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The Rise of Skywalker *Spoilers*


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The Rise of Skywalker *Spoilers*
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-19, 12:16

*WARNING* Spoilers immediately ahead.

Well, tonight at midnight the Skywalker saga officially comes to an end.

Fortunately.

And I never thought I'd say that.

So, this thread is for spoilers, opinions on the movie, etc. If you have not yet seen Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker and don't want it spoiled, stop reading right now and find something better to do with your time. If you want to discuss the movie but don't want to be spoiled, head on over to The Saga Ends.

I, for one, will not see the show until at least next Tuesday when the first $5 Tuesday showings are available. I don't pay $12 for any movie, even Star Wars.

Anyway, once you've seen the movie and want to discuss it, lead on!

Spoiler tags are neither required or suggested in this thread. Feel free to talk openly.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!

Last edited by kscherer : 2019-12-19 at 12:29.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-19, 13:59

Yeah, I'll be watching for untagged spoilers and moving them over if/when they show up in there, so hopefully you will be safe.

Edit: Ha! I beat you.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
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Mac+
9" monochrome
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: I'm here
 
2019-12-22, 13:00

Has anybody seen it yet?

I saw it two nights ago on a whim. Didn’t plan to but, funnily enough, the evening became free so I seized the moment.

I had some gut reactions... and questioned my own perspectives. I honestly think that watching SW in your late forties is different than your early teens. (Really Mac+?)

Here are three opinions, none of which contain plot based spoilers:

1. The emotional connection with the main characters was not there for me - not in the same way it was for Luke, Han, and Leia, for example.

2. I could tell the levers being pulled. I’m not sure how much of that is attributable to bad film-making versus the wisdom that comes with age: pre-teen me didn’t see the levers in ESB... I did in ROTJ and definitely did in TROS.

3. Finally, there are some angry people in the world. Immediately after the film, I hit Twitter to search some review/opinions and a lot seemed to centre around the role modelling and token nods to gender. I mean forty two years of a saga and the treatise that are being written concern the roles attributed and directed. I get that cinema (art) is a reflection of our time but I think this movie - in perspective of the whole - deserved more than being a platform for gender agenda.

To close, I was reflecting on my recollection of the movies. I have the star crawl direction/opening shot of IV, V, & VI burned in my brain. I can’t recall the opening from any other episode and that includes TROS, which I saw on Saturday night.

All I want is a simple life
twitter
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2019-12-23, 22:03

Gee, not everybody at once, okay?

If a Disney Star Wars movie falls in December and nobody gives a shit, does it make an impact?

Apparently not.

BTW, I'm supposed to be seeing it tomorrow afternoon. So, yeahhhhh...
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2019-12-24, 00:41

Saw it tonight. It was fun! Maybe it's not the Star Wars story I would have written, but like I said: it was fun.

The reveal for Rey was a surprise to me, so yay for that not being spoiled. Boo to Google News pushing a headline at me that confirmed that Palpatine was in the movie. Rian Johnson really did leave a bit of a mess for them to clean up. I'm glad that Ben redeemed himself. More later


...
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-24, 12:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
Gee, not everybody at once, okay?

If a Disney Star Wars movie falls in December and nobody gives a shit, does it make an impact?

Apparently not.

BTW, I'm supposed to be seeing it tomorrow afternoon. So, yeahhhhh...
Hey, if you're gonna post in here before you see this thing, then I get to remind you that you're not supposed to be in here, yet. So buzz off!

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2019-12-24, 16:55

What a piece of junk.

On a positive note, of the 22 things I predicted Friday before last in that other thread, I nailed the shit out of a solid 18-19 of them. And not because I'm cool or "dialed-in" to any sort of degree, but because I know J.J. Abrams and his approach/tactics and the kind of idiocy he'd desperately pull out of his bag of tricks here on this final one. I knew that idiot would find a way to put Han Solo in this thing.

Maybe I'll write more later, or in the coming days. I feel like I should, but it's just going to be everything I suspected/assumed/predicted in that other thread brought to life. So part of me is "why even bother?".

Good grief, what a wasted opportunity the past four years (and three movies) have represented. Out of everything you could bitch or squawk about (and there's plenty), just the fact that a major, known studio - with all the talent and resources at their disposal - could just completely screw up something to such a degree, at so many levels.

It's almost amazing, the level of foolishness and ball-dropping that's marks this series of movies.

Yeah, I'll be gathering my thoughts - many of them - in the coming hours/days and I'll make my case...
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2019-12-25, 01:07

I'm glad that I don't care enough to be upset about it like Scates. Seriously, if I were to be orthodox about this, things went south beginning at Jedi and only deviated more with each subsequent film. But golly, I can destroy most anything these days if I want to. I live in peace with knowing this has become product. My Star Trek fandom has split with each new series. Ones I love are vilified by others.

I have learned to read Cervantes and Stephenson. New things. Sequels are always squandered opportunities. Life is too short to rail against these inequities.

But that's just me.

I despair of bitter Scates.




...
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2019-12-25, 03:16

Yeah, I’m the only one and I’m just imagining it all. Spare me your “pity”. This could, and should, have been an amazing new saga. They made one goofy decision after another, the biggest among them being 1) bringing back the original cast only to make them side-plot afterthoughts/window dressing to their own story and 2) saddling the new cast with “okay, you’re going to act as stand-ins/mashups of the various aspects and traits of the original characters...we’re not really interested in much more than hitting those beats”.

A teenager with a spiral notebook could’ve come up with a better, more interesting and memorable way to handle all this. The fact that Abrams/Kennedy/Disney weren’t interested in anything beyond a “yeah, and remember this?” tribute band take on the whole thing is so disappointing.

As a lifelong fan, I wanted nothing more than a truly new adventure/saga. Halfway into TFA, I realized that wasn’t what we were in for.

Sorry I expect a bit more from something that set such a standard for engaging, thrilling storytelling. What was I thinking? Of course their only option in 2015 was to reshoot the original trilogy in a meandering, heavy-handed and less-satisfying way!

BTW, there was zero cheering, applause or laughter (except for two scenes that weren’t meant to elicit such reaction). I thought that was telling. And a fairly widespread type of crowd in the 40 or so in attendance (young, old, men, women, singles, couples, families). Granted, it wasn’t your opening night, neckbeard-heavy crowd, but should it have to be?

Thinking about what lies ahead is far more interesting/fun than dwelling on these three weak, uninspired and soulless (and unasked for) entries.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2019-12-25 at 07:40.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2019-12-25, 09:17

At the risk of further traumatizing drew a few more thoughts/opinions (I guess a "trigger warning" here would be required?)

- The Knights of Ren...next to Captain Phasma, probably the most hyped-up-but-ultimately-useless characters in the trilogy? Did they have any point or purpose? Like Phasma, they looked cool and probably could've been used to really ratchet up the tension and danger our heroes faced. They just kinda stood around like cosplayers who showed up at the wrong exhibit hall.

- Maz's "a story for another time" promise from The Force Awakens when asked how she had Luke's lightsaber. In two followup movies, nobody saw fit to address this? And I don't wanna hear any shit about "it's in the comics/novel/video game". If you bring something up in a movie, then you address/resolve it in a movie (same one or a future installment). I don't mind the other media expanding on things and all that, but they can't be the sole location of major cinematic plot points. That's stupid. People have lives, families, jobs, gutters to clean, etc. And you can't expect them, especially casual fans who are going to make up the majority of your box office earnings, to buy and read all this ancillary shit to try and figure something out that should be addressed in the movie. They couldn't spare one minute to make that interesting bit of knowledge known to everyone watching (Cloud City janitors staff found it in some ductwork at the bottom of Cloud City, gave it to Lando who traded it to Maz a few years late for some droid porn, etc.)? That's J.J. and his stupid "mystery box" of just asking things/dangling tidbits and never really doing anything with it; you folks who suffered through Lost, you don't feel yanked around by that stuff? How is that "entertaining", after the first 1-2 times?

