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Old 01-11-2019, 12:02 PM
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I feel like Star Wars is moving away from the Force

Rogue One had a few glimpses of Vader in action. Solo gave us a brief glimpse of a former Sith lord, but no force action. The show Resistance is, as of now, all political and military action, no force users. The upcoming show The Mandalorian is about a "lone gunfighter," taking place sometime after RotJ, which doesn't inspire much hope in me that it'll involve many (any) force users.

I know the comics and novels and video games may do a bit more with this, and I haven't really explored those areas, but what's up with the TV and movie people? I feel like the franchise is moving away from space fantasy and more toward space action/adventure. I wish the movie and TV people would get into some Old Republic, early Jedi and Sith, or even tap into Ahsoka's post-Jedi story more. My favorite parts of Rebels and Clone Wars were when the the Force was front and center (the Mortis storyline, the Jedi temple on Lothal).

I'm glad the Clone Wars is being revived later this year, as that should scratch me where I itch, and Ep. IX should give us a good dose of the Force. But I was just discussing with my son last night why a lot of the latest Star Wars offerings (Solo, Resistance, The Mandalorian) don't excite me: It's all just action/adventure that happens to be set in a galaxy far, far away. Solo is the first new Star Wars movie I didn't go out and immediately buy when it was released on BluRay. Resistance is the first show I have to force myself to watch (in the hopes that it will get better). I like seeing people use the Force in badass ways. Is it just me, or does Disney seem to be moving SW into a more generic action/adventure arena?
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:18 PM
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I am one with the Force the Force is with me.
I am one with the Force the Force is with me.
I am one with the Force the Force is with me.
I am one with the Force the Force is with me.
I am one with the Force the Force is with me.

Yeah, Chirrut wasn't a Jedi (there were precious few of them, at that point in the Galaxy Far, Far Away's history), but he was definitely a Force user.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:21 PM
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I'm not sure if it's "moving away" so much as broadening the scope of their stories to include characters and events that aren't as intimately tied to the Jedi / the Force / the Skywalker family.

In the cases of Solo and the Mandalorian, they're developing properties around characters and groups which have always had a lot of interest among fans, but which hadn't ever been the focus of a story before.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
I'm not sure if it's "moving away" so much as broadening the scope of their stories to include characters and events that aren't as intimately tied to the Jedi / the Force / the Skywalker family.
Yes, but it seems they're still stuck in that same 50-75 year period and vicinity, while there are presumably thousands of years of galactic history and thousands of places and thousands (millions?) of Force users to dip in to.

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In the cases of Solo and the Mandalorian, they're developing properties around characters and groups which have always had a lot of interest among fans, but which hadn't ever been the focus of a story before.
I know what they're doing, I just personally am not impressed. Solo didn't do so well, comparatively speaking, and for me personally, I've concluded it's because: Not enough Force! More Force! And a gunslinger from Manadalore? Yes, I'll watch it, and may actually love it, but as of now, I'm just not excited about more from Mandalore. How about Dathomir? Or Mortis? Or Jedha?

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I am one with the Force the Force is with me.
I am one with the Force the Force is with me.
I am one with the Force the Force is with me.
I am one with the Force the Force is with me.
I am one with the Force the Force is with me.

Yeah, Chirrut wasn't a Jedi (there were precious few of them, at that point in the Galaxy Far, Far Away's history), but he was definitely a Force user.
Sure, he repeated that he was one with the Force, but aside from some pretty snazzy martial arts moves and not getting shot while walking across a battlefield, he didn't exactly dazzle with Force badassery. I'd love to see them delve deeper (on either the big or small screen) into the Guardians of the Whills, instead of casually mentioning them and leaving it at that.

Again, just mho on the current direction of SW. I mean, I'm still watching it all, but just wish someone at some point would go deeper into the stories involving the Force.

Last edited by Happy Lendervedder; 01-11-2019 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:49 PM
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"The Force" is one of those things I've always felt works best in small-to-medium doses. I think there's only so much CGI magic you can put on screen before it just looks like an effect and breaks a movie's spell. You need the universe to feel grounded or else it all just kinda feel frivolous.

I'm not a huge fan of the current handling of the franchise, but my complaint is definitely not "not enough sword wizards flipping around!"
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Lendervedder View Post
Yes, but it seems they're still stuck in that same 50-75 year period and vicinity, while there are presumably thousands of years of galactic history and thousands of places and thousands (millions?) of Force users to dip in to.
I was an avid player of the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG for several years. It's set ~3600 years before the films, and depicts a galaxy in which the Republic controls about 3/4 of the galaxy (and there are thousands of Jedi), and the Sith Empire exists (with the matching thousands of Sith). I love that setting, and I'd love to see a TV show or film that explores it, but I suspect that that's low down on Disney's / Lucasfilm's list.

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I know what they're doing, I just personally am not impressed. Solo didn't do so well, comparatively speaking, and for me personally, I've concluded it's because: Not enough Force! More Force!
That may well be, though I also think that part of the reason it didn't do well was a backlash against the franchise by fans who hated Episode 8. Personally, I really enjoyed Solo, but I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Corellians.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:16 PM
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I think part of the problem is that it's difficult to maintain the mystique over a long period of time. I think the midichlorian debacle was an attempt to shore up the interest, but it had the opposite effect by introducting a scientific quality to it. Additionally, since we've seen the journey of one force user from novice to master (Luke), the franchise no longer has an interest in showing it again. So now we've got Rae who basically seems to be some weird Force prodigy.

Unfortunately, that cat is out of the bag and there's really no way to put it back in. From now on, all force using SW heroes will become instant masters. That might be why they're looking at moving away from force users. Personally, in the main current stories, I find Finn and Rose as the most compelling characters.

