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SW:RISE OF SKYWALKER Discussion (All the Spoilers Here)


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7 hours ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

Oh god and the chewie stuff 

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Rey and Kylo are clearly fighting over control of a ship that Chewie is on.  It blows up from Rey mistakenly using force lightning. That would have been a nice moment,  I was interested to see where they'd go from there with her killing one of her best friends by misusing her powers,  THAT would have interesting.. but no..

 

Must have been another transport?   Such horseshit writing. 

Not gonna lie, if Chewie had gone out like THAT, I deadass would have walked out of the theater.

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6 hours ago, RandomAct said:

Not gonna lie, if Chewie had gone out like THAT, I deadass would have walked out of the theater.

It's about the only thing in the entire movie that wasn't a macguffin and then they erased it in about 5 minutes,  this movie is such a waste of time. 

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4 hours ago, MonteCarl said:

It was the medal Leia was holding on her death bed, so it was likely Han's medal from ANH. Something that would likely mean a lot to him for multiple reasons, much more than a consolation prize

iirc, Lucas said Wookies don’t really care about medals, but I can see how Han’s medal would carry a lot of significance to Chewie and why that scene is more than just Chewie getting a random prize.

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Can we talk about what an emotional story Chewie had in this thing? I felt SO bad for him after Leia died, because he had literally lost everyone he loved by that point(even Threepio had his mind wiped by that point). So with that said, the medal at the end felt like WAY more than just fan service.

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On 12/18/2019 at 9:31 AM, Matt D said:

I feel like I'm going to enjoy the thing more than not because my expectations have been set by the few spoiler-free reviews I've read. On the other hand, I just saw TLJ again for the first time since it first came out and the things I loved about it the first time, I loved all the more this time (like Ben wanting to find a new way forward, and the entire Luke arc, and the Rey being special because of her first name and not her last, and Poe's hubris, etc.), and I'm assuming all that stuff gets wiped.

Basically, the less I have a ball in the game, the more I'm going to enjoy this. The problem is that I kind of have a ball in the game.

Most of that stuff actually didn't get wiped. That they didn't find a way to handwave away Luke's TLJ character arc is astounding. Wasn't that the #1 thing most of the complaining on the internet was about? Luke owned his fear.

Expectations had been set pretty low. The plot was horseshit fetch quest garbage though that first scene with the Emperor felt low-rent in a old serial sci fi sort of way, so I didn't mind it as much as I could have. The emotional moments, on the other hand, hit surprisingly well for me. A lot of the problems were trilogy problems (like they could have used the Canto Blight time to build up what's her face or the other one or Merry Charlie or maybe built up Rose less if they were just going to waste her). Let me put it this way, I enjoyed the movie a lot more than I was expecting but @EVA grumpily tearing it apart here with one liners is objectively better than the movie itself.

On 12/22/2019 at 12:16 PM, AxB said:

So JJ Abrams has had control over not only two Star Wars movies, but also three Star Trek movies as well. And basically, with both franchises, he's either fundamentally misunderstood what they are supposed to be, or he's chosen to reject the core identity of the story and install his own (lack of) vision. What he did to Trek was far more egregious (Shatner's Captain Kirk is supposed to be right at the limit for recklessness and impetuousity in star fleet (that's why he was the only one to volunteer to lead a deep exploration mission where you leave known space and don't return for five whole years), so naturally JJ creates an alternate reality version that's even more reckless and impetuous). But when he buggered up Trek, it was because he was a Star Wars guy, and wanted to make Trek more Wars-y. Get rid of the contemplative moments and examinations of the morality of choosing to act (or not act). Fuck that, wham bam action man. And then with Wars... OK, Lucas' whole deal was "Faster, more intense", but there's supposed to be an underlying spirituality and some cod-Buddhist stuff about bringing the Universe into balance, isn't there? 

Basically, a Spot Monkey is what he is. A derivative spot monkey.

Because everything is about wrestling, at some point in the movie, either during the transport tug of war or the teleporting, I was thinking about Arn Anderson's thoughts about tag team wrestling, how, if you throw away all the rules so you can just do a lot of spots, nothing ends up meaning anything and you're dumping all of that narrative power that having established boundaries to push against can create.

