Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Clark Terrell, Mar 17, 2014.
These people feel very differently about ESB.
As noted again and again, the story--which clearly worked to the base and beyond--restored the drama and adventure to ST that was utterly lost in the wandering, pretentious TMP.
Unlike the common, would-be audience pleasing "flick," TWOK had a monumental task to please two generations of TOS fans--and secure the interest of the general audience. In successfully doing both, ST exists today. There's no way to overestimate its importance to the franchise, as it was balancing on a crumbling cliff after 1979's inflated exercise in pseudo philosophical fantasy.
If TWOK was just another stab at big screen ST with no heart, purpose and feel for its source material, there would be no TSFS - the unfortunate JJ films.
I've heard the same argument repeated over and over again all these years: you can have either smart or stupid, but not both.
That answer is wrong. As has been stated countless times a bit of rewriting and thought could have fixed most if not all the logic flaws in TWOK and still delivered all the drama and character the film is lionized for. Intelligence and enthusiasm are not mutually exclusive.
Well, we did have to suffer the horrid TNG films before the Abramsverse breathed life back into the franchise. 'Life' meaning that it got the general public interested in Star Trek, where it was a niche interest for many years....
However, in a way, Star Trek still is a niche interest with a few interested in looking at the TOS episodes for the first time. And, I attribute that to the lazy writing of the Abrams pictures.
Everything and everyone has their detractors.
Empire is far from a perfect film. It's my favorite of three (there are only three...since Lucas retired after Jedi... ) in terms of mood and cinematography and acting. The first is the best as a standalone film. The third...well, it's a mess.
For me, there are only two Star Wars films.
I tend to tell people, who either haven't seen the SW films or not really familiar with the franchise, to only see the 1st two: A New Hope...and Empire Strikes Back. (Of course, that's my personal recommendation).
I don't think that's what Trek God is saying.
When it's said that something is meant to be illogical then it certainly sounds like it.
The arguments repeat because they were rendered correct by the reaction in 1982, and its consideration over the decades to follow. The so-called "logic flaws" is a highly questionable criticism, as it did not prevent plot A from linking to B, and so on to a worthy, rational conclusion...with effect. If the film suffered from such alleged "logic flaws"--to THAT fanbase, we would not be on a board discussing the film in 2014.
Respecting the characters, their developed history and why ST became a phenomenon at all (i.e. treatment of its basic hallmarks) is in that film--that was the key to TWOK and franchise survival.
Remember, ST fans (of that era--and I stress that) were not the type who accepted any over-produced, flashy geek-fest that was rammed into 1980's theaters, such as much of the fantasy directed or produced by Spielberg or his company. They expected something that was bigger than life--but the first priority was that the film was in keeping with the clever, thought-provoking sci-fi which defined TOS. Anything less, and ST as a filmed property would have died in 1982.
There would be no third chance, let alone anyone daring to think of another TV series.
So, unless one is willing to attack the fans who were certain TWOK restored ST, you have to accept their knowledge, their insight about what makes ST tick, and what was required to give new life to ST.
Sorry, but this is nonsense. Used to be everyone "knew" the world was flat. And lo and behold all of them were wrong. To say "this is the only way it could have been" is just stubborn denial of other possibilities. Also I don't have to attack anyone, but I can certainly can disagree with their conclusions. And given how most film goers aren't that analytical their consensus is hardly persuasive.
And TWOK hardly saved Star Trek. That had already been done by TMP's financial success. If it hadn't been for that there would have been no TWOK.
...and yet, TMP wasn't exactly the kind of success that inspired sequels to emulate it, which certainly suggests it was a failure in significant ways regardless of how it fared financially.
ETA- I think this statement from the appropriate Wikipedia article might summarize how TMP fared best: "Released in North America on December 7, 1979, Star Trek: The Motion Picture received mixed reviews from critics, many of whom faulted the film for its lack of action and over-reliance on special effects. The final production cost ballooned to approximately $46 million. The film earned $139 million worldwide, falling short of studio expectations but enough for Paramount to propose a cheaper sequel. Roddenberry was forced out of creative control for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."
If it was in objective terms a financial success, it apparently was not viewed as such by the studio.
If TMP had tanked the precious TWOK would never have happened. That's the essential point that matters.
Or in "Starship Mine." Mine, I said! Mine, all mine!
I would say the point that matters is that while TMP didn't tank it also didn't set a course that TPTB, many critics, and many other people felt the sequels should follow. I suspect if the sequel had been more thematically identical to TMP it might have doomed the franchise, though of course I can only speak in hypothetical terms.
