“I’m Paul Barlow, and this is my daughter Jo.”

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

All purpose Star Wars post

tn_maxreboI noticed everybody’s writing about the latest Disney’s Star Wars news on an old post that has about ten billion comments on it and takes six hours to load. We don’t yet have the technology to create a forum, so out of the kindness of my heart I am giving you this fresh new post for any Star Wars related commenting.

I also have an ulterior motive. This is a good place for you to dump all of the bile, negativity and Ewokphobia associated with Star Wars fandom, if need be. I’m going to have a Star Wars related post pretty soon where whining and complaining in the comments are specifically prohibited. We’ll see how that goes I guess.

Anybody remember C3POs it was a cereal they had.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 at 1:31 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

254 Responses to “All purpose Star Wars post”

  1. Can’t wait for your upcoming Star Wars post. I’m still linking your SAVING MR BAKNS/WHY ARE YOU MOTHERFUCKERS HATING ON DISNEY article to whoever might be interested in it.

  2. well, I guess I’ll repost my recent comment from the other thread

    I remain cautiously optimistic about the new STAR WARS, I hope it’s good but if it disappoints I’m not gonna get too upset about it because while I like STAR WARS a lot, I don’t have any strong personal connection to it as someone who was there was it debuted in ’77 might, all that matters is the original trilogy, which we’ll always have no matter what

    but there is one thing I want to say, why is RETURN OF THE JEDI so underrated? it just might be my personal favorite of the original trilogy yet it seems to be considered the worst by fans

    I’ll tell you why it’s my favorite, because it’s the most 80′s of the original trilogy (and I mean that in a good way), it reminds me of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK with it’s excellent set design and special effects, it’s just of that era of the early 80′s when blockbuster film-making was at a very high point

    and also, what’s the big deal about the Ewoks? yeah, they’re cute, but they don’t talk, which makes them 1000 times less annoying than Jar Jar, so why do fans consider them as bad?

  3. The Ewoks are annoying because they are just obvious product placement characters for merchandising(see 3rd video above), and they add nothing story wise to the SW galaxy, except for 4 year olds to say how cute they are and chuck a massive fuckin tantrum in the toy aisle at KMART until dad either flips his shit and whacks them or gives in and buys them one so they shut the fuck up. I would have gone with the 2nd option if my kids were into SW when they were younger. Which they weren’t. Small blessings.

  4. I’m pro-Ewok. They look like teddy bears and/or rats, but they are savage little fuckers who apparently worship some sort of Aztec type golden god from the sky and who successfully hunt our larger heroes and attempt to use them as meat (with their clothes on!) At the end they dance and play drums on the helmets (heads?) of the soldiers they’ve vanquished. They are thematically crucial to the whole series because they are the small, simple, technologically inferior indigenous guerrillas who defeat a powerful empire using rocks and logs. I don’t think you can dismiss them just ’cause they made a cartoon out of em. They made a cartoon out of RoboCop but he’s still the man.

  5. Star Was was that movie with the guy from HIT right?

  6. Yeah good point Vern, they’re the Hobbits of the SW universe.

  7. Which means, if you’re small and hairy, take heart, you have much to offer in the bigger picture.

  8. Griff – your appraisal of RETURN of the JEDI has lifted a weight off my shoulders. It is the one STAR WARS movie that resonated with me the most when I saw it October 1983 in an Australian cinema. I was ten years old at the time. Strangely enough it is the one STAR WARS movie that my young daughters will repeatedly watch. We have all six on DVD, but they are not so interested in the other five.

    The online reaction to the director and cast of the forthcoming installment seems to have ‘broken’ something in me and I no longer feel like following the writings of film writers and commentators I until now would regularly read, our gracious host excluded. What is the deep, poisonous well in the center of many online personalities who feel the need to constantly trash the next STAR WARS? Such relentless bile towards an as yet unmade piece of entertainment suggests a defense mechanism, perhaps preemptively protecting them from the reopening of a deep wound?

    I look back on my post-screening reactions to the original movies as compared to what passes for ‘Geek Orthodoxy’ today:

    Star Wars
    Me (5 years old, 1977): Stunned silence.
    Geek Orthodox (present day): Yeah, OK for the time.

    The Empire Strikes Back
    Me (7 years old, 1980): Cool. Three more years. Oh man!
    Geek Orthodox (present day): A masterpiece. One of the finest motion pictures committed to celluloid. Thank God that previous director stepped down so we could have an entry in the saga worthy of Kubrick, Lean, Kurosawa, etc.

    Return of the Jedi
    Me (10 years old, 1983): Wow. That was Epic! I’m glad Luke patched things up with his dad.
    Geek Orthodox (present day): F@&*#N Teddy Bears! What is this shit? Luca$$ has sticked the landing and given us the F@&*#N Muppets in Space! What a hack!

    Note: I have not included my reactions to the Prequels because I was an adult when they made their way to the cinema and it simply was not possible for me to have the same reaction. The best moments of the Star Wars saga work on a visceral level and speak directly to young people. It disturbs me that there are men my age engaged in a kind of intifada against the series, trashing the existing (and yet to be made) movies for not measuring up to the works of Ingmar Bergman.

  9. sorry to jump back to ewoks, but i always felt that they were the best alien race ever depicted on film. I mean, they look good. There’s never a moment when its obviously computer effects that takes you out of the movie with those dudes, its all costumes and make up, some of the best. There’s a shitload of them, it shows a whole village in the movie. They don’t speak any recognizable world language, so they can’t annoy you with caribbean accents or whatever the hell was going on with JJ Binks. And saying they were put in the movie to sell toys, I guess you could apply that to all things in all Star Wars movies, since its clearly one of, if not THE, top selling toy line(s) of all time. And yeah, the Ewoks are basically savages, trying their best not to be too cute by killing and dying on the battlefield in the forest fight. They are necessary to the story of Jedi and totally awesome.

  10. I have no well of relentless bile from which to spew negativity about Star Wars news, but I feel like over the course of my lifetime (I was born in 1979) I’ve watched Star Wars grow from a beloved cultural niche into the culture itself, and that has definitely affected my enthusiasm for episode 7/8/9. Is there a difference between the cardboard standup of Chewie they had in my library when I was 4, and that cell phone ad from last year with the trick-or-treating family, where the whole premise assumes that the viewer is intimately familiar with Star Wars characters? I want to think there is.

    Hearing Disney’s plans about what they want to do with the stand-alone movies, the TV shows — granted, I’m given to alarmist nightmares about a monolithic corporate future, but when I’m an old man, are all movies going to be either Star Wars, comic-book adaptations, or microbudget indies that are the cinematic equivalent of self-published e-books? It’s getting way, way too easy (for me, at least) to imagine that. Ultimately it just makes me feel old, like it’s proof that the world is turning into a future I hoped would not come to pass, and in fact worked in my own small idealistic ways to prevent. And so my reaction to the sequels reflects that.

    I’ll be really happy if I’m wrong about all of this, though.

  11. Also, thanks for coming to the defense of the Ewoks, Vern. Paploo is my boy.

  12. Yeah, that was me with all the bile. Sorry guys. I don’t know what happened. I made it through 15 years of prequel hate without succumbing to Star Wars Associated Bitterness (S.W.A.B) and then I have to go and throw it all away. I’m just not ready to accept Star Wars without George. It’ll just never be special again now that any old asshole can get assigned to it by whatever douchebag sits behind the big desk at any given time like all the other franchises. It used to be its own thing. Now it’s just another one on the pile.

    But Abrams makes it worse. He’s got his good points but he’s a terrible storyteller. I didn’t heed asimov’s warnings before TREK and I got won over by the shiny colors and pretty faces before I realized how little sense anything he’s ever done has made. I’m fine with one beloved space franchise having that flavor, but both? It’s too much. The thought of him playing fast and loose with Luke, Han, Leia and the rest feels like my family got home invaded by David Hess. Maybe some of them will survive but the experience will be so traumatic that they’ll never be the same.

    But I guess I’m alone in this so I’ll shut up now. Enjoy your lightsabers everybody now that mean old Uncle George has let all the other kids play with them. I hope the jerky kid from up the block doesn’t break them all out of spite.

  13. I also am pro Ewok. They devour human flesh.

  14. But if you think I’m bad, just wait until the movie comes out. The average nerd might still be high on schadenfreude now but that’s gonna last until about three minutes after the opening crawl. Then the knives come out, and my distrust and cynicism will seem like pleasant memories.

  15. I kinda had a WTF moment with that underoos commercial. Oh and you’re right Vern, they are pretty badass. Crazy little robot worshiping flesh eaters. But I gotta say even thought they were banging helmet (head?) drums it kinda seemed like it was just a big teddy bear picnic. And that’s just not that badass. Plus wasn’t it more like a battalion they defeated and not the entire empire?

  16. When it comes to Abrams, I always enjoyed ALIAS, despite (or perhaps because of) its terrible sense of logic. I never liked it after season three ,though. I´m in the middle of re-watching the whole damn thing, so perhaps I can investigate further why it stopped clicking with me.

  17. I also had to think hard of whether it was Abrams or Whedon who made ALIAS. For some reason, I never can separate those names. Perhaps because they are the two guys that nerds like to bitch about, I guess.

  18. ALIAS was awesome, because the show stated from the beginning how ridiculous it was and totally ran with it and was willing to go further with it at times! (Like that one episode with the device that turned the citizens of a whole small town into hyperviolent zombies or just the fate of main antagonist Arvin Sloan, which includes immortality and a TNT belt!)

    Anyway, as always I’m glad that at least THIS place here is full of people who are chill and sane enough to talk about Star Wars, without all the annoying nerdisms that kinda ruin the joy of discussing ANY popculture for me. And if they do, they even apologize afterwards and I doubt that we will talk about the topic of “diversity” in the cast and end up calling each other racists and sexists! (If we even feel the need to turn this into a discussion, like the rest of the internet apparently had to.)

  19. Silent Running is king of 70s sci-fi and Star Wars is not fit to lick it’s boots. That said, for all the Star Wars fans out there, I hope these new films are good after those atrocious video-game prequels.

  20. That’s because it’s not sci-fi. It’s space fantasy. Totally different genres. It’s like comparing DEATH WISH to SPIDER-MAN because they’re both about vigilantes.

  21. I don’t usually do this, but I am very pro-ewok, and once I wrote a pretty extensive piece about why ewoks are great, and here it is: http://threatquality.com/2009/12/26/a-case-for-ewoks/

    The short version is that those hairy little fuckers were going to eat Han Solo, and you can’t tell me that isn’t awesome.

  22. That Lando cartoon is the first thing that kinda maybe made me understand just a little bit what people see in R. Kelly. How you sing an entire song and don’t rhyme once? I’ve always considered r&b singers to be per capita the dumbest entertainers in the business (this conclusion was drawn based on a couple hundred pages of raw transcripts of interviews I have personally had to edit into sentences that human beings who speak English could make some semblance of sense of) but this shit seems to be going so far down the rabbit hole it might come out on the other side of the world where up is down and fucking retarded is genius.

    So on a positive note, if I can make some minor peace with Kelz, whom I’ve always found to be unlistenable garbage, then maybe there’s hope for me and the new Star Wars regime.

  23. People are still upset about Ewoks? That seems a little bit pedestrian to me, but whatever.

    I will admit, however, that I am disappointed about the gender disparity in the newly announced cast. And is it just me or are there zero martial arts action stars in that table read photo they posted?

  24. I assumed that Ewoks were less of a merchandise opportunity and in there more to balance out what is pretty dark film. Take the Endor scenes out and you’re left with a pretty grim and scary film for a kid (being shit scared of the Emperor is one of my first memories). With the announcements about scrapping the expanded universe and Han Solo playing a huge part in the film, I wonder if they might finally do what Ford wanted to do in Jedi and kill him off. As long as he doesn’t go out like a punk. And gets to use a lightsaber at some point

  25. I have never understood the supposed hatred for ewoks.
    I like them because I think they are radically different from all the other creatures seen in the previous two films. They added something new. What I don’t really like is that they defeat a whole “elite garrison” of troops with seemingly no effort. We only see one of these commando teddybears die on screen. I am totally fine that the ewoks win but a bit more struggle and a little less saturday morning cartoon action would have sat right with me so much more.

    But other than that I like the ewoks.

  26. Majestyk – I wasn’t talking about your cynicism about the new movie, which I honestly relate to. I just know that any Star Wars discussion leads to ranting about prequels and special editions and shit and since I’m not gonna allow that on my next post this is the pre-emptive free speech zone for that.

  27. Newbs – I read somewhere that they still haven’t cast a female lead, possibly the role that Lupita N’Yongo is/was up for. I’ll be surprised if one these two female leads isn’t taking on the Luke/Anakin type central role.

  28. Thanks, Vern. I know I’ve been negative about some shit lately and I don’t want to bring everybody down if they’re legitimately excited about something. Nothing would make me happier than to be wrong about this, so I’m just trying to purge the hate out of my system so I can see it with something approaching an open mind.

    Seriously, though, who the fuck is Milton? Is R. Kelly so sheltered by fame that he just assume everyone knows all the dudes in his entourage by their first names? That song is just three straight minutes of crazypants. I kinda can’t stop listening to it.

  29. As an 80s kid with Star Wars action figures that I carried in my Official Darth Vader’s Huge Black Head Carrying Case with my Star Wars sheets and my Star Wars teleplay records that I listened to in my room for hours at a time, I’m sad to say that I don’t give a hoot about the new Star Wars. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not boiling in rage or anything like that, and I’ve never been one of the “Lucas raped my childhood” types. It’s just…I’m sure JJ Abrams will make a movie that looks a lot like Star Wars but I don’t think it will be a Star Wars movie, you know? Maybe I’m just too old for this shit…

    Also fuck the haters. Return of the Jedi is great and has plenty of awesome stuff. Ewoks are baller and the fact that you never actually learn their language is the coolest.

  30. I had that case! It had stickers with the characters’ names on them so you could see which ones you were missing.

    Not to brag, but I wasn’t missing very many.

    I just remembered that in first grade, when JEDI came out, I was lucky enough to find an old green broom handle out in the woods behind the school. That meant I always got to be Luke when we played Star Wars. (We weren’t old enough to realize that Han was the cool one. We all just wanted to be the guy with the lightsaber.) I’d hide it every day before we went back to class so no one else could steal it from me. I didn’t have a problem with Ewoks then and I sure as hell don’t now.

  31. My opinions haven’t changed in the last 18 months.

    The only aspect of NU STAR WARS about which I care is my ability to learn as little about it as possible before Episode 7’s release.

    Hell, I don’t even like the fact that I know it’s called Episode 7. I sure as shit don’t want to see set pictures or production “news” updates. I want my senses’ first exposure to JJ Abrams’s 3D depiction of the Klingon invasion of Planet Arrakis to be a surprise, dammit.

  32. One other thing: A very good friend of mine, whenever he walks out of the bathroom when anyone is present, does the gross pose n’ sneer and the “you rebel scum” line from when Han and Leia are ambushed in the Imperial bunker, and it literally cracks me up every single time.

    Also the secret to Star Wars is that there is no “cool one”. They are all cool. Working hard, respecting your heritage and helping your family is cool. Realizing that friends are more important that money, being a gunslinger and hot-shit pilot is cool. Being royalty but still being brave and able to get your hands dirty and scrap with the best of ’em is cool. Being a gigantic hairy badass who roars at people is cool. Being a sassy hacker shaped like a garbage can is cool. Being a wincing effeminate butler…ok, you got me there.

  33. Knowing just the right things to say to a tribe of hairy little bastards so they don’t eat your friends is cool.

  34. I’m so glad to see so many people defending the Ewoks. I never fully understood why everyone hated them. Sure, they’re cute, but they’re also nasty little buggers. I thought Abrams did an all right job of dumbing down the first Star Trek movie, since it was a series that plenty of people felt was too smart for its own good. But he went too far with the awful sequel. I’m not a reflexive JJ hater, but I seriously question his ability to handle this series.

  35. I had the C3PO and R2D2 Underoos, but my R2D2 top was short, like a sports bra, rather than the full length one shown in this commercial. Man, I loved those. That sports bra made me feel like such a grown up, despite riding up into my arm pits all the time. Now those commercials are just creepy.

    I also loved RETURN OF THE JEDI. I had no problem with the Ewoks and came to the same conclusion as Vern – the little guy beating the Empire with nothing but rocks, logs and chutzpah. As a kid, I just thought they were awesome and wanted to be their friend.

    I also really like JEDI because that’s when Luke is finally a Jedi Knight, with badass rescues at the beginning and badass facing down the Emperor at the end, throwing away his lightsaber and telling the Emperor he was a Jedi Knight, like his father before him. I know Han is the true badass, but Luke ain’t too shabby.

    I’m not super excited about JJ Abrams, but I’m not festering in bile, either. I’m just preparing myself for the fact that he’s going to use the same, old trick he uses in everything where he starts the movie at the end, showing the hero captured or beaten down and then the rest of the movie will be flashback, getting us back to the beaten down hero. I hate that trick. It’s annoying. It’s like he spoils his own story. Plus, we’re not that stupid. We know the hero is going to triumph. We even know that the hero will probably falter before triumphing. You’re not fooling anyone, JJ.

