Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

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Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-04-15 11:07am

A lot of beef has been made about how The Last Jedi is the Star Wars to subvert Star Wars storytelling tropes, and how it's new, edgy, different and better(or worse, depends on how you view the film) because of it. Is that the case? We see our heroes making daring actions, and how that leads to people dying. We see our heroes prepared to kill their own family members for a greater cost, to show how anyone can make mistakes. We see that our heroes are fighting for their very lives, and no one in the galaxy cares because for those in power, they can gamble and have a fun time, because the conflict doesn't really matter to them. Etc.

How does it compare to the other Star Wars work that subverts Star Wars, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords?

Kotor 2 showed us that being slaves to the force was offputting for some characters, because free will was considered more important than destiny, to the point that the main antagonist is trying to kill the force so that people can be free from it. There's also the question of what the consequences are of one act of kindness. We also saw that after the big fight between good and evil, the galaxy was an utter mess because the war ravaged civilization to the breaking point, and without Jedi or our heroes sticking around to rebuild, the galaxy falls apart. We also note how ordinary it becomes to take lives can be for a Jedi, and for a person like Mira, someone who took effort to never take lives, that's horrifying. Another is how Jedi can be hunted, due to their compassion, and how easy that is to exploit. How falling down the dark side could potentially be for the benefit of others, as Revan might have done so to preserve the galaxy against a larger threat, to make it ready for an outside threat., as opposed to some galactic tyrant out to do evil. Etc.

At the same time, your responses in-game, and your choices, can be showing why those subversions are incorrect. You fix things, help out, and making your motivations important as well as the consequences of said actions.


So is TLJ as good at subversion? Is it not? What do you think?
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Re: Is TLJ as good as subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-15 11:09am

Hard for me to compare, to be honest, because I haven't played KOTOR2.
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Re: Is TLJ as good as subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-04-15 11:17am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-15 11:09am
Hard for me to compare, to be honest, because I haven't played KOTOR2.
It was actually my first Star Wars game. I played it before Kotor 1. The writing is excellent, and very philosophical and examines the Star Wars setting, wherein it shows that some people, like Kreia, are a bit put off that an energy field is making them do things when they want to have free will. Honestly, she is one of the best written Star Wars characters, and game characters out there.

I recommend reading the Let's Play from the LP archive, as it examines a lot of the themes and characters.
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Re: Is TLJ as good as subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-15 11:23am

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-04-15 11:17am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-15 11:09am
Hard for me to compare, to be honest, because I haven't played KOTOR2.
It was actually my first Star Wars game. I played it before Kotor 1. The writing is excellent, and very philosophical and examines the Star Wars setting, wherein it shows that some people, like Kreia, are a bit put off that an energy field is making them do things when they want to have free will. Honestly, she is one of the best written Star Wars characters, and game characters out there.

I recommend reading the Let's Play from the LP archive, as it examines a lot of the themes and characters.
Hmm.

I actually see the idea that the Force controls people against their will as a bit of an oversimplification, at least if we go off Kenobi's explanation in A New Hope. Or at least that its not completely a one-way street. Though the Dark Side does seem to function as an addiction of sorts, at times. The mainstream Jedi interpretation of the Light Side seems to be all about surrendering yourself to the Will of the Force, but at the same time, at least to me, it feels like more of a choice with the Jedi. Whereas with the Dark Side, it offers you the illusion of freedom through power but then starts pulling your strings.

Of course, one could also get into the larger metaphysical debate over whether free will exists at all.

One interesting thing in light of TLJ is that we see that a Force user can choose to cut themself off from the Force if they wish to. Which begs the question- do non-Force users have more free will than Force users in Star Wars?
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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by Civil War Man » 2019-04-16 11:23am

I saw a lot of comparisons between TLJ and KOTOR2 specifically because of the plot point of being cut off from the Force. The entire premise of KOTOR2 is that the PC was a Jedi who was one of Revan's generals during the Mandalorian War, and actually commanded the Republic forces at the final battle at Malachor V. After the war, they found they had completely lost their connection to the Force, left Revan's forces, and returned to the Jedi, where they were promptly exiled for participating in the Mandalorian War against the wishes of the Council. They spend the entirety of KOTOR1 off the grid, and are returning to civilization for unspecified reasons when the game starts.

Rest is in spoilers, just in case there's someone reading this who hasn't played it yet, but wants to do it without spoilers.
Spoiler
The PC is a person who very quickly and easily forms bonds with the people around them. At the battle at Malachor at the end of the war, they deploy a massive WMD that wipes out a large percentage of both the Mandalorian and Republic forces, and renders the planet below a complete wasteland. This results in them getting hit by the combined pain, terror, and suffering of everyone involved in the battle, and they reflexively sever their connection to the Force to keep from being literally killed by the emotional trauma. The process was so messy that it turned them into this gaping wound in the fabric of the galaxy, causing them to unconsciously feed on the life energies of the people around them (which is an in-universe explanation for the XP system, where the PC gets exponentially more powerful the more people they kill).

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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-16 05:13pm

Actually, I saw a whole bunch of KotOR references in TFA as well. The whole ST draws on KotOR quite a bit, in addition to the obvious aping of the OT.
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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by NeoGoomba » 2019-04-17 03:29pm

The whole concept of a "wound" in the Force was so cool, I really wish KOTOR 2 had been finished.And didn't the Jedi Council try to forcibly sever the PC's connection to the Force? That in and of itself was a fascinating little bit.

