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Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga 4k UHD -- 27 DISC Boxed Set -- 3/31/2020

I hate Disney.

At least with George Lucas at the helm, I knew what I was getting at all times. There were never any illusions about that. And STILL even HE released the GOUT.

Disney is trying to pretend like the OUT doesn’t even exist. George didn’t gaslight us like that. He totally acknowledged it and was merely upfront in admitting that his new cuts were the real deal as far as he was concerned, and didn’t really care that many fans fell in love with the original cuts. But again, STILL he released the GOUT.

Somehow Disney has both managed to make films (at least in the case of TROS) that are WORSE and MORE insulting to the Star Wars universe than the prequels ever were, AND to be even worse than George when it comes to satisfying fans who grew up with the original theatrical cuts of the OT. This is a TRULY impressive feat, in the worst way imaginable.

I had such high hopes that they would be better than George after the initial sale – after all, it seemed like an easy opportunity for profit, and who doesn’t love profit more than Disney? – and yet they have managed to do the inconceivable and make the situation WORSE on all fronts than it was before.

This truly is the worst timeline.

What makes it even more insulting is that the whole world could literally be on the brink of its worst existential crisis in about a century or more, and yet these assholes can’t even give us the comfort of legally indulging in our preferred space fantasy escapism. Despite having every right and capability to do so.

Disney deserves to lose all the profit it’s losing right now. They have fundamentally misunderstood Star Wars and its appeal from day one – another failing George didn’t share despite his many others – and I am glad their pathetic attempt to make a theme park out of it crashed and burned. Too bad they employed “geniuses” who went out of their way to exclude every recognizable and beloved character or icon from the OT as much as possible in their design! Who could have possibly foreseen the outcome from that aside from oh, I don’t know, any random Star Wars fan they could have pulled off the street?

While Disney deserves this reckoning, Star Wars does not. That’s the real shame. Star Wars is likely going to enter a steep decline and never again have the multigenerational appeal it once did, all because of how atrociously Disney has botched their handling of the franchise they were entrusted with.

Info Wanted: Which version of the Original Trilogy preservations to watch?

I would suggest 4K77 and 4K83 for SW and ROTJ. Highest resolution (whether at 4K or 1080p) that the OUT is available in, and they are authentic scans of original 35mm prints — not a single frame has been altered, as they all come from long before the SE ever existed. You know you’re seeing it as close to the original theatrical experience as possible when you watch them.

That said, they do have a decent amount of grain (especially 4K77) which may bother some people. There are versions with the grain digitally reduced (DNR), though. Empire (4K80) is not finished yet however, so if you want consistency across the trilogy you may still want to look at Despecialized.

Other advantage to Despecialized is that most of it is sourced from the Blu-ray, which means that it is closer to the original camera negative — it is therefore in some respects clearer and cleaner with less generation loss compared to film prints. However, it is currently stuck at 720p, parts of it are sourced from the GOUT which had to be upscaled, some of the digitally recomposited shots from the Special Edition remain, and the Blu-ray itself has a host of problems that had to be corrected as well as possible (not the least of which is color). The result is a stitched together product that is very well done but might bother purists in some ways. Still, for Empire at least it’s the best option. The only complete 35mm scan of Empire that’s been released is the unrestored Grindhouse, which is interesting from a historical perspective but rough to actually watch due to all kinds of issues with damage, color, and noise.

Puggo versions are sourced from 16mm, and they are likewise interesting historically but not what I would choose as my main version of the trilogy.

The GOUT is an early 90s Laserdisc master that was unceremoniously slapped onto DVD. It looks only marginally better than actual Laserdiscs, if that, and is not even anamorphic for widescreen TV. Which was standard even back in 2006 when it was released. Definitely not worth your money tracking down in this day and age IMO. In fact I actually prefer the older Laserdiscs from the 80s and early 90s (before the “THX Certified” releases), such as the Japanese Special Collection, because I like their color better. I wouldn’t bother dealing with actual Laserdiscs either with so many options today, but some of the nice rips available might be worth a look — especially if you’re nostalgic for the colors and feel of Star Wars from the 80s/early 90s.

