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NFBisms

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21-Jan-2021
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Post
#1404771
Topic
The Last Jedi: Official Review and Opinions Thread ** SPOILERS **
Time

Wanderer_ said:

NFBisms said:

I swear if no one said “subvert expectations” before this movie came out, no one would think the movie was actively trying to do that. It at the very least wouldn’t be The Buzzword for TLJ criticism. Take everything in the film at face value - not in conversation about director’s intent - and there’s not a whole lot about it that plays with conventions as much as people like to say it does.

Pulling the rug out from under people only to pull it back in is the kind of pretentious thing the film gets accused of. I don’t see how that would fix the issues people are dead set on wanting it to have.**

**not that the film doesn’t have real problems

That is absolutely not true, and it can be demonstrated.

i’m glad you proved me wrong. you did it you’re so smart and truly understand storytelling !

Your premise relies on the ideas (1) that TFA even had concrete themes and characters to adhere to (not vague questions and teasing), (2) that everyone has the same expectations, (3) that tropes/archetypes should only play out one way, lest you have a renegade film. You repeat yourself with the same reaching, subjective talking points like three times in this post, too.

In fact it sacrifices narrative and character development in order to do so.

Give me a break

Post
#1403596
Topic
Revenge of the Sith (The New Canon Cut) [DRAFT AVAILABLE]
Time

fwiw It’s only unfinished in that it became a messy experimental canvas for me. If I were to continue working on it, it would only entail walking back changes I’ve made on the most recent cut, not make new ones or work on accomplishing the goals of the edit “better.”

There was probably one point in the past where the edit was “finished” to my liking, save for a high quality export. But I really messed up those Vegas project files with how spontaneous the process ended up being. It’s kind of a nightmare to sort through for me now. I’m severely lacking in the free time. Part of me knows that the editor I am now wouldn’t be able to resist just redoing everything from the ground up; more neat and organized, in HD, etc.

That said, here’s what I would do from the current version:

  • Revert back to original color grading. I was grasping at making it feel as filmic as I remember it being as a lad. But it only adds to how fanedit-y the thing feels, esp. with the audio additions. Most people are fine with how ROTS looks. Apparently.
  • Remove at least 15% of the audio additions.
  • Adjust audio levels for certain added dialogue. There are previews in this thread that sound better than they do in the file.
  • Export in 1080p, 5.1 ch audio mix.

But the likelihood of me getting around to it is really low to be honest. I’m sorry.

Post
#1402626
Topic
The Clone Wars: Refocused - A new holistic approach inspired by the Mandalorian [FOUR EPISODES RELEASED]
Time

Maybe my tolerance for this sort of thing is just super high, but I do miss the “Snips and Skyguy” exchange in ep 1. I get that some people have a cringe reflex, or would rather like Ahsoka than not at first, but I think there is value in having Ahsoka act smug and petulant at this point in her character arc.

Its absence kind of messes with the progression between her and Anakin in the episode. The bickering establishes why they aren’t getting along as well as they should be, so without it, she just comes off as a harmlessly enthusiastic girl that Anakin is being a dick to for no reason. By the time she is firing back, it’s because she’s had enough of his shit. But I just think Anakin needs to see a lot of himself in her for the whole “You’ll make it as mine” moment to work. She needs to be a headache, but one he understands being. It’s a perfect line robbed of its weight here.

idk, it was just really noticeable to me how harmless and inoffensive Ahsoka was. It didn’t jive with important character moments and dialogue in the episode.


Pretty much everything else I’d have to say about the episodes I saw has been said. I think these are really well done overall! My only real technical (if even) gripe is that it’s noticeable to me when we’re coming into a scene from the titles with the music already halfway through a track. Maybe it’s something you plan to polish, but I wouldn’t mind if you rescored the beginning of those moments.

Post
#1401913
Topic
The Last Jedi: Official Review and Opinions Thread ** SPOILERS **
Time

I swear if no one said “subvert expectations” before this movie came out, no one would think the movie was actively trying to do that. It at the very least wouldn’t be The Buzzword for TLJ criticism. Take everything in the film at face value - not in conversation about director’s intent - and there’s not a whole lot about it that plays with conventions as much as people like to say it does.

