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Did JJ Throw Himself Under a Bus?

Discussion in 'General Sequel Trilogy Discussion' started by SegNerd, Apr 15, 2020.

  1. SegNerd

    SegNerd Rebel General

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    There has been a lot of discussion already about how JJ's vision was a marked departure from GL's, and then RJ's vision was another significant shift. But I've been thinking - in terms of vision, even JJ's two movies don't seem to be on the same page.

    There is nothing in TFA that even remotely suggests that Palpatine is still around or created Snoke. There is also nothing that suggests Rey is a Palpatine. TFA never hints that the First Order is a transitional step toward a new Empire. In fact, none of the revelations in TROS have any clear basis in any previous movie (except maybe Finn's Force sensitivity).

    Since I was not a huge fan of 7 or 8, I saw this shift as mostly a positive thing. But I also just recently watched Empire of Dreams, and no matter what you think of GL, there is no question he has a very strong vision and it's more important to him than money or anything else.

    I would concede that GL still occasionally threw himself under buses (especially the resurrection of Maul), but I think JJ took a much larger turn than anything GL would do. On the one hand, that proves that JJ is quite flexible and can handle being "painted into a corner" quite adeptly - but it also makes me think he doesn't have as much love for the story or artistic integrity as GL does.
     
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  2. Viper78

    Viper78 Rebel General

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    I don't think JJ did throw himself under a bus.

    The main difference between the George Lucas trilogies and the Sequel trilogy is that GL had a vision for all of his films and he was the person calling the shots.

    It seems like there was no story plan for the ST from the start, or if there was then Rian Johnson decided to go in his own direction which he had every right to do as he was give that freedom from Kathleen Kennedy. This is why TROS seem disconnected to TFA, JJ was trying to compensate for the direction of TLJ which I think is completely different to the direction he would have taken Episode 8 if he had written it.

    Remember JJ was only meant to direct TFA and he hadn't expected to write Episode 9, he may have decided to write for the whole trilogy otherwise.
     
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  3. Veronica

    Veronica Rebelscum

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    Here's a video that pieced together Rey's lineage even before TROS started shooting:


    And here is an in interview back in 2017 referring to a GQ article with Adam Driver). That talks about Driver dropping hints that Rey is a hidden Princess.



    Enjoy.


    Revisionist history. I have very little patience for people who now laud George Lucas, when they previously raked him over the coals for the PT, when he tried to be sophisticated and add depth.
     
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  4. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    I actually see it quite differently. With TROS JJ showed he isn't flexible at all. There were so many possibilties for the story to go after TLJ, but JJ went the safe and easy route by remaking ROTJ.

    There were dozen videos like this for every single possible outcome. One of them had to be right eventually.

    Driver just used the word 'princess' in terms of the fantasy archetype and was referring to Akira Kurosawa's 'The Hidden Fortress' (which was the blue print for Star Wars). People are reading to much into stuff...
     
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  5. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    I'd agree. He was pretty much stuck in his ways on TROS and didn't try to do much with the gifts he was given and more or less just reset every character back to TFA status and made a few other very questionable decisions, but I digress, that's a different thread.

    He definitely played a role in his own problems with TROS given his inflexibility in making decisions in TFA. He wants to give you mystery boxes, provide 0 answers and be gone. It works great to start a franchise off, but someone will answer those questions at some point. Where was Luke? Who is Rey? Is Finn force sensitive? What had Leia been up to? Who is Snoke? Where is Lando? Can I fit anymore friends in this movie in roles that other characters already fill?

    It's all kinds of inflexibility as a film maker.
    Whereas Rian Johnson, like or dislike his movie, made choices that needed to be made for the story to progress and not just be a convoluted mess of events loosely imitating a plot or characters. (Again, not saying they're the right choices or not, just that he actually made them)

    JJ is like 90% of a great film maker to me with that one glaring weakness, his devotion to the mystery box and past, holding him back from being a truly great director IMO. Keeping him firmly in the very good category. If he took the risk in explaining where Luke was or who Snoke was or who Rey was in the first film, the whole franchise feels infinitely more connected but he wouldn't because then it's not a mystery and there aren't 700 page threads about who Rey's parents were. So when he does TROS it comes off as just safe and easy because he's not usually answering these questions.

    Even Zack Snyder, who isn't as good as JJ at most other things movie making wise, makes choices in his films. They aren't always the best choices or even good choices but I'll respect his willingness to do his thing over just passing the buck or being bland.

    Okay. Mini-JJ rant done because I could keep going.

    And yes, there were a million YT videos, Reddit threads, threads here and other forums speculating. One is bound to be right. Writers aren't super geniuses most of the time, throw enough darts and you'll get a bulls-eye eventually

    Also yes again. It's very clearly a Hidden Fortress reference because Rey still isn't a princess even from the Palpatine lineage. Her story plays out very similar with Princess Yuki at times.
     
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  6. Veronica

    Veronica Rebelscum

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    And this one was correct, not from hypothetical guesses. But from specific clues that were laid down in TFA. From the theme to the fact that the name was changed pre-production from Kira to Rey.

