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Were "fan expectations" the problem?

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' started by Jaxxon, Feb 10, 2019 at 3:42 AM.

  1. Ree Yees

    Ree Yees Rebel General

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    After the first time I saw The Last Jedi in the theater, I left the building with a bad feeling, a feeling similar to how I felt after the prequels, but not as severe. I was disappointed, and sad, and astonished that this was the film Rian Johnson was praised for, the film that made Kennedy sound so secure, the film that, for each teaser and trailer, did indeed seem to be the most post-OT Star Wars movie ever.

    I felt deceived. Duped. Lied to. I mean, when Rian put up his (in)famous picture where he holds a card with the words Your Snoke Theory Sucks, that could mean only one thing, right? They had such an awesome answer to "The Snoke Question" that no matter what we cooked up in our speculation, The Last Jedi would kick our collective nuts/clitorises into WHOAAAWESOME territory.

    Instead, in my opinion, Rian turned out to not really have a grasp on the Star Wars setting. He didn't bother polishing the script, resorting to some incredibly lazy plot devices to move the story along. A story that was barely there. He thought Yoda was funny when he was testing Luke Skywalker in ESB, so he made him like that in TLJ despite the fact that it isn't Yoda's character at all. He put in so many gags that felt wrong in this series that it defies belief. Character development was .. all over the place. It didn't have a solid structure or framework. For every second scene I was scratching my head wondering what the hell happened to that movie everyone was so excited about.

    I could ramble on, obviously, but suffice it to say that yes, the film failed to deliver to my expectations, but for once it wasn't my fault. They set themselves up for it.

    (After a second viewing and subsequent viewings on blu-ray, The Last Jedi improved a little, but over the last couple of months I have grown to resent it for its extremely weak script. The rest is still miles ahead of the prequels: acting, designs, etc.)

    What I feel the movie misses the most, is a cool villain. Almost all Star Wars films have a cool villain or two. The Last Jedi had.. uh. Well, Hux was made into a charicature, Kylo Ren wasn't in the film (though Ben Solo was), Snoke didn't have much spunk after all and..uh DJ? Right...

    Blast this film and Blast Rian Johnson. I honestly hopes they cancel the deal for a trilogy under his direction.
    Alternatively, Blast Kennedy or the story group or whoever it was that didn't help polish the script - much like the PT, there are some solid concepts /ye nuggets of golde in there, but it needed someone with a keen knowledge of Star Wars and someone with at least a basic understanding of good storytelling.

    *** Edit ***

    So The Force Awakens as we all can agree on posed a number of questions. Some more interesting than others. Of course we expected some answers, but I didn't necessarily need them in The Last Jedi. After all, we still have Episode IX.

    However, Johnson that silly jester decided to make that more difficult.

    Well, Rey can still be someone's parents but I don't really care. The concept of her actually being a nobody is something I can appreciate.
    But I did not think it was a good idea to kill of Snoke when we didn't have any context. It doesn't come across as contrarian or surprising or brilliant; it comes across as lazy. Lazy as in "Can't be bothered to explain who this guy is, die die die."

    More problematic IMO is the questions that The Last Jedi actually raises: What the hell is in those sacred Jedi texts? Since when can Jedi ghosts summon lightning? Since when can Jedi decide to "turn off" the Force and turn it back on when convenient? What's up with Rey and Kylo's Force-Skype? Why is Finn still alive? How could no one tell them that the character Rose wasn't very well written? Why the Blast did Leia ..ah I can't even mention that one without losing the will to live.
     
    #21 Ree Yees, Feb 11, 2019 at 4:40 PM
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 4:47 PM
  2. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Rebel General

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    I really think this moves from fact to opinion. To me and many others TLJ really believes that the answer to who is Rey's parents really does matter. We believe the answer it gave was very powerful. Her parents being just anyone really does matter and to me set's the whole franchise in a better place. This is of course subjective opinion of mine. Just as others believe she must come from some powerful Jedi family bloodline is subjective.
     
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  3. Jaxxon

    Jaxxon Force Sensitive

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    But the answer is literally "her parents don't matter." That is the thing that matters. See? "Her parents don't matter" is the answer TLJ gives, because they're "nobodiness" reinforces the theme of the film.
     
