Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-01-26 07:19pm

Patroklos wrote:
2020-01-22 12:23pm
Vympel wrote:
That's totally ridiculous. Do you actually think that movie made $900M domestic in the US alone because "people were invested in finding out what is inside the mystery box"?
Sure. If you are walking into a known trilogy your expectations for the next installment definitely colors your appreciation for the first. Properly setting up themes and cliff hangers pecans generating interest in those themes and cliffhangers and an expectation that someone has already thought about the follow up. A follow op you are invested in.

If you buy a ticket to TLJ expecting a pay off and there is nothing there if definitely impacts the the perception on both installments.
I don't think its really fair to hold it against a film because its sequel made by different writers and directors dropped the ball, though in practice it often works out that way.
TFA also had the benefit of the doubt regarding ticket sales by being the the first installment. Nobody knew anything about the ST other than “Star Wars!” You had to pay to get a taste, whether you walked away craving more or hacking up bile.
Yeah, TFA was always going to have the strongest box office. Probably the dumbest thing Disney ever did was take the lower box office numbers for TLJ as evidence that they needed to "course correct", rather than a nearly-inevitable decline after the hype of TFA being first new Star Wars movie in a decade (Clone Wars cartoon aside), and the start of the Sequel Trilogy.

Frankly, I get the impression that a lot of the bad decision making around Star Wars is due to Disney having unrealistic expectations of every film having TFA's box office strength, and then panicking when they inevitably didn't. That's on the execs for not being realistic about the box office expectations, not on any of the filmmakers.
This also means the ticket sale numbers for TLJ reflect heavily on the reputation of TFA, not the quality of TLJ. Same goes for TROS, it depending heavily on the reputation of both previous installments. At least for opening weekend numbers before viewers can have much knowledge to judge whether to see the current release on its own merits.

The fact that TROS numbers are low is as much a consequence of disappointment TLJ, either as a self contained movie or it’s Inconguities with TFA, as any knowledge of TROS itself by audiences. Unless you want to blame it all on poor TROS marketing. That’s fair as it was terrible.

I agree a one year gap between TLJ and TROS was two short. It is, however, 365 times better than the TFA/TLJ gap.
I reject the argument that ROS's relatively low numbers are a reflection on the response to TLJ, or for that matter that TLJ's are a reflection on TFA, both for the reasons discussed above, and because by that argument, Empire Strikes Back's lower box office score was a reflection of the audience response to the original film (you know, the one that completely redefined Hollywood and basically invented the modern blockbuster).
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by Vympel » 2020-01-27 06:29am

ray245 wrote:
2020-01-26 11:51am
Back then video games and other big franchise are hardly a thing. SW basically invented the whole notion of movie franchise. By the early 2000s, that's very common.
That doesn't go anywhere to substantiating your argument.
It's "widely held" because all the media outlets were basically ran by the same bunch of fanboys writing stories about how Lucas ruined Star Wars, when your average audience couldn't care less about it. A- cinemascore is a decent rating for major blockbusters.
No, they didn't. The media outlets ran with it because they were slated by film critics, not fanboys, who had no media clout, and certainly didn't in the non-existent SEO-driven model of engagement that existed in 1999-2005.
I'm saying it's connected. The lack of material was affecting the development of games, because studios need to fill in all the gap with lore to make some games worked, but they can't write up too much lore in case the big Hollywood director want to do something different.
And there's no actual reason to think that's the case, because you don't actually need material to make games. Just the will and imagination.
I question the framework you used to judge what is a good strategy for SW and what's not good. I think many of your arguments are fundamentally lacking in long-term consequences.
I'm not sure how that follows.
I'm the generation of kids that grew up with HP, and I'm as big of a HP fan as I was of SW fan. I was crazy over HP, but in my mind SW was still the biggest franchise there is, while HP is more of a faze. HP was seen as a kids' and teenager's franchise, while SW was seen as something that both adults and kids can get crazy over together. My perception of how kids react and thought about franchise is far better than you imo, because I was actually a kid back then.
I'm sorry but that's just the most tranparently feeble kind of anecdotal argument I've ever heard. You're talking about your own personal experience and trying to use it to establish authority as to which was the more successful franchise in the mind of a generation of children. It's laughable. You don't need to actually be a child to know what was obviously more culturally dominant during a period of time, and if anything being a child is actively harmful to being objective about that, because you can (and in this case you transparently are) elevating your personal tastes beyond what any sort of evidence supports. Like are you actually trying to pretend that kids were more excited about the prequels and the Star Wars EU than the goddamn Harry Potter books, their associated wildly successful film franchise, and their epic fuckton of merchandise? Come on man.

I mean for fuck's sake, a running joke in politics is 'read another book' re: people viewing all forms of political discussion through the prism of who is who at Hogwarts for a reason. It's imposed itself on how entire generations view the world.
Have you seen your typical Marvel comics storyline? It's no better than most EU stories. Even Infinity War was based on a comic where Thanos killed half the world's population because he wants to make out with Death, and Civil War turned Tony Stark into a fascist.
What about it? The point remains that Marvel comics has a massive breadth of material and huge array of characters from which to tell stories. The Star Wars EU predominantly did nothing but revolve around the adventures of the original core cast of Star Wars and their offspring over and over and over until it finished. Heck, they couldn't even tell a story set in the far future without making up another Skywalker as the protagonist. It's embarassing.
Everytime any discussion of Obi Wan movie came out, there's a huge buzz of activity over it. Talk show hosts have been asking him about it for ages.

Fanboys shouldn't be listened to, and I meant it in the sense that you shouldn't listen in what they say about how to WRITE a SW story, but there isn't anything wrong in listening to what story they are interested in. There's a big difference. And even when you do listen to what they say they are interested in, you need to question whether that's what they truly wanted, and whether there will be long-term harm in listening to it. In other words, exercise good judgment.
There's absolutely no evidence whatsoever that there's a 'huge buzz of activity' around an Obi-Wan movie as distinct from a series. The Mandalorian is a standing rebuttal to the idea that a Star Wars story needs to be a movie instead of a series in order to be worthwhile, not to mention an indictment of the idea that what fans 'want' in terms of what story 'they're interested in' would be at all worthwhile. No fan ever asked for the Mandalorian concept. At most they thought they'd get a Boba Fett material, and they certainly never envisioned what they were actually given. They loved it anyway.
So? The point is an MCU movie can resonate with its audiences really well. It is able to bring in new demographics and engage with people in a way the new SW movies failed to do.
Please explain how Black Panther is at all a roadmap for Star Wars engaging African-American audiences? This is basically a rhetorical question because merely asking it illustrates the massive, inherent conceptual differences between the predominantly Earth-based MCU and Star Wars.
That's just your personal preference talking. Which puts you in a relative minority compared to all the fans who watched the MCU movies. You have a tendency to overvalue your personal preference when you are discussing what people today think and feel about blockbusters. Tell that to all the people and kids that absolutely loved the MCU.

Snobbery is actively a hindrance to your judgement when it comes to analysing what works and what doesn't work in making appeal movies to the public. Your misjudgment on ROS ought to make you rethink your entire approach.
What misjudgement on TROS? I don't recall making any judgement on it except that I'd hope I enjoy it and that it wouldn't do something incredibly stupid like try and substantially change the story being told in the final installment (which it absurdly did with the 'Rey Palpatine' nonsense).

Star Wars is not, and never will be, nor should it be treated as, the MCU. It's an entirely different type of universe telling different stories that are the antithesis of the MCU. I don't care how many people love the MCU. I don't mind it either. Heck, I've seen every MCU film. It's approach is not a good fit for Star Wars.
No one is saying SW should be a carbon copy of Marvel. Instead, break it down and figure out how to apply elements from Marvel that can benefit the SW franchise. Having a CEO of Lucasfilm that has a clear creative vision for the franchise the way Feige did is going to massively help. Your insistence that SW shouldn't learn from Marvel is the exact reason why we ended up with ROS that failed to make more money than R1 while Endgame is now the no1 movie of all time, with people that didn't even watch any prior MCU movies felt they should watch Endgame and the new audience enjoyed it as well.
If your idea of 'be like Marvel' is 'oh just have a clear creative vision like Feige' then that's so vague as to be meaningless. That applies to literally any creative endeavour. You don't need to turn into some sort of 'Marvel' like machine to have the conviction to stick by your established story and not be massively reactive because you're afraid of noisy fans.
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by ray245 » 2020-01-27 09:05am

Vympel wrote:
2020-01-27 06:29am
That doesn't go anywhere to substantiating your argument.
Does it not? The way a franchise is dominant in the mind of people changes in different eras. When kids spent more time playing video games than playing with toys, then the way a franchise remains stuck inside the minds of kids changes.

