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Random Star Wars Thoughts

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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To me, Star Wars is basically the old trilogy plus TIE fighter and Battlefront for PC (plus Empire at War and Rebellion, if I'm generous). I can't take anyone seriously who consideres it more than sometimes highly entertaining trash.

I liked that it is a highly expansive fictional universe. As i grew older I realized that the world is just as expansive, but it still holds some place in my heart. Rise of Skywalker was shit though. I think I'd probably put that second half beneath the prequels.

I guess you could argue that the byproducts of IP shouldn't hold a place in my heart, but I live in America in the 21st century. Even politics is about brands as much as anything else.

I mean, I live in a country where Robert Mueller and Dr. Fauci are sex symbols just because they're public figures who don't act like clowns. What can I say? I'm a product of my culture.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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BWEEEEEEEEEEOOOO

 

Lark

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Does anyone remember off hand the name of the order of martial arts monks whose self-mastery and martial artistry meant they could tap into the force despite not being Jedis?

I havent got my Jedi handbook to hand and wish I could remember this stuff.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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I have sort of a man crush on Matt Christman because I'm in awe of his historical, political, and cultural analyses, but I'm more with the other guy here.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Other things I liked about Star Wars:

The Kurosawa-influenced (not that I knew about that as a kid) of the Jedi as reluctant warriors. I think we're meant to see the involvement of the Jedi in the Clone Wars as a massive failure of the order (undoubtedly, that could have been handled better). They can kick ass, but only do so as a last resort. Yojimbo and Sanjuro are really good examples of this ethic.

I also like that you have somewhat monstrous-looking creatures like Ackbar among the good guys. In this universe you can be friends with a fish-guy and that's cool.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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There J.J.

Was that so fucking hard?
 

Totenkindly

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I decided to push through since everyone is talking about Season 2 now -- I was just busy with other stuff (I have a few other series to catch up on too, like ST-D).

I have mixed feelings about the show in general. I find it worth watching since the episodes are fairly short and they are fun. Each seems to be a mix of some decent things and some "eh, Buck Rogers, w/ Gil Gerard" style tone.

Episode 2 was probably the most frustrating; the ice spider sequences were cool, but the insinuation that all of the frog mom's eggs were actual babies coupled with The Child's view on them, was actually a little disturbing and threw off the tone for me. (Like, it wasn't actually funny, it was rather mortifying.)

Just finished episode 4 and again it is a mix of the silly SW stuff combined with some actual decent action sequences (the escape sequence in particular). Yet we have aliens with hands that are like giant paws and pretty much non-functional in terms of every-day use, or bases that can be blown up when certain controls are manipulated in 15 seconds even without any instructions and or a way to reset (positioned in an OSHA affront over a nasty drop for no reason, when any rational person would have put them on the accessible side), or convenient messages that cue to the exact spot desired despite the console being destroyed, or a Mandalorian with plate armor everywhere but his boots (because he makes no sound when running on metal surfaces -- which is a huge problem in D&D but the show just decides to ignore it), or stormtroopers who might as well not wear armor at all aside from identifying what side they are on because it's just PVC plastic anyway that never blocks a single laser blaster shot when hit, or a bunch of other cheesy stuff...

The acting ranges from decent to average (honestly, Gina Carano never learned how to really deliver a line yet, she's barely adequate.. but she can still throw people around without a problem, past her prime, so I guess that is good?). And the banter with Fish Guy Accountant should leave him shitting his pants, but he just manages witty banter without responding realistically from a dramatic POV...

All of which is just to say that you should not expect any true dramatic moments; so far this really is more of the surface level, casual, scifi western buddy show that doesn't try to be more than what it is. It does do that decently, which again is why I throw in the Buck Rogers reference.... get a likable hero with a few likable sidekicks who go on weekly adventures together, and keep the banter light and generally non-serious, like cosplay in space. It's fun casual watching but never really "touches" me in the heart or the soul.

But where I really noticed the improvements this season so far involve the action sequences. They've taken them more seriously as set pieces and they're fairly well-constructed and a bit more nerve-wracking. IOW, the action sequences are more dramatic than the dialogue/character moments so far.

I also like the occasion twist thrown into the script, even if not yet dealt with -- like, the thought that the Mandalorian is not actually part of the mainstream mando culture, he's considered to be part of a zealous cult. I hope they follow up on that thought later.

