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Were "fan expectations" the problem?

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

  1. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Jedi General

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    I think that fan expectation feeds into the problem, but not just in the simple "fans were disappointed they weren't right" kind of way.

    Instead, I think there was pressure to make a movie that fans wouldn't expect. The word "subversion" has been thrown around a lot lately, and while I don't think it always applies (Luke being reluctant was pretty well telegraphed in TFA, sorry to those who missed it) it definitely applies at times.

    TLJ was trying to be the Star Wars people didn't expect, in a time when fans could reasonably expect anything.

    This usually hasn't bee a problem. In the OT, the Vader reveal came out of nowhere, setting a bit of a precedent for the element of twist. But ROTJ was relatively straightforward- Han was saved, Luke defeats the Empreor, Vader redeems himself, the Rebels win. There's the one attempt at a twist with Luke and Leia being siblings, and while it's super important to Star Wars lore I think it kinda falls flat in the wake of the ESB reveal. But otherwise, a pretty predictable (though fantastic!) movie.

    Then there's the prequels, which while enjoyable, really don't try too hard to be too complicated either. We know Anakin turns to the Dark side, and we see Anakin turn to the Dark side. I guess it could be argued that portraying the Jedi as a corrupt organization is a bit of a twist, but that's definitely not really in the narrative foreground anyway.

    Now, the sequel trilogy in the era of Game of Thrones, Christopher Nolan, and constant online speculation on message boards like these...
    The Force Awakens had it easy because it was a mostly new cast that we knew almost nothing about. Even then, though, some twists were made to confuse fans.
    Han and Leia, happily married in Legends? Estranged now.
    Luke, teacher at his Jedi academy? Well, not anymore.
    Jacen Solo, becoming Darth Caedus? Well, kinda, but it's already happened so catch up bucko.


    With stuff like Rey and Finn, we see relatively simple stories (another force sensitive destined to become a Jedi, Ezra says "hi") but overall it's a fun movie that's well put together and stokes that nostalgia flame while laying the groundwork for some deeper speculation going forward.

    And that's where the problem is.

    For two years, we went around trying to guess what would happen. And for what is presumably the first time ever, Star Wars actively anticipated that, and presumably tried to surprise us.

    I'm not saying stuff like Snoke and Luke's death were thrown in last minute to throw fans off the scent, because that's silly and it's not how movies (much less something as carefully handled as Star Wars) are made, nor do I think Rian Johnson is the one solely responsible for this strategy. I think it is possible that during trilogy storyboarding, the topic of how to pivot from the obvious conclusions probably came up, and it was likely on the second movie to do this.

    And honestly, I generally do have mostly positive feelings for The Last Jedi.

    I think for the most part, it's a really good and fresh Star Wars flick. So, I don't think all this is a bad thing by any means. All I'm saying is, I wouldn't be surprised if this was their philosophy on how to surprise the audience.
     
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  2. deadmanwalkin009

    deadmanwalkin009 Rebel Official

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    I like TFA originally and I slightly defended the film, but when TLJ came out, I was mixed emotions about it. After months of thinking about it, my distaste for the ST stems back to TFA in retrospect. The force back in TFA should of been one of the plot points in TFA. I wanted to see Luke's new Jedi academy and both TFA and TLJ robbed us for that. I think that's a reasonable and realistic idea to assume with the ST? They could of showed us glimpse of Luke new academy before Kylo and Knights of Ren burned it down like they showed in the force back. That way, we can see how his academy looked on screen for a brief moment since we were 30 years too late to see him building his new Jedi academy (hope a future cartoon will show us this). I figured Luke's new Jedi Academy would of been a given for the ST. Also JJ forced RJ hands when he ended TFA with no time jump in mind. JJ was one and done with SW after TFA and the only reason why they got him to do 9 is because they had no other options on the plate to get Episode 9 done on time. I think JJ (or some other director) should of stay on board and do all the films rather than doing a rough outline, that way the films will seem more coherent. I think having 3 different directors making movies was a very big mistake on Disney part.
     
    #42 deadmanwalkin009, Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  3. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    We don’t know there’s any sort of preexisting relationship there. Might have left her with him because he was the most convenient option at the time. Plutt could be totally clueless. We’re also not told Rey knows “nothing” about her family. Just their current whereabouts. They left. She thinks they’ll be back. They won’t. That’s the setup.

    But I agree with your point in general. This trilogy started with another Rebellion fighting another Empire with another Death Star, another Vader and another Emperor. About as uninspired a Star Wars premise as you can get. The significant difference now being there’s much less defined motivations for the parties in play. Rian Johnson didn't do that.

