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-   -   Star Wars: Episode 7, 8... and BEYOND! (https://thelifestream.net/oldforums/showthread.php?t=12698)

Charles Xavier 12/21/2015 10:14 AM

Anyone noticed that in Lucas' prequels that during battles the characters tend to jump and leap high a lot, even the old dudes? There's none of that in FA (as far as I remember at least).

EDIT: I just got off a flight from ANA and they had EVERY Star Wars movie on demand. I watched four of them back-to-back with no sleep. :D

Tetsujin 12/21/2015 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LicoriceAllsorts (Post 675804)
Question about Storm Troopers: why are they all human? Is it because totalitarian regimes like their cannon fodder to look uniformly disposable? Most aliens would not be able to fit their heads inside those helmets. In all the films, IIRC, the "good guys" include persons of all species, but those who are called to the dark side are only ever human. Nobody on the Death Star was an alien, and neither is anyone on the current planet-sized death ray.

Nah, the rebels are pretty much all humans too. There's a few exceptions like the Mon Calamari in ROTJ but still all the pilots and Han's ground team etc are all humans. The good guys aren't really much more diverse although I remember the old EU running with this belief and adding space racism to the Empire. :monster:

LicoriceAllsorts 12/21/2015 11:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Santa Christ (Post 675806)
(SPOILER) Um... that was kind of explained in both this movie and in Episode II. The original stormtroopers were a clone army of Jango Fett. Presumably (though not neccesarily) the stormtroopers in the original trilogy were the seed of the same troops. The First Order also mentions using a specially bred Clone Army.

But Finn specifically states that (SPOILER) he was taken from his family as a child and raised for one purpose. So the Empire or First Order are only taking humans to raise as cannon fodder? I could accept it when they were all clones of Jango Fett, but even if Finn were a clone (and I'm pretty sure he isn't meant to be a clone), he couldn't be a clone of Jango Fett. It's just that, with all those species in the universe, it's totally illogical that the stormtroopers would all be human. Unless - Maybe there's something in the human species that makes it uniquely well qualified to be a mindless military drone? That would be a theme worth exploring.

Jedis came from all kinds of species. I'm probably not remembering correctly, but wasn't at least one of the X-Wng pilots in the originals a non-human? Not to mention good old Admiral "Trap" Akhbar.

Minato 12/21/2015 11:46 AM

(SPOILER) Kylo suggests that perhaps they should use a clone army instead after Hux' Stormtroopers screw up and Finn betrays them. They are not currently using clones. Their forces are just mined from Imperials, who were already human because raisins.

Tets, there was at least one Whiphid pilot in Poe's squad.

LicoriceAllsorts 12/21/2015 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Santa Christ (Post 675806)

Also with respect to your looking into the prequel trilogy the questions asked were interesting enough but they weren't followed through to any sort of logical conclusion. Again, refer to the Plinkett reviews. "Anakin wasn't seduced by the dark side, he was tricked into being evil." :monster:

The idea of what point of view works and are the Jedi really that much better than the Sith (the old schism between Lawful Good and Lawful Evil) would have been fascinating but you need a better role to see it play out. When Anakin is being driven along by simply a single fear of loss, admittedly (And this is the only time I'll ever say anything good about the writing in the prequel trilogy) a well set-up fear, doesn't convey the gravity of that decision.

Yes, I admit I watched No. 1 and 2 quite often, but not No. 3 because it was such a disappointment. All the same, I think the three prequels were more ambitious in its conception than the current re-boot. I also think that there's a lot of unthinking slamming of the prequels because that's now the thing to do. I suppose what I'm saying is that the prequels give me a lot more to think about than the current re-boot, but that may be remedied in subsequent instalments (although with Abrams at the helm I don't think it will be).

Quote:

The whole point behind Darth Vader in the original trilogy was that he was supposed to be this entity that won the friendship of our early stage BIG GOOD = Obi Wan. From what we know of Obi Wan we can assume that young Anakin was a wise, kind Jedi just like him. A student certainly but age doesn't dictate character. But throughout the entire prequel trilogy except the first movie he's already courted the Dark Side.
Someone who was truly wise and kind could never have become a Darth Vader, unless they'd suffered brain damage that gave them some kind of personality change. I liked the relationship between Obi Wan and young Anakin precisely [spoiler] because it was tainted by ambivalence, an undercurrent of deeply concealed dislike that went hand in hand with great affection, and a sense of failure. I always got the impression Obi Wan felt that Anakin would not have gone to the bad if Qui-Gon Jinn had lived; Obi Wan had not proved equal to the responsibility he'd inherited from his master. Of course I agree that the execution of the concept wasn't equal to its potential; that's indisputable.