- Why do some Force users disappear immediately upon death (Obi-Wan, Yoda, Luke, Kylo), while others (Qui-Gon, Anakin, Leia, Rey*) manage to stick around as long as the script demands (for someone to mourn over them, scream, etc.). Rey was indeed dead, but managed to lie there (without disappearing) long enough for Kylo to crawl out of the pit, stumble his way to her, look at her, hug her and then heal her. If there was any consistency, she should've been long gone/disappeared way before Kylo made it over to her. Leia died and they just threw a sheet over her for most of the remainder of the movie (she finally disappeared when her son did, so I'm assuming there's some sort of family clause in the Force that dictates this kind of stuff).

- Did Keri Russell's character serve any point other than a friend of J.J.'s getting a paycheck? Someone that hot/engaging, you give her something to do. Maybe she should've been in the Jannah role, on the horse? Like Phasma, why hire a known, popular genre actor and then shove them into a mask/helmet the entire time? And her return at the end, everyone in the theater groaned/laughed. That scene was so corny and rah-rah. But, hey...'dat ass, right?

- The whole Palpatine thing was just stupid in ways that would require 3-8 paragraphs to convey. But then to have the actor/character saying the exact same stuff he said in previous movies ("Strike me down", "rule the galaxy", etc. jibber-jabber/mustache-twirling) just made it so goofy. Again, lazy and uninspired. This entire thing was a Star Wars Mad Libs...just fill in the blank of names, places, stuff, etc. and presto! Don't worry about whether or not it makes any sort of sense, just seal-clap for the benefit of your childhood.

- I think it would've made much more of an impact had the ghosts of Jedi past appeared in visual form in some cool, unique way. If you're a casual fan of the series, disembodied voices aren't going to mean much. But even those casual fans would recognize McGregor, Jackson, Neeson, Yoda, etc. (and the hardcore ones would've absolutely lost their minds, and it could've been the "bringing it all full circle" high-point of a movie that seemed to desperately be seeking one). Again, missed opportunity. These movies are so weird in that they emphasis silly stuff that doesn't need it, but then they'll turn right around and ignore/skip over a great opportunity where maybe a bit of attention or detail - or another 30-45 seconds of screen time - might make a huge difference in how something is perceived by the audience. There's just no rhyme or reason to so much of it. I just imagine lots of coin tosses taking place between Abrams and Terrio as they labored over their MacBooks..."heads, we take 30-45 seconds to elaborate on this really important point that the audience needs to understand...tails, we have Finn go "whooo!" again. Ah...and tails it is!"

- There was a Pirates of the Caribbean/magical journey/Narnia/Potter aspect to this movie that has never really been part of Star Wars lore...the endless "finding shit to leading you to further shit that should lead you to the final shit you're ultimately seeking" thing, which I've never been a fan of. Just one of those "quests to gather arcane, magical doo-dads" to help explain away this or that just seemed out of place...these wayfinders, that "Sith dagger", Keri Russell's cheat coin, etc. All these little "things" that you have to gather/have for other things can happen just seems so weird, suddenly jammed into this ninth movie. That sort of thing hasn't been a SW trope all this time. It's never been a treasure hunt or video game-like "search and gather" type of franchise, at least the first six haven't been. There's been information sought, or reasons given via spoken exposition or setup. But there hasn't been this whole "go here, now go there, now travel to here and work you way through the maze and then go here and..." approach. It seems to waste a lot of time, and chew up time that could be be put to use laying out a coherent, engaging story.

- Did Chewie's "death" really fool anyone? And why let us, the audience, know he survived before the other characters? We would've shared in their joy at discovering he was alive, but they didn't even do that right. The fake-out didn't even last seven minutes. If you're going to do something like that, stage it better, don't reveal the outcome early and maybe actually let it linger and hurt for more than one scene transition? That's cheap, lazy manipulation that I hate in TV and movies, Star Wars or otherwise. It was, however, a cool way to show Rey tapping into some scary powers she didn't seem to be aware of (Force lightning from her fingers). But they could've done it without the "ohmigod, they killed Chewie" fakeout that really didn't pay off.

- On a related note, did anyone think Threepio was "gone forever" (especially once they made it known, beforehand, "doesn't Artoo back up your memory"? Again, out of nowhere, but needed to set up that "all is not lost". But, by doing so, you dampen the effect of "ohmigosh, we lost Threepio as we know him...". Again, just lousy writing/storytelling. Any high-schooler with a passing interest in literature/fiction/creative writing knows that you hold those things back and you don't give the audience a giant "this isn't really as important/tragic as it seems" heads-up...you don't spoil your own setups/twists before they even have a chance to make an impact on the reader/viewer! Is this not basic Storytelling 101? But when you have J.J. and the guy who wrote Batman v Superman and Justice League, what do you honestly expect?

- The little nod to Empire with the Knights of Ren ship hiding amongst the rubble/asteroids(?) where our heroes' ship was briefly hiding out. When our heroes powered up and took off, you saw the red engines of the KoR ship light up and pursue them. That echoed Boba Fett's tactic to track the Falcon to Cloud City. Again, just restaged/reshot sequences we've already seen in far better movies, decades ago. Yeah, they might tweak the angles, distances and perspectives (so you can't nail them for being complete hacks with no ideas), but it all boils down to "hey, remember that time when...". Again, tribute band Star Wars.

- That very first planet we saw where Kylo was killing people in the forest, I think that's supposed to be Mustafar, but the first time I've seen it with any vegetation. You see it from space and it's definitely all volcanic/lava-y, but when you cut to the action on the planet's surface, it has trees (but the skies are still glowing red, and that wayfinder thing they found/stole was obviously in some man-made container/vault, so I'm just going to assume that maybe they were at or near Vader's castle that we saw in Rogue One? And, if so, maybe that would've been a cool opportunity to pull the camera back a few hundred yards and make that known to everyone watching, so they can realize "oh, Kylo is stealing stuff from Vader's nightstand" or whatever. If I'm wrong on this being Mustafar, then ignore the above. If it is Mustafar, then my point stands.

- Were those actual living beings in that big stadium surrounding Palpatine? For some reason, I found that part eerie/creepy...all these thousands(?) of hooded, chanting figures just standing there, slightly moving. When it looked like Rey and Kylo were getting the best of the red guards and the Knights of Ren, why didn't a few hundred of them run out to help their evil coworkers? They just sat there, eating popcorn and enjoying the action? If I'd been Rey or Kylo, I would've been terrified by the prospect of a bunch of those people treating the proceedings like a soccer game, jumping out of the stands to attack those on the field. Or were they just ghosts/spirits and unable to engage in such actions? Again, nobody sees fit to make this clear so you're just sitting there going "who are all those people in hoods...they seem content just to watch". I guess they were Sith fan club members with the ultimate E tickets?

- Could they have handled Han's appearance in a way that made it seem more like a memory/hallucination for Ben? For Han to just be standing there, no translucency, waviness or echoing voice just seemed so weird. People in my audience laughed or had a dismissive "WTF?" sigh. I know the scene ends with Kylo there alone, so he was obviously imagining it. But they didn't help it on the front end, and went a long way toward making the scene more jarring (and less well-received) than it could've been (a running theme throughout this thing). In fact, I'd say Han shouldn't have been the one put there at all, but Anakin...I'm sure Hayden Christensen would've cleared some time in his schedule for 1-2 days of shooting. That would've made a hell of a lot more sense (and impact), for the grandfather, who Kylo has sought to imitate for so long, be the one there to encourage him to shed the Kylo Rey persona, chuck the cross guard saber and become Ben again. It's already established that Force ghosts exist and can appear anywhere, especially when people need it most. So Anakin being the one to appear in this scene would've been 10x less idiotic (and reaching for the fan-service award) than just random Harrison Ford looking all grizzled and homeless (and the two of them basically repeating their exchange from the bridge in The Force Awakens). Seriously, nobody is writing this shit. They're just thinking of cool things they want to show, and then figuring out if they have the time and/or budget to pull it off ("can we afford to bring in Harrison for a day? Give him a call and see if he'd be interested in doing something really goofy...").

