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Author Topic: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!  (Read 8338 times)

Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!
« Reply #120 on: January 14, 2018, 11:51:55 AM »
Saw the film last week. Enjoyed the action sequences but I thought the plot was a bit daft. The walkers attack on the rebel base seemed a direct lift from Empire Strikes Back.

It is a shame there can’t be the courage to do something different rather than a rehash of the old.

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Offline dinohunterpoa

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Re: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!
« Reply #121 on: January 14, 2018, 11:55:02 AM »
Alright I finally saw this with the wife and a friend today, and I Have Some Thoughts.

...


Very nice!

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Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!
« Reply #122 on: January 14, 2018, 12:03:50 PM »
I've had a couple of viewings of comparable matter recently, which made me reflect on The Last Jedi. First, with the kids, we've watched a couple of Kurosawa classics: The Hidden Fortress and Sanjuro. They watched Yojimbo a while ago and loved it - not least for the Star Wars antecedents (severed arm, hiding under tatami mats, etc). They loved the other films too: obviously, The Hidden Fortress is a Star Wars spotter's paradise.

Now, it struck me as interesting that my six-year-old daughter could follow the plot of The Hidden Fortress through subtitles far more easily than she could follow the plot of The Last Jedi. But it's not really a surprise: though both films are, ultimately, the same sort of story (fairy-talish adventures with princesses and swords and the odd ambivalent baddie), the Kurosawa one is just far more elegantly plotted and much better told. I would be very surprised if, a couple of decades hence, an ambitious young director bases his fantasy film script on the plot and characters of the The Last Jedi ...

The second thing we watched (just my wife and I, obviously) was Logan. I generally dislike superhero films, but I thought that this one was pretty good. It got me thinking that it could easily have been entitled The Last Mutant(s), and that its basic plot would have been far better for a Star Wars film called The Last Jedi. Again, it was simple but elegant (there's one subtle twist in the plot that I particularly like), and it reinforced my take on TLJ: that its screenwriters have tangled themselves up in knots and dead end and non-sequiturs, to such an extent that you marvel that they were paid for the script at all.

Offline FramFramson

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Re: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!
« Reply #123 on: January 14, 2018, 09:19:35 PM »
One of the funnier plot holes is Poe's Mutiny.

See, I get that Leia and General Whatzherface were tying to teach a valuable lesson to a future leader about discipline and the chain of command and such... but when he actually LEADS AN ARMED MUTINY, don't you think it might be a good idea to tell the poor fellow "Settle down, you idiot. Actually we DO have a plan..."? Instead, the general pulls a gun and starts shooting, putting her whole plan at unneeded risk by putting it on pause, necessitating she has to break back into their own bridge, possibly destroying ship systems or needlessly killing other personnel not involved in her little "lesson"?!

It actually unravels a lot of the escape plot. If the ships had been allowed to escape earlier, they might not have been detected, or been detected much later, and General Whatzherface, obviously a skilled and important Rebel leader, would not have had to make a Heroic Sacrifice to try and cover their escape. Instead they wind up killing most of what's left of the Resistance, just so Poe can have a "teaching moment"!
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 12:32:15 AM by FramFramson »

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!
« Reply #124 on: January 15, 2018, 01:13:58 AM »
One of the funnier plot holes is Poe's Mutiny.

See, I get that Leia and General Whatzherface were tying to teach a valuable lesson to a future leader about discipline and the chain of command and such... but when he actually LEADS AN ARMED MUTINY, don't you think it might be a good idea to tell the poor fellow "Settle down, you idiot. Actually we DO have a plan..."? Instead, the general pulls a gun and starts shooting, putting her whole plan at unneeded risk by putting it on pause, necessitating she has to break back into their own bridge, possibly destroying ship systems or needlessly killing other personnel not involved in her little "lesson"?!

I thought that at that moment it would have been shockingly iconoclastic in a good way if they'd just gone all Rogue One and had Leia shoot Poe and the other mutineers dead. It wouldn't have been very Star War-sy (other than in a Rogue One way), but it would at least have made some kind of sense. Not as much sense as just sharing the plan, though ...

