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.

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.

Follow

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.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain her motivation as a Senator still seems to be protecting her people, but then she spends most of Ep 2 following Annakin around, neglecting her duties, for ... reasons? Then suddenly in Ep 3 she's pregnant, and her motivation is to save Annakin from himself.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain You could sneak in a breakup in the opening crawl of 3, and have Padme replaced by a totally different character (as did with 3), with a few minor tweaks. Padme has an essential executive function in 3 - be the mother of the twins and die in childbirth - but this is a type (tragic mother), *not* a character, Padme doesn't intrigue or emotionally affects us any more than do the spaceships, or other narratively necessary story furniture.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain Padme could have been a really interesting character. Imagine Obiwan starts Ep 1 already a , with Padme as his padawan. No Qui Gon is required but could be mentioned as back story. Padme is still from Naboo, but the Queen of Naboo is the same one from 2-3. Annakin starts Ep 1 as a teen, about the same age as Padme. Their relationship starts with her mentoring him, teaching him to fight, which he was never allowed to do as a slave.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain It's Obiwan and Padme who fight Darth Maul, and Padme is wounded. Obiwan and the decide that with the Sith rising, the prophecy must be fulfilled, and agrees to the unprecedented step of allowing Obiwan two padawans at once, so he can train Annakin. As Ep 2 opens, Padme is thankful to Annakin for helping save her home world in the Battle of Naboo, but also feels conflicted, he's suddenly being seen as her equal and taking up "her" time with Obiwan.

Show newer

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
My view of character is slightly different. I get what you mean by "types" & am not disagreeing too much. I'm just saying that in order to be a "character" it has to be in a novel or movie that devotes a great deal of time to understanding that character--which is almost impossible in an adventure movie. Adventure movies have a lot of plot elements that need to happen, so they don't have time to develop their characters fully.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Let me use Han as an example because Harrison Ford has had a better career than Mark Hamill has.

I enjoy Han Solo the best of the Star Wars characters, and I'm a huge fan of Indiana Jones. Yet I'd say both are "types". Good types, but types. If I want to see a "character" from Harrison Ford, I'll look more to John Book from Witness or Rusty Sabich from Presumed Innocent.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Luke & Han are well written, but I don't view them as overly remarkable. They're "types" for me. They're serviceable. Same goes for Jyn & Cassian from R1. Luke, Han, Jyn, Cassian: they all serve their purpose.

Lucas attempted something more with Anakin in the prequels. He attempted to write something deeper. And he failed miserably because he only really can do "types". What Lucas had in mind for Anakin would've required a screen-writing master to pull off.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
Again, I'm OK with Vader in R1. Fan service or not, the only problem I notice is his power is stronger at the end of R1 than what it is throughout the whole of the original trilogy. I think his role works within the frame of the story. It's internally consistent & logical with regards to that story.

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I get what you mean about the the relationship of Han & Qi'ra in Solo, but it was just too spare. That kind of relationship needed more screen time. If she absolutely had to stay in there (& I'm still not convinced a totally different character couldn't work), then either reduce the time of the other plot elements or else add several more minutes to the movie's run time. However, as it sits, it's not convincing.

Show newer
Show newer

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain if Han was a type, in the way I'm using the term, he would have ended Ep 6 the same way he started Ep 4, as a self-serving mercenary with no respect for life (he shot first!), and no loyalty to anyone but Chewie. Instead, he grows and changes, start to care about the rebellion beyond of personal profit, makes new friends, falls in love, is betrayed by an old friend, then forgives him. You can't predict what he's like in Ep 6 just from watching Ep 4.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain also, if Han was merely a type, he would have started the same way he was in Ep 4. Instead, he starts out quite different, more optimistic and self-assured, and as a consequence of things that happens to him in the course of the movie, he starts to change into the cynical, money-grubbing scoundrel he is at the start of Ep 4, and still is in some ways at the start of Ep 5. Even when Solo ends, there's still room for more of that transition story to be told

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain contrast that with Cassian. In what was does he change in the course of R1? Yes, he falls in love with Jyn (because Hollywood convention demands it), but as with Annakin and Padme, it feels forced. It doesn't emerge organically from the way their relationship evolves in response to the events of the film, which would been a stronger story if they hadn't shoe-horned that in, and spent more time building a group camaraderie, as Joss Whedon does in Firefly.

Show newer

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain I agree that characters can be developed more in novels (a feature film can only cover about a short story worth of narrative properly), and that doing them well in action-orientated films is harder than in slower paced ones. But I've offered quite a few examples from within the universe explaining where I think characters are done well, and why. I maintain it's the key reason why the suck compared to the originals.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain as another example in an equally action-orientated, larger-than-life style of movie, contrast the types that populate the DC films with the MCU characters, both heroes and villains. The way MCU characters can move from one category to the other (Scarlet Witch and her brother, Valkyrie), and then back, and back again (Loki, Nebula), while still acting from motivations that consistently make sense, is part of what makes the characters and their stories intriguing.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain whereas the DC heroes are square-jawed puppets, their strings pulled by narratives that force them to pull doubting faces, or fight-among-themselves faces, or teamwork faces, even when it doesn't make any emotional sense for the character to be pulling that face at that point in their own arc. The DC movies are predictable, po-faced, and hammy, because neither heroes nor villains get breathing room to be *people*, with changing and sometimes conflicting motives

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain contrast this with something like GotG vol. 2, which Linsday Ellis does a great video on (youtu.be/8VulkN5OLEM). In this film, the character you think is the lead villain turns out be a hero, and vice-versa, and they don't just snap from one extreme to the other because the plot demands it. They still have the same personalities, but a transition emerges organically from the interaction between their history and motives, and the events happening around them.

Show newer

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I agree with most of the characters you've listed as well done & poorly done. I think you go a bit light on Qi'ra & a bit hard on Padme--and way too hard on R1's characters--but that's mostly it. However, I noticed something about your approach. You think a character has to change in order to be well developed. That's not necessarily so. The character just has to act in accordance with what we know about them. (con't-->)

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
A character can remain pretty static throughout, we just have to see the experiences that they go through & understand why they do what they do. Understanding them, not watching them change, is the key to character development. Some characters do change, & that can be interesting to watch, but that's just one aspect of what a well-developed character can do.

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

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon - NZOSS

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!