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Star Wars Movie Thread


#4498

Nah, it was definitely first and foremost the former.
It’s a classic adventure story. The sequels are another story.


#4499

But what’s the point of Luke yearning on the horizon? He wants, desperately, more than what he currently has. And suddenly he’s given a whole lot more, and doesn’t have the first clue what to do with it, except bluff his way along. By the time we have the sequel, we find out in a big way exactly why his yearning is so significant. And the prequels eventually contrast that yearning with his father’s. And in the sequels, it’s Rey’s turn. It’s not just three characters picked up from desert worlds. To overly simplify anything is a huge intellectual disservice, especially if the work has been put in to explain why there are parallels, and what they mean.


#4500

To tell a good story.
I’m not saying that it doesn’t have depth, but it’s definitely not the overriding factor.
At least, in the first one.


#4501

I think you can understand what’s happening and still feel that the movie doesn’t make it work.


#4502

Nope, the point of a sequel is to deliver more of what the audience wants - thats it.

Don’t forget, Reloaded made close to double what Matrix made, but Revolutions didn’t. It dropped back by more than half again. It actually took less than The Matrix.

People stayed away.

And Star Wars (this is still the Star Wars thread?) is about a young farm boy becoming a young man by going on an adventure with a wizard, a pirate, a couple of funny side kicks and a magic sword. It’s very deliberately that, mining Joseph Campbell’s work on the Hero’s Journey. I’m pretty sure everyone knows that by now?


#4503

I mean, Leia is a Princess.
Isn’t that crazy? I mean, out of everything in Star Wars - it’s that aspect of the series that seems most out of place nowadays.

Star Wars has drifted far from its fantasy roots. It should never have tried to become more sci-fi.


#4504

But with the second one, if you’re still doubting whether or not it’s significant to care about Luke’s journey beyond the big adventures, you’re deliberately ignoring the intent of the storytelling.

@DaveWallace, all I know is that there are fans who remain passionate about the whole trilogy, and there are fans who decided that the first one was the only one worth taking seriously. Usually, in my experience, those who abandon something just after the starting point came aboard mostly because they were trying to figure out what all the fuss was about. And they can’t be bothered with the rest of it.

@steveuk, as has been mentioned previously, Star Wars fans all want something different. Star Trek fans, a lot of them, will always revert back to the original series, mostly and blatantly (but never admittedly) for nostalgia’s sake. Fans don’t know what they want. No one clamored for a Black Panther movie. No one came out of Civil War and said, “I can’t wait until that guy’s movie!” But you can see that it made a ton of money (a huge understatement). And yet, Black Panther is as much a sequel to Civil War as anything, at least as far as the lead character is concerned. No one expected anything from it, and it exceeded expectations. The problem most sequels have is that there are massive expectations. Where Infinity War got off incredibly easy was merely fulfilling the desire to see all the characters mash up and finally for Thanos to enter center stage. But you can’t always have such easy answers. And if you always got exactly what you were expecting, you’d find yourself with a large set of low expectations.


#4505

Yeah, but that’s purely hypothetical on your end.
I was talking about the first one.

And they are two vastly different creatures.


#4506

Millions of people clamoured for a Black Panther movie. It was a subject of widespread attention by Marvel fan and long before Civil War.


#4507

Well, it depends where things go after the starting point, doesn’t it? Your idea seems to be based on the assumption that the quality of the first movie is automatically maintained throughout follow-ups, but that isn’t how these things work.

I like the sequels, probably more than most, but I also think they’re pretty flawed in a way that isn’t true of the first movie. In a lot of ways, I think the restrictions placed on the Wachowskis while making that first movie forced them to pare it down and really find the core of the story, and helped to make it the success it was. With more freedom on the sequels, it felt like there was more flab and less focus.


#4508

To be fair, it is Sony. Maybe we should count ourselves lucky that we didn’t get a Dark Tower?