The acting in Return of the Jedi was surprisingly bad. Especially Harrison Ford's. Why had Luke Skywalker suddenly become so effeminate-sounding, with Hammill's unrelenting mystical acting? And forcing Carrie Fisher to hit the gym for that bikini sequence hardened her looks, for me. I don't think she was ever as beautiful in anything else as she was in ESB. But wasn't The Ewok Adventure meant to be a sequel to Return of the Jedi? Wasn't it supposed to be the direction any new movies were going? I wonder how Nicholas Meyer would've handled it, had STAR TREK II been about the aging Kirk and company being faced with cutesy teddy bears, instead of Khan. Would he have killed the franchise?
lol...Yeah, people are still asking where in the timeline Ewok Adventure takes place. (For me personally, I think it takes place after ROTJ especially since we hear Wicket talking and the Ewoks seemingly comfortable with technology).
Yes, I do agree about Carrie Fisher at the time. She was beautiful in ESB, and adorably cute/beautiful in ANH. I think I, like many other boys, sent a fan letter to the actress. However, that was around 87(?) or 88(?) when I also sent a fan letter to the actress who portrayed Mel Bush in Doctor Who, who I also had a fan-crush on.
That would have been interesting to see what Nicholas Meyer would have done with the material, in regards to SW. Based on my own knowledge, the reason ESB was so successful was because Lucas was 'hands off'....where in the Jedi production, Lucas wanted more control -the reason Irvin Kershner didn't return, or wasn't asked to return.
It's probably mentioned earlier in the thread, but Meyer showed metaphorically that Starfleet was a military....and justified this by changing the uniforms and tone from what we saw in TMP. This change didn't go well with Gene Roddenbery, so I'm sure any hypothetical changes to keep the SW series grounded (e.g. Ewoks) would have gone against Lucas' wishes.
At that time, the Ceti Alpha Eel and the bloody deaths (e.g space station scientists, Khan's death, Preston's death, etc.) were pretty disturbing to many kids who saw those images for the first time - similar to the Vera/Cyborg scene in Superman III - so, I don't think the impact of said images would gel with any Ewok-like creatures that would have hypothetically turned up in TWOK.
Too, it's asking a lot of the audience to accept that teddy bears - who never saw technology - beating the Empire which was hinted, and shown, to be all-powerful technologically and tactically. With the way Khan was portrayed in TWOK, any Ewok-like beings would have been killed or had Ceti Eels implanted to do his bidding).
Of course, Dark Crystal didn't necessarily shy away on the disturbing images either.
Also, Harrison Ford wanted Han Solo to die. (And, I think Lawrence Kasdan, the writer, had Lando even die at one point - which would have been controversial since he was the only main black character in the franchise). Yet, Lucas didn't want any of his main characters to bite the bullet. The parallel with TWOK is that Leonard Nimoy wanted Spock to die, and got his wish! (Only he would make a comeback due to the $$$ and the directorial chair being offered). Meyer possibly would have had Solo die, among other characters we get to know, just to show the impact the Rebel/Empire war made.
I also would have liked to know what theme he - Meyer - would have had for ROTJ. In TWOK, it was about aging. Thinking one can cheat death and time.
Yep. Indeed, it would have been interesting to see how he - Kasdan - and Meyer would have worked off of one another. And, to see what the final product would have been.
(Typing this out reminded me I need to see Nicholas Meyer's Time After Time, and even the films of Richard Marquand to see how the both handle narrative structures outside the big-name franchises).
Time After Time (not to be confused with Somewhere in Time, although it often is) is a wonderful movie. And you can definitely see its influence on TVH.
As for Marquand, I haven't seen his Eye of the Needle in more than thirty years, but I remember liking it when it first came out.
I can use the parallel of "The Cage" and "Where No Man Had Gone Before."
"The Cage" didn't sell as a series, but it sold as a concept. And GR grasped what worked in "The Cage" and what didn't. He didn't completely scrap everything for the second effort. He understood he didn't have to scrap the "cerebral" elements of "The Cage" but merely had to inject a bit more energy and action.
"The Cage" isn't really any smarter than WNMHGB, but there is a difference in overall execution. The characters became more accessible, but there really isn't that much more action. There is something more dynamic in the overall tone of WNMHGB. GR didn't throw everything away, but rather gave it a tune-up.
That's what I'm getting at. TWOK could have had all the extra energy and character without sacrificing the things that did work in TMP. But TPTB didn't grasp that. They only understood ignoring everything that came before to start from scratch to make something more conventional.
I need to see Somewhere in Time as well! Not only for Christopher Reeve (being a Superman fan), but for the romance story, and to see how Richard Matheson's story is adapted.
Jeannot Scwarc - I had to Google that name before I typed it out - isn't a strong director. He's a director for hire (e.g. he just shoots what's on the script for the studio and that's about it). However, being an 80s kid, I have seen his other films: Supergirl and Jaws 2. Jaws 2 is fun, and Helen Slater is primarily the 'good' thing about Supergirl. (If only she had better material!)
Quick anecdote: I remember, back in 84,' going to the drive-in to see Supergirl with my 'family'....but we were turned away because a bird had run into the powerlines. (I vaguely recall one of the workers holding this big black trash bag with the dead bird inside). Years later, I would wonder if the bird knew how bad that film was, and decided to sacrifice itself so no one else could suffer through it.
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