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The Rise of Skywalker box office results: predictions and expectations — Page 6

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DrDre said:

yotsuya said:

DrDre said:

DominicCobb said:

Omni said:

My last two cents on the “is TFA just SW 2.0?” argument: This video, in which the guy tries to be as unbiased as possible. It’s a good video.

I will say it’s baffling to see people saying that TFA doesn’t have the same plot as SW. The story isn’t exactly the same (even though it’s incredibly similar) but the plot is, pretty much, the very same thing…

I don’t see how it’s baffling that someone would say they aren’t the exact same. I don’t think you’re actually baffled, you know full well they aren’t the same. I don’t understand why these conversations always turn to hyperbole. (Maybe because there’d be nothing to argue about if we were all honest with what the films actually are.)

Honestly, I like TFA, but I would say the plot is highly similar to ANH, with a few elements of TESB and ROTJ thrown in for good measure. The question is not whether it is, or isn’t similar, because it is, and not by accident, but if it is too similar, such that in the combination with the story, characters, and visuals, it ruins the movie for you. It didn’t for me, but I think because of the similarities, it’s lasting impact may be somewhat less, than if it had been more original. I would also say, that if someone were to argue, that they didn’t like TFA, because it was too similar to ANH, that that would not be an unreasonable point of view. I would say, that I can see their point, but the other elements in the film, and the way they were presented, made it seem fresh enough for me to like the movie, and not classify it as a rehash.

I would say the plot is completely different. ANH is driven by the Death Star Plans and a huge danger to the free galaxy (first Alderaan and then Yavin IV). TFA is driven by the search for Luke. In ANH Vader is searching for the plans protect his asset and they fall into Luke’s hands. In TFA, Kylo and Leia are searching for Luke and no one finds him until the last scene. The map to Luke never is within reach of Kylo like it is Vader (R2 is there on the Death Star with the plans). In TFA, the piece of the map they have is useless without the rest which we get after the climax of the film.

That is not completely different. That is very similar. In both films the villain is looking for important information vital to the survival of the heroes, that has been hidden at the last moment by one of the heroes in a droid. That droid ends up in the hands of the main protagonist, who lives on a desert planet, and with the help of an ally tries to get the information back to the home base of the heroes. The heroes go to a seedy bar in an attempt to further their quest. The villains use a super weapon to destroy a planet/planets. One of the heroes needs to be rescued from the villain’s base, we get another desperate attack to destroy the super weapon, we get another trench run, etc, etc.

Now what is the same are a lot of the setups and scenes. As I said before, the opening is setup almost identical in many ways, but once the McGuffin arrives in our hero’s hands, the story diverges greatly. We are treated to Abrams version of the Cantina (which makes story sense because it is the sort of place Han would frequent and would go to when he needed something), Death Star, trench run, enemy base rescue, imminent danger, etc. But the story between them is nothing alike. In ANH, they accidentally find Leia, in TFA they go to rescue Rey. In ANH Leia needs rescuing, in TFA, Rey does not. In ANH the Death Star is closing in to fire, in TFA Starkiller Base is charging to fire. In ANH Tarkin refuses to leave, in TFA Hux evacuates. So a lot of story points touch on the same ideas, but the execution and resolution is very different because they plot of the film has a different goal. ANH is all about the Death Star while TFA is all about finding Luke. The crawls set it up this way. I find both movies to feel very different. While TFA evokes a sense of nostalgia and plays in familiar territory, everything is different and new.

The fact that some details are different, or that the order of events have been altered somewhat, or that one character is switched for another does not suddenly make it completely different. It makes it not identical, because several things have been altered, but the similarities, are there, and they are obvious. The question is whether making a few changes, and adding some new elements is enough to make it seem fresh? Some will say yes, while other will say no.

You are focusing on what is the same. It is only the same in a vague way. In TFA the map was not stolen. Poe does not remain a prisoner but escapes with Finn’s help. Yes, that initial beat is the same, but nothing else about it is. TFA uses a few beats from ANH and rearranges them and changes how they play out to create a new story. It is not the same story retold. The details being different is what makes it a different story. It isn’t the second Star Wars film to feature a bar scene after all. It isn’t like it is the second Death Star. Star Wars has been full of reused beats and tropes. Most people have enjoyed it and it is the second most successful Star Wars film of the franchise. So it must have done something right. If you focus the the McGuffin and the super weapon, then yeah, they are going to seem the same. If you focus on who does what and why, then story is totally original. The McGuffin is not the plot. It is a tool to drive action and get us into the story.

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DrDre said:

DominicCobb said:

act on instinct said:

DominicCobb said:
And so, to my point, I think there is a lot to TFA itself beyond what mysteries it sets up (if any), and I think people too easily forget that. Now, if you don’t care for what it offers beyond the “mysteries and fan service,” fair enough, but that’s not all that’s there.

I really don’t mean to be a jerk about this but could you articulate some examples? TFA had rathtars which is a little different, this thing of abandoned fallen star destroyers to be scavenged that’s new, I wish it were explored more but it’s unique to this trilogy, but sticking just to TFA I’m not sure what else isn’t from the past that also isn’t a mystery, I’m racking my brain a little trying to think of more honestly.

