STAR WARS: "Rise of Skywalker" **SPOILERS**

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Vidiot, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. Time Is On My Side

    Time Is On My Side Forum Resident

    Your mom's house
    I thought it was alright. The one part that made me smile was when Luke's ghost pulled out the X-Wing. A callback to Empire when Yoda did that.
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  2. The Hermit

    The Hermit Wavin' that magick glowstick since 1976

    Regarding George's treatments for VII-IX; Kathleen Kennedy herself said they were just two-page outlines for each prospective film, were "not enough to hang a trilogy on", and (in her opinion) were more for the purposes of bait during the acquisition negotiations with Disney (George, ever the shrewd businessman, proverbially dangled them in front of Iger and wouldn't even let him see the outlines until the contract was signed, sealed, and delivered!)... a surprisingly frank admission, I thought...

    Back when George thought SW was done after Episode III, he had it etched in legal stone, so to speak, that upon his death, no more SW movies could be made... he stated that explicitly in an interview with Total Film magazine in 2008. Guess a toxic fandom fringe and $4bn changed his mind...

    Not sure whether to write my TRoS review as a concise bullet-point affair for the sake of brevity or a full-on blowout ... any suggestions/recommendations?
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
  3. The Hermit

    The Hermit Wavin' that magick glowstick since 1976

    Okay... no beating around the proverbial bush... let's finish this thing; 42 years is long enough to wait. My bullet-point review (for brevity and also 'cause I couldn't be arsed writing a long spiel) of TRoS for what it's worth;

    • An entertaining, enjoyable, and even occasionally emotional film overall.
    • A respectable end to the trilogy overall - such as it was - but as an end to the overall saga? I thought ROTJ ended it just fine in 1983 and don't think this new installment - or trilogy for that matter - added anything of substance to what was already there.
    • Clearly this was a somewhat rushed affair; the script was evidently a work-in-progress right to the end and undoubtedly would have been the beneficiary of pushing the release date back a year... that being said, George Lucas worked on the Episode I script for two-and-a-half years and look how that turned out.
    • The final cut (especially the first half) looks hurriedly stitched together and seemingly edited at times with a meat cleaver to get the running time down hard... I'm now convinced those initial and credible reports in mid-October of a 155-minute running time may have been accurate, and for whatever reason, 13 minutes got chopped. If that happened, it was a mistake as this film could use that breathing room (if I had been Abrams, I would have demanded nothing less than complete creative control, final cut, and a December 2020 release on this film when Disney came looking after Trevorrow's departure). An extended director's cut would be a nice thing...
    • Visual effects and cinematography are all top-notch... 35mm for the win! It's ironic that this film was made on a highly accelerated schedule yet I think the effects work is much better than it's predecessor.
    • Either because Jar Jar Abrams isn't good at endings/explanations or the production time-crunch, this film has plot holes you could lightspeed a fleet of Star Destroyers through... many films have plot holes, but when you're clearly noticing them as the film is still running, you have a major problem with script tightness and logic.
    • Still not convinced about the logic - or lack thereof - regarding Palpatine's return and don't think it added anything to the overall character. But if they were going to bring him back, that return (and his big contingency plan to reconquer the galaxy) should have been signalled from the outset in Episode VII and used as the plot point that triggers the events of the new trilogy.
    • Total about-turn for Hux's character for what reason exactly? Sorry, that bird ain't flying...
    • New Force powers seemingly invented out of whole cloth... if Force teleportation, EMP Force lightning, and even resurrection (!!!) was an option prior, why not use it on previous installments?
    • Honestly, one or two major OT characters should have made the ultimate sacrifice... probably Chewie and Lando in the Millennium Falcon... almost certainly Threepio should have permanently sacrificed his memory to help the fight; it would have been a poignant end to the character arc of someone who always wanted just to get away from all the action. Such sacrifices would have spelled out more clearly the end of an era, both in the galaxy and the saga as a whole... it would have been a bold move but J.J. doesn't do bold, it's just not in his creative DNA.
    • Too many new characters that really didn't have time to develop or for the audience to get a connection with... sticking with the core Sequel Trilogy faces (much like Avengers: Endgame concentrated solely on the original members of that team) would have led to a more focused affair and a smoother narrative.
    • Where were all the dead horses when the Sith troopers were wiping out the rebels on top of the Star Destroyer?
    • The Carrie Fisher scenes worked as best they could given the tragic circumstances... as it was, it was a genuinely poignant arc and a fitting tribute so I cut 'em a lot of slack with that one.
    • How bold would it have been if Rey had died (with no subsequent resurrection) and it was Ben that lived, to atone and make amends...? I would have went for that in a second, but a) Disney corporate likely wouldn't have, and b) they'd be eviscerated by the permanently-offended online crowd for 'fridging' another female character... feck 'em, it would have been an unexpected shocker that also served as a nice poetic counterpoint to the sacrifice made by Anakin in ROTJ.
    • I think the arrival of the fleet led by Lando would have worked better in terms of logic if it was established it was the remainder of the New Republic fleet that had been gathering in the year or so since Luke's heroic act on Crait... justifying Leia's pleas for them to join the fight, that she was right all along... another nice little moment and tribute to that character and her tenaciousness right to the end, that she never gave up hope even when it seemed all was lost... and because of that unwavering belief, the galaxy was saved.

