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Desslok

The Spoilerrific Super Duper Episode Seven Megathread!

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I think that the issue that some (including myself) might be having is that TFA borrows so heavily from within its own (i.e., previous Star Wars movies) material. This is much like self-plagarism in a paper, where even with adequate citation the result is ethically suspect.

Edited by HappyDaze

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And that's perfectly fine. There's nothing wrong with disliking repetition. Where things get ridiculous, though, is when this leads to the view that the movie is poor craftsmanship, especially given this is something Star Wars has always done. The reason people complain about it 'less' in the prequels is because Lucas likes detours that have nothing to do with the plot at hand; the core plot in the PT is identical to that in the OT for large parts. You didn't hear people complain about that much, though. It was the more obvious callbacks that raised ire and got the kneejerk hateboner reaction. Dito on TFA, really. BB-8 getting the plans, the tractor beam,  Starkiller Base, all that is right in your face, that's why you automatically assess it on the same level as similar things from the past, even if it's used differently. Lucas is a cunning enough Charlatan to distract from that, because he wants to SEEM original (he full well knows he's not; anyone who makes films for 50 years does). JJ, on the other hand, and Disney wanted to evoke familiarity, so they were more obvious with the imagery, even if they changed more about the details and set up a very different avenue for the series to continue in than previously. For some, this will seem too familiar, for others, it's The Big Goodbye (let's use Star Trek here, because it's JJ and that makes it kind of tempting).

 

All that said, TFA isn't "The Room". It's an incredibly well-crafted cinematic experience with above average acting and dialogue for the Star Wars franchise. This, and that they've reused almost the entirity of the OT already and now NEED to take the story in a new direction in the sequels, reassures me as a fan.

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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Wait, there are seriously people here who don't know Spaceballs?

 

Holy crap!

Looking it up it came out in 1987. That was nearly thirty years ago. Also, from the brief clip I watched, its humour involves "combing the desert" (cut to a scene of two people with a giant comb) and a stunningly contrived attempt to wring laughter from the idea that somebody's family name is "arsehole". Is there any reason we should? :/

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Wait, there are seriously people here who don't know Spaceballs?

 

Holy crap!

Looking it up it came out in 1987. That was nearly thirty years ago. Also, from the brief clip I watched, its humour involves "combing the desert" (cut to a scene of two people with a giant comb) and a stunningly contrived attempt to wring laughter from the idea that somebody's family name is "arsehole". Is there any reason we should? :/

 

As someone that has actually worked alongside a LT Ashpole (which sounds similar enough), I can tell you that joke really doesn't get old! :D

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And that's perfectly fine. There's nothing wrong with disliking repetition. Where things get ridiculous, though, is when this leads to the view that the movie is poor craftsmanship, especially given this is something Star Wars has always done. The reason people complain about it 'less' in the prequels is because Lucas likes detours that have nothing to do with the plot at hand; the core plot in the PT is identical to that in the OT for large parts. You didn't hear people complain about that much, though. It was the more obvious callbacks that raised ire and got the kneejerk hateboner reaction.

So yet again, we're back to those who are critical being "kneejerk hateboner reaction" types. No allowance that people's preferences might actually be legitimate, just this inability to accept that there could be a reason for it unless there's some reprehensible ulterior motive for doing so. What evidence do you have that people went into that movie hoping it would be bad just so they could hate it? Isn't that a rather silly thing to accuse people here of? Yet you do so. Repeatedly.

As regards the "plot in the PT is identical to that in the OT for large parts", this is not so. You acknowledge that something being repetitious can be a bad thing, but then you start adding your own phrasings ready to knock down people for doing so. Let's stick to what people have actually said: we find it derivative and bothersome that we're seeing major elements of the previous movies recycled rather than something fresh that advances the franchise in a way something different could. There's nothing wrong with that statement. And it's what has actually been said, not your characterizations of people's positions. So if you wish to argue against it, argue against that.

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Your preferences are only as legitimate as your constitutional right to them or lack there-of. They have no place in argumentatively discussing the merits of a work of art. You're free to do so anyway. You're free to do a great many things you've done in this thread that don't merit repeating. No one is begruding you your opinion. [Your opinion as the essence of your entire argument (or lack there-of) on the other hand, yeah. Totally.]

