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Voice vs Appearance: The Problem with the Cameos

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' started by cawatrooper, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Jedi General

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    I loved TROS, and it had a ton of cameos.

    In Palpatine Throne Room, Rey hears the voices of a lot of Jedi, some real heavy hitters- Kenobi, Yoda, Luke, Anakin, Qui-Gon, Windu, Ahsoka, Kanan, Aayla Secura, Luminara Unduli, and Adu Gallia.

    Then, in the space battle above, there's the Ghost, the Crucible (from Clone Wars), Keysu Onyo's Shadow Caster, Han's Eravana, what appears to be The Outrider, possibly the Colossus...

    There are allusions to so much good stuff.

    But, and I hate to say it... nearly all of it felt completely flat to me. The Jedi voices speak out to Rey in quick succession, so much that it's difficult to identify even Anakin's own line. And the ships are literally the definition of "blink and you miss it"- basically that one shot is where almost all of those cameos can be found, and the battle itself is barely showcased afterward.
    upload_2020-1-2_14-37-9.png

    It's just kinda frustrating, because these could've both been two huge sequences of cameos at the end of a movie I really enjoyed, but I honestly don't really care too much about either scene- they both kind of meld less into a "here is everything from Star Wars that I love" moment, and more into "I like this simply because it captures the spirit of what Star Wars can be". By that, I mean that it is cool to see the galaxy arrive to fight alongside the Resistance, and the Jedi to help Rey- I just wish some of the arrivals were a bit easier to recognize.

    Imagine if we simply got a shot like the above, but for the Jedi ghosts. It wouldn't take long, and the camera wouldn't need to linger long, but actually seeing some of the Jedi would've helped immensely in jogging memories for some of the voices.

    And the space battle... while I understand no one ship is going to get the spotlight like the Falcon or Poe's fighter, I do wish just a few (like the Ghost) had been featured more. And how mindblowing would it have been to hear callouts like "This is Captain Sabine Wren, standing by" or "Captain Rendar of the Outrider, headed to the destroyer". It would be small changes, but stuff that would bring so much soul to these scenes!


    Anyway, I hate to complain too much, but these scenes have really just bothered me a bit lately. Like I said, I really enjoyed TROS, but these would've been so easy to fix. Lucas, if you're listening, this might be a change to the theatrical version that I'd easily welcome.
     
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  2. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    You're not wrong.
    This video touches on it:


    Nothing is given time to breathe or grow. So much of the film is just action-talk-action-talk-action-talk and doesn't seem interested in these kind of moments.
     
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  3. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Jedi General

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    I've seen it posted before, but I've tried to keep myself from going too far into the disgruntled side of things, because I really did enjoy most of it.

    But I'll give it a shot if you think it addresses this, thanks for sharing!
     
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  4. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    I wouldn't call it disgruntled as much as frustrated. Just Write is a pretty fair channel and certainly doesn't stoop to the levels of many (fine, most) YouTube "criticism" channels
     
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  5. Snazel

    Snazel Force Sensitive

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    For me it's that fast exposition and plot twists don't compensate for a lack of character development and theme.

    Look, I can predict the plot arc of Citizen Kane, hell it's largely spelled out for you at the very start. It's still an amazing film. Why? Because Charles Foster Kane is brilliantly written, developed and performed beautifully. The fact his life's arc/plot is largely linear and spelled out from the start seems irrelevant.

    TROS has tons of plot twists and moves its exposition at the speed of light. For many this is precisely the kind of film they enjoy and more power to them.

    For me, it's a complete swing and a miss, because the film is just a fireworks show of "oooh" and "aaah". This is fair enough, but doesn't pay off for me, because I left the theater not feeling a Maclunkey thing. I could have taken a roller coaster for the same sensation.

    And for me, I want my art to be just a bit more than a thrill, chill roller coaster ride.

    But does it matter? We all react to art differently and there is no such thing as "correct" reaction. A painting can make one person cry, or another person yawn and each reaction is just as valid as the other.
     
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  6. Lazarus Dei

    Lazarus Dei Tree Dodger Extraordinaire
    1030th General **** (Mod)

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    I'm with you on both points... enjoyed the film, but felt that it lacked something, particularly with the ships arriving which was essentially TROS's 'Endgame' moment. Since there'd been so many fan-service buttons pressed at that point I'd have loved to have heard a few callsigns going out even if not all of them meant something to everyone (guy next to me in my first viewing was asking who the Falcon gunner was when the credits rolled!)

    Given it was the Resistance’s big glory moment it would also have been better if it hadn't been given away in the trailer too, as we all just sat there waiting for that shot in full knowledge that it was coming.
     
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  7. BobaFettNY21

    BobaFettNY21 Force Sensitive

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    You know how you can sometimes speed read a comic in 10 minutes? That's how ROS feels, like a comic book that you read really fast because you haven't kept up on and need to get to the big crossover event, lol. That's exactly how I felt watching ROS. That's fine but...that's not what a dramatic movie feels like. Filmmakers like Terrio and JJ seem to fall into that trap (that I admit, fanbases do ask for) of surprises and hoodwinks rather that just good drama. Citizen Kane isn't complicated, and neither are a lot of hero films. The drama can be complicated, but that doesn't require the actual plot to be. Given that they could have taken the story absolutely anywhere with Rey and Ben...the drama was already built in.
     
