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Star Wars Episode 7 (spoilers)

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  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,336
    @Ayiekie also UTENA FANDOM 4 LIFE (I stg Utena is part of why I ended up being trans as hell lmao)

    AyiekieButtercheesemysterymeepNonnahswriter
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    I just want to see what they do with Rey Wan Kenobi's background. I need to know her parentage! :cold_sweat:

    ButtercheeseNonnahswriterCrevsDaak
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,336
    All obvious signs point to Luke and all subtle signs point to Ben, which either means the subtle signs are to drive meticulous combers-for-facts into an Obi-the-top frenzy of certainty so they can chuckle a "gotcha!" when it turns out to be Luke...or else everybody thinking they're Skywalkin' on a Rey of sunshine right now are in for a Kenobiranoutofbadpunsteamattheendhere

  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 864
    edited April 2016


    I think this is actually just to show he's still a neophyte too, as you pointed out in your first post he's growing as a villain alongside the heroes' growth. This is all despite his extensive training, but it's worthwhile to note that he's quite young and Clearly Not Ready (like, psychologically) in ways that it seems he was pretty blind to before Rey resisted him and probed back, and now he's got a lot of Fear as his awareness of where he is weak deepens...and Fear, as we know, leads somewhere that Yoda warned us about...but I can't remember where...maybe Snoke can tell him during Special Training

    Yeah, as I said, I don't think that's a bad thing per se (it makes him at least not a Vader/Sidious rehash, as both trilogy villains were in the fullness of their powers from the get-go). I can see some people reacting badly, but he was one of the bits in the movie that made me interested to see where they were going with it.


    but with regard to Finn, I think that fragmented nature is actually a strength of his character, and the factor which explains his character! It's exactly because he was raised the way he was with the sensitive soul he has! like, he gets janitorial duties because he consistently shows himself to be too soft, and so he has to project a cover of being proficient enough, and then he's on a shuttle heading toward Jakku and stuff hits the fan pretty quick because he's only been faking whatever factors got him put on that mission to Jakku, it unravels super quickly as a result, but all he knows how to do as a kid raised by an organization who thinks emotional abuse and fear tactics is good parenting is to lie, lie and lie some more...which is why even when he's free of that and in a relatively good place, he keeps doing it! it's ALSO why he attaches himself immediately to sources of genuine warmth, kindness and mutually respectful support like Poe and Rey, which I think explains it outside the context of a romance.

    I'll grant you instantly the quick attachment part; I did feel THAT was consistent and made sense.

    The rest.... mm. Well, it's like your excellent analysis of Safana from BG1 with regards to SoD. I fully appreciate that kind of putting everything together (I've done it myself in previous writing projects), and consider it a reasonable interpretation of the character... but I wouldn't say that was the intended character interpretation of Safana in BG1, either, if you follow me.

    To put it another way, I hope the writing team has thought half as much about Finn's character as you have.


    as to TPM...it's the most hokey of all of them to me, so in a sense it could potentially have charm? It just doesn't have that charm to me at all tho...it's just so bad, both actors they get in the prequels to play the focal character in the prequels can't act their way out of a paper bag and so in a sense that forgettable kid's acting was actually kind of a prescient leadup to his teen/young adult self (but only in a verisimilitude shattering meta sense), "midichlorians" was some "bad EU writing" level bad writing and it became canon because of Episode I, the CG was the most overboard in Episode I, they used CG where practical effects could have been used at every possible turn (Lucas toned it down only ever so slightly in II and III, but it was still excessive even then in a way it's not in VII, lots more practically achieved aliens and effects give it an OT feel) and yeah, if you don't think Empire is the best one I dunno what to tell ya, it's got the best lines, the best writing, the best mood, the best theme (Episode II, as the middle film of the prequels, was sort of an photo negative of the OT's middle film themes, intentionally so, where the good guys seem to be doing better and better before their inevitable defeat in the conclusion rather than worse and worse before their triumph against all odds, and it really really didn't work at all to flip that script in the way Lucas chose to even if the idea of mirroring each film might've been a good one on paper)

    In fairness, yeah, I should've actually said Phantom Menace > Empire Strikes Back > Everything Else > AOTC, as ESB is the best of the original trilogy by a country mile IMO.