- How many times are they going to crash land the Falcon in this trilogy? How is that ship not ripped to shreds by making these hard, skidding landings without the gear down? If Han were still around, he'd be livid. "Stop crashing my ship!" (complete with the pointing finger/scowl)

- Apparently ships in the Star Wars universe can sit abandoned in the desert (or underwater) for a decade or two, but start right up and fly when needed most. Who knew? I sometimes have to struggle with my Saturn on a cold morning, after driving it the previous day. I can't imagine pulling it out of a pond after 15 years, turning the key and zipping down to the corner Stop 'n' Rob for a cold one and a lottery ticket.

- Luke going for the Robert Plant look...nice hair, doofus. And I like how they got Hamill in shape for TFA (the best he’s looked in years), but I assume once he realized he wasn’t going to factor into this trilogy in any real way he eventually just said “screw this 'diet and exercise' horseshit...” and got back to the White Castle and Ho-Hos regimen. He looks horrible here (worse than Harrison), and that creepy pedo smile (like father, like son?) as he Force-lifted the X-wing up was weird. Again, no applause or cheer from my audience, but laughter. In fact, it was almost like he was playing himself (unhinged Twitter moonbat Mark Hamill) here as opposed to Luke Skywalker, the way he sounded/came across when he was talking to Rey. Odd choices all around. It should be pointed out that Luke Skywalker has been nothing but a complete dick in these movies.

- Cool that the old lady showed up out of nowhere at the end to give Rey the chance to tell everyone her new name. Where did she come from? Rey had about a 25-mile unobstructed 360 view and she, Force-gifted as she is, didn't sense some old woman and her space camel approaching, and then walking through, the Lars homestead? I chuckled at this part; it just struck me as funny for some reason.

- Interesting that after all this time, all the Skywalkers are dead and the only person surviving/moving forward is a Palpatine. I know the message they were going for, but it kinda sucks in light of everything. But a very 2019 thing to do...family is whatever you want/need it to be, and blood factors in the least. And while I actually kinda agree with that in real life at times, it’s a jarring way to end the Skywalker story. IMO, Ben should’ve survived and Rey died (the last Skywalker lives on, the last Palpatine dies), but Disney wasn’t about to make such a bold (and “sexist”) move. Twitter would've surely crapped its pants and gone supernova.

- Poe Dameron is given to speechifying and exposition, isn't he? How many times did he repeat what's going on, the stakes involved, the plan they've come up with, what must be done/who needs to do it, etc. for the benefit of the audience? Four times, at least, by my count. And when he's not doing that, he's constantly doing the "let's light 'em up and kickstart the flame of freedom that will shine across the galaxy!" pep-talks from his X-wing (as his friends and fellow pilots are getting blown out of the sky).

- Is it just me, or was Artoo completely wasted in this trilogy? Including this final movie. He was, IMO, the lynchpin of the previous six movies (the prequels and especially the original trilogy). In these new ones, he was turned off/covered with a tarp for 95% of The Force Awakens, he had maybe one real scene in The Last Jedi and I honestly can't remember anything he did in this movie other than sad-beep/bloop/bleep when Leia died (he was left back at the base while the other droids went on the knick-knack treasure hunt). Poor Artoo...is J.J. Abrams known to actively dislike this character? Because he sure did get the short end of the stick across three movies. Sorry, Disney...but BB-8 is never going to fill those particular shoes. God knows you tried, but all you did, in the end, is needlessly sideline the one character who should've been front-and-center across all nine installments. Nice going.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2019-12-26 at 01:06.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-25, 22:23

I haven't read any of Paul's stuff, yet. I'll wait until I get a chance to see the movie, and then decide if he's just a crotchety old hag, or a man on a righteous mission.

Either way, we all get an opinion. I know that Turtle loves 1-3, and I hate them. Both positions are okay. I think 1-3 are really brilliant uses of CGI and cinematography. Some of the scenes are exceptionally well conceived. Unfortunately, the story, dialogue, and acting all suck bananas.

I thought Episode 7 was a better movie than Episode 4, but 4 is still a better story, while Rogue One is the best of them all, and The Mandalorian is killing it!

8 is crap, no matter how you shake it.

I haven't seen 9, and still haven't read any spoilers (including Paul's rant above). I need to see it before I'll comment or read the details.

All that said, I'd ask that everyone keep it civil, don't get edgy with each other; just play nice. We all get different things out of these movies. Drew can watch the movie purely for entertainment, while Scates genuinely loves the story that is/was Star Wars and was hoping for something he felt was better conceived. Again, both ideas are okay. Did I mention I've still only seen 8 one time? It sucked so bad I just cannot bring myself to watch it again. I bet some of you have seen it several times. Excellent!

Just remember that we're all friends here.

Peace!

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2019-12-26, 02:26

Okay, my final word on all this (thank God). But don't worry, this is kinda funny/entertaining.

Sunday before last, December 15, I pasted over in "The Saga Ends" thread a random, as-I-thought-of-them list of 22 predictions for The Rise of Skywalker, stating that I was confident I'd easily nail 50% of them, and possibly more in the 75-80% range.

Well...

Below is pasted, verbatim, what I typed on December 15. The bolded entries are the things I got right (and new commentary in italics afterwards.


- Gonna be as much of a "soft remake" of Return of the Jedi as The Force Awakens was of the 1977 original...idiotically so, at times (the height of laziness and fan-service chain yanking; it's J.J. Abrams...so let's not delude ourselves into believing otherwise) *The Emperor, Lando, Death Star 2 (including Palpatine's throne room where Luke and Vader fought in ROTJ), Ewoks/Endor, final three-venue battle (air, ground/surface and Jedi/Sith lightsaber), showing aftermath/celebrations across other planets at the end, Luke's green saber, return to Tatooine, forest scenes, Force ghosts smiling at the hero in the closing shots, the Falcon/Lando leading other ships into final battle, red Palpatine guards, music/dance scene, floating skiff/hovercraft in desert setting, Death Star planet-killing tech, Force lightning, lightsaber-throwing, etc. Probably another 5-10 things I just can't recall right now.

- Lando winds up regaining ownership of the Falcon by the end of the movie (Chewie? See below) *Nope, it's Rey's...and that's totally fine with me. She flies it as well as Han ever did, so why not?

- There will be at least one Ewok scene (Wicket/Warwick Davis)...remember, this is ROTJ take 2 *Well of course...a complete no-brainer!

- Force lightning, lots of it, including some from an unexpected source (Rey) *Yep, including the Rey part.

- Threepio's red eyes have to do with programming/reset/alternate "protocol" mode (not somehow becoming an evil "Sith droid"); that's a classic trailer fake-out to make it look more ominous and WTF?! than it really is His memory had to get erased to allow him to bypass his programming so that he could translate some Sith text on a dagger; when he "booted back up", he had red eyes and a different, more monotone/robotic voice, but it wasn't "Sith evil/possession" but just a different operating/translation mode

- Leia dies (Han, Luke and so why not?) Makes production easier, the earlier she goes...not being cruel, just realistic/practical; CGI only gets you so far and nobody wants to be staring at Carrie's uncanny valley for two-plus hours... *Odd that she seemed to have a bit more dialogue/things to do in a movie filmed/released after Fisher died in real life.

