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NeverarGreat

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11-Sep-2012
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Post
#1069561
Topic
The Force Awakens: Official Review Thread - ** SPOILERS **
Time

Colin_1977 said:

I found TFA to be an almost excessively ‘meta’ denunciation of the PT era cinematic franchise beholden to far too many of the cliches and painful trappings of modern blockbusters…including elements of the Prequels. If there’s any dispute, the first line of dialogue in the film, from Lor San Tekka, was ‘this will begin to make things right. I’ve seen too much despair’.

Phasma was entirely unnecessary to the plot, serving purely as a Boba Fett surrogate-slash-merchandising tie-in. Gwendoline Christie, who portrays such a unique and strong warrior, Brienne of Tarth, in ‘Game of Thrones’, deserved far better than this silliness. BB-8, similarly, was another aesthetic ‘selling point’ to orient a younger audience. BB-8 was executed pretty well, in all fairness, but the design and its off-putting designation/name were more oriented for a Pixar release than Star Wars.

The film arduously inserted mystery and myth into the narrative (likely in reaction to the overly-explained and expository nature of the Prequels). However, ‘The Force Awakens’ sense of mystery and unconnected dots led to an often vapid narrative. Rey’s untold parentage and lack of identity were as troubling as they were needless. We were subject to a trilogy of movies in which the origins of the protagonist were also shrouded in unresolved mystery and an original set of films which turned its protagonist’s sense of identity on its head three times (father as space navigator, then noble Jedi Knight who fell in combat against the antagonist, then the very villain himself). Rey’s parentage, other than that they were likely Jedi based upon her flashback, was simply confused and directionless, rendering her a no-one in the process.

Similarly, TFA’s mythology simply didn’t provide considerable interest, as it was entirely what was presented in the Original Trilogy (e.g., Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, the Force and the Jedi Knights). But it was not without its own original mythology, as we were presented with Luke’s failed attempt at reviving the Jedi, Snoke, Ben Solo’s fall and his ancestry’s impact on his transformation into Kylo Ren, the Knights of Ren, Han and Leia’s separation in the face of their son’s descent into Dark Side extremism, the First Order’s origins from the vestiges of the Empire, the nature of The New Republic and the Resistance, Lor San Tekka and Maz Kanata’s origins and role in galactic affairs, et al.). All of this could have more fully exploited to have created a richer and more rewarding exposition and sense of mythology. Instead, it was ultimately all unfilled spaces and uncrossed 't’s.

Rey’s alleged status as an almost infallible ‘Mary Sue’ should also be mentioned. While many of her abilities were indeed relative sufficiently explained by her rough and self-sufficient way of life on Jakku (including staff combat, some modicum of piloting skills, etc.), her extraordinary and innate prowess often recalled Anakin’s prodigious excess throughout the Prequels (particularly ‘The Phantom Menace’). Her use of The Force, like Anakin’s, was innate rather than, like Luke’s in the original Star Wars, learnt and guided by instruction.

As for other modern cinematic trappings and cringe-worthy adaptations thereof, the movie was inundated with Marvel Cinematic Universe-styled witless humour. This was not Star Wars-signature humour as illustrated by Leia and Han’s duelling witty barbs or C-3PO and R2-D2’s comic relief (or even the barbs and dated racial and toilet humour of the Prequels). It all proved jarring, although I still enjoyed Boyega’s performance and Han’s ‘that’s not how The Force works’ line, as it further depicted the once Force sceptic rogue’s maturation into a dispenser of knowledge of that very ‘hokey religion’.

On that note, the narrative highlight of the film was Han’s aforementioned transformation and simultaneous regression and rediscovery of his earlier smuggling ways. The Han Solo of ‘The Force Awakens’ wasn’t the uncannily orderly, institutional and respectable figure of ‘Return of the Jedi’ or the old EU (‘Legends’) works set after it. This was a complex and nuanced character who both grew and yet didn’t change, and lost and gained. His very namesake, however, saw the most crucial character development in our old scruffy-looking Nerf Herder. Han ‘Solo’ was now a man with a family…and torn asunder by its collapse. Han indeed sacrificed himself in death, and in a way both suiting and advancing to his character, by defying the odds and any logic in boldly confronting his mass-murdering, hateful son. In Han’s most desperate, touching, and cocky, move, he died.

Kylo Ren also played on the expectations of a Star Wars villain in often masterful ways. His is a vulnerable ‘menace’ who hides behind a mask he doesn’t need to advance his newfound identity. His Force powers are unorthodox and unexpected. Otherwise, Kylo is vulnerable, weak, and conflicted. He is also a ‘meta’ figure, in that he is a parallel for the Westerner who zealously and inexplicably adopts militant Jihadism. His extreme rage is authentic and unpredictable, as opposed to Anakin’s hackneyed ‘anger’.