Quote:

The films don't show, they tell.
Not saying this sarcastically - I honestly don't understand what you mean by that.

I should add that while I quite like StarWars I'm not an obsessive fan of it the way I am with FFVII; it's a very long time since I watched any of these films. I'm just saying I won't be surprised if, after another decade or so, pundits revise their opinions of the prequels and see them more as flawed masterpieces (except maybe the 3rd one).

Jason Tandro 12/21/2015 12:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LicoriceAllsorts (Post 675831)
Someone who was truly wise and kind could never have become a Darth Vader, unless they'd suffered brain damage that gave them some kind of personality change. I liked the relationship between Obi Wan and young Anakin precisely [spoiler] because it was tainted by ambivalence, an undercurrent of deeply concealed dislike that went hand in hand with great affection, and a sense of failure. I always got the impression Obi Wan felt that Anakin would not have gone to the bad if Qui-Gon Jinn had lived; Obi Wan had not proved equal to the responsibility he'd inherited from his master. Of course I agree that the execution of the concept wasn't equal to its potential; that's indisputable.

The Lucifer dynamic. A Fallen Angel. We have many examples of good people falling to ill desires usually through pride. Revenge would have worked as a motivator for him. Imagine him as a sweet family man until his family was taken from him and then in his anger he turns to the dark side. Think the story of Job except he doesn't repent at the end. And gets a bitchin red lightsaber.


Quote:

The films don't show, they tell.

Not saying this sarcastically - I honestly don't understand what you mean by that.
I refer you again to the Plinkett reviews but to sum up much of the "friendship" between Obi and Anthony... er Ani... is expressed in fondish dialogue about past events that would have been more interesting to see.

"That nest of gundarks." for instance.

Also about the iffyness. That would have worked fine in 3 if in 2 we had seen them on solid footing. I would have preferred to see some genuine closeness between them before the fall. Remember in Episode 4 Obi Wan recalls their friendship with deep fondness. " And he was a good friend." And maybe they were but we never get to see it.


Also I remind you that it has already been almost a decade since these films first came out and have been universally picked apart. You can call it a bandwagon if you like but I doubt they will ever be viewed as minsunderstood masterpieces. The story-telling is not effective enough, the characters are flat, the overuse of green screen mars the 2nd and 3rd films. These arent just loathed because they arent the original trilogy, they are poor films.

There are good elements: I rather like Qui Gonn, Palpatine never delivered a bad performance, Duel of the Fates is a wonderul piece of music, and the end of episode 3 was actually quite artistic recalling the imagery of episode 4. And podracing was a cool concepr but for my money the N64 game was better.

But these gems are few and far betweens and are great elements that deserved a better story than they got.

LicoriceAllsorts 12/21/2015 02:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Santa Christ (Post 675833)
Quote:

Originally Posted by LicoriceAllsorts (Post 675831)
Someone who was truly wise and kind could never have become a Darth Vader, unless they'd suffered brain damage that gave them some kind of personality change. I liked the relationship between Obi Wan and young Anakin precisely [spoiler] because it was tainted by ambivalence, an undercurrent of deeply concealed dislike that went hand in hand with great affection, and a sense of failure. I always got the impression Obi Wan felt that Anakin would not have gone to the bad if Qui-Gon Jinn had lived; Obi Wan had not proved equal to the responsibility he'd inherited from his master. Of course I agree that the execution of the concept wasn't equal to its potential; that's indisputable.

The Lucifer dynamic. A Fallen Angel. We have many examples of good people falling to ill desires usually through pride. Revenge would have worked as a motivator for him. Imagine him as a sweet family man until his family was taken from him and then in his anger he turns to the dark side. Think the story of Job except he doesn't repent at the end. And gets a bitchin red lightsaber.

