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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 25 November 2014 at 4:58pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Greg>>There almost seem to be two distinct schools of STAR WARS fan--
those who are more invested in the specific characters and story, and 
those who just love the universe.<<

I definitely love the universe, possibly more than the story.  Like Star Trek, I see it as very fertile ground for other authors to tell interesting stories.  Yes, this has been done both well and badly in both.  That's always a risk.

I hope JJ's SW will be good.  I have no idea whether it will be or not.  I have yet to see any "red flag" rumors or leaks like for Trank's FF movie.  That (to paraphrase Maria Bamford) is a Red Flag factory that manufactures nothing but Giant Red Flags.  So far I'm liking what I'm hearing about Ep VII, or at worst am not put off by it.

Greg>>I'm not trying to bash the new movie prematurely, or anything. I just have major reservations and concerns about the whole thing. It's a 
weird mixture of fear, ambivalence, and, yes, even excitement. Talking 
it out like this is good therapy!<<

I understand your trepidation, Greg.  I'm nervous about it too.  I was 12 when the original came out.  I was the target audience.  I paid to see it 28 times in its original run and subsequent re-releases before Empire. That movie casts a long shadow with me.  It's very hard to go into a movie with big expectations and expect to be fair to it.  People often remember movies via their emotions, and thus remember the original trilogy as much better than it was from any technical story-telling standpoint.  So with SW movies, I try and just be 12 for two hours.  In the moments that works, it's magic.

One thing I'm looking forward to is that first time "A long time ago..." comes up on the screen.  There was a twinge of sadness when that came up for Sith and I realized that's the last time I get to do that for a Star Wars movie.  Now, not so!
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 25 November 2014 at 5:12pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Koroush>>I respectfully disagree. It is technically a continuation, but it's also a stealth reboot as much as anything else. New director, new rights owner, the previous lead characters/actors being brought back to pass the baton onto young new characters... what's the bet that soon we'll have spinoffs galore to add to the new sequels.<<

The original trilogy had three different directors.  That's why the tone is so different between them.  Plus, the new stories, if the press is to believed, George is consulting on.  We had spinoffs galore when George owned it.  Only three prequel movies, but plenty of games, comics, endless collectibles, etc.  If people like it, why is this bad?  It is, after all, the entertainment business.  There are plenty of bad Star Wars novels, none of which damage the original for me.  If they do for you, well--I'd be sorry to hear that.  You react the way you react.

The director thing raises an interesting point a friend of mine brought up: He feels the original is the only one he had any business tinkering with, since that's the only one he directed of the original trilogy. 
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 25 November 2014 at 5:48pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Greg said: However, since the nine-film plan was abandoned when Lucas decided 
to cram the ending of the story--after only making three films--into JEDI, 
the Sequel Trilogy has no real story reason to exist. It's truly just more 
for the sake of more.
-------------------------------------------
He crammed the ending of his story into the end of the first film and then just repeated it in ROTJ. 

The stories told in both ESB and ROTJ were largely created in the run-up to filming, not years before according to some masterplan. In other words, the stories were made up as a result of the imperative to make more films. Lucas was not making films because he had untold tales to tell -- he needed dosh to keep Lucasfilm afloat and that meant more Star Wars films were needed.

The general order of play for the original trilogy seems to be Lucas jotting down random story ideas on his yellow pads, then an outline, then multiple drafts (by the time of the prequels, Lucas seems to have just shot the first draft -- and it shows). The fact that a huge portion of the random story ideas never make it to the final drafts suggest he didn't have much concretely planned , which would seem to rule out the idea of the stories driving the creation of the sequels, even in the original trilogy.

I take your point about Kingdom of the Crystal Skull...   There's a genuine risk they'll do something sub-par with the characters we love.

That said, I'm buzzed to see Mark Hamill wielding a lightsaber again. Personally, I didn't really like the ending we got at the end of ROTJ. It was a massive let down after the high drama of ESB and Vader's switch to the side of the angels was unconvincing for me, seeing how much of a irredeemable bastard he was in the first two films.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 25 November 2014 at 5:55pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I have no issue with more Star Wars. The original design was based upon Saturday afternoon serials and adventure films. Those can go on indefinitely. Yes, Star Wars told a complete story for the most part, but that in no way invalidates telling another.

My problems here are that no Star Wars since the original trilogy (and many dislike the third film) has been of any entertainment value at all, at least not to me. The prequels were badly conceived and tediously executed exercises in "waiting for the inevitable." I spent a good portion of my younger days imagining what that lightsabre duel on the edge of the volcano was like. If anyone could have shown me the idiocy of the side-scrolling video game approach taken and the "It's no use, Annie! I've got the high ground" stupidity, they might have broken that kid's heart, but they'd have also saved him a lot of time.

