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Did JJ Throw Himself Under a Bus?

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

  1. Slave of the Republic

    Slave of the Republic Clone Commander

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    Regardless of the Director, The Trilogies are all about fighting Sheev Palpatine's machinations:

    Prequel Trilogy – The Dark Palps Rises
    Original Trilogy – Palpy Defeated
    Sequel Trilogy – Return of Papa Palpatine

    The rules are simple: he appears in some way during the first two episodes (old dude, hologram, proxy) before going full Palpy on the third act.

    Make no mistake, The Emperor IS the bus you throw yourself under, so I'd expect him to appear on every iteration of the main Episodes to come.
     
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  2. Trev

    Trev Rebel Official

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    J.J. is certainly to blame for some of the issues with the Sequel Trilogy, but regardless, I really think more people need to hold Disney (and Lucasfilm) more accountable. We’re talking about the biggest company in the world, one that clearly controls its properties –– including Star Wars –– with an iron grip. For as many people as they supposedly had working on these films, none of them thought to address the continuity issues that the sequels blatantly creates? I mean, for Pete’s sake, what does the Lucasfilm Story Group even exist for if Disney and Lucasfilm aren’t going to use them to their full potential? I’m saying this as a fan of the sequels, but if Disney and Lucasfilm wanted this trilogy to take the narrative direction that it did, they should’ve had a concrete plan laid out for it from the beginning, and they didn’t. That was this trilogy’s biggest failure, and like it or not, it’s way bigger than a J.J. problem.
     
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  3. Xeven

    Xeven Rebel Official

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    Palps is in Rey and Luke had kids that he did not know.
     
  4. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel Official

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    ^ Just stop.

    This drags down legitimate conversation.

    The "JJ Cut" is not a thing that exists, that ever existed, or that ever will exist.
     
    #64 DigificWriter, May 15, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2020
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  5. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    I think what the OP is asking here is whether JJ ‘shot himself in the foot’. ‘Throwing under the bus’ means you’ve scapegoated someone - shifted blame from yourself to someone else over something that went wrong. If anyone fits that description, it would be Chris Terrio. Depending on whether you find the glass half full or half empty, JJ either positioned Terrio to take equal praise or heat with his significant participation in TROS.

    Did he shoot himself in the foot though? Sort of, but not with respect to Palpatine I don’t think. It would have been nice to have more cohesion or inevitability with that reveal. I mean, why would he found two different secret armies, in two different unknown regions, operating independently, one led by himself directly and one led by a sock puppet he made in a spooky basement? So unnecessarily convoluted. To me, clearly the product of improvisation on the writer’s side. But it’s not so stupefying to me it can’t be looked over and accepted as ‘hedging bets’ or whatever.

    The ‘foot shooting’, for me, was framing this trilogy as a reimagining of the OT from the jump. The same basic setup, which led to the same basic build out, and resulted in the same basic resolution. I don’t, for a single second, believe JJ Abrams or Lawrence Kasdan were creators bereft of innovative ideas. I believe the mantra at DIS/LFL, for the kickoff to this era, was ‘don’t reinvent the wheel’ - ‘stick to what we know works’. And what we got in TROS was the logical conclusion of that ethos. It started as a cover song, did a little riffing in the middle there, then ended the same. As a trilogy, I think it at least totally succeeds with what it was trying to do.
     
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  6. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Did JJ throw himself under the bus?
    [​IMG]

    Um. Yes. Thank god.
    Have you read what Lucas was planning on doing?
    Venturing into a narrative that conveys the universal spirituality of existence through a divine relationship with the Whills who are the Force and move through midichlorians which they use like hooks to ride and drive around in the vehicles that are those with them in their body, effectively throwing all actions into a philosophical paradox of free will debates?

    Look, Lucas is a visionary artist who has a really fascinating approach to cinema that deserves its place in anyone's studies of cinema, but he's also extremely esoteric in reality, and a lot of his reasons for doing things are not at all sympathetic with the idea of entertainment.
    His first love in life is cinema and the exploration of cinema as a language to convey messages of philosophy and ontology.

    While I'm among the first to praise this approach, this doesn't mean that every product of it is going to be a great ride for the audience.
    If you look at most of Lucas' work prior to Coppola basically telling Lucas that the only reason he didn't do commercial films was that he couldn't (basically challenging him), they are massively inaccessible films. And he was very well aware of this and did - not - care.
    He still thinks that way today. The older he's become, the less he's cared (which I can sympathize with completely).

