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Does the Sequel Trilogy have a cohesive story?

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' started by Adam812, Dec 24, 2019.

  1. Spursfan77

    Spursfan77 Rebel Commander

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    No, they should have had the same writers for all three. Kennedy has to bare the brunt of that error. Had Feige been in charge of the trilogy I wonder if it might of been much better.
     
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  2. KyloRen1981

    KyloRen1981 Rebel Commander

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    The ST does not have a cohesive story. Unlike the OT, this trilogy would have benefited from having a unified vision at the outset. However, on the whole, the ST has a great story. I'll take a jumbled yet satisfying mess over a tightly woven tale that I ultimately don't care about.
     
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  3. Xeven

    Xeven Rebel Official

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    Each movie was good on its own, as a Trilogy trying to tie itself into two other Trilogies, it failed.
     
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  4. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel Official

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    It didn't fail in doing this, actually.
     
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  5. The Last Jorgny

    The Last Jorgny Rebel Official

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    The whole thing with Rey and Palpatine does not feel planned out IMO, but there are a few scenes and moments that make it fit in a decent way into the other movies retroactively.

    Other than that it it feels cohesive enough to me. I mostly disagree with the critics saying that they undo things from TLJ in TROS, and never understood the complaints about Rian's story decisions after episode 7.
     
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  6. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Yes, the ST has a cohesive story.

    Also. No. Johnson and Abrams did not write their respective stories to 'throw the other under the bus'.
    "We had conversations with Rian at the beginning. It's been nothing but collaborative. The perspective that, at least personally, I got from stepping away from it and seeing what Rian did, strangely gave us opportunities that would never have been there, because of course he made choices no one else would have made.
    In a way it felt kind of like a gift, though of course there were challenges in every direction,” Abrams said. “It was actually weirdly more helpful than not, having that other energy to the story. There was an alchemy because of the things that he did.
    ...
    It would be a much more interesting answer if there were conflict. The truth is when I was getting [The Force Awakens] up and running, I was nothing but grateful that a director and writer I admire as much as Rian was coming in to do [the next one.] Not expecting to come back to this, it was just fun to watch what was happening and get to respond to it.
    ...
    One of the many brilliant things that Rian did in The Last Jedi was give Luke an arc. He learned something. He got somewhere. Soo at the end of that film he recommitted to the thing at the very beginning of the film he was rejecting, so the idea that even Luke Skywalker can learn something. I think for a kid to hear Luke Skywalker say I was wrong, I think is a beautiful thing. And I think it’s something we could all probably do with, a little bit."
    -- JJ Abrams​

    JJ Abrams on The Last Jedi
    "It's so good, I wish I were making it."
    -- JJ Abrams​

    "When I was writing [the script] I was watching the dailies [from Force Awakens]. I’m really grateful the timing worked like that both so I could see Daisy, John, Adam, and Oscar in their roles, but I’m really thankful I wrote it before the movie came out. I was writing based on my personal reaction to the script and to what I was seeing, and not based on some kind of perception of the world’s reaction to it. That made it more personal in terms of the launching points I used for my movie.
    ...
    A lot of things that ended up taking hold in the fan community in terms of who is Snoke, who are Rey’s parents, and the fever pitch that those rose to, I obviously knew those were questions you had coming out of Force Awakens, but I didn’t have the weight of the fan expectation of what the payoff of those questions would be. Which I think was a good thing. […] I guess what I’m trying to say is, the timing of it was, it’s not like I was aware of those expectations and was purposefully trying to poke people in the eye, I was writing to my honest gut reactions to what the most powerful turn of events would be to those questions."
    -- Rian Johnson​

    This idea of these two great artists slapping each other back and forth is contradicted by two things that stand in the way.
    1) Abrams thinks Johnson is brilliant, and Johnson thinks highly of Abrams as well.
    2) The idea of "undoing" or reacting to the films in some manner based on fan responses assumes these guys have time to sit around and wait for fan responses before writing and beginning production on the next film. They don't.