I need to get around to playing the fan-patched version, damn.
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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by Civil War Man » 2019-04-17 04:05pm

Regarding the Council trying to sever the PC's Force connection, AFAIK: Spoiler
It only happens if Vrook, Zez-Kai Ell, and Kavar are all alive when you go to Dantooine right before the final act, before Kreia intervenes and kills them. They obviously don't if you murder them yourself, and one time I did a Dark Side run where I murdered Zez-Kai Ell and Kavar, but not Vrook, and when I got to that point in the story Vrook attacked me since he had found out about the others' deaths. Don't know what happens in that scene if you only kill one of them beforehand.

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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by Lord Revan » 2019-04-17 04:16pm

Something that in my honest opinion makes KOTOR2 such a great subversion is that ultimately it leaves it to the player deside what they want to belive.Spoiler
Was Kreia (or Darth Traya so give her sith name) just a bitter old woman lashing out because that was all that was left for her, or did she actually have a point. The game doesn't say but rather simply poses that question and leaves it to the player to make the call
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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by Vendetta » 2019-04-18 07:38am

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-04-15 11:07am
A lot of beef has been made about how The Last Jedi is the Star Wars to subvert Star Wars storytelling tropes, and how it's new, edgy, different and better(or worse, depends on how you view the film) because of it. Is that the case? We see our heroes making daring actions, and how that leads to people dying.
It's not so much that it defies Star Wars storytelling tropes, but that it defies the expectations of action cinema as a whole.

In The Last Jedi the roguish good looking Obvious Hero concocts a daring plan in defiance of an obviously lost and out of touch command structure. A story that should end with an against-the-odds victory that vindicates him. (If you want to watch that story told straight, watch the first Captain America movie).

But in TLJ it doesn't. He was wrong because he didn't understand the big picture, the command structure was right because they did, and his arc in the movie is how he learns to understand that big picture and make better decisions (to escape at the end not try for yet another pointless phyrric victory because it validates the thing he's good at).

The Last Jedi still works against expectation even if you've never seen another Star Wars product because the expectations it works against are part of action cinema as a whole not Star Wars in particular. (It's just that Star Wars was pretty influential in forming the expectations that everything else has hoved to over the last four decades. Star Wars itself was pretty subversive in its own right, how many movies before it can you think of that would dare to go fifteen minutes before we even meet the protagonist and fill that time with muppets and robots most of which just squeal and beep at each other).
Kotor 2 showed us that being slaves to the force was offputting for some characters, because free will was considered more important than destiny, to the point that the main antagonist is trying to kill the force so that people can be free from it.
And I'm not sure that this necessarily works as a subversion or deconstruction of Star Wars at all. Because if you actually watch the movies that had existed up to the time it was written, destiny and the force are pretty much a bust anyway. Basically any character who makes decisions based on long term precognition comes to grief because of it, and any assumption of "destiny" turns out to be, well, not.
How falling down the dark side could potentially be for the benefit of others, as Revan might have done so to preserve the galaxy against a larger threat, to make it ready for an outside threat., as opposed to some galactic tyrant out to do evil. Etc.
Fundamentally, the Force is deontological, in that it's the will behind actions that matter rather than the specific outcomes. Indeed the will behind the act will, through the force, mutate the nature of the action and the actor in order to more strongly represent that will. If we take the example of Revan, he was trying to unite the galaxy against a larger threat, which could be regarded as a "good" intention, but if the underlying will behind the action was fear, fear of that enemy and what it could do, then the actions that come out of that will be drawn further and further to the dark side. (Just like what happened with Vader, and nearly Luke. All their brushes with the dark side began with fear).

(But, of course, we know that free will remains because the dark side can be rejected, so Kreia doesn't get in by the back door, she was just upset that the Force wasn't consequentialist like she wanted)

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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by Civil War Man » 2019-04-18 10:22am

Vendetta wrote:
2019-04-18 07:38am
It's not so much that it defies Star Wars storytelling tropes, but that it defies the expectations of action cinema as a whole.

In The Last Jedi the roguish good looking Obvious Hero concocts a daring plan in defiance of an obviously lost and out of touch command structure. A story that should end with an against-the-odds victory that vindicates him. (If you want to watch that story told straight, watch the first Captain America movie).

But in TLJ it doesn't. He was wrong because he didn't understand the big picture, the command structure was right because they did, and his arc in the movie is how he learns to understand that big picture and make better decisions (to escape at the end not try for yet another pointless phyrric victory because it validates the thing he's good at).

The Last Jedi still works against expectation even if you've never seen another Star Wars product because the expectations it works against are part of action cinema as a whole not Star Wars in particular. (It's just that Star Wars was pretty influential in forming the expectations that everything else has hoved to over the last four decades. Star Wars itself was pretty subversive in its own right, how many movies before it can you think of that would dare to go fifteen minutes before we even meet the protagonist and fill that time with muppets and robots most of which just squeal and beep at each other).
This is actually quite an appropriate take, since the trope that is being subverted in the whole Poe vs. Holdo storyline is one that didn't really exist in Star Wars before then. The only examples I can think of that come close are Lando convincing Ackbar to not retreat, which takes a couple seconds, Anakin and Padme running off to Geonosis to rescue Obi-Wan, where they get captured and have to be rescued themselves, and Luke running off to face Vader and rescue his friends, which results in him getting his ass handed to him and having to get rescued by his friends, who managed to mostly escape on their own.
And I'm not sure that this necessarily works as a subversion or deconstruction of Star Wars at all. Because if you actually watch the movies that had existed up to the time it was written, destiny and the force are pretty much a bust anyway. Basically any character who makes decisions based on long term precognition comes to grief because of it, and any assumption of "destiny" turns out to be, well, not.
It seems to be less that there isn't really a destiny and more that it operates like it does in various dramatic tragedies, where premonitions don't necessarily provide all relevant information. For Anakin, it's like in Oedipus Rex, where the actions he takes to try to avoid a bad destiny actually result in it happening. For Palpatine and Snoke, it's a bit more like MacBeth, where their premonitions give them a false sense of invincibility that results in them getting killed when they misinterpret the signs or fail to account for other possibilities.

