Disney Buys LucasFilm, Star Wars Episode 7 in 2015

gore wrote:
Hobbes2099 wrote:

I'm sure this has been posted before, but every once in a while I re-watch it because I want to remind myself that Episode I could have been a great movie with a few minor tweaks;

You know, I watched some of that, and I was surprised by how much of the actual movie I'd forgotten. My memory of Episode I had basically eroded to leave only pod racing and Jar-Jar Binks behind.

This is because Episode I commits the terminal sin of being deadly boring. Jar-Jar was a terrible idea, but at least he was bad in a memorable way; all the useless jabbering about trade agreements was something else entirely.

Demyx wrote:
gore wrote:
Hobbes2099 wrote:

I'm sure this has been posted before, but every once in a while I re-watch it because I want to remind myself that Episode I could have been a great movie with a few minor tweaks;

You know, I watched some of that, and I was surprised by how much of the actual movie I'd forgotten. My memory of Episode I had basically eroded to leave only pod racing and Jar-Jar Binks behind.

This is because Episode I commits the terminal sin of being deadly boring. Jar-Jar was a terrible idea, but at least he was bad in a memorable way; all the useless jabbering about trade agreements was something else entirely.

+1

Ep1's only high points are how bad Jar Jar is, and the pod racing scene. With the current cut, almost everything else is forgettable :/

McIrishJihad wrote:
Demyx wrote:
gore wrote:
Hobbes2099 wrote:

I'm sure this has been posted before, but every once in a while I re-watch it because I want to remind myself that Episode I could have been a great movie with a few minor tweaks;

You know, I watched some of that, and I was surprised by how much of the actual movie I'd forgotten. My memory of Episode I had basically eroded to leave only pod racing and Jar-Jar Binks behind.

This is because Episode I commits the terminal sin of being deadly boring. Jar-Jar was a terrible idea, but at least he was bad in a memorable way; all the useless jabbering about trade agreements was something else entirely.

+1

Ep1's only high points are how bad Jar Jar is, and the pod racing scene. With the current cut, almost everything else is forgettable :/

Darth Maul fight?

Tanglebones wrote:

Darth Maul fight?

It's surprisingly clunky in retrospect. I remember thinking it was pretty badass when the movie was released, but when I rewatched it recently, I was struck by how clumsily its shot and, more importantly, edited. The choreography is decent, but the fight is intercut with deadly boring scenes from elsewhere in the battle and so gets all the momentum drained out of it.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Darth Maul fight?

It's surprisingly clunky in retrospect. I remember thinking it was pretty badass when the movie was released, but when I rewatched it recently, I was struck by how clumsily its shot and, more importantly, edited. The choreography is decent, but the fight is intercut with deadly boring scenes from elsewhere in the battle and so gets all the momentum drained out of it.

Still stood out as a highlight when I watched the film. For the best example of Lucas destroying a great scene with terrible editing, watch the Special Edition of Empire Strikes Back. When the gang is going to pick up Luke in the escape from Cloud City, there's this brilliant cue by John Williams playing that syncs to the emotion of the scene perfectly. In the SE, it gets broken up with some generic Imperial March music and a deleted scene from RotJ of Vader schlepping to his Star Destroyer (actually the Death Star, but the image is reversed). The rhythm of the scene is destroyed with the break in the music, and it draws the emotion to a screeching halt.

Tanglebones wrote:

Still stood out as a highlight when I watched the film. For the best example of Lucas destroying a great scene with terrible editing, watch the Special Edition of Empire Strikes Back. When the gang is going to pick up Luke in the escape from Cloud City, there's this brilliant cue by John Williams playing that syncs to the emotion of the scene perfectly. In the SE, it gets broken up with some generic Imperial March music and a deleted scene from RotJ of Vader schlepping to his Star Destroyer (actually the Death Star, but the image is reversed). The rhythm of the scene is destroyed with the break in the music, and it draws the emotion to a screeching halt.

