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Star Wars editorializing 

I just watched a "preview" version of the Han Solo prequel. This is IMHO the best film since Ep.7 (spoiled only by a certain prequel character turning up at the end for no good reason). didn't do anything to make me care about any of its cartoonish characters, and ... well ... almost nothing in the plot made sense and it suffered from some *major* prequelitis, but it was ... OK. If I can, I'll pay money to see on a big screen.

Star Wars editorializing 

One other thing, IMHO the box office take from each new film reflects how fans felt about the last one. I blame the underwhelming turnout for on how badly the last two let us down. Hopefully the word will get around that is actually good (not the Thor-Ragnarok-esque parody the original directors apparently had planned), and fans will pay to tell Disney *this* is what we want from Star Wars, not cutesy penguins and race horses:
theplaylist.net/solo-star-wars

Star Wars editorializing 

Last thing, pretty much sums up why I felt frustrated with , despite really *wanting* to like it
youtube.com/watch?v=1oAi0hoJ_2

Star Wars editorializing 

This video by Lessons from the Screenplay is a good breakdown of some of the problems with
youtube.com/watch?v=gsIQa7sH5_

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I seem to have enjoyed Rogue One more that you did.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain it wasn't as bad as the prequels. That's about the best review I can come up with. Nothing (except for the digitally vandalized originals) is worse than the prequels. Even Ep. 8 looks good compared to that bloated mess. But come on, how many times did we have to see shots of that lookout guy on Yavin, and all the other tiresome ? *yawn*

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I actually like the prequels (with the exception of III) better than VII & VIII. I really don't like this new direction they're going with the main series. The anthologies, even the mediocre Solo, are more enjoyable for me.

How would you rate the Star Wars movies?

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain see the huge rants I've been posting here ;) The movie nerd in me likes the idea of the . I've proposed trying this to my brother (also a "genre film" obsessive) when we're next in the same city, using the despecialized originals (the specialized versions are as bad as the prequels because of all the added ), and a truncated fan edit of 2-3.
nomachetejuggling.com/2015/12/

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain my personal spin on the Machete Order would add after Ep 6, and then Ep 7. Questions, 1) did you watch the original trilogy with or without the pre-prequel digital tack-ons ("specialized" or "unspecialized"), 2) if you first saw the prequels as a child, have you rewatched them as an adult?

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey

I watched them all as they were released: original series, special edition, prequels, and now sequels & anthology.

I read a bit of that Machete Order thing, but discount it. It's release order for me.

As for ranking them, best to worst, here's mine:

5
Rogue One
4, 6
2, Solo
1
8
7
3

Can I ask how you would rank the movies?

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain

9 (I live in hope, and it would be such a massive save by JJ!)
1 (despecialized)
3 (despecialized)
7 / Solo/ 5 (despecialized)
8
R1 (had a lot of the narrative/ character fails of the prequels but at least got the aesthetic)
A prequels fan edit that cuts them down to one decent movie
3
2
1
Specialized versions of 1-2-3

What make Empire and R1 so much better for you than 4 and 6, and what didn't you like about 3?

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I can expand more when I type at home on my computer. But, I'm having a little difficulty with your list. Could you just stick with one version of each movie (original or special edition, it's your choice)? Also, let's not include any movies not yet released. And, I can't seem to find Episode 4.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain

Sorry, I was making this list on a couple of days of sleep dep ;) Let's try that again:

4 (despecialized)
6 (despecialized)
7 / Solo/ 5 (despecialized)
8
R1 (had a lot of the narrative/ character fails of the prequels but at least got the aesthetic)
A prequels fan edit that cuts them down to one decent movie

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Don't worry about being in a rush to reply. I'd rather have this discussion slowly over the course of several days & when we're both firing on all cylinders. I'll wait for an hour or more after your last post before I start replying.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Ep. 5 & Rogue One had more emphasis on character & there was more of an emotional connection. It's hard for a novel or movie to get a reaction out of me, so I appreciate it when one does. They also had more thought-out plots, even if Rogue One was a bit rushed.

