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Official TROS Spoilers discussion

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Post by snufkin on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 12:31 am

@Kessel She was just thanking him and her tongue slipped during that kiss, didn't mean anything! At least @Lily Snape 's daughter's friend was able to see it for what it is.
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Post by special_cases on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 12:31 am

It just occured me that they pushed 'Luke&Leia reunion' and felt that this should be highlighted because some fans were complaining that old characters were separated and we never saw OT trio together again. They couldn't shoehorn Han anywhere except convo with Ben so they double down on Luke&Leia. Damn, LOL. I still can't believe that they were mapping this movie with checklist of complaints. TBH I've never imagined that something like this could happen. I didn't trust JJ or Lucasmouse but I didn't think they are idiots. Even if it's about money, sometimes you let yourself lose some money but save integrity and reputation because it will bring you more money in the future.
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Post by Lily Snape on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 1:07 am

@special_cases wrote:It just occured me that they pushed 'Luke&Leia reunion' and felt that this should be highlighted because some fans were complaining that old characters were separated and we never saw OT trio together again. They couldn't shoehorn Han anywhere except convo with Ben so they double down on Luke&Leia. Damn, LOL. I still can't believe that they were mapping this movie with checklist of complaints. TBH I've never imagined that something like this could happen. I didn't trust JJ or Lucasmouse but I didn't think they are idiots. Even if it's about money, sometimes you let yourself lose some money but save integrity and reputation because it will bring you more money in the future.
@special_cases

I can’t help but wonder whether these guys will keep getting jobs in Hollywood, but of course they will. I mean, didn’t Colin Trevorrow get his break because he reminded some big-name director of himself? They’re in the club now. They don’t have to be good. They just have to not pull a Kevin Spacey or Harvey Weinstein or Louis C.K. The film didn’t do as well as they hoped, but it didn’t tank, so they’re fine.
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Post by unicorn on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 2:20 am

@snufkin wrote:The insistence that the plot is about Rey having a "found family" and choosing her own family is such patriarchal nonsense by literally grafting her (Adam's Rib?) to a powerful male legacy character as the answer to why she's so powerful and what her history/backstory is. The ending also insults the character whose primary trait/motivation through two films and the Before the Awakening short story was her loneliness, which helped spark the initial connection between her and Ben. But thanks to the Terrio penned Visual Dictionary* (source), it's now changed that her primary trait is her "lack of identity" (source)

Official TROS Spoilers discussion - Page 4 EMhhAXzXUAED8gv

* this why holding out hope that the yet-to-be-released content such as the tie-in novels, the Art of book, or home video release will have a better version of the story isn't worth the time/anxiety. Unfortunately it looks like between the signs of studio meddling and JJ putting hiring his friends (nearly all men save the lady who gets to wear a hot catsuit while her face is covered up) for them to act out their own personal fantasy of Star Wars over being consistent of what was in the previous two movies, the story and characters are the biggest casualties.
@snufkin

Exactly, lack of identity.
That´s the reason why Maz tells Rey in TFA "The identitiy you are searching for is not behind you, it´s ahead"

Tacking a new surname to a character doesn´t give this character an identity all in a sudden.
Everything in this movie is so wrong and twisted. Crying or Very sad
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Post by cherrylipstick on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 2:30 am

@Birdwoman wrote:I am at a strange place with my disappointment grief over TROS. I found some things so ridiculous that I just make fun of it. Like Palpatines motivation in this movie, the knights of ren, Ochie's ship and the bad dialogue. The one thing that just angers me is that in trying to make Kylo a two dimensional villian, they destroyed the characters of Luke and Leia, what callous jerks. But to take a conflicted kid who didn't feel loved, struggled with mental health issues, abuse and abandonment to state he was cursed then kill him off. His mom and uncle knew that would happen and replaced him with perfect Sister Rey of the convent of tattoine. What a horrible message for kids.
@Birdwoman

I guess I'm at the same place and to my surprise I was there from the beginning. I thought I would have been devastated by such an ending, but the movie turned out so ridiculous and comical (unintentionally) that I just can't take it seriously  Laughing

About the bolded part I agree obviously, it angers me to see how they mistreated Ben's character and considering what he suffered since he was a baby, it's really a bad message.
Right in this latest movie we are told that dear old Palps had always been responsible for the dark influence on Kylo, ​​a definitely important detail you would think. Yet this aspect is immediately forgotten and never mentioned again, probably because they wanted to kill him anyway and they didn't want to make him too human and relatable.
But then I can't help but ask myself, what was the point with all the content we had about his past, baby Ben, Padawan Ben...
Why did they decide to reveal certain details in the past few months, making him more human, if the ultimate goal has always been to kill him? Well definitely because he sells well, I get it, but this contradiction doesn't make sense anyway.

