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Did JJ Throw Himself Under a Bus?

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

  1. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    I still need to get my copy of TROS (I KNOW) but that would be an interesting project, comparing the two.

    Especially now that we know Palpatine had some ulterior motives previously unknown about in ROTJ.
     
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  2. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    But the OT isn't the most recent trilogy, and storytelling has evolved. This is why I don't like the argument that "Star Wars shouldn't have to do XYZ because they didn't have to do that over forty years ago." There are DOZENS of things in our day-to-day life that were common over forty years ago (ranging from mundane to very important) that we don't do today. Why does Star Wars still get to use that excuse?

    Storytelling has evolved and matured. Look at Game of Thrones for both positive and negative examples. Look at the type of "fantasy" mass audiences want...and then look at what happens when they stop planning things out and stop following a road map.

    Look at Avatar: The Last Airbender and shonen manga Rurouni Kenshin and My Hero Academia. These are shows whose target audiences are boys ages 7-14...and they ALL carry redemption arcs far more complex than anything the Star Wars movies have ever done. So if these kids' shows** and cartoons can carry complex stories and emotions, why can't Star Wars movies?

    There are some subtle differences between Maul and Palpatine though.

    First is that no one wanted Palpatine back. Sure, people may have wanted a villain with the same gravitas (read: fun evil camp) as Palpatine, or a villain who could manipulate/beat the heroes in almost every way, but they didn't want Palpatine. No, they wanted someone new who made them feel like Palpatine did. Fans of Naruto like My Hero Academia because it more than nearly any other shonen today makes them feel like they did when they read/watched Naruto. Fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender like The Dragon Prince because the latter show gives them similar feelings. Fans of Snoke liked him because he was shaping up to give us similar feelings to Palpatine but with the potential to be a different character.

    Maul on the other hand...well, I had a friend who loved Star Wars but hated the prequels and thought that Maul was severely underused. Me and a third friend were able to convince him to watch TCW without telling him about Maul's revival, and now he LOVES the prequels and Maul. Heck, Maul's revival is now a selling point for the show! And it doesn't break any canon rules because Maul stops taking the Sith name by the time we need him to (as evidenced in Rebels) and his death is only tangentially linked to the Chosen One prophecy.

    Second, bringing back any one who still calls him or herself Sith post-ROTJ undoes the emotional and narrative impact of the PT and all related material. Maul skirts that line - barely! - showing that those who brought him back and took him out knew where the line in the sand was drawn and how not to cross it.

    Third, nothing interesting was really done with Palpatine when they brought him back. He was here for one movie and then gone again, and we're supposed to believe 1) this was the plan all along and 2) that he won't be back again...because he definitely died this time! :rolleyes:
    Maul had ARCS, spanning two shows, a movie cameo, and a very difficult-to-find comic (which all amount to a pretty crazy timeline to be sure!)

    Much like how there were theories on Rey's parentage that included just about every character, there were theories about Snoke that included nearly every villain and/or fallen hero. I remember the Plagueis ones, the Palpatine ones, the Mace Windu ones, the Maul ones, and I even posited a theory that Ezra Bridger would end up being Snoke! So I think it's more like @RoyleRancor said earlier in this thread, if you throw enough darts you're bound to get a bullseye.

    Take your time on that...Lord knows I am...(and I still have at least two more viewings of it to go through... :()
     
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  3. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    Initially? Sweeping generalization aside, maybe.

    But that cackle at Celebration last year? I don't think no one wanted Palpatine after that. A lot of us just realized we didn't know how much we wanted him back until then.

    And sure, it wasn't everyone. Some people were initially opposed to the idea.

    Fair enough, I can see that interpretation.

    I know it's not really a strong counterpoint, but personally... I just don't really care.

    I really don't like the idea of "the prophecy", and I do think TROS did some neat stuff with sith lore. In fact, if I had a complaint about that aspect, it's just that I would've preferred much more of it.

    Yeah, I'd agree with all of that. Palpatine was far more underutilized than Maul has been. Like, it's not even close.


    Oh yeah, I have a feeling that even though I too don't love the Rey/Palpatine confrontation (though I do enjoy Palps elsewhere in the movie), we'll still be finding new comparisons with it for years to come.
     
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  4. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    I just realised that this makes no sense at all.
    Palpatine was never a king. So his kids would never be called prince and or princess.

    Palpatine was an emperor which would make Rey an empress, but not a princess.

    So, as mentioned above Adam Driver was not teasing Rey's lineage. He just said Rey is that very character type. Which she is.
     