Silver Screen Edition is a scan of a different print of SW that predates 4K77 and has essentially been superseded by it I believe.

There’s also always the option of the various Special Editions, of course, but for me that’s unacceptable except maybe for Empire, which was the least butchered and only has one change (“Bring my shuttle”) that really bothers me. The new 4K scans on Disney Plus have great detail and color, so you might consider that for Empire at least if you likewise aren’t too bothered by its changes. Until 4K80 is out I just might put up with it myself. And some people have made “semi-specialized” fan edits that retain only the SE changes they like. You might look into those too if there are things about the SE you prefer.

That about covers it I think.

JJ mentions "despecialized" - OUT not coming

Look, no contract is so powerful it can’t be broken with enough money and willpower.

And we STILL don’t know that there even IS a contract. Based on JJ’s comments, I’m actually inclined to believe more than ever that there is NOT. If there was, you would think he would have at least said something along the lines of “contractual reasons” or “legal reasons” are what is holding the release of the OUT back. Not that he doesn’t even understand why at all. Combined with what little we’ve heard from Kennedy and Hidalgo, I’m starting to believe this somehow really is as dumb as “ReSpEcTiNg GeOrGe’S vIsIoN,” even though they legally don’t have to and could easily release the OUT without incurring any financial penalties whatsoever. (Never mind that George himself seems to care less than ever, between releasing the GOUT and giving his blessing to the public screening of unaltered prints.)

You would think the one advantage of Star Wars being at the mercy of a giant corporation only concerned with profit would be that they would steamroll over nonsense like that and give the fans what they want if it could print money for them. But no, somehow they have managed to fail miserably even at this. Which is again why my last hope is that this is more on Lucasfilm (read: Kennedy) than it is on Disney, and that with new management at Lucasfilm (which now seems inevitable), we might have a chance at seeing it. If not, screw it, I’ll just count the days to 4K80.

But it is BEYOND pathetic that we even have to rely on fans to do all this work. When I joined this site years ago, I never imagined it would be 2020 and we STILL would not have official releases of the OUT. I thought it would be 2017 (40th anniversary) at the latest. Somehow, Disney has sunk far below my absolute lowest expectations and has actually managed to surpass George when it comes to Orwellian attempts to gaslight us and erase the films we all grew up on from existence.

Again, even George gave us the GOUT. And at other times he at least ACKNOWLEDGED the existence of the old cuts and gave us a reason (bad as it was) for denying them to us. Seems like most Disney/Lucasfilm employees nowadays are more than happy to pretend they never existed at all. We have always been at war with Eastasia, and Darth Vader has always screamed “NOOOOO!”

JJ mentions "despecialized" - OUT not coming

Disney has botched their handling of Star Wars in so many ways it’s unfathomable. The things they had to do to satisfy the fans were so simple, and they have managed to fail at every conceivable turn, along with some I never could have even conceived of.

New movies that respected and tastefully expanded the lore — and weren’t just aimless, poorly conceived and executed soft reboots — along with a restored release of the OUT, is all we wanted. It’s all it would have taken to make them better than how George was handling things.

But even George gave us the GOUT. It was crap, but better than NOTHING.

This truly is the worst possible outcome.

Hell, even Abrams says he doesn’t understand why they won’t release them. Does ANYBODY understand? Does anybody have any idea what they’re doing at Lucasfilm anymore?

Hopefully, if Rise of Skywalker bombs (and anything less than a billion will be a bomb for this movie), Disney will clean house at Lucasfilm and new, competent management will take over. Especially after Solo, they have to be on thin ice.

Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker - Discussion * <strong><em>SPOILER THREAD</em></strong> *

So the leaks have been confirmed – screenshots, multiple accounts from people who have been verified to have seen the film, etc. There have even been reports of Disney cracking down on leakers. JJ even alluded to it on Kimmel. So we know the leaks were indeed from a legitimate source in the first place, not just fakes or speculation based on trailers and such.

