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Made in gb
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Yeah, most post-film conversations I have with my friends will skew far more towards 'remember that bit where X character did Y cool thing and it was awesome?' rather than 'You know, that scene game me a whole new perspective on the meaning of life'...

There are exceptions, there are plenty of films that exist purely to provoke thought and discussion, but for a mass media blockbuster that's really a secondary concern.

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 Easy E wrote:
 BobtheInquisitor wrote:
I'm down with the idea of a film that's just meant as entertainment. However, those films fare the worst when they don't actually entertain.


However, that is really boring to talk about. It is a boring, subjective binary.

Did you think the movie was entertaining? Yes/No

..... and what? The discussion is pretty much over.

I think The Dark Knight is a very entertaining film. However, I "hate" the subtext of the movie and the issues it raises and the answers it gives to those issues. If the only question we asked about a movie was, "Is it entertaining?" Then, they answer would be yes. However, there is a lot more to the movie than that one, simplistic and boring question.


I in no way advocated limiting the discussion to whether or not the film was entertaining. I merely suggest that a film that is entertaining will produce the kind of discussion most posters seem to want, discussion focusing on what is "right" with the film as well as what is "wrong" with it, what the subtext is or isn't, which characters had the most interesting roles, the plot, the cinematography, the world building, etc.. A movie that fails to entertain provokes discussion mostly about what was wrong with it if it provokes any discussion a all. Whinch is rough for the rare fans of those films.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Voss wrote:
 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
Oh absolutely.

Consider the difference between a good kid's film, and an awful kid's film.


Honest question: what is the difference?


s.


The same as the difference between any good film and bad film: one is a competently-made, coherent piece of art that tells a compelling story. The other is not. Obviously there is a lot of blurring between the categories in the middle, which is where discussion comes in. Nobody thinks Toy Story was an awful film, and only dangerous lunatics think Cars 2 was a good kids film, but what about Cars 3, Finding Dory, or A Bug's Life? Plenty of room for differing opinions and enlightening discussion.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/12/07 19:03:47


   
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Can it be this time next week already on account I’d have already seen it by then?

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Cars 2 was entertaining.....






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 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
I disagree.

They're there, primarily, to entertain.


I think its a false distinction, to be honest, thinking about the film can be a big part of the entertainment a person gets from the movie. I think people missing that is part of the reason why people think that analysing the film is a purely negative experience, about finding faults in the movie. And even finding faults doesn't necessarily mean the film is worse because of it.

There's a bit in Clerks where one of the characters is talking about all the contractors who ended up innocent victims when the Rebellion blew up the Death Star. Kevin Smith was just having fun with it, it wasn't actually a criticism of Star Wars. Its the kind of thinking that can only happen because people love the movie. But George Lucas missed that, he took it as a criticism of his movies, and to be fair some people probably aped Smith's line and repeated it to Lucas at conventions as a criticism. Anyhow, Lucas then decided to include a bit in Attack of the Clones to show the Death Star engineers were bug people, to defeat that original criticism. This was awful because it means Lucas thinks it becomes more acceptable to kill bystanders if they're ugly aliens, but more than that Lucas is trying to engage in some kind of confrontational relationship with the fans, as if the things they talk about are complaints that he can write out of the films. It felt to me like Lucas was trying to one up the fans who spent time thinking about his film, by retconning their funny observation out of existence.

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 sebster wrote:

There's a bit in Clerks where one of the characters is talking about all the contractors who ended up innocent victims when the Rebellion blew up the Death Star. Kevin Smith was just having fun with it, it wasn't actually a criticism of Star Wars. Its the kind of thinking that can only happen because people love the movie. But George Lucas missed that, he took it as a criticism of his movies, and to be fair some people probably aped Smith's line and repeated it to Lucas at conventions as a criticism. Anyhow, Lucas then decided to include a bit in Attack of the Clones to show the Death Star engineers were bug people, to defeat that original criticism. This was awful because it means Lucas thinks it becomes more acceptable to kill bystanders if they're ugly aliens, but more than that Lucas is trying to engage in some kind of confrontational relationship with the fans, as if the things they talk about are complaints that he can write out of the films. It felt to me like Lucas was trying to one up the fans who spent time thinking about his film, by retconning their funny observation out of existence.

