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The Spoilerrific Super Duper Rogue One Megathread!

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To talk about ethics makes me want to vomit.  They spend $200 million making these movies, they're going to pocket probably a $1 to $2 billion on the movie ticket sales alone.  That's like 1/6th the GDP of North Korea where the common folk have dietary staples of grass and tree bark.  Ethics?  Spare me.  Hollywood, performers and producers alike are about money, period.

 

But why shouldn't ethics figure play a part of this? Yes, Hollywood is a business and all they care about is if it makes them money, which is why we see nothing but remakes, sequels and franchises - but shouldn't we demand ethics in our art?

 

Who gets to decide what is and isn't ethical?  

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Darth Vader was physically portrayed by David Prowse... James Earl Jones did the voice... and stuntman/fencing coach Bob Anderson was in the suit for the lightsaber fights, as Prowse kept breaking the props.

And the story is that David Prowse didn’t know that his voice wasn’t going to be used in the final movie until he saw it in the movie theater himself.

Which engendered a lot of bad blood on both sides, for a long time. David Prowse was the only actor for a major character that was still alive and yet not invited back to play the appropriate part (as a cameo, if nothing else) during the prequel trilogy.

I am glad to see that Disney/Lucasfilm did right by Peter Cushing’s estate. But this is Disney, and I think we should hold them to a high ethical standard.

So, basically, they did their job in this respect. No more, no less.

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This author brings up legal issues that don't matter and points out deals were cut with Cushing's estate.  When we are dead, we are dead, period.  The legal/money issues will all be handled by the lawyers and accountants to the living people's satisfaction.  

 

To talk about ethics makes me want to vomit.  They spend $200 million making these movies, they're going to pocket probably a $1 to $2 billion on the movie ticket sales alone.  That's like 1/6th the GDP of North Korea where the common folk have dietary staples of grass and tree bark.  Ethics?  Spare me.  Hollywood, performers and producers alike are about money, period.

 

The author is nothing more than a dim short sighted angry fan boy.  Star Wars was, and should always be, about pushing SFX tech.

Whataboutery isn't really very helpful. Nobody is going to dismantle the movie industry and spend the money on orphanages. That doesn't mean we should avoid considering ethical issues- you wouldn't say racist/sexist casting is fine because it's ethical small potatoes, for example.

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Who gets to decide what is and isn't ethical?

According to the page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics :

Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct.

It is also generally decided and agreed upon by a group, and I think that we — the consumers — can decide what kind and level of ethics we want to demand in our art that we are willing to buy.

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I would think that it would be obvious if something is ethical or not. I'm not saying that its on the same level as Michael Cimino blowing up horses with dynamite for the Heaven's Gate climax, but non-consensual manipulation of a real person should be pretty easy to pin down on what side of ethics it should belong.

 

I'd say use the "Would I want someone doing this to my grandmother", but Hollywood executives wouldn't look up from their latest line of blow if their grandmother was on fire in the next room.

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On the whole I enjoyed the movie but Tarkin and to a lesser extent Leia took me out of the movie and brought me back to Bojack Horseman.  Where bojack is digitally replaced in every scene and is not actually in the movie. The quote from bojack that eventually an actors entire job will be to sit in a chair and have their body scanned, i basically took as a joke and didn't think about it too much.

 

Now thinking about it, it really bothers me. I hope this sort of nonsense is fixed and roles are recast. Taking away more acting jobs is not the answer and it cheapens the experience to cut them out.

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I fail to see what is unethical or immoral.  The man's estate was contacted.  They gave consent.  It was compensated I'm sure.

 

This is unethical, but printing T-shirts with Peter Cushing's face or posters or comics wouldn't be?  Why? They're all artistic expressions using his image  and mixed with commercial applications negotiated with the people involved and money changes hands.  

 

Is an artist doing a painting of a deceased character being unethical?  They're allowed to do that and sell it themselves, and it's covered under 1st amendment freedom of expression.  It's a visual image of a dead person and they're making money, are they immoral and unethical?

 

Anytime people start talking about ethics and morality for treading on other people's rights to freedom of expression I smell tyranny, plain and simple.

Edited by 2P51

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So how many will see the movie again?  or not, because of the ethics?  How many will buy digital copies?  How many will go see Star Wars 8, or not, if the tech is used again?

 

I'm not sure what the intention behind using a CG Tarkin was? I think (I can't say for certain because I don't work in the industry) that the Tarkin process was more expensive than if they had just recast Wayne Pygram. If that's the case then why didn't they do it? Was it to pay homage, maybe? I have no idea. But I think ethically, there is no issues in the case of R1. Disney sought permission from Cushing's estate, and I'm assuming that Cushing's stand-in for R1 was made fully aware of his situation and the lack of screen credit.

 

I certainly plan on seeing R1 again and don't have particular issues with the tech being used in the manner that disney has employed it thus far (skinny Rogers, young Stark, Young Leia, small supporting role Tarkin).