Pulling the rug out from under people only to pull it back in is the kind of pretentious thing the film gets accused of. I don’t see how that would fix the issues people are dead set on wanting it to have.**

**not that the film doesn’t have real problems

Post
#1398047
Topic
<strong>The Clone Wars</strong> (2008 animated tv series) - general discussion thread
Time

Was Satine not portrayed somewhat negatively, as naive and in over her head? Obi-Wan is The Good Guy and he never actually resolves his debate with Satine other than the “we’ll agree to disagree” thing. And then she dies in spite of all her efforts and Star Wars at this point has been pretty pro-warrior Mando, even adapting her terrorist sister as A Good Guy in live action.

Mandalore’s neutrality and pacifism causes a lot of problems for our heroes, that I’d say it wasn’t trying to make Satine’s goal The Good Side. Basically: Nice thoughts, but it doesn’t work. Which is a whole political can of worms, but lines up pretty neatly with the kids show themes of Fighting For What’s Right.

Post
#1396920
Topic
Unpopular Opinion Thread
Time

Rian saved Luke Skywalker from being a boring generic superhero in my eyes. The whole zen monk vibe he had in RotJ felt somewhat disingenuous to the initial character anyway (Mando helped me realize this), and to see that contrast adapted into a philosophical struggle in TLJ was really interesting and more satisfying storytelling than Force God fan wank.

The kid didn’t want anything but a dad, his friends, and a sweet piloting gig, especially when thrust with the Jedi responsibilities he didn’t really understand. In the end, his human heart and love for his dad beat The Empire, not his powers or sick saber moves. He certainly didn’t have to follow in Obi-Wan and Yoda’s footsteps. Badass Jedi Knight? Nah, just a good son.

Luke dealing with the expectation that he was more than any of those things is perfect meta commentary on how so many people thought or wanted it to be otherwise. “Like my father before me” is more important than the “I am a Jedi” part and I’m glad Rian found that soul from a character so muddled by pop culture.

Post
#1395730
Topic
Unpopular Opinion Thread
Time

StarkillerAG said:

Geez, I don’t know how you can simultaneously consider Rogue One the best Star Wars thing ever, while also considering Mando season 2 the worst Star Wars thing ever. I thought they were very similar, and from what I’ve seen there is heavy overlap between the fans of both.

For one thing, the dialogue in Rogue One is at least more naturalistic than the shallow pulp exchanges of Mando. The characters discuss ideas, thoughts, and emote complex feelings. There’s an actual attempt at interpersonal and ideological drama. It may be what gives Rogue One its “boring” wrap, but I think Mando is so completely in the opposite direction (save for bits of Chapter 15) wherein every other character either exposits plot or one lines their way through paper thin Rule Of Cool sequences.

Not similar at all IMO. Fundamentally different approaches to storytelling. Mando relies on the shape of a story with us having to assume at least half the substantive story beats, whereas Rogue One (perhaps to the detriment of broadly entertaining pacing) fills out the more minute details of its story elements. Mando is dumb, Rogue One thinks it’s smarter than it is.

Post
#1394894
Topic
Unpopular Opinion Thread
Time

StarkillerAG said:
So you’re saying something like the original Star Trek? I’m not really sure if that would be a good idea. I tend to find television formulas to be tiring, especially when they’re of the “threat of the week” variety.

Firefly or Cowboy Bebop if anything, although those might be big asks quality wise. Which is essentially my point; I’m disappointed that Star Wars isn’t allowed to go there (those comparisons aren’t even that amazing) because SW “pulpy fun” and “it’s perfect for what it is.” Idk. Why can’t this Star Wars show be written as well?

I’m not even thinking about it in terms of a hard P&F formula. Like, literally, every episode could be different. In the same way we got a western in Chapter 9 and shades of jidaigeki in Chapter Whatever The One Ahsoka Was In, this show could have adopted a different style and structure every vignette. All these announced spin offs could have just existed as their own episodes within this show. Maybe then they wouldn’t have felt like half-baked teases or backdoor pilots.