I’m talking about more than just in-universe elements. Story (characters and themes), music, locations, production design, costumes, action, humor, direction, acting, editing, etc. etc. In my mind there’s a lot more to a movie than plot points and lore. The movie is an experience in and of itself, separate from its place in the saga as well as a part of it - and it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

I think one of the major elements, that makes TFA work, despite it’s derivative nature, is its energy. To me TFA always feels like Star Wars film with the energy and humor of an Indiana Jones film. I think that is one of Abrams’ great talents.

Absolutely.

act on instinct said:

DominicCobb said:

In my mind there’s a lot more to a movie than plot points and lore. The movie is an experience in and of itself, separate from its place in the saga as well as a part of it - and it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

I’m not really talking about lore, though world building is appreciated, to me TFA feels like they decided not to deal with almost any exposition for the sake of keeping the ride moving, lot of flash and personality sure,

A tactic that, to me, is straight from Lucas. He’s got a lot of quotes about just dropping people into the world of SW with little explanation, and how at the time SW was seen as a very fast-paced film. So personally I appreciate that about the film, much as I do TLJ slowing things down to deepen the world, just like TESB did (which Lucas thought was too long and too slow).

And I don’t think anyone is deriding the production design or the John Williams score, same way that TLJ haters will still admit to the cinematic quality and fantastic work of Steve Yedlin.

Didn’t say anyone was, I just mean there’s a lot of different aspects to any given film that contributes to the whole, and I think often people unfairly dismiss the whole just because of what is, in my personal opinion, a relatively minor aspect (repeated plot points).

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yotsuya said:

DrDre said:

yotsuya said:

DrDre said:

DominicCobb said:

Omni said:

My last two cents on the “is TFA just SW 2.0?” argument: This video, in which the guy tries to be as unbiased as possible. It’s a good video.

I will say it’s baffling to see people saying that TFA doesn’t have the same plot as SW. The story isn’t exactly the same (even though it’s incredibly similar) but the plot is, pretty much, the very same thing…

I don’t see how it’s baffling that someone would say they aren’t the exact same. I don’t think you’re actually baffled, you know full well they aren’t the same. I don’t understand why these conversations always turn to hyperbole. (Maybe because there’d be nothing to argue about if we were all honest with what the films actually are.)

Honestly, I like TFA, but I would say the plot is highly similar to ANH, with a few elements of TESB and ROTJ thrown in for good measure. The question is not whether it is, or isn’t similar, because it is, and not by accident, but if it is too similar, such that in the combination with the story, characters, and visuals, it ruins the movie for you. It didn’t for me, but I think because of the similarities, it’s lasting impact may be somewhat less, than if it had been more original. I would also say, that if someone were to argue, that they didn’t like TFA, because it was too similar to ANH, that that would not be an unreasonable point of view. I would say, that I can see their point, but the other elements in the film, and the way they were presented, made it seem fresh enough for me to like the movie, and not classify it as a rehash.

I would say the plot is completely different. ANH is driven by the Death Star Plans and a huge danger to the free galaxy (first Alderaan and then Yavin IV). TFA is driven by the search for Luke. In ANH Vader is searching for the plans protect his asset and they fall into Luke’s hands. In TFA, Kylo and Leia are searching for Luke and no one finds him until the last scene. The map to Luke never is within reach of Kylo like it is Vader (R2 is there on the Death Star with the plans). In TFA, the piece of the map they have is useless without the rest which we get after the climax of the film.

That is not completely different. That is very similar. In both films the villain is looking for important information vital to the survival of the heroes, that has been hidden at the last moment by one of the heroes in a droid. That droid ends up in the hands of the main protagonist, who lives on a desert planet, and with the help of an ally tries to get the information back to the home base of the heroes. The heroes go to a seedy bar in an attempt to further their quest. The villains use a super weapon to destroy a planet/planets. One of the heroes needs to be rescued from the villain’s base, we get another desperate attack to destroy the super weapon, we get another trench run, etc, etc.

Now what is the same are a lot of the setups and scenes. As I said before, the opening is setup almost identical in many ways, but once the McGuffin arrives in our hero’s hands, the story diverges greatly. We are treated to Abrams version of the Cantina (which makes story sense because it is the sort of place Han would frequent and would go to when he needed something), Death Star, trench run, enemy base rescue, imminent danger, etc. But the story between them is nothing alike. In ANH, they accidentally find Leia, in TFA they go to rescue Rey. In ANH Leia needs rescuing, in TFA, Rey does not. In ANH the Death Star is closing in to fire, in TFA Starkiller Base is charging to fire. In ANH Tarkin refuses to leave, in TFA Hux evacuates. So a lot of story points touch on the same ideas, but the execution and resolution is very different because they plot of the film has a different goal. ANH is all about the Death Star while TFA is all about finding Luke. The crawls set it up this way. I find both movies to feel very different. While TFA evokes a sense of nostalgia and plays in familiar territory, everything is different and new.

The fact that some details are different, or that the order of events have been altered somewhat, or that one character is switched for another does not suddenly make it completely different. It makes it not identical, because several things have been altered, but the similarities, are there, and they are obvious. The question is whether making a few changes, and adding some new elements is enough to make it seem fresh? Some will say yes, while other will say no.

You are focusing on what is the same. It is only the same in a vague way. In TFA the map was not stolen. Poe does not remain a prisoner but escapes with Finn’s help. Yes, that initial beat is the same, but nothing else about it is. TFA uses a few beats from ANH and rearranges them and changes how they play out to create a new story. It is not the same story retold. The details being different is what makes it a different story. It isn’t the second Star Wars film to feature a bar scene after all. It isn’t like it is the second Death Star. Star Wars has been full of reused beats and tropes. Most people have enjoyed it and it is the second most successful Star Wars film of the franchise. So it must have done something right. If you focus the the McGuffin and the super weapon, then yeah, they are going to seem the same. If you focus on who does what and why, then story is totally original. The McGuffin is not the plot. It is a tool to drive action and get us into the story.