    Reading too much into what? You just made the point I stated above and that’s in the video.

    Here’s the quote:

    And he clearly mentions that:

    He specifically mentions a link to the new trilogy. Also The Hidden Fortress has a hidden Princess. And so does the ST: Rey.
     
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  7. Apollus08

    Apollus08 Rebelscum

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    Is it true Ian Mcdiarmid first got the call to be Palpatine in December 2018? I thought I saw that a while back.

    If so, that's not a lot of time to finish writing a script, let alone complete production for a movie.
     
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  8. Veronica

    Veronica Rebelscum

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    TFA was a mindless pop corn film. TLJ (which I adore) is more of art house film, (I just read an article that describes it as a film noir) and a character study about finding a silver lining in defeat.

    JJ and Terrio watched TLJ and found that the best bits in the films were the quiet ones and the exchanges between Ren and Rey. So they decided to capitalize on that. That's why TROS is mostly driven by Rey and Ren, and not only in terms of screen time. But also in terms of their inner changes and decisions they make made. Some might have found it boring or problematic but I thought it was a great choice.

    But I am personally glad that they took up the baton laid down by Johnson, and continued that story. Instead of just reverting to type and making it another empty action flick. I just saw a clip where Daisy mentioned that they weren't going to let Rey be in the same place/or same person she was in TLJ. She was allowed to grow and mature, and that choice -and others as wel-l made the film come across like a breathing and living thing. Which to me is the mark of good story.
     
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  9. Viper78

    Viper78 Rebel General

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    I understand what you are saying but I think you are doing TFA a huge disservice calling it a mindless popcorn film.

    Yes when you strip it back to it's bare bones then it's practically a remake of ANH, but what JJ did with TFA was give fans a very enjoyable and entertaining Star wars film, a film that introduced us to some new amazing characters. In fact I would say there is more character progression in TFA than in TLJ.

    While I agree with you that JJ and Terrio advance certain small parts of TLJ, the rest of TROS felt like JJ was trying to make a direct sequel to TFA, trying to get around the change of direction of TLJ. Like I said in my previous post, JJ hadn't expected to make Episode 9, if he had he might of wanted to write/co-write the script for Episode 8 as well which I think would have been the better option for the continuity of the trilogy.
     
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  10. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    I agree with most of what you said except this.
    I don't think there's a real argument to be made for this, but that's a different thread.
     
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  11. Viper78

    Viper78 Rebel General

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    Agreed, a discussion for another thread.
     
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  12. RockyRoadHux

    RockyRoadHux Ginger General

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    Exactly @NinjaRen. Like @Choose Light wrote in another thread

    seems that the author didn't understand Driver's comparison of Kylo Ren with the princess in The Hidden Fortress and then went on to editorialize that Driver had let slip a spoiler about Rey. Embarrassing for a journalist, of course--unless it was intentionally left that way, and used as a callout for clickbait.​
     
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  13. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    If you really think, Rey Palpatine was planned from the very beginning, then you don't know how JJ works. Furthermore, if it was really planned, then it was pulled off quite badly.

    People read into this, that Rey must be a Palpatine or an Organa, or even an Amidala, just because of Adam's quote. While Adam meant something completely different.
     
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  14. Veronica

    Veronica Rebelscum

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    Eh, different strokes and all that :). Glad you enjoyed TFA. But I honestly found it a chore and boring to watch. Just bunch of characters running around.


    In fact I disliked it so much that I was just going to wait a few months until TLJ ended it’s release to see it (given that I’ve seen most of the SW films in theatres). The only reason I ended up seeing it earlier than I did was due to a glowing review from someone I respected who praised it for it’s nuance. I am glad that I did.


    I don’t quite understand how you can come to this conclusion that TROS came across like a direct sequel to TFA, given the amount of growth that Ren and especially Rey go through in TLJ. In order for them to become the characters we see in TROS. I mean sure the character growth could have happened off screen but it would have seemed forced IMO.

    And of course there is the romance/relationship between Rey and Ren. Why would Ren want to save Rey’s life like that based on a invading her mind and a skirmish in the woods? I’m not a big Reylo fan, but one thing that made it more palatable for me, is the fact that they seem to have a simpatico relationship that was built on in TLJ. So by the time it came to events of TROS you can see why they would be there for each other (yes out side of the whole Dyad in the force thing).


    Why would Driver compare who Ren to the Princess? Ren didn’t have to hide who he is to survive. Rey did. Granted we don’t know if she knew at 5 that she was a noble or how long the family was on the run and how what portion they lived as Royals before they hid her in Jakku. But still it’s Rey like Princess in Hidden Fortress who has to hide her identity lest she be discovered not, Ren. Ben might have made up the identity of Kylo Ren, to quash the weakness he felt as Ben Solo. But he did not need to do that to survive.