The editing on the re-releases is pretty universally terrible. It doesn't help that most of the added scenes do nothing for the story and are mainly celebrations of the state-of-the-art of '90s CGI that bring the film to a screeching halt. I'm a big fan of '90s CGI, but even I think the original effects were better, Vaseline smears and all.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Darth Maul fight?

It's surprisingly clunky in retrospect. I remember thinking it was pretty badass when the movie was released, but when I rewatched it recently, I was struck by how clumsily its shot and, more importantly, edited. The choreography is decent, but the fight is intercut with deadly boring scenes from elsewhere in the battle and so gets all the momentum drained out of it.

After seeing that film, even after that scene, I felt like the Duel of the Fates song that plays was meant for a better movie.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Darth Maul fight?

It's surprisingly clunky in retrospect. I remember thinking it was pretty badass when the movie was released, but when I rewatched it recently, I was struck by how clumsily its shot and, more importantly, edited. The choreography is decent, but the fight is intercut with deadly boring scenes from elsewhere in the battle and so gets all the momentum drained out of it.

The Darth Maul fight was straight up bad. It wasn't bad B-movie Hong Kong action masturbation bad, but it's close.

In my opinion, a good action scene must work along three principle guidelines:

1. The action must be good. Choreography, timing, and filming is essential to a good action scene.
2. The scene must advance the plot line in a major way.
3. It must have its own story within the fight scene, directly relating to characters or plots in the main story.

The Darth Maul fight is bad because it has too many minutes in which they're just fighting to be fighting. The fighting in those minutes isn't terribly interesting, makes no points, involves no revelations, and advances the plot and the characters in minuscule ways. If they'd cut the scene to be half its length, it'd be a lot more interesting. Putting in a story within the fight would also make it work better. We know that Qui-Gon was killed (spoilers!) but we don't know why. There's no story there. We just know that one minute they're fighting, the next Qui Gon is dead.

It's boring and overwrought. It didn't impress me even the first time.

I'll add to that, from an editing perspective: swapping between parallel action introduces cliffhangers and suspense that would otherwise be missing. When used well (Empire, the best parts of the final battle in Jedi) it can be excellent, with each part of the action commenting on the other parts. When used badly, it's a narrative crutch that makes the viewer think things are more exciting than they turn out to be. They were fighting, we cut away when they were at a disadvantage, we cut back and they recover. Basically, if the scene wouldn't work without the parallel plots, it probably won't hold up after you've seen it all.

Also note that every lightsaber battle in the original trilogy involved talking as much as sword-swinging. Darth Maul barely says anything, for no particularly good reason. He's not mute, cause he has some inconsequential lines, but he never says anything that's actually important. And he's dead silent when he should be using his words to instill doubt and fear in the Jedi.

Mark Hamill talks Episode VII:

"They're talking to us," he reveals. "George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we'd be interested. He did say that if we didn't want to do it, they wouldn't cast another actor in our parts – they would write us out. … I can tell you right away that we haven't signed any contracts. We're in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and Kathleen Kennedy, who is going to run Lucasfilm. Both have had meetings set that were postponed -- on their end, not mine. They're more busy than I am."
dhelor wrote:

Mark Hamill talks Episode VII:

"They're talking to us," he reveals. "George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we'd be interested. He did say that if we didn't want to do it, they wouldn't cast another actor in our parts – they would write us out. … I can tell you right away that we haven't signed any contracts. We're in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and Kathleen Kennedy, who is going to run Lucasfilm. Both have had meetings set that were postponed -- on their end, not mine. They're more busy than I am."

Sounds like cameos / fan service if they can just be written out of the script.

They probably haven't written anything at this stage, or at most have scripts that they expect will change. The problem with judging a film's content from contract talks is that there are too many other hurdles before the thing actually hits the screen to be able to make a reliable prediction.

I personally found the Lightsaber fight in the Phantom Menace to be pretty great, up there with the Matrix lobby fight as one of my favs. And I find the ones in the original trilogy painfully narmtastic to watch now, especially the geriatric fight at the end of New Hope. It's the one thing I think the prequels do universally better (all subjective of course, I like lots of crap people hate).