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  8. Snazel

    Snazel Force Sensitive

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    LOL love this, thank you. I do remember the truly awful cross-over comics before and during Secret Wars in the 80's, where they would literally tell you what comic to buy next to pick up a story thread they introduce in a single panel. I believe one Spider-Man comic in that era has three cross-over asterisks in it.

    I also remember when X-Men were way cooler than Avengers, but it seems so long ago. :)
     
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  9. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Force Sensitive

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    I am with you on the space battle, but not the Force Ghosts. I dont feel that the ghosts being on screen would do anything.

    As for the space battle I wanted to actually see some of the ships in action. I really yearn for another space battle like in ROTJ or ANH. I want them to slow it down and have more chatter between pilots and shift back and forth between the pilots. Even the one in ROTS is not really what I want it is close, but not really the battle. Obi-Wan and Anakin arent really looking to be part of the battle. They are looking to get the command ship. Would have been nice if they had to fight more to get to the command ship and interacted more with other pilots.
     
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  10. iostream

    iostream Rebelscum

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    If we were together in the writers room, I'd say I don't like that idea as much as just using the unseen. In fact I hate that idea and I'll tell you why. The scene here is wanting to evoke the sense that Rey has never really been alone, that the Jedi have been with her the entire time even though they haven't been readily apparent to her. You bolded the word "seeing" in "actually seeing" and I think that is the point of the scene to address the "not actually seeing" as it relates to being alone. Even though she hasn't been "actually seeing" them, they have been there the whole time. The scene is wanting to convey that presence isn't always "actually seeing" which couples into the theme of "it's a feeling" that runs through the film.

    A lot of the times I've heard criticisms of some film or series of the order of "I think they should've done it this way instead of that" the "this way" being put forth is usually a way that is harmful to the integrity of the actual narrative cohesion and the critic just doesn't understand that their "this way instead of that way" is usually "this way that flies off into left field from the narrative and/or thematic motion instead of that way that moves in the direction of the narrative and/or thematic motion" and what the critic wants would actually be something that would detract from theme and overall form of the film.
     
    #10 iostream, Jan 2, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
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  11. Bargwill Tomder

    Bargwill Tomder Rebel Commander

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    This is what Rogue One absolutely nailed, in my opinion!
     
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  12. Dead Bothan

    Dead Bothan Rebel Trooper

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    I feel the whispered voices worked perfectly at the end. Shoving a bunch of Force ghost visuals Into that scene
    would have seemed awkward and forced. The voices alone left the moment to the viewers imagination.
    It would have then seemed repetitive when Luke and Lea appeared on Tatooine diminishing the impact of the final shot.
     
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  13. HAL'sgal

    HAL'sgal Force Sensitive

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    Well, if the "JJ cut " really exists, that is exactly what was supposed to have happened.

    It would have also made her supplication "Be with me, be with me..." more impactful and make more sense.

    And also have avoided inventing yet another new Jedi Superpower- the abilities of all the Jedi piled into one person. It'd have made sense then that Rey could beat Palpatine if everyone else was literally helping her instead of just being there in spirit. Well, not even in spirit apparently.
     
  14. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    I have to agree. That battle scene was pretty underwhelming to me. I hate to be yet another person comparing this sequence to that ‘assemble’ moment in Endgame, but it’s undeniably relevant. I’m not really all that big on those Marvel movies, so I didn’t see it until it landed on streaming. By then, I’d already heard all the bullet points. I knew what was coming. Even so, it was still affecting.

    They’d done enough, in just the span of that one movie, to get me to care about that horrific CG visual noise. It was pure pandemonium, but explicit attention was still paid to each player so I knew these were individuals all coming together for a greater whole, rather than some chaos algorithm plugged into a program.

    That ‘star war’ at the end of this Star Wars movie seemed awfully perfunctory and tepid to me. Like someone giving a secondhand account “and then yada yada yada - space battle - you get the idea”. Like it was obligatory. I really wanted to feel roused by that moment, but didn’t. I just wanted it over so we could wrap up and call it a day. But that's just me.
     
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  15. HAL'sgal

    HAL'sgal Force Sensitive

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    I don't know anything about Endgame, but I just rewatched the OT and wow, the attention to detail to the battle scenes was something else. Typically my eyes glaze over during space battle scenes, but even I could see the logic in the various strategies and tactics. They really wanted it to seem real. Not just a bunch of flying around and shooting.

    The place I see that kind of logic and attention to detail these days is in The Expanse.
     
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  16. Jayson

    Jayson Force Sensitive

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    Funnily enough, reading through here reminds me of when I was a kid, digging through the local library's microfilm collection of magazines, reading reviews of Star Wars.

