Interlude: Rogue One, Part Two

Here is my super-long, super-rambling, no-TL;DR review of Rogue One. I have, as ever, thrown spoilertext around a lot of it.

I think the best way to do this will be to take a look at the criticism I linked to yesterday, and see how much of it held water.

Note: For the purposes of brevity, sanity, and basic decency, I will be using my translated version of the critique.

So.

Rogue One makes Episode VII look good. And Episode VII wasn’t good.

I’m going to go with “complete disagreement” over this one. It’s practically opposite. Episode VII was good, and Rogue One is better.

This just backs up what I suspected from the moment I walked out after seeing Episode VII. Yes, there was a lot of retracing of steps and recycling plot and action there. There were lots of nods to the old series, sentimental moments with old characters and props, because there had to be. They had to show us, the burned victims of Episode I, II and III, that they could do Star Wars.

Well, now they’ve shown us, they’ve done their duty and their service, and now they’ve stepped up their game, ready to take this franchise in the direction they want. Ready to show us the fucking universe.

Episode VII was Disney paying their Star Wars dues. Rogue One is Disney showing us what Star Wars can be.

The film’s director is usually pretty darn good, but in this case there’s just so much back-story – and future-story – resting on this film, he was basically afraid to do anything because it might piss off the Star Wars nerds.

This is evidently true – and yet, I think the director did fine. There was enough darkness (not just the literal kind, we can talk about that later though), enough tragedy and chilling violence and shocking moments, to show that this movie wasn’t out to keep everybody happy. And while there was evidently a lot of things the director had to worry about in terms of continuity and tone, I think he managed to juggle them all without anything seeming too artificial.

Like I said, Edwards is usually pretty good. Godzilla was fine, if a little preachy.

Basically agreed. I liked the new Godzilla movie even if I actually preferred the Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno version (and I know I’m in the minority). Edwards did a fantastic job here.

This film’s failure wasn’t the director’s fault, wasn’t the screenwriters’ fault – in fact, they apparently did a lot to try to fix that shit – wasn’t even the original story’s authors’ fault. It was Star Wars‘ fault.

Still an interesting idea. I think this was definitely a handicap the filmmakers had to work around – a challenge. But they rose to it magnificently.

I heard some viewers describe the film as “dark”, and I suppose it was – but even that darkness seemed to be Forced into a plastic mould, making the story seem sterile. I blame Disney.

Again, yes. There was a minimum of blood and gore and adult themes, for the sake of the ratings and to keep the ultimate continuity with the rest of the franchise. I don’t think that hampered the darkness of events.

You had a populace downtrodden by the Empire, ancient cultures torn apart and destroyed, faiths shattered. You had the rebellion struggling internally with its own “terrorist” extremist sects and slowly realising that some actions were necessary for the greater good. You had plenty of fights and battles, and an ending where basically all the main characters die. And of course you had the Death Star test-firings, killing thousands, wrecking planets even if not quite blowing them up yet.

So yeah, I think they managed to walk the line between “family fun” and “this is the movie that comes before Episode IV, so when did you think the Empire was going to get to be evil?” And walk it well.

I don’t know why such a great cast had to wind up portraying such two-dimensional characters, but I blame Disney. And I know, I’m repeating myself, but that’s the problem with this franchise in a nutshell. In leaving nothing for us to criticise, the creators of Rogue One have left us with a single all-encompassing gripe.

Sure, the characters weren’t quite as relatable as the classic tropes of Episode IV, V and VI. I found it difficult to root for them or to worry all that much about their fates, although of course I wanted them to succeed in getting those darn Death Star plans to the right place.

I think part of this was the fact that I knew none of these players (aside from the obligatory cameos) were going to make it to Episode IV, so I knew not to get too invested in Jyn and Cassian. That’s a risk, again, that the filmmakers had to take. The characters maybe lacked the on-screen charisma of Finn, Rey and Poe – but shit, that’s some stiff opposition.

Still, the loss of the amazing supporting characters, leading up to the final scenes, hit hard. K-2SO, Chirrut and Baze, Saw, Bodhi, they were all gut-punches to varying degrees.

I think I was hit hardest (aside from K-2SO, which gave me a severe Short Circuit 2 flashback) by Galen’s sacrifice and ultimate death after finally managing to explain himself to his daughter. Possibly because I have daughters of my own, I don’t know about that. It struck a chord, but I’m not about to say it wouldn’t strike a chord with non-parents. We all have dads, to one degree or other. His revelation, and his death, were very poignant.

Not only that, but in the process he managed to correct a decades-old running joke about the fatal weakness of the Death Star. And it didn’t even seem like a big dumb fake retcon! It was really well done, very clever.

rogue-review-4-_mario

And made perfect sense to me. Only way something that huge and multiple-redundancy could possibly blow up with a single shot would be if the designer had made it that way. Fucking amazing.

Jyn wasn’t actually rebellious, she was just a survivor. She’s reunited with Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), something something, reminds her of something something.

Yep, sounds right. She didn’t want any part of the Rebellion because she didn’t really see them as any better than the Empire. The Empire took her life away from her, but only because (from her point of view) it had to fight the Rebellion. And the Rebellion considered her father to be the enemy, so she naturally saw them as hostile. Not only that, but her guardian – Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) – was an ideological enemy of the Rebellion because he was more militant and extremist. And that’s what she grew up with.

I wouldn’t say Saw reminded Jyn of anything in particular, but it was nice that they were able to reconcile some of their issues and settle things before the end. He was massively unsuited to be a guardian to a child, but she seemed to do alright. Not sure if that’s on him or on her, or both. Let’s go with both.

She’s also tossed together with a band of outsiders, one of whom brings her a holographic message from Galen in which he explains why he worked on the Death Star and conveys his insider knowledge about how she can defeat it. The drama, such as it is, involves Jyn’s transition from an apolitical survivor to an active rebel, and the movie builds to the climactic battle, ranging from the cloak-and-dagger to the conventionally military to the space-Wagnerian, to realize Galen’s grandly subversive plan.

Alright. Actually sounds cool. I’m quite glad I’ll be going into the movie knowing this.

If Galen’s plan isn’t grandly subversive, I’m going to be disappointed.

Yep, this was all pretty much on the ball, as far as plot summaries go. Jyn does realise that the Rebellion is important, that they’re “the good guys”, to simplify grossly, and while I’d hesitate to say any of it is cloak-and-dagger (except there are literally a lot of cloaks and capes and stuff, and maybe a dagger or two), let alone space-Wagnerian, it does build steadily to a very cool climactic battle.

Oh yeah, the film’s “dark”, alright. I couldn’t see half of what was going on, it was like a bad ’80s movie where they didn’t want you to get a good look at the monster.

Fair, although I overstated in my translation (imagine that, I exaggerated Brody’s original unfairly!). I wasn’t bothered much by the darkness, though. It was light in the right places, the darkness adding atmosphere to the right planets and scenes.

Plus, we ended up in a 3D viewing by complete and unwelcome accident, so the dark scenes were actually easier to eyegest (this is a new word I just made up) than the sunny ones. Seriously, fuck 3D so fucking hard.

For all my complaining about the gloominess, though, cinematographer Greig Fraser is damn good at his job, having established his chops in a bunch of other films. And he provides some highlights to this one, too.

Absolutely agreed, Mr. Brody-by-proxy. Absolutely agreed. The cinematography was fucking spectacular. Particularly that vertigo-inducing final battle.

Okay, planetary shields are still a bit of a mystery to me, but once we accept that they’re a thing, this was a brilliantly handled fight.

The cast is great, the diversity is through the roof – can I thank Disney’s offend-nobody philosophy for that, instead of blaming them? No, apparently my mission statement says I can’t – but they’re prevented from doing anything by that same focus-group-meeting mentality that turns characters and script and plot into plain oatmeal. Hey, some people like plain oatmeal, and that’s fine. I don’t want to watch a bowl of it for two hours.

The cast was great. Thanks Disney.

Like I said, I could have used a bit more charisma and chemistry between the main characters, but they were hardly cardboard cutouts. I don’t know exactly what was served by their diversity, except of course that the Rebellion – and indeed the galaxy far, far away – is big and has all sorts of people in it. So yeah, diversity adds realism. They were good. Not sure what else I can say there.

The script of “Rogue One” is so flat and inexpressive, the direction of the actors so methodical, as to render these artists nearly robotic and synthetic.

The script was pretty much fine, keeping in mind that I’m comparing it to the scripts of Episode IV, V and VI. There’s absolutely no comparison to the abysmal II and III scripts, and to a slightly lesser degree I. And K-2SO owned about 80% of the script’s absolute cream.

Yeah, as I have said a couple of times, the main players could have had a bit more spunk. Don’t know what to tell you, I think they were drowned out by the gorgeousness of the scenery, the intensity of the story, and the sheer balls-to-the-wall brilliance of their supporting characters. And that’s alright.

The one character with any inner identity is, in fact, a robot, K-2SO, voiced by Alan Tudyk, and the only performance with any flair at all is a C.G.I. incarnation, or, rather, resurrection.

K-2SO wasn’t the only character with actual character, but I think Brody can be forgiven for thinking so, given his starting position of “none of these characters have character”. K-2SO fucking ruled. I laughed just about every time he was on the screen, and every line he had was perfect.

Well … okay. He didn’t need to double-punchline the one part where Cassian (I think) said that they were all going to die in the icy vacuum of space, and K said “not me,” then added “I can survive in space.” I think we all got that this was what he meant. It was fucking hilarious, but yeah, the redundant punchline spoiled the joke a bit. Otherwise, he was flawless.

Even the climactic battle scenes, in which the band of rebel warriors risks all to disable and destroy the Death Star according to Galen’s instructions, pivot on an unintentionally comical plot point—centered on the transmission of an exceptionally large packet of data—that seems ready-made to be reprocessed as a series of commercials for an Internet-service provider or a cell-phone plan. It makes perfect sense: “Rogue One” isn’t so much a movie as a feature-length promotional film for itself; it’s a movie that is still waiting to be made.

Yeah, this comment was stupid. But the idea that plans for even something as huge as a Death Star would be too big to transmit … I don’t think that was what was going on. They had to dick around a lot getting the antenna to work, but it was mostly the fact that there was a war going on and the planet had a shield over it that was the problem.

I was a little puzzled by the fact that Bodhi and the ship got blown up, did that not matter after the master switch had been thrown? I guess the upload was working at that point, so it didn’t need to stay plugged in? There were a lot of moving parts in that plan.

On the topic of nitpicks, I had a couple more.

First one was when Chirrut was having his duel with the Stormtroopers, he seemed to knock sand into the face of one of them, and the dude reacted as though actually hit in the face with sand. Why, please? He had a full Stormtrooper mask on. He might have flinched a bit, but it seemed like an excessive reaction.

Second one was when they went down to the planet where Galen was being kept. Cassian said something like “we should get through undetected as long as this storm hold up…” – did he not see the planet as they were landing? The entire globe was wall-to-wall cyclones as far as the eye could see. Never mind worrying about that storm ever coming to an end – they should have been worried about the presence of xenomorphs.

That’s about it for complaints.

I’ve seen some people who were unhappy with the CGI recreations of Leia and Tarkin. I thought they were fucking magnificent. Already when they showed the back of Tarkin’s head and his reflection in the glass, I was impressed. Then he actually turned around and became a a living, breathing villain again – and the villain Tarkin always deserved to be! Oh my fucking God, that shit was amazing. Cushing still kicking arse and taking names, 22 years after his death.

Ditto Carrie Fisher, except she’s not dead [Well, this was poignantly true at the time of intial posting but not anymore. – Ed] and she was only on the screen for a really brief time. Still very good.

What else was good? You know, aside from everything?

The little continuity nods (and the not-so-little ones, like Jimmy Smits reprising his role as Bail Organa) were subtle and lovely. For example Cornelius Evazan (apparently) and Ponda Baba having a little run-in with Jyn and Cassian on Jedha. Presumably before things went sour in a major way on Jedha, they got out and decided to lie low on Tatooine for a while. The more I read up on them, the more intriguing it gets.

And speaking of intriguing…

K-2SO elevated Star Wars droids. What are they? Are they sentient, and treated as a slave-class for reason of their physical makeup? Are they just complex machines with a semblance of sentience? They have absolutely no Asimov Laws to keep them from killing the shit out of everyone, and their personalities seem utterly dependent on their programming – I mean, to the extent that reprogramming one makes it a whole different character. They can be deactivated, traded, even destroyed on a whim.

I’m not really sure where I’m heading with this, but K-2SO made it even more clear to me than before, that the droids in the Star Wars universe are some crazy, compelling shit.

Of course, the immediate question I had was “hey, so there were a bunch of Imperial droids like K, so could his programming be put into another one? Or, like the Death Star plans but possibly even more complex, is the program so big it could never be transferred, and is essentially solid-state as part of his body, and was destroyed when he was shot up?”

It’s a geeky question, to be sure, but there doesn’t seem to be an answer to it (too much time delving in Wookieepedia notwithstanding). From what I’ve seen, droids are very much individuals and only raw parts like limbs are interchangeable. In this sense, they’re basically living things that just happen to be made out of metal.

Huh. Makes you think.

Makes me think I’m going to see this again on Monday.

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114 Responses to Interlude: Rogue One, Part Two

  1. JonathanBloom says:

    Agreed on all points. Especially Tarkin, who still remains a “how the hell did they get away with this?” for me.

    And again profuse apologies on the 3D. Never again with that. Next time I’ll triple check everything.

    • stchucky says:

      No harm done here, I don’t care for 3D but it wasn’t completely wasted on me. I’m seeing it in 2D on Monday, with Vuta and BRKN. Vuta has some sort of severe eyes-and-balance-related issue with 3D, for me it’s just a matter of taste.

  2. JonathanBloom says:

    It probably didn’t help that flamingo was running the old active glasses tech that I thought has gone by the way of the dodo. The passive tech in Helsinki is way more eye friendly, the glasses bigger and lighter, and the image way brighter to watch.

  3. dreameling says:

    !! SPOILERS !!

    Episode VII was good, and Rogue One is better.

    Episode VII was Disney paying their Star Wars dues. Rogue One is Disney showing us what Star Wars can be.

    I agree in that Rogue One shows us that big-screen Star Wars can be more than just the Skywalker Saga. (This has already successfully been the case on the small screen and in pretty much every other available storytelling medium.)

    But better than Episode VII? Nope. Rogue One is good, but Episode VII is very good.

    Episode VII has its problems, and it’s not quite great, but the characters have more substance to them — they’re more relatable, there’s an intensely human feel to them, they got charisma and great chemistry — and the narrative grabs you from the start. The story’s a too familiar, sure, and there are plot holes, of course, but it’s entertaining and interesting and has a wonderful forward momentum.

    By comparison, Rogue One has a cool opening scene but then kind of just crawls along and jumps around until the action finally picks up and the characters start doing exciting stuff in the 3rd act. And you never really care that much about the characters. The movie’s visually stunning and technically impressive — masterclass craftsmanship — and the premise is way cool, but, because the characters and story never quite grab you, the movie lacks the soul or whatever that Episode VII has. In short, it’s fun and impressive to look at but doesn’t pack the same emotional punch.

    And the music’s not that great either. Not that Episode VII shined in this either.

    And Darth Vader sounds old and tired. I’m sad to say this, but James Earl Jones’s voice has probably caught up with his age (85).

    What’re your reasons for ranking Rogue One the better of the two?

    Still, the loss of the amazing supporting characters, leading up to the final scenes, hit hard. K-2SO, Chirrut and Baze, Saw, Bodhi, they were all gut-punches to varying degrees.

    For me, K-2SO was maybe the only one who’s death really registered. He may have been the best character in the movie. After he bought it, none of the other deaths surprised or shocked. Not really. Which is perhaps the biggest failure of the movie.

    I think I was hit hardest (aside from K-2SO, which gave me a severe Short Circuit 2 flashback) by Galen’s sacrifice and ultimate death after finally managing to explain himself to his daughter. Possibly because I have daughters of my own, I don’t know about that. It struck a chord, but I’m not about to say it wouldn’t strike a chord with non-parents. We all have dads, to one degree or other. His revelation, and his death, were very poignant.

    Even though I get very emotional these days about dramatic father-daughter scenes, this one did not move me much. I just didn’t feel the connection between the characters. Like I said, these characters were all pretty flat. Maybe if the narrative had grabbed me from the start, I would’ve been more invested, flat characters or not.

    Not only that, but in the process he managed to correct a decades-old running joke about the fatal weakness of the Death Star. And it didn’t even seem like a big dumb fake retcon! It was really well done, very clever.

    Completely agreed.

    In general, the plot connections, the world connections, and how everything ultimately fit to the original movie and trilogy was really solid work.

    The cinematography was fucking spectacular. Particularly that vertigo-inducing final battle.

    Again, completely agreed. This is almost certainly the best-looking Star Wars movie to date. And the action scenes, especially in the 3rd act, are possibly the most inventive and well-shot of all the movies. (Too bad they lacked the proper emotional thrust.)

    The cast was great. Thanks Disney.

    Great actors for sure. Not used to their full abilities, though.

    K-2SO wasn’t the only character with actual character, but I think Brody can be forgiven for thinking so, given his starting position of “none of these characters have character”.

    For my part, I don’t think the characters completely lacked character. They weren’t Prequel Trilogy cardboards, after all. But they certainly had nowhere near the character and energy and chemistry and emotional intensity that the Episode VII characters had. I’m thinking there were too many characters, or too many characters got focus. I’d rather have taken a properly fleshed-out core few (Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, Orson Krennic) surrounded by sidekick cardboards than a part-way-fleshy-or-just-mostly-flat ensemble team.

    I was a little puzzled by the fact that Bodhi and the ship got blown up, did that not matter after the master switch had been thrown? I guess the upload was working at that point, so it didn’t need to stay plugged in? There were a lot of moving parts in that plan.

    I wondered about that as well. Need to pay more attention when I go see the movie again. In general, though, I think the plot worked and everything clicked into place pretty nicely in the 3rd act. Didn’t detect any big plot holes. Or even small ones.

    I’ve seen some people who were unhappy with the CGI recreations of Leia and Tarkin. I thought they were fucking magnificent. Already when they showed the back of Tarkin’s head and his reflection in the glass, I was impressed. Then he actually turned around and became a living, breathing villain again – and the villain Tarkin always deserved to be! Oh my fucking God, that shit was amazing. Cushing still kicking arse and taking names, 22 years after his death.

    Ditto Carrie Fisher, except she’s not dead and she was only on the screen for a really brief time. Still very good.

    I thought they were pretty awful. Especially Leia. Sure, the technology has come a long way, and Tarkin is probably the most impressive and life-like CGI character to date. But he still looked fake. Leia even more so. Both were painfully obviously digital renders — plastic — and that pulled me out of the movie so fucking hard. They should’ve used Tarkin more sparingly and/or hidden in shadow, and they should’ve shown Leia in a reflection at the most [1]. The filmmakers could’ve easily and elegantly worked around showing either without it seeming they were doing so. They could’ve even repurposed some old footage, like they did with the rebel pilots.

    ARGH.

    And Leia’s horrible smile at the end. Uncannily fake and emotionally so inappropriate.

    AAARRRGGGHHH.

    But perhaps there’s a difference between 2D and 3D?

    [1] For example, they could’ve just zoomed in on the memory unit changing hands a few times and finally landing on Leia’s. Then a back-shot and finally a front-shot reflection on a window. Roll credits.