It's "widely held" because all the media outlets were basically ran by the same bunch of fanboys writing stories about how Lucas ruined Star Wars, when your average audience couldn't care less about it. A- cinemascore is a decent rating for major blockbusters.
No, they didn't. The media outlets ran with it because they were slated by film critics, not fanboys, who had no media clout, and certainly didn't in the non-existent SEO-driven model of engagement that existed in 1999-2005.
The critical consensus when the films came out was largely decent. The idea that the majority of the critics hated the prequels was a later revisionist view that became dominant, because of the fanboys becoming more dominant and influential in pop-media. You need to look at your data more closely before you make your judgement.


https://screenrant.com/star-wars-preque ... s-changes/
The Phantom Menace started 2005 on 62%, and stayed in the 61-64% range for the better part of a decade. Episode I only became Rotten in 2012, with the film's ill-advised 3D rerelease. Intended as the first of a complete saga reissue using the new technology, George Lucas' decision to start with his divisive first entry hurt its reputation badly; reviews skewed negative on the film and the effect, sending its score steadily downwards; it went straight to 57% before slowly decreasing to the 54% it's on today. As the only film in the Star Wars prequel trilogy to get a rerelease, this means The Phantom Menace is at a real disadvantage: whether this was a case of the new reviews setting the score straight or the mounting distaste skewing it, this glut of new reviews marked a point of no return.

The film officially going Rotten had an impact on the audience reviews too. It reached a high of 73% approval around the time of Revenge of the Sith's release before leveling out around 67%. It was only in early 2007 when its score dropped down to 60%, possibly spurred on by the 30th Anniversary celebrations causing a full-series reevaluation, but that recovered. It wasn't until 2014, though, that the film became Rotten for audiences, the result of a gradual degrading ever since the 3D rerelease: it had been on 65% before 3D, but quickly fell.
From a critical perspective, Attack of the Clones' story is very boring. It was on 64% at the start of 2005 and is on 65% at the start of 2019, with it only ever going as high as 67%. This is what happens without a major chance for new reviews to present discussion. That said, the impact of certain events can be seen: the film dropped from 67% (which it had held pretty much interrupted since 2008) to 65% in late 2015, reflecting some degree of reevaluation to coincide with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

But whereas there's no metric of professional reviews, fans have clearly turned on Episode II. It was around the 70% point mark when Revenge of the Sith hit, but then shot down to 66% at the start of 2007 (at a similar rate and time to The Phantom Menace). It gradually recovered to a fairly impressive 69%, but soon found itself depreciating. First, it dropped to 66% in 2012, then to 60% in 2013. This collective impact seems to be a response to two key factors: first, the Disney purchase; second, the film's title was changed to include 3D, expecting a follow-up release to The Phantom Menace, something fans understandably didn't react well to. Once it slipped Rotten in 2015, there was no coming back.
Critic-wise, Revenge of the Sith's score is even more boring that Attack of the Clones. After initially getting 83% upon release, it steadied out to 80%, only dropping one point to 79% with Star Wars: The Force Awakens' reappraisals. As Episode III is widely regarded as the best of the Star Wars prequels and is most certainly the subject of the least backlash, a more static score would only be expected.

The audience score, on the other hand, is all over the place. It started off on 96% for the week of release, slowly leveling out around the 85% point for the rest of the decade. Then, in Fall 2010, 32 million new votes caused it to plummet to 64%. Two years later, in October 2012, a further 1.5 million had seen it settle on 65%, the score it holds to this day. The extremity of this cannot be understated. Revenge of the Sith currently has 33.6 million votes on Rotten Tomatoes, 32 million of them cast in the same month in 2010 causing a 20 point drop. In comparison, since its release in December 2015, The Force Awakens has 229,322 audience votes and Star Wars: The Last Jedi only 204,091. Box Office Mojo estimate Episode III sold 59,324,600 tickets domestically.
And there's no actual reason to think that's the case, because you don't actually need material to make games. Just the will and imagination.
You can't have imagination if you are constantly afraid of stepping onto the shoes of a big name Hollywood director who wants to have a different lore. Even Rian Johnson was affected by the ambiguity of the Sequel era when he was afraid to adding more details to the Knights of Ren because he thought JJ Abrams had a better idea on who they were ( turns out JJ Abrams have no clue at all).
I'm not sure how that follows.
You tend to judge and evaluate things on a surface level, and as a result you are missing many important points that reveals certain fundamental weakness of directors and producers.
I'm sorry but that's just the most tranparently feeble kind of anecdotal argument I've ever heard. You're talking about your own personal experience and trying to use it to establish authority as to which was the more successful franchise in the mind of a generation of children. It's laughable. You don't need to actually be a child to know what was obviously more culturally dominant during a period of time, and if anything being a child is actively harmful to being objective about that, because you can (and in this case you transparently are) elevating your personal tastes beyond what any sort of evidence supports. Like are you actually trying to pretend that kids were more excited about the prequels and the Star Wars EU than the goddamn Harry Potter books, their associated wildly successful film franchise, and their epic fuckton of merchandise? Come on man.
I am not saying kids are more excited about the prequels than a new Harry Potter book. I was more crazy about new HP books coming out at the time. I know my case is purely anecdotal, but I have a better framework than some of the adults in how we perceive what is more culturally dominant to us kids at the time.

People's perception of reality can be very different from what simple box office earnings is saying. 1. I agree that the HP craze was far stronger than the craze for Star Wars, but the question of whether it is more dominant is subject to debate. How are you defining dominant? In terms of box office performance? HP had 8 films compared to 7, and every HP book is a major chapter that comes closer to the ending while the EU books aren't important storylines to the Star Wars saga.

But looking at total earnings of the respective franchise, SW still vastly outgross Harry Potter in many ways. A quick look at wikipeida ( with cited figures from other sources) shows SW still making more than HP:

Star Wars:
Merchandise sales – $42.217 billion[r]
Box office – $10.057 billion
Home video – $9.057 billion[t]
Video games – $4.964 billion
Book sales – $1.82 billion[77]
TV revenue – $280 million
Total: $68 billion

Harry Potter:
Box office – $9.194 billion
Merchandise sales – $8.318 billion[be]
Book sales – $7.743 billion[106]
Home entertainment – $3.966 billion[bf]
Video games – $1.555 billion
TV revenue – $1 billion[108]
Stage play – $108 million[110]
Total: $32 billion

Yes, Star Wars has been out far longer than HP, so the figures does not take account of that. However, the MCU has already surpassed the total revenue of HP despite coming out far later than Harry Potter. The merchandise sales of Star Wars also vastly, vastly exceed Harry Potter. In metrics like Video game sales ( something that is a far better form of comparison as video games only really took off in the 90s), Star Wars also vastly exceed the earnings of Harry Potter. In terms of Home Entertainment, Star Wars once again vastly exceed Harry Potter.

I mean for fuck's sake, a running joke in politics is 'read another book' re: people viewing all forms of political discussion through the prism of who is who at Hogwarts for a reason. It's imposed itself on how entire generations view the world.


What's the point you are making here? That an entire generation of kids grew up with Harry Potter? No shit? I am one of them and I remain a fan to this day. But does that means HP surpass Star Wars as the dominant franchise? I don't think so. Because while kids like me back then loved Harry Potter, we cannot escape the pull of Star Wars no matter how hard we try. Snape killed Dumbledore is a meme amongst us when the book 6 came out, but "I am your father" is a saying that's near-universal to almost everyone.


What about it? The point remains that Marvel comics has a massive breadth of material and huge array of characters from which to tell stories. The Star Wars EU predominantly did nothing but revolve around the adventures of the original core cast of Star Wars and their offspring over and over and over until it finished. Heck, they couldn't even tell a story set in the far future without making up another Skywalker as the protagonist. It's embarassing.


So has Star Wars. There's vast content available if you know how to make use of them and adapt them accordingly. Most comic-book movies do not adapt the storylines of the comics page by page, but takes the ideas very liberally and adapts them sensibly. I am personally bored of most post-ROTJ EU novels because they endlessly recycle the same Rebels vs Empire storyline, but that does not mean certain ideas cannot be used in different ways.

Say take a Thrawn character. You don't really need to make Thrawn an imperial grand admiral coming from the unknown regions to adapt him in a movie. You take the core elements of Thrawn that works well in a different story, and throw out all the stuff that won't work as well in a movie.

There's absolutely no evidence whatsoever that there's a 'huge buzz of activity' around an Obi-Wan movie as distinct from a series. The Mandalorian is a standing rebuttal to the idea that a Star Wars story needs to be a movie instead of a series in order to be worthwhile, not to mention an indictment of the idea that what fans 'want' in terms of what story 'they're interested in' would be at all worthwhile. No fan ever asked for the Mandalorian concept. At most they thought they'd get a Boba Fett material, and they certainly never envisioned what they were actually given. They loved it anyway.


