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*** Official STAR WARS Saga (episodes I to VII) Discussion Thread: Part 5

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Robert Crawford, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Yesterday we watched The Force Awakens, which does a nice job of bringing the series back after a long absence. But a big problem is JJ Abrams’ style of storytelling, which is to explain as little as possible to the audience. That doesn’t work well in Star Wars. What happened in the 30 years after the second Death Star was destroyed? Did the Empire’s secular governors and military fill the void left by the Emperor? Who is Rey? Why is she in the Skywalker saga? Where’d that damn lightsaber come from? We still don’t know. I guess some people like that kind of storytelling but I find it infuriating. Equally frustrating to me is Abrams’ penchant for killing off characters. As I’ve said a million times, death is easy drama and it’s become so commonplace now (thanks in large part to shows like Abrams’ Lost) that it’s lost all of its shock appeal. It’s routine now. All that aside, this is a well made film, with good locations, characters and effects. (But, really, how many desert planets are we going to see in Star Wars? Doesn’t anyone in a city or a suburb use the Force? In a galaxy of billions or trillions of people, we’ve scarcely seen any thriving civilizations.)

    The deleted scenes are nice, but at 4 minutes total, there’s not much there. The most character-driven moment is Kylo Ren inspecting the Millennium Falcon.

    We’ll finish our 12 days of Star Wars tomorrow. It’s been an absolute joy to watch this with the kids.
     
  2. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    You just summed up perfectly why I hated TFA. I don't understand the death for drama in mega budget action movies. It works in dramatic features but always felt out of place to me in these huge popcorn type films to me. Also is a huge buzzkill.
     
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  3. Chris Will

    Chris Will Screenwriter

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    You know, I think as the years go by, TLJ will age better than TFA. I know, I know, people hate TLJ but, I think it's storytelling is much better than TFA. There's better drama, better character moments and even the dreaded casino sub-plot shows a side of the universe we've never seen. Then again, I may be completely wrong because I love TLJ (it's my 3rd favorite film in the series).

    My kids and I are planning to watch the whole saga leading up to the release of TROS. We do Friday movie nights and starting in October, each Friday is going to be a different SW film. We are excluding the 2 spin-off because I don't consider them part of the saga.
     
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  4. Message #444 of 444 Aug 30, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
    Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Today we did The Last Jedi and concluded our “12 Days of Star Wars.” The Last Jedi, for me, isn’t a satisfactory experience. Visually, it’s different from the other films. The scenes in space are much darker than all the previous films, so much so that it’s hard to get a clear picture of the Dreadnaught in the beginning and other ships during the film. Even films like The Phantom Menace, which strike a different tone and feel wrong in that regard, are the same visually. For the record, I applaud the movie for many of the reasons the Internet idiots hated it: I love Rey as the central character, and that the other main characters are a black man, an Asian woman, and a Hispanic man.

    My objection concerns the storytelling. Johnson did his best to subvert fan expectations, but in ways that make the story less interesting. Rey’s parentage is a big deal, and having her be “nobody” isn’t good storytelling. The central conflict of the film concerns the slowest chase in the galaxy, while Star Wars films were always about speed. Also, the fighting among the rebels is just dumb. If Laura Dern’s character had simply confided in her team, Rose and Finn wouldn’t have gone off on a mission that went nowhere and ultimately cost lives. I didn’t much care for the characterization of Luke. I thought the best relationship in the movie was between Rose and her sister. I also thought Rose was the most refreshing thing about the movie. She may be a “nobody” but she displays the kind of heart we look for in our heroes. The movie, like Episode VII, suffers from not relating to classic mythology the way the other films did. Those were Joseph Campbell archetypes, and that’s missing here.

    It has some good set pieces and Rey is a delightful central character, even if she doesn’t have as much of a hero’s journey as, say, Luke in Empire. Also, the rebels have always been underdogs, but this movie had them so overpowered that even their meager survival was implausible. The entire rebellion fits in the Millennium Falcon? Come on. My main problem is the writing and the fact that there’s no overarching story planned on the level of Kathleen Kennedy. I hope the entire saga can be tied together for the finale this December. These movies deserve an epic ending that explains the inconsistencies that have come up throughout the films. It can be done, but I’m not sure Abrams is the man for the job. But if anyone can pay off the mysteries he laid in Episode VII, it’s him.

    None of this takes away from the wonderful experience the kids and I had. Asked what they learned about the movies from these 12 (non consecutive) days, one said, “I learned that Star Wars is awesome.” The other said “it was amazing” (though he said it as “a-maaaay-zing!”).

    We still have to do the deleted scenes from TLJ, so I’ll chime in when we do.
     

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