Ep. 3 was utter tripe. Anakin's conversion to the dark side was thin (& poorly acted). The whole plot was just a collection of loose ends that needed to be tied up in a haphazard way.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain totally agree about Ep 3, but "just a collection of loose ends that needed to be tied up in a haphazard way" is how I would describe all 3 prequels (I've probably confused you since I put it so highly in my sleep-dep-addled first list, check the update). It's a shame, because there were some good ideas, and a few good moments here and there in all 3 but *sigh* no pruning to allow them to stand out

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Yes. Lots of really good ideas in the prequels. Such a waste.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain agree about 5 too, but I have to say I find it hard to understand how you can describe this way. For me, R1 had the broad strokes of a solid plot, but totally failed to take the time required for characters development, in their rush to get to the big 'throw in every piece of tech we've ever seen into one battle' climax. I didn't care when characters died in that battle. I still didn't know who they were enough to care.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain to this day I struggle to remember all the main characters' names, and I've seen it 3 times (out of curiosity, how many can you name without consulting or ?). I've seen twice, and I can at least tell you the first name of every character that has one (clearly stated in dialogue that is). I cared when Qi'ra was left behind on Correlia. I cared when Val and Rio died. When Has shot Beckett, I felt vindicated an conflicted along with him.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain you may ask why I've seen so many times if I though it was so bad. I've seen all the prequels at least that many times too. I re-watch movies the same way I re-listen to music, and I enjoy watching even disappointing movies in genres I like, in company with people who haven't seen them yet.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain as for the plot, the pacing had some serious issues (see rush to final battle as already mentioned). The writers can't help what we already know (from 1-6), but they don't have to give away what few mysteries there could have been. That prologue scene would have been more effective, narratively and emotionally, as a flashback when Jyn sees her father on Eadu. Up to then, she could have been using only her first name, never revealing her parentage to us.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain the whole plot would have worked better if it gave us more time watching the characters interact, and get to know and trust each other. That way we get to know them too, rather than just watching them wander through an endless series of Bang! Crash! set pieces (Kidnappings! Explosions! Tentacled, mind-reading creatures who have no effect on the outcome! More explosions!)

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Regarding R1, names aren't important to me. I watched Molly's Game a couple of weeks ago & can only remember Molly & Player X (the latter one for obvious reasons). Yet I loved that movie. I can remember the names Finn, Rose, Rey, Phasma, Kylo, Maz, Poe, Haldo, BB8, from 7 & 8, yet I despise those movies. (That may be because there is a lot more discussion about the main series online than there is about R1, so I see those names mentioned more often.)

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I agree about the opening of R1, though. It was horribly rushed. A good example of how not to do things. But, once it hit its stride, it seemed to carry its own (I've only seen it once when it was first released). I think we knew who everyone was, what they were doing, & why. It seemed to be good adventure story-telling from that point on. I don't think the characters are any worse than the original series or Solo. They were certainly better than the prequels.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I don't mind R1 not keeping Jyn's family a secret. I'm a little tired of secret fathers & sisters. I was annoyed it was brought up in Ep. 7, but like how it was brushed aside in Ep. 8.

I don't mind knowing the ending of the book or movie right from the start, because most of the time the journey is more interesting than the destination.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
My enjoyment of R1 may have been enhanced because of my utter disappointment with Ep. 7. I'll have to rewatch it during a typhoon day this summer (R1, that is; I have no intention of ever watching 3, 7, or 8 again; & I think I'll boycott 9 because I hate everything Jar Jar Abrams touches: Mission Impossible 3, Star Trek, Star Wars).

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I think R1 appealed to me so much because of our divisive times. It was a movie about a ragtag group of more or less normal people who had been cast aside & were not part of the system. They banded together to do the right thing.

