Films I've just watched 2017

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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Prey » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:13 am

The one thing I think everyone overlooks when it comes to the prequels is just how prominent Obi-Wan's growth as a future figure head character is. In TPM for instance as we are introduced to him from the very first scene he starts off as a considerably well taught but still rather naive character obviously completely in the shadow of Qui-Gon-Jinn and often comes across as a bit smug in places. Not only does he gently mature both mentally and physically but come Revenge he's every bit the character we wished him to be as he delivers his iconic you were the chosen one bring balance to the force line. While the prequels got a lot wrong Obi-Wan is one thing I felt they got absolutely bang on.

While everyone was fixated with Anakin on his pre-determined path towards the dark side I was much more concentrated on the evolution of Obi-Wan and actually doing true justice to the character.

Ewan McGregor has said many times he is open to doing a solo Obi-Wan movie and I can't help but feel that as much as it is about introducing all new characters his is the singular character that has long deserved a solo outing simply due to the fact he was such a powering force throughout all three prequels.


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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Wrathbone » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:16 am

The similarities between The Force Awakens and A New Hope are superficial. If you look at the character motivations and actions in those similar situations, a lot of them are diametrically opposed, resulting in a very different story. The clearest example is Rey in TFA and Luke in ANH: Luke wants nothing more than to leave his boring family, get off Tatooine and join the action, whereas Rey desperately wants to stay on Jakku in case her family returns one day. Yes, they both live on desert planets, yes they both wear a white/beige wrap ensemble, and yes they both discover they can use the Force. We're obviously meant to draw similarities, but it's the way in which those similarities are challenged that matter, and they are challenged throughout.

The Force Awakens is a great film, and I totally reject the criticism from many people that it's a re-hash of A New Hope. If you watch it again (and you should), focus on what's different, not what's the same.
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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Prey » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:35 am

Wrathbone wrote:The Force Awakens is a great film, and I totally reject the criticism from many people that it's a re-hash of A New Hope. If you watch it again (and you should), focus on what's different, not what's the same.


Wow Seriously? On what basis?

Things are about to get real interesting in here. :lol: :wink:

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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Wrathbone » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:58 am

Based on the stuff I said above that. :lol:

They're purposefully connected, but TFA takes similar themes, characters and scenarios and plays them differently to create a different story.

EDIT - To elaborate a bit further, and this is something discussed with much better clarity in the podcast series I posted earlier, the core story of ANH - the part that matters, that goes deeper than the surface conflict between the Rebels and the Empire - is Luke's relationship with the Force and how he finally puts his personal desires for adventure aside and puts his faith in the Force. That is the crucial character-defining moment of the film which results in destroying the Death Star, and it's almost completely absent from TFA. Rey's defining moment with the Force is when she battles Kylo Ren, but that's personal - it is unrelated to the core plot of destroying Starkiller Base and completing the map to Luke. If she'd failed or hadn't had her awakening, the base would still have been destroyed and Luke would still have been found. If Luke hadn't had his awakening of sorts, the Death Star would have destroyed the Rebels.

This isn't accidental or poor plotting - it's intentional and purposeful. The story of TFA is, funnily enough, about awakenings - all the main characters undergo their own personal awakenings. The surface similarities of the Good Guys vs the Bad Guys with a Big Bad Base and a Big Bad Villain in a Black Mask are decoration on two very different stories.
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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Prey » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:08 am

I skipped read most of it, apologies. :lol:

While I'm not entirely of the mind TFA was a full on remake as many are I do get where J.J is coming from in terms of there being "a bridge between the two in an effort to remind folk what Star Wars is" after the prequels. He calls it the connective tissue that concentrates on a newcomers ongoing yet familiar journey. I personally think RO did this far better and did it in such a way that it never once felt like something I could directly compare to that that had come before it.

I guess many die hard fans felt somehow insulted by how he went about things but then such fans always do tend to take things too far.

