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Old 04-18-2013, 03:25 PM   #76
Talon87
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You've nailed both sides of it, I think, Dave. On the one hand, yeah, it does sound kinda rushed and isn't really comparable with Peter Jackson's LotR trilogy since those were all largely filmed (just not completed) before the first film even came to theaters. It sounds like it would bear more in common with the Harry Potter films which, let's face it, were not the production quality you'd want the next Star Wars to be. But on the other hand, Disney owns Marvel, and Marvel has been putting out one (or sometimes more than one) film a year every year for quite some time now. I think most people could accept Avengers-grade Star Wars, even if I still would like to see something better than that.

I was watching a recording of the PAX East Penny Arcade Q&A session and one of the people asked Mike and Jerry what they thought about Disney Star Wars. Mike said he was thrilled, and Jerry chimed in with what I think is a very important perspective: (paraquote) "The question is will it be worse than Episode 1?" His point wasn't that he worries it will be. Quite the opposite! His point was that Star Wars as a film franchise already hit rock bottom with Episode 1 and that it's doubtful that Disney would produce something so heinous that it makes even Episode 1 sparkle by comparison. I think that this is important perspective. Disney can't ruin Star Wars (as a film franchise) because it's already ruined. That doesn't mean that they should be given a free pass to desecrate Star Wars' corpse, no! But it does mean that fans need to recognize that no matter what Disney does, things aren't likely to get any worse than they already have been.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:33 PM   #77
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Star Wars hit rock bottom with Episode 2. And I would hate an Avengers-style Star Wars.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:37 PM   #78
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Personally I feel the prequels were a mixed bag. Yes, there were terrible things but also really good things (imo, at least). Jar Jar Binks was awful, but nicely balanced by Qui-Gon Jinn (might be because I'm a sucker for Liam Neeson). The epicness of the space battles in Episodes II and III were brought back down to earth by how horribly forced the main romantic plot that Lucas seems to regard as the greatest love story ever. Personally I enjoyed Obi-Wan's plot thread the most, seeing him grow from a hotheaded Padawan into the calm and wise Jedi we met in Episode IV.

But yeah, I wouldn't be keen on Potter-level production. I liked Harry Potter but they cut so much out from the books that later films were barely hung together because they relied on previous plot points that had been cut (I understand this is not so much of a problem outside of an adapted story). Meanwhile Marvel's been punching pretty high above its weight, I'm not sure there's any films in the MCU so far I dislike. So far Marvel have knocked out:

2008: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk
2010: Iron Man 2
2011: Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger
2012: The Avengers
So 6 movies over 5 years. Plus to come:
2013: Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World
2014: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy
2015: The Avengers 2, Ant-Man

Another 6 movies over 3 years. 12 movies in 8 years. So maybe, just maybe, if Disney can work their magic with Star Wars, it might just work.

inb4 all the upcoming Marvel films are shit.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:57 PM   #79
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Star Wars hit rock bottom with Episode 2. And I would hate an Avengers-style Star Wars.
Not Avengers-style. Avengers-grade. I'm saying it would have similar production values (budget for actors, budget for special effects, same sort of broad appeal). I'm not saying make a Star Wars film where we have Luke Skywalker, a Wookie Jedi, an android Jedi (lol), and a Dathomirian Jedi all teaming up to take on Darth Plumpious and his sidekick Grezebo for control of the Forcespark, an ancient artifact which grants its holder infinite Force powers.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:05 PM   #80
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Talon I'm wondering how you got inside info about the plot for Episode 9? Hee hee
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:23 PM   #81
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Ditch the Force, ditch the silly Jedi/Sith false dichotomy, and move away from the supernatural element in favour of the Mohs 2 sci-fi that formed the bulk of the first three movies and they'll be watchable.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:45 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
Ditch the Force, ditch the silly Jedi/Sith false dichotomy, and move away from the supernatural element in favour of the Mohs 2 sci-fi that formed the bulk of the first three movies and they'll be watchable.
For Episodes 7, 8, and 9, this demand is a bit outrageous. ^^; Whether they take place right after the Battle of Endor, ten years later, twenty years later, or even a hundred years later, fans will expect some tie-in to Luke Skywalker. You can't just completely write the Force out of the script and expect it to be a well-received Star Wars episode.