 

But if an Obi-wan movie was made with a CG Alec Guinness as the lead because the tech was advanced enough to do it cheaper than Ewan McGregor's salary, then I likely wouldn't see it. I wouldn't want to see someone's interpretation of what they think Guinness' Obi-Wan performance might be. Especially since Guinness didn't exactly think highly of the film. I would consider this unethical and would not support it with my money.

Edited by Scambler

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I fail to see what is unethical or immoral.  The man's estate was contacted.  They gave consent.  It was compensated I'm sure.

 

This is unethical, but printing T-shirts with Peter Cushing's face or posters or comics wouldn't be?  Why? They're all artistic expressions using his image  and mixed with commercial applications negotiated with the people involved and money changes hands.  

 

Is an artist doing a painting of a deceased character being unethical?  They're allowed to do that and sell it themselves, and it's covered under 1st amendment freedom of expression.  It's a visual image of a dead person and they're making money, are they immoral and unethical?

 

Anytime people start talking about ethics and morality for treading on other people's rights to freedom of expression I smell tyranny, plain and simple.

 

But... nobody's treading on anyone's rights. All people are saying is that we need to consider whether or not attributing a living actor's performance to a dead one is respectful of the artistic integrity of both, and whether or not it could have negative consequences for the industry if actors end up working with limited credit because they're puppeting another actor via CGI. If I said I thought stunt actors deserved a better billing, given that in many action films a lot of characters are very strongly affected by the performance of the stunt double,  would you say that's tyranny? Is it tyranny if I decide not to see films that don't credit stunt doubles well?

 

Nobody's saying these things shouldn't be allowed, just that we should consider their implications. Is the very act of reflection tyranny?

Edited by Talkie Toaster

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It was considered evidenced by the fact they contacted Cushing's estate when there was absolutely no legal requirement to do so.

So if it's something that bears consideration, what's wrong with other people thinking about it and its potential future influence on the film industry too?

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I didn't say that did I?  I said there isn't anything unethical about what went on in Rogue 1.  I said the involved parties were included and compensated.  There isn't anything unethical about it,  There isn't anything immoral about it.  If a movie company failed to include someone with interests that would be no different than any other form of copyright/trademark infringement. I'm not the one telling people how they should or should not be allowed to express themselves.

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So how many will see the movie again?  or not, because of the ethics?  How many will buy digital copies?  How many will go see Star Wars 8, or not, if the tech is used again?

 

Lets be realistic - even if burned all my Star Wars stuff, swore off every movie from now until the sun goes cold and protested every single day outside of Disney studios, it's not going to make a lick of difference. So yes, I am going to continue watch. 

 

I'm not calling for a boycott of Star Wars, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be concerned about being respectful of artists.

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It's worth keeping in mind that the image of Grand Moff Tarkin as portrayed by Peter Cushing is actually owned by Disney.  An artist can make a painting or drawing and sell it, that's 1st amendment protected, reproduce prints and that's a TM violation. It's Disney that sues though, not Cushing's estate.  Point being when it comes to the tech I don't think legally there is much of anything movie companies actually have to do, the character image portrayed by these actors belongs to them.  Given that Disney took the step of contacting the estate I think concerns over ethics are misplaced, and in regards to morality I see no difference between someone painting Tarkin or this, it's simply the media the art is being delivered via imo.

Edited by 2P51

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I didn't say that did I?  I said there isn't anything unethical about what went on in Rogue 1.  I said the involved parties were included and compensated.  There isn't anything unethical about it,  There isn't anything immoral about it.  If a movie company failed to include someone with interests that would be no different than any other form of copyright/trademark infringement. I'm not the one telling people how they should or should not be allowed to express themselves.

 

Anytime people start talking about ethics and morality for treading on other people's rights to freedom of expression I smell tyranny, plain and simple.

You said that anyone who thought there might be an ethical issue was being tyrannical. Like, 5 posts up. If you're okay with people considering the issue, but aren't okay with them coming to a different conclusion than you, then you are not okay with people considering the issue.

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Here's my view on the "ethical" question--

 

If an actor were made to look like Cushing via physical makeup and prosthetics, and performed the part trying to approximate Cushing's peformance, I'm fairly certain there wouldn't be any question. We'd all watch the movie and go about our business.

 

For good or for ill, the computer is now another tool in the "makeup" kit.

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It's worth keeping in mind that the image of Grand Moff Tarkin as portrayed by Peter Cushing is actually owned by Disney.  An artist can make a painting or drawing and sell it, that's 1st amendment protected, reproduce prints and that's a TM violation. It's Disney that sues though, not Cushing's estate.  Point being when it comes to the tech I don't think legally there is much of anything movie companies actually have to do, the character image portrayed by these actors belongs to them.  Given that Disney took the step of contacting the estate I think concerns over ethics are misplaced, and in regards to morality I see no difference between someone painting Tarkin or this, it's simply the media the art is being delivered via imo.