Last edited by MrKnowItAll; 01-11-2019 at 02:17 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Lendervedder View Post
Sure, he repeated that he was one with the Force, but aside from some pretty snazzy martial arts moves and not getting shot while walking across a battlefield, he didn't exactly dazzle with Force badassery. I'd love to see them delve deeper (on either the big or small screen) into the Guardians of the Whills, instead of casually mentioning them and leaving it at that.
I always had the impression that Force sensitivity varies among individuals, and that even with a lot of sensitivity, your abilities will be limited if you're not formally trained. I'm imagining a universe where a kid might be Force-sensitive, but if he's not trained, or isn't that sensitive, it might just manifest as an ability to be a good salesman, or to shoot free throws or something.

I kind of figured that also means that there's a large population of sub-Jedi level Force sensitives out there, or that there are a lot of Jedi who aren't super-duper Force users a-la Obi-Wan or Luke Skywalker, if the Jedi basically recruit all Force-sensitives.

With Chirrut, I always figured he was probably either self-trained, or trained in some limited fashion because he wasn't Jedi-level Force sensitive.
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:29 PM
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by MrKnowItAll View Post
Additionally, since we've seen the journey of one force user from novice to master (Luke), the franchise no longer has an interest in showing it again. So now we've got Rae who basically seems to be some weird Force prodigy.
I think it's even worse than that -- Luke WAS a Force prodigy and was able to go from totally naive to going toe-to-toe with masters with only a short bit of training from a couple elderly weirdos. But there was a REASON for that; he was the secret son of a Force master (and his trainers both knew his father, to boot). This all came together to add mysteries and reveals and a sense of destiny to the story.

Rae is a Force prodigy for, at this point, no reason. She's received even LESS training and has no reason to be as skilled as she is, but is shown being EXCEPTIONALLY gifted -- mainly, I think, because the VFX are better.

I don't even hate Rae, but I am definitely disappointed that her amazingness is just so arbitrary.

The grueling journey of a NON-prodigy Jedi from novice to master over a long period could have been very interesting.

Last edited by typoink; 01-11-2019 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:15 PM
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I was an avid player of the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG for several years. It's set ~3600 years before the films, and depicts a galaxy in which the Republic controls about 3/4 of the galaxy (and there are thousands of Jedi), and the Sith Empire exists (with the matching thousands of Sith). I love that setting, and I'd love to see a TV show or film that explores it, but I suspect that that's low down on Disney's / Lucasfilm's list.
The old P&P RPG from West End would make for good source material; one class there is the Failed Jedi.

I've not looked at my books in a long time but (IIRC) it's set between ANH & ESB.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:24 PM
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The old P&P RPG from West End would make for good source material; one class there is the Failed Jedi.

I've not looked at my books in a long time but (IIRC) it's set between ANH & ESB.
I have an extensive collection of the old WEG books, and our group still plays it. Yes, the default setting of the original edition of that game was in the Rebellion Era (and, specifically, usually in between Episodes IV and V). And, in fact, a lot of now-canonical lore (like species names) in SW originated in some of those old WEG books.

Video games like Star Wars: The Old Republic (and the single-player Knights of the Old Republic) were set thousands of years earlier, though some of the tabletop RPGs have had sourcebooks that at least touched on those earlier eras.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 01-11-2019 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:26 PM
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I feel like Star Wars is moving away from the Force
If so, good, because the Force makes no sense and never has. It was fine in Star Wars, if it was going to be one-shot novelty movie. But the more detail that has accumulated about the Force, the Jedi, and the Sith, the more obvious it is that George Lucas gave absolutely no thought to his writing, other than creating an echo of eastern mysticism cliches. Every time Yoda or another Jedi says something, they sound like morons trying and failing to imitate wise men.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:50 PM
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If so, good, because the Force makes no sense and never has. It was fine in Star Wars, if it was going to be one-shot novelty movie. But the more detail that has accumulated about the Force, the Jedi, and the Sith, the more obvious it is that George Lucas gave absolutely no thought to his writing, other than creating an echo of eastern mysticism cliches. Every time Yoda or another Jedi says something, they sound like morons trying and failing to imitate wise men.
”The Force” was always just a space opera version of sorcery (Kenobi is even referred to as a “wizard” by Uncle Owen) and no attempt should have ever been made to put it on a rationalist basis, particularly one involving microorganisms or deep mythology. The main problems with the prequels (aside from banal dialogue, wooden acting, overuse of CGI, et cetera) is that they basically existed to fill in backstory that was more interesting in fragments; see Solo for the same. (On the other hand, a separate Lando Calrissian movie with Donald Glover could be an awesome look into the criminal underworld of the Staw Wars universe and the character’s rise to respectability without being much hampered by having to fill in details because there are very few hooks that have to be snagged.)

Star Wars is most interesting when focused on personal conflicts with monumental consequences, e.g. a farm boy on a remote desert planet rising up to defeat the Emperor. As some kind of political thriller or straight actioneer it works far less well because heroic mythology is literally woven into its underpinnings. Dispensing with “The Force” (which is supposed to be this really powerful and significant, uh, force) makes it little different than any other generic sci-fi property.

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Old 01-11-2019, 04:52 PM
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I think part of the problem is that it's difficult to maintain the mystique over a long period of time. I think the midichlorian debacle was an attempt to shore up the interest, but it had the opposite effect by introducting a scientific quality to it. Additionally, since we've seen the journey of one force user from novice to master (Luke), the franchise no longer has an interest in showing it again. So now we've got Rae who basically seems to be some weird Force prodigy.