The designers were bug people. (Probably). That doesn't mean the people working on the Death Star were- I think you're inventing this confrontational relationship a bit, as the Genosisaisans don't provide an out for the criticism, and nothing really suggests he created them to create that 'out'

Especially since a lot of the alien designs for the prequels were often entirely in the hands of artists and designers, and he and his upper minions just wandered along and approved or rejected things (if you want to depress yourself, the documentaries for the prequels are incredibly boring bouts of pure awkward, with a lot of nodding at storyboards while unconvincingly making speeches about how awesome the films will be, then everyone not trying to look upset at the private screening).

That said, I could easily believe he got offended at that bit in Clerks. I just don't think the sequence in Clones existed to refute it.

But I do think one of the reasons Star Wars is so popular is because the fans are willing to think about it, and build the universe out of the bones presented on screen. If it were merely enjoyed, there wouldn't be prequels or sequels. It'd be largely forgotten like so many other sci-fi films.

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Voss wrote:
I think you're inventing this confrontational relationship a bit,


No there was definitely a confrontational relationship. The only question has ever been does it run both ways, and I think the answer is yes but the vehemence is much stronger and clearer on the fan side than on Lucas. Following the prequels, where instituted some of the first rounds of retcons to the Expanded Universe many fans did what fans always do; they bitched like little brats. It wasn't that big at the time, but I think it started the downward spiral of the relationship between the fans and the creator of the franchise. I don't think it really started till after Episode III though. Anything before that is I think bitter fans justifying their bitterness by retroactively declaring "Lucas started it." After episode III though, retcons became so targeted and convenient that I don't think it's possible to ignore that Lucas was making changes not just because he could but because he wanted to prove he could. Retcons to the Dathomir force witches, the Mandalorians, Korriban, even the force itself all dragged up popular elements that were mostly the domain of the EU and seemed to twist them around simply because Lucas had gotten into a spat with his own fans and content creators. He famously snubbed some of the most popular elements of works by Timothy Zahn (the "grey" force) and Karen Travis (Mandalorians) within months of those authors criticizing his relationship with fans.

It really came down to the war of who "owns" Star Wars. Not in a legal sense mind you, that's obvious, but in a more conceptual sense. Does Star Wars belong to Lucas solely, or to the the people who consumed it? The big issue I think is that in a lot of ways Fans created more Star Wars than Lucas ever did. There are thousands of books, comics, games, and guides to the Star Wars universe that were created under official license and elements of the Expanded Universe on the heels of the pretty bad prequels became much more popular among fans than what Lucas was doing. When criticism of minor retcons began to be thrown his way he seemed to go out of his way to retcon things as if to prove that "it's mine and I can do what I want." In the closing years of his tenure some of these changes became so clearly spiteful that I don't think it's possible to ignore that the confrontational relationship was going both ways. It all ends of course with loads of interviews after he sold LucasArts that basically amounted to "woe is me everyone hates me I just want to make movies feel sorry for me hate my fans they're the reason I sold Star Wars."

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2017/12/08 08:58:02


   
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On the Clerks/Second Death Star argument....

It's a ridiculous argument.

Yes, I dare say a great many workmen did go up with it. And yes, some may have been entirely innocent craftsmen etc.

The natural and trumping counter? Better a comparative handful of innocents snuff it there and then, than cry off and let The Emperor have his biggest toy back. Because you really, really think he would've stopped at just the one?

Given how long it took them to build the Death Star we see in a New Hope, delays shown in Rogue One not allowing, there's no way the Second Death Star was only built post Yavin. Not a hope in heck.

I mean, we know Palpatine came into ownership of the plans at the beginning of the Clone Wars. Then, three years later at the end of the Clone Wars, they've just about done the super structure.

Now, there's about the same time gap between A New Hope, and Return of the Jedi.

Think about it. The second one must've been under construction long before Yavin. Otherwise, it'd be nowhere near completion.

And does Palpatine really strike as an 'all me eggs in one basket' type? I say not even remotely. Indeed, I don't think he'd be willing to risk the tiny sliver of a chance that Vader or Tarkin might take against him when the Death Star became operational. Hence, the plan was always to have multiple out there - and it's likely the defeat at Yavin (when the mask finally slipped, and he stopped pretending to be benevolent) put paid to a third and fourth for the time being, preferring to escalate construction on the second.

So the deaths of workers are very much justified. They couldn't been warned (ref, Guy Fawkes), and the Death Star had to be stopped there and then, or else all was lost.

See, Kevin Smith. Just not as good as people think!

