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Desslok

The Spoilerrific Super Duper Episode Seven Megathread!

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wow...some pages of this thread...I finally made it to the end.

just wanna chime in on some things since my last rant/critic:

 

 

First of all, after thinking about the movie alot, I came to my conclusion:

 

The biggest mistake was the opening crawl.

 

It should have left out luke missing and actually told us what the heck is going on in the galaxy.

 

The opening crawl as I read it the first time:

  1. Luke Skywalker has vanished and the first order (new empire) took over.
  2. Leia leads resistance trying to find Luke.
  3. Poe gets send to jakku to find luke.

so, who the hell cares? Leia is looking for Luke. Big whoop. What happened to - literally - the rest of the friggin galaxy?

It just says "with the support of the REPUBLIC" . That's it. I literally don't give a **** about a single person in the entire galaxy at this point.  The way this can be read is "the empire is still around, it's just called "First Order" now."

Does the Empire still rule?

Is it a period of civil war?

Is it a dark time?

Is there unrest in the Galactic Senate?

Is the Republic crumbling or has Turmoil engulfed the Galactic Republic?

 

Nope, farmboys gone missing and his sister searches him.

 

And do you wanna know why you even care?

 

 

Disney marketing strikes again:

  1. Luke was left out of the trailers to increase the hype.
  2. Bad guy wears a mask and is "possibly" related to Vader
  • The REAL reason why anyone in the cinema cares about Luke so much, because he is NOT the most cared about character in the franchise, even if he is arguably the main character of all Star Wars.

 

I know this sounds like a wake up banthas type of post, but I grow ever annoyed with marketing in this day and age

Edited by derroehre

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And that is the greatest part why I think TFA isn't a good movie.

 

On it's own, it doesn't make sense.

 

And I don't even mean the other movies, it's episode 7 of something. Of course you have a problem with the story when you start with part seven in most franchises (imo especially in this movie, but that is purely personal taste)

 

This movie doesn't make sense when you saw and read  all that is currently canon (I am currently up to date with all books - which should never be a requirement for a movie).

 

The most important plot point (after Luke) in the movie does what it was designed to do; and I have no idea what it does: which planet does it blow up and why should I care? I cared more about whapity and his traitor sense (spoiler, disney "revealed" that the fan theory about him being brother-like to finn is true) than about the planet. In Ep 4. I saw leia plead and suffer for her planet.

 

Also...what happens to the planet after the sun is depleted? last time I checked suns don't grow back...well, space-wizardy I asume ;)

 

 

 

How much is ripped off or blatantly copied from other movies comes down to personal taste. Look at Marvel movies:

 

Iron Man 1: fight against 1 mirror opponent, Robot Suit.

Iron Man 2: fight against many Robot Suits.

Iron Man 3: fight against something else? - Flop Movie

 

Hulk 1: Fight against another Hulk

Hulk 2: Fight against Abomination, which is eseentially another Hulk

 

Thor 1: Bad Guy wants evil artifact

Thor 2: Bad Guy wants evil artifact

GotG: Bad Guy wants evil artifact

 

Welcome to Disney. They DON'T do Risks. Disney KNOWS what the result is. Almost everybody agrees that Tangled is better than Frozen. Well, Frozen still made more money.

 

And if somebody truly was surprised that EP7 smashed all records...well, there are hardly rocks big enough to live under to have an excuse for that. HUNDREDS if not thousands of cinemas showed EP7 Exclusively for a few weeks...in Europe. No idea how ridiculous it is in the US.  (Ask Quentin Tarantino about that will ya? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pd6yO-jBRo  )

 

It was made to be the most successful movie ever and, surprise, it was. Biggest License, Biggest Merchandise, Biggest Ad Campaign.

 

And apart from all the personal opinions about this movie, this movie is exactly that. A Cash-Cowing, Fan-Servicing, Chicken-**** Money Making Machine.

 

This per se on its own doesn't make it a bad movie (movie critique-wise). But the fact that they don't even try to hide it, like not at all predicts a really grim future for Star Wars in my head.

 

Think about Song of Ice and Fire? Why do so many people like it? Because it puts a good story above what the reader wants. Yes, Some have to die, because it simply wouldn't happen in real life any other way, and also it has the byproduct of keeping the suspense real for the reader.

