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.

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 

@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 

@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.

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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Star Wars editorializing 

@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.

Star Wars editorializing 

@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.

Star Wars editorializing 

@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.

Star Wars editorializing 

@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.

Star Wars editorializing 

@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

Star Wars editorializing 

@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)

Star Wars editorializing 

@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.

Star Wars editorializing 

@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.

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