    K-2SO elevated Star Wars droids. What are they? Are they sentient, and treated as a slave-class for reason of their physical makeup? Are they just complex machines with a semblance of sentience? They have absolutely no Asimov Laws to keep them from killing the shit out of everyone, and their personalities seem utterly dependent on their programming – I mean, to the extent that reprogramming one makes it a whole different character. They can be deactivated, traded, even destroyed on a whim.

    I’m not really sure where I’m heading with this, but K-2SO made it even more clear to me than before, that the droids in the Star Wars universe are some crazy, compelling shit.

    K-2SO clearly took a leaf or five from HK-47’s book. HK-47 was and perhaps still is the best droid character in the Star Wars universe. A sociopathic assassin from the Knights of the Old Republic video games.

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/HK-47

    “Statement: I see you have purchased me, master. I find this a satisfactory arrangement. Am I to accompany you now? Shall I kill something for you?”

    Your resistance is most entertaining, meatbag. I do want to thank you for all you have done for me up to this point. As a parting gift, you may tell me the name of some meatbag that you do not like and I will personally kill them. Oh why not, I’ll throw in the rest of their family for free. But first, we have a little business to settle ourselves.

    So good.

    • stchucky says:

      To be continued, since my phone can’t do this justice and my home PC is currently off the grid due to being between antivirus services. But I definitely will get to it.

      Quickly though, I think I was definitely excited and thought this was a better story than Episode VII, but in retrospect I think you’re right, Episode VII was a better movie overall. This one’s just fresher in my mind.

      And K-2SO was hands-down the best comic relief character in the entire franchise.

      I’ll justify the rest of my bold-arse claims later. But I need to see Episode VII again before making up my mind. And Rogue One again just because.

    • dreameling says:

      !! SPOILERS !!

      I should add that Vader’s final scene was the single coolest moment in the entire movie. Lightsabers and Force powers simply belong in a Star Wars movie. Everything’s always better with them.

      • stchucky says:

        I should add that Vader’s final scene was the single coolest moment in the entire movie. Lightsabers and Force powers simply belong in a Star Wars movie. Everything’s always better with them.

        Agreed, that was actually one of the most brutal and terrifying uses of Vader in the series. It made everything Prequel-Trilogy-Vader did seem lame, and he totally killed younglings in the Prequel Trilogy.

        Another amusing bit was that Leia’s ship was apparently in that Rebel cruiser when it got all fucked up by the Star Destroyer and just barely got away. Some hours (presumably) later, they catch her at tatooine and she has the nerve to say “only you would be so bold”.

        Like, it was bold of Vader to chase a ship that just attacked the shit out of an Imperial settlement and destroyed and stole a bunch of stuff and then fled the scene. The balls on Organa, man.

      • dreameling says:

        Let’s not pick that apart too much, because the seemingly clean fit between R1 and Episode IV might start to unravel. Even though Leia’s balls might still be enough.

      • stchucky says:

        I think it can be covered by her making a time-delaying attempt to bluff her way out of a situation by pretending they weren’t the ship he’d chased there from Scarif. Just to get Threepio and Artoo out of there.

        Now, the larger issue is that given how droids are basically sentient and a massive threat to security, why oh why do the life-detection systems not pick up their presence? That life pod should never have been read as empty and assumed to have fired off on its own. “Shit, there’s probably droids on board, better shoot it down in case they were reprogrammed to be terrorists.”

    • stchucky says:

      Episode VII was good, and Rogue One is better.

      Episode VII was Disney paying their Star Wars dues. Rogue One is Disney showing us what Star Wars can be.

      I agree in that Rogue One shows us that big-screen Star Wars can be more than just the Skywalker Saga. (This has already successfully been the case on the small screen and in pretty much every other available storytelling medium.)

      But better than Episode VII? Nope. Rogue One is good, but Episode VII is very good.

      I may have been overshooting in the attempt to show that the New Yorker hipster-pseudo-intellectual’s comment was way off, but on reflection (and still planning on watching both movies again), I did enjoy Rogue One more than Episode VII, although I admit Episode VII was a better movie in terms of the overall production.

      Not sure if that passes logic-inspection. I mean, there’s a difference between “good movie because they did everything right when making it”, and “good movie because I really enjoyed it.”

      I enjoy some pretty dodgy movies, regardless of how poorly executed they are. To me, those are better movies. But not better movies.

      Episode VII has its problems, and it’s not quite great, but the characters have more substance to them — they’re more relatable, there’s an intensely human feel to them, they got charisma and great chemistry — and the narrative grabs you from the start.

      I won’t reiterate what I said in the actual post about the characters, except to agree – they could have had way more charisma and chemistry.

      The narrative, I was actually more gripped by this one even though I knew where it had to end. I was wondering whether they were going to go all-out with the sacrifice needed for a small rebel group to take on a superpower. And they did. Lots of terrorist cells died.

      With Episode VII, on one level I didn’t know where it was heading (except of course the good guys were going to destroy the huge spherical war machine), but I wasn’t as gripped by it as I was by the interaction of the characters themselves. Not a complaint, just a reflection on the narrative itself.

      On another level, I couldn’t help going into Episode VII with a tense “okay, let’s see how much there’s going to be for the Star Wars fanboys to cry about this time” feeling. Again not really a complaint, just a bit of context that affected the way I saw the movie.

      Also, Rogue One didn’t have a big dumb CGI Gollum in it called Snoke. I thought you of all people would give it credit for that, after all your bitching!

      The story’s a too familiar, sure, and there are plot holes, of course, but it’s entertaining and interesting and has a wonderful forward momentum.

      Like I said a year ago (give or take), and here in this review too, I gave Episode VII a pass for its reiteration of Episode IV and Episode VI. They had to do that, to find their feet. It still happened, though.

      Now, they have found their feet and started to run with the stories. And I like that more.

      By comparison, Rogue One has a cool opening scene but then kind of just crawls along and jumps around until the action finally picks up and the characters start doing exciting stuff in the 3rd act. And you never really care that much about the characters. The movie’s visually stunning and technically impressive — masterclass craftsmanship — and the premise is way cool, but, because the characters and story never quite grab you, the movie lacks the soul or whatever that Episode VII has. In short, it’s fun and impressive to look at but doesn’t pack the same emotional punch.

      I didn’t get any sense of it crawling. I also didn’t think the opening scene was that cool – it could have been a lot more raw and dark, but maybe that’s the level they had to aim for. No complaints from me.

      A lot of the emotional punch comes from the characters – indeed, just about all of it. So yeah, that was a major failing for Rogue One.

      And the music’s not that great either. Not that Episode VII shined in this either.

      I liked the music.

      And Darth Vader sounds old and tired. I’m sad to say this, but James Earl Jones’s voice has probably caught up with his age (85).

      Didn’t notice anything wrong with Vader’s voice.

      What’re your reasons for ranking Rogue One the better of the two?

      Basically all that stuff I just said, and the fact that I don’t really agree with most of the criticisms you raised here. That just about accounts for it, I think. I mean, on the surface level.

      Still, the loss of the amazing supporting characters, leading up to the final scenes, hit hard. K-2SO, Chirrut and Baze, Saw, Bodhi, they were all gut-punches to varying degrees.

      For me, K-2SO was maybe the only one who’s death really registered. He may have been the best character in the movie. After he bought it, none of the other deaths surprised or shocked. Not really. Which is perhaps the biggest failure of the movie.

      I tend to agree.

      Even though I get very emotional these days about dramatic father-daughter scenes, this one did not move me much. I just didn’t feel the connection between the characters. Like I said, these characters were all pretty flat. Maybe if the narrative had grabbed me from the start, I would’ve been more invested, flat characters or not.

      It’s true, the father-mother-daughter dynamic wasn’t particularly well set up or executed. It was hard to tell just why mum pulled a blaster, why dad reacted to that the way he did, why he didn’t seem to react to her death … for that matter, if he was going to try to pass off this “mother died a while ago, kid doesn’t exist” lie, why did they not agree on it beforehand and a) have better hiding places set up, b) make fucking sure mum wasn’t going to show up with a blaster, and kid wasn’t going to be able to just wander up?

      And Mads didn’t exactly react very much when the whole shootout with mum happened, or when they found his kid. If it was his iron self-control that was keeping him from going berserk and getting everyone killed and the Death Star built without a weak spot, we probably needed to know at least the tip of that iceberg going in. Because as it was, there wasn’t even any conversation establishing the family dynamic, or the relationship with the Imperial commander when he showed up.

      In general, the plot connections, the world connections, and how everything ultimately fit to the original movie and trilogy was really solid work.

      *nod*

      The cinematography was fucking spectacular. Particularly that vertigo-inducing final battle.

      Again, completely agreed. This is almost certainly the best-looking Star Wars movie to date. And the action scenes, especially in the 3rd act, are possibly the most inventive and well-shot of all the movies. (Too bad they lacked the proper emotional thrust.)

      Yeah, it was actually a for-real Star War. We finally got to see one.

      Okay, we’ve seen a couple before. But this was the best one.

      The Imperial Walkers are still kinda dumb, though.

      The cast was great. Thanks Disney.

      Great actors for sure. Not used to their full abilities, though.

      Agreed.

      For my part, I don’t think the characters completely lacked character. They weren’t Prequel Trilogy cardboards, after all. But they certainly had nowhere near the character and energy and chemistry and emotional intensity that the Episode VII characters had. I’m thinking there were too many characters, or too many characters got focus. I’d rather have taken a properly fleshed-out core few (Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, Orson Krennic) surrounded by sidekick cardboards than a part-way-fleshy-or-just-mostly-flat ensemble team.

      Also agreed. They did try to fit a lot of stuff in there. Maybe that was a conscious decision to move away from the tight focus of the other movies? If so, it was probably a bit of a mistake. I mean, later on, aren’t they planning spin-off movies about some of the main characters? They’re still primarily character portrait stories. So the individuals are really important.

      I thought they were pretty awful. Especially Leia. Sure, the technology has come a long way, and Tarkin is probably the most impressive and life-like CGI character to date. But he still looked fake. Leia even more so. Both were painfully obviously digital renders — plastic — and that pulled me out of the movie so fucking hard. They should’ve used Tarkin more sparingly and/or hidden in shadow, and they should’ve shown Leia in a reflection at the most [1]. The filmmakers could’ve easily and elegantly worked around showing either without it seeming they were doing so. They could’ve even repurposed some old footage, like they did with the rebel pilots.

      Heh, oh, they did? Neat.

      Anyway, I noticed once or twice when Tarkin was talking, that he had a bit of a CGI-face. And Leia’s smile in particular. Still, didn’t bother me anywhere near enough to outweigh the holy-fuck-is-this-cool factor. I always wanted Tarkin to shine. Given that he was the only person to really get away with calling Vader a religious fanatic, I knew he was a badass.

      [1] For example, they could’ve just zoomed in on the memory unit changing hands a few times and finally landing on Leia’s. Then a back-shot and finally a front-shot reflection on a window. Roll credits.

      Woulda been neat.

      K-2SO clearly took a leaf or five from HK-47’s book. HK-47 was and perhaps still is the best droid character in the Star Wars universe. A sociopathic assassin from the Knights of the Old Republic video games.

      http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/HK-47http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/HK-47

      Gold.

      “Statement: I see you have purchased me, master. I find this a satisfactory arrangement. Am I to accompany you now? Shall I kill something for you?”

      Your resistance is most entertaining, meatbag. I do want to thank you for all you have done for me up to this point. As a parting gift, you may tell me the name of some meatbag that you do not like and I will personally kill them. Oh why not, I’ll throw in the rest of their family for free. But first, we have a little business to settle ourselves.

      So good.

      Aww, he actually used “meatbag”? I wonder if Bender did that first, or this guy? Too lazy to research.

  4. stchucky says:

    Alright, now I have watched the movie a second time and also listened to the Half in the Bag episode about the movie:

    I found myself disagreeing with most of what they said here, it seemed like a lot of spoiled complaining about nothing and I lose patience with that shit really fast in movie reviews. I think we established this with the earlier incarnations of Plinkett’s movie rants. At least he made them funny. This is just the Dark Side of the entitled fanboy Force.

    I think their main complaint, that the characters were boring and not at all compelling or the sort of people you want to root for, had a lot of merit. Big surprise, I agree with the parts I agree with them on.

    On second viewing, I was even more bugged by how dull the characters were – almost every line every one of them spoke was a sort of breathy, I’m-so-intense whisper, yet seemed to lack any actual emotion. I can only assume they were under direction to not make their delivery too bold or comical or anything, because they were going for a grim, gritty tone to set this movie aside from the main sequence. The alternative – that these actors are all that sucky – is frankly unbelievable.

    For the most part, this was why I liked K’s character. The robot got to deliver his lines in a bold, Star Wars outside-voice. His actual lines, on second viewing … ehh. They were still funny – two or three of them were absolutely hilarious, and all perfectly timed, as was his physical humour – but they lost some impact and I noticed his unnecessarily overstated punchlines more. Most of it, as I say, was just down to the fact that he got to have a proper voice.

    On the positive side, I was looking more closely for things to notice and like about the characters. Subtle interactions, facial expressions, comments and body language. Knowing that they weren’t “proper Star Wars” performances as we know them, I looked for more stuff – and it was kinda there. I did notice more about their performances, and while Jyn and Cassian still didn’t have much chemistry, a lot of the other characters put in some great interactions. They were just really, really downplayed. Which says good things about their acting chops, but it was maybe a mistake in this movie.

    I do rather agree with Half in the Bag that this could have been an Ocean’s n heist movie, with characters as clever and colourful as in those movies, and a bunch of fun spies-and-saboteurs stuff in there, and it would have been a much more enjoyable movie. I still enjoyed it, but I am not in any great rush to see it a third time. If I could afford a movie ticket and two-and-a-half hours right now, I’d see Deadpool or Episode VII again, but not Rogue One.

    I also noticed the Tarkin and Leia CGIery more this time around, but I still wasn’t all that worried by it. And I still don’t get the objections to Vader.

    But then, I guess I am a fat, bearded, 38-year-old man. So it’s no wonder I enjoyed the movie. Never realised I was a Star Wars neckbeard. Thanks Red Letter.

    • dreameling says:

      Agreed, that was actually one of the most brutal and terrifying uses of Vader in the series. It made everything Prequel-Trilogy-Vader did seem lame, and he totally killed younglings in the Prequel Trilogy.

      If not the most. I don’t think there’s anything even in the Original Trilogy where Vader goes for that level of on-screen brutality. It felt like a new kind of ruthless and efficient lightsaber and Force combo-use in live-action Star Wars. I want to see more. They better go for more skilled and elaborate Force-lightsaber fighting in Episodes VIII and IX.

      Let’s not pick that apart too much, because the seemingly clean fit between R1 and Episode IV might start to unravel. Even though Leia’s balls might still be enough.

      I think it can be covered by her making a time-delaying attempt to bluff her way out of a situation by pretending they weren’t the ship he’d chased there from Scarif. Just to get Threepio and Artoo out of there.

      Yeah, that works. In fact, of course it works, because that’s what we see in Episode IV. Even without the R1 context, Leia obviously bluffs and bullshits and stalls for time with Vader. Her objections are just very convincingly delivered. (Funnily, I’ve always felt that her objections were too honest, as though she forgot that she just put the stolen plans in a droid and sent it on its way. It’s like they shot the Vader scene first, and only then gave Fisher the script for the preceding scene with R2 and shot that.)

      I may have been overshooting in the attempt to show that the New Yorker hipster-pseudo-intellectual’s comment was way off, but on reflection (and still planning on watching both movies again), I did enjoy Rogue One more than Episode VII, although I admit Episode VII was a better movie in terms of the overall production.

      Not sure if that passes logic-inspection. I mean, there’s a difference between “good movie because they did everything right when making it”, and “good movie because I really enjoyed it.”

      It’s not like I’m that consistent either. Depending on the movie, different things have different weight against what makes the movie good. Sometimes I value characters more, sometimes structure, sometimes style, sometimes simply how much fun I had for whatever reason.

      The narrative, I was actually more gripped by this one even though I knew where it had to end. I was wondering whether they were going to go all-out with the sacrifice needed for a small rebel group to take on a superpower. And they did. Lots of terrorist cells died.

      With Episode VII, on one level I didn’t know where it was heading (except of course the good guys were going to destroy the huge spherical war machine), but I wasn’t as gripped by it as I was by the interaction of the characters themselves. Not a complaint, just a reflection on the narrative itself.

      I’m not exactly sure what specifically failed to grab me in R1’s narrative, especially in the beginning. On the one hand, after we were introduced to the adult Jyn, the story seemed to just plod along without any energy or momentum. On the other hand, the story jumped around too much and didn’t let the locations and scenes develop and breath. Paradoxical, but so it went for me. The character introductions and setups were also kind of perfunctory.

      It could even be that because the characters fell on the flatter side for me, that overshadowed everything else. If you don’t care about the characters, why would you care about their story? Even if that story was in itself interesting and the narrative was solidly structured.

      Also, Rogue One didn’t have a big dumb CGI Gollum in it called Snoke. I thought you of all people would give it credit for that, after all your bitching!

      Dude, that’s a minus for Episode VII. I’m not gonna applaud R1 for something that was never a thing for it. That’d be like giving me points as a man for not having a vagina.

      And R1 did have Tarkin and Leia. CGI monstrosities.

      Now, they have found their feet and started to run with the stories. And I like that more.

      To be fair, this was still very much predicated on an existing Star Wars movie. Subordinate, if you will. Hell, a prequel. It ultimately had to match an existing thing. To me, Episode VIII is where they really get to (or goddamn well should) run with it. They really need to make that more new than anything that’s come before. (While, of course, still making sure it looks and feels like Star Wars. I’m sure it’s a piece of cake.)

      And I really hope they make these anthology movies about present-time characters and stories as well. I don’t just wanna see prequels setting up stuff we already know the endings to.

      I liked the music.

      As good as the Original Trilogy or the Prequels?

      Didn’t notice anything wrong with Vader’s voice.

      OK. Right.

      You need to check your ears for wax, dude.

      The Imperial Walkers are still kinda dumb, though.

      I know. But they’re so cool! Like huge tanks. BUT THEY WALK!

      Alright, now I have watched the movie a second time and also listened to the Half in the Bag episode about the movie:

      I found myself disagreeing with most of what they said here, it seemed like a lot of spoiled complaining about nothing and I lose patience with that shit really fast in movie reviews. I think we established this with the earlier incarnations of Plinkett’s movie rants. At least he made them funny. This is just the Dark Side of the entitled fanboy Force.

      They clearly had a more negative response to the movie than I did, but I found myself agreeing with most of their criticism. I just didn’t interpret the same failings with as much weight as they did. And, as usual, they argued the points well (amidst all the mostly fake fanboy bitching; these guys are more Star Trek fans).

      I also noticed the Tarkin and Leia CGIery more this time around, but I still wasn’t all that worried by it. And I still don’t get the objections to Vader.

      I also liked Vader. The fortress scene with the toady servant and the medical tank thingie was cool, and the end melee was fucking awesome. Vader was rightly part of this movie, I think. That is, not shoehorned.

      But then, I guess I am a fat, bearded, 38-year-old man. So it’s no wonder I enjoyed the movie. Never realised I was a Star Wars neckbeard. Thanks Red Letter.

      You’re not fat. And stop being so bitchy about Red Letter. They have their style (which you just need to accept if you follow them) and they do good film criticism because they understand the medium. Unlike most film review yahoos you see on YouTube.

      • stchucky says:

        It felt like a new kind of ruthless and efficient lightsaber and Force combo-use in live-action Star Wars. I want to see more. They better go for more skilled and elaborate Force-lightsaber fighting in Episodes VIII and IX.

