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.

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

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@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?

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@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.

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@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.

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@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.

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@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!)

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@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.)

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@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.

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@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.

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@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.

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@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?

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@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.

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@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.

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@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?

Follow

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.

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@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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@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.

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@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.

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@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.

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@SlowRain this rivalry is amplified when they are assigned to go to Naboo together to protect the Queen, and told to keep an eye on each other in Obiwan's absence. As they fight their way through the events of Ep2, covering each others' backs, this rivalry gradually softens into a respectful friendship, and by the end of the film, blossoms into a passionate romance (foreshadowing Han and Leia's relationship).

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@SlowRain In Ep 3, Annakin still has his premonitions about Padme dying in childbirth. Eventually he shares them with her, and she reveals she is 3 months pregnant, an has been waiting for the right time to tell him. He tries to get her to play the stay-at-home wife she does play in the Ep3 we got, but she refuses, and the two are gradually torn apart as he drifts into Palpatine's orbit, while she stays loyal to the and fights in the Clone Wars.

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@SlowRain because Padme being on the battlefield, with their unborn in her belly, is what sets Annakin's moral compass spinning, and allows his fear to overcome his reason. In the final confrontation on the lava planet, both Padme and Obiwan fight Annakin, working together to restrain him so they can free him from Palpatine's grasp. But his power long since overtook his self-control, and he mortally wounds her.

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@SlowRain suddenly he is conflicted, realizing how far he has drifted from his original intention of saving her and their children. There is a moment, when Obiwan offers Annakin his hand, and he almost decides to reject the path of the Sith. But accepting responsibility for hurting his family is too much for him to bear, and his fear and anger overcomes him. He blames Obiwan for coming between them, queue final fight.

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@SlowRain Palpatine is surprised that Annakin is still alive when he arrives to recovers his body, and salivates at the idea of having such a powerful force user as his devoted lap dog. There by the lava flow he tells Annakin that Padme is dead (knowing he will blame himself), and in this moment he kills the man that was Annakin, leaving him a defeated, empty shell that can be moulded into the cyborg Sith lord we know as Darth Vader (named right there by the lava).

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@SlowRain Padme and Annakin still reach the end point the narrative requires of them (dead in childbirth, defeated by his own dark side), but Padme actually gets to be a dynamic character in the process, and their relationship is conflicted, complicated, unpredictable, and thus interesting to follow. Not only does the ending of Ep 3 make more sense this way, Leia and Luke having a Jedi mother also makes sense of their powerful and complicated connection to .

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.

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@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.

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@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.

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@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.

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@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.

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@strypey
I agree a fair bit with what you say about Padme (but I'm not going to go too far down the rabbit hole of rewriting the entire trilogy). But, Leia isn't exactly a stellar character, either. I'd say George Lucas has a more traditional view of women.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain I've already written quite a bit about Leia, no much point in repeating myself. Just compare Leia in the original trilogy, where she gets quite a bit of time with blaster in her hand, or otherwise making things happen, to Leia in Ep 8 and 8 where she's basically furniture, like Padme for most of Eps 1-3.

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@strypey
I actually don't find Leia to be a stellar character. Perhaps the case could be made that she is marginally better than Padme, but I think it's just George Lucas who made them what they are. I also think Carrie Fisher's health played a part in her diminished role in 7 & 8. That, and Jar Jar Abrams inability to write adult characters very well.

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@SlowRain
> "I actually don't find Leia to be a stellar character."

So you keep saying, but as with a lot of the opinions you keep restarting, we're quickly going to run out of grounds for further discussion unless you go into some details as to *why* you think this. Ideally with some reference to why you disagree with the many points I've raised on the topic. Otherwise, all we can do is contradict each other around and around in circles
youtube.com/watch?v=uLlv_aZjHX

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@strypey
I think Leia is OK, but not great. She's confident when talking with Vader, gets rescued, then has to show her rescuers how to escape. She's a commander-of-sorts on Hoth & then Han's love interest. She rescues Han, finds out she's Luke's sister, & helps bring down the shield generator. I'd argue we learn a lot more about Padme & her motivations--faults & all--than we do about Leia.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain you've described Leia's executive function in the plot. I could give a similar list of Padme's functions in the prequels, But this doesn't tell us whether either of them are well-written characters. I've already given you the short list of what I think we learn about Padme's motivations? What did I miss?