That means:

Star Wars, or at least new Star Wars, is dead to me now. The special editions couldn’t do it, the prequels couldn’t do it, none of the other Disney films could do it. But this? This has done it. Almost certainly. Unless the whole thing is somehow a giant hoax or plays out WAY better when seen than it sounds. But that’s unlikely to say the least. No point in lingering in the denial stage too long.

All I care about now is the OUT. I’m going to pretend everything else is non-canon, same as I do for horrible sequels in other good franchises – e.g. Crystal Skull.

Which means if Disney can’t even give me the OUT, I will legitimately wish George never sold to Disney. What difference would it make? Not getting it either way, and at least that way there would only be three terrible films instead of six. I doubt George would ever have actually gotten around to making his own sequels, and even then I doubt they could have ruined Star Wars as badly as this is about to do – the prequels didn’t.

Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga 4k UHD -- 27 DISC Boxed Set -- 3/31/2020

crissrudd4554 said:

27 discs??

My theory on what will be included:

UHDs of each 1-9 (obviously), regular BDs of 1-9, and the same bonus discs from before. That adds up to 27.

No it doesn’t. There were only three bonus discs in the 2011 Blu-ray set, and neither TFA nor TLJ has a bonus disc. The standard Blu-rays of both TFA and TLJ simply include all the special features on the same disc. In TLJ’s case the standard Blu-ray functions as a bonus disc to the UHD for that reason.

So if they just included what’s been released so far, plus ROS and new UHD discs for all the films aside from TLJ, that would only add up to 21 discs.

At the very least they would have to spread everything out to an extra disc per film to get 27 discs. Which would be incredibly inefficient. And I can’t imagine they have enough new features from the sequels alone to make up 6 discs. So we should expect at bare minimum they include a lot more special features for all the films in some shape or form. That may or may not include the OUT.

Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga 4k UHD -- 27 DISC Boxed Set -- 3/31/2020

Fang Zei said:

An entire bonus disc for each individual film?

Maybe they’re including the extras from the 2011 bonus discs, just broken up among the individual movies?

Notice I’m trying real hard not to get my hopes up about you know what.

I was about to say two bonus discs per film, but then I realized one disc for each is probably just a standard Blu-ray.

The content of those third discs really will be the key. If it doesn’t happen here, I don’t see it ever happening… at least not for a very long time.

Currently, The Last Jedi (the only one of the saga released on UHD yet) just has the bonus features on the Blu-ray while the 4K disc is dedicated to the film. IF they followed a similar approach here, that leaves them with a LOT of room to add extra features on the third disc. If they just split the old extras onto separate discs for no apparent reason other than to “justify” the pricetag because more discs, that will be a huge disappointment. Hopefully at the very least the bonus discs for each film will include a lot more content, both new and old. i.e. Stuff that wasn’t included on the 2011 Blu-rays but was on the DVDs or earlier like Empire of Dreams, From Star Wars to Jedi, etc.

As for the OUT… they could conceivably use the third disc of the OT films for a restored OUT, and shove the other special features onto either that disc or the standard Blu-ray like they did with TLJ. It’s, again, almost definitely our best chance for a long time. I’m just getting nightmares that they will merely stick the GOUT onto the “bonus disc.” Maybe if we’re lucky it will be anthropomorphic this time… In any case if there is an OUT I doubt it will be higher quality than 1080p. They’ll likely want the “canon” and “George-approved” edition to outshine it still, just hopefully not by as much as in 2006.

Ideally, though, they would give us 4K discs of the OUT and use the standard Blu-ray discs of the SE (presumably it will also be the new transfer from Disney Plus rather than the old Blu-ray) to dump the special features. No idea what they’d do with an entire extra disc for each of the prequel/sequel films though.

OR they could simply have two discs worth of special features for each trilogy, three 4K discs of the OUT, plus the standard 4K+Blu-ray versions of each film. That would work out to 27 discs as well. There’s also the possibility of a branching version of the film that only includes two versions of the scenes that are altered, so they could fit both the SE and the OUT on one disc. I doubt that will happen, or if it’s even feasible given the number of changes, but with the Disney Plus color grading I would not mind it one bit.

