Vympel wrote: ↑
Depends on the creative difference. If someone asserts that "Luke Skywalker would NEVER do X" it doesn't matter who thinks it - it's just their opinion and there's no reason for anyone else to be bound by it - and that includes if the opinion is coming from Mark Hamill. Would it have been creatively valid to just write Luke as just a wise old Jedi waiting around for a student? Leaving aside TFA for a minute, sure. Does that preclude a different interpretation of the character? No.
No one else needs to be bound by it. But given that SW is a shared work ( i.e. a sequel of a work that has already been shared with the public), then the audience has a say over how to interpret the character. Reception theory is a thing after all. As such, backlash over the creative differences between the director and the audience is a legitimate concern.
There's a difference between 'set up was poor' and 'I constructed a totally different version of the movie and am angry about it'.
If a movie set up allows a sizeable portion of the audience to view things differently, then it is a failure of filmmaking as a craft. As the director, you can control over what things can be interpreted differently by different people and what things have less room for alternative interpretation.
I recall this review written by Roger Ebert about E.T. ( which also functions as a letter to his granddaughter):
https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/grea ... trial-1982
Then there's the scene at the end. E.T. has phoned home, and the spaceship has come to get him. He's in the woods with Elliott. The gangplank on the ship comes down, and in the doorway we can see another creature like E.T. standing with the light behind.
Emil, you said, "That's E.T.'s mommy!'' And then you paused a second, and said, "Now how did I know that?''
We all laughed, because you made it sound funny, as you often do--you're a natural comedian. But remembering it now, I asked myself--how did Emil know that? It could have been E.T.'s daddy, or sister, or the pilot of the ship. But I agree with you it probably was his mommy, because she sounded just like a mommy as she made the noise of calling E.T.
And then I thought, the fact that you knew that was a sign of how well Steven Spielberg made his movie. At 4, you are a little young to understand "point of view,'' but you are old enough to react to one. For the whole movie, you'd been seeing almost everything through the eyes of E.T. or Elliott. By the last moments, you were identifying with E.T. And who did he miss the most? Who did he want to see standing in the spaceship door for him? His mommy.
Of course, maybe Steven Spielberg didn't see it the same way, and thought E.T. only seemed like a kid and was really 500 years old. That doesn't matter, because Spielberg left it open for all of us. That's the sign of a great filmmaker: He only explains what he has to explain, and with a great movie the longer it runs, the less has to be explained. Some other filmmaker who wasn't so good might have had subtitles saying, "E.T.? Are you out there? It's Mommy!'' But that would have been dumb.
And it would have deprived you, Emil, of the joy of knowing it was E.T.'s mommy, and the delight of being able to tell the rest of us.
As the filmmaker, you control over what can be explained in detail and what not to explain in any details. That's filmmaking as a craft and art, and not filmmaking as a science.
Well there's a huge amount of scope for a 'different direction' in the plot of a film you didn't write. Not saying "yes I would've done much the same thing" isn't really a criticism but a statement of the obvious given they're two different people coming from different places.
If someone is in a position where you don't want to offend your fellow director after hearing fans complaining about how TLJ ruined TFA because it didn't go the direction they wanted, they would not reveal any creative differences in public. If I was in Abrams shoes, if I really agreed and like the direction of TLJ, I would not reveal any creative difference and simply ask people to wait for EP 9 to find out.
Of course directors can make mistakes - like I said, JJ Abrams just going for the coincidental convenience of R2-D2 having the same navigational archives as the First Order and turning on at just the right moment at the end of the film is an obvious one that lent itself to people forgetting just how bizarre this would be as part of some sort of 'plan' on Luke's part. But the audience still bears responsibility to think critically about a film and pay attention. At its most general level, anytime some dumbass on youtube says a film has a 'plot hole' doesn't mean the director (or the writer) has failed.
A director has the power to shape how people think. A director can create layers of sub-text for the audience to play around with, and have a very clear understanding how every scene can be carefully framed and constructed to evoke a reaction from the audience. That's why directors like Hitchock and Kurosawa are such celebrated directors, while Abrams has never been in a strong contender as the best director of his generation in awards and etc.
Abram lapsed into too many simple directorial mistakes far too often too often compared to the really really good directors like a Del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón and etc.
Any dumbass on youtube can scream "plot hole" all they want. But if a film is well-made, those people won't have that big of a following. If those youtubers get a following, that's because those dumbass resonated with many audience members to a large degree.
Irrespective of any missteps on JJ Abrams part, a huge part of the discourse about TFA/TLJ simply would not exist if there wasn't a highly preconditioned fanbase given to extremely prescriptive ideas about what they wanted and expected in the films, and it's not necessarily doing a good job for the audience as a whole to go out of your way to either mollify or sufficient explain things to them just in case they get the wrong idea.
A really, really good director can push a narrative in unique and interesting direction by carefully shaping audience expectation by laying the groundwork very very carefully. The problem that arose from TFA/TLJ is largely because the groundwork for the new SW trilogy is terribly done by Abrams.
TFA was a 2 hour non-stop action film, which might work if it is a stand-alone movie, but it created a set of very weak foundation for subsequent writers and directors to follow. Abrams throughout his career has very often established engaging but weak story-telling foundations for his tv series and films. Abrams has never been a director that cares too much about how his stories end, and being chiefly concerned with how it starts.
So the directors must bear the brunt of the responsibility. It's a two way street in terms of how a director engages with his audience ( so the audience does bear some responsibility), but because a director exercise the ultimate creative control and have a greater set of filmmaking tools to shape an audience's experience of a film, they have a much greater responsibility in how a film is interpreted.
I would personally prefer a director to yank the rug out of the fanbase at the very start of the movie, upsetting them initially then using the fresh canvas to slowly ease the audience into getting used to a direction they are not conditioned to. Such approach has worked well in some stories, such as Legend of Korra ( fans wanted a continuation of the original characters, the creators gave them a show where the former lead character is already dead before the start of the show).
I think you are thinking too much like a lawyer when it comes to any discussion of a film. How a film is received is never about people paying attention. An audience of a film is under no obligation to pay attention to anything because it is the job of the director to interest the audience first. Good film directors find ways to get the audience to pay attention, in how they frame the shots, how they make use of sound, composition and etc. Directors tells the cinematographer about what to focus his or her camera on, what sort of theme or music a composer should evoke in certain scenes.
Humans are such funny creatures. We are selfish about selflessness, yet we can love something so much that we can hate something.