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Star Wars Spoilers Thread SPOILERS HERE ONLY
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guren



Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 1205

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a question for the esteemed group. I have seen the original Star Wars a few times, and watched The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi when they first came out. I never bothered with The Phantom Menace, probably due to John's mocking of the film on this board. Since I didn't see Episode I, I felt there was no reason to see II, III, or VII. Therefore, I haven't seen a Star Wars film in over 30 years, and only have vague memories of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I enjoyed the three episodes that I watched, but to be honest it is not my favorite genre. Given this, should I:

A. Just re-watch TESB and RotJ and be done with it
B. Re-watch TESB and RotJ, skip 1-3, then watch The Force Awakens
C. Watch The Phantom Menace, and if I like it, watch them all in order
D. Just keep watching way too many NBA games on replay

glenn
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Dave Dymond



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would imagine that the odds of your watching The Phantom Menace and liking it are extremely slim.

The sentence "I really like The Phantom Menace" is spoken about as often as the sentence "Nickelback are a great rock and roll band, and years from now they will be considered legends."
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jdw
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Joined: 01 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is amazing is that as bad as TPM is, Attack of the Clones is generally thought to be even worse. The lack of charisma between Portman and Christensen along with the horrible lines Lucas tossing in their mouths destroys the notion of some great love between Anakin and Padme. Christensen's acting was so bad that it instantly became a definitive example people used for bad acting. :)

So...

Skip watching the prequels. The third is wildly overrated as well. I think people cut it slack because it wasn't as bad as the first two, and overlooked that it was Terrible rather than Epic Terrible. :P
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jdw
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave Dymond wrote:
I would imagine that the odds of your watching The Phantom Menace and liking it are extremely slim.

The sentence "I really like The Phantom Menace" is spoken about as often as the sentence "Nickelback are a great rock and roll band, and years from now they will be considered legends."


:)
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jdw
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW - Lee and I haven't seen the movie yet. I was nice that Glenn's post broke the thread onto page 3 and I could avoid spoilers that might be on page 2, and instead just focus on crapping on the prequels again. :P

With some luck, we'll see them on the weekend.
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Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since John hasn't seen the film, I'm going to pull the piece about Empire Strikes Back to the non-spoiler thread so he can see it and comment if he wishes.
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Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I'll put out more detailed thoughts later about Last Jedi, but have a few things I'll toss out upon watching it the second time.

I still put Last Jedi ahead of Force Awakens but behind New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. ESB set the bar really high and it's going to be tough to top it, while New Hope was the film that made it possible for the rest to come out, so if that one doesn't work for fans, there's no Star Wars universe. There are some sentimental reasons I put it second overall among the main line (Rogue One isn't considered a Star Wars "episode") but it's also the film that, if it doesn't work for people, nothing else does.

Getting back to Last Jedi and having gone over past posts about Force Awakens in this thread, I'll touch upon my criticisms.

* I'm still not pleased that turned Captain Phasma into a jobber. There were some hints that you might go deeper into her storyline, at least in how it pertains to her issues with Finn, but she's just there to show up toward the end and then get killed off by Finn. I get that Finn's story needed to be further developed but Phasma had possibilities and we get next to nothing from her.

* I find the "Leia gets herself out of the void of space and is still alive" problematic, but that's the only Force usage I have an issue with. We know Leia has Force connections but no training and it's never established that she's strong with it, unlike Rey. On top of that, with Carrie Fisher having passed away, there's no way to explain it in Episode IX, because they've already determined they won't feature Leia.

* I can understand the issues about Holdo not being more up front with people about her plans to get the Resistance into hiding. I don't think they conveyed it enough that the debate was between the higher-ranking officers and those who rank lower and why Holdo seems unwilling to trust any of the lower-ranking folks. There are hints that Holdo doesn't trust Poe, but it doesn't make sense why she wouldn't trust others.

So those are the reasons why I won't declare this one the best Star Wars movie ever, which some people praising the film have dubbed it.

Now touching upon certain points that some people didn't like and why I don't think they hold up (and, granted, not all of them are things Steve has brought up):

* Rey's parents being revealed as nobody of importance gets ripped on because it doesn't fit the theories people came up with, but it actually works because the overall them is that The Force isn't supposed to be something that only those who are part of the Jedi or Sith can understand, but anyone who has a connection with it can. There is a sense that you need training to do more specific things, but the theme here is that the training and spending time reading texts is not the be all, end all about The Force.

* People who thought Luke came across as weak were setting up the idea that he was going to have a showdown that never came to be. The whole point about Luke is that he tried to recreate what the Jedi had done before and fell into the same trap of thinking his knowledge could save anybody from the Dark Side. Now he's a mixture of understanding what The Force really is (right down to him mocking the "lifting rocks" remark that goes back to his own frustrations when he got Jedi training) but being pessimistic about what the Jedi were all about. It's a combination of Rey and Yoda's Force ghost that makes Luke realize that he can't focus on what happened before and that he needs to realize what Rey could be, then finding a way to really instill hope.

