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Star Wars: The Last Jedi - SPOILER discussion


#1323

The trailer was TFA. Not a direct sequel but a continuation of a series not on film for over a decade.

The film made huge money in all the markets already into Star Wars, very little penetration into those that weren’t.

Do we want nostalgia or a great new idea for a wider audience? That is at the heart of the argument and I don’t really know the answer.


#1324

True. It does seem a little hard to fathom, but spectacles like that don’t want to promote the story and characters. I mean, the story is going to be just like every other story that appeals to the mass audience and the characters are unknowns who aren’t really all that appealing anyway.

Instead, the trailer is saying “this is a big budget, booming motion picture that is a big deal and you will miss out if you don’t see it even if you don’t like it! Even if you have no idea or care what it’s about! Don’t miss out! Don’t be a loser and miss out! What will you talk about on Monday if you don’t see this movie?!”


#1325

The trailer is saying:

Oh my god there’s a stormtrooper without his helmet and he’s a black guy.
There’s a new droid.
A sand speeder and some X-Wings.
A light sabre with a cross.
The Millennium Falcon!

Exciting for me, just random images for anyone not into Star Wars.


#1326

With that voiceover the trailer is mainly aimed at Serkis obsessives.


#1327

Most people in China it seems.


#1328

In China yes judging by the box office response to all of them. Plus other smaller countries that didn’t have SW films in the 80s like in Eastern Europe and maybe those of a certain age that missed them.


#1329

Well, as a non-SW fan, I’ll chip in to what I think was the biggest problem with TLJ.

Beyond being yet another rehash, with a ridiculous plot (I’m not gonna pin it for those reasons 'cause that’s what most franchise movies are), for me the movie’s biggest sin was that it was building up to something different, and in the split of a moment, they suddenly back pedal all of it and revert back to the status quo, making it a half-assed plot, in essence. I mean, you either go all in, or don’t even bother, 'cause otherwise it ends up being just tease that doesn’t make a lick of sense in the end…

What I’m refering to, specifically, is Ryan Jhonson’s idea of “breaking free from the old”… There’s a specific theme that goes on from the begining of the movie up to when Rey and Kylo fight the red troopers in the emperor’s throne room… but once that fight is over, the movie suddenly decides to drop that theme and revert everything back to status-quo… so despite all of the progression in that direction Rey decides to remain a goody-two-shoes, and Kylo decides to usurp the throne and remain the evil guy and pursue his vendetta (and Luke decides to help out in the end)… and all of the character progression made up to that point in the movie becomes a gigantic waste of time, since the characters end up exactly where they were at the begining.

Had Rey & Kylo moved forward in the direction they were going, the movie would’ve actually been A LOT better… and more shocking tbh. But no, they didn’t ultimately have the balls to do it. So what TLJ ends up like is like a kid taking his toys out of his drawer to play with them, and then just putting them back as were when he stops playing with them. That’s lazy and sterile.***

So that’s what TLJ seemed to me, a 2hrs long waste of time, because nothing of actual significance happened… Had TLJ never come out, we wouldn’t have really missed anything in terms of the overall story… it felt like a filler episode of a CW show =/

Then you compound the rest of the issues I mentioned first (the rehashes and the ridiculous plot points) and yeah… not pretty… u_u

***Edit: To be fair, I do think Jhonson’s hands were tied on this… I empathize with what he was (maybe) trying to do, which is correct JJ’s mistakes in TFA, but he probably was forced to put back the toys as were by the Disney high command.


#1330

Yeah, it’d be a more complex and interesting second chapter if they’d joined forces, but Rey couldn’t have stood by while the rebellion was killed. Instead she’d have called for the rebels to be left on their planet, and if Luke appears she’d tell him what a failure he was (which I’d have hated). That said, Rey rushing to the side of a guy she just met would be pretty outrageous, as would Darth 4Chan getting Mary Sue. By the time I’ve got to the end of this post I’ve convinced myself this would be a terrible idea, flip the table and murder the franchise kind of idea.


#1331

That’s because neither of them were actually moving in that direction, they just thought the other was.


#1332

Eh, no I think where the story was going up to that point was more in the “uh… fuck the empire and fuck the rebellion, it’s a never-ending story”… more of a tabula-rasa kind of thing. Both Kylo and Rey deciding that they’ll break free of that vicious circle (or “break the wheel” as Danaeris would say)… In reality Luke would’nt have been disappointed in Rey because that’s precisely what he was arguing for during the movie.