I still am not getting my hopes up… but with this many discs at this price, it damn well better have the OUT in at least HD quality. If not, I am done with Disney Wars. If what I’ve read about Rise of Skywalker is true, I am now at the point where I’m ready to write everything other than the OUT off as non-canon and toss every disc that doesn’t include OUT content in this set. If it doesn’t include the OUT, no reason to buy it at all. This will be their last chance to be a massive disappointment, and I would not be surprised if they take it based on their track record so far. On the other hand, it will also be their last chance to finally give us the only thing many of us even want anymore.

<em><strong>Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge</strong></em> (Disney Theme Park)

Someone posted a pretty brutal review of this over at the WDWMagic board which I have copied below. In fact, just about everyone who has been to the Disneyland park over there is trashing it. Combined with these articles…



…I expect this is/will be a huge disappointment.

I mean really, no characters or locations or music or anything from the OT at all? (Aside from the Falcon.) The one ride is basically an arcade game/motion simulator? Everything is insanely overpriced? Even the Cantina isn’t the Mos Eisley cantina with no band and the drinks are crap? Everything is lifeless and dreary and beige? As a kid I would have loved nothing more than a Star Wars theme park, but now I think I was better off just riding the original Star Tours if even half of this is accurate, and I have no intention of paying to go now either. This would be like if the Harry Potter land at Universal didn’t have Hogwarts or Harry or Hermione or Dumbledore or Diagon Alley or the John Williams music or anything, and instead everything was just from the new Fantastic Beasts movies or even brand new crap no one’s ever heard of. It would feel more like a cheap knock-off than an immersive world.

My full review:

What I Liked:

  • Seeing the full size Falcon in person was awesome and it was incredibly well executed
  • The chess room of the Falcon, the hallways, and effect of going into the “only” cockpit was great
  • The feel of the Falcon cockpit
  • The ride experience (assuming they eventually get to multiple missions rotating in)
  • The pilot positions both left and right
  • Ronto Roasters
  • Cantina execution (see size issue below)
  • Light saber building concept
  • The design of the marketplace walkthrough area
  • Build a droid experience/conveyor belts

What I Did Not Like:

  • The land feels abandoned, bleak, and depressing
  • Tying it to the new characters vs. the original trilogy that built the brand/fan interest was a mistake (note nearly all of the selfies are in front of the Falcon and X Wing from the original trilogy)
  • The lack of wandering characters, droids, bounty hunters, or anybody makes it feel lifeless, static, and cold
  • The decision to present the few droids and vehicles they have as rusted and abandoned behind fences
  • The intentional decision to not use the iconic music to create an immediate and powerful emotional connection to the land (like Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, etc.)
  • The misguided attempt at “immersion” that lead to the poor choice to exclude the music (yes, I’ve heard all of the convoluted explanations, just a terrible creative choice)
  • The misguided decision to not rely on several entertainment cast members throughout the land, but instead assume that union food, merch, and ride operators can instantly become professional improv actors and both take on characters and tell a story (so painful, it hurts to hear them try)
  • The merchandise cast member trying valiantly to “act” in the light saber experience - Good Lord Disney, pay for ONE entertainment cast member when you’re selling $200 lightsabers!
  • The decision to use BEIGE as your signature color throughout the entire land
  • The decision to not have prominent water features, shade, greenery, or “soft” features to offset the bombed out, abandoned feel of the area
  • The decision to have majority of the buildings be windowless (which feel “closed”) including the cantina to ensure zero atmosphere or energy in the area
  • The incredible amount of closed facades, walls, etc. that lead to nowhere - except a sea of bombed out beige
  • The insanely short sighted capacity issues for the cantina, which should have been the signature experience of the land outside the attractions - and with the Lamplight Lounge experience at DCA, nobody can say they didn’t understand the draw
  • Setting the land in a place that nobody has ever heard of, have no emotional connection to, and a place, frankly, I have no interest in going (vs. Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, etc.)
  • The decision to create the lone incredibly animated animatronic figure of…Yoda? Chewy? Boba Fett? Vader? Jabba? Admiral Ackbar? Nope…Hondo! Whoever that is.
  • The Falcon gunner and engineer positions
  • The queue of the Falcon (with the exception of all of the views of the Falcon) was just another pile of junk with two “Bros” talking
  • The “stalls” in the marketplace seem like a good idea but don’t work for the merchandise or the shopping experience
  • The idea people want “Batuu” merchandise vs. Star Wars merchandise
  • Made up things that aren’t in the Star Wars universe like “Good moons” are whatever the heck they say to you. It’s not Star Wars and nobody cares about “Batuu”. I don’t know, how about “May the Force be with you”!
  • Blue/Green milk - a sad and forced attempt at a Butter Beer phenomenon
  • A complete lack of humor, whimsy, activity, emotion, and charm throughout the land - it’s like the Bizarro Harry Potter Land