If you have to focus on specific elements, than it is not totally original. I think most would say TFA does more than just reuse some beats and tropes. TFA is like the Vanilla Ice song, Ice Ice Baby, which has the exact same base line as Queen’s Under Pressure. If you focus on the baseline, it’s a copy, but if you add in the other elements, it’s still a different song. However, nobody would argue Ice Ice Baby is totally original, if you just ignore the baseline. Remove the baseline, and you remove an essential part of the song.

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DominicCobb said:
Didn’t say anyone was, I just mean there’s a lot of different aspects to any given film that contributes to the whole, and I think often people unfairly dismiss the whole just because of what is, in my personal opinion, a relatively minor aspect (repeated plot points).

I just don’t think that’s what anyone means when discussing plot points, that’s why I brought up Steve Yedlin to say even haters will distinguish their distaste for a story as separate from the other components of film making that make up a movie, the story is the discussion, and the piece people are taking issue with. I doubt there would be much if any animosity against RJ if he was only director.

Also going to push back on the no explanation Lucas method. I do think this was the idea but the truth is while ANH does drop you in the middle of a fantasy world it is packed with exposition, not everything but just enough to know who the characters are and what motivates them along with what’s at stake. ST been feeling more like the Kylo show and our new heroes are blank slates to be filled in later.

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If you look into it the lore of TFA isn’t all that confusing, there’s the New Republic which is dealing with Imperial Renamnt terrorists, the First Order, who even have their own ripoffs of Palpatine and Vader (one might ponder if their appearance is intentionally similar, to get more people remembering the OT). Leia wants to fight the First Order while the New Republic would prefer to let them be.

The problem is all in the presentation. In the thrill of the action, you don’t think like above. But they could have easily fixed this. Go to the Republic’s capital and listen in on a Senate meeting (like TPM). And properly build up Starkiller (like they did in Ep4 and 6 with the title crawls) instead of just showing up halfway through the movie and taking all the spotlight.

Maul- A Star Wars Story

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I don’t they were going to go anywhere a senate scene after the prequels.

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OutboundFlight said:

If you look into it the lore of TFA isn’t all that confusing, there’s the New Republic which is dealing with Imperial Renamnt terrorists, the First Order, who even have their own ripoffs of Palpatine and Vader (one might ponder if their appearance is intentionally similar, to get more people remembering the OT). Leia wants to fight the First Order while the New Republic would prefer to let them be.

The problem is all in the presentation. In the thrill of the action, you don’t think like above. But they could have easily fixed this. Go to the Republic’s capital and listen in on a Senate meeting (like TPM). And properly build up Starkiller (like they did in Ep4 and 6 with the title crawls) instead of just showing up halfway through the movie and taking all the spotlight.

Disclaimer: I’m almost playing devil’s advocate here simply to spark discussion, despite the fact that i thoroughly believe everything I’m saying here. Still, I enjoy both TFA (in particular the first half hour) and especially TLJ quite a bit.

————————

The First Order functions like the Empire did in terms of plot though. They’re the limitless-resources-big-bad guys, and the Resistance is just the Rebellion. This reset in the status quo is the biggest turn off to me in terms of the ST. It’s mostly TFA’s fault, though TLJ is also to blame since it could’ve easily fixed most of these issues, but it instead only amplified them…

If TFA had been about finding Luke from beginning to end, the rehash aspects would be much less prominent. Though like you said SKB takes the spotlight halfway through and essentially functions exactly like SW’s Death Star, making TFA go by the very same story beats SW goes by. Worth mentioning that by that point TFA was derivative enough already (Rey and BB-8 - Luke & the droids, going to the cantina, etc.) though to me, when SKB becomes the major point of the film is where it started getting close to ridiculous.

TLJ is guilty of ripping off OT stuff as well. Compare the way RotJ’s throne room scene is referenced in RotS and TLJ. RotS creates parallels by using similar visuals and angles to strengthen said parallels, and to contrast the decision Anakin takes to the one that Luke takes. It rhymes, and it’s a very nice and intelligent moment in the movie, IMHO. TLJ on the other hand, reutilizes lines of dialogue and the entire sequence of events (when Rey looked out the window I got so upset because it was the very same scene as ROTJ!!) with an outcome so similar that I was stunned at how not-creative the whole scene was, despite the awesome fight scene at the end…

To me, the ST only started its own path the moment the fourth act of TLJ begun. And with that I mean salt planet. The rest was, like DrDre put it, a modern retelling of the OT to capture our nostalgic hearts. TLJ, obviously, with a couple more twists than TFA, but I’m sure it can still be easily classified as a soft reboot.

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act on instinct said:

DominicCobb said:
Didn’t say anyone was, I just mean there’s a lot of different aspects to any given film that contributes to the whole, and I think often people unfairly dismiss the whole just because of what is, in my personal opinion, a relatively minor aspect (repeated plot points).

I just don’t think that’s what anyone means when discussing plot points, that’s why I brought up Steve Yedlin to say even haters will distinguish their distaste for a story as separate from the other components of film making that make up a movie, the story is the discussion, and the piece people are taking issue with. I doubt there would be much if any animosity against RJ if he was only director.

