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You missed an opportunity JJ Abrams (Star Wars Trailer Spoilers)

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  • You missed an opportunity JJ Abrams (Star Wars Trailer Spoilers)

    Yes, I am critiquing some of the movie before it even comes out.

    So I saw some more trailers while watching movies over the weekend. In one trailer there was some narration that suggests a story told from multiple viewpoints which is great. We learn some more about the galaxy's fourth black man - an Imperial stormtrooper. He was narrating some of the story. Also cool. Only the trailers imply he defects to the Rebel Alliance or whatever JJ is now calling the Rebel Alliance.

    That presents a missed opportunity.

    Star Wars has often utilized cookie cutter supervillains with evil as their motivation. The prequels tried to make Anakin a little more 3 dimensional but the success was mixed and he tended to come off looking less cool in the process.

    EU authors however have done a great job of taking the Empire and turning it from SPECTRE is Space to a believable political organization. The Thrawn trilogy gives us two main antagonists in the form of Grand Admiral Thrawn and Captain Palleon who aren't cackling supervillains. They believe in the political goals of the Empire and they are ruthless but they aren't totally evil. The New Republic in the mean time is presented as a well intentioned but flawed institution rather than the uber idealist knight in shining armor always on the side of good and virtue institution it was in the movies. Zahn gave the heroes flaws and the villains depth which made the story that much more human and relatable.

    Having a stormtrooper character who honestly believes the Empire is the good guy in this whole fracas and presents his role in the story as a guy who is doing his best for the Empire would have been a great character arc because it provides that level of three dimensional characters - an antagonist who is honestly doing what he thinks is right vs. protagonists who are honestly doing what they think is right is a story arc we don't get to see very often. Hollywood likes black and white.

    Unfortunately it sounds like the narrative presented is that this stormtrooper is a good guy and because he is a good guy he defects to the Rebels because of course he does. Rebels good, Empire bad.

    You missed an opportunity JJ.
    A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

  • #2
    The entire Star Wars franchise has always been the classic Good vs Evil battle. No reason to change it now.

    Comment


    • #3
      And you can still have good vs. evil while also having three dimensional characters. In the Thrawn trilogy Grand Admiral Thrawn is clearly the antagonist. He is a military dictator is every sense of the word and calculating and manipulative. He just isn't the classic evil for the sake of evil supervillain. He has a rational agenda even if that agenda makes him a clear antagonist. And having these characters makes for a more interesting story.

      Villains who are evil, know they are evil, like being evil, and are evil for evil's sake are a dime a dozen and can be found in every comic book. A character that is a bad guy but has conviction and doesn't see himself as the bad guy or a minion as a stormtrooper would be who is on an oppressive side but does not see himself as the oppressor but rather as a patriot provides depth for more colorful and believable characters. An evil for the sake of evil character can be explained in one sentence. A villain with rational motivations is far more fun to develop and more compelling. Star Wars has been called a "space opera". In order to be truly operatic even the bad guys have to be three dimensional.
      A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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      • #4
        I'm gonna skip this one. I disapprove of using slave labor for my entertainment. And if disney makes a huge profit off of this you know that they will continue using real life slaves... I will not support a company that makes profits off of the misery of others...

        http://ihscslnews.org/view_article.php?id=67

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...ons-shame-west

        Why do they film there instead of filming it in the states? Profit and greed...
        Credo quia absurdum.


        Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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        • #5
          Careful with those websites, got some kickback from my scanners...

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          • #6
            Yeah, PS, looks like this iteration will only be slightly different from the past, especially since it employs some of the past characters. It's all screwed up now since Disney doesn't really want any of the EU stuff that much or past canon unless they absolutely have to have it. There's a lot of opportunities that's for sure.

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            • #7
              I predict this movie will be as good as Star Trek Into Darkness.

              Which isn't saying much.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Martok View Post
                I predict this movie will be as good as Star Trek Into Darkness.

                Which isn't saying much.
                Oh don't do that. I certainly hope it's a lot better than that.

                But, yeah...now that you brought it up, I can't help but be more worried now.
                The First Amendment applies to SMS, Emails, Blogs, online news, the Fourth applies to your cell phone, computer, and your car, but the Second only applies to muskets?

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                • #9
                  No need to be so negative (I was let down by STID* too...) but I suppose better to be surprised by low expectations than crushed by high ones.

                  Non-spoiler review headlines look very positive though and I have my ticket reserved for tomorrow night so I'll see for myself.

                  *These were not "Trek" as I know it - I've seen every episode of TOS and TNG and the films too - I did like the 2009 Trek FWIW even if it played better as a generic action sci-fi flick.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by joea View Post
                    No need to be so negative (I was let down by STID* too...) but I suppose better to be surprised by low expectations than crushed by high ones.
                    I can't help but to have higher expectations than I want to.
                    The First Amendment applies to SMS, Emails, Blogs, online news, the Fourth applies to your cell phone, computer, and your car, but the Second only applies to muskets?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm not interested. I already saw "I was a teen-aged jedi" in the 70s.

                      The setting has so much to offer, but it looks like Disney is going to stick with 'save the galaxy (again) with a multitude of action figures'.

                      What about a Firefly/Dark Force style movie or series about some ordinary folks just trying to grab a semi-honest buck?
                      Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                      • #12
                        Apparently that's in the works now that they're planning on making side movies as well. Last I heard there is a darker, grittier movie about Boba Fett planned focusing on the universe's underworld.
                        "Artillery lends dignity to what might otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederick the Great

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by frisco17 View Post
                          Apparently that's in the works now that they're planning on making side movies as well. Last I heard there is a darker, grittier movie about Boba Fett planned focusing on the universe's underworld.
                          Bobba Fett? No matter how dark they make such a movie they can never change the incredibly wimpy and stupid way he died.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Martok View Post
                            Bobba Fett? No matter how dark they make such a movie they can never change the incredibly wimpy and stupid way he died.
                            Yeah, after all the hype when we got the first glimpse of him only to have him get a red shirt death...that's pretty meager.

                            Its a galaxy-wide setting; can't they come up with something that isn't thirty plus years old?
                            Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                              Its a galaxy-wide setting; can't they come up with something that isn't thirty plus years old?
                              Agreed. I could. Witness:

                              "In a world...where Jar Jar Binks sired children...lots of children because he is basically an amphibian...two Jedi try and save the Empire from...

                              The Children of the Scorn!"

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