No, but there is a huge buzz for a live-action Obi-Wan story. And it being a movie entails a greater budget, and higher box office earning potential.

Yes, there a huge buzz around the Mandalorian, but at the same time it's hampered by the fact that Disney+ is limited to North America. Most people outside of the US have not seen the series. There is a lot of opportunity cost squandered by making Obi-Wan a tv series instead of a movie. More importantly, the decision to not make an Obi-Wan movie before the Han Solo movie resulted in Disney making one massive misjudgement that spin-off character movies aren't profitable, instead of understanding it is a spin-off Han Solo movie that's not profitable.

Please explain how Black Panther is at all a roadmap for Star Wars engaging African-American audiences? This is basically a rhetorical question because merely asking it illustrates the massive, inherent conceptual differences between the predominantly Earth-based MCU and Star Wars.


My point is directed at your point that there is no real value in the MCU movies, and you are being snobbery about the whole franchise.

What misjudgement on TROS? I don't recall making any judgement on it except that I'd hope I enjoy it and that it wouldn't do something incredibly stupid like try and substantially change the story being told in the final installment (which it absurdly did with the 'Rey Palpatine' nonsense).


The idea that JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson are somehow working well together and have a shared idea on what to do with the story?

Star Wars is not, and never will be, nor should it be treated as, the MCU. It's an entirely different type of universe telling different stories that are the antithesis of the MCU. I don't care how many people love the MCU. I don't mind it either. Heck, I've seen every MCU film. It's approach is not a good fit for Star Wars.


I did not say Star Wars ought to be treated as if it is the MCU. But it is a "shared universe" with a "shared narrative" that goes beyond the narrative of the individual movies.

If your idea of 'be like Marvel' is 'oh just have a clear creative vision like Feige' then that's so vague as to be meaningless. That applies to literally any creative endeavour. You don't need to turn into some sort of 'Marvel' like machine to have the conviction to stick by your established story and not be massively reactive because you're afraid of noisy fans.


You need to learn from Marvel in the sense that you have a clear boss at the head of the Studio who knows what kind of story you want to tell, and allow that to influence on which directors you want to work with, and be able to communicate your vision clearly to the directors. The MCU had hired 20 directors and had 4 directors quitting. SW on the other hand, had 4 directors fired, 1 sidelined, two tv producers dropping out ( or fired) amongst 9 directors.

There's no clear "established story" to follow, because Kennedy clearly doesn't care about an "established story" when she re-hired JJ Abrams and approved of his script for Ep 9. A studio-head with an idea of what story to tell would rather have fired JJ Abrams when he handed in the script for ROS.

You can't have conviction if you aren't a storyteller with a story to tell. That's why Kennedy decision making has been so utterly creatively-cowardly from a story-telling point of view.
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by Vympel » 2020-01-27 06:45pm

ray245 wrote:
2020-01-27 09:05am
Does it not? The way a franchise is dominant in the mind of people changes in different eras. When kids spent more time playing video games than playing with toys, then the way a franchise remains stuck inside the minds of kids changes.
No, the point is that the OT wasn't a dominant culturual entity in 1977-1983 because of all the toys they made. There actually weren't that many, relatively speaking, which is why they became so insanely valuable.
The critical consensus when the films came out was largely decent.
62% on RT as of 2005 is not in any way 'decent', its positively mediocre. It's just 2% shy of rotten. The only film that could be considered getting a 'decent' critical reception was RotS.
The idea that the majority of the critics hated the prequels was a later revisionist view that became dominant, because of the fanboys becoming more dominant and influential in pop-media. You need to look at your data more closely before you make your judgement.
The assertion that the prequel reviews dived to 'rotten' because of 'fanboys' is similarly unsubstantiated. There's just no evidence at all for this claim. If anything, appealing to RT audience scores (a statistically useless mode of analysis for obvious reasons - there's nothing at all useful about a self-selecting poll) showing that audience approval (i.e. for 'audience' read 'predominantly men with internet connections who are more likely to be fanboys than the general audience') was higher than the critical reception would tend against this claim.
You can't have imagination if you are constantly afraid of stepping onto the shoes of a big name Hollywood director who wants to have a different lore. Even Rian Johnson was affected by the ambiguity of the Sequel era when he was afraid to adding more details to the Knights of Ren because he thought JJ Abrams had a better idea on who they were ( turns out JJ Abrams have no clue at all).
That's not what Johnson said. He said he assumed that Kylo Ren would have a more personal connection to them than just the Praetorians, so he excluded them because he didn't want that dynamic to interfere with his scene. That's a conclusion easily able to be drawn from TFA and supplemnentary materials available at the time. That Abrams disposed of them is really not relevant to that. In any event, there's no evidence at all that game development was stifled because people were afraid of stepping onto some director's lore. For that to be true you'd actually have to see evidence of those attempts being aborted.
You tend to judge and evaluate things on a surface level, and as a result you are missing many important points that reveals certain fundamental weakness of directors and producers.
Yeah, no. My problems with the MCU should illustrate the opposite of that.
I am not saying kids are more excited about the prequels than a new Harry Potter book. I was more crazy about new HP books coming out at the time. I know my case is purely anecdotal, but I have a better framework than some of the adults in how we perceive what is more culturally dominant to us kids at the time.

People's perception of reality can be very different from what simple box office earnings is saying. 1. I agree that the HP craze was far stronger than the craze for Star Wars, but the question of whether it is more dominant is subject to debate. How are you defining dominant? In terms of box office performance? HP had 8 films compared to 7, and every HP book is a major chapter that comes closer to the ending while the EU books aren't important storylines to the Star Wars saga.

But looking at total earnings of the respective franchise, SW still vastly outgross Harry Potter in many ways. A quick look at wikipeida ( with cited figures from other sources) shows SW still making more than HP:
SW in total vastly outgrossing Harry Potter is not surprising and is also not relevant. We're talking about a particular stretch in time - i.e. the era in which the prequels were released, not the entire history of the franchise. The fact that Harry Potter only came out in 1997 and has made almost half of what Star Wars has made should illustrate the point handily as to what a dominant force it was at the relevant time. That the MCU has outpaced Harry Potter is also not relevant. That the MCU is a dominant cultural force is obvious.
What's the point you are making here? That an entire generation of kids grew up with Harry Potter? No shit? I am one of them and I remain a fan to this day. But does that means HP surpass Star Wars as the dominant franchise? I don't think so. Because while kids like me back then loved Harry Potter, we cannot escape the pull of Star Wars no matter how hard we try. Snape killed Dumbledore is a meme amongst us when the book 6 came out, but "I am your father" is a saying that's near-universal to almost everyone.
This tangent began in the first place because I argued that Star Wars hasn't been 'the dominant franchise' for literally decades. The idea that a franchise is still dominant because everyone knows 'I am your father' and what not is a trite argument that elides all the objective ways that Star Wars was overtaken in the public imagination by newer properties since the OT's release. The way to argue that a franchise has actually remained dominant is if you can show that what the franchise does at any given point in time becomes the most popular thing on the planet and outpaces its competitors in that same space. That clearly didn't happen with the prequels, and appealing to the good old days of the early 1980s is a red herring to that.
So has Star Wars. There's vast content available if you know how to make use of them and adapt them accordingly. Most comic-book movies do not adapt the storylines of the comics page by page, but takes the ideas very liberally and adapts them sensibly. I am personally bored of most post-ROTJ EU novels because they endlessly recycle the same Rebels vs Empire storyline, but that does not mean certain ideas cannot be used in different ways.

Say take a Thrawn character. You don't really need to make Thrawn an imperial grand admiral coming from the unknown regions to adapt him in a movie. You take the core elements of Thrawn that works well in a different story, and throw out all the stuff that won't work as well in a movie.
You don't think its telling that the go-to idea is somehow 'a Thrawn character', who comes straight out of the Skywalker stories? Who else is there?
No, but there is a huge buzz for a live-action Obi-Wan story. And it being a movie entails a greater budget, and higher box office earning potential.