    Now he's to the point that he has resigned from commercialism as a primary responsibility and flitted off to making tone poem pure cinema films that he had always intended to do before Coppola derailed his train of thought.
    Lucas originally never wanted commercial success, never considered it, never thought that's where he was heading. What he wanted to do and discuss were things you find in the likes of Arthur Lipsett.

    Go on, go watch a few minutes on youtube and then come back.
    Now...that is where Lucas' internal bell rings loud - that's where you see him perk up and get interested in conversations; when people talk about this stuff.

    You talk about hollywood and he starts to get less interested and the sentences are more formal and bitter; dismissive of value.

    So if you think bringing Lucas in would be a great thing....I suppose. But only if you're really into pure cinema film language and the ontological waxings of Deepack Chapra wearing the skin of Star Wars, because that's what you would get.

    Me personally? I'm quite pleased that's not the direction we ended up with, and I'm quite pleased that JJ, et. al. had a different relationship with Star Wars mythology than that - one a bit more shrouded in mystery than finality and exposition.

    Was it? I've read that a lot, but what exactly does RJ ever do with the ontological mythology and its narrative in TLJ that's so strongly different?
    The only real strong difference here to me is that JJ is more about the consequences of the unknown and how it drives us, where RJ is more about examining the sides of a situation for what it tells us about our ontology - that's what's fascinating to him.
    In both TFA and TLJ the topic, if you really just boil it down, is fear.

    JJ (in TFA) explores fear of the unknown and uncertainty as a primary driver, while RJ explores how fear stalls growth and holds the future captive.
    They are contradictory in nature, but they coexist regularly all around us. Both are true statements, and both can be true inside of one person at the same time.

    These are great topical explorations to have side by side as together they highlight one of the great paradoxes of human psychology.

    With TROS, we see the topic of fear rounded up and pushed through to a conclusion. Fear of the unknown and uncertainty is a primary driver. Yes, but fear also stalls growth and prevents us from moving forward. True, but fear of our own self and our own internal unknown also can boil up to the point where it becomes intolerably stressful and pushes us to action and resolve, which ultimately brings us to self-realization.

    TROS basically pulls the topic together in a really interesting way, and it's only possibly because RJ pulled on the topic in his way, and JJ pulled on the topic in his.

    That said, most of the differences are superficial stylistic differences.

    Yes they do. See above.

    Respectively, yes there is, and why would there be?
    I've mentioned it multiple times, but when I heard Palps' voice in the theater in TFA, I chuckled. Was I certain? No. But it was definitely a door crept open and I was hoping for it to circle back and open up to Palps being back one last time.

    Furthermore, even if there wasn't...why should there be?
    There's no reason to start a trilogy off with hinting at the answers to mysteries you haven't even asked yet.

    Heck, that's not even a very Star Wars thing to do. If Star Wars is the pop culture king of anything, it's retconning like a mofo, so at the very least it would be really weird to see Star Wars all crafted out and dropping leading hints like an Agatha Christie mystery.

    There's nothing that suggests Rey belongs to anyone in TFA. TFA sets up the motivation to answer the questions and provide the reasons why anyone cares.
    You're writing about this as if we're talking about how Higgins from Magnum P.I. was later claimed to be Robin Masters in spite of multiple earlier iterations that make that seemingly physically or logically impossible.

    We just weren't told. That's it. We weren't lead down one way of thinking only to be yanked hard left at the last second. We just weren't told. Cool. That puts us squarely the bucket with our protagonist....which...I mean...that is a writing device, so...

    Again...firstly...why would it?
    Was that really the momentary point?

    It's not like you got that Palpsy was playing everyone all along in the OT and just causing things to move around until he could get things into place as he had foreseen them, but effectively when you're watching ANH, you are effectively watching that exactly happen in accordance to Palpsy's plans as he has foreseen, which is something that only pops up in ROTJ. I mean...he couldn't really have foreseen everything in ROTJ being a thing without also foreseeing everything previously leading up to it.

    But I could also pedantically argue that the name "First Order" kind of gives the transitional position away. It somewhat begs for a 2.0 to arise out of it.

    Oooph..You have much more digging to do if that's all you have.
    Yes, Lucas had a vision, but it was a very movable vision with lots of room for adjustment and message.
    It was not this solid thing that myth has made it out to be.

    Look up a book called The Secret History of Star Wars. It's about 500 pages and absolutely covers, with detailed citation, the creation and production of Star Wars.
    What you very easily walk away with is what you should (and what most who've been around since the 70's and have read and watched all the BTS and interview material over the decades will tell you)....that Lucas had an idea, and a general cinematic desire and a general ontological desire, but how exactly that was to unfold and come across was almost constantly moving in a wide variety of manners.

