@whistlewright @lnxw48a1 if you don't care about the characters, and/ or you don't find the idea of a rebellion against a fascist Empire compelling, and/or you don't find the idea of having to defeat the dark side of yourself before you can defeat the fascists without becoming one (or something worse) then *shrug* you're not going to enjoy #StarWars. No big deal. But some of us love it, and we care about the stories being told well, and the character arcs being respected.
@whistlewright @lnxw48a1 #TFA wasn't everything it could have been, for reasons I went into here. But it was much better than the prequels in terms of a) relatable characters, b) narrative focus, c) a sense of fun, which the prequels totally lacked, but tried to make up for with ill-fitting bathos and slapstick
@whistlewright @lnxw48a1 oh and d) effects that don't make the film look like someone else playing a video game and making you watch, and e) a director that knows how to direct actors. Lucas got some of the best actors in the business, and somehow managed to draw out some of the worst acting of their careers. In contrast, JJ Abrams took a bunch of unknowns (and Harrison Ford), and managed to put compelling performances on the screen.
@whistlewright @lnxw48a1 Here's an exercise; watch the first 5 minutes of each film. Do you know who the heroes are? Who the villains are? What's at stake? Did it involve boring exposition over a cup of tea, or compelling action that pulled you right into the universe? Yes, I'm obsessive about this shit. I'm also a writer (see: https://strypey.dreamwidth.org/), and I'm intrigued by what does and doesn't work in narrative.
@lnxw48a1 maybe you missed that post, but I asked you why you were disappointed with Ep 5.? Here's what I liked about. 1) it wasn't just a lazy retread of #1. The whole plot had totally different set pieces than #ANH, giving us Luke and Han as battle-hardened buddies, a ground battle in the snow, a slightly demented hermit living in a swamp, a floating mining city, and the big reveal that the villian was not just impersonal evil personified, but related to the hero.
@lnxw48a1 Luke losing his hand was crucial to setting up the resolution in Ep 6, in that it helped Luke understand a little of what his father has been through, instead of just seeing him as a psychopathic droid, as his costume initially suggests in Ep 4. 2) the story ended in a dark place, with Luke nursing his wounds (both physical and emotional), and the rebels on the run. Yet somehow it also ends on a note of cautious optimism, (totally unlike the ending of #AvengersInfinityWars)
@lnxw48a1 3) Yoda. Yoda could have been a #JarJarBinks. The *exact* same dialogue, delivered in a hammy "meesa so sorry" way, along with the limits of using a puppet to play a live-action character, could have been painfully cheesy. For me, as an adult, as much as when I saw it as a child, Yoda is perfectly pitched. Neither a retread of uber-zen Obiwan, nor a jarring parody that can't be taken seriously in the role of the challenging mentor, which is essential to 'hero's journey' stories.
@lnxw48a1 4) Lando. With Luke and Han all buddy, buddy, and Luke going off to Degobah for most of the film anyway, the character tricycle that make Ep 4 so dynamic is missing a wheel. Lando fills this vacuum beautifully. I can *feel* from the tension between him and Han that they have a complicated back story, without pages of exposition dialogue giving me any more than the #CliffNotes of the #Solo story. The scenes with all three of them zing.
@lnxw48a1 the second film in a trilogy, a bit like a band's second album, is always the most challenging. There are huge expectations to meet, the story can no longer coast on the novelty of its premises and the world it introduces, and it has to try to tell a narratively satisfying story in itself, while still setting the stage and building the tension for part 3. IMHO #StarWars Ep 5 does this better than most.
@lnxw48a1 I think we can assume that 1-6 were mostly true to George's original vision, since he was still in control of LF through them all. But I suspect that his vision for 7-9 was more akin to what we saw in the novels set in the post-6 "New Republic" period, and we know that all of this was completely thrown out of canon when Disney acquired LF. As I said in earlier rant, they tried to skip 7-9 and go straight to 10-12 without anyone noticing.
A long time ago, in a #StarWars editorial far, far away ...
@lnxw48a1 Maybe one day we'll get to see the real 7-9 stories as anthology prequels films, once the CGI gets good enough to digital clones to stand-in for the original characters, or even with new actors. I found Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover pretty convincing as Han and Lando in #Solo (wouldn't have even noticed the new Chewie if I didn't already know it was a new actor).
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