 

What you're not free to do is continue to attempt to force conflict with someone who has expressed a strong desire to no longer converse with you. See, that goes beyond board rules, even. There's laws against that. More importantly, it goes against  common decency to keep pushing when someone says 'stop'. That you seem utterly incapable of cutting it out despite it being fairly obvious I'm not even reading your posts at this point tells me enough to know that I need to spell this out crystal clear:

 

Dear, Knasserl,

 

Stop talking at me. And don't talk to me, either.

 

Tyvm.

 

 

 

 

Wait, there are seriously people here who don't know Spaceballs?
 
Holy crap!


Looking it up it came out in 1987. That was nearly thirty years ago. Also, from the brief clip I watched, its humour involves "combing the desert" (cut to a scene of two people with a giant comb) and a stunningly contrived attempt to wring laughter from the idea that somebody's family name is "arsehole". Is there any reason we should? :/

 

As someone that has actually worked alongside a LT Ashpole (which sounds similar enough), I can tell you that joke really doesn't get old! :D

 

The feeling when you just know your parents had a sick sense of humour right on the day you were born, eh? ;)

 

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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Your preferences are only as legitimate as your constitutional right to them or lack there-of. They have no place in argumentatively discussing the merits of a work of art. You're free to do so anyway. You're free to do a great many things you've done in this thread that don't merit repeating. No one is begruding you your opinion. [Your opinion as the essence of your entire argument (or lack there-of) on the other hand, yeah. Totally.]

Well I'm not American so "constitutional rights" don't really concern me and I don't really get what you mean anyway. What makes one person's preferences illegitimate? The thing is, it's not us saying you're wrong to enjoy the movie - that's fine, it's us having to defend our opinions as valid in the face of being told we are "kneejerk hateboners" or "smug jackasses" as you've used both. You say that no-one is begrudging our opinions - though you then backtrack on it and tell me that you are - but if you respond to criticisms people make by saying they are only saying this because they like hating stuff, then yes - you are attacking someone's tastes. You can do that by pointing out flaws in understanding ("I didn't like the movie because there are no droids" "there was a droid") but not on tastes ("I am bored by the repetitiousness" "you're a kneejerk hateboner"). That's the problem.

 

In the above, you seem to be arguing that preference has no place in the discussion of the merits of Art. That it must be discussed according to the objective standards of art. If you feel you have THE objective criteria for quality in art (which will be news to many), what makes repetition vs. range not a part of such an objective criteria whilst those qualities you value are part of it? It's a discussion about whether the film was enjoyed. Some have been attacked (by yourself) for not enjoying parts of it. Your reframing of that as a discussion about objective criteria for quality in art, as a way to dismiss people's tastes, doesn't fit the original discussion. I.e. you can start such a debate, but not pretend that was the debate all along.

 

What you're not free to do is continue to attempt to force conflict with someone who has expressed a strong desire to no longer converse with you.

I'm not harassing you. I'm just replying to your points. Most of which are directed against the statements I have made. If what you're seeking is the ability to monologue against someone's opinion and not have people allowed to defend their position, then you're in the wrong place. If you make a post that is CLEARLY directed against the things I have posted, then I'm entirely within my rights to politely defend my position. I can't force you to listen and haven't tried to. But you cannot ask people to not respond to your posts unless they agree with you. That's against the whole purpose of a forum which is open discussion.

 

See, that goes beyond board rules, even. There's laws against that.

No, it does not go against board rules. Making personal attacks against people does. I haven't reported you however, I've just continued to focus on debate, with the exception of this post where you've written directly at me in the thread.

 

More importantly, it goes against  common decency to keep pushing when someone says 'stop'. That you seem utterly incapable of cutting it out despite it being fairly obvious I'm not even reading your posts at this point tells me enough to know that I need to spell this out crystal clear:

 

You refer to common decency. Honestly, you're the one who has been throwing out insults, telling people that their opinions aren't worth repeating; and now telling them to stop posting. Hell, you even had a go at me earlier for quoting you, because after I hit Reply you later changed your mind about what you wanted to write and I hadn't gone back to check.

 

And I don't see the logic of you telling me it's "fairly obvious I'm not even reading your posts" when you directly reply to me like this as it's fairly obvious you are! You're not forced to read my posts and I'm not making you do so. But if I have said something and you write a post clearly attacking what I said, sure I will still respond and defend myself.

 

Dear, Knasserl,

 

Stop talking at me. And don't talk to me, either.

 

Tyvm.