I've heard some say that Luke's death was tragic or weak, but in reality, it's a heroic death. A weak or tragic death would have been him staying isolated until he died, but it's heroic because he comes forward at the right moment to keep Kylo occupied and let the remains of the Resistance escape and live to fight another day.

* Snoke biting it was the "big surprise" of the film and it works because, if you think about it, keeping Snoke around for another film means we are just repeating the Emperor-Vader relationship. Furthermore, the Emperor wasn't revealed for the first time until ESB and it's a short scene, whereas we see more of Snoke in Force Awakens. Here, we basically learn that Snoke is just another version of Palpatine, only he comes right out and says so rather than being cryptic about it. So it's enough to give Kylo the motive to turn on Snoke without turning away from the Dark Side.

Getting rid of Snoke allows them to explore a new storyline, in which Kylo declares himself Supreme Leader while Hux has plenty of reasons to believe Kylo is a terrible leader. Keeping Snoke around means we just repeat the same old storyline about how badly Kylo wants to turn on Snoke but thinks he needs somebody at his side. Here, while Kylo is hoping Rey will join him, he opts to turn on Snoke outright.

* Of course, that brings me to Kylo, who no doubt would think turning on Snoke is finishing what Vader started, but in reality, he shows he's still not near Vader's level. Vader could be impulsive but he tended to be more calculating and picked his spots. Vader never believed he could take down the Emperor without Luke by his side, so he tried to play a waiting game but it never came about. I know there are writing issues with how Vader turning on the Emperor is handled, but I can understand the intent.

Kylo, on the other hand, is just going to do whatever he can to take out people who try to control him. His problem, though, is that he's too impulsive and obsessed for his own good. It's why the First Order isn't going to be able to snuff out the Resistance too quickly because Kylo is caught up with his obsessions. It's now established that he's obsessed with Rey, which likely isn't going to sit well with Hux, who wants the First Order to take out the Resistance, but isn't going to be interested in personal grudges or issues.

Thus, you have a First Order that has to settle its own conflict within, which gives the Resistance a chance to keep going if they can rally enough people together.

* Chewbacca, R2D2 and C3PO have always been supporting characters and will remain so. Chewie got enough to do in the film that he has some significance to the franchise. I suspect R2D2 might get phased out because BB-8 is supposed to be the droid taking center stage. C3PO may only be around as long as Anthony Daniels can do the role -- because C3PO speaks, you're not going to be able to put just anybody in the costume.

And the whole point of Last Jedi is to go "out with the old, in with the new" so some of these characters were likely to be phased out. You need to go new directions to keep the franchise going.

* My criticisms aside, I think they did an overall good job with Poe and Finn and their storylines. Poe learning that sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, Finn learning that he should do more than just be with the Resistance to protect Rey and that he should embrace the Resistance, those were good character arcs.

* I didn't mind the character arc for Rose. The idea of putting in a bunch of wealthy folks who benefit from selling weapons to the First Order and the Resistance puts the whole military industrial complex into perspective and the dangers when it controls everything.

* I have no problems with other methods of expanding The Force. It's always been this mystical idea that leads to people doing things that are hard to explain. I get, though, that people who have The Force within them shouldn't be able to do whatever they want if they aren't strong with it. Rey's been established as strong with The Force but lacking training while Kylo appears to be not as strong as Rey, but he has far more training. With Leia, as I touched upon earlier, I don't think she ever got established as being strong with The Force -- certainly not at Rey's level or Anakin's level.

But while Snoke may be claiming that he allowed all the conversations between Rey and Kylo to happen, I sense that Rey probably had more to do with it than Snoke let on. You get that sense when the connection between her and Kylo is touched upon but they don't exchange words -- it's more like they sense each other and what they are feeling, but that's enough to show that Rey is strong enough with The Force to do something like that.

I know some of this will contradict things I've written earlier, but I also came to terms with the fact that you shouldn't base everything in a film based on the expectations you built up in terms of where you think a story should go, and instead look at how the writers thought the story should go and whether it all makes sense. Bad writing is bad because things are done without explanation, don't fit with a character arc that's been previously taken or are an attempt to convey an idea and failing to do so. You may not like when a writer decides to go a different direction than you would like it, but that doesn't make it bad writing.

And... I may have more thoughts later as I think more about the overall themes of the film.
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing said makes me think it's anything other than a mess.

The two robots were the stars of the first Star Wars. They just didn't have an idea what to do with them.

They are switching directors in #9, so everything with change in the next one. They'll probably bring everyone back from the dead.

When is John returning from Washington to put me in my place?---Yohe
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to hear what John says!---Yohe
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guren



Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 1205

PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seconded. Whatever happened to that guy?
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sex!!!---Yohe
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guren



Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 1205

PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Yohe wrote:
Sex!!!---Yohe

I always wondered what would happen if a crow bred with a cheetah. I look forward to the National Geographic special about their offspring with much anticipation. ;-)

glenn
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may get banned at another site for that one.---Yohe
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Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John just peeked into the box office thread.

I think he's trolling Steve by not saying anything about Last Jedi. ;)
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John & I haven't talked in a year & a haft. I don't know if that is trolling... to me it's more like he is leaving me alone. It's kind of nice.---Yohe
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