Episodic != formulaic. At least, it doesn’t have to.

jedi_bendu said:
I love Ezra too. I never minded him at all seasons 1 and 2 like some people, but I think the incredibly emotional decision he had to make and his sacrifice to liberate his home planet in the Rebels finale will strengthen his character even more going forward.

He’s like Ahsoka, Dave Filoni and his band of writers wrote both Ahsoka and Ezra as young characters who actually act their age and are in some ways annoying, but who mature and become better people as their stories progressed.

I genuinely don’t get what’s so bad about Ezra. He has a pretty well-realized arc. It’s inoffensively solid.

No, more than that, I honestly think he has the most developed and nuanced journey from normal person to Jedi of the entire franchise. And he’s still pretty characteristically doofy after it all, unlike Luke who becomes this zen monk figure out of almost nowhere. He’s by far the most human Jedi we’ve had. I think he’s a good character.

That said, I’m ready to turn on him the minute Filoni decides to milk him as hard as he milked Ahsoka.

Post
#1394821
Topic
Unpopular Opinion Thread
Time

See, I’m of a completely different mind about it. I think the show could’ve just not had a story.

Grogu and Din traveling to different pockets of the galaxy doing random stuff and growing together along the way, would have been better than what we got IMO. The little adventures they did have ended up being so half baked and bare bones because of the obligation to get somewhere. It only got in the way of fleshing out how interesting the vignettes could be.

It’s not sidetracking if there is no track, and it leaves you with an entire galaxy as a canvas to explore. Din and Grogu just along for the ride. I genuinely think the show would have been better served focusing less on those two and more on the “guest world” or character of an episode. Make it the Cobb Vanth Show, Greef Carga Show, Egg Lady Show, or Mayfeld Show for the episode(s) they’re in. Flesh those characters and their dilemmas out - invest us in them more than the Mando and Baby Yoda. The duo then comes out of an episode having learned or changed by interacting with them.

As it was, it felt like we were just passing through sidequests to exchange favors. But I’d rather we took on the perspective of those being passed by. It’s not like Din and Grogu wouldn’t be in every episode for us to gather an identifiable thread.

Post
#1394686
Topic
<em>The Mandalorian</em> Discussion Thread - * <em><strong>SPOILERS</strong></em> *
Time

The last bit was just off to be honest. Like, does Din not want to discuss things with this stranger a little more? Why is Luke seemingly uninterested in letting Grogu’s ostensible guardian know a little more about the situation going forward? I mean, meeting Ahsoka and sorting things out from there took a while (a whole day), and that didn’t even pan out.

But then Luke rolls up and the pacing at which things happen is Mando going “i guess i have no choice” like a self aware bit in a Dan Harmon show. Maybe if no one else was in the room it would have played slightly better the exact same way, but it just felt so obvious they couldn’t really “use” Luke. And in the context of everything else, so rushed. No questions, just bye Grogu. The helmet scene is only good in isolation from everything around it.

Post
#1392539
Topic
<em>The Mandalorian</em> Discussion Thread - * <em><strong>SPOILERS</strong></em> *
Time

More episodes like this please! I hated Burr’s character (and that episode) last season, but the crew really brought it this episode; writing, directing, and acting was all a step above the usual shallowness of the show. Longer, substantial dialogue scenes - rather than just pulpy exchanges - go a long way in developing the world and characters. Why they never bothered beforehand is beyond me.

Post
#1391784
Topic
<em>The Rise of Skywalker</em> - Rewrite Discussion Thread
Time

I love love love ATLA (“NFB” is derived from an old username NextFireBender) so I’m not opposed to cribbing from it! That concept works really well with the themes of the film and would have added so much more to the Rey Palpatine (even Palps’ return itself) stuff; as much as I fundamentally disagree with that plot thread.


Anyway, I’m thinking about posting to this entire section with a more in-depth rewrite/treatment, but the idea(s) I had for an alternate Ep IX are pretty drastically different from TROS. I was just so frustrated with the film around Jan/Feb that I ended up digging in to do an alternate script/fanfic thing myself. I lost motivation around the third-way point, but I think I’ll get back to it soon.