It actually unravels a lot of the escape plot. If the ships had been allowed to escape earlier, they might not have been detected, or been detected much later, and General Whatzherface, obviously a skilled and important Rebel leader, would not have had to make a Heroic Sacrifice to try and cover their escape. Instead they wind up killing most of what's left of the Resistance, just so Poe can have a "teaching moment"!

I think that's basically what's wrong with so much screenwriting these days: character arcs and development are put ahead of plot, rather than arising naturally from it.

Offline FramFramson

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Re: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!
« Reply #125 on: January 15, 2018, 03:03:24 AM »
I've had a couple of viewings of comparable matter recently, which made me reflect on The Last Jedi. First, with the kids, we've watched a couple of Kurosawa classics: The Hidden Fortress and Sanjuro. They watched Yojimbo a while ago and loved it - not least for the Star Wars antecedents (severed arm, hiding under tatami mats, etc). They loved the other films too: obviously, The Hidden Fortress is a Star Wars spotter's paradise.

Now, it struck me as interesting that my six-year-old daughter could follow the plot of The Hidden Fortress through subtitles far more easily than she could follow the plot of The Last Jedi. But it's not really a surprise: though both films are, ultimately, the same sort of story (fairy-talish adventures with princesses and swords and the odd ambivalent baddie), the Kurosawa one is just far more elegantly plotted and much better told. I would be very surprised if, a couple of decades hence, an ambitious young director bases his fantasy film script on the plot and characters of the The Last Jedi ...

That's the thing that really gets me.

You see, I'm not really invested in it as a "Star Wars fan". My thing as a kid was Star Trek and I only came to the Star Wars train as I was becoming disillusioned with where Trek was going, so I could never be as invested in Star Wars. I got a bit into the old SW-EU and liked some of it, but was bad (which was frequently) I just laughed it off and ignored it.

Really, my hopes for great films were already dashed by the prequels, so I already had lowered expectations for the sequels (though that first trailer for TFA... that had me going for a while... I thought maybe, just maybe, they'd pull it off).

What IS important to me is great storytelling. Not that the OT was perfection, but I think the OT is an example of some of the greatest storytelling on film. As you say, it draws on solid, long-established rules:

- It's mostly tightly written and elegantly constructed (there are surprisingly few plot holes and the ones that do exist - such as Luke crashing in exactly the right place on Dagobah - are pretty unimportant and can be explained away without it being TOO much of a stretch)
- It's well-acted. The performances are obviously memorable.
- It balances drama and fun well, with a great sense of timing where it hits all the right notes at the right times
- It's one of the most textbook examples of the principle of showing you rather than telling you. In most cases the OT builds and communicates whole worlds and settings in just a handful of establishing shots, props, or secondary lines
- It immerses a viewer in these new worlds without overwhelming them.
- It pushes the "rule of cool" to the limit without sacrificing drama or logic.

That's how you make a classic. Not with the terrible storytelling where an impossible hero comes out of nowhere with no explanation, not where coincidences and shoddy writing are used to force moments or solve problems. If you go through lists that describe fundamental axioms of good storytelling (Pixar showed theirs a while back, here and it's a good basic example). The new sequels break so many of these rules.

Neither the prequels nor the sequels would have been memorable at all without the OT to tie them back to and it's funny how easily people are ready to deny this.

It's fascinating to me that for many fans any complaints about Episode 8 are met not with efforts to justify the flaws in Ep 8, but to tear down the OT, to try and create or enlarge flaws which are nonexistent or really minor, to deny that the OT was ever anything special.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 03:21:13 AM by FramFramson »

Offline MachinaMandala

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Re: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!
« Reply #126 on: January 15, 2018, 05:22:22 AM »
We lost the Extended Universe for this:



From Join the Resistance: Escape from Vodran.

(Yes this is weird humiliatory fart pseudo-porn. Yes this is genuine. Yes this is a licensed and canon Disney Star Wars book.)