For the non-Episode 7, 8, and 9 movies, I don't know about altogether ditching the Force, but I would be game for a supporting character (think Chewbacca) who was a Jedi Knight-level Force user, whether professionally trained or not, who was able to help the team out with his/her peculiar knacks or abilities but who by no means was a Swiss army machete who led the team in all aspects. The Jedi have always been the most interesting class of characters in the Star Wars mythos for most people, and I think it'd be a bit draconian to surgically remove them entirely from the script just because the prequels went too far in making Star Wars the Jedi Party Hour, but I agree that we don't need or even necessarily want one in the driver's seat all the time. Consider the original trilogy: Luke was there coexisting alongside Han and C-3PO and Lando Calrissian. There were things he could do that they couldn't, and there were things they could do that he couldn't. Take that sort of dynamic ... and now make a slight tweak such that Luke is now one of the main supporting characters and one of the others -- be he a smuggler, a bounty hunter, a ruler, whomever -- is the main character.

TBH, what you're addressing is one of the reasons I'm more excited for the non-episodes than for the episodes. I feel like the territory that's to be covered by the episodes has (for better or for worse) already been covered by the novels of the 1990s which led the way in the march of fanfics-turned-quasicanon known as the Star Wars Expanded Universe. And I feel like it's going to have to deal with Luke Skywalker and his legacy, one way or another. But what I'm more interested in is something similar to the Mandalorian War ... or something like the story of how one particular Hutt rises to power and rules over Nar Shaddaa ... or something like Episode IV but with an entirely new cast of characters (alien species, teams constituting heroes and villains, technologies, everything new). Fans were excited for the 1313 game, and tbh that's the sort of thing which I too would like to see. I wasn't interested enough in The Force Unleashed (never bought nor played either game) because it felt like yet another lame Shadows of the Empire-style fanfic set in the midst of the original trilogy and trying to rewrite canon. I would like a Star Wars film with as few ties to preexisting canon as possible. Not because I don't mind a good nod to the fans, but because I feel like canon is the shackles restraining Star Wars right now. What I want is not something that is made in the image of Star Wars: what I want is something that is made in the spirit of Star Wars.
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:14 AM   #83
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Episode 1 wasn't rock bottom.
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Old 04-19-2013, 04:19 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
For Episodes 7, 8, and 9, this demand is a bit outrageous. ^^; Whether they take place right after the Battle of Endor, ten years later, twenty years later, or even a hundred years later, fans will expect some tie-in to Luke Skywalker. You can't just completely write the Force out of the script and expect it to be a well-received Star Wars episode.
That's the big weakness of the series, how it revolves completely around the Skywalkers. The Force, Sith/Jedi and lightsabers are the worst part of the franchise because of how they've over-centralized all focus and attention. I could buy that for Episodes 1-3, maybe, because how that story went it pretty much described a small group of people having massive influence on many different solar systems. But the galactic conflict was shown to involve far more people, and far more secular people, in the 4-6 movies.

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TBH, what you're addressing is one of the reasons I'm more excited for the non-episodes than for the episodes. I feel like the territory that's to be covered by the episodes has (for better or for worse) already been covered by the novels of the 1990s which led the way in the march of fanfics-turned-quasicanon known as the Star Wars Expanded Universe. And I feel like it's going to have to deal with Luke Skywalker and his legacy, one way or another. But what I'm more interested in is something similar to the Mandalorian War ... or something like the story of how one particular Hutt rises to power and rules over Nar Shaddaa ... or something like Episode IV but with an entirely new cast of characters (alien species, teams constituting heroes and villains, technologies, everything new). Fans were excited for the 1313 game, and tbh that's the sort of thing which I too would like to see. I wasn't interested enough in The Force Unleashed (never bought nor played either game) because it felt like yet another lame Shadows of the Empire-style fanfic set in the midst of the original trilogy and trying to rewrite canon. I would like a Star Wars film with as few ties to preexisting canon as possible. Not because I don't mind a good nod to the fans, but because I feel like canon is the shackles restraining Star Wars right now. What I want is not something that is made in the image of Star Wars: what I want is something that is made in the spirit of Star Wars.
The awful part about this is the Abrams Star Trek movie will probably be closer in feel to the original trilogy than the Disney flicks will be, even if Abrams is directing one.

What was unique about the original SW: it had a dynamic of settings, a dynamic of politics, and a dynamic of powers, all entropically bouncing off one another. The Force/Jedi/Sith spam that's been the focus of the last 10 core years of marketing have ingrained in a certain generation that the Force IS Star Wars and the rest is fluff.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:10 AM   #85
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I think that's simplistic to say, Doppel. A large part of Empire Strikes Back, the best Star Wars movie, is explicitly concerned with the Force, for purposes of plot and world-building. You can't just ignore that.