I'm responding to general posts you make in a public thread. You don't get to decide who does and doesn't reply to those, only whether or not you read their responses. Taking away other people's right to read their responses to your posts isn't a power you have; and it wouldn't be a good thing if you did. You only get to choose what you read - not prevent other people. So if I wish to disagree with you, I will.

I mean in the post further up you even quoted me because I'm part of the conversation with HappyDaze. Why is there an obligation on me to somehow reach through time and remove my posts from a conversation that you yourself are quoting me in, even if that were somehow possible? Am I suppose to drop out of any conversation you wish to participate in to please you? It makes no sense.

Edited by knasserII

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Just my tuppence...

 

I know this has been repeatedly mentioned, but the similarities were a little annoying (biggest bugbear was yet another super-weapon and Rey's ability with the force... get to that later).

 

Super-weapon: Sheesh, having tried this two previous times, both exceptionally short lived. It seems insane to spend a ridiculous amount of resources on a planet sized (not moon this time, planet sized) super-weapon, when how many star destroyers could you get for that? Also 'oh no, it's a weapon that can destroy planets, to do so requires the complete draining of a sun'. Wait a minute, it does what?? Why don't you have the fact that it can completely drain a sun as the threat, seriously bigger ramifications. And another small strike force of the Falcon and few starfighters, I understand that this New Republic are sitting on the fence a bit, but a threat like that appears, surely they have enough resources to send hundreds of x-wings and enough capital ships to make sure... (But to be honest, I was a little confused by the balance of power in the galaxy between First Order and New Republic, they didn't seem to make that very clear).

 

Rey and The Force: She seemed a little too proficient with the force for me, including using that old jedi mind trick that she's never seen, been trained in or whatever... Yes I suspect also that she is Skywalker related, but even so at least Luke had to see that in action to know about it and personally I don't think Kylo's 'interrogation' counts (Rey wouldn't have known what was going on).

 

On the whole, really liked the movie. The stuff I mention above didn't break the movie in anyway for me, just caused mild annoyance. And with the repetition, I also feel that JJ and Disney's major priorities with this movie was 'we want a new generation of fans to go and see this movie and feel like we did when we experienced A New Hope for the first time'. I may be wrong (been so before), but that's how I felt.

 

Laters

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Another poster mentioned this in a different thread. In our language, the translation of Starkiller Base firing was roughly 'hyperspace mortar/artillery'. I'm not sure if the English spoken version makes it clear, really, that what we're supposed to be seeing is a gun firing through hyperspace.

 

I blame JJ there for trying an art shot where he should have gone with blunt and to the point. :)

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Disclaimer: what is stated below is merely a collection of observations that constitute my opinion, not an attempt at converting people to my religion or a call to authority of some sort of objective definition of quality and film. That would be a meaningless venture anyway, there is no such thing as "objective" anything when it comes to art "quality". Except that we're here talking about moving pictures, with sound. At least that's my premiss. If you disagree with that, fine, tell me your premisses and let's see if we can communicate.

 

So, pages ago, I said my opinion was subject to change when I watched the film more times. Kind of happened, but not really. First impressions stick with you a long time, which is why I guess I still like the PT - even if EP II is a horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE attempt at a film... I do still like it. Naivete of youth I guess, just like it's the naivete of some people not willing to meet criticism about TFA in a grown up and sensible manner. The film is good, I think most people can agree it's well made, well directed, acting is good, the script is cool, that is to say the dialogue is good.

 

The story however isn't anything in particular. This doesn't make the film bad, but also: TFA isn't what it's cracked up to be. It's overrated. Again, this doesn't make the film bad. Because obviously it isn't. Sure it's derivative, at times obscenely so. It's still an enjoyable, entertaining, popcorn munching, hectic, fast paced action flick, with recognisable characters, places and vehicles. It's great fun. It's not a great story. It's merely an adequate (to good) story. I haven't decide yet (but I used to call it mediocre in quality, see, things change). It's good at setting up a story that could be really good, but it serves only as a setup. It's too dependant upon what will follow and what we don't know happened before it. Too much it depends on this, there's nothing wrong with mysteries and hinting to past and future stuff, but it should also be self-contained. This film is hardly that in my opinion. Which again is subject to change.

 

I like it. (Still.) I enjoyed and really like the film, but I have a few issues with it, but being (highly) critical and still loving it isn't mutually exclusive categories in my book. Although, it seems to many that's just the case: either I have to love it, or I can hate it (but then I need to shut up about it, because criticism isn't valid? [or it's too soon?]) which makes me either a Lucas fanbot, or a hater, or a movie basher ... it's like people get really defensive because someone has something else but praise to come with about this film. Which is ridiculous.