Basically, following TLJ, I liked the idea that Ben’s First Order actually tries to be a benevolent faction for the galaxy. Its conquests become fairly protected vassals; especially in the historically neglected Outer Rim. The First Order’s presence ostensibly cleans up crime and assuages poverty there. I’d tap in a bit into how much the NR might have failed these lesser systems, and frame TFO as less of The Empire 2.0. Ben’s words in TLJ should’ve meant something. If not the old, then it’s because the new might actually try to be better. Ben hasn’t turned to the light side or anything, and it’s not like the Resistance aren’t still pursued - but The First Order has the support of people who would have helped fight that cause.

Ben in all this is like the desperate ex-boyfriend trying to win back Rey. “Isn’t this what you and your friends wanted?” (It’s not like he wouldn’t be doing war crimes on the side to achieve his goals, either.)

So that sets up an arc where Ben has to learn the “right” reasons to do good, and in the process be exposed to flaws in his arrogant, authoritarian thinking. Learn that part of redemption is more than just moving forward, it’s also admitting and trying to atone for what he’s done. He relinquishes power at the end when he better understands the limits of one man, and how others can help each other if they can agree to; if Ben can let others help him. That understanding would tie into how he would be able to forgive his parents/mentors for not being perfect.

The Rey/Finn/Rose/Poe side of things would be about finding the drive to fight when no one else will, when you lose sight of what you’re fighting for or it becomes complicated. Essentially building on TLJ’s “when to fight” philosophies. The GROUP would be a spectrum, from Poe’s (having learned from Holdo/Leia) approach with more diplomacy, to Rey as eager to take the fight to Ben. Finn and Rose in the middle going back and forth between that pragmatism and thirst for justice.

Rey with her newfound sense of purpose wants to carve out her own legend and fulfill a perceived destiny as next Jedi/hero of the galaxy. Her parents would only factor in that she doesn’t want to dwell on that anymore. She’s on a quest to rebuild Luke’s saber, find more Jedi texts, and lead the Resistance in a war against the The First Order - for the crimes against the galaxy that got them to power. Basically, her desires become desperation and Ben’s initial dark side “reasonings” from the top of the rewrite begin to influence her. Even when Ben begins sliding towards good. She loses sight of why she’s fighting, it becomes personal. In a way, Ben “becoming and doing good” takes away from her the bright new purpose she thought she had.

Finn would become uncomfortable with Rey’s dehumanization of the enemy; after all he was once a stormtrooper. And this is where the thematic pieces of Finn’s arc in other rewrites/DoTF would come in. He frees/rallies stormtroopers as a way to undermine The First Order, and avoid the war Rey is trying to start.

Rey doesn’t become like an evil villain, but I did want there to be a role reversal. She is something of an antagonist until everyone can come together to defeat Hux’s coup. Which will be an obvious plot element to include and build from the beginning: Snoke’s old followers and the ambitious Hux would absolutely be against Ben’s run as a benevolent Supreme Leader. The Knights of Ren and new designs like the Sith Troopers could be on this side.

There’s a bit more to it than that of course, like the narrative plot of the entire damn thing, but like I said, this was just a broad overview of the thematic elements I would have wanted out of a follow up to TLJ. I was going to get back to writing it for fun if anyone was interested, but yeah. Idk. Those were some of my ideas.

Post
#1388213
Topic
Ahsoka Tano - discussion
Time

I don’t know, it’s not even that, although that is noticeable.

To me, the character of Ahsoka in TCW grappled with a lot of different themes and developed through them genuinely pretty interestingly: The gradual breakdown of an upbringing she romanticized, learning to roll with those punches, and adapt her teachings in increasingly less black and white scenarios, eventually leading to a disillusionment of the larger system, and her trying to rediscover trust in its base ideologies… She went through a lot, and grew from it.

She was Anakin Skywalker’s padawan, and his influence - good and bad - reflected in her choices. But she was still her own person, overcoming some of his failures and falling short of some of his successes. She was three dimensional and endearing; young but quickly maturing.