Yes, there a huge buzz around the Mandalorian, but at the same time it's hampered by the fact that Disney+ is limited to North America. Most people outside of the US have not seen the series. There is a lot of opportunity cost squandered by making Obi-Wan a tv series instead of a movie. More importantly, the decision to not make an Obi-Wan movie before the Han Solo movie resulted in Disney making one massive misjudgement that spin-off character movies aren't profitable, instead of understanding it is a spin-off Han Solo movie that's not profitable.
That's a totally minor, transitory issue. It'll hit multiple European countries in March and more come summer (it's not only in North America, I'm in Australia and I have it). There's no opportunity cost squandered when the Obi-Wan series isn't coming out until 2021 at best. In any event, there's no evidence that an Obi-Wan movie would've made some ridiculous amount of money more than the Solo movie. You want to believe that because you like the idea of an Obi-Wan movie, not because the concept is inherently interesting or popular to a general audience.
My point is directed at your point that there is no real value in the MCU movies, and you are being snobbery about the whole franchise.
Complaining that something is popular is not an argument that something has merit. Lots of very popular films have no merit. Personally I think Black Panther is one of the exceptions to the MCU's issues because Ryan Coogler is a talented writer. That doesn't redeem or erase the MCU's creative issues as a whole.
The idea that JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson are somehow working well together and have a shared idea on what to do with the story?
You said my 'misjudgmeent on TROS' should change how I feel about what works and what doesn't in making movies that appeal to the public. I fail to see how assuming that a director wouldn't try and make up a new concept for the final film in a trilogy has any relevance to that?
I did not say Star Wars ought to be treated as if it is the MCU. But it is a "shared universe" with a "shared narrative" that goes beyond the narrative of the individual movies.

You need to learn from Marvel in the sense that you have a clear boss at the head of the Studio who knows what kind of story you want to tell, and allow that to influence on which directors you want to work with, and be able to communicate your vision clearly to the directors. The MCU had hired 20 directors and had 4 directors quitting. SW on the other hand, had 4 directors fired, 1 sidelined, two tv producers dropping out (or fired) amongst 9 directors.

There's no clear "established story" to follow, because Kennedy clearly doesn't care about an "established story" when she re-hired JJ Abrams and approved of his script for Ep 9. A studio-head with an idea of what story to tell would rather have fired JJ Abrams when he handed in the script for ROS.

You can't have conviction if you aren't a storyteller with a story to tell. That's why Kennedy decision making has been so utterly creatively-cowardly from a story-telling point of view.
This sort of stuff isn't emblematic of a 'Marvel' approach, its just not being creatively reactive and cowardly. If anything, the idea that Kevin Feige has an idea of the kind of story (which is not the same of plot, which he's better at) he wants to tell is pretty laughable to me. The thematic inconsistencies and changes in characterisation and message from movie to movie makes me think his idea of what kind of story he wants to tell isn't really something he's ever considered very deeply. The difference between him and Kennedy is that he's not as reactive and willing to let directors get away with fucking with not just the story but actually the damn plot.

Another issue of course is that the MCU as a project has been running for no breaks since 2008. There hasn't been any sort of time for the fandom view of it to become static and sanctified like what's happened with Star Wars and for the project itself to be captured by second-generation creatives to impose their particular vision on it.
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by Vendetta » 2020-01-29 01:25pm

I think the real issue with all the blame game here is that it requires a lot of hindsight.

The question we have to answer here is, if you're Disney in 2012, what's the compelling argument that you shouldn't trust JJ Abrams to start off your new Star Wars franchise?

Because ultimately whatever your opinion of TLJ or RoS, Bill Wilder is still right. If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act. No amount of producer level control over the plot matters if you start the story with half baked characters and a bunch of mystery boxes, but you don't know about those problems until you try and write the second and third acts two years later.

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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by ray245 » 2020-01-29 03:09pm

Vendetta wrote:
2020-01-29 01:25pm
I think the real issue with all the blame game here is that it requires a lot of hindsight.

The question we have to answer here is, if you're Disney in 2012, what's the compelling argument that you shouldn't trust JJ Abrams to start off your new Star Wars franchise?

Because ultimately whatever your opinion of TLJ or RoS, Bill Wilder is still right. If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act. No amount of producer level control over the plot matters if you start the story with half baked characters and a bunch of mystery boxes, but you don't know about those problems until you try and write the second and third acts two years later.
He lays very weak story-telling foundations. He "locks" the story to limits instead of allowing something fresh to grow.
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by Esquire » 2020-01-29 04:08pm

I was going to say 'because when he got to reboot Trek, it was also a technobabble-driven plot hole-filled mess stumbling from (admittedly pretty) gratuitous nostalgia shot to gratuitous nostalgia shot', but according to Wikipedia critics loved that one and it made a bunch of money, so fair enough.
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by FaxModem1 » 2020-01-30 03:59am

Because his products eventually turn into jokes, if they're remembered at all? Who still talks about Lost nowadays after all aside from how bad it ended?
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-01-30 04:08am

Up until RoS, I'd have said Abrams was a competent director visually/in terms of casting good actors, if he could only be kept away from any involvement with the script.

After RoS- fuck him. If he had done everything else right, I wouldn't forgive him for cutting Rose. Though I'm not terribly happy about ReyLo, the canonization of Wankatine, and several other lesser quibbles, either.

On that note, as someone who argued once upon a time that Abrams would be a good choice to direct Star Wars, and supported the decision to hire him, I must acknowledge now that I was wrong. If I had understood Abrams' character and approach to film as well as I do now (that of a vapid, sexist fanboy and panderer with no willingness to make real creative decisions and stand by them), I would not have done so.
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by Vympel » 2020-01-30 06:37am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-01-30 04:08am
Up until RoS, I'd have said Abrams was a competent director visually/in terms of casting good actors, if he could only be kept away from any involvement with the script.

After RoS- fuck him. If he had done everything else right, I wouldn't forgive him for cutting Rose. Though I'm not terribly happy about ReyLo, the canonization of Wankatine, and several other lesser quibbles, either.

On that note, as someone who argued once upon a time that Abrams would be a good choice to direct Star Wars, and supported the decision to hire him, I must acknowledge now that I was wrong. If I had understood Abrams' character and approach to film as well as I do now (that of a vapid, sexist fanboy and panderer with no willingness to make real creative decisions and stand by them), I would not have done so.
What TROS did to Rey is the worst for me. They took a character and - as one person said - made our last memory of her be as if she was a Star Wars fan conducting a bizarre toy-burial in the burnt out husk of some other person's childhood home, then had this grown woman look at her I-guess-new-ghost-parents before looking at the Twin Suns that only had significance to the hero's journey of an entirely other character. Alone. With Poe Dameron's droid.

Oh, and then the movie couldn't even find the time to reunite Leia with her own son, not even in death. Because it would take away from the reunification of 'the twins'. Plenty of time for pointless bullshit like C-3P0's fake death and Lando's bizarre interaction with Jannah, the pointless new character who only exists so that Finn has someone to worship him.

It's the most bizarre, misfiring pander downer ending. It's such a goddamn shame.
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by Galvatron » 2020-01-30 05:56pm

Vympel wrote:
2020-01-30 06:37am
With Poe Dameron's droid.
Should've been Artoo and Threepio. I don't know why they feel the need to supplant two of the most iconic characters in the saga with BB-8.

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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-01-30 08:33pm

In other news, RoS has gotten three Oscar nominations, although only in the sort of categories a Star Wars film would normally be nominated in, namely Score (John Williams breaking his own record for most Oscar nominations IIRC), Sound Editing, and Visual Effects.

Meanwhile, Rian Johnson just got a Best Original Screenplay nomination for Knives Out (which I really need to see). :D

Also, Kelly Marie Tran will reportedly be one of the presenters this year, which is at least a small consolation after the way Disney and Abrams marginalized her.
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-01-30 08:33pm

Galvatron wrote:
2020-01-30 05:56pm
Vympel wrote:
2020-01-30 06:37am
With Poe Dameron's droid.
Should've been Artoo and Threepio. I don't know why they feel the need to supplant two of the most iconic characters in the saga with BB-8.
Because they want to sell BB-8 toys?
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by Q99 » 2020-01-30 11:11pm

Because having the same two droids be the partner of every main character is kinda odd and R2-D2 is too competent/C-3PO too knowledgeable for a lot of conflicts to survive their regular presence? Having a next-gen droid isn't a bad thing.

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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by Galvatron » 2020-01-31 12:47am

I always thought at least one of the two droids should be present in virtually every scene of importance throughout the entire saga.

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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-01-31 03:13pm

On another note, I'm getting pretty sick of the Reylo ship. Usually shipping, toxic as it often is, is at least divided, but Reylo seems to utterly dominate the ST fandom and fanfiction. And (speaking from experience) if you criticize Reylo, you are now labeled a toxic fan, troll, even a misogynist (what?)*. Because women like Reylo, so if you think its toxic you're condescending to/trying to control women, apparently.

So, score one for successful pandering on Abrams' part. But I honestly find it stomach-turning. A romanticization of an abusive neo-Nazi school shooter (but its all okay because he saved the girl in the end). This is the face of Star Wars for the next generation. And this is the story that will largely define the films' first female protagonist in the minds of those fans.

