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Star Wars Disenchantment


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Valuing the sterile facts of those stories more than the things about them that make us think or feel is a sad thing indeed.

 

Back in 2017, I was wondering why would people argue over plot points and character arcs if they know that what they've been given was a film designed to mock their favorite films and to mock the people who enjoy them.

 

The greatest tragedy of Star Wars is the fact that it went from being inspired by classic films to for-profit mockery of films and fans.

 

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Chen visits Disenchantment Land. Circa 2021.   Forgive me.

In response to several posts, I'm taking the liberty of creating this thread as a response to a problem plaguing a number of members here: SWD, Star Wars Disenchantment. It's a common problem, but one

We're looking at billions of people (actors and anyone behind-the-scenes included) trying to unite themselves under something and failing at that because the stories no longer unite, they divide. The audience should only be challenged when they will be united by the experience. In the age of social media, films need to be developed to avoid toxic situations while giving room for artists to inspire. 

 

If good music justifies poorly executed repetition, maybe the audience (myself included) should adjust their expectations when it comes to blockbusters. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
2 hours ago, Mattris said:

We will come to realize that Lucasfilm specifically designed the Sequel Trilogy - and its seemingly endless, surrounding controversy - to challenge the audience... Star Wars fans, in particular. The film-makers foresaw the division.[...] The reality is, getting this reaction - the disappointment, complaints, division - was intended, as the audience grossly misunderstood the very purpose of the trilogy.

 

Once people realize the truth of it all, we can begin to unite. And then there's what's coming next with "the stories," which I truly think will be designed to unite. What a devious - but ultimately satisfying - experience it will have been!


So that’s what self-delusion looks (errr...reads) like!

 

Let me get this straight: you don’t like watching these films. Like, you don’t enjoy the experience of sitting and viewing them. And you somehow think that more movies - not revisions of these ones but actual sequels - will somehow completely change that? You think the filmmakers, bearing the likes of you in mind, deliberately made a film they knew you wouldn’t enjoy, so that you’d be surprised at how much you will like the next batch of films, by comparison?

 

That’s not how movies work. If you don’t like a movie - you don’t like a movie. Just because you might like a sequel won’t make this trilogy worth having sat through.

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9 minutes ago, Þekþiþm said:

What is it about SW that attracts wackos?

 

Ask Mark Hamill, professional troll.

 

17 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

So that’s what self-delusion looks (errr...reads) like!

 

So that's what ignorance looks like!

 

17 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

Let me get this straight: you don’t like watching these films. Like, you don’t enjoy the experience of sitting and viewing them. And you somehow think that more movies - not revisions of these ones but actual sequels - will somehow completely change that? You think the filmmakers, bearing the likes of you in mind, deliberately made a film they knew you wouldn’t enjoy, so that you’d be surprised at how much you will like the next batch of films, by comparison?

 

That’s not how movies work. If you don’t like a movie - you don’t like a movie. Just because you might like a sequel won’t make this trilogy worth having sat through.

 

One may not have enjoyed the Sequel Trilogy films initially. But a continuation of the story may significantly re-conceptualize them, leading to 'making this trilogy worth having sat through.'

 

Curious @Chen G., do you still think that Emperor Palpatine's influence and return wasn't planned from this trilogy's inception?

 

 

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57 minutes ago, Mattris said:

One may not have enjoyed the Sequel Trilogy films initially. But a continuation of the story may significantly re-conceptualize them, leading to 'making this trilogy worth having sat through.'

 

Curious @Chen G., do you still think that Emperor Palpatine's influence and return wasn't planned from this trilogy's inception?

 

 


No, buddy, if you didn’t enjoy three films in a row they’re not worth sitting through for anything.

 

I get sitting through one film you don’t like in a series you like, but three? Nope.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

No, I don’t think Palpatine’s return was prefigured: because it wasn’t.

 

What factual evidence do you have to support that theory? If you don't have any, no need to write a long-winded message.

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They also said the opposite. Statements by people is never proof of anything.

 

Given this is the John Williams forums, how about these facts as irrefutable proof that Palpatine's influence and return was planned from the beginning:

 

- Kylo's motif is five notes in a row from measures 7 and 8 of The Emperor's Theme.

- Just like The Emperor's Theme, Rey's Theme opens with rising and falling minor thirds at the beginning, its opening has similar structure, and its end hints at The Imperial March.