The best stories often live in our imaginations. Allusion is often a far more potent tool than illustration. The prequels were dreadful. Finding out that whining was the predominant Skywalker family trait was not helpful to the overall story.

I pretty much skipped the EU and Clone Wars. Rebels holds no interest for me. More Star Wars films are fine, especially if they intend to go forward rather than back.

Unfortunately, they're starting off with Abrams, an egomaniac whose inclusion of the Rimbauldi device and the Cloverfield monster in Star Trek are less adorable little in-jokes than public notice  that Star Trek is now a small part of the overall Abrams-verse. He has no grasp of coherent storytelling, no respect for those who do, and will happily "stunt" any damn thing that he finds momentarily amusing. (Cue lens flare.)

Star Wars is in terrible hands. Fortunately, Disney and Lucas can take comfort in the idea that however crass and tone-deaf his handling of their baby will inevitably be, the entire affair will only be a small sliver of the over-arching wonderfulness that is Abrams himself.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 25 November 2014 at 6:28pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

The stories told in both ESB and ROTJ were largely created in the run-
up to filming, not years before according to some masterplan. In other
words, the stories were made up as a result of the imperative to make
more films. Lucas was not making films because he had untold tales to
tell -- he needed dosh to keep Lucasfilm afloat and that meant more
Star Wars films were needed.
++++++

Well--yes. Really, everything after the first film was more for the sake of
more.

That said, as a unit, THE STAR WARS TRILOGY (which is what I grew
up, with so I admit I'm biased) became a cornerstone of popular culture,
with a beginning, middle, and end.

More importantly, the basic arc of the series (which eventually
congealed into six films rather than nine) was set down in 1978: The
Empire is defeated in EPISODE IX (later, the end of the story was
scaled back to occur in EPISODE VI), and then Lucas would go back
and tell the story of the Empire's rise in I-III.

So, the sequels and prequels adhered to that plan pretty well.

Essentially, since 1978, THE STAR WARS SAGA has been a multipart
story about the rise and fall of the Empire, the story of Darth Vader, and
the growth of Luke Skywalker to adulthood.

Like it or loathe it, the six-film series we now have is essentially what
Lucas had set in the motion after the first film was out. The specifics
were constantly in flux, but the end result still follows the broad strokes.

Aside from some rough notes--allegedly--the Sequel Trilogy of VII-IX
was not really a legitimate consideration after 1981 or so.


Moreso than the previous films, anything that comes along now is more
for the sake of more. On the one hand, that means ANYTHING can
happen (no more. Superboy Syndrome, as in the prequels), but on the
other hand, anything can happen, meaning all bets are off, and nothing
may be considered sacred. "The End" is scuttled in favor of MORE!
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 25 November 2014 at 8:26pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Brian>>Star Wars is in terrible hands. Fortunately, Disney and Lucas can take comfort in the idea that however crass and tone-deaf his handling of their baby will inevitably be, the entire affair will only be a small sliver of the over-arching wonderfulness that is Abrams himself.<<

Don't mince words, Brian.  What do you really think?

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Koroush Ghazi
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Posted: 26 November 2014 at 1:07am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

 Brian Hague wrote:
I have no issue with more Star Wars. The original design was based upon Saturday afternoon serials and adventure films. Those can go on indefinitely. Yes, Star Wars told a complete story for the most part, but that in no way invalidates telling another.


I agree with the rest of your post Brian, but just want to clarify the point you mention above. I've said that the Star Wars saga is pretty much over, and what I mean by that is the saga involving Luke, Leia, Han, Anakin etc. is done and dusted. Any continuation involving these characters is more than likely to devalue rather than enhance them. Let them have their happily ever after.

But I do believe the Star Wars universe has room for plenty of other stories, using entirely new characters, as exhibited by the expanded universe. I hope this is what you mean as well.

Basically, in story terms there was no reason to ever do an Episode VII. The only reasons are purely marketing and financial based. Ditto attaching Abrams onto the project. A hip, edgy, blockbuster-producing director is precisely who Disney wants to crank the handle of the money-making machine.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 November 2014 at 1:56am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I agree with all of that, Koroush.

If it were its own thing, with new characters, I'd be much less
apprehensive. Same with Abrams' STAR TREK. If either of these
projects featured all-new characters, or were legitimate reboots, I'd be
less worried. But, no, they just have to play the brand-name
recognition/nostalgia milking card.

Where is the line drawn between making good use of a franchise's
history and icons, and merely hiding behind them so as to both draw
fans in and obscure a total lack of originality and creativity?

Of all the big sci-fi properties out there, I kinda thought that STAR
WARS was the most invulnerable to being rebooted. That now seems
not to be the case, what with the EU getting tossed out, and rumors of
flashbacks featuring a younger Leia (played by Carrie Fisher's
daughter) being filmed, which would theoretically allow Abrams to start
retconning in who-knows-what.