Unfortunately, that cat is out of the bag and there's really no way to put it back in. From now on, all force using SW heroes will become instant masters. That might be why they're looking at moving away from force users. Personally, in the main current stories, I find Finn and Rose as the most compelling characters.
I don't agree. Rebels featured a partially-trained Jedi who lost his master to Order 66, who then attempted to train a kid in the Jedi way. No one there was an instant master, and it was a very compelling story. Ahsoka Tano's life after the Jedi Order would probably be an interesting story too (even beyond the novel) and she's no master.

Plus, there are thousands of years of master Force users they could explore, both Sith and Jedi, plus everyone in between.

Last edited by Happy Lendervedder; 01-11-2019 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:12 PM
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”The Force” was always just a space opera version of sorcery (Kenobi is even referred to as a “wizard” by Uncle Owen) and no attempt should have ever been made to put it on a rationalist basis, particularly one involving microorganisms or deep mythology.
True, and perhaps going back to pure magic would help the problem, but that would still leave the problem of the Jedi themselves, who are all immoral fools. For me to go along with this, you'd have to rewrite all the idiotic pseudo-mystical pseudo-philosophy. When I hear the Jedi telling Anakin to suppress his emotions and stop caring about his wife and children, it makes me happy that the Jedi were wiped out.

Seriously, did the Jedi make one reasonable choice in the entire series?

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backstory that was more interesting in fragments
This is absolutely true. I've told people over and over just to watch that one scene in Star Wars in which Kenobi tells Luke the history of the war. It's so immersing and exciting right there as Alec Guinness recites the lines. And they spent three movies turning that one exquisitely dramatic scene into dull garbage.

Last edited by Acsenray; 01-11-2019 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:19 PM
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Well, of course it's moving away from the force. Vectors and stuff....
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:54 PM
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Seriously, did the Jedi make one reasonable choice in the entire series?
Magicians usually make terrible decisions, particularly those who regard themselves as especially wise. As a rule, you can generally trust any kind of magic user to make stupidly arrogant choices which serve only to obfuscate their weeknesses and inflate their aura of mysticism.

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Old 01-11-2019, 05:55 PM
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Rae is a Force prodigy for, at this point, no reason. She's received even LESS training and has no reason to be as skilled as she is, but is shown being EXCEPTIONALLY gifted -- mainly, I think, because the VFX are better.

I don't even hate Rae, but I am definitely disappointed that her amazingness is just so arbitrary.
There's actually an simple in-universe explanation for her Force abilities:

She has a very high midichlorian count.

(Ow, stop hitting me)
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:10 PM
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Rey is a “Mary Sue”; she can do everything the plot requires and never be put at risk.

What made Luke interesting were his flaws; his whiny immaturity, his impetuous ineducability, his headstrong enthusiasm. It is what made his character arc so fulfilling; when he finally refuses to kill Vader, he’s actually made a leap in growth as a character. Rey has essentially no room for growth; she’s already ‘perfect’ and arguably more mature than Old Man Luke. It’s unfortunate, because there are a lot of interesting roads they could have taken her character (and that of Kylo Ren) down, and instead took the most trivial.

The most intersting post-Original Trilogy film that has been made so far is Rogue One, and not because of the story or setpieces but just because they allowed the characters to be flawed (if often inconsistent in their motives).

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Old 01-11-2019, 07:27 PM
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A couple of things:

1. You can't have major use of the force around Han Solo in 'Solo', because the older Han Solo thought the force was a bunch of mystical bunk. This means that not only has Han never had any direct, incontrovertible experience with the force in his past, but that the force itself was not commonly seen among people who were not Jedi or their direct enemies. So no, you shouldn't see the force very often, and probably not at all in any prequels to Han's story.

2. Star Wars barely held together as a coherent universe in the original trilogy, and only then because nothing was really explained. The Empire was just evil Nazis against plucky resistance fighters, and the force was the mechanism by which the plucky fighters could plausibly overthrow the big bad guys. As soon as people tried to turn this into a real, fleshed out universe it all become incoherent and confusing and stupid.

The force worked fine as a mystical, quasi-religious martial art that certain people had a propensity for. It does not work at all as a source of scientific magic. It makes no sense, either scientifically or as a feature in the Star Wars universe. In other words, if the force really did exist and was as ubiquitous as the later movies suggested, it would have had much more effect on the way the Star Wars universe evolved.

The same thing happened to 'Star Trek'. What worked in vague, broad strokes failed as a universe buildibg exercise when the hollywood machine started fleshing it out with subsequent series and movies until the whole thing became incoherent.

Last edited by Sam Stone; 01-11-2019 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:43 PM
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I think mostly it is just due to a desire to gravitate towards the time period of the original trilogy, which unfortunately happens to be when most of the Jedi have been killed off.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:33 PM
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Magicians usually make terrible decisions, particularly those who regard themselves as especially wise. As a rule, you can generally trust any kind of magic user to make stupidly arrogant choices which serve only to obfuscate their weeknesses and inflate their aura of mysticism.

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Old 01-12-2019, 02:50 AM
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Rae is a Force prodigy for, at this point, no reason. She's received even LESS training and has no reason to be as skilled as she is, but is shown being EXCEPTIONALLY gifted -- mainly, I think, because the VFX are better.
When we first meet Rey she is very mechanically-minded (just like Luke and Anakin), she is an experienced pilot (just like Luke and Anakin), and she is skilled in hand-to-hand combat. I also credit her gift for languages to be an associated skill, but there's nothing to back that up, it may simply be due to her living in a melting-pot location.