    That being said, just for interest's sake rather than any real expectation of changing your mind about it, the reasons I like Phantom Menace more than any of the other SW movies are roughly as follows:

    1) It was a bold new vision of the Star Wars universe, visually (and the lack of this is something I find a major flaw in TFA). Sleek new ships, new worlds, new technology. It looked and felt like what it was supposed to be: the Golden Age of art and luxury that existed before the coming of the Empire turned everything into gunmetal grey and turbolaser banks. I appreciate both the coherence of the vision for the new setting, and the courage to not try to copy the earlier movies too closely (would that Lucas has kept to that - I'm still amazed he didn't shoehorn in a young Han in RotS somewhere).

    2) Liam Neeson's Qui-Gon was far and away the most interesting Jedi in the series, and the only one that really brings the Mystical Warrior Monk aspect as a character for me. The definitive scene for me was near the end, when the force field separated him and Darth Maul. Maul paces back and forth like a caged animal, snarling and slashing out at the field. Qui-Gon sits, complete serene in contemplative meditation - yet as the field drops, in one smooth motion he is back up, lightsaber blocking Maul's instant attack. For all the maligning of Lucas' skills as a director, that was a masterfully understated scene that showed, rather than merely told, the difference between a Jedi master and a Sith warrior. His relationship with Obi-Wan also worked very well for me; the two had chemistry and it was a pity that it didn't get more time.

    3) I appreciate interesting and kinetically spectacular fight scenes, and the fight scenes against Darth Maul are far and away the best ones the movies have to offer, and were especially amazing coming after the original trilogy, where nobody could move like that (and honestly, some of them simply have not aged well).

    4) While the plot had some issues (I would argue not merely as many as people say), the essentially political nature of it, along with its multilayered nature and the playing off of the fact that the audience knows Palpatine is clearly behind it but the characters don't, was more interesting to me than the generic clash of good and evil behind most of the films (the fact the Jedi were largely constrained from just killing everything in their way also made it more interesting). Also, especially in the light of TFA - no fricking Death Star. Three out of the seven Star Wars films have now climaxed in destroying a planet-sized superweapon. That is lazy, and even if I did think TPM's plot was as bad as many do, I would still respect it more for trying to do something different than I would a competently but uncleverly executed rehash of A New Hope. As a side note, Palpatine was also well cast and delivered an excellent performance in all three movies. The prequels pretty much retroactively made him a far more interesting and worthy villain than the original generic Evil Overlord character was.

    5) I though Padme was well-cast and a good step forward for the series at the time - she was more involved in the action, more clever and more demonstrated (rather than informed) competence than Leia had. She accomplished things on her own! Also, while her status as democratically elected teenage queen was kind of dubious (though there are more real world parallels than people might think), her various royal regalias were visually stunning at the time (and took an obscene amount of time to actually get her into, as I recall).

    There's some other bits and drabs - the pod race is pretty fun even if predictable, the droid army had a fun new visual aesthetic for faceless villain hordes that allowed more variety than stormtroopers - but largely those are the high points. There's flaws, of course: Darth Maul is kind of a nothing as a character and it was kind of eye-rolley that he's basically visually Satan, Anakin-as-Jesus was both hokey and pointless since the sum total of its treatment on-screen was a single throwaway line, you can fridge logic away Anakin building the droids but it's still pretty silly, there's some validity to criticism of the Trade Federation muckity-mucks as being racist Chinese stereotypes and in any case they're not very interesting antagonists as cowardly henchmen of Palpatine, etc.

    Notably not included is the much-maligned Jar Jar (who to me was functionally equivalent to C-3PO - annoying comic relief sidekick), midichlorians (which fit smoothly into the more scientific, less mystical Golden Age of the setting, and also fit neatly in with already established lore: that Force sensitivity is hereditary, that droids can't be Force sensitive even though they're clearly alive, etc.), and Anakin's actor (who turned in about a normal performance for a child actor; I have seen actually bad child actors, and I wonder whether some of his vocal detractors ever have). I was also disappointed when George Lucas gave into fan pressure and functionally excised Jar Jar from the series (other than a cameo to officially vote in the Empire); caving in to fan outrage and compromising your creative vision leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If he felt the character needed work, he could've grown - instead he was just removed.