Yes, the force was magic in the original trilogy but it was low magic. If you worked really hard, you could sense a laser coming at you or choke someone across the room or aim really well or maybe, maybe lift a rock, and by the third one, the bad guy could shoot a little bit of lightning. Then we kind of spent decades within those limits. I felt that way about a lot of this though, not just the Force stuff. 

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1 hour ago, Matt D said:

Yes, the force was magic in the original trilogy but it was low magic. If you worked really hard, you could sense a laser coming at you or choke someone across the room or aim really well or maybe, maybe lift a rock, and by the third one, the bad guy could shoot a little bit of lightning. Then we kind of spent decades within those limits. I felt that way about a lot of this though, not just the Force stuff. 

Yeah, this is really my biggest beef with this last one.  The lack of vision was fairly telegraphed; they could have done what Marvel did and used the SWEU books as a render farm for the best possible storylines, but once it was clear those, or anything like them, were off the table, we should have expected a hash.

But what was a draw about the SW movies at this point is that they *weren't* superhero movies.  People like Han and Chewie still mattered, a lot.  Rogue One was a shitload better than any of these 3 movies - and I like TFA - in part because it gets at the human cost of the fight with a minimum of ludicrous spectacle.  But, by the time we got to TLJ, that had gone whole-hog out the window, like the idiots at the Mouse thought, "Superheroes are big?  You want superheroes?  Star Wars did superheroes on the big screen before anyone, we'll give you fucking superheroes", and put everything that came before on steroids.  Part of the charm from before - even in the fiasco of the prequel trilogy - was that, at the end of the day, the "strong" people couldn't settle differences with the Force; the sabers had to come out, and it came down to willpower, skill, and guts.  No fifty-foot leaps, no electrocuting ten thousand fighter planes at once, no getting concussed & blasted into space & coming to & floating your way back into the ship like fucking Superman.

I mean, granted, Ep 4 has Vader choking a dude across who knows how many light-years of space (or maybe he's just on a neighboring ship, I forget - not the point), but at least there's the explanation that he can *see* the guy thanks to their technology.

I like the notion that people have spun onto TLJ, that the whole point is that nostalgia is a trap and it should be let go of; it's an interesting meta-analysis of a dumpster fire with several very very pretty visuals and moments.  It's too bad that, since then, the plot, pacing, character arcs, and everything else that would have mattered got thrown into the fire for TROS.

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9 minutes ago, Contentious C said:

Rogue One was a shitload better than any of these 3 movies - and I like TFA - in part because it gets at the human cost of the fight with a minimum of ludicrous spectacle. 

To me, the worst part of Rogue One was Vader cutting people down at the end. I get that why he was slow and clunky and methodological originally was because of technical limitations in the filmmaking but he had so much less-is-more presence. He was so much more foreboding as this sort of creeping doom.

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Vader-as-slasher-villain was thrilling, but you do see the limitations of a footsoldier who can't move faster than the speed of handoffs and people who are capable of jogging. Star Wars has always required viewers to inflate the importance of individuals who are really good at killing other individuals in a world where lasers can explode planets and kill billions; it's fun, though, so we go along happily. The necessary trade-off with new canon expanding materials is that the possibilities were perhaps cooler all along. I mean, if the ability to explode planets really is insignificant compared to the force... well, the imagination can't help but run with the implications, and that running is ecstatic. It's harder to come up with concrete powers that live up to that, though it is interesting (though I'd argue not especially good) that ROS probably gets us closer than before. 

Edited by Beech27
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EU has had wide ranging weird uses of the Force. One time, Luke was able to put himself into a weird stasis in a derelict spaceship after it ran out of oxygen and was exposed to the vacuum of space so he wouldn't die before he and Calista were rescued. Another time, I recall one of Luke's apprentices was able to use his Force powers to that were about to invade the planet holding the new Jedi Academy was able to Force push back an entire fleet of Imperial remnant ships. As I recall, the other cadets helped him with this technique, and it also killed the user who performed it. 

Personally not keen on the whole transferring matter through the Force stuff, but it's literally space magic. It can basically do whatever you want it to do. 