 

They had no plan? The reality is, you have no clue.

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30 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

John Williams’ score is the last thing I’ll turn for proof in terms of foreshadowing. He can’t be bothered to do foreshadowing.

 

First of all, Anakin's Theme contains Darth Vader's Theme.

 

Secondly, do you honestly not believe that JJ Abrams instructed John Williams to compose Rey's and Kylo's themes with The Emperor's Theme hidden within them?

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Sorry mattris I can confirm there was no plan,and the commonalities between themes that you are referring to are a result of JW creating a musically consistent pantheon of themes for the saga, and his career.

 

JJ def did not tell JW to compose themes for ep 7 with The Emperor in mind.  JJ had no control over where the characters would be taken after ep 7.  Hence why Rian Johnson took everything in a totally different direction than 7 hinted,  and why Colin Trevorow pitches for ep 9 were different than the path JJ eventually took.  CT was the one who brought palpating to the table and that’s why he gets story credit for ep 9.  
 

part of the reason JW is such a genius is cos he can take seemingly unrelated ideas and make them work together as if they were meant to be that way from the beginning.

 

also the foreshadowing of the prequels was easier because everyone knew that anakin had to end up as Darth Vader. Nobody knew anything about where the story was headed when they made ep 7....


I don’t say these things lightly - I live and work in LA and although I obviously can’t prove it on a forum like this, I DO know what I’m talking about....

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18 minutes ago, elvisjones said:

Hence why Rian Johnson took everything in a totally different direction than 7 hinted

And what was it that 7 hinted? Because Rian made 8 very consistent with 7. Unlike JJ and 9 with 8.

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True, Rian took all the story threads from TFA then developed and explored them in unexpected directions.

 

JJ just ignored Rian's setup and did his own thing in IX, offering little more than a middle finger to Rian's story threads (Rose, Rey being nobody, Hux undermining Ren turned into little more than a footnote), or totally abandoning others like war profiteering on both sides, Finn's upbringing, etc.

 

All while wasting half the film introducing a bunch of atrocious new JJ characters that were never developed in any meaningful way.

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34 minutes ago, crumbs said:

(Rose, Rey being nobody, Hux undermining Ren turned into little more than a footnote)

"See you around, kid", Supreme Leader Kylo, Luke/Anakin's saber destroyed, the obvious forcing of the final chapter away from being a complete rehash again by killing Snoke and stuff, balance (now there's only Light Side users again, whooppee, that'll last), Kylo "let the past die, kill it if you have to" Ren holding Palps, the literal resurrected past at saberpoint and not killing him because... he wants to come back with Rey and then kill him?, etc.

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23 minutes ago, crumbs said:

Hux undermining Ren turned into little more than a footnote

 

To be fair, Everything in that film is reduced to a footnote - whether its carry-overs from The Force Awakens, from The Last Jedi, from the original films or a new element.

 

11 minutes ago, crumbs said:

What an unimaginative hack.

 

Now, that's much too harsh. JJ Abrams is a very capable filmmaker. He just needed more time to crack the story (not to mention shoot and especially EDIT this film) and less preconcieved notions (no doubt reinforced by Kathleen Kennedy) such as playing on familial ties or "well, we must redeem the son of Leia and Han, duh!"

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38 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

To be fair, Everything in that film is reduced to a footnote - whether its carry-overs from The Force Awakens, from The Last Jedi, from the original films or a new element.

 

No disagreements there. Finn's entire arc was non-existant, even after TFA established an interesting backstory there. JJ didn't even bother resolving his own story threads, much less Rian's.

 

As for his abilities as a filmmaker, he can make pretty images but I'm yet to be blown away by anything he's directed. I don't think anyone could argue with a straight face that he's a good screenwriter, even if he's a capable director. At best I would describe his style as chaotic, indecisive and style over substance.

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5 minutes ago, crumbs said:

At best I would describe his style as chaotic

 

Its true of his visual style in more than a few of his films. Visually, The Rise of Skywalker actually isn't too frenetic, certainly compared to his Mission Impossible outing. I was - and remain - impressed with how calm the style of The Force Awakens is, with those effortless, elegant long-takes that are worthy of Spielberg. It remain a very good movie: dare I say, the best of the three.