    But all that aside, to me TPM was a solid movie and the only one of them other than Empire I've voluntarily sought out to rewatch - though even then, I still don't actually own it. I'm kind of annoyed I had to break my long-standing tradition of never owning any Star Wars films (unless one counts the Clone Wars pilot) to watch TFA. :smiley:


    The rest are joyfests by the end, aside from Episode III which managed to fail because Lucas doesn't know how to write a tragedy (and there were even moments to assure the audience that certain things were gonna be ok near the end even as the tragedies piled up, and a lot of the tragedies happened without much tension and certainly without the quips and jokes that were in Episode V...III took itself too seriously and so it didn't strike an appropriate balance to bring contrast to the tragedy like V did)

    In RotS's defence, it was the ending to a story, not a middle chapter, and it was a story where the bad guys were foreordained to win big and pretty much completely. That put it in an interesting position that was a bit more difficult than Empire. I do think Empire's better (and that RotS is the only prequel that could possibly be argued to be overrated), but RotS had to tell a much more difficult story.

    GenderNihilismGirdleBelgarathMTH
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,336
    All very good points, I actually basically agree with all your good points you lined up there for TPM, including Palpatine and Amidala as characters (and performances) being quite good, etc, etc literally every point I can pretty much give a thumbs up on...except for two: 1) I found it visually incredibly similar to the existing universe despite showing off original locations, but I liked it for showing parts of the universe that weren't all "gunmetal grey and turboblaster banks" as you put it and feeling very much a part of the universe nevertheless...except for my earlier caveat about over-saturating CG effects that are doomed not to age well (and haven't) instead of practical effects that could've pulled off the same look and kept more to the real and lived in feel of the OT, so I feel like it sort of fell on its face in a few crucial ways there (so point 1 is sort of half-agreement, I liked the thrust of it, and some was done quite well, but the cons were more numerous and egregious than the pros managed to rack up points in quantity or quality) and 2) not only did I find it to be an utter rehashing of Episode IV, Lucas has even stated that was basically his intent, to do mirror images of IV in I, V in II and VI in III. And he did do that, but with a heavier dose of Messianism injected directly into the butt of his Hero's Journey than I liked.

    Oh, and 3 I guess is that I also have seen many really good and really terrible child actors, and while he's not B-movie "kid of one of the crew that was on set that day" level bad, he was bad for as huge a production with as big a casting budget as this movie was to a level that I didn't expect, and to a level the trailers largely concealed to me at the time, so again it was one of those "oh wow I didn't expect it to be THIS bad" moments that then kept happening throughout the film. Some of his deliveries I was just like, "...what # of take is this? Whose fault is this? Did Lucas just go "yep, got it in 1, we're good" or was this like take three dozen and Lucas was like, "y'know what, he's nailed it this time better than every time leading up to this" (and to be fair, H.C. was the worst Anakin of them all, so it's not like he even takes the cake he's just barely memorable, which is why I can't remember his name, and what he is memorable for is the odd internal wince at a stilted or "faux naturale" delivery)

    I also disagree on the midichlorian point, but I feel like it's largely pretty subjective (and probably a big part of it was it not being mentioned anywhere in EU material covering the Old Republic Era stuff right up to the doorstep of the time of the movies and Lucas saying EU was still canon other than anything he had to put in there...it felt like if he was going to do something like that, he should've given authors some buildup time? but again, I cared more about the EU when TPM came out than I do now and it's not even canon anymore so it's a very very subjective disagreement)

    But other than those exceptions to your points (don't count the midichlorian one as an "objection" tho), this is where the subjective wiggle really hits hard, because despite all our overlap of what we liked about TPM, what I didn't like outweighed what I did like, including some of the points you've raised! It just feels like it drags under the weight of its flaws too heavily. I also feel like J.J. Binksbram was a way more annoying stereotype than 3PO, because 3PO sort of punches up at upper crust British sensibility in his annoyingness, but Mssr. Binks punches downward at a "low class" kind of depiction of Caribbean accent and it is really sloppily extrapolated to his entire species, who are all played the same way for comic relief...and maybe that's just subjective to me, but I really dislike his characterization and am pretty glad he was excised to the extent he was (again, unless the fan theory is true and he's actually Snoke/Darth Plagueis or otherwise some sort of Mirror Yoda figure pulling strings and influencing things like a Sith Drunken Master behind the scenes, in which case I'm as livid as you that fan outcry caused that to be cut)