But isn't that exactly the story we got with Anakin? He had the raw ability to be the best Jedi ever, but he didm';t have the strength of character to go with it. His pride, which was partly manifested in his lack of self-control (he was impulsive and did whatever he wanted and kind of assumed he could always get away with it) spoiled him. He was motivated by revenge, which is a kind of flip-side of pride - "Nobody does that to me and gets away with it." Jedis can't be family men (or women) because they don't have families, they're essentially a monastic order, they're supposed to be celibate and are forbidden from cultivating the kind of close emotional bonds that could lead them to misuse the Force. You can't be a good Jedi and simultaneously be vulnerable to the promptings of pride and revenge. Anakin was proud and self-centred, lacked self-discipline, and wanted everything to go his way. But I also think that what was supposed to be attractive about him, in his character design, was precisely that he was incapable of mastering the human emotions of love and passion that Jedis are supposed to eschew. Whether or not that concept worked is another question.

I do see what you're saying, Jason, and I think ultimately it comes down to personal taste. I think the story we got is more interesting than the scenario you're suggesting, and you take the opposite view. I'd have to become a proper scholar of Star Wars if I were really to argue this case properly, and to be honest I just don't have the time!

Hisako 12/21/2015 02:31 PM

God I feel so filthy being the (relative) negative nancy in this thread but here goes (as spoiler-free as possible as I can first!). Going to be a lot of stream of consciousness going on:

The movie feels extremely safe. I think there's a lot of Star Wars formula being followed incredibly closely. I was expecting an Abrams/Kasadan script to be a little more inspired, but it didn't feel like the setting had gone forward thirty years.

Which is weird to say, because out of all the elements of the movie, I like the small-scale setting-building the most. The food, the in-universe music, the props, the aliens and monsters, they nailed those perfectly. Everything about the galaxy being presented feels deeply, firmly, Star Wars.

Throughout the movie, I was hunting for a distinct, new John Williams motif, but there's nothing that feels particularly anthemic. There's the Force Theme and the good ol' OT music leitmotifs when the relevant characters show up, and they make me all warm and fuzzy inside, but I can't for the life of me remember specific character themes or a main theme. Say what you will about the prequel trilogy films, but they had persistent themes, memorable ones used alongside those of the original trilogy. I'll have to browse YouTube to find some for this one I might remember.

Overall, the film doesn't feel as compact as A New Hope does. The run-time is average and the plot elements are borrowed quite heavily from previous movies, but at the same time it doesn't feel like much has progressed, which I want to talk about later.

Spoilers incoming soon!

Characters:

I love most of the characters to bits. Rey and Finn, obviously the standout ones. Great dynamic, wonderful interaction and some super cool action involving them! Regarding Finn, I love the casual bit of lore being hinted about the origins of the Episode VII stormtroopers. I want to see that being explored a bit more.
BB-8 is adorable, as expected. I was half-expecting him to be a half-baked "New-R2" character, but the amount of detail and personality they added to him is really endearing. Like I said earlier, it's the little things in the movie that I enjoyed the most, and in this case it's the way BB-8 moves around in the film: wiggling slightly from side to side in sand, peering downwards over his body as he struggles to roll down stairs, all that stuff. That's where I look at things and go, "the animatics/costuming/set-building departments put so much work and heart into this".

Han and Leia, love every moment that they're on the screen, and it's so good to see Chewbacca getting some love in the screentime for his character and personality. The nuances in his actions are a little more human (which could be understandable after 30 years of hanging around Han) and I really find that really enjoyable.

What disappoints me the most in this movie are the villains. I don't feel they're particularly... villainous, and the ones who are are really kind of shitty? I really like Kylo Ren's complexities, (SPOILER) but I question the front-loading of them in the first film of the trilogy. Snoke is a (SPOILER) huge, gigantic goofy hologram, but given Palpatine's first appearance I suppose it's following the trope tradition.
I laugh at General Hux every time he shows up on the screen. He's a terrible character compared to, say, Grand Moff Tarkin, and I had to struggle not to laugh at his (SPOILER) shitty speech before they did the whole planet-destroying thing. Out of everything I dislike about The Force Awakens, Hux hits the top of my shit-list. I enjoy his (SPOILER) feuding dynamic with Kylo Ren, but for all the creative decisions I don't like about the pacing of his character development, Kylo Ren is a complex character, and Hux... isn't.

