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Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson 2017)


Dixon Hill
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Well, to be fair, I'm not a huge fan of the Michael-Bay spinning camera, but its not enough to undo the effectiveness of the scene. It still doesn't make up for the rubbish third-act, though.

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At least it's not like a Transformers movie, where the third act ends in a long repeating seemingly never-ending battle, that you can barely see. I actually enjoyed the climax, I thought it was good anyway. 

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23 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

Well, to be fair, I'm not a huge fan of the Michael-Bay spinning camera, but its not enough to undo the effectiveness of the scene. It still doesn't make up for the rubbish third-act, though.

 

I don't believe the third act is rubbish. Derivative, and a tad slow at times? Yes. But the last 20-30 minutes of the film are made poignant by Han's death, and the final scenes, masterfully shot and scored, is hands-down the best finale to any Star Wars film.  I never minded the final spinning shot of the island, it's just fine. In 3D, it looked fantastic.

 

 

Also, I am half Irish. Perhaps me and @Bilbo Skywalker are distant cousins!

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Just now, BloodBoal said:

Han's death was poignant?

 

How was it not? Yes, you could see it coming the instant he called out to Ben, but it made his demise no less saddening. His death served not only as the emotional pinnacle of the film, but also as a major turning point in the overall development and growth of his son as a character.

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8 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

Technically every single one of us is distant cousins.

 

Technically me and the tree outside my window are distant cousins.

 

Well, you keep your distance from me!

 

2 minutes ago, JohnSolo said:

How was it not? Yes, you could see it coming the instant he called out to Ben, but it made his demise no less saddening. His death served not only as the emotional pinnacle of the film, but also as a major turning point in the overall development and growth of his son as a character.

 

Of course, the scene is supposed to be poignant, but the way it was shot and scored, it all felt rather dull and it didn't make much of an impact.

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It would have been poignant, had the scene been about Han's death. But it wasn't. Not really.

 

It was about Ren's ruthlessness.

 

It even pulls the old Bamby's-mum-trick on us and quickly segues away from the tragedy, in this case into another action scene. Granted, Ben's death did that, too. But I'm not going to grant a film greatness by the fault.

 

For a death scene to be truly poignant it also needs to accompany our heroes further afield, whereas Han's death informs very little of the climax of the film. Compare with how much Gandalf's death is contemplated upon in Fellowship of the Ring. Han doesn't earn anything like that.

 

Its just there because it needed to be there. Anything in The Force Awakens that wasn't from the original Star Wars comes from earlier drafts of that movie and it's sequels, where you find the knights of Ren, and an alternate ending for Return of the Jedi involving Han dying, Luke falling into depression and going to exile and Leia remaining the leader of the Rebelion.

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Just now, BloodBoal said:

it all felt rather dull and it didn't make much of an impact.

 

Oh man, I was so completely caught up in that moment when I first saw the movie.  Held breath, wide eyes.  I was hooked.

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You wouldn't know what to do with a feeling you green-blooded, inhuman, son of a...

 

Oh!  And speaking of The Last Jedi.  I just looked at Rian Johnson's Twitter and I think @Richard will particularly enjoy his current Twitter biography:

 

Capture.JPG

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8 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

It would have been poignant, had the scene been about Han's death. But it wasn't. Not really.

 

It was about Ren's ruthlessness.

 

It even pulls the old Bamby's-mum-trick on us and quickly segues away from the tragedy, in this case into another action scene.

 

For a death scene to be poignant it also needs to accompany our heroes further afield, whereas Han's death informs very little of the climax of the film. Compare with how much Gandalf's death is contemplated in Fellowship of the Ring.

 

You're comparing two entirely different films and circumstances that led to the deaths of said characters. In The Fellowship of the Ring, after Gandalf's death, the Fellowship flees Moria, and later takes a brief moment to mourn for him. There is no enemy who is trying to further pursue them at the moment, and therefore, you take the time to stop and feel for the loss of the characters' mentor. It's all very unexpected. If you hadn't read the books, you wouldn't be expected the Balrog to swing his whip and drag Gandalf down into the abyss with him.

 

With Han, his death had much more of a buildup. In The Force Awakens, you could see his death coming a mile away, so you begin mourning for the loss of him even before Kylo stabs him. For the characters who witnessed Han's death, Rey and Finn, they don't have the liberty to take the time and grieve for him, like the Fellowship did. They are trying to escape a rapidly-crumbling planet and are confronted by their mentor's murderer, which ensues into a fight between them.

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Than it should have been staged differently from the outset to have more weight. Its not that its terrible or something like that, it just isn't what one would hope it would be, especially within the framework of the whole series.

 

Hell, even the dramatically inept George Lucas found a way to put Qui Gon's death in the middle of an action finale and still give it time to "sink" into the audience's mind.

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I agree with all those who say Han's death left very little impact. When I saw it in theaters, I remember thinking, "This is a classic character, one that I and millions of people over multiple generations have grown up with...I should be feeling something right now", but I only felt strangely neutral. Part of it for me was I think they jam-packed so much stuff into the final act, where it was event, event, event, event...and I thought the Starkiller was so dumb and tensionless that it felt exhausting.