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  5. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    Possibly, but that may be splitting hairs.

    "Princess" doesn't need to be taken literally. It's an archetype, and could easily be interpreted as simply being a child of legacy. I'd easily accept "Princess" to refer to a child of any of the original cast- be it Leia, Luke, even Lando.

    And if he said "Empress", the mouse would have his head for sure. That's WAY too obvious. :p
     
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  6. Veronica

    Veronica Rebel General

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    LOL! I actually saw a few people on another forum make this exact same point. That Poe and Finn really served little to no use in the film. Than just be there to round out the story.

    That being said, I still think that Finn at least was in a better place in TLJ and TROS. In TFA he just seemed like diversity hire, and he did little to nothing than run around after Rey like a devoted puppy. It was actually embarrassing to watch. In TROS he did play wiser older brother to both Rey and Poe. But he also had a leadership role with the FO deserters (which I thought was better handled and more originally executed than Trevorrow's proposed approach) . Poe while still a bit clownish, still took his leadership a bit more seriously.


    Let me reiterate, I love, love, love TLJ and TROS. But I whole heartedly admit that the over all plot was thin. And it became much more of a character driven film. I guess this doesn’t work for some people and they would find it boring.

    But frankly I enjoyed it very much, because I find nothing more enjoyable than watching the function of the human heart and evolution of the human spirit. Watching the growth and development of Rey, Ben, Poe and Finn was really enjoyable inspiring for me.
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 17, 2020, Original Post Date: Apr 17, 2020 ---
    Which is exactly who she turns out to be . A Princess ;)



    The child of an Emperor or Empress is a Prince or Princess. For example the title of the daughter of the current Japanese Emperor Naruhito. Is Princess Toshi.
     
    #26 Veronica, Apr 17, 2020
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  7. RockyRoadHux

    RockyRoadHux Ginger General

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    If you take a look at the interview, it seems that the Interviewer was making assumptions. From Driver's words alone it could be one thing or the other:

    IMG-20200417-WA0003.jpg

    What we do know ist that by that time Colin was already fired but JJ didn't have pitched his script yet. He pitched his script on friday, 15th of december.


    And looking at colin's script and the concept art there's nothing that points
    into the directon of Rey being a princess or a Palpatine.
     
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  8. Veronica

    Veronica Rebel General

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    You mean there's nothing from Trevorrow's script that he personally intended on making Rey a Palpatine. It's debatable how much he planned on following the events of TFA itself. Given the fact that he proposes that Ren be the murderers of Rey's' family. As far as I know Colin Trevorrow didn't lay the ground work regarding the story for the ST.
     
    #28 Veronica, Apr 17, 2020
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  9. RockyRoadHux

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    Whatever. By the time Driver gave that Interview, Colin's script was the only source on which Adam Driver could base his thinking on.
     
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  10. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    Neither did JJ. Rian had a clean paper for his story. And while they were shooting TROS, JJ changed stuff all the time. He even changed the story completely in editing.
    An example: Kylo Ren was originally looking for the source of Snoke's power. His way led him to Mustafar and Vader's castle. There he found Vader's Sith holocron which lead him to Palpatine (unkowingly). In the theatrical cut Kylo already knows about Palpatine and he's looking for Vader's holocron (now called Sith Wayfinder) to get to Palps. The context was completely changed. So, it's reasonable to think, that JJ didn't plan on making Rey a Palpatine...
     
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  11. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    See that's how I saw him in TROS.
    In TFA I saw Finn as a person on a journey of self-discovery. Finn found independence and identity for the first time and was searching for something to do with it. Enter Poe, who literally names him. Enter Rey, who looks at him like no one ever did. Enter Han, who teaches Finn a few good life lessons and even leaves him a blaster rifle. All of these experiences shaped Finn from being literally nameless to someone with identity and purpose.

    In TLJ, Finn backslides but ultimately joins the Resistance for his own need and out of his own desire, not because someone else told him he had to or because their goals aligned once (which, while I think is weak and redundant, IS an arc). He didn't join just for Rey or Rose, he did it for himself.

    In TROS Finn...runs around after Rey like a devoted puppy. It was actually embarrassing to watch. All of his potential love interests were stripped away (look, you don't ask a girl if she has a boyfriend if you're not interested in dating her, and there was nothing wrong with Rose other than the backlash she received - and Star Wars romances have historically been FAR more cringy - so friend-zoning her made absolutely no sense). He has no set beginning or ending, and everything he achieved was given to him without purpose: he's a general who's not in charge of his own troops, Jannah is; he's a Force Sensitive (supposedly) main character who never uses those abilities, because his only role in these movies is to bolster up Rey.