This is the face of Star Wars for a new generation. :(

And yeah, Vader was redeemed, but Vader was not in any way portrayed as a romantic figure in the OT. I will say that the Prequel's depiction of Anakin/Padme is pretty uncomfortable at times (most notably her excusing his murder of the sandpeople, and of course her "dying of a broken heart" while insisting there's still good in him after he tries to choke her to death).

Honestly, though, I see it as to some extent part of a general pattern of backsliding after the surge of "strong female protagonists" in "genre" films that started with Fury Road and TFA in 2015. And RoS isn't even close to the worst example. This year alone, the three big series finales of the year gave us:

Game of Thrones: Daenerys goes mad because she was feeling insecure about her boyfriend, murders a bunch of people, and then said boyfriend kills her in a manner that could be considered sexualized. The creators defend this with overtly misogynistic tropes, including suggesting that Daenerys going mad was foreshadowed all along because she wasn't more upset when the brother who beat and molested and sold her died. Oh, and don't forget Sansa Stark's rape being depicted as an important part of her growth as a person.

Avengers: the main female Avenger's only major contribution to the story is to kill herself in a manner echoing the fridging of another of their few female leads in the same manner in the previous film, where the main focus of the scene was on what a tragic sacrifice it was for the male villain killing her. Her death is given little weight next to Tony's sacrifice. The other main female Avenger, after being teased as a key to victory in the last film's post credits scene, leading both to much hype from the fandom and a misogynist backlash, is given a relatively minor role in the film.

Star Wars: Okay, so Rey didn't die (permanently) or turn evil. Props there. But the film goes to some lengths to assuage those who complained that she was a "Mary Sue" because she was "too powerful", giving her a training sequence and a special bloodline to "justify" her powers. And her story is heavily tied to a forced romantic plot with an abusive man. Another major female character, Rose, is cut almost entirely in a blatant bid to appease racists and misogynists.

It honestly seems to me like there's an undercurrent running through Hollywood right now that the "strong female leads" thing was just a fad that's run its course, that the Powers That Be in Hollywood (who are still mostly straight white men) are saying "Okay women, you've had your moment in the spotlight, now its time to go back to nice safe white male protagonists." And that depresses the hell out of me.

And the thing is, I don't think this is ultimately reflective of what most fans want. I think its what a small, ugly minority of fans want, and what studio execs (who, again, are still mostly straight white men) feel comfortable with.


*Note: Apparently there have been some people harassing or sending threats to Reylo fans on line. Because of course there are. It should go without saying that those people can go fuck themselves.
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by FaxModem1 » 2020-01-31 05:09pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-01-31 03:13pm
Avengers: the main female Avenger's only major contribution to the story is to kill herself in a manner echoing the fridging of another of their few female leads in the same manner in the previous film, where the main focus of the scene was on what a tragic sacrifice it was for the male villain killing her. Her death is given little weight next to Tony's sacrifice. The other main female Avenger, after being teased as a key to victory in the last film's post credits scene, leading both to much hype from the fandom and a misogynist backlash, is given a relatively minor role in the film.
Mostly what I've seen is people wanting to see more of Scarlet Witch, as a lot of people have commented that Thanos would have lost to her if he didn't nuke the entire battlefield(his troops included) with his ship out of fear of losing to one pissed off witch. Basically costing his side the battle due to her.
Star Wars: Okay, so Rey didn't die (permanently) or turn evil. Props there. But the film goes to some lengths to assuage those who complained that she was a "Mary Sue" because she was "too powerful", giving her a training sequence and a special bloodline to "justify" her powers. And her story is heavily tied to a forced romantic plot with an abusive man. Another major female character, Rose, is cut almost entirely in a blatant bid to appease racists and misogynists.

It honestly seems to me like there's an undercurrent running through Hollywood right now that the "strong female leads" thing was just a fad that's run its course, that the Powers That Be in Hollywood (who are still mostly straight white men) are saying "Okay women, you've had your moment in the spotlight, now its time to go back to nice safe white male protagonists." And that depresses the hell out of me.

And the thing is, I don't think this is ultimately reflective of what most fans want. I think its what a small, ugly minority of fans want, and what studio execs (who, again, are still mostly straight white men) feel comfortable with.
Rise of Skywalker is a mess, but a good training sequence, showing character growth, that a person is learning something, is better than 'that person is just naturally good at everything' and doesn't need to try. Rey's journey through the trilogy, until Rise of Skywalker, has been, "The force is just one large 'easy button' for me, why do the Jedi need years of study and meditation?" It makes it seem like the Jedi wasted years of study, contemplation, spirituality, and discipline, when all they needed was a weekend aping others to become masters at it. It wasted that feeling that a certain amount of spiritual and emotional maturity is needed to master the force. Instead, you could just have gone to a one-day seminar.

This is part of why, for instance, a lot of people prefer Batman to Superman, because they do see his training on screen, whereas Superman can seem offputting when in the Christopher Reeve film, he can lift a truck at the age of 3. If you're going to have an almost god-like character in their ability to do things, you have to handle that very well, and dedicate a lot of time to who that person is and why we should care about them. Hence why in the Christopher Reeve Superman film, in which someone who we see is as kind and good as Superman, where so many of his tasks have seemed effortless, his biggest moment is the fact that for all his power, while he was saving the world, Lois still dies, he couldn't stop it, and it destroys him.

If they don't want to do that for Rey, having her on a journey of learning by having Leia be her teacher, growing up a bit, and learning to tap into the universe presents a better way for her to go than, "Oh, that's how you lift rocks, I can lift rocks now. Oh, that's how you mind trick, I can mind trick now." Did JJ do it right? Hell no, but it's better than Rey just pushing the easy button when no other force user had to.
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-01-31 08:40pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2020-01-31 05:09pm
Mostly what I've seen is people wanting to see more of Scarlet Witch, as a lot of people have commented that Thanos would have lost to her if he didn't nuke the entire battlefield(his troops included) with his ship out of fear of losing to one pissed off witch. Basically costing his side the battle due to her.
No arguments here. Scarlet Witch's fight with Thanos also had more emotional and dramatic weight behind it, given her confrontation with him in Infinity War and the personal loss she suffered at his hands.
Rise of Skywalker is a mess, but a good training sequence, showing character growth, that a person is learning something, is better than 'that person is just naturally good at everything' and doesn't need to try. Rey's journey through the trilogy, until Rise of Skywalker, has been, "The force is just one large 'easy button' for me, why do the Jedi need years of study and meditation?" It makes it seem like the Jedi wasted years of study, contemplation, spirituality, and discipline, when all they needed was a weekend aping others to become masters at it. It wasted that feeling that a certain amount of spiritual and emotional maturity is needed to master the force. Instead, you could just have gone to a one-day seminar.
Whether one agrees with it or not, the last two films have established that she does have, while not full mastery, a high degree of power and some ability to use it. That ship has sailed.

As to "emotional maturity", I think that there was enough material in TLJ for a new film to build on. In that film, we saw Rey at her lowest- she made a bad judgement call in trusting Kylo and Snoke's visions, and then had all her hopes of a family destroyed. But at the end of that film we saw her reject Kylo's manipulations and offer of a place at his side, reject him repeatedly- and that decision comes with a seeming growth in power and control in the Force (lifting the rocks).

Where it should have gone from there is for Rey to have to figure out who SHE is, what identity to create for herself, now that she knows she has no special birth right. That would have been real, earned character growth, which is much more meaningful to me than seeing her doing Jedi training exercises.

You could argue that her adopting the name Skywalker is at least a nod to that idea, of Rey shaping her own identity. But I think that the constant winking to the Reylo ship undercuts her growth from TLJ quite a bit.
This is part of why, for instance, a lot of people prefer Batman to Superman, because they do see his training on screen, whereas Superman can seem offputting when in the Christopher Reeve film, he can lift a truck at the age of 3. If you're going to have an almost god-like character in their ability to do things, you have to handle that very well, and dedicate a lot of time to who that person is and why we should care about them. Hence why in the Christopher Reeve Superman film, in which someone who we see is as kind and good as Superman, where so many of his tasks have seemed effortless, his biggest moment is the fact that for all his power, while he was saving the world, Lois still dies, he couldn't stop it, and it destroys him.
I'd argue that Rey had that moment in Snoke's throne room, when Kylo told her that she was a nobody, her parents were drunks who abandoned her, and the only place she'd be special was at his side. The thing she most yearned for was, once again, cruelly ripped away from her, and no amount of power could give it to her.