    Rian Johnson, for example, talked about how this whole idea of curiostiy about Snoke et. al. that happened after TFA was entirely unknown to him when he was writing TLJ.

    "I wrote this script before “The Force Awakens” came out, so when I wrote it, the “Who is Snoke?” mania hadn’t arisen with the fans yet."
    -- Rian Johnson

    As to plans...
    Johnson met with Abrams multiple times during TFA, and was looking at the daily footage from TFA while writing TLJ, and Abrams consulted with Johnson before writing TROS.

    Both ran things through Hidalgo and Kennedy.

    The plan was more like Jazz music. There is sheet music and a direction, but there is tolerance for riffing and doing your own thing within that framework.

    If you didn't like it, it's not because RJ an Abrams were feuding or undoing things from each other, nor is it because there was a lack of an entire plan.
    There was more of a plan in the ST than there was in the OT in many respects.

    In ROTJ, for example, the entire opening scene was being made up on the fly after shooting was underway over the phone in a brainstorming series between Marquand, Lucas, and Kasdan and is the one section that Marquand had a considerable amount of input simply because there was a giant black hole of what to do to get the story going and how to get Han back from carobite because Lucas had only thrown him in there because Ford had said he wouldn't do another film, but Lucas put him on ice just in case he could talk him back into coming back to do more. Once he did talk him back, he suddenly had to figure out how to get Han back because that whole thing wasn't written in his drafts.

    The entire, "There is another" line is the reason Leia becomes Luke's sister, which wasn't originally planned either. Lucas had toyed with killing Luke off and had thrown in the "There is another" line in because he wanted a shoe in the door if he decided that he wanted to kill Luke and pass the torch to a new Jedi for another series, but he decided that he didn't want to kill Luke yet, and had to figure out who the "other" was. Apparently this was a pretty big problem for Kasdan and Lucas for a while and eventually they figured out the whole sister angle for Leia, even though they knew this made some of the past storyline parts a bit awkward and odd.
    It was the cleanest way of cleaning up that line without adding more characters.

    And even though the prequels were far more tightly designed than the OT, they still ran into problems of their own with oddities with the OT, like Leia saying she had memories of her mother, but that she died when she was young, but in the PT, she never meets her mother on screen at all due to her mother dying right after giving birth.


    And Lucas has changed the story of Star Wars numerous times.
    I have a book that is somewhere around 500 pages of Star Wars production history and almost, but not quite, every chapter in the book contains a different version of Star Wars in Lucas' mind.

    Star Wars was never a fixed object. The PT is about as close as it ever came.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  7. Matt_T

    Matt_T Rebel General

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    Folks can compare this trilogy's cohesiveness (or lack thereof) with the OT and make arguments that cater to their thoughts. The simple fact remains: Lucas was the one guiding force throughout the PT & OT. His was the connective tissue and vision that tied everything together and saw the overarching story through. The ST simply did not have that one "buck stops here" visionary. And before anyone cites KK, let's dispel that notion. She gave the filmmakers the freedom to tell their stories (she wasn't a writer as I understand it) and the fact of the matter is that the three stories worked well on their own, but did not work in conjunction with one another as a cohesive trilogy. The tones of JJ's films vs. RJ's film were jarring to say the least. If KK were supposed to have been the GL Visionary this time around, well, can we just get Filoni and Favreau promoted because it's obvious to me they have more of a grasp of what SW is.

    I'm fully expecting "trolling" or "clouded" or "pessimistic" markings on this post, but I'm honestly not trying to be a jerk. This is simply what I've observed of the ST -- it's just not as rich as the OT or cohesive tale as the PT/OT. As for other projects? I'm thoroughly enjoying Mando and really liked R1 (wasn't a fan of Solo). Point being, I'm not bashing on Disney just because I'm some sort of Disney-hater. When it's good, I say so; when it's not, I do the same.
     
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  8. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel Official

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    And Kathleen Kennedy and JJ Abrams were his equivalent for the Sequel Trilogy.