        Agreed. I guess you’re still hopeful about up-coming episodes, which is something.

        I, on the other hand, have had my optimism nothing but encouraged by the last two movies.

        It’s good to be me. You know, being happy. It’s one of those cool superpowers where, if you combine it just right with a solid misanthropy stat, it’s actually made more powerful by other people being unsatisfied.

        Even without the R1 context, Leia obviously bluffs and bullshits and stalls for time with Vader. Her objections are just very convincingly delivered.

        And Vader’s “don’t even try, sweetheart” response is perfect.

        (Funnily, I’ve always felt that her objections were too honest, as though she forgot that she just put the stolen plans in a droid and sent it on its way. It’s like they shot the Vader scene first, and only then gave Fisher the script for the preceding scene with R2 and shot that.)

        But nope, just a pathological liar.

        I’m not exactly sure what specifically failed to grab me in R1’s narrative, especially in the beginning. On the one hand, after we were introduced to the adult Jyn, the story seemed to just plod along without any energy or momentum. On the other hand, the story jumped around too much and didn’t let the locations and scenes develop and breath. Paradoxical, but so it went for me. The character introductions and setups were also kind of perfunctory.

        Where Red Letter did have a good point was their mention of the Ocean’s n movies. Rogue One could have benefited from a 60- to 90-second introduction to each of the main players on the Rogue One[1] team, as they did in Ocean’s Eleven. Just a slam-intro, say, of the temple at Jedha being sacked so we could see the life’s work and motivation of Chirrut and Baze, and their partnership; a previous mission of Bodhi’s leading into his defection (this could also have served to improve Galen’s character); plus a half-dozen of the others if they needed to be there[2]. Cassian’s opening scene, where he shoots a pair of Stormtroopers and then his informant, was actually one of the better intros but it still could have been spiced up. It was painted with the same hushed-voice me-so-intense dullness (or, in fairness, over-subtlety[3]) as the rest of his scenes.

        [1] Referring to the ship / mission at this point. See, italics and underline for the movie, plain italics for ship names, series names, and so on. I should write a style guide.

        [2] And arguably they did, because there needed to be more than four Rebels on the Rogue One team if they were going to run interference and have firefights at Scarif. What would have been neat, in that case, would have been to cut away occasionally to other threads, where these guys are all doing shit leading up to the Rebel Alliance meeting where they decided to join the Rogue One cell. Thus the attack on Scarif would have brought that whole set of threads together, and the Rebel fleet in space above.

        [3] He wasn’t a swashbuckling wisecracker out to make war and terrorism / freedom fighting look fun, and I sort of approve that choice. And he did successfully avoid the broody war-victim who’s Seen Some Shit. Although (again, arguably) not by much. He could have avoided it more. Just not sure where else his character could have gone. He was a stone cold killer. Maybe they could have combined his character with Saw’s and gone the extremist route? I guess that’s sort of where they did go, but erred on the side of caution by making him not as “evil terrorist” as Saw was. Plus, if they’d combined the characters, Jyn’s daddy issues would have been freaky. So. Hmm.

        An action-packed intro to each character would have added maybe 10 minutes to the movie (probably more if my footnote #2 above is taken into account, but that could have been added while other pointless stuff was cut), and I for one would have welcomed them. Especially if it gave those characters an attendant boost in their delivery.

        But yeah, we all know how to make a perfect movie. Why are we not making them?

        It could even be that because the characters fell on the flatter side for me, that overshadowed everything else. If you don’t care about the characters, why would you care about their story? Even if that story was in itself interesting and the narrative was solidly structured.

        See, if that’s the case, just tweaking an intro for each one would have changed the whole movie. The trick of course would be to Ocean’s n that shit, and not Suicide Squad it.

        Also, Rogue One didn’t have a big dumb CGI Gollum in it called Snoke. I thought you of all people would give it credit for that, after all your bitching!

        Dude, that’s a minus for Episode VII. I’m not gonna applaud R1 for something that was never a thing for it. That’d be like giving me points as a man for not having a vagina.

        That was one of the weirder similes in the history of the blog.

        But okay, the villain was a human with a sensible name. Does it make a difference to phrase it positively instead of anti-negatively? I’m just saying, you’re citing reasons Episode VII was better than Rogue One, so I figured it made sense to cite a reason Rogue One was better than Episode VII. Because you really did bitch about that element of the movie.

        Possibly, admittedly, out of a lack of other things to bitch about. I don’t know.

        And R1 did have Tarkin and Leia. CGI monstrosities.

        Pff. I noticed them more the second time, but still wasn’t bothered by them. I was pleased enough with Tarkin’s role that I could easily overlook the shortcomings in his recreation. It was better with him than it would have been without him.

        Now, could they have done Leia subtle-reflection-style? Yes. That would have been better.

        Now, they have found their feet and started to run with the stories. And I like that more.

        To be fair, this was still very much predicated on an existing Star Wars movie. Subordinate, if you will. Hell, a prequel. It ultimately had to match an existing thing.

        For this, I am going to request Mr. BRKN – uninterested in Star Wars and not invested in any of the other movies – to weigh in on how it stood alone.

        I think the dependence of this movie on the existing franchise was as much as the viewer wanted that dependence to be. We’re long-time multiple-viewers, we know the story inside out, and so clearly we see all the references and nods and connections. Doesn’t make them anything but window-dressing.

        But I won’t put words in Mr. BRKN’s mouth. I’m curious what he thought – we didn’t have much time to discuss it the other day after the movie, but he didn’t come out going “what the fuck did I just watch?” so there’s that.

        To me, Episode VIII is where they really get to (or goddamn well should) run with it. They really need to make that more new than anything that’s come before. (While, of course, still making sure it looks and feels like Star Wars. I’m sure it’s a piece of cake.)

        Hah, sure it is.

        For my part, I’m not going to make ultimatums about what they need to do right next time. They’ve gotten it right enough times in Episode VII and Rogue One to earn my trust that they know what they’re doing. Opinions to the contrary only intensify my gratification.

        And I really hope they make these anthology movies about present-time characters and stories as well. I don’t just wanna see prequels setting up stuff we already know the endings to.

        Well, they’re doing Han Solo, this we know.

        Other than that, I think it’s safe to say that Star Wars fans will continue going to see Star Wars movies, so Disney would be idiots not to make … what’s present-time? Contemporary with Episode VII+? … yeah, I think there’s plenty of other Star Wars Stories in the well. Disney aren’t idiots.

        I liked the music.

        As good as the Original Trilogy or the Prequels?

        Wee-ee-ee-ll…

        I mean, given that the original score has the classic Luke/Leia theme and the Imperial March, those can’t be beaten … but then Episode I actually had that cool Duel of the Fates theme that was really good. And okay, there was nothing quite so memorable in Rogue One. The ones that stood out on second viewing were the ones where Original Trilogy themes emerged, for example, with Vader.

        Still, I solid liked the entire score this time around, so I can’t count it as a negative any more than you can count an absence of Snoke as a positive. But perhaps, in accordance with my counter-proposal re: Snoke, I can concede here that the score (like the characters) could have been improved with some stand-out piece or pieces. I didn’t dislike it, but it was still not quite on the level of the Original Trilogy.

        However, we’re super-jaded and have had almost our entire lives to learn to love those themes. And also, Episode VII didn’t have any stand-out themes either. So.

        Didn’t notice anything wrong with Vader’s voice.

        OK. Right.

        You need to check your ears for wax, dude.

        Second viewing, still no.

        Look at it this way. They used someone else for Cushing’s voice, because a) he’s deeeeeeeaaad and b) compiling clips of his recorded voice would have been an editorial and probably legal nightmare. I thought it was close, but Mrs. Hatboy (a classic Cushing fan) disliked that particular element of his recreation. Can you even imagine the screams if they’d gotten Hayden Whatsisface to do the voice? Or even autotuned or otherwise altered James Earl Jones’s (more than it already was)? Or used some impersonator’s voice?

        No, all y’all would’ve bitched about it whatever happened, so Imma just let you bitch and go back to my earlier statement, specifically how nice and satisfying it is to be me, and to be happy.

        I also liked Vader. The fortress scene with the toady servant and the medical tank thingie was cool, and the end melee was fucking awesome. Vader was rightly part of this movie, I think.

        Except James Earl Jones, you wanted to get rid of him. Fucker. I see you. I fucking see you.

        That is, not shoehorned.

        Bahahahaha!

        But then, I guess I am a fat, bearded, 38-year-old man. So it’s no wonder I enjoyed the movie. Never realised I was a Star Wars neckbeard. Thanks Red Letter.

        You’re not fat.

        Well, I’m not Hindleberg[4] fat. But I am fat.

        [4] Proprietary Hatboy’s Hatstand™ original joke, property of hatboy.blog. That’s what you get for sabotaging my blog threads using WhatsApp, bitch. Should’ve patented that shit. Boom.

        And stop being so bitchy about Red Letter. They have their style (which you just need to accept if you follow them) and they do good film criticism because they understand the medium.

        I don’t follow them. Their videos just get dumped into my movie reviews every time my readership can’t be bothered having opinions of their own!

        I kid, I wasn’t really upset by their jokes about Star Wars fanboys, since I don’t really consider myself to be one anyway. I’m really more of a multi-denominational nerd than any specific kind of fanboy. I’m sure there would have been more for me to be upset about in the movie, if I was one.

        Which is sort of what you were suggesting, wasn’t it? Red Letter were saying that only hardcore fanboys would oh-hoh-hoh in Jabba-esque approval at this movie, while lightweights (on every level) would be left cold by it? Whereas in your opinion, as a Star Wars fan, you were left cold by the movie while casual viewers (not necessarily me, I know, but incidentally me) would like it?

        Well, I had a chuckle at it and I do like their stuff, but in this case nope. I don’t agree with them about much except the characters. Admittedly, though, that is a huge and interwoven part of the movie and can extend to mean almost anything in the movie’s production.

        Unlike most film review yahoos you see on YouTube.

        I don’t pay any damn attention to them either, except to have a laugh.

        Like my Hindleberg joke. That was pretty fucking aces, wasn’t it?

      • dreameling says:

        Agreed. I guess you’re still hopeful about up-coming episodes, which is something.

        I, on the other hand, have had my optimism nothing but encouraged by the last two movies.

        No, I’m quite optimistic about them, too. R1 was good. TFA was really good. What’s not to be optimistic about? Just because I can be really critical about something doesn’t mean I can’t also love it (or parts thereof).

        Where Red Letter did have a good point was their mention of the Ocean’s n movies. Rogue One could have benefited from a 60- to 90-second introduction to each of the main players on the Rogue One[1] team, as they did in Ocean’s Eleven. Just a slam-intro, say, of the temple at Jedha being sacked so we could see the life’s work and motivation of Chirrut and Baze, and their partnership; a previous mission of Bodhi’s leading into his defection (this could also have served to improve Galen’s character); plus a half-dozen of the others if they needed to be there[2].

        Agreed. That would’ve been an improvement. Also, as Plinkett mentions in one of the R1 videos, simply adding some/more dialogue/reactions/interactions between the characters in action scenes would’ve fleshed them out nicely. Small character details can be enough.

        Cassian’s opening scene, where he shoots a pair of Stormtroopers and then his informant, was actually one of the better intros but it still could have been spiced up. It was painted with the same hushed-voice me-so-intense dullness (or, in fairness, over-subtlety[3]) as the rest of his scenes.

        Maybe it was the hushed voice, but Cassian’s intro felt really understated. It was also boringly set up, to my mind.

        But yeah, we all know how to make a perfect movie. Why are we not making them?

        Doesn’t mean we can’t review and criticize the shit out of movies.

        Dude, that’s a minus for Episode VII. I’m not gonna applaud R1 for something that was never a thing for it. That’d be like giving me points as a man for not having a vagina.

        That was one of the weirder similes in the history of the blog.

        I’m very proud.

        But okay, the villain was a human with a sensible name. Does it make a difference to phrase it positively instead of anti-negatively? I’m just saying, you’re citing reasons Episode VII was better than Rogue One, so I figured it made sense to cite a reason Rogue One was better than Episode VII. Because you really did bitch about that element of the movie.

        I get your point, but since a silly CGI villain is not an element of R1, I just don’t see it as earning a lot of points simply for not including one.

        For my part, I’m not going to make ultimatums about what they need to do right next time. They’ve gotten it right enough times in Episode VII and Rogue One to earn my trust that they know what they’re doing. Opinions to the contrary only intensify my gratification.

        I’m not making ultimatums either, but I do like making wish lists of stuff I’d like to see.

        However, we’re super-jaded and have had almost our entire lives to learn to love those themes. And also, Episode VII didn’t have any stand-out themes either. So.

        Like I said, Episode VII did not shine here either. (With the exception of Ray’s theme, which is just lovely and magical.)

        For the record, the music from the Original Trilogy is not my favorite movie music of all time, and John Williams has never been one of my favorite composers. The OT music is often wonderful and many of the themes are obviously iconic by now, and Williams has done a lot of memorable and wonderful stuff, but there’s better stuff out there. For me, in the Star Wars context, Williams actually did his best work in Episode I.

        I don’t think I’m quite in love with Star Wars music. A couple of individual scores, sure, but as a whole, no.

        Except James Earl Jones, you wanted to get rid of him. Fucker. I see you. I fucking see you.

        I DID NOT.

        I just said he sounded old.

        You’re not fat.

        Well, I’m not Hindleberg[4] fat. But I am fat.

        [4] Proprietary Hatboy’s Hatstand™ original joke, property of hatboy.blog. That’s what you get for sabotaging my blog threads using WhatsApp, bitch. Should’ve patented that shit. Boom.

        Motherfucker.

        Like my Hindleberg joke. That was pretty fucking aces, wasn’t it?

        You fat bastard.

      • stchucky says:

        Agreed. I guess you’re still hopeful about up-coming episodes, which is something.

        I, on the other hand, have had my optimism nothing but encouraged by the last two movies.

        No, I’m quite optimistic about them, too. R1 was good. TFA was really good. What’s not to be optimistic about? Just because I can be really critical about something doesn’t mean I can’t also love it (or parts thereof).

        Okay, but that’s not really countering what I said. I did say you were still hopeful (a simile for optimism, although I concede that rebellions aren’t built on optimism).

        I’m just saying that unlike you (or at least the impression I’ve gotten about your experience), I have been nothing but encouraged by the last two movies. Say “I thought they were fine but” all you like, but your comments about the movies have really given me the impression that you have been, yes, encouraged in contrast to Episodes I, II and III, but that you were also underwhelmed, disappointed, and had some expectations of improvement.

        That really doesn’t seem arguable from where I’m sitting. And, obviously, that’s totally fine! It’s just a point of minor dissagreement, probably more nitpicky than any actual problems the critics have raised about this movie.

        Now, on my side, yes, I think they could have done the characters and interactions a bit better. Maybe I’m just not properly explaining how this didn’t disappoint me, though. I’m not going to be disappointed in the least if the next movie, be it Episode VIII or another Story, is put together the same way as Rogue One. If you feel the same way, and don’t have any problem with it, I just didn’t get that impression.

        Agreed. That would’ve been an improvement. Also, as Plinkett mentions in one of the R1 videos, simply adding some/more dialogue/reactions/interactions between the characters in action scenes would’ve fleshed them out nicely. Small character details can be enough.

        I found myself disagreeing with a lot of what Plinkett said in his “check these three boxes” video[1]…

        …but what I did agree on was how clinical the action scenes were – this was all down to the original characters having more character, more quirks and interaction. I guess they didn’t want to do that here, because it would have lightened the struggle which was meant to be gritty. Sure, a mis-step considering the importance most viewers seem to have placed on the characterisation – but not a critical one.

        [1] For example, I don’t give a shit about his snide mutterings regarding the Disney conglomerate, it has absolutely no bearing on the quality of the movie; I don’t give a shit about the explosions (why does he represent the “this was the best Star Wars ever” camp as only saying so because of the action and explosions? Fuck it, I’m with them, piss on this pizza-roll-scarfing prostitute-killer); I disagree that Episode VII lacked story due to its rehashing of Episode IV; I don’t agree that the lack of context makes it fail as a stand-alone movie, but neither I nor Plinkett are qualified to comment on that, I’ll take Mr. BRKN’s word for how it worked and even he isn’t a complete blank Star Wars slate; I disagree that the ending was unsatisfying or that there was no investment without the expanded context, but again neither I nor Plinkett can make that call. All in all it was just more dumping on the audience who was going to get the most out of this movie – note, not the only audience, not the intended audience. Just the audience most likely to get all the levels. What, we’re supposed to feel bad for following a franchise, knowing a lot of details about it, then appreciating a movie made to provide us with Moments? Fuck that and fuck anyone who even implies we should do so. Self-hating sci-fi nerds are the worst.

        I started out agreeing with him about why the Rebellion didn’t straight-up attack the Death Star in this movie, but the answer to that is pretty obvious. They might have, but the Imperial Fleet turned up and murdered the fuck out of everybody, and Leia barely got away with the plans which would have required some analysis since there wasn’t a clear “here’s the trench, here’s the vent, shoot a missile down there” instruction, which yes, to be fair, Galen could have put in a 100KB attachment to his giant hologram, let alone the massive solid-state data tape thing they ended up stealing[2] … but the point is, they didn’t have time to analyse the plans and come up with an attack. Leia barely got the plans into Artoo and away onto Tatooine. The whole thing kicked off as quickly as it could, given the fuck-up that was the Scarif attack. This objection was some bullshit.

        [2] Except, you know, he couldn’t, because he wanted to remain undiscovered and for the weakness to not be found. I imagine that only after a certain amount of study would that precise route to the weakness be established. Which makes a lot of sense considering the long game Galen was playing. A long game is often ruined by a too-hasty conclusion.

        It all just came off as a forced list of nitpicks to make the movie sound worse than it was and to excuse Plinkett’s refusal to check any of the boxes. But oh well. Don’t care.

        Cassian’s opening scene, where he shoots a pair of Stormtroopers and then his informant, was actually one of the better intros but it still could have been spiced up. It was painted with the same hushed-voice me-so-intense dullness (or, in fairness, over-subtlety[3]) as the rest of his scenes.

        Maybe it was the hushed voice, but Cassian’s intro felt really understated. It was also boringly set up, to my mind.

        True. To be honest, I kinda saw his murder of the informant coming a mile away, and wasn’t at all shocked or upset (or whatever) when he did it. It didn’t give me a great deal of respect for the character, but I got that his motivations were “at all costs”.

        And to be honest again, I was most excited when Mon Mothma (I think) was talking about Saw, and how he was an extremist who parted ways with the Rebellion because they were too namby-pamby. I thought, “well if the Rebellion has people like Cassian and Saw thinks they’re too soft, Saw’s going to be totally awesome.” And this was sort of borne out by the way he fucked over the pilot (honestly thought that was going somewhere darker, and am still puzzled by how the pilot managed to recover his mind), but in the end it sort of petered out and then that whole plot thread was destroyed anyway.

        Not necessarily bad, because it gave us a chance to see the Death Star test-firing, but yeah. Could’ve been handled better. Saw would have ended up stealing the show from Jyn though. Maybe she should have taken on more of the upbringing he’d provided her with, shown more of that child-soldier best-in-the-cadre that Mr. BRKN mentioned. Hard to make her likeable, but that seemed to be a challenge anyway.

        But yeah, we all know how to make a perfect movie. Why are we not making them?

        Doesn’t mean we can’t review and criticize the shit out of movies.