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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-05-11 03:22am

Chris Avellone actually weighs in:

Game Rant
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Writer Criticizes The Last Jedi
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Writer Criticizes The Last Jedi
By Dalton Cooper | May 10, 2019
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When Star Wars: The Last Jedi released in 2017, it quickly became one of the most divisive films in the franchise’s history. While it had mostly positive reviews from critics and grossed over $1 billion at the box office, fan response to the film was mixed, with some loving the movie and others hating Rian Johnson’s take on Star Wars. The Last Jedi detractors can rest easy knowing that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order writer Chris Avellone isn’t exactly a fan of the film himself.
Speaking with VGC, Avellone spoke about his problems with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. “I thought that portrayal of Luke Skywalker was very weak. I thought they gave him a scapegoat role that wasn’t merited and didn’t fit with his character, in my opinion.” He added, “I like the fact that they were playing around with it, but at the same time I didn’t like the execution and I thought it could have been handled a lot better or differently.”
Avellone also criticized The Last Jedi‘s use of comedy, stating that it went “too far.” Avellone also didn’t like how Star Wars: The Last Jedi “rapidly introduced” new side characters and “massive detour plots.” While not stated explicitly, it’s likely the latter is in reference to the Canto Bight Casino plot from The Last Jedi, as that has been commonly criticized as a “side quest” by The Last Jedi critics online.
star wars jedi fallen order writer criticizes the last jedi
Since it seems Avellone wasn’t very impressed by Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it seems safe to assume his work on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order won’t be influenced much by the film. Previously, Avellone pointed to the animated TV series Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars as two big inspirations for the game’s script, and it’s unclear how much the game will be influenced by other Star Wars media.
One source of inspiration could very well come from another Star Wars game Avellone worked on in the past. For the uninitiated, Avellone actually worked on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 – The Sith Lords, one of the highest-rated Star Wars games of all time, and a title that was highly praised for its story. If Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is able to match KOTOR 2‘s story in terms of quality, then fans should be in for a treat.
Of course, the gameplay in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will need to live to match the story’s quality, and at this point, we haven’t actually seen the game in action. Luckily, that should change next month as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will be at E3 2019.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order launches November 15 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-12 08:30am

He pretty much hits all the usual points of TLJ-bashing. Whine about how Luke was ruined, check (saying that Luke was a "scapegoat" also feels like a bit of a dog whistle for "SJWs blaming white men for everything"). Whining about the introduction of Rose and Holdo,check. Whining about Canto Bite. Check. He shows a little more nuance than the worst of them, and I'll give him the point about the comedy being overdone, but mostly its just the same old talking points, minus the obvious examples of racism and misogyny.

Also, given that the only major characters introduced in TLJ were Holdo and Rose, and both got enough screen-time that neither could be consider a "rapid" introduction (except in the sense that every time a new character first appears it sudden, or are we now supposed to have hours of foreshadowing to justify the existence of a new character, according to the "Change is bad" crowd?)- well, that seems a bit disingenuous. And is "they created new characters" really a complaint now (because God forbid the franchise ever do ANYTHING new)? Or is it really a dog whistle for "they created new characters that weren't white men"?

Don't get me wrong, its probably a smart career move on his part. Its pretty clear that Disney has decided that their priority is to placate the OT Worshipers at all costs, and basically apologize for ever daring to do something original. Hail creative sterility, endless pandering, and each new film retconning the previous one to appease whichever fans whined loudest.
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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-05-12 09:12am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-12 08:30am
He pretty much hits all the usual points of TLJ-bashing. Whine about how Luke was ruined, check (saying that Luke was a "scapegoat" also feels like a bit of a dog whistle for "SJWs blaming white men for everything"). Whining about the introduction of Rose and Holdo,check. Whining about Canto Bite. Check. He shows a little more nuance than the worst of them, and I'll give him the point about the comedy being overdone, but mostly its just the same old talking points, minus the obvious examples of racism and misogyny.

Also, given that the only major characters introduced in TLJ were Holdo and Rose, and both got enough screen-time that neither could be consider a "rapid" introduction (except in the sense that every time a new character first appears it sudden, or are we now supposed to have hours of foreshadowing to justify the existence of a new character, according to the "Change is bad" crowd?)- well, that seems a bit disingenuous. And is "they created new characters" really a complaint now (because God forbid the franchise ever do ANYTHING new)? Or is it really a dog whistle for "they created new characters that weren't white men"?

Don't get me wrong, its probably a smart career move on his part. Its pretty clear that Disney has decided that their priority is to placate the OT Worshipers at all costs, and basically apologize for ever daring to do something original. Hail creative sterility, endless pandering, and each new film retconning the previous one to appease whichever fans whined loudest.
Well, considering that Chris Avellone wrote KOTOR 2 and Fallout New Vegas, I think he deserves more credit, as he has fully fleshed out characters, fully developed world building, and logical plot development, while also dealing with the themes of the characters. I'd say he did a better job of writing Star Wars than those in charge of the sequel trilogy. You're also conflating racism with honest critiques. "Anyone who has a problem with the film is a racist and a sexist, or is trying to appeal to them. No matter what, end of story."