What I Am Hoping For:

  • ROTR is amazing on all levels and lives up its scope/expense and makes everyone forget about the land’s shortcomings
  • They immediately fill the land with professional actors, droids, characters, bounty hunters, etc. to give the place life, energy, and activity

Overall, after the immediate thrill of seeing the Falcon and the newness of it all, the place just made me feel depressed vs. how I feel in the rest of Disneyland or at, in my opinion, the far superior two Harry Potter lands in Florida. I love just being “there” in both of those and I’m not even a Harry Potter fan. They both are just full of magic, whimsy, music, joy, and a celebration of the characters and that universe. YMMV

With 20th century in Disney’s grasp, what are the odds of an OUT release?

It doesn’t make much sense to withhold them out of “respect for George” considering he did allow the GOUT to be released, effectively backtracking on his earlier vow that there would be only one version. Sure not much effort was put into the GOUT, but I seem to recall him saying the only reason for that was cost, not that he still was zealously opposed to the existence of the OUT. Then when he sold Star Wars, he basically threw up his hands and said he didn’t care anymore. If Disney was so concerned with respecting George anyway, they wouldn’t have tossed out his story ideas for the sequels. I can assure you they are much more concerned with making money, and this would make money. Kathleen Kennedy’s comments did seem to be more about addressing the fact that they would not create another SE by tinkering with the films farther past George’s last changes; that doesn’t preclude releasing the OUT.

Ranking the Star Wars films

Now having seen Solo and having re-watched and re-evaluated The Last Jedi, here are my new rankings:

  1. The Empire Strikes Back

  2. Star Wars

  3. Return of the Jedi

  4. Solo

  5. The Force Awakens

  6. The Last Jedi

  7. Revenge of the Sith

  8. Rogue One

  9. The Phantom Menace

  10. Attack of the Clones

I responded enthusiastically to my first watch of TLJ, and should emphasize that I don’t agree with the haters on the majority of things they love to complain and rave about it for. BUT on re-watching, it didn’t really hold up. Not because of FEMALES or anything like that, but because the main quality that made me feel excited watching it the first time – its subversiveness and unpredictability – no longer applied. Which meant that all that was left was the basic elements of the film – plot, character development, dialogue, etc. – and they had to stand on their own. And that meant an overlong movie filled with too many jokes that didn’t land, situations that made no sense, and characters that behaved stupidly.

Not to mention the hat trick Johnson pulled to make it feel like he was creating something fresh and bold was obvious on re-watch, and consequently it in fact feels even less original than The Force Awakens at times – i.e. the Snoke scene is literally almost verbatim the same as the Emperor scene in ROTJ, just with a TWIST. Luke sacrificed himself like Obi-Wan did, but it was more EXTREME. And so on. It remains somewhat interesting as a deconstruction of Star Wars, but in the end Johnson didn’t really capture what I personally like about Star Wars. That is especially clear when watched back-to-back with Solo, which DID capture what I like about Star Wars to a greater extent.

<em>Solo: A Star Wars Story</em> — Official Review and Opinions Thread — <strong>SPOILERS</strong>

Well I am now eating crow. Based on the troubled production reports, the trailers, and the basic concept, I fully expected this movie to be awful, and predicted months ago it would bomb spectacularly (by Star Wars standards) both at the box office and critically. Sadly I was kind of right on that point, but I could not have been more wrong about the movie itself being awful. Granted I went in with rock bottom expectations, so maybe that affected my perceptions when it crossed that extremely low threshold, but on the other hand I was prejudiced against the film from the start and amazingly, it was good enough to overcome that prejudice.

