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The Last Jedi - Thoughts and Reactions
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
"legitimate criticism"? What authority "legitimizes" the criticisms? Literature Devil? Criticisms are subjective.

A "legitimate criticism" is when a person actually has issues with the film, and not because they secretly hate women.
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
Whill wrote:
"legitimate criticism"? What authority "legitimizes" the criticisms? Literature Devil? Criticisms are subjective.

A "legitimate criticism" is when...


Opinions are subjective, a good literary criticism is something more. If you're not putting forth an informed, dispassionate, accurate set of statements and questions, I find them to be more opinion than criticism. Nobody is perfect, typos happen, and you don't want to be dry. But you can still get a pretty good feel for opinion vs. a contribution to a sincere and constructive discourse.

Dispassionate: Hyperbolic verbiage, imagery, or background music, is probably just someone trying to emotionally manipulate me, not inform or persuade me based on fact or reason. TV commercial are probably the best example of this but it applies to many other things too. Another thing I'm going to be looking for here is a willingness to come to conclusions with bad economic or emotional implications for the commentator. If you just happen to, by sheer coincidence, keep finding out things which would reinforce what any self-serving person would do, I wonder if you are being impartial and keeping your emotions out of it.

Informed: Failure to contextualize the piece in question is another one I watch for. Cause that's probably not critical thinking, it's probably just uninformed opinion. Someone tearing apart a 19th century novel on the basis of its perceived conflicts with 21st century values, is not uncommon. Someone doing so without showing any knowledge about the author's life or comparing it to other 19th century works, or understanding 19th century editorial practices and publishing conventions, is probably reaching an uninformed conclusion. You often find people painting 19th century authors or books as the ideological opposite of what they were. This is often based on the modern commentator not understanding that the 19th century work was satirical, or not knowing that at the time it was seen as radically progressive, or ignorance of the author's other work and political life, etc. As a sidebar on that, when someone's establishing context for criticisms, I'm going to be looking for relevant comparisons. So, comparing the quality of dialogue of a fictional comic character in Jane Doe's work of political satire, to Steve Smith's own words in his autobiography, might be something that undermines a reviewer's credibility.

Accurate: If I can easily fact check an error (especially in a printed piece of paper like a book or magazine) I immediately fear the author is too dishonest, lazy, or ignorant to reach reliable conclusions. Note that I said "easily fact check", not go down some rabbit hole of debatable details: For example if a book references "burning witches in Salem" that would be an alarm bell to me. No people were burned in Salem, this is easily google-able and is agreed upon by everyone with any expertise in 17th century colonial America. There is no evidence upon which to base a counter-argument that witches were burned in Salem. Now, on the other hand, someone may mis-state the number of people killed in the Witch Trials: there are different ways of arriving at this number given the information available. If they give any number close to 19 it's probably a reasonable difference of interpretation, a typo, etc.

That being said. If you watched an action movie and had fun, and didn't notice the corny dialogue or whatever through the awesome explosions and stuff, who can say that's wrong?
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Kytross
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raven Redstar wrote:

D6 tries to emulate the movies, but the movies aren't beholden to the rules of a game written 20 years before it came out. If you look at RAW, then the prequels don't fit with it either. They're able to do all kinds of crazy stuff that aren't doable in the Rules as Written, we've had to house rule for that.


Respectfully, I disagree. I can't think of one example in the prequel movies of a force ability that is not covered in RAW. Force speed and Force Jump are covered by Enhance Attribute. Force Push is Telekinesis. Yoda was using absorb/dissipate energy to deal with Dooku's Force Lightning. If I'm missing something, if I'm wrong, please let me know.

I've been wrong before. I can take it. It's how I learn.

The one rule that the Prequel Trilogy arguably violates is that using the force for defense and killing someone does not seem to give you a dark side point. I can't think of an example right now, as they were fighting against droids most of the time, but they were using telekinesis quite liberally in those films and no one seemed to be concerned about turning to the dark side over it. Perhaps when Yoda and Obi-Wan stormed the Jedi Temple in Ep3 and killed a myriad of clones? There is an ethical difference between murder and killing in self-defense or war and I don't think the RAW covers that well.