- A who's who of saga-wide Force ghosts will surely appear at some point (Yoda, Obi-Wan, Anakin, Qui-Gon, Luke, possibly Leia if she winds up dying), either as a big group or individually throughout, as Rey needs inspiration or enlightenment; I'm thinking Luke may appear more than a few times, visually or voice, since that's her true link/connection to all this stuff and he'll need to be there to guide her *I only missed the form in which they'd appear (voices, vs. their blue glowing form). But it was all of them, and then some (confirmed by the credits): Yoda, Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, Qui-Gon, Anakin, Luke, and voiced by the actors who portrayed them in other installments: Oz, McGregor/Guiness, Jackson, Neeson, Christensen, Hamill. Also Ahsoka Tano and Aayla Secura. They all came to Rey to give her strength/encouragement when she needed it most. And Force ghost Luke appears twice to Rey.

- Chewie hangs it up and "retires" back to his planet/family by the end...he's put in all these years of fighting/sacrifice, he's done being someone's sidekick/wingman; this will be the only genuine tear-jerker in the movie for many (I'm almost crying just thinking about it). *Nope, he seems to stick with his friends.

- Rey is a Skywalker, and why it took them three movies to confirm this is beyond me; surely she's Han and Leia's daughter (which means I hope she and Kylo don't accidentally get it on at some point because that isn't going to fly twice; we overlooked all that business in 1983, don't ask us to do it again). *Missed this one, a biggie. She's Palpatine's granddaughter!

- Kylo dies; he's beyond redemption and, despite J.J.'s presence, I'd like to think they're not going to go the ROTJ "redemption" moment route, again; he's killed too many good people to come back from that. While he may have a small "hero" moment/death in him, even if it's just tossing a saber or something along those lines, I just can't picture him "turning good" after everything; I think "Ben Solo" is long gone, which may bear on Leia's fate/role in some way... *He did die, and he did redeem himself/return to Ben and abandoned the Kylo Rey persona. He joined, and fought beside, Rey against the Emperor, his guards and the Knights of Ren, so yeah...he did have a "hero" moment. And when he died (and disappeared) Leia's already-dead body also disappeared into the Force. She'd died a little earlier reaching out to him with the Force.

- Palpatine isn't in true body form; it'll be some sort of weird glowing spirit/clone/ghost mumbo-jumbo (the reason we've yet to see him in any trailers or marketing material) *I wish the movie better explained all this, but between hints at cloning, "the dark side being a pathway to abilities some fine unnatural" (Palpatine repeats his line he made to Anakin from Revenge of the Sith), he was hooked up to some mechanical arm and hoses, he "healed" when drawing life force from Rey and Kylo, etc. I'm claiming a "yes" on this because there was something creepy and unnatural going on. It wasn't just regular ol' Palpatine...he didn't seem to be an outright ghost, but there appeared to be some Sith alchemy/ooga-booga at play and this thing wasn't completely the Palpatine we saw on the second Death Star in 1983, IMO.

- Related to that, the little Baby Green Frog from the Mandalorian winds up being part of the reason for his return...extracted Force-healing/ghosting mojo decades prior leads scientists or Sith devotees to conjure up some Palpatine + Frankenstein abomination *Gotta claim partial credit on this one...while there seemed to be no direct ties to Palpatine's return (unless something is revealed in the final episode this coming Friday), the Force healing that Rey uses twice and Kylo uses once in the movie seems to directly spring from the little Baby Force Frog doing this in episode 7 that aired last Wednesday, two days before the movie opened. This particular ability, as we saw it used in TROS has never shown up in the previous eight movies, so I'm not sure how suddenly Rey and Kylo have "healing touch" powers, but they do. Maybe we learn something a bit more concrete/helpful Friday?

- Finn lives, Poe lives. And no, they don't make out or declare their love for one another *However, there is a same-sex kiss shown between two female Resistance members in the closing celebration.

- Rose lives, nobody gives a shit Yep, and yep.

- At least two fake-out/rug-pull "deaths" (Poe, Chewie, etc.). *Nailed it...Chewie, Rey, Kylo and, in a way, Threepio

- Hux dies, as do all the First Order bigwigs; but before that, Hux will have some weird twist/angle to it because it's been pretty useless and played a bit too broadly all this time, leading me to believe that there has to be something more (he's the offspring of someone famous, or he'll reveal something really big; he just seems to have been wasted for two movies, but his rank/position puts him in a position, as a foil/adversary to Kylo, to throw a wrench into things in some way. I don't think he's a traitor or anything along those lines, but I don't fully buy him as a all-out, true evil villain either (I just don't think he's 100% on board with the Kylo/Snoke/First Order stuff); I started thinking this in The Last Jedi, from a couple of things he said/did, and the look on his face in a few scenes; he may prove to be one of the more interesting parts to all this, just from how utterly underused he's been so far; they've saved it for something, I truly believe Nailed the shit out of this. He was indeed a mole, helping the Resistance throughout. I KNEW there was something going on with this guy. But it was funny how it played out...not because he's any fan/supporter of the Resistance, but just that he hates Kylo Ren so much!

- If all these ships are returning, lined up behind the Falcon in the trailer, then we're going to see some familiar ones, from all eras of the saga...some more obscure than others, some big crowd pleasers (Slave 1, etc.). The occupants of a few of them may make for a genuine "holy crap!" moment; a familiar face/character or two putting in a final appearance *I'm reading that the Ghost from that Rebels TV show is indeed present, plus I recognized some Rebel fleet ships and a few other models I don't know the names of. And we saw Wedge(!) manning the Falcon gunner chair at the end. Odd that he wasn't in an X-wing, but we still saw him, silver hair and all. Literally a 1-2 second cameo where he has a line directed toward Lando in the cockpit.

- Han Solo/Harrison Ford appears (yes, it's the stupidest thing ever, but, again, it's J.J...I put nothing past him and his fan-service desires; whether it's a dream sequence, flashback or "vision", he'll appear; I'd like to think he wouldn't be a glowing blue Force ghost (for dozens of reasons), but, again, you never can tell with this bunch. And as one final J.J.-ism, his appearance/presence won't be explained in any reasonable way...it'll just "happen", Just Because™; we'll just have to figure it out, fill in the blanks, fan-theory it to death, etc. *Particularly proud of this one because it was the one friends and others in real life told me I was crazy for predicting. But I just knew...I knew J.J. wasn't going to pass up the chance. Apparently a vision/hallucination by Kylo, but I'm not 100% sure. They had a full-on conversation, so I guess it was just Kylo talking to himself or imagining what it might go like?

- Anakin most certainly has to appear, either with the other Force ghosts or in some sort of final acknowledgement/torch pass to Rey (the start of the saga, the end of the saga). Sebastian Shaw is long dead, and the pedo-leering Anakin is apparently canon now, so look for Hayden Christensen...robed, glowing, blue and still unable to act *Got the "he did appear", missed the form (voice vs. physical/visual). He was among the voices encouraging Rey.

- BB8 remains with Rey, as Artoo did with Luke all those years; that's her droid/sidekick now *Definitely. In fact, these two are the last characters we see, staring into the Tatooine twin sunset, just before the iris-out to credits.

- Lando will be used mostly as comic relief, and they'll play up the "smooth hustler"/ladies man aspect (there will be some cringe-y reference to that whole droid-banging thing, unfortunately). He lives, BTW I won't claim this in full, but he did have a couple of lines/expressions meant to be funny. And I can't tell if he was hitting on Jannah a bit at the end? Partial credit.

- Tatooine, twin suns (likely the very final scene, with someone - or several someones - staring into the sunset before iris-out)...I'm guessing Rey and BB8, with or without some blue-glowing company... *See above...how could it be anything but? The last five minutes of the movie were my favorite...Rey returning to the Lars homestead on Tatooine to bury Luke and Leia's lightsabers and (IMO, theory) sizing up the joint for a possible future Jedi academy. Her expression didn't strike me as wistful nostalgia, but, rather one of purpose and wheels turning in her head as she looked around the place, into the rooms in the the sunken pit area, etc. That's what I took from the scene, but I could be wrong. She might've hopped back on the Falcon with BB-8 after watching the suns set, never to return again. And Force ghost Luke and Leia appear, so I got that. I thought it might've been many more, but you end with the human twins plus the twin suns, so I guess that was more appropriate.