#4509

But a first movie always automatically becomes setup when a sequel happens. Whatever the first one did becomes the origin story, and it suddenly seems inevitable that whatever it did was exactly what it needed to do…and the sequel can’t do that, too. When you introduce a significant new element like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, with Davy Jones, or The Two Towers, with Gollum, suddenly there’s something entirely different to focus on. But at least for me, Gollum was too much of a distraction. It was impossible for the movie to be anything else but Gollum, Gollum, Gollum, when the first one showcased the ensemble a lot better, and that was, for me, kind of the point of something featuring a fellowship. (And in that sense, I didn’t mind that Jackson sort of blurred over most of the dwarves in his Hobbit movies, right from the start, so he wouldn’t distract himself again.) (In that sense, Jackson knocks down his setup, and so I have a sequel I’ve always hated, too.)

Anyway, traditionally a sequel knocks down the setup. It’s not just the same movie, but more of it, it’s a filmmaker realizing that audiences always crave something new. They invariably decide that knocking down the setup, subverting expectations, will have a better shot at retaining interest, and finding folks who might be interested this time who weren’t the last time, or were simply not around at all.

But the internet age has allowed a lot of people to convince themselves, even when they weren’t around the first time, that they can catch up and not lose anything in translation. And invariably they end up disappointed. “That’s what all the fuss was about?” And we’re seeing that with Star Wars (hey, topic!), with everyone absolutely convinced they know what Last Jedi should’ve done because the setup seemed so obvious (hey, Luke!), and the books had already provided that nice comfy vision of the future where everything worked out smoothly (except when things didn’t), and Last Jedi confirmed, once and for all, that these movies were not going to be following that template. “Not my Luke!!!” When any real analysis of Luke’s actions prove him to be far superior to what Obi-Wan and Yoda did before him. Yoda never left the swamp. Obi-Wan left the desert long enough to say, “See ya around, kid” to the young punk he shoved into a nightmare. Luke gets to have a dramatic last stand, and still goes out on his own terms.


#4510

Also, to critics of the amount of “philosophy” in Reloaded, Empire Strikes Back has a “philosophy” machine in Yoda, and that dude’s thoughts are among the most quoted of the whole franchise, and that was far more of the kind of “…from a certain point of view” stuff we got in the first one. Anyhoo…


#4511

Joseph Canpbell, Schmoseph Campbell… the real star of Star Wars was Ralph McQuarrie.

The story in Star Wars was always basic as fuck, but McQuarrie’s design work created a fully immersive world that people couldn’t get enough of.

Take away McQuarrie’s design work, turn the whole thing into tinfoil hats, domes, and paper plate flying saucers that, at the time, defined the sci-fi aesthetic, and it’s a joke.


#4512

They wrote themselves into a corner. As soon as Neo could fight a hundred Smiths and stop bullets there was no action that could match him. Reloaded was great for chunks of the movie - I love the Burly Brawl and the Highway Chase might be the peak of the Matrix movies, but the final act is just fucking garbage that I’m sure turned off every viewer. All that promise, all that machine battle talk and it ended with a fat German talking a big load of nonsense. It needed a better ending. Really if your mixed Reloaded and Revolutions together and took out much of the shit in the middle you’d have a great sequel.


#4513

On top of that, the end of the Matrix has Neo telling the Machines he was going to show people what it was like to have no limits. Then he just becomes a super powered goon for the resistance hiding from the agents and not showing people anything.

The resistance had “the One” and then had no plan how to use him.


#4514

Proof that assholery in the SW fandom isn’t a recent phenomenon.


#4515

I would never downplay McQuarrie’s contribution, but cinema has never been short of great production design. Practically all films above a certain budget level are designed and built to a very high standard and generally by artists who understand the emotional connection between design and the audience.

That doesn’t mean that design IS the story.

As a middle aged bloke I can say that I actually saw Star Wars in 1977 and when I left the cinema I was Luke. It’s as primal as that. Sure I wanted to be in that world, fly an X-Wing, destroy the Death Star, fight Stormtroopers etc. but that was because I WAS the lead character.

So I love what McQuarrie (and other like Joe Johnston and John Barry (the designer not the composer)) brought to Star Wars, but I’ll never downplay that Lucas did his homework and created a great movie as a result.

If you want to single out someone who isn’t Lucas then the main person who helped make Star Wars stand out has to be John Williams.


#4516

Absolutely. The more I watch and rewatch movies with scores by Williams, the more I realise what a massive part he plays in determining the entire feel of a film, and making key moments really sing.


#4517