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 

@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?

Follow

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.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
The sequels are also very, very simple with the characters of Kylo (tween angst) & Finn (who doesn't know what the hell he's doing). Poe is thinly developed; not sure what he's there for. Only Rey seems useful. And, actually, she may be one of the best Star Wars characters ever.

Ep. 7 had nothing new, not in terms of story or world. Say what you will about the prequels (& they are indeed bad), there were some creative worlds & ideas in there.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
One thing to add about Solo would be Qi'ra. I thought they handled her reintroduction poorly. She's a fine actress & she's sweet, but that's not how it would've happened meeting again after 3 years. They needed more interaction between her & Han. I think it should've been a totally different character. Maybe reintroduce Qi'ra in Solo 2 & just have Han pining for her in Solo 1. It could also explain Han's naiveté if the new woman reminded him of Qi'ra somehow.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain hmm interesting points. Was unrequited love even the right trope? Not sure, given that confidence with the ladies is never Han's problem in 4-6. But for my money, Hand and 'ra's fraught relationship is compelling. Her bravery when she tells him to go, her obvious ambivalence when they reunite ("it's you!" vs. "it's complicate") and her conflicted nature (loyalty and love vs. ambition and fear of ), made her a great addition to the canon.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain I don't think there will be a (nor should there be ;), but if Qi'ra shows up as 's offsider in an anthology film, I'll be pleased as punch. Now that she's turned her back on Han (while also making sure he stays off rader - conflicted!), I can see her going further to the under the tutelage of , and becoming a terrifying lady Vader type character.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain I actually agree with most of what you say about the Ep 7 characters, and that's what makes them *characters*, not just types ("I'm the pilot!"). Yes Ep 8 mostly failed to build their arcs, I'm hoping JJ can pull the marshmallow out of the fire with Ep 9. But remember, this is a trilogy, characters arcs have to unfold slower. and , being self-contained, only have one film to play out entire character arcs. IMHO achieves that where fails.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain
> Ep. 7 had nothing new, not in terms of story or world.

The familiar beats are easy to spot (droids with secret plans, villains in black helmets, desert dwelling loner protagonist, planet-killing weapon etc), true. But *nothing* new? Female force user (as main character), rebellious stormtrooper, ruins of ancient battles, rolling ball droids etc. There's plenty of new in stuff there in amongst the familiar, and it's that always a balancing act in a franchise?

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain we totally agree on the prequels. When fans freak out about Disney buying LF, in case they Disney-fied the franchise, my first thought was "did you see the prequels? Too late". Ep 1. is the most Disney-esque film ever, for all the reasons you list and more. I like the critique that Eps 1-3 were really Obiwan's story, in the same way 4-6 is Luke's story (and 7-9 are Rey's story):
youtube.com/watch?v=VgICnbC2-_

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.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I'm not trying to belittle Luke. He's my second-favorite character after Han. I'm fine with people resonating with Luke, Han, Jyn, Rey, Rose, Leia, or Obi-Wan because they are all serviceable & have something worthwhile about them. Actually, the sacrifice made by the entire R1 team probably elevates them to worthy status as well.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
What can I tell you about R1 characters? There was Jyn & the guy with her (you said Cassian). There was a droid (K-something). There were the two guys from the Jedi temple (one was blind: "I am one with the force, & the force is with me"). I'd forgotten about the pilot (until you reminded me). There was the really cool villain (you said Krennic). There was Saw. And Vader, of course. All of them serviceable. And I've only seen the movie once a year & a half ago.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
What I remember about R1 is the faith, hope, & sacrifice of the characters. I remember each of them could've walked away. I remember the villain was cool & Vader was the most bad-ass we've seen (if a little incongruous). I remember it brilliantly explained a "hole" in the death star--which doesn't even need Ep. 4 to understand why it's important. And, it was Star Wars-y, like the originals, and the most emotional since Ep. 5. And by far the most meaningful.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I don't see where Solo is any superior to R1 as far as characters. I can only remember their names because I saw the movie recently. They'll fade, too, if I don't watch it again.

I'll take a cool, absolute "type" any day over a poorly developed "character". If the writer can't get the "character" right (Anakin), it's best not to even try. Just stick with a "type" like Jyn, Cassian, or a blind quasi-Jedi instead. Or Luke, Han, or Leia (or Indiana Jones & Bond).

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Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain I'm really confused by what you mean by a developed character, you clearly mean something quite different by that phrase than what I do. Can you expand on that?

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain do we have to elevates the entire population of Alderan to worthy character status, because none of the events of 4-6 would have played out as they did if their planet hadn't been destroyed, sacrificing them to the needs of the story? Having an executive function in the narrative, however pivotal ("I'm the pilot!"), and nothing more, makes someone a type. Making them a character requires much more.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain what makes a type into a character is things like emotional depth. They don't just react according to type, they have emotional responses to what happens, which sometimes drive their decisions and actions. The hero type kills the villain type. But Luke didn't do this, why? Because he let emotions like compassion and hope contribute to his decision-making.

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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

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