    Leaving room for creative freedom and an individual evolution of storytelling does not change that fact.

    The Sequel Trilogy also had the benefit of the existence of the Story Group and influence/direct collaboration from George himself.
     
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  9. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Don't forget Kasdan. Abrams regularly called upon Kasdan.

    Also. Lucas was talked to about the story with every film.
    Because people aren't dumb. They know he's great with Star Wars and respect his opinions.

    He had less interacton on TLJ because RJ wanted to capture a closeness and personal sense in the story and pulled a Lucas; hiding away and writing alone. But he was working off of a spine that Lucas had originated - the original SW 7 story outline is the rough outline for TLJ.

    Overall, I simply disagree.
    The story is very cohesive to me.
    Every film flows naturally right into the other effectively well.

    Actually, better than ANH flows into ESB. That hit audiences like a semi truck running a stop light and T-boning a family wagon out of no where.

    It's so natural and obvious to us now, but it wasn't what people thought the sequel was going to be.
    It got a lot of flack at first, but grew with age.
    ROTJ had people throwing their hands up in defeat - Lucas was just copying himself now.

    Again, it took a bit to see the whole picture.

    There's a reason Hamill snidely says
    "People complaining about a Star Wars film? Imagine that!"

    It's really common for Lucas to get just gutted as a hack who's just selling out so he can make more toys.

    Now he's getting idolized more and more because he's gone from Star Wars, but he quit because people were yelling at him and telling him he was a bad person, and he didn't want to hear it anymore.

    Fans literally drove Lucas out of Star Wars.

    So it's not possible for me to hold the idea that Lucas did great and everything worked because of a guided vision when he was hated by fans after almost every film and quit because he grew tired of hearing fans yell at him over Star Wars.

    Someone has always disliked Star Wars and where it's going. It's not because Lucas is or isn't involved.
    People did the same thing with Abrams during TLJ - pining for the savior.

    Our imagination is usually nice. Reality is much more crude.

    A trilogy about the Whills and how they contol force users through midichlorians to do the bidding of the fate of the universe, and have been doing so all along the series is not likely going to be a Star Wars that folks would sympathize with in mass numbers. Luke having free will is kind of a big deal. Challenging it is dicey.

    I'm not saying someone who doesn't like the ST wouldn't've liked what Lucas came up with.
    We have no idea who would have liked what if Lucas had stayed around.

    But he didn't. He chose Kennedy. He built and chose LFL. He chose Disney.
    And what we have is what we have.

    If it didn't work for someone, it's not really an issue of how solid plans are.
    Most film series aren't written with solid plans.

    It's not like Back to the Future was - it has one of the biggest blunders in failing to plan the story in film history, and that didn't stop anyone from enjoying the hell out of the whole trilogy.

    If the series isn't liked, then it's because of what the story is. Not the logistics of writing, level of care, or professionalism of those involved in making it.

    Good creative people can make stories we don't like, even if they have absolute control.

    It's not like Kubrick is loved by everyone, and not liking one of his films isn't caused by Kubrick lacking a cohesive vision.

    Anyway.
    2 cents.

    Also...no one should feel like they'll be picked on for having opinions on movies.
    We should all respect our aesthetic preference differences.

    Star Wars is a vast galaxy. We do not need to demand a single way of Star Wars as if we're under imperial rule. ;)

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
    #29 Jayson, Dec 26, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
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  10. Too Gon Onbourbon

    Too Gon Onbourbon Rebel General

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    Microbe Wars: Attack of the Phantom Midichlorians would make Redtails look like Glory meets The Right Stuff and would be the act of burning the franchise to the ground to get petty revenge on Prequel Bashers.

    Love me some George Lucas but he really needed to be more consultant than driving force and the director of THX 1138, American Graffiti, and Star Wars is not to be found and may have never valued acting enough to keep up that string even if he so elected.

    Add his more recent predilection for shrinking his galaxy eventually to the point you need an electron microscope to see anything of weight in it was not workable.