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Even for his filmmakerness, I can't remember any key shots from TROS that would really linger and be iconic at all, and not only because no shot is held on for more than a second. Certainly nothing like the Rey Jakku sequence or those great establishing shots or the Han-Kylo long shot in TFA, or most of TLJ.

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The only character that had an arc was the guy who turned back to the side of good. Ray and Finn's arcs were completed in TFA. She was able to defeat the bad guy, something Luke was only able to do after three movies. Finn turned good. I barely remember these movies, but I remember that much. There isn't much you can do with your characters when you blow your load on the first movie. That's why they invented weird shit like Ray absorbing the power of the Jedi or whatever. I guess she became a Skywalker because she says so.

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33 minutes ago, Gruesome Son of a Bitch said:

Rey and Finn's arcs were completed in TFA.

 

I suppose that's what I find bothersome about the films insistence to keep going back to Rey's lineage: because its essentially a retread of her arc from The Force Awakens, where she has to come to grips with her parents having left her. Once she does that, their identity really is irrelevant to her identity.

 

35 minutes ago, Holko said:

I can't remember any key shots from TROS that would really linger and be iconic at all, and not only because no shot is held on for more than a second. Certainly nothing like the Rey Jakku sequence or those great establishing shots or the Han-Kylo long shot in TFA,

 

Everything in that film suffers from the lightspeed-pace, yes.

 

But The Force Awakens shows what JJ Abrams can pull off when he has the time.

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I get the impression he really, genuinely tried to downplay his worst tendencies in TFA. That film is remarkably calm, efficient and effective.

 

But by the time he reached TROS, he either couldn't or didn't want to restrain those bad habits and they boiled over, engulfing the restraint he had demonstrated in TFA.

 

It reminds me of how Peter Jackson started with LOTR then ended up at The Hobbit. Abrams had Kasdan as his guiding force on TFA... then Chris Terrio for TROS. :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, Holko said:

And what was it that 7 hinted? Because Rian made 8 very consistent with 7. Unlike JJ and 9 with 8.

I’m not making a qualitative judgement on 8 vs 7.  But I think JJ and Lawrence Kasdan had set things up to go a certain way following ep 7 and RJ chose to go a different way,  watching 7 again recently, it’s pretty clear that JJ meant for Rey to be *somebody*, that Snoke was not intended to be a pawn of Palpatine, that Luke was waiting until the time was right to come back and thus when Rey shows up with the saber at the end, it’s his call back to adventure, to paraphrase Joseph Campbell.

 

its pretty clear that RJ seemed more inspired to deconstruct the tropes of Star Wars where JJ was more inclined to perpetuate them.  In any case, this trilogy had no roadmap to its conclusion, it was made up film-to-film as they went along, which was my main point above.  

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6 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

I think its all just the result of him being put at the helm so late in the game.

 

He did the exact opposite of what a writer with limited time should do: he over-complicated the story, rather than streamline and simplify it.

 

I couldn't even explain the story of TROS if someone asked for the condensed version; it's a nonsensical mess of shit thrown at a wall, thrown together with little regard for coherent plotting or logical story progression.

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I personally put a lot of the blame on this preconcieved notion that the story must conclude with Kylo Ren being redeemed. According to Chris Terrio, Kathleen Kennedy was quite keen on that, so she must bear some of the responsibility for that rotten, deriviative and corrupt story choice.

12 minutes ago, crumbs said:

He did the exact opposite of what a writer with limited time should do: he over-complicated the story, rather than streamline and simplify it.

 

John Boorman once said: "making a film is closer to writing a poem than a novel. Its about stripping away." Often, rushed projects are more convoluted because one doesn't have time to organise one's own thoughts and streamline the thing.

 

13 minutes ago, elvisjones said:

atching 7 again recently, it’s pretty clear that JJ meant for Rey to be *somebody*, that Snoke was not intended to be a pawn of Palpatine, that Luke was waiting until the time was right to come back and thus when Rey shows up with the saber at the end, it’s his call back to adventure,

 

What? Where did you get that? Rey's character arc in The Force Awakens is her overcoming of her own delusions regarding her parents. Once she (figuratively) leaves her parents behind, their identity is irrelevant, and I certainly never got the impression that they were of any significance. The whole point of Rey is that she's a lowly orphan: its a rags-to-riches story, which would be diminished if she did come from an important lineage.

