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The Sequel Trilogy has an Identity Crisis

Discussion in 'General Sequel Trilogy Discussion' started by DarthSnow, Aug 20, 2020.

  1. TTT

    TTT Rebel Official

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    Disagree. Kyle was a spoiled, murderous thug who threw temper tantrums and murdered the coolest guy in the galaxy, his own father. If people needed a Skywalker so desperately to be the lead figure of a Star Wars trilogy then TPTB should have simply made Rey the offspring of Luke or Leia as we originally thought she was going to be. That solves all the problems except if you are someone who needs a specific demographic to be your main lead.
     
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  2. MandoChip

    MandoChip Hater of squid
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    I would've liked Rey & Ben to be Skywalker cousins, Rey being Luke's missing daughter. And have Snoke be a fail-safe villain created by Sidious using what he learned from Plagueis' - it would continue the Sith Legacy but without keeping Sidious alive so as not to tarnish Anakin's redemption and render his arc pointless. Also I wish Luke was active and on a mission to find Rey or locate Snoke's Fleet, rather than being an exiled hermit on a rock, and have his Jedi Order not entirely destroyed but reduced - trying to rebuild and learn from their initial shortcomings.

    Anakin should've been more involved too IMO.
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 21, 2020, Original Post Date: Dec 21, 2020 ---
    Oh, and not bring back Anakin's lightsaber. Have Rey go from using a staff to building her own saber-staff as a natural character progression that makes sense and adds to her story. Also have Kylo defeat her at least once.
     
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  3. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    I’m not sure I understand how that would constitute any sort of character progression. Can you explain?
     
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  4. MandoChip

    MandoChip Hater of squid
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    She grew up using her staff and got pretty good at it as seen in TFA, so naturally it would make sense for her to build a double-bladed saber once she became a Jedi. A lot of people speculated it would happen in TLJ, but of course it didn't.

    Its a small thing and not hugely important, but would've been a nice touch in my opinion and added to her identity.
     
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  5. Iotatheta

    Iotatheta Rebelscum

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    the part that bugs me a lot about that, in a sort of minor way? Dark Rey had one, and the novelization of Rise has Rey considering and planning to make one exactly like that during her training. And then she decided on a single blade because...........?
     
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  6. MandoChip

    MandoChip Hater of squid
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    I really don't know.
     
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  7. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    The central thesis of the ST though revolves around the concept of ‘inheritance’ and ‘legacy’ - carrying on the aspirations of those who came before you. Rey is introduced to us as a scavenger (someone who picks over the wreckage of the past to claim as their own) who longs for a place to belong. In her exchange with Maz, when the saber first pops up, all those elements are cohered. The saber, for Rey, represents both inheritance and belonging.

    Transitioning her from refusing the saber to embracing it in TFA, symbolizes her character progression. Transitioning her from trying to give it away to Luke to fighting over it with Kylo in TLJ, symbolizes her character progression. Transitioning her from using it as a literal shield to protect herself to then laying it to rest after building her own in TROS, symbolizes her character progression. What the saber goes through is metaphorically what she’s going through.
    That’s the thing though. The Skywalker saber isn’t just a prop. It’s reflective of what her story, at its core, is about. Her relationship with it is pretty important. I’m not sure what at all a ‘saber-staff’ says about her as a person or her role in the story. Other than a double-bladed lightsaber being ‘neat’, I’m not sure what that would add to her identity greater than what we got.

    Sorry to make a way bigger deal of that comment then I probably should have :oops:
     
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  8. MandoChip

    MandoChip Hater of squid
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    You said it; I'm just throwing around ideas that I think would've been more interesting or "neat" and made more sense than what we got, to me.
     
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  9. StardustSoldier

    StardustSoldier Rebel Official

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    Even though Ben was the only true Skywalker by blood of the younger generation characters, I think he was just fine in a villain role. Han, Luke, and Leia were still prominent enough that I didn't feel Ep 7-9 were a betrayal of the concept of the Skywalker Saga. Especially since "the scavenger" protagonist ends up inheriting the Skywalker name by the end of it; that was a nice way to bring things together.
     
