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Old January 14 2014, 04:36 AM   #31
Ancient Mariner
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Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
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That said, I do sincerely believe that if die-hard fans got to handle things their way, despite all their efforts, it would end up being for the franchise kinda like the Executor smashing into the Death Star II.

Case in point: I wanted a bigger space battle in Return of the Jedi. Years later, I began to appreciate that we'd already been there and done that in A New Hope. Me getting my fangasm would have come at the expense of going back to where the OT had already been. I've since come to appreciate that one of the things that Jedi has going for it is that it makes the few space battle scenes that are in there count a great deal. Plus, it got to expand the base by appealing to an audience to whom WWII reenactments in space don't really appeal.

Fans routinely want to revisit the moments when they squeed, and they have a hard time coming up with genuinely new ideas. Overloading a new film with the servicing of things past is not the way to go forward and blaze new territory, and it would cause me to cross the line into becoming concerned, is really all I meant.
I think the Clone Wars series really did a good job of evoking those "squee" moments without bloating them into the visually-mesmerizing, narratively-excessive frenzy we saw at the beginning of ROTS. I'm pretty darned sure we're going to get at least one space battle. But if it follows a tighter focus, like Clone Wars, ANH, or even ROTJ, it'll be worth seeing.
Sorry, just a minor nit that needs fixing. I misspoke. I didn't mean that I wanted a bigger space battle, as in one with more ships. What I meant was that originally I wanted to focus more extensively on the space battle part of the story. Just in case my meaning wasn't clear, I'm editing my post to reflect that.

The beginning of ROTS is probably my least favorite of the three space battles. I actually enjoy it less and less each time I see it, in contrast with the battles in ANH and ROTJ. These days, I'm enjoying ROTJ's battle more and more.

Oh, and I thought that The Clone Wars was overall quite an excellent series.
Yeah, I think either way, your meaning comes through. Either as a battle with more ships and chaos, or a battle that eats up more screen time, what matters is the buildup to it and the execution of it. The more personal it is, the better. As a case-in-point, consider how much more "personal" the confrontation and lightsaber battle between Vader and Luke is in ROTJ, as opposed to the Obi-Wan and Anakin confrontation in ROTS. The ROTS battle is a better spectacle. But the one in ROTJ is better ... period.
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Old January 14 2014, 04:51 AM   #32
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Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

I remember somebody in the entertainment industry once describing the Battle of Endor and the Second Death Star in ROTJ as perhaps the greatest aerial/space battle ever committed to film, greater than the original conflict over the first Death Star, anything in the Prequels or all the spacecraft battles filmed for other sci-fi/fantasy films through the decades. Part of that adoration comes from the sheer complexity of the stop-motion and bluescreen photography done to assemble a battle containing so many large capital ships, a looming, colossal battle station, Endor below and all the zipping Rebel and Imperial fighters trying to elude one another's blaster fire.

It also feels like a much more personal battle because of the focus placed on Lando and Nien Nunb in the cockpit of the Falcon and Wedge soaring alongside or behind them in his battleworn X-Wing. Lando and Wedge are characters we grew to like over the course of two or three films and now they were placed right in the middle of this enormous orbital battle with a plethora of bright explosions, streaking vessel trails and remote detonations caused by attacking ships too distant to see clearly. All of these elements combined with the raw physical effort it took to film and transfer them to celluloid to create a truly memorable and exciting conflict in the vacuum of space.

The Battle of Naboo and the Trade Federation droid control ship? The Battle of Coruscant and General Grievous' flagship? Not so much. They're fantastic eye candy, but just don't offer a personal connection or a believable sense of danger the way the Endor clash does. We know nine-year-old Anakin by the end of Episode I....but do we feel for his victory the same way we do for Lando, Nien Nunb and Wedge when they cheer and laugh, the Death Star exploding behind them as they escape at the last moment?
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Old January 14 2014, 05:06 AM   #33
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Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

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Where does it say they are playing "action hero" though? The story could absolutely focus on them without having them resort to the kind of physicality we saw from Ford in KOTCS.
It may not. However, the prequel trilogy had Christopher Lee doing back flips.
Really? You're really projecting the direction the PT took onto where these movies are going?

