Star Wars

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Brentai
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Brentai » Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:23 pm

It hammers home how much that stuff was determined to be not part of the plan after they decided that there must be some kind of a plan.

The big problem for me is it wasn't a creative difference; it was a "the shit you pulled cost us action figure sales" difference.
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beatbandito
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Re: Star Wars

Postby beatbandito » Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:49 pm

Every time I hear something along the lines of "well at least Rian was trying something different" I imagine it's defending an exquisite corpse center that is just a giant cock shaft.
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Brentai
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Brentai » Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:31 pm

Saying "at least he tried" is admitting he did not succeed.

And that's the whole problem; Rian's heart was in the right place, but his head was
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Brentai » Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:33 pm

in deep banthaa poodoo.
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KingRoyal
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Re: Star Wars

Postby KingRoyal » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:12 pm

I think Johnson succeeded. He didn't make a true classic like Empire, but he made the best of the new trilogy by a wide margin. The film is a bit of a mess, characters can act weird, the Canto Bight section is an almost out of place diversion and the reason Laura Dern keeps her plan a secret seems to be more about having something to reveal in the third act rather than because there was a logical reason to do so. And I don't think Finn and Rose really have as strong of a story in this one as they could have, as I'm not entirely sure how what happened lead to Rose interrupting Finn's heroic sacrifice. But those are just messy narrative problems. The film really shines because Johnson managed to actually inject some personal storytelling into the film that let him tell a far more interesting story and explore themes in a way that Abrams just isn't capable.

I mean, ultimately it's a film about how even heroes can be failures when they put blind faith in ideologies and how one's background does not determine one's future. Luke is where he is because his strict obedience to Jedi teaching on the force leads him to pull his lightsaber on his student. And in turn, Kylo Ren takes Luke's betrayal as a sign that the only path for him is the one set out by Darth Vader, even as he struggles to justify why that it is. And Rey learns that her past is meaningless on her Jedi path and that it's her alone who must pick choose what she does.

That's what makes the film work for me, way more than the two macguffin quests of RoS and the carbon copy of New Hope that was TFA. It's messy, but it's a better mess than the rest.

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Thad
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Thad » Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:09 pm

Brentai wrote:It hammers home how much that stuff was determined to be not part of the plan after they decided that there must be some kind of a plan.

The big problem for me is it wasn't a creative difference; it was a "the shit you pulled cost us action figure sales" difference.

There are bits where they're clearly flying by the seat of their pants, and there are bits where it's clear that Abrams had a plan, Johnson completely threw it out, and Abrams had to awkwardly crowbar it back in. Rey's parents are definitely an example of the latter.

KingRoyal wrote:the reason Laura Dern keeps her plan a secret seems to be more about having something to reveal in the third act rather than because there was a logical reason to do so.

The logical reason is that military officers don't go sharing their plans with subordinates just because; they give orders and expect them to be followed.

This is, itself, a massive and jarring change for a Star Wars movie, because we're not used to military organizations in Star Wars working the way they do in real life, at all. This is a series where everybody pretty much constantly ignores orders and goes off half-cocked, and only ever face negative consequences for this behavior if they're bad guys.

"But what if the major character who disobeys the minor character who outranks him and acts like a cowboy is actually *wrong*?" is exactly one of those subversions of formula I'm talking about.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Büge » Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:19 pm

Thad wrote:"But what if the major character who disobeys the minor character who outranks him and acts like a cowboy is actually *wrong*?" is exactly one of those subversions of formula I'm talking about.


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Re: Star Wars

Postby beatbandito » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:30 pm

Yes, Star Wars is definitely a franchise that lends itself well to the good guys following a structured military system that obeys orders unquestionably. It definitely would not conflate analogous themes present since the first movie and would serve a purpose other than "surprising" audiences when the big name guest star's character is actually important to the plot.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Mongrel » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:59 pm

Yeah, "good guys need to learn to sit down, shut up, and just take orders too" is not a theme I expect Star Wars to articulate well.

That's without getting into the broader context of how bad of an ethos that is to promulgate right now anyway.

Or the fact that in extreme circumstances sometimes even military discipline needs to bend if you want everyone to work together and do the right thing. Or that even in IRL militaries individual initiative actually does matter, whether it's to step in and prevent immoral acts, or to simply be able to operate responsively without waiting for orders every time like some fucking drone.

IMO, there are subversive things TLJ does that are a great idea (if poorly executed at times), but also things it does purely for subversion's sake (haha I am so clever) which are awkward and stupid; none more so than the dumb Poe/Holdo arc. I consider that not just poorly executed but actually offensive.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Thad » Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:23 pm

Mongrel wrote:Yeah, "good guys need to learn to sit down, shut up, and just take orders too" is not a theme I expect Star Wars to articulate well.

That's without getting into the broader context of how bad of an ethos that is to promulgate right now anyway.

It's perhaps a little unfair to hold the context of the current political zeitgeist against a script that was completed in 2015.

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beatbandito
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Re: Star Wars

Postby beatbandito » Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:33 pm

yeah, war was generally pretty good until recently
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Mongrel » Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:54 pm

Thad wrote:
Mongrel wrote:Yeah, "good guys need to learn to sit down, shut up, and just take orders too" is not a theme I expect Star Wars to articulate well.

That's without getting into the broader context of how bad of an ethos that is to promulgate right now anyway.

It's perhaps a little unfair to hold the context of the current political zeitgeist against a script that was completed in 2015.

Sure, but I quite literally said I'm not getting into that and then talk instead about other points that have been true for militaries anywhere from decades to millennia.