 

This new canon seems so far to be too much of a reskin, recycle and renaming of the OT. Key: So far. This in itself doesn't create hope, but the quality of the film, directing and acting does make me hopeful. Not the writing however. TFA was too much of a set-it-all-up film, its own story was too weak and referential, in my opinion. I'd love it if they'd been more original and brave. They played it pretty safe now. A tad too safe perhaps. Not that we needed a new Jar Jar-brave, obviously, but something more would've been nice.

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And that's perfectly fine. There's nothing wrong with disliking repetition. Where things get ridiculous, though, is when this leads to the view that the movie is poor craftsmanship, especially given this is something Star Wars has always done. The reason people complain about it 'less' in the prequels is because Lucas likes detours that have nothing to do with the plot at hand; the core plot in the PT is identical to that in the OT for large parts. You didn't hear people complain about that much, though. It was the more obvious callbacks that raised ire and got the kneejerk hateboner reaction.

So yet again, we're back to those who are critical being "kneejerk hateboner reaction" types. No allowance that people's preferences might actually be legitimate, just this inability to accept that there could be a reason for it unless there's some reprehensible ulterior motive for doing so. What evidence do you have that people went into that movie hoping it would be bad just so they could hate it? Isn't that a rather silly thing to accuse people here of? Yet you do so. Repeatedly.

 

So far, his posts on the matter of what is and is not a legitimate response to the movie appear to fall under the category of "You're entitled to your opinion... as long as it's mine.  Anyone who disagrees is a moronic hater."

 

And his demands that people stop replying to his posts -- that makes for a good laugh that I needed on a morning when the heat went out at the office and it's downright Arctic outside.

In the above, you seem to be arguing that preference has no place in the discussion of the merits of Art. That it must be discussed according to the objective standards of art. If you feel you have THE objective criteria for quality in art (which will be news to many), what makes repetition vs. range not a part of such an objective criteria whilst those qualities you value are part of it? It's a discussion about whether the film was enjoyed. Some have been attacked (by yourself) for not enjoying parts of it. Your reframing of that as a discussion about objective criteria for quality in art, as a way to dismiss people's tastes, doesn't fit the original discussion. I.e. you can start such a debate, but not pretend that was the debate all along.

And oddly enough... when some of us tried to bring up objective ways in which TFA falls down, we were smugly derided for doing so...

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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Not the writing however. TFA was too much of a set-it-all-up film, its own story was too weak and referential, in my opinion. I'd love it if they'd been more original and brave. They played it pretty safe now. A tad too safe perhaps. Not that we needed a new Jar Jar-brave, obviously, but something more would've been nice.

Have you seen Kasdan's script? It's...mindblowing (and not in a good way). Having read it, I'm doubly impressed with what the cast and crew made out of it. Going just by the script, well, let's say it could've been the next Gungan Menace*. I also have the nagging feeling "X does something. BADASS!" might become a new meme if that script goes viral.

 

As for the rest of your commentary. You present your criticism in a manner that is direct, to the point and not at all underhanded. It also deals with what is actually there instead of what "should be". This is a good thing. I don't agree on everything (who does anyway?), but what more can one ask?

 

To highlight the largest negative and positive at once, I am definitely on board with this movie being a setup for things to come. Episodes 8 and 9 are what will ultimately make or break the film, which is in itself a bit of a problem if you want an in itself closed narrative. On the other hand, the movie does what it's supposed to and leaves fans wanting more. That's definitely intentional and a debatable choice of direction, but it does mean the new trilogy will sink or swim together and not on their own. My own opinion may drastically change if the sequels take the weak spots in this film and make them worse, rather than tying up the loose ends left.

 

*Disclaimer: I don't actually think TPM was half as bad as people say, but I'm using that term deliberately. Things could have gone a-JarJar. You'll notice that the actors and director improvised quite a bit in the more memorable moments. This is really a case example where a great cast and competent direction saved a movie.

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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And TFA is doing extraordinary well, for it's day. So overall, based on what we've seen, pretty much any Star Wars movie is a blockbuster movie that draws the fans back into Star Wars.

 

Not just for it's day. TFA is now #15 on the all-time domestic grosses adjusted for inflation. That's higher than all the prequels and RotJ which puts it as the third best Star Wars movie of all time. Which is where most fans rank it. 