 

Likewise, that Luke was in self-imposed exile and consumed by guilt over what happened with Kylo is entirely explicit in The Force Awakens.

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1 minute ago, elvisjones said:

that Snoke was not intended to be a pawn of Palpatine

That's on JJ's second run.

 

1 minute ago, elvisjones said:

that Luke was waiting until the time was right to come back and thus when Rey shows up with the saber at the end, it’s his call back to adventure

It may have been his call back to adventure but even in TFA, look at what Mark's doing, that's not overtly a look of "well, time for me to come back" or even "aw shuchs, now I'll have to go back", that's perfectly valid as pain at the past he abandoned following him even back here.

 

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8 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

The whole point of Rey is that she's a lowly orphan: its a rags-to-riches story, which would be diminished if she did come from an important lineage.

 

JJ didn't even understand his own character, such is the stupidity of her eventual lineage.

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17 minutes ago, elvisjones said:

its pretty clear that RJ seemed more inspired to deconstruct the tropes of Star Wars where JJ was more inclined to perpetuate them.  In any case, this trilogy had no roadmap to its conclusion

 

That's a very supeficial reading. I like The Force Awakens because its like the original Star Wars...until it isn't. At the end, instead of the villain having a conveniently-placed change-of-heart, he goes the opposite direction to Vader and carries through with the deed. If that's not descontructing Star Wars tropes I don't know what is.

 

The lack of a roadmap is an element in all three Star Wars trilogies. Even in the prequel trilogy - the most preplanned of the bunch - only the main threads were foredoomed, and everything else was left to the making of each film.

 

7 minutes ago, crumbs said:

JJ didn't even understand his own character

 

I think he just caved in the face of fan expectations following the film. Personally, I put some of the blame on Rian Johnson for bringing the issue up to begin with, even if he did only do so in order to show that Rey's parents were nobodies. It would have been even more subversive to just treat it as a non-issue to begin with.

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5 minutes ago, Holko said:

It may have been his call back to adventure but even in TFA, look at what Mark's doing, that's not overtly a look of "well, time for me to come back" or even "aw shuchs, now I'll have to go back", that's perfectly valid as pain at the past he abandoned following him even back here.

 

Another mystery box JJ dumped on another writer to solve.

 

Fans, including Hamill, should direct their anger about the handling of Luke towards Abrams, not Johnson. RJ was left with the thankless task of justifying why Luke would abandon his family and the galaxy in the first place. It had to be a legitimate reason, or else his abandonment would be illogical (and the eventual change-of-mind would be cheap).

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JJ provided him with a fairly legitimate reason: "One boy, an apprentice, turned against him [and killed everyone else]. Luke felt responsible. He just walked away."

 

Johnson just went along with that (plus the added "twist" of Luke having contemplated killing Kylo - which I like). But the set-up is all Abrams'.

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oh come on, JJ was obviously setting him up to jump up in the first act of 8 and slice up Star Destroyers with his lightsaber dick and crush Starkiller II with a thought. The rest of the movie would have been Rey failing at everything she tries including walking and breathing.

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58 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

That's a very supeficial reading. I like The Force Awakens because its like the original Star Wars...until it isn't. At the end, instead of the villain having a conveniently-placed change-of-heart, he goes the opposite direction to Vader and carries through with the deed. If that's not descontructing Star Wars tropes I don't know what is.

 


I don’t understand what you’re referring to in The Force Awakens or the original Star Wars. When does Vader have a convenient change of heart in the original Star Wars? Please clarify. 

1 hour ago, Holko said:

 

It may have been his call back to adventure but even in TFA, look at what Mark's doing, that's not overtly a look of "well, time for me to come back" or even "aw shuchs, now I'll have to go back", that's perfectly valid as pain at the past he abandoned following him even back here.

 

Agreed, he’s definitely not excited about it. I never said he was. I think his performance could validly be characterized as resignation to the inevitable though, which is not how RJ handled it, which was much more outright dismissal of Rey, like “go away”. 

 

again, I’m not making a judgement of quality here.  Just that I believe JJ and RJ had different goals with their films, and that RJ did not rake things where JJ expected they would go. 

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JJ should have actually put stuff into the film indicating direction instead of leaving them vague if he really wanted things to go some way. But he didn't so fuck him, Rian did a great job.

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