 

In philosophy, Art is (sometimes) divided into two categories: Art and Contract Art. Contract Art is for e.g. a Bank that just wants a nice sculpture for it's foyer. Which can also be nice, and also masterpieces of craftsmanship, but it will never leave you as moved, devastated or overenjoyed as "honest" Art that was made simply because the artist wanted to communicate - or simply make - something. (please regard that the word honest is simply my addition in the hopes of better communication, there are literally centuries of discussion on this topic, please just let me get away with this.)

 

Lucas may have many flaws, but in his mind he makes his "honest" Art, because people like and want the things in his head. In TPM as you may know, they cut together different takes, using a facial expression from take 2 and the hand gesture from take 7, because lucas wanted to do it perfectly with the new tools he had. He tried too hard, that is why certain points of 1-3 fall short, but he is still an honest artist. It's his baby after all.

 

Disney cares only about money. Every Character was cast, written and dressed for revenue, not for story.

 

All this is why I think Ep7 isn't a good movie. I also don't go out and eat my favorite food everyday. I don't cook the same way. I try something new. And I bet my hat that we will not be surprised by any of the new movies. Who cares about art when you can make millions, billions?

 

Final statement: Because I think I like the movie, but so much about it rubs me in the wrongest of ways, I still can't say if I like it or not.

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Lucas is about as honest as any other major artist ever was. Corporate or monetary control of "artists" and their content is something ranging back millennia. It's nothing new or should even be surprising. There's also nothing dishonest about it, unless you want to call most artists out there you know about liars. Sure, they have their vision, but they also want their vision to make money. This can be seen in TPM as much as TFA. You could see it back with Mozart and Walther von der Vogelweide. Are the pyramids art? Or are they a massive vanity project by someone who could simply afford them? Maybe they're both? Maybe "art" and "money" has always gone hand in hand because artists need to eat. Whatever your backer's motivation is, be it ego, profit or god knows what else, the artist/craftsman will do as he is bidden. TFA, TPM, The Ride of the Valkyries, they're all on the same level of artistic integrity and intellectual honesty.

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I don't think that anyone that read the above critique would miss the understanding in derroehre's choice of terminology (and indeed, they specifically addressed this).

 

I'm not sure what you seek to gain by picking apart semantics to focus on countering one minor, insignificant point that derroehre wasn't even trying to make.

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I have no issue with the core of the post. Why would I argue against it? I do have an issue with the comparison of Lucas's artistic vision as somehow having more integrity, though, because for that, we have literally only Lucas's own word. Against that are a stream of actions I do also remember back from ESB (including comments from people working WITH -and married to- Lucas about his obsession with the business and making money...) that put him on the same level as anyone else involved in Star Wars. Every single one of them after ANH is a corporate movie. It's fine to dislike them because of that or to say "enough is enough, not another one", but let's not put a man on a pedestal who was instrumental in the breakthrough of the merchandising process in the first place; at least not for the wrong reasons.

 

Lucas is a visionary in some ways, and in some ways a decent storyteller. He's an excellent businessman, as well. I'd go so far to say a better businessman than artist.

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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Lucas is a visionary in some ways, and in some ways a decent storyteller. He's an excellent businessman, as well. I'd go so far to say a better businessman than artist.

Agreed. Lucas created the merchandising blockbuster.

Artistically, he benefitted greatly with a smaller budget and someone telling him "No."  If Lucas had someone to reign him in, I'm sure the Prequel Trilogy (which isn't THAT bad) and Crystal Skull (which was THAT bad) could've been amazing.

 

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Me: "Oh, hey, I actually agree with this. This is a valid viewpoint."

You: "**** you, stop ignoring this post!"

 

rofl.jpg

I never once insulted you, let alone tried to tell you what to do, only pointed out the truth: that you were trying to make a big deal out of your opinion on another poster's word choice (a word choice that they actually addressed when they used it).  

 

Here again, just like nearly every other post you've made in this thread, you're operating almost exclusively by extended and verbose strawman arguments.

 

If you didn't understand what someone said, it's okay to ask them to clarify.  To decide for yourself what you'd have liked them to say, and to base your response around that...well...you can certainly do that if you like, but you should expect the response you've received over the last few pages for doing so.