Let me pose the question--how interested would fandom be in his film if
none of the original characters/actors were involved?


Perhaps it's narrow thinking, but I kinda like STAR WARS as it's own
special little thing, y'know? Pumping out movie after movie after movie
may give us some good stories, but it makes the iconic and legendary
original feel a bit less special. For me, STAR WARS is a treasured gem
of my childhood that tells a specific story about a specific set of
characters. The universe is fun, but stories set in it feel more like
offshoots than they do the real thing.

There could definitely be value in relaunching STAR WARS as
something new, with new characters and new stories, with the common
element between old and new being the universe itself.

But, due apparently to fear, greed, and attachment, we just HAVE to
have the old gang trotted out again.


Hey...don't those emotions lead to...the dark side...?
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 26 November 2014 at 7:56am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

But, due apparently to fear, greed, and attachment, we just HAVE to 
have the old gang trotted out again.
-------------------------------------
If you've ever seen Caravan of Courage, you'll know that the fear is justified.
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Tshombe K. Hamilton
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Posted: 26 November 2014 at 9:23am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Oh lord..this is the first I am hearing about Carrie Fisher's daughter. Does anybody see Luke Skywalker some how going back in time thus creating a whole new alternate reality with a now young Leia only to be followed by a young Han...etc?
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 26 November 2014 at 9:37am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I don't see that happening.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 November 2014 at 10:46am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

If you've ever seen Caravan of Courage, you'll know that the fear is
justified.
++++++

Heh.
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Sam Karns
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Posted: 26 November 2014 at 12:05pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Oh lord..this is the first I am hearing about Carrie Fisher's daughter. Does anybody see Luke Skywalker some how going back in time thus creating a whole new alternate reality with a now young Leia only to be followed by a young Han...etc?

 

***

No, but it would be a way to introduce the new villain in the film.  Integrating the character into the Star Wars Universe retroactively.

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Brian Hague
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Posted: 26 November 2014 at 12:17pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Am I correct in my assumption that as of yet, Star Wars has had no references to time travel? 

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Peter Martin
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Posted: 26 November 2014 at 4:15pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Yes. The Jedi can glimpse the future but no time travel. One sort of precludes the other, I would say.
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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 26 November 2014 at 5:40pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Normally I would say you all are making a whole big to do over nothing. But in this case I think all the concerns are justified. After the NuTrek fiasco I have no faith in Abrams.
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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 26 November 2014 at 6:09pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

All of you may feel differently than I do about it. Abrams has the good fortune that the prequels weren't very good. It's against those films I'll be judging The new films against. Not the original trilogy. So he has a better chance at impressing me.

Ewan Mcgregor was the only thing I really enjoyed. I'd like to see him show up in the new films.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 November 2014 at 10:48pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Am I correct in my assumption that as of yet, Star Wars has had no
references to time travel?
+++++++

I would argue that the SW universe is so interesting and exciting that it
should not need to fall back on tropes like time-travel, alternate
universes, and bringing the dead back to life.

Thus far, EU writers seems to avoided those sorts of things.

Could it be that this might change? Abrams did use time-
travel/alternate universes to have his cake and eat in too in regards to
TREK, after all.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 27 November 2014 at 12:20am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Could it be that this might change? Abrams did use time-
travel/alternate universes to have his cake and eat in too in regards to
TREK, after all.

-----

To be fair, time travel and alternate universes are staples of STAR
TREK. To the point that Mirror Spock's Van Dyke is still used as
shorthand for evil parallel universes.

On the other hand, JJ did use time travel and an alternate universe in
FELICITY of all things.

Edited by Michael Roberts on 27 November 2014 at 12:22am
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Anthony Dean Kotorac
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Posted: 27 November 2014 at 6:51pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I'm looking forward to the new film more so as unlike the prequels where you knew the broad strokes of the story (Rise of the Empire, Anakin's downfall etc) but here aside from knowing the main trio from the previous trilogy are in it i know next to nothing about the story.

Which is quite refreshing!

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Brian Miller
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Posted: 27 November 2014 at 8:17pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

First trailer is up on YouTube. 
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 27 November 2014 at 10:05pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Really? Link please. Everything I see is fake.
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 27 November 2014 at 10:13pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply


Okay Brian, I haven't found it yet, but I've stumbled upon 10 different semi-convincing fakes! Some of which made me laugh out loud.

Also: It's very odd that we've now reached a point where people will actually make fake trailers to LOOK like shitty camcorder footage from the theater. What a waste of time.



Edited by Shaun Barry on 27 November 2014 at 10:43pm
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 28 November 2014 at 9:18am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

LINK
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 28 November 2014 at 9:21am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Not sure about that lightsaber with the exhaust ports...

Edited by Peter Martin on 28 November 2014 at 9:21am
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