I actually only read your TLJ analysis article earlier today (for anyone else interested: https://medium.com/@timothymably/the-last-jedi-is-poor-storytelling-d22e45427278) after finding it in your TFA/TLJ 48min edit thread. It is very well written and I couldn’t fault it in any way, it also gave me some new perspectives on why I just simply can’t stand the movie (not that I needed any more reasons but it’s interesting to get a better understanding of why I was so at odds with many elements of the story and characters).
I think ultimately Rian would have done a fine job directing the movie but he should never have been allowed to write it and the “trilogy” needed to actually be planned out as a proper trilogy with the big picture of it fitting within and respecting an existing saga always kept front and centre.
Logically I then followed up with reading your “Reimaginging The Last Jedi” article linked in here and I have to say that I am genuinely impressed with your alternate take on the story and how it vastly improves the characters in comparison to the actual movie. Reading your article, I could very much imagine myself watching the movie you describe and actually totally enjoying and buying into it all. There is a logical continuation of what happens in TFA while also making some shocking and properly subversive reveals that are consequential to the story at hand, rather than just for cheap comedic or “gotcha” moments.
More importantly, we learn more about what makes the characters, learning their past and what drives their motivations, emotionally investing us in their struggle. There is real progression and meaning behind events, we understand what the stakes are and root for our heroes to overcome the odds but are left at the end wondering how it will all play out in the final installment, as a middle installment should leave you feeling.
I do have to preface this part with the fact that I highly doubt any edit is ever going to manage to fix this movie for me (there’s just too much wrong with it) but all the same, your vision that you are striving for with this edit sounds extremely interesting and I think you have a very solid understanding of what was actually required to make this movie work for everyone or at least the vast majority (instead of just half the audience as Rian believes is the mark of his ideal movie) and I really hope you can pull off at least what you yourself hope to achieve with it.
So in saying that, I wish you all the best with your edit 😃
Thank you so much, Val! I appreciate your kind words. I am happy it connected with you. Two films into this trilogy, characters feel relatively shallow and one-dimensional. I don’t think that’s necessarily due to the Disney branding of the franchise, or even the fault of actors. I think it’s in the writing. We haven’t had very much story in regards to character motivations, and it leads to stories feeling hollow. The big challenge when I wrote the article “reimagining” the film was just that- what can motivate these characters and how can that make the story engaging? Ultimately, it’s tricky. It’s hard to make a story interwoven between characters and each of their different backstories. So far in the current films in regards to motivations, we are told that Rey has overcome issues of abandonment and has found a new family in the Resistance, and that Kylo Ren wants to tear down the old ways to forge his own path. On the surface, those both work. But, in execution, I think they fall flat.
I hope our vision when it’s fully realized in storyboards can win you over! I aim to surprise even the most skeptical of fans. 😃 We’ll let you know when it’s out!