Star Wars


#631

image

I gotta say, man…this comment really sounds like you think your judgments on TLJ are so obviously correct that anyone who contradicts them isn’t just mistaken, but must suffer from self-contradiction in their own views. Needless to say, I take a different perspective, not just on TLJ but on our disagreements about it. Neither of us is spouting an “arbitrary mass of contradictions,” just valuing different things to different degrees. If you can’t see that, it doesn’t give me much hope that continuing this conversation will be fruitful.

For those not already tuning out...

Maybe we could sort out one issue by clarifying what “signifiers” means. Talking about “signifiers of evil” doesn’t at all imply that a character or movie is non-literal. Every movie ever made uses visual signifiers to convey things about its characters.

Imagine that in Snoke’s first scene, his only dialogue had been something innocuous, say, ordering space pizza. You’d still immediately know he’s a Big Bad villain, because of all the visual signifiers I mentioned earlier. Now add back in the actual snatches of dialogue and action he has in the movies, and they don’t add a lot in character terms; we still have no significant understanding of Snoke beyond his name and title. No history, barely any understanding of his motivations/goals, not much in the way of actual personality. But from moment one, we knew he’s meant to be EEEVIL from the visual signifiers we’re given. By saying that, I’m not reducing him to a metaphor for anything.

In a well-written story, every character is there for a reason; they add something which should be clear, at least in retrospect. In super-metaphorical movies like Mother! or (to pick one I’ve actually seen) The Lobster, that reason can be entirely about theme. But in most movies, it’s more about their role in the plot and/or their effect on other characters. Snoke played a role in setting the new trilogy’s plot in motion. I can understand the desire to see him continue to play a growing role, only being defeated in a grand confrontation after his secrets have been revealed.

But I was genuinely satisfied with the writers’ decision to have him abruptly taken out. As explained above, I liked what that brought out in the other characters. I liked that they addressed the possibility of leaving the Light-Dark dichotomy behind, and while it would have certainly been even more impressive if the writers had successfully followed through on that (though damn, can you imagine the level of fan outcry?) I think it was just fine for Rey to point out that Kylo was just talking about labels, not actually letting go of his army of galactic domination. A Sith by any other name…

Going forward, I like how the plot looks without a mysterious inhuman supervillain in it, just humans with known motivations, relationships, fears, and flaws. For a trilogy that so explicitly echoes the OT, I think it creates interesting possibilities to have us heading into Episode 9 with no Palpatine and a Vader who has already rejected redemption. We’ll see what they do with those possibilities.

Like you say, Snoke has a mysterious past and a severe disfigurement that begs for explanation, and I understand the desire to see those resolved. There were similarly plenty of reasons why (to return to GoT) Martin’s readers were gutted every time he abruptly killed another major protagonist. Those characters had stuff left to do, dammit. It was a painful subversion of expectation every time. Plenty of other good movies introduce mysteries that stay unresolved or ambiguous–what’s in the briefcase, how did he get his scars. I don’t think it’s bad writing in any of those cases.

As you’ve guessed, I do appreciate movies that make clever variations on a formula, whether the formula is a set of genre tropes or a specific, iconic story. TFA rang a bunch of minor variations on the original Star Wars’s plot, and I thought it was fine. Too many of them were “Star Wars but bigger,” notably Starkiller Base…but things like the Obi Wan/Vader confrontation playing out as Han vs his son changed things up enough to be fun.

TLJ’s variations on ESB were I thought much more interesting. It makes a meaningful difference that the old mentor is a haunted, disillusioned wreck who has his own character arc within the movie. The shocking reveal of parentage was of course exactly the opposite of what the formula (and JJ Abrams) had led people to expect. When Rey goes to confront Kylo/Snoke, it was plainly referencing the end of RotJ rather than Cloud City, and the ensuing death of the Supreme Leader is a wild divergence from the formula.

Tastes vary a lot on stuff like this. I’ve seen people arguing that those changes are a total betrayal of the ongoing Star Wars saga, and I’ve seen people arguing that TLJ should have been more original and not hewn so closely to the ESB template. Am I right to read you as basically arguing both of those at once? Because that would be a first.