Few reasons why:

  1. It wasn’t pure fan service. I fully expected shoehorned-in Bobba Fett, Jabba, Greedo, etc. to dominate the film. But there was none of that. Sure, there were a few little winks at the audience, callback lines, etc. But for the most part it was subtle and it actually worked. It was nothing like the “you’ll be dead” guy scene in Rogue One or any of that shit.

  2. It wasn’t too much of an “origin story” movie. Yes, there were a few moments – like how he got the name “Solo” – that went way too far and were kind of cringeworthy. But for the most part it didn’t overexplain everything about Han’s backstory to death like the prequels did with their characters. And moments like his meeting Chewbacca and Lando were shockingly well-done.

  3. Alden Ehrenreich somehow managed to pull off what I thought was impossible: He convinced me that he was Han Solo. And I never in a million years expected any actor but Harrison Ford would be able to do that, least of all Ehrenreich after the things I heard about his problems pulling off the role.

  4. It didn’t feel like a stitched-together patchwork film, which again is shocking to me due to the development problems and the change in directors. Looking at other films that did this, i.e. Justice League and Suicide Squad, there is no comparison. I never would have guessed this film was the work of multiple directors if I didn’t already know. It was seamlessly cohesive.

  5. Most importantly, the movie was a low-key, low-stakes, mostly lighthearted (but not excessively so) story that felt like it fit in naturally with the world of Star Wars. Contrast this to Rogue One, which tried to be uber-epic and super-serious at all times, and the comparison is night and day. It’s just a simple story about one man’s struggle, not to save the universe, but to survive. We get to see the neglected side of Star Wars – the underworld hinted at in the originals in scenes like the cantina but never fully explored before. We get to see how a normal person lives in the Star Wars galaxy for once. And we get to do it through the eyes of relatable characters we already like, plus a couple others played by good actors who are actually memorable. Again, contrast to Rogue One and it’s no contest at all.

Hell, there is no mention of the Force/Jedi/Sith at all and a lightsaber doesn’t even go off until the very end. Which was the only thing I strongly disliked in the entire film. I really, really hate the concept of bringing Darth Maul back outside of the cartoon. And regardless, this was an obvious set-up for a Marvel-like follow-up (probably with Obi-Wan), so it felt out of place and kept the film from truly standing alone. But it was such a brief, minor moment that I can’t fault the movie too much for it. Certainly can’t fault Ron Howard because it was obviously studio meddling.

Anyway, I just worry that Disney is going to take the relatively lackluster box office response as a sign not to make more movies like this rather than the real problem: It was just a poorly timed release. Strong competition from Avengers and Deadpool, and the last Star Wars movie was just a few months ago. Of course it’s not going to pull TFA numbers. But Disney has a history of misinterpreting problems with films falling short at the box office – i.e. blaming 2D animation for the underperformance of “The Princess and the Frog,” even though it was released at the same time as AVATAR. I hope they don’t do it again, and let these anthology films remain small-scale, self-contained stories. If they do they’ll have officially gone from my least favorite to most favorite parts of Disney Star Wars.

The Last Jedi Digital/Blu-Ray Release: NOT Theatrical Cut?

Lol. People’s memories are so bad that they’re allowing them to be distorted by everything they’ve heard since they saw the movie about how horrible that scene was, all blown completely out of proportion of course, to the point that they’ve convinced themselves the movie has literally been changed when they actually see it again and realize it isn’t really that bad. Well, guess what: It wasn’t that bad in the theater either.

Han - Solo Movie ** Spoilers **

I’m predicting right now this will be the worst-reviewed Star Wars film ever (not counting The Clone Wars). I’m expecting high 40’s-low 50’s RT score, which would put it below even The Phantom Menace.

The production has by all accounts been an absolute hellish mess, they had to hire the kid an acting coach because his performance was so bad, and this trailer has done nothing to convince me they managed to salvage this movie. It’s very rare they can do that when a movie has been mangled as much as this one has been, and there are only a handful of directors who could pull it off. Ron Howard is not one of them.