Moral and psychological challenges, if done well, are always more compelling than physical ones, anyway.
If they don't want to do that for Rey, having her on a journey of learning by having Leia be her teacher, growing up a bit, and learning to tap into the universe presents a better way for her to go than, "Oh, that's how you lift rocks, I can lift rocks now. Oh, that's how you mind trick, I can mind trick now." Did JJ do it right? Hell no, but it's better than Rey just pushing the easy button when no other force user had to.
Well, I've felt for a long while now that its not learning the actual techniques that's hard when you become a Jedi. Its not how to use it physically, its how to use it ethically. Or, its not how to use it, its why and when to use it. That's what's important to me in Rey's journey.
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by Vympel » 2020-01-31 08:58pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-01-31 03:13pm
On another note, I'm getting pretty sick of the Reylo ship. Usually shipping, toxic as it often is, is at least divided, but Reylo seems to utterly dominate the ST fandom and fanfiction. And (speaking from experience) if you criticize Reylo, you are now labeled a toxic fan, troll, even a misogynist (what?)*. Because women like Reylo, so if you think its toxic you're condescending to/trying to control women, apparently.
Full disclosure: I love Reylo and it's one of my favorite things about the ST. My wife loves it too.

That out of the way - people who ship two fictional characters, men or women, know its a fantasy, and they're entitled to be annoyed when someone casts moral judgmenets on what they enjoy in the privacy of their own fan spaces*. Let them have their fantasies. They'll call the police on any actual space nazi.

*I don't know if you're doing that or not, but its the frustration I see played out on twitter.
So, score one for successful pandering on Abrams' part. But I honestly find it stomach-turning. A romanticization of an abusive neo-Nazi school shooter (but its all okay because he saved the girl in the end). This is the face of Star Wars for the next generation. And this is the story that will largely define the films' first female protagonist in the minds of those fans.
The characterisation of Kylo Ren as a 'neo-Nazi school shooter' is - objectively speaking - complete rubbish. It's taking a mythological fairy-tale - a very broad metaphor - and projecting specific (and distinctly, specifically American, to boot) political and social issues onto one of the characters. Kylo Ren doesn't hold any recogniseably 'neo-Nazi' views. He didn't destroy Luke's temple for the reasons a school shooter shoots up a school*.

*Indeed, I often told people that they had absolutely no idea what happened at Luke's temple after Ben brought the hut down on Luke's head, and speculated multiple different ways a fight could've broken out between the students over what happened. Rise of Kylo Ren instead tells us that Ben basically destroyed the temple by accident, unwittingly calling lightning down on it and making it explode, to his own horror.

The reaction to this amongst some of the fandom is instructive - they want to believe that Ben slaughtered all the students without provocation or remorse, and are angry that he did not in fact do so. Why?

The entire reading of his character as representing this is the most uncharitable reading of character possible. I mean, you're talking about a movie where Han Solo literally forgave his son immediately after killing him. To many fans, he's a sympathetic character and they realised he was going to be redeemed, and anticipated seeing it.

TROS picking up from TLJ in terms of Rey and Ben's relationship is one of the few things it did that made sense. Rey clearly had feelings for Ben (not Kylo Ren, Ben) and the juxtaposition of Ben and Rey touching hands in the hut, with Ben's bare hand, to Kylo Ren's gloved hand reaching out to Rey on the Supremacy was not at all subtle. Rey saying "I wanted to take your hand - Ben's hand" was an impressive bit of insight in a movie which had virtually none at all. Heck, they even (almost certainly unwittingly) dove into some Campellian motifs when Rey healed Ben and his scar - that she gave him- disappeaed (see: Campbell on how the wound of love can be healed).
Star Wars: Okay, so Rey didn't die (permanently) or turn evil. Props there. But the film goes to some lengths to assuage those who complained that she was a "Mary Sue" because she was "too powerful", giving her a training sequence and a special bloodline to "justify" her powers. And her story is heavily tied to a forced romantic plot with an abusive man. Another major female character, Rose, is cut almost entirely in a blatant bid to appease racists and misogynists.
It's fiction, there's nothing forced about it. And female Reylo shippers will be the first to say that the idea of the 'Strong Female Character' who ends up coded as some sort of celibate solitary nun figure, who never gets the love and companionship because male writers cannot conceive of giving that character a happy ending with a man that involves love and family - when the character really wants that - is far more misogynistic.

Indeed, they have a point where they say if Rey and Kylo were gender-swapped, dudebros would be nodding and making eyebrows at Male-Rey 'scoring' with the redeemed female villain without reservation. Her crimes wouldn't matter. But when the female hero wants a man? "Oh no but he was a Space Fascist! What a bad message this sends to little girls!"

"I will earn your brother's saber" is far worse of an attack on Rey as a character than her loving Ben Solo. The lightsaber that called to her two movies ago, that she's used with confidence, all of a sudden she feels she hasn't 'earned' it? Miss me with that bullshit.
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-01-31 10:05pm

Vympel wrote:
2020-01-31 08:58pm
Full disclosure: I love Reylo and it's one of my favorite things about the ST. My wife loves it too.

That out of the way - people who ship two fictional characters, men or women, know its a fantasy, and they're entitled to be annoyed when someone casts moral judgmenets on what they enjoy in the privacy of their own fan spaces. Let them have their fantasies. They'll call the police on any actual space nazi.
People have the right to like what they like. That goes without saying, or it should. But that does not mean that those of us who feel differently are obligated to never criticize the story or the ship, even if we feel that it undermines the characters and themes or that it condones poisonous and misogynistic attitudes. I'm not even talking about personal attacks on people who like the ship- I'm talking about simply expressing our disagreement with it. In short: your right to express and enjoy what you like does not outweigh our right to express our disagreement.

No doubt most fans can tell the difference between fantasy and reality, and aren't actually Nazi sympathizers. At the same time, however, it would be naive indeed to claim that mass media has no influence on public perceptions or values- if that were true, governments would not have wasted so much time and wealth on propaganda meant to shape public opinion, and advertisers would not poor billions of dollars into marketing campaigns. And no, I'm not just talking about the message girls and women will take from it. I'm talking about the message boys and men will take from it, when they see a man who has committed numerous atrocities in the service of a fascist regime forgiven and loved by the woman he abused.
The characterisation of Kylo Ren as a 'neo-Nazi school shooter' is - objectively speaking - complete rubbish. It's taking a mythological fairy-tale - a very broad metaphor - and projecting specific (and distinctly, specifically American, to boot) political and social issues onto it. Kylo Ren doesn't hold any recogniseably 'neo-Nazi' views. He didn't destroy Luke's temple for the reasons a school shooter shoots up a school*.

*Indeed, I often told people that they had absolutely no idea what happened at Luke's temple after Ben brought the hut down on Luke's head, and speculated multiple different ways a fight could've broken out between the students over what happened. Rise of Kylo Ren instead tells us that Ben basically destroyed the temple by accident, unwittingly calling lightning down on it and making it explode, to his own horror.
Its a blatant retcon or "twist" designed to make the character more sympathetic, probably in order to sell his redemption/appeal to the shippers.

And yes, he absolutely is a "space Nazi". He is a leader in a regime which is directly modeled on the Galactic Empire to the point of being almost a more fanatical copy. The same Galactic Empire which routinely engaged in slavery and genocide and was designed in the OT to evoke Nazi Germany, from its uniforms to the name "stormtroopers".

The school shooter parallel is admittedly a somewhat vague one, but its also an obvious one when a student tries to kill a teacher and destroys his school and a bunch of his fellow classmates, given the events of recent years. Nor is it an exclusively American one, even if school shootings are most frequently an American phenomenon.
The reaction to this amongst some of the fandom is instructive - they want to believe that Ben slaughtered all the students without provocation or remorse, and are angry that he did not in fact do so. Why?
So, let me get this straight: criticizing Reylo is misogynistic, even if you don't personally attack anyone, but implying that everyone who dislikes it has some sort of sinister motivations is A-okay?
The entire reading of his character as representing this is the most uncharitable reading of character possible. I mean, you're talking about a movie where Han Solo literally forgave his son immediately after killing him. To many fans, he's a sympathetic character and they realized he was going to be redeemed, and anticipated seeing it.
And to many fans, he's a mass murderer and a fascist, and his troubled relationship with his family and his overall patheticness does not mitigate that.

Personally, I will add that I felt Rey turning her back on Kylo's offer was a significant moment in the development of her character, one that established her strength of character in even in the face of adversity, and that undercutting that to appeal to shippers is a damned shame.