That's 18 out of 22 (17 full, plus two partial credits = 1). I believe that puts it squarely in the 80% neighborhood? I'll take it.
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2019-12-26, 05:45

Oh you know I'll play nice

You have to understand that I attend science fiction conventions and am inured to these arguments. I simply find no merit in battling windmills I cannot defeat because it I have already witnessed how it can lead to the Dark Side in real life with other nerds (counting myself as one). Life's too short for bitterness, and I have a whole lot I could be bitter about if I gave in to the urge.

Not today Satan!


...
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2019-12-26, 12:58

In my defense, any ranting/bitterness I may have engaged in is springing from genuine, lifelong love of something that I simply hoped to see a wonderful continuation of. I didn't get that in these movies, and it stung a bit more than I thought it would. The blown/missed opportunities, top to bottom, really dig at me if I let it.

But, just to show that I'm not a complete ogre or "hater", I really liked Rey in this movie. Now that the passage of time, training (we see it) and her studying those Jedi journals, her huge powers/abilities are now earned and make sense. Plus, factor in who her grandpa turned out to be, she's gonna have a lot of Force mojo flowing through her veins. But it was fun watching her this time because you're not sitting there thinking "she just picked a lightsaber up for the first time and is somehow besting a trained Jedi-turned-Sith devotee". In this movie, I was happy to see her so strong and capable...because now it makes sense, and there's reason behind it. She's put in the time, training and is fully exploiting her natural abilities. That's cool to see.

For the first time in three movies, I thought Rey was pretty damn awesome. And in much the same way I wanted to see further adventures of full-tilt Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, post-ROTJ, it kinda bums me out that now that she's at that same sort of level, we've probably seen the last of Rey.

See, this is why I liked the final five minutes of The Rise of Skywalker so much (I touch on this upthread): I'm being optimistic(!) and holding out hope that their next big project (standalone movie, new trilogy or even a Disney+ project) does indeed center around Rey as she trains/leads a new generation of Jedi. I'd like for some time to pass, both in-story and real-life, so she believably grows in her powers/abilities (and so the actress, Daisy Ridley, can maybe get a few years on her, maybe a line or two around her eyes, a silver shock of hair, etc.). We've seen her pretty much looking the same throughout this trilogy, but close your eyes and imagine a slightly older (3-5 years?) Rey in a desert-friendly take on Luke's black Jedi outfit, and sporting a funky, edgy hairdo (or just letting her hair down...something different than how we've seen her) and sporting her new yellow/gold staff-based lightsaber (they didn't show it in the movie, but if you look at the think the yellow/gold blade shot out of, it looks pretty much dead on to her staff she used in The Force Awakens (go Google pics and you'll see...they're out there). In fact, she was so good with the staff in TFA, I really thought that would've been her saber style of choice in The Last Jedi. But maybe as an apprentice, you're required to train with a standard one and then when you become a full-tilt Jedi and construct your own, you can do something that suits you? Darth Maul shouldn't be the only double-blade user in these movies, and it's cool to imagine Rey with a yellow/gold double-bladed lightsaber, playing on her fighting prowess with that staff.

So, anyway. I hope we haven't seen the last of her because in the past couple of days, I've really come to like the image of her I painted above. And let's be real: if Disney really wants to lock into that whole Girl Power™ thing they've been pushing so hard for four years now, there here's your perfect platform. A strong (because she fought and earned it), fully-formed Jedi and leader who can take care of herself, train/lead/inspire others, use her powers for good, loves/protects her friends, etc. There's a proper role model for any little girl or young woman to look up to and admire. They wouldn't be able to keep those Halloween costumes on the shelves!

I don't believe anyone dislikes Daisy Ridley in any real numbers, it's just her character was too perfect out of the gate and it gave her nowhere to go, until now, to where she should be at this level of ability/power. But we were denied the opportunity to see her growing/learning in the way that made Luke such a relatable, popular character. If they'd just tweaked that aspect a bit, that would've gone a long way toward improving a few big issues. That's why this movie is the best depiction of Rey, because it's not eyeroll-inducing. Now she is on par with Luke from ROTJ, and that's awesome. I have zero problem with that. No real man would. But nobody wants to see perfect, infallible Mary Sue types immediately out of the gate because it's boring, lame and unearned (and especially when it's mandated from on high by some dipshit producer looking to make a statement or score points in the culture). And it's hard to relate to, big picture. We all like to see our heroes struggle a bit, and grow/learn. Girl Power™ should still have some sort of grounded, realistic roots. It just can't be Force Jesus Perfection with Breasts, from frame one. That doesn't fly, and it doesn't endure.

But Rey, along with Adam Driver in several scenes, is the best part of this movie. You can't help but root for her.

So, yeah...as much as I disliked this trilogy - and how Rey was handled for the first two - I think she could carry a new project. Whether or not they want to explore Finn's obvious Force-sensitivity is up to them (and whether or not Boyega wants to sign on for more), but they've now got the seeds to lay out the kind of story/saga they could've (and should've) in 2015. The torch has finally been passed, IMO...let her shine.

And it works structurally as well because if you think about it, characters from each trilogy, chronologically, have carried over to the next one. Obi-Wan, Yoda and Vader/Anakin went from the prequels to loom large in the original trilogy. Then Luke, Han and Leia went form the original trilogy to this sequel one. So why couldn't Rey (and certainly BB-8 and maybe Finn or even Jannah, who is similar in her "defected stormtrooper who has feelings/abilities she can't quite put a finger on or understand just yet") carry on a new set of movies? There's no law saying you can't have Chewie too? With Mayhew's passing, they've got that new guy in the suit and he's young so he'll be around a good while (I thought he did fine in this movie). And if they can ever clean up/groom Hamill a bit, he could always put in a Force ghost appearance, as Obi-Wan did in the original trilogy on a few occasions.

But you don't need to remake those, or any other, already-done movies. Strike out, do what should've been done and give Rey and her friends an all new adventure(s). I think without the burden of constantly having to shout-out/acknowledge/pay homage/crib from the original trilogy, most folks would go along on this journey. I think people are naturally wired to want to see familiar characters mixed in with all new elements and not just feel like "good grief, I saw this already, 30+ years ago...".

As much money as these not-trying-very-hard sequel installments have made, can you imagine if some true thought and planning went into a truly new story, one that hits viewers as hard as 1977 did? We never got that from any of these movies, so I see nothing but opportunity and untapped potential.

Star Wars isn't dead, and I don't ever want it to be. But it does need to take a break, gather its thoughts and reassess some things, going forward. We don't need another movie in 1-2 years, cobbled-together via checkbox moviemaking and obsessed with such wall-to-wall fan-service and giving us unearned victories and "moments". If they can set that aside and take things seriously from here out, there's no reason Star Wars can't be amazing (and unifying) again.

They just hired the wrong people on this go-around, that's all. That's fixable. Look more toward the Favreaus and Filonis of the world, vs. the Abrams and Kennedys. It really is that simple...you can easily tell who truly loves/gets this property, and who's just been hired to go by the numbers and deliver a product. We've given the latter four years and five movies, so it's time for another group to step in. Star Wars cannot continue on its current course, I do know that. It seems, going solely by box office numbers, folks are finally tiring of it. So some big decisions will have to be made if they truly want to be in it for the long run, and put out the best stories they can. They've literally got a universe worth of stories to tell, heroes to follow, villains to jeer...whether or not they realize/embrace that, who knows? I hope they would. I'd love nothing more than to talk about Star Wars with adoration and passion, and positivity. I don't think that's out of reach or impossible. Some things just need to be tweaked/addressed.