        Fair. And I don’t mean to blow your criticisms out of proportion and react like I loved the movie and you hated it.

        I hear you, we both “quite liked the movie”, I think it’s fair to say. I’m just less inclined to worry about the issues in this case. I think for me it all boils dowwn to the characters not being done well enough, and that’s plenty. But, again, it is sort of dependent on an expectation of “Star Wars characters” that, if you start from a position like “desperate freedom fighters” or “child soldiers” or “victims of fascist regime”, might leave you with a different view of them.

        Like I said, on second viewing I was looking more carefully for subtle cues since I knew there weren’t any big laughs (aside from K2, and even he was far more understated than C-3PO), and I did find them. Maybe it was only because I saw what I wanted to see, though. Not sure.

        But okay, the villain was a human with a sensible name. Does it make a difference to phrase it positively instead of anti-negatively? I’m just saying, you’re citing reasons Episode VII was better than Rogue One, so I figured it made sense to cite a reason Rogue One was better than Episode VII. Because you really did bitch about that element of the movie.

        I get your point, but since a silly CGI villain is not an element of R1, I just don’t see it as earning a lot of points simply for not including one.

        Again not really addressing what I said, since I was talking purely about the whole wacky-character-silly-name package. The heroes and villains here were all largely human, and all had sensible names within the slightly-goofy Star Wars lexicon.

        For my part, I’m not going to make ultimatums about what they need to do right next time. They’ve gotten it right enough times in Episode VII and Rogue One to earn my trust that they know what they’re doing. Opinions to the contrary only intensify my gratification.

        I’m not making ultimatums either, but I do like making wish lists of stuff I’d like to see.

        You totally ultimatum’d.

        To me, Episode VIII is where they really get to (or goddamn well should) run with it. They really need to make that more new than anything that’s come before.

        See? That’s not a wish-list, that’s a cut-out-letters-from-magazines-pasted-on-a-paper-wrapped-around-a-brick-and-thrown-through-Disney’s-front-window.

        Shame on you. Smashing Disney’s front window. They bring nothing but joy into the world.

        *shakes head sadly*

        Except James Earl Jones, you wanted to get rid of him. Fucker. I see you. I fucking see you.

        I DID NOT.

        I just said he sounded old.

        Mm hm. And it was part of your laundry-list of death-by-a-thousand-cuts criticisms, and I’m not having it.

        Well, I’m not Hindleberg[4] fat. But I am fat.

        [4] Proprietary Hatboy’s Hatstand™ original joke, property of hatboy.blog. That’s what you get for sabotaging my blog threads using WhatsApp, bitch. Should’ve patented that shit. Boom.

        Motherfucker.

        Boom.

        Like my Hindleberg joke. That was pretty fucking aces, wasn’t it?

        You fat bastard.

        *snicker*

      • stchucky says:

        Except James Earl Jones, you wanted to get rid of him. Fucker. I see you. I fucking see you.

        I DID NOT.

        I just said he sounded old.

        Would this be a good place to remind you about that dream you had about a young James Earl Jones?

        No? Too bad.

  5. brknwntr says:

    OK, you both have opinions, a lot of opinions. I scanned dreameling’s first post, so I would know what you guys were discussing, but nothing else. Not because TL:DR, but because I am offering my own opinions on SOME of these topics.

    In no particular order, or compiling method:

    A) I couldn’t tell that they were CGI.

    Hatboy can attest that I assumed Leia was a digitally remastered scene from the original trilogy, obviously Carrie Fisher doesn’t look like that anymore, but nothing about it rang as ENTIRELY FAKE to me. I just assumed it had been touched up to match the cinemetography and colors of this newest film.

    Hatboy can also attest that due to cultural references, I knew kinda sorta that the guy in charge of the Death Star was a dick. However I thought he was the dick in white [Krennic – Ed]. When the dick in gray [Tarkin – Ed] had his first scene with his face fully revealed I was like, “ohhh, no, it’s that guy.” However I didn’t know the actor [Peter Cushing – Ed], honestly I’ve never heard of him, and I didn’t know he was dead. I couldn’t tell he was CGI though. Maybe knowing he was dead would have pulled me out of the film experience, maybe not, I can’t tell you. But maybe that colored your perception of the CGI effects?

    B) I did not like the female lead [Jyn Erso / Felicity Jones – Ed].

    Someone, I’m not sure who [my sister-in-law Bella – Ed], expressed to me that her performance was very one-dimensional and her face never changed, BEFORE the film. I have to agree with that, but I don’t know if I would have felt that way without that statement. I DO feel that her character SHOULD be fairly one dimensional. She is a screwed up individual. She watched her mother be killed at a young age, her father taken away, her guardian was CLEARLY a troubled soul, and she was raised to be a child soilder [soldier. But LOL leaving it – Ed]. Have you ever seen what that does to a kid? Saw said it himself, “you were my best soilder and you were only 16.” And then the one thing that was her “normal” was taken away when he abandoned her. That will leave you all kinds of screwed in the head.

    C) I liked the ending.

    It seemed to me that they didn’t all need to die. They were after all quite minor characthers in the Skywalker storyline. However Jyn would have been someone who would have been more important, so I can see her needing to die. Or at least it was an ending I could live with. What I really liked though, was that they simply held hands and then hugged as the destruction was approaching. That chimed real with me. NO forced kissing, no sudden declarations of affection, or “I’m glad im here with you.” A simple acknowledgement that this was the end, but that there was a peace to be found there. That really spoke to me, although my veiws on this topic are skewed in the extreme.

    D) Forest Whiti(however the heck you spell it) [Forest Whitaker – Ed] was an utter waste.

    In reality the only thing I felt he brought to the role was that his one eye cocks off to the side and that fit the overall appearence. He had two scenes, and they could have been filled by anybody, or even some more of that CGI.

    E) Mads I liked, his role was abbreviated, and it was strange to see him in a fatherly capacity, but I felt he did OK at it.

    Although the death didn’t impact me. In a large part, though, I think that’s becasue I didn’t feel like it went more than surface deep for Jyn. Which seemed fitting for me. She didn’t HAVE a father, she had an idea, some good memories, and a sense of loss. The death of Saw impacted her far more because she was more invested. However, that IDEA of a father drove her forward.

    F) Overall, the film was good-ish.

    I didn’t feel it was epic, I didn’t feel it was a huge driving point in my life and it hasn’t pushed me to go watch other Star Wars movies. I will watch others following this one, and I will probably be willing to watch them in the theater, but I won’t be devastated if I miss them and see them on TV 2 years later. It was good for a night out with my friends, on a day I really needed that [Aww – Ed]. Anything would have filled in equally well.

    G) I liked Cassian, but he should have shot her father.

    Tactically, it was the right thing to do, and the fact that he didn’t annoyed me mid-film. Granted, it did serve to highlight his changing moral compass and how he was veiwing his role in the Rebellion. But it felt like he did it for Jyn, not for himself. I didn’t like that.

    H) James Earl Jones sounded normal to me, but I’ve never seen the original trilogy, so I’m not sure if they modulated his voice differently somehow in those. Sure sounded like Darth Vader from clips I’ve seen, though.

    That’s pretty much it.

    • stchucky says:

      OK, you both have opinions, a lot of opinions.

      Yes. Yes we do.

      A) I couldn’t tell that they were CGI.

      Huh, that’s really interesting. Obviously we could tell because we knew Cushing/Tarkin, but … huh. That’s cool. It was the best CGI human-work I’ve ever seen.

      Hatboy can attest that I assumed Leia was a digitally remastered scene from the original trilogy, obviously Carrie Fisher doesn’t look like that anymore, but nothing about it rang as ENTIRELY FAKE to me. I just assumed it had been touched up to match the cinemetography and colors of this newest film.

      *nod* Yep.

      Hatboy can also attest that due to cultural references, I knew kinda sorta that the guy in charge of the Death Star was a dick.

      He did.

      Maybe knowing he was dead would have pulled me out of the film experience, maybe not, I can’t tell you. But maybe that colored your perception of the CGI effects?

      Sounds reasonable to me.

      Someone, I’m not sure who [my sister-in-law Bella – Ed], expressed to me that her performance was very one-dimensional and her face never changed, BEFORE the film. I have to agree with that, but I don’t know if I would have felt that way without that statement.

      As a result of same statement, I was (as mentioned elsewhere) looking for more expressions and emotion and things. And they were there, possibly as a result of wishful thinking, or possibly just because they were really subtle and I hadn’t been expecting that shit. But yeah, there was real emotion there – it just didn’t seem to work right.

      I DO feel that her character SHOULD be fairly one dimensional. She is a screwed up individual. She watched her mother be killed at a young age, her father taken away, her guardian was CLEARLY a troubled soul, and she was raised to be a child soilder [soldier. But LOL leaving it – Ed]. Have you ever seen what that does to a kid? Saw said it himself, “you were my best soilder and you were only 16.” And then the one thing that was her “normal” was taken away when he abandoned her. That will leave you all kinds of screwed in the head.

      And that is a really excellent point. It’s endlessly debatable whether they intended it, but I think it’s fair to say that a certain amount of research into rebels, terrorist cells, freedom fighters, child soldiers and victims of war would have to have gone into the scripting and setup of these characters. Have to.

      In that case, it’s really pretty deep. I mean, so deep that I missed it. Which is why these discussions rule hard.

      It seemed to me that they didn’t all need to die. They were after all quite minor characthers in the Skywalker storyline.

      True. But oh snap, look, Ed missed a typo.

      Yeah, they could have left some around for Episode IV. Even if they weren’t in the main movie, they could spin off, do their own thing.

      However Jyn would have been someone who would have been more important, so I can see her needing to die. Or at least it was an ending I could live with.

      Agreed.

      What I really liked though, was that they simply held hands and then hugged as the destruction was approaching. That chimed real with me. NO forced kissing, no sudden declarations of affection, or “I’m glad im here with you.” A simple acknowledgement that this was the end, but that there was a peace to be found there. That really spoke to me, although my veiws on this topic are skewed in the extreme.

      I was waiting for them to go full-trope in the “hate and bicker and suddenly in love” thing, and was pleasantly surprised when they didn’t. Okay, if they’d survived I imagine they would have, but they didn’t force it at the end. It would have been ghastly.

      Although the death didn’t impact me. In a large part, though, I think that’s becasue I didn’t feel like it went more than surface deep for Jyn. Which seemed fitting for me. She didn’t HAVE a father, she had an idea, some good memories, and a sense of loss. The death of Saw impacted her far more because she was more invested. However, that IDEA of a father drove her forward.

      Also way more thought than I put into that relationship, opting instead to just dismiss it as being woodenly acted. But you’re right, this also makes a lot of sense. I’m happy to read it as intentional.

      I didn’t feel it was epic, I didn’t feel it was a huge driving point in my life and it hasn’t pushed me to go watch other Star Wars movies. I will watch others following this one, and I will probably be willing to watch them in the theater, but I won’t be devastated if I miss them and see them on TV 2 years later. It was good for a night out with my friends, on a day I really needed that [Aww – Ed]. Anything would have filled in equally well.

      G) I liked Cassian, but he should have shot her father.

      Tactically, it was the right thing to do, and the fact that he didn’t annoyed me mid-film. Granted, it did serve to highlight his changing moral compass and how he was veiwing his role in the Rebellion. But it felt like he did it for Jyn, not for himself. I didn’t like that.

      Huh, I’ll be damned.

      I was mainly focussed (second time around) on his facial expressions as he watched through his scope, and the moment when he realised that he’d been about to shoot a fellow enemy of the Empire, and had that order-disobeying epiphany. He played it fucking beautifully. And yeah, it did sort of come across like he spared Galen for Jyn’s sake. But on reflection I think he really did spare Galen out of his own sense of right and wrong, and that in turn coloured the argument they had back on the ship.

      He didn’t shoot. He could have, and arguably (as you say) he should have. And it evidently hurt him that she couldn’t see how important that was.

      As for tactics, I guess there was a whole other layer to it, where if Galen was a collaborator, it was the right thing to do to kill him. But not to save lives, because at that point the Death Star was operational. It was a punitive “collaborators will be executed” move at that point. So then he had to consider the tactical benefit of Jyn being right, and Galen being an asset. In which case, killing him wwould be tactically unsound.

      Yeah, interesting stuff.

      H) James Earl Jones sounded normal to me, but I’ve never seen the original trilogy, so I’m not sure if they modulated his voice differently somehow in those. Sure sounded like Darth Vader from clips I’ve seen, though.

      I don’t think they did anything to it. The underlying voice has just gotten a bit crustier and older, is all.

    • dreameling says:

      A) I couldn’t tell that they were CGI.

      Was this a 2D or 3D showing?

      Maybe knowing he was dead would have pulled me out of the film experience, maybe not, I can’t tell you. But maybe that colored your perception of the CGI effects?

      I was certainly very aware that he was dead, and that the character had to therefore be CGIed, but for all I knew they could have somehow reused live-action footage of his face from the original movie. And yet I still got a strong Uncanny Valley effect. So, I’m sure the knowledge affected my perception to some extent, but I’m also pretty sure I would’ve seen the CGI even if I hadn’t known the guy was dead.

      B) I did not like the female lead [Jyn Erso / Felicity Jones – Ed].

      I was more “meh” about her. I liked aspects of her story and character. Plus Felicity Jones has gorgeous eyes.

      I DO feel that her character SHOULD be fairly one dimensional. She is a screwed up individual.

      Why would screwed-up individuals be one-dimensional? You mean like their screwed-up-ness would completely define them over anything else?

      What I really liked though, was that they simply held hands and then hugged as the destruction was approaching. That chimed real with me. NO forced kissing, no sudden declarations of affection, or “I’m glad I’m here with you.” A simple acknowledgement that this was the end, but that there was a peace to be found there. That really spoke to me, although my views on this topic are skewed in the extreme.

      Ditto. That was a beautiful scene, beautifully shot. I’m not entirely sure they both needed to die, but I was OK with it, and it certainly took care of any continuity issues in chronologically later stories. (It would be interesting to know how the original cut of the movie ended, before the apparent major reshoots and re-edits.)

      G) I liked Cassian, but he should have shot her father.

      Again, I was “meh” about the character. But I agree that he should’ve shot the father, or at least he should’ve tried. For narrative purposes, he probably should’ve failed to kill him, though, at least on the spot. Jyn still needed that moment with dad.

      OK, you both have opinions, a lot of opinions.

      Yes. Yes we do.

      This is the way it usually goes.

      I don’t think they did anything to it. The underlying voice has just gotten a bit crustier and older, is all.

      Exactly. Darth Vader sounded geriatric. (Not that they shouldn’t have used James Earl Jones! But they could’ve digitally pimped his voice to be less tired, more vibrant. Like the Darth Vader we remember from the Original Trilogy.)

      • brknwntr says:

        The one dimensional comment was more a reference to trauma survivors and their coping mechanisms, especially child soldiers who witness their parents murdered. They tend to be….. closed off emotionally. Almost separate from the rest of humanity. Similar to how sociopaths are, but in a recoverable way. Like they are watching everything through glass.

      • dreameling says:

        Got it. That makes sense, sure.

      • stchucky says:

        A) I couldn’t tell that they were CGI.

        Was this a 2D or 3D showing?

        Not to once again put words on BRKN’s keyboard, but he saw it with us at a 2D viewing.

        I will say that, to me at least, the CGI was more obvious on the 2D viewing. I don’t know how much of that was confirmation bias after you, dreameling, had bitched about it (oh fucking yes you did), or just generally because I was looking for it more, or if it’s just down to the 2D-3D difference. I mean, I was obviously aware that Cushing was dead so they must have been recreating him some way, first time around.

        Like you, though, dreameling, I thought maybe they were using a combination of captures and other effects. And in 3D, it could have been that way. The 2D, to me, was more clearly plastic. But like I say, it may only have been because I was more aware of it the second time around.

        I think it’s neat that BRKN didn’t notice. And yes, I think it speaks more to the Star Wars geeks being more of a bunch of crybabies than the uninitiated, than any actual flaw in the artform.

        Still, on yet another facet, this does open a can of dead Hollywood star worms.

        G) I liked Cassian, but he should have shot her father.

        Again, I was “meh” about the character. But I agree that he should’ve shot the father, or at least he should’ve tried. For narrative purposes, he probably should’ve failed to kill him, though, at least on the spot. Jyn still needed that moment with dad.

        Ooh, that would have been cool. Just the coughed-out “that shot came from across the gorge” last words would have given way more impact to their confrontation back on the ship. As it is, I really didn’t see what Jyn had to be so pissy with Cassian about. It was the dudes in the X-wings who killed Galen.

        OK, you both have opinions, a lot of opinions.

        Yes. Yes we do.

        This is the way it usually goes.

        nObLigatory argument: No it isn’t.

        I don’t think they did anything to it. The underlying voice has just gotten a bit crustier and older, is all.

        Exactly. Darth Vader sounded geriatric. (Not that they shouldn’t have used James Earl Jones! But they could’ve digitally pimped his voice to be less tired, more vibrant. Like the Darth Vader we remember from the Original Trilogy.)

        *squints, does I’m-watching-you finger-fork-eye-thing at dreameling*

        Yeah, seriously though, in this case I’m calling Star Wars fanboy crybaby shenanigans on you.

      • stchucky says:

        I mean, you know, in a nice way. The shenanigans, I mean.

        *finger-fork-watching-you-eye-thing again*

  6. brknwntr says:

    There are a lot of typos and I forgot I was making a list after A), feel free to get Edpool to fix everything, Hatboy. I had neither the time nor the emotional energy to care about it today. I know Edpool does, however, basically all the time, because he hates my autocorrect with the fire of a thousand exploding suns.

    [Fixed, but I won’t be making a habit of it – Ed]

  7. stchucky says:

    I had a couple of random additional thoughts on this, because I want to keep the thread going and see if we can continue the interesting discussions. I’m a sucker for nice long threads and we have a way to go before we beat Episode VII‘s thread!

  8. stchucky says:

    Random additional thought #1: Jyn’s line “it doesn’t bother you if you don’t look up”. I was bugged by that the first and second time I saw the movie, and I’m still thinking about it.

    I get what it means – it’s a pragmatic “just keep swimming” statement about how lofty political ideals are all well and good, but as long as you’re just living your life there’s no real reason why it should bother you. Sort of like “as long as you do what the cops tell you, they’re not going to shoot you.”

    But it rings way more defeatist than I think Jyn – even at that stage in the movie – would have been, doesn’t it? The whole “look down” thing is very Les Mis, which may or may not have been the intention but I would have thought at least Saw or Cassian or someone would have called her out on it. You want to live your whole life not looking up?

  9. stchucky says:

    Random additional thought #2: The Death Star’s single-reactor firing is still basically a planet-killer, isn’t it? Those explosions looked like extinction-level environment-shifting destructive events, with whole slabs of the planet’s crust being flipped over. Isn’t the multi-reactor actual-explosion-of-the-planet-to-bits just … overkill? Literally?

    I guess, ultimately, it’s a terror weapon. Reducing the planet to a nuclear winter wasteland might achieve a certain amount of shock and awe, but ordinary spaceships could probably do that already. Certainly, we see in some of the extended universe stories that ships can drag asteroids around, and those are planet-killers already.

    So okay, the ability to actually reduce a planet to rubble rather than just killing all life on it is what they wanted here. And Alderaan was their Hiroshima / Nagasaki.