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@SlowRain In contrast, Leia's motivation are; defeat the Empire > convince Obiwan to come out of hiding and back her up > save her planet > find Obiwan and escape the Death Star > comfort Luke over Obiwan's death > get R2 back to Yavin with the Death Star plan > destroy the Death Star and save the rebel base, and that's all just in Ep 4! They continue to change like this through 5-6, as the events of the plot produce both emotional responses, and forced changes of plan.

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@strypey
I think if you're going to be that generous with Leia, you're going to have to cut Padme more slack. The two are very similar, actually. The main difference is Lucas attempts more (& fails) with Padme. We see her at a younger age, go to war, & become a mother. She is presented as a tragic character in Ep 3, whereas Leia never was.

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@strypey
Padme's character gets points for trying & loses points for not being successful. Leia's character was kept simple, so there was less to go wrong. Lucas should've kept the characters in the prequels as straight forward as the ones in the original series. That would've solved a lot of problems.

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@SlowRain ok, so you're saying that Leia was a more developed and realized character (I would add better acted), despite having less significant plot points to work with. Yes? My work here is done ;->

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@SlowRain
since our discussion of character development seems to be petering out, how about we switch focus to editing? I watched this great video (20mins-ish) recently about how Ep 4 was saved on the edit. I would argue that the prequels, and all the new films - even the ones I liked (Ep 7 and Solo) were cases where their editing teams failed to save them in the edit
mastodon.nzoss.nz/@strypey/100

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain this is why I'm so intrigued by the rise of fan edit culture. Even with much less to work with than that original editors - who have every piece of footage shot and access to the actors for new dialogue and so on - a good fan edit can sometime make a silk purse out of sow's ear. Eg the 4 hour fan edit of is a great pair of 2 hour films, made entirely from epic turds

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@strypey
I think I saw that video a couple weeks ago. It was interesting.

Show newer

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@strypey
Leia was not more developed, Padme was--and by a fair margin, too. Leia was more realized, though, because they kept her character simpler. Lucas does better with simpler characters (Han, Luke, Leia) than he does with characters requiring more complexity (what he attempted with Anakin & Padme). Other writers may have been able to pull it off, but not him.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain As a romantic subplot - a driver for character motivations - there was plenty of Han / Qi'ra screentime for my taste. They established the relationship with a one-on-one scene about their plans for the future, then some shared jeopardy, and a forced separation, then followed up plenty after they were reunited, right up to the climactic fight scene. Adding more would risk it turning into something like those vomit-inducing Annakin/Padme scenes in Eps 2-3

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I felt the handling of Han & Qi'ra's relationship covered the bare minimum in an adventure movie to get the point across. For a guy who goes so hard on the prequels for this same thing, it's a surprise you give it a free pass here. Their relationship, as written, is not how that would have happened--without further exposition. The Kasdans wrote themselves into a corner, but neglected to write their way out.

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@SlowRain *shrug* all I can say is that I cringed whenever Annakin and Padme interacted, especially in Ep 3, and I found the shift from the parent/child vibe of Ep 1 to the romantic vibe of Eps 2-3 incredibly jarring. Whereas in Solo, I never felt like the film was rubbing my face in Han and Qi'ra's relationship. For me, the changes in their relationship felt true to the challenges the plot put them through. Cassian and Jyn getting it on just came out of nowhere.

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@strypey
I agree, we didn't have Han & Qi'ra's relationship forced on us. Quite the opposite actually. But, neither Han & Qi'ra's relationship nor Anakin & Padme's relationship are well written. Neither relationship are how they would play out. We agree on the prequels, just not Solo.

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@strypey
The reason why Han & Qi'ra's relationship isn't accurate is because they act so casually when they meet. It's like if I met a former expat co-worker at a social function in my city. In fact, I'd be more surprised meeting a former co-worker in another country than what Han was meeting a former lover on a totally different planet. They just make idle chit-chat. No feeling (or awkwardness) whatsoever.

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@strypey
Also, for a guy who has supposedly been trying so hard to get back to his former lover, he doesn't press her very hard about how she got out. I think he just asked once. He has limited emotion/reaction to her presence, her position, her new lover. Almost makes you wonder if he even thinks about her anymore or just says he does to make her feel better. His one attempt at a pass (in the closet) was half-hearted at best.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain I'm not sure where to go with this. It's like we both saw totally different movies and have somehow got confused that we're talking about the same one. To me, Han is clearly still hot for Qi'ra throughout, but she has moved on with her life. She still cares for him (as she demonstrates at the end), enough not want him to follow her down the dark path she's one. So she repeatedly shuts down his attempts to be familiar, and his questions about how she got out.