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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Subway Diet » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:10 am

Just want to take a moment to thank WB for the links to that story analysis podcast. That guy is great at deep diving and explaining what he's getting at. Spent a good few hours listening to them over the last couple of days.
That, along with some other writing and and videos helped me at least appreciate what the prequels were trying to do.
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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Wrathbone » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:16 am

He does a load of other podcasts which are equally deep and detailed. The Star Wars ones were the first I listened to and I was impressed at the amount of stuff he raised that I simply hadn't considered before. Most of his podcasts are on the now defunct Storywonk, but he's started a new company - Point North Media - which is doing a fantastic series on the works of Tolkien at the moment.
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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby DjchunKfunK » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:20 am

A film that follows not long after the original trilogy and which contains a number of the similar characters is always going to feel similar. That said as WB points out I think they also introduce some new and interesting characters and stories helping it to be a different enough film.

I don't think there was much difference between TFA and Rogue One when it comes to characters and plot in that neither of them were that great. They ultimately both suffer from modern cinema syndrome in that more time and money is spent on the visuals than the story and in that regard I think Rogue One is the better visual spectacle, but I much preferred Rey and Fin to Jyn and Cassian.
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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Wrathbone » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:47 am

Sorry to harp on about this, but I love talking about Star Wars! Another reason TFA is intentionally like ANH (while being different) is because TFA deals with the events of the original trilogy as though they were now myth to the characters. Kylo Ren believes in and follows the myth of his grandfather, Darth Vader, and recovers the artefact of his melted mask; the First Order rise to power and try to replicate the glory and power of the Empire as a direct result of Luke disappearing (see the opening scrawl); Rey doesn't even believe Luke Skywalker is real until Han confirms it. And of course there is Luke's/Anakin's lightsaber, presented as another mythological artifact to Rey of huge symbolic importance. All of this comes back to Luke. Luke is the myth and now that I think about it, you could argue that the galaxy is awakening to the fact that his myth is real.

The point is, TFA has to portray similarities to the original trilogy and Luke's journey because that is the myth it is dealing with. The bad guys are trying to replicate the myth and the good guys are discovering or re-discovering that, as Han says, it's true... all of it.
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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Mantis » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:42 pm

I never really bought into the whole arc about people thinking Luke Skywalker or the Force might not even have been real. It was what, twenty or so years ago in the storyline? That's not really long enough for something to fall into myth. Why all of a sudden people aren't even sure whether he existed is puzzling, especially considering that Leia is still the leader of the rebellion at this point and there's no reason she'd not tell everyone that the stories are true.

You might say that the Galaxy is huge so there's no reason that knowledge of him would spread that far, but the franchise has never done the best job of really showing that the Galaxy is all that large. In fact it does quite the opposite, it never seems to take anybody very long to go anywhere or for news to spread (see the end of RotJ when the Emperor dies and suddenly every planet is having a party). Even in TFA, Rey and Fin take off from Jaaku and within 30 seconds Han Solo has picked them up on a tracking device and boarded the Falcon.

It's even more far fetched that people don't believe in the Force when you consider that the Jedi were a religious order that held a pretty important role in the Galaxy for the better part of a few thousand years.

Not really a major reason to damn the movie at all, it's just nitpicking really. But it was definitely one of those things I remember from the cinema viewing that made me raise my eyebrows a little at the time.

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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby eVoL » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:44 pm

I have no problem with TFA being like ANH. My problems are it's just bad for all the reasons I said before. Oh and that Rey moment at the end where she wins like every marvel hero ever by just hitting it a bit harder was bullshit too and had no value as a character development especially since she didn't accomplish anything due to (again bullshit) lava pish. The link to Luke is irrelevent imo because Luke had actual training at that point and even without that it was more about focus than hitting something harder.

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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Wrathbone » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:12 pm

Mantis wrote:I never really bought into the whole arc about people thinking Luke Skywalker or the Force might not even have been real. It was what, twenty or so years ago in the storyline? That's not really long enough for something to fall into myth. Why all of a sudden people aren't even sure whether he existed is puzzling, especially considering that Leia is still the leader of the rebellion at this point and there's no reason she'd not tell everyone that the stories are true.


Yes, I think that's a shortcoming in the sense that we're informed that it's become myth rather than it being properly demonstrated in the film. But I can buy into the idea that people have forgotten because even in 20-30 years people have astonishingly short memories about certain things, or remember things incorrectly. Keep in mind that Rey and Finn weren't born until maybe 10 years after the events of ROTJ. I was born in 1984, and I have a good sense of what some things were like in 1974 - or I think I do - but there are probably major world events at that time which I either don't know clearly or where my only knowledge has come from films and the public perception of those events. For example, while there is plenty of info available on the Vietnam war, I'd argue there's now a near-mythological archetype of American troops in Vietnam which is partially based on reality and largely based on Hollywood's portrayal of the conflict. There are battles mentioned in films which, honestly... I don't know if they're real. Facts can become myth really, really quickly!