  10. stchucky says:

    This sums up my thoughts pretty well, although it is way more forgiving and excuse-making about the characters than I think it maybe should be:

  11. dreameling says:

    This movie is already fading in my mind, as I’ve only seen it the once. I’m not feeling the same urge to see it again as I did with TFA, so that’s telling.

    No, I’m quite optimistic about them, too. R1 was good. TFA was really good. What’s not to be optimistic about? Just because I can be really critical about something doesn’t mean I can’t also love it (or parts thereof).

    Okay, but that’s not really countering what I said. I did say you were still hopeful (a simile for optimism, although I concede that rebellions aren’t built on optimism).

    I wasn’t trying to counter you. I was trying to clarify my position. We clearly experience optimism and positivity differently. Or we have different baselines/defaults.

    I’m just saying that unlike you (or at least the impression I’ve gotten about your experience), I have been nothing but encouraged by the last two movies. Say “I thought they were fine but” all you like, but your comments about the movies have really given me the impression that you have been, yes, encouraged in contrast to Episodes I, II and III, but that you were also underwhelmed, disappointed, and had some expectations of improvement.

    That really doesn’t seem arguable from where I’m sitting. And, obviously, that’s totally fine! It’s just a point of minor disagreement, probably more nitpicky than any actual problems the critics have raised about this movie.

    Now, on my side, yes, I think they could have done the characters and interactions a bit better. Maybe I’m just not properly explaining how this didn’t disappoint me, though. I’m not going to be disappointed in the least if the next movie, be it Episode VIII or another Story, is put together the same way as Rogue One. If you feel the same way, and don’t have any problem with it, I just didn’t get that impression.

    I’m almost always disappointed in something in a piece of fiction. I’ve yet to see a perfect movie or read a perfect book. There’s always something to critique. There’s always something to improve. I almost never just purely like, much less love, something. That’s my baseline. I’m fundamentally critical.

    You’re clearly way more forgiving than I am, by default. Of movies and other pieces of fiction. I’m not saying you can’t be equally critical, but your baseline is clearly more accepting. You gloss over problems more easily than I do. Or you’re less likely to flag something as a problem. You like more fully than I do. You also seem to be more binary in liking/loving vs. disliking/hating stuff.

    Or to put it differently: Your brain flags the negative more strongly than mine. It means more to you. You interpret a piece of criticism more negatively than I do, as implying a more negative outlook. That is, a critical comment is more readily a negative value judgement to you than it is to me.

    Basically, I think I’m just more comfortable in liking and disliking something at the same time. Doesn’t mean I enjoy it any less than you do, relatively speaking.

    Also, I’m clearly just fucking insanely optimistic since I always expect stuff to be better than it actually turns out to be.

    I’m not making ultimatums either, but I do like making wish lists of stuff I’d like to see.

    You totally ultimatum’d.

    To me, Episode VIII is where they really get to (or goddamn well should) run with it. They really need to make that more new than anything that’s come before.

    See? That’s not a wish-list, that’s a cut-out-letters-from-magazines-pasted-on-a-paper-wrapped-around-a-brick-and-thrown-through-Disney’s-front-window.

    Holy crap did you take that to a negative extreme. Not what I was going for.

    That’s not an ultimatum. An ultimatum implies that I’m gonna do something drastic if my demands are not met. I’m not going to. And what could I even do? Stop watching Star Wars? I’m not going to do that.

    I simply want the new Star Wars movies to be great. They can be. They deserve to be. If they’re not, I’m gonna point that out. I’m also going to be disappointed. And then I’m going start waiting for the next one.

    Would this be a good place to remind you about that dream you had about a young James Earl Jones?

    No? Too bad.

    That was a cool dream.

    But how does it play into the present argument? That I prefer the stronger and more vibrant voice of a young James Earl Jones [1] over that of a really old James Earl Jones? We already knew that!

    [1] I should point out that “a young James Earl Jones” to me is the James Earl Jones of Star Wars and Conan the Barbarian, when he was already in his late 40s and early 50s, respectively. Don’t remember him from anything before that. So, “young”.

    I will say that, to me at least, the CGI was more obvious on the 2D viewing. I don’t know how much of that was confirmation bias after you, dreameling, had bitched about it (oh fucking yes you did), or just generally because I was looking for it more, or if it’s just down to the 2D-3D difference. I mean, I was obviously aware that Cushing was dead so they must have been recreating him some way, first time around.

    Like you, though, dreameling, I thought maybe they were using a combination of captures and other effects. And in 3D, it could have been that way. The 2D, to me, was more clearly plastic. But like I say, it may only have been because I was more aware of it the second time around.

    Since 3D seems to be more forgiving of CGI, maybe it really was the 2D that added to my uncanny valley experience. But it was still uncanny. That was a real experience for me. Both Tarkin and Leia looked objectively fake to me.

    I figure I have a pretty sharp eye for computer graphics and animation in general, so that could also be a factor.

    I think it’s neat that BRKN didn’t notice. And yes, I think it speaks more to the Star Wars geeks being more of a bunch of crybabies than the uninitiated, than any actual flaw in the artform.

    BRKN is a sample of one. Both CGI Tarkin and CGI Leia have gotten a lot of criticism, from a lot of people, for looking fake. Perfectly valid criticism. So I’m just gonna call them objectively fake-looking. But how fake, that’s subjective, sure.

    Crybabies? Again with the overly negative interpretation.

    Exactly. Darth Vader sounded geriatric. (Not that they shouldn’t have used James Earl Jones! But they could’ve digitally pimped his voice to be less tired, more vibrant. Like the Darth Vader we remember from the Original Trilogy.)

    *squints, does I’m-watching-you finger-fork-eye-thing at dreameling*

    Yeah, seriously though, in this case I’m calling Star Wars fanboy crybaby shenanigans on you.

    How did you get to crybabies again? “Crybaby” seems to be your go-to excuse for dismissing criticism. It’s cheap. (I can’t tell how much of it, or if any of it, is hyperbole.)

    I mean, you know, in a nice way. The shenanigans, I mean.

    *finger-fork-watching-you-eye-thing again*

    Too late. I’m already crying.

    Random additional thought #1: Jyn’s line “it doesn’t bother you if you don’t look up”. I was bugged by that the first and second time I saw the movie, and I’m still thinking about it.

    Don’t remember this line, so nothing to add here.

    Random additional thought #2: The Death Star’s single-reactor firing is still basically a planet-killer, isn’t it? Those explosions looked like extinction-level environment-shifting destructive events, with whole slabs of the planet’s crust being flipped over. Isn’t the multi-reactor actual-explosion-of-the-planet-to-bits just … overkill? Literally?

    I guess, ultimately, it’s a terror weapon. Reducing the planet to a nuclear winter wasteland might achieve a certain amount of shock and awe, but ordinary spaceships could probably do that already. Certainly, we see in some of the extended universe stories that ships can drag asteroids around, and those are planet-killers already.

    So okay, the ability to actually reduce a planet to rubble rather than just killing all life on it is what they wanted here. And Alderaan was their Hiroshima / Nagasaki.

    Yeah. At the very least the single-reactor shots must’ve made the planets eventually uninhabitable. But there was time to escape the destruction. So, if you want to disable a planet immediately and not let anyone escape, you go for the full blast. And if you’re shooting at something smaller, like a dwarf planet or an asteroid, or a big space station or a capital ship, a single-reactor shot is surely sufficient to obliterate it immediately (saving you some juice). In short, I guess there’s a logic to having different power levels for the beam, beyond just the terror aspect. (This actually gels nicely with Death Star II shooting big cruisers in Episode VI. Always seemed like overkill to me before.)

    • stchucky says:

      This movie is already fading in my mind, as I’ve only seen it the once. I’m not feeling the same urge to see it again as I did with TFA, so that’s telling.

      Yeah, that does say a lot and is a pretty good measure. To be honest I wasn’t as excited to see it a second time as I was to see Episode VII, let alone Deadpool – it just happened that the first time had been a 3D clusterfuck and meh, why not see it again.

      So yeah. I’m with you on this one.

      However, seeing it a second time really was helpful. It sort of allowed me to go into it thinking “right, this isn’t your classic swashbuckling wisecracking Star Wars thing, the mood is different and the performances are more subtle” – and it helped me to see those performances. And yes, I still see it as the new creators showing what they can do, now they’ve been given this franchise to work with. The HISHE review works for me. The crybaby reviews you like to cite in your formulation of “objectivity” … not so much.

      *grin*

      Seriously though. Confirmation bias, blind-eye-turning, actual legit discernment of a different quality in the movie? I don’t know about that. I don’t think I’m that much of a discerning viewer, but at the same time I am susceptible to seeing movies / reading books differently based on my expectations. I guess we all are.

      No, I’m quite optimistic about them, too. R1 was good. TFA was really good. What’s not to be optimistic about? Just because I can be really critical about something doesn’t mean I can’t also love it (or parts thereof).

      Okay, but that’s not really countering what I said. I did say you were still hopeful (a simile for optimism, although I concede that rebellions aren’t built on optimism).

      I wasn’t trying to counter you. I was trying to clarify my position. We clearly experience optimism and positivity differently. Or we have different baselines/defaults.

      Alright, I was thrown by the disagreeing tone but I can dig it. From your reaction, I’m getting a strong “this was disappointing, I expect more of Episode VIII” vibe. Whereas my own response might be giving you a “this was awesome, more of the same please and I won’t hear a word against it” vibe.

      Perhaps the vibe you intended to give was “this was okay, but I had a lot more issues with it than I did with Episode VII” (at least from your clarifications this seems to be the case). Whereas my intended vibe was “I enjoyed this and don’t really have many issues with it aside from the way I read the characters on first viewing, I’m sure whatever they do with Episode VIII will be fine.”

      Mind you, the tone of the movie is important. Episode VII felt more like a Star Wars episode, whereas Rogue One did peg itself as a Star Wars story, and I think that’s an important distinction. Alter your expectations a little[1]. I think Episode VIII will be more of an episode, as it should be. So hopefully it will more more like Episode VII than Rogue One. Which I assume will make you happy (as long as they don’t copy Episode V‘s plot or put Old James Earl Jones in there, because you fucking hate him[2]). It’ll make me happy too. I’m just saying, I’d be equally happy if they worked elements of their newfound Rogue One storytelling chops in there as well. I mean, the distinction between an episode and a story aside, wouldn’t we all be happiest if they took the best elements from Episode VII and Rogue One to make Episode VIII?

      [1] You know, if you want.

      [2] I figure I need to lay this shit on heavier, otherwise you’re just not going to get that it’s shit. So just for the record, this is me having a laugh.

      I’m almost always disappointed in something in a piece of fiction. I’ve yet to see a perfect movie or read a perfect book. There’s always something to critique. There’s always something to improve. I almost never just purely like, much less love, something. That’s my baseline. I’m fundamentally critical.

      Hey, I think it’s what makes you a great editor, even if you’re not a for-reals-pro editor. It’s cool.

      Especially when I think about how you listed issues in my stories, and then I fixed them to your satisfaction (or, you know, ignored you in some cases because who the Hell do you think you are), meaning that I essentially have a series of books that are pretty close to having nothing for you to critique.

      Kinda.

      You’re clearly way more forgiving than I am, by default. Of movies and other pieces of fiction.

      Of basically everything. I am a Saint, after all.

      I’m not saying you can’t be equally critical, but your baseline is clearly more accepting. You gloss over problems more easily than I do. Or you’re less likely to flag something as a problem. You like more fully than I do. You also seem to be more binary in liking/loving vs. disliking/hating stuff.

      I absolutely agree. I’ve philosophised about it before, as the difference between being a fan of a story, and being a lover of a story. Things like Doctor Who and Deadpool[3], I’m basically going to blind myself to their flaws, or at least acknowledge them but then go “meh, I don’t care about any of that.” A fan of a story … well, let’s remember where the word “fan” comes from. Of course they can be critical, and I also think a fundamental resistance to changes comes into it to some degree. They’re attached to the old part that they liked so much, and anything new is bad by default. We see it all the time with reboots and sequels. It’s invariably the fans who scream about it.

      [3] The comic, the character, the movie, whatever. I didn’t even mind the Origins: Wolverine version of Deadpool, because it was so fun to see. I don’t care that they messed up almost everything about the character. I think of it as a really long setup to the Deadpool-action-figure joke in the Deadpool movie.

      No, not saying you were screaming. Nor am I saying that I loved Rogue One to such an extent that I’m responding this way. I am far more a fan of Star Wars than I am a lover – if indeed I am either. I’d argue that I’m not. Star Wars isn’t that big a deal to me. I like it, that’s all.

      So maybe that’s the other side of the coin. I’m not all that invested in being critical, the movie was fun, so … meh. I don’t care about all the nitpicks (from my point of view that’s what they are).

      Or to put it differently: Your brain flags the negative more strongly than mine. It means more to you. You interpret a piece of criticism more negatively than I do, as implying a more negative outlook. That is, a critical comment is more readily a negative value judgement to you than it is to me.

      Well, to take it back to the books I just wrote. I know it’s an entirely different situation, but your raising of issues there was ultimately criticism, but it was the famous and oft-cited constructive criticism. It was positive, and helped me create a better story (in my opinion and hopefully in yours).

      See, with your criticisms of Rogue One, I suppose I am inclined to see them as more, well, critical, because they didn’t seem to be phrased in a constructive way. Just as complaints or (at best) justifications for why you didn’t enjoy this movie as much as others.

      And that’s fine, I say again. It’s just an explanation of why I took it in a reactive direction.

      Maybe the difference is, with my books you were offering feedback that you were reasonably sure would be listened to, and probably implemented? You were giving improvement pointers to me and I was receptive to them. With Rogue One, and indeed ‘most any movie, you’re basically screaming into the void so why bother phrasing your issues like they’re review notes?

      Maybe that’s the difference. Or maybe that’s the difference in how I read your comments. Not sure.

      Basically, I think I’m just more comfortable in liking and disliking something at the same time. Doesn’t mean I enjoy it any less than you do, relatively speaking.

      Oh, I definitely disagree with you there, but it may be because I’m seeing an “accusation” that I’m unable to see the good and the bad in something simultaneously, where such an accusation doesn’t exist.

      I think there’s a difference between “I liked this, so nothing negative about it can possibly compute” and “I know this had some problems, but on balance I liked it.”

      And if we’re looking at the latter, then I think it has to be a pretty complex issue for you to be able to say “on balance, I both liked and didn’t like it.” For something as simple as a movie…? I don’t know, you’d have to make a more compelling case for at once liking and disliking it. Interesting stuff but I haven’t thought it through much yet.

      Also, I’m clearly just fucking insanely optimistic since I always expect stuff to be better than it actually turns out to be.

      See, you joke, but that’s a good point. True facts. An optimist must be almost constantly disappointed. Unless said optimist is an actual delusional lunatic.

      To me, Episode VIII is where they really get to (or goddamn well should) run with it. They really need to make that more new than anything that’s come before.

      That’s not an ultimatum. An ultimatum implies that I’m gonna do something drastic if my demands are not met. I’m not going to. And what could I even do? Stop watching Star Wars? I’m not going to do that.

      True.

      I simply want the new Star Wars movies to be great. They can be. They deserve to be. If they’re not, I’m gonna point that out. I’m also going to be disappointed. And then I’m going start waiting for the next one.

      You’ll cry. You always cry. Fucking optimists-or-whatever-you-are.

      Would this be a good place to remind you about that dream you had about a young James Earl Jones?

      No? Too bad.

      That was a cool dream.

      Hee.

      But how does it play into the present argument? That I prefer the stronger and more vibrant voice of a young James Earl Jones [1] over that of a really old James Earl Jones? We already knew that!

      [1] I should point out that “a young James Earl Jones” to me is the James Earl Jones of Star Wars and Conan the Barbarian, when he was already in his late 40s and early 50s, respectively. Don’t remember him from anything before that. So, “young”.

      You just plain hate old people, and James Earl Jones in particular. And it’s a psychosexual self-hating S&M kind of hate, hence the red leather domination gear.

      It’s okay. I don’t judge.

      I think it’s neat that BRKN didn’t notice. And yes, I think it speaks more to the Star Wars geeks being more of a bunch of crybabies than the uninitiated, than any actual flaw in the artform.

      BRKN is a sample of one. Both CGI Tarkin and CGI Leia have gotten a lot of criticism, from a lot of people, for looking fake. Perfectly valid criticism. So I’m just gonna call them objectively fake-looking. But how fake, that’s subjective, sure.

      You can call them objectively fake-looking all you like, doesn’t make it so.

      Crybabies? Again with the overly negative interpretation.

      *shrug*

      I calls ’em like I sees ’em. You’re objectively a crybaby. Sorry, it’s just something I decided after seeing a bunch of other crybabies crying about this online, and you have much the same arguments they do so I’m lumping you in.

      I’M LUMPING YOU IN.

      *lumps*

      How did you get to crybabies again? “Crybaby” seems to be your go-to excuse for dismissing criticism. It’s cheap. (I can’t tell how much of it, or if any of it, is hyperbole.)

      Since I don’t need any excuse for dismissing subjective critical opinions, it’s pretty obviously 100% hyperbole.

      You should also keep in mind that “hyperbole” means “exaggeration” not “fabrication”[4]. I obviously don’t literally mean that you are a crying infant. So I can be 100% exaggerating my opinion of your opinion, without actually stating an opinion I don’t hold. I do think you’re difficult to please, and you straight-up said that yourself, so. Game over, man. Game over.

      [4] I know you know this. I’m just saying keep it in mind.

      I mean, you know, in a nice way. The shenanigans, I mean.

      *finger-fork-watching-you-eye-thing again*

      Too late. I’m already crying.

      I know.

      DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE IT’S A STAR WARS THING

      Random additional thought #1: Jyn’s line “it doesn’t bother you if you don’t look up”. I was bugged by that the first and second time I saw the movie, and I’m still thinking about it.

      Don’t remember this line, so nothing to add here.

      Huh. That’s telling. I think it was one of the more symbolic (of her character) and important lines in the script. Or maybe meant to be.

      Random additional thought #2: The Death Star’s single-reactor firing is still basically a planet-killer, isn’t it? Those explosions looked like extinction-level environment-shifting destructive events, with whole slabs of the planet’s crust being flipped over. Isn’t the multi-reactor actual-explosion-of-the-planet-to-bits just … overkill? Literally?

      I guess, ultimately, it’s a terror weapon. Reducing the planet to a nuclear winter wasteland might achieve a certain amount of shock and awe, but ordinary spaceships could probably do that already. Certainly, we see in some of the extended universe stories that ships can drag asteroids around, and those are planet-killers already.

      So okay, the ability to actually reduce a planet to rubble rather than just killing all life on it is what they wanted here. And Alderaan was their Hiroshima / Nagasaki.

      Yeah. At the very least the single-reactor shots must’ve made the planets eventually uninhabitable. But there was time to escape the destruction. So, if you want to disable a planet immediately and not let anyone escape, you go for the full blast. And if you’re shooting at something smaller, like a dwarf planet or an asteroid, or a big space station or a capital ship, a single-reactor shot is surely sufficient to obliterate it immediately (saving you some juice). In short, I guess there’s a logic to having different power levels for the beam, beyond just the terror aspect. (This actually gels nicely with Death Star II shooting big cruisers in Episode VI. Always seemed like overkill to me before.)

      Good point, there’s something weird about having a weapon that big with nothing of any smaller grade (aside from the gun turrets, which were pretty pissweak). The different reactor-loads was a good solution.

      Man, thinking more about the power source and how that worked, though – that does my head in. If anything, the sun-draining power of the Episode VII Death Star was better. Made more sense to my unscientific mind. On the other hand, I can’t really argue with kyber crystals, since I make use of magic power-bearing crystals in my own writing.