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I think the mistake you make Doc is that that's all completely rational and internally consistent. Lucas is everything but

   
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I think you'll find the mistake everyone else made is rating and respecting Kevin Smith above 'Hack That Got Lucky'

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 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
I think you'll find the mistake everyone else made is rating and respecting Kevin Smith above 'Hack That Got Lucky'


I see what you did there

   
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Voss wrote:

But I do think one of the reasons Star Wars is so popular is because the fans are willing to think about it, and build the universe out of the bones presented on screen. If it were merely enjoyed, there wouldn't be prequels or sequels. It'd be largely forgotten like so many other sci-fi films.


I think in many cases it's just that they enjoyed so much they (and, I guess, me) simply want more of it, to be enjoyed. More Rogue Squadron please, pew-pew-pew. Not debates on the socio-economic/geo-political climate that exists as a sub-text by Lucas/Foster/Brackett/Kasdan et al. Yes, there's world-building, fleshing out the galaxy for your rpgs, wargames and novels but it's not the kind of story where we worry about innocents on the Death Star, rights for self-aware machines or whatever.

   
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I think the problem with the Old EU is that, ultimately, it was all quite aimless in the end, in that it just wasn't building toward anything.

Now not all of it was terribad - but a significant portion of it was.

When Disney took over, we got a bunch of new books to bridge between ROTJ and TFA. And in those, they do delve into the socio-political stuff, and in a way I found smarter than the old EU.

They had to. They had to begin to explain how we got from ultimate victory to the rise of Neo-Nasties. That's a chain of events which would be dull to film In-Universe, but fun to read.

Anyways. SIX DAYS!!!!

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MarkNorfolk wrote:
Voss wrote:

But I do think one of the reasons Star Wars is so popular is because the fans are willing to think about it, and build the universe out of the bones presented on screen. If it were merely enjoyed, there wouldn't be prequels or sequels. It'd be largely forgotten like so many other sci-fi films.


I think in many cases it's just that they enjoyed so much they (and, I guess, me) simply want more of it, to be enjoyed. More Rogue Squadron please, pew-pew-pew. Not debates on the socio-economic/geo-political climate that exists as a sub-text by Lucas/Foster/Brackett/Kasdan et al. Yes, there's world-building, fleshing out the galaxy for your rpgs, wargames and novels but it's not the kind of story where we worry about innocents on the Death Star, rights for self-aware machines or whatever.



I think this is a good point too and would expand on it by pointing out that people have different lines here. I can totally ignore the C3PO and R2D2 are treated as property despite seemingly being sentient machines able to feel and have original ideas. They're basically slaves, but they're robots so whatever. Everyone who is friends with them treats them nicely. It's easy to ignore. On the other hand, the Clones are living people grown to be soldiers, are given no rights or choices, but are expected to fight and die for a government they have been conditioned to respect with patriotic fervor. The Clones are slaves, and somehow we're supposed to see the separatist freedom fighters who wage war with stupid drones as worse because... they're the bad guys? IDK. I could swear the Jedi had some bit somewhere about being the defenders of freedom, up until freedom became inconvenient. That bugged me. It always has. I obviously have a limit where I'm no longer able to able to sit back and ignore that the presumed message of the films (good is good and evil is evil) is getting really really gray.

   
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Ahhh....but it's all about Palpatine's manipulations.

Why raise a Clone Army? Because they're not Real People. That's a hook you can present to the populace to persuade the Jedi that, perhaps, it's actually no different to eating meat 'if we didn't need it, they wouldn't exist' type stuff.


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Don't buy it.

The Jedi are supposed to be these moral paragons (or at least Lucas wants us to buy into the idea that they are), but the reality is that the Jedi he presents are dogmatic hypocrites so obsessed with the idea of the Republic they willfully choose to support a corrupt and broken system until they decide that system isn't working for them because diplomacy and protecting the Republic were all well and good until they decided the guy in charge they didn't like was someone they really really didn't like. A guy they never would have bought such an excuse from, and the Jedi never really seem to question what they're doing at any point in time thinking that "he we treat them respectfully and care then the obvious moral black hole that the clones represent for us can be ignored." It circles back and just calls attention to the way droids are handled in the universe, so where I didn't care before now I do because Lucas stretched my ability to overlook the undertones of his work too far.

   
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All about the degrees of corruption though.