In our world of racism, where greedy businesses get exposed daily for exploitation of workers or user information, where politicians are maneuvering in ways not seen since WW2, it's refreshing to see people do the right thing.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I'm of two minds on Solo. I liked the special effects, the action, the worlds, the adventure, the cinematography, even most of the characters. However, it's the cheapness of the story that bothers me. Val dying, Darth Maul's reappearance, & all the double crossing of the double crossing, Enfys Nest being a kid. It's supposed to be surprising, but it's tiring. I curse the writing of that movie a lot. Everything else was very Star Wars-y.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
My biggest gripes with Star Wars after the original series is adolescent focus. Lucas may have said he was making Ep. 4 for kids, but I disagree. I think he's covering himself. Luke is the only thing childish in the original series, & he grows up fast.

However, the prequels were very immature in their characters, despite so much politics in the plot. Young Anakin, Jar Jar Binks, a 12-year-old elected princess of a planet, Anakin's tween angst.

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Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain
> It was a movie about a ragtag group of more or less normal people who had been cast aside & were not part of the system. They banded together to do the right thing.

Best. Description. Of. Original. . Trilogy. Ever.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain have you given 7 a second watch? It's honestly worth the effort, especially if there'a fan edit that prunes off a few of the MacGuffins (the whole sequence with the ill-fitting gangs and the Scooby Doo tentacled moster chase, Finn's weird fight with Random Stormtrooper X etc)

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain but is all about these conflicting family loyalties! Without family ties, it's just Flash Gordon with better . As I said in my post about Luke's arc, it's the family relationships that force characters to see moral greyness where it's easier to just black/ white fallacy everything, and consider the possibility of redemption.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain If Jyn's father being the architect of the isn't important, why is Jyn important? Answer: she isn't. That's the defining quality of her character; daughter of Urso. The only other reason she has any place in the story at all is being able to arrange a meet with Che Guevara on Jeddha. If her parentage doesn't matter, you could make Cassian the main character, or the pilot ("I'm the pilot!"), or one of the intriguing but sadly under-utilized asian guys.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain even is reduced a huffing and puffing Big Bad Wolf in , with none of the gravitas or character depth of his presence in 4-6. dials it in from Planet B. IMHO the only really good character is . I really wish they'd got that guy to play , and given his character even half of the sophistication and menace of Krennic (or from ).

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain in Ep 7-8 is about as menacing as the Nazis from ;-P

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain reminded me about Krennic, and I agree with most of the criticisms made in this video
youtube.com/watch?v=1di2WXP9iT

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain
> I think we knew who everyone was, what they were doing, & why

But that's precisely why they were poor characters. What can you tell me about anyone in other than what their executive function was in the plot ("I'm the pilot, I'm the pilot!")? It reminded me of an old B movie I saw once whose characters were a cyborg, a kung fu guy etc. They were just types, with no personality, no inner conflict, no growth driven by the events in the story. No arc at all

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Not all characters have to grow to be good characters. They can remain absolute throughout & still be great. James Bond & Indiana Jones are probably the best examples of this, both being characters created with broad strokes. Neither of them have much of a personality beyond the ordinary, but their adventures are interesting. As characters, they are serviceable, though. Some of the supporting characters in those movies actually outshine them.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain
> They were certainly better than the prequels.

I agree (see my second bash at the ranking list), but that's a pretty low bar to go over ;)

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain for me, 's ending is as bad as its beginning. The characters mostly vanish into a maelstrom of every single piece of tech used in every movie ever. It's hard to care when they all die, because it happens so fast, the movie never pauses to mourn them, not even for a beat. The final scene with Vader crashing through rebels to get at Leia's is forced and surplus, we've seen that already at the start of Ep 4. The movie could have had a stronger ending.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain the second act was by far the strongest. After they leave Jeddha and that irritating Che Guevara guy buys it (*finally*!), and before the battle of Scariff, where we're at least starting to find out who the characters are, and how they fit together with the world, and each other. With a bit of a prune, and some nurturing, it could have been a great film, but for me, it was just ... OK.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I haven't watched the 2 YouTube videos you mentioned, and I probably won't. I'm just interested in this discussion with you.

I also am not interested in any fan edits, machete orders, or or even Lucas's own special editions. I just stick to the original versions in the order they were released.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I want to start with a post you made midway through this last discussion about Luke's arc.