Redwing wrote:

I personally found the Lightsaber fight in the Phantom Menace to be pretty great, up there with the Matrix lobby fight as one of my favs. And I find the ones in the original trilogy painfully narmtastic to watch now, especially the geriatric fight at the end of New Hope. It's the one thing I think the prequels do universally better (all subjective of course, I like lots of crap people hate).

I'm with you. I actually think the Obi-wan Anakin battle at the end of the third prequel is the best in the whole series.

The "geriatric" fight at the end of "A New Hope" is based on kendo, which itself is based on kenjutsu. The thing about it that's bad is that the action is not particularly suited to watching, but it is plausible to imagine that a fight between largely unarmored individuals with infinitely sharp laser swords might incorporate principles of kenjutsu based on katana use (as opposed to use of other swords). You could see both Darth Vader and Obiwan giving those blades a healthy degree of respect. In the prequels, the Jedi handle them like they were made of wood.

In all other ways, that fight was quite remarkable, which is even more amazing when you realize that Lucas probably just did it by accident.

The prequel fights look better because they're better choreographed and are derived from theater fighting - martial arts designed to play-act fights for audiences rather than to fight real ones; but they have no soul and no substance - like a Michael Bay film gone wrong (yes, worse than a Micheal Bay film).

It is unjust to characterize the lobby fight in The Matrix on a similar level. That one had a story, it advanced characters, and was a key plot point (one of Neo's intermediate Crowning Moments of Awesome). It's particularly relevant because at that point in the story, the fight scene shows us that Trinity (who's already established as awesome) is now equal with Neo.

I think if we can believe they basically have superpowers dealing with their physical prowess and reaction time, then they can swing a lightsaber however they want. They specifically won't fight like a normal person because they are on a different level.

manta173 wrote:

I think if we can believe they basically have superpowers dealing with their physical prowess and reaction time, then they can swing a lightsaber however they want. They specifically won't fight like a normal person because they are on a different level.

Not only that, but psychic foresight to know where their opponents will be swinging/shooting.

The use of force powers has always been inconsistant. Their use was well done in Empire, but in most of the other fights it was either a sword fight or a magic fight, not both.

manta173 wrote:

I think if we can believe they basically have superpowers dealing with their physical prowess and reaction time, then they can swing a lightsaber however they want. They specifically won't fight like a normal person because they are on a different level.

It has to do with portrayal. It's hard to respect a lightsaber when its principal wielders don't treat it like it was going to kill them quite easily. At the point where you're assuming that the Jedi and the Sith are inhumanly powerful, I have to question why they would even act or communicate in any way that's understandable to any of us. If their fight is basically psychic, then we'd have staring battles ended with a single strike that was not foreseen by the loser.

LarryC wrote:

In all other ways, that fight was quite remarkable, which is even more amazing when you realize that Lucas probably just did it by accident.

Having Alec Guinness play one of the parts probably helped.

Did someone say 90s CGI?!?!

IMAGE(http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/wysiwyg/image/LMDD.jpg)

Have any of you read the Eragon series? I know random reference. In it high level magic users fight on both the mental and phsical fronts simultaneously using an advantage gained in one to aid the other and win.

I prefer to think this is how jedi fight. This is why Vader totally overpowers Luke in Empire. Luke cannot compete on either level so Vader just pummels him. Luke can win in Jedi because he is more mentally prepared, which is why Vader tries to distract him so much.

LarryC wrote:

If their fight is basically psychic, then we'd have staring battles ended with a single strike that was not foreseen by the loser.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/adseCs5.jpg?1)

LarryC wrote:

The prequel fights look better because they're better choreographed and are derived from theater fighting - martial arts designed to play-act fights for audiences rather than to fight real ones; but they have no soul and no substance - like a Michael Bay film gone wrong (yes, worse than a Micheal Bay film).