 

But hey, you can post images of abbreviations, so you've clearly got this all figured out.

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Just google Star Wars marketing and merchandise during the prequel films.

 

Maybe I'm the only person around here old enough to remember Star Wars, but the merchandising of that movie was insane. Totally unprecedented. It completely reshaped the toy market. The marketing of the prequels was made possible by the marketing of the original Star Wars.

 

Still, I don't see how the fact that Disney tried to sell tickets to its movie somehow makes that movie worse. Those are separate departments. 

Edited by Hedgehobbit

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It doesn't make it 'worse' per se. But I can see people getting fed up with it due to that. I mean, oversaturation IS a thing. Eventually, people have enough of something and no longer like it, no matter how much it hits any tangible criterea for 'well done'.

 

 

 

 

Lucas is a visionary in some ways, and in some ways a decent storyteller. He's an excellent businessman, as well. I'd go so far to say a better businessman than artist.

Agreed. Lucas created the merchandising blockbuster.

Artistically, he benefitted greatly with a smaller budget and someone telling him "No."  If Lucas had someone to reign him in, I'm sure the Prequel Trilogy (which isn't THAT bad) and Crystal Skull (which was THAT bad) could've been amazing.

 

 

I'm on the fence about both myself. While I can see merits in them, I generally don't find them as enjoyable as their predecessors. I realise a lot of it has to do with the state of mind I go in to see something for the first time, though, and the expectations I have (or don't have). A lot of things colour perception. Just skim back through the thread for 30 pages of people literally talking at each other but not with another.

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Maybe I'm the only person around here old enough to remember Star Wars, but the merchandising of that movie was insane. Totally unprecedented. It completely reshaped the toy market. The marketing of the prequels was made possible by the marketing of the original Star Wars.

 

No more calls, we have a winner.

 

From the very Get-Go, Star Wars has been a marketing behemoth. When trying to get the first one made, Lucas very deliberate made sure that the merchandising rights remained with him and his company, a bullet point on the contract that Fox was very willing to give up. They saw no value in retaining those rights.

 

Boy were they wrong.

 

The merchandising caught everyone off guard. Hell, the very first Christmas back in 77, you didn't get action figures. You got an empty box with pictures of action figures on it telling you "your toy is coming soon"

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Lucas, like most directors, has notable strengths and weaknesses. Foremost amongst his strengths (if we're not counting the sheer will it takes to pull together a modern big budget movie and stay on top of the million details it involves), is his sense of aesthetics. He has one of the best senses of landscape and scale since David Lean (who directed Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago amongst others). The opening of ANH is a masterpiece of how to handle perspective. First you have a planet rising on a black backdrop which takes your focus, then you have a second planet larger and it seems big because of that shift. And then it pans down and you suddenly realize you're hanging above a planet right in your face and it's huge. And then a spaceship flies into view from behind you. And you watch it just long enough to realize it's fleeing from something and that this something is still behind you! And then another dramatic shift in scale as the Star Destroyer slides overhead filling first the top of the screen and then drawing down like a landslide to fill your whole vision. And THEN just as it finally starts pulling away from you, your viewpoint shifts and you're right in front of it and it's now coming straight at you getting bigger and bigger.

 

That. Is. Amazing.

 

Lucas, IS an artist. And yes, I do agree with derroehre's statement that he is an honest artist and I do disagree with DeathByGrotz's glib equalization of all big name directors that they're all pretty much equal in their lack of integrity. Directors are people too, and just as varied.

 

Back onto the subject of aesthetics, it's not just scale, but sets, costuming, the look of everyone. You look at where Luke lives and it screams "homestead". The kind of sinkhole that the Lars' home is built into - sheltered from the wind, almost hidden, the scattered bits of machinery around the place - it all makes the place look lonely, small, frontier. You don't really know anything at all about Tattooine when the film starts and nobody gives you a backstory to the planet. But you see Luke's home, you see the Jawa vehicle against the sunset - somehow you know everything you need to know about this world on an instinctual level. And for all that a bunch of miseryguts pour scorn on the PT for its flaws - which are real - Lucas never lost that gift for aesthetics. Look at the panning shots through Coruscant and its endless depths, the light streaming through those massive temple windows, the opening battle of RotS... Sure, he has concept artists working for him, but the director, especially in this instance, is the person in the role of lead artist, guiding the project and laying down the goals. He doesn't get nearly enough credit for this.