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  4. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    TLJ, for me, is like a really nice pair of shoes that just don’t fit right. It’s no fault of the shoes. It’s no fault of my feet. They’re just not a good match for one another. I admire the obvious workmanship that went into them, but they’re so damned uncomfortable, I can only appreciate them at a distance.

    Rian Johnson has a very specific flavor he brings to the projects he works on and, while I’d never classify it as “bad”, I’ve never really cared for it either. It’s simply not my taste. I think the fan ‘outrage’, however real or imagined, begins and ends there. It was all about tone. The movie didn’t ‘feel’ right for a lot of fans and it manifested in varying degrees of dissatisfaction.

    I’m fully convinced that ‘Rey being no one’ or ‘Snoke being a plot-device’ or ‘Luke pondering nephew slaying’ or whatever the controversy - would have been better received by the displeased numbers if they’d been presented more amiably within the story. More hand holding and less hand slapping. Like Luke tossing the saber. It makes sense, in-narrative, for the character to send this doe-eyed interloper a preemptive ‘up yours’ - but it also came off (intentionally or not) as a simultaneously assertive ‘up yours’ to the fans who were invested in that moment.

    That sequence is emblematic to me of the ‘problematic’ execution. It’s not the ‘what’, it’s the ‘how’. I don’t think unrequited fan speculation had much of anything to do with the vocal uproar. It had to do with a segment of the fan community inaccurately interpreting RJ’s choices as deliberately offensive and disrespectful. The perceived backlash to unsatisfactory or empty reveals, I believe, stems from there.

    . . . or not . . . what do I know?
     
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  5. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Rebel General

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    Yes and that to me is what makes the question matter so much and what makes the answer so powerful.
     
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  6. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    Apparently not how to buy a pair of shoes
    giphy (55).gif
     
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  7. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    They ’don’t matter’ with respect to the greater universe, no. They aren’t some famous power players to some degree in the galaxy. But they absolutely do matter to the Rey character and that’s ultimately all that really should matter. Their lack of presence and abandonment informs her persona and journey. Their identities are inconsequential, but their role in the story is paramount.

    I totally get the perspective though. This franchise is infamous for the most well-known parental reveal in all of fiction. JJ could have introduced our heroine as ‘Rey Sandfarter’, daughter of Dick and Jane Sandfarter, but chose to make it mysterious for the sake of being mysterious. So the fans obliged him and filled in the unnecessary blank he left.

    RJ certainly did no favors either by leaning into it and structuring the way he did. Inside the darkside toilet of terror, where the two shadowy figures join to reflect Rey. Or Kylo forcing her to admit the unbearable truth that they were shockingly . . . exactly who she already knew. He purposely built those moments up in order to be deflated. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for some folks to feel cheated or trolled. That’s a fairly valid response.
    Or craft a decent metaphor. I’m so good at being so bad at so many things :)
     
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  8. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    It is fair to feel that way...when you first see it. It's done to evoke emotion, as most good films do.
    However, a year+ beyond now it is officially in the unreasonable territory
     
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  9. Steven Lewis

    Steven Lewis Rebel Trooper

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    In answer to the OP, yes and no.

    Fans can certainly get carried away with theories, and it was actively encouraged. I also don't think the story of TLJ was that bad, despite its shortcomings in following up TFA. Its biggest failure was its presentation, but again it's a matter of taste. I didn't like DS 3, but there is no denying JJ can make a great film, but with TLJ a lot of the humour was off and it seemed to be shocking in places simple to be shocking. Again, it's all from a certain point of view.
     
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  10. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    I personally dislike the film. A lot. BUT, having said that, I'm not happy about it. The idea that I would want to dislike a Star Wars film is crazy to me (and I know you aren't saying me specifically). I think what gets me is also what gets you. You like it. Why does someone have to argue with you to try and convince you it really is bad? I hate it, but why does someone have to badger another person for disliking it? For me it's the least enjoyable of the series, but that's just me. I think it's the world we live in right now.

