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Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker (Post-Release Discussion)
There's something I used to say at times like these.

It started with let's...

And rhymed with puck.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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[Image: giphy.gif]
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

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I disagree with this idea that Abrams botched the setup of the trilogy in THE FORCE AWAKENS.

There are certainly flaws in that setup (not better explaining/conveying the galactic state of play being the major one), but on the most important level -- introducing our new hero and villain -- it succeeds, and it ends on a very tantalizing moment.  Most of the "regular" people I talked to about it thought it had kicked things off quite well.

That is the movie that got me to emotionally re-invest in STAR WARS in a big way.  Then THE LAST JEDI came around and I realized I really needed to stop caring that much, so I went into THE RISE OF SKYWALKER with low(ish) expectations and had fun with the silly mess that it is (though it's a silly mess that I think ultimately does right -- enough -- by its two central characters).
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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(03-26-2020, 11:04 AM)Belloq87 Wrote: There are certainly flaws in that setup (not better explaining/conveying the galactic state of play being the major one), but on the most important level -- introducing our new hero and villain -- it succeeds, and it ends on a very tantalizing moment.  Most of the "regular" people I talked to about it thought it had kicked things off quite well.  

In retrospect, TFA feels like nothing but flaws with two exceptions: Kylo Ren and Finn.

Rey is botched; Abrams had NO answers for the mystery box he set up. He had no end game, no arc, no ideas. It's clear, in watching TFA, Rey's a somewhat hollow or thin character, with only one identifiable characteristic (unrealistic hope that her parents will return to claim her). Otherwise, she's a paper-thin Strong Female Lead Trope.

Giving us the New Order which had no discernible reason for existing inside the SW universe, as well as being incredibly well funded and tech advanced, was botched. Recycling the Death Star for the third time in the franchise for no good thematic or necessary dramatic reason is another huge example of the film's nearly fatal flaws.

And Finn is barely not a flaw; he's given an fantastic setup, full of incredible potential but goes absolutely nowhere, and certainly isn't handled smartly or satisfyingly in TROS.

TFA gets by on energy, nostalgia and whiz-bang-sure-looks-pretty. But I don't think it succeeds in really setting up a new hero around which to build a new trilogy. Not because Rey's a bad character; she's just barely there in any definable characteristics and traits. And while TLJ tries mightily to amend that, much of that work is undone by TROS.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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I don't disagree about the First Order, but I do with most everything else!
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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How is Rey set up well in TFA? Can we name text-based defining/distinguishing characteristics that go beyond tropes or thin types? What's her goal in the movie? What do we know about her as a character (not her abilities, her actual personality) at the end of the film that we don't know five minutes after meeting her?

Moreover, how well does TFA set her character up for a satisfying arc over the course of the ST?
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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More to the point, I think: what works about Rey that isn't down to Daisy Ridley's performance? I submit the answer is "absolutely goddamn nothing."
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Rey's insecurities and fear of abandonment go a long way with me. Everyone always talks about her being "overpowered," but I say that's the point. She has so much power and doesn't want it or know what to do with it. That's interesting!

I'd say her story arc in TFA, however clumsily executed, culminates when she runs into Finn, Han and the rest on Starkiller Base and realizes they came back for her. She realizes they're her real family now, so she spends the rest of the third act fighting for them.

It ain't great. TLJ explores similar themes, as well as FEMALE DESIRE, much better.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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I don't really see any fears of abandonment or insecurities being shown in the film. And I don't remember her reaction on Starkiller Base supporting that reading, either...but I'd have to watch it again to be sure. She reacts to a lot of things in the moment, but most of the reactions seem to be surface level, not character-revealing or building.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
Reply
This is a weird video, but at the minute mark. It either works for you or it doesn't, and sure it's mostly in Ridley's performance:

"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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For the record, I didn't argue that the screenplay makes Rey a great character in THE FORCE AWAKENS. I think the majority of her effectiveness for me comes down to Ridley's appeal in the role. That was enough for me.
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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(03-26-2020, 08:28 AM)bartleby_scriven Wrote: Oy, you guys sure latched on to my use of "reckless."

To be fair it was pretty reckless of you.

It was also 1138% correct of you.
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JJ does 'LORE BREAKING" hyperspace skipping and Han hyperspeeding past DETHSTA3's shield's refresh rate like random ideas introduced and tossed off within that single scene with no consequence

Johnson did the supposedly 'LORE BREAKING' Holdo maneuver by building an entire subplot around which it became the grand payoff that couldn't simply be ignored and forgotten

nothing wrong with hyperspace skipping or shield refresh rates as cool ideas for a star war... but JJ handles them the way Gunn has Rocket go "oh wait, you can't go up there, YOU'LL DIE!!!" in that "whoops... I forgot to establish the stakes!" kinda way
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(03-26-2020, 12:44 PM)bartleby_scriven Wrote: Rey's insecurities and fear of abandonment go a long way with me. Everyone always talks about her being "overpowered," but I say that's the point. She has so much power and doesn't want it or know what to do with it. That's interesting!


Counterpoint:  It isn't!