 

The other great strength that Lucas possesses, imo, is a strong grasp of what the word Epic means. He understands Tragedy (capital T), he understands myth and he understands how to create a story about vast events unfurling before you. Some of his dialogue is atrocious. Nobody talks like that. But forgetting how they say it and focusing on what they say, he gets it. This is greek theatre, this is Homer and the Illiad. He knows what he wants and, more or less, he does it. Sure, he throws in Jar-Jar because despite the Internet deciding the character is the worst thing since Hitler, he wants to entertain little kids (remember them? you probably used to be one).

 

Sure, he paints his pictures with great, bold strokes that make your eyes hurt - he's not Richard Linklater, he's George Lucas. But these two gifts of his, planted like a meteorite in his forebrain, carry the films over the rough terrain of dubious dialogue, shaky CGI characters and Ewan McGreggor trying not to corpse when he says "younglings". They make Star Wars, at its heart, darn good epic stories. Vader is a sweeping wedge of darkness, Han is a rogue in a sleeveless jacket and an shirt open to his chest, Leia a warrior in charge of her people and Chancellor Palpatine has the pallor and aspect of a Carpathian vampire. He knows his stuff. Yes, I feel there is an integrity there because that sort of feel for Classical story and that very strong feel for what he wants to convey through a moisture farmer's home or a supernaturally powered warrior, comes from knowing and believing in a particular vision. He didn't call them Force Soldiers or Precogs or anything else - he called them "knights". Everything about Lucas's work says he's working to a very definite internal vision and that everything follows from that vision. Which is a quite different thing to working to order.

 

I thought TFA was competent in how it was directed. And the cast were without exception excellent. But it's not a legend, it has no resolution and I don't think it will stand the test of time. It's a feature length TV episode that knows it can't blow the big bad at the start of the series. It has no life of its own. It's slicker than Lucas's films, but not, imo, as good. I can't help it - it's a personal opinion, but when it comes to Space Opera, what I really, really want - is the dramatic.

 

Thanks for reading. :)

Edited by knasserII

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Lucas, like most directors, has notable strengths and weaknesses. Foremost amongst his strengths (if we're not counting the sheer will it takes to pull together a modern big budget movie and stay on top of the million details it involves), is his sense of aesthetics. He has one of the best senses of landscape and scale since David Lean (who directed Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago amongst others). The opening of ANH is a masterpiece of how to handle perspective. First you have a planet rising on a black backdrop which takes your focus, then you have a second planet larger and it seems big because of that shift. And then it pans down and you suddenly realize you're hanging above a planet right in your face and it's huge. And then a spaceship flies into view from behind you. And you watch it just long enough to realize it's fleeing from something and that this something is still behind you! And then another dramatic shift in scale as the Star Destroyer slides overhead filling first the top of the screen and then drawing down like a landslide to fill your whole vision. And THEN just as it finally starts pulling away from you, your viewpoint shifts and you're right in front of it and it's now coming straight at you getting bigger and bigger.

 

That. Is. Amazing.

 

 

 

And yet we also get the opening of TPM... wasting several minutes on that underwater chase, and then quick-firing the vista shot of the Naboo capital. 

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Lucas, like most directors, has notable strengths and weaknesses. Foremost amongst his strengths (if we're not counting the sheer will it takes to pull together a modern big budget movie and stay on top of the million details it involves), is his sense of aesthetics. He has one of the best senses of landscape and scale since David Lean (who directed Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago amongst others). The opening of ANH is a masterpiece of how to handle perspective. First you have a planet rising on a black backdrop which takes your focus, then you have a second planet larger and it seems big because of that shift. And then it pans down and you suddenly realize you're hanging above a planet right in your face and it's huge. And then a spaceship flies into view from behind you. And you watch it just long enough to realize it's fleeing from something and that this something is still behind you! And then another dramatic shift in scale as the Star Destroyer slides overhead filling first the top of the screen and then drawing down like a landslide to fill your whole vision. And THEN just as it finally starts pulling away from you, your viewpoint shifts and you're right in front of it and it's now coming straight at you getting bigger and bigger.

 

That. Is. Amazing.