Okay...now I've said all about this movie/trilogy I have to say. I've run the full gamut: complaints/gripes, rants and mockery, humor, nerdy questions/pondering/confusion, prediction tallying and, here at the end, I've wound up on a positive, uplifting tone, hopeful for the future of the franchise and genuinely eager to see what they do next (knowing they can't possibly do another unasked-for soft reboot). The ball is squarely in their court and they're going to have to stand up and deliver, now that they've completely mined the original trilogy for any and all direction and inspiration.

So there.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2019-12-26 at 13:53.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2019-12-26, 13:42

PS - I'm only able to write this much about it all because it's been a off-week/holiday period. Trust me...I'm never going to talk about anything else to this degree again, for ages to come. This was just the perfect storm of this movie hitting when I had a boatload of downtime to analyze/discuss it all.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-26, 14:02

Can't wait to see it so I can read the book.
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2019-12-26, 16:14

I just want you to be happy!!!!


...
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-29, 20:30

I still have yet to read Scates' book on the subject, but I have now seen the movie. The kid and I (and my mom, too) caught the 3:15 show in the VIP21 section of the theater (they let you pick your seats ahead and drink real booze! I didn't, but I could have. ).

Anyway …

We loved it! Unanimously.

I can't get onboard the hate boat on this one. There were a few eye-rollers, but they weren't bad enough to turn me off. I'm going to get my thoughts together over the next few days and post them, and respond to some criticism (after I read it), but head still spinning from the whole thing. The kid can't stop talking about how much she loved it (and she's no Star Wars apologist—she's loved the whole thing since her very first introduction while sitting on her dad's lap a long, long time ago …) and even bought her very own SW t-shirt to wear to the movie. We also ran into some friends and they loved it, too.

Anyway, the ending with the twin suns was predictable and also perfect! Such a series cannot possibly end in a better place. I would also say that we were all pretty close in predicting it to be very close to ROTJ and it was—partially.

Anyway, just some initial thoughts. I'll have more to say later.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-30, 19:43

I'm not going to worry over all the details. Scates has done a thorough job of outlining that stuff, and I agree with much of what he said.

Where I disagree with his argument is in the overall story that was Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.

As a Star wars movie, I thought it was fun and entertaining. I literally found myself on the edge of my seat a few times, and I got teary eyed at least twice. There were spots that were very moving and I enjoyed that.

As a continuation of the Star Wars saga, I thought the movie was brilliant. I agree that there were a number of areas that would have been better served if written differently, but I cannot and will not let that detract from what I thought of the story as a whole.

First, the gripes:

- The Han Solo scene was not well done. I agree with Scates (after the fact) that it would have been better to have Anakin in that place, and appearing as a Force Ghost rather than a live action character.

- Rose served absolutely no purpose. And I mean absolutely none!

- I appreciated this version letting go of most of the virtue signaling, but the girly kiss at the end was not necessary in a Star wars movie. It added nothing other than checking a box.

- The new female character (the one riding the horsey thing) didn't add anything.

- C-3PO was annoying as ever.

- Scates is right that the horror setups involving Chewie and goldenrod didn't work (although I was sad about Chewie and actually thought they may have killed him off, and I was hopeful that 3PO was gone for good!).

Those are my biggest gripes.

The good stuff is pretty much everything else. I loved the story as a whole; I loved what they did with Rey; I loved that Poe was less of a smart ass; I loved the cinematography, the soundtrack, and the effects. There were areas where the dialogue could have been improved, but I thought it was very good as a whole. Yes, it spent a lot of time trying to clear up the mess that was The last Jedi, but I think they did a very good job of it, especially with character chemistry which was vastly improved over VIII.

Still have more thoughts, but must update my list of Star Wars movie favs list:

1) Rogue One
2) VII
3) IV
4) IX
5) V
6) VI
7) Solo
8) III
9) I
10) II
12) VIII

I think that list changes as I reflect on the movies. For instance, Episode III has moved up from last place due to the excellent battle between Obi Wan and Anakin. Otherwise, it's crap! Episode VIII shot to the bottom like a rocket. Pretty sad that anything in the saga could be worse than the prequels, but Rian Johnson managed to outdo Lucas for the bottom spot. Also, it is possible that Episode IX will move up after I see it again (or perhaps down). I need more time to think it over, but my first impression remains very positive.

I'll post more thoughts as time and attitude permit.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-30, 19:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
In my defense, any ranting/bitterness I may have engaged in is springing from genuine, lifelong love of something that I simply hoped to see a wonderful continuation of. I didn't get that in these movies, and it stung a bit more than I thought it would. The blown/missed opportunities, top to bottom, really dig at me if I let it.
Absolutely. I feel your pain, believe me, it's just that my pain is centered around the prequels and that Episode VIII crap-storm.

Sometimes I like to think of myself as a serious Star Wars fanboy, but I'm not. I see these movies for what they are: entertainment. They are not my life, nor do they affect my life in any meaningful way. Still, there are areas I would have done much different, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2019-12-30, 20:11

If it makes you feel better, neither am I. I honestly haven't even thought about this movie since writing about it above here last week. I haven't been here carrying on after covering everything - everything - last Thursday (my final post in this thread, until now). I've said all I need to say about it all.

It came, it went, I saw, I forgot. *shrug*

I'm a fan, but now, more than ever, the original trilogy shines even brighter. That's just all I really acknowledge at this point, and that's just perfect for me. Nice and tidy...just how I like it.

Glad you enjoyed it.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-30, 23:00

Oh, I feel plenty good about your place in this discussion.

To be honest, after Episode VI I always wanted more Star Wars movies. Then came the prequels and I was so disenfranchised that I didn't care much if they ever made another one. So, I know how you feel.

4-6 really were a crowing achievement in the Star Wars universe. Yet, when I go back and watch them, there are places where I just roll my eyes. There are bits of dialogue, effects mistakes, storyline inconsistencies, etc. that make me cringe, and those things become ever more glaring as we learn to hyper-analyze these films. This is why Episode III has moved up my ladder. I've had time to think about it, and there is one scene that was the crowning achievement of the prequels; the spot where everything should have come together. And because of that one thing, the big face-off between Anakin and Obi Wan that should have cemented the prequels forever, that movie has risen above the other 2 and 9/10ths of the three.

There are glaring issues with Episode VII, a titanic failure with Episode VIII, and a solid attempt to repair the damage with Episode IX. Truth is, I can find a solid handful of mistakes in every aspect of all 9 movies. None of them is perfect to me, and I wish that George Lucas had had his grand vision right now, when effects technology is at its height. That's why I like Episode VII more than Episode IV. Perhaps it is the same story, but the cinematography is so much better. The sound and the effects are so much better. That makes the same story come out so much more entertaining, at least for me.

Had Episode IV never happened, we would be comparing all future Star Wars movies to The Force Awakens. But, that cannot and will not happen. Star Wars hit when sci-fi movies were about as cheesy as they could get. It took the polish off the universe and made it look used at a time when we were all hyped up for something fantastic. That will be forever etched into our memories and compared against. There is no stopping such things.

I'm glad you have that. It's a tasty little piece of your childhood you should never let go of. It meant something to you and still does. It's a "get off my lawn" moment that should stand the test of time. So be it.

There are new and fun possibilities for Star Wars coming in the future. There will be shows and spin-offs and new movie delights based on a host of new characters. Perhaps Rey will find a home in one or tow or three of them. And I'm okay with that.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2019-12-31, 12:00

EDIT: Eh, screw it...I answered my own question. Something J.J. might wanna look into...

But I'd be interested in hearing what you guys thought of the Force-healing thing (complete with Wolverine-esque "like it never happened" wound-closing/vanishing) that just randomly dropped into this movie, after eight movies of zero mention/use. Is it tied to Baby Force Frog (obviously, in some way...that species may be special because they're born with it and know, even as a baby/child, how to use it and when?), and Rey learned about it from the Jedi book-reading she's been doing between episodes 8 and 9?