Would like to be proven wrong, but I remain skeptical.

Before this becomes a thing (invites to Blutopia)

TV’s Frink said:

I have no idea what this thread is, why it needs to be, or why I should care. And I don’t.

It’s almost like you could just… not comment then or something. Weird, I know. But it IS actually possible to simply ignore things you don’t care about or understand and move on with your life without chiming in about every single fucking thing to tell the world how little you care about it. You see, no one cares if you don’t care, so you needn’t feel compelled to let everyone know. Seems like you’re carrying around a heavy burden, feeling the need to leave a snarky comment on every single thread regardless of what it’s about or how pointless and annoying your comment is. Please rest assured, you can let go of that responsibility and everyone will be just fine.

How many 'Bad' Star Wars movies could you take before you check out?

I had already pretty much checked out after the prequels, for several years. I barely gave a second thought to Star Wars and I’m not sure I watched any of the movies in their entirety for the better part of a decade from 2005 to 2015. Obviously I didn’t like the prequels and I was so put off by the changes to the originals that I never even finished watching the DVDs I bought in 2004 and didn’t even get the Blu-rays for a long while. I didn’t know about Despecialized or even the GOUT, and had no desire to dig out old VHS tapes, so Star Wars was basically dead to me for quite some time.

Then the hype around TFA “awakened” my dormant interest in the series. The movie itself didn’t quite live up to that hype, but it did lead me to discovering Despecialized and all of a sudden I remembered why I loved Star Wars so much as a kid. It really was like R2 lighting up at the end of TFA. So I’ve maintained my renewed interest in the franchise in the two years since, despite having mixed (though more positive than not) feelings about TFA and outright disliking Rogue One. I did really like TLJ though, so now I think the total tally of good-to-bad Star Wars movies is 5-to-4, an improvement over the 3-to-3 when Disney took over. That’s good enough in my book, especially since two of those five (SW and ESB) are still among my favorite movies ever. Nothing will ever change that. Not even if Disney completely drives the franchise into the ground, which after TLJ I feel is less likely to happen anyway.

If you need to C*mplain about the CGI Grand Moff Tarkin in <em>Rogue One</em>... this is the place

There were many things wrong with Rogue One. CGI Tarkin was actually among the most minor compared to the fatal problems with the concept, structure, pacing, plot, tone, score, and above all character development of the film. But it was still a problem, and one of the easiest to fix. The only remotely compelling character in the film, or at least the only one with potential to be remotely compelling as he was written, was Krennic. He could have been made far more compelling by simply removing Tarkin from the film entirely and instead focusing solely on Krennic and his motives. The rivalry with Tarkin added nothing of substance and Tarkin was clearly only in the film at all solely as fan service and so Disney could demo their shiny new uncanny valley tech.

Krennic was the only villainous Imperial officer with a British accent we needed. Removing Tarkin to focus on him would have killed two birds with one stone – it would have provided an opportunity to at least have a decent villain actually played by a flesh-and-blood human AND it would have avoided the creepy CGI face of a dead man. And no, Tarkin was not needed for the plot – it makes sense that he would have been brought in to replace Krennic after he died at the end of the movie. We don’t need that spelled out for us. Every bit as much over-explaining fan service as the other prequels, frankly.

I didn't like The Force Awakens. Should I see The Last Jedi in theaters? (NO SPOILERS)

If you didn’t like TFA because you didn’t think it was original enough but you liked the characters and thought the series had potential, yes you should see it. I’m somewhat in that position; I wouldn’t say I disliked TFA, but I didn’t love it either yet I did love this one because every problem I had with TFA was essentially corrected here.

If you didn’t like TFA because you hated the characters and thought everything about the set=up of the new trilogy was irredeemably bad, odds are you won’t like this one either though.

Disney to buy 20th (21st) Century Fox? (Disney has now bought them - 14 Dec '17)

Mike O said:

SilverWook said:

The G said:

Is it that hard to just slap it on a disc and sell it? Why all this crap, I would gladly pay for some over priced collectors limited deluxe edition…

I just want to watch Star Wars…

Most of us have been asking that question for well over a decade now.