    Anyway, I wish we'd get a bloody trailer so we can discuss it. A trailer, the new Clone Wars season, the new show... all of that stuff will help us move on. Or I hope it does.
     
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  11. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Rebel General

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    No not you. In general the Forums here are civil. Moderators help with that. It is in other areas of social media that most of the vitriol is spewed. Racist and sexist insults all the time. It is frankly why I believe that a lot of the hatred is made up. After all both Breitbart and Inforwars have pushed stories of Star Wars that are silly for the alt-right crowd and the buy it. They bought into the idea that Rogue One was an anti-Trump film. There are forces out their that want people of all sorts to be at each others throats to divide and it isnt just based on political ideas.
     
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  12. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    I never saw anything from those sites, but I tend to avoid that stuff in general. The far right and the far left are not places I care to visit. Personally, and this is just me, I absolutely love Rogue One. Love it love it love it. Wanted to like TLJ, but felt very off after viewing it and spent months convincing myself (or attempting to) that I liked it. I can say some of the far left has pushed the idea that Russian bots are to blame for the bad score on RT. Like I said, the far left/right is a place I stay away from when possible.

    As for the hatred for the film, I don't think the majority of fans hate it. I think a solid group simply didn't like it. Like I've said, I can only compare it and the reception it received to my high school kids and their reaction to Infinity War (and the other Marvel films of the last year). They all know I'm a Star Wars fan first and foremost, and a ton of them asked me after Xmas of '17 what I thought. None of them was excited about it. After Black Panther they were all talking about it and the same for Infinity War. No where near the same reaction for TLJ. Only one of the kids went to see Solo on opening weekend (I ran into him at the cinema!) and we both enjoyed Solo far more than TLJ. Again, small sample size.

    In some ways I really wish they'd released Solo as Christmas so we'd have that to talk about now. Or they'd have released a teaser for IX. A title. Something. In the meantime it helps to remember we are all Star Wars fans (I have to remind myself of this as well from time to time) and we all just want good films that we can all enjoy.
     
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  13. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Rebel General

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    Only thing I would disagree is that it was far left that pushed Russian bots attacked RT. Was more mainstream sites that shared the study. I still to this day have never met someone in person who hates TLJ. I know a few that find it rather meh and my middle son still cant stand the Holdo/Poe dynamic. Thats the extent of it. Everyone I work with finds it OK, Good or Great. Far more to the good and great. No friends. Have never met someone in person.

    Even when I go to my local Meijer and hit the deli counter there is an older lady that works there and she always chats me up about Star Wars. She loves it and loved Solo as well which she saw on video. She said she wished she had seen it in the theater. She also wishes that Solo would have been Christmas for her to see it with her grand kids.
     
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  14. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    I can't say I know anyone who "hates" it, but I do know quite a few "fans" who dislike it immensely. And that's cool. People can like it or hate it as much as they want to. I was actually surprised to hear that two of the teachers I'm friends with on my campus (and are big fans) really don't like it. Neither one of them went to see Solo. I honestly thought they would like it, but there you go. A former student of mine who just graduated from art school despises it and the depiction of Rey (her words were "I can't relate to her. She's too close to a 'Mary Sue' for my liking"). So there are tons out there who like it, tons who don't.

    But like I said, I really wish they'd give us something else to talk about. A trailer. A freakin teaser. A darn title release. Anything. Hell, at this point I'd take ANOTHER trailer for the new Clone Wars season! LOL
     
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  15. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    I imagine it’s the basic draw of positivity over negativity. Wouldn’t you prefer to find something you like in something lousy than find something lousy in something you like? No one should “badger” you over your opinion (although I think that is the official animal mascot for the internet as a whole). Me, I’m way more open to someone able to make a case for finding a worthwhile element in something I dislike rather than the opposite. Provided they’re not a dick about it anyhow - a rare bird.