In any case, just like broom boy in The Last Jedi, the idea is ordinary people (like the millions of Jedi that were not Skywalkers who have come before them) have these skills and use them without knowing what they are. They think they're normal, they develop them without thinking, and now all they need to do is understand them to actively tap into them and manipulate them deliberately.

Rey learned a lot about how to do that when Kylo Ren interrogated her, as she immediately recognised what he was doing and did the same back to him. It's a basic way to learn, but in this case it's a powerful ability.

Also, it's a movie with limited time to tell an epic story. You have to give it some leeway to get the plot moving along.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:07 PM
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When we first meet Rey she is very mechanically-minded (just like Luke and Anakin), she is an experienced pilot (just like Luke and Anakin), and she is skilled in hand-to-hand combat. I also credit her gift for languages to be an associated skill, but there's nothing to back that up, it may simply be due to her living in a melting-pot location.

[snip]

Rey learned a lot about how to do that when Kylo Ren interrogated her, as she immediately recognised what he was doing and did the same back to him. It's a basic way to learn, but in this case it's a powerful ability.
The problem is that you are describing the problem and pretending it excuses the problem. Any terrible storyteller can handwave some objection. And nobody would mind if Rey had one or two of those things as talents. The objection, and the huge story problem, is that the fact that she has all the talents. She's basically the textbook Mary Sue with, at worst, the slightest trace of a human flaw or failing (but not really). She's not only completely worthless to the plot (quite literally, the movies would have been better off without her as she adds nothing), yet the entire universe revolves around her.

This is literally worse writing than the earlies epics known to have been created by man. I do not mean "literally" in the sense of "I'm exaggerating for effect" - I mean that this is literally dogshit compared to the the Iliad or Gilgamesh. They also had heroes of truly awe-inspiring ability, yet were also smart enough to know that heroes should have problems that challenges them internally.

Rey doesn't, to the horrible detriment of the stories. Because she must be perfect, she can never have overcome any internal weakness. And she's already beaten her only external foe several times now. But the problem here is that she also can't actually do anything of use

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Also, it's a movie with limited time to tell an epic story. You have to give it some leeway to get the plot moving along.
*Some* leeway is not a license to completely fail at storytelling. This is not J. J. Abram's or Rian JOhnson's first rodeo and both should know better. Both of them turned in what was, frankly, hack work.

Let me put it this way. Luke Skywalker frankly had a way better excuse to be really good and fixing mechanery than Rey. He lived on a relatively small farm, but onw with a lot of droids and vehicles and sci-fi gizmo's to fix. He obviously had time to spend flying and one of his duties was to keep things going. But George Lucas didn't have him give pointers to Han Solo about improving the Falcon because that would have been, in twowords, fuggen stupid.

In the Force Awakens, the movie is in such a rush to get to the next dull scene that it not only fails to establish that Rey has any such abilities until it is literally immediately required for the plot, but it shows this supposedly capable mechanic on a world with barely any machinery, such that even Tatooine looks like wealthy industrial city next to it.

I could go on, but I doubt anyone really cares. The short version is that the first two films of this supposed new trilogy walled themselves into a corner, such that they've bricked off every excuse and escape route on these matters.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:24 PM
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This is literally worse writing than the earlies epics known to have been created by man.
That's hardly surprising, given the selection effects. Any story that old that wasn't exceptionally good wouldn't have survived to the present day.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:43 PM
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:57 PM
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Let me put it this way. Luke Skywalker frankly had a way better excuse to be really good and fixing mechanery than Rey. He lived on a relatively small farm, but onw with a lot of droids and vehicles and sci-fi gizmo's to fix. He obviously had time to spend flying and one of his duties was to keep things going. But George Lucas didn't have him give pointers to Han Solo about improving the Falcon because that would have been, in twowords, fuggen stupid.
Rey dismantles starship wrecks for a living, has helped her boss with tinkering on his spaceship collection, built her own speeder, and lives inside an AT-AT. Rey knows about the Falcon's quirks because she helped install them for Unkar Plutt. Why does Luke have an "excuse" and Rey doesn't?

Also Luke brags to Han about how great a pilot he is.

Having the Force is all about natural aptitude.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:00 PM
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Yeah but she's a giiiiiirrrrrrllll....
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:23 PM
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Rey dismantles starship wrecks for a living, has helped her boss with tinkering on his spaceship collection, built her own speeder, and lives inside an AT-AT. Rey knows about the Falcon's quirks because she helped install them for Unkar Plutt. Why does Luke have an "excuse" and Rey doesn't?
Dismantling and cleaning old junk isn't the same thing as being a hotrod mechanic - but that she has that skill isn't a problem. They could that just fine. The issue is that she can't have all the skills and be worthwhile character. More to the point, characters in fiction are almost always viewed in perspective to one another (fair or not). You're also still arguing inside the nonsense box of J. J. Abrams' writing.

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Also Luke brags to Han about how great a pilot he is.
And he is actually a great pilot. That actually is one of his abilities (although he's not nearly as good as Han Force or no). See above.

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Having the Force is all about natural aptitude.
Not one other character we've seen in Star Wars was ever so good they didn't need to train and develop their abilities. Rey could probably get away with having a talent for one special Force trick without really understanding it. But they had to give her multiple Force abilities AND superior skills AND absolutely no pesky humanity.

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Yeah but she's a giiiiiirrrrrrllll....
Ah yes, the old: if you can't win, it's unfair.

Rey doesn't exist. She's not a girl, she's a collection of sound clips and still images run through a projector. She's a character thought up by two men, neither of whom is well-known for their quality writing. Actually, scratch that: one is somewhat infamously questionable in that area, and the other almost unknown. Criticizing a worthless character is criticizing bad writing, not showing hatred of women.

Also, ad hominems don't go very far on this board.