    The OT is actually one of the most famous self-retconning hits of all time, rewriting its previous meanings film to film. Slightly retailoring the message into an ever more refined idea as it went along.
    Which we saw again in the special edition releases - Lucas not only touched up CGI, but also went about retouching things to refine philosophical aesthetics that he wanted to readjust about the narrative. They weren't huge but they were there, which shows that Lucas is not a person like Abrams at all.

    Part of the reason that the "JJ CUT" NEVER made any sense at all is that it's just so WILDLY outside of JJ's character to have any alternate cuts of a film other than the one hitting the screen.
    There's never been a "directors cut" from JJ Abrams.

    His Directors Cut IS the theatrical commercial cut, and though the man readily will itemize every little thing wrong with the film, and all of the things he would have liked to have gone back and changed, he never does because he also holds that part of what makes the film what it is, is the constraints at the time that provoked the film to be completed in that way. In other words....finished.
    He is FAR more interested in what he's doing next than revisiting what he's done in the past.

    Lucas? Not so much. Lucas will sit down and pour over previous work and refinish it and touch it up again and again (and has).
    Revisionism is perfectly normal for him.

    So, yes. He does have vision (and it's very esoteric and no one on the production will tell you it's easy to understand his visions, and Lucas himself is not very helpful - and relies on secondary media for cross reference a lot), but he doesn't have some super tight nailed down plan on the outset that he will never move from.
    Instead, he has an idea that he constantly refines and from his point of view of his current self, it's what he always intended in the way of thinking that you couldn't find the words to express what you meant so you just keep fumbling around with related words on the topic and refining it, and as you go along you get ever closer to what you feel is the right thing that you are intending to say?
    That's kind of how it seems to work with Lucas.

    He's right every time about what his film is about, even when he's absolutely contradicting himself because he's ever working on refining his message to better convey what he feels he's trying to say.

    Lucas having a plan is like the cinematic Schrodinger's Cat.

    So...yes...but no. And then again...yes. No.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Throwing under the bus means to betray someone for selfish reasons. It is based upon the idiomatic imagery of pushing someone in front of a moving bus to save yourself from harm.

    So...no.

    But, I get where you're going here. You're saying Lucas occasionally shoots himself in the foot (an idiom for causing oneself harm by their own design) by making choices that go against things already put into place.

    Well...yeah. And?
    I mean...
    [​IMG]

    I mean....are you sure about that? Really sure?
    [​IMG]

    Even if so....so?
    What's wrong with large turns?

    And honestly, I disagree actually.

    In scope of large hard-left banking turns, there's Palps is back and Rey is his granddaughter...which...um...I mean.
    Episode IV
    - Dialogue about how fighters can't go far in deep space
    - Death Star explodes
    - Vader spins off into deep space in a fighter

    Episode V
    - Vader holds a surprise reveal dinner "I'm back biznalicatchenes!, with new power! PEW PEW!"
    - Vader tells Luke, "I am your father".

    So...surviving what seems like the final death blow and then telling someone that they're related to you isn't exactly a huge left turn in Star Wars.

    But you know what was?
    [​IMG]

    Yeah, midichlorians was a HUGE crank of the neck to the mythology of Star Wars.
    NO ONE saw it coming.
    I don't care how big of a nerd you were for Star Wars, this was a massive left turn in the mythology of Star Wars.

    Everything before this had the Force as a sort of mystical Kung Fu thing like Chi.
    All very Taoist - even some of the same types of ideas are expressed in the OT as Taoism.
    Many, many comparisons have been made between the two over the decades.

    And then, BOOM.
    Star Wars went all Eugenics out of nowhere.
    Picture2.png

    Which...you know, though it was said softly, kind of played into the notion that Lucas was building in the PT, which was that the Jedi had become deluded in their own superiority and hubris that they became blind to the evil that was possible in the very world they created, but couldn't see right in front of them.

    Never-the-less, THAT....that was WAY left field.
    It not only put a specific name on the Force, it described it materialistically and took everything mystical and spiritual right out of it.

    Compared against this, bringing a bad guy back and making him the patriarchal nightmare to our hero is...well...not even a comparison.


    Don't for a moment think JJ Abrams doesn't love his craft, whatever it is in front of him.
    He POURS deeply over every single nuance hundreds of times before making decisions.
    The man is practically neurotic about his work and its authenticity to itself.