    I was very low on the prequels for a very long time. While I still don’t enjoy any of them as actual movies and never watch them, I have a profound love for the ideas that are there and how they stitch together to enrich the larger story. I’m really thankful for the respectful individuals who, appreciating them on a level I wish I could and never will, bothered helping me find something redeeming. If there’s joy to be had, I don’t want to miss out if I can help it :)
     
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  16. Sparafucile

    Sparafucile Rebel Official

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    My theory is that we tend to hang out with people of similar mind. If we give people the benefit of the doubt and take them at their word on here, we hear many claims that go opposite. The only explanation I can attribute to that is that we do live somewhat in bubbles, with people of like mind. It doesn't mean no one loves it or no one hates it, or that even those numbers are small, it means that we tend to spend our time with people who have similar ways of thinking that we do, thus our opinions skewed in the same direction towards the movie.

    The most annoying thing, and probably one of the most divisive, is dismissing other people's experiences, and that's not just of the movie, but also of the experience of those around us. I was guilty of it, and I was accused of it. Over time I had to analyze that and come to the conclusion that we must have had similar but opposite experiences, and the only reasons I can think of is that we simply hang out with people who value the same aspects of SW that we do.

    It's the problem of both left and right. We tend to congregate with our own, with similar ways of thinking, and that leads us to assume others are lying on impulse instead of considering we might be in an echo chamber.
     
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  17. deadmanwalkin009

    deadmanwalkin009 Rebel General

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    You need to blast JJ while your at it. TFA is not that good of a film. If you look at the movie in the broader sense, TFA is a very bare bones, shallow movie that has not meat. We didn't get any context of the state of the galaxy. RJ doesn't get a pass, but it wasn't his job to establish the state of the galaxy and Snoke. His job was to answer the reason why Luke was in hiding and why Rey is special and how the First Order going to respond after the destruction of Star-killer Base. If story telling is something you was wanting, TFA should be an "F" in that department. Snoke's back ground (not saying he's Pleguis but something to show how got into power) and the state of the galaxy should of been address in TFA. Perfect scene to do that would of been the scene where Leia mentions that Snoke influenced Ben as an example. You can dislike the execution of TLJ but TFA is the movie that set the tone and put the Galaxy to the same point as it was in ANH. I honestly think JJ should be blasted just as much RJ is. I hope JJ can end 9 on a good note, but I don't have much faith in him due to the bare bones we got with TFA. So now, he has to answer his mystery boxes for a change.
     
    #37 deadmanwalkin009, Feb 11, 2019 at 7:33 PM
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 7:43 PM
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  18. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    I totally agree. I was one who REALLY enjoyed TFA, but the reality is, it's pretty weak. Yeah, it started off strong, but after they leave Jakuu it is pretty darn lame. There are even problems with it before that (why does Rey know "nothing" about her family if she could have just asked Unkar Plutt?). It feels like a series of plot devices meant to simply move the story forward without giving much thought/depth to the why. Undoing the OT and remaking it in the form of the ST was a bad idea.

    I didn't blame JJ at first. But honestly I tried rewatching TFA and TLJ in the spring on iTunes and couldn't get through either one. TFA isn't good and they really screwed the pooch on this one. Looking back, the way the ST started is the problem. And in the end, I blame Disney for that. By insisting on a film in 2015 they made it very difficult for JJ and co to maneuver and develop a fully fleshed out story.
     
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  19. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Rebel General

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    I am an independent software engineer consultant, I dont choose the employees of my clients. So not that simple. I also tend to wear a lot of Star Wars clothing which causes conversations with strangers and I tend to talk to just about anyone. Just ask my kids, they arent a fan of this.
     
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  20. Sparafucile

    Sparafucile Rebel Official

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    How do you think someone who doesn't like TLJ would react to someone showing up in SW clothes? Speaking for myself, I'd assume they like TLJ. I'm at work, I'm professional, and even if I wouldn't be at work it would be unlikely I'd engage in conversation with someone I don't know who has an opposing opinion on the subject considering how heated things have been. If the person had an OT themed shirt, at best I'd say something along the lines of "nice shirt".

    My point, people who don't like TLJ are not likely to want to engage in conversation with a stranger who likes SW to avoid a scene, especially at work. A lot of assumptions come with disliking the ST, it's wise to avoid them. So the win/loss potential of engaging in such a conversation skews greatly to avoiding it.
     
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