I can buy into all that because I assume those ancient Jedi journals are full of that sort of thing (would've been nice to have a little explanation/reason, but that's not J.J.'s thing, I know), but how does Kylo come to use it? Is that explained through his Force bond with Rey and he just "knew", from looking into her mind (as she was lying there, dead)?

Okay, fine. Whatever.

If it's some ancient, established Jedi power, it seemed Obi-Wan might've seen fit to use it on Qui-Gon after Maul stabbed him (in the same manner/location Rey jabbed Kylo) in The Phantom Menace? But I guess I'm gonna go with Obi-Wan, still in apprentice mode, wasn't far enough along in his training to know/understand that particular set of skills (see what I did there) to save his master, Liam Neeson.

Can we at least all agree that this ability/power, not seen over eight movies/four decades, seemed a bit out-of-nowhere/random to be dropped into the final installment, halfway in? I don't like to be spoon-fed things either, but sometimes 10-20 seconds of clever or well-written explanation/exposition can nicely de-WTF?! a movie that's desperately in need of a dose.

My only other question/comment regarding this stupid thing: seeing as how Palpatine pretty much died the exact same way he did 30+ years ago in Return of the Jedi (his own Force-lightning directed/inflicted upon himself, and then he blew up), where's the guarantee that this time did the trick? Because it didn't quite take the last time, right? Why all the celebration and relief when it's known that the man cheated death before? In another 20-30 years, assuming anyone even gives a shit about any of this at that point, what's to keep Disney from bringing him back again?

Nothing, that's what.

There is literally zero earned "victory" here, big picture, because that simple notion now hangs over everything. The man seemed pretty confident in his ability to not stay dead/gone, so I don't see how this is some big "payoff" moment in the movie. When I saw it last week, I literally muttered to myself "yeah, and this is what happened last time and the a-hole still came back, so...?"

If nobody really "dies" in these movies (except for Greedo and Porkins, apparently), then what's the point?

The Jedi can heal fatal wounds and raise each other from the dead now, and Sith masters can get electrocuted, explode and still manage to return, decades later (and be orchestrating everything behind-the-scenes). It all just seems a bit pointless, big picture. How high can the stakes possibly be when no Jedi can truly die now and the Sith seem onto something of their own as well (those "unnatural" pathways).

This terrifies me because now it means that a new trilogy could come at some point where CGI Force ghost Mark Hamill/Robert Plant leads CGI Neeson, Guinness, Jackson, etc. in a battle with - you guessed it - Palpatine and his even [i]bigger[/] armada of Star Destroyers, all piloted by Boba Fett and Darth Maul clones! Don't laugh...somewhere within Disney, someone's probably mulling over this very scenario.

This property, as much as it really needs to, is never going to move forward, I fear. They're gonna pound that Skywalker/O.T. fan-service sausage until the lights go out.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2019-12-31 at 13:58.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-31, 13:52

I'm convinced that the force healing thing is a direct result of (or in support of) Force McFrog's introduction of it. I'm OK with that. If anyone was watching The Mandalorian and then went into TROS, then there was an "aha!" moment that tied the stories and the power together. The "explanation" came from a different show. And, yes, I agree that a person shouldn't have to chase these explanations around for hours and through different shows, etc. I get it.

But it made it fun for me!

The other thing, could Palpatine return again? Of course. And I don't like that, nor do I think he is going to. I am also convinced that Rey wasn't entirely "dead" any more than a drowned person is entirely "dead". CPR can be used on a drowned person, and force healing can be used on a force-depleted person. I think. I guess. Hell, I don't know. But that's my explanation and I'm sticking to it like butter on a hot griddle!



As far as new "unexplained" powers cropping up, I'm pretty sure the only one I can remember ever getting an explanation was the Jedi mind trick, which Obi Wan explained in Episode IV. Was Palpatine's force lightning ever explained? No. He just had it. Was Jedi breath-holding ever explained before Obi Wan and Qui Gon used it in Episode I? No, they just had it. A lot of Jedi powers are never explained, they're just used and we go, "Whoa, that was cool!" I could make a case for all kinds of force powers that were just randomly dropped into these movies.

In IV-VI I accepted all kinds of unexplained things as canon because, well, they were unexplainable things. I have a much harder time with fuel and sea-monster milk than I do with random force powers.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2019-12-31, 14:14

It's not the power itself. Jedis can do all kinds of cool things, but my point is a) that's a pretty big one (magical wound healing/undoing death), and b) was never even hinted at (assuming it's a known, centuries-old ability) in anything else...eight movies, four decades, three distinct time periods? It just pops up in this final installment, three times even, pretty much out of nowhere.

Consider the following: maybe Rey accidentally kills one of those space nuns on Luke's island in The Last Jedi (that boulder she lightsabered in half fell on someone), she's all distraught and Luke shows up and heals/revives the creature, and looks at Rey with a "you have no idea what you're stepping into" look (as in "you have so much to learn, child, and I'll teach you now"), that would've been a nice in-universe setup (and a moment where we see Luke softening, reconnecting to the Force and realizing he must get with the program and help Rey). Then when it happens in this movie, you, the viewer, makes a nice connection "Oh, that's that thing Luke did in the last movie...right on!" You'd put together that between his training and her reading those books, it's something she's learned to do herself in that timespan between 8-9. Then there's context, and a nice payoff.

Like everything else in this trilogy, it could've been handled better/smarter with just a little thought and effort. It deprives the audiences of a nice little "ah..." moment where they are given the pieces and they all click together in a satisfying, story-wide way.

Then it wouldn't seem so "what? Since when?" element to this movie, just out of nowhere.

Yes, awesome powers are cool. They're even more so when somewhat explained/earned and a little easier to buy into.

This particular power tends to change everything, and act as a giant eraser/Command+Z, story-wide (think of the implications going forward). So I don't buy it just randomly being inserted halfway into the final chapter, out of nowhere (three times), like some throwaway parlor trick. Sorry, but it deserved a proper setup/introduction. But that sort of thing just isn't this director's approach. Obviously. And it certainly seems ginned-up just for this installment (like Palpatine's return) because if it were known since 2014-2015 that this sort of ability was going to be part of things, Rian Johnson might've seen fit to write/film a scene similar to what I suggest above, to establish something new and powerful like this? But he didn't, which tells me that it's likely just something else Abrams and Terrio pulled it out of their butts about 18 months ago, while hacking away (no pun) on their MacBooks.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2019-12-31 at 15:05.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-31, 14:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
but that sort of thing isn't this director's forte. Obviously.
It's not just JJ, though. You have to remember that the total bumbling idiot that is Rian Johnson was shoved in between two Abrams flicks.

Maybe, possibly, probably not but worth considering: Had JJ Abrams been given the entire thing from day 1, all three episodes, perhaps forethought may have worked. Maybe. Rian Johnson's involvement eliminated any possibility of continuity, because he was hellbent on destroying the franchise. There can be no continuity.

But I absolutely agree that the entire sequel needed to be mapped out from front to back in order to fully work as a whole. They clearly did not do that. Thus, the three movies—when taken as a whole—do not work.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2019-12-31, 15:34

Yep, very true.

The original trilogy had three different directors. But somewhere in it all must've been a "big picture"/rough outline to guide it all. Those three movies - despite three different directors and a six year timespan (1977-1983) - manage to hang together quite nicely. Clearly proving that it's the foundation (writing/story) that holds it all together. That's obviously lacking in this 2015-2019 effort. There's no way in hell Kennedy, Abrams and whoever else sat down in 2014-2015 and mapped all this out. If they did, they failed miserably. But it looks like something that was made up as they went, each installment.

And, yeah...Rian did them no favors whatsoever with his little student film. I'll never understand how fire-happy Kathleen didn't put the brakes on that or bring in Ron Howard or someone to straighten all that out? Her strongest skill seems to be firing directors, and she couldn't/didn't do it the one time it might've truly helped?!