Also your "false dichotomy" of Sith and Jedi stuff blah blah sounds silly to me.

I'd like a "spirit of Episode IV/V" movie, like Talon. We'll see how Abrams does it. I seem to recall him not being able to do much other than action with the Star Trek reboot.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:36 AM   #86
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Well it is a false dichotomy in that they're not the only factions about that use the force and they don't represent the entirety of good vs evil, Republic vs Empire etc.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:02 PM   #87
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I think that's simplistic to say, Doppel. A large part of Empire Strikes Back, the best Star Wars movie, is explicitly concerned with the Force, for purposes of plot and world-building. You can't just ignore that.
I have to agree with this. Episode IV is about the only place you're going to be able to win an argument of "the Force was a marginal plot element that didn't ask the audience to devote their primary attention to it." And even then, it's the Force that enables the very climactic finish of the film. "Use the Force, Luke!" But yeah: with Episode V, where Luke's Force training forms the most interesting and core aspect of the film's narrative, you really don't have any leg to stand on.

I think you may be guilty here, Doppel, of trying to apply your personal history to other children of the 1980s and 1990s. You've long been an outspoken fan of LucasArts' TIE Fighter, and in several of your posts extolling this game's excellence you've talked about how you liked that the Force was all but absent from the game and that instead the game focused on the political climate of the time, the military structure, so on and so forth. You were a non-Force using human in a largely non-Force using machine. Sure, it was chaired up by a Force user in a black mask and cowl, but he only ever showed up as an awe-inspiring figurehead. Your direct superiors? Non-Force users. Your fellow pilots? Non-Force users. The combat you engaged in? Purely vehicular, made absolutely no use of the Force. This is your personal narrative, Doppel -- a child of the '90s who absolutely loved the Forceless TIE Fighter -- but while many other kids loved that game too, I think what you may be failing to recall is just how vocal, even in the 1990s, the demand was for more Jedi-pertinent Star Wars games.

One notable example which comes to mind is Dark Forces. The original Dark Forces was pretty much a knock-off of Doom or Wolfenstein but with a Star Wars layer of paint instead. You played as Kyle Katarn, an operative of the Rebel Alliance, whose weapons of choice were all guns and grenades. No Force powers of any sort ever showed up in this game. It was hugely popular ... but everyone (save you? ^^; ) demanded to know, "WHERE ARE THE LIGHTSABERS!? I WANT TO CONTROL A LIGHTSABER!" So LucasArts squeezes out a sequel, Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight. And it's a huge commercial and critical success. It's so successful that it spawns two sequels -- an indirect spinoff starring Mara Jade and reusing the DF2 engine and a direct sequel called Jedi Knight II: Jed Outcast using the then-latest Quake engine. The Jedi Knight games explore Kyle's discovery that he is a latent Force user and that he has what it takes to become a Jedi or a Sith. Kids loved these games. JKII was one of the most popular Star Wars games of the century, with fans continuing to play multiplayer battles long, long after the company moved on to newer projects. People fucking loved lightsabers and Force powers.

So what does BioWare do? Why, make a game set during the Old Republic era, of course, a time when Force users were like 1-5% of the population. LIGHTSABER AND FORCE POWER SHENANIGANS EVERYWHERE! And this game sells amazingly well. What does Sony try and do? Make a Star Wars MMO, Star Wars Galaxies. And what is the first problem they realize they have to combat? How to design a Star Wars MMO that prevents everyone from becoming Jedi while at the same time not pissing everyone off since like 99% of people who sign up want to play as a Jedi. In hindsight, fans would say they handled it fairly well; I'm not so sure, and I haven't forgotten how at the time Sony's solution to the Jedi problem was largely crucified by the community for being about as fun as tetanus booster.

I could keep going, but the point I'm trying to make is, the games of the late 1990s and the 2000s were the answers to the fans' demands of the 1980s and '90s. You seem to feel like Star Wars has never been about the Jedi and Force powers, but I believe that for the vast majority of kids when we were growing up, the absence of lightsabers or Force powers from Star Wars video games was the #1 most bemoaned thing. It's fine for them to not show up in a flight simulator, but when they don't show up in a shooter, it is pretty noticeable. No kid on the playground says "I wanna be Han Solo! " if Luke Skywalker is still up for grabs. Lightsaber ... blaster. Lightsaber ... blaster. Even if Indiana Jones already showed us why guns beat swords , no child is going to pass over a sword made of plasma that can cut through anything for some dime-a-dozen future gun you could find in Flash Gordon, Star Trek, or any of the other science fiction series of the 1960s and '70s.
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