    Also all the SW trilogies have some sort of linkage to Kurosawa and the Hidden Fortress story. As well as the hidden princess motif then. It wold make only perfect sense that Rey end up as a royal as well. Given the fact that Padme is a Princess, who spends a great deal of the films either in disguise or combat. So does Leia. So using that line of reasoning. It would only make perfect sense that Rey end up being a princess as well. Which is probably why JJ changed the name from Kira to Rey (which means King in Spanish).

    I don't think anything at all. I go by the clues which are clearly laid out..


    Let’s see.. By process of elimination:

    Rey can't be an Amidala, because the Naboo Monarachy is an elected one. Not based on bloodline or hereditary and Rey's being a princess or royal is based on blood relation

    Rey can't be an Organa. Because Leia would have brought it up.

    So that only leaves Palpatine.
     
    #14 Veronica, Apr 16, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
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  15. Viper78

    Viper78 Rebel General

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    Completely agree, each to their own as that is exactly how I felt about TLJ :). It's the only Star Wars film that I have only watched once.

    There are of course some plot points from TLJ that had to be expanded on in TROS, the main one being the Rey/Kylo force skype/romance thing which I actually thought JJ improved on but I didn't see much else other than possibly Rey's return to Achto.

    It's like you said, TLJ is more like an art house film which to me doesn't feel like a Star Wars film and I just think TROS has far more in common with TFA than it has with TLJ.
     
  16. Veronica

    Veronica Rebelscum

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    Agreed! Having seen the OT I can see why you would have this opinion.

    TROS was less talky than TLJ, But I found that TROS I had to pay attention and I found myself emotionally invested in the characters. I found myself invested in everyone's story and reaction.I didn't get that from TFA. I adored Daisy as Rey (and still adore her). But beyond that I couldn't bring myself to care about any of the other characters in TFA. It was just a paint-by-numbers action flick. It did a great job at laying things out. But beyond that it was just meh for me.
     
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  17. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Force Sensitive

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    THIS! It's like JJ gets this close to greatness and then drops the ball. For example, Luke. JJ knew that adding Luke into the story would detract from everything else, so he turned Luke into a MacGuffin...but since he didn't plan on coming back to the story, that mean that it was RIAN who had to explain why Luke was hidden on an isolated planet. It was RIAN who had to come up with the gritty details of the backstory that JJ only referenced in passing. It was RIAN who had to make the hard decisions about the story, its direction, and who the characters would become. RJ didn't do a perfect job, but he did what he thought was best at the time.

    I'll say it later, but this is how I felt about TROS originally...my opinions now are far worse (but I'm happy you enjoy it)

    That's why I think TFA is secretly brilliant (or rather, great for the franchise but terrible for the story). In telling a story that the audience should ideally already know, we can focus on the new characters and their stories instead, rather than worry about the plot. Finn, Rey, and Kylo have gone through complete arcs by the time the movie is over.

    This is also true!

    See, I found myself on the opposite side. In TFA I cared about Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo. By TROS, I realized that Poe and Finn, the characters I cared about the most, mattered so little to the directors and writers that they didn't even get defined arcs or endings in the movie. They literally disappear after that hug, as if that's a satisfying ending to some unseen character arc. And that was insulting. I found myself wondering about all sorts of coincidences and weird contrivances that had to happen for this movie to work, and it was baffling. I found myself wondering about the ramifications of the choices this story made, and it was aggravating.

    TROS feels like a movie made by someone who wants all the feels of the original movies as a fan, but doesn't understand why they worked as a creator; I had a lot more to say on this point, but it felt like a rant and this isn't the place for that.

    To answer the question, did JJ throw himself under a bus? I can't say. Probably. But it's not like the corner he was painted into didn't have an pressure valve, JJ simply didn't want to take it.
     
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  18. Bluemilk

    Bluemilk I AM the Senate

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    It was nothing like ROTJ
     
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  19. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Jedi General

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    I'm a little confused by how we're using the term "throw himself under the bus".

    In both cases it's been used in this thread (Palpatine's resurrection by JJ, and Maul's by GL) it's simply referring to undoing a character death- and at least in Maul's case, it's been a relatively well received event- or, at least the benefits reaped of it have been (look no further than the hype for the Siege of Mandalore).

    So... no? I don't think JJ "threw himself under the bus". If you're asking if he originally planned on using Palpatine... I don't know.

    There seems to be this assumption that Star Wars needs to be this fully planned out thing. I think that having a trilogy be mapped out before filming begins is probably a good idea, but the original movies were anything but. It's kind of Star Wars tradition, really.

    So, if the question we're really meaning to ask is "Did JJ simply add Palpatine to TROS", I guess my answer is "sure, it's fiction".

    No matter what he wrote, he'd be making it up. That's how fiction works.

    And I agree that he could've seeded this idea better (especially if he truly hadn't considered Palps in TFA), but I'm not sure he's gotten quite the credit he deserves for that, even if it wasn't quite intentional. Snoke=Palpatine was a pretty common theory back in 2016. It's not like it's really all so random as people like to pretend it is.
     
    #19 cawatrooper, Apr 17, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
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  20. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    The third act was pretty much the same. Palpatine even had almost the same dialog as in ROTJ.
     
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