    That said, um...of course Lucas is going to have a MUCH higher concern over "artistic integrity" than Abrams!

    Lucas comes out of the 60's pure cinema culture and has always been obsessed with purity of art and expression in the face of commercialism and "the man".

    Even IF Abrams was constantly talking about artistic integrity day-in day-out, he wouldn't be able to hold a candle to Lucas because...NO ONE can.
    Not in the commercial industry anyway. He's WAY too far gone in being overly obsessed in that topic to the point that he has almost NO care whatsoever for the commercial capability of what he's doing now.

    That said...um...we're also talking about Lucas. The same Lucas who made plenty of choices because of their commercial capability and merchandising possibilities.
    So...take that self-proclaimed "artistic integrity" of his with a MASSIVE grain of salt.

    As to Abrams.
    Dude...my man. You really need to go watch more interviews and BTS footage of Abrams on his films because you wouldn't even be asking that if you had watched him talk about his work. His vision differs from some others, absolutely, but that's like saying that Spielberg differs from Lucas. No kidding!

    That doesn't mean that Spielberg didn't care about the integrity of what he was doing, and likewise, Abrams (who was under the wing of Spielberg) is absolutely obsessed with his work and will readily tear it apart for all of its faults at the drop of a hat better than anyone on the internet could bother to accomplish.

    Did Abrams cause his own problems?
    Probably a bit.
    I also would say that, after watching tons of footage of the man talking, he would be pretty pleased with that result.
    He loves being painted into a corner and figuring out how to make it all work, and so does his long-time editor Maryann Brandon.
    The very notion of a film to Abrams IS LITERALLY equal with being painted into a corner and finding a way out - he's used that metaphor multiple times of comparing film to puzzles.

    So...yes. He most likely did at some point.
    Did he do it in some negative way that hurt him?
    No.

    ...in some way that hurt the movie?
    Frack if I know man! That's so subjective!
    In my opinion, no - not at all.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #66 Jayson, May 16, 2020
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
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  7. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    The elevator pitch for ‘The Star Wars’ sounded like absolute gobbledygook too. An out of context soundbite from an aside to his chum James Cameron, is hardly the basis to form an educated opinion on. What that blurb told me, more than anything else, is that even now the man is still tinkering with it. In his head, the story is still going and evolving and getting deliciously weird. Whatever ethereal nonsense is cooking up above that flannel shirt, I’m here for it. Even if it’s the most dreadful, ill-advised, train wreck ever, it would be someway pioneering and authentic to his vision. I hope he shares it someday.
    More than likely, a filtered, reinterpretation of his wild imaginings making them more palatable to the common consumer. As per usual.
    I’m not so sure that the middle of the Yavin System counts as “deep space” :)
     
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  8. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Oh...I agree. Don't get me wrong. I pine for the day that someone releases his tone poems that he's off making and has sworn to never release to the public because, quite honestly, as much as I love Star Wars, I feel that we lost some great cinema art when Coppola egged Lucas into going commercial because his work prior to doing so is simply marvelous and still to this day is very fresh and bold!

    But in terms of a romping good Star Wars time...I'm quite pleased we didn't go the route that Lucas was originally considering.

    Well, true, but still...the fanbase would be wild with rage posts all over again, ranting how Lucas ruined Star Wars...again.

    Well...I don't know...apparently the Alderaan system...was?
    Picture1.png

    Star Wars logic! :p
    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  9. Angelman

    Angelman Servant of the Whills -- Slave to the Muses
    1030th Grand Admiral ***** (Mod)

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    "Deep space" has two meening: Interplanetary, beyond the influence of Earth's gravity, AND/OR interstellar, in the vast void between star systems. Both are valid.






    Yeah, yeah, I know, I know...
    Professor.gif

    :p
     

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  10. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    From what little detail we’ve gotten about his abandoned treatments and preliminary work with Michael Arndt, the premise was still as recognizable and accessible as any other Star Wars plot. All that Whills talk with Cameron tells us is that there was another layer he was wanting to toy with. How prominent that would have factored into the actual story is pretty nebulous. The concept was apropos to the topic the two were discussing: The Story of Science Fiction - Space. If you haven’t watched that AMC miniseries, it’s worth the time (only streaming with a Shudder sub though it seems).
    This just in: water - still wet :D
    From context, it seems they all assumed that TIE hadn’t just come from Alderaan itself before it blew (that would have been my guess). So “deep” appears to mean: far from any known Imperial (friendly) base. Not from civilization or inhabitable planets. Anyway, I doubt the rest of the Empire would be incurious about happened to the Deathstar. Help was likely on the way*. Getting stuck there in a fighter in first gear wouldn’t have been anything close to a death sentence I wouldn’t expect.