Finally, let’s not go overboard on the prettiness of Adam Driver. “Prettier than Snoke” is a reeeeally low bar, and I like that Driver’s kinda goofy-looking compared to all the more conventionally attractive past heartthrobs in a galaxy far far away (Hamill, Ford, Williams, Christensen, Jackson, Neeson, McGregor).

@hustlertwo, on Killmonger: what Shoelip said. :slight_smile:

I actually don’t think either Loki or Thanos are all that interesting as villains, though Tom Hiddleston’s charm and acting skill do a lot to cover the thinness of the Odinson family melodrama. If you want to debate that, shall we do it on the Marvel movies thread?


#632

You when you realise that people are still complaining about Last Jedi over a year later…

image

…then again I can recommence complaining about Spider-Man: One More Day anytime and that’s over a decade old now so what can I say? :grin:


#633

Well, it’s still the newest main SW film. Discussion continues until the next one. And also, to a lesser extent, until the heat death of the universe.


#634

Hey One More Day is the best spidey story ever…

Of course I’m joking the clone saga is the best story ever :-p


#635

image

…just kidding. But the story where Norman Osborn knocks up Gwen Stacy and Peter fancies her daughter is clearly the best.


#636

@derekmetaltron There isn’t much else for Star Wars fans to talk about. Most people agree that Solo wasn’t very good, and that wasn’t even a main entry in the series. The trailers didn’t even make it look all that good, and combined with the controversy of TLJ some people just didn’t bother seeing it. Myself included. That’s a first for Star Wars theatrical releases for me. Clone Wars is coming back, but hasn’t yet. EA still has exclusive rights to video games and hasn’t announced anything, and whatever they do will still probably be terrible or cancelled later, because it’s EA. Everything else is pretty much just marketing and merchandise.

@Havenstone

I’m not saying you think he’s a metaphor because you said he has visual signifiers of being evil. I said that you think he’s a metaphor because you think that him having visual signifiers of evil makes it good writing to simply drop him out of the story with no closure or explanation. Because that is not good writing for a major antagonist who exists within an established literal universe. It works fine in a metaphorical story like Mother where characters are merely stand ins for ideas, but not in a literal story like Star Wars where the characters are characters. They can still represent ideas, but they are still more concrete than that and things still require a certain amount of consistency.

Your argument shows a lack of understanding for this distinction.

Different stories have different themes. GoT is GoT, not Star Wars, and Star Wars is not GoT. Like you say, tastes vary. That’s why diversity is important. Not because of social justice brownie points, but because of inclusion. TLJ repeated all the major plot points, while completely changing the spirit of the story. So in a way I guess you could say I am arguing both. It’s like a parody or an intentional but not very well done deconstruction. That also seems to be specifically why a lot of people like it.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just ask “Girls” fans how unattractive Adam Driver is… Or better yet look up “Reylo”… And he’s got that abusive boyfriend you want to save from himself vibe going for him… so that’s great…:roll_eyes:


#637

Listen, just accept that all this goes on personal tastes :joy:

This is obviously something important to you, so important that is worth arguing about the exact same thing for days, but, at the end of the day movies are not science, they are art, and as such, multiple interpretations are to be expected and accepted. You are not going to achieve anything by hammering your point of view over someone that simply doesn’t agree.

So for the love of god, everyone please stop going in circles about the same, over, and over, and over, and over (you get the picture) again :joy:


#638

@Meira_Litch
image
Lol jokes aside yeah I’m inclined to agree with you. This is getting repettative.

@Havenstone @Shoelip
Also it would be nice if parties arguing would not insinuate things about each other or degrade the others arguement fruitlessly. It’s things like this that cause people to be so heated about some “movie”


#639

Erm… I think you will find most people who watched Solo actually liked it, it was more the fact that many were a little jaded after Last Jedi for various reasons and the fact it was only five months on from it and Infinity War and Deadpool 2 was out too meant that they didn’t go and see it. People who have watched it since seem to like it overall.

