I fear it
So -- 6 years on -- what do you think? Has Disney ruined the franchise for profit? Has the saga evolved as it should and not necessarily as expected? (Mark Hamill apparently would have preferred "as expected," but I can't really tell how much of his commentary is thoughtful criticism and how much is due to being butt-hurt at not having a bigger part.)
Have totalitarian political agendas taken it over?
I've not seen the latest, unfortunately, so I can't really form an opinion on the matter, but from what Hamill has said over the years, it actually sounds like Rian Johnson may have simply moved away from the "you're either a Jedi or a Sith" mentality -- with which we're all too familiar (as did the last installment of the original trilogy when Luke's own "dark side" was exposed*) -- and into the land of "moral ambiguity" that's become so popular in other art forms. (I refuse to call them "entertainment," though most specimens obviously are intended purely for entertainment...and, of course, profit.)
It's interesting to see how Art & Entertainment evolves from one generation to the next, but I can't help thinking LucasFilm would have done a much better job of seeing it through than Disney while still gleefully passing the mantle on to the next generation, as did the Star Trek franchise. (Reminiscent of Bethesda and Obsidian, also, isn't it?)
*IIRC, Hamill complained about that, too, until he finally got it.
BTB, I haven't sought out stuff like this, but Robot Head's response (for one) to the dismissals of fan criticism of the new movies by Abrams, Kennedy, Johnson and others, I must admit, is hilarious. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c85KaDSMIRM and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFaSUn9bHVw. I mean..who knew years of arduous training is required to actually master the Martial Arts and we like "strong" characters regardless their gender?
Sounds like quality of characterization and everything else has taken a huge hit, but (to be fair) Lucas already had undermined his own legacy with the prequels, afic. So, I'm not even sure LucasFilm would have done a better job, much less whether I should bother with Disney's.
Yes, I honestly don't care about either the story or the characters of the Star Wars sequels (if one can call them sequels), but have thoroughly enjoyed hearing legitimate criticisms and thoughtful opinions on these movies from various sources these past few days...far more so than the movies themselves, actually.
As visually beautiful as they are, they are nonetheless unmitigated disasters from a storytelling perspective. One might say that's true of the originals as well, considering opinions are subjective and Lucas himself is admittedly neither a good storyteller nor a dialogist, but rather an exceptional concept artist. As the Star Wars fan community appears to be split right down the middle over these, however, I'm curious to understand just why that may be. Is it a generational thing or were they really that bad or good?
I have no patience whatsoever either with the alt-right versus SJW bull###### propogating everywhere and into everything or for the outright hatred being heaped on these films' creators and associated artists, so I've studiously avoided that whenever possible. OTOH, if you've a few hours to spare for some interesting and/or amusing takes on Disney's treatments, there are surprisingly quite a few good ones around.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXX1iQGufHujuIvQ38MPKMA editing skills are themselves nothing to sneeze at and he puts them to excellent use beginning with his https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAOuSMsnsV4. So respected was this "critique," MauLer had to clean up his language for a three-part series on The Last Jedi to accommodate the parents of young children who were begging him for a version they could watch and understand without being subjected to the f-bomb every other breath. Love it, hate it or somewhere-in-between, you must admit the guy has an eye for logic and continuity or, more appropriately in this case, the lack thereof.
Then, there are the more sober(?), somber(?)...whatever...explorations of all things Star Wars by https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo1bmdhnhLKvLAQWXSn92Wg, et al.
As much of a Star Trek enthusiast as I am, I can't get into the new ST movies, either. Either they're just as bad from a storytelling perspective or I am just getting really, really old.
Kids seem to love them, though, so they must have some endearing qualities. I honestly found some of J.J. Abrahms and Rian Johnson's ideas intriguing myself, but was ultimately disappointed that nothing was done with them and/or they didn't actually lead anywhere. (MauLer actually explains the problem of dead-ending, original ideas better than I ever could. So, see his channel, if interested.)
As former canon has been utterly discarded and there admittedly was no planning involved in the production of this trilogy (again, from a storytelling perspective), one has to wonder if a series of prequels attempting to explain everything may be on the horizon....
Finally, kudos to the cast and crew of all these films. They did an excellent job with what they were given to work with and that's a reflection of their own talent, if nothing else.
Wow. About all I'd heard about these from Mark Hamill was that bit about his cameo in The Force Awakens. "I went through weeks of training" to turn around and remove my cowl. lol
I've since caught up with what he had to say about The Last Jedi for months and....
Man, he roasted that film. The "fundamental" disagreement he had with Johnson about Luke's character and story arc was a lot deeper than "fundamental." I didn't expect Luke to be the wide-eyed optimist he was in IV, but I also would never dream that Luke would wind up a "moping old hobo telling everyone to get off his lawn." <-- lol
He's since said, of course, that he "https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/12/mark-hamill-rian-johnson-regret-the-last-jedi" and TLJ was an "all-time GREAT."
Thing is: Hamill was right. I don't know of anyone who appreciated Luke's (or Han's or Leia's) treatment in these films.
I suppose he's trying to quell the storm that flared up in the SW fan community as "the debates have become too contentious" (fancy that), but -- just between us -- Hamill doesn't have a thing to regret. He spoke up for the universe established in the original trilogy along with an equally established vision of Luke's character while Johnson insisted that these were irrelevant to the story he alone wanted to tell.
Could "subverted expectations" be any worse?
Although TFA was essentially a rehash of Episode IV, perhaps it would have been better had Abhrams seen the entire trilogy through from start to finish. I find it interesting that Disney's treatments have sparked a "new appreciation" for the prequels. That's quite an achievement.
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