There’s more to a film than the story sure, but most importantly to my point there’s also more to a story than plot beats.

Also going to push back on the no explanation Lucas method. I do think this was the idea but the truth is while ANH does drop you in the middle of a fantasy world it is packed with exposition, not everything but just enough to know who the characters are and what motivates them along with what’s at stake. ST been feeling more like the Kylo show and our new heroes are blank slates to be filled in later.

I don’t think that’s the case at all, re: blank slates, the characterization of the TFA leads is easily comparable to the ones in ANH.

Omni said:

OutboundFlight said:

If you look into it the lore of TFA isn’t all that confusing, there’s the New Republic which is dealing with Imperial Renamnt terrorists, the First Order, who even have their own ripoffs of Palpatine and Vader (one might ponder if their appearance is intentionally similar, to get more people remembering the OT). Leia wants to fight the First Order while the New Republic would prefer to let them be.

The problem is all in the presentation. In the thrill of the action, you don’t think like above. But they could have easily fixed this. Go to the Republic’s capital and listen in on a Senate meeting (like TPM). And properly build up Starkiller (like they did in Ep4 and 6 with the title crawls) instead of just showing up halfway through the movie and taking all the spotlight.

TLJ is guilty of ripping off OT stuff as well. Compare the way RotJ’s throne room scene is referenced in RotS and TLJ. RotS creates parallels by using similar visuals and angles to strengthen said parallels, and to contrast the decision Anakin takes to the one that Luke takes. It rhymes, and it’s a very nice and intelligent moment in the movie, IMHO. TLJ on the other hand, reutilizes lines of dialogue and the entire sequence of events (when Rey looked out the window I got so upset because it was the very same scene as ROTJ!!) with an outcome so similar that I was stunned at how not-creative the whole scene was, despite the awesome fight scene at the end…

They both look out a window so it’s “the very same scene”? They’re not even looking out the window for the same reason! And I don’t know anyone could say with a straight face that the outcomes of those two scenes are “so similar.” Ridiculous. I’ll just reiterate what I said before, we all know the OT like the back of our hands, so we all know when someone bullshits one way or the other about “similarities.” And I wish to god we could put to end the binary thinking of “similar=bad/not creative.” Ironically not a very creative critique if you ask me.

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I will say that I think JJ and Kasdan mirrored ANH more for the sake of familiarity, but I felt like Rian’s parallels had more of a narrative/thematic purpose than TFA did. Although I still think TFA does.

I do agree that the First Order could’ve been a little more nuanced or better established, but I’ve felt the cycle of light and dark, good and evil, peace and war, history repeating itself, is a theme of the new films. Maybe they could’ve touched on that more in a direct way?

EDIT: I’m gonna leave this up but I keep forgetting this is the box office predictions thread! Sorry Dre.

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DominicCobb said:

act on instinct said:

DominicCobb said:
Didn’t say anyone was, I just mean there’s a lot of different aspects to any given film that contributes to the whole, and I think often people unfairly dismiss the whole just because of what is, in my personal opinion, a relatively minor aspect (repeated plot points).

I just don’t think that’s what anyone means when discussing plot points, that’s why I brought up Steve Yedlin to say even haters will distinguish their distaste for a story as separate from the other components of film making that make up a movie, the story is the discussion, and the piece people are taking issue with. I doubt there would be much if any animosity against RJ if he was only director.

There’s more to a film than the story sure, but most importantly to my point there’s also more to a story than plot beats.

To be fair I asked for some examples earlier on the story.

DominicCobb said:

And I wish to god we could put to end the binary thinking of “similar=bad/not creative.” Ironically not a very creative critique if you ask me.

I think if you’re finding similarities in the critiques it speaks to their authenticity, something just resonates with many fans as TFA treading too much old ground, not just something to dismiss. There is a balance and too new wouldn’t feel like Star Wars to those same people, they gave us the movie we wanted at the time, but after time has passed I’m not so sure they struck the balance. Like Dre’s Under Pressure analogy, I don’t think you can just separate Starkiller from the whole, you can appreciate the other parts, I appreciate things about the prequels, but I have to acknowledge its failings or I’d be kidding myself, even if I find the good parts personally worth it.

RogueLeader said:

EDIT: I’m gonna leave this up but I keep forgetting this is the box office predictions thread! Sorry Dre.

It’s probably better to keep with the flow of traffic unless we divert to a new thread, unfortunately it’s still too early to speculate much further about box office, anyone’s wild guess.

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I’m honestly completely lost in terms of what’s actually being debated at this point, so it’s probably as good a time as any to get back on topic.

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What I find confusing about the complaints of the ST being too similar to the OT is this. Think about the MCU or even James Bond series. You could make a great case for all those films being similar to each other in several ways. Villains, overcoming adversity, superhero tropes, Bond finding an ingenious way to save the day at the last minute, dialogue etc etc.

I don’t hear many folks talking about that…at all…but then again I don’t get out much. 😉

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The MCU movies (with rare exceptions) are incredibly formulaic and played-out, which is why I don’t care for them at all. Ostensibly each superhero’s story should be distinct from the others, but in practice they’re mostly the same.

Bond is a different animal, I think. Each Bond film is the exact same movie, but the series has established that formula pretty well. Schlocky action, cheesy one-liners and a general feeling that it should not be taken seriously. Audiences go in knowing and expecting that.