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As noted elsewhere, using commercial success as an indicator of quality gives some really strange and probably very wrong results.

 

It's really very hard to find any solid benchmark for quality. Variation in taste is simply too great. The conversation can be had about objective measures of quality - I've done so myself on other occasions. Ultimately, one of the few criteria that you can use objectively is success versus a perceived intent. So you could say the intent of both The Haunting (1963) and The Haunting (1999) are both intended to scare the viewer. Yet we can more or less objectively say that - unless one has a morbid terror of Catherine Zeta Jones's acting - that the former fulfils its intent more successfully. And we can discuss specific reasons why.

 

However, it would be very difficult to say that The Haunting (1963) was a higher quality movie than, say, The Fifth Element. The movies have different intents and at this point we get into audience preference of what they like. One person might love scary movies, another not. When we want to compare movies with different intents, we can do that objectively, but we have to measure them against their intents. So we can't really say objectively whether The Haunting (1963) is better or worse than The Fifth Element or There Will Be Blood - these are all films that score very highly on their own scales of success. However, we could make a supportable statement that The Haunting (1963) is an objectively better than say Ghost Rider. That isn't the same as saying that person X wouldn't prefer to see Nicholas Cage chewing scenery as a possessed stunt motorcycle rider fighting the Devil. Many would and that's entirely legitimate. But one can say that one achieves the goals of what it aims for (scaring you) better than another achieves its own (fun knock-about comic book). That's how you discuss objectivity in criteria for Art. It's quite a different subject to criteria for whether something is liked. Which is why earlier I objected to someone trying to dismiss a statement of not enjoying something as invalid by trying to reframe it as a statement about the merits of Art. They're largely different discussions.

 

Which in retrospect, is what MaxKilljoy has just said.

 

But I used more words. ;P

 

 

EDIT: I said one of the few criteria that can be used in a discussion of objective quality in art is measurement against intent. For general interest, the other traditional way of introducing objectivity into a discussion of Art is edification of the observer. That is to say art that provokes thought or deeper emotions than just entertainment, has traditionally been viewed as objectively better. I.e. The Seventh Seal has more artistic merit than a Three Stooges movie. However, this position of art criticism is WAY out of fashion in the popular view. In fact, the pendulum has swung so far against it that it's actually quite controversial and makes some quite angry. I do still kind of like it though, myself.

Edited by knasserII

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That seems to be the lynchpin of grotz's entire argument, essentially saying, "I'm formally trained to critique art, therefore, unless you have equal or greater training, your opinion on the film is no longer valid in this discussion unless it agrees with my own evaluation."  It's a very smug/egocentric position to take, essentially saying, "I'm delivering objective truth.  If you disagree with my opinions, you're simply wrong and distracting from the glory that is me enlightening the huddled masses, and should shut up."  Basically, a position like that gives any responder the options of agreement, or implicit admission that they don't know what they're talking about, since the position is based on "anyone who isn't an idiot thinks xyz...".  Then, when the inevitable happens and the entire premise is challenged, the Plan B is to play the victim.

 

The problem, naturally, is that nobody appealed to training/formality to validate their opinions anywhere.  It's simply a matter of "I liked/disliked this.  This is why."  (and in many cases, without that second sentence).  It'd be like if we were talking about cars, with some preferring classic American muscle cars and others being a fan of Japanese import tuners...then someone shows up claiming to be a mechanical engineer (or even just implying experience in the automotive field), and explaining that tuners are objectively better because of some sort of technical detail...while most of the discussion was about how those vehicles are perceived by the posters when they see them rolling down the street.  

 

...Or as an example more near & dear to me, I am formally trained as a beer taster.  If the discussion was on who likes or dislikes a certain beer and why, and I came in, with my experience and training, I might, totally accurately, explain that the beer in question is a really great/lousy example of its style.  This part would be absolutely technically true.  However, that has no bearing on the matter of whether people liked it, or even the broader question of, "Is it a good beer?"  There are plenty of examples of beers that are technically awful examples of their style, but when you're sipping a pint, it's a delicious beer.  Similarly in the movie world, adherence or divergence from accepted standards of art/cinema/whatever are certainly useful, but only within the scope of a discussion based on those standards.  Likewise (important to this discussion), if we're talking about a beer, and I objectively state that it's a terrible example of its style, that may be totally true, but you liking that beer in no way means that you have no taste or that you don't know good beer.  It just means you like a beer that doesn't fit the profile of its style.