Offline Michi

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Re: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!
« Reply #127 on: January 15, 2018, 06:33:54 AM »
We lost the Extended Universe for this:



From Join the Resistance: Escape from Vodran.

(Yes this is weird humiliatory fart pseudo-porn. Yes this is genuine. Yes this is a licensed and canon Disney Star Wars book.)

What kind of humor is this?  >:(

Offline MachinaMandala

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Re: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!
« Reply #128 on: January 15, 2018, 07:08:37 AM »
What kind of humor is this?  >:(

None, I'd say. lol

(I am reasonably certain it's some weird fetishism.)

It's fair to point out that Escape From Vodran is a kid's book.

Mind you, adults do read read kid's books (in the case of Harry Potter it's editions with monochrome covers to make it look all grown up like they're reading a Thomas Mann novel in the original German), but that's more a comment on the adult than the actual book.

I don't think "it being for kids" is any excuse really.

Offline dinohunterpoa

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Re: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!
« Reply #129 on: January 15, 2018, 12:34:14 PM »

I haven't seen this one and I have no intentions of seeing it or any future Star Wars film.


Specially after the motherfockerz basterdz killed Felicity Jones!!!  :'(

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!
« Reply #130 on: January 15, 2018, 03:02:37 PM »
That's the thing that really gets me.

You see, I'm not really invested in it as a "Star Wars fan". My thing as a kid was Star Trek and I only came to the Star Wars train as I was becoming disillusioned with where Trek was going, so I could never be as invested in Star Wars. I got a bit into the old SW-EU and liked some of it, but was bad (which was frequently) I just laughed it off and ignored it.

I'm coming from a somewhat similar place. I loved the OT as a kid, but wasn't terribly interested in anything else. When some of my friends were keen to play the SW RPG, for example, I went along with it, but would rather have been playing Runequest or WHFRP or Dragon Warriors (to which we soon returned). I've never paid a bit of attention to the EU.

I was mildly excited about the prequels, but only until I saw the first one. I didn't seen any of them in the cinema. But then my kids got really excited about the new ones, and I half-enjoyed the first two: TFA and (more so) Rogue One.

What IS important to me is great storytelling. Not that the OT was perfection, but I think the OT is an example of some of the greatest storytelling on film.

Couldn't agree more. I think that the OT's successes here are partly because Lucas stole from the best for Star Wars, coopted some of the best (Bracket and Kershner) for Empire, and then reprised the original in Jedi. And in the original film, his wife's editing hugely improved the storytelling - as Daeothar's fascinating link further up this thread shows.

As you say, it draws on solid, long-established rules:

- It's mostly tightly written and elegantly constructed (there are surprisingly few plot holes and the ones that do exist - such as Luke crashing in exactly the right place on Dagobah - are pretty unimportant and can be explained away without it being TOO much of a stretch)

Yes: one of the odd conventions of all Star Wars films is that planets are essentially just 'places' - fairy-tale kingdoms, or perhaps the warring statelets of Kurosawa's samurai films. They all seem fairly small, but as they all do, it's easy to go with it.

- It's well-acted. The performances are obviously memorable.

The performances were also helped by a better script. I suspect Daisy Ridley may be a better actor than Mark Hamill was when the original Star Wars was filmed, but she's not helped by her character being an almost complete blank.

- It's one of the most textbook examples of the principle of showing you rather than telling you. In most cases the OT builds and communicates whole worlds and settings in just a handful of establishing shots, props, or secondary lines

Yes - and it also does some neat "telling, not showing" - through making references to things that aren't explained but create a sense of a bigger universe - the Kessel Run, womp rats, etc.

That Pixar list is excellent - thanks for the link!

Neither the prequels nor the sequels would have been memorable at all without the OT to tie them back to and it's funny how easily people are ready to deny this.

It's fascinating to me that for many fans any complaints about Episode 8 are met not with efforts to justify the flaws in Ep 8, but to tear down the OT, to try and create or enlarge flaws which are nonexistent or really minor, to deny that the OT was ever anything special.