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pleasehello said:

Each Bond film is the exact same movie, but the series has established that formula pretty well. Schlocky action, cheesy one-liners and a general feeling that it should not be taken seriously. Audiences go in knowing and expecting that.

You could say the same thing about the MCU.

Myself, the boy, two droids, and no questions asked.

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StarkillerAG said:

pleasehello said:

Each Bond film is the exact same movie, but the series has established that formula pretty well. Schlocky action, cheesy one-liners and a general feeling that it should not be taken seriously. Audiences go in knowing and expecting that.

You could say the same thing about the MCU.

You could. The Marvel formula is pretty well established at this point. But I don’t think the brand sees or markets it’s movies that way. I also don’t think the general movie going public sees the MCU movies that way or else there would be no appetite for them anymore with 3 or 4 of them every year.

The supply and demand for Bond is a lot lower because I think most people recognize that all of the movies are the same.

Getting back on topic a little bit, it’s possible that interest is waning in Star Wars films because the public is recognizing that the new movies are afraid to be different and keep retreading the same already well-trodden ground.

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I think that’s the heart of it, if people feel like they’ve seen it before they could grow apathetic. Also comes down to variety, how many good space adventures came out around the time of OT? Now how many kids would rather watch Guardians of the Galaxy? It’s definitely not over for Star Wars, the platform it holds hasn’t been completely usurped, but Lucasfilm won’t be able to keep it resting on their laurels. I like the Bond example because it’s undergone many changes to modernize and still play to what fans are after.

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pleasehello said:

StarkillerAG said:

pleasehello said:

Each Bond film is the exact same movie, but the series has established that formula pretty well. Schlocky action, cheesy one-liners and a general feeling that it should not be taken seriously. Audiences go in knowing and expecting that.

You could say the same thing about the MCU.

You could. The Marvel formula is pretty well established at this point. But I don’t think the brand sees or markets it’s movies that way. I also don’t think the general movie going public sees the MCU movies that way or else there would be no appetite for them anymore with 3 or 4 of them every year.

The supply and demand for Bond is a lot lower because I think most people recognize that all of the movies are the same.

Getting back on topic a little bit, it’s possible that interest is waning in Star Wars films because the public is recognizing that the new movies are afraid to be different and keep retreading the same already well-trodden ground.

Well, when Disney sees the complete shit storm over TLJ they probably are afraid to a degree to make SW too different. I think Johnson’s trilogy will definitely be different from the usual…I certainly hope so.

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DrDre said:

yotsuya said:

DrDre said:

yotsuya said:

DrDre said:

DominicCobb said:

Omni said:

My last two cents on the “is TFA just SW 2.0?” argument: This video, in which the guy tries to be as unbiased as possible. It’s a good video.

I will say it’s baffling to see people saying that TFA doesn’t have the same plot as SW. The story isn’t exactly the same (even though it’s incredibly similar) but the plot is, pretty much, the very same thing…

I don’t see how it’s baffling that someone would say they aren’t the exact same. I don’t think you’re actually baffled, you know full well they aren’t the same. I don’t understand why these conversations always turn to hyperbole. (Maybe because there’d be nothing to argue about if we were all honest with what the films actually are.)

Honestly, I like TFA, but I would say the plot is highly similar to ANH, with a few elements of TESB and ROTJ thrown in for good measure. The question is not whether it is, or isn’t similar, because it is, and not by accident, but if it is too similar, such that in the combination with the story, characters, and visuals, it ruins the movie for you. It didn’t for me, but I think because of the similarities, it’s lasting impact may be somewhat less, than if it had been more original. I would also say, that if someone were to argue, that they didn’t like TFA, because it was too similar to ANH, that that would not be an unreasonable point of view. I would say, that I can see their point, but the other elements in the film, and the way they were presented, made it seem fresh enough for me to like the movie, and not classify it as a rehash.

I would say the plot is completely different. ANH is driven by the Death Star Plans and a huge danger to the free galaxy (first Alderaan and then Yavin IV). TFA is driven by the search for Luke. In ANH Vader is searching for the plans protect his asset and they fall into Luke’s hands. In TFA, Kylo and Leia are searching for Luke and no one finds him until the last scene. The map to Luke never is within reach of Kylo like it is Vader (R2 is there on the Death Star with the plans). In TFA, the piece of the map they have is useless without the rest which we get after the climax of the film.

That is not completely different. That is very similar. In both films the villain is looking for important information vital to the survival of the heroes, that has been hidden at the last moment by one of the heroes in a droid. That droid ends up in the hands of the main protagonist, who lives on a desert planet, and with the help of an ally tries to get the information back to the home base of the heroes. The heroes go to a seedy bar in an attempt to further their quest. The villains use a super weapon to destroy a planet/planets. One of the heroes needs to be rescued from the villain’s base, we get another desperate attack to destroy the super weapon, we get another trench run, etc, etc.

Now what is the same are a lot of the setups and scenes. As I said before, the opening is setup almost identical in many ways, but once the McGuffin arrives in our hero’s hands, the story diverges greatly. We are treated to Abrams version of the Cantina (which makes story sense because it is the sort of place Han would frequent and would go to when he needed something), Death Star, trench run, enemy base rescue, imminent danger, etc. But the story between them is nothing alike. In ANH, they accidentally find Leia, in TFA they go to rescue Rey. In ANH Leia needs rescuing, in TFA, Rey does not. In ANH the Death Star is closing in to fire, in TFA Starkiller Base is charging to fire. In ANH Tarkin refuses to leave, in TFA Hux evacuates. So a lot of story points touch on the same ideas, but the execution and resolution is very different because they plot of the film has a different goal. ANH is all about the Death Star while TFA is all about finding Luke. The crawls set it up this way. I find both movies to feel very different. While TFA evokes a sense of nostalgia and plays in familiar territory, everything is different and new.