 

Now the whole "judge it based on personal taste" vs. "judge it based on some set of objective standards" debate is a whole new can of worms, but an interesting one to be sure.  I've seen this discussion more times that I care to remember, but always on still, not moving pictures, as a photography enthusiast.  Before it's run its course here, I'd expect an abridged deconstruction of "what is art?" as well as an attempt to clearly separate the tangibles (technical marks like composition, lighting, etc) vs. intangibles (the musical score, acting quality, symbolism, etc.).  This is a discussion I'd enjoy reading, but without formal training, my opinion is more of an outsider.

Edited by hydrospanner

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Another poster mentioned this in a different thread. In our language, the translation of Starkiller Base firing was roughly 'hyperspace mortar/artillery'. I'm not sure if the English spoken version makes it clear, really, that what we're supposed to be seeing is a gun firing through hyperspace.

 

I blame JJ there for trying an art shot where he should have gone with blunt and to the point. :)

 

So they're stealing the Macguffin from the worst Star Wars comic ever?

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Before it's run its course here, I'd expect an abridged deconstruction of "what is art?"

 

An excellent, very interesting post. Forgive me for quoting only the part of it I have a reply to... But to quote Susan Sontag: Real Art has the capacity to make us nervous.

 

I have always liked that description because it has an element of truth to it. Anything that actually changes us or truly contradicts our worldview, typically makes us uncomfortable or at least has the capacity to make us nervous, as the quote says. If we're moving into the area of objective evaluations of the movie as Art (which is a substantially different discussion to the one we have had), that's always been a quote I've liked.

 

Incidentally, I'm very happy to engage in a discussion of artistic merit of TFA. I just want, like Hydrospanner, it to be clear that it's a different debate to whether or not someone enjoyed it or whether they are right to.

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This new canon seems so far to be too much of a reskin, recycle and renaming of the OT. Key: So far. This in itself doesn't create hope

I'd have to disagree.

 

In fact, I'd go as far as to say that reskinning/renaming the OT by definition creates A New Hope.

 

 

Puns aside, the film is a great success financially. That is probably going to buy a bit more creative freedom for the writers / director going forward simply because there should be less fear about the new movies flopping. They were clearly determined to play it very safe with this one. They have a whole merchandising and tie-in movie set riding on the success of TFA. The prospect of a flop, or more realistically something that was simply weak enough that follow-up prospects suffered, would have terrified the studio. Fumbling Star Wars? They would do anything to avoid that. So the reigns must have been very tight.

 

They will want to repeat their success, but I think they will be more confident in it now and that means being more adventurous. Furthermore, there has been a lot of commentary about how TFA is overly-similar to ANH. Studios do listen (no, really) and there will be a mandate coming down to avoid criticism that they are simply remaking the OT and that the second movie should be notably different from ESB.

 

The combination of these two factors makes me optimistic for Ep. VIII.

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...Or as an example more near & dear to me, I am formally trained as a beer taster.  If the discussion was on who likes or dislikes a certain beer and why, and I came in, with my experience and training, I might, totally accurately, explain that the beer in question is a really great/lousy example of its style.  This part would be absolutely technically true.  However, that has no bearing on the matter of whether people liked it, or even the broader question of, "Is it a good beer?"  There are plenty of examples of beers that are technically awful examples of their style, but when you're sipping a pint, it's a delicious beer.  Similarly in the movie world, adherence or divergence from accepted standards of art/cinema/whatever are certainly useful, but only within the scope of a discussion based on those standards.  Likewise (important to this discussion), if we're talking about a beer, and I objectively state that it's a terrible example of its style, that may be totally true, but you liking that beer in no way means that you have no taste or that you don't know good beer.  It just means you like a beer that doesn't fit the profile of its style.

 

 

I like that analogy. 

 

We have a lot of microbreweries in this area, and they like to get "artistic" sometimes, and we end up having these discussions about their beers that amount to "this is called a Pilsner, and there are a lot of Pilsners I don't like, but while this utterly fails to be a true Pilsner, I actually really like it as a beer."

 

Now, TFA... to me, it fails both in the artistic sense by being derivative and confused... and in the "was this something I enjoyed and would watch again" sense.  It's a Pilsner that fails to be a Pilsner, and it is also way too hoppy for my personal tastes.

