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Thread: Solo: A Star Wars Story

  1. #121

    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    I honestly enjoyed this moving having finally saw it on Blu-Ray and also its nice to finally see what the big deal about the Kessel Run was. And finally get that whole parsecs thing resolved, Considering that had never been explained before unless you comb through Wookiepedia. So was nice to see it put to a movie.
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  2. #122
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    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    I poked fun at the Luke scene, but the Anakin scene in question is so incredibly bad that I sort of feel like if we take it seriously we can't take any of it seriously at all, making the entire argument kind of moot. The various low points of the prequels are part of why I am surprised at how disappointed people are capable of getting at the new movies.

    P.S. Yippee!

  3. #123
    Ellsworth M. Toohey
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    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Quote Originally Posted by Wool View Post
    I poked fun at the Luke scene, but the Anakin scene in question is so incredibly bad that I sort of feel like if we take it seriously we can't take any of it seriously at all, making the entire argument kind of moot.
    I was expecting someone to go down the "The prequels are so shitty that we should just ignore them" path.

    Sorry, but they're canon. Deal with it, folks.

  4. #124
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    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    That's not what I said though. I said that most people are generally going to have to choose which they want to take seriously, and that reconciliation via argument will be difficult with someone who made the opposite choice. The Anakin scene hurts the credibility of the world, so anyone wanting to continue taking the world seriously will find a way to hand wave it away or otherwise ignore it. Making the opposite choice implies different priorities in your enjoyment of this particular universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goladus View Post

    Also I really wouldn't underestimate how the poor visuals influence your perception of the movie. Even though I hate the plot of TLJ because of how dumb it is and I definitely got bored at many points (during Canto Bight especially), at least I was not visually bored. Solo is frustratingly boring on a subconscious level simply by virtue of the way it looks. Other movies have done color filtering like this (Traffic, for example), but I've never seen it used so detrimentally. For Traffic, at least, the entire movie is well-lit with a lot of close-ups on human character's faces and the setting is about as far from Fantasy/Sci-Fi as you can get. In most of Solo my brain is wasting energy trying to sort out what's on the screen rather than being able to relax and enjoy it.

    Here are some pictures. Everything in this scene is blue. The droid is blue. Emilia Clarke is blue.


    Here's a shot of the Falcon Cockpit from The Last Jedi, which looks great.


    Here's a deliberately low-light situation in Empire Strikes Back, when Han is powering down the Falcon to avoid detection while they try to repair the hyperdrive. The dialog is between 3P0 and Han, and both their faces are well-lit and easy to distinguish from the background detail.



    Look at all that detail on Lady Proxima. That creature does NOT look like something designed to be filmed with a blue monochromatic filter.



    The random red light on the weapon is the only color in an otherwise dark, black and white scene.



    I forgot to say earlier: this is an interesting post, but the pictures don't show up.

  5. #125
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    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    I see the pictures in your quoted text. Do you still not see them?

  6. #126
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    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    No images. I see image tags in the quoted text, but the address itself doesn't work even when I copy and paste it in another browser.

  7. #127
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    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Weird. I see the images fine.
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  8. #128
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    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Quote Originally Posted by Wool View Post
    most people are generally going to have to choose which they want to take seriously
    That is the functional equivalent of "I think this part is shitty, so I'm ignoring it."

    But these aren't Choose-Your-Own-Adventure stories. They're clearly delineated narratives -- more detailed than most, and with less room for interpretation than most, since the notoriously unsubtle Lucas loves to spell everything out and hammer viewers over the head. Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith are critical parts of the main storyline -- perhaps even the most important parts, since they're the origin stories for the whole thing, and I don't see anything in Solo that feels terribly out of place with that universe as established by George Lucas.

    And I also see all the images. You using a VPN?

  9. #129
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    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    I think I've resolved it. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  10. #130
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    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Quote Originally Posted by PPatty View Post
    I was expecting someone to go down the "The prequels are so shitty that we should just ignore them" path.

    Sorry, but they're canon. Deal with it, folks.
    If you're being a nitpick about Canon, all TPM proved is that Anakin could do it. Not just anyone. Anakin is clearly established as special. He's the only human who can race a pod. His midichlorian counts are off the charts. You don't need any specific visualization or commentary about Anakin using the force or something, just that Anakin can't be compared to normal people.