It's commented upon that Padawns are becoming more and more reckless - it could be that sheer modernity has corrupted the Jedi Order.

There's a very interesting chat with Yoda during a Rebels episode where we 'nutshells' the Clone War for Ezra. He explains the Jedi became too arrogant, too sure of themselves. After all, the Sith hadn't been a problem for centuries. They allowed themselves to be manipulated into becoming Generals, and that corrupted them further.

Yoda blames the Jedi entirely for Palpatine's rise. They should've seen it coming, but were too cosy with the politics.

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 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:


There's a very interesting chat with Yoda during a Rebels episode where we 'nutshells' the Clone War for Ezra. He explains the Jedi became too arrogant, too sure of themselves. After all, the Sith hadn't been a problem for centuries. They allowed themselves to be manipulated into becoming Generals, and that corrupted them further.

Yoda blames the Jedi entirely for Palpatine's rise. They should've seen it coming, but were too cosy with the politics.


I remember it. I was glad to see Disney simply rolling with the most straight forward narrative, instead of continuing that confusing and contradictory hand waving Lucas was trying.

   
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To me, Disney are doing what an experienced Fallout 4 player is doing - going in and scrapping the settlement, so it can now be re-founded with a better idea of how things go together.

Lucas didn't do that, and arguably couldn't. Can you imagine the vitriol he'd have received if he decided swathes of the Old EU were suddenly not canon anymore?

Seriously, breaking with canon is the best move Disney pulled.

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 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
Lucas didn't do that, and arguably couldn't. Can you imagine the vitriol he'd have received if he decided swathes of the Old EU were suddenly not canon anymore?


Yes because he basically did and the vitriol was extreme. I remember when the Mandalore episodes of Clone Wars aired and fans of the Republic Commando, Boba Fett fans, and basically anyone who was really into the Mandalorians as a "third great power of the galaxy" got outraged because those episodes retconned everything. Then some Halo fans got outraged cause when Karen Travis quit the Star Wars EU because of those episodes she brought her crap to the Halo EU and retconned most of Eric Nylund's work there (and Eric Nylund was the Halo EU at the time). So yes. This is me blaming Lucas for ruining Star Wars and Halo (factitiously)

Seriously, breaking with canon is the best move Disney pulled.


It was something I think Disney could do that Lucas couldn't. If Lucas did it fans would have just interpreted it as him throwing out all the good stuff to replace with more Jar Jar Binks garbage. Disney could because by that point I think most fans (who cared anyway) had grown weary of the constant retreading of the EU, as well as Lucas' meddling and wanted a do over. So there was a little bit of a double standard there, but yes. I think Disney had to do it and as disappointed as I am that I'll never see Mara Jade or the Solo twins on screen *shrug* I'm over it. Lucas had dragged the franchise so down nothing Disney did could make it worse and so far I've been pleased with what they're putting out. Faith in Lucas was pretty much dried up, but on the heels of the MCU I think faith in Disney to do better was quite high.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2017/12/08 10:49:49


   
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Backing up a bit to the literary criticism topic, there can be quite a difference between what the film-makers intend and what's actually in the film. Does anyone think that George Lucas was advocating that democracy was inferior to rule by an overclass of genetically superior ubermensch? Because that's what Luke's story shows - that the Rebel Alliance can only triumph because of the actions of a wizard's apprentice.

Which is really something that was introduced late in the development of the story; it was barely hinted at in Star Wars, developed a little more in the sequels, built up in the EU and then cemented by the prequels. In Star Wars, we're told that Anakin was a skilled pilot when Obi-Wan met him, not a powerful Force-user. the implication I had for decades was that being a Jedi (or Sith) was a matter of training and practice, not simply of genetics. Han could've become a Jedi, if he didn't spend so much time scoffing about the Force. It just happened that Luke was sufficiently impressionable that he took Obi-Wan's teachings to heart. Likewise, concept art had Stormtroopers armed with lightsabers - the idea being that Jedi were better with them than everyone else, not that you needed magic powers to even wield one. (which got contradicted later, anyway, with the Darksaber).

It also had the side effect of concentrating the stories on the Skywalker/Solo family, because they've got the right "blood" to be the hero(ine)s of the piece.
   
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 AndrewGPaul wrote:
Backing up a bit to the literary criticism topic, there can be quite a difference between what the film-makers intend and what's actually in the film. Does anyone think that George Lucas was advocating that democracy was inferior to rule by an overclass of genetically superior ubermensch? Because that's what Luke's story shows - that the Rebel Alliance can only triumph because of the actions of a wizard's apprentice.