Which is odd, since Kreia is viewed as one of the best written female characters, let alone characters, in video games ever.

It puts everyone who disagrees with you into a box that you can disregard. Which means that you're assigning wrong motivations to those talking about a topic. Especially since he might have a point. It's quite a jump since we last saw Luke give a line in Return of the Jedi, about him being about redemption and saving those unworthy. Something even Battlefront II got right, to being the guy who thinks murdering his nephew might be a good idea, and to be about letting everyone die once he realizes that's a mistake. That's a hell of a leap, and the film doesn't want us to know the full journey of how he came to be that, even if it does have Rey get him out of that stupor later.

And yes, Canto Bight is a sidestory that doesn't go anywhere. It doesn't develop the plot, except to bring up the theme of 'both sides', which you hate so much, and to show that Rose and Finn need someone to teach them to park properly and to actually go after their contact instead of their cellmate when on a mission. So yeah, that is a problem, storywise. That doesn't mean those who dislike it are racist, but that writers see that it is eating up valuable screentime that could be used elsewhere, or used to bolster the theme of the film.

EDIT: There's also how Holdo is presented, but you think that she should be revered, even if the film paints her as a terrible leader.
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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-05-12 09:33am

Let's talk about Kreia here. She's a very philosophical character, who is neither satisfied with the Jedi nor the Sith, and instead takes a third path, and views herself as a teacher, teaching the PC along the way. The journey of The Sith Lords is her presenting her student to the Jedi, and being enraged that they reject her.



While also understanding the Exile's motivations during the Mandalorian Wars, and having her answer, walks away. That's when you, as the PC, has to stop her from destroying the force. But, we get to see what Kreia is as a character, and why she feels the way she does about those in charge.

She isn't wanting to destroy the Jedi, or the Sith, she's wanting to show them that her philosophy is better than theirs, and is pissed that they would utterly disregard it. That's her stance, and that is why she is against the stance of the Jedi, and the Sith.

I wish the sequel trilogy had this level of motivation for the characters.
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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-12 10:16am

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-05-12 09:12am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-12 08:30am
He pretty much hits all the usual points of TLJ-bashing. Whine about how Luke was ruined, check (saying that Luke was a "scapegoat" also feels like a bit of a dog whistle for "SJWs blaming white men for everything"). Whining about the introduction of Rose and Holdo,check. Whining about Canto Bite. Check. He shows a little more nuance than the worst of them, and I'll give him the point about the comedy being overdone, but mostly its just the same old talking points, minus the obvious examples of racism and misogyny.

Also, given that the only major characters introduced in TLJ were Holdo and Rose, and both got enough screen-time that neither could be consider a "rapid" introduction (except in the sense that every time a new character first appears it sudden, or are we now supposed to have hours of foreshadowing to justify the existence of a new character, according to the "Change is bad" crowd?)- well, that seems a bit disingenuous. And is "they created new characters" really a complaint now (because God forbid the franchise ever do ANYTHING new)? Or is it really a dog whistle for "they created new characters that weren't white men"?

Don't get me wrong, its probably a smart career move on his part. Its pretty clear that Disney has decided that their priority is to placate the OT Worshipers at all costs, and basically apologize for ever daring to do something original. Hail creative sterility, endless pandering, and each new film retconning the previous one to appease whichever fans whined loudest.
Well, considering that Chris Avellone wrote KOTOR 2 and Fallout New Vegas, I think he deserves more credit, as he has fully fleshed out characters, fully developed world building, and logical plot development, while also dealing with the themes of the characters. I'd say he did a better job of writing Star Wars than those in charge of the sequel trilogy. You're also conflating racism with honest critiques. "Anyone who has a problem with the film is a racist and a sexist, or is trying to appeal to them. No matter what, end of story."
As I have not played either game, I cannot fully speak to their quality.

However, let me making something clear:

I have never said, and am not saying now, that anyone who ever criticizes The Last Jedi is racist or sexist. Many certainly are, and many of them use "legitimate criticisms" as a thin mask for their racism and misogyny, enough of them that I am distrustful of critics' motives until I am sure of them, especially if their arguments seem otherwise weak or disingenuous. This is not unreasonable, especially as one of the favorite tactics of internet bigots is to employ obvious dog whistles to invoke bigoted tropes while giving themselves deniability, and then cry about how they're not racist and sexist and they're being persecuted by the SJWs when called on it. But I have not said and will not say that anyone who criticizes the film in any way is racist or sexist (people seem to "forget" that I have made many criticisms of it myself-in fact in the very post you're replying to, I agreed with the critique of the comedy in TLJ). It is a LIE that, like many other lies, is constantly thrown at me on this board until its becomes the accepted "fact", so that when I try to call it out, my doing so is merely seen as more proof that I am a liar. It is a part of a persistent pattern of posters on this board lying about me and putting words in my mouth, creating a straw man of me that they can invoke to demean and dismiss me whenever I post, without having to actually engage with my actual arguments. One which has been successful enough that it has become nearly impossible for me to post on many topics without guaranteeing a thread derail, and which has made me seriously consider leaving this board altogether on multiple occassions, with one of the main reasons that I haven't being shear stubborn spite, because I refuse to be bullied into silence by liars without a fight.