She does have more power than she knows what to do with (because JJ's idea of innovation is to keep giving her a new superpower in every few minutes, all the way through TROS).  But I don't get the sense that she doesn't want power.  She is just kind of confused by how fast the script is shoveling it at her.
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(03-26-2020, 01:19 PM)Nooj Wrote: JJ does 'LORE BREAKING" hyperspace skipping and Han hyperspeeding past DETHSTA3's shield's refresh rate like random ideas introduced and tossed off within that single scene with no consequence

Johnson did the supposedly 'LORE BREAKING' Holdo maneuver by building an entire subplot around which it became the grand payoff that couldn't simply be ignored and forgotten

nothing wrong with hyperspace skipping or shield refresh rates... but JJ handles them the way Gunn has Rocket go "oh wait, you can't go up there, YOU'LL DIE!!!" in that "whoops... I forgot to establish the stakes!" kinda way

This.

This is what I'm talking about. Sure, JJ's use of hyperspace skipping is '"reckless" - but it's not brave, wonderful reckless (like the Besson films I reference); it's dumb, thoughtless reckless with no stakes and no meaningful consequences.

And that clip? Sure, Ridley is good in it. I'm not reading "This IS my family" levels of realization into it, though. At most, I'm getting "Hey, I matter to someone! A friend (or friends) willing to risk their own lives from me!" But that's not really much characterization.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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(03-26-2020, 01:19 PM)schwartz Wrote:  She is just kind of confused by how fast the script is shoveling it at her.

   
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...backs away from monitor.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
Reply
That's magnificent.

Do you have one for Emilia Clarke?
"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth."--Steve McQueen
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Mark March 25, 2020 as the day Bart recklessly used reckless.

And regretted it for the rest of his days.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
Reply
(03-26-2020, 01:27 PM)MichaelM Wrote: Sure, JJ's use of hyperspace skipping is '"reckless"

FINALLY we can all be friends and internet hug.
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(03-26-2020, 01:39 PM)hammerhead Wrote: That's magnificent.

Do you have one for Emilia Clarke?
as a collage?

no

   
   
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(03-26-2020, 01:41 PM)bartleby_scriven Wrote: Mark March 25, 2020 as the day Bart recklessly used reckless.

And regretted it for the rest of his days.

Rather reckless of you to commit to lifelong regret.

(03-26-2020, 01:42 PM)Bucho Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 01:27 PM)MichaelM Wrote: Sure, JJ's use of hyperspace skipping is '"reckless"

FINALLY we can all be friends and internet hug.

[Image: giphy.gif]
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
Reply
One gains even more respect for his dedication with regards to his Emilia work when one factors in that the notoriously anti-TV Nooj hasn't even watched Game of Thrones.
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Nooj's love of contorted faces is the delightful kind of reckless.
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It takes a special talent to select the exact right freeze-frame.
"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth."--Steve McQueen
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A reckless talent, even.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
Reply
contortface skipping through the refresh rate
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Bringing back Palpatine wasn't reckless, it was unimaginative. It also wastes Kylo Ren, who was an interesting villain. I hoped episode 9 would be about him running the first order. He would learn the hard way that being angry all the time makes it impossible to run a government. This would lead to his downfall.

  While I was disappointed by TROS, I do think that Kylo's redemption arc worked; however it could have been done without bringing back Palpatine. Still have Hux being a spy for the Resistance. Kylo would wonder how even though they have the same belief in The First Order they hate each other, while his own father never gave up on him; even after stabbing him with a lightsaber. I've always interrupted Han touching Kylo's face as saying I forgive you.
I've got good news and I've got bad news. The bad news is I've lost my way. The good news is I'm way ahead of schedule!
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(03-26-2020, 08:58 PM)Chaz Rock City Wrote: Bringing back Palpatine wasn't reckless, it was unimaginative.

Are you sure Chaz? Palps exploded while inside a thing which then also exploded. He was LITERALLY the last character anyone expected would turn up in Ep IX. 

Seems to me that's a perfect example of JJ effing with the canon real nice and reckless like
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IMO bringing back Paps was the safe move, because he worked so well in ROTJ. Its also lazy as well because Abrams didn't have to think about what Kylo would be doing after the events of TLJ.
I've got good news and I've got bad news. The bad news is I've lost my way. The good news is I'm way ahead of schedule!
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Cheers to the film's lightspeed skipping, Lando's return, the desert chase, the snake healing, Luke and Leia's flashback, the Han scene and that big stupid force mega-lightning bolt deal.

Jeers to everything involving daggers, wayfinders, Babu Fricks, fake-ass memory wipes and especially Palpatine: which was such bullshit someone in the audience I was with literally groaned when he showed up.
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Bringing Palpatine back in the flesh is the element I dislike the most in THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. For many reasons, I pretty much reject everything about it except McDiarmid's performance. I would have been fine with him popping up as a spirit in the Death Star wreckage to tempt Kylo and Rey, but making him the actual centerpiece of the plot was a huge mistake.

It doesn't derail the things in the movie I actually like, though.
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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...because it was never foreshadowed or hinted that he was still an active force.

That's not reckless storytelling. It's lazy, dumb storytelling.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
Reply
Aww, Babu Frik was the only thing that made me laugh in the entire film.
There are weapons in my hands, my hands are weapons.
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(03-26-2020, 10:09 PM)MichaelM Wrote: ...because it was never foreshadowed or hinted that he was still an active force.

That's not reckless storytelling. It's lazy, dumb storytelling.

I never said it was reckless.

I agree it's supremely lazy.

But I still like the movie!
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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