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?

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
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 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.

Follow

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).

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Re: Ep. 7 not having anything new, that's a relative term. You only listed a few things that it copied from Ep. 4 & 6. It copied much, much more. The sequels are the least creative from a story & world-building point of view. And, like I said previously, if the writer isn't going to write a "character" or "type" properly, best not even attempt it (ie. Finn & Phasma; but Kylo & Poe are pretty bad, too).

Also, I'm not obsessed with race or gender; they're people.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I like the character of Qi'ra per se, just that I wanted more development of her & their story. There was too much going on in Solo: his introduction, meeting Chewie, the train heist, meeting Lando & winning the Falcon, the Kessel run, Beckett & Dryden Vos. The character (& the actress) deserved so much more. I'm not being harsh, I'm wanting more. She was so good & their story so compelling that she deserved a larger focus, hence a separate movie. #MoreQiRa

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I'd like to see a trilogy of Solo movies. There was a trilogy of Han Solo novels decades ago (also a trilogy of novels about Lando). And I think Alden Ehrenreich is signed for 2 more. But, I agree, a sequel looks iffy.

And, I just want to reiterate, she is a "great addition to the Star Wars Canon". #MoreQiRa

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Back to R1 for a bit.

The ending with Vader, incongruous as it is with his character in Ep. 4, & the transition to Leia is the perfect setup to the opening of Ep. 4. I've seen a YouTube video which mashes them together, & it is about as perfect as Star Wars gets. Gives me goosebumps watching it because we (now) understand the sacrifice & the hope.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
A fair point about Jyn being the child of the scientist, but that doesn't lessen her character. The writing was still consistent with how something like that would play out. Real-world spy agencies & criminal organizations use any angle they can: lover, family, friend. It works. And, kudos to them for not playing it as yet another secret family member.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I'm mostly OK with Vader in R1, with the exception of his badassery at the end. It makes Ep. 4 a bit of a letdown just because we see so little of him, but Ep. 5 & 6 are OK again.

Yes, Krennic was good, & heaps better than Hux. Dryden Vos was serviceable in Solo.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Also, I have no intention of ever watching Ep. 3 or 7 again. Actually, I can just watch Ep. 4 & 6 if I want to see Ep. 7. 😁 It's highly unlikely I'll watch Ep. 8 again, but I might. I have no intention of paying to see Ep. 9, but I'll try to read about it at least. I'll watch a couple more anthology movies because they haven't let me down (too much) yet.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain Vader doesn't actually do anything in that moves the story forward in any way. His presence is just pointless , and it steals the thunder from Krennic, whose status as the primary villain of the story is undermined, by seeing him get pwned by a much scarier villain half way through the film, who then only turns up again at the end, and again, only for fan service.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain it doesn't make any sense of introduce 'ra at the start of and then not bring her back at all until the sequel. If ' right-hand women wasn't Qi'ra, it would make more sense to start the first first film with Han signing up to join the Empire, then have that open sequence leading up to that point as the start of the sequel.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain But if ' right-hand women wasn't Qi'ra, most of the character motivations of second and third act fall apart. He didn't send her to supervise the train job. Why would he send her on the Kessel run at all? Especially when her presence risks the Pikes finding out the raid is connected with him. He sends Qi'ra because of her prior relationship with Han, and perhaps to test her loyalty now that he's shown up.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain when you remove the keystone of the prior relationship between Qi'ra and Han, none of the interactions between them, Lando, and Beckett make any sense, because they're all riffing on the themes of loyalty and trust that underpin the entire film. If the Voss lady is a random stranger to Han, who Beckett and Lando know but don't really trust because she works for Voss, what's the basis for any interaction between her and Han?

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain what I like about Qi'ra's part in the Kessel run sequence, is that it foreshadows the weird way Han and Leia's relationship unfolds. Every time Leia is on the Falcon, and an adventure is unfolding, Han is trying to rekindle his lost love (whether he knows it or not), based on the stolen kisses with Qi'ra during the Kessel run. It maybe explains why Han is so cringingly forward with Leia, well before she seems interested.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain
> Also, I'm not obsessed with race or gender; they're people.

Sure, I agree. But then I have the privilege of watching almost any action film and seeing that most if not all of the central characters are the same gender and racial type as me (caucasian). I'm willing to consider the possibility that I wouldn't think they were all "just people" if I that wasn't the case. But representation is a totally different discussion to this one, about character quality

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.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain Annakin, on the other hand, became the villain by killing villains, as we see in the prequels (however poorly handled). When he goes ape shit on the sand people who killed his mother, this is one of the few believable and emotionally affecting events in the prequels. Annakin doesn't work as a character because most of the time his decisions are dictated by his type, villain to be, and don't seem to proceed from, or result in, any change in his emotional state.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain another thing that makes a type into a character is relationships (not just family ones, any kind). There are almost no relationships between any of the characters in , and the few that exist, are crucial to the few moments that work. K2S0's death is more affecting than most of the human characters' deaths, because I can *feel* his sacrifice for his old friend Cassian, and Jyn, who he has come to grudgingly respect despite his initial scepticism of her.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain another thing that makes a type into a character is motivations the audience can relate to, which change in response to their experiences. Luke's motivation is to escape his boring life on the farm and fight the good fight, then to save the princess, then to avenge his aunt and uncle's deaths, then to save his friends on Yavin, then to become a Jedi, then to save his friends on Bespin, then to complete his training, then to redeem his father.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain what are Annakin's motivations? Initially it's to win pod races, then, as a result of meeting Obiwan and Qui Gon, it's to become a great Jedi master. That doesn't really change again for most of 1-3 until, for ... reasons? ... he believes his anxiety dreams about his wife's death are prophecy, and decides to become a powerful Sith so he can save her from death. Saving her must be a powerful motivator to make him turn 180 like that ... but then he kills her. Huh?

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain this is part of why I agree Annakin can't work as the protagonist of Eps 1-3. Even an anti-hero has to have some redeeming qualities, so we can identify with them. Annakin's arc requires him to lose those as he goes along, so we need a protagonist whose angst we feel as they watch this happen. It didn't have to be Obiwan, it could have been Padme, if they made her a character, not just a type, and put her in the centre of the narrative. What a missed opportunity

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain to recap, to be more than types, characters need emotional depth, meaningful relationships, and believable motivations. Padme does exactly what the plot requires of her, regardless of how she seems to feel about anything. The only relationship of any depth she has is with Annakin, and again, it feels forced, the plot requires it. It doesn't seem to emerge organically from their shared history, in which she's more of a mother substitute than a love interest.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain At the start of Ep 1, Padme's motivations are about saving her people, by the end of the film her motivations are about ... saving her people. There's no growth, by which I mean change prompted by responding to the events of the story, as they affect the character (see my post on Luke's evolving motivations). When Ep 2 opens, Padme has stopped being Queen and become a senator, but her motivations don't seem to have changed to prompt this, or in response to it.

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