Although while we're on the subject, since I don't actually claim that all criticism of TLJ is sexist or racist, maybe you need to ask yourself why my calling out racism and sexism among TLJ bashers makes you feel so defensive.
Which is odd, since Kreia is viewed as one of the best written female characters, let alone characters, in video games ever.
This is the first time I can recall that I've heard Kreia held up as an example of a well-written female character, specifically, but again, I haven't played KotOR, so I'm kind of arguing at a disadvantage here.
It puts everyone who disagrees with you into a box that you can disregard. Which means that you're assigning wrong motivations to those talking about a topic. Especially since he might have a point. It's quite a jump since we last saw Luke give a line in Return of the Jedi, about him being about redemption and saving those unworthy. Something even Battlefront II got right, to being the guy who thinks murdering his nephew might be a good idea, and to be about letting everyone die once he realizes that's a mistake. That's a hell of a leap, and the film doesn't want us to know the full journey of how he came to be that, even if it does have Rey get him out of that stupor later.
See above reg. lies.

As to Luke's characterization, we've been over this before, I'm sure, and I expect that you'll dismiss anything I say, but:

Luke's change in personality seems sudden, because we see little of the events that lead him there. However, it is not at all implausible that a man could change greatly over more than thirty years. Nor do I feel that Luke's actions are really out of keeping with his prior characterization. Luke was shown to be vulnerable to the temptation of the Dark Side in Return of the Jedi, and to lashing out in violence when those he loved were in danger. He resisted the Dark Side then, but it does not follow from that that he will never be tempted again. Indeed, if anything, the fact that he was tempted once would likely make him more vulnerable in the future, much like how if you take Meth once and don't get addicted, it doesn't mean that you will never be addicted in the future. Note also that unless you believe Kylo's version, all evidence is that Luke would not have actually gone through with it- he saw the destruction of everything he held dear, saw a chance to stop it, and felt a momentary temptation toward preemptive violence which he spent the rest of his life bitterly regretting.

Its also pretty funny that this should be seen as destroying the character when we're so often told that characters should be "flawed" (to the point that many popular protagonists are now barely distinguishable from sociopaths, if they are distinguishable at all). And that much of the same internet culture that savages The Last Jedi praises characters that are "dark" and would likely praise a preemptive act of violence in the name of "pragmatism" in another character.

Luke's characterization ks also utterly in keeping with how the Dark Side has been shown to work in the past- it shows you what you fear, then offers you a way to prevent it if you give in to your fear and lash out in anger. But like all deals with the devil, it is treacherous, and tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, where giving in brings about the very thing you feared. It did it to Anakin with Padme, to Luke in RotJ, and to Luke in TLJ.

Finally, its in keeping with the film's theme- the importance of maintaining hope, with fear and despair leading to disaster.
And yes, Canto Bight is a sidestory that doesn't go anywhere. It doesn't develop the plot, except to bring up the theme of 'both sides', which you hate so much, and to show that Rose and Finn need someone to teach them to park properly and to actually go after their contact instead of their cellmate when on a mission. So yeah, that is a problem, storywise. That doesn't mean those who dislike it are racist, but that writers see that it is eating up valuable screentime that could be used elsewhere, or used to bolster the theme of the film.
It develops Finn's character by having him see the galaxy, first its wonder, and then, from Rose's perspective, its underlying corruption. It furthers his journey from storm trooper, to defector, to a frightened fugitive who only cares about Rey, to finally being someone who is truly committed to the Resistance cause. It gives time for him to bond with Rose. It shows a slice of the civilian world that is being affected by this war. It does advance the main plot by bringing in DJ, who subsequently betrays the fleet to the First Order, necessitating Holdo's sacrifice (which indirectly enables Rey's escape). However, it doesn't have to advance the main plot, because its primary purpose is to advance Finn's character development, while also allowing for a lighter diversion from the Rey and Kylo stuff.

As to the "Both Sides" stuff, that doesn't really bother me, because the ultimate point is that DJ is wrong. Its a jab at "Both Sides" narratives/false equivalencies, not a validation of them. Which is another reason why I like it.
EDIT: There's also how Holdo is presented, but you think that she should be revered, even if the film paints her as a terrible leader.
No, I don't think she should be "revered"- this is another cheap straw man designed to provoke ridicule of me rather than address my actual arguments. I think that she is an interesting character who is not nearly as incompetent as she is made out to be. I do dispute the claim that "the film paints her as a terrible leader." The film initially misdirects the audience into thinking she's a terrible leader, before revealing that she actually isn't. Much of the audience, however, dishonestly insists on treating the misdirection based on partial information and bias as canon fact, while ignoring the subsequent reveal.
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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-05-12 11:52am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-12 10:16am
FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-05-12 09:12am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-12 08:30am
He pretty much hits all the usual points of TLJ-bashing. Whine about how Luke was ruined, check (saying that Luke was a "scapegoat" also feels like a bit of a dog whistle for "SJWs blaming white men for everything"). Whining about the introduction of Rose and Holdo,check. Whining about Canto Bite. Check. He shows a little more nuance than the worst of them, and I'll give him the point about the comedy being overdone, but mostly its just the same old talking points, minus the obvious examples of racism and misogyny.

Also, given that the only major characters introduced in TLJ were Holdo and Rose, and both got enough screen-time that neither could be consider a "rapid" introduction (except in the sense that every time a new character first appears it sudden, or are we now supposed to have hours of foreshadowing to justify the existence of a new character, according to the "Change is bad" crowd?)- well, that seems a bit disingenuous. And is "they created new characters" really a complaint now (because God forbid the franchise ever do ANYTHING new)? Or is it really a dog whistle for "they created new characters that weren't white men"?