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  10. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    I think it would have been an example of easy fanservice while also keeping to the spirit of the character and what we know about her. Rey has historically fought with a staff. Seeing her fight with a double-bladed saber would be like saying "yes, she's a Jedi now, but she's still that same scavenger who you all feel in love with and learned to care about too." It would be about her combining who she was and who she will become into one. In terms of easy fanservice, I mean, how cool would a double-bladed lightsaber reveal would be? JJ's all about echoing the past, so why didn't he take it here? One of the coolest things of the PT was Maul's saber reveal. I'm positive JJ could have worked that into something here.

    It just feels like it would have been an easy win to me. Many fans wanted and predicted that her eventual saber would be double-bladed, it was all-but foreshadowed with her use of a staff, we have precedent for it in both shows and cartoons, and it wouldn't have been that hard to work in! ...and then they don't do that.
     
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  11. The Birdwatcher

    The Birdwatcher Rebel Official

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    A double-bladed lightsaber is just a double-bladed lightsaber. What is more important? Also, how does having another side or a different color contribute to the sci-fi aspect of a lightsaber, which is part of its appeal to begin with? A double-bladed lightsaber is more product placement than an actual weapon, besides the fact that it gave Maul a better chance against Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan and posed a greater threat to them. Otherwise, not much.

    the part that bugs me a lot about that, in a sort of minor way? Dark Rey had one, and the novelization of Rise has Rey considering and planning to make one exactly like that during her training. And then she decided on a single blade because...........?

    Because she chose option A over option B. Yes, foreshadowing and build-up aside, she simply chose a different way of making the lightsaber. Just because I plan to put my garden seeds in one spot doesn't mean that I will actually end up putting them there. Perhaps a one-bladed lightsaber honors the Skywalker legacy a bit more. I don't know, honestly.
     
  12. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. If you're trying to ask "why would it matter if it was double-bladed or not," my answer was "because it's easy fanservice and there's no reason not to do it." We've seen double-bladed lightsabers with Maul, Pong Krell, and even Kal Kestis in a weird way. My main point was that TROS had many moments that could have been "I knew it!" moments for fans, but decided to not go that way for some reason.

    Counter that with *gasp* Avengers: Endgame.* Endgame's biggest crowd-cheering, fist-pumping moment wasn't the climactic return, or the sacrifice towards the end. It was the moment when fans could say "I knew it." When fans felt vindicated. A double-bladed lightsaber was an easy way to do that. Heck, apparently even Duel of the Fates' artwork had Rey with a double-bladed lightsaber! So...why didn't it show up in TROS.

    Because the lightsaber itself is only part of the problem in this equation. It's also a symbol for what TROS felt like - a lot of little, missed moments for fans in a movie that tries to give people what they want in all the wrong ways. It's like the monkey's paw.


    It's one thing to plant tomatoes in a garden and not have them grow where you wanted them to grow. It's another thing to plant tomatoes and end up with cucumbers somehow. That's what it felt like.



    *And yes, I know it's not fair to compare a twelve year old film franchise that has over twenty movies in its repertoire with the 40+ year old Star Wars franchise. But the MCU is really the only thing that Star Wars can be compared to, in terms of box office, finales, and character development. I mean, I could try to bring out Harry Potter sometime...maybe that would work too...
     
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  13. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    Seriously? That's what was getting the audience engaged? The gratification of getting to see the thing they thought they were going to see? Wow, fascinating if true.
     
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  14. Flyboy

    Flyboy Force Attuned

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    I don't mean to be rude but is this post intended to be sarcastic?
     
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  15. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    I think you're severely underestimating the theory culture we now live in and audience expectation. Besides, knowing where the story is going is far from a bad thing. It's about the journey - how well the story is done - not the destination. Writers and creators who are too caught up in subverting expectations that they forget to play by their own rules are the ones worse off in the end. M. Night Shamalyan and Benioff and Weiss (the showrunners behind Game of Thrones) are the most notable and currently popular examples, but they're far from the only ones.