Leia was soundly underutilised, as were C-3PO and R2-D2. Once more, Chewbacca was not given his due from Leia, who did not greet him particularly warmly upon his return with Rey. It is hoped that they filmed scenes between the two characters for ‘The Last Jedi’, as there is now no chance for that in future after Carrie’s untimely demise.

Luke Skywalker and his family’s iconic lightsaber served as an archetype and plot device. Honestly, this was pretty novel…and, once more, ‘meta’ (embodying the reclaiming of the ‘old’ Star Wars).

In conclusion, ‘The Force Awakens’ was a severely challenged film, but one which nonetheless offered critical character and narrative developments and, in the case of Han, conclusion. At long last, Star Wars boasts skillful acting in all areas and respectability. Its dependence on the core narrative of the original Star Wars film, setting the tone for the new, revitalized franchise, and unfortunate immersion into some of the modern industry’s worst elements, will require its sequel to truly advance the new characters and their story to something of greater originality and interest.

I agree with much of this.

As for Phasma’s character, wouldn’t it have been great if she were the one to fight Finn at Maz’s castle instead of TR-8R? She was on the set and everything!
Phantasmagorical

Post
#1069551
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

Thanks for the suggestions!

I forgot to mention that for this mockup I have only extracted the center channel of audio, so the audio transitions are very preliminary and for the final I would probably use the score to rebuild the transitions.

I still have some rather ambitious plans for adding Force visions to the interrogations, so that aspect will probably change. The shot of Kylo before Rey wakes up wasn’t intended as anything more than establishing him in the darkened room.

Post
#1069508
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

New mockup.

https://vimeo.com/214598035
Password: learning

One problem with this section of the film was how easily Rey learned the Jedi mind trick, so I’ve attempted to expand that section into two scenes. To do this, it became necessary to split the interrogation into two scenes as well, which I’m okay with since the interrogation was rather too long. It also gave me a chance to experiment with different lighting situations at different times.

The first session includes a few extra shots of Kylo in the darkness watching Rey, which give the scene a more creepy ‘creature in a mask’ vibe and contrasts with helmetless Kylo later on. The placement of the ‘forgive me’ scene implies that Rey is the cause of Kylo’s questioning, and it would be good to have him reference her to that effect. The second session shows a more aggressive form of interrogation, with a more combative Rey who is beginning to use her power.

Post
#1069249
Topic
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Prolonged Reveal)
Time

bromeo said:

Neverar and/or Ridley: do you guys have any plans to use DigMod’s (imo perfect) Rathtar scene in your edits?

I do plan to cut Finn’s capture by the Rathtar in much the same way as Digmod, as well as Bala-Tik’s dialogue about the droid and fugitives.

However, (cue mysterious music) I have other plans for Finn’s capture. 😉

Post
#1069071
Topic
Politics 2: Electric Boogaloo
Time

PTOTST in that order said:

TV’s Frink said:

This Trump tweet made me laugh.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/856172056932700164?ref_src=twsrc^google|twcamp^serp|twgr^tweet

Eventually, but at a later date so we can get started early, Mexico will be paying, in some form, for the badly needed border wall.

God bless Donald Trump.
I couldn’t believe it when he won.
My first time voting and I pick the winner!
Just awesome.

You do realize that voting is not the same as betting on horse races, don’t you?

Post
#1068669
Topic
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Prolonged Reveal)
Time

I appreciate the ambition of this edit. Many of the cuts, especially in the first half, really work for me. I really like the removal of Finn firing on the Stormtroopers in the hangar, but I would have liked some of his levity to have remained in other places.

I like what you’re going for with the Kylo reveal, but there’s not enough footage of helmeted Kylo to make the Interrogation scene believable. The same with Han and Leia’s discussion about their son. I appreciate that Leia doesn’t talk about Snoke anymore (It was one of the most cringeworthy lines in the movie for me), but I don’t think the reveal can be pushed back any farther than The Abduction.

The ending also feels too abrupt. I don’t know how much of it is my expectation having watched the movie, but it just feels incomplete without the island.

All in all though, I’m very impressed by this edit even if I feel that it didn’t accomplish all of its (lofty) goals.

Post
#1068592
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

Here’s a mockup of the Snoke scene and the battle leading up to it:
https://vimeo.com/214272131
Password: rough

I wanted to test the idea that Kylo would abandon the search for the droid even without knowing about the impending Resistance attack. Results are mixed. On the one hand, I like that the First Order began their retreat before the Resistance attacked, which shows that it wasn’t because of the strength of the Resistance but the decision of Kylo. On the other hand, I wish there were more shots of the First Order retreating. The extra Poe shots don’t work either.