    Finn...Finn meant a lot to me because he looked like me. It was the first time I truly saw myself in Star Wars (Lando may be black, but he didn't look like me), and to see how little they moved his character, how little attention or screentime or care they gave him, that crushed me. They striped Finn of his agency by devoting him to Rey with no other arc, his relationships by not giving him a love interest (be it Rey, Poe, Rose, or even Jannah), and his own struggle by not making him earn or grow into his Force Sensitivity or his leadership role. So say what you want about Finn being in a better place in TROS, but I'll have to respectfully and repeatedly disagree with you.

    No, he was WITH Jannah, but he didn't lead them. Those were Jannah's forces, and it's clear she was the leader.

    I've said this before and I'll say it again, this movie wasn't character driven, and that's not a bad thing. Things that are character driven: The Name of the Wind, The Force Awakens (admittedly debatable), The Last Jedi, Captain America: Civil War, Game of Thrones (until the final few seasons) - these are character driven because the choices of the characters actively shaped the outcome of the movie and are easily seen throughout. Had Finn not saved Poe, he never would have run into Rey, they never would have confronted Kylo Ren, and BB-8 may have never made it to the Resistance. And we see see and hear and understand WHY Finn made those choices. Had Finn and Rose never worked with DJ, the Resistance would have escaped intact. Had Ned Stark not been so honorable, Game of Thrones would have been a very different show for a plethora of reasons.

    Things that are plot driven: The Rise of Skywalker ("we need to find the Wayfinder so we can stop Palpatine", Jedi: Fallen Order ("we need that holocron so we can revive the Jedi Order." ), Avengers: Endgame ("we need these stones to bring back everyone to life"), Kingdom Hearts...when it makes sense...

    This isn't saying that character-driven stories don't have a plot, or that plot-driven stories are devoid of characters choosing their own designs; nor is this saying that one is inherently better than the other, because that's absolute garbage.

    To quote nybookeditors.com,

    "When you focus on plot, you focus on events.

    Plot-driven stories are often exciting and fast paced. They compel the reader to turn the page to find out how the characters will escape, evade, prevail, or overcome.

    As an author of a plot-driven story, you have to meticulously tie together plot points to create a cohesive story. You naturally focus on ideas instead of people and their motivations.

    In your story, you force your characters to make quick decisions that move the plot forwards. As a result, character development is secondary to plot development.
    "

    Now, The Rise of Skywalker may not be ALL of those things, but it sure hits a lot of them. Exciting and fast paced? That's JJ's M.O. right there, so check. Focus on ideas instead of people and their motivations? "Palpatine's back! Doesn't matter why or how or what's going on, we need to move NOW," so check. Quick decisions that move the plot forward with character development being secondary? Check (Jannah has NO reason to help our heroes, but does so with little rhyme or reason; it's only afterwards that we find out she's a former F.O. stormtrooper; the giant monster that Rey healed was conveniently close to that one ship they needed to find, which helped them get to the next point, and the next, and the next). This movie barely slows down for character development, which almost feels like an afterthought at times. One could say that it's secondary to the plot.


    Rey may arguably be the only character focused person in TROS, but I would argue that's not enough to make it character driven. Finn doesn't have any internal struggle, nor does Poe. Maybe you could say Kylo, but even then his struggle came and went in TLJ. By TROS he's all Team Dark Side. And even then, the plot doesn't change, nor does the Resistance's end goal. Had she had the chance to defeat Palpatine in the first act of the movie, she would have, because the focus was the plot, not her character development.


    I can see what you mean for Rey and Poe, and if I squint Ben, but definitely not Finn.
    --- Double Post Merged, Apr 17, 2020, Original Post Date: Apr 17, 2020 ---
    I mean Exogul was fine, and I don't dislike the Sith lore in TROS either, but I dislike it in stories when there is previously established canon that even the creators acknowledge and then some other creator (or the OG creator himself) goes back on after it's been accepted. It's not that I particularly care about The Chosen One concept - I like it when it works but it's VERY annoying when it doesn't - it's that I dislike the message bringing Palpatine back sends. To me it's saying that "Anakin's sacrifice doesn't matter, this narrative we built up with Anakin's sacrifice doesn't matter, this one aspect of the stories I've never bent or bowed on doesn't matter."
    Or to put it more simply, this is my "Han Shot First."