    Now I'm not saying Lucas starship piloting is necessarily all that difficult, but that is not a conclusion you can draw from The Phantom Menace without adding your own head canon.

    Meanwhile if you're not being a nitpick about Canon, that is one of the worst sequences in the entire sequel trilogy. Anakin literally wins the main conflict of the movie by accident. The logic is not "prequels are shitty so we should ignore them" but rather "when there's blatantly obvious shittiness in the prequels, consider retconning that shit for the sake of the long-term franchise quality"

  11. #131
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    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Quote Originally Posted by PPatty View Post
    That is the functional equivalent of "I think this part is shitty, so I'm ignoring it."

    But these aren't Choose-Your-Own-Adventure stories. They're clearly delineated narratives -- more detailed than most, and with less room for interpretation than most, since the notoriously unsubtle Lucas loves to spell everything out and hammer viewers over the head. Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith are critical parts of the main storyline -- perhaps even the most important parts, since they're the origin stories for the whole thing, and I don't see anything in Solo that feels terribly out of place with that universe as established by George Lucas.
    True. But when some new Star Wars movie does something that causes viewers to scratch their heads and think "that doesn't seem right," pointing to a rote and conveniently favorable interpretation of canon does nothing to improve the actual enjoyment of the movie. I've observed that sometimes people perceive storytelling flaws as canon violations because those are easier to identify and articulate out of context.

    Take the Holdo Lightspeed Ram.

    EZ Mode: You can't do that in Star Wars!
    tl;dr Mode: It's a careless Deus Ex Machina that wasn't properly set up with specific parameters and conditions...

    For the case of Solo piloting, I think the dissonance from me came specifically from the description of Han's "from the streets" backstory and the story of Han's father building YT-1300s. For me that conflicts with the piloting portrayed in the movie (even taking into account Anakin's spinning trick in TPM). If they had just left that out of the movie, I wouldn't have thought anything of it. Although, as mentioned, I failed to recognize the significance of Han's academy training, and maybe that's on me.

  12. #132
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    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Well we are told about his aspirations to become a great pilot, and we know where he ends up, so it isn't unreasonable to think he will get there. Maybe the problem is we aren't actually shown any of the process at all. I know I was disappointed not to see any of the Academy stuff he talks about. Even one small sequence of him being a hotshot and then being demoted for refusing to follow an order would make the transition to muddy soldier land more meaningful to the audience.

    Heck you could solve two perceived problems at once. The Empire suddenly having generic foot soldiers instead of blank troopers came as a shock to a lot of people. What if that segment of their military is actually a way to get rid of dissidents from within their ranks? Go die on this mudball that we don't actually care about.

  13. #133
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    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Quote Originally Posted by Goladus
    Now I'm not saying Lucas starship piloting is necessarily all that difficult, but that is not a conclusion you can draw from The Phantom Menace without adding your own head canon.
    It's also not quite the conclusion I drew. To reiterate:

    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    That wasn't "luck," that was the kid knowing what to do because space piloting just isn't that hard for some people in Lucas World as long as they can scoot around with fast stuff that barely floats above the ground.
    It's obviously not easy for everyone, or else anyone could do it. But Lucas established on at least two occasions that for at least a few folks, experience flying around in glorified hovercraft seems to be enough to pick up space piloting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goladus
    Anakin literally wins the main conflict of the movie by accident. The logic is not "prequels are shitty so we should ignore them" but rather "when there's blatantly obvious shittiness in the prequels, consider retconning that shit for the sake of the long-term franchise quality"
    He wound up in the space hangar by accident, but he didn't fire his cannons by accident: "Take this! And this!" He did hit the main reactor by accident, though ("Oops").

    But "retconning that shit for the sake of the long-term franchise quality" is not all that different from ignoring it; either action means rejecting what's portrayed on screen.

    We could just accept it and accept that maybe the franchise, as a whole, isn't all that great. Even the original Star Wars, much as we love it, probably would have fizzled at the box office if not for special effects that were mind-blowing for the era (They still hold up well, even without Lucas' late '90s rework, but we're all used to sfx now, so it's harder to impress just with that). You could make the case that there's only one truly all-around great movie (Empire, duh) out of the six that Lucas had a hand in.