 

This isn't exactly true. The literary character of Tarkin is copyright owned by Disney, the film footage of Cushing as Tarkin is copyright owned by Disney. The visual image of Cushing as Tarkin is owned by Cushing's estate.  If someone uses the recorded footage of Cushing as Tarkin commercially they can be sued by Disney for copyright infringement and Cushing's estate for profiting from his image. If someone uses the character of Tarkin in writing or via caricature then they can be sued by Disney and, depending on how closely it resembles Cushing, his estate.

 

An artist can make a painting or drawing of Cushing as Tarkin and sell it because it likely complies with the fine art exception of "commercial use." First amendment has nothing to do with it. Mass produce that painting or drawing and you're getting sued by Disney for a copyright violation and Cushing's estate.  The character belongs to the copyright owner, the likeness of character will belong to the one that portrayed the character. The extent to which is often exhaustively detailed in the contract between the actor and the copyright owner.  I'm sure even more so now that digital creations are so prevalent.

 

What does all this have to do with R1? Nothing, the copyright owner got permission from Cushing's estate because even though Cushing's contract likely didn't mention CG representations of the character, Cushing's distinct portrayal of Tarkin has created a "secondary meaning." This is the legal term for saying that Cushing's likeness is the only one that can reasonably come to mind when the name Grand Moff Tarkin is mentioned.

 

This doesn't answer why they choose to CG him instead of using practical makeup and re-casting, mind you. Or if one way is even bad, haha.  But is it sure is interesting conversation.

 

Keep in mind that its been a few decades since I've actually had and IP attorney on retainer so current laws may be slightly different.

Edited by Scambler

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So how many will see the movie again?  or not, because of the ethics?  How many will buy digital copies?  How many will go see Star Wars 8, or not, if the tech is used again?

 

I was going to see it again today, but ended up sleeping until about an hour ago (working nights screws my schedule up). So I'll have to wait until Sunday, assuming it's still playing.

 

I will buy it when it comes out on DVD.

 

And as long as the next Star Wars movie is closer to Rogue One than to the Farce Awakens, I will go see it.

 

When it comes to entertainment, I'm paying to be entertained. I neither need nor want to be bombarded with propaganda about a cause, or told what I should think about a subject, whatever. This is part of why I no longer listen to U2. As much as I like their music from several decades ago, I don't want to encourage their foolery. Singers, actors, etc, they are dancing monkeys, and I'm paying the organ grinder to make them dance. I do NOT want to hear their morality or how I should give a rat's behind about something they consider important. Disney made nice with Cushing's estate, and that's cool, I respect them for doing that. I have absolutely zero issues with digitizing a deceased actor, especially when the studio/company is paying the family or estate in order to use the images.

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But if an Obi-wan movie was made with a CG Alec Guinness as the lead because the tech was advanced enough to do it cheaper than Ewan McGregor's salary, then I likely wouldn't see it. I wouldn't want to see someone's interpretation of what they think Guinness' Obi-Wan performance might be.

 

 

Ewan McGregor's Obi-wan was his interpretation of Alec Guinness' take on the character, but you paid to see that.

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This concern over ethics isn't just misguided imo, it seems to me if anything Disney set down a marker with ethics for this tech. With no legal requirement they contacted Cushing's estate and got their blessing.  Quite frankly they've set a benchmark for how this should be handled in regards to deceased actors, and by using Star Wars as the content delivery mechanism in regards to this SFX tech they've set a high bar and standard in the process I think.

Edited by 2P51

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And this is what going to the movie 3 days late gets me? By the time I get to delve into the discussion here it's moved to a debate on the ethics of digital actors? :)

 

 

BTW, the plot and acting are garbage  :blink:

 

I shouldn't have come here. I might have breezed by some poor acting scenes with little notice amongst the rest of the awesomeness of the film until perhaps my 3rd viewing. Now my low will power may have me sitting there during the first viewing and perhaps being whisked back to reality with, "oh, there's what he was talking about....oh and there again". Dammit! :angry:

 

Didn't have a problem with any bad acting. Apparently my standards are lower?

 

Also I thought Vader's castle was badassed. Mind you, why would you set up your home on Mustafar? That seems weird, living where you 'died'.

 

My first thought it was a mentally unstable Vader punishing himself; facing the place he was defeated by Obi-wan and born new. Or perhaps it was a statement - I'm so over my old self I can plop down my home base atop the ruins of my old self.

 

The CGI of Tarkin or Leia didn't bug me. Tarkin seemed the best and I had to inform other less Star Warzy nerds in my group that it was a CGI (afterwards of course). Of the two Leia seemed to not be as good, but it was a quick glimpse so it didn't bug me. Someone above mentioned the lighting making it not as good as the Tarkin models. I would have to agree. But, I still hardly noticed especially with my daughter repeating beside me, "Princess Leia! Princess Leia!". The CGI cameo was obviously a hit for her and a good place to transition.

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