    Of course I think Disney has mostly done a great job with the IP and better than the man himself since Return of the Jedi so my point of view is a lot different than many others.
     
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  11. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Rebel Official

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    The primary reason TRoS works as well as it does - and it does objectively work well - is because it coalesces the independently evolved narratives of TFA and TLJ into a single end-point while simultaneously reaching backwards to do the same thing for the over-arching narrative of Episodes 1-6.
     
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  12. SegNerd

    SegNerd Rebel Official

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    It is true that JJ has said a lot of really nice things about Rian, but it’s important to remember a couple of things:

    -Part of this is just being a gracious director. I mean, if JJ had just publicly bagged on Rian, this would not have been good for JJ’s public image.
    -Even if JJ did like TLJ, that doesn’t mean he agrees with Rian’s creative direction. JJ’s comments seem more along the lines of, “He took the story in a different direction, and I enjoy the challenge that gave me.”

    I still say the biggest piece of evidence is simply the fact that, when RJ made TLJ, he didn’t know JJ would be making IX. It’s hard for me to believe that JJ and RJ really had a cohesive vision for the ST when they weren’t planning on being the ones to finish it. Colin Treverrow has shared some of what he would have done with IX, and it sounds quite different from TROS.

    In short, JJ has said that TLJ is a good movie and RJ is a good filmmaker - but this isn’t evidence that they had a cohesive vision.
     
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  13. Matt_T

    Matt_T Rebel General

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    He said it better than me.
     
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  14. Jedi77-83

    Jedi77-83 Force Sensitive

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    No, but In the end it turned out fine as the final piece to the Saga (if that makes sense).

    I look at the ST this way. TFA re-introduces is to the galaxy after 20 years. TLJ is like that standalone episode of a cable drama that focuses solely on the characters. TROS is the movie that ties the PT/OT so it is the true continuation/ending of the Saga. From a certain POV..,...
     
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  15. Matt_T

    Matt_T Rebel General

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    You are correct there. On a technical level the trilogy is spotless. Unfortunately, the story is riddled with plot holes and ultimately weak. And story trumps all.
     
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  16. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    I don't consider this a definition of a cohesive story.

    Having creative differences doesn't mean the story isn't cohesive.

    Further, cohesive vision and cohesive story are two different things.

    Kasdan and Lucas never had a cohesive vision and fought so hard with each other that people wanted to quit because it was that invasive to the work environment.

    Yet out of even that level of primal disagreement and constant yelling and arguing, a cohesive story was made.

    RJ and JJ's relationship is nowhere near anything like Kasdan and Lucas' notorious relationship.

    They weren't yelling at each other on set when they visited.

    We have transcripts of Kasdan and Lucas working things out, and two people could not have more fundamentally disagreed on the identity and direction of the story.

    There was no cohesive vision in the OT for most of it.

    This did not stop it from having a cohesive story.
    (Though...I should note not everyone agrees that the story is cohesive, and there are indeed rough edges in a few spots...just like there are rough spots in the PT and ST.)

    Cheers,
    Jayson
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 27, 2019, Original Post Date: Dec 27, 2019 ---
    I disagree.

    I have no plothole issues that cause me problems in the story cohesively functioning, and I experienced a strong and solid arc for its two principle characters and themes.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  17. Matt_T

    Matt_T Rebel General

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    Jayson, I respect you and what you do. We’ll chalk this up to a difference of opinion. All the best to you and yours during this holiday season.
     
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  18. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    Agreed, and Happy Holidays!
    May love fill your heart!

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  19. Rayjefury

    Rayjefury Force Sensitive

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    It's so odd to me to see this conversation and how the scales have tipped. I see a lot more people saying the ST wasn't planned out now, I recall when such assertions were roundly shouted down. Things have definitely changed.
     
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    That viewpoint is still getting shouted down because it's unequivocally untrue.

    There is such a thing as a false opinion, and TRoS's content - coupled with behind-the-scenes revelations and producer/production comments - proves that "the Sequel Trilogy was entirely unplanned" is one such opinion.
     
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