Hell, most of the controversial moments in the movie would’ve at least paid off… but with what they ended up doing, none of the did, which compounds the problem. Not only were they controversial, but they were also pointless =/


#1333

It would have been interesting to hear about any sort of restraint Johnson had to abide by, but I really don’t think that’s demonstrated by TLJ. Instead Johnson gets to do exactly what he wanted - up to and including killing off Luke.


#1334

That is a possibility too, that he did EXACTLY what he was intending to… in which case, then yeah, Johnson’s a terrible writter (whcih wouldn’t sruprise me after watching Looper) and shouldn’t have been hired in the first place… :smile:

Oh, but anyways, since apparently I didn’t make my point clear… the problem (or MY problem with the movie as a non-SW fan) was that the movie made a lot of promises that it utterly and completely failed to deliver on… so, again, maybe it shouldn’t have in the first place… because the end result is a pointless mess.

Second edit, but to be fair, JJ fucked up first by rehashing the first SW movie (and then some) and setting up that particular situation in the first place… =/


#1335

I think an issue was they tried selling it on nostalgia but Star Wars can’t be nostalgic because it never went away aside from a relatively brief period in the 80s and early 90s.


#1336

Yeah, unlike Planet of the Apes where there’s this big drought cinematically, a polarizing remake, and then this whole recapitulation on various aspects of the series that has come before that goes down gangbusters with old fans and creates new ones.


#1337

Nah, it went away far more.

I’m a big Legends fan but let’s be honest, only a fraction of a fraction of the fanbase bother with books and comics. To a degree, that works in their favour by allowing them to get away with stuff higher profile mediums probably can’t so easily.

And, as I’m sure Lorcan will attest, if people weren’t driven off before the PT, they were either during or after it. Me? Well, there was this sweet comics line that really tapped the promise of the PT era in a way the films failed to. Books did the same too.

So, to the general, wider audience, to all intents and purposes, after a 30 year absence, TFA was the return of it, so yeah, it can sell that nostalgia angle.


#1338

There was nostalgia for Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, no doubt about it. Generations worldwide have been waiting for the actors to revisit these beloved characters.

Most never imagined they’d be turned into complete fuck ups.


#1339

You people do realize you’re now talking about these movies like they flopped on a Valerian scale, right? Even Solo will make buckets more than Valerian could’ve ever dare hoped. Even all those “abysmal failure” DCEU movies make more money than true flops. It’s important to dial back a little and get a little perspective…

Star Wars, especially when it’s been away for a while, is an instant event. Event movies by definition make lots of money. They’re movies everyone sees because everyone’s seeing it, not because of the quality. Sometimes we kid ourselves about that, but the fact that a lot of people are seeing it is almost a guarantee that few of them are thinking about it critically. They react in a giddy fashion and say things like, “How cool was that???”

And if there’s a sequel? It’s automatically judged more harshly, because suddenly it’s no longer the event feel but a sense of obligation to see what they did next. And then people get critical. Ridiculously critical! Criteria they didn’t use the first time suddenly becomes insanely important.

And this is the third round of Star Wars movies, let alone the sequel to the first one. Do you really expect everyone to say how awesome it all is? Yeah right! If people are digging up negative reactions to Empire, and I know how disappointed fans were of Jedi…Really, I’m not surprised at all that it’s been tough to find a lot of love with subsequent entries.

And even at that, every time the cycle begins again, the general public gets caught up in the Star Wars hysteria again. The fans keep hoping they’ve redeemed themselves since the last cycle, and keep getting disappointed, and now that Disney is pumping out even more movies…

Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy got off really easy. It was embraced as essentially one long (long) movie. It wasn’t until he tried it again that people started questioning his choices. And listen, I was questioning him as early as Two Towers, but for nearly everyone else? He could do no wrong until he extended a single book into a trilogy, as if that were really the first time he put a personal stamp on the material.

And again, MCU gets a free pass through all of this because it’s created a model where there’s some kind of new event with every movie. And to varying degrees it’s been wildly successful. It never has to answer for missteps because the fans have something shiny and different with the next release, especially with that ramped-up schedule that began in 2011 and never really relented. You get two mediocre hits that year, but then the next one has everyone in it, and that’s its biggest hit yet, and the goodwill just starts flossing over everything all the more efficiently…

But yes. It’s totally that this Star Wars movie was totally disappointing.


#1340

I think you’re the only one comparing it to Valerian.


#1341

I’m trying to create perspective, here.


#1342

It’s kind of a disingenuous equivalency to bring in Valerian to Star Wars.
It’s like comparing it to John Carter’s box office.