It is unjust to characterize the lobby fight in The Matrix on a similar level. That one had a story, it advanced characters, and was a key plot point (one of Neo's intermediate Crowning Moments of Awesome). It's particularly relevant because at that point in the story, the fight scene shows us that Trinity (who's already established as awesome) is now equal with Neo.

This is probably one of the reasons why I've stopped enjoying a lot of fights in most movies. Ever since The Matrix you have a lot of crazy Kung-Fu stuff going on, but it looks too clean and choreographed. There's nothing of substance to enjoy.

I think the only time I've enjoyed overly-choreographed action in recent years was Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and none of those fights last all too long. Plus, there's all kinds of other special effects and jokes interspersed. It's just more enjoyable.

It's like watching Excalibur. It's not the greatest of films, but when you see the knights fight, it looks like the armor is heavy and the blades have some weight to them. It may not be as flashy and may not have the spectacle, but there's something real about it that makes you realize just how fragile these people are even with all that protection.

ccesarano wrote:
LarryC wrote:

The prequel fights look better because they're better choreographed and are derived from theater fighting - martial arts designed to play-act fights for audiences rather than to fight real ones; but they have no soul and no substance - like a Michael Bay film gone wrong (yes, worse than a Micheal Bay film).

It is unjust to characterize the lobby fight in The Matrix on a similar level. That one had a story, it advanced characters, and was a key plot point (one of Neo's intermediate Crowning Moments of Awesome). It's particularly relevant because at that point in the story, the fight scene shows us that Trinity (who's already established as awesome) is now equal with Neo.

This is probably one of the reasons why I've stopped enjoying a lot of fights in most movies. Ever since The Matrix you have a lot of crazy Kung-Fu stuff going on, but it looks too clean and choreographed. There's nothing of substance to enjoy.

I think the only time I've enjoyed overly-choreographed action in recent years was Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and none of those fights last all too long. Plus, there's all kinds of other special effects and jokes interspersed. It's just more enjoyable.

It's like watching Excalibur. It's not the greatest of films, but when you see the knights fight, it looks like the armor is heavy and the blades have some weight to them. It may not be as flashy and may not have the spectacle, but there's something real about it that makes you realize just how fragile these people are even with all that protection.

You want a gritty knife fight? Watch Eastern Promises. I was uncomfortable, to say the least.

bnpederson wrote:
Slumberland wrote:

In any case, Mark Hamill has to be PSYCHED that he might be called in for some Kenobi-style old-man Luke action.

As far as I can recall Mark Hamill pretty much hates dealing with Star Wars in any way and had to be bullied by his kids to make the cameo on Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. He doesn't even do the voice work for Luke Skywalker in the old Lucasarts games even though he does a ton of VO work.

So I'm pretty sure Mark Hamill isn't psyched at all. If anything I'd expect him to be dreading the nagging phone calls from CNN et al regarding the purchase.

I do think it's funny seeing everyone immediately tune to the original trilogy though. Disney isn't going to be targeting those of us who love the original three movies, they're going to be targeting the people who loved the prequels when they were kids and now have spending money and kids of their own. Just look at what they've already done with Clone Wars and expand upon that.

You were saying?

The problem with what you're talking about, cces, is that Woo-Ping finally got discovered by the mass Western audience, and then every other chucklehead started using wire work and aping his coreography style. Unless you were into kung-fu movies, one hadn't really seen anything like that before.

Also Excalibur has this:

IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v333/tabendano/helen%20mirren%20excalibur/ph-12046.jpg)

LarryC wrote:
manta173 wrote:

I think if we can believe they basically have superpowers dealing with their physical prowess and reaction time, then they can swing a lightsaber however they want. They specifically won't fight like a normal person because they are on a different level.

It has to do with portrayal. It's hard to respect a lightsaber when its principal wielders don't treat it like it was going to kill them quite easily. At the point where you're assuming that the Jedi and the Sith are inhumanly powerful, I have to question why they would even act or communicate in any way that's understandable to any of us. If their fight is basically psychic, then we'd have staring battles ended with a single strike that was not foreseen by the loser.