    Still though, I'll defend TFA as a thoroughly entertaining movie that gets the 'spirit' of Star Wars right . . . for me.
     
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  4. KeithF1138

    KeithF1138 Rebel Official

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    So you would assume someone who wears a Star Wars 30th Anniversary or ESB shirt then they must like TLJ. You know what you may be right and that is because I do believe the vast majority of Star Wars fans like TLJ. As for people I work with we talk about all sorts of things while we work. Of course we talk about movies we see, concerts we go to, TV shows. I just dont get to choose who those people that I work with at various clients.
     
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  5. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    Uhm, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't we see a very young Rey with UP holding her hand as her "parents" fly off the planet? I figured there was some sort of preexisting relationship based on that, but either way it is pretty thin.

    And in no way do I now blame RJ for the fact that the motivations weren't established. And I do think TFA gets the "spirit" of Star Wars right. It hits the nostalgia just right as well. It was fun to watch in the cinema. But it is thin. Having said that, I really want IX to be something we all can dig. I know that's hoping for a miracle, but I for one am ready for a miracle. :)
     
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  6. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    He's not holding her hand, he's grabbing and pulling her arm in a fairly aggressive way saying "Quiet girl!"
     
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  7. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    The flashback certainly implies Rey was left with Plutt by her family, but we aren’t given any context to believe there was a connection beyond that. Could have been lifelong friends or total strangers. Probably the latter for the reason you brought up - just some jerk that was willing to take her so she’d scavenge for him, was my guess. TLJ, of course, spelled things out a bit more. It was a buy/sell arrangement. Ickier than first thought.
    Yeah, regardless of the macro picture, TFA hit the note of what George described as “effervescent giddiness”. The sort of fun that comes from a rollicking adventure for the young and young-at-heart. TLJ? Uh . . . less so.

    Cautious optimism. I’ll extend any movie the benefit of the doubt until I’m proved wrong. And even then, it can't be a total loss.
     
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  8. Sparafucile

    Sparafucile Rebel Official

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    I'm not trying to win points here, or have a "gotcha" moment.

    There are a lot more cons to pros to disliking TLJ in every day life. I talk about SW with long time friends and family, maybe a circle of 20 or so, and the discussions have been less and less. That's pretty much why I'm here. I don't wear SW stuff because if the conversation comes to TLJ, I'm left to choose between lying that I do like it, or saying I don't and having people assume I'm sexist, racist and wasting a lot of time explaining my dislike, validating myself, being judged and doubted, ect... it's not just people who love TLJ who have suffered from the movie.

    If I feel that way, I have to assume others who feel as I do about TLJ feel the same way.

    So yes, my assumption is that they would like TLJ, because if they didn't, they'd think twice about wearing SW memorabilia because it invites discussion into the current SW climate. It's uncomfortable discussing a movie when there's a Damocles sword hanging over your head. Having to justify your dislike, to prove that you're not sexist or racist or any other "ist" associated with it is not a comfortable position to be in. I've had to do it on here, thankfully I haven't had to do it in real life. In real life there aren't moderators for this stuff and the repercussions are that much more severe.

    Now understand, I know it's most likely people wouldn't jump to that conclusion, I know the people I know wouldn't (my bosses, coworkers, family and friends ect), so maybe I am being a little paranoid. A stranger however could easily jump to conclusions if they're part of the far left and have taken their politics to extreme into this. I've seen it on here, so I know it exists out there. There's no incentive for me to take that chance. If some idiot takes it into their head to associate attributes to me based on my opinion of a stupid movie and calls my work, then it becomes my bosses problem. I'm a pretty good worker, flawless record, but still, why take that chance, put my bosses in that position?

    So yeah, I think those who dislike these movies are more likely to voice those concerns online then in public. It's a sad thing that the fandom has come to this, and it's not entirely the fandom's fault. The political extremes fan these issues, and like idiots we often play into it, but on some level we have to. When livelihoods could be at stake, we have to.
     
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  9. DailyPlunge

    DailyPlunge Jedi Commander

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    It's perfectly reasonable not to like the film, but there's a reason why the more difficult it is to brigade a poll the better the film score is for the film. It's been 14 months and it's difficult to believe people keep citing it. It's been debunked over and over and no one who understand statistics takes it seriously.

    My favorite example of the idiocy of the RT score are the YouTube videos complaining that people are rigging the Resistance score (there are tons of fake reviews). Imagine citing the RT score like it's gospel and then getting angry that someone else is brigading it in the opposite direction. Welcome to angry YouTubers.
    I've only met a couple of people who really don't like TLJ. They don't like it. It's not that big of a deal. It's just easier to find extreme opinions online. That's why the sexist/bigot stuff is only online. People aren't gonna voice that unless they can do it anonymously.