    But we weren't talking about engagement. It was about fanservice, promise, and payoff.

    For Endgame, that "I knew it" scene was payoff from earlier movies.

    TROS didn't need all of that with Rey's lightsaber, but it would have been easy fanservice and payoff. And in a movie all about fanservice, it seemed like an easy direction to go. What? TROS isn't about fanservice? Here, let me point out all of the fanservice-y moments* I can think of off the top of my head:

    Palpatine's return (fanservice for Palpatine fans)
    Ben and Rey's kiss (fanservice for Reylo fans)
    Force Ghost Luke catching the lightsaber and his little quip about it (fanservice for those upset with how Luke was portrayed in TLJ)
    Jedi Leia (fanservice for those who didn't like Canon Leia when compared to Legends Leia)
    Chewie getting a medal (fanservice for those who thought Chewie should have received a medal in ANH)
    Luke lifting the X-Wing (fanservice for those upset with how Luke was portrayed in TLJ)
    Lando's return (fanservice for OT fans who were upset that Lando hadn't returned yet)
    Rey rebuilding the Skywalker Lightsaber (fanservice for those who wanted it fixed)
    Kylo rebuilding his helmet (fanservice for those who felt Kylo was better with it)
    Jannah's introduction (fanservice for those who wanted more "rebel stormtroopers" like Finn)

    I'm 100% sure there were more, but again, those were all the ones I could think of off the top of my head. Let's not forget some of the peace offerings this movie seemed to have and still messed up:

    "Rose is supposed to be the heart of the rebellion" ...until they take out all of her scenes, leaving her with fewer lines in the movie than a CollegeHumor sketch.
    "Rey and Kylo kiss" ...which ticks off the FinnRey fans. "But then Ben dies!" ...which ticks of the Reylo fans. "But it was a kiss of relief!" ...which just confuses everyone.

    "Leia had Jedi training!" ...which messes up the canon some of us spent so much money and time investing in...
    "We're bringing back past Jedi!" ...as voiceovers..
    "Finn is a general and gets to 'lead' other rebel stormtroopers!" ...taking the position from a perfectly capable leader in her own right, becoming a position he didn't have to fight for, after skipping the most interesting part of the rebel stormtroopers - the rebellion itself.

    So if all of that is to appease fans and service them, why couldn't a double-bladed lightsaber have been done? That is the question. Clearly even Trevorrow thought it should have been done, and it's not like it's unheard of.

    EDITS: I was debating on putting this in for a couple of reasons, but I think it's a good capstone. Nando V Movies has a breakdown of the afterparty in Age of Ultron that sets up foreshadowing for Endgame. He doesn't talk about it in the sphere of Endgame, as that movie hadn't come out yet. Instead, he mentions how well a scene it is on its own. But now that Endgame's out, I can't look at that scene and not see how awesome it is in hindsight. Nando ends the video talking about the MCU as a whole, which I think speaks to your "engagement" piece.




    *I'm not saying whether or not I like the fanservice here. I've said my feelings on fanservice as a whole and which ones I liked and didn't like before, and I don't think this is the place for it. Right now I'm listing them to make a point regardless of how I feel about them.
     
    #55 Use the Falchion, Jan 13, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
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  16. eeprom

    eeprom Prince of Bebers

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    No. It's genuine. I'm legitimately fascinated by that take. It's so incredibly foreign to me. The notion of getting a charge from having your preconceptions validated in a story. It's just not something I can personally relate to. I'm typically disappointed when a story does what I expected it to do.

    I honestly find it intriguing. If that's the place a large amount of the audience is approaching from, then that sheds a lot of light on things for me.
    Sorry, I guess I’m only viewing it from my own perspective. I don’t care about the formfactor of Rey’s lightsaber. If it had two blades, or 10 blades, or turned into a whip or a giant fly swatter or whatever - it’s not important to me. The significance to me was that she’d used her staff to construct something unique for herself. That’s what’s reflective of the character and her story.

