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Why God, Why?
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solo4114 wrote:


I absolutely agree. Too much stuff happens off-screen, not enough is done on-screen, and even though much of the stuff that happens off-screen is irrelevant to the instant story or characters, it's still part of what I see as necessary world-building to help bring your audience along.


It's... problematic. I have no idea how to discuss these films without being seen as bashing them. As I interpret Star Wars as art, and not Star Wars as canon, I find a lot of issues. These cartoons (and now, since the thread has gone there, these movies) seem to distance themselves from what made Star Wars work, and triple down on its (originally) trifling flaws.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TauntaunScout wrote:
It's... problematic. I have no idea how to discuss these films without being seen as bashing them. As I interpret Star Wars as art, and not Star Wars as canon, I find a lot of issues. These cartoons (and now, since the thread has gone there, these movies) seem to distance themselves from what made Star Wars work, and triple down on its (originally) trifling flaws.

I do appreciate the restraint used to not bash. It's not easy.
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whill wrote:

I do appreciate the restraint used to not bash. It's not easy.


Well, it's a Star Wars-specific problem which makes it harder. I can discuss movie strengths and weaknesses very clinically, and I feel like I could say the same things about a film of a different genre and no one would get upset. I am a total sucker for dinosaur movies. I will watch anything that goes "RAWR!". I will even re-watch dinosaur movies that I think are awful, just to see some dinosaurs. Yet no one seems capable of saying "Yeah we all know Star Wars Episode N sucked but it has robots!" I can articulate why some of the Jurassic Park movies were badly flawed films without a fandom acting like I'm eating beef jerky during a Lenten mass. Star Wars is different, fans get very protective of it. Without getting specific enough to annoy anyone I hope, here's how I see the problem:

When it came out, no one had ever seen anything like ANH. The only thing anyone was able to vaguely connect to it was maybe Lawrence of Arabia. I can talk about why and what created that in pretty dry terms but I'll skip it for now. What was really crazy though, was that ESB managed to also be unlike anything anyone had seen: a successful sequel was rare enough. A successful sequel, where the badguys win, and has a reveal as big as Darth being Luke's father was like lightning striking twice. Two movies, in a row, that were unlike anything anyone had ever seen. In some sense it's really unfair to compare anything to that. Hence why ROTJ is often viewed less favorably than I think it deserves. Lucas fundamentally wasn't able to make lighting strike thrice. There was nothing in ROTJ that was totally unlike anything anyone had ever seen before, unless they had never seen a SW film. But ROTJ managed to keep a lot of what worked in the first two films, so it holds up ok and it felt right.

All movies have weaknesses. How many, and whether or not the strengths outweigh them, is another question.

The sequel trilogy is (mostly) not keeping up the specific artistic underpinnings that gave ANH (and by extension the OT) it's viewing pleasure, and is not anything fundamentally new. So as a Star Wars film, what's left? No feeling of coming home like when I watched Rogue One, and no crazy exciting new experience like when I saw Mad Max: Fury Road. Which incidentally, I can't think of anything remotely like MM:FR other than Lawrence of Arabia. The way that movie continues to be a measuring stick is pretty impressive.

I actually enjoyed watching the sequel trilogy movies a lot more than the prequels. But since I don't think they're the definition of perfection people get really upset about it. I don't really understand what is going on behind the scenes and won't speculate on it. But I don't think these films have lived up to their potential. I just don't care about the new characters. At all. I have no reason to. ANH actually did a really good job getting you to care about the characters in a hurry (and that's a whole other discussion of film history, child psychology, and Josh knows what else). Then, you cared about these people, so you were into it for the rest of the OT. I just don't have that experience when I watch the sequel trilogy.

I think the reason the so-called Mystery Box isn't working very well here is pretty simple. I don't need to know WHO Snope is to know WHAT he is. He's Palpatine again. He's the Darth Sidious mystery again. So in-universe there may be the mystery of his biography but out of universe, to me, the movie-goer, there's no real mystery at all, unless I've never seen the SW movies. Rey's the same thing. An orphan? From the desert? Who is strangely talented? Well that's not a mystery at all. I don't know WHO she is but I know WHAT she is. So there's not the experience of tantalization that there should be.

I feel like the pervading mystique of the OT is (mostly) replaced by planned out surprises, which is a different thing entirely. The pervasive familiarity of the (OT) Star Wars universe, which was accomplished on several levels, is replaced by repetition of SW themes, which is again a totally different thing. And you can still enjoy watching these films, cartoons, comics, or whatever. Just like I still watch joshawful dinosaur movies with no shame. But unless you are willing to admit that you are passively consuming them (which is fine, just be honest with yourself) you have to be able to talk about them for both good and bad.

As for these latest cartoons that started this whole thread. I think the safest way to compartmentalize them is as what they are. They are toy commercials. They may be clever or insipid at times, they may add some interesting things, or not, but it's too easy to lose sight of what they fundamentally are. If you don't peruse the toy aisles of a chain general store, and swing by the Disney Store occasionally, I recommend it for contextualizing a lot of the content that is being produced nowadays.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An awesome quote from YouTube...

"Rian Johnson wanted to subvert expectations, and he succeeded. I walked into the theater expecting to see a good Star Wars film; my expectation was subverted."
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CRMcNeill wrote:
An awesome quote from YouTube...


Might not fit into "the restraint not to bash" but it is kind of funny.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TauntaunScout wrote:
CRMcNeill wrote:
An awesome quote from YouTube...


Might not fit into "the restraint not to bash" but it is kind of funny.

I suppose it depends on where the line is on "bashing." Is it, for instance, acceptable to state subjectively that AotC was the worst of the three prequels without it being called bashing?

Mostly I posted the quote because it was a LOL-inducing quip.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Site Admin wrote:
So you can still express your negative opinions and dislikes of these subjects, but please refrain from expressing excessive negativity and check yourself before you go into rant mode against them.


CRMcNeill wrote:
TauntaunScout wrote:
CRMcNeill wrote:
An awesome quote from YouTube...

"Rian Johnson wanted to subvert expectations, and he succeeded. I walked into the theater expecting to see a good Star Wars film; my expectation was subverted."

Might not fit into "the restraint not to bash" but it is kind of funny.

I suppose it depends on where the line is on "bashing." Is it, for instance, acceptable to state subjectively that AotC was the worst of the three prequels without it being called bashing?

Mostly I posted the quote because it was a LOL-inducing quip.

By definition, bashing means severely criticizing. Simply saying TLJ is not a good film or AotC is the worst of the PT isn't bashing. I think the Pit's forum posting guidelines are pretty explicit. The key here is to refrain from expressing excessive negativity about the films. Thanks.
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just meant it was a line of discussion that wouldn't help my restraint.
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