    Can't think of anything else, I think that's good enough. So on aggregate, how does this new trilogy stack up with it's predecessors? Better-made films than the prequels, but lamentably no substantial story to tell... beneath the lovely cinematography, top-notch production values, and pleasing visual spectacle, it was a strangely underwhelming and hollow affair overall. Whether it be similar audience sentiment, the backlash from TLJ, or just general SW fatigue, it's clear that this is a movie franchise that no longer holds the crown in the blockbuster landscape, it's no longer the pioneering and trendsetting leader of the pack, that some audience members are starting to tire of it, and it's wholly appropriate and timely that it ends here and now.

    But hey, as Captain Kirk once said, "it's been... fun".

    To all involved on all the films over the years - and especially to George Lucas who started it all when everyone said he was doing the wrong thing and a 'kid's movie' would kill his career - I salute you.

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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  4. CraigBic

    CraigBic Forum Resident

    New Zealand
    I didn't find Hux's "about-turn" all that surprising, it's clear from the start that him and Kylo Ren have a bit of a rivalry for the approval of Snoke and in The Last Jedi Hux has his pride really take a beating especially after Snoke is killed and Kylo takes his place as Supreme Leader. I think you see the effects of having to serve under Kylo in The Rise of Skywalker, his drive that you saw in The Force Awakens is gone, I think he originally saw himself as Snoke's successor with his passionate speech in that movie. As he says in the movie, his motivations are not that he now sympathizes with the other side but rather that he just wants to undermine Kylo Ren.
  5. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Hollywood, USA
    And the exact note-for-note John Williams music in that scene, too, so it was a musical callback as well.

    I'm not doubting you, but do you have a link to an interview to confirm what Kennedy said? I wouldn't put it past Lucas to do this, but I'd bet he actually thought these were commercial films. I was told directly by two people who had actually seen them that Lucas had only jotted down "a few paragraphs" each to cover Episodes 7-8-9, and that it was only a vague outline at best, not a full treatment. But this was more than 20 years ago.

    Yes, I said the exact same thing: that that would've been a much harder movie to make with Ben Solo alive and Ren dead, but also a much more interesting story. Still, to have the murderer of Han Solo still alive, and yet a hero, and having to live with that for the rest of his life... that's a tough thing to swallow.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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  6. The Hermit

    The Hermit Wavin' that magick glowstick since 1976

    Y'know what? I'll concede you on that one...

    Bear in mind the 'treatments' that George jotted down decades ago regarding VII-IX were when he intended it to be a nine-episode saga; the existence of those treatments were confirmed by author Dale Pollock who wrote the 1983 George Lucas bio, Skywalking, and who claimed he was shown them during research for said book.

    They're wholly different treatments and story than the ones he developed over the course of a year between 2011-12 prior to and/or during the Disney acquisition negotiations.

    It's ironic that George's originally-intended vision of a trilogy of trilogies came to fruition and not entirely different from what he likely would have made based on his original vision way back in the day...

    P.S. I remembered one more comment to add to my TRoS review;

    • The production time-crunch is clearly evident in the many times two characters use Force teleportation just to be in the same room as each other; it's an obvious deus ex machina of narrative convenience that does wear after umpteen times and clearly shows the seams of an accelerated writing process... one that undoubtedly would have been smoother given another year.

