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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Discussion Thread (SPOILERS!)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by dpippel, Dec 19, 2019.

  1. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    I disagree. Johnson was the director, but Kathleen Kennedy and the other management at Disney/Lucasfilm are just as much to "blame", if you want to lay blame for something. Kennedy and company completely signed off on what Johnson delivered, make no mistake about it.
     
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  2. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    Abrams gave us Luke on the island not wanting to be found when he decided to make Luke the McGuffin of The Force Awakens. Johnson picked up the story from where Abrams left off. Abrams decided to abandon the thematic ideas of The Last Jedi when he came back for The Rise of Skywalker. That's on him. It's his choice to make because The Rise of Skywalker is his movie, and I'm not criticizing his right to make the choices he made. But I am saying that they don't match up with the previous film and therefore don't work for me, largely because I loved everything about the previous film.

    It was Kennedy's job to be a guiding hand for the whole trilogy, regardless of who the director is, in the sense that Kevin Feige is the guiding hand for the MCU continuity even though several different directors make their own films in it. She did not do that job effectively.
     
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  3. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Johnson is a professional director. He knew he was making the middle part of a trilogy. He knew that there was already a film in that trilogy that preceded his. He had a fiduciary responsibility to come up with a story line that maintained continuity with what came before because it is was a trilogy. He decided, on his own, to ignore almost everything that came before and built a film entirely on the premise of rabbit punching people repeatedly in the head and then calling it "overthrowing expectations".

    He wrote it. He directed it. It is his fault. When I was criticizing Kennedy over her role in the creation of TLJ, I had a whole bunch of people in here constantly saying it wasn't her fault. Well, now I'm agreeing that it wasn't her fault. Now I'm saying that the hash that makes up this third trilogy is entirely Rian Johnson's fault and now I'm being told it was Kennedy's fault for allowing Rian Johnson to make the film that he wanted to make.
     
  4. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Anyone worried about retconning (and I don't think anything in this movie actually meets the definition) in these new Star Wars movies needs to be as critical of the original trilogy because George Lucas was already retconning the first movie in the second movie.

    "I've got a great idea- Darth Vader is Luke's father."
    "We can't do that, Obi-Wan says Vader killed Luke's father in part one"
    "Ummm, Obi-Wan lied?"
    "Sure, that works."
     
  5. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    I don't consider that retconning, because people lie all of the time thinking that they are "protecting" someone by covering up the truth. I mean, how would it have been better if Kenobi had told Skywalker right from the get go that the second most evil bastard in the Empire was his father?
     
  6. Tommy R

    Tommy R Screenwriter

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    Personally I just don’t see that at all. I see TLJ as a film that follows directly on the heels of the one before. He continued the premise that J.J. set up that Luke isolated himself and went into hiding. Rian did not write that. And as far as Rey’s parentage goes, I never saw it as relevant when watching TFA, so maybe Rian didn’t either.
     
  7. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    That's true but when the scene was written, the idea wasn't that Obi-Wan was lying to protect Luke, he was just giving backstory. A few years later, a better idea came to Lucas or Kasdan and they were smart enough to use it and just retcon it by saying that Obi-Wan was lying.
     
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  8. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Johnson had to see that her parentage was relevant enough for him to bother spending time and film addressing it in the first place. And following one thread of a story doesn't qualify him as seamlessly creating the middle of a story that actually makes sense and leaves the story somewhere to go in the last film. Johnson demolished so much of the setup in TFA that Abrams had to perform mental gymnastics to get the story back on track. Shit, I cannot believe that I'm actually defending Abrams here. :laugh:
     
  9. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Okay. I'll have to agree with you there, since Lucas most likely never had it in his mind that he was going to be able to do a sequel to the first film, no matter how much he may say that he did. Nobody could be that prescient that they would have had part 2 all planned out when they weren't even sure that part 1 would succeed.
     
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  10. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Exactly. You can agree or disagree with Johnson's choices, but he continued with where Abrams left things at the end of The Force Awakens.

    I thought it was particularly strange that Abrams complained (gently, politely) that Rey, Finn, and Poe didn't go on a big adventure in the middle chapter since he's the one who separated them.

    In each case, TLJ did the work of a middle chapter:
    • The Force Awakens left off with Rey standing before the galaxy's last Jedi Master. It makes sense that the next movie would focus on the relationship between Rey and that Jedi Master, and begin her training.
    • The Force Awakens left off with Finn badly injured, and on his own and making his own decisions for the first time. When a character has been following orders his entire life in a very self-contained environment, it makes sense that he go on a journey to figure out who is without the First Order, what the wider galaxy is like, and what he personally stands for.
    • The Force Awakens left off with Poe as the heroic fighter pilot. The middle arc of a trilogy is where the characters face a reckoning. What an interesting idea to turn his strength -- being a decisive fighter pilot hero -- into a weakness that he can learn from and grow from.
    Abrams came back and decided to create a trilogy capper that was also a trilogy-of-trilogies capper. The problem with that is that he didn't lay the seeds for that in The Force Awakens. And a lot of stuff from the first six movies came back out of left field in The Rise of Skywalker because of it.