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@strypey
Only in the barest, minimum sense is Han still hot for Qi'ra & does she shut him down--and not in a real sense, just enough to convey it & move on to the action. It's obligatory at best. Serviceable, I'll give you that, but Ron Howard of all people should've been capable of more. Maybe one of those was the scene George Lucas supposedly directed. It's better-done than the prequels, but it still lacks conviction.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain
> Only in the barest, minimum sense is Han still hot for Qi'ra

You've got to remember this is not a young Luke, who would have just lost his shit in the same circumstance. Han, even as a younger man, is trying to be cool, suave, in control. This is another thing that make character more than just puppets moving through plots point. Even as they are changed by the experiences the plot puts them through, their core personalities remain

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@SlowRain for me this is one of the things I really like about Alden's performance, he's able to pull off the wildly excited guy trying to act cool about it all. You're saying all these subtle notes weren't there, which confuses me, because they were in the movie I saw (twice, first as a cam rip, then in 3D in a theatre)

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@strypey
Other aspects of Solo were done well. The romance with Qi'ra was given token consideration at best. It was not realistic given the situation. It actually suffered from the same problem as the prequels: they attempted more but were unable to deliver. I feel it was because of time constraints. They should've kept it simpler in this movie with the love interest & improved the plot.

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@strypey
One thing to mention about Cassian & Jyn is something from Alan Furst, a writer about spies during WW2. He's rather famous for his steamy yet non-explicit sex scenes. He does a lot of research into the time period, primarily memoirs. He has commented that sex was the one true constant among people going through the war. I think he felt it was an emotional release on their part.

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.

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@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

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@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.

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@strypey
Han could've ended Ep. 4 (or 6) the same as he started Ep. 4 and still could've been a serviceable character. It all depends on how he is written & how much of an understanding we come to have of him through the events of the story & his reaction to those events. Sometimes the change is the story. Sometimes the fight not to give in to change is the story.

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@SlowRain no, he really couldn't. The Han we meet at the start of Ep 4 would never have risked ending up in carbonite on Jabba's wall to come back and save Luke. This is why it's so important that Han shot first, not Greedo. This is a classic piece of "show, don't tell" that sets up Han's cavalier regard for anyone else's well-being, in contrast to the way he comes back at the end.

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@strypey
Actually, Han coming back at the end of Ep 4 was a bit rushed. Not bad, but that could've been handled better by a better writer/director.

They could've written Han's character a dozen different ways, & all could've been satisfying if done well. They could've written a Casablanca kind of ending, given him totally different motivations for joining the rebels, even killed him.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain sure, they could have had Han as a pizza delivery guy, and Luke as a plumber, and set the whole movie in the Cheers bar. But that's not the movie Ep 4 was. In *that* movie, Han's return is the difference between Luke getting shot down by Darth Vader, and surviving to destroy the Death Star. It's critical to the film's climax, to Han's evolution from rogue to rebel, and to his future friendship with Luke, and romance with Leia.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain of course it was rushed, it was in the middle of a climactic action scene, what more could have been gained by slowing it down? What filler would you even add? Surplus exposition delivered as dialogue? Characters describing what we can clearly see has happened / is happening / will happen? Characters over-verbalizing their feeling with clunky dialogue instead of using ... good acting (facial expression etc)? The very things that made the prequels suck so bad?

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
The whole climax of Ep 4 could've been rewritten & still been OK. Vader was written to be behind Luke & Han come in to save the day. Just write that scene differently. Writing is very, very flexible that way.

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.

Star Wars editorializing 

@SlowRain for me, the DC films have almost all been as flat and uninspiring as the prequels (which the notable exception of the stand-alone ), while I've enjoyed most of the films as much as I enjoyed the original Star Wars, for much the same reasons. The first 2 Thor films and Infinity War were probably the weakest, too many bodies, not enough time for any of them to express much *character*

Star Wars editorializing 

@strypey
I must plead ignorance of most super-hero comics & movies. I enjoyed Christopher Nolan's first 2 Batman movies (but not the 3rd), but haven't been impressed with what I've seen from the MCU--save for Loki (I haven't seen any DC movies). I will watch Wonder Woman & Black Panther one day, but the writing for the ones I have seen hasn't been great.

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