    Whatever happens with the movie, good or bad is fine because I’ve built a little fortress around the original trilogy in my heart and nothing can touch it. Nothing is going to take away one of my favorite childhood family movie viewing memories. We had just purchased a VCR and my mom picked out a movie for us to watch as a family. It was EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. At the end my dad was all, “what the fuck!” My brothers and I told him there was another movie. He said, “Let’s go see it.” We told him it wasn’t in theaters anymore. He said, “Let’s go rent it.” We told him it wasn’t on video yet (you young’uns might not know that back in the old days months, if not a year or more, would go by before a movie made it from the theaters to the video tape). My dad looked at my mom and told her should couldn’t pick out movies to rent anymore.

  36. The Original Paul

    April 30th, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I am pro-Ewok. I always imagined them as a fanatical group of luddite Communist lumberjacks. If Jar Jar is the stereotypical Rastafarian, and that alien ambassador thing from “The Phantom Menace” is the stereotypical Asian, I like to think of the Ewoks as stereotypical Canadians.

    That is all I have to say about this movie because I honestly don’t care. I’ll see it if the reviews are great, otherwise I’ll skip it. I feel that I can give a fairly unbiased view on the previous Star Wars films because I didn’t grow up with them and have no particular emotional attachment to them. (FTR I think the first three are all good although I couldn’t rank ’em, the last three are iredeemably and terminally flawed, and I have no idea about the spinoffs.) The “Star Wars” thing passed me by. The alien movies that I grew up with were very, very different to these ones.

  37. Mr. Majestyk, C3PO actually doesn’t save his buds from being eaten. He’s totally ineffective and Luke’s little levitation trick is what saves them. Having said that, you’re absolutely right in principle: C3PO is cool in his uncoolness and is actually pretty resourceful for a guy programmed as a servant. After all, he successfully bypassed the primary hyperdrive motivator and got some Stormtroopers eaten by a wampa in that deleted scene in Empire. He also outsmarts those Stormtroopers on the Death Star so that he can save Luke from the garbage disposal. So, I formally apologize for calling C3PO uncool. He, in fact, owns.

  38. Mr. M — I’m actually 100% in agreement with you. I could not be more cynical about this whole enterprise.

    To tell you the truth, though, I was actually sort of excited when Lucas sold the franchise; it was clear to me that he was done with it, that it had become something of a monkey on his back and that he needed to get away from it. Yeah, it would be weird without Lucas, but maybe it was time to let someone else play around in his sandbox, after he spent decades fighting with anyone who tried. I mean, I think the thing that makes STAR WARS so unique and special is that it’s history’s greatest world-building project. Everyone who fell in love with STAR WARS fell in love with this enormous, insane universe he created, which expanded second-by-second as the movies rolled. How could anyone resist wanting to tell their own stories in there? It seemed like it could be a cool way to see something different, something which had that familiar excitement of exploring that limitless STAR WARS universe, but with a different scope and perspective.

    But the moment they said the words “J.J. Abrams” my heart sank. Nevermind the obvious wrongness of putting the same guy in charge of both TREK and WARS… nevermind that the guy is a boring hack… the problem is that putting him in charge is just such a transparently corporate safe money thing to do. “This guy made that space series popular again, right? Those movies made money, the kids went to see them. He should be able to do the same thing with these other space movies.” Ugh. How utterly depressing. This was gonna be a creative process built around spreadsheets.

    And THEN, when they explained they were bringing back the whole original cast, I knew I was done with it. How utterly lacking in even the slightest bit of imagination do you have to be to have nothing to do in this entire, huge universe but to wring a few more miles out of the characters people are already familiar with. How utterly desperate to pander do you have to be, how utterly afraid of the fans do you have to be, to get to the point where you can justify that to yourself? If there was ever a question asked even less than “I wonder what Darth Vader was like as a kid” it HAS to be “I wonder what Han was like as an old man, after he got done with his obvious character arc from the movie and defeated the empire. How was retirement treating him? I’d really love to have an answer to that question.”

    These are the moves of desperate, boring people who have too much potential money on the line to do anything even remotely interesting. And it didn’t have to be this way — it’s fuckin’ STAR WARS. It was a sure thing no matter what, you don’t have to homogonize it as much as possible to sell tickets! You didn’t have to turn it into yet another disposable plastic property, to sell burger king cups for a few weekends and then vanish forever. This was a golden opportunity to turn this into something organic and beautiful, to return the property to the people who grew up on it, who spent their whole lives imagining that world and the things that could be in it. The universe could really have grown, evolved, reflected the times while harkening to the past. But no. Instead we get Abrams, the guy who turned STAR TREK into one long, expensive, convoluted postmodern joke about the original thing we all sort of liked. Yeah, it made a pile of money. But no one felt love for it. It inspired no one to dream, to imagine, to make their own costumes and fan movies and slash fiction. They just paid for it, watched it, and forgot about it. Fuck.

    Fuck man. It just really sucks.

    Still, I like Von Sydow, and it’s nice to get a couple interesting actors in there, Isaacs, Moses, etc. I always forget Von Sydow is still alive and so it makes me unduly happy to see him pop up in something else. I even watched BRANDED because he was in it, true story. Maybe if this whole STAR WARS thing doesn’t work out he and Dario Argento can make SLEEPLESS 2, so at least that’ll be a net gain for the world.

  39. Mr. S – Well put. I would definitely feel better about this endeavor if it was just a whole new story told in the Star Wars universe. Instead we’ll probably end up going back to Tattooine. For the tiny backwater planet farthest from the bright center of the galaxy, it sure gets a lot of traffic.

    HardlyWalken: Threepio also told the Ewoks the epic story of the war against the Empire, which convinced them to joint the fight, which ended up turning the tide and saving the galaxy. So Threepio played his part. He’s built to communicate, and that’s exactly what he did. That’s pretty cool.

  40. That’s right! You even get that shot of the wide-eyed baby Ewok. How could anyone hate that?

    And yeah, I pretty much agree with Mr. Subtlety. I try to approach everything with fresh eyes but Outlook Not So Good for the new Star Wars, based on what we know and Abram’s previous work.

  41. I mean, to me it just seems so desperate, so clingy, like a nerdy guy who pathetically tries to repeat everything the cool kids say right back to them. “Oh, remember Han and Leia and Chewie, you liked them, right? Here, we can get you more of that! Oh, you didn’t think Ewoks and Gugans were cool, haha, neither did we, we’ll all make fun of them together, right? Haha, that was lame, don’t worry, we never liked that stuff. I promise, we’re going to just take the things that you liked and make a lot more of them, but with a hip postmodern spin so you don’t think we really actually care, because that wouldn’t be cool, it’s not cool to actually care about things.”

    I mean, does anybody seriously expect Boba Fett to not be in this? Can anyone seriously sit there and tell me there won’t be a bunch of callbacks to lines from the first series, maybe a joke about Leia’s buns from part IV? You know that’s what they’re putting on paper right now, search your feelings YOU KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE.

  42. You hit the nail right on the head, Mr. S. I’m not as pessimistic as you as to how the movie will turn out, but it would definitely have been better had it been an entirely new group of people and adventures set in that universe.

  43. As much as I dislike the prequels at least Lucas made them because he felt that a part of the story he wanted to tell was missing. I mean, sure, he also made them for the money, and sure in the end they only amounted to a rather uninteresting and poorly told story, but still, I think we can accept that those movies exist because their author wanted to finish telling the complete story of the rise, fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, and not simply because there was more money to be made with Star Wars.

    But making more money with Star Wars is now the only reason why we’re getting more Star Wars movies. There was no story for episodes 7, 8 and 9, they only started writing one after they decided to make the movies. But the Star Wars story is complete, there’s no missing part anymore. The heroes defeated the bad guy and his armies, and the dumb brat who got so easily manipulated by that creepy mild-mannered grandma and then got so sad and angry that they had to turn him into a robot became a good guy again. So, what’s left? As Mr Subtlety pointed out, no one cares about what happens to old Han. And I know that the “expanded universe” novels and comics and shit have their fans, but seriously, no one cares about General Whatshisface refusing to submit to the Alliance, no one cares about the Rebels having to free every planet one by one because the imperial troops are still there, no one cares about the Emperor’s resurrection. Those are not good stories. Nothing more needs to happen after Return of the Jedi, and if there’s an entirely new good story to be told about space knights fighting monsters and stuff, there was no need for it to become a bunch of new Star Wars movies.

  44. “If there was ever a question asked even less than “I wonder what Darth Vader was like as a kid” it HAS to be “I wonder what Han was like as an old man, after he got done with his obvious character arc from the movie and defeated the empire. How was retirement treating him? I’d really love to have an answer to that question.””

    This was very similar to how I felt when I heard the original cast was returning. It’s not that I dislike those actors or those characters. It’s just that this is such a huge world that there has to be more stories out there about other Jedis, smugglers and royalty. And at least with pint sized Vader Lucas was going for something interesting. As I saw it, he wanted to show how a purely good person could transform into a symbol for evil. And then, finally, show in the original trilogy how he might find some measure of redemption. Granted, the execution was awful, but the concept was sound, which is true for much of the new trilogy. There are some great ideas in those films. But in practice they never really come together. (Although, I kind of like the third film, even if it falls apart towards the end).

  45. The Original Paul

    April 30th, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Mr S – Let me be the voice of optimism here and say that everything you say might very well be true, and a good film may still be made.

    Secondly, let me be the voice of realism and point out that the guy in charge is the guy who made the “Star Trek” reboots, “Mission: Impossible 3”, “Alias”, and everything of “Lost” that came after the end of Season 2. And none of those things, NONE of them, show even the faintest glimpse of competence in terms of the art of storytelling. Hell, Brett Ratner gets a deserved bad rep as a “hack”, and even he had “Rush Hour”, which demonstrates more basic competence in the art of storytelling than any of the stuff I’ve just described – from the confused religious muddling of “Alias” (why the hell couldn’t they have just made it a story about a mole in an evil organisation and her father, and not brought in all of the Rimbaldi crap?) to the constant cycle of cliffhangers and subsequent disappointments that was late-season “Lost”, to the sheer betrayal of its roots for the sake of mediocrity that was “Mission: Impossible 3”, to whatever the hell it is that people have again “Star Trek” which I can’t comment on because I couldn’t even get through the original “Wrath of Khan” and that was supposed to be the good one so there was no way in hell I was going to subject myself to a “Trek” film by this guy.

    Also I should have probably ended that last sentence about five hundred words ago. Whatever.

    Thirdly, let me be the voice of pessimism and add that pretty much every single thing you’ve said also applied to the prequels when they first came out. (And to me that’s the whole issue right there. I could forgive the bland characters, the constant plasticky CGI effect of unreality, the pompous dialogue, the nonsensical plot, the confusing machinations of the villain, the frequent action sections that rip off videogames, even the fucking lava surfing – all of that – if these movies had any kind of a POINT. They don’t. They’re telling us a story that we already know without adding anything interesting or unique to it. And again, that’s coming from a total non-fan of the series.)

    Fourthly, let me return to being the voice of optimism. “Disney Star Wars” is going to be a film that’s marketed primarily at KIDS. We all know this.

    And what’s J J Abrams’ best contribution to culture recently? The first forty minutes or so of “Super 8”. A kids’ film with sci-fi elements. And while it’s true that when those elements came to the fore the film lost its way, I would posit that if there’s ANY reason to be optimistic about this wretched project, it would be that one. Unlike George Lucas, the man who gave us Jake Lloyd, J J Abrams knows how to do a kids’ film.

    Is that one little point enough to outweigh all the shit this film has against it? Honestly… I think “no”. But let’s not completely damn the thing before it’s made. We’ll have plenty of opportunities afterwards.

  46. The Original Paul

    April 30th, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Oh, and as for the cast returning, putting aside what this means for the STORY, there are two reasons for this, and either could be true:

    1) They’re so damn pumped for the excellent script that they want to make this completely awesome movie a reality.

    or:

    2) They expect to make enough cash to fill a giant swimming pool with hundred-dollar bills, then spend the rest of their days getting paper-cuts.

    So, anybody want to make a side-bet on this one? I’ll take option #2. After all, it’s a fifty-fifty shot, isn’t it?

  47. They’ll all wind up getting 5 minutes cameos because you can’t have too many old people as main characters in a movie… They’re only bringing them back to artificially connect the new movies to the old ones…

    Leia will show up at the beginning as the Queen of All Cosmos or something, and will get murdered, and several factions will fight to seize the vacant throne, which will be what the new star war is about (expect Peter Dinklage and/or Richard Madden and/or Sean Bean to join the cast at some point).

    Luke will replace Yoda as the old Jedi master who only has a couple of scenes to teach all the Jedi stuff to the new hero, and will get to be the one who says “May the Force be with you” before dying peacefully turning into a ghost (probably after telling his student/only son that he mustn’t fail, because “this time, there is no other Skywalker”).

    Han will be the new owner of the Cantina, with Chewie working as a bouncer (and probably Greedo’s kid working as a waiter or something). The new protagonists will ask him to join them in their new adventures and he won’t, not because he’s too old (even though he’ll joke that the Millenium Falcon is so old that “it belongs in a museum”, but he’ll also joke that he’s still a quick enough draw to “shoot first”) but because he’s lost Leia already and fighting a new war won’t bring her back. But of course he’ll get a second scene towards the end where he shows up and saves the day and probably sacrifices himself in the process so that they don’t need to worry about bringing him back for episodes 8 and 9.

    You just KNOW that it’s EXACTLY how it’s going to happen.

  48. All these ideas are so plausible, it’s scary. I think they’ll keep Luke Yodawalker around for the trilogy, though. He’s the most geek-friendly of the original cast and since he’s supposed to be old and wise his appearance won’t be so disturbing to the young folks. But mostly they’ll do it that way because Yoda didn’t die until JEDI and nobody working on this thing has any ideas of their own.

  49. Well, I believe the whole thing with Endor was originally supposed to be set on Kashyyyk, the Wookiee home planet, but Lucas decided it didn’t make sense for Chewbacca to be an expert astronavigator/space-mechanic AND come from a race of primitive stone age furballs. Hence Ewoks. And I love the little fuckers. It’s not like Lucas pussied out on them… he shows them getting killed, murdering storm troopers and trying to eat our heroes. Yub nub!

    I guess as the owner of a Wookiee bathrobe and a shelf full of STAR WARS rpg sourcebooks I guess I should have strong feelings about the new films, but honestly I don’t really care that much. I hope they’ll be good but I won’t be disappointed if they’re not. The fact that they’re being made purely as an accounting exercise doesn’t bother me too much because crass commercialisation is as much a part of STAR WARS as Wookiees and lightsabers. As far as I’m concerned it’s just another Expanded Universe, glorified fan fiction. If we get some entertaining movies out of it, so much the better.

  50. Hearing these hypothetical new trilogy scenes, my instinct is to say that such wrongheaded nonsense isn’t possible. But then I remember how poorly JJ handled Khan in Star Trek 2. He really thinks that all you need is to reference or copy something geeks love and that they’ll melt with gratitude. But I think most of us geeks would rather he put his effort into creating something new we can obsess with.

  51. What I think made the original STAR WARS and also RAIDERS so unique is the guys who made them were the ORIGINAL geeks. Prior to those films being made I can’t think of one Director whose sensibillty reflected a love for the kind of adventure serials these guys drew from. Maybe John Carpenter with his love for RIO BRAVO, but his ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK weren’t as ambitious in scope as the worlds Lucas and Spielberg created. In fairness though Carpenter had nowhere near the budgets of those two. And I don’t think he ever has.

    So I respect Carpenter’s creativity under financial pressure AND I just love watching his films more than SW and Raiders. Give me Snake Plissken over Han Solo or Jones any day. Plissken was more badass and amoral, like Clint in the Dollars films. Maybe it’s because I saw the original Star Wars films as a youngster and when I saw Escape From New York and Clint movies in my early teens I felt like I had found a more adult type of film, kinda like graduating to the big leagues so to speak.

    Point is, I haven’t been sitting around waiting to see what direction these new films are gonna go because there’s nothing at stake in my affectations.(short version – I don’t give a fuck). I loved SW as a kid and then I moved on. And I struggled through the prequels which I thought resembled playing a video game but without the option to alter the dialogue so Anakin stops complaining about getting sand in his butt-cheeks.

    What I will say though is I respect and admire Lucas and Spielberg for being The Original Geeks and giving me good childhood memories, and for having the ingenuity to build these worlds from the ground up. And where I think the danger is today with these new films, is that some of you are gonna get upset if they mess with your childhood memories. You gotta separate all that shit and see these new films as being for the kids who are gonna need those good memories when they get to our age. We got our 6 Star Wars films. Let em have the new ones.

    And what we’ve got here with JJ Abrams is a post-modern Geek and Freak Show. He may not do everything how we would like it, but he understands, he’s one of us, who grew up with SW and loved it. JJ Abrams is not George Lucas. It’s OK, we can deal with it.