I certainly wouldn't want Abrams handling all three. But had he done so, maybe it would've been consistent hackery/suckage? There's something to say for that, I suppose. At least they would've come across like a unified, cohesive saga (you know, like the prequels with George in the writing/directing chair)? They're poorly-written, unwatchable schlock-fests, but at least they're that way across the board without a jarring, out-of-place tonal shift right in the middle?

I do wonder what Colin Trevorrow's episode 9 would've looked like? What could he have done that was so fire-worthy? He may have said "WTF am I supposed to do with unworkable this turd Rian left me?" and that angered Kennedy (who then took 10 minutes from screen-printing The Force is Female™ T-shirts* to fire him for not recognizing Rian's greatness)?

Good grief, what a soap opera.

Undeserving, unqualified diphits put in charge of the one property that really can't afford to have undeserving, unqualified dipshits being in charge (it's just too big, too complex, too much baggage, too high expectations/demands, a loyal, rabid fanbase who aren't in the mood for Maze Runner/Pirates of the Caribbean-level nonsense and tomfoolery, etc.).

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2019-12-31 at 15:49.
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-12-31, 16:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
The Force is Female™ T-shirts


I'm going to be laughing at that for the foreseeable future!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
Undeserving, unqualified diphits put in charge of the one property that really can't afford to have undeserving, unqualified dipshits being in charge (it's just too big, too complex, too much baggage, too high expectations/demands, a loyal, rabid fanbase who aren't in the mood for Maze Runner/Pirates of the Caribbean-level nonsense and tomfoolery, etc.).
Yeah. I think JJ was a reasonabe director for a pair of disconnected Star Wars movies, but he and Rian Johnson were definitely the wrong people for a connected and meaningful trilogy. These three movies, when taken in sequence, make absolutely no sense. I think IX could stand entirely on its own without VII and VIII ever existing and make at least some sense.

But VIII cannot. It doesn't even feel like it's part of the Star Wars universe at all. And that makes the entirety of the sequels a steaming pile of crap as a group. Individually, VII and IX are very good films. Together (without VIII) they almost make sense. But VIII screws up the whole picture.

Again, I give credit to JJ Abrams for righting the sinking ship, at least partially. And this is where I will tell you what my friend told me about his experience. He said, "I liked it, but … they spent so much time trying to fix Episode VIII that the story was lacking."

So true. A great deal of space was utilized just trying to shove VIII back into the toilet where it came from.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2019-12-31, 20:22

I finally saw it today!

And… I enjoyed it despite it hitting several predictable notes. I certainly could see myself watching this movie a second time some time later; I can't honestly say the same for Episode 8 or any of the prequels. I just spent the last hour reading the novels in this thread and I think I just have a few additional comments to share and questions to ask.

It's not my favorite Star Wars movie, but it easily beat my bottom-of-the-barrel expectations I had going in, and I'm pleasantly satisfied with how they generally tied off the loose ends (or maybe that they tied off loose ends).

Things I liked that I don't think have been mentioned here:

- I loved Luke's "treat that with more respect" comment regarding his light saber and the following snide glance, an obvious but very-well deserved jab at the previous movie.

- I was glad to see Rey climbing through the crashed death star. An obvious callback to when we first saw her introduction as a scavenger in TFA, this somehow felt to me like when she was "in her element". Alone and exploring in a dark, dangerous place. I kind of get Tomb Raider or Indiana Jones vibes. Granted, Daisy Ridley isn't exactly ripped with upper body strength, but she did make it look pretty natural as if she'd been doing some kind of training regimen. I wish we could have seen more of her wandering through places alone like this.

- I was so relieved that they dropped the forced love thread with Rose.

- Thank the gods that they made practically no references to the events of Episode 8. Other than Luke being dead and Rey having the old books, were there any Episode 8 callbacks? Did I just blissfully tune them out, or did they actually pretend that movie didn't happen?


Some things I didn't like:

- Absolutely everything about Rey and Kylo/Ben's relationship. The sacrificing of each other for the other felt so shallow, meaningless, and predictable to me, more than anything else in this movie. This relationship is something I've never understood through this trilogy. These two characters have no reason to have chemistry beyond the tired old trope of "bad guy and good girl must fall in love". To the best of my recollection, they were never set up to have any common ground. Did I completely miss something here along the journey?

- I really wish Leia would have died sooner, perhaps even off-screen at the very beginning of the movie. With every single scene she was in, I was taken out of the moment and my brain kicked into editor mode asking questions about how much they had to edit or rewrite or reshoot or splice to fit Carrie Fisher's recorded scenes into the narrative. Almost every single word she said could have been cut and the story would have unfolded the same way.

- I still hate these all-CG characters. That tiny troll who reprogrammed Threepio? That nutsack of a face Maz Kanata? These things aren't even in the uncanny valley. They're past the horizon way over there down in the unbelievable gorge. I don't understand how Disney/Star Wars does these characters so badly. Maybe it's some kind of sick homage to the CG abominations in the "remastered" original trilogy of the 90s and the prequels.


And finally some general comments, unfulfilled wishes, and questions:

- I desperately avoided spoilers and predictions ahead of my viewing, and I am very grateful for having done so. It felt good to be surprised a few times by particular cameos or events.

- Was the force healing the only connection here to The Mandalorian?

- I wouldn't have noticed the two women kissing at the end if not for social media getting their knickers in a twist and spoiling that ahead of time. I'm pretty sure it's normal for people to embrace, hug, and kiss in a moment of extended celebration. If it was a man and woman kissing in the background, nobody would bat an eye. I guess there would have been even more outrage if this was a few decades ago, but the rate of social progress here just makes me kinda sad.

- I would have liked the Force healing to have a more visible and tangible effect on the donor beyond "I'm kinda weak for a little bit and just when the writing needs it". It would have been great to see some part of Rey's body char, weaken, or wither as she donated her "life force" to the snake monster and Ben. If you haven't seen The Witcher yet (you should!), it does a good job of demonstrating this idea when its sorcerers cast magic and have to pay somehow with life.

- I had no problem with the (re)introduction of Force healing, but maybe that's because I watched The Mandalorian. To me, this felt just like when we were first introduced to Palpatine's Force lightning. Just more ancient voodoo space magic that nobody should try to think too much about!

- The timing of the "ghosting" of Leia and Ben and (not) Rey kind of makes sense if you think of their Force life juice somehow tying them all together. Rey's life was still in Ben and could be why she didn't totally pass while he was alive, and Leia was still an un-ghosted corpse while her life force was diddling around with Ben's katra. I know it's a stretch and very imperfect (let's not think about the giant snake monster), but this all "clicked" in my head canon when Leia and Ben ghosted out at the same time.

- If Rey is Palpatine's granddaughter, who is the grandmother? There's a whole Pandora's can of worms that I hope we don't get an answer to. Did Palpatine have a legitimate lover years ago? Was he cloned? Did he rape some poor woman? (I mean, he is evil…)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0
The Force is Female™ T-shirts
I really want to make this a thing now.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2019-12-31, 21:04

To be fair, the t -shirt pics of Kennedy and the young women allegedly isn’t Star Wars, capital-F “Force” related. It’s part of a Nike campaign, blah blah.

So all that aside, she still oversaw/signed off on the last four years of nonsense, shitty writing, weak storytelling, atomic-level fan-service, the misuse/waste of the original characters, etc. So that’s enough for me to want her off this particular property. Abrams too. His “tribute band” take on the franchise isn’t needed, going forward.

The legacy of this trilogy will be all the missed chances and opportunities to really do something amazing. A true “next generation” saga, etc. That’s a shame (and I’m saying that in the hollow, dismissive Seinfeld way, vs. any true lament/regret).

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2019-12-31 at 21:20.
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