    But just because something isn’t important to me doesn’t mean it isn’t important to someone else. If that specificity would have won LFL some brownie points, with minimal effort, then I guess it was a missed opportunity. Considering the mixed responses from the other examples you cited though, isn’t it likely the audience would have found it pandering as well?
     
    #56 eeprom, Jan 13, 2021
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  17. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    It's a fairly modern take, but one that's grown quite quickly in the past 5-6 years. A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones are big contributors to this phenomenon, but they're not the only ones. The larger the amount of theories (and the more time passes between installments), the larger this take grows. I find it pretty common in Brandon Sanderson's fandom, where many people who have theories get a massive kick out of being proven right. But I've also seen it in other places as well, and even in our own Star Wars fandom. Heck, one can say that JJ's "mystery box" practically praises this sort of thinking.

    But that's where things get tricky. Are you mad because of how the story went, or because your pride is hurt because your theories are wrong?* How many fans were upset about Rey's heritage, not because they didn't like it but because their theories were wrong? How many people were happy about Kylo turning back into Ben, not because they liked Kylo but because they had predicted it would happen?** How many theories were there floating around that Jyn Erso was Rey's mother? No! It clearly has to be Qi'ra! No, it's Iden Versio, and Zay is just a placeholder name!

    The more theories there are, and the longer people hold onto them, the more attached they get. The more attached they get, the more hints they can find to validate their thoories. The more signs they point to, the more "obvious" it becomes, and after that, they become upset when it doesn't happen. Sometimes it's a name, other times it's a whole arc. Sometimes it's a tinfoil theory, other times it's a backstory. But it's there, and that sort of culture is growing.

    And frankly, I get it. There's a thrill in your theory being right. It's the same sort of thrill that solving a detective story before the main character does gives.

    Bingo. That's what many, including myself took away from this. Rey's staff was her iconic weapon. Double-bladed lightsabers are also used more like staves than swords (or should be). It felt like an easy way to apply adapt her most iconic feature into something that uniquely fits her talents and is seen as "cool."

    Quite possibly! My own biases are preventing me from answering entirely one way or the other here, but there's a very good chance you're right. Then again, it would still be fanservice, so my point would still stand.


    *I struggle with all of this as well...although having 90% of my theories wrong in every fandom really helps me not get too upset when I'm inevitably wrong ;).

    To throw myself completely under the bus, I have the nigh-impossible theory that Finn is Luke's son. It's my head-canon. I can find symbolic and cinematic parallels all over TFA that scream to me my theory is correct and that this is where Finn's arc was going to end up. I've seen pictures and read stories about biracial children who look as light as Rey to as dark as Finn. And if/when Finn's family is revealed, a big part of me will be upset - not because I won't like the backstory, but because my theories were wrong. I didn't theorize responsibly and now my feelings are in the game and then I start to dislike something because of untoward expectations I put on it.

    But if the backstory is also done terribly, then I have two reasons to hate it.
     
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  18. The Birdwatcher

    The Birdwatcher Rebel Official

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    Star Wars was built on Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, westerns, Saturday mantinees, old films like the Dam Busters, Kirosawa's The Hidden Fortress, and scifi magazines/fantasy books- the hero's journey in general. Besides adhering to sci-fi magazines/comics, it has nothing in common with the MCU from the perspective of the OT and the PT. In relation to the ST, I don't know really- Disney has a formula for creating films, perhaps (Remakes, tie-ins, etc.), so that might have affected some of the the ST films. Rian still tried to stick to SW's roots by having a Rashomon reference/sequence in TLJ.

    Personally, a film shouldn't be made for fans- I think it's good for a love letter or an artistic vision (Red and Green Pokemon miniseries love letter for its 15th anniversary, for instance.). But to be specifically tailored for fans is getting to the point of robbing it of artistic integrity. It's better to tell a compelling story with the genre/mix of genres than to cater to fans.