This post has been edited.

Post
#1068574
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

I am thinking about deleting Bala-Tik’s dialogue about the droid entirely, and shifting the first Snoke scene to just after the Maz Castle battle.

This creates quite a few new meanings and interpretations.

First, the gangs don’t know about the droid, since that information would probably be secret to all but the First Order’s own spies. The Maz Castle spy is the first and only tip-off to the First Order about BB-8.

Second, the villains don’t make a pit stop at the Starkiller while they are supposedly tracking the Falcon. This keeps the change of location very simple, and visually introduces the Starkiller only when it becomes important to the 3rd act. If the deleted Leia scene happens directly after this, it would place strong emphasis on the Republic going into the final act of the film.

Third, it keeps Kylo’s identity a secret until Han’s reveal after the battle, and the Snoke scene becomes a follow-up to and confirmation of the reveal.

Fourth, it makes Snoke seem a bit more in control as he has presumably heard about and considered Kylo’s decision to take the girl instead of the droid. The later grumbling about the droid after the interrogation scene would be cut, as well as Hux’s finger-pointing. In this scene Hux even tries to take responsibility for the bungle, which gets shouted down. Oddly, Snoke doesn’t seem angry with Kylo for abandoning the droid, which leads me to…

Fifth, Snoke seems very concerned about the effect of Han Solo on Kylo Ren, and thinks that it may be too much of a test for him. One interpretation of this is that Snoke thinks that Kylo avoided gaining the droid to avoid facing his father, or even that Kylo was intentionally helping Han and the Resistance by giving up the droid. This is more than a hint that Kylo will be redeemed in the 3rd act, making his eventual decision all the more cruel. (It may be worth removing the lines about needing reinforcements at the battle in order to make his decision that much more questionable)

Sixth, and most importantly for Rey, the awakening that Snoke speaks of happens after Rey’s ‘call to adventure’ Force vision, leaving no doubt as to the source of the awakening.

Post
#1068228
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

DigMod said:

Remeber though, the ambiguity of the Force is why we all love the Original Trilogy. I just assume that she learned it when she probed Ren’s mind. I also assume she was driven by the dark side, or heard Vader’s voice about giving into hatred to destroy Ren. I tried the overdub and really liked it, but it was too on the nose.
I look at it as she learned on the job. The very first force user learned the same way. If she is who I think she may be, it would make perfect sense.

In short, I think saying or showing too much is not the way to go.

Just my 2¢

I would agree with this except that she uses the same type of line delivery that Obi-wan and Luke use in the OT when performing the Jedi Mind Trick™. In an ideal world she would have picked up this exact ability from Kylo and used it. However, if the dark Force vision works, it may change the feeling of the scene enough that it’s no longer an issue.

As for the Vader helmet on the base, I would be surprised if it ever made an appearance outside of this film, except perhaps as a background decoration in Kylo’s lair.

This post has been edited.

Post
#1068160
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

She has just invaded the mind of Kylo, and he knows how to get information from people. Perhaps if we heard his voice when she’s thinking about what to do: ‘I can take whatever I want’.

Also, I’ve been thinking about how to repurpose Kylo viewing the Starkiller beam, and the interrogation scene may be a good place. Since it’s only canon to show the personal visions of the main character, Rey would have to be the one viewing them. So to do this, Kylo’s prayer before the interrogation could cut right after ‘I will let nothing stand in our way’. Then, as the tables turn and Rey gains the upper hand in the interrogation, she sees the Starkiller shots and the Vader mask overlaid with the missing ‘grandfather’ dialogue. This would serve as a revelation to both Rey and the audience at the same time, which can only be a good thing for the story.

This post has been edited.

Post
#1068150
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

If she had heard of the Jedi mind trick somewhere, this scene would work well. It’s just that we don’t know what she does and does not know about the Jedi. I’ll think about this some more.

Post
#1068091
Topic
Episode VIII Discussion *SPOILER THREAD*
Time

I know someone here posted an image from the twitter feed of the Last Jedi trailer composer, but I can’t find that anywhere. Does anyone know who composed that music?

Post
#1068075
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

Sir Ridley said:

NeverarGreat said:

It may be possible by using the end of the shot at the end of the film where the Falcon jumps out of the Resistance system, and then there are two possible shots of it falling out of lightspeed, both requiring the removal of a planet.