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1 hour ago, Beech27 said:

Vader-as-slasher-villain was thrilling, but you do see the limitations of a footsoldier who can't move faster than the speed of handoffs and people who are capable of jogging. Star Wars has always required viewers to inflate the importance of individuals who are really good at killing other individuals in a world where lasers can explode planets and kill billions; it's fun, though, so we go along happily. The necessary trade-off with new canon expanding materials is that the possibilities were perhaps cooler all along. I mean, if the ability to explode planets really is insignificant compared to the force... well, the imagination can't help but run with the implications, and that running is ecstatic. It's harder to come up with concrete powers that live up to that, though it is interesting (though I'd argue not especially good) that ROS probably gets us closer than before. 

Way too much effortless planet exploding. It was such a waste to nuke the entire New Republic without even exploring it.

Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

Edited by Matt D
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I saw the movie this afternoon and after a couple of pints and some time to unpack my thoughts-

This was an entertaining movie, but it wasn't a good movie.

Lots of people have commented about the new trilogy having a lack of overarching storyline and consistent plot, and that's something I definitely agree with. Part 9 definitely felt like it was trying to explain away or retcon a bunch of stuff from the last movie.

My expectations weren't that high given what a clusterfuck the production has been. I was dreading a Kylo Ren redemption arc/face turn as it's just bullshit fan service and a complete cop out.  Let heels be fucking heels. When Rey force healed him I audibly groaned in the theater. Leia's suicide in order to leave him vulnerable to a deadly blow should have been the end of it, but after Rey healed him it was all too predictable he was going to do a run in at the very end. That said, the way they handled it in having him actually die to bring Rey back actually didn't bug me. They did play way too fast and loose with the teleportation/tulpa/astral projection/whatever the fuck their force mind meld was.

Zombie Palpatine didn't bother me. There's long been the theory he can manipulate life force from a distance via the force (see the long running fan theory that it was him who killed Padme) so the notion his body somehow got off the Death Star II with his life force intact and spent decades rebuilding the Sith empire from afar isn't the most far fetched thing out there. They made it clear the Sith planet was something not on any chart. Thirty years is a long time to recruit an army in the shadows. It was a total deus ex machina though (one of many this movie had).

All in all I thought this was a very entertaining movie despite it being the cinematic equivalent of a 30 minute clusterfuck match where every guy is trying to get his shit in with little regards to overall match psychology.

 

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3 hours ago, Raziel said:

Pssst..

Jon Favreau makes better Star Wars than JJ Abrams does.

As someone who really enjoyed TFA and RoS (although being very frustrated by RoS at the same time) and as someone who thinks the Mandalorian is decidedly mediocre, I agree with this. I'm not going to fully attribute those dull episodes of Mandalorian to Favreau either.

The biggest problem was that we desperately needed a unified voice for this trilogy and it's fucking unfathomable that the right hand never knew what the left hand was doing. How is that even possible?! They treated this trilogy like a theater class game of freeze.

I like JJ, but I don't think he would have been the right choice to be that unifying voice either. Maaaaaybe to be the director of TFA, which I thought kickstarted this off pretty well, but I wish Lawrence Kasdan and Rian Johnson were running this whole thing, or have Favreau running it all, or something...As far as understanding Star Wars though, along with writing dialogue, getting good performances out of the actors, directing action, having a vision for where this is all going, etc. it would be tough to do better than Favreau.

I keep thinking of a post-mortem for this trilogy and the main thing that comes to mind is how much of a gigantic missed opportunity it was to not just do more with Rey, Finn, and Poe and less with everything else that wasn't Kylo Ren. Any time we had Rey, Finn, and Poe together the movie was clicking and then separate, not as much because that's when it felt like we had side plot overload. You want to keep in Palpatine? Fine, make it a big surprise in episode 8. Don't even introduce Snoke at all. Have the conflict with Luke and Kylo come up sooner in episode 7. Did we really need Leia surviving episode 7? Play up how much the dark side corrupted Ben Solo. OR, Jesus...Some of the most fun stuff to me in episode 9 was when Adam Driver was allowed to have fun with Kylo/Ben. In hindsight, it made me want more of THAT and less of the brooding dick from the rest of the movies.

