The ROTJ constructive criticism thread

Discussion in 'Star Wars' started by Kor, Oct 27, 2017.

  1. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    Despite all that it did to expand the Star Wars mythos, I think that ROTJ is pretty much universally considered to be the weakest of the original trilogy.

    Here is an opportunity for positive constructive criticism. What are the aspects of ROTJ that you believe could have been stronger, and how would you have improved this movie?

    I'll start with a couple items:

    Make the Ewoks less "cutesy." They literally look like living kids' toys, and they act pretty silly, too. Change the visual design of the species to look more like actual bears than toy teddy bears.

    ROTJ is two separate stories glued together. So make the rescue of Han Solo tie directly into the plot to destroy the new Death Star.

    Any others?

    Kor
     
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  2. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Solo's rescue should be at least excusable by Luke and Leia to be necessary to the rebellion if they're going to run off for weeks in the middle of a war. Tying him (or Jabba) to the intel on the second Death Star would have helped considerably on that front.

    Make the Forest Moon of Endor more convincingly a setup. The rebels on the ground shouldn't have stood a chance even with the help of the escaped Wookiee labor force (see what I did there) without some serious quick thinking.

    Leia should not have been Luke's Sister.

    Luke should have vanished into the night after burning Vader, leaving the Rebels to their victory to go seek out a new teacher or otherwise gain knowledge about the Force.

    They should have been more careful with the Matte boxes around the Tie Fighters and more consistent with the scale of ships in general.

    Salacious Crumb was featured enough that he deserved not to have floppy muppet limbs.

    Luke's use of the force in ways that hinted at a slide towards the "Dark Side" should have been more overt. As a kid I never even noticed that.
     
  3. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I always thought it could have been done like in the rough draft of ROTJ: have them set up the Endor plot in the beginning with the Rebels lead by Leia arriving on Endor with the stolen shuttle, then cut to the Han rescue (perhaps making it less complicated) and then later having Han and Chewbacca coming to Endor (via the same method you saw in TFA, which to be fair was first suggested in the rough draft of ROTJ using hyperspace to appear behind the shield).
     
  4. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This one really stood out to me. In my opinion, the first act is really a short film all on its own, with distinct beginning, middle and end. It its very jarring to jump from Dagobah straight to the Rebel fleet, with little in the way of transition. I don't know about anyone else, but it feels almost like "Oh, yeah, there's a war on."
     
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  5. Smellmet

    Smellmet Commodore Commodore

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    ROTJ is without doubt the weakest of the trilogy, and I place the blame of that squarely at the ewok's door, alongside the dreadful band in jabbas Palace, especially in the special edition.

    It's without doubt the most spectacular however, the end space battle is absolutely immense, and despite a serious challenge from R1 remains the best space battle in the series for me. It still wows me now. The sheer scale, great visuals (bar one shot which I'll get to later), and batshit crazy camerawork raised the bar way over the asteroid sequence in Empire, which was a highlight of that movie.

    The end duel with luke, vader and the emperor is as dark as anything in empire in my opinion, and is fantastic to see play out. Amazing score in these scenes too.

    Really replace the ewoks with a planet full of wookies and for God's sake re do the super star destroyer crash (why this wasn't addressed in the special edition is beyond me), maybe the rancor scene or bits of it and the film immediately jumps to the standard of its predecessors in my view.

    Any other criticisms I can think of are nitpicking really. It's still a great fun film. Better than TFA and the first two prequels.
     
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  6. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As I've written before...

    - I don't like the return to Tatooine in RotJ. Having Jabba be somewhere else and new would have been much better, but if we had to go back there, at least give us a short scene in which Luke visits his old home and silently reflects on how much has changed. Also, the whole "rescue Han" subplot takes up way too much running time. It's padding, plain and simple. A good model for how long it should have taken is the opening sequence from Tomorrow Never Dies, in which James Bond infiltrates a terrorist arms bazaar, and manages to steal its nukes while getting it blown up all at once - and in under ten minutes of screen time!

    - I think Vader's death is significantly improved by not having him speak once the helmet is off:


    - I don't like seeing the three Force ghosts at the end. Not only does Anakin not deserve to be there smiling, their appearance overshadows what should be the living heroes' big sendoff:


     
  7. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know, between the Vader/Emperor scenes at the start plus Leia's line "Hurry. The Alliance should be assembled by now." kept the over arching conflict in mind.

    It's not like the other movies also didn't just drop you in the middle of things either. The Yavin battle is also essentially a mini movie unto itself, with half a dozen new characters. Similarly we're not given much of an introduction to echo base or Rogue Squadron in tESB either. Lucas has always favoured the "just drop the characters in the thick of it" approach. Hell, the very first scene of the entire franchise was like that.
     