  52. If he’s one of us, if he admires Lucas for building his own worlds from the ground up out of the stuff he loved and creating amazing new visions that will ensure for generations, then why isn’t Abrams doing that? Why’s he just playing around in other people’s sandboxes? Why does his directorial output consist of a sequel, a reboot, a sequel to a reboot, a blatant pastiche of a far better director’s most personal work, and another sequel/reboot on the way?

    Because he’s not one of us. He’s Ellis. Ellis knows how to close a deal. He doesn’t know how to create anything. I seem to remember a wise man warning us not to be Ellis. Because fuck Ellis.

  53. Hes one of US but he’s NOT George Lucas is what I said. I’m not arguing the merits of his talent or lack of. Lucas remains legend by innovation. Abrams is gonna attempt to give something to the new kids. Whether it’s good or not is not gonna affect me cause I’ve got no stake in these new ones.

  54. I misunderstood your point. I see now you meant “one of us” to simply mean “a fan.” If so, he is the worst kind, the kind that wishes merely to parrot what he loves without adding his own stamp to it. I don’t consider myself that type of fan, and I don’t think I’m alone here. I’ve never dreamed of writing my own Star Wars, Batman, Die Hard, etc. stories. I’ve dreamed of creating my own works that can be loved by others the way I loved those things. That’s what being a fan should do. It should inspire you to add something to the pantheon, not just piggyback on the contributions of others.

    I also disagree with this notion that the kids deserve their own Star Wars. That idea does them a disservice. It teaches them that their own era is worthless, that nothing is worth creating that hasn’t already been created decades before they were born. They deserve their own memories, not ours, reheated.

  55. Yeah good point, it might be too much to assume the new SW will leave a distinctive impression on today’s kids with all the super heroes and hobbits out there already. I was trying to find something positive to say after my ewok hate earlier but fuck I’m really struggling here to actually be upset that my star wars expectations might be challenged by a guy who may or may not do a good job with the new movies. I guess for the sake of being positive even if I don’t care, I hope he adds even the tiniest bit of something memorably good so we can all feel better about paying $20 to watch it.

  56. Yeah, that’s fair. You’re just trying to be positive. I get that. We all know we’re gonna see it no matter what, so we might as well not dread it the entire time until then.

  57. The Original Paul

    April 30th, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    “We all know we’re gonna see it no matter what.”

    Yeah… you’re talking to the guy who refused to spend money on a “Die Hard” film because everybody said it was the shittiest thing ever put on screen. Don’t count me among this “we” business. As far as the franchise goes, I’m totally with Darren here – I got nothing invested in it, emotionally or otherwise. I’ll see the film if enough people whose opinion I trust say it’s worth seeing, otherwise I’m not bothering. I’ve been burned too many goddamned times to go for one of these things because of its name or “hype”.

    Damn, threads like this really bring out my inner cynic.

  58. The Original Paul

    April 30th, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    And Abrams is totally Ellis. He’s a hack. Years ago I would’ve at least said he had his own distinct style, but nowadays I can’t for the life of me remember why I ever thought that. (Probably because of the first season of “Alias”, which was pretty good when it wasn’t focussed on the Rimbaldi stuff.) And all the stuff he’s done that I listed in my post above isn’t convincing me of anything different.

    His sole talent seems to be taking great ideas or franchises, reducing them down to the most cliched and mediocre soundbites possible, getting the shiniest of those soundbites, and using them in trailers to get people to shell out cash on his crap. And anything that doesn’t fit the “formula” gets junked. Want to reduce Star Trek to a shoot-em-up? Fine. (Ok, that’s hearsay for me, since I’ve watched neither the movies nor the TV shows, but I don’t see any fans disagreeing with it.) Want to take the smart, stealthy protagonist of “Mission: Impossible” and turn him into a moron who follows his dick around for the entire movie? No problem. Want to make TV shows where the trailers promise huge developments each episode, yet the status quo keeps getting restored every single goddamned time? Go ahead.

    It’s interesting actually… in the years that I’ve been actively commenting on this site I’ve gone from liking Abrams, to respecting him as a director even though I didn’t like some of the things he was doing, to actively despising everything that he stands for. If he’s going to get back to making product with actual artistic value then he needs to take on new projects like “Super 8”. Some new idea that he’s actually passionate about. If he’s still capable of coming up with a great idea and then selling it, rather than looking at what’s “marketable” by formula, then I’ll go back to watching what he does. But I want him to be an artist, not a goddamned salesman.

  59. I’m not cynical enough to believe that it’s a guarantee that JJ’s WARS will suck, I have a “wait and see” attitude

    nor am I a JJ hater, the way I see it he’s a talented guy who just needs the right script, SUPER 8 says to me that he has some chops even if the movie deflated at the end and so long as Orci and Kurtzman aren’t writing the script I think it has a chance

    seriously though, SUPER 8 shows the guy’s heart is in the right place, who else would have thought to make a homage to 80’s Spielberg in the age of Bay’s TRANSFORMERS and shit?

  60. The fact that the bunch of you are echoing AsimovLives, minus the misspellings by a non-native English writer and bad puns/nicknames, is really freaking me the fuck out. Like what the hell happened? (And Mr. Majestyk actually agreeing with AL? Wow. Bigger recent mind-blower than Prince and Warner Bros. burying the hatchet.)

    I’ve nitpicked Abrams before, but I stick by what I said before. He’s decent but nothing more, held back by a lack of imagination that the likes of Spielberg or Nolan or whoever could reach (and had the talents to get there.) Regardless, Episode 7 I’m sure will be decent. Probably not as good as the Original Trilogy, but more “enjoyable” than the Prequels.

    Griff- You do know that whole STID ending thing remaking WOK was Abrams’ idea, right? (According to Faraci anyway.) I mean Orci and Kurtzman can be shit on for many things, and Orci certainly is crazier than a Tea Party blog forum, but I think I should point that out just to be fair.

    BTW, I’m surprised nobody commented on that report Orci wants to direct STAR TREK 3. Yeah those press conferences/junket interviews would be fun, wouldn’t they? Imagine the reporters bringing up all those tweets and blog postings where Orci (if I remember right, correct me if I’m wrong folks) said the U.S. government was behind the Boston Marathon bombing. Isn’t he also a Truther?

  61. I like the Ewoks. My only change to them would be to get rid of their ears (I believe some of the early designs were like that). I think the ears make them look too much like teddy bears.

  62. “Griff- You do know that whole STID ending thing remaking WOK was Abrams’ idea, right? (According to Faraci anyway.) I mean Orci and Kurtzman can be shit on for many things, and Orci certainly is crazier than a Tea Party blog forum, but I think I should point that out just to be fair.”

    uh oh, I was unaware of that

  63. RRA: I don’t think Abrams is completely worthless. He’s good with actors and his movies look great. They’re breezy and idiotic, and I’ve more or less enjoyed them all except for SUPER 8, where his complete lack of narrative cohesion doesn’t have any good action sequences to compensate. That’s all fine. The world needs colorful hacks, too. But it’s not good enough for Star Wars.

  64. Yeah, I’m not Abrams biggest fan but he’s okay. He has some annoying tendencies but he’s not a bad director. STAR TREK was a pretty good STAR WARS movie. Yes, he’s a safe, predictable choice, but I don’t know why every choice has to be a mind-blowing re-invention that changes everything I ever knew about space wizards.

    And I’m pretty sure that Vern’s upcoming STAR WARS post is going to be a defense of the prequels, so I’ll have to bite my tongue while Vern blames the evil Nerd Mafia for bullying George, hating everything new/different and causing 9/11.

  65. Griff is right about Abrams heart being in the right place. Before Lucas started fucking with his original episodes 4-6 in the 90’s and digitalizing and editing the shit out of them I remember episode 4 being a bit choppy in places. Lucas wasn’t a great filmmaker but HIS heart was also in the right place and gave us one of our best ever cinematic experiences. He was an Empire creator, more businessman than artistic craftsman.

    You can’t complain about Abrams being a suck-hole to the studios and closing deals when Lucas built his empire by doing the same thing. If Abrams final product is artistically retarded it’s probly not gonna be a big deal to most of the target audience who want to be wowed by a galaxy far far away.

  66. Majestyk – if you didn’t see it already, check out the actual “Real Talk” video, which is sort of parodied in the Star Wars version. The original video is great mainly for the song but also because it ends when some guys in the background supposedly get in a fight and he has to break it up. It’s like the BLAIR WITCH of R&B videos.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdaAWFoWr2c

    p.s. I agree that Milton is the most intriguing character. He’s like Erykah Badu’s ex’s friend “Tyrone” except hopefully he gets paid for his work.

  67. Just so you guys know, word is that the original characters were going to be minor roles in the script by Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3 guy) but Abrams wanted them to be the leads in the first part and pass the torch for the second part, so he and Lawrence Kasdan wrote a new script. I don’t think it necessarily is a bad idea (I at least want to see old man Luke in a robe) but that means it’s no longer based on Lucas’s outline he left them with, which to me makes it less legit.

  68. Um, guys (and I hope some ladies here too), did you know that there was a TV show that had Scott Adkins AND Michael Jai White AND the fight each other with choreography by Larnell Stovall? It’s called METAL HURLANT CHRONICLES and it’s airing late nights on Syfy, with new episodes Monday nights at 10.

    I don’t want to get your hopes up too much. It looks like a cheap Euro 300 knock off that takes itself way too seriously for how lame it is. I don’t think they had too much time to coordinate the end all be all Adkins vs MJW fight, but it is nice to see them on screen together.

    Was something else going on too?

  69. CrustaceanLove

    May 1st, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Is that the one where there are a bunch of extras standing around in medieval garb and there are shitty robots there for some reason? I saw a clip on youtube and got through a few minutes before switching it off. Those guys deserve better than that.

  70. Wow, really late to this. I’ll just say, Majestyk, that you’re not alone. I agree with, I think, everything you’ve said. I just don’t have the energy to really get too worked up over it. And I know as much as I don’t like Abrams, and as disappointed I am this thing is happening, I will still most likely see it in theaters.

  71. Crusty: I’m not asking for somebody who can reinvent everything I thought I knew about Star Wars. I don’t want that either. I just want somebody who can tell a story that means something, that is true to its own logic and themes, that isn’t just a bunch of twists and callbacks and reversals of expectations. A moronic story that gets you through the first viewing on sheer momentum and then falls apart the second you think about it is fine for a cypher like Ethan Hunt or a ridiculous post-modern creation like Fake Captain Kirk, but we’re talking about actual Han Solo here. This is what supposedly really happened to him and the others after the Death Star blew up. I’d rather not know, quite frankly, but if I must I’d prefer that it made sense. (The prequels, for all their failures in terms of execution, at least added up on paper.) With Abrams getting in deep and dicking around with the script, I don’t think that’s an option anymore. I don’t think he’d even know what I’m talking about.

  72. Vern: I prefer the Lando version, but I do appreciate the fight at the end. It’s probably staged (the timing is just too perfect) but it seems so real. Was one of those dudes Milton? Motherfucker, why you trying to add more drama to the situation when you know your boss is going through some shit right now? Squash that shit and go start the fucking car like you paid to do. Real talk.

    I…I don’t know what’s happening to me.

  73. The Original Paul

    May 1st, 2014 at 5:38 am

    “You can’t complain about Abrams being a suck-hole to the studios and closing deals when Lucas built his empire by doing the same thing. If Abrams final product is artistically retarded it’s probly not gonna be a big deal to most of the target audience who want to be wowed by a galaxy far far away.”

    I don’t want to shit on your positivity (again), but I don’t want to settle for “artistically retarded”.

    And “Star Wars” was a pretty huge gamble when it first came out. The later films, not so much. The point is that Lucas, when he first started the franchise, knew how much of a risk it was and had to make sure his vision was perfect. Whereas J J Abrams has come into these franchises with a marketer’s mind and a near-guaranteed audience. All he has to do is make sure that the trailers are good enough to put bums on seats; and since his one skill is creating scenes that look great in trailers (but that add nothing to the story, themes or characters in the damn movie), he keeps getting hired.

    And that’s what I hate most about “MI:3”. I mean, take away that factor and it’d still be pretty bad (the action scenes are incomprehensible, the heist scenes are overcomplicated and make no sense thanks to the geography of where the characters are being unclear, the “mole subplot” is weak and predictable). But, again, at least it would have a POINT, beyond putting bums in seats. As it is, it adheres so rigidly to the studio “formula” – Ving Rhames is now the “loyal black friend”, Ethan Hunt is given a fiancee to get kidnapped, there’s an ineffective but friendly white guy who turns out to be the principal antagonist – that it gets rid of everything that made the first movie so great. Not only that but it has zero artistic reason to exist. This is filmmaking by flowchart. To this day I don’t think I’ve seen any other movie where it was so obvious that nobody involved in the creative process gave a shit about the characters, the franchise’s themes, or anything except making a few scenes that look good in trailers. Despite the fact that the cinematography is sometimes good, the actors are doing their best, Cruise and Hoffman are strong leads… this thing SHOULD have been good. Instead we got what is easily, without exaggeration, the most artistically-bankrupt movie I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen worse, but I’ve never seen more pointless.

    The takeaway I get from it is that Abrams is a filmmaker who sees no point or merit in artistic risk. He’s a marketing man, plain and simple, and artistic risk doesn’t make people pay for tickets. Add that to what he’s done with “Star Trek”, and even “Lost” in later seasons, and that’s the guy whose hands “Star Wars” is now in. So it might be decent. It might be bad. But in Abrams hands, the one thing that it won’t be is fresh or original. There’s no dollars in that.

    Like I said, hack.

    Anyway (takes deep breath…) sorry to be the voice of pessimism once again. I have no expectations or emotional investment in “Star Wars”, unlike many other people I know. I think that for Abrams to be good, he needs to be forced to take risks. He needs to have something to put his heart and soul (assuming he still has one) into. So basically the exact diametric opposite of a “Star Wars” movie then.

  74. The Original Paul

    May 1st, 2014 at 6:31 am

    Majestyk:

    “A moronic story that gets you through the first viewing on sheer momentum and then falls apart the second you think about it is fine for a cypher like Ethan Hunt…”

    And that’s the effect MI:3 has had.

    The Ethan Hunt from the first Mission: Impossible movie was, quite simply put, the best “skilled everyman” protagonist that I’ve ever seen, and is a large part of the reason why I hold that film in such high regard. Tom Cruise does a stunningly good job of portraying him. The stuff Cruise does in that movie with his eyes alone is flat-out amazing. (By “skilled everyman” I mean a protagonist who’s clearly an audience-surrogate but has his own set of specialised skills that he makes use of to further the story and establish his own relevance: Harry Potter the wizard, RJ MacReady the pilot, Ethan Hunt the spy.)

    The Ethan Hunt from the third “Mission: Impossible” movie was an unmotivated idiot who shows zero intelligence or foresight and spends much of it chasing around after his dick. He’s basically Roger Moore from “A View to a Kill” only with less charm or smarts.

    As to what franchise “deserves” a good movie, I’d like to see ALL of them get one. I have no particular emotional connection with “Star Wars”. I’d like the movie to be good because I like good movies, not because I have any particular connection to the franchise. “Mission: Impossible” is very different. That one hit me twice – not only because the third movie is crap, but because it destroyed any hope I had of the success of the first movie repeating itself.

  75. Jareth Cutestory

    May 1st, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Majestyk: It’s so quaint that you think there will be an opening crawl in the new STAR WARS films. I’m convinced that the crawl will actually be relocated to a promotional campaign spread out over six months worth of cryptic twitter messages.

    But I’m sure it’ll be fun waiting for that fake product placement to appear. Slurm or whatever the hell Abrams calls it.

    I didn’t see any of the prequel films. Can someone confirm for me that Andy Serkis is now playing Jar Jar Binks?

  76. I’m sure Jar Jar will be relegated to a one shot joke to show how much cooler Abrams is than that old fuddy duddy Lucas. Mr S totally nailed it: “Haha right bros that was totally lame not like us right bros? ‘I got a bad feeling about this…NOT!!!!’ Haha we are the coolest bros.”

  77. Eh, I’ve found that it’s folly to try to suss out the motives behind someone’s actions, so I’ll just stick to the established facts: JJ Abrams movies have always felt kind of like a pastiche of whatever movie he’s trying to make, even when they work. I sort of liked the original Star Trek movie he made and thought it had potential but Into Darkness was just embarrassing, a bombastic space opera that completely jettisoned any of the themes and relevance of the franchise that birthed it. Like y’all have said, Super 8 just sort of deflates. I actually like Mission Impossible 3 ok but again, it totally discards it’s “Mission Impossible”ness and becomes yet another JJ Abrams Action Ensemble (seriously, all his movies are about a squad of people up against some larger-and-more-powerful-than-they-think antagonist and it’s kind of getting repetitive at this point.) Anyway the general temperature of people’s reactions toward this new Star Wars seems pretty lukewarm; all my mid-thirties geek friends are pretty blah about it and all of us were hyped through the roof for Episode 1 back in ’99. Yeah, I know anecdote isn’t data, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that the prequels did some real damage to the public’s interest.