Last edited by smiling bandit; 01-12-2019 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:50 PM
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I now have no idea what you're talking about.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:29 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Not one other character we've seen in Star Wars was ever so good they didn't need to train and develop their abilities. Rey could probably get away with having a talent for one special Force trick without really understanding it. But they had to give her multiple Force abilities AND superior skills AND absolutely no pesky humanity.
Actually, Luke Skywalker is the only character we ever see train and develop his abilities.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:45 AM
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Actually, Luke Skywalker is the only character we ever see train and develop his abilities.
For about a day or two, which was the amount of time he spent on Dagobah.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:46 AM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Actually, Luke Skywalker is the only character we ever see train and develop his abilities.
Obviously, we see Rey train with Luke Skywalker, in scenes that are obviously meant to mirror the scenes in "Empire Strikes Back" where Luke traings.

That said, the general criticism of Rey as a character is rather hard to contradict; she is, at the rate we're seeing her grow, not only the most powerful force user who ever lived, but the most capable human being in the history of the Star Wars galaxy. She's also morally perfect, which adds to the boredom. Luke was morally perfect too, but he was portrayed as being vulnerable and imperfect in other ways, so he worked as a character. I don't understand what Rey's weakness is, what she's overcoming. She's already immensely talented in the Force, she's kicked the bad guy's ass, and the lame internal conflict she did sort of have seems to be out of the way.

The original trilogy isn't Shakespeare, but Luke's development is nicely spread out. At the end of "Star Wars" he uses the force, probably, to help destroy the Death Star, but otherwise he has demonstrated little Force ability. In "The Empire Strikes Back" he learns obvious Force ability, but gets his ass kicked by Darth Vader, who is clearly vastly more powerful. Only at the end of "Jedi" do his powers truly reach their pinnacle and even then he's nearly killed by the Emperor.

It is to the enormous credit of Daisy Ridley that she can make Rey kind of likable anyway. I still like the movies, but Rey's seemingly limitless abilities were ill-advised.
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  #35  
Old 01-13-2019, 12:38 PM
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It is to the enormous credit of Daisy Ridley that she can make Rey kind of likable anyway.
She really is good. Her smile is so dazzling, it sometimes takes me out of the movie.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:43 PM
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It is to the enormous credit of Daisy Ridley that she can make Rey kind of likable anyway. I still like the movies, but Rey's seemingly limitless abilities were ill-advised.
This is where I land, too, for the record. Rey doesn't break me out of the movie because I like Ridley's portrayal a lot. I still enjoyed the movies fine-ish. But I think she's weak on paper and a wasted opportunity to developer a richer hero for the series.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:50 PM
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Yeah but she's a giiiiiirrrrrrllll....
I realize there's a ton of misogynist CHUDs out there banging the same drum, but, to put it simply, I prefer female-led stories. Strong female heroes are great, and I have been mentally cataloging series with strong female protagonists so my daughter will have good, diverse role models in the stories she grows up with.

Rey being female is the least of my complaints, and, if the character was male, I'd probably like him less. My only issue with her gender is the really clunky interactions with Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi felt...weird.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:26 AM
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She's not only completely worthless to the plot (quite literally, the movies would have been better off without her as she adds nothing)
We must have seen completely different movies.
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:48 PM
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Which is why One Eye, Goblin, and Silent would be the only three (hedge) wizards I'd ever trust.
No way I'd actually trust One Eye or Goblin! Silent, sure, but not the other two! Well, I'd trust them to be dipshits and cheat at cards but that's about it.

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  #40  
Old 01-14-2019, 01:03 PM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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She's already immensely talented in the Force, she's kicked the bad guy's ass, and the lame internal conflict she did sort of have seems to be out of the way.
You really think she kicked ass? Her failures to do so at this point are what define her as a character.

Yes, channelling the force - and learning to be calm - allowed her to fight off a nearly mortally wounded Kylo Ren at the end of The Force Awakens. Fine. But she didn't actually defeat him one on one. Even at the end, they don't get to finish because of the sudden chasm between them.

Side note: I always yell, "GODAMMIT FORCE!" when the chasm appears. It's clear that the force doesn't WANT Ren off the board at that point and is intervening.

In The Last Jedi she fails with Ren horribly. Her goal there is to reproduce what Luke did with Vader...convince him of the error of his ways. The fight with Snoke's guard was incidental to that (still cool, though). Her overarching failure was that Ren still took her actions as a path to power and not a path to wisdom.

That's where we are now. She's failed at her own self-appointed goal.
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Old 01-14-2019, 01:46 PM
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I like Rey. Yes, she's a Mary Sue, but she feels like my Mary Sue, in a way Luke Skywalker never did.

The Star Wars galaxy is a big place. There's room for stories with the Force and without it. It's better for the franchise if they keep the variety. There's no need for every story to appeal to every fan, as it makes it more likely there's some story for each fan.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:30 PM
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You really think she kicked ass? Her failures to do so at this point are what define her as a character.
She beat Kylo Ren in a light saber battle the first time they ever fought. She's rather far ahead of Luke at the comparable point, who got his hand chopped off and the end of his second movie.

Was Ren injured? Sure, but Vader would have chopped Luke to pieces if they'd run into each other towards the end of "Star Wars" even if he was hurt. Ren nearly killed Finn, after all.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:35 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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The Star Wars galaxy is a big place. There's room for stories with the Force and without it. It's better for the franchise if they keep the variety. There's no need for every story to appeal to every fan, as it makes it more likely there's some story for each fan.
I’ve never really understood the need to use Star Wars as the basis for an extended narrative universe. It was never intended as such; it started with what were some generic tropes of space opera which were appealing just because no one had done that in film to such an extensive, lived-in degree, but despite enigmatic references to “the Clone Wars” and “the Empire” it isn’t as if there was ever any plan for a larger cohesive backdrop, and Lucas’ attempts to fill in the backstory of the Old Republic and the rise of the Empire in the prequel films highlighted the weakness in trying to manufacture a backstory that was never essential to being able to understand or interpret the original films.