 

 

 

And yet we also get the opening of TPM... wasting several minutes on that underwater chase, and then quick-firing the vista shot of the Naboo capital. 

 

 

That's not the opening. The opening of TPM is a pan down over a distant starscape to see a single small red ship coming towards you, the camera pans so that you watch the ship shoot past you to the side and as your view travels to follow it, you see it approaching a fleet of many ships. It's not as effective as the opening of ANH, but it's attempting the same thing. Only this time instead of scale, it's trying to set up a feeling of conflict between a lone vessel and a waiting fleet.

 

It then unfortunately wanders into some slightly heavy exposition. But you do then get a pretty good Jedi vs. Droid shipboard battle that does what it's supposed to do - shows you that Jedi are awesome. The Summon Bigger Fish scene doesn't come until significantly later. And to be fair, it's not that bad if you watch it again. From a camera-work point of view.

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Lucas, like most directors, has notable strengths and weaknesses. Foremost amongst his strengths (if we're not counting the sheer will it takes to pull together a modern big budget movie and stay on top of the million details it involves), is his sense of aesthetics. He has one of the best senses of landscape and scale since David Lean (who directed Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago amongst others). The opening of ANH is a masterpiece of how to handle perspective. First you have a planet rising on a black backdrop which takes your focus, then you have a second planet larger and it seems big because of that shift. And then it pans down and you suddenly realize you're hanging above a planet right in your face and it's huge. And then a spaceship flies into view from behind you. And you watch it just long enough to realize it's fleeing from something and that this something is still behind you! And then another dramatic shift in scale as the Star Destroyer slides overhead filling first the top of the screen and then drawing down like a landslide to fill your whole vision. And THEN just as it finally starts pulling away from you, your viewpoint shifts and you're right in front of it and it's now coming straight at you getting bigger and bigger.

 

That. Is. Amazing.

 

 

 

And yet we also get the opening of TPM... wasting several minutes on that underwater chase, and then quick-firing the vista shot of the Naboo capital. 

 

 

That's not the opening. The opening of TPM is a pan down over a distant starscape to see a single small red ship coming towards you, the camera pans so that you watch the ship shoot past you to the side and as your view travels to follow it, you see it approaching a fleet of many ships. It's not as effective as the opening of ANH, but it's attempting the same thing. Only this time instead of scale, it's trying to set up a feeling of conflict between a lone vessel and a waiting fleet.

 

It then unfortunately wanders into some slightly heavy exposition. But you do then get a pretty good Jedi vs. Droid shipboard battle that does what it's supposed to do - shows you that Jedi are awesome. The Summon Bigger Fish scene doesn't come until significantly later. And to be fair, it's not that bad if you watch it again. From a camera-work point of view.

 

 

It's not the opening, no, but that wasn't my point.  It says something that we get to that point and it all still feels like "the opening" though...

 

To me, wasting all the time on "summon bigger fish" and then shorting the Naboo capital panoramic is a direct example of the mixed results one gets from Lucas. 

Edited by MaxKilljoy

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Lucas, like most directors, has notable strengths and weaknesses. Foremost amongst his strengths (if we're not counting the sheer will it takes to pull together a modern big budget movie and stay on top of the million details it involves), is his sense of aesthetics. He has one of the best senses of landscape and scale since David Lean (who directed Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago amongst others). The opening of ANH is a masterpiece of how to handle perspective. First you have a planet rising on a black backdrop which takes your focus, then you have a second planet larger and it seems big because of that shift. And then it pans down and you suddenly realize you're hanging above a planet right in your face and it's huge. And then a spaceship flies into view from behind you. And you watch it just long enough to realize it's fleeing from something and that this something is still behind you! And then another dramatic shift in scale as the Star Destroyer slides overhead filling first the top of the screen and then drawing down like a landslide to fill your whole vision. And THEN just as it finally starts pulling away from you, your viewpoint shifts and you're right in front of it and it's now coming straight at you getting bigger and bigger.

 

That. Is. Amazing.

 

Lucas, IS an artist. And yes, I do agree with derroehre's statement that he is an honest artist and I do disagree with DeathByGrotz's glib equalization of all big name directors that they're all pretty much equal in their lack of integrity. Directors are people too, and just as varied.