    If a lightsaber having two sides in order to have a connection to a moment in time (Darth Maul, 1999- hype for The Phantom Menace/ one of the best moments of the TPM for many fans), is relevant in order to be a "good film" or have a "great story", then I think that something is off, honestly. It is cool to have iconic images and sci-fi colors and schemes- I'm not denying that- but usually there was a context of greater meaning (symbolism, story, themes, characters, dialogue, etc.) or at least a scope of a deeper vision (or aesthetics) in the OT, yes, even ROTJ, which I personally dislike in key spots.

    Also, let's think of symbolism here- Luke's green lightsaber, as (sort of stupid) as the idea was, represented his becoming a man/entering into manhood (despite moments in the screenplay not adequately or convincingly showing this) and is a core part of the script (such as when Vader remarks about it). It has meaning more than simply having another color for novelty or helping it stand out during action scenes (which is also what happened, apparently) Tell me, what would a double-bladed yellow/blue lightsaber represent in Rey's case? Would it represent her dual nature of good (choice/being tutored/raised) and evil (blood)? If so, then maybe one side should be blue and the other yellow. I don't think that it needed to be double-sided- a yellow lightsaber is unique- might represent a new beginning for the Jedi or call back to the original poster for Star Wars- a sheer beacon of light- which is a contrast to what Rey could have gone down to, anyways.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 21, 2021 at 7:03 PM, Original Post Date: Jan 21, 2021 at 6:47 PM ---
    Eeprom, I appreciate your critical thinking here; you're one of the few that I've encountered on this forum that asks the heavy, challenging questions. This idea of fans wanting gratification isn't really foreign- I see it all the time on YouTube, in respect to TLJ- which is partly from misunderstanding of the film and its parallels to TESB from fans, which contributes to general dislike. Some parts of the PT are built on fanservice, it seems (Yoda having a lightsaber when he was envisioned to be a guru/ the coliseum Jedi fight between the droids, etc.). With the MCU, connections are a MUST- not necessarily storytelling- remember the hype there used to be and still is for the post-credits scenes to tie into the Avengers film? There came a point where we (or fans, in this case) simply wanted to see the Avengers so that we could see Iron Man talk to Thor (or fight him). It's the idea of the old Universal Monster films mash-ups- Dracula meets the Wolfman, etc. It's not so much story as it is one thing encountering another- it's very fanservice pleasing.

    What matters is honestly the plot and what it's telling us. What is the story there? To be frank, Rey DID construct something unique- her lightsaber is shaped uniquely with a yellow light-beam/core. Symbolically, it is still unique. Does it match up with her use of her staff in TFA and TLJ? No. But does her staff define who she is- her thoughts, her identity as a scavenger/ a survivor by the time that TROS rolls around? What if Rey is growing into the role of being a Jedi and feels the need to have only one-side of a saber? She does start to feel more comfortable with the lightsaber in TLJ, so I wouldn't put it outside of the equation in this case. It might be a little bit odd, although I think it fits the situation fair enough.
     
    #58 The Birdwatcher, Jan 21, 2021 at 7:03 PM
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  19. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    The problem here is that the PT and TCW have stripped any meaning of the colors of a lightsaber outside of yellow, red, and white (meaning Temple Guard if it's a double-bladed lightsaber, Corrupted, and "Redeemed" more or less), but I don't care about the color really, simply the form of a lightsaber. But you missed the major part of the argument.

    TROS is all about fanservice and trying to honor the past. In a previous post I listed out all of the major references and call-backs to previous films within TROS. Nostalgia and high-paced action are JJ's M.O.