Good points. There's often a sort of 'fannishness' (and I'm not accusing anyone here of this!), in which films or books are given special exemptions because of what they are (a Star Wars film in this case), rather than being held to the same standards as anything else. I encounter this quite often, but am never able to get my head around why I shouldn't hold a generic fantasy novel (say) to the same standards that I'd hold any other novel.

One more thing on all the Star Wars films since Return of the Jedi: it's a small point, but I think they don't do enough to build on the alien species established in the first film. Yes, I know a galaxy can hold countless species, but given that we see humans everywhere, without explanation, I think the filmmakers would have done better to show other spacefaring species occurring more regularly, rather than constantly adding new ones. I remember a still released before The Phantom Menace that showed a person of the walrus-man sort ("Bum Face", we called him as children ...) sitting on a bench somewhere. But it wasn't the same walrus man as in Mos Eisley (and Jedda, now, to the detriment of the series). I think the scene was cut, but I remember thinking that it showed that they were going down a good direction of reprising a lot of the species of the OT. They weren't really, though. OK, they do do a few reprises - Twilek jedi and so on - but I reckon it would have been better to have said "These 20 or 30 types are the main spacefaring races, so we're going to be seeing a lot of them in all the films".

Of course, they could have included plenty of new ones, but relying on the established aliens would have provided more visual consistency. It's not realism, but it might have felt more coherent (and helped to avoid dodgy CGI aliens ...). Imagine if the awful Gungans had been replaced with a whole nation/planet of Bum Faces ...


Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!
« Reply #131 on: January 15, 2018, 06:02:55 PM »
On a related note, if anyone here hasn't read this, they certainly should. It's quite possibly the best thing on the internet.

Offline Too Bo Coo

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Re: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!
« Reply #132 on: January 15, 2018, 06:35:49 PM »
Am I the only ne not that interested in the SW franchise? I saw the first one as a kid and while I loved the toys, the movies always seemed hackneyed to me. Not to spoil the fun of others, but it’s really just a western in space...
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Offline dinohunterpoa

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Re: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!
« Reply #133 on: January 15, 2018, 07:26:04 PM »
On a related note, if anyone here hasn't read this, they certainly should. It's quite possibly the best thing on the internet.

Really AWESOME, thank you very much for sharing!  ;)

Offline ErikB

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Re: The LAF star wars discussion thread. SPOILERS!
« Reply #134 on: January 15, 2018, 07:30:42 PM »
Am I the only ne not that interested in the SW franchise? I saw the first one as a kid and while I loved the toys, the movies always seemed hackneyed to me. Not to spoil the fun of others, but it’s really just a western in space...
I liked the original.  The effects were awesome to me as a kid.  The story was simple enough and yet symbolic enough to grasp.

The prequels were awful.  They lack of substance, the nonsensical over-business, the lack of grandeur, and horrible acting made it barely watchable.  Sooooooooo Silicon Valley (if you live here then you'll understand what I mean.)  It killed my interest.

Some of the stories are fun, though, such as in Clone Wars.  Dumbed down and formulaic but fun.

I am so tired of all the hype, the merchandising (my 5 year old son only wears Star Wars socks, shirts, sweat pants, sweatshirts, etc.) and billboards EVERYWHERE.  It has been killing my interest.

However Episode 7 and Rogue One were alright (not great but still worth a ticket to the theater).  I liked the female leads (good for my 10 year old daughter).  I heard Episode 8 was good so I went, despite being so sick of the hype.  Turned out to be alright.  Not perfect, but they did alright.  I was expecting crap and was pleasantly surprised.

What I find interesting is that my kids did not want to go see it again and were not interested in any of the characters other than BB-8.

My son LOVES his Star Wars Legos, though.  He doesn't want to watch any movies or Clone Wars, but he loves his legos and his Storm Trooper Lego figures.

At least he is thinking, building, and playing, instead of watching a screen.

God, I miss Historical Fiction shows, like Sharpe, Jules Verne, Radetskymarsch, and so on....  We can find some on Amazon and Netflix but I wish this stuff were in the theaters.

It's like we Americans have no culture (which is not really true) so we invent one.

 

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