      It’s interesting, though, that these are the basic Jedi crystals, they use them for their lightsabers and so on. So basically the Death Star was only enabled by the extermination of the Jedi during and after Episode III. I imagine all those lightsabers being gathered up and their crystals harvested, and then places like Jedha also being cleaned out. Actually makes a lot of sense too – once you accept “magic power crystal”, the fact that the Jedi needed to be gotten rid of before the Death Star could happen makes sense on so many levels. The crystals became available, the Jedi knights were all gone…

      Okay. Well, that’s two levels, anyway.

      • dreameling says:

        However, seeing it a second time really was helpful. It sort of allowed me to go into it thinking “right, this isn’t your classic swashbuckling wisecracking Star Wars thing, the mood is different and the performances are more subtle” – and it helped me to see those performances.

        I suspect I may actually like the movie more the second time. I know what the strong and weak points are, there’s no hype, there’s no Star Wars event pressure, the usual stuff. Right now, I find I’m actually looking forward to the BD release.

        Let’s see how that goes. I shall return here.

        Seems there’s no release date for the DVD/BD yet, but it’s probably in early Spring. I wonder if that’ll be the farthest post lift in the blog’s history. Probably not. (You did do that callback to the first post in that one Christmas special. But not sure if that actually counts.)

        Alright, I was thrown by the disagreeing tone but I can dig it. From your reaction, I’m getting a strong “this was disappointing, I expect more of Episode VIII” vibe. Whereas my own response might be giving you a “this was awesome, more of the same please and I won’t hear a word against it” vibe.

        No, I think that was a pretty accurate reading from you. But, like I said, I’m almost always disappointed in something. It’s just that “disappointed” is not necessarily as negative for me as it might read to you.

        For my part, I got a little bit of that there vibe from you, sure, but maybe not quite that uncritical. (Even though, as discussed, I certainly read you as more forgiving than me.)

        Perhaps the vibe you intended to give was “this was okay, but I had a lot more issues with it than I did with Episode VII” (at least from your clarifications this seems to be the case). Whereas my intended vibe was “I enjoyed this and don’t really have many issues with it aside from the way I read the characters on first viewing, I’m sure whatever they do with Episode VIII will be fine.”

        That, too, is accurate. For me, “a lot more issues” constitutes a disappointment. I was actually expecting a better movie than TFA, if not a better Star Wars movie (whatever that is). But phrasing it like you do above probably gives the better impression of the (I guess relatively low) level of disappointment I felt.

        I definitely read you a bit more uncritical and forgiving than the above, so this is a good calibration. So, I originally landed somewhere in between your two versions of, well, you. (Meaning I probably overread forgiveness in you. (Maybe it’s the “Saint”.))

        Mind you, the tone of the movie is important. Episode VII felt more like a Star Wars episode, whereas Rogue One did peg itself as a Star Wars story, and I think that’s an important distinction. Alter your expectations a little[1].

        I don’t think that was actually an issue for me. I didn’t expect R1 to be the same kind of Star Wars movie as TFA, certainly not an “episode”. How could I have? Like you said, it was explicitly marketed as “not an episode”. But I did expect it to be better as a movie (which it wasn’t for me, all things considered) and to bring something new to the franchise (which it did).

        I think Episode VIII will be more of an episode, as it should be. So hopefully it will more more like Episode VII than Rogue One.

        Absolutely. But I also hope that it will be — that’s right — a better movie than either. More measured pacing and with fewer plot holes and plot magic shorthands/brainfarts than TFA. Better characterization and more emotional resonance than R1.

        In fact, take the characterization, emotional story points, and sheer narrative energy of TFA, and the imagery, cinematography, and action choreography of R1, split the difference between narrative structure, and add some original story elements, and you’re there.

        And we know there’s gonna be lightsabers and bad-ass Force shit, which is already like 1 star for free right there. (I’m only partly kidding.)

        Which I assume will make you happy (as long as they don’t copy Episode V‘s plot or put Old James Earl Jones in there, because you fucking hate him[2]).

        Fine. I hate the geriatric git.

        I mean, the distinction between an episode and a story aside, wouldn’t we all be happiest if they took the best elements from Episode VII and Rogue One to make Episode VIII?

        Well, quite. (In my defense, I wrote the above combo suggestion bit before getting to this point in your reply. But, shit, we obviously agree!)

        Especially when I think about how you listed issues in my stories, and then I fixed them to your satisfaction (or, you know, ignored you in some cases because who the Hell do you think you are), meaning that I essentially have a series of books that are pretty close to having nothing for you to critique.

        Hey, not so fast. There’s still my pending second read-through.

        You’re clearly way more forgiving than I am, by default. Of movies and other pieces of fiction.

        Of basically everything. I am a Saint, after all.

        Quite.

        I’m not saying you can’t be equally critical, but your baseline is clearly more accepting. You gloss over problems more easily than I do. Or you’re less likely to flag something as a problem. You like more fully than I do. You also seem to be more binary in liking/loving vs. disliking/hating stuff.

        I absolutely agree. I’ve philosophised about it before, as the difference between being a fan of a story, and being a lover of a story. Things like Doctor Who and Deadpool[3], I’m basically going to blind myself to their flaws, or at least acknowledge them but then go “meh, I don’t care about any of that.” A fan of a story … well, let’s remember where the word “fan” comes from. Of course they can be critical, and I also think a fundamental resistance to changes comes into it to some degree. They’re attached to the old part that they liked so much, and anything new is bad by default. We see it all the time with reboots and sequels. It’s invariably the fans who scream about it.

        I recall, and that’s a nice distinction. Between the two of us, I think there’s definitely more fan in me than in you. But I still don’t like to think of myself as a fan — or at least not a superfan or trufan — of anything (if only out of a snobbish sense of aloof self-importance). [1] I’m also too critical to be as much a lover as you, I think. [2]

        [1] Let’s be real. I’m totally a fan of Star Wars. In a good way.

        [2] But I’m still totally a lover of Star Wars. I’m like double-penetrating Star Wars with fannery and love.

        No, not saying you were screaming. Nor am I saying that I loved Rogue One to such an extent that I’m responding this way. I am far more a fan of Star Wars than I am a lover – if indeed I am either. I’d argue that I’m not. Star Wars isn’t that big a deal to me. I like it, that’s all.

        So maybe that’s the other side of the coin. I’m not all that invested in being critical, the movie was fun, so … meh. I don’t care about all the nitpicks (from my point of view that’s what they are).

        You’re certainly a fan and lover of popular culture and movies at least, since you’re willing to write this much about Star Wars.

        See, with your criticisms of Rogue One, I suppose I am inclined to see them as more, well, critical, because they didn’t seem to be phrased in a constructive way. Just as complaints or (at best) justifications for why you didn’t enjoy this movie as much as others.

        […]

        Maybe the difference is, with my books you were offering feedback that you were reasonably sure would be listened to, and probably implemented? You were giving improvement pointers to me and I was receptive to them. With Rogue One, and indeed ‘most any movie, you’re basically screaming into the void so why bother phrasing your issues like they’re review notes?

        Maybe that’s the difference. Or maybe that’s the difference in how I read your comments. Not sure.

        Exactly. I’m always critical. But I’m not backing my movie criticism with corrections and suggestions for improvement because no one will implement them (and it saves me some time writing these replies). I’m pointing out flaws and problems, and intentionally not providing solutions for them. I’m not trying to be overtly negative, but I’m sure it can come across like that since there’s nothing positive (corrections and suggestions) to offset the negative.

        But I do think I give praise where it’s due. It’s just that criticism is much more interesting.

        Basically, I think I’m just more comfortable in liking and disliking something at the same time. Doesn’t mean I enjoy it any less than you do, relatively speaking.

        Oh, I definitely disagree with you there, but it may be because I’m seeing an “accusation” that I’m unable to see the good and the bad in something simultaneously, where such an accusation doesn’t exist.

        I think there’s a difference between “I liked this, so nothing negative about it can possibly compute” and “I know this had some problems, but on balance I liked it.”

        I’m not saying you’re incapable of both liking and disliking something at the same time. I’m saying that I think I more comfortable with it, that I can dial it up further.

        And if we’re looking at the latter, then I think it has to be a pretty complex issue for you to be able to say “on balance, I both liked and didn’t like it.” For something as simple as a movie…? I don’t know, you’d have to make a more compelling case for at once liking and disliking it. Interesting stuff but I haven’t thought it through much yet.

        How are movies simple? I mean, they can be, but as a storytelling medium in general?

        The way I see it, unless you give something either 0/10 or 10/10, there’s stuff in it you liked and stuff you didn’t like. It’s just the ratio that varies.

        You just plain hate old people, and James Earl Jones in particular. And it’s a psychosexual self-hating S&M kind of hate, hence the red leather domination gear.

        It’s okay. I don’t judge.

        Hey, I’m not even the one with proper S&M experience! You’re the one who attended that weirdo wedding and took pictures of pierced dicks!

        How did you get to crybabies again? “Crybaby” seems to be your go-to excuse for dismissing criticism. It’s cheap. (I can’t tell how much of it, or if any of it, is hyperbole.)

        Since I don’t need any excuse for dismissing subjective critical opinions, it’s pretty obviously 100% hyperbole.

        I really misread you there. Sorry.

        I do think you’re difficult to please, and you straight-up said that yourself, so.

        I am, and I did. I’m always critical. Everyone should be.

        Man, thinking more about the power source and how that worked, though – that does my head in. If anything, the sun-draining power of the Episode VII Death Star was better. Made more sense to my unscientific mind. On the other hand, I can’t really argue with kyber crystals, since I make use of magic power-bearing crystals in my own writing.

        But did it drain the sun completely or just the surface? Did the sun die or just go out for a spell? If it’s the former, how could it possibly store/use that much energy? If it’s the latter, how is that possible, how can the light from a sun stop?

      • stchucky says:

        I suspect I may actually like the movie more the second time. I know what the strong and weak points are, there’s no hype, there’s no Star Wars event pressure, the usual stuff. Right now, I find I’m actually looking forward to the BD release.

        Let’s see how that goes. I shall return here.

        I look forward to seeing your thoughts on a re-watch. Being ready for the disappointments, on the lookout for subtleties, and not having the same expectations may improve matters. This outlook alone suggests that you somewhat liked the movie, since if you disliked it then the prospect of seeing it again would bore you (at best), and seeing it again would only reinforce your negative views.

        I guess we’ll see how it goes, like you say. In the meantime, I suppose this thread is all tapped out.

        I will continue, however.

        Seems there’s no release date for the DVD/BD yet, but it’s probably in early Spring. I wonder if that’ll be the farthest post lift in the blog’s history. Probably not. (You did do that callback to the first post in that one Christmas special. But not sure if that actually counts.)

        You mean, long breaks of no commenting and then back to commenting? Yeah, usually threads just die – sometimes a spammer will show up randomly or a link to the post will bring in some new readers and wake things up, but generally they don’t “spontaneously” awaken.

        For my part, I got a little bit of that there vibe from you, sure, but maybe not quite that uncritical. (Even though, as discussed, I certainly read you as more forgiving than me.)

        I am more forgiving than you! My forgiveness is the best, really. It’s tremendous.

        Man, it’s going to be a long four years. I’m already sick of making fun of Trump.

        Perhaps the vibe you intended to give was “this was okay, but I had a lot more issues with it than I did with Episode VII” (at least from your clarifications this seems to be the case). Whereas my intended vibe was “I enjoyed this and don’t really have many issues with it aside from the way I read the characters on first viewing, I’m sure whatever they do with Episode VIII will be fine.”

        That, too, is accurate. For me, “a lot more issues” constitutes a disappointment. I was actually expecting a better movie than TFA, if not a better Star Wars movie (whatever that is). But phrasing it like you do above probably gives the better impression of the (I guess relatively low) level of disappointment I felt.

        I definitely read you a bit more uncritical and forgiving than the above, so this is a good calibration. So, I originally landed somewhere in between your two versions of, well, you. (Meaning I probably overread forgiveness in you. (Maybe it’s the “Saint”.))

        Well, quite. We have considerable experience calibrating. We did it at least once a year at Lionbridge, am I right?

        *goes up for a high five, then cancels high five due to customer meeting*

        We’ll take this high five up again in Week 7 or 8.

        9 at the latest.

        Absolutely. But I also hope that it will be — that’s right — a better movie than either. More measured pacing and with fewer plot holes and plot magic shorthands/brainfarts than TFA. Better characterization and more emotional resonance than R1.

        In fact, take the characterization, emotional story points, and sheer narrative energy of TFA, and the imagery, cinematography, and action choreography of R1, split the difference between narrative structure, and add some original story elements, and you’re there.

        MAN IF ONLY I’D SAID THAT.

        Hee hee, sorry, couldn’t resist. But yeah. I guess it’s fair to say we both have high hopes for Episode VIII. And we’re both likely to be disappointed.

        You more so than me. Obviously.

        And we know there’s gonna be lightsabers and bad-ass Force shit, which is already like 1 star for free right there. (I’m only partly kidding)

        No, I entirely agree. Actually, part of my lack of engagement with two of the coolest characters in Rogue One was that I really am not interested (I mean, to the point of active, aggressive lack of interest) in martial arts and spin-kick-punch-bo-staff Monkey Magic bullplop. So the cool blind Zatoichi character … meh, I was predisposed to not care. However, he still did turn out to be super cool. Just … yeah, more Force and lightsabers please. I think this is why the final Darth Vader scene was so powerful (aside from the fact that it was so brutal, and dialled up to Rogue One levels in comparison to the usual Vader fight scenes). It had Star Wars shit in it.

        Now I’m examining that paragraph and wondering if it’s racist. I’m just not as excited by that whole action subgenre as lots of other people seem to be. And Monkey Magic was a TV show when I was a kid.

        I’m not making it up!

        Well, quite. (In my defense, I wrote the above combo suggestion bit before getting to this point in your reply. But, shit, we obviously agree!)

        Wait, you took this long in replying and you still didn’t actually read my post before beginning to respond? Dude.

        Especially when I think about how you listed issues in my stories, and then I fixed them to your satisfaction (or, you know, ignored you in some cases because who the Hell do you think you are), meaning that I essentially have a series of books that are pretty close to having nothing for you to critique.

        Hey, not so fast. There’s still my pending second read-through.

        I expect reviews! In fact, depending on how it goes, I want you to send it to me so I can post it on the blog. With your permission, of course.

        Interesting aside, there’s actually a discussion thread (if you can call it a discussion thread when it’s just one reader saying nice stuff and me blushing and trying to deal with it) on Usenet, on the old alt.fan.grrm group right now. About The Final Fall of Man and my faithful Usenet reader-base’s closing thoughts. It’s a lot of fun.

        Hey, there hasn’t been a GRRM book since I started this eight-book series. We have to talk about something.

        I absolutely agree. I’ve philosophised about it before, as the difference between being a fan of a story, and being a lover of a story. Things like Doctor Who and Deadpool[3], I’m basically going to blind myself to their flaws, or at least acknowledge them but then go “meh, I don’t care about any of that.” A fan of a story … well, let’s remember where the word “fan” comes from. Of course they can be critical, and I also think a fundamental resistance to changes comes into it to some degree. They’re attached to the old part that they liked so much, and anything new is bad by default. We see it all the time with reboots and sequels. It’s invariably the fans who scream about it.

        I recall, and that’s a nice distinction. Between the two of us, I think there’s definitely more fan in me than in you. But I still don’t like to think of myself as a fan — or at least not a superfan or trufan — of anything (if only out of a snobbish sense of aloof self-importance). [1] I’m also too critical to be as much a lover as you, I think. [2]

        Exactly. Maybe it’s fair to say we’re standing on opposite sides of the middle of the spectrum.

        Uh, it’s a two-dimensional spectrum with a “fan” axis and a “lover” axis, with “anti-fan” and “hater” at the end and … look, work in progress. But we’re both fairly central – you closer to the “fan” end, me closer to the “lover”, but neither one of us really a fan or a lover of Star Wars itself. Not in the classical sense.

        [1] Let’s be real. I’m totally a fan of Star Wars. In a good way.

        Right. A fan, not a fanboy.

        This spectrum needs some more axes.

        [2] But I’m still totally a lover of Star Wars. I’m like double-penetrating Star Wars with fannery and love.

        You’re certainly a fan and lover of popular culture and movies at least, since you’re willing to write this much about Star Wars.

        I’m a lover of writing, and I love my own words so I’ll put them anywhere I can. Which is … not necessarily a good thing. But I’ll cop to it. I do love me some geekery.

        Exactly. I’m always critical. But I’m not backing my movie criticism with corrections and suggestions for improvement because no one will implement them (and it saves me some time writing these replies). I’m pointing out flaws and problems, and intentionally not providing solutions for them. I’m not trying to be overtly negative, but I’m sure it can come across like that since there’s nothing positive (corrections and suggestions) to offset the negative.

        *nod*

        And I think that’s fine.

        You know, just in case you were worried about continuing to do it without my blessing. Which I know you totally were.

        But I do think I give praise where it’s due. It’s just that criticism is much more interesting.

        You absolutely do give praise where it’s due. You even did it in this movie.

        Now, I could argue about whether criticism is more interesting … but let’s leave that for another time. It certainly allows more room for debate and analysis and the assertion of one’s own opinions and expertise and experience, I would say. Praise is largely a submisssive cultural act, while criticism is an act of dominance.

        Holy fuck, I felt like I was back in university there for a second.

        And if we’re looking at the latter, then I think it has to be a pretty complex issue for you to be able to say “on balance, I both liked and didn’t like it.” For something as simple as a movie…? I don’t know, you’d have to make a more compelling case for at once liking and disliking it. Interesting stuff but I haven’t thought it through much yet.

        How are movies simple? I mean, they can be, but as a storytelling medium in general?

        Another larger topic gaping open in front of me there.

        Let’s just say that sure, as a storytelling medium they have the capacity for complication, especially movies that are interpretable in different ways (as, I guess, almost all of them are). But I wasn’t adding the qualifier “as a storytelling medium” to my thought initially. Compared to real-life social and cultural issues, issues in movies are quite simplified. Indeed, a lot of their deeper complications are only there as a reflection of real-life issues.

        The way I see it, unless you give something either 0/10 or 10/10, there’s stuff in it you liked and stuff you didn’t like. It’s just the ratio that varies.

        Very true, and good point. Agreed.

        You just plain hate old people, and James Earl Jones in particular. And it’s a psychosexual self-hating S&M kind of hate, hence the red leather domination gear.

        It’s okay. I don’t judge.

        Hey, I’m not even the one with proper S&M experience! You’re the one who attended that weirdo wedding and took pictures of pierced dicks!

        I never took pictures of the dick!

        I did attend the weirdo wedding though. No question.

        How did you get to crybabies again? “Crybaby” seems to be your go-to excuse for dismissing criticism. It’s cheap. (I can’t tell how much of it, or if any of it, is hyperbole.)

        Since I don’t need any excuse for dismissing subjective critical opinions, it’s pretty obviously 100% hyperbole.

        I really misread you there. Sorry.

        And I’m sorry for any offense, however ludicrously minor, you might have taken at my “crybaby” taunting.

        I do think you’re difficult to please, and you straight-up said that yourself, so.

        I am, and I did. I’m always critical. Everyone should be.

        And I make a distinction between being critical-minded / having critical faculties, and just being critical. Any old moron can criticise. It doesn’t make them discerning.