    Now if only Star Wars could move forward in time past the ST instead of every new project going back in time (not to look a gift horse in the mouth, because I've gain far more joy out of Solo, Jedi: Fallen Order, The Mandalorian, and TCW Season 7 than I ever did for TROS...but still,
     
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  12. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Car'a'Carn

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    Agreed.
    I have no problem with Snoke and a new faction rising to power. It happens, it's a real world issue. They use the dogma and tactics of past regimes to fill the vacuum of power left behind. But once they put Palps back in, I just thought, well this actually does undo the OT. This isn't a new threat, it's the old threat...so they never won. That's wholly different than fighting a new fight.
     
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  13. Embo and His Pet Anooba

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    I know, it’s like Vader died for nothing. And maybe if the final battle had been more climactic I would have accepted it, but Palps just used force lightning, it was deflected, and he just stood there and died.


    Also they are channeling that stupid set of stories in the EU about the palpatine clones and Booba fett, so.....
     
  14. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    For me, this is about as material as whether George planned on Vader being Luke’s dad all along or Leia, his sister. No, probably not. But so what? Stories change over time organically the more you sit with them and explore their potentialities. There’s no reason you can’t be cognizant of a project’s production AND embrace the story as presented.

    In my experience, the Palpatine reveal wasn’t as much a big deal as rewriting Rey’s scumbag parents as unwaveringly devoted to her. That’s what took a lot of the bite of her advancement in TLJ IMO.
    Hard disagree. The Finn character has a full and rich exploration in TFA which is directly continued through to fruition in TLJ.

    He begins his journey as a man of uncommon conscience and compassion immobilized by the fear and fatalistic perspective instilled by his oppressors - epitomized by the figure of Kylo Ren. His instinct is to flee in an act of self-preservation and, in so doing, involves a person of pure intentions (Poe) that then results in his (he believes) death.

    Reeling from that loss and guilt, he encounters another person of pure intentions (Rey) who he also involves in his self-centered motivation, this time under false pretenses, and results in that person’s capture (and potential death). His loss and guilt is compounded into action and impetus to right the wrong he caused - to save this innocent who is only in peril because of his deception.

    The climactic step in his journey in this chapter is manifest as both cathartic reflection of his inaction at the beginning of the film and a straight rejection of his stated goals at the midpoint. Faced with Kylo Ren, the representation of the First Order, he stands his ground and defends someone who couldn’t defend themselves, in a fight he couldn’t possibly win. “There is no fight against the First Order. Not one we can win...They'll slaughter us. We all need to run.”

    He had the chance to run. The Falcon was just over the ridge. He could have abandoned Rey and saved himself. But he doesn’t. That’s his victory and that’s his arc. Where he stood by and watched those innocent villagers slaughtered by this insurmountable evil at the beginning, he knowingly puts himself in the path of that wrath at the end and conquers his fear.

    Now THAT’S character work. How sad for you, you don’t see that.
     
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  15. Mosley909

    Mosley909 Rebel Official

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    I don't think anyone really throw themselves under the bus, I think the issues with trilogy are simply that it was rushed from start to finish. The concept for the trilogy was lets make a sequel trilogy and release it as soon as we can.

    Then as soon as the first film was finished they went break neck speed into the second and then third. That is really hard to pull off and make a cohesive story without a road map and with different creative minds taking charge at different times.

    They also made it even harder for themselves giving us a first film that went so heavy on the mystery box element set expectations sky high for big reveals. That's just setting yourself up for a fall when you don't have clear answers for the mysterious.

    While their are some great moments in the sequel trilogy, (Hey i plan on watching Rise of Skywalker again later.) I think Kathleen Kennedy massively underestimated the necessity to have a set outline for the story going into the trilogy when making 3 interconnected films that connected to a whole universe of story's in a short space of time with different writers and directors. That is simply the route of nearly every issue with the trilogy.
     
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  16. cawatrooper

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    True.

    Though as far as rushing goes- at least we got Fischer for two movies (three, but... I'm not sure I count the third). In a way, I'm glad she got to play Leia again, even though I'm not sure she got quite the ending she deserved.

    Really, though, I think the big mistake was how the handing of the torch was handled. The OT cast should've had at least one scene together (even if it was in a flashback). And the lack of a time skip between TFA and TLJ was a huge mistake still, IMO. It didn't allow the characters to grow offscreen- and as talented as RJ was in building up these characters while they were on screen, he still stunted their growth by keeping them in stasis for two years.
     