It's even more far fetched that people don't believe in the Force when you consider that the Jedi were a religious order that held a pretty important role in the Galaxy for the better part of a few thousand years.


That specific case of galactic forgetfulness I think is fair enough for two reasons: firstly, the Empire was an engine of systematic propaganda and presumably went almost overnight from condemning the Jedi to more or less denying their existence, or at least barely acknowledging them. Secondly, were the Jedi actually that important to the average Republic citizen? They were extremely low in numbers, to the point where most people probably would never have seen a Jedi or known someone who'd seen one. Maybe their second cousin's friend's acquaintance on his holiday to Coruscant may have spotted one, but it doesn't appear to have been a major part of Republic life. It's not like everyone went to Force Church. My best interpretation of it is that most people were aware of Jedi in the way that I'm aware of Shaolin monks, and if someone told me that the Shaolin monks had supposedly rebelled against their government and been wiped out I may be initially shocked but then probably wouldn't think about it ever again.
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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Mantis » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:26 pm

I'd counter both of those points that world history events aren't really on the same level as an evil Galactic Empire being overthrown by a small band of rebels led by a Jedi. It's not the sort of thing you'd think people would be ignorant about just because it happened a decade before they were born. And likewise, in the days of the Republic the Jedi were the main diplomats who were deployed whenever different alien species couldn't play nice together. We may only be vaguely aware of the existence of Shaolin monks, but then they don't act as the United Nations primary peacekeeping force. Though maybe that's where we've been going wrong all these years. :lol:

We're just speculating on stuff that wasn't really properly explained in the movies though.

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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Prey » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:34 pm

While I can certainly see the logic behind a fading myth the way TFA handles it is just so poorly done down to the fact that they wished us to believe that the Jedi Order/belief in The Force had all but been extinguished by this point in time was just so incredulous I couldn't believe that they'd even attempted it. Is that even the right word?? :lol: Anyways the underlying problem I have with this theory is that this was something that didn't just impact a single world as you say with Vietnam but impacted and directly influenced a myriad of different worlds and alien world cultures over a huge expanse of time by those who took it upon themselves at some point to follow and live by the Jedi code.

So perhaps yes a myth that designated on a single planet can fade away with time but for it to completely fade across a multitude of planets? I just don't buy it sorry.

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Re: Films I've just watched 2017

Postby Wrathbone » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:37 pm

Mantis wrote:I'd counter both of those points that world history events aren't really on the same level as an evil Galactic Empire being overthrown by a small band of rebels led by a Jedi. It's not the sort of thing you'd think people would be ignorant about just because it happened a decade before they were born. And likewise, in the days of the Republic the Jedi were the main diplomats who were deployed whenever different alien species couldn't play nice together. We may only be vaguely aware of the existence of Shaolin monks, but then they don't act as the United Nations primary peacekeeping force. Though maybe that's where we've been going wrong all these years. :lol:

We're just speculating on stuff that wasn't really properly explained in the movies though.


The Shaolin Monks UN negotiation team is a film that I now need to see happen. :lol: But yes, it's all speculation. I think TFA mostly gets away with it and it's not something that bothered me, but it would have been better if there'd be a teensy bit of clarification as to the reasons why so many characters are unclear on the past.

eVoL wrote:that Rey moment at the end where she wins like every marvel hero ever by just hitting it a bit harder was bullshit too and had no value as a character development especially since she didn't accomplish anything due to (again bullshit) lava pish.


Yeah, I agree that her sudden amazing skills with a lightsaber were conspicuous. We're demonstrably meant to think she has a strong innate command of the Force from the scene where she mind tricks Daniel Craig, but it almost dismissively implies that she also has a natural affinity for duelling. I would say that despite the conveniently-timed lava pit earthquake thing, she DID accomplish something as she resolved her conflict with Luke's lightsaber (yes, that IS a conflict :wink: - she outright refuses to have anything to do with it after her initial encounter with it), and as a result she completed her awakening.
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