        Man, thinking more about the power source and how that worked, though – that does my head in. If anything, the sun-draining power of the Episode VII Death Star was better. Made more sense to my unscientific mind. On the other hand, I can’t really argue with kyber crystals, since I make use of magic power-bearing crystals in my own writing.

        But did it drain the sun completely or just the surface? Did the sun die or just go out for a spell? If it’s the former, how could it possibly store/use that much energy? If it’s the latter, how is that possible, how can the light from a sun stop?

        I was pretty sure the sun started to light up again? So, what, it drained off power from the surface, creating some sort of full-scale sunspot or even a brief solid shell of inert whatever, and then the reactions deeper inside cause that to collapse and the light to come back? And as for how it can use that much energy, we don’t even really know exactly what sort of energy we’re talking about. Was it just solar radiation, like a solar power cell dialled up to ludicrous levels (to borrow from Spaceballs)? Or was it actually drawing off nuclear fusion, uh, stuff? Kinetic energy? There was an actual visible fire trail, so…

        See, I want to just say “don’t know, don’t care”, but I do also want to think about it a bit.

      • dreameling says:

        This outlook alone suggests that you somewhat liked the movie, since if you disliked it then the prospect of seeing it again would bore you (at best), and seeing it again would only reinforce your negative views.

        I rated the movie 7/10, so I obviously liked it. But there were things about it that I disliked or was disappointed in, and since we’ve been mostly focusing on those, that has probably skewed your impression of my liking/disliking the movie. All my criticism aside, I did like the movie overall.

        I am more forgiving than you! My forgiveness is the best, really. It’s tremendous.

        Man, it’s going to be a long four years. I’m already sick of making fun of Trump.

        If we’re lucky, and we could very well be — considering how the show’s going over there — we might not have to wait four years.

        Absolutely. But I also hope that it will be — that’s right — a better movie than either. More measured pacing and with fewer plot holes and plot magic shorthands/brainfarts than TFA. Better characterization and more emotional resonance than R1.
        In fact, take the characterization, emotional story points, and sheer narrative energy of TFA, and the imagery, cinematography, and action choreography of R1, split the difference between narrative structure, and add some original story elements, and you’re there.

        MAN IF ONLY I’D SAID THAT.

        Well, to be fair, you only said: “I mean, the distinction between an episode and a story aside, wouldn’t we all be happiest if they took the best elements from Episode VII and Rogue One to make Episode VIII?”

        No details!

        But yeah. I guess it’s fair to say we both have high hopes for Episode VIII. And we’re both likely to be disappointed.

        You more so than me. Obviously.

        Obviously. But I had high hopes for TFA and was mostly pleasantly surprised. So who knows.

        No, I entirely agree. Actually, part of my lack of engagement with two of the coolest characters in Rogue One was that I really am not interested (I mean, to the point of active, aggressive lack of interest) in martial arts and spin-kick-punch-bo-staff Monkey Magic bullplop. So the cool blind Zatoichi character … meh, I was predisposed to not care. However, he still did turn out to be super cool. Just … yeah, more Force and lightsabers please. I think this is why the final Darth Vader scene was so powerful (aside from the fact that it was so brutal, and dialled up to Rogue One levels in comparison to the usual Vader fight scenes). It had Star Wars shit in it.

        Agreed about the “martial arts and spin-kick-punch-bo-staff Monkey Magic bullplop”. While the blind character was pretty cool, the whole wushu vibe felt a bit off in a Star Wars context. And that vibe was pretty pronounced because it was Donnie Yen playing the character (or rather playing a spinoff of his previous Hong Kong action cinema characters). I think the character would’ve worked better (in a Star Wars context) if the actor playing him had been a less obvious throwback to that type of cinema.

        Now I’m examining that paragraph and wondering if it’s racist.

        No, it’s not. And neither is mine above.

        Wait, you took this long in replying and you still didn’t actually read my post before beginning to respond? Dude.

        I did! Back when I copied the blockquotes in place in my temp document in advance of writing the actual replies. And then I replied much later, by which time I had forgotten the whole, and I just read the quotes in order and replied to each one by one. So, really, I read your post twice!

        Exactly. Maybe it’s fair to say we’re standing on opposite sides of the middle of the spectrum.

        Uh, it’s a two-dimensional spectrum with a “fan” axis and a “lover” axis, with “anti-fan” and “hater” at the end and … look, work in progress. But we’re both fairly central – you closer to the “fan” end, me closer to the “lover”, but neither one of us really a fan or a lover of Star Wars itself. Not in the classical sense.

        I totally got you in the first paragraph, but then your second paragraph made me think about it, and now I realize your spectrum is completely silly! What you need is a Cartesian plane with fan/anti-fan as one axis and lover/hater as the second axis. There, I fixed your work in progress.

        This spectrum needs some more axes.

        Oops, I did it again.

        Now, I could argue about whether criticism is more interesting … but let’s leave that for another time. It certainly allows more room for debate and analysis and the assertion of one’s own opinions and expertise and experience, I would say. Praise is largely a submissive cultural act, while criticism is an act of dominance.

        Holy fuck, I felt like I was back in university there for a second.

        Finally. Proof that you were in the university and that your time there wasn’t wasted! Seriously.

        Let’s just say that sure, as a storytelling medium they have the capacity for complication, especially movies that are interpretable in different ways (as, I guess, almost all of them are). But I wasn’t adding the qualifier “as a storytelling medium” to my thought initially. Compared to real-life social and cultural issues, issues in movies are quite simplified. Indeed, a lot of their deeper complications are only there as a reflection of real-life issues.

        Sure, fair enough. I agree. Your original phrasing just seemed unfairly dismissive of movies (which would’ve actually been odd coming from you) and that bugged me a bit.

        And I’m sorry for any offense, however ludicrously minor, you might have taken at my “crybaby” taunting.

        I love you, man. You’re the best. Let’s hug.

        I am, and I did. I’m always critical. Everyone should be.

        And I make a distinction between being critical-minded / having critical faculties, and just being critical. Any old moron can criticise. It doesn’t make them discerning.

        By “critical”, I obviously mean “critical-minded”, not “bitchy”, so I think we agree here.

        I was pretty sure the sun started to light up again? So, what, it drained off power from the surface, creating some sort of full-scale sunspot or even a brief solid shell of inert whatever, and then the reactions deeper inside cause that to collapse and the light to come back? And as for how it can use that much energy, we don’t even really know exactly what sort of energy we’re talking about. Was it just solar radiation, like a solar power cell dialled up to ludicrous levels (to borrow from Spaceballs)? Or was it actually drawing off nuclear fusion, uh, stuff? Kinetic energy? There was an actual visible fire trail, so…

        See, I want to just say “don’t know, don’t care”, but I do also want to think about it a bit.

        Aren’t sunspots dark simply because they’re colder than the surrounding surface, so a fully sunspotted sun would just be a bit dimmer? Anyhoo, the main problem of the Starkiller Base, for me, is that it simply feels — intuitively — like too advanced technology for the Star Wars universe. Sucking in a star (or at least its surface) basically means that they have a massive artificial black hole inside the Base, and that they can fully contain and control its gravitational forces. With technology like that, the First Order would be Gods, right? Or maybe they already harness black holes in the Star Wars universe? Who knows. Still feels like an order of magnitude or two too advanced against what we’ve seen thus far.

      • stchucky says:

        I am more forgiving than you! My forgiveness is the best, really. It’s tremendous.

        Man, it’s going to be a long four years. I’m already sick of making fun of Trump.

        If we’re lucky, and we could very well be — considering how the show’s going over there — we might not have to wait four years.

        Fingers crossed.

        In fact, take the characterization, emotional story points, and sheer narrative energy of TFA, and the imagery, cinematography, and action choreography of R1, split the difference between narrative structure, and add some original story elements, and you’re there.

        MAN IF ONLY I’D SAID THAT.

        Well, to be fair, you only said: “I mean, the distinction between an episode and a story aside, wouldn’t we all be happiest if they took the best elements from Episode VII and Rogue One to make Episode VIII?”

        No details!

        So what you mean is, I said it more efficiently. Because “the best elements from Episode VII and Rogue One to make Episode VIII” is exactly what you said, just … fine, we’re in agreement. Just pray I do not alter the agreement (further).

        Agreed about the “martial arts and spin-kick-punch-bo-staff Monkey Magic bullplop”. While the blind character was pretty cool, the whole wushu vibe felt a bit off in a Star Wars context. And that vibe was pretty pronounced because it was Donnie Yen playing the character (or rather playing a spinoff of his previous Hong Kong action cinema characters). I think the character would’ve worked better (in a Star Wars context) if the actor playing him had been a less obvious throwback to that type of cinema.

        Interesting! See, I didn’t even know that about the actor. Haven’t seen many films in that genre, because of my aforementioned lack of interest.

        Furthermore I distinguish, fairly I hope, between criticism (which I expect to be based in a certain amount of study and knowledge) and simple lack of interest (which is entirely arbitrary and can be based on nothing but the word “meh”). For example, I would not expect anyone to lose interest in or think less of the martial arts and spin-kick-punch-bo-staff Monkey Magic bullplop genre just because I’m not interested in it. If I wanted to justify that, I’d need to pay some degree of attention. To be fair.

        Wait, you took this long in replying and you still didn’t actually read my post before beginning to respond? Dude.

        I did! Back when I copied the blockquotes in place in my temp document in advance of writing the actual replies. And then I replied much later, by which time I had forgotten the whole, and I just read the quotes in order and replied to each one by one. So, really, I read your post twice!

        *shakes head sadly*

        Dude.

        I totally got you in the first paragraph, but then your second paragraph made me think about it, and now I realize your spectrum is completely silly! What you need is a Cartesian plane with fan/anti-fan as one axis and lover/hater as the second axis. There, I fixed your work in progress.

        This spectrum needs some more axes.

        Oops, I did it again.

        Dude.

        Now, I could argue about whether criticism is more interesting … but let’s leave that for another time. It certainly allows more room for debate and analysis and the assertion of one’s own opinions and expertise and experience, I would say. Praise is largely a submissive cultural act, while criticism is an act of dominance.

        Holy fuck, I felt like I was back in university there for a second.

        Finally. Proof that you were in the university and that your time there wasn’t wasted! Seriously.

        By which you mean, of course, that usually my university-educated intellect is so understated and flawlessly communicated towards a wider audience, you don’t even notice it’s there (and that, to the true initiate, is how you know it’s there). Yes?

        *subtly inquisitive yet judgemental British eyebrow*

        Sure, fair enough. I agree. Your original phrasing just seemed unfairly dismissive of movies (which would’ve actually been odd coming from you) and that bugged me a bit.

        Indeed! Movies are not to be sneezed at. Remember that one where the US defeated North Korea by ruthless mockery and propaganda?

        They hated us because they anus.

        Seriously though. Yes. I concur. Movies and pop culture in general are definitely important functions of our social consciousness.

        And I’m sorry for any offense, however ludicrously minor, you might have taken at my “crybaby” taunting.

        I love you, man. You’re the best. Let’s hug.

        Let’s. Hey, when are we going to catch up again for pints?

        And I make a distinction between being critical-minded / having critical faculties, and just being critical. Any old moron can criticise. It doesn’t make them discerning.

        By “critical”, I obviously mean “critical-minded”, not “bitchy”, so I think we agree here.

        Agreed.

        Aren’t sunspots dark simply because they’re colder than the surrounding surface, so a fully sunspotted sun would just be a bit dimmer?

        Yeah, I was using “sunspot” as a fuzzy non-sciencey term for a spot on the sun. Since it was the whole sun, it went a bit beyond that anyway.

        Anyhoo, the main problem of the Starkiller Base, for me, is that it simply feels — intuitively — like too advanced technology for the Star Wars universe. Sucking in a star (or at least its surface) basically means that they have a massive artificial black hole inside the Base, and that they can fully contain and control its gravitational forces. With technology like that, the First Order would be Gods, right? Or maybe they already harness black holes in the Star Wars universe? Who knows. Still feels like an order of magnitude or two too advanced against what we’ve seen thus far.

        Definitely. And this, I can sort of see, because the Death Star was an order of magnitude’s advancement from the Clone War-era weapons we see in Episode I, Episode II and Episode III. So another leap of exponential technology sort of fits between Episode VI and Episode VII. It just needs to be back-filled a bit, which hopefully Episode VIII and Episode IX will do … and if they don’t, then perhaps Episode VII‘s Rogue One, Episode VI ½, will talk about it.

        Not outside the realm of possibility, since the saga will make movie-profit history and Disney are going to keep on making Star Wars movies for the rest of time.

        nObCinemaSins: And I’m okay with that. And I am not okay with that.

      • stchucky says:

        You mean, long breaks of no commenting and then back to commenting? Yeah, usually threads just die – sometimes a spammer will show up randomly or a link to the post will bring in some new readers and wake things up, but generally they don’t “spontaneously” awaken.

        Also, I’m leaving this open for you to make a Force Awakens joke. Never say I don’t give you things.

      • dreameling says:

        You mean, long breaks of no commenting and then back to commenting? Yeah, usually threads just die – sometimes a spammer will show up randomly or a link to the post will bring in some new readers and wake things up, but generally they don’t “spontaneously” awaken.

        Also, I’m leaving this open for you to make a Force Awakens joke. Never say I don’t give you things.

        Didn’t even notice until you pointed it out. And now there’s no point, because you defused the potential jokes by pointing them out. Considerate and mean at the same time. Impressive.

      • stchucky says:

        I live to do thy bidding, my master.

        Also, was that the first and last and only time Vader went all Chaucer on the Emperor? Was he being sarcastic?

      • dreameling says:

        It’d be cool and great if he was. But I’m just gonna go with “no, he was being completely serious”.

        But you know what, maybe he was starting to feel guilty about murdering younglings, killing his wife, killing his unborn child [1], and generally turning to the dark side, so — as a psychological defense mechanism — he was overcompensating with the “you’re my master, you own my will, I’m not responsible for what I did”.

        Or maybe not.

        [1] Singular, as far as he knew.

      • stchucky says:

        Oh, the “master” part is fine, it’s part of Sith culture. But “thy”, out of nowhere? Really?

      • dreameling says:

        Oh, DUH! on me. I wish timoji was a thing.

        Anyhoo, I’m gonna go with “inconsistent dialogue”. I’m pretty sure that was the only instance, yeah.

      • stchucky says:

        I’m trying to remember if Darth Maul spoke like an amateur dramatics society hobbyist. It may have been a Sith thing all over.

      • dreameling says:

        Maul didn’t really have time to talk that much because he had to split.

        *badum-tish*

      • dreameling says:

        Oh, come on, I totally killed it!

      • stchucky says:

        It was good. It was very good.

      • stchucky says:

        It was franchise-spanning universe-crossing good.

      • dreameling says:

        I sense a patronizing disturbance in the Force! But I will take this epic win!

      • stchucky says:

        I never! It was demonstrably universe-spanning, because look at the facepalms it caused!

      • stchucky says:

        Anyway, you’re right. Darth Vader was twice the Sith Apprentice Maul was.

  12. Pingback: Interlude: The Expanse | Hatboy's Hatstand

  13. stchucky says:

    55 comments! 56 including this one which, at the risk of being accused of comment-padding, I totally felt the need to add for legitimate purposes.

  14. dreameling says:

    By comparison, Rogue One has a cool opening scene but then kind of just crawls along and jumps around until the action finally picks up and the characters start doing exciting stuff in the 3rd act. And you never really care that much about the characters. The movie’s visually stunning and technically impressive — masterclass craftsmanship — and the premise is way cool, but, because the characters and story never quite grab you, the movie lacks the soul or whatever that Episode VII has. In short, it’s fun and impressive to look at but doesn’t pack the same emotional punch.

    As promised, I’ve returned. I just watched R1 on Blu-ray. My second viewing. Despite what I suspected, I actually didn’t like it more this time around. But neither did I dislike it more. My original summary above still holds for me.

    R1 is a visually beautiful movie with gorgeous scenery and imagery, and the premise remains interesting. But the story and characters just kind of fall flat. And I think I know why: the movie feels like a collection of scenes where the plot drives the characters. Up until the 3rd act, the characters — especially the main character — just react. Add to this the fact that the characters lack any real depth or chemistry or soul, and you have an underdeveloped and underwhelming narrative. The characters should be driving the plot, and they should be interesting and preferably relateable.

    Tarkin and Leia still looked fake (although Tarkin maybe a little less so on my smaller home screen).

    The Chinese kung-fu master was still tonally off in a Star Wars context.

    Darth Vader still sounded old and weary.

    But Darth Vader was still soooo cool.

    • stchucky says:

      As promised, I’ve returned. I just watched R1 on Blu-ray. My second viewing. Despite what I suspected, I actually didn’t like it more this time around. But neither did I dislike it more. My original summary above still holds for me.

      And as much as I would like to bump this as far towards 100 comments as possible without *cough cough* someone making an angry remark about gratuitous revelation of character blackness, I think we’re all squared away here and there’s nothing much to add.

      I don’t disagree with any of your points and haven’t got the DVD / blu-ray yet myself, not that heavily invested to be honest. I think I still wound up thinking more highly of this movie than you did and I liked it more than Episode VII, but anything we can throw into the ring to fight for our viewpoints are composed 100% of opinion so there doesn’t seem much point.

      R1 is a visually beautiful movie with gorgeous scenery and imagery, and the premise remains interesting.

      Agreed.

      But the story and characters just kind of fall flat. And I think I know why: the movie feels like a collection of scenes where the plot drives the characters. Up until the 3rd act, the characters — especially the main character — just react.

      Now, I agree that the characters lacked Star Wars flair. Once we start talking about collections of scenes and plot driving the characters, though, I find it hard (again) to level this as a criticism against Rogue One while not applying the same to basically every other Star Wars movie, where the characters just flail from one piece of scenery to the next. Maybe you also have that problem with the other movies, I don’t know.

      I don’t consider it much of a flaw. Yes, it’s more or less inevitable when the characters are caught up in a war so much bigger than themselves. And yes, in the case of Rogue One it might be exacerbated by a) the characters being less colourful and b) the sets in which they’re flailing being so much more gorgeous. No argument from me there.

      Add to this the fact that the characters lack any real depth or chemistry or soul, and you have an underdeveloped and underwhelming narrative. The characters should be driving the plot, and they should be interesting and preferably relateable.

      *nod*

      Fair to say. There wasn’t really the requisite “fish out of water” / audience-character for us here. And Episode VII, by contrast, had at least Finn and Rey filling those roles.

      Tarkin and Leia still looked fake (although Tarkin maybe a little less so on my smaller home screen).

      The Chinese kung-fu master was still tonally off in a Star Wars context.

      Darth Vader still sounded old and weary.

      YOU GO TO–

      Alright, fair enough, I agree.

      But Darth Vader was still soooo cool.

      YES.

      • dreameling says:

        Once we start talking about collections of scenes and plot driving the characters, though, I find it hard (again) to level this as a criticism against Rogue One while not applying the same to basically every other Star Wars movie, where the characters just flail from one piece of scenery to the next. Maybe you also have that problem with the other movies, I don’t know.

        Fair enough. But it definitely felt more pronounced here. And even flailing from one scene to the next can still be acting as opposed to reacting. In The Force Awakens, for example, the characters were definitely more in charge in the sense that they were actively making decisions. Each character made clear choices and had clear goals, and this drove the plot. In Rogue One, by contrast, it felt like the characters were constantly being dragged along — especially Jyn — until the 3rd act, where they finally started to really choose what to do instead of just hitting plot points provided by some plot device (usually a character providing exposition about the next McGuffin step).