The original trilogy of films was always a “hero’s journey” story with the Leigh Brackett tacked-on romance in The Empire Strikes Back, mostly to give more screen time to fan favorate Harrison Ford and an essential reason for Leia to exist in what is otherwise an almost wholly-dominated male cast (which coincidentially worked in creating a multi-threaded narrative with deeper themes of love, sacrifie, and betrayal after numerous rewrites) and while the suggestion of a wider story gave the tapestry of a potentially larger world as a backdrop, actually trying to weave new stories into the sparse and never canonically defined narrative universe ends up giving a very uneven and even contradictory history. I know people like their favorite characters and want to know more about them, but when the response is to create a bunch of story arcs that all center around the same few characters and all of the people related to them, it suddently makes what seemed like a vast universe about which the characters are a small but significant influence into a very tiny and incestuous little world where everybody knows/is related to/is enemies with everyone else which leaves little room for expansiveness.

Contrast Star Wars with a narrative like Asimov’s Foundation series, which was explicitly defined as a narrative that would cover hundreds of years with analogues to the rise and fall of the Roman Empire; Foundation (at least the original novels and arguably Foundation’s Edge and Foundation and Earth) were consistent and supported an overarching narrative arc of the fall of the Galactic Empire and the effort to prevent humanity from falling into a long dark age, which felt like an expansive story against which the world-building (or in this case, Galactic Empre-building) gave texture to the backdrop. Star Wars too often feels like the Skywalker-Solo soap opera with occasionaly mystical pseudoscience thrown in.

There is really no narrative reason not to set new stories in a different milieu other than that commercially it is easier to pull people in by creating a generic heist plot and inserting a vaguely rogu-ish character who happens to be named “Han Solo” and labeling it “A Star Wars story” to pull in a guaranteed audience even if the story and acting aren’t very good. And from a creative standpoint, making and introducing a new narrative world is far more creatively fulfilling than just filling in bits from previous stories.

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Old 01-14-2019, 04:41 PM
Ancient Erudite Ancient Erudite is offline
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Star Wars has burnt down its own house. Destroyed the main characters we grew up on are. Replaced by bad actors and recycled material they were.

The force awakens was hot garbage. Hmm, crash land on a desert planted, hide the plans in the droid, blow up the death star. Rip off

Rey is a flat character and Finn isn't even good for comic relief.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:20 PM
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I’ve never really understood the need to use Star Wars as the basis for an extended narrative universe. ...
I promise I read your whole post ... I totally agree with this and it's an aspect of what I call the "curse of the canon." Fans these days get very worked up about canon, and I believe that content would be better if you let every screenwriter/director/etc. do whatever the hell they want when they're assigned a project. If you want to change character backgrounds, fine. If you want to change background plot details, fine. If you just want to take one or two aspects and change everything else, go for it.

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There is really no narrative reason not to set new stories in a different milieu
Yep.

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other than that commercially it is easier to pull people in
I think this is what the franchise owners are afraid of, but I bet that consumers would get used to it. It's not hard to use a handful of common elements to draw fans into a similar work.

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by creating a generic heist plot and inserting a vaguely rogu-ish character who happens to be named “Han Solo” and labeling it “A Star Wars story” to pull in a guaranteed audience even if the story and acting aren’t very good. And from a creative standpoint, making and introducing a new narrative world is far more creatively fulfilling than just filling in bits from previous stories.

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I agree.
  #46  
Old 01-15-2019, 02:48 AM
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There is really no narrative reason not to set new stories in a different milieu
There's only been four new movies so far, and two of those are specifically a continuation of the familiar series, and the other two are toe-in-the-water experiments to spark off new adventures of new characters in new directions. The 1% of fans who want a Knights Of The Old Republic movie, or the 3% of fans who are sick of Jedi, are not big enough audiences to cater a $200m movie to. You don't jump into the deep end with something like this, it's still in the experimental stage, they're easing in slowly.

The two announced TV series, The Mandalorian series about bounty hunters, and the "Cassian Andor from Rogue One" series about espionage during the formation of the Rebellion, may still be within the timeline of the series, but they are at least about new characters and themes.
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:33 AM
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I think this is what the franchise owners are afraid of, but I bet that consumers would get used to it. It's not hard to use a handful of common elements to draw fans into a similar work.
In defense of filthy lucre,

1. It's not "fear," it's good business sense, and
2. Yes, it's hard.

I mean, of course the franchise owners want to keep milking the franchise. They own the franchise, and the only way to make money from it is to keep making movies about it. If I've got skin in the Star Wars game, and it's a choice between producing "Space Fleas: A Chewbacca Story: A Star Wars Story" and guaranteeing a $400 million box office with a $2 billion upside (the difference between "Solo" and "Force Awakens", btw) or taking a chance on something that might make money or might tank, I am not turning down the big bux.

Of course, it would be nice if the franchise movies were always great. Sometimes you get "The Empire Strikes Back," and sometimes you suffer through "Phantom Menace." Sometimes you get "Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse" and it's great, and sometimes you get Andrew Garfield in "Spider-Man: If He Was A Sullen Jerk" and you wish you were dead. But the calculus for the studios is that they are in the job of making money, and that takes precedence over experimenting with new stuff.