This was a confusing trilogy of missed opportunities and teases of what we could have had before JJ had to over-indulge in MYSTERIES and MacGuffin space maps, MacGuffin lightsabers, MacGuffin daggers, MacGuffin Sith wayfinders, planet destroying weapons that may as well have been MacGuffins as well, etc. Someone else mentioned it, but at the end of this trilogy, how much do we know about any of these characters. We finally got a tease of who or what Poe was and I WANT MORE OF THAT! I wanted more of Rey setting out to shatter old beliefs of the Force and balance and forge a new path without all of the dogmatic bullshit. I wanted more of Finn exploring who he was, the feelings he has inside of him, and all we get for that are teases.

It's just all very disappointing because in all of this is a good trilogy, but somehow, someway Kathleen Kennedy and JJ had so little quality control for all of this that, like I said above, the right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing. That's been a common theme with all of these new Star Wars movies. Elsa and I talked about it, but Kennedy went after anyone who had a hot name as a director like Rian Johnson, Lord and Miller, Gareth Edwards, and Colin Trevorrow. Rogue One was deep into filming when all of a sudden they realized that the movie was boring or whatever the story was and they had to do a bunch of reshoots. Lord and Miller were deep into filming Solo when Kennedy suddenly realized that their vision didn't match the one for Star Wars, whatever the fuck that means, and she pivoted to hiring Ron Howard. Colin Trevorrow sucks and we probably avoided an even worse episode 9, but still, where's the scrutiny in hiring him to begin with beyond Jurassic World making a billion dollars? And Rian Johnson was the most successful of the bunch, but he was allowed to run with a script and a movie that JJ didn't even know what was going to be in it until the movie came out? How the fuck does that work? And somehow, in all of this, the hack that wrote BATMAN VS SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE was allowed to write episode 9.

Star Wars desperately needs someone like Kevin Feige or Feige himself steering the ship. Every movie needs to matter and play into a larger, interconnected universe and story. There needs to be a giant roadmap and plan with thousands of note cards and an endless amount of string connecting everything together on one big ass wall. Not everything needs to be the Infinity Saga, but Jesus, Star Wars would sure as shit benefit from some of that.

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I mean, a group of authors managed to keep consistent story points and knowledge of what each were doing through 381 books, why the hell did Lucasfilm and Disney let 5 movies get out of control?

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3 minutes ago, Raziel said:

I mean, a group of authors managed to keep consistent story points and knowledge of what each were doing through 381 books, why the hell did Lucasfilm and Disney let 5 movies get out of control?

THIIIIIIISSSSS. So much this. It's what I keep coming back to the most. I just don't understand how it's remotely possible to do that with a multi-billion dollar property. It should be run like the tightest of ships. Also, it's DISNEY! This year we just watched the culmination of 10+ years and 20+ movies to build to Endgame. Were there some blips along the way? Sure because that's a tremendous amount of content to keep straight and some stuff like timeliness and locales are going to get a little messy, but nothing nearly as confusing as these 5 movies.

My hope is that if people like us are talking about this then execs at Disney and Lucasfilm are having similar discussions.

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To be fair, the EU had plenty of duds, inconsistencies, and outright contradictions. And the original trilogy had its share, which were then added to by the prequels. A Star Wars that's entirely internally consistent has never existed--see the story Hamill tells about the scene after escaping the trash compactor, where he worries they aren't wet and disgusting, and Ford simply assures him that "Kid, it ain't that kind of movie"--and maybe, to properly feel like received far away fairy tales in the pulp serial tradition, it shouldn't. But it's never felt so self reverential while self combating either. Star Wars was about the movies and mythic structures Lucas loved, but JJ made Star Wars about the movie Star Wars, as if he'd never seen or loved anything else, and Rian wanted to interrogate that, and then JJ wanted his rebuke. (I'm on Rian's side here, admittedly, and I think TLJ is additionally a beautifully made movie.) This is all messy, of course, as everyone has noted. And catastrophically bad management and optics where you'd least expect it. But I hope the course correction isn't in making things increasingly same-y. Star Wars was, first of all, eclectic as hell. I'm not sure it's possible to hit that note again, since it now is the myth on which other things--including itself--are based, not to mention a product, but I'd like to see people try. 