  78. HardlyWalken – the thing is, people see movies out of obligation these days, doesn’t matter if they actually care or even like it people today seem to have to have the attitude “oh, the new Spider Man is playing? yeah, I’ll see that, whatever”

    and it’s that strange sense of obligation that is the only thing keeping Hollywood afloat these days because ever notice how almost any big movie that’s not based on a pre-established franchise almost inevitably flops or “under-performs” (PACIFIC RIM is the perfect example of this, a blockbuster in everything but name recognition, so few people bothered to see it)

  79. so my point is everyone and their grandma is gonna see the new STAR WARS whether or not they actually care

  80. I mean folks, you do realize we are living in the last days of Hollywood as we know it, right? it’s going to be this way until finally even Joe Sweat Sock is sick of yet another fucking superhero movie and then Hollywood will collapse under it’s own weight, like a house of cards and that’ll be all she wrote

  81. “Just so you guys know, word is that the original characters were going to be minor roles in the script by Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3 guy) but Abrams wanted them to be the leads in the first part and pass the torch for the second part, so he and Lawrence Kasdan wrote a new script.”

    Well, that pretty much confirms that Abrams is the one trying to absolutely ensure that the new STAR WARSes are 100% guaranteed to not frighten us with anything we haven’t already seen and confirmed that we liked before. I’m sure the board room at Disney was all smiles when they heard that logic, and I’m sure they’ll make millions of bucks to prudently reinvest in other safe, disposable commercial ventures.

    But mark my words, the kids who see it will not go on to become obsessive collectors. The won’t read the novels. They won’t write the fanfiction. They won’t attend the conventions in costume. They won’t make their own art and films, won’t get the tattoos, won’t go on to cite the movie and how it made them excited about the possibilities of film when they’re old professionals. It’ll be one of those stupid things which everyone sees and kinda likes but no one really loves, and certainly no one remembers by the time the next movie season rolls around. That’s what playing the numbers gets you. Playing from the heart, though… that can get you true believers, people to whom it actually means something.

    I think Mr. M once said something like, ‘you make something for the normal people, you eat for a day. Make something for the nerds, and you’ll eat for a lifetime.’ I think there’s a lot of truth to that. Not that you should make a movie for the nerds, that’s always death, they don’t know what they want and have nothing but negative things to say — that’s part of the problem here. Fanboy service can only end in the worst kind of postmodern disaster. Instead, you ought to make a movie that aims to inspire its own nerds, to create new generation. Something with some real weight to it, something that people could genuinely invest in, chew on, something they could really make a part of themselves. That’s the genius of STAR WARS in the first place: it simply dared to be its own strange, sometimes stupid, sometimes brilliant, outrageously overbuilt self, it didn’t care what you thought, because Lucas knew he was making exactly what he wanted to make.

    Alas, it seems the days where it’s possible to do that are probably long past, and they’re certainly past for this franchise.

  82. I’m not sure how long jar jars live, but I assume since this is like 50 years later that the disgraced Senator is retired in that underwater place, or died heroically accidentally disarming a bomb or something. But to be fair Lucas already made a joke about Jar Jar being annoying in part 2 when Queen Amidala interupts his blabbering and says “I don’t want to keep you.” Lucas used the same joke on C-Threepio a couple times, having the characters shut him up or literally turn him off without coming right out and saying that they hate his guts.

  83. In defense of Disney, they had a couple years there of live action filmmaking that was NOT playing safe. This gave us TRON LEGACY, JOHN CARTER and THE LONE RANGER. I think we’re better for it, but they probly disagree.

  84. The Original Paul

    May 1st, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Griff: “so my point is everyone and their grandma is gonna see the new STAR WARS whether or not they actually care.”

    …And this is why we all fail. Just out of interest, was I the only person posting here who didn’t throw his hard-earned money at “Die Hard 5” when it came out?

    Argh, people. People and their urge to flock to what they perceive as familiar, even if it’s shit. They’re all like “Damn the movies are crap nowadays, all I ever see are these big-budget remakes and prequels”. And when you point them at a “Silence” or an “In A World”, they look blankly at you and say “but I’ve never heard of it…”

  85. Vern — not trying to hate on Disney in particular, per se: I think they pretty well did right by JOHN CARTER and LONE RANGER, which I enjoyed quite a bit. This mentality is not particular to them, it’s pretty much endemic in Hollywood, this just happens to be a particularly depressing example of it in that you can just see such a huge divide between how the execs (and Abrams) think about the way to approach this material and the way its former master did.

    And yes, Lucas made fun of Jar Jar and 3P0 too, but I think the difference is that this kind of abuse is part of their character — they are annoying, that’s part of their comic schtick, so when other characters make fun of them the joke is on their relationship, not on the character itself. I think Lucas will go to his grave believing Jar Jar is funny. I see no element of self-parody in his work, nor, indeed, any suggestion that he would understand why it would be ripe for parody. That’s the beauty of it. He just does what he does, he doesn’t seem to have the slightest interest or ability in pandering to anyone.

  86. Unfortunately, we can’t put the current state of Hollywood all on the shoulders of the studios. Audiences have to bear some of the blame. Whenever studios put out something that’s a little different, a little strange, then audiences don’t turn up. They steered clear of Pacific Rim, The Lone Ranger, and John Carter all of which were, if not completely original stories, then at least unique take on the modern blockbuster. Audiences these days are too timid. If they don’t know what they’re going to get, then they just stay home. And so even as audiences complain about reboots and sequels, they still flock to reboots and sequels.

  87. It does seem like film is the one industry in the world that’s powered primarily by morbid curiosity.

  88. RBatty — true, although I guess you can hardly blame them with ticket prices being as high as they are. In DC, a movie date with popcorn is gonna set you back around $30, just for two people (more if you wanna include parking or drinks or anyway). Who can afford to do that except for a sure thing, a known quantity?

    I just had an interesting idea, it never occurred to me before, but why do we pay the same admission price for every film? I wonder if people would be a little more adventurous if they could see some smaller films for, say, 5 bucks instead of 13? Movies that don’t cost much to make could sell tickets at lower prices and still make their money back, and crowds would still pay top dollar for the big megalithic franchise films. And, more people would watch movies at theaters in general.

  89. It’s a paradox. Out in the boonies, movies are cheap, but you only get the biggest, most obvious choices. In the city, you can see whatever you want, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg so you can’t afford to be adventurous. There’ve been plenty of times where I want to see something but I have to ask myself if I want to see it $14.75 worth. Usually I don’t.

    Luckily, I don’t like going to movies with people (too many goddamn opinions) so I’ve only got myself to worry about. And popcorn? I look like a Rockefeller to you?

  90. I didn’t see Die Hard 5. A lot of people didn’t: it did 67 million in business domestic. And let it be known that I really fucking love the original Die Hard.

    I don’t really think that people seeing movies out of obligation these days is what’s keeping Hollywood afloat. That’s a pretty bold statement and I challenge that. I mean, I don’t have any data either way other than that the box office gross tends to oscillate around 10 billion for the last 5 years. If “obligation” was propping up Hollywood then you would probably see a drop in total grosses as people who wanted to see actual, quality films exited the market. I do think that art of making trailers has gotten pretty sophisticated and that it’s almost impossible to tell the actual quality of a film from a trailer/preview anymore, and that marketing saturation puts a lot of butts in the seats on that first weekend. But I think the limit of that technique has largely been proved to be about 100 million domestic. After that it’s primarily word of mouth. I don’t think that the new Captain America movie dominated the box office out of obligation. I think it dominated because it was a good movie, and people told their friends that it was a good movie, and then they went and saw it. I know I wouldn’t have given it a chance but everyone told me to check it out (and good timing helped too)

    Griff, I agree with your substance that we are about to see some sort of massive paradigm shift in how, and what kind, of movies are being made, similar to the death of New Hollywood in the early 80s. I don’t know what they’re going to call this era but I kind of feel like Four Color Hollywood is a pretty good moniker. I just don’t see superhero movies having legs for another 10 years once they saturate the market and are available on Netflix, TV, and in the movies. They are good stories and I loved them at a certain point in my life but they don’t have universal appeal.

    I’m not going to see Star Wars unless I hear it’s good. I just don’t feel a need to see these franchise movies anymore. But I’m also heading into my late 30s. I’ve absolutely changed my tune since my 20s, where I would have had my ass in the seat at midnight. And these companies know that, and that’s why you young dudes are such a coveted demographic for the advertisers and such.

  91. “But mark my words, the kids who see it will not go on to become obsessive collectors. The won’t read the novels. They won’t write the fanfiction. They won’t attend the conventions in costume. They won’t make their own art and films, won’t get the tattoos, won’t go on to cite the movie and how it made them excited about the possibilities of film when they’re old professionals.”

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  92. All this reminds me that I would much rather watch John Carter 2 than Star Wars 7.

  93. Give me LONE RANGER 2.

  94. Mr. Subtlety — You make a good point. I live in Boston, and a lot of theaters have even started limiting their matinee prices. It used to be movies before 5 pm, but these days some theaters only offer discounts for the day’s first showing. It has honestly prevented me from watching as many films in the theater as I used to (which might make me part of the problem). I remember reading an interview with Spielberg, I think, and he had the same idea about pricing. Go ahead and charge more for the major blockbuster than the smaller indie film. It makes sense to me.

  95. In New York, only AMC theaters offer any matinees at all, and then only if the show starts before noon. It’s a fucking travesty.

  96. A couple of thing I know to be true.

    1. I’ve seen John Carter and it’s a terrible movie with no redeeming qualities what so ever.
    3. Tron Legacy is a terrible movie with very little redeeming qualities.
    2. Star Wars I-III are terrible movies with very little redeeming qualities.

    It’s going to be really hard for Star Wars VII to be worse.

  97. Sternshein, are you sure you’re in the right place?

  98. Not to suggest your opinion isn’t valid. You’re definitely in the world’s majority. But those are all unexpectedly weird movies that that do their own thing, and they’re all unfairly maligned for it. I’d take any of them over a JJ Abrams Star Trek. I’d rather watch something odd and ambitious than something competent but uninspired.

  99. Daniel Strange

    May 1st, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Mr. Subtlety: “You ought to make a movie that aims to inspire its own nerds… That’s the genius of STAR WARS in the first place: it simply dared to be its own strange, sometimes stupid, sometimes brilliant, outrageously overbuilt self, it didn’t care what you thought, because Lucas knew he was making exactly what he wanted to make.”

    Very well said, sir. I remember vividly that what made the first Star Wars so exciting to my kid-self was the imagination behind it. It took place in a well-designed world that obviously had its own history, its own logic, its own internal consistency, and was full of strange and exciting, wild, fun things, so it sparked the viewer’s imagination…it created a universe so vividly realized (yet also full of tantalizing blank spots for viewers to fill in themselves) that EVERYONE connected to it, from you to your friends to your parents to the rest of the world. After the Prequels, after all the fanboy debate, after total disillusionment in all things George Lucas, I had forgotten that.

    So, whether the Jar Jar Abrams (sorry, I could not resist) versions will be full of fun exciting idea that spark the imagination, I have no idea, and I mostly do not care one iota. I have zero interest for these new films and I don’t plan to see them. I’m only in this particular thread because I enjoy reading basically any discussion on the Outlaw Vern site. But I think Mr. Subtlety’s point is a very good one, and a good reminder to anyone who works in a creative field. Thanks Mr. Subtlety.

  100. The Original Paul

    May 1st, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Hardly:

    “I didn’t see Die Hard 5.”

    Thank you for restoring at least some of my faith in human nature.

    “I don’t really think that people seeing movies out of obligation these days is what’s keeping Hollywood afloat.”

    I agree. I do, however, think that the marketers have way too much influence, the auteurs too little.

    “I don’t think that the new Captain America movie dominated the box office out of obligation. I think it dominated because it was a good movie, and people told their friends that it was a good movie, and then they went and saw it.”

    And you say THAT like it’s a good thing. The new Cap movie had the dubious honour of at least being better than the last two, which to my mind put it just short of “ok”. The finale sucked, the villains were weak, the main character was weak, and the central conceit of the main story is one I’ve seen done about a dozen times over the past few years and mostly better. It was neither good nor bad enough for me to have fun with it. Yeah, there were certainly bits that I liked, and it wasn’t as bad as “The First Avenger”. But you know what? Neither was Hitler. (See what I did there?)

    Anyway, if “The Winter Soldier” is what “people” are making the standard of “good” then it just depresses me. Of all the really good films that have come out early this year, why the hell is “Winter Soldier”, which is ok at best, getting the positive attention?

    Gawd, I have never felt so much like a grumpy old man than I have when writing in this thread. (It’s working the damn late shift.) I still have the antiquated and no-doubt foolish notion that you shouldn’t treat people who haven’t yet got the life experience to make critical decisions that a load of blokes in their thirties like us have had time to develop like walking cash machines (this is coming from the guy who saw “Batman Forever” in the cinema and still enjoys the memory of it.) Somewhere in there, there should be a quality product that they can appreciate and treasure. So that when they’re older, they have all of these great memories of films of their youth. Then they can come to websites like this and bitch and moan about how much worse things are now than they used to be. Just like I am right now. Because that’s the natural order of things.

  101. Man I hate to say this, but Marvel has spoiled some of you. (You too Majestyk?!?)

    People complaining about why we’re still following the Skywalkers in Episode 7…well yeah, why wouldn’t it? That family (or a Skywalker with his inner-circle of friends/relations) was the primary drivers of the original trilogy and the Prequels. Why wouldn’t new Skywalkers take over the narrative for this new trilogy?

    Because you know, that’s just about every other fucking franchise ever. I don’t remember people bitching about GODFATHER 3 focusing on the Corleones again. (Well they had others to bitch about GF 3 but never that reason.) I don’t remember people bitching that all the DIE HARD films focused on John McClaine. I don’t remember people bitching about the Batman being about Batman. LETHAL WEAPON series was about Mad Max and the dude who impressed Predators by killing one of their own. I don’t remember any of you groaning about Harrison Ford doing INDY IV. In fact if Lucas/Spielberg had decided to replace Ford or do another character instead of Indiana Jones, we all would’ve gone apeshit. C’mon.

    Give credit to the Marvel folks. They started out with IRON MAN, but the way they’ve built their universe and innovated the “mega-franchise” concept in the process, making all their films feel like the next essential chapter of a great serial….he’s no longer necessary to be in every film to rake in the dough.

    But for right now with that Galaxy far far away, I only really care about the Skywalkers for right now.

  102. Yeah, I’m done with Star Wars.

  103. All I can say with any passion is that Wedge better make an appearance in these goddam movies.

    Also: Kenny Baker as Artoo? That poor midget is in his eighties; do you really need him to be the one wiggling around inside? Couldn’t they just put a big cat in there?

  104. Unless a new STAR WARS is focused around Boba Fett , the Star Wars nerds will never be satisfied.

  105. Shoot, the Star Wars nerds will never be satisfied. Period. To the rest of us the Star Wars saga is just six well made movies (yes, I said six!), but to them it’s been hyped up to be something that can never live up to it’s reputation. And man are they in for a big surprise when their kids tell them that they think the movies are boooring!

  106. Yeah, the meaning attributed to these films are ridiculous. Dogmatic fundamentalism involving with light sabers instead. Heaven forbid if someone calls out on THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK for being not-as-great-as-everyone-else-says, even though it at times is a sluggish watch and not the kind of lighthearted 40´s serial adventure fun it promises. For that I go to either REVENGE OF THE SITH ( it ´s incredibly action packed) or A NEW HOPE. Yeah, yeah, it delves more into exploring the characters and the mythology and does a good job. I just don´t think its narrative is as strong as the first one and as a result not as much fun.

  107. Oh and on the matter of pro or anti-ewok I have only one thing to say: The ewoks are fucking Shaft compared to Jar Jar Binks.

  108. And they’re all Charles motherfucking Bronson compared to that blue jazz creature at the cantina in NEW HOPE!

  109. “Heaven forbid if someone calls out on THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK for being not-as-great-as-everyone-else-says”

    well hey, here’s someone who’s not afraid to call EMPIRE overrated, “sluggish” is a perfect way to describe it’s faults

    now don’t get me wrong, I like it just fine, but I like both A NEW HOPE and JEDI better, why? because they both have actual endings and don’t slow to a crawl in the middle, EMPIRE is just a great midway point, it boggles my mind why people think it’s the best

  110. Now people are slagging on Empire?! I actually think it has rightfully gained the reputation as the best in the series. It’s true that the film has a slower pace than the first and third in the series, but it more than makes up for it with atmosphere. There’s something about films in the 1980s where they somehow managed to perfect mood and lighting, especially in the sci-fi genre. Much like Blade Runner, Empire oozes a sense of dark and foreboding. It’s also structurally challenging. Ending on a cliffhanger doesn’t seem so crazy today, but at the time it was a brilliant move. And the back and forth between Han and Leia is absolutely top notch. It’s thanks to Empire that those characters have become known as the modern equivalent of Beatrix and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing. The line “I know” may well be one of the greatest lines in cinematic history because it tells us so much about the character of Han and his relationship with Leia, and it manages to do so with two words. It’s absolutely brilliant.