:thad:
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Büge
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Büge » Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:52 pm

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Brentai
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Brentai » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:00 pm

13:36 <Brentai> Ugh my Star Wars post is turning into a rant.

13:37 <beatbandito> just stop and add a sassy conclusion sentence
13:37 <beatbandito> that's what I do when I realize I'm lost in the sauce
13:38 <Brentai> More that I'm not half as interested in talking about whether Episode 8 is a good movie or not as the volume should suggest.

13:53 <Brentai> In retrospect, it's goo.
13:54 <Brentai> It could have been good, but didn't take it all the way, so what it ended up being was a puddle of viscous substance.

(Rian Johnson is covering you etc. etc.)
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KingRoyal
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Re: Star Wars

Postby KingRoyal » Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:26 pm

Thad wrote:The logical reason is that military officers don't go sharing their plans with subordinates just because; they give orders and expect them to be followed.

This is, itself, a massive and jarring change for a Star Wars movie, because we're not used to military organizations in Star Wars working the way they do in real life, at all. This is a series where everybody pretty much constantly ignores orders and goes off half-cocked, and only ever face negative consequences for this behavior if they're bad guys.

"But what if the major character who disobeys the minor character who outranks him and acts like a cowboy is actually *wrong*?" is exactly one of those subversions of formula I'm talking about.


That's a fair enough point, though slightly undermined by having everyone capable of commandeering ships and leaving the hangar without any kind of oversight or authorization.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Blossom » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:08 pm

Mongrel wrote:Yeah, "good guys need to learn to sit down, shut up, and just take orders too" is not a theme I expect Star Wars to articulate well.

That's without getting into the broader context of how bad of an ethos that is to promulgate right now anyway.

Or the fact that in extreme circumstances sometimes even military discipline needs to bend if you want everyone to work together and do the right thing. Or that even in IRL militaries individual initiative actually does matter, whether it's to step in and prevent immoral acts, or to simply be able to operate responsively without waiting for orders every time like some fucking drone.

IMO, there are subversive things TLJ does that are a great idea (if poorly executed at times), but also things it does purely for subversion's sake (haha I am so clever) which are awkward and stupid; none more so than the dumb Poe/Holdo arc. I consider that not just poorly executed but actually offensive.


Because the theme wasn't "good guys need to obey orders". The theme was "when men presume they are smarter and know more than women, and refuse to listen to them, shit goes badly". Poe refusing to listen to Leia about the bombing run, Poe refusing to listen to Holdo about the ships, Finn refusing to listen to Rose about the slicer, this is constant throughout the movie and reinforced over and over.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Mongrel » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:21 pm

Blossom wrote:
Mongrel wrote:Yeah, "good guys need to learn to sit down, shut up, and just take orders too" is not a theme I expect Star Wars to articulate well.

That's without getting into the broader context of how bad of an ethos that is to promulgate right now anyway.

Or the fact that in extreme circumstances sometimes even military discipline needs to bend if you want everyone to work together and do the right thing. Or that even in IRL militaries individual initiative actually does matter, whether it's to step in and prevent immoral acts, or to simply be able to operate responsively without waiting for orders every time like some fucking drone.

IMO, there are subversive things TLJ does that are a great idea (if poorly executed at times), but also things it does purely for subversion's sake (haha I am so clever) which are awkward and stupid; none more so than the dumb Poe/Holdo arc. I consider that not just poorly executed but actually offensive.


Because the theme wasn't "good guys need to obey orders". The theme was "when men presume they are smarter and know more than women, and refuse to listen to them, shit goes badly". Poe refusing to listen to Leia about the bombing run, Poe refusing to listen to Holdo about the ships, Finn refusing to listen to Rose about the slicer, this is constant throughout the movie and reinforced over and over.

It can be both.

But "Presumptuous men need to listen to what informed women have to say." isn't a theme that's subversive for Star Wars - if anything it's been trying to affirm that message from literally the first scene of ANH - and I thought it was subversion we're talking about?

Also, if that is true, it's still terribly implemented, because Holdo specifically is portrayed as an insufferably smug dickbag more intent on teaching Poe a lesson (however much it may be needed) by sowing conflict that costs the lives of the entire rebellion.
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Brentai
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Brentai » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:30 pm

Straight up this is the first time I've seen anybody even make it a thing that Holdo's a woman.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Mongrel » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:36 pm

The script keeps trying to tell us that Holdo's a military genius, but the person they show us is an absolute fucking idiot.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Brentai » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:52 pm

I was going to keep this thought to myself but since you brought it up: Was Holdo originally supposed to be Mon Mothma?

Because when I first saw this movie I thought for a good half of it "Why did the toga lady dye her hair pink? That's weird. Wait, wouldn't Toga Lady be older than Leia?"

I really think that the character of Admiral Holdo was supposed to be Mon Mothma which would make so much more sense, but they ended up having trouble pulling Caroline Blakiston out of her retirement home or maybe they felt they'd hit their quota of aging OT characters. Either way, that would help explain why Leia would think it's at all appropriate for members of the Resistance - a ragtag group of volunteers dedicated to bringing down a military regime that indoctrinates people into unquestioningly committing atrocities - to blindly put their faith in some shifty admiral who withholds vital information from her subordinates. She led us to one victory, she'll lead us to another. But they conjured up this character at the last minute who can't even seem to do her own hair coloring right, and the only indication we ever have that she isn't just some jackbooted asshole is Leia's glowing speech about how everything questionable she did was actually brave and true. Bleh.
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