It probably also depends on the point of view that a person has about it, maybe we care so much because we are open minded people.
In the Professional Reviews thread for example we discussed the uncompromising opinion of a reviewer. According to her, Kylo is not a real victim because even if he had been manipulated for years, he always had the opportunity to choose the light. Finn, on the contrary, is a true hero because despite the bad treatment received by the FO, he managed to make the right decision.
Aside from the extremely stupid comparison  Laughing , it's sad to see how apparently there's a time limit for making amends and how there are second-class victims. It doesn't matter if you've been manipulated by the SW equivalent of the devil all your life, if you've been abandoned or almost killed by your family, it doesn't matter if you finally manage to do the right thing ... no it's too late now.
Obviously they are fictional characters and situations, but the message they give you is very sad and harsh and I honestly find it disgusting.

But apparently there will always be very intransigent people with a very high morality who will be perfectly ok with this kind of message. I guess these individuals are never wrong, no, they must be too perfect ...  Rolling Eyes

Sorry for the length of my post, it's probably not even worth it to waste time discussing certain issues, considering how they were handled in this movie (also considering the embarrassing interviews), but I can't help but think about things that really disappointed me. Maybe because these were important topics to me and I'm sad to see them mistreated like that.
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Post by snufkin on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 2:41 am

Forgot about this detail which got pointed out on Twitter, the almost 2 year old Women of Star Wars book that has an introduction from KK:

Official TROS Spoilers discussion - Page 4 Screen70
Official TROS Spoilers discussion - Page 4 Screen69

Honestly as disappointed as I am about the last movie dropping the ball on the pretty clear themes/arcs built over 3 movies, I still feel spoiled it was 3 movies. But the silver lining is that as a fan of film industry gossip and history when the ST because it feels like they started with the intention of cleaning up the logical inconsistencies of the OT and PT, now I have a new topic to obsess over. What the f**k happened to make screw ups like this happen!? I doubt that it's not so simple as just "there was no consistent plot and people made s**t up as they went along." But something happened besides just "we're launching a streaming service & theme park concurrently with the movie and don't want to freak out any potential customers that's under wraps and if ever got made public, it's a case study of how to screw up 5+ years of carefully laid out work in rebuilding a new fictional universe.

@unicorn - I was just reading this tribute to Gillian Armstrong's career in light of the latest Little Women adaption and Holy F**k is it so clear how tone deaf (and LBR, male gaze/patriarchal) JJ and Terrio were in writing the culmination of Rey's arc by thinking they were empowering her with "giving" her an identity when it was really making sure she's in a safe narrative box that says her identity/power come from old men. Rey Palpatine who's now the dutiful Jedi disciple who ends up as Anne of the Lars Homestead of Tatooine with Force Ghost Marilla and Matthew as her family is just f**king bad and insulting.

Little Women and Gillian Armstrong's Brilliant Career

“...‘Oh, your films have such strong women’ and I’d think, ‘Well, actually, they’re not strong’. In fact, "High Tide" is about a terribly bad mother who runs away. What I’m proud of though is that she’s complicated and she has these weaknesses. What we as a female audience wants are complicated women.”
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Post by Dar-ren19 on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 4:18 am

@unicorn wrote:
@snufkin wrote:The insistence that the plot is about Rey having a "found family" and choosing her own family is such patriarchal nonsense by literally grafting her (Adam's Rib?) to a powerful male legacy character as the answer to why she's so powerful and what her history/backstory is. The ending also insults the character whose primary trait/motivation through two films and the Before the Awakening short story was her loneliness, which helped spark the initial connection between her and Ben. But thanks to the Terrio penned Visual Dictionary* (source), it's now changed that her primary trait is her "lack of identity" (source)

Official TROS Spoilers discussion - Page 4 EMhhAXzXUAED8gv

* this why holding out hope that the yet-to-be-released content such as the tie-in novels, the Art of book, or home video release will have a better version of the story isn't worth the time/anxiety. Unfortunately it looks like between the signs of studio meddling and JJ putting hiring his friends (nearly all men save the lady who gets to wear a hot catsuit while her face is covered up) for them to act out their own personal fantasy of Star Wars over being consistent of what was in the previous two movies, the story and characters are the biggest casualties.
@snufkin

Exactly, lack of identity.
That´s the reason why Maz tells Rey in TFA "The identitiy you are searching for is not behind you, it´s ahead"

Tacking a new surname to a character doesn´t give this character an identity all in a sudden.
Everything in this movie is so wrong and twisted. Crying or Very sad

@unicorn -- I think the actual word Maz used was "belonging," not "identity." Which, again, circles right back to her loneliness. Just wanted to point that bit out Smile

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Post by MaddieDove on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 4:19 am

@snufkin wrote:@Armadeus IDK if you read the entire thread of screenshots, but that "introduction" makes all of this come across as a massive favor/vanity project JJ doled out to his friends. Including Terrio having authorship over this guide and re-writing the story/characters to likely suit his own preferences.

The most obnoxious part about how Rey "lacks identity" is how the writing can't even grasp something that was clearly depicted in her introduction and carried through two movies, her loneliness thanks to being abandoned by her parents. Besides seeing TRoS this week I also save several