Getting the public into an entirely new fictional universe absolutely IS hard. It is just a matter of demonstrated fact that it is much, much easier to sell tickets to an established franchise than a new one; the likelihood of a new franchise bombing is an order of magnitude higher than a known one. Your best bet is always an established franchise, which is why Transformers movies, which are unspeakably terrible, turn a reliable profit, while Jupiter Ascending ended careers.

You can't blame them. It's what the audiences want, and a person making these decisions has a fiduciary responsibility to be sane about it. It would be an act of titanic professional incompetence to NOT keep making Fantastic Beasts movies.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:49 AM
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While the goal of the businesses is to make money, the goal of entertainment consumers is to enjoy themselves. Retreads make money because people enjoy them. People like watching familiar characters and themes in slightly different situations. It's why mythic heroes from the past have all sorts of fantastic stories attached to them. Instead of "new hero has new adventure" getting retold, it becomes "familiar hero has that adventure remolded into familiar themes".
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:29 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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There's only been four new movies so far, and two of those are specifically a continuation of the familiar series, and the other two are toe-in-the-water experiments to spark off new adventures of new characters in new directions.
"Four new movies" (not counting the two Ewok films which I'm sure everyone is pleased to just forget about, the sort-of approved animated series and of course the Star Wars Holiday Special, which despite its absurd thematic discontinuity with all other things Star Wars remains the only unmodified canon of the original, ante-prequel era) is a 66% increase in the official canon of the Star Wars cinematic universe...and yet, those films have added almost nothing in terms of additional depth or breadth, and arguably not even in narrative as they have essentially relied up on retreading previous plots and themes, or in the case of Solo, literally existed as a way of stringing together the sparse references about Han's prior escapades into a thinly drawn heist plot. We never really needed to know about how Han "made the Kessel run in 12 parsecs" any more than we needed to know why Richard Blaine doesn't return to the United States.* All of the few pieces of information the original films give us about Han Solo--that he is a smuggler with a bounty on his head, that he avoids the Empire and looks out for himself, that he's really impressed with himself and his ship even though nobody else is--let the audience know that he's a rough but ultimately honorable rogue, and everything else that made Han Solo a breakout fan favorite came from Harrison Ford's portrayal of him.

The point is that having a narrative universe is fine if the purpose is to expand out into new stories and ideas, or at least be somewhat creative about retreading the own, but the post-prequel films have essentially either been crack-filling exercises explicitly designed for fan service appeal, or in the case of The Last Jedi, was intended to "break the mold" but in kind of the shittiest, canon-breaking fashion possible, and also made less sense than a Fast and Furious movie plot. There is nothing wrong with this, I suppose--it is what Paramount has been trying to do with Star Trek for a couple of decades now--but it is narratively and thematically uninteresting because it doesn't actually create new stories or expand the sense of the larger world; the universe of the post-prequel films actually feels even smaller than the original trilogy because it is so clear how interrelated everybody is to everyone else. A true side character film, like one that explored Lando Calrissian's rise from gambler-thief to autocrat of his own little gas mining colony, might truly be interesting and novel (as long as they don't have him having a love affair with a droid--who asked for that nonsense?) but one that just fills in the gaps on throwaway references to settle fan debates over why Han uses a measurement of distance in the apparent context of time is...pointless. And any movie in which Emilia Clarke is not immediately the worst acting presence has major casting problems.

*Captain Renault: I've often speculated why you don't return to America. Did you abscond with the church funds? Run off with a senator's wife? I like to think you killed a man. It's the romantic in me.
Rick: It was a combination of all three.


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Getting the public into an entirely new fictional universe absolutely IS hard. It is just a matter of demonstrated fact that it is much, much easier to sell tickets to an established franchise than a new one; the likelihood of a new franchise bombing is an order of magnitude higher than a known one. Your best bet is always an established franchise, which is why Transformers movies, which are unspeakably terrible, turn a reliable profit, while Jupiter Ascending ended careers.

You can't blame them. It's what the audiences want, and a person making these decisions has a fiduciary responsibility to be sane about it. It would be an act of titanic professional incompetence to NOT keep making Fantastic Beasts movies.
I know this is a common argument for why entertainment studios shouldn't branch out into new 'properties' but it doesn't actually hold up very well. It actually isn't all that hard to get the viewing public to buy into a new narrative world or concept, provided that it is well done and entertaining, or even just visually original. Witness Avatar, which was not even a very original story but immediately garnered a giant following, or the Terminator movies (the first three of them, anyway), or Marvel Studios taking nearly forgotten third tier characters like Iron Man, Ant-Man, and The Guardians of the Galaxy and using them to build and expand the most profitable franchise in existence. The trick, of course, is to make good entertainment with a clean narrative flow without trying to backfill or shoehorn in every other damn thing you can find in the cabinet below the sink.

And it is possible to expand that kind of world indefinitely as long as you keep adding to it instead of making the same story over and over again. You can even implement a formula (Marvel certainly has, although they've also made some notable steps to subvert their own formula when it was creatively valuable) as long as you are adding something new in terms of characterization, world-building, or an overall narrative. But when you almost literally make the same film over again--and The Force Awakens felt like nothing more than a fan-made clipshow from scenes of the original trilogy--it may draw in the fans but it won't sustain a franchise indefinitely.

In the case of the original Star Wars, the 'world' it build was always centered around the mystical 'Force' (Vader makes a point of how potent the Force is even compared to the planet-busting Death Star) and to dismiss it as some kind of a fringe artifact isolated to just the original films is likely making a Tolkien film without dwarves and elves. There is a good movie to be made about space bandits eking out their existence while uncovering corruption and subterfuge on the part of an officious, autocratic government, but Joss Whedon already made that movie with more style and better dialogue than anything to come out of Lucasfilm, and on a fraction of the budget. Had he had some better casting and a larger promotional budget it could have been a much more popular film yet.