  111. Shoot McKay – whats funny is that Disney has backed away apparently from doing a Boba Fett movie because somehow they want to make him more heroic and more likeable and not as dark, and I think “really guys? REALLY?” A bounty hunter movie set within the SW universe is what people want just because he’s not a goodie two shoes like the rebels or whatever.

  112. I remember hearing about a film called BATMAN BEGINS and that maybe it was kinda sorta a prequel origin for Batman and various rumors. The only problem was that I’d previously watched BATMAN FOREVER and BATMAN & ROBIN in the theater. Those two movies were so, so awful that you could’ve told me that Batman was going to come over to my house for dinner and I wouldn’t have given a shit after that. My dad had to talk me into seeing BATMAN BEGINS in a theater because otherwise I would never have gone to see it. Maaaaaybe I would have caught it on DVD. But that movie was so divorced from the previous films that it completely won me over.

    I’m hoping… really, really, really hoping that these Star Wars films offer a similar outcome. Someone will have to talk me into going-because god damn Episodes I-III-but I would LOVE to have my expectations dashed and for these new films to be good.

    JJ is competent enough and Kasdan has done some pretty stellar work in the past, so there is a fighting chance that these will not only be nowhere near as bad as the prequels but will also turn out to be good movies in their own right. But then there’s STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS so I guess I’ll find out after opening weekend.

  113. The Original Paul

    May 2nd, 2014 at 10:51 am

    RRA – I’m dumping on Marvel because there were actually really, really good, even great, films released this year so far. And instead of one of THEM getting all of this attention, it’s Captain Bloody America. Gawd, I can see myself slowly coming to hate this movie (which actually wasn’t bad) just because people won’t shut the hell up about it.

    I said I wouldn’t say which Star Wars film was “best”, but Empire is the only one I’ve ever actually wanted to revisit. I think “A New Hope” starts off fantastic but ends really, really badly, and “Return of the Jedi” only really grabbed me right at the end. “Empire”, though, works throughout its running time for me.

  114. “Unless a new STAR WARS is focused around Boba Fett , the Star Wars nerds will never be satisfied.”

    “whats funny is that Disney has backed away apparently from doing a Boba Fett movie because somehow they want to make him more heroic and more likeable and not as dark”

    In two sentences, you guys have described exactly what’s wrong about both trying to service hardcore fans and trying to tell a story which makes sense as a good business model. This is how the Hollywood bureaucracy successfully wrings the life out of everything which was once pure. They want to please the two big money groups — the angry obsessive nerds who will be furious unless they see exactly the movie they’ve been imagining in their heads since they were 7, AND the blase average Middle American, who (according to them) just wants to see colored lights move around in front of their eyes, and will be scared and confused by anything which is even remotely unexpected.

    They have to appease these two groups, and ensure that they have sufficient plot elements to sell ancillary merchandise. That’s their real objective. And the script (if it gets written at all) has to be written around those goals, and then rewritten ad nauseum to the satisfaction of the various people who control these goals. It has to be the absolute worst possible way to go about creating any piece of art — letting the franchise be led around by the money instead of proceeding naturally from a story and world.

  115. Mr. Subtlety, what I’ve noticed is that what’s happening in Movies is the exact same thing that’s happening in Video Games which is that every big company is now chasing franchises instead of letting great movies/games become franchises on their own. Chasing megahits is totally hollowing out what kind of works get made in the exact same way as the cinema. Crazy.

  116. RBatty024 – don’t get me wrong, EMPIRE is a great fucking film, I just don’t think it’s the best of the original trilogy, that’s all

  117. HardlyWalken – I haven’t noticed that kind of thing happening in video games quite as much as movies and I think that’s simply because middle aged John and Jane America still don’t play video games (unless you’re talking about something like Candy Crush, which personally I don’t think counts) so because it’s still a relative niche it hasn’t been quite as watered down

    however, there have been changes, for one every publisher nowadays thinks any game can do CALL OF DUTY numbers, which is insane, but they still get upset if they don’t reach that unattainable goal and they also believe that if you’re having difficulty progressing through a game, dying a bunch of times and stuff, then that’s a bug, not a feature (which is why gamers have gone nuts for DARK SOULS taking the opposite approach)

  118. Griff – I thought I was hot shit as a kid for merely beating Ninja Gaiden.

  119. are you talking about the original NES Ninja Gaiden? there’s no “merely” for beating that game, that sucker has to be one of the hardest games ever made

  120. I’m not surprised they’re having trouble doing a Boba Fett movie, but somebody needs to convince them that it’s okay to make a movie where the main character doesn’t talk much and wears a helmet. Watch a couple dozen spaghetti westerns, some samurai movies, and DREDD and THE WOLVERINE, and get to work you dipshits. You don’t gotta find him a character arc and redeem him and make him a person but also keep him mysterious somehow. Just treat him as a Man With No Name and give him an adventure.

  121. JTS, I’d much rather just watch something good. Odd and ambitious don’t always equal good. John Carter was fairly maligned because it wasn’t a good movie.

    This brings up an interesting question. If Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t do well, is this site going to talk about how awesome it is and how we’re the only ones who “get it” because it was weird and different?

    Similarly, The Winter Solder was an awesome movie, in my estimation, and it’s getting unfairly maligned because it’s not weird.

    And yes I’m in the right place because Vern reviews a lot of awesome movies that we can all agree are awesome. It’s just sometimes Vern or people here champion giant piles of shit just because they “get it” and nobody else does.

  122. Paul, where are you going to read about all these millions of people talking about how awesome Winter Soldier is? You should probably stay away from there. lol

  123. that link don’t work Mr M

  124. Works for me.

  125. it says it has a re-direct loop

  126. Weird. It works on my phone but not on my computer. Whatever. It’s not really worth it. It’s just Boromir saying “One does not simply beat Ninja Gaiden.”

  127. I don’t hate Ewoks either. There was one Ewok that really looked badass, the one with the animal skull on his head. Teebo, I think his name was?

  128. Sternshein – I don’t know if I agree with you about it being “Unfairly maligned.” TWS got good reviews and most nerd sites I roam, the masses dig it. Of course a year or two from now half of them will shit on it but for now, they’re happy. This website….isn’t full of nerds, that’s why its not a total circle jerk for it like it is on CBM or whatever. That’s just how it is. Considering Vern didn’t like IM3 and didn’t bother to review the last Thor movie…well, consider that a win and move on. (didn’t most locals like TWS overall did I miss something?)

    As for GOTG…man I’m rooting for that movie to be both good and be a success. Why? Be nice if James Gunn gets a hell of a career boast from this, especially for a former Troma alum. Also to unlock the Cosmic side of Marvel which would mean Adam Warlock and (maybe) Ms. Marvel and others.

    But more than that, I want Marvel to take more chances with these non-Avengers properties that even most nerds aren’t intimately aware of. Sure there are some business reasons that helped GOTG get the greenlight (like that rumor out there that Thanos is the villain in AVENGERS 3 and this would set him up), but overall I think it got the go ahead because they apparently believe in the concept. Same with Edgar Wright’s forever being developed Ant-Man film.

    The alternative is IRON MAN 4.

    This reminds me of over at DC, I really fucking wish we would get a New Gods film. But alas I’m doubtful since they’ll sweep aside characters like Mr. Miracle and Big Barda and Orion just to stick Darkseid into the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie so that Superman can punch him. *shrug*

  129. Vern – EXACTLY. I mean I’ve said this before, but different characters have different appeals. Trying to shoehorn square characters into round pegholes is just silly.

    How about just a simple plot where there’s a bounty and Boba Fett wants to make that money and has to fight other bounty hunters and other interested parties, and he has to be ruthless and slick with his gadgets and stuff.

    In fact maybe play with the idea that he wasn’t the one eaten in ROTJ since lets be honest, he goes out like a bitch. (Didn’t Lucas in retrospect even admit he fucked up there?)

  130. Boba Fett is over-rated.

    I didn’t say he isn’t cool – I said over-rated. Boba is a cool-looking, mysterious villain in EMPIRE who is given a reasonable, even generous amount of screen time considering who he is and what role he plays in the story. I agree that he dies sort of stupidly in JEDI, but you could argue there is a thematic reason for it; Boba’s reliance on all his gadgets is his downfall – i.e. Han accidentally nudges a switch and the jetpack goes haywire. Yes, I might rather have wanted Chewie to kill him, or to have Luke cut him in half, or to have Boba’s jetpack malfunction and shoot him out of the scene entirely so that he lives to fight another day – but it sort of makes sense that Boba dies in the beast they were about to feed the good guys to.

  131. ***STAR WARS NEWS FROM SYDNEY***

    Minor/major(depending on your nerdometer) point of interest-

    My local multiplex is running a STAR WARS marathon this weekend. From midday today you can see episodes 1-3 and tomorrow episodes 4-6. They advertised it on the net as “MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU” which I thought was pretty cool. They also encouraged people to dress up in character. I couldn’t make the session but I was in the shopping mall before it started and I saw one guy dressed as Batman!!! and another as fucking SpongeBob WTF!!! Bloody Australians, always gotta be different.

    Bummed that I can’t make the sessions but the whole thing reinforced that Lucas is a fucking genius in that its been 37 years since SW came out and people are still having a shit-load of fun with it.

  132. Sternshein, if I like those movies, it’s probably because I consider them “good.” And you can disagree, but it’s a dick move to suggest I have an ulterior motive for my opinion.

  133. I’ve always liked the fact that Boba Fett is set up as some sort of ultimate badass and then he just falls into the Sarlacc pit like a doofus, it’s exactly what you wouldn’t expect, a “Lucas-moment” that actually works

  134. Someone told me that Boba Fett survived the Sarlac pit.Is this true?

  135. only in the EU which is now NOT canon

  136. I realize that I’m a bit late with this, but the reasons EMPIRE is considered to be the best, is simply because it’s the best directed – Irvin Kershner actually gets some decent performances out og the cast – it has the best dialog, it’s the best looking – something we’ve established some of you guys don’t give a shit about – and story wise it’s the most mature. That’s why I like it, anyway.

  137. all of which is true, but I guess you had to be there in 1980 to get the full effect, when you’re my age and didn’t have to wait 3 years between the movies it’s hard to see EMPIRE as more than just the middle in an ongoing story as opposed to the high point

  138. Boba Fett looks cool but he does pretty much nothing in either film he’s in. He gets the one good idea to stake out the Star Destroyer’s trash and then narcs out Han and Leia to Vader without even trying to capture them himself. Then he just stands around Jabba’s palace (Why? He already collected his bounty. Is he on staff now or something? Just another one of the hired goons in Jabba’s entourage? Kinda lame to see an independent operator sell out like that.) until he gets his ass tossed in the Sarlac pit. Lucas just wasn’t that interested in him, and I kind of like that. It’s a good lesson. It’s not about looking cool, kids. People should like you for your personality, not your helmet.

  139. I guess when you are a bounty hunter, you definitely don’t mind when some rich crime lord invites you to hang out in his orgy castle for a while.

  140. When I was younger, Return of the Jedi was my favorite of the three films, but around the age of 13 or 14 I think I made the switch to Empire. To each their own. I still love all three original movies, so it’s cool with me if you enjoy the first or the third over the middle chapter. But over the years there has been a clear argument made as to why Empire is the best of the three, and I think they’re valid.

    As far as Boba Fett goes, I remember reading a Dark Horse comic series in the 90s about Boba Fett, and it actually managed to capture what I think people like about the character. There were no attempts to humanize him or explore what’s “under the helmet.” It was just Boba being contracted by a bunch of lowlifes who wanted him to kill or capture their enemies. There was some intrigue and double crossing, and each issue was stand alone, if I’m not mistaken. It was almost certainly influenced by the Man with No Name Trilogy.

    I think one of the reasons why Star Wars as a world endures is because it incorporates so many different genres. From the Western to the Samurai film to Science Fiction and Fantasy. There are almost endless permutations of stories you can tell in the world Lucas has created. I haven’t read too much of the expanded universe, but I have read a good handful of the novels and comic books. And there were some creators who were really talented at pulling out little elements of the original trilogy and making something really interesting with it. (Also, why are people getting so upset about the EU not being canon? It was never canon to begin with.)

  141. And that’s what got him killed. I can hear him narrating Riddick-style inside his helmet: “It was a sweet gig. Money. Parties. Broads. No more taking shit from Vader or losing jobs to that stuck-up prick IG-88. So yeah, I took Jabba’s offer. Who wouldn’t? There was just one problem. All the tentacle-headed concubines, the steaming goblet drinks, the trays of frog hors d’oeuvres, they made me the one thing a bounty hunter can never afford to be: soft. That’s how Solo got the drop on me. But it’s okay. It takes a Sarlac a long time to digest. I got a thousand years to think of how to get the drop on him. And this time, he’ll never see me coming.”

  142. Vern: It’s funny you mention spaghetti westerns and The Man With No Name in connection with Boba Fett, as those were some of the original inspirations for the character. (Amoral bounty hunters in the midst of a larger war, ect.) Some of the early costume designs show him wearing a serape like Clint in A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY. He’s also supposed to have Wookie scalps braided over his shoulder. Although, I get the feeling that Boba Fett, in Empire, anyway, ended up being more Angel Eyes then Blondie.

    And you’re spot on as to what the makers of a potential Boba Fett movie should look at. Do an unofficial remake of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly set in the Star Wars universe with Boba Fett in the Lee Van Cleef role, hire Ennio Morricone to compose spaghetti western versions of John William’s themes, and set it between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, and end it with Fett getting a message from Darth Vader saying to get to the whatever system, he’s got a job for the best bounty hunters in the galaxy.

  143. ‘The Ethan Hunt from the first Mission: Impossible movie was, quite simply put, the best “skilled everyman” protagonist that I’ve ever seen, and is a large part of the reason why I hold that film in such high regard. Tom Cruise does a stunningly good job of portraying him. The stuff Cruise does in that movie with his eyes alone is flat-out amazing. (By “skilled everyman” I mean a protagonist who’s clearly an audience-surrogate but has his own set of specialised skills that he makes use of to further the story and establish his own relevance: Harry Potter the wizard, RJ MacReady the pilot, Ethan Hunt the spy.)

    The Ethan Hunt from the third “Mission: Impossible” movie was an unmotivated idiot who shows zero intelligence or foresight and spends much of it chasing around after his dick. He’s basically Roger Moore from “A View to a Kill” only with less charm or smarts.’

    The Original Paul, everything bad that was in MI:3 already happened earlier with MI:2 directed by John Woo.

    The analogy I use for the new Star Wars movies is that when George Lucas did the prequels, he was like a successful rock band that’s been around a long time that is more enthusiastic about playing tracks off the new album, but their fans just want the old hits they remember. So is Abrams just a cover band who might do a good job playing the old songs. Or is he one of those ‘revival’ bands that can come up with a good song in the old style?

  144. The Original Paul

    May 3rd, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Lawrence – that’s technically not true IMO, but I certainly agree that “MI:2” was pretty bad. It looked and sounded great actually, but it had so little else going for it. It comes down to the fact that the director of “Face: Off” is the exact WRONG person to be directing a “Mission: Impossible” movie, which is at pretty much the opposite end of the blockbuster scale from “Dumb Travolta / Cage vehicle with mega-acting”.

    But as bad as MI:2 was in terms of script, story, characters and (occasionally) acting, it has two things (apart from the cinematography and scoring, both of which I will defend) going for it: it kind of understood the franchise it was coming into and at least TRIED to pull something off that was interesting (even though it epically failed), and it has all kinds of awesome moments in it – Dougray Scott’s face when he pulls off the Ethan mask after he’s talked Thandie Newton into revealing that she’s not really on his side is priceless, and THAT slow-mo shot of Ethan’s hair, complete with trademark John Woo doves, might be one of the single most awesome-stupid moments in any film ever.

    Does this make it a good “Mission: Impossible” movie? HELL no. But the thing was, nobody ever thought it would gain any kind of legitimacy, and they were right. The future “Mission: Impossible” films didn’t reference it in any way. It was an anomaly that clearly fails at its purpose. It’s odd to say that a film is less bad because it’s less successful at what it does, but MI:2 is that film. It’s a massive failure on its own terms, but it doesn’t damage the franchise because nobody ever took it seriously as part of said franchise.

    The third film is actually a successful film, for the most part, both financially and artistically. It succeeds in exactly what it sets out to do. And BECAUSE it was successful in this regard, some very silly people regard it as being actually “good”. It isn’t good. It’s badly directed, both the action and heist scenes are so badly set-up that they’re practically incomprehensible, but I could accept those things if it’d had some other merit. The main point I have against it is that it fails to show any basic understanding of the franchise or its characters. It takes the basic characters, changes them completely into stereotypes (I’ve banged on and on about Cruise’s character, but what about Ving Rhames? Remember in MI:1 when he was more than just “the loyal black friend”?) and puts them in a story that I’ve seen done a million times before, usually as a framing point for some other, better point. Except here there’s no “better point”. There’s no point at all.