I'm pretty sure Disney and Abrams are keen to avoid how the PT was received (and perceived).
Christopher Lee doing backflips wasn't something folks complained about. Plus, I imagine Disney hopes they'll get the Box Office return that the prequels did.
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Old January 14 2014, 05:15 AM   #34
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Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

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Christopher Lee doing backflips wasn't something folks complained about.
Sure it was. Ditto for Yoda's backflips. And Sidious' twirls. By 2005, there wasn't much about the PT that people didn't complain about.

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Plus, I imagine Disney hopes they'll get the Box Office return that the prequels did.
Agreed. But that doesn't mean that they are looking to the PT as a "how-to" template. And I say that as someone who unabashedly enjoyed (and still enjoys) the PT.
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Old January 14 2014, 05:21 AM   #35
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Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

Well I'm with you on enjoying the PT. I thought RotS was as good as Empire and I think TPM is underrated. AotC was pretty iffy, though.
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Old January 14 2014, 05:25 AM   #36
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Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

I make no bones about liking TPM more than I do AOTC. The Obi-Wan mystery hunt and the final battle on Geonosis are standouts of the second film. The effects are astonishing and Lee does a masterful job as a revered ex-Jedi fallen to the Dark Side, but the Anakin-Padmé romance scenes are so terribly wooden and uncomfortable that all by themselves they weigh down the film and the whole movie just suffers from a general lack of warm emotions to draw you in and keep you enraptured.

The bad Jar Jar slapstick and mediocre Jake Lloyd acting aside, TPM just feels more like a Star Wars movie and has warmer, more memorable moments.
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Old January 14 2014, 05:27 AM   #37
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Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

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Well I'm with you on enjoying the PT. I thought RotS was as good as Empire and I think TPM is underrated. AotC was pretty iffy, though.
I don't think I'd say ROTS was "as good as ESB", but I would say that ROTS is my "favorite" Star Wars film, despite its flaws. And I agree that TPM is underrated.

AOTC ... while its final reel was a HUGE crowd pleaser when I saw it during the midnight release in Times Square, sadly, the film as a whole just doesn't hold up to repeat viewings as well as the rest.
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Old January 14 2014, 05:27 AM   #38
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Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

There was too much Jar Jar but I never minded Jake Lloyd.

Ancient Mariner wrote: View Post
I don't think I'd say ROTS was "as good as ESB", but I would say that ROTS is my "favorite" Star Wars film, despite its flaws. And I agree that TPM is underrated.

AOTC ... while its final reel was a HUGE crowd pleaser when I saw it during the midnight release in Times Square, sadly, the film as a whole just doesn't hold up to repeat viewings as well as the rest.
I definitely agree with all of this.
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Old January 14 2014, 05:34 AM   #39
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Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

In the interest of fairness, though, if we're going to point out mediocre acting in the Saga more than a few actors and actresses would be guilty as charged. Jake wasn't that great but he was an elementary school kid with little acting experience before cameras rolled on principal photography in Tunisia in 1997. In context, he probably did a better job with the child version of his character than Hayden did most of the time with the grown adult incarnation of Anakin.

And no, AOTC doesn't bear up to repeat viewings like the other episodes in the Saga. It ranks dead last on my list both in how I rank the first six films in the Saga and how often I rewatch each movie.
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Old January 14 2014, 05:40 AM   #40
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Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

ehhh while I want to see the OT actors again, I'm worried it's going to end up feeling like geek pandering with a bunch of old farts running around repeating lines from the OT in 'cute' references. You know what movie didn't need nostalgia to be amazing? Star Wars A New Hope.