 

Back onto the subject of aesthetics, it's not just scale, but sets, costuming, the look of everyone. You look at where Luke lives and it screams "homestead". The kind of sinkhole that the Lars' home is built into - sheltered from the wind, almost hidden, the scattered bits of machinery around the place - it all makes the place look lonely, small, frontier. You don't really know anything at all about Tattooine when the film starts and nobody gives you a backstory to the planet. But you see Luke's home, you see the Jawa vehicle against the sunset - somehow you know everything you need to know about this world on an instinctual level. And for all that a bunch of miseryguts pour scorn on the PT for its flaws - which are real - Lucas never lost that gift for aesthetics. Look at the panning shots through Coruscant and its endless depths, the light streaming through those massive temple windows, the opening battle of RotS... Sure, he has concept artists working for him, but the director, especially in this instance, is the person in the role of lead artist, guiding the project and laying down the goals. He doesn't get nearly enough credit for this.

 

The other great strength that Lucas possesses, imo, is a strong grasp of what the word Epic means. He understands Tragedy (capital T), he understands myth and he understands how to create a story about vast events unfurling before you. Some of his dialogue is atrocious. Nobody talks like that. But forgetting how they say it and focusing on what they say, he gets it. This is greek theatre, this is Homer and the Illiad. He knows what he wants and, more or less, he does it. Sure, he throws in Jar-Jar because despite the Internet deciding the character is the worst thing since Hitler, he wants to entertain little kids (remember them? you probably used to be one).

 

Sure, he paints his pictures with great, bold strokes that make your eyes hurt - he's not Richard Linklater, he's George Lucas. But these two gifts of his, planted like a meteorite in his forebrain, carry the films over the rough terrain of dubious dialogue, shaky CGI characters and Ewan McGreggor trying not to corpse when he says "younglings". They make Star Wars, at its heart, darn good epic stories. Vader is a sweeping wedge of darkness, Han is a rogue in a sleeveless jacket and an shirt open to his chest, Leia a warrior in charge of her people and Chancellor Palpatine has the pallor and aspect of a Carpathian vampire. He knows his stuff. Yes, I feel there is an integrity there because that sort of feel for Classical story and that very strong feel for what he wants to convey through a moisture farmer's home or a supernaturally powered warrior, comes from knowing and believing in a particular vision. He didn't call them Force Soldiers or Precogs or anything else - he called them "knights". Everything about Lucas's work says he's working to a very definite internal vision and that everything follows from that vision. Which is a quite different thing to working to order.

 

I thought TFA was competent in how it was directed. And the cast were without exception excellent. But it's not a legend, it has no resolution and I don't think it will stand the test of time. It's a feature length TV episode that knows it can't blow the big bad at the start of the series. It has no life of its own. It's slicker than Lucas's films, but not, imo, as good. I can't help it - it's a personal opinion, but when it comes to Space Opera, what I really, really want - is the dramatic.

 

Thanks for reading. :)

This!  SO much this!

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Very well said, Knasser.

 

I think that your criticism of TFA vs the Lucas episodes there somewhat touches upon why ESB is my least favorite of the three OT installments: it's got the best acting, dialogue, etc. but it's clearly not a complete story.  Granted, it's not meant to be, but that's what I want...and intentionally not trying to hit that mark doesn't make it any more acceptable when it indeed misses said mark.  TFA does this in an even more egregious manner, and what RotS lacked in the things ESB did so well, it made up for in the things that ESB lacked, for me.

 

There were moments of TFA where I was left grinning and thinking, "Oh cool!" but some other moments it felt as if Abrams took the scene to tell the audience, "This is where you go, 'Oh cool!'.  Do it.  Now."  And even at that, while there were moments that got a grin from me, there were no moments that left me mouth agape in awe.  Granted the latter is far harder to achieve, especially among adult fans of the setting, but that's what I want, and when the movie doesn't deliver that, it certainly gets a less favorable sentiment from me.  Not a *bad* movie, just not as good as the *good* movies in the same series.

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 but some other moments it felt as if Abrams took the scene to tell the audience, "This is where you go, 'Oh cool!'.  Do it.  Now." 

 

 

In general that's a Hollywood fault that Abrams turns up to 11.

 

...and why the last three movies I've seen in theaters were TFA...Avatar...and RotS.

I don't movie much.

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