Hell, I don't even have much of a problem with Kylo being redeemed. I just don't think his redemption should have been tied to a romantic connection with Rey, any more than I would have liked Vader's redemption being brought about by Padme forgiving him for choking her. Its a naive, dangerous fantasy which excuses abusive men.
TROS picking up from TLJ in terms of Rey and Ben's relationship is one of the few things it did that made sense. Rey clearly had feelings for Ben (not Kylo Ren, Ben) and the juxtaposition of Ben and Rey touching hands in the hut, with Ben's bare hand, to Kylo Ren's gloved hand reaching out to Rey on the Supremacy was not at all subtle. Rey saying "I wanted to take your hand - Ben's hand" was an impressive bit of insight in a movie which had virtually none at all. Heck, they even (almost certainly unwittingly) dove into some Campellian motifs when Rey healed Ben and his scar - that she gave him- disappeaed (see: Campbell on how the wound of love can be healed).
You're ignoring a couple crucial moments later in TLJ- the one where Ren psychologically manipulated and emotionally abused Rey to try to get him to join her by telling her that she was nobody unless she was with him, and the ones where she subsequently rejected his offer, tried to kill him, and later pointedly turned her back on him when fleeing Crait.

There were feelings, yes. And TLJ's ending effectively closed the door on them, until RoS reopened it.
It's fiction, there's nothing forced about it.
Other than the fact that it directly reverses Rey's decisions and actions toward Kylo at the end of the previous film, no.
And female Reylo shippers will be the first to say that the idea of the 'Strong Female Character' who ends up coded as some sort of celibate solitary nun figure, who never gets the love and companionship because male writers cannot conceive of giving that character a happy ending with a man that involves love and family - when the character really wants that - is far more misogynistic.
Where did I say that I wanted her to end up a "celibate solitary nun figure"? Oh right, absolutely nowhere, ever. You're putting words in my mouth so you can call me (and anyone else who disagrees with you) a misogynist because I don't like your ship.

I supported Rey/Finn (both because it would piss off fascists to have an interracial couple in Star Wars, and because Finn was never physically violent or psychologically abusive toward Rey), and modified that to Rey/Rose/Finn later because I didn't want Rose to be sidelined for the Rey/Finn ship (optional Poe foursome for some more LGBT inclusion). I've argued that the end of Rey's journey I wanted to see was her forming her own family identity, one of her choosing. And I've said all along that returning to the idea that the Jedi can't have love or attachments would be a betrayal of the Order's progression through the prior two trilogies.

If some other people have argued that, fine, they're jackasses. Don't put their views in my mouth. It is no more acceptable for you to call anyone who dislikes Reylo a misogynist than it would be for me to call anyone who dislikes TLJ a Nazi.
Indeed, they have a point where they say if Rey and Kylo were gender-swapped, dudebros would be nodding and making eyebrows at Male-Rey 'scoring' with the redeemed female villain without reservation. Her crimes wouldn't matter. But when the female hero wants a man? "Oh no but he was a Space Fascist! What a bad message this sends to little girls!"
You know that I am about as far from a fascist or a "dudebro" as you will find on this board. You know you are deliberately misrepresenting my views to attack my character, because I hold a different view than your's. In part because I explicitly pointed out the dishonesty of this particular attack in my previous post.

Pro tip: If you want to convince me that Reylo isn't a toxic cesspit, saying "You have to like it or you're a misogynist dudebro who just wants to control women" probably isn't the way to go about it.

Anyway, as I have no desire for yet another round of personal nastiness, I'll leave it there, if you have no objection. I've said my views, and you're entitled to disagree, even if you don't extend the same right to me.
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by Vympel » 2020-01-31 10:34pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-01-31 10:05pm
[People have the right to like what they like. That goes without saying, or it should. But that does not mean that those of us who feel differently are obligated to never criticize the story or the ship, even if we feel that it undermines the characters and themes or that it condones poisonous and misogynistic attitudes. I'm not even talking about personal attacks on people who like the ship- I'm talking about simply expressing our disagreement with it. In short: your right to express and enjoy what you like does not outweigh our right to express our disagreement.

No doubt most fans can tell the difference between fantasy and reality, and aren't actually Nazi sympathizers. At the same time, however, it would be naive indeed to claim that mass media has no influence on public perceptions or values- if that were true, governments would not have wasted so much time and wealth on propaganda meant to shape public opinion, and advertisers would not poor billions of dollars into marketing campaigns. And no, I'm not just talking about the message girls and women will take from it. I'm talking about the message boys and men will take from it, when they see a man who has committed numerous atrocities in the service of a fascist regime forgiven and loved by the woman he abused.
That's simply not the message of the film. Star Wars as a saga has always drawn a very clear line between the characterisation of someone dominated by the dark side of the Force and someone who returns to the light. It treats them as two entirely different people. George Lucas felt so strongly about this that he even changed ROTJ to make it so that Anakin's force ghost appeared as he was before he fell, rather than as a healthy version of his mature self.

I also have a problem with 'message' rhetoric generally. I have no interest in the reintroduction of the Hays Code, but it's pretty ridiculous to look at Ben's actions at the end of the film and not see that he's become a completely different person than Kylo Ren. That someone could watch TROS and somehow think 'I can be a shit and still be loved without doing anything at all to change' would be very strange.
Its a blatant retcon or "twist" designed to make the character more sympathetic, probably in order to sell his redemption/appeal to the shippers.
First of all, the idea that this was done solely to 'appeal to shippers' is absurd. It's not a 'retcon' because we never saw what happened in the temple. We just know the mere fact that Ben destroyed it. What isn't a retcon or twist is that Ben Solo was the target of manipulation and abuse by the dark side of the Force for his entire life.
And yes, he absolutely is a "space Nazi". He is a leader in a regime which is directly modeled on the Galactic Empire to the point of being almost a more fanatical copy. The same Galactic Empire which routinely engaged in slavery and genocide and was designed in the OT to evoke Nazi Germany, from its uniforms to the name "stormtroopers".
The parallels between the Empire and Nazi Germany are largely aesthetic, not substantive. The idea that those aesthetic similarities can be used to apply the label 'neo-Nazi' to a specific character in the fiction - when he expresses no particular political beliefs beyond the pursuit of power for its own sake, is just an uncharitable reading of the text.
The school shooter parallel is admittedly a somewhat vague one, but its also an obvious one when a student tries to kill a teacher and destroys his school and a bunch of his fellow classmates, given the events of recent years. Nor is it an exclusively American one, even if school shootings are most frequently an American phenomenon.
It's primarily American, but the fact remains it's something the character's detractors and have doggedly clung to even when presented with a reason not to.
So, let me get this straight: criticizing Reylo is misogynistic, even if you don't personally attack anyone, but implying that everyone who dislikes it has some sort of sinister motivations is A-okay?
I didn't ever say criticizing Reylo is by-definition misogynistic. Nor did I say that those who dislike it have 'sinister motivations'. But what I do have a problem with is people having a very particular idea about a character that isn't really supported by the text (i.e. he's a 'school shooter' who they pictured rampaging through the temple halls, killing students without provocation - an interpretation that is nowhere in the movie in any sort of explicit sense) and actually getting angry when they're told different by the canon. That tells me they want to hate the character.
And to many fans, he's a mass murderer and a fascist, and his troubled relationship with his family and his overall patheticness does not mitigate that.
And to them I say they need to look at the franchise they're watching. This is not a franchise with any interest at all in punitive, puritanical morality in that sense. It's about love and redemption first and foremost.
Personally, I will add that I felt Rey turning her back on Kylo's offer was a significant moment in the development of her character, one that established her strength of character in even in the face of adversity, and that undercutting that to appeal to shippers is a damned shame.

Hell, I don't even have much of a problem with Kylo being redeemed. I just don't think his redemption should have been tied to a romantic connection with Rey, any more than I would have liked Vader's redemption being brought about by Padme forgiving him for choking her. Its a naive, dangerous fantasy which excuses abusive men.
They didn't undercut it. Ben Solo is not Kylo Ren. Rey rejected Kylo Ren because Kylo Ren's offer on the Supremacy was deliberately framed to be manipulative and toxic (but still, as Rian Johnson has said emphatically - sincere. This was not a calculated manipulation). This was never intended to be a statement about Ben Solo. The conflict between Ben Solo and Kylo Ren persona was something set up from the beginning of the trilogy.
You're ignoring a couple crucial moments later in TLJ- the one where Ren psychologically manipulated and emotionally abused Rey to try to get him to join her by telling her that she was nobody unless she was with him, and the ones where she subsequently rejected his offer, tried to kill him, and later pointedly turned her back on him when fleeing Crait.

There were feelings, yes. And TLJ's ending effectively closed the door on them, until RoS reopened it.
No, I'm not ignoring anything in TLJ at all. I literally just talked about it - Kylo Ren's gloved hand on the Supremacy is the scene where he's psychologically manipulating her, which is why Rey rejected it. But this was not some sort of calculated manipulation on Ren's part. It was a sincere plea, in his mind. But because of how twisted he is, that is the only way he knows how to reach out. That's Rian Johnson's explicit take on the scene.