    But really good points tho! As I said earlier, I find the final Darth Maul fight epic as hell and wish more of the movie had been like that (not as in more lightsaber fights, not that I'd have been complaining about that, but as in more action of that tone vs the more slapstick-y tone of much of the action, even the podracing to a too-large extent), and I totally agree that Palpatine and Maul are among the best parts of TPM considered up close...I just rarely like pulling out to a less micro view since it forces me to see the scenes on either side of those ones lmao

    BelgarathMTH
  • Yulaw9460Yulaw9460 Member Posts: 634
    edited November 2018
    Deleted.

    Post edited by Yulaw9460 on
    GenderNihilismGirdle
  • NonnahswriterNonnahswriter Member Posts: 2,520

    @Ayiekie also UTENA FANDOM 4 LIFE (I stg Utena is part of why I ended up being trans as hell lmao)

    I know this is off-topic and not related to Star Wars at all, but...



    UTENA FANDOM REPRESENT! *high-fives*

    (Back to your regularly scheduled Star Wars discussion.)

    ButtercheeseAyiekieGenderNihilismGirdleCrevsDaak
  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,768
    edited April 2016
    THE UTENA FANDOM IS HERE TO TAKE OVER THE THREAD.
    RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.

    AyiekieGenderNihilismGirdleNonnahswriterCrevsDaak
  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 864
    Even though Utena is, beyond doubt, the best anime and one of the best anythings ever created, I'm not sure it's wise to tempt the wrath of Star Wars fandom by trying to take over their thread.

    (But then, I'm one to talk, I said The Phantom Menace is my favourite SW movie.)

    GenderNihilismGirdleNonnahswriter
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,336
    If you replaced the prequels with the Utena movie, I think it'd be fine, we know that Vader has problems breathing and it may be related to turning into a car. Better than the over-dramatic NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO of Episode III being canon IMHO

    ButtercheeseNonnahswriter
  • BGLoverBGLover Member Posts: 549
    I've just got around to watching The Force Awakens.

    Poor. For the last 20 minutes or so I have to admit I was bored.

    Perhaps this is just confirmation of what I had begun to suspect.

    I'm old.

    elminsterGenderNihilismGirdleCrevsDaak
  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,336
    If you saw it in theatres, you'll be the first person I've come across to have seen it in theatres with that reaction. Most people I know who saw it on the big screen (and people I didn't know all around me the three times I went) have loved it, but it seems like somewhere between 30-40% of the people I know who downloaded it/got the DVD had tepid or worse reactions to it (100% of the people I knew who bought the blu-ray loved it, but that's just because everyone I know with the blu-ray saw it on the big screen first).

    I've seen similar reactions to Fury Road, with people coming to it after it was no longer showing having around 30-40% tepid or worse reactions to it. I saw it in theatres and absolutely loved it, as did most people I know who saw it that way first. Maybe these movies are just not meant for the TV screen? Or maybe it's just that people who were pumped enough to go see it in the first place have an implicit/tacit bias the people who fully felt that they could wait didn't?

  • BGLoverBGLover Member Posts: 549
    I did watch it on a TV screen.

    I loved the original films.

    The fact that I waited until now to watch this particular installment probably indicates an ambivalence to it.

    To me, it seemed like a 'joining the dots' exercise that fished out the old join the dots notebook, rubbed out the old pencil marks, and did the whole exercise all over again (and conveniently ignoring the indentations on the paper that showed exactly where we were going.

    To me, it seemed like there was no drama, no risk, no uncertainty, and no excitement.

    The only thing I am uncertain of is whether my reaction is that of a jaded parent resorting to the 'I've seen it all before, its just a rip off, things were better in my day' cliche, or whether the film was just rubbish.

  • GenderNihilismGirdleGenderNihilismGirdle Member Posts: 1,336
    Hey, there are people who think James Cameron makes good movies, like Titanic and Avatar did well both commercially and critically, so I mean sometimes I just accept that movies are very subjective and things I think are rubbish get critical acclaim, and other times people pan movies I think are worth watching again and again and again. That's the nature of art, not just the medium of film.

    But holy CRAP am I ever excited for Episode VIII

    AyiekieNonnahswriter
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