        It’s maybe a thin red line, but there’s a difference between the plot driving toward a goal and the main character driving toward a goal. Ideally, you only have the latter, and that generates the plot. If that makes sense.

        I don’t consider it much of a flaw. Yes, it’s more or less inevitable when the characters are caught up in a war so much bigger than themselves. And yes, in the case of Rogue One it might be exacerbated by a) the characters being less colourful and b) the sets in which they’re flailing being so much more gorgeous. No argument from me there.

        The characters being pretty passive and unemotive, especially in comparison to Episodes IV-VII, certainly contributed to the feel, yes. Again, Jyn was a real focal point here. In retrospect, I think Felicity Jones and Gareth Edwards, the director, really dropped the ball with the character. I can sort of see where they were trying to go with the cynical traumatized war orphan thing but it just didn’t work (at least not for me).

      • stchucky says:

        Fair enough. But it definitely felt more pronounced here. And even flailing from one scene to the next can still be acting as opposed to reacting.

        I feel that’s mostly about how charitable you feel like being to the characters involved. And we’re going to arrive at different answers to that one.

        In The Force Awakens, for example, the characters were definitely more in charge in the sense that they were actively making decisions.

        Case in point. I didn’t get that impression. And I didn’t care.

        Each character made clear choices and had clear goals, and this drove the plot.

        Again, not really seeing it. If you can say Rey and Finn had clear goals, then you can say it of any of the Rogue One characters, even if it was as simple as “survive and be left alone”. And the “choices” they made can – as I say, according to how charitable or uncharitable one wants to be – be broken down into responses to their changing opportunities and situation.

        Obviously you see it differently or are far more inclined to see other movies in a more charitable light and Rogue One less so, so I doubt there’s much point debating back and forth like any of these are solid facts.

        In Rogue One, by contrast, it felt like the characters were constantly being dragged along — especially Jyn — until the 3rd act, where they finally started to really choose what to do instead of just hitting plot points provided by some plot device (usually a character providing exposition about the next McGuffin step).

        I can dig it – because you said “felt like”. Perfectly valid impression in my opinion.

        And as I said, the characters were in my opinion weaker in Rogue One. Which makes them automatically seem more like passive reagents.

        It’s maybe a thin red line, but there’s a difference between the plot driving toward a goal and the main character driving toward a goal. Ideally, you only have the latter, and that generates the plot. If that makes sense.

        Sure. I don’t think it’s entirely fair to say this is an issue that Rogue One had and other movies lacked, but I’ll certainly accept that you’re saying Rogue One had a bigger problem in this respect. How much bigger, again, is a matter of opinion.

        In retrospect, I think Felicity Jones and Gareth Edwards, the director, really dropped the ball with the character. I can sort of see where they were trying to go with the cynical traumatized war orphan thing but it just didn’t work (at least not for me).

        Agreed, I was underwhelmed and found little to connect with in her character. It might have been meant to speak to viewers on a political or cultural level more than a personal one, but that sort of breaks what Star Wars is about, doesn’t it?

      • stchucky says:

        Guuuhh, so much unclear rambling and so many typos in that, fixed up as much as I could. Finger / brain disconnect is strong with me today.

      • dreameling says:

        I feel that’s mostly about how charitable you feel like being to the characters involved. And we’re going to arrive at different answers to that one.

        Sure. But I do think there’s a not-purely-subjective case to be made here if we start deconstructing the narrative. I also think we’ve now spent enough time on this movie, so let’s not go there. Maybe someone online will do it or has already done for us.

      • stchucky says:

        I’d love to see an attempt to separate subjectivity and objectivity from opinion of a movie. Oh wait, no I wouldn’t!

      • dreameling says:

        Opinions are obviously subjective, but that doesn’t mean they’re 100% relative, that they cannot also have a level of objectivity.

      • stchucky says:

        Opinions are obviously subjective, but that doesn’t mean they’re 100% relative, that they cannot also have a level of objectivity.

        Never at any point said they did.

        “Subjective” and “objective” are mutually exclusive, because the “100%” is taken as read and can be tacked onto the front of each.

        “Mostly subjective” and “possessed of a certain degree of objectivity” are out-and-out synonyms.

      • dreameling says:

        I’d maybe argue that “subjective” and “objective” are mutually exclusive only in purely philosophical-theoretical terms. As applied to the human experience, they’re practically complementary.

      • stchucky says:

        I’d maybe argue that “subjective” and “objective” are mutually exclusive only in purely philosophical-theoretical terms. As applied to the human experience, they’re practically complementary.

        Whoa whoa whoa. You’re the one who keeps sneaking absolutes into your responses like I’m the one making any sort of claims about total object- or subjectivity. What you’ve basically done here is said exactly what I’ve been saying all along – that total objectivity and total subjectivity are antonyms, and any other spectrum-based usage of the two terms renders them more or less synonymous and separated only by degree.

        I’m not that tired, sir! Not today, motherfucker. Not today.

      • dreameling says:

        Well, shit. I think we just plain agree here. I blame the apparent disagreement on (a) the fundamental ambiguity of language, (b) the fact that my mind is actually tired, and (c) fucking ducks.

        SEE WHAT I DID–

        *boots up brain due to too many levels*

      • stchucky says:

        Head up butt, boots up brain, ducks up posts…

      • stchucky says:

        In case you were wondering about my intentional misinterpretation of your nounverbs, look no further than the language consultation you called me into, and which is now stuck in a loop in my brain. Blame your good self.

      • dreameling says:

        I remember. I was referencing the exact same consultation.

      • dreameling says:

        What happened to R1?

      • stchucky says:

        Sorry.

        But yeah, if you want to say “things more people agree on about this movie” = “things that are less subjectively / more objectively true about this movie”, then sure. I think we already found plenty of those.

        The rest, obviously, you’re wrong about. But that’s okay. Almost nobody’s perfect.

      • dreameling says:

        I’m not saying that common opinion is less subjective than a fringe opinion. There can be a correlation, sure, but it’s not a given. Masses can be wrong.

      • stchucky says:

        I’m not saying that common opinion is less subjective than a fringe opinion. There can be a correlation, sure, but it’s not a given. Masses can be wrong.

        And they usually are, when they disagree with me.

      • dreameling says:

        I’ll give you this: You’re IQ is almost certainly higher than the masses average IQ.

      • stchucky says:

        I’ll give you this: You’re IQ is almost

        See, now I think you’re getting offensive.

      • dreameling says:

        Yeah, that joke was almost certainly a misfire. But, to be fair, you were kind of putting on airs and implying you’re smarter than everyone else, including me. So naturally I had to kick you in the nuts. What I’m saying is that you started it.

      • stchucky says:

        Yeah, that joke was almost certainly a misfire. But, to be fair, you were kind of putting on airs and implying you’re smarter than everyone else, including me. So naturally I had to kick you in the nuts. What I’m saying is that you started it.

        I was poking you for mixing up your and you’re.

        What were you doing, please?

      • dreameling says:

        I’m so embarrassed. I almost got no words. Talk about doing yourself in. I…

        I’m really tired?

      • dreameling says:

        Holy shit. “You’re IQ”. It’s true.

      • stchucky says:

        Holy shit. “You’re IQ”. It’s true.

        I have been known to be IQ, from time to time.

        But for real, I’m operating on very little sleep myself here. This was definitely fun though.

        I do actually have another quasi-philosophical point about objectivity to make, but I think I’ll sleep on it first. All in service of enjoyable discourse​.

      • dreameling says:

        Objectivity is a fascinating subject, and I’m probably too set on certain interpretations and uses of the concept, so let’s pick it up again later.

      • stchucky says:

        Objectivity is a fascinating subject, and I’m probably too set on certain interpretations and uses of the concept, so let’s pick it up again later.

        Heh, I hope this is “later” enough … but if not, well, I know you’re capable of coming back to a thread months after the fact.

        Alright, so here’s the thing I wanted to say about objectivity in opinions.

        First up, I didn’t mean to sound defensive, it’s just standard response when a differing viewpoint seems to be disagreeing with mine on grounds that I wasn’t holding in the first place. Specifically, your “protests” that these various opinions we’re talking about aren’t completely subjective and that there are ways we can look at the relative objectivity of our viewpoints … I was never saying that the subjectivity here is absolute and discussion is impossible.

        I just wanted you to be aware of that, or at least acknowledge it since I’m sure you are aware of it. It just seemed as though the basis for your objection was some worldview I was not actually expressing.

        I am, in turn, perfectly aware that you’re not pushing for a completely objective conclusion whereby one of us is 100% right and the other 100% wrong. That would be silly. There’s a difference between (relative) objectivity and (absolute) objective fact.

        Now, with all that in mind…

        Please stop talking about relative objectivity when discussing opinions of fiction for entertainment. I mean, sure – in a sense you’re perfectly within your rights to do so and of course I wouldn’t actually want you to stop saying things, I’m certainly not telling you to STFU. It’s just a figure of speech. Just … bear in mind that I think it’s pointless to look at such a characteristic, so I’m unlikely to take it seriously – and am in fact more likely to just dig in and disagree just to prove a point.

        To take a step back: Relative objectivity is a very interesting thing, but it’s totally dependent on context and has really limited practical use in impractical situations. Here’s an example I was thinking of yesterday. Sort of a thought experiment.

        Let’s say you and I were asked “what is 10 + 10?”

        And let’s say, for the purposes of the experiment, that I answered “10”, and you answered “19”.

        So. With the information at hand, and the “objective” knowledge that 10 + 10 = 20, we were both wrong. But you were closer. 19 is closer to 20 than 10 is.

        But what if what we were counting was half-apples?

        10 half-apples plus 10 half-apples is 10 apples. It’s not 19 anything. So I was right, with obvious creative interpretation.

        Proximity to objective fact is not really applicable to something like opinion of a movie, which is even more open to interpretation, different starting points, and game-changing information. I just wanted to mention this as an introduction to why I think relative objectivity is a wrongheaded way of looking at some – but by no means all! – questions of personal opinion.

        When it comes to movies, stories, stuff like that, we’re exchanging opinions somewhere so far towards the “subjective” end of the subjective-to-objective spectrum, even the “most objective” sub-opinion is going to be a matter of personal taste. Especially once we get into what that sub-opinion actually means in practical terms. And by “practical terms”, I guess I mean our personal enjoyment, cultural appeal, filmmaking technique, whatever.

        Let’s take the “Old Man Vader” example.

        You think Vader sounded old and busted? Of course. That has objective backing. First, James Earl Jones is decades older now than he was when he first voiced Vader. He is old and busted. Second, if you really wanted to, you could find or create voice analyses of a hundred thousand human males between the age of 5 and 105, and point to the characteristics denoting age, then lay Jones’s lines from Rogue One over the top and point out the markers. That’s pretty objective.

        I can, of course, just turn around and say “meh, not to me it didn’t.” That’s pretty weak, yes, but that’s when we walk off the edge of nice safe objective ground and start to sink.

        Because I wouldn’t (really) say “meh, not to me it didn’t.” We all know Jones was older. That has no bearing on anything. What matters is what that does to your opinion. See, you’ve been citing it as a flaw in the movie, something you didn’t like. Took you out of the story. Reminded you that the actor is old. Seemed incongruous considering the youth of his voice in Episode IV.

        And all of that is fine – but it’s completely subjective opinion.

        And it’s super easy for me to “disagree” with it, because my subjective opinion was that I didn’t even notice his voice sounded older, and if it sounded different in any way, so what? Maybe Vader’s voice modulator was old, and just before his final epic battle scene in Rogue One, he got a replacement part. It turns out – surprise! – we were counting half-apples.

        Things like that don’t take me out of the story, and if they do, and provided I like the movie enough – and I did, in this case – I find a way to work them back in. Why was his voice James Earl Jones instead of Hayden Christensen anyway? That’s right, because his voice box was destroyed by lava and the whole thing is robotic. Fucking move on.

        Another good example of this is the smooth, shitty-pretty CGI spaceships and everything in the prequel trilogy. Why did everything suddenly turn so clunky, live-action and craphouse between Episode III and Episode IV? “Objectively”, it’s because the special effects technology and practices changed. In-universe? Meh, these were aliens we didn’t really see in the original trilogy. There was a galaxy-wide overthrow and a new Empire and all sorts of things. The enlightenment ended and the dark ages came back. Whatever. I didn’t really bother to explain beyond “Lucas was messing shit up”, because I didn’t like the movies enough to try.

        But don’t you see, that’s where it becomes pointless to discuss things in terms of “objectivity”. Sure, there were these provable physical characteristics based on these facts. But making the leap to “and that sucks”, let alone “and that sucks and anyone who thinks so is more objectively correct than someone who thinks it doesn’t” … is kinda dumb.

        The same goes for the CGI rebirth of Tarkin and Leia. Yes, objectively, we know that those were faked somehow, because they had to be. But that’s fucking stupid, because just about everything in the movie – the aliens, the spaceships, the planets – is faked because that shit isn’t real.

        So that leaves you with accepting – subjectively – the blatant and obvious fakeness of one set of things, and complaining about another. Because yes, we’re more baseline-familiar with the human form, so the so-called uncanny valley effect of a not-quite-right fake human is going to be more jarring than a Star Destroyer crashing into a planetary shield. We’re more used to seeing real humans, so our standard is higher than for things we have never seen so could look like anything really.

        And I happen to think that is a bit of a stupid place to draw the line, but I don’t judge.

        Yes, that Tarkin and Leia’s faces were CGI’d is objectively true, and reasonably objectively obvious. Making the leap to “and that’s a relatively-objectively defensible point against this movie” is dumb.

        I don’t disagree that there is such thing as more right / more wrong / more objective / more subjective. I just don’t think it matters here.

      • dreameling says:

        Did we really blow through 40-50-something replies today? Because the comments counter says “104”.

      • stchucky says:

        I remember. I was referencing the exact same consultation.

        Yep, that was what reminded me to reference it. Well played. It just so happened that “headbutt” and “boot mind” were (very dubiously) also examples. But not really. They depended on the ol’ intentional misunderstanding for the purposes of humour.

        Objectivity is a fascinating subject, and I’m probably too set on certain interpretations and uses of the concept, so let’s pick it up again later.

        Agreed. To be continued.

        Did we really blow through 40-50-something replies today? Because the comments counter says “104”.

        Yes. Yes we did. Because we rule.

        What happened to R1?

        I’m pretty sure we concluded it was the best Star Wars movie of all time.

        OF ALL TIME!

      • dreameling says:

        Fuck it.

        R1 was brilliant. Beautifully written, impossibly relateable characters with genuine depth. Impeccable narrative structure and pacing with not a single scene or transition out of place. Flawlessly organic and character-driven plotting. The most unbelievably believable CGI you ever saw. And James Earl Jones plucked those gorgeous bass chords like he was 30 again.

        I’m updating my IMDb score from 7/10 to 11/10.

        R1 is the best movie of all time. It’s so good it made me believe in God.

        GOD!

      • stchucky says:

        I KNEW IT

        Stand by, I wrote a small essay on objectivity today on the bus and I did link it back to R1 … get to it when you get to it, I just thought it was interesting is all.

      • dreameling says:

        Standing by… Standing by…

      • stchucky says:

        Also, just to take you on a trip down memory lane:

        You:

        I’m not saying that common opinion is less subjective than a fringe opinion. There can be a correlation, sure, but it’s not a given. Masses can be wrong.

        Also you:

        Both Tarkin and Leia looked objectively fake to me.

        Also you again:

        BRKN is a sample of one. Both CGI Tarkin and CGI Leia have gotten a lot of criticism, from a lot of people, for looking fake. Perfectly valid criticism. So I’m just gonna call them objectively fake-looking. But how fake, that’s subjective, sure.

        So you really do seem to be contradicting yourself there.

      • dreameling says:

        Well, no, I said there can be a correlation, not that there necessarily is one. In the above case, though, with the objectively fake CGI, there clearly is. The masses were right. As was I.

      • stchucky says:

        Well, no, I said there can be a correlation, not that there necessarily is one. In the above case, though, with the objectively fake CGI, there clearly is. The masses were right. As was I.

        Leia was bad. I’ll give you and the rest of the masses a partial credit on that one.

        You and the majority of the masses, in Tarkin’s case, were all aware that Cushing is dead. The only partly objective observer we have is Mr. BRKN, who was unaware of the character and didn’t notice the CGI at all. And you just tish-and-pished that evidence away.

        I call shenanigans on your assumption – and indeed your very conception – of objectivity, sir.

        *glove slap*

      • dreameling says:

        Forgive me, sir, but my objectivity is clearly mightier than your objectivity.

        *existential headbutt*

      • stchucky says:

        *existential headbutt*

        Your mean attempt to call attention to my surgically-imposed physical shortcomings notwithstanding, your philosophical insertion of your head up your own arse has been exceptional in this thread. I grant you that.

      • dreameling says:

        Not everything’s about your colon, dude. You’re not allowed to play that card yet.

        (OK, that “head up your arse” bit was pretty clever, though, so score for you. But you were stretching the meaning of “headbutt” a bit.)

      • stchucky says:

        But you were stretching the meaning of “headbutt” a bit.)

        If there was any stretching involved, you can blame it squarely on your own cranial capacity.

      • dreameling says:

        I can’t tell if that’s an insult to my ass or a compliment to my brain.

      • stchucky says:

        Not everything’s about your colon, dude. You’re not allowed to play that card yet.

        Also, I’m pretty sure that when you beat cancer and have your anus removed, you can play that card whenever you goddamn please. And that, sir, is objective fact.

      • dreameling says:

        You’re such a cancer bitch.

      • dreameling says:

        (This time I almost feel like I should add a joke disclaimer…)

      • stchucky says:

        (This time I almost feel like I should add a joke disclaimer…)

        Not this one, no. This one’s fine.

      • dreameling says:

        I’m also right.

      • stchucky says:

        Additional point of order (because I just like spamming my own blog):

        My “mostly about how charitable you feel like being” (emphasis mine) and your “not-purely-subjective case to be made” are basically the same thing … aren’t they? We’re both saying it’s pretty darn subjective opinion, but not 100% a dick.

      • dreameling says:

        Let’s say they overlap. Or that they’re two sides of the same coin.

      • stchucky says:

        Let’s say they overlap. Or that they’re two sides of the same coin.

        I take it back. At this rate we’ll effortlessly cruise past the 100-post mark.

        And I’m not even responding for the sake of responding, this shit is genuine and organic.

        It’s genuine organic shit.

      • dreameling says:

        It truly is. At least from our subjective points of view. Which, in the context of the two of us, would make it objectively true.

      • stchucky says:

        It truly is. At least from our subjective points of view. Which, in the context of the two of us, would make it objectively true.

      • dreameling says:

        I reject your definition of objectivity and substitute it with my own. Behold: If we limit our frame of reference, our effective reality, to just the two of us, then whatever we agree on to be true is objectively true within said frame of reference. Ergo, I’m more handsome than you.

      • stchucky says:

        Ergo, I’m more handsome than you.

        Well I can’t say I think much of your methods, but you arrived at the correct outcome so I suppose you’ve got me coming and going.

        But mostly, you know, coming.

      • dreameling says:

        You come. I come. It’s mutually assured coming.

      • dreameling says:

        PS. This video captures pretty well my feeling of TFA characters driving and R1 characters not driving the plot:

    • JonathanBloom says:

      “The Chinese kung-fu master was still tonally off in a Star Wars context.”

      The whole mythology is based off of Kung Fu and samurai films!

  15. Pingback: On humans | Hatboy's Hatstand

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