    There's always gonna be someone unhappy about Star Wars. There was an angry minority after TFA. It's grown some in TLJ. It's impossible to make everyone happy.
     
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  10. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    Amen brother. I am cautiously optimistic myself. I REALLY want to like these films. I've probably said it before, but I hate disliking a Star Wars film. I love this stuff, obviously. I hope and pray IX will be amazing.

    I'm definitely of the opinion that people often want it both ways. They want to use the RT score to make a point in one case, but then wanna ignore it in another. For me, the RT score is legit, in both cases. I didn't like "Resistance" but I'm not going to argue with he score. I can see where people would like it. Hopefully in a year we'll be talking about the amazing film IX was and looking forward to the D&D trilogy. :)
     
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  11. Sparafucile

    Sparafucile Rebel Official

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    I agree with you in that those SW fans who disliked TLJ have come around to not finding it that big of a deal. Personally I often deny being a SW fan (as go as far as sci-fi fantasy just to put enough distance) in public, as do many I know, since TLJ has become a sort the Litmus test (if you like it, you're ok and adequately progressive, if you don't, you're racist/sexist ect... prove me wrong) and avoid that whole line of questioning. I was a much bigger SW fan in my 20s then I am now anyways. I'm still enough of a fan who could potentially go see it 3 times at the big screen, but now for the first time I'm also someone who can skip out on a movie entirely.

    I agree that life goes on and I'd rather put my energy into something positive rather than negative. I'm hoping IX satisfies some of my questions, but failing that I'm hoping the GoT guys come up with something I could love.

    I also agree that Youtubers take things too far, but then again, outrage is what gets views. I've watched a few of them but haven't in some time. It's repetitive, and it's easy to see that the reasoning for putting out those video's is to generate traffic. I probably will watch more once there are actual teasers and such to comment on.

    As for the sexist/bigot stuff only being online, I beg to differ.


    It's a funny story, short 10 or so minute clip. I like Tim Pool, tend to agree with his viewpoint more often than not. The last minute or so there's a mention of TLJ used in such a way. It's happening, it's not SW's fault, or Disney's, or LFL's... it's the political climate I think. Tribalism at its worst imo.

    Edit: 7:20 is the time when TLJ is mentioned, to save time. You should probably listen to more to get context, but if you want to save time, there it is. :)
     
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  12. KalKenobi83

    KalKenobi83 Rebelscum

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    Yes I but i also Blame Fake News Mike Zeroh for Creating those Expectations also fans shouldnt dicatate how the stories should go
     
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  13. Old Jedi

    Old Jedi Clone Commander

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    Fan expectations are always a “risk” in any movie, but particularly a sequel related to a major IP.

    Personally the only expectation I had was RJ was going to make a great SW movie. I really liked Looper and Brothers Bloom and all of the comments and descriptions RJ made leading up to the movie indicated to me he truly loves and respects SW.

    Unfortunately, for me, he delivered a disappointing movie. I found several elements of the story poorly done (all of Canto, the Rose character, the slow motion “space chase”) and the humor he injected into the film was juvenile at best and completely unfunny. Was this due to my elevated expectations? I don’t believe so.

    I had equally high expectations for JJ/TFA, GE/RO and RH/Solo - none were perfect films but they each absolutely delivered good to great SW films imo regardless of my expectations.
     
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  14. Maximus

    Maximus Reel 2 Dialogue 2

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    i don't think that fan expectations was or ever will be a problem.

    Our love for Star Wars is beyond a level i can accurately communicate. What we want for the future of Star Wars is a strength and should be seen as our biggest positive.

    You only need to look at the difference in how the previous two trilogies were received to know that sometimes the movies aren't always going to go the way we'd like.

    ep IX will NOT please everyone here.. it physically can't after what some people have said about the direction the story and characters have gone in thus far.

    The 'problem' (in my opinion) is that things became too personal here after TLJ released.. opinions were disrespected.. things became heated.. to the point that we accepted that members needed 'safe' threads to post in. The whole world is beginning to fight diversity, and here we are herding members into different sections of the forum based on their opinions.. all because we can't behave like adults and deal with the fact that we have differing opinions.

    speaking with my Cantina hat on.. to push on as a community here we have to consider that our general love for Star Wars is the high ground here. we are here because we love Star Wars. There's nothing wrong with hating TLJ and we should be encouraged to say how we feel about it.. but we need to remember that we're here because we love Star Wars.

    being able to discuss these movies decade after decade to the nth degree over and over again is a wonderful thing. everyone needs to realize this and learn to get along.