Put her through betrayal and a genocide of everyone she’d ever known, forced to hide from an Empire, and you’d think there would be a lot to unpack for a complex character like her. But Rebels just treated her as fanservice and a plot device. She shows up as a moment of relief: “Look! It’s that character you love!” and serves as a reassuring presence to the audience proxy of Ezra from time to time. She’s a wise and matronly mentor. Obviously all that hardship and strife just made her a stronger and better person. That’s such a boring cop-out catch-up. And now she’s just there. Sad about Vader, but still.

Whether or not she was snippy in Rebels, she was too perfect, so to speak. I would have wanted more from her disavowment of the Jedi, not just the vague “something else” that was never elaborated on. And surely that lack of commitment to those philosophies would have opened her up more to the grief she must feel for what she’s lost. Especially in light of the complicated relationship she had to it anyway. Something more along the lines of where Kanan was.

My hopes or headcanon for her going forward, is that they’ll finally lean into the elements that made Ahsoka interesting. That she only came off as boring in Rebels because we were tied to a young Ezra’s POV. And maybe that’s true, if she is showing up only halfway through season 2 of The Mandalorian. She’s not a Jedi, maybe they’ll finally elaborate.

And further into hopes for the larger canon, I’m a fan of the idea that she maybe doesn’t help Luke build the New Jedi Order. I would honestly like if they cast her in an antagonistic role at some point. Not as a villain villain, but someone opposed to rebuilding the Jedi in the way it was. And that could tie into TLJ, where Luke is disillusioned himself.

Post
#1388162
Topic
Ahsoka Tano - discussion
Time

A big disappointment I realize I had with her Rebels appearances is that she was actually really boring there? Every Jedi that wasn’t Obi-Wan or Anakin essentially had the same personality as one another in TCW, and Ahsoka seemed to become that to Ezra. Your basic older mentor figure. Which as an Ahsoka fan was disappointing. I get that she was supposed to have matured, but they really didn’t do anything with her “I’m no Jedi” thing. She was a Jedi in every way, and they couldn’t even come up with a pedantic reason why she wasn’t. She just wasn’t, I guess.

I wish they had come up with a more interesting personality and arc for adult Ahsoka, is all. The most interesting stuff to come out of what they did do, was her dealing with the fallout of Anakin’s turn - but that pretty much writes itself anyway. And they still did the bare minimum: Ahsoka is sad, Ahsoka has regrets. Even Eckstein’s performance was pointedly less expressive and more matronly.

Post
#1380070
Topic
Revenge of the Sith (The New Canon Cut) [DRAFT AVAILABLE]
Time

I guess I should probably be more open about this; I haven’t been working on this at all since April/May.

I’m still sending out links to the workprint, (just sent a few today actually) but it’s looking less likely than ever that I’ll ever go back and “finish it.” I use quotations because for the most part, I think I’ve more or less done what I wanted to do. But the audiovisual quality, as well as an array of minor issues, really hold it back for me from being final final. It’s like 720p stereo, and color graded by an overzealous 22 year old.

I don’t know. I’m too burnt out now to revisit it, even to just walk back one line of added dialogue or fix a 3PO line overlapping itself. And I don’t want to lose another day of access to my computer to export a higher quality file that I’ll end up wanting to tweak again and so on and so forth. The way this project was set up is also a nightmare in the first place. I’ve grown so much as an editor since I started, and this was pretty early on in that journey. I’ve basically been fighting my past self to even get the more recent stuff out.

So, forever “unfinished” unless I change my mind when Star Wars Ep X comes around. But that’s not a huge deal because it was basically done anyway. I just wish that it was available in a way people could use my choices for their own edits. I really do.

I want to thank Hal, snooker, Mithrandir, Artan42, Octorox, sade1212, RogueLeader, IlFaneditore, Delpheas, etc, etc for contributing a lot to this project and helping me out. (God, I’m leaving out so many rn) And thanks to basically anyone who watched any of the thousand versions or showed interest. This doesn’t exist without all your contributions to the fanediting community in the first place. Sorry I couldn’t keep loving Star Wars.