I thought of another example in TFA of something a character did that wasn't in the RAW. Kylo Ben froze a blaster bolt in time at the beginning of the film. It was clearly frozen in time as the bolt retained it's velocity once he released it. There is no precedence for this in the RAW. I don't think JJ Abrams was thinking about the physical laws that would need to be explained away by 'pausing' a plasma bolt. I think he just wanted a cool special effect, which it was.

And yes, the STARKILLER base was well outside of anything in the RAW, but that wasn't a character's action. That was a new technology (Hyperspace Turbolasers?) so I wouldn't expect it to be in the RAW, nor is it a character action and my initial argument is that all the other character in the movies follow the RAW.


This has been a rather respectful debate and I wish to congratulate all of us on that. While there is clearly a disagreement of whether or not Rey is a Mary Sue, we've managed to be quite civil about it and sidestepped the political debate as well. Cheers to that!


I enjoyed the two sequel movies, and plan to see ep9 to see how they choose to end the story. I don't think these movies come close to being as good as the OT. I don't think these stories are as well told, and would argue that the Clone Wars cartoon series with the 3D model rendering is the best film storytelling in the Star Wars Universe after the OT. I haven't seen Rebels yet. There are books I like better too, especially the original Thrawn Trilogy from 1991.
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Darklighter79
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kytross wrote:
Respectfully, I disagree. I can't think of one example in the prequel movies of a force ability that is not covered in RAW.

Deflect was not covered (Yoda, Dooku vs Force Lighting) although it was already implied in TESB.

Kytross wrote:
Force speed and Force Jump are covered by Enhance Attribute.

How is Force Speed covered by the Enhance Attribute power? Bonus goes to one of the attributes not movement.
By the way - Enhance Attribute - who jumps higher: a Jedi with max 3D boost to to his STR and jump skill of 3D or an acrobat from Galactic Circus with 10D in skill?

Kytross wrote:
Force Push is Telekinesis.

More like Projected Fighting.

Kytross wrote:
The one rule that the Prequel Trilogy arguably violates is that using the force for defense and killing someone does not seem to give you a dark side point. I can't think of an example right now, as they were fighting against droids most of the time, but they were using telekinesis quite liberally in those films and no one seemed to be concerned about turning to the dark side over it.

True. Anakin was throwing a lot of droid parts at the Geonosians in the factory.
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Kytross
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darklighter79 wrote:
Kytross wrote:
Respectfully, I disagree. I can't think of one example in the prequel movies of a force ability that is not covered in RAW.

Deflect was not covered (Yoda, Dooku vs Force Lighting) although it was already implied in TESB.


I think absorb/dissipate covers this, but I can see why someone would disagree. Yoda dissipates the first lightning and absorbs the second.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyyWiqdpY6M

Darklighter79 wrote:
Kytross wrote:
Force speed and Force Jump are covered by Enhance Attribute.

How is Force Speed covered by the Enhance Attribute power? Bonus goes to one of the attributes not movement.
By the way - Enhance Attribute - who jumps higher: a Jedi with max 3D boost to to his STR and jump skill of 3D or an acrobat from Galactic Circus with 10D in skill?


Here's the quote from the first two sentences of the effect description for Enhance Attribute:

"A Jedi uses this power to increase a single attribute for a limited period. An increased attribute can help a Jedi jump higher, see better, and run faster."
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kytross wrote:
Darklighter79 wrote:
Kytross wrote:
Force speed and Force Jump are covered by Enhance Attribute.

How is Force Speed covered by the Enhance Attribute power? Bonus goes to one of the attributes not movement.
By the way - Enhance Attribute - who jumps higher: a Jedi with max 3D boost to to his STR and jump skill of 3D or an acrobat from Galactic Circus with 10D in skill?

Here's the quote from the first two sentences of the effect description for Enhance Attribute:

"A Jedi uses this power to increase a single attribute for a limited period. An increased attribute can help a Jedi jump higher, see better, and run faster."

It does state that in the description, but mechanically it doesn't provide any rules for actually moving beyond the character's move stat. So I thought that it meant that it allows you to move faster by increasing your Dexterity which governs the Running skill and thus allowing the character to roll more dice and make terrain difficulty rolls for All-Out speed that they normally may not be able to make. In other words, help the character go fast without tripping and crashing.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
It does state that in the description, but mechanically it doesn't provide any rules for actually moving beyond the character's move stat. So I thought that it meant that it allows you to move faster by increasing your Dexterity which governs the Running skill and thus allowing the character to roll more dice and make terrain difficulty rolls for All-Out speed that they normally may not be able to make. In other words, help the character go fast without tripping and crashing.