 

The music unfortunately made it worse...I don't know if JJ Abrams was afraid of being too sentimental, but the rescore was so understated in a way that shows me that less and subtle isn't always best, certainly not in a Star Wars movie like this. When I saw the version that someone here (crumbs?) posted with the original cue, I was shocked..."Oh, _this_ is how I wanted this moment to feel!"

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I've never had a problem at all with the final shot of TFA. It gives the scene an appropriately "epic" feel, and fits very well with the score. 

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39 minutes ago, crocodile said:

Wait, wait, wait... what original cue?

 

Karol

 

24 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

 

 

 

 

The video where the cue is restored into the movie is later down the page, posted by Fennel Ka (don't know how to link the post like BloodBoal did)

 

 https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxQSwI5aPja9Z09OSU91SjRoXzg/view?usp=drivesdk

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41 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

The video where the cue is restored into the movie is later down the page, posted by Fennel Ka (don't know how to link the post like BloodBoal did)

 

 https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxQSwI5aPja9Z09OSU91SjRoXzg/view?usp=drivesdk

 

Still not elegiac enough; too menacing. It again underscores Ren's ruthlessness more so than the tragedy of Han's death.

 

It also adds up to an already too-long list of Williams' using leitmotifs from a purely romantic standpoint rather than a thematic one, something that this particular score is especially abundant in, as it was. I mean, using themes like that is as valid an approach as any, but only if used sparingly.

 

I mean, that The Force permiates the entire Star Wars universe isn't enough to justify some of its musical applications, including this one. As it is, its just there to sound cool and ominous.

 

Its Leia's theme for Ben's death all over again. Or maybe its Williams compensating for that forty years later by having Ben's theme for the death of his stand-in. Hey, now that I'm thinking about it, It's Ben's revenge on Leia for hijacking his musical moment, literally! Genius!:P

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3 hours ago, Nick Parker said:

I agree with all those who say Han's death left very little impact. When I saw it in theaters, I remember thinking, "This is a classic character, one that I and millions of people over multiple generations have grown up with...I should be feeling something right now", but I only felt strangely neutral. Part of it for me was I think they jam-packed so much stuff into the final act, where it was event, event, event, event...and I thought the Starkiller was so dumb and tensionless that it felt exhausting.

 

^ I agree with all of this. I did like the music however. I feel it fits the finished scene better than the original cue, great though the original is.

 

1 hour ago, Bilbo Skywalker said:

Nobody here is related to me. 

 

You people sicken me. 

 

And you sicken us!

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I still think the Rebel fanfare makes enough sense as a Falcon theme. It's a symbol of Rebellion heroism, calls back to certain memorable Falcon-related moments in ANH like getting pulled into the Death Star and the TIE Fighter attack, and it was similarly repurposed in the prequels as just a general heroic action motif, anyway. It's also an alternative but equally nostalgic way to call back to the original without just relying on Luke's theme, which he saved to really showcase with the Scherzo.

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38 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

I still think the Rebel fanfare makes enough sense as a Falcon theme. It's a symbol of Rebellion heroism, calls back to certain memorable Falcon-related moments in ANH like getting pulled into the Death Star and the TIE Fighter attack, and it was similarly repurposed in the prequels as just a general heroic action motif, anyway. It's also an alternative but equally nostalgic way to call back to the original without just relying on Luke's theme, which he saved to really showcase with the Scherzo.

 

 

Reenl fanfare was only used once in the PT wasn’t it? In the opening sequence. 

 

I don’t think hunk using it in TFA as a Falcon motif was that strange at all.  Made sense to me. Probably the context that would have made the most sense actually. 

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4 hours ago, Arpy said:

I like Revenge of the Sith more than TFA.

 

Attack of the Clowns and Phantom Tennis can go die in a hole.

 

Its a tough call. The Force Awakens has more polish than Revenge of the Sith: good acting, good effects (minus the occasional Rathtar), etc. But it isn't as dark and serious as Revenge of the Sith, which is what I like about it.

 

10 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

The internet has turned on TFA!  I'm now in the position of the prequel-lovers, defending a good movie from the haterz.

 

No. I still like the film.

 

1 hour ago, crocodile said:

Well...it was used as a Falcon theme in the original film as well.

 

True. It always was one of the motifs that Williams was playing loose with, e.g. Sail Barge Assault, but I'd argue that two wrongs don't make a right.

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I have to say I didn't like Williams' use of the Rebel Fanfare in TFA, it reminded me of the autopilot use of Raider's March in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

 

Disclaimer: I love the fanfare in the finale of The Jedi Steps.

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I saw it 3 times in theaters and every time the audience was so clearly exhilarated when the camera whip-panned to the Falcon and I think a lot of that was down to the familiar heroic fanfare coming in.  It was the right choice.

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2 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

I saw it 3 times in theaters and every time the audience was so clearly exhilarated when the camera whip-panned to the Falcon and I think a lot of that was down to the familiar heroic fanfare coming in.  It was the right choice.

 

Even on my eleventh trip to see it in the cinema it was a great moment. 

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2 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

I saw it 3 times in theaters and every time the audience was so clearly exhilarated when the camera whip-panned to the Falcon and I think a lot of that was down to the familiar heroic fanfare coming in.  It was the right choice.

Yes, that was good... but throughout the film it seemed to be overused in spots.

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