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46 minutes ago, Craig H said:

My hope is that if people like us are talking about this then execs at Disney and Lucasfilm are having similar discussions.

As long as the movie makes 1 billion at the box office (worldwide; which it will) and the reviews are not Cats-level (which they were not), I would not get my hopes up.

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54 minutes ago, Beech27 said:

To be fair, the EU had plenty of duds, inconsistencies, and outright contradictions. And the original trilogy had its share, which were then added to by the prequels. A Star Wars that's entirely internally consistent has never existed--see the story Hamill tells about the scene after escaping the trash compactor, where he worries they aren't wet and disgusting, and Ford simply assures him that "Kid, it ain't that kind of movie"--and maybe, to properly feel like received far away fairy tales in the pulp serial tradition, it shouldn't. But it's never felt so self reverential while self combating either. Star Wars was about the movies and mythic structures Lucas loved, but JJ made Star Wars about the movie Star Wars, as if he'd never seen or loved anything else, and Rian wanted to interrogate that, and then JJ wanted his rebuke. (I'm on Rian's side here, admittedly, and I think TLJ is additionally a beautifully made movie.) This is all messy, of course, as everyone has noted. And catastrophically bad management and optics where you'd least expect it. But I hope the course correction isn't in making things increasingly same-y. Star Wars was, first of all, eclectic as hell. I'm not sure it's possible to hit that note again, since it now is the myth on which other things--including itself--are based, not to mention a product, but I'd like to see people try. 

ROS kind of shows that JJ saw and really loved The Goonies and Ghostbusters 2 along with Star Wars. 

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Honestly, I think there are more threads picked up from TLJ than dropped. Various thoughts:

Kylo Ren: I think he spends most of the movie pissed off about Palpatine. His entire character arc in TLJ was to hit the point where he (they) could and should move on from everything that came before, and here, after all that, is not just Palpatine back, but Palpatine revealing that he was behind everything from the get go. Moreover, he has a fleet that dwarfs the First Order's. He chafes under this (and probably the realization that even if everything goes well, he'll just be saddled with all of the Sith spirits within him) from the get go, and you have to figure that the understanding of the futility of what he thought he had been attempting, as much was what Leia ultimately does, drives him away from his current path. 

On Your Left: This feels fairly wonky relative to everyone NOT showing up in Last Jedi, especially since Leia had been so sure, to the point that it had been the crux of her plan. They just had to get to Crait so everyone could reach them. No one shows up. So what changed? Lando's persuasive?  Nah. What changed is that Palpatine came back. The people who thought the First Order might not have been so bad  (there sure were a lot of Separatists back in the day, after all, etc.) didn't want to deal with the Final Order.

General Poe: he learns his lesson from the last movie. His ultimate plan is basically Leia's from TLJ but on the offensive instead of the defensive. Sure, fine, whatever.

Luke: Again, the biggest shock to me is that they didn't retcon his screw up and make it all Palpatine forcing fear into him or whatever. In a lot of ways, what he experienced that was revealed in TLJ and what he experiences in TLJ set him up to give Rey the speech she needs to hear.

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I was pleasantly surprised to see that Luke’s exile wasn’t actually self-imposed so he could suppress Palpatine’s power and influence via force projection, or something equally noble and woo.

There were still small jabs regarding Rose, Holdo, Luke’s lightsaber toss, etc. 

Of course both Kylo and Rey take action and make choices, but I felt that both moving forward—and even looking back, like when Kylo killed Snoke—their agency is undermined for the sake of grand spiritual/magical orchestrations.

The biggest disagreement, I think, is on the nature of conflict and resolution. In the end of ROS, all the Jedi kill all the Sith, and so the problem is solved. TLJ, I think, posited that the conflict was more human and complicated than that. 

I’m not in this case arguing that one approach is better broadly or specifically to Star Wars, but I think there’s some intentional friction.

Edited by Beech27
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