Don't get me wrong, its probably a smart career move on his part. Its pretty clear that Disney has decided that their priority is to placate the OT Worshipers at all costs, and basically apologize for ever daring to do something original. Hail creative sterility, endless pandering, and each new film retconning the previous one to appease whichever fans whined loudest.
Well, considering that Chris Avellone wrote KOTOR 2 and Fallout New Vegas, I think he deserves more credit, as he has fully fleshed out characters, fully developed world building, and logical plot development, while also dealing with the themes of the characters. I'd say he did a better job of writing Star Wars than those in charge of the sequel trilogy. You're also conflating racism with honest critiques. "Anyone who has a problem with the film is a racist and a sexist, or is trying to appeal to them. No matter what, end of story."
As I have not played either game, I cannot fully speak to their quality.

However, let me making something clear:

I have never said, and am not saying now, that anyone who ever criticizes The Last Jedi is racist or sexist. Many certainly are, and many of them use "legitimate criticisms" as a thin mask for their racism and misogyny, enough of them that I am distrustful of critics' motives until I am sure of them, especially if their arguments seem otherwise weak or disingenuous. This is not unreasonable, especially as one of the favorite tactics of internet bigots is to employ obvious dog whistles to invoke bigoted tropes while giving themselves deniability, and then cry about how they're not racist and sexist and they're being persecuted by the SJWs when called on it. But I have not said and will not say that anyone who criticizes the film in any way is racist or sexist (people seem to "forget" that I have made many criticisms of it myself-in fact in the very post you're replying to, I agreed with the critique of the comedy in TLJ). It is a LIE that, like many other lies, is constantly thrown at me on this board until its becomes the accepted "fact", so that when I try to call it out, my doing so is merely seen as more proof that I am a liar. It is a part of a persistent pattern of posters on this board lying about me and putting words in my mouth, creating a straw man of me that they can invoke to demean and dismiss me whenever I post, without having to actually engage with my actual arguments. One which has been successful enough that it has become nearly impossible for me to post on many topics without guaranteeing a thread derail, and which has made me seriously consider leaving this board altogether on multiple occassions, with one of the main reasons that I haven't being shear stubborn spite, because I refuse to be bullied into silence by liars without a fight.
In this particular instance, it's your instant judgement of a creator whose work you're unfamiliar with, and instantly labeling him as appealing to conservatives, racists, and sexists and OT fanboys, while he wrote a work that itself took potshots at the OT trilogy's setting. His comments seem more as a writer's perspective than one of someone who hates it for bringing in the girls. Especially since he's done better writing himself.
Although while we're on the subject, since I don't actually claim that all criticism of TLJ is sexist or racist, maybe you need to ask yourself why my calling out racism and sexism among TLJ bashers makes you feel so defensive.
Mostly it's because I think you judge character in a fantastic setting based on their actions if they were in a contemporary setting.

In Star Wars, should we view gender as mattering, or just something that distinguishes them visually? Should Poe be sympathetic since he's in the lesser rank, and potentially social class, seeming to face off against an admiral who is dressed like she's part of the upper class, or unsympathetic since he's a man and his boss is a woman, and it might potentially come off as Poe being too sexist to realize that his boss might be right?

Too many TLJ haters DO view it through that latter lens, of it being man vs woman, but it shouldn't be the lens at all. But I do worry about future writing if a male character isn't allowed to be right against a female one, and a character of one race has to be the loser against a character of another race. I don't think we'll ever have to deal with that, but it does seem like something people want to advocate for on the interwebs.

And we don't fully know the stakes of what's going on in the galaxy. Or at least, not without reading a bunch of EU novels and knowing why Snoke is doing what he's doing, or even who the hell he is. Especially when the same film makes the fight seem small potatoes by having characters wander off and if they had parked correctly, would have been in no danger at all from the casino cops.
Which is odd, since Kreia is viewed as one of the best written female characters, let alone characters, in video games ever.
This is the first time I can recall that I've heard Kreia held up as an example of a well-written female character, specifically, but again, I haven't played KotOR, so I'm kind of arguing at a disadvantage here.
You're pretty quick to say that Chris Avollone as using dog whistles(or coming off as such). A man you say whose work you're unfamiliar with. You immediately assume it's about the racism of other fans, as opposed to disliking how the film executes what they're doing.

It's why I recommend looking at his work, even if it's through Youtube, and judging him according to that. For instance, a scene of Kreia putting some Mandalorians in their place with some well chosen words:



Kreia is witty, insightful, powerful, wise, and a bit arrogant. She is in a room full of Mandalorian warriors, and they know to be wary of her. She does turn out to be the antagonist of the game, but by god, you will respect her because she's insightful enough that you acknowledge where she's coming from.

At the same time, Kreia is hampered by the fact that KOTOR 2 was rushed for a Christmas release, so the game she's attached to was viewed negatively due to the large chunk of missing content that was supposed to go with it. But we see enough to know she's greatly written as a character.
It puts everyone who disagrees with you into a box that you can disregard. Which means that you're assigning wrong motivations to those talking about a topic. Especially since he might have a point. It's quite a jump since we last saw Luke give a line in Return of the Jedi, about him being about redemption and saving those unworthy. Something even Battlefront II got right, to being the guy who thinks murdering his nephew might be a good idea, and to be about letting everyone die once he realizes that's a mistake. That's a hell of a leap, and the film doesn't want us to know the full journey of how he came to be that, even if it does have Rey get him out of that stupor later.
See above reg. lies.