TLJ is the second-act of a three-act story. The idea that their relationship would not be further explored in the third movie was always extremely unlikely.
Other than the fact that it directly reverses Rey's decisions and actions toward Kylo at the end of the previous film, no.
It doesn't do any such thing. Everything Rey does in TROS in relation to Ben is fully consistent with her character in TLJ. She rejected Kylo Ren, not Ben Solo. TROS is crystal clear on that, to its credit.
Where did I say that I wanted her to end up a "celibate solitary nun figure"? Oh right, absolutely nowhere, ever. You're putting words in my mouth so you can call me (and anyone else who disagrees with you) a misogynist because I don't like your ship.
I didn't say you did. I'm talking about the actual end of the movie, which Reylo shippers hated for obvious reasons. It's the cliche of the 'Strong Female Character' who is left alone to walk off to god knows where, because male writers have a seemingly pathological aversion to letting a female character have a happy ending with a romantic companion - because they think "she doesn't need a lover" is a more pertinent thing to address than what the character actually wants.
I supported Rey/Finn (both because it would piss off fascists to have an interracial couple in Star Wars, and because Finn was never physically violent or psychologically abusive toward Rey), and modified that to Rey/Rose/Finn later because I didn't want Rose to be sidelined for the Rey/Finn ship (optional Poe foursome for some more LGBT inclusion). I've argued that the end of Rey's journey I wanted to see was her forming her own family identity, one of her choosing. And I've said all along that returning to the idea that the Jedi can't have love or attachments would be a betrayal of the Order's progression through the prior two trilogies.

If some other people have argued that, fine, they're jackasses. Don't put their views in my mouth. It is no more acceptable for you to call anyone who dislikes Reylo a misogynist than it would be for me to call anyone who dislikes TLJ a Nazi.
You really have to stop assuming everything I say is a pointed barb at you.
You know that I am about as far from a fascist or a "dudebro" as you will find on this board. You know you are deliberately misrepresenting my views to attack my character, because I hold a different view than your's. In part because I explicitly pointed out the dishonesty of this particular attack in my previous post.

Pro tip: If you want to convince me that Reylo isn't a toxic cesspit, saying "You have to like it or you're a misogynist dudebro who just wants to control women" probably isn't the way to go about it.

Anyway, as I have no desire for yet another round of personal nastiness, I'll leave it there, if you have no objection. I've said my views, and you're entitled to disagree, even if you don't extend the same right to me.
Again: you really have to stop assuming everything I say is a pointed barb at you. Consider the actual substance of the point rather than leaping to assuming that you are being attacked.
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-02-01 02:46am

I said I didn't want to get into it if its going to be personal, which these arguments unfortunately tend to do, but there is one point you made, and have just made again, that I'd like to address because I forgot to in my last post. In that post, you argued that Rey doesn't have feelings for Kylo Ren, she has them for Ben. My response to that would be that that is mere semantics because, Sith conventions aside, they're the same person. Kylo Ren is a name/title Ben Solo adopted when he decided to start murdering Jedi. He didn't literally become a different person. Nor did he literally become a different person when he gave up being evil. Maybe he changed. Good for him. But he still did those things. If an SS soldier who helped massacre a bunch of Jews or resistance fighters in WWII had a change of heart years later and felt genuine remorse... well, probably hardly anyone would believe him, but it still wouldn't change the fact that he was a mass murderer, and it wouldn't make his victims pain or demands for justice, or vengeance, go away.

I believe in redemption. I have to, because the idea that we are all defined, only and forever, by our worst moments, or that some people are damned forever, is terribly bleak. I like a good redemption plot, if its earned and its genuine and its not overused. Its also, of course, vintage Star Wars, and I wouldn't have it any other way. But at the same time, redemption doesn't mean that you're literally a different person. You still did those things, and you still have to live with having done them. Otherwise its not a real redemption.

Actually, that's what I would have liked. For Kylo to live at the end. For him to live, and have to live with the consequences of his actions, working with the people who who betrayed and hunted. Maybe he ends up tried for war crimes. Maybe he ultimately does die. Maybe he's grudgingly forgiven for realpolitik reasons because he switched sides, but has to live with the guilt and suspicion forever. That would have been original. Fresh.

"Redemption equals death" is an overplayed trope. Its the easy way out, the quick way for a writer to have their cake and eat it too, to have redemption but also punish the bad guy, while tying everything up in a neat little bow.

Also, fair point about the ending for Rey. And believe me, Reylo shippers aren't the only ones who dislike that. I wanted her to find a family she chose, not with Kylo/Ben but with somebody, to show that love makes Jedi stronger, as Luke did on Endor. But that would have meant actually making some hard creative choices and standing by them, and to borrow a line from Kingsmen, this ain't that kind of movie bro.
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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by Vendetta » 2020-02-01 05:48am

FaxModem1 wrote:
2020-01-31 05:09pm
Rise of Skywalker is a mess, but a good training sequence, showing character growth, that a person is learning something, is better than 'that person is just naturally good at everything' and doesn't need to try.
I think you've misunderstood what character growth is in a story, having possibly confused it with levelling up in videogames.

Character growth in a story is not "character learns a skill", that's levelling up in videogames.

Character growth in a story is "character changes as a person in a way that causes them to behave in different ways".

That is, ultimately, why all the complaints about "Rey can do too many things" are irrelevant and wrong, because "can the character do the thing" is never the interesting question in a story, the interesting question is "will the character choose to do the thing", and character growth is the process of turning them from the person who wouldn't choose to do the thing to the person who would by resolving an internal conflict between what they want and what they need.

For a perfect example of this, where no-one would ever question whether the character can do the thing, look at Superman 2. In the movie Superman wants to be Clark Kent, he wants to be normal and accepted, but he has to accept the responsibility of being Superman. The movie is about him overcoming the internal conflict between those wants and needs until he accepts the difficult path of being Superman. Once he does that the physical confrontation with Zod and his goons is a foregone conclusion.

Likewise, when Han returns at the end of ANH there is not a tense scene about whether he is a good enough shot to nail the TIEs, because that would be a completely uninteresting question, the interesting question is whether he would choose to return.

Rise of Skywalker has no character growth because its characters do not process information and change their decisions. They just run around shouting and chasing macguffins and any consequences thereof are undone so nobody has to change at all. Having a "training scene" does not produce that if nobody ends the scene in a position that means they would make a different choice next time.

The Last Jedi is the one that has character growth because all three of its threads start with a character that makes wrong decisions, then they learn from the consequences of those decisions and change into the sort of people who make correct decisions.

People cried about it, of course, because they didn't want their shiny heroes to be people who made bad choices, but you have to have that to have room for them to actually grow.

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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by Vendetta » 2020-02-01 06:02am

Vympel wrote:
2020-01-31 08:58pm
*Indeed, I often told people that they had absolutely no idea what happened at Luke's temple after Ben brought the hut down on Luke's head, and speculated multiple different ways a fight could've broken out between the students over what happened. Rise of Kylo Ren instead tells us that Ben basically destroyed the temple by accident, unwittingly calling lightning down on it and making it explode, to his own horror.
That has the same problem as Rey's accidental lightning in RoS does. It means that it wasn't a choice by the character, it was more like they tried to Force a fart too hard and followed through.

For Kylo Ren to be a substantive character at all he has to have taken an active hand in the fall of Luke's academy. It has to have been on purpose.

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Re: Box Office: ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ Turned ‘Star Wars’ Into A $6 Billion Wash

Post by Vendetta » 2020-02-01 06:45am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-01-31 03:13pm
Avengers: the main female Avenger's only major contribution to the story is to kill herself in a manner echoing the fridging of another of their few female leads in the same manner in the previous film, where the main focus of the scene was on what a tragic sacrifice it was for the male villain killing her. Her death is given little weight next to Tony's sacrifice. The other main female Avenger, after being teased as a key to victory in the last film's post credits scene, leading both to much hype from the fandom and a misogynist backlash, is given a relatively minor role in the film.
The problem with Black Widow's sacrifice is that we're informed externally that the character is making up for unspecified Bad Things she has done in the past, but because we had only seen her as a supporting character in other films due to the reality of contracts we don't know what any of that was.

So the audience can't see her sacrifice the way the character does, because it's vague for us. She probably has the weakest arc of all the characters, even Hulk who had mostly the same problem that they couldn't do solo movies with him without letting Universal do it.

Which is why they should have done Hawkeye in instead, because the previous Avengers movies have set that up for him. He has debts to pay that we've seen on screen, being turned by Loki in the first, having Quicksilver die for him in the second, and being able to exchange himself for his family.

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