The fact that some details are different, or that the order of events have been altered somewhat, or that one character is switched for another does not suddenly make it completely different. It makes it not identical, because several things have been altered, but the similarities, are there, and they are obvious. The question is whether making a few changes, and adding some new elements is enough to make it seem fresh? Some will say yes, while other will say no.

You are focusing on what is the same. It is only the same in a vague way. In TFA the map was not stolen. Poe does not remain a prisoner but escapes with Finn’s help. Yes, that initial beat is the same, but nothing else about it is. TFA uses a few beats from ANH and rearranges them and changes how they play out to create a new story. It is not the same story retold. The details being different is what makes it a different story. It isn’t the second Star Wars film to feature a bar scene after all. It isn’t like it is the second Death Star. Star Wars has been full of reused beats and tropes. Most people have enjoyed it and it is the second most successful Star Wars film of the franchise. So it must have done something right. If you focus the the McGuffin and the super weapon, then yeah, they are going to seem the same. If you focus on who does what and why, then story is totally original. The McGuffin is not the plot. It is a tool to drive action and get us into the story.

If you have to focus on specific elements, than it is not totally original. I think most would say TFA does more than just reuse some beats and tropes. TFA is like the Vanilla Ice song, Ice Ice Baby, which has the exact same base line as Queen’s Under Pressure. If you focus on the baseline, it’s a copy, but if you add in the other elements, it’s still a different song. However, nobody would argue Ice Ice Baby is totally original, if you just ignore the baseline. Remove the baseline, and you remove an essential part of the song.

Well, if you want to bring music into this for comparison, there are only so many variations to music. There are limited patterns, limited chords, etc. So a modern artist taking an actual recording from another is neither new or unusual. And while the song you bring up is not one I really care for, it was a #1 hit. Queen’s original is a very cool song, but didn’t hit #1 in all the same places. Madonna did it more recently with Hung Up (with a sample from Abba’s 1979 hit Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)) that was a much bigger hit. And the examples throughout the music world of one song building on another are everywhere. The original Star Trek them starts with a section that Brahams has used from something even older.

And as a student of both history and literature I can tell you that this happens all the time. Historical events that mirror other and literature that borrows from older stories is common place. So much so that I don’t usually pay attention to that. I look for what they did that was different and fresh. I have two films that I consider what not to do - Pearl Harbor and Avatar. I felt those two films sucked because they didn’t just pull beats or sub plots from other films, but basically pulled their main character’s stories right out of other films. I felt I’d seen both those films before. TFA did not give me that feeling. It is not the same as ANH. It has some of the same beats but takes things in a different direction.

For instance the comparison is desert planet, plans, droids, Luke, cantina, and desert planet, map, droid, Rey, cantina. That comparison ignores character sitatuion and that Rey had to fight her way off the planet by stealing a ship where Luke tagged along with Ben as he arranged for passage. Rey had to travel to another planet (with a rathtar battle with a couple of gangs in the middle). Luke and co went on their way after a brief shootout with a squad of stormtroops and Rey was captured by Kylo Ren while the cantina and the building it was in was leveled to the ground. TFA is a story where they called back to some familiar scenes in the OT where Avatar is an entire plot that I felt I’d seen before.

Going back to music, the difference between what Madonna and Vanilla Ice did compared to what they took those small clips from is drastically different from two pieces of music that sound the same. The opening theme to the 1989 Batman and the battle scene from Cyrano DeBergerac sound almost identical and the movies and soundtracks came out at the same time. They are different you listen to them side by side, but in isolation they feel the same. Where Madonna’s song and Abba’s song as well as Vanilla Ice’s song and Queen’s song do not feel the same at all. You hear the similarity but the rest is something else. That is TFA. You see the similarity, but the rest is something else.

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yotsuya said:

And while the song you bring up is not one I really care for, it was a #1 hit.

I think a lot of this really is about taste. I don’t care for Avatar but as you brought it into the mix I feel like the same logic you’ve used could all be said in defense of that movie, that maybe it seemed the same to you but there were a lot of new innovations, and it was a very compelling event at the time that felt fresh to many. Even when you say pulling characters directly from other films I think that’s getting back to the same finger pointing you could dish back at ANH.

yotsuya said:

That is TFA. You see the similarity, but the rest is something else.

Somewhere in the middle there’s complete agreement here, that you can see something similar (which we have been over also isn’t inherently bad but that’s where I’m calling taste), but from there it has its own path, own new characters. For myself that new path is still fairly undefined and the ratio of similar to new leaned too far into the former category, the combination making it difficult to follow the ST as its own story.

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act on instinct said:

yotsuya said:

And while the song you bring up is not one I really care for, it was a #1 hit.

I think a lot of this really is about taste. I don’t care for Avatar but as you brought it into the mix I feel like the same logic you’ve used could all be said in defense of that movie, that maybe it seemed the same to you but there were a lot of new innovations, and it was a very compelling event at the time that felt fresh to many. Even when you say pulling characters directly from other films I think that’s getting back to the same finger pointing you could dish back at ANH.