As to Luke's characterization, we've been over this before, I'm sure, and I expect that you'll dismiss anything I say, but:

Luke's change in personality seems sudden, because we see little of the events that lead him there. However, it is not at all implausible that a man could change greatly over more than thirty years. Nor do I feel that Luke's actions are really out of keeping with his prior characterization. Luke was shown to be vulnerable to the temptation of the Dark Side in Return of the Jedi, and to lashing out in violence when those he loved were in danger. He resisted the Dark Side then, but it does not follow from that that he will never be tempted again. Indeed, if anything, the fact that he was tempted once would likely make him more vulnerable in the future, much like how if you take Meth once and don't get addicted, it doesn't mean that you will never be addicted in the future. Note also that unless you believe Kylo's version, all evidence is that Luke would not have actually gone through with it- he saw the destruction of everything he held dear, saw a chance to stop it, and felt a momentary temptation toward preemptive violence which he spent the rest of his life bitterly regretting.
And it's presented in such a Rashomon style that we don't know who's right, and who's wrong. We do logically have to know that Luke walked from his hut to Ben's, the temptation for him was that strong. The only way we can say that it wasn't, was that either they were sleeping in the same hut, Ben asked Luke to watch over him for some reason, or Luke likes to watch his nephew sleep as a regular habit, and was hit with temptation to murder him while doing so one night.

Luke had to have been going into this downslide for a while. It's distressing to see your heroes fall, and if you're going to do that with the hero of a previous work, you have to be ready to dedicate the time and effort to show that slide to large extent. If Luke's point at ROTJ is at A, we see him at E, and only see him for 30 seconds at C, we're left missing out on points B through D, and feeling cheated because of it. Especially as we're told that this is to justify the plot in which Luke's actions caused the downfall of the Jedi and eventually the New Republic by causing Ben to leave and become Kylo Ren.
Its also pretty funny that this should be seen as destroying the character when we're so often told that characters should be "flawed" (to the point that many popular protagonists are now barely distinguishable from sociopaths, if they are distinguishable at all). And that much of the same internet culture that savages The Last Jedi praises characters that are "dark" and would likely praise a preemptive act of violence in the name of "pragmatism" in another character.
At the same time, we're getting a lot of people who clamor for people like Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Captain America because they ARE good, noble people, and away from the previous decade of Battlestar Galactica nutcases on the brink of falling apart. Audiences seem to want nicer and better heroes. Just ones that seemed fleshed out.

They do NOT, as Batman Vs Superman showed, seem to want their icons, which Luke Skywalker is by this point, torn down and showed to be petty insecure individuals whose actions will doom others if not given a good whack in the head by other characters consistently.
Luke's characterization ks also utterly in keeping with how the Dark Side has been shown to work in the past- it shows you what you fear, then offers you a way to prevent it if you give in to your fear and lash out in anger. But like all deals with the devil, it is treacherous, and tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, where giving in brings about the very thing you feared. It did it to Anakin with Padme, to Luke in RotJ, and to Luke in TLJ.
As noted, we never got the complete story, or enough of one to think that Luke wasn't seriously considering murdering his nephew. Again, we run into the logical problem between what must have happened for scene setup, and what was needed for the visual. Seeing Luke hovering over Ben with a lit lightsaber is a striking image. In order to have that, we must have Luke think, while at his hut, to get up, get dressed, walk over to Ben's hut, break in, and stare at his nephew for a long while, take his saber out, ignite his saber, and then watch in horror as Ben reacts to that action.

If it's meant to be a momentary failing on Luke's part, it was one with a lot of action committed to it, as Luke didn't second guess himself until he actually lit his saber. Not when he got up and put his robes on, not when he left his door, not when he reached his nephew's hut and was about to open the door, but when he ignited his saber. That means it wasn't a momentary impulse, but that Luke really was committed to killing his nephew, and only changed his mind at the last moment. That means that Luke really did fall far enough to be dark side. Which goes against the message of Return of the Jedi, in that Luke had fought that challenge, and was the stronger for it, and more complete as a person.