    That's it... now I'm done.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  7. gabacabriel

    gabacabriel Forum Resident

    Bristol, UK
    Some great points made by the Hermit, but THIS is the main problem I had with the movie.
  8. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

    Luray, Virginia
    Overall I agree with most of your points. I obviously liked it probably a bit more than you did,but I can't really argue with the time crunch. The moment Treverrow was fired and most the work done to that point scrapped, everyone involved should have sat down and mutually decided that the film just needed more time to be finished and at least delayed it to May 2020,if not Christmas 2020. Given Carrie's death obviously threw the production into chaos, I think everyone,from corporate to the fandom would have understood the need to return to the three year gap between the films at least this one time. I think another six months to a year would have done wonders with it.

    As you also said in the next post,this Episode IX is likely very much what George's original plan for what he initially foresaw it being in 1981 when he was indeed working towards a nine chapter story. From all accounts, a lot of the stuff he ended up moving into Return of The Jedi regarding a final battle with the Emperor and the empire ended up in this film. That third trilogy was obstensively originally was going to focus on the search for and rise of Luke's sister (not Leia) and the twins were going to face down Palpatine together. Basically that is a what we got here. Just swap out Luke's original sister for Rey and Luke for Ben Solo and that's pretty darn close to how George envisioned it ending. Or at least the George Lucas of 39 years ago.

    Anyway,I'm glad you didn't leave the theater hating it!

    One thing though I really wish they could have done...was add the 20th century fox fanfare to the start of the film for old time sake. After all Disney owns it now. There's probably some legal reasons they couldn't (probably because production began before Disney officially purchased Fox) but,dang it, it still seems weird not seeing that at the start of a main Episode of the Star Wars saga.
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  9. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Hollywood, USA
    Yeah, an old friend of mine taught at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and told me that he had had several conversations with Pollock, who had been dean at the school for a number of years. I think I can reveal that it was Alan Dean Foster who told me the details in the 1980s of the later episodes, but he was clear that it was vague plot points and character beats, not all that specific, and of course nothing about midichlorians or all the later stuff that became part of the prequels. Pollock had a bad falling-out with Lucas because he went into some details about Lucas' private life, which caused all the photo rights to be yanked... but the book was still published and was a fascinating inside look at these films and the man himself.

    I do agree with a lot of your overall points and criticisms, and there's some head-scratching stuff that just makes you say "WTF is going on here?" when it happened in the theater. I think J.J. Abrams was just trying to survive to December. He's recently said in interviews he hopes his next project will have "zero visual effects" and just be about two people having a love affair, or something very simple like that.

    I said that about 24 hours after Disney bought Fox, something like, "hey! Now Disney can add the Fox Fanfare to all their Star Wars films!" But it didn't happen with Rise of Skywalker, which I think was disappointing.
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  10. Time Is On My Side

    Time Is On My Side Forum Resident

    Your mom's house
    @Vidiot - What went wrong with The Last Jedi? It almost seems as if that movie did not even need to be made.
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  11. greg_t

    greg_t Forum Resident

    St. Louis, MO
    To me the point of the Last Jedi was that it advances the stories of the new main new characters, while bringing a conclusion to Luke's journey. At the end of force awakens we expect that Rey has found Luke and that she will be trained by him. What she finds is anything but the great Jedi master she's been told about, but he's a broken shell of his former self. We see Finn choosing a side. That's the whole point of the "master coder" and Casino scenes, it's all about which way will Finn go. Will he continue to run away or will he choose a side in this battle. Poe learns important lessons about sacrifice and leadership. Whether everyone likes what was done is another story, but the point is certainly to advance the characters while bringing Luke's character arc to a conclusion.
  12. balzac

    balzac Forum Resident

    For better or worse, I re-watched all of the SW films over the past few weeks again in the midst of seeing TROS. Random thoughts:

    As someone else said a few posts back, the prequels are still really awful. Nothing about the films make the prequels "seem" better in comparison. Truly the worst of the nine films, all three of them. They basically serve as vessels for some plot lines that are sometimes interesting. But the scripts/writing are really bad. The acting (largely though not fully due to said scripts) is pretty awful too. The visual effects vary, some have aged well, some not. At the end of Episode III, Ewen McGregor tries as hard as someone possibly can to wring some sort of emotion and epic scope out of that script, in that scene fighting Anakin. That's about as good as it gets, and it's a fleeting moment among three films.

    I still enjoy to some degree watching the prequels knowing what they are. They are undeniably part of the story. But they're worse on every level than any of the other six (or eight including the spinoffs).