Okay, that should be possible. I don’t really see the need for the addition though. Would it really make sense to put the ship into lightspeed at that time? They just escaped, and Rey leaves the cockpit to meet up with Finn (I don’t think leaving the controls and just lightspeeding blindly is a good idea) and they haven’t even decided where to go yet. And then they would leave lightspeed without being at the controls, is that even possible? Or does the ship leave lightspeed because of the gas leak?

She does mention at the start of the repair scene that it’s the motivator, which I would assume is the hyperdrive motivator. She then says that if the ‘propulsion tank’ overflows it will flood them with gas. So the ship drops out of Hyperspace because of the sudden leak. Han also leaves the console while at lightspeed, so once you have a course and jump I expect there’s not much risk, at least with a good ship. It’s also established that Rey is no slouch when it comes to the hyperdrive of this particular ship.

It’s a bit of a stretch to think that they would jump without a clear destination, but it’s also a stretch to think that they celebrated before getting out of the system, and then just hung out near Jakku repairing the ship before being found by Han Solo, who was found by two gangs, and none of this appeared on the Finalizer’s radar.

I found a potential source for the Falcon going to lightspeed. Recall that I cut the Falcon’s jump with my Starkiller destruction re-foley, so I could merge that with the end of the escape from Jakku shot:
http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/207415
It would require some blurring and engine glow to the first shot, but it might work.

This post has been edited.

Post
#1068059
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

RogueLeader said:

DominicCobb said:

Yeah I feel like that’s the one I’m sort of leaning towards but it’s hard to know how well it’d work without actually seeing it.

I went ahead and made a rough version where his counsel with Vader is in between Han & Leia’s talk and Rey’s interrogation. Didn’t put the entirety of those two scenes in the video, just enough to get the gist. I also went ahead and put the two Maz scenes back together where the Kylo scene originally was just to see if the transition would work without it in between them. Like I said, it’s rough, but maybe it’ll help you guys decide if this direction is worth pursuing.

https://vimeo.com/213984598

I don’t think we need the establishing shot of the Finalizer for this cut, since we can assume that Kylo’s prayer happens on Starkiller Base. The TIE mountain shot could preface both scenes, linking them more closely together.

I think a change of music would help the Maz castle scene.

Post
#1068057
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

Sir Ridley said:

Nice initiative! 😃 I like most of your ideas, and as you know I’d like to use some of them for my edit which is also based on Restructured. I’ll make my own thread eventually.

I have a few questions and thoughts.

"Insert shot of the Falcon going to lightspeed …"
Is there usable footage for this?

It may be possible by using the end of the shot at the end of the film where the Falcon jumps out of the Resistance system, and then there are two possible shots of it falling out of lightspeed, both requiring the removal of a planet.

"… trim Bala-Tik’s dialogue about the First Order looking for a droid …"
I feel like this is easier said than done. Bala-Tik mentions the FO looking for a droid and two fugitives, which leads to them wanting to search the ship, and then finally saying “kill them, and take the droid”. All of this is connected, so I think you’d have to remove all of this dialogue and cut from “Nowhere left to hide” to the Rathtars attacking, and move Rey opening the Rathtar cage to a slightly earlier point. Not sure this would flow well, and the increasing tension between the gangs and Han would be lost.

This is the one scene where I’m fine with a lot of cuts, since the Rathtars are one of the weakest parts of the film IMO. After ‘Nowhere left to hide’, Rey could open the cages, then cut ‘and take the droid!’. Then keep the initial Rathtar attack, but cut Finn’s improbable capture and rescue. Maybe cut Han’s blasting the door open with the Bowcaster, since it doesn’t make any sense and it closes later in the scene.

"Regrade Maz’s Castle after Rey runs away to look as if it is occurring in late afternoon"
It’s possible, and it makes the sunset shot make slightly more sense. But you’d have to regrade about 10 minutes of footage (until they leave Takodana). Might be worth it though, if it looks good.

I think a few scene-specific regrades would do wonders for the OT look of the film, especially the Falcon scenes and the droids.

“Reincorporate Kylo’s investigation of the Falcon” - Using xxtelecine 7xx’s clip I’ve done some further cropping and editing to make the timecode removal more seamless. Looks good, I could upload a clip later.

And I made a version of the island dream shot, I’ll upload that as well.

I look forward to seeing them!

Post
#1067994
Topic
The Force Awakens - The Starlight Project
Time

I feel like, based on what you said, that the Kylo scene should go as late as possible in order to keep it fresh in the audience’s mind. I like the idea of putting it right before the interrogation scene, so that Rey can call him out on his Vader worship right after his visit to the ‘shrine’. Then, after she throws him for a loop, she escapes and further infuriates him.

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