    *So, the Empire is coming . . . let’s all have a totally indulgent medal giving ceremony, you guys! We could do it like a potluck. I’ll bring the napkins and plates.
     
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  11. Jaimz the Jedi

    Jaimz the Jedi Rebel General

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    The music when Snoke appears in TFA is the same music used when Palpatine tells Anakin about how Plagueis was so powerful he could use the Force to create life. Before Rise came out, it always bugged me why they would reuse that specific music for no apparent reason...makes sense now! Surely it was used for a reason!

    As for Rey, her fighting style during the Lightsaber battle at the end of TFA is very similar to Palpatine’s fighting style in Revenge of the Sith. Plus, in the novelisation she hears a voice in her head telling her to kill Kylo. The voice is described as amorphous, unidentifiable, raw and pure vengeful. The way it’s described in the book is very similar to how Palpatine tells Anakin to kill Dooku, and also how he tells Luke to kill Vader.

    Obviously it’s not much, but for me it’s just about enough foreshadowing for Palpatine’s return/Rey Palpatine.
     
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  12. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    John Williams didn't know about Palpatine returning though. He just likes to reuse old themes. -- It's actually a shame they didn't tell Williams more about the story. I remember an interview in which Williams said, he thinks Rey is a Skywalker. This is the reason why he used Vader's and Luke's theme for her theme. Well, looks like he should have used more Palpatine vibes. Haha!

    It was more luck than foreshadowing.
     
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  13. Jaimz the Jedi

    Jaimz the Jedi Rebel General

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    I mean, unintentional foreshadowing is still foreshadowing...I suppose :p
     
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  14. RockyRoadHux

    RockyRoadHux Ginger General

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    However only because Palpatine is in her head doesn't make her a Palpatine, right? For all we know Palpatine was in Ben Solo's head too.

    Besides how does her being a Palpatine fits into her catching the legacy saber in TfA? Does not make much sense, does it?
     
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  15. Jaimz the Jedi

    Jaimz the Jedi Rebel General

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    True, but it shows (to me anyway, each to their own!) she was on Palpatine’s radar and he wanted her to come to him on the dark side, like he did with Luke and Anakin. Which fits with what eventually ends up playing out in Rise.

    She was force pulling harder than Kylo??? I don’t think Lightsabers are sentient, like Harry Potter wands, but I could be wrong ;)
     
    #75 Jaimz the Jedi, May 19, 2020
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  16. NinjaRen

    NinjaRen Supreme Leader

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    In the novel it's heavily hinted that Snoke is the one who talks to Rey.

    Maz disagrees-

    Maz Kanata : [to Rey] That lightsaber was Luke's. And his father's before him. And now, it calls to you.


    Just like Harry Potter. Haha!
     
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  17. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    Beru: Luke’s just not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him.
    Owen: That's what I'm afraid of.

    Was that meant as foreshadowing for the Vader reveal? No, definitely not. But it can work that way if you want it to :)
     
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  18. Jaimz the Jedi

    Jaimz the Jedi Rebel General

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    Like I said, each to their own. I choose to believe it was old Sheev because it fits better for me, and that was my immediate thought when reading it (*cough* listening to the audiobook *cough*).

    It’s a fair point, I just assumed they had the lightsaber fly past Kylo and into her hand because it would be a cool shot (they were right!) and has no deeper meaning...although Maz is much wiser, and definitely older, than me! :D
     
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  19. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    THANK YOU.

    "Release the 'x' Cut" is becoming an obnoxious rallying cry whenever fanboys are disappointed (which, coincidentally, is quite often lately).

    Look, I'd love to see Star Wars get the auteur treatment, but that's not really the case. JJ's made franchise movies before, so he knew the score. It's his job to create a good movie that manages to fit his own vision, while also working with that of the studio at large. The ways the system works, he doesn't get his own cut.

    If someone has a problem with that (and they reasonably could) they shouldn't take it up with TROS, Disney or Star Wars. It's an industry-wide issue, and any mindless "Release the 'x' Cut" nonsense isn't going to facilitate positive change, it'll just increase fandom division.
     
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  20. Kraven Head

    Kraven Head Rebelscum

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    There's an Xrated cut of EP9?
    I'd tell you what I would be looking forward to but probably would get banned....
     
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