It's also why the costuming of the film matters. As TFA had Luke in a Jedi robe, looking like someone we could consider heroic. While TLJ had Luke in a dark robe, making him look like someone who was corrupted. Kreia pulls this off in KOTOR 2 as well(when properly coded), with her only revealing her face at key moments, and revealing her true image at the end of the game.
Finally, its in keeping with the film's theme- the importance of maintaining hope, with fear and despair leading to disaster.
Which again, it fails at, once you take a few minutes to think things through, and realize why things don't make sense, and the film plays like a dramatic comedy of errors. In order for things to go as wrong as they do, every single character in the film has to be that bad at communicating with each other, and lacking in common sense enough that things go horribly wrong.
And yes, Canto Bight is a sidestory that doesn't go anywhere. It doesn't develop the plot, except to bring up the theme of 'both sides', which you hate so much, and to show that Rose and Finn need someone to teach them to park properly and to actually go after their contact instead of their cellmate when on a mission. So yeah, that is a problem, storywise. That doesn't mean those who dislike it are racist, but that writers see that it is eating up valuable screentime that could be used elsewhere, or used to bolster the theme of the film.
It develops Finn's character by having him see the galaxy, first its wonder, and then, from Rose's perspective, its underlying corruption. It furthers his journey from storm trooper, to defector, to a frightened fugitive who only cares about Rey, to finally being someone who is truly committed to the Resistance cause. It gives time for him to bond with Rose. It shows a slice of the civilian world that is being affected by this war. It does advance the main plot by bringing in DJ, who subsequently betrays the fleet to the First Order, necessitating Holdo's sacrifice (which indirectly enables Rey's escape). However, it doesn't have to advance the main plot, because its primary purpose is to advance Finn's character development, while also allowing for a lighter diversion from the Rey and Kylo stuff.
Unfortunately, it does that while also visually presenting a sense of how little the conflict matters. Finn does go through a character arc of siding with the Resistance. But, we get that with a sense that the galaxy doesn't give a damn about who wins between the two, and showing that the galaxy the New Republic made didn't really deal with all the problems that arose from the Empire(or the Old Republic before it). Things keep on going, same as normal, and DJ might be right that it's best to sit things out and profit while others kill each other, because those in charge will just gamble the money you spent to buy ships to fight anyway.
As to the "Both Sides" stuff, that doesn't really bother me, because the ultimate point is that DJ is wrong. Its a jab at "Both Sides" narratives/false equivalencies, not a validation of them. Which is another reason why I like it.
I guess. We still see everyone at Space Monaco having their dream vacations after the mess is taken care of, and the children are still enslaved. DJ might have a point that such fights are pointless if they don't really change things for those who need it.
EDIT: There's also how Holdo is presented, but you think that she should be revered, even if the film paints her as a terrible leader.
No, I don't think she should be "revered"- this is another cheap straw man designed to provoke ridicule of me rather than address my actual arguments. I think that she is an interesting character who is not nearly as incompetent as she is made out to be. I do dispute the claim that "the film paints her as a terrible leader." The film initially misdirects the audience into thinking she's a terrible leader, before revealing that she actually isn't. Much of the audience, however, dishonestly insists on treating the misdirection based on partial information and bias as canon fact, while ignoring the subsequent reveal.
Well, like with Luke's intentions to murder his nephew would take his walking from one part of their temple to the other, the logic behind such actions matters when you think about it, and it falls apart in analysis. At least, for myself. Things were so bad that people wanted to mutiny. Regardless of whether she was right or not, that speaks bad things about leadership, and getting to the iconic image of Rebels pointing blasters at each other shows how bad things are for them, which in the film's setting should either be preventable, or says horrible things about the heroes we're supposed to be following.
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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by Gandalf » 2019-05-12 06:13pm

Yeah, it paints Poe as a real piece of shit. But I guess at the end he learned a lesson so it's all okay?
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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by ray245 » 2019-05-12 06:45pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-12 10:16am
Snip
I hope I am not coming across as making a personal attack on you, but what I can say about how you approach many debating topics is that you tend to take a very partisan stance and assume the worse about anyone that isn't on your side. It makes a lot of what you are saying coming across as a case of "confirmation bias" affecting your arguments. It's not really conducive to a debating environment or help us make logical conclusions.

This is just some of my thoughts and it might help you make a more coherent argument and make people less inclined to attack you personally.
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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-12 10:10pm

The politics of the last few years have probably made me too twitchy sometimes, yeah. But that's also partly because there actually is a lot of that shit out there, especially when it comes to Holdo and Rose. And like I said above, it often masks itself as "legitimate criticism", using dog whistles and then crying persecution when anyone tries to call out the bigotry. On top of which, there is my general impatience at the overall toxicity of the fandom even in ways that aren't overtly political.

Though again, I've never actually said that all criticisms of the films are bigoted or neo-fascist. That is a position that keeps getting assigned to me, not one that I actually hold. I'll acknowledge straight up that TFA has some very weak plotting, for example, and that TLJ would have be stronger if the possibility of a spy in the Resistance had been explictely raised as a reason for Holdo's secrecy. For the Prequels, I'll agree that Jar Jar and 9 year old Anakin are insufferable, that Anakin and Padme's relationship is creepy and the films don't do enough to acknowledge that it is, and that Padme's death was arguably poorly plotted. And my view of Solo is pretty much one of outright contempt for its handling of the droid slavery issue. I just don't feel that any of those things are inexplicable or deal breakers (well, except maybe for Phantom Menace and Solo).
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Re: Is TLJ as good a subversion as KOTOR 2?

Post by ray245 » 2019-05-13 06:22am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-12 10:10pm
The politics of the last few years have probably made me too twitchy sometimes, yeah. But that's also partly because there actually is a lot of that shit out there, especially when it comes to Holdo and Rose. And like I said above, it often masks itself as "legitimate criticism", using dog whistles and then crying persecution when anyone tries to call out the bigotry. On top of which, there is my general impatience at the overall toxicity of the fandom even in ways that aren't overtly political.

Though again, I've never actually said that all criticisms of the films are bigoted or neo-fascist. That is a position that keeps getting assigned to me, not one that I actually hold. I'll acknowledge straight up that TFA has some very weak plotting, for example, and that TLJ would have be stronger if the possibility of a spy in the Resistance had been explictely raised as a reason for Holdo's secrecy. For the Prequels, I'll agree that Jar Jar and 9 year old Anakin are insufferable, that Anakin and Padme's relationship is creepy and the films don't do enough to acknowledge that it is, and that Padme's death was arguably poorly plotted. And my view of Solo is pretty much one of outright contempt for its handling of the droid slavery issue. I just don't feel that any of those things are inexplicable or deal breakers (well, except maybe for Phantom Menace and Solo).
While that might be true in other places, like youtube comment sections, this forum is relatively well-run and most members don't express such opinions as far as I know. So whenever you go around seeing people who do feel the new films have very major flaws as some opponents to be destroyed, you are just coming across as someone more interested in winning against a kind of enemy that doesn't really exist in this forum.
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