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  17. Veronica

    Veronica Rebel General

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    I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

    I don't exactly see how you wrote above contradicts my original assertion That he was just there to chase after Rey. Which was the only reason he came back to save her. And from my recollection in TLJ didn't he decide to cut and run as well in the face of danger as well?
    .
     
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  18. Veronica

    Veronica Rebel General

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    I think that he was interested in Rey. But she wasn’t interested in him, besides being a friend/ colleague. Nothing wrong with that, people get turned down all the time. I would like to think that Finn has more of a point than to just get the girl.

    I don’t understand your reference to troops. Finn led and planned the charge of the FO deserters and some of the rebels. And he was the one who came up with the plan to take down the tower. He was the one who figured out what needed to be done next. Most of the Resistance fighters were in planes. And while Jannah looked as if she was the team leader for the FO deserters. They weren’t her troops, they were her friends. And I don’t see what was given to him. I think that there were about 400 people in the rebels. Clearly not all of them are in the military. It would make perfect sense to put a guy who is not only ex military but someone who is more disciplined and familiar with the FO military hardware and machinery in a place of leadership and that was Finn.

    I would rather see a hero fight with his or her head . Than just see someone who just acts on anger or impulse.

    Fun fact. I am Black too!

    I don’t know how you can say they stripped him of his agency in the film when he tries to take a place of leadership.

    Yes at the start of TLJ he wanted to run and help Rey or warn her. And why shouldn’t he? She saved his life and he’s a good friend. And he thinks the Rebels are on a fool’s errand. But later after meeting Rose, she turns him around and they come up with an idea to disable the tracker. We can argue that the Canto Bight scene went on too long and was silly in some places. But I think it was good portrayal of Finn. He used his head for a great deal of the film and tried to be a hero. And by the end of the film (his fight with Phasma) he’s actually decides to commit to the cause and help others and stand up for what he believes. Not just cut and run or lash out in anger.


    I am not going to complain about his treatment in TROS. Because that film is clearly Rey and Ren’s film. They are the focus and they were meant to be the focus. There was no over all plot going forward. So Terrio and JJ just capitalized on what worked well in TLJ and that was Rey and Ren’s story. And I am sure their being the most popular characters figured into it. Finn et al. were just really there to be in a supporting role and to tie up the events of the movie. Still I think that he was well portrayed. Like I mentioned above he came up with a plan and strategy. He thought things through.

    It’s better than what they normally would have done with a young Black male like that. Put him in a pistol his hand and have him make angry statements or be a clown or a victim.


    I think you’re over simplifying the plot of TROS. Many of the decisions—the winning of the Rebels- actually came down to the choices that were made by the two protagonist. Character motivations, never happen in a vacuum it usually is a result of event. GOT was based on the decisions that came out of Roberts’ rebellion. Ned’s death might have been an impetus for certain events. But as Robert said to Ned during their meeting “There’s a War Coming Ned.” We’ll just have to agree to disagree that TFA is a character driven story.
     
  19. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    I guess it would be cool if you could share which part in particular you disagree with. But hey, only so many hours in the day :)
    Maybe the part where I detailed the core elements of his story and how they inform his own developed and nuanced journey within the narrative? I mean . . . there’s that.
    He goes to save her because he has ownership of the situation. He tricked her into helping him and she’ll likely wind up dead because of it - just like Poe (he thinks). The motivation is driven by concern and accountability and is totally organic for the situation presented.

    Can you provide a specific example from the story that supports your point of view? I’m all for differing interpretations of text, but it would be super lovely if you could articulate how you came to yours. I’m not seeing it.
    At the start of TLJ, his intent was to risk his life to save Rey’s - the identical position that TFA leaves him in. A direct continuation.

    TFA introduces us to a character unwilling to fight for a cause he doesn’t believe in. It concludes with him finding something to believe in and willing to fight for: friendship. TLJ starts at the same point and concludes with him broadening that scope beyond just the people next to him.

    In TROS . . . well . . . his hair is longer now? Sort of like with Han in ROTJ, his major character development kind of already resolved. The third chapter is more or less epilogue for him. He’s really only there to crack some wise, be in action scenes, and support the other players. More of a whimper than a bang for him, I’d say. I’m genuinely glad you got so much out of it though.
     
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  20. GingerByte

    GingerByte Guest

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    Yes, people eagerly anticipated the return of Palpatine, but next to no one wanted him to return from the dead. There were many other ways to bring his character back without undermining what came before. A pre-programmed recorded hologram that leads Ren down a path - think that dead dude in IRobot, a messenger droid... there're many other ways you could've brought him back that people would've preferred.
     
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