I dunno maybe my expectations are too high. The whole idea that Michael Arndt and JJ Abrams had different creative visions, and JJ's "vision" won out.......... is unsettling. Especially after seeing his grasp of story and character over the years. He isn't BAD or anything but i'm a little mystified that Kathleen Kennedy thought he was some genius that needed pursuing. What??
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Old January 14 2014, 07:12 AM   #41
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Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

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The best this movie can probably do is to just destroy the franchise without ruining its legacy too much.


How so? Explain.

1. The movie hasn't even begun principal photography yet. They're still casting and in the middle of the pre-production process. We don't even have full, official confirmation of anybody's involvement in the film other than the few names at the top of the production and direction heap.

2. Original Trilogy stalwarts are going to be involved. Lawrence Kasdan played integral roles in making Empire and Jedi the popular, beloved modern classics that they are. J.J.'s many things, but a complete egomaniac and dictator who doesn't listen to others on his staff and is deliberately trying to sink entire franchises isn't one of them.

3. Disney, Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy aren't going to put this cherished franchise in the hands of a complete idiot who can barely direct a beer or tampon commercial. J.J. is a tried and tested factor who - whether you liked the last two movies or not - revived the Star Trek film franchise after the tanking and failure of Nemesis, a film even many die-hard, committed Trekkers didn't want to see. Abrams isn't Lucas. He's not Kershner. He's not Marquand. But he's not a chump or a putz who is going to torpedo one of the greatest franchises in the history of popular entertainment.

Again: how is he going to destroy Star Wars?

For 1, we know Abrams is involved, and that's all that needs to be said. The guy outright killed Star Trek, and turned its corpse into the most brainless action film he could get away with. He in no way revived it. He just turned its corpse into cheap fodder for 13 year olds. It would have been a mercy, and better for the franchise, to leave it dead. He's basically guaranteed that we'll never see real Star Trek again from movies or TV. As for casting, if we get the original three then the movie will have at least three good casting choices. If none of them are in it, we'll be lucky if its just as bad as Star Trek's cast.

For #2, it doesn't matter who else is working on it. JJ is writing and directing it, its his movie. Kasdan has no say in what happens, its all JJ. He was hired to make money, and c%^p like JJ Trek and Transformers made money, so this will just be more of the same. He's proven that he does one thing well. He turns good franchises into mindless action films, and doesn't care about the franchise in question. He's the Emperor of SW, unless he literally loses his mind he's definitely going to get whatever he wants.

Ok, 3 is just hilarious. Disney doesn't care about Star Wars, they care about money. If they thought it would make them money, Episode 7 would be all about R2-D2 and C-3PO teaming up with Jar Jar to save the Ewoks. They are more than willing to give SW to the guy who basically made Transformers in space.

Star Wars was officially dead the moment he came on board. No one who can turn out JJ Trek has an ability to do anything good. He's a hack but, much like Michael Bay, he makes brain dead movies for people who want them, and they make money. There is literally no one I think would be worse for SW. I'd take M. Night Shyamalan over Abrams, at least then SW would have some chance of surviving in some form that resembled its original version. As it is, be ready for another idiotic action movie with a sci fi skin, because that's all Abrams is good for.
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Old January 14 2014, 07:29 AM   #42
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Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

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Oh come on.
This is a guy who would be eating some grapes, bite into a bad one and blame JJ Abrams. Do you honestly expect anything more from him?
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Old January 14 2014, 07:34 AM   #43
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Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

Nolan. Abrams. Clearly a tag team of History's Greatest Monsters®. How they haven't stood in shackles before The Hague I'll never know.
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Old January 14 2014, 07:38 AM   #44
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Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

Well, between me REALLY hating Abrams, and so many people on Trekbbs refusing to believe their patron saint of stupid movies has any flaws, it all probably evens out.
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Old January 14 2014, 07:46 AM   #45
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Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

Jar Jar Binks was the best thing Lucas did with the prequel films.
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