More like 20 years.

Well, at least when the SEs first came out in '97, the last release of the originals was only a couple years earlier so it’s not like it was some giant leap ahead in quality. It was all VHS/LD, and both versions were readily available on the same formats in roughly equal quality. It was’t until the DVDs were released in 2004 that one version of the trilogy was suddenly in much higher quality and it really became a problem.

Ranking the Star Wars Soundtracks

Rogue One was an absolutely horrible soundtrack. Was not John Williams, was rushed out at the last minute, and is unbelievably generic. Not even worth mentioning in the same conversation as the others.

I’d probably rank the Williams soundtracks:

  1. ESB
  2. SW
  3. ROTJ
  4. TLJ
  5. TPM
  6. TFA
  7. AOTC
  8. ROTS

ESB edges out the original mainly because of “The Imperial March.” ROTJ has the Emperor’s theme which is awesome along with the rest of the music in the throne room sequence, but beyond that doesn’t quite compare with the first two in terms of original contributions. TLJ is actually better than TFA in large part because it seemed to rely more heavily on themes from the OT at appropriate moments, and its new parts seemed overall a slight step above as well. TPM scores major points for “Duel of the Fates” alone. The other two prequel soundtracks are mostly pretty forgettable, though the love theme in AOTC was pretty good. It’s just a shame the scenes it accompanied were so terrible.

The Last Jedi: Official Review and Opinions Thread ** SPOILERS **

I for one absolutely loved it. I was initially surprised to see how divisive it is among fans, but I don’t give a damn about the haters and it became clear that they would whine no matter what because it’s different and not exactly what they envisioned. Just like they whined about TFA being too derivative. It’s a damned-if-you-do situation with these fans, clearly no pleasing some people.

All I care about is my own experience, and my expectations were completely blown away, to the point I actually now feel MUCH better about Disney’s control of the franchise and especially Rian Johnson’s future trilogy than I did before. This blew both TFA and especially Rogue One out of the water.

In fact I’d go so far as to say that it’s better than RotJ and therefore the best Star Wars film since 1980. As far as filmmaking quality alone goes — direction, acting, script, cinematography, etc. — it might well best even the original. Not prepared to say it’s actually better because the original will always be special, but damn was this a well-made film that was firing on all cylinders.

Damn near everything about it worked for me: Every risk paid off, every scene kept me gripped in a way its two predecessors could not (especially Rogue One). There might be a couple minor nitpicks as there are in the best of films, but they are totally overwhelmed by the positives. This was everything I wanted from a new Star Wars movie and then some things I didn’t even realize I wanted as well. (Like that scene with Kylo and Rey kicking ass that felt like it came out of a Tarantino film.) It was original, smart, emotional, exciting, and satisfying with JUST the right amount of nostalgia. For the first time since Empire, it really felt like I was watching something NEW in a Star Wars film that wasn’t just derivative, a true progression. That theme of “out with the old in with the new” was of course echoed in the film itself, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

By the way, how anyone has a problem with Luke’s “death” scene is beyond me. The binary sunset shot with the music swelling sent chills down my spine. It was absolute perfection.

SilverWook said:

Mark just knocked it out of the park with this. I sincerely hope he gets an Oscar nomination. It would be a first for a Star Wars film?

Alec Guiness was nominated in ‘77. I think it would be only fitting if Hamill was as well. This was certainly the performance of his career, it’s just a shame it came so late in his career. Guy was absolutely slept on for decades without being given a chance to grow as an actor because he was forever typecast as the whiny Star Wars kid who wanted power converters. Which is a damn shame and completely unfair. He has grown into a far more formidable actor and easily had the potential for several great performances over the last three decades that have passed him by.

Harry Potter saga - open matte (Released)

Papai2013 said:

That’s OK. Without your effort, none of us would have been able to see these amazing restorations that you do.

Is there any particular reason you’re being such an asshole? Or do you just not realize that some people have to work for a living? I guess unless I spend all my limited free time working on restoring illicitly acquired 35mm prints, I have no right to ask others politely about the status of their ongoing projects. My mistake, won’t make it again.