I'd say that's more a game mechanics oversight on WEG's part than anything else. Under the 1E Rules, where everything had a Speed Code, a dice bonus from Enhance Attribute actually meant something, but it likely slipped through the cracks with the 2E upgrade.

However, there is the 1E to 2E conversion formula in the 2E Rulebook, where a 1D increase in Speed Code was roughly analogous to a +2 to Space for starships. The same could be applied to a character's base Move, so a character rolling Enhance Attribute and getting a +2D bonus would, instead, get a +4 increase to their base Move of 10. Moving at All-Out, that's an additional 16 meters every 5 seconds.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
I'd say that's more a game mechanics oversight on WEG's part than anything else. Under the 1E Rules, where everything had a Speed Code, a dice bonus from Enhance Attribute actually meant something, but it likely slipped through the cracks with the 2E upgrade.

However, there is the 1E to 2E conversion formula in the 2E Rulebook, where a 1D increase in Speed Code was roughly analogous to a +2 to Space for starships. The same could be applied to a character's base Move, so a character rolling Enhance Attribute and getting a +2D bonus would, instead, get a +4 increase to their base Move of 10. Moving at All-Out, that's an additional 16 meters every 5 seconds.

That's reasonable, but this power was first published in 2e. The only way it could have been an oversight in upgrade to 2e would be if the power existed in some WEG author's notes or personal house rules in the time of 1e, which certainly is possible.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
That's reasonable, but this power was first published in 2e. The only way it could have been an oversight in upgrade to 2e would be if the power existed in some WEG author's notes or personal house rules in the time of 1e, which certainly is possible.

My bad; for some reason I was thinking it was at least in the Rules Upgrade. The other option would be Concentration, with the +4D bonus converting over to a +8 to Move if the character did nothing else that round (which they wouldn't be able to do with an All-Out Move anyway), but that isn't in 1E either.

An additional option would be a specific write-up for Burst of Speed that increases the multiplier for All-Out based on how well the character rolled on Control, maybe using the same Difficulty ranges as Enhance Attribute, like so:
    Skill Roll > Difficulty By = All-Out Multiplier (Duration)
    0-13 = x5 (3 rounds)
    14-25 = x6 (2 rounds)
    26+ = x7 (1 round)
Using that method, a character with a Base Move of 10 who can beat the 26+ Difficulty could move a maximum of 280 meters in 5 seconds, which is (IMO) consistent with what we see in TPM.

Alternatively, it could be applied as a modifier to any of the Move Modifiers, so that a 0-13 range Success would give a +1 modifier to the character making a Normal Move would get a x2, and a Full Speed Move at x3, and so on and so forth.

But I digress...

To get back to the original point, most powers that we see used in the prequels can either be found in the EU or can be logically extrapolated to exist based on what is in the EU. However, there is no real lineage for Kylo Ren's "Freeze" power.

IMO, a lot of it will depend greatly on what exactly a blaster bolt is composed of. If it's a linear plasma discharge or particle beam weapon, then it will be composed of matter, albeit in a much different form than a rock or a human, which would then make it a TK-based power, however tenuous the connection.

What I do think is that the Difficulty level to pull off something like this and keep it up for several minutes should be very high, especially when one factors in MAPs for using a telepathy probe on Poe while doing so. This, then, creates something of a conundrum about Kylo Ren's relative power level. If he's powerful enough to do something like this, and powerful enough to bury Luke under the ruin's of his (Kylo's) hut while he destroyed the Jedi Academy, then how was he weak enough to get beaten by an untrained Force novice while suffering, at most, only a -1D to his skill rolls (Wounded Damage result from Chewie's bowcaster).

It ends up feeling as though this is another instance where a different approach would've made more sense from a canonical standpoint, but the director wanted to insert a cool visual
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Kytross
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The frozen blaster bolt is unnecessary to the plot. The power has yet to be referenced again in any form. If the blaster bolt had never been fired, and therefore never frozen, it would have zero impact on the plot.