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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Susan Sontag: Real Art has the capacity to make us nervous.

Good stuff.  

 

I especially like the word choice of 'nervous' as opposed to a more encompassing 'uncomfortable'.

 

Of course, along those lines, there's also the assumption in any discussion based on such a definition that the participants are both 1) able to honestly identify their emotional response, as well as that 2) the other participants will acknowledge and respect the first point.  I've certainly been a participant in critiques of photography where (using a similar definition of art) parties that regarded the subject favorably told those who disagreed that they simply weren't capable of correctly identifying their reaction...or weren't mature enough to process it and remain detached.  Patronizing, arrogant, smug...everything I'd expect from such a crowd.

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This new canon seems so far to be too much of a reskin, recycle and renaming of the OT.

 

This seems to be the entire point of the movie. To redefine what Star Wars movies are like. But, more importantly, to redo the setting to be more like it was at the beginning. Where the main characters are plucky heroes fighting an oppressive galactic government instead of, as in the prequels, where the main characters are agents of the government enforcing the will of the government regardless of right or wrong. [A government run by a Sith, no less] The Starkiller base existed solely to destroy the Republic. That it was similar to previous super weapons is simply justification for it's existence.

 

I see TFA as almost identical in purpose to Days of Future Past. Undoing the damage done to the franchise by previous movies. 

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Susan Sontag: Real Art has the capacity to make us nervous.

Good stuff.  

 

I especially like the word choice of 'nervous' as opposed to a more encompassing 'uncomfortable'.

 

Of course, along those lines, there's also the assumption in any discussion based on such a definition that the participants are both 1) able to honestly identify their emotional response, as well as that 2) the other participants will acknowledge and respect the first point.  I've certainly been a participant in critiques of photography where (using a similar definition of art) parties that regarded the subject favorably told those who disagreed that they simply weren't capable of correctly identifying their reaction...or weren't mature enough to process it and remain detached.  Patronizing, arrogant, smug...everything I'd expect from such a crowd.

 

 

Indeed.

 

My observation has been that the great hypocrisy of postmodernist criticism is that supposedly only the viewer's reaction exists, and yet there is almost always a "correct" reaction that one is supposed to have...

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This new canon seems so far to be too much of a reskin, recycle and renaming of the OT. Key: So far. This in itself doesn't create hope

I'd have to disagree.

 

In fact, I'd go as far as to say that reskinning/renaming the OT by definition creates A New Hope.

 

 

Puns aside, the film is a great success financially. That is probably going to buy a bit more creative freedom for the writers / director going forward simply because there should be less fear about the new movies flopping. They were clearly determined to play it very safe with this one. They have a whole merchandising and tie-in movie set riding on the success of TFA. The prospect of a flop, or more realistically something that was simply weak enough that follow-up prospects suffered, would have terrified the studio. Fumbling Star Wars? They would do anything to avoid that. So the reigns must have been very tight.

 

They will want to repeat their success, but I think they will be more confident in it now and that means being more adventurous. Furthermore, there has been a lot of commentary about how TFA is overly-similar to ANH. Studios do listen (no, really) and there will be a mandate coming down to avoid criticism that they are simply remaking the OT and that the second movie should be notably different from ESB.

 

The combination of these two factors makes me optimistic for Ep. VIII.

 

Apologies on the pun (among my close friends, I've been told that if I ever decide to have children, my parenting will certainly not suffer from a lack of "dad jokes").

 

I completely agree with this assessment of the implications of TFA's success, I'd just make a less optimistic distinction between "buying a bit of creative freedom" and "given them a gift card that they could use to buy creative freedom if they chose to do so".  Nothing you said was wrong, I just tend to take a slightly dimmer view, and seeing the more likely (to me) situation of a Disney board room collectively saying, "We gave the people a redressed ANH and it became the top grossing movie of all time.  This is clearly a recipe for success, why would we want to deviate from that?  Now let's see how we can use the characters from TFA in the overall story of ESB...we're going to need a big family reveal for Rey (and hell, maybe Poe or Finn too)...we'll need a Lando type character...and let's make sure we lop off a right hand of someone, somewhere."

 

I think that the success of TFA could certainly have allowed them leeway for creativity, but given the choice between assured success and possible risk, they'll take the money.  After all, they chose the safe, if unoriginal route once, and it's worked out ridiculously well (unless they really had even more success in mind)...clearly the safe route is safe AND profitable...why mess with it?

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