---

I guess my other thought is, what exactly is a Star Wars film? This really came to a head in the Sequel Trilogy, with Lucas off the projects; and I don't think it was ever resolved. There was a fairly decent first installment which unfortunately was very derivative of the Original Trilogy, then a second film that made a name for itself with a few large set-piece moments but otherwise seemed intent on breaking the SW formula completely and being kind of locked-in-a-box or tangential, and then a third film steeped in cliches of what boomer fans think a SW movie is, disconnected from the first two films in any substantial well, and just being a shit-show of a film in general, pretty much killing the viability of that story line, "let us never speak of this again" kind of thing.

is The Mandalorian back on the tracks of the general embrace of what a SW property is? At least it is more coherent, although still finding its way, tone-wise. I wish there was a more serious property in the pantheon (I liked the stakes better in Rogue One, that film actually makes me feel things every tie I watch it), but The Mandalorian is fun to watch the first time through even if I don't see myself rewatching the episodes any tie soon.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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that er confuis The Mandalorian back on the tracks of the general embrace of what a SW property is? At least it is more coherent, although still finding its way, tone-wise. I wish there was a more serious property in the pantheon (I liked the stakes better in Rogue One, that film actually makes me feel things every tie I watch it), but The Mandalorian is fun to watch the first time through even if I don't see myself rewatching the episodes any tie soon.

I think so. I feel more of a sense of adventure and it actually had a sense of idealism in that it's possible to make things better (which, you know, was part of way the OT was popular because it came on the tail end of a lot of movies that were full of what Carter called "malaise". I don't know how many 70s movies I've seen just have the protagonist die at the end). The ST had kind of a cynical "the same shit will always happen" undercurrent to it which I think wasn't even intentional and just the result of incompetence coupled with a desire to push nostalgia buttons overriding all other concerns. IMO, TLJ leans into the fact that it's actually kind of bleak, and then out of it produces something that is actually kind of hopeful. I don't think when they made TFA and ROS they actually really thought that much about the implications of getting rid of the Republic or having Kylo Ren get redeemed and then dying soon after in a rather confusing and pointless way without contributing much. They did the former just because they thought "hey, wouldn't it be cool if the rebels were underdogs again" and the latter because "hey remember how in ROTJ vader turned good, we should do that again."

It also helps that they show much more imagination in depicting what a post-Palpatine galaxy would look like.

But yes, there are a lot of amazing, compelling action scenes this season. The goofiness you mentioned doesn't bother me, it's part of the universe; in the first movie they put tractor beam controls on a narrow ledge over a bottomless pit for some reason.
 

Totenkindly

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I think so. I feel more of a sense of adventure and it actually had a sense of idealism in that it's possible to make things better (which, you know, was part of way the OT was popular because it came on the tail end of a lot of movies that were full of what Carter called "malaise". I don't know how many 70s movies I've seen just have the protagonist die at the end). The ST had kind of a cynical "the same shit will always happen" undercurrent to it which I think wasn't even intentional and just the result of incompetence coupled with a desire to push nostalgia buttons overriding all other concerns. IMO, TLJ leans into the fact tat it's actually kind of bleak, and then out of it produces something that is actually kind of hopeful. I don't think when they made TFA and ROS they actually really thought that much about the implications of getting rid of the Republic or having Kylo Ren get redeemed and then dying soon after in a rather confusing and pointless way without contributing much. They did the former just because they thought "hey, wouldn't it be cool if the rebels were underdogs again" and the latter because "hey remember how in ROTJ vader turned good, we should do that again."

I agree that they didn't really explain or bother with showing how we got from X to Y in terms of the universe.

Alongside with the films never properly implementing an idea of how an organization can run an entirely cluster of galaxies (like, how does that work? What are the logistics? How do you control and stay on top of all those various worlds and all those relationships?) I was never really happy with them blowing up the Death star and killing the Emperor in RotJ and then celebrating as if suddenly everything was gonna be hunky-dory. Like, okay, you just blew up the leader of the Empire, but won't someone else just take over? And the infrastructure is still there? And if you rip off the infrastructure, aren't you just going back to the lawless days where a bunch of Alpha Dog types will now basically try to control what things they can, so you lose all the benefits of intergalactic alliances and trade, so this is going to be felt (potentially) down to the individual constituents at least for things they cannot acquire on their own planet, and so on. Pirates will abound, no one will know who is responsible for policing what, and so on.

ANYWAY.... Yeah. At least the Mandalorian is showing some of the breakdown in these things, and smaller factions trying to pick up and wield individual pieces.

But yes, there are a lot of amazing, compelling action scenes this season. The goofiness you mentioned doesn't bother me, it's part of the universe; in the first movie they put tractor beam controls on a narrow ledge over a bottomless pit for some reason.

Yeah, exactly, which they mirror in Episode 4 or something. Like, it makes no sense -- I wish they'd jettison more of that stuff.

I need an ID card and passcode to get into my own personal work laptop. You'd think they'd have multiple levels of entry on something that could blow up an entire freaking facility. Building it in a way also that you might just be typing and slip and plummet to your death in lava seems like needless complication.