I see the story of Avatar as totally derivative. There are a few scattering of new ideas (as far as the story) in there, but otherwise it has nothing new. The world was incredible, but if you study how to write a story, world building doesn’t make a story. James Cameron fell into that trap and reused so many old western tropes that there is nothing to to the story.

yotsuya said:

That is TFA. You see the similarity, but the rest is something else.

Somewhere in the middle there’s complete agreement here, that you can see something similar (which we have been over also isn’t inherently bad but that’s where I’m calling taste), but from there it has its own path, own new characters. For myself that new path is still fairly undefined and the ratio of similar to new leaned too far into the former category, the combination making it difficult to follow the ST as its own story.

There are pieces that are similar and pieces that are not. What TFA And TLJ are not are complete rehashings of the OT. There pieces in there, but a great deal that is new and fresh. Too much is being made of a few things. Sure, some may not be able to see past that, but I’m trying to point out that at the story level, the ST and OT are not that similar. And I begin to get the feeling that TROS is going to rewrite our understanding of things that have happened so far in the ST.

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yotsuya said:
There pieces in there, but a great deal that is new and fresh. Too much is being made of a few things.

This is where I feel it comes down to personal opinion and your mileage may vary.

yotsuya said:
And I begin to get the feeling that TROS is going to rewrite our understanding of things that have happened so far in the ST.

I think so too, TFA planted the seed, TLJ invoked Rashomon, and I see TRoS as the last piece to connect the puzzle. https://youtu.be/bxU2eqZtYmc?t=6

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 (Edited)

yotsuya said:

DrDre said:

yotsuya said:

DrDre said:

yotsuya said:

DrDre said:

DominicCobb said:

Omni said:

My last two cents on the “is TFA just SW 2.0?” argument: This video, in which the guy tries to be as unbiased as possible. It’s a good video.

I will say it’s baffling to see people saying that TFA doesn’t have the same plot as SW. The story isn’t exactly the same (even though it’s incredibly similar) but the plot is, pretty much, the very same thing…

I don’t see how it’s baffling that someone would say they aren’t the exact same. I don’t think you’re actually baffled, you know full well they aren’t the same. I don’t understand why these conversations always turn to hyperbole. (Maybe because there’d be nothing to argue about if we were all honest with what the films actually are.)

Honestly, I like TFA, but I would say the plot is highly similar to ANH, with a few elements of TESB and ROTJ thrown in for good measure. The question is not whether it is, or isn’t similar, because it is, and not by accident, but if it is too similar, such that in the combination with the story, characters, and visuals, it ruins the movie for you. It didn’t for me, but I think because of the similarities, it’s lasting impact may be somewhat less, than if it had been more original. I would also say, that if someone were to argue, that they didn’t like TFA, because it was too similar to ANH, that that would not be an unreasonable point of view. I would say, that I can see their point, but the other elements in the film, and the way they were presented, made it seem fresh enough for me to like the movie, and not classify it as a rehash.

I would say the plot is completely different. ANH is driven by the Death Star Plans and a huge danger to the free galaxy (first Alderaan and then Yavin IV). TFA is driven by the search for Luke. In ANH Vader is searching for the plans protect his asset and they fall into Luke’s hands. In TFA, Kylo and Leia are searching for Luke and no one finds him until the last scene. The map to Luke never is within reach of Kylo like it is Vader (R2 is there on the Death Star with the plans). In TFA, the piece of the map they have is useless without the rest which we get after the climax of the film.

That is not completely different. That is very similar. In both films the villain is looking for important information vital to the survival of the heroes, that has been hidden at the last moment by one of the heroes in a droid. That droid ends up in the hands of the main protagonist, who lives on a desert planet, and with the help of an ally tries to get the information back to the home base of the heroes. The heroes go to a seedy bar in an attempt to further their quest. The villains use a super weapon to destroy a planet/planets. One of the heroes needs to be rescued from the villain’s base, we get another desperate attack to destroy the super weapon, we get another trench run, etc, etc.

Now what is the same are a lot of the setups and scenes. As I said before, the opening is setup almost identical in many ways, but once the McGuffin arrives in our hero’s hands, the story diverges greatly. We are treated to Abrams version of the Cantina (which makes story sense because it is the sort of place Han would frequent and would go to when he needed something), Death Star, trench run, enemy base rescue, imminent danger, etc. But the story between them is nothing alike. In ANH, they accidentally find Leia, in TFA they go to rescue Rey. In ANH Leia needs rescuing, in TFA, Rey does not. In ANH the Death Star is closing in to fire, in TFA Starkiller Base is charging to fire. In ANH Tarkin refuses to leave, in TFA Hux evacuates. So a lot of story points touch on the same ideas, but the execution and resolution is very different because they plot of the film has a different goal. ANH is all about the Death Star while TFA is all about finding Luke. The crawls set it up this way. I find both movies to feel very different. While TFA evokes a sense of nostalgia and plays in familiar territory, everything is different and new.

The fact that some details are different, or that the order of events have been altered somewhat, or that one character is switched for another does not suddenly make it completely different. It makes it not identical, because several things have been altered, but the similarities, are there, and they are obvious. The question is whether making a few changes, and adding some new elements is enough to make it seem fresh? Some will say yes, while other will say no.