I actually don't think Luke (or any Star Wars character, for that matter) is a well-developed character. They are adequate for the adventure genre, but not in any way well-developed. Some are poorly developed (Anakin, Finn, Kylo, Poe, Qi'ra<--although she's at least likable). Most characters, like Luke & Jyn, are serviceable.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Yes, I missed mentioning Luke coming to terms with his father who is on the dark side & his own possible flirtations with the dark side because I feel that was just window dressing. It wasn't delved into in any meaningful way. They could've done more with that, but didn't. I'd say glossing over that is par for the course for the original trilogy & the anthologies. Not a sin (like the prequels & sequels), because there is something there, just not well-developed.

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Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain so you go with cinema version in release order over Ep order? In that case it's just as well Ep 7 was made, to wash away the nasty taste Ep 3 leaves in the mouth after a marathon. I'm hoping 9 will do the same for 8.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain if you enjoy geeking out on movie story telling, which you seem to, 's 'what if the prequels were good" videos really are worth your time. They're both entertaining to watch, and a fascinating glimpse into the machinery of narrative, pacing, character development etc

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain I'm really keen to try the Machete order. I was even thinking you could do a Machete Order type sequence centred around Han's story, not Luke's. It could go something like 4-6, , then 7. Alternatively 7 could go first, as a noirish prologue. We meet this grizzled veteran, see his death at his own son's hands, and wonder "who is this guy, and how did he come to this"? Queue , then 4-6. Han's arc from street rat to rebel general to betrayed Dad laid bare

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain @whistlewright @lnxw48a1 maybe there's a fundamental divide here in what people are looking for in ? Some of us watch for the stories, especially the characters arcs, and some of us watch for the battle scenes, novel use of , and the general visual spectacle. If the latter is what you're after, the prequels and serve you much better, and isn't going to be nearly as interesting, since its primarily a character-driven film.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I break novels down into 4 parts: plot, character, language/atmosphere, meaning/knowledge. A good novel for me would be a relative balance between all of those.

It's similar for me with movies, but movies have the added attributes of acting (character) & special effects (atmosphere).

Star Wars has never been strong on character or emotion. They're mostly about the plot & the world with some interesting people.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain I agree with the first 2 pars, and I'd add that plots and characters are two sides of the same coin. Without good characters, plot is just a series of set pieces (explosion, car chase, fistfight, romantic moment, spaceship etc), and without a compelling plot, even the mostly fleshed out characters are just floating in space.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain but I couldn't disagree more about par 3. As a child, 4-6 were all about spaceships battles, lazer sword duels, and weird looking aliens, and I found the old TV series just as entertaining. But rewatching 4-6 as an adult I realize how much I identified with Luke (Han too, but more so Luke), and his battle with his father's , and his own. It's very emotional for me.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain that's why I found the prequels so underwhelming. I *wanted* to care about the fate of the people in those films, I really did. But the characters were so badly written, and so badly acted,
due to Lucas' inability to direct actors (he does much better directing ), I just couldn't bring myself to care about any of them.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain This was *especially* the case with young Annakin (sorry Jake Lloyd, it's not your fault, but you were painful to watch). Hayden Christensen was also miscast, Ewan McGregor would have made a better Annakin. Liam Neeson was tragically wasted as Qui Gon, and would have made a great young Obiwan.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain . I would have had Ewan play Annakin in Ep 1 too, but making him look as young as possible with costume, make-up, and lighting. Maybe present him as early teens (13-15?) in Ep 1, then about 18-20 in Ep 2, so about the same 5 year gap, but with no jarring boy>man leap between Ep1-2

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I agree the gap between Ep. 1 & 2. But I'm not sure about Ewan McGregor playing a teenager. Not even sure we needed to see Anakin as a boy/teenager. Starting in his 20s would've been fine.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain Ewan McGregor totally looks like a teenager with his rats tail in Ep 1. Some people actually think it's a different actor (because one doesn't have a beard and one does?). But sure, the key point is that we didn't need to see Luke as a boy to see his innocence and gee whiz naivety, and we didn't need to see Obiwan as a boy (or Qui Gon). The same is true of Annakin

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