Anyway ... yeah, I am really pleased with the action sequences as the season progresses. The had Robert Rodriguez direct Episode 6, and he knows how to handle action -- he's done it enough. (Alita: Battle Angel sucked, but mainly because of the terrible terrible script.) But damn, stormtroopers just look worse and worse, don't they? They have crappy plastic armor that doesn't protect anything, and they just die like ants being stomped on regularly.

To be honest, too, this latest bits have felt like D&D/RPG adventures my group goes on, in how they play out. I did love the storming of the ancient temple hill as part of that concept, it would just be like something that plays out in our group.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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I need an ID card and passcode to get into my own personal work laptop. You'd think they'd have multiple levels of entry on something that could blow up an entire freaking facility. Building it in a way also that you might just be typing and slip and plummet to your death in lava seems like needless complication.
.
Hee hee, can't wait to here your thoughts on Episode 7.
 

Totenkindly

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Hee hee, can't wait to here your thoughts on Episode 7.

Okay, so it scans their face -- but comparing it to WHAT exactly? Like, is it looking for a hit to provide access, or just scanning the "criminal database" to NOT find a hit and then will let ANYONE in who hasn't been caught doing something illegal? WTF kind of access terminal is this?

Kudos points to Mayfield though, he did a great cover story on that + even threw in a comment about "TPS reports." I burst out laughing and missed the next line of dialogue.

Even funnier, I just read the Wiki about TPS reports just for kicks and someone already added the mention on the Mandolorian to the page, within a week after it aired I guess!
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Okay, so it scans their face -- but comparing it to WHAT exactly? Like, is it looking for a hit to provide access, or just scanning the "criminal database" to NOT find a hit and then will let ANYONE in who hasn't been caught doing something illegal? WTF kind of access terminal is this?

Kudos points to Mayfield though, he did a great cover story on that + even threw in a comment about "TPS reports." I burst out laughing and missed the next line of dialogue.

Yes, this is exactly what I thought of when you mentioned security systems. I think it's the latter.

 

Totenkindly

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Yes, this is exactly what I thought of when you mentioned security systems. I think it's the latter.


I mean, if that access allows him to determine the location of a Moff's starship... that isn't cool, man. Someone deserves to get thrown down a vacuum shaft for that!

I like that too -- I was shocked when they actually let us see Pascal's face, I thought they'd just shoot him from behind. Now he's gonna have to kill Mayfield out of honor, after this heist is done.
 

Totenkindly

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Man, I love that episode -- so ballsy. I was like, "Why is Mayfield pushing this? Is he crazy?"

And then he just took it all to the natural conclusion. It's like in one of your RPG games where you don't want to do something that might get you killed but you know your character would do it regardless. Here, TV shows usually don't have enough balls to follow through on this stuff. I am so happy this show is finding some guts, it's like they were just getting to critical mass and now the plot is writing itself. I have shouted "Holy shit!" at the screen 3-4x during this episode!

Only the finale to go!
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Man, I love that episode -- so ballsy. I was like, "Why is Mayfield pushing this? Is he crazy?"

And then he just took it all to the natural conclusion. It's like in one of your RPG games where you don't want to do something that might get you killed but you know your character would do it regardless. Here, TV shows usually don't have enough balls to follow through on this stuff. I am so happy this show is finding some guts, it's like they were just getting to critical mass and now the plot is writing itself. I have shouted "Holy shit!" at the screen 3-4x during this episode!

Only the finale to go!

I think this might have been my favorite episode of the series.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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That was a pretty douchey thing to say. I still maintain that Luke's appearance in the Rise of Skywalker is far worse, though... he seems to forget about the last act of TLJ entirely, and without that, his character comes off far worse. It was meant to "correct" the past movie, but it's so badly done that it gives the impression that he never changed his mind before he died, which makes the character look a lot worse than he did in the other movie. "I'm not going to make a peep about my heroic sacrifice (which didn't appear to accomplish anything for this movie), but I'll just let you know that you have to treat the magic Skywalker blade with respect."

Actually, it's ignoring the end of ROTJ, too, where Luke treats a Jedi's weapon with about the same amount of respect. Really the only time in any of the films before we've ever heard about a Jedi's weapon demanding some sort of special respect is from Obi-Wan in the prequels, who is meant to be a flawed teacher.

That might actually be the worst Star Wars scene of all time, although the "Martha" moment earlier is pretty bad. The part after with Ford is pretty good, though, and is one of the things that almost salvages how utterly awful Ben's character arc in that movie is. If you're going to have him redeemed, AT LEAST HAVE HIM DO SOMETHING. Yeah, Finn and Poe got shafted, but it's not like what they gave Rey and Ben wasn't shit, either. So... the person who sought belonging is supposed to find contentment by living as a hermit in the desert like she was before just because she took on a different last name? It doesn't make any sense for her going there if she wasn't going to live there. Why would she return there just to bury those two lightsabers?

The second half of that movie is so bad I actually do want them to retcon the entire ST now.
 
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