I'm mostly with Larry on this

With the original trilogy The Force is never portrayed as some manner of ultimate superpower. It's very understated and not all powerful; sensing someone's presence but not outright telepathy, a degree of telekinesis for small objects but larger objects require all ones focus and concentration and so forth. The emperor is the only one we see with powers that appear to tip over in to full-on magic. It's somewhat implied that someone good with a blaster could take out a jedi. As such duelling with swords remains a very, very risky proposition; expert use of the force may tip the battle in your favour but it's far from a foregone conclusion which in turn means the lightsaber battles retain a degree of dramatic tension. By and large it's this understatement that lends The Force both a degree of mystery and makes it somewhat grounded and realistic.

By the time we get to the prequels The Force has morphed into a comic book superhero-style superpower; exponents of which can pull star destroyers out of the sky, hurl tons of rock with the flick of the wrist, identify when individuals are in trouble from across the galaxy and on and on. At that point it's all just a bit silly. There's nothing about Republic Jedi's that I as the audience can identify with and by and large, with the exception of duels with other jedi, I have no reason at all to assume that they or their charges are ever in any danger. These people almost certainly won't fight like normal people and that is kind of why they become unrelatable.

DanB wrote:
LarryC wrote:
manta173 wrote:

I think if we can believe they basically have superpowers dealing with their physical prowess and reaction time, then they can swing a lightsaber however they want. They specifically won't fight like a normal person because they are on a different level.

It has to do with portrayal. It's hard to respect a lightsaber when its principal wielders don't treat it like it was going to kill them quite easily. At the point where you're assuming that the Jedi and the Sith are inhumanly powerful, I have to question why they would even act or communicate in any way that's understandable to any of us. If their fight is basically psychic, then we'd have staring battles ended with a single strike that was not foreseen by the loser.

I'm mostly with Larry on this

With the original trilogy The Force is never portrayed as some manner of ultimate superpower. It's very understated and not all powerful; sensing someone's presence but not outright telepathy, a degree of telekinesis for small objects but larger objects require all ones focus and concentration and so forth. The emperor is the only one we see with powers that appear to tip over in to full-on magic. It's somewhat implied that someone good with a blaster could take out a jedi. As such duelling with swords remains a very, very risky proposition; expert use of the force may tip the battle in your favour but it's far from a foregone conclusion which in turn means the lightsaber battles retain a degree of dramatic tension. By and large it's this understatement that lends The Force both a degree of mystery and makes it somewhat grounded and realistic.

By the time we get to the prequels The Force has morphed into a comic book superhero-style superpower; exponents of which can pull star destroyers out of the sky, hurl tons of rock with the flick of the wrist, identify when individuals are in trouble from across the galaxy and on and on. At that point it's all just a bit silly. There's nothing about Republic Jedi's that I as the audience can identify with and by and large, with the exception of duels with other jedi, I have no reason at all to assume that they or their charges are ever in any danger. These people almost certainly won't fight like normal people and that is kind of why they become unrelatable.

Vader easily deflected any and all blaster bolts shot at him. Obi-Wan sensed Alderaan's destruction from across the galaxy. Yoda lifted an x-wing out of a swamp. Luke was able to telepathically call to Leia for help. Vader killed people just by thinking about it, and could even do it over the comms system! The main reason we didn't see over-the-top force displays was that outside of Vader, the Emperor, Obi-Wan, and Yoda, all the force users were dead, or still in training. Yoda and Obi-Wan weren't likely to make grand displays because they were trying to hide from Vader & the Emperor, and that would have attracted them. That's not to say that Lucas didn't make it overblown and overused in the prequels, or didn't severely retconn the way Jedi's used the force, but it was only more subtle in the original trilogy because the focus of the story wasn't on fully trained force users, it was on 1 Jedi-in-training and his friends.

Who would win in a duel: a Jedi or a Scanner?

I mean, one could choke you to death, and the other could make your head explode, but not before absorbing all of your accumulated knowledge and experience first.