    Comparing MI:2 to MI:3 is comparing opposites, to me. Do you damn the film that actually tries some interesting stuff but drops the ball completely; or do you damn the film that tries nothing at all, that contributes nothing to the artistic landscape or to the franchise? To me it’s not even close. I’d take a dozen slow-mo hairstyles over what original ideas MI:3 has to offer, which is none. The only effective scene in it is the one they show right at the beginning (presumably to lessen the crippling disappointment later on). And it’s a huge shame because Cruise and PS Hoffman both give really good performances in it. The scoring is good, some of the cinematography is impressive. Talented people worked on this film, helping to give it a legitimacy that it absolutely doesn’t deserve. I hate that they wasted their efforts on this. I hate the movie, period; but most of all I hate that it COULD have been great. That was never the case with MI:2, but it obviously was with MI:3. The talent was there. If it was utilised in a creative way, by somebody who understood the art of storytelling and had their own ideas about how to use the setting and characters within the franchise, this movie could’ve been awesome. Instead… we got MI:3.

    ANYWAY… since I’ve given that spiel about six times now and it’s seriously time to move on, at least until the next time J J Abrams is brought up in these here pages…

    Sternshein:

    “Similarly, The Winter Solder was an awesome movie, in my estimation, and it’s getting unfairly maligned because it’s not weird.”

    That’s odd, because I’ve yet to see anybody else give a viewpoint of it that’s as negative as my own, and even I thought it was ok – I just didn’t think it was very much fun. There are reasons for this but they don’t just amount to “it’s not weird”. I would’ve liked it much better if it were a Black Widow movie – I think she was a far more interesting character than Cap, and has the most interesting arc and the most interesting moral decisions to make of anybody in the movie, most of which happen offscreen. There are other reasons why I was underwhelmed by it but that’s probably the main one – they put the focus on the least interesting protagonist, while hinting at what looked to me like a much more compelling story that we don’t actually get to see much of.

  145. I don’t think the original M:I movie has been topped even though I did like the last one. M:I 2 is definitely a turkey. To this day it trips me out that Robert Towne got the screenplay credit on that joint. But unlike M:I 3 it wasn’t obnoxious to the point that I couldn’t finish watching the thing. I agree with Paul it’s a movie that’s given the perception of being good because it’s technically competent but in reality doesn’t end up doing much good at all. Like everything else Abrams does it comes across as derivative of stuff that has been done better elsewhere and he just seems like a real wannabe.

  146. The Original Paul

    May 3rd, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Broddie – I agree with your estimation of the last one. I did like the Jeremy Renner character in it. There were a couple of other things that meant it didn’t fall into the same category as the third for me as well.

    Oh, and Lawrence:

    “So is Abrams just a cover band who might do a good job playing the old songs. Or is he one of those ‘revival’ bands that can come up with a good song in the old style?”

    I know it’s a rhetorical question, but I think the fifty or so people bitching at Abrams in this thread might’ve answered that one! I HOPE that he surprises all of us. I don’t think he’s shown that he knows how to handle an existing franchise, but maybe the negative reactions to the “Star Trek” movies have given him some insight into what people find objectionable about what he’s doing.

  147. M:I 2 is a movie like the original SCARY MOVIE, that are bad, but just so 100% condensed “the year 2000” that I can’t help but find them entertaining (add COYOTE UGLY and GONE IN 60 SECONDS to this list)

    what was it about the year 2000 that made Hollywood want to make their movies so in tune with the culture of the era? there’s just some sort of for lack a better term “swagger” to movies from that period that you don’t see often, like everyone making a movie that year truly believed the were making awesome cutting edge shit even if they weren’t

    a lot of 80’s movies have that similar vibe, which is what also makes them entertaining even if they’re pretty bad, you know what I mean?

    now compare that with such lazy shrugs of a movie like say A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 or Adam Sandler’s latest dreck BLENDED and you’ll see what I mean

  148. see, I don’t ask for perfection from a movie, I just ask for a feeling that the makers behind it actually gave a shit, which you don’t get too often anymore

  149. I just realized what Boba Fett falling into the Sarlacc pit reminds me of, it’s like Indy just shrugging and shooting the swordsman in RAIDERS, I’m not saying it’s as classic a moment or anything, but it’s a similar idea, funnily playing on your expectations

  150. M:I 2 is the best in the series, in my humble opinion. It rejects the convoluted espionage garbage that holds these movies back and just embrace the dumb, but awesome actionfilm. Not only has it the balls of using Hitchcock NOTORIOUS as a story template, but the crazy action, (of which a pre-FURIOUS SIX body clashing is a ridiculous highlight) only amplifies its pace in my action canon as a movie that I keep coming back to.

  151. so, how’s everyone celebrating the 4th? me, I’m playing DARK FORCES, an old PC game that’s basically “Doom but with Star Wars” and it’s awesome

    also, here’s some mood music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_xJqkzngBI

  152. I don’t celebrate May the 4th. I believe it’s just another way to commercialize and secularize Life Day.

  153. oh yeah, that reminds me, I need to watch my hologram Jefferson Starship concert later

  154. CrustaceanLove

    May 4th, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    I’ve been playing DARK FORCES too! They had a sale on Steam so I picked up the entire Star Wars catalogue, and rather than play any of the recent games I gravitated straight to the 20 year old DOOM clone. Go figure.

  155. I picked it up thanks to the Steam sale too

  156. When it comes to alternative holidays I only celebrate Festivus because you get to pull out that cool-looking aluminum pole. Can´t beat that!

  157. CrustaceanLove

    May 5th, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    One thing I’ve appreciated in revisiting the prequels is just how much new shit Lucas came up with. He could have easily coasted on the same old locations and species. I suspect the upcoming films are going to dump the prequels down the memory hole and focus on the same old shit: Wookiees, Rodians, Trandoshans, Ithorians, whatever Yoda is etc. Sometimes I run a STAR WARS tabletop RPG, and I always make sure to include a few things from the prequels, whether it’s the Gungans or the Neimoidians or Mustafar. Occasionally I get a groan but my response is “It’s canon. Deal with it.”

  158. Assuming this article is the right place to gauge opinions and/or vent about this:

    over at AICN they’re saying that “The Ancient Fear” is the subtitle for ep 7, at least for now. Is this legit? I haven’t seen it posted anywhere else yet, so I’m skeptical — especially because the same source provided the additional info that Max von Sydow is the main villain, and up to now we’ve been hearing that Adam Driver was going to be doing that.

    If this is what they’re really calling it, I guess I like it a lot better than “A New Dawn,” which is the only other possibility I’d heard so far (and summarily dismissed, because, I mean, come on). I find “The Ancient Fear” a bit lacking in the panache department, but it could be a lot worse…

  159. Crustaceon Love — Although I only really enjoy the third film of all the prequels, there are some great bits of world building going on in those movies. I also really love that he incorporated more elements from the 30s and 40s into the designs of the cities and ships. Ignoring the original trilogy, the prequels created a wonderful sandbox for others to play in. I recently started watching the Clone Wars show, and I’ve been really pleased with it so far.

    Psychic Hits — The Ancient Fear is fine, if a little serviceable. I remember when people went ape shit about Attack of the Clones, but I actually liked that subtitle, because it hearkens back to the old Flash Gordon serials. I hope the new title means they are going to delve more into the Sith. The last thing I would want is for them to return to the Empire as a villain, like they did in the extended universe.

  160. Have you seen this version of the first three episodes?

    http://vimeo.com/94473916

  161. So that Godzilla guy is now apparently directing a SW spin off movie. Sorry for the typecasting, but I hope it involves one or more Rancors and Sarlaccs.

  162. The Original Paul

    June 2nd, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Griff:

    “See, I don’t ask for perfection from a movie, I just ask for a feeling that the makers behind it actually gave a shit, which you don’t get too often anymore”

    Y’know I’m actually glad someone other than me has said that. The reason that “Much Ado About Nothing” was my favorite film of last year was exactly because of this factor. It wasn’t perfect, by any means; but it was, from start to finish, obviously a labour of love. It felt like a film made by people who love film. The same was true, to maybe a lesser extent, for the three films I put as runner-up (“In a World”, “Before Midnight”, and “The Kings of Summer”).

  163. Han Solo takes a hit in Millenium Falcon. No casualties reported. Earring still intact.

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/entertainment/2014/06/13/05/54/harrison-ford-injured-on-star-wars-set

  164. Didn’t Abrams complain the other day about people spreading rumors with something like “stop saying the Millenium Falcon is in the new movie, it totally isn’t”? HOW COULD HE LIE TO US?

  165. You apparently missed the tweet where he posted a pic of the milennium Falcon set while saying that it isn’t in the movie.

  166. So Rian Johnson (LOOPER) has been penciled in as the director for Episodes VIII and IX. I really like this direction. It’s a much more inspired choice than Abrams. If Abrams is a “hired gun” Johnson is more of an actual “auteur”. More of a Nolan than a Michael Bay.

    Johnson has already proven to be better capable at competent sci-fi writing than Abrams has with just one movie. He’s a lot hungrier and much more imaginative too which bodes well for the creativity and passion that will be put into his movies. Can’t wait to see him cut his teeth in proving himself as a big budget director with those two movies. Now I only wish that he was doing VII as well.

  167. I didn’t like LOOPER (I am very picky about my time travel rules) but I liked Johnson’s other movies. BRICK is a personal favorite. I would like him to make more movies like that and not waste a decade on this mercenary bullshit, but whatever. He’s gotta eat, too, I guess.

  168. Well think about it. Now he could earn more cred with money minded movie execs and that clout could help him get 5 more BRICK type films greenlit. Think of it like when Nolan was working with an ultra commercial property (Batman) and earned the clout to get stuff like THE PRESTIGE (which I love) and INCEPTION (which I loathe but at least it was original) greenlit in between bat flicks.

  169. It will also be refreshing to see a more original mind take on SW after someone like Abrams. Unlike Abrams while I can clearly see the influences on Johnson’s work he takes those inspirations and makes them his own; he’s not a bad photo copy of better creators by straight up biting their style. He doesn’t try to blatantly emulate say Hitchcock or Spielberg like Abrams has shamelessly done in the past. So that’s a very good omen.

  170. I only know Johnson from his BREAKING BAD episodes. That’s enough for me to approve.

  171. Pretty clever of Mickey Mouse to get us all thinking today about a pair of movies set “a long time ago,” to be released 4+ years from now, directed by a guy famous for twisting a 2005 high school narrative into a 1940s noir and for examining the year 2074 through the lens of the year 2044.

    In fact Rian Johnson already made a STAR WARS sequel. That’s right — lil Rainmaker wasn’t telekinetic; he was using The Force.

  172. He’s a good director. I just still don’t want there to be any more STAR WARS films, period, so everybody who gets sucked up into the orbit of this giant merchandising machine feels like another lost soul to me.

  173. Right now I’m most upset with Disney for sanitizing INTO THE WOODS. What was even the point of doing this musical if you’re taking everything original and meaningful out of it? Just do a major motion picture of a musical episode of ONCE UPON A TIME and call it good. Oh, wait, that’s exactly what they’re doing. It’s not like the sanitation comes as any kind of a shock, but it still pisses me off. And don’t even get me started on Stephen Sondheim being okay with it all.

    Sorry. Didn’t mean to hijack the thread with musical talk. Hopefully Disney treats the SW franchise better. Said without sarcasm, but with the full knowledge that sarcasm would not be amiss.

  174. I want there to be a 15-minutes-long sequence where Bruce Willis in alien makeup sits down and explains midichlorians, talking about it all day and making diagrams with straws.

  175. Mr. Majestyk – I was anti sequel trilogy for many years. Especially even more so after the prequels. There was a sense of finality to it all once there was 2 trilogies where Lucas really poured himself into. It was the ultimate fan fiction and it worked in a way that other people could never really emulate. So no need to stay peeking into “a galaxy far, far away”.

    Since Disney will be Disney though and we have no control over that I’m glad they at least look at guys like Rian Johnson and Gareth Edwards for these movies. These cats put a lot of heart and soul into whatever they do. You can tell they LOVE to write and direct. To them it’s not some mechanical form of fan service made to be as complacent as possible & bring the dollars in like what JJ Abrams movies seem like to me anyway. There is passion there. Nothing disingenuous.

    They remind me of the era when real muthafuckers were making movies quite regularly. Passionate guys competent enough to be masters on a set no matter what budget and concept you throw at them. Cats like Walter Hill, John Frankenheimer, John McTiernan, Paul Verhoeven, Tobe Hooper, early Tim Burton James Cameron, David Cronenberg, Martin Scorsese, 70’s and 80’s Steven Spielberg, David Lynch, Clint etc.

    I really believe guys like Edwards and Johnson will stand on even ground with a lot of the legends when it’s all said and done for them. Passion and hunger is what leads to the best form of creativity. So if they could bring some of that flavor to STAR WARS too I rather guys like them and Alfonso Cuaron. Not hacks like the BAD ROBOT and PLATINUM DUNES goons who are both at the most extreme side of their respective spectrums (geeky fanservice ripoff get tich quick scheme, remaking classics as brodude cinema fare) and unfortunately have a lot of juice in Hollywood right now.

    I want these real dudes to make their way up the ladder and help drive out the phonies once and for all in mainstream cinema. I miss the days when blockbusters were as engaging as oscar bait damn near all the time. But there’s hope that these dudes could be part of a movement that helps bring that back. May the force be with them.

    Mouth – LMAO

    The ironic thing is it would probably really be worth watching since Johnson is one of the few directors that could inspire Bruce enough to not phone in his performances.

  176. I think Looper Johnson is an OK choice. I wasn’t a huge fan of LOOPER, but it shows he’s comfortable working in a fantasy world, and that he’s good with actors and not afraid to take a few risks. Kinda weird to get him for two movies, seems like they might as well just have each by a separate director like RED RIDING, but whatever, it’s cool. He’s not a completely disheartening choice like Abrams was.

    My one concern though, is that just like Abrams, Johnson has a worrying history of turning everything postmodern and overcomplicated. LOOPER and BRICK are both movies which just want to blow your mind a little more than they actually want to tell a story. That kind of ambition is a good thing in an indie filmmaker, but I really hope they don’t muck up STAR WARS with it. Keep it simple, keep it classic; don’t try to turn it into a bunch of twists and genre-expectation fakeouts. We just want an actual story here, guys.

  177. I’m really just a not gonna be happy with anybody. I run the prospective movie through my head, filtered through each director’s style, and I’m just like “Nope. Wrong.” There’s no one walking the earth I would trust. I should probably stop commenting because nothing will ever please me.

  178. I don’t know, hopefully he’ll be good, but the choice kind of bums me out. Even morseo than Edgar Wright he’s one of these directors who is considered sacred by the Gentlemen’s Trust of the Internet but who I just can’t figure out what the big deal is. BRICK I thought was well directed but the premise of teen noir was just not something I couldn’t get past. LOOPER was better but also had some problems, most relevant to this being that I thought it was kinda ugly and cheap looking even for its budget. The corniness I guess doesn’t matter for STAR WARS and it would be cool if there was a Jedi with a fake Bruce Willis nose and hilarious wig.

    (As far as his other movie I haven’t given it a fair shot; I lost interest in watching it after seeing a scene out of context and thinking it was an unbearable Wes Anderson ripoff before I knew it was BROTHERS BLOOM.)

    My bigger concern is that, from what I can remember, he hasn’t really done any exciting setpieces, despite working in genre movies. I feel like a guy who directs a STAR WARS better really know his way around a space battle, a light saber fight and a high speed chase.

    But there is definitely gonna be a new generation here of guys who do very low budget indies and somehow get the keys to the kingdom in these big sci-fi type things. You got the SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED guy doing JURASSIC WORLD, the CHRONICLE guy doing everything, the MONSTERS guy did decent with GODZILLA, now this guy. To me it seems like none of these guys could ever dream of having the filmatistic chops of Fincher, Cuaron and some of those guys, but hopefully I’m missing something.

    (and maybe none of those guys were interested)

    My biggest concern, actually, is that it sounds like they must’ve abandoned Lucas’s treatment for what this trilogy was supposed to be about. I know everybody hates the prequels but I don’t think you can fake that shit. Another writer interpreting his ideas I think has way more potential than just a dude who played with the action figures as a kid making up his sequel story.

  179. “Even morseo than Edgar Wright he’s one of these directors who is considered sacred by the Gentlemen’s Trust of the Internet but who I just can’t figure out what the big deal is. ”

    Vern – So I take it you’re one of the few people online who didn’t scream bloody murder at Marvel when Wright quit?

    “My biggest concern, actually, is that it sounds like they must’ve abandoned Lucas’s treatment for what this trilogy was supposed to be about.”

    Vern – Whatever one thought of the Prequels, in broad outlines Lucas had great ideas. Now in the execution and detail of those big broad ideas….that’s debatable.

    I think a difference between Lucas and alot of filmmakers today is how so many of them lack inspiration outside of pop culture. I mean Lucas read that Campbell book about mythology and got inspired by it. He read comics, might’ve taken some Jack Kirby influences (Dr. Doom=Darth Vader, Darkseid/Orion=Vader/Luke daddy issues) and inspired by his times as well (I read somewhere once that Nixon inspired Palpatine, plus Vietnam War I’m sure also inspired the whole Ewok role/microcosm of the war in ROTJ.) Whatever, point is he did genuinely create his own universe, a unique vision that we’re still coming back to.