You are focusing on what is the same. It is only the same in a vague way. In TFA the map was not stolen. Poe does not remain a prisoner but escapes with Finn’s help. Yes, that initial beat is the same, but nothing else about it is. TFA uses a few beats from ANH and rearranges them and changes how they play out to create a new story. It is not the same story retold. The details being different is what makes it a different story. It isn’t the second Star Wars film to feature a bar scene after all. It isn’t like it is the second Death Star. Star Wars has been full of reused beats and tropes. Most people have enjoyed it and it is the second most successful Star Wars film of the franchise. So it must have done something right. If you focus the the McGuffin and the super weapon, then yeah, they are going to seem the same. If you focus on who does what and why, then story is totally original. The McGuffin is not the plot. It is a tool to drive action and get us into the story.

If you have to focus on specific elements, than it is not totally original. I think most would say TFA does more than just reuse some beats and tropes. TFA is like the Vanilla Ice song, Ice Ice Baby, which has the exact same base line as Queen’s Under Pressure. If you focus on the baseline, it’s a copy, but if you add in the other elements, it’s still a different song. However, nobody would argue Ice Ice Baby is totally original, if you just ignore the baseline. Remove the baseline, and you remove an essential part of the song.

Well, if you want to bring music into this for comparison, there are only so many variations to music. There are limited patterns, limited chords, etc. So a modern artist taking an actual recording from another is neither new or unusual. And while the song you bring up is not one I really care for, it was a #1 hit. Queen’s original is a very cool song, but didn’t hit #1 in all the same places. Madonna did it more recently with Hung Up (with a sample from Abba’s 1979 hit Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)) that was a much bigger hit. And the examples throughout the music world of one song building on another are everywhere. The original Star Trek them starts with a section that Brahams has used from something even older.

Well, I think you’re being way too kind to TFA in this sense. The important question is, whether the many elements that TFA reuses in the long run are to its benefit, or to its detriment. While I would say some of the reused elements work, however, many such as another desert planet, the Starkiller base, another trench run only reinforce the derivative nature of the story without really adding something of significance. They rekindle feelings of nostalgia in the moment, but in the long run lose their power. They are elements, that could have been removed, and replaced with an original setting, an original McGuffin, or weapon of sorts, an original resolution to a space battle, and the movie would be better for it.

And as a student of both history and literature I can tell you that this happens all the time. Historical events that mirror other and literature that borrows from older stories is common place. So much so that I don’t usually pay attention to that. I look for what they did that was different and fresh. I have two films that I consider what not to do - Pearl Harbor and Avatar. I felt those two films sucked because they didn’t just pull beats or sub plots from other films, but basically pulled their main character’s stories right out of other films. I felt I’d seen both those films before. TFA did not give me that feeling. It is not the same as ANH. It has some of the same beats but takes things in a different direction.

I think pointing to history is often a poor excuse. Fiction more often than not isn’t meant to mirror reality. There’s a reason many stories have a lasting and final resolution, or end with a happily ever after. It’s the same reason why one of these versions works better than the other:

The “live action” Lion King went for realism, and it’s a pale copy of the original in all except some technical aspects. In storytelling events, and characters are often exaggerated, simplified, or embellished by the author to highlight certain archetypes, and themes.

Now, many stories in film, and literature borrow from older stories. However, these stories often have a very different setting, visuals, tone, etc, etc. The idea of writing new Star Wars in my view, should be to give us a very different story, plot, and characters in a similar setting with similar visuals. The story may be adapted from another work of fiction, or use elements from them, but to continue to extensively borrow and repurpose elements from previous Star Wars films in my view is a form of cinematic inbreeding, that will only serve to weaken the franchise as a whole.

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The original Lion King definitely borrowed from an older story.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I think you just nailed it perfectly Dre with “cinematic inbreeding” being the most efficiently accurate way of explaining the ST’s constant borrowing and repurposing of the OT along with a near constant appeal to nostalgia in so much that the latest trailer uses pretty much half of its runtime for actual OT and PT footage with the OT footage itself making up around a third of the total runtime.

Disney are pushing a very mixed message in obviously wanting to sell their new, young cast of characters (often at the expense of the old beloved OT characters), even pushing a literal 4th wall message in TLJ with “let the past die…” but are so afraid of not getting enough bums on cinema seats that they’ll use the OT at every chance they get, knowing it is what everyone already loves and gets people’s attention. So you get this weird circular behaviour of “forget about your old, tired and failed heroes and look at our new awesome young and diverse heroes out to actually save the day” all the while playing out the same plot points of the OT with a few jumbled up for good measure and shoving all this imagery and references of the OT in your face while someone like Rian claims to be breaking new artistic ground because he shoehorned some manufactured bait and switches into Star Wars.

Because the ST is so referential of the OT, in many ways it is literally a pale shadow of the originals that has been lazily twisted and skewed to try and make it look different.

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Valheru_84 said:

I think you just nailed it perfectly Dre with “cinematic inbreeding” being the most efficiently accurate way of explaining the ST’s constant borrowing and repurposing of the OT along with a near constant appeal to nostalgia in so much that the latest trailer uses pretty much half of its runtime for actual OT and PT footage with the OT footage itself making up around a third of the total runtime.

So a 9 film saga trailer (even though its more of a sizzle reel exclusively for D23), that shows clips from the films in release order (ending with new clips from Ep9) , uses a third of its runtime to show the OT (3 films out of 9 turns out to be a third 😉 ) and this is supposed to show how Disney is constantly trying to appeal to nostalgia?

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