    In fairness to Abrams, losing Carrie Fisher really hamstrung him. I really liked the idea of the original trilogy's core trio as supporting characters this time around, with each getting their turn to be more in the spotlight. The Force Awakens featured Han Solo prominently, The Last Jedi featured Luke Skywalker prominently, and the ending of The Last Jedi really set up Episode IX to feature Leia prominently.
     
  11. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Johnson is not Steven Spielberg. You can say that it was his fault all you'd like, but these films are not the singular product of any one individual. They're made by committee (gratuitous ESB reference).
     
  12. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    First, you say that Abrams left all of the seeds for Johnson to follow up with a hash that supposedly served as the middle of the story and then you say that Abrams failed to set up the seeds for the third film in TFA. It wasn't Abrams job to set up seeds for the third film. It was Johnson's job to set up those seeds for Abrams, except all he did was lay egg after egg and then step on all of them which left Abrams performing a high wire act, pulling stuff out of left field in attempt to have some sort of finish to what was started.
     
  13. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Producer

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    The Finn/Poe "separation" that Abrams "made" was completely undone in like the first five minutes of TLJ. It was Johnson (not Abrams) who actively chose to truly separate Finn and Poe.

    It was Johnson who chose to give each of them then same problematic "dude bro" character trait--a trait completely out of line with the characters as written and portrayed in TFA. It was Johnson who then chose to undo any of the work that trait was doing for Poe (which was very little) by having Leia and Holdo like him anyway. So dumb.

    Abrams was absolutely right to jettison all the "character development" that Johnson tried to do, and reset Finn and Poe to how we left them at the end of TFA. Finn did more work character-wise (as wrote, finding out what the galaxy is like and what he stands for) in two minutes with Jannah than in the entirety of TLJ.
     
  14. Tommy R

    Tommy R Screenwriter

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    Yep! And not to mention that he didn’t even have Rey and Poe even meet in TFA. Rian was the one who wrote their introduction and gets no credit for that! ;)
     
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  15. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Producer

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    Kylo didn't mislead Rey in TLJ, TROS revealed that Rey's parents were masquerading as loser nobodies in order to take people off of the scent. Kylo didn't know about Rey's connection to the Emperor until the Emperor told him in the beginning of TROS.

    Kathleen Kennedy is definitely at least partially at fault for not having a clear enough plan before starting to make the trilogy.
     
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  16. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Producer

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    The big problem there is that they met in the supposedly canon TFA novelization.
     
  17. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    You are right about one thing. He is not Steven Spielberg because Spielberg, if he had directed the film, would have understood that he was telling the middle of a continuing story, something that Johnson either forgot or didn't care about in the first place.
     
  18. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    My point is that Johnson doesn't have the clout or influence to be entirely responsible for the end product that is The Last Jedi. You simply cannot hold him solely culpable for everything YOU find wrong with the film. He was just a part of the team that created it.
     
  19. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    If Abrams wanted the sequel trilogy to tie up all three trilogies, it absolutely was his job to set the groundwork for that up in The Force Awakens. The first chapter of the trilogy does all of the place setting. Johnson developed what The Force Awakens set up, but then Abrams chose to veer off in a more ambitious direction that wasn't previously established.

    If Abrams had been as faithful at picking up the ball from Johnson as Johnson was from Abrams, the sequel trilogy would feel more cohesive.

    But not Rey and Finn. You don't have your core trio on an adventure unless you have all of your core trio together.

    So your position is seriously that the characters shouldn't have developed from one movie to the next?

    I could not disagree more. I thought having Finn meet other stormtrooper deserters was actually an interesting development in The Rise of Skywalker, but the story with Finn and Rose -- for all of my problems with it -- helped develop him as a more complete person. At the end of The Last Jedi he wasn't just a stormtrooper who deserted. That in turn made his interaction with Jannah and her comrades more interesting, because Finn had a perspective that the others didn't.
     
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  20. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    As Josh Dial pointed out Johnson reunited the two right at the start of TLJ. After all Poe was there watching Finn stumbling around spurting fluid everywhere in that inane Monty Pythonesque sequence that was supposed to be humorous but just looked stupid. He then separated them. The egregious failure wasn't sending the three off together on a grand adventure; the egregious failure was not sending any of them on their own grand adventure.
     

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