    Sure he was “inspired” by the Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers serials and if you ever see any of them, you can see certainly the obious storytelling influence, but STAR WARS was like alot of the modern comic book blockbusters: Take “junk” that was made for cheap and present it with (then) top of the art, groundbreaking FX. SW is the best Flash Gordon story ever told.

    Meanwhile, don’t be shocked if Abrams’ creative reach in Episode 7 is Ford telling Fisher “I love you” and Fisher responding with “I know.” Because its just exactly like that moment in ESB, but roles reversed! FUCKING GENIUS!

  180. “Meanwhile, don’t be shocked if Abrams’ creative reach in Episode 7 is Ford telling Fisher “I love you” and Fisher responding with “I know.” Because its just exactly like that moment in ESB, but roles reversed! FUCKING GENIUS!”

    Except it’s going to be even worse, because they already had that joke in ROTJ when she got hit by a blaster, fell back and when Han bent over to make sure she was okay a storm trooper came up behind him. But she had a blaster and hid it close to her body (insert joke here) and Han was able to lean out of the way and she blasted some Storm Trooper.

  181. RRA – no, I actually thought that was gonna be the Wright movie that I would like as much as everybody else.

  182. I don’t really get the Edgar Wright hype either. I’ve really tried to sit down with SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ due to the word of mouth they have developed over the years (especially SHAUN) and I find myself really struggling to make it even halfway through them. I guess his style just isn’t really for me.

  183. Vern — you make a good point about Looper Johnson not having much (if any) experience crafting elaborate set pieces, although I will admit I like his timing on the sequence where Old Paul Dano [LOOPER SPOILERS]loses his body parts [END LOOPER SPOILERS]. But then again, Gareth Edwards did a way better job with the scale of GODZILLA than I imagined possible given his previous film, so I guess anything’s possible. I’m less confident with his ability to just tell a good, simple story without some sort of wacky gimmick to use as a crutch.

    I’m a lot less happy about their abandoning Lucas’ treatment. It might have been a weird one, I dunno, but Lucas has a fantastic track record of coming up with story treatments, if less so with execution. That they would just ditch it does not bode well for the taste of the people making these things. Either A) It was a genuinely unworkable treatment or B) They consider Lucas a tainted brand because people didn’t like the prequels or C) they are desperate to please everyone and offend no one so they can milk this sacred cow until it keels over, and don’t want to take any risks with that whatsoever.

    RRA- “Meanwhile, don’t be shocked if Abrams’ creative reach in Episode 7 is Ford telling Fisher “I love you” and Fisher responding with “I know.” Because its just exactly like that moment in ESB, but roles reversed! FUCKING GENIUS!”

    AARRRRGH, that’s so fucking accurate it hurts.

  184. To be fair, Tarantino hadn’t really done any action before KILL BILL and he not only knocked that one out of the park, he also knocked it into a different park where it landed as a fair ball and was an in the park grand slam. (baseball)

    I’m just saying we never were at a point where we had to worry whether or not a STAR WARS director could handle a star war. Now (because of the directors they chose and because of the lowered standards of modern audiences for cinematic storytelling) it’s a legitimate question. If the boy’s not ready I hope the Lucasfilm people kinda handle the space battles as a second unit. They might still have some of the people who made that epic opening of REVENGE OF THE SITH.

  185. Vern — Yeah, with the right Assistant and Second-Unit Directors and the right visuals guys, I think Johnson could be fine. Not that it’s a sure thing, but on a film this big he’ll have plenty of help from seasoned pros. I’m not worried about the action as much as I am about the story; hiring Abrams and Johnson makes me extremely worried that the studio thinks they need some kind of hip reinvention, and ditching Lucas’s treatment makes that seem even more likely. RRA’s nightmare scenario about the kind of self-referential “cleverness” that this might engender sounds entirely too plausible for comfort.

  186. I’m with you, Mr. S. I think Johnson is just a little too clever for his own good a lot of the time. I think his twisty “Am I blowing your mind yet?” writing style fit BRICK, because BRICK is a hard-boiled detective story, where the machinations of plot are always just window dressing for the overall air of omnipresent corruption and quixotic idealism that is the bread-and-butter of the genre. (Unlike Vern, I thought transposing this onto a high school setting was perfect, since one’s teen years are the primary battleground on which the internal struggle between these two extremes plays out.) But LOOPER and BROTHERS BLOOM, while enjoyable for the most part, seemed to feel that twists are important for their own sake, when they’re really not. Twists often indicate a writer who isn’t confident in his story and characters. STAR WARS doesn’t need to complicate itself like that. Trying to make it not-your-father’s-STAR WARS with a bunch of narrative bells and whistles is just going to be embarrassing.

  187. 'Star Wars: Rogue One' Releases First Photo; Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk Join Cast

    "Star Wars: Rogue One" released the first image of the full cast at Disney's D23 Expo, confirming the stars as Felicity Jones; Diego Luna; Ben Mendelsohn; Donnie Yen; Jiang Wen; Forest Whitaker; Ma...

    Donnie Yen is in a Star Wars movie!!!

  188. …and Mads!!!

    still won’t watch it.

  189. The Original Paul

    August 16th, 2015 at 8:44 am

    I think I might be the only person on earth whose decision on whether or not to watch this film is based completely on the question “does it have good reviews from people I trust?”

    Of course, even the “people I trust” aren’t immune to the hype machine either, so that might be problematic.

  190. So the JURASSIC WORLD guy is now doing EPISODE IX

  191. I still think out of all potential side stories that the SW universe has to offer, the Rogue One thing is the least interesting. Oh, they stoloe the death star blueprints and not all of them survived. Whoopdeedoo. You told us everything you need to know about it in the very first SW movie.
    (It must be said that I’m not against a SW anthology series in general.)

  192. Yeah, I liked JURASSIC WORLD but I don’t know about that shit. Why would they hire a different guy to do the third one when the other guy that’s replacing the first guy hasn’t even started shooting the second one? What if Abrams or Johnson does a good job, wouldn’t it be worth continuing with the same director?

    Before you say “Well, the original trilogy had different directors,” of course you realize that George Lucas, a genius, was in charge there, completely hands on, and they were serving his vision. I respect Kathleen Kennedy but there is no evidence that she, or anyone else who might be in charge there, has that type of unique vision to pull that off. Basically it sounds like they’re treating it as a TV show.

    As always, though, I hope I’m wrong, and I’m very excited for the Abrams one, which looks great.

    Paul – stop being a show off, it’s a Star Wars movie, just see the fucking thing and find out if you like it. It’s not gonna hurt you. Not seeing any of the movies everybody else sees is Broddie’s move anyway, not yours.

  193. I just don’t see how anyone can credit any of JW’s success to this guy. It made all that money because it’s a JURASSIC PARK movie and it stars America’s current sweetheart, not because Colin Treverrow has any fucking idea what he’s doing. The idea that the people in charge of STAR WARS looked at that movie and said “This is the kind of talent we want” and not “Fucker really lucked out on that one, didn’t he?” is boggling to me. I can only assume they didn’t even watch the movie and just looked at the grosses.

  194. I’m confused as to how directors who have one small budget film under their belt are somehow given the reins to massive film franchises. I’m of the opinion that Jurassic World was alternatively frustratingly stupid and gloriously stupid. When those idiotic brothers were on screen, I was cringing the entire time. When the raptor and t-rex teamed up against the big bad dinosaur, I was nodding my head in enjoyment of the absolute idiocy of the whole thing. What tips Jurassic World into the dislike category is the fact that the premise is actually a smart way of moving the film forward. With the right director, we could have had a worthy successor to the original. In that way, the film is disappointing (even though I’m glad I saw this moronic movie in the theaters).

    But, back to my original point, Trevorrow only had one film prior to Jurassic World and it was the entirely underwhelming Safety Not Guaranteed. He must have had other connections, because that is not the kind of film that says this guy should helm a massive summer blockbuster. The guy is lucky that he was working on a series that people have fond memories of, and that Universal was willing to throw enough dollars at the screen to convince people that the film wouldn’t be a rehash of the first three films. He really just lucked himself into directing one of the Star Wars film, which probably isn’t the smartest way for movie studios to chose who is going to helm major film franchises (see also: Fantastic Four).

    I have my fingers crossed for Episode VII, and I’m genuinely excited about what Rian Johnson is going to do. Here’s to hoping.

  195. Well, 10-15 years ago they gave those massive tentpole movies to music video and commercial directors, so handing them to people, who actually directed a real movie before, is IMO a step in the right direction.

  196. I’m confused as to why JJ is not directing the whole trilogy, I think THE FORCE AWAKENS looks fucking great, so good in fact I dare say we may have another FURY ROAD on our hands, but that’s the question is whether it can last if they insist on switching director’s for every movie.

  197. The Original Paul

    August 16th, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Vern – I think you miss my point. “I’ll go and see it if people like it” seems like a reasonable position to take. Show-off?

  198. The Original Paul

    August 16th, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    And the point I was trying to make (I seem to have trouble making points without coming off like a complete asshat nowadays,so that’s a thing) is that I don’t have any particular emotional attachment to the STAR WARS franchise. First one came out before I was born. Second and third I liked. Fourth, fifth and sixth I didn’t like. TV series, animated movies etc I haven’t seen. The point being, unlike the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise, say, I don’t have any particular hangups with this particular one; so I can go see it with the expectation of just enjoying it as a standalone movie if it turns out to be any good.

  199. Paul – I think this is just a response to you commenting on movies you *haven’t* seen. Like EVIL DEAD 2013, for example, which made me wonder how you could write off a movie’s credibility without having an *informed-subjective* opinion. It makes you *seem* like you are wearing an ass for a hat, that’s all, when you are probly just wearing a party hat with colorful streamers and glitter and shit.

  200. The Original Paul

    August 16th, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Poeface – I can’t remember what I said about EVIL DEAD 2013, but aren’t I one of the few commentators who aren’t doing what you just said in this case?

  201. The Original Paul

    August 16th, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    *Goes back and reads the EVIL DEAD 2013 thread.*

    Ok… I can definitely see elements of that in my comments, especially the early ones. I don’t think I ever tried to be critical of the film itself though. It seems to me I was criticising more:

    1) The Hollywood culture that markets movies like EVIL DEAD 2013 (as I pointed out, I’d seen lots and lots of marketing for it, and it hadn’t impressed me) but not original non-franchise movies that might be a lot better;
    2) The cinema system that doesn’t even show interesting new properties (I named several movies that hadn’t come to any cinema within hundreds of miles of me, yet had received great reviews on the Internet) but will show every “name” movie imaginable, regardless of quality;
    3) The people who keep watching “name” movies and contributing to their being profitable, even when a lot of people think they’re no good (I named DIE HARD 5 as an example there).

    Honestly I think my remarks there read more like frustration with the entire movie system, which continually doesn’t give me any opportunity to see interesting-sounding original movies but keeps churning out more and more remakes, sequels and prequels.

    Quoting myself from the EVIL DEAD thread:

    The plain fact is, it’s Vern who mostly looks through the DTV stuff. Not the commentors and certainly not me. This is why I come to this site in the first place – you think I’ve ever have known to look out for “Kill Zone” or “Universal Soldier: Regeneration” or “Blood and Bone” if I hadn’t have seen them recommended here? And that’s fine in itself. It’s when people who’ve been speculating on how bad “Die Hard 5″ will be are then the first people to go donate money to the “Make one more pointless Die Hard sequel, who cares about the quality because the name will sell it anyway” fund that kinda gets on my tits.

    Anyways, apologies for the slightly off-topic rant, all. My complaints with “Evil Dead” are all to do with the marketing (I can’t exactly complain about the film, since I haven’t seen it and won’t, at least not while it still costs me money to do so). It’s beginning to feel like the ridiculous number of excellent, original films in cinemas last year is going to turn out to be something of a fluke, the way this year is going so far. My annoyance is that there ARE great films being reviewed right now. It’s just that none of them are coming to cinemas anywhere near me. Instead I’m getting “Dark Skies” and “The Host” for my “original” horror tastes – a found-footage alien abduction movie that’s been panned by most critics, and an adaptation of a Stephanie Meyer novel. Gee, thanks.

    I think I need some time off from this site. I’m starting to sound more and more cynical, even when I don’t necessarily mean to be.

  202. Griff, what on earth about the new Star Wars looks like a new FURY ROAD situation to you? If J.J. had a dream that he was in the same league as Miller, he’d have to wake up and apologize. One of them’s a guy who created his own shit out of nothing, kept it pure and unsullied through a couple different major sea changes in Hollywood, worked on his new version for over a decade in private to make sure it was tight, accepted no compromise concerning the proper execution of his vision, and eventually, when he was ready and on his own terms, came out with a film that, stylistically and thematically, was some brand-new shit that could have been made by no other human on the face of the planet, and the other guy is sentient studio note J.J. Abrams. What the hell kind of Kool Aid are motherfuckers drinking to think that these two films should be mentioned in the same sentence? Can people not even tell when they’re being played anymore? And does it even matter if they’re just gonna swallow it all anyway?

    Honestly. FURY ROAD. I never.

  203. I understand your cynicism about the business side of movies. It’s hard to not let that affect our perception, especially in an internet community where the tiniest freckle on a director or actor or studio’s arse is over-analyzed and critiqued and cried over like a four year old’s broken Transformer toy. At the end of the day, it’s all about the movie up on the screen, and what you thought of it.

    I’ve been cynical about STAR WARS in general in the past, but the last two times I saw the trailer for this new one at the cinema, I was surprised to catch myself getting excited. There was for sure that sense of wonder, which I had as a kid with the originals. I don’t know, I think as I approach my mid-forties, I’m getting more determined to fight cynicism – the enemy of joy. Call it The Vern Effect.

  204. HELP ME ASIMOVLIVES YOU’RE MY ONLY HOPE

  205. You’re on your own, pal!

  206. But don’t you see that’s how they get you? “Remember when you were little and you didn’t know how to think critically about anything so you just accepted whatever garbage happened to be available at the time? Wasn’t that great? Shit sucked all over the place and you didn’t even notice. Well, you can have that back. All you have to do is stay ignorant about how and why we’re getting rich off of you while putting in the barest minimum of creative effort and you can be a drooling, moronic kid again. We’ll strip-mine your childhood until there’s nothing left and never give you back anything in return. Won’t that be fun?”

    I fall for it, too, more than I’d like to admit, but this is just too far. My inner child is not an ATM.

  207. The Original Paul

    August 16th, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Majestyk – I feel ya. I really do. Hell, I readily spent money to see all three of the SW prequels – and not only did I think they were all fatally flawed, I thought they were flawed in exactly the same ways. So you’d think I’d be one of the most cynical about this one.

    I guess I’m just not quite willing to dismiss the film entirely before anybody has even seen the finished product. I mean… I found stuff to like in GENISYS (which is not, by any objective standards, a good movie, let alone a good TERMINATOR movie) and I have a helluva lot more of an attachment to that series than I’ve ever had to STAR WARS. So yeah, if enough people say this thing is good, and I think I’d agree with their reasoning, I’ll see it. Otherwise I’ll save my money.

  208. Paul, I’m not being serious, I just think it’s funny when you guys wear not wanting to see a big movie as a badge of honor. If you truly had zero interest in Star Wars or Big Comic Book Movie X or the cultural discussion then you wouldn’t be coming here every day sharing your thoughts on it. So it’s not gonna hurt you to go see the movie and see if you like it or not.

  209. The Original Paul

    August 16th, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Vern – but isn’t that exactly what I said anyway? I didn’t say I wouldn’t see it. I said I’d see if it people I trusted said it was worth seeing. My whole point was that I wasn’t going to dismiss it before anybody had even had a chance to look at it once it’s done.

    I’m genuinely confused as to where we’re disagreeing here. I mean, would you prefer I’d have gone to see DIE HARD 5 after hearing pretty much everybody here rip it to shreds? I still haven’t seen it and I don’t wear that like a “badge of honour”. I mean, I’m not exactly sad that I missed out on that one, but I didn’t pride myself on not going to see it before it came out. If there’s any element of that, I think it’s because there are certain things I just don’t want to encourage by contributing money to them. (Says the hypocrite who went to see GENISYS even after reading your review of it ’cause he had an empty evening and needed a break from some pretty relentless work-stuff!)

  210. Some of you are acting like Disney bought out the rights to CITIZEN KANE and are creating a shared universe of sequels and spinoffs. STAR WARS has been about crass exploitation of an IP since day one. Yeah, George Lucas worked his ass off realizing his vision, and deserves the credit for it, but he also attached his name to hundreds of books, comics, video games, breakfast cereals etc. that have, like it or not, done almost as much to shape the idea of STAR WARS as the six movies have. These new movies are simply continuing a proud tradition of shameless merchandising.

  211. I like STAR WARS (a reasonable amount), I don´t see how J.J Abrahams can do any worse than the directorchair warmer George Lucas

  212. I dont know about Colin Tomorrow, though.

  213. I suspect both Abrams and Johnson are happy to direct one Star Wars movie but then want to use the clout to do their own things. Could also be they’re moving too fast for one director to complete them all.