    Having a double-bladed lightsaber would have served triple duty in terms of fanservice:
    1. It would have been a nice reference to the P.T, something the Abrams films try to make us forget outside of snide remarks.
    2. It would have been an easy way to convert Rey's old weapon into a new one, signifying that she isn't forsaking the past, but honoring it and bringing it forward in a new way for a new purpose. (So here's your symbolism.)
    3. It would have been a simple crowd-pleasing thing.

    And in a movie all about fanservice, passing over what feels like one of the easiest things to do is a weird move. And given that there's concept art of this in Duel of the Fates, which I have no doubt Abrams had access to, this move is even weirder.

    This decision didn't make or break the movie for me, not in the least, nor it is anything that would make me "dock points" off of the movie, but it a gripe/nitpick I have.

    You know, nine times out of ten I actually agree with you here. Heck, one of my gripes with TROS is that it feels like it's entirely catering to fans. And now to be the contrarian I am...

    Moviemaking is a business, which means to a certain degree you do have to cater to your fans. Does that mean they should have a hand in artistic and creative decisions? ABSOLUTELY NOT.* But it does mean that creators have to be cognizant of their fanbase and their desires, as their satisfaction determines the success of the film, or book, or frankly any creative endeavor. It's not all "I made art and you must enjoy it!" or "You make what I want!" It's a give and take, a push and pull, a compromise. Fans don't like what you make, they're welcome to go elsewhere to get satisfied, but now you're left without a fanbase. And with no fanbase, there's no incentive to invest in your art.

    But you also don't want to be so deep into catering to the fans that you don't feel like you have any artistic freedom at all.

    That's where fanservice comes in. Ideally, it's small or minor moments where the fans get exactly what they want and doesn't affect any major part of the plot or story. Rogue One handled that well with the doctors, the Hera shout-out, and the X-Wing pilots. It was clever, rewarded fans, and didn't affect the plot. This is the level I put Rey building the double-bladed lightsaber at. Clever, rewards fans, and doesn't affect the plot.

    Then you get into larger things that do affect the plot that you do simply for the sake of doing them: Luke lifting the X-Wing, Palpatine's BS excuse about how he came back, Ben and Han's throwback to the whole "I love you," "I know."
    Some of these are good, others are not. But these are clearly intended to cater to a specific audience and in doing so have a larger chance of robbing the story of any creative integrity.

    Once again, the point about the lightsaber is that it was a weird missed chance that, while not fixing everything, would have made a lot of sense imo.

    *That doesn't mean that they won't possess a certain level of authorship over specific aspects or feel ownership over the work, however. How often do we fight what George Lucas interprets as Star Wars? Is Star Wars for children, or is it for those who were children, or is it for all ages? Did Han shoot first? Why is the despecialized version inherently better than the version Lucas, the creator himself, sees as complete? What makes the EU/Legends better than the canon we have now? And those are just some of the Star Wars ones. I'm not even touching Harry Potter...
     
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  20. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    I think it's very fascinating to watch the vast distance of identity of cinephiles and Abrams himself on this subject.

    One of the reasons he came so close to passing on Star Wars (keeping in mind he passed on it and then came back around to it when his wife talked him into it) was exactly because he had no interest in building a reputation as the nostalgia or reboot guy and had just finished coming off of Star Trek doing a similar thing of reprising someone else's IP.

    That's not actually what he's interested in doing and when you widen the lens and look at his whole career that becomes more evident.
    Look at what he's stepping into now: a supernatural revenge western film.

    Yeah, now that sounds like Abrams' actual M.O.
    Nostalgia's not really his shtick, not really. That's something that he made a chunk of cash on because he took a Star Trek gig and in the industry's eyes absolutely nailed it out of the park.

    Look at everything else he's ever been involved in, however, and what you repeatedly see is the enchanting, but terrifying supernatural wrapped up in a thriller plot line.

    Basically a sort of cinematic Dean Koontz - that mix between Stephen King and Michael Crichton. If anyone brings something like that up, you just see his eyes light up. You see folks talk about reprising even more IPs and you see him shuffle and dance around the subject politely and talk about the job as a whole and never knowing where it leads.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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