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Old 01-15-2019, 03:18 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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"Four new movies" (not counting the two Ewok films which I'm sure everyone is pleased to just forget about, the sort-of approved animated series and of course the Star Wars Holiday Special, which despite its absurd thematic discontinuity with all other things Star Wars remains the only unmodified canon of the original, ante-prequel era) is a 66% increase in the official canon of the Star Wars cinematic universe...and yet, those films have added almost nothing in terms of additional depth or breadth, and arguably not even in narrative as they have essentially relied up on retreading previous plots and themes, or in the case of Solo, literally existed as a way of stringing together the sparse references about Han's prior escapades into a thinly drawn heist plot. We never really needed to know about how Han "made the Kessel run in 12 parsecs" any more than we needed to know why Richard Blaine doesn't return to the United States.* All of the few pieces of information the original films give us about Han Solo--that he is a smuggler with a bounty on his head, that he avoids the Empire and looks out for himself, that he's really impressed with himself and his ship even though nobody else is--let the audience know that he's a rough but ultimately honorable rogue, and everything else that made Han Solo a breakout fan favorite came from Harrison Ford's portrayal of him.

The point is that having a narrative universe is fine if the purpose is to expand out into new stories and ideas, or at least be somewhat creative about retreading the own, but the post-prequel films have essentially either been crack-filling exercises explicitly designed for fan service appeal, or in the case of The Last Jedi, was intended to "break the mold" but in kind of the shittiest, canon-breaking fashion possible, and also made less sense than a Fast and Furious movie plot. There is nothing wrong with this, I suppose--it is what Paramount has been trying to do with Star Trek for a couple of decades now--but it is narratively and thematically uninteresting because it doesn't actually create new stories or expand the sense of the larger world; the universe of the post-prequel films actually feels even smaller than the original trilogy because it is so clear how interrelated everybody is to everyone else. A true side character film, like one that explored Lando Calrissian's rise from gambler-thief to autocrat of his own little gas mining colony, might truly be interesting and novel (as long as they don't have him having a love affair with a droid--who asked for that nonsense?) but one that just fills in the gaps on throwaway references to settle fan debates over why Han uses a measurement of distance in the apparent context of time is...pointless. And any movie in which Emilia Clarke is not immediately the worst acting presence has major casting problems.

*Captain Renault: I've often speculated why you don't return to America. Did you abscond with the church funds? Run off with a senator's wife? I like to think you killed a man. It's the romantic in me.
Rick: It was a combination of all three.


I know this is a common argument for why entertainment studios shouldn't branch out into new 'properties' but it doesn't actually hold up very well. It actually isn't all that hard to get the viewing public to buy into a new narrative world or concept, provided that it is well done and entertaining, or even just visually original. Witness Avatar, which was not even a very original story but immediately garnered a giant following, or the Terminator movies (the first three of them, anyway), or Marvel Studios taking nearly forgotten third tier characters like Iron Man, Ant-Man, and The Guardians of the Galaxy and using them to build and expand the most profitable franchise in existence.p
Okay, let's take those, shall we?

Avatar, you're quite right about. We'll see if the sequels hold up but yes, the first film made an assload of money - no one ever said it's impossible to get people to watch new properties, just as movies like Toy Story, Jaws and, obviously, the first Star Wars prove.

But we're not talking about a yes/no, black or white decision here; we're talking about investments. All investments are a bet on probabilities. If you invest your $200 million in a totally new property, you might get Avatar, or you might get Cloud Atlas. You might get Iron Man, but you might also get Jupiter Ascending. The Terminator made a healthy profit but any number of new action properties have failed.

The simple fact is that sequels to established properties are a safer bet - Terminator 2 did way better than its predecessor. And now movies in a "universe" can do better still; Ant-Man and Guardians or the Galaxy were not really wholly new things. They were part of the Marvel presentation, and sold as such, and of course Marvel properties already existed in comic book form (and popular novels - Harry Potter, Hunger Games - can carry a shit-ton of popularity to the box office.) What we see with those properties is that even mediocre-to-bad movies, like "Age of Ultron" or the third Iron Man or TErminator 3, are sesnationally bomb-resistant and can be relied upon to pull in gigantic amounts of money. "Cars 2" is generally regarded as the only really bad movie Pixar has ever pumped out, and it made over half a billion dollars and probably five times that in marketing tie-ins.

The chances of an epic flop with properties like that is almost nil - I can't really think of any examples.

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There is a good movie to be made about space bandits eking out their existence while uncovering corruption and subterfuge on the part of an officious, autocratic government, but Joss Whedon already made that movie with more style and better dialogue than anything to come out of Lucasfilm, and on a fraction of the budget. Had he had some better casting and a larger promotional budget it could have been a much more popular film yet.
Thanks for making my point for me. Two studios years apart made movies about roguish space captains in brown jackets. The one that made an okay movie with a relatively obscure property lost their shirts, and the one that made a comparatively poor movie based on Star Wars made lots and lots of money.

I mean, maybe that's unfair, but if the bonus that will buy me a house and send my kids to good schools is riding on box office success, I know where my incentives lie.

It's not like new properties won't get created, and some of them will be great. Every now and then they make a Toy Story or an Iron Man. But the big studios need safe winners too, so expect more Fasts and Furiouses, Ages of Ultron, and Star Wars movies until they stop making money. Think of it like a long term investment portfolio - you want to take some chances in the hopes of a big score, but you need some safe stuff like index funds and money market accounts too.
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