  214. Could also be they’re moving too fast for one director to complete them all.

    Maybe they should have gotten Roberrt Rodriguez to direct the entire trilogy. He would have shot it over a weekend. SOmetime I don´t know what Disney are thinking…

  215. There sure was a time when Rodriguez would have been on the director short list for a new SW movie. And we would have been excited about it. Those were the days…

  216. I don´t know what you are talking about. Personally I am looking forward to MACHETE KILLS IN SPACE.

  217. Griff my god man, FURY ROAD?!? that’s borderline sacrilegious.

    I will say this though. Even though I have no interest in the new main trilogy or MOS EISLEY CANTINA BARTENDER: ORIGINS & any of the other live action expanded universe stuff I really hope you guys do enjoy EPISODE VII. I also really hope that Rian Johnson’s entry opens up even more doors for him in the long run.

  218. One thing that I AM excited about though with Disney’s Star Wars is the idea of STAR WARS LAND. I remember when you had to pay for filler parks just to complete a Disney World experience when purchasing a ticket. Now you can just add STAR WARS LAND in it’s place. I’m particularly looking forward to the eventual MAX REBO BAND WORLD TOUR stage show in the spirit of THE COUNTRY BEARS.

  219. Broddie – haha, I thought that’d be controversial, but to be exact I’m not saying I think it will be quite as good as FURY ROAD, but just that it will be another instance of a franchise returning and actually being a legit good movie and one of those rare movies that the internet generally actually likes.

  220. All this EPISODE 7EVEN talk reminds me of Rich Evans EPISODE 7 reaction video, which is I think on -the-spot when it comes to what SW-nerds obsess about. It´s a bunch of folks that needs a good bit of poking fun.

  221. I’m not sure what gives you that impression, Griff. I learned long ago that Star Wars fans (which is to say everybody to one degree or another) can never be satisfied, which is why I am so disappointed that the series didn’t stop at its logical thematic endpoint and can now continue in perpetuity, unbound by creator intent or good taste, preventing the larger populace from discussing climate change or gender equality because we’re too busy talking about how they SHOULD be doing that Bib Fortuna solo movie the studio just gave to the director of UNFRIENDED or whatever. Factor in the fact that live-action later-seasons-of-THE SIMPSONS-caricature-of-a-callow-Hollywood-type JJ Abrams’ primary job seems to be pissing off the internet and I wish I lived in your utopian paradise where I wouldn’t have to download a Star Wars-blocking app in a few months.

  222. Mr. Majestyk – “live-action later-seasons-of-THE SIMPSONS-caricature-of-a-callow-Hollywood-type JJ Abrams”

    Holy shit! that is probably the most on the money description of the guy I’ve ever read. Even more so than “the most punchable face in Hollywood today”.

  223. Really? What has he done to people that George Lucas already hasn´t?

  224. I don’t know but Lucas is far more accomplished and not as worthy of the online vitriol.

    Unlike George Lucas he wasn’t able to craft his own playground influenced by all the shit he always wanted to rip off.

    Instead he finds ways to play in the playground that houses the shit he always wanted to rip off which seems to irritate people more.

    Personally I don’t find anything he puts his name on remotely enjoyable. If I do I could count on one hand how many properties that actually amounts to; actually just one (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE). He is the complete definition of journeyman and studio exec pet in my view. Everything he does seems so safe yet pretentious when in the end it really means nothing at all and bears zero consequence. I heard even the stuff he built up in ST didn’t pay off in INTO DARKNESS. No surprises there. At least Lucas was better with the consistencies in his serial productions.

    With that said I saw both GONE FISHIN’ and ARMAGEDDON at the cinema. So by all accounts I should probably outright loathe the guy as a creative entity. Instead I’m just indifferent and pretty much ignore all his output from SUPER 8 to NU TREK II and all the TV stuff like ALIAS and LOST.

    Personally I’m not familiar enough with Abrams work to really care but I’ve seen enough of his work to know that I never will care in the first place. Dude can’t even properly set up payoffs. It’s like he wings everything he writes and expects the audience to do the rest. Normally I have no issues with creators that want to spark some thought in their audience. However I would expect the creator to lay more tools and precedent events for the audience to jump to the conclusions they do to. Not throw stuff at the wall and hope it sticks which is what I saw with the first NU TREK and M:I X TRUE LIES.

  225. People hate Lucas because they are entering the 40-year-long Oedipal phase of development in which they must symbolically murder their father figure in order to prove themselves as men. But it’s George’s house so as long as they were living under his roof they had to play by his rules. Abrams is the snide new guy their mom is dating who pretends to be nice but you know it’s all an act and his efforts to relate to them are blatantly pandering and insincere. So while they hate Lucas, they have to respect him. Abrams doesn’t get that privilege.

  226. From the outside JJ Abrams reminds me of this obnoxious 2 faced kid I went to high school with the one time I moved down south for a year. This was around 1999 or so; so he’d see me reading some BATMAN: NO MAN’S LAND comics in class and come up to me and be like “Oh I LOVE BATMAN, THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and THE KILLING JOKE [two of the most popular Batman stories at the time] are my favorite..” and bla bla bla.

    I’d be like “OK” then when I would lend him an issue to skim through he wouldn’t just show disinterest in the actual content he would also be like “who’s that? and that? and that?” when it came to some of the most common members of the supporting cast in the comics at that time. I was like “I thought you were a fan?” It just seemed like wanted to talk to me to learn more about Batman and then act like it’s shit he knew himself through years of research or whatever. He hadn’t earned his red batcave telephone like I did and when he saw that I saw through is facade not just with Batman but music and video games and shit he cut me off like a bad habit. Something which I was extremely thankful for though I did hate no longer having any more easy access to his weed guy.

  227. “The guy is lucky that he was working on a series that people have fond memories of, and that Universal was willing to throw enough dollars at the screen to convince people that the film wouldn’t be a rehash of the first three films.”

    And the new STAR WARS movie is going to be different how? Sounds like his kind of gig.

  228. Honestly guys, sometimes the cynicism of some of you comes dangerously close to rest-of-the-internet level.

  229. Please. The cynicism here doesn’t even qualify as cynicism compared to the rest of the internet.

  230. Just because we’re cynical doesn’t mean we’re wrong.

  231. To me, Abrams isn’t just a studio hack, he’s something worse: one of the new breed of studio hacks who aspire to artistic credibility for egotistical reasons but lack any actual artistic impulse. They don’t just want to make straight-ahead safe studio big-budget genre movies, they want to gussy things up with a bunch of superficially complicated meta cleverness which covers up the huge gaping hole left by removing any actual reason for the thing to exist. And the easiest way of doing that is to take familiar and beloved things and change the details just a little in a way that references other things people already know. I mean, look at his STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS, a movie that basically does not exist outside its reference to WRATH OF KAHN. Not a single dramatic beat in that whole movie makes any goddam sense except in the way it “cleverly” reverses the expectations you have about the original. SUPER-8 is almost completely meaningless except for its references to the Amblin films of the 80s. His only move seems to be to remind you of something you already like and then shuffle around a few surface details in a way which is unexpected but also doesn’t really add anything meaningful but does serve to clutter up the plot and ensure that it fails to tell a simple, straightforward story.

    I must admit that the trailer for AWAKENS looks good, but shit, it’s nowhere near as good as the trailer for PHANTOM MENACE. That Williams theme song will never lose its magic for me, but there’s just no getting around that these are stories which are only worth telling because there’s money at stake, and even if there WERE stories to be told about the STAR WARS universe worth telling, Abrams certainly isn’t the guy to think them up.

  232. Oh, and hiring Trevorrow for the final film just shows you exactly where their priorities are. They saw the returns on JW and it was a done deal. Nevermind that the film is a shameful Frankenstein’s monster mess of sexism, unearned nostalgia, lazy cliche and expensive visual effects shaken up in a bucket and poured out at random directly onto celluloid — it made money, so this guy must have the golden touch.

  233. So you guys are saying Abrams peaked with Felicity, because didn’t I hear something about that show was supposed to be pretty good

  234. I think it’s pretty clear by now that Matt Reeves was the real talent on “Felicity,” which I keep hearing from various unspecified sources was a pretty good show.

  235. Mr. Majestyk – people, Star Wars fans or not, just want to watch a good movie, the reason the prequels get so much hate is because they’re shitty movies, if THE FORCE AWAKENS turns out to be a good movie then the majority of people will like it, there may be a minority of super nerds who will nitpick little details that everyone else doesn’t give a shit about, but I can almost guarantee you the reaction is not going to be nearly what the prequels got, I feel like the reaction is going to be at least as good as STAR TREK ’09 (though I would bet far better)

    I think what really tickles my fancy about THE FORCE AWAKENS is it actually fucking LOOKS like Star Wars again, there’s a heavy Ralph McQuarrie influence to the look of everything, Lucas decided to take the prequels in a different, more curvy art style, which is not necessarily a bad thing (the city planet Coruscant looks cool) and makes sense given the prequel context, but now that THE FORCE AWAKENS takes place after JEDI it makes sense to go back in a more Ralph McQuarrie direction and as a big fan of sci fi movies from the late 70’s and early 80’s it’s very exciting to think of a modern blockbuster with that style look.

    I think you guys are a bit too cynical sometimes.

  236. Good stuff, Griff.

  237. No, it’s awesome when all you have to do to be successful is copy stuff. That’s what we all like about movies, how they look like other movies sometimes.

    That’s the point, Griff, is that it’ll look exactly like you want it to look, because that’s J.J.’s job: to mimic stuff you enjoy and sell it back to you. I guess it works, because he’s got people declaring “Finally, this is the real Star Wars” with just some shots of sand. What are they basing that on? Does story and character and tone and emotion mean anything, or can you just match the look and it’s as good as the original? Somehow three movies that came from the same mind as the guy who invented the universe are not legit because he rented a different lighting package, but this one is totally legit because some hired guns copied some cinematography from thirtysomething years ago. Seems pretty shallow to me but okay. People have different priorities.

    Maybe people just see what they want to see. You see the same old shit, you say “Cool, I like that shit.” I see it, I think “How dumb do you think I am?”

    But you know what they say: always in motion is the future. If it’s a good movie, I’ll say so. I was FURY ROaD’s most vocal sceptic but I couldn’t front on the end product. Miller brought it. So if J.J. brings it, I’ll eat my words and praise jeebus that I don’t have to hate Star Wars anymore. Until then, you can keep calling me cynical and I can keep calling you gullible.

  238. More succincter: “Thank God they got rid of that George Lucas so we can get a director whose work looks more like George Lucas.” People prefer the perfect simulacrum to the flawed genuine article.

  239. I heard FELICITY was pretty good, though.

  240. There’s a difference between copying something and taking influence, it takes a lot of influence from Ralph McQuarrie, as it should, both because it’s fucking Star Wars and it takes place after Jedi, so why wouldn’t things still resemble the way they looked in the original trilogy? the prequels took place before meaning things could look very different and that’s fine, I even said Lucas going in a different visual direction “is not necessarily a bad thing”, there was plenty of cool looking shit in the prequels, the visuals were the least of the trilogy’s problem, in fact they were really the only good thing.

    But for me personally, a return to the Ralph McQuarrie look is more up my alley, I’m not saying the movie will be good solely because of the visuals, but the fact that’s the direction they’re taking it in says to me they have the right idea and makes me excited.

    I mean seriously dude, what would you want the film to look like? Just a bunch of generic, boring shit that looks nothing at all like Star Wars? Would that be better because hey, at least the filmmakers are not copying anything? I’ll take stuff like the New Order stormtroopers, who don’t look exactly the same but still look recognizably as part of the same world as the original trilogy.

  241. –RBatty, that is the most succinct review of JW I have yet heard: alternately frustratingly stupid and gloriously stupid.

  242. Abram’s films all belong in that class of movie for which the following thought experiment is revealing: if every copy of [insert film name] disappeared from the face of the Earth tomorrow, how long would it take for anyone to notice?

    I like the idea because it tests emotional resilience, not just competence. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN was fairly well done and definitely well acted, but if all the copies of that film disappeared tomorrow it might be a year or two before anyone in the world noticed. STAR WARS being the biggest franchise of all time, this will be the greatest possible test of Abram’s special powers.

  243. What would I like the new Star Wars to look like? A blank screen. I don’t want think this era of Hollywood can be trusted with it at all. George could do whatever he wanted with it, run it into the ground for all I care, because it’s his baby and I respect that. These clowns…no. Go make some cartoons and video games. Sell some toys. But movies? Canon? They’re not ready.

    This isn’t just an aesthetic or creative disagreement I got going here. It’s the principle of the thing. There’s principalities in this. They got all these other franchises to play rough and loose with until they break and nobody wants to play with them anymore. I wish they’d just let this one stay in its original packaging.

  244. But that’s silly, there’s been shitloads of Star Wars books, video games, comics, cartoons all made without Lucas direct involvement and some of them are quite good (the video game Knights of The Old Republic being a perfect example), so why not MOVIES for a change?

    The thing about the Star Wars universe is you can tell any kind of story in it, it’s not hamstrung by the story like TERMINATOR, there’s tons of potential for filmmakers to make all kinds of movies, if you’re gonna have a long going franchise of films Star Wars is perfect for it, so I don’t see why you’re assuming they’re gonna “run it into the ground” from day one.

    And frankly, I think you give Lucas too much credit, he’s a good idea guy, but not every idea he comes up with is a good one, the original trilogy is what it is not solely because of Lucas but because of all the collaborators he worked with, everyone from John Williams to Ben Burtt to Richard Chew to Lawrence Kasdan all at a crucial hand in making them good, unlike the prequels where Lucas was the main one calling the shots, surrounded by yes men and that’s how we wound up with things like Jar Jar Binks.

    George Lucas set up this amazing sandbox, why not let other filmmakers play in it?

  245. Also, I want to be clear that I have a lot of respect for George Lucas, I’m not a total Lucas hater, but a fact is a fact and the fact is not every idea that he came up with is a good one, he originally wanted Han Solo to be an alien and stuff like that, like I said he’s a great idea guy, but ideas can only take you so far.

  246. The Original Paul

    August 17th, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Griff – you don’t need to apologise. Enough comparisons have been made between the prequels and the original SW trilogy, and how they were made and directed specifically, to show that you’re right. Lucas had a singular vision but he also had a helluva lot of help to make it as resonant as it was. When he didn’t have that help, you got the prequels, which at the very least weren’t as well-received as the original trilogy (whatever you think of them originally, a lot of people had a lot of problems with them).

    Philosophically, my problem with the prequels (not my main problem – to misquote Vern I think there’s so much wrong with those films that this particular thing wouldn’t even make top ten – but philosophically) is that it’s telling us a story that we already know. They had thousands of years of potential lore to fill out, but what they decided to go with is the story of what happens to Anakin Skywalker. We kinda know the ending of that one! Abrams has again gone with a story from the same time period, and what worries me (apart from every reservation I have about Abrams, which I gather I’m not alone in) is that it seems easy for this to be the kind of thing that allows him to not take risks. The best thing I think he’s done recently was SUPER 8, and I think this is absolutely because it was something outside of his comfort zone. It was far from flawless but it still felt like it had more heart and less marketing awareness put into it. That’s what I want to see more of from Abrams. And I’m doubtful about this one. I’m really doubtful.

    Having said that… I hope I’m wrong. I hope this turns out to be the film that shows that Abrams has more in him than something as generic and soulless as MI:3 or latter-season LOST. And if the right people say it’s good, I will go and see it. There’s a difference between going in with lowered expectations and damning the thing before it even comes out. I just don’t want to feel like I got “conned” yet again.

  247. Well,as cynical as some of you guys are, you at least articulate your Abrahams hatred in an intelligent manner. And you did not even mention the word “lens flare” once. The ogres of the Internet could only hope to learn a few other words.

    I have tried to leave negativity on the porch. I have also been angry in my ways once. A while back I travelled to China, spent a few months in the Shaolin Monastary as a grasshopper, sweeping floors, enjoying a simple worldly life to get away from all the Internet hate that have poisoned so many minds. I was took in by a wise, blind master who saw potential in me. He taught me to look at life in a whole new way. One afternoon we were sitting underneath the plum tree discussing philosophical matters in a deep and profound way. I was so happy. Then master asked me about the world outside the temple and the thing we called Internet. And I was compelled to shake my head in despair and said “Master, they have yet to learn the discipline of seeing things in the light of good. For instance BATMAN & ROBIN somehow get them angry, even though the film is not that bad. It´s actually kind of funny”. Something changed inside the once softspokened, mild-mannered old man and ha started to violently hit me with his walking stick, calling out all the brethren from the temple. They chased me out and threatened to “beat the living s**t out of me if I ever returned” and referred to me as a “Schumacher-loving c**t”

    The moral of the story is…I actually don´t know. Just don´t talk to the wrong people about the worng things.

  248. It was a mercy beating Shoot. Take it like a man. Learn the lesson. Order will be restored in the universe.

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