    I'd say "The Last Jedi" is the best *film* in the series. Meaning, as a film first and a Star Wars product second, it's the most well-crafted film. It allows characters to stop and breathe and talk. Mark Hamill hated what Johnson did with his character, but to me Hamill undercut his own argument by still turning in an *amazing* performance, by far his best in the series, and really his best acting work I've ever seen. It's no coincidence Johnson's production on "The Last Jedi" was, *during* production, seemingly the least troubled in recent memory. He was allowed to do his thing. I think it came out great, and has improved as time has passed. I understand some complaints about the film, and I don't think Johnson would have had to compromise much by taking Hamill's input into account even just a little bit, but I also have never bought the argument that it's *nothing* like the previous film. It fits stylistically into the series just fine. It's still got dumb, goofy moments, a bunch of space battles, light saber fights, a big bad guy spouting generic lines ("I cannot be beaten!").

    I think if Abrams had used the same amount of time and used the same ethos in doing Episode 9 as he did with Episode 7, it would have been somewhat better. Abrams betrays Episode 7 as much as Johnson did with Episode 8.

    I end up ranking the films something like this:

    1. The Last Jedi
    2. A New Hope
    3. The Empire Strikes Back
    4. Rogue One
    5. The Force Awakens
    6. Return of the Jedi
    7. Solo
    8. The Rise of Skywalker
    9. Revenge of the Sith
    10. Attack of the Clones
    11. The Phantom Menace
  13. balzac

    balzac Forum Resident

    I think some, perhaps many, Star Wars fans aren't so much *film* fans, but simply fans of the Star Wars story. They view the films as more a vessel to convey the plot they want to see unfold. This explains why some fans try to claim the prequels are better than the sequels. If you don't care about the acting or script or style so much, and want to just see as series of plot developments transpire, then the prequels aren't so bad.

    The "The Last Jedi", Johnson was making a film. He was making a film that was a Star Wars thing, as opposed to making a Star Wars thing that happened to be a film.

    Nobody stepped in and said "hey, you should walk that aspect back a little." This ended up being bad for the weird PR/fan backlash, but good for it as a *film*, because whatever you think of "The Last Jedi", it's much more clear and concise and streamlined and not muddled the way Episode 9 is.

    No Star Wars films need to be made. Johnson made a Star Wars movie a bit like, interestingly, his approach to the "Fly" episode of "Breaking Bad" that he directed. That episode was different from most others, and plot-wise didn't *need* to happen. But it was a refreshing and impressively well-done piece.
  14. marmalade166

    marmalade166 Grokkin' 'n' Groovin'

    Aberdeen, Scotland
    On a side-note, here's Carrie and Nixon :D

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  15. Mistermono

    Mistermono Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
  16. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

    Luray, Virginia
    So, apparently,the Treverrow script (or at least one of drafts) has leaked doesn't sound all that bad actually.

    Turns out Colin Trevorrow’s version of Star Wars: Episode IX was good, actually

    Keep in mind the source posted on Reddit,so take it with a grain of salt, but there is some indication that it's legit.

    Some bullet points....

    Title was called "Duel of the Fates"

    *No Palpatine aside from a brief cameo in a hologram. The main villain apparently was some ancient Sith that was Palpatine's true master. (NOT Darth Plageous the wise. )

    *Rey is confirmed as a nobody. No Skywalker or Palpatine blood tie .

    *Kylo Ren is revealed to have killed Rey's parents at Snoke's behest,He's the one that drops Rey off on Jakku to presumably hide her from Snoke.

    *Final battle takes place on the ground and in the sky above Coruscant.

    *Force Ghost Luke haunts Kylo Ren and trains Rey concurrently.

    *Lando still appears in a role similar to the Episode IX we know.

    *Han Solo still appears at some point trying to turn Kylo away from the dark side

    * Kylo Ren is never fully redeemed. Ben Solo never resurfaces.

    *Mortis from the clone wars animated series factors in somehow.

    *Leia seems to survive the film, but it also seems she didn't have a very large role in the plot the same way Han did in TFA and Luke did on TLJ. Keep in mind this supposed draft was finished about a week prior to Carrie's death.

    *Chewie flies an X-Wing!

    While I enjoyed the Episode IX we got..if this is true and not internet bullcrap,at least on paper,this might have been at least a better end to this trilogy specifically... although it doesn't seem to feel like the end of the Skywalker saga. They don't reuse Palpatine, but to introduce a new guy we hadn't seen before as the big bad and is insinuated to be the REAL puppet master of the saga at the eleventh hour...seems a harder sell and diminishes Palpatine's role in the saga a bit.