This was a general problem with the prequels in my view. Lucas seemed to think he was telling one story, but the story on screen didn't match it all. There is Death of the Author, but that concept isn't a permission that anything goes either way. I think one of the reasons the prequels ended up being so bad falls on Lucas' voice as an film maker being completely incoherent. In the Original trilogy he was reigned in and the simplicity of the tale was part of its strength. the prequels threw that out, choosing to try at something more complex with plots and schemes, and honestly Lucas just isn't clever enough to pull that off or sync it up with a good vs evil tale.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/12/08 11:48:29


   
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Yet it all began as a wrangling of various tropes into a then new and unique packaging. And it worked.

I doubt Lucas was trying to see things from the Dragon's Point Of View.

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The thing is that I just don't think Lucas can be credited with having been the one who made it work. His original screen play is terrible. The history of the original trilogy has been well documented and it was a team of people, of whom Lucas was but one, who really brought it together and made it work.

The prequels on the other hand were just Lucas exercising his own inflated sense of artistic merit because he seemingly didn't learn from his prior experience that working with others helped him make Star Wars. He's always seemingly been convinced that it was just his brilliance and everyone should innately respect his brilliance even when he's putting out stuff that is mediocre at best.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/12/08 12:02:01


   
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Oh, and on the subject of civilian casualties, military contractors and Geonosians, some things to consider:

the Death Star Skeleton that Darth Vader, the Emperor and Scorpius Tarkin view at the end of episode RotS doesn't appear to be the one we see in action in R1 and ANH; the shape's slightly wrong and the superlaser's in the wrong place. And Rebels shows us twice that the Geonosians were all but exterminated by the Empire and their orbital factories ransacked. It's likely that the workers on the "production" DS1 were human (at least, the overseers would have been; I don't know if the Wookiee slaves are still canon).
   
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Season 4 of rebels has an episode where various people (human and alien) have basically been kidnapped and press ganged by the Empire into working on a "secret project" that is obviously the Death Star. So really they weren't contractors as much as slave labor

   
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True. Up to and including one of the chief designers, as Rogue One tells us.
   
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 LordofHats wrote:
The thing is that I just don't think Lucas can be credited with having been the one who made it work. His original screen play is terrible. The history of the original trilogy has been well documented and it was a team of people, of whom Lucas was but one, who really brought it together and made it work.

The prequels on the other hand were just Lucas exercising his own inflated sense of artistic merit because he seemingly didn't learn from his prior experience that working with others helped him make Star Wars. He's always seemingly been convinced that it was just his brilliance and everyone should innately respect his brilliance even when he's putting out stuff that is mediocre at best.


See, this is an interesting thing to me.

Many people knocked Rogue One because of a perceived lack of character development. And some have thrashed out missives in their mum's basement that the same applies to TFA, and therefore all the new trilogy.

Except, they're forgetting we knew very little about the characters in the original trilogy. If you properly sit down and think, you can begin to figure out what you know from the film, and what we've learnt from every other source. It gets even harder when you limit your knowledge to the film release schedule!

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 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:


See, this is an interesting thing to me.

Many people knocked Rogue One because of a perceived lack of character development. And some have thrashed out missives in their mum's basement that the same applies to TFA, and therefore all the new trilogy.

Except, they're forgetting we knew very little about the characters in the original trilogy.


I agree. I get a good laugh every time someone complains "how does Rey/Fin know how to fly a ship" and I'm like "how did Luke know how to fly an X-Wing?" Farm boy got more kills on the Death Star than the "so precise" Storm Troopers and people want to complain about Rey knowing how to swing a laser sword when we already saw her swing a wacky bow staff thing. I can see it a bit in Rogue one, cause I feel like at least two of the characters didn't really need to be in the film but they took up space anyway, but I didn't think R1s cast was anymore shallow than any of the other characters.

   
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The only explanation we get about Luke's piloting skill is that he already had his "T-16", whatever that was. Essentially, it's like saying that an F-15 has the same controls as a single-seat Cessna, and that if you can fly the latter, the former will be fine. Utter nonsense, but the film just tosses out the line and carries on, so it's OK.

Essentially, Star Wars treats single-seat fighters and small freighters as if they're cars and pickups and vans.
   
 
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