    (For what it's worth, personally I see A New Hope as a great movie also, but it is far more flawed than its immediate sequel, which is no surprise since Lucas was still figuring things out in the first movie and isn't much of a director to begin with. Jedi is a very good movie that could have been great, but in retrospect, the Battle of Endor's ground sequences are pretty bad, almost Battle of Naboo-level bad. The prequels are, of course, terrible, though they have some standout moments. And they did happen and they are part of the narrative, and no willful ignorance or desperate retconning can change that.)
    Last edited by PPatty; February 11th, 2019 at 05:30 AM.

  14. #134
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    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    I recently re-watched the prequels and was somewhat surprised to discover how much I enjoyed them, particularly The Phantom Menace. I hadn't seem them in 15-20 years, and along with a conscious understanding of many of the specific reasons why they were disappointing the first time around, I was able to appreciate some of their strengths and more unique elements. And while I wouldn't say I "ignored" stuff like Anakin accidentally launching the torpedoes that just happen to cause the whole ship to explode (and he manages to escape in time), I sort of marginalized it and at least tried to see some humor in it while appreciating the designs and the music. For TPM in particular I find it helped to just treat it almost like a standalone movie, an attempt to portray golden age republic. It's lighthearted and colorful, and might be the only movie where "it's a movie kids can enjoy" is a valid justification for some of the questionable decisions.

    Again, really my issue is that I think writers of new Star Wars stories should just be cautious when relying on prequels for canon. This is not to say that prequels aren't canon, but that anyone using that material should beware that it's flawed and you risk importing those flaws into your own work if you aren't careful.

    I'm pretty comfortable with spaceship piloting in Star Wars being more-or-less videogame tier difficulty. To me, that's more or less how it is portrayed. The X-Wing and TIE Fighter videogames are clearly based on dialog and events from the OT movies, and I played those games when I was 14-15. So I don't really get too hung up on Han's piloting in Solo, it was just something that seemed a little bit off. Although if we're talking strict Star Wars canon, the portrayal of Han Solo was seriously just way off. There's just no way I can connect that character in Solo with the guy in the Mos Eisley cantina in A New Hope.

    Jedi is a very good movie that could have been great
    I think Jedi is good relative to other cinematic finales of multi-part stories. Sure you could improve some things with character development and sell the Ewoks vs the Empire better, but you run out of space in a single movie rather quickly. Jedi wraps up most of the open threads from Empire and then brings Luke's arc and the civil war to a reasonably satisfying conclusion.

    The list of movie franchises able to successfully tell true a multi-part story rather than simply an episodic continuity is surprisingly short. There's Star Wars, LOTR and PJ's Hobbit, The Matrix, Kill Bill, Harry Potter, and The Avengers(pending Endgame). There might be one or two others (Twilight, Hunger Games?). You might be able to count X-Men: The Last Stand as a grand finale to a trilogy. The list does get a bit bigger if you just count any kind of through-line and not just an major story, such as Star Trek II through Star Trek IV. In that case you'd have a lot of superhero continuities like the Raimi Spider-Mans and the Nolan Batmans. But most movie series are episodic and don't feature one big conflict split across multiple movies such as the galactic civil war in Star Wars, the threat of Sauron from Lord of the Rings, or even Beatrix vs the Bill and Deadly Viper Assassins in Kill Bill. Episodic movies don't have the same kinds of constraints as a true concluding chapter in a major story. All Star Trek IV really had to do was reintroduce Spock and get the crew home to Earth sufficiently heroic to get a positive outcome from a court martial. Return of the Jedi had to rescue Han, reunite him with Leia, establish Luke's off-screen growth, set up a final conflict with the Empire, complete Luke's character arc and resolve his conflict with Vader, and finally have the Rebels defeat of the Empire in the final conflict be exciting and satisfying.

    ESB was a fantastic setup and RotJ could have been even better (hell you could even have extended it into a 4 movie set rather than a trilogy, probably). But those are still some difficult constraints and given that I think RotJ holds up pretty well. I'd say definitely falls closer to Return of the King than The Matrix: Revolutions.