    1% of effort from everyone here to get along and there is no problem :)
     
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  15. Jawajedi12

    Jawajedi12 Clone

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    I do not like the Sequels because the plot is a recycle of Imperials vs Rebels 2.0
    I wanted to see something new in the Sequels like Lucas did in the Prequels but my disappointment was seeing something I had seen before

    A new Vader a new Luke but now female and a new Death Star
    Boring for me
     
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  16. Rayjefury

    Rayjefury Force Sensitive

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    Fan expectations are an easy scapegoat when things go wrong. We didn't do a bad job you guys just had this head canon you were married to or you just refused to like our vision. The easier and more realistic answer is they just didn't put out a good product and fans have reacted accordingly. They didn't like:

    • the way legacy characters were handled
    • development of the new characters
    • the discontinuity in arcs between TFA and TLJ
    • injection of current political maelstroms

    If I were to guess I'd say most fans expected to see subtle messaging that's intrinsic to the story, but also has a secondary meaning outside the story. I always thought the GFFA wasn't meant to be a mirror so much as it was meant to be an idea to aspire to (at least at a basic human level).

    In the world where I live, there is sexism. In the GFFA, women should be in leadership roles, support roles, they should triumph, they should fail, they should survive, they should die, they should be cowards, they should be brave, they should do everything that a man does as though it was a foregone conclusion.

    In the world where I live, there is racism. In the GFFA, black people and people of color should be powerful, should be powerless, should be the good guys, should be the bad guys, should save the day, should doom the mission, should fail spectacularly, should triumph spectacularly. They should do everything that everyone else does.

    There's always been politics in Star Wars, but I think it's stories proceed forward best without our real world isms and phobias so conspicuously projected into it along with the attendant sermonizing.
     
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  17. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Jedi General

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    I wonder now if LFL wasn't just thinking way in advance with these sequels, especially TFA. I know people were expecting something totally original and many wanted more emphasis on the original trio, but I have a feeling these sequels may have meant to be not only a story in their own right, but a bridge back to Star Wars as a whole.

    We know there's a lot more in the pipeline, and it would make sense that we'd get some comfort food to ease us back in before we start seeing the truly weird stuff.
     
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  18. DailyPlunge

    DailyPlunge Jedi Commander

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    I'll be curious how this trilogy is viewed in 10 years. A lot of depends on the final chapter, but so far these two films are way better executed than the prequels. The story concept for the prequels is more original, but it's just really bad. Attack of the Clones is really, really bad and all these years later I can watch it. It never made me angry. I watched the next film.

    The new Disney films are well made. Solo was the weakest so far and it's still enjoyable. Having lived through that PT period the every day casual Star Wars fan knew those films were a mess. I work in IT so there's a lot of Star Wars guys and there just isn't a think about the ST being bad. It's not viewed that way unless you go looking for it online.
     
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  19. Jedi77-83

    Jedi77-83 Force Sensitive

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    Speak for yourself, as I can go through my co-workers/family/friends and they are all split on a TLJ. I noticed among them that the more casual fan they are, the more they like it. The more diehard they are, the more they hate it.

    TLJ hate is a different hate than PT hate. PT hate was more about how Lucas bumbled things like Jar Jar, Anakin/Padme love story, Little Ani, Darth Vader nooooo. They would say there is a good movie inside there somewhere as the story wasn’t the problem, but the execution.

    TLJ hate (among people I know) is solely cause of Luke Skywalker arc , then things like Flying Leia, Holdo, etc. I think the Rey Nobody and Death of Snoke would have been fine among the fans if they liked the portrayal of TLJ Luke.

    Let’s face it, TLJ Luke is divisive so some fans will love it and some fans will hate it. Disney HAD to know that when they decided to deconstruct him as it’s no different than the backlash Rocky 5 got for the portrayal of Rocky in 1990. Trust me, even Stallone apologized and redeemed himself with Rocky 6.

    When you radically change an iconic character, many are going to love and many will hate it. That is why nothing will change 10 years from now with a TLJ among the fans. The fans that love TLJ Luke will probably still love the movie and the fans that hate TLJ Luke will probably still hate the movie. Episode 9 will not change that.
     
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  20. eeprom

    eeprom Force Sensitive

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    I feel this perspective is more imaginary than actual. Lucasfilm is a business. A business with a product to market. They want the widest consumer base possible and are making a targeted effort to better appeal to a non-white, non-male demographic.

    I don’t believe for a single second the brain trust there has any interesting in swaying hearts and minds toward some predisposed societal agenda. It’s a financial driver. They want Star Wars to be for EVERYBODY . . . so they can get EVERYBODY’S money. I don't think it's any more sinister than old fashioned capitalism.
     
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