Of course, this leads me to the whole (SPOILER) HAN DEDED BY BEN SOLO scene, which... not a huge fan of. I don't feel it was entirely earned, I felt the foreshadowing was too obvious (as was a great many scenes and imagery, to be honest, but I'll get to that later), and (SPOILER) the verbal confrontation between Han and his dark-side son happening in the first movie? Would anyone absolutely believe that would work at that point in the new trilogy?

I feel like the pacing of the story is what has hurt all the revelations, the plots and twists and turns in the movie the most. (SPOILER) Kylo Ren's backstory feels like it's already been laid entirely bare, far too early for me to accept within 2 hours. The beauty and strength of Darth Vader's backstory is that for one and a half films he's firmly established as an inhuman spectre, a perfect boogeyman in every sense of the term. It's not until TESB that, when the classic scene happens, the audience realises that even the largest, villainous presence in the films was and possibly still is a human being. It has a great post-scene shock and the following telepathic interaction between Luke and Vader is such an incredible scene filled with (relative) subtleties.

In TFA it feels like everything's been front-loaded already. We basically know all the relevant relationships between Kylo Ren and can readily infer most of the rest (besides the dark side gobbledygook which is honestly the least interesting part about Star Wars to me). We fully understand Han's motivation to attempt to turn him back to the light. We fully understand Ren's motivation to stab him anyway. I think it would have been better to leave those motivations a little less transparent for a better post-scene impact, if we learned in Episode VIII that the man that killed Han was actually his son and that Han was facing him in a far more personal conflict than any of us realised.

What we got would be like if Luke was basically told about an hour in that Darth Vader was his father, and that's the level of emotional impact I got from the scene. I wasn't shocked or sad because wow man this dark side monster who is the embodiment of evil is so far gone who would have done such a tragic thing as kill his own father, it was wow JJ Abrams gives no fucks and Harrison really enjoyed finally cashing out from the movies.


I have more to say about it later (mostly about how on-the-nose the imagery and symbolism is), but tl;dr it has issues with its pace of plot development and a underwhelming hive of villainy that is only somewhat wretched. It's still so perfectly Star Wars, though, and just because Abrams nailed that feel, I can't find myself to do anything other than like the film as a whole.

Kuroto 12/21/2015 02:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Santa Christ (Post 675806)
(SPOILER) Also with respect to your looking into the prequel trilogy the questions asked were interesting enough but they weren't followed through to any sort of logical conclusion. Again, refer to the Plinkett reviews. "Anakin wasn't seduced by the dark side, he was tricked into being evil." :monster:

...When Anakin is being driven along by simply a single fear of loss, admittedly (And this is the only time I'll ever say anything good about the writing in the prequel trilogy) a well set-up fear, doesn't convey the gravity of that decision.

(SPOILER) I don't think Anakin's decision to turn to the dark side is that simple. In my opinion one major reason why Anakin was easily seduced by the dark side is because he was never really supported by the other jedi. The jedi council never wanted Anakin trained and never really gave him support so it is easy to see why he would rather turn against them and follow Palpatine than stay on the light side. And when you take in consideration that he was never able to save his mother and Palpatine promises that by turning to the Dark side Anakin could save Amidala what reason does he have to stay on the light side of the force? There was ever only one jedi that supported Anakin and that was Obi-wan who did it more for the sake of his old master than anything else. At least this was the impression I got from the prequels.

Anakin might not be wise, but he is really human and for that I emphatise with his decision even though it is clear that he is tricked by Palpatine.

Of course I'm not a huge Star Wars fan and I haven't seen the movies more than a few times each so I'm not saying that this is the absolute truth, just that this is my impression of the films. ^_^

Minato 12/21/2015 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Santa Christ (Post 675833)
The Lucifer dynamic. A Fallen Angel. We have many examples of good people falling to ill desires usually through pride. Revenge would have worked as a motivator for him. Imagine him as a sweet family man until his family was taken from him and then in his anger he turns to the dark side. Think the story of Job except he doesn't repent at the end. And gets a bitchin red lightsaber.

I refer you again to the Plinkett reviews but to sum up much of the "friendship" between Obi and Anthony... er Ani... is expressed in fondish dialogue about past events that would have been more interesting to see.