But that’s just my opinion anyway. You be you. :yum:


#640

Apparently just a rather different understanding? Because I don’t agree that unexpectedly removing a character only works well in a metaphorical story, or one where the characters are abstract concepts. On the contrary, I think that abruptly yanking a major character out of the story without closure works just fine in loads of stories set in literal universes, whether GoT, or Psycho, or Serenity, or Pulp Fiction…or Star Wars.

If you dislike any specific case on that list (or a dozen others I could have mentioned), fine, tastes vary. But if you agreed with any of them, perhaps we could finally agree that just because I think it was OK to kill a villain before his backstory is revealed doesn’t mean I’m treating him as figurative or metaphorical? It really can work in literal fiction, too. At least, I believe it can, and if you disagree (or just don’t like it in the Star Wars case), that’s what we disagree on, not whether Snoke is a metaphor.

You wrote a couple of posts ago as if “visual signifiers of evil” somehow implies that Snoke is an abstract concept of evil. But I’d talk about e.g. the visual signifiers of stupidity in Dumb & Dumber without expecting anyone to think I was claiming Jim Carrey’s character was an abstract metaphor for idiocy. Or to reference Mother!.

Like me!

(Um, that’s probably not helping, is it?)


#641

That’s actually fine, I do feel sorry for those involved in the development of the anthology movies since people have responded better to them overall, yet they are being sacrificed over the sequel movies and all new projects. Not that I am uninterested in seeing films dealing with the legacy of Rey and Kylo or a trilogy of Old Republic/Sith Wars flicks (as I think the Game of Thrones writers movies will be) but I was still quite keen to see more done with Donald’s Lando or Boba vs Maul or an Obi Wan film or a young Qui Gon and Dooku movie… probably just a question of taste.


#642

@derekmetaltron Ok so assuming you’re right, most people didn’t bother to see the movie and therefore have no reason to discuss it. Same point.

@Havenstone I’m pretty sure I didn’t, but if I said that unexpectedly removing characters from a story is bad writing, I misspoke. I don’t think that. I’m saying that in this specific instance it is because of the fact that this character’s background requires explanation or it causes a logical hole in the entire saga. That is why you continuing to insist it’s good writing implies you can’t tell the difference between metaphorical and literal characters. You acy as if Snoke’s existence has no repercussions outside of his actions in the movies he appears in and that he’s just “visual identifiers of evil” so can therefore be abruptly dropped from the story without consequences. You know that the movies exist within an established canon or else you wouldn’t be able to make the argument about it bucking tropes, therefore you presumably know the consequences of his existence if he were a literal character… So… what other explanation is there? His existence is a plot hole, therefore his death without closure is an even bigger plot hole. Unless he never actually existed in the first place.


#643

People didn’t as much at the time, but a lot have seen it since and have generally positive things to say, at least those who don’t connect it so brusly to their apparent dislike for Last Jedi.


#644

Now we’re definitely just going in circles. As I said above, I’m happy for the last words to be yours.


#645

All I’ve really heard from people who’ve seen it is “It answers tons of questions no one wanted answers to in the first place.” and “It’s actually kind of fun.” Which of course implies that they had extremely low expectations.

Yes, because you keep ignoring part of my argument. Star Wars is part of an established Saga and Snoke’s unexplained existence is a massive plot hole unless he never actually existed in the first place, which would itself create even more holes.


#646

I’ll leave that to the judgment of our readers.


#647

As I said before I think a lot of people dislike Solo or didn’t give it a chance because it effectively came out five minutes after Last Jedi, which was evidently divisive in whether people considered it good or bad. I think comparing Last Jedi and Solo is honestly as unfair as comparing Force Awakens and Rogue One, because ultimately they are very different movies with different agendas and settings.


#648

Seriously guys, can you stop going around the same? I think we are all adult that know when to drop something without the need of having a mod or a leader telling us how redundant and spam-ish this is.


#649

Easy on, Meira. We get that you’re tired of the argument. That doesn’t make it spam, or a violation of forum guidelines. And in any case we’re winding it down.


#650

I know, I know, sorry for that. But damn, from now on, when someone tells me I’m too stubborn I will just direct them to the start of this conversation :joy: