movie trash mess that it is. If that didn't happen for you or it seems like something that you wouldn't be able to get behind, then Ep 9 will probably be a bad time for you, and fortunately you don't really have to see it because I can spoil it all right here: 110% it's Return of the Jedi. But if you want to see what Star Wars is like when it finally, finally, finally... almost gets the fuck over itself, then maybe it's worth a glimpse into the pool of what could be. Bring a bucket of popcorn, a strong drink, and less than two brain cells with you when you do.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Büge » Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:18 am

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Thad » Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:13 pm

Mongrel wrote:I don't have much add here other than my biggest "Star Wars regret" is that we probably never will get to see the Prequels done as they ought to have been.


Who knows? When Dark Horse still had the comic license, they did an adaptation of The Star Wars (an earlier draft of the original film); it was a critical and sales success, so I wouldn't rule out something like that happening again someday.

It certainly looks like Disney is reevaluating the direction they want to take in the future; Iger recently said he doesn't think there will be any more trilogies (which is a shame as I was looking forward to Rian Johnson's trilogy; I liked Last Jedi and, for all its faults, appreciated Johnson's willingness to subvert expectations). Rise of Skywalker will, presumably, still be a financial success, but given the negative reaction compared to the positive reaction for The Mandalorian, I'd expect to see more TV series and fewer movies, at least for a few years.

On the other hand (and I'm pretty sure I've said this before here) the prequels are meant to depict the rise and fall of a great hero turned traitor, a classic tragedy story which follows a path which is very well-worn because it's that effective (just like the "Plucky hero destroys evil empire, saves day" of the original Star Wars). The seed of greatness was there. It's just that of course Lucas got in his own way, spectacularly so.


I remember reading The Soulforge right after seeing The Phantom Menace. It's the same premise; it's Raistlin's origin story, following him from childhood to his test at the Tower of High Sorcery that gives him his gold skin and hourglass eyes.

I think it's as early as chapter 1 that we get a sense of darkness in Raistlin even as a child. A wizard has come to Solace and seen potential in Raistlin (who's something like 6 years old at this point in the story). The wizard asks Raistlin why he wants to learn magic; Raistlin looks over at Otik and says "I want to make fat innkeepers bow to me."

We never get anything like that from Episode 1. We know that this here Anakin guy may be Vader someday later, but all the foreshadowing is in Yoda's dialogue and a music cue or two. It's pure "tell, don't show"; Yoda talks about the anger in Young Anakin, but we never see it until episode 2.

Which brings us to

The biggest crime of the prequels being that you never ever like Anakin; he's always a shit character, with shit lines and shittier acting, and if the hero of the entire trilogy is never actually a HERO but is just a whiny little twerp with sand in his vag, then no one gives two shits about his fall.


One thing I think the new trilogy does effectively is it gives us a villain, in Kylo Ren, who's pretty much the answer to the question "No, what would Darth Vader really be like if he was the Anakin we saw in episodes 2 and 3?" I think that's a clever idea, though of course it doesn't redeem the prequels.

Aside from that, I think Clone Wars probably did all the heavy lifting on making Prequel Anakin an interesting and multidimensional character. I haven't seen much of it, but I hear good things, and Ahsoka's arc on Rebels gave me a better sense of what Anakin's betrayal felt like to the people close to him than Obi-Wan shouting "You were my brother!" ever did (more tell, don't show from the prequels).

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Brentai » Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:08 pm

Clone Wars Anakin Skywalker is an upbeat and charismatic character that you like to see succeed and thus, of course, completely unrecognizable as the guy from the movies.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Mongrel » Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:11 pm

I guess it is a bit sad to think of the sheer volume of resources and talent that went into what was, essentially, a fanfiction shitfight.

Mostly I'm inured to it, but if you go back and watch the original trailer for TFA, man...



I remember being so excited.

It seemed to have so much potential. For the first time we saw something on screen that really felt like Star Wars, and there was no trace of fanfiction in sight yet - yes there were clear tie-ins, but also clear and much bigger differences. Most importantly the characters were completely different without a single familiar face to be seen.

That first shot of Finn in a stormtrooper suit, yet clearly a protagonist, promised us a new, fascinating story in the Star Wars universe with all new characters. Just think of the story they could have told.

...and then the second trailer had Han and Chewie in it and it's been pretty much all downhill from there.

Hell, Finn's story over the three sequels has been one of the worst shambles of a trilogy full of awful things. :/
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Mothra » Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:54 pm

Went to see this for a company event last night!

It is generally entertaining, but super definitely not "good" in any real way. It doesn't really have any surprises, say anything, or take any chances, so it's just the calm and controlled "finale" as dictated by formula. Gotta have a big fleet, gotta have the Emperor back, gotta have the rebels beat em. I legit fell asleep during the battle they showed in the trailer, with Rey and Kylo fighting on the Death Star wreckage.

The most fun for me is trying to unpack the details after the fact. Here's my favorite one, which I've been mulling over today:

(Spoilers)
So when the Emperor rises his sith fleet from under the surface of Exegol, it's comprised of thousands of star destroyers. The First Order guys debate a bit about whether they should align themselves with the Emperor, saying his fleet is thousands of times the size of theirs (Picture 1), and heretofore never heard of.

At first I thought like, maybe this is a Star Forge type situation where a massive number of robotic ships were built, but then we get the scene with the planet-destroying laser, and THE SHIP IS MANNED BY SITH OFFICERS

Where are these sith 9-to-5ers coming from? (Picture 2) Have they been living on these ships for like 50 years? I kind of expected them to be some sort of zombie or undead thing until I saw a fresh-faced sith captain giving orders to the gunners.

If each destroyer has 30,000 people on it, then like, if there's 3 thousand of these star destroyers, that'd be **90 fuckin' million** sith ground-pounders just dicking around on these new state-of-the-art star destroyers, each capable of being destroyed in a single strafe of a Y-Wing on the planet destroying laser on the underside.

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