"That nest of gundarks." for instance.

Also about the iffyness. That would have worked fine in 3 if in 2 we had seen them on solid footing. I would have preferred to see some genuine closeness between them before the fall. Remember in Episode 4 Obi Wan recalls their friendship with deep fondness. " And he was a good friend." And maybe they were but we never get to see it.

I agree that AOTC dropped the ball on the Obi-Wan/Anakin partnership, but other then that I think Lucas made the right call on not trying to overromanticize how good a person Vader was. The dark side didn't just turn him overnight, losing his affliation with the Jedi and Padme just removed the restraints that held back the powerhungry individual he had become a long time ago.

Quote:

Also I remind you that it has already been almost a decade since these films first came out and have been universally picked apart. You can call it a bandwagon if you like but I doubt they will ever be viewed as minsunderstood masterpieces. The story-telling is not effective enough, the characters are flat, the overuse of green screen mars the 2nd and 3rd films. These arent just loathed because they arent the original trilogy, they are poor films.
They maybe bad films, but they ARE loathed for not being the original trilogy first and foremost. I like TFA a lot but it's pretty clear that it's being held back by a need to stick close to the original trilogy in as stark contrast to the prequels as physically possible (punctuated by the prequel hate campaign that has come back in full force over the past year or so).

X-SOLDIER 12/21/2015 04:31 PM

Also- while they DID use Clone Troopers at one point, the Stormtroopers are mostly either conscripts or raised as soldiers. Additionally, the Empire and First Order have all been rather xenophobic (especially in the Legends canon), at least in their hiring policies.




X :neo:

Obsidian Fire 12/21/2015 06:32 PM

As far as the prequals go, I think what hurts it the most is how large the time-skip is between 1 and 2. Anakin in 1 is too different from Anakin in 2 for it to work for me without some backstory for what happened between the two and we never get it in the movies. I can totally buy that Anakin in 3 is the same person in 2 that's been though a war though.

The thing is that Anakin in 1 is a pretty normal kid all things considered. He's got normal feelings for being in the situation he's in and he misses his mom. Which for some reason is treated as a potential problem by the Jedi Council. Which really isn't a good impression to give the audience at the start of the trilogy.

We never get to see what makes Anakin in 2. He's just plopped there on the screen for us to accept that somehow he's now grown up and he's still Obi-Wan's student.

Because of what happens in 2, it's obvious what's driving Anakin 3. But even then, there's so much left in the dark (lol) that there's not a lot of impact when things happen. Heck, the novelization of 3 was better then 3 was.

If anything, the movies never take the time to show the audience what "normal life" is like for the characters when they're not chasing after Sith, etc. The original movies did do this, so when the status quo got fiddled with, it was something to react to. With the exception of 1, there really isn't any status quo to speak of.

X-SOLDIER 12/21/2015 08:45 PM

That's the prime reason that I prefer Machete Order, despite the fact that I don't really dislike Episode I all that much. It just doesn't mesh well in the flow of the storytelling.

With Rogue One, and the other standalone films becoming a thing, I think that it'll be a lot easier to watch Episode I as "just more Star Wars and background stuff" without feeling as ostracized as it currently does from the other films.




X :neo:

Hisako 12/21/2015 08:48 PM

I feel at the very least that most people who claim that the prequel films are straight up bad movies are ignoring a lot of Actually Bad movies

Charles Xavier 12/21/2015 10:37 PM

Any idea if Boba Fett might make a return in the future films? I know he was supposedly 'killed' by the Sarlac, but that's been left open to question.

(SPOILER) I just love it when Chewie goes completely ape-shit against the Stormtroopers after witnessing Han's death, and then blows up the base.

Also...

(SPOILER) The lightsaber battle was probably the best part of the movie for me. Not as over-the-top as the ones in the prequels but just as gripping and intense like in the original trilogy.

Okay, so after taking time to digest the movie, I regard TFA a solid good watch (4/5). Definitely not my favorite in the series but I'd probably rank this 4th on my best list.

I still and always will highly regard 'Return of the Jedi' as my all time favorite (sorry, 'Empire Strikes Back'!). Yeah go on, shoot me if you must...


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