  8. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It did, but it just has a weird transition to me. It always has stood out to me, for some weird reason.
     
  9. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I've always loved ROTJ it was the first SW movie I saw, and TBH I actually prefer it a little bit over ANH.
    Even though I love the Ewoks, it is a bit ridiculous that they are able to defeat the stormtroopers with rock and arrows. I understand what they were going for, but I still find a little hard to buy that armor made for blasters (OK, it takes one shot to kill them, but that's besides the point), couldn't withstand literal sticks and stones.
     
  10. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Battle of Yavin is the culmination of the rest of the film. You need those first two acts (Luke discovering his destiny on Tattooine, the Death Star rescue of Leia) for it to have dramatic weight or storytelling sense. ESB has a very non-traditional structure but Act 1 (Hoth) shows us the Rebels on the run, that their first victory was short-lived and act 2 (Degobah/Flight to Cloud City) builds character development and sets the stakes for the climax. RotJ however establishes very little necessary to the rest of the film in those first 30 minutes. We're shown that Luke has grown to be more capable with the Force, and that Lando has joined up with them, that is about it. Clearly they had to rescue Han, but I think a lot of us are just suggesting that it could have been tied into the plot of the rest of the film better.
     
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  11. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There is some logic to it. Armour meant to protect against blasters is going to mostly be built for heat reflection and dissipation, not blunt force trauma. There's also the fact that Stormtrooper armor is cheep crap that doesn't even do what it's supposedly meant to.
    Combine that with a native population that knows the terrain, is already adept at coordinated hit and run ambushes--one assumes to deal with Gorax, hence the catapults--plus of course the element of surprise. Their lack of advanced technology way have also been and advantage in the dense foliage. One assumes that targeting sensor key in on energy signatures to identify hostiles (i.e. people carrying blasters) without that, the troopers and walker drivers would have had to eyeball it. Given their natural camouflage and small size, that's easier said than done.

    Also worth remembering that from a strategic standpoint, the Empire wasn't literally defeated by Ewoks so much as the Ewoks kept that one legion busy chasing them through the forest long enough to allow the rebels to do the actual Empire defeating.
    Sure enough. I only meant separate in the sense that Luke was dropped into an entirely new cast of characters without them being introduced except in the broadest possible terms.

    IIRC something like that was in one of the earlier drafts but I think it was dropped because it felt too much like a retread of ANH's McGuffin, which the addition of a new Death Star was already flirting with.
    Instead the build-up in act 1 is all about what the Empire was up to. Also worth keeping in mind that the Tatooine scenes only take up the first 37 minutes of a 2 hour movie. By minute 51, we're all caught up with Yoda, the Rebellion and the Empire.

    In a way it sort of reminds me of a Bond or Indiana Jones movie, where it opens with an adventure already in progress before the actual plot kicks in. More hearkening back the the old serials from which Star Wars was initially inspired, where you'd often start an episode with the resolution the a previous cliffhanger which you may ot may not have actually seen before.
     
  12. marillion

    marillion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've never really had a problem with the Ewoks... Yeah, they were a cutesy ploy to sell toys. The earlier concepts of them were much fiercer looking...

    The funny thing is that with ALL the backlash Lucas got for the Ewoks from day one, I'm mystified as to why the Porgs from TLJ are becoming the hottest thing around... Ok.. We don't know their true role in the movie yet, but still. They are just as cutesy and they are everywhere..
     
  13. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure, but I do have to wonder if perhaps some people's problems with the Ewoks might have been the fact that they ended up being so integral to the plot and the defeat of the Empire.
    From everything we've seen and read the Porgs appear to basically just be animal set dressing.
     
  14. TheCrankyCardassian

    TheCrankyCardassian Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    You have my word, that if Porgs are in any way responsible for winning the day, I will hate them as much as I hate Ewoks. :)
     
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  15. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And, when you really think about it the Ewoks are pretty savage.
     
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  16. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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  17. TheCrankyCardassian

    TheCrankyCardassian Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    PEEEOPLE! THEY EAT PEOPLE!
     
  18. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

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    I happen to love Return of the Jedi, and I don't see much, if any, room for improvement.
    Sadly, George Lucas disagrees with me.
     
  19. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well obviously, the Porgs were the original founders of the Jedi Order and they've spent that last five years yelling at Luke for screwing it up right out of the gate.
     
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  20. Kevman7987

    Kevman7987 Captain Captain

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    While the turtle nuns shake their heads and tsk at him?