  15. #135
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    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Quote Originally Posted by Goladus View Post
    For TPM in particular I find it helped to just treat it almost like a standalone movie, an attempt to portray golden age republic.
    I have argued before that The Phantom Menace isn't that bad if you turn off the sound. You could probably say that about all the prequels; say what you want about George Lucas as a director, he's good with visuals, and he's particularly good at action sequences -- they're always exciting while remaining clean and easy-to-follow. I wish the directors of every Batman movie going back to 1989 had Lucas' sensibilities in those areas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goladus
    I think Jedi is good relative to other cinematic finales of multi-part stories. ... I'd say definitely falls closer to Return of the King than The Matrix: Revolutions.
    I'm not arguing with that. As I said, it's a very good movie. It may even be almost as good as RoTK, which has flaws of its own (Denethor, the multiple fake endings).

  16. #136
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    Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

    I have argued before that The Phantom Menace isn't that bad if you turn off the sound.
    Well I'd say without the dialog, or a dub in some other language. The sound effects and music are top-notch, and that goes for all the prequels. John Williams was at the top of his game for the prequels and Lucas's instinct for working with creatives seems to carry into music as well.

    And yeah I've defended Lucas's writing in the prequels as well(though maybe not here). Although there are some obvious things I'd have preferred like less Jar Jar and ham-fisted clunker dialog, more Dooku and not having Sidious wield a lightsaber, there are a lot of issues that I don't see obvious solutions for. It doesn't mean they aren't flaws but I have to respect the attempt. I would say Lucas's prequel story required a real top-notch writer and Lucas is just a decent one. Not to take anything away from the OT's writing, but it's a more straightforward hero story and much less complicated than the prequels.

    As far as examples of issues I have with the prequel writing that don't have simple fixes as far as I'm concerned include:

    The Anakin and Padme romance: Lucas clearly wanted to portray that as a happy time for Anakin. You'd need someone who could establish a romance in a few scenes without much conflict, which I think would take a deft hand. (Though on this one, any chemistry at all between the actors would have helped also.)

    The Jedi Order: Lots of questionable decisions here, from the whole trained from birth dynamic to the supposed rigid arrogance of the council. But, you still need to portray the Jedi as flawed somehow, while also being the guardians of peace per OT legend. I think the prequel portrayal makes them look more foolish than was necessary, but something like that had to be there.

    The Clone Wars: I don't like the way the clone wars escalate over the course of like an hour of in-world time. Padme and the 2 Jedi are captured and set to be brutally executed without trial. The Jedi come to the rescue and then boom, full-scale war 5 minutes later. In terms of plot everything works as far as one event leading to the next. But something just feels off in fact this is a situation where I think it actually might serve the story better to loosen the plot just a bit. I'd let Anakin stay on Tattoine with Padme for some indefinite amount of time and then figure out some other way to lead into the geonosis battle in a slower, more epic way. But I'm not sure what I'd do specifically. Again, a subtle complaint with no obvious solution, at least in the context of a 2-hour movie.

    Palpatine's scheming: One of the weaknesses of the PT is the way Sidious manipulates so much to the point it feels contrived or forced. But obviously Palpatine playing both sides is a key element of the story, so you can't just eliminate it. It just needs to be more balanced and nuanced so the pawns in his plan still seem like real characters with some agency. And again, you have three 2-hour movies to work with not 30+ hours of a TV series based off existing novels like say, Game of Thrones.

    Anakin's fall: Following from the last one, I don't like the way it seems like Anakin is tricked into killing Windu for what is a "selfless reason but selfish attitude." He's afraid of losing Padme which is against the Jedi zen but as far as I'm concerned that's still a long way from slaughtering younglings on command. Although I can point out flaws with Anakin's arc, it's not immediately obvious to me how it would be improved without a complex reworking of the story. You can't just say "make it like Citizen Kane" and think it's obvious what to do with a story full of lightsaber duels, aliens and spaceships.

    Anyway, that's a long verbose way of saying that I still respect Lucas for the prequels even if I think they're pretty badly flawed.
    Last edited by Goladus; February 11th, 2019 at 07:35 PM.

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