Chekov's gun. https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChekhovsGun
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:

It does state that in the description, but mechanically it doesn't provide any rules for actually moving beyond the character's move stat. So I thought that it meant that it allows you to move faster by increasing your Dexterity


And in my (emotionally) favorite game, WEG Star Wars miniatures Battles 1st Edition, DEX is plugged into a formula to determine your walk and run rates.

Clearly, the DM was a running a miniature game as part of the RPG campaign Smile

There was a gap there when SWRPG 2e was out but SWMB 2e wasn't.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TauntaunScout wrote:
Whill wrote:
It does state that in the description, but mechanically it doesn't provide any rules for actually moving beyond the character's move stat. So I thought that it meant that it allows you to move faster by increasing your Dexterity

And in my (emotionally) favorite game, WEG Star Wars miniatures Battles 1st Edition, DEX is plugged into a formula to determine your walk and run rates.

Clearly, the DM was a running a miniature game as part of the RPG campaign Smile

There was a gap there when SWRPG 2e was out but SWMB 2e wasn't.

Could be, and SWMB 1e was based on SWRPG 1e.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kytross wrote:
The frozen blaster bolt is unnecessary to the plot. The power has yet to be referenced again in any form. If the blaster bolt had never been fired, and therefore never frozen, it would have zero impact on the plot.

Chekov's gun. https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChekhovsGun

You must hate Tolkien. Paragraphs and paragraphs of pure setting descriptions! I can appreciate that the frozen blaster bolt is not to your personal liking, but you're not even applying the trope correctly. It is about a seemingly insignificant detail that later turns out to be essential to the plot. It doesn't mean that there shouldn't be any details that aren't vital to the story in movies. And even if it did mean that, that wouldn't be right.

Where do you draw the line in Star Wars movies? What about all the scenes in movies with a bunch of people, aliens, and droids in the background? They aren't essential to the plot, but they shouldn't be there? Is the Death Star floors being so shiny essential to the plot? Shouldn't all backgrounds in the film just be blank white with no details if the details aren't essential to the plot?

Sure the plot of TFA could have happened without the frozen blaster bolt, but plot is not only just a logical A-leads-to-B series of events. This isn't just a purely descriptive detail in short story's description of a room including a rifle hung on the wall. "As the stormtroopers forced Poe onto the shuttle, a blaster bolt that no one saw fired was hanging in the air nearby. (end of chapter)"

Poe, the primary protagonist in that part of the story, fires the bolt which Ren dramatically freezes. The frozen bolt showed Kylo Ren was powerful in the Force by doing something unprecedented. It not only worked on the audience (well, except you), but it also worked on Poe and FN-2187 who clearly react to it, and the audience sees their reactions. The frozen blaster bolt is not just pointless description. It is actually a part of the action. It serves its purpose. It is much more significant in the plot than all those droids moving around in the background.
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought Checkov's gun was for short stories, where economy mattered a lot more. To be extremely literal about the rule, in a novel or feature length film, I might reasonably put a gun over a mantel to set mood without it needing to be fired.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. That's not what I meant at all. My fault for writing so sparsely.

Last things first, Chekov was writing about short stories when he wrote about his famous gun. I think it applies. The use of the force to freeze time is a gigantic departure from six movies worth of established continuity. It is not background detail or a passing character. By choosing to introduce this new power the creative team is obligated to explain it to the audience. The audience doesn't need much of an explanation, a single line of dialogue would be fine, but it does need an explanation. It would not be remiss to use it again later in the film, possibly at the climax of the film to stop the adversary with his own power.

They have given Kylo Ben a new force power that tips the scales of power beyond anything we've seen in Star Wars. He can freeze time itself. Imagine him using that power on an opponent in a fight. Or to stop someone who is falling. Or on Doppleganger Luke in TLJ.

Kylo Ben can FREEZE TIME!

Huge ramifications here. Never mentioned again. Not worth bringing up. No impact on the plot whatsoever. They could have used a different special effect and gotten the same impact on the Audience.

From the Meta, I get it. They wanted a cool special effect. They got it. They weren't considering continuity and the ramifications. That's fine. I still enjoyed the films. Quite a bit, actually.

You won't see issues like this in the Zahn Trilogy. Comparing the two sequels the creative people have given us, Zahn tells a tighter, better story.
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