    "Motion: That’s the feeling you take away from the film more than any other. People tramp, run, sprint; sand skimmers skim; spaceships race, chase, or careen off to hyperspace. One ship explodes — cut to cloaked figure striding ominously forward, as if out of the explosion itself. The door to a prison cell falls — cut to a booted foot falling on a lightly gridded floor…. “Star Wars,” as far as I can tell, has no story at all — or rather, there are so many holes in the one it’s got you could explode a planet in some of them (about a third of the way through, one does); but it all goes so quickly that the rents and tears and creaking places in it blur out…."​
    link (to stop it from auto-rending the tumblr feed here)

    "There’s no breather in the picture, no lyricism; the only attempt at beauty is in the double sunset. It’s enjoyable on its own terms, but it’s exhausting, too: like taking a pack of kids to the circus. It’s an assemblage of spare parts — it has no emotional grip. "​
    https://www.newyorker.com/books/double-take/takes-kael-on-star-wars

    I've actually been fascinated that Star Wars, through all of these years, hasn't one-up'ed this aspect of itself which it broke new ground on when it came out.
    This was the film which set the new pace for popcorn blockbuster films, and at that time that pace was "HOLY CRAP WTF JUST HAPPENED!?"

    And you either loved it, or you hated it. Either way, it was part of the reason folks had to watch it multiple times - not only because they loved it, but because you couldn't take the whole film in in one sitting - it just flew by at hyperspace speed.

    TLJ got really close, but folks didn't feel like it was a blur; they felt like it was a massive pile of parts tossed and assembled, indeed, but they felt it was slow moving even if a jumble of lots of stuff piled up in every direction without proper time given to each tangent.

    TROS is where I actually feel like, "Yep. It finally did it once again."

    It finally packed a ton of information into a film, and blew right the hell through it so fast that the original complaints feel like they are applicable again to what I'm hearing from even those who enjoyed it - so fast and such a blur that they had to watch it again to really catch everything.

    Pace is, once again, a big topic of its own discussion for a Star Wars movie, and this time, it's about that pace being too fast.

    That makes me smile, and I was chuckling to myself in the theater. My wife wanted to know what was funny - what joke was she missing (she's a new Star Wars convert thanks to the sequel trilogy - so she thought she might be missing an inside joke). I just said, "It's a blurry hot rod like the first one!"

    TFA almost owns that title as well, but it doesn't pack in nearly the amount of information as TROS, so while it's a whiplash hot rod and one of my favorite films because of it...I mean...I've never seen Star Wars' hot rodness so refined as TFA....I have to say TROS just blows TFA's speed out of the water and sets a whole new record for how much information you can cram into a movie and how fast you move through it all.

    God I love this film. I'm smiling ear to ear. It might not change the pacing of popcorn blockbusters like ANH did, but it certaintly set the bar on that feat and I'm so very glad that it did. I feel like I've experienced every nuance I've ever experienced in Star Wars in this trilogy at this point, and I can die a happy man in respect to cinematic experience in my life.

    Thank you Lucas for putting this crazy idea of how to make a movie out in this world, and thank you for teaching it to a new generation of filmmakers.
    I'm really interested to see what they do with this learned methodology over the years.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  17. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    Hey, me too. Probably for different reasons though.
    Yes, I also hope they've learned some lessons with this movie :)
     
  18. CaptainPhastastic

    CaptainPhastastic Rebel Official

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    Well, I also thought it was a bummer because what a terrible way to reveal Ahsoka is dead.
     
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  19. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Jedi General

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    Yeah, there's a lot going on, but the camera knows what the audience needs to see in any given moment.

    There's maybe a couple shots that I think worked really well in TROS's final battle. Obviously I'll need to watch the film more, but one that really sticks with me is when the battle is going downhill, and Poe is getting worried. We see a pretty wide angle of the fight, with several squadrons of TIE fighters slowly flying in formation, lazily taking out Resistance fighters.

    Maybe I'm alone in this, but I really loved that scene. I know it's tempting to show the space battles as frenzied affairs, but seeing the TIEs act so deliberate made them seem menacing, and not desperate. If nothing else, that shot works well for TROS, I'd say.
     
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  20. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Force Sensitive

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    Imagine how it would have worked as well. The voices are quick cuts back and forth between several people. Not showing them allows simply to play the voice. If it is actual ghosts presence the camera needs to jump back and forth between each individual ghost to give impact. Otherwise it is a group scene that almost looks like a chorus and you just hear voice after voice and eyes try to jump back and forth to see who is saying what. I just dont think it works well.

    This gets down to ideas and do they work well on screen. I wouldnt be surprised if they even filmed a version with the ghosts and felt it just didnt work.

    It is like what the Reylo's are so up in arms about. They wanted a happily ever after with Rey and Ben together. How could that have worked? No one has ever been able to describe to me how Rey would bring Ben back and he would be welcomed with open arms by Rey's friends let alone the galaxy. Feel that the audience knowing what Ben has done would reject Ben coming back and just being accepted.
     
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