    However, I kinda like the fact Rey is still a nobody. Also it seems Luke had a bigger role in this version than the version we got.

    Some of it is a bit wonky though.

    Anyhow,what do you all think?
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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  17. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    I think we got the movie we got, and we’ll never get the one your post is about, so I don’t see the point in speculating what it might have been like.
  18. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

    Luray, Virginia
    I know...but if does make one wonder what really happened there.

    I think we all assumed from the rumors that swirled either Carrie's death and or Treverrow wanting to Resurrect Luke was the sticking point that killed his version, but it looks like Leia didn't have much to do in his version any way and he just used Force Ghost Luke.

    I have a hunch it was less to do with either and more to do with "The Book of Henry" bombing,and of course the Fan-dumb menace freak out over TLJ.My hunch is that Iger and Kennedy wanted a more of a "fan pleasing" film and Treverrow wouldn't play ball,so he stepped down.

    Of course...that is IF this is real, which there's a chance it's not.

    As I said,I enjoyed TROS. But what we got on paper here at least seems more coherent and feels like a more natural progression from where things ended with TLJ. Again though,it could have been a mess with the execution.
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  19. AlexDelarge

    AlexDelarge Forum Resident

  20. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Hollywood, USA
    The other thing is that the studio got what they asked for, and the script still has very little for Princess/General Leia to do. I'm certain that J.J. Abrams read this script and opted to do what he needed to do and what would satisfy the Disney/Lucasfilm brain trust. Fans should never assume they know best and that writers and producers with decades of experience don't know what they're doing: I think a lot that happened in the film had a great deal of thought and planning behind it.

    Last Jedi doesn't bother me nearly as much as it bothered other people. I also liked the look of it very much and think it might be the best of the post-original trilogy films in terms of cinematography. From Disney's perspective, there's nothing wrong: it made $1.333 billion dollars. The mainstream critic reviews I saw were OK, but the fan reviews were very negative.
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  21. The Hermit

    The Hermit Wavin' that magick glowstick since 1976

    Absolutely this!!! Without the FOX fanfare at the start, something really is missing from a SW film... it's an undeniable part of the overall package, for sure...

    Yeah, speculation and debate... can't have any of THAT on the internet, right ;)...!?

    Trevorrow's departure was announced in early September 2017 (three whole months before the release of TLJ, so I don't think it had anything to do with fan reaction to that film) and Abrams' return was announced mere days later... meaning the decision to oust the former and bring back the latter was clearly in the works for a time beforehand.

    If Trevorrow was let go solely because of The Book of Henry, then that's a remarkably stupid reason... I've always heard it was time-honoured 'creative differences' and the death of Carrie Fisher threw an additional spanner into the works that subsequent drafts were unable to rectify to the satisfaction of all concerned - Kennedy and Iger didn't like what Trevorrow and co-writer Derek Connolly were delivering in their script - and that relations between Trevorrow and Kathleen Kennedy had irretrievably broken down... that's what I heard anyway...

    If that script draft is genuine, it does sound markedly more coherent and logical than what we got, but ultimately it would all come down to the overall execution.

    Frankly, it always bewildered me why Trevorrow was chosen to begin with... or the fact that Joe Johnston was seemingly never in the running for at least one of the films; a guy with a long history at Lucasfilm, who was singularly responsible for the still-iconic design work on the OT, and who's no slouch when it comes to helming some pretty darn good popcorn movies... one would have thought he'd be a natural choice!
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
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  22. gabacabriel

    gabacabriel Forum Resident

    Bristol, UK
    ...and let's not forget that Joe Johnston (the original JJ!) had recently delivered (at the time of the Disney takeover of Lucasfilm) a sizeable critical and commerical success in the shape of the first Captain America movie.
  23. David Campbell

    David Campbell Forum Resident

    Luray, Virginia
    That's a good point about Joe Johnson! Maybe he was asked and he turned them down?
  24. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Apart from the Lando thing I think all those points are really good and would make a much better film than the trainwreck JJ delivered, as it all makes much more logical sense. We don't have to believe somehow Palp survived, that Ren is redeemed so easily etc etc.

    Also this is something I called after the first film - 'He's the one that drops Rey off on Jakku to presumably hide her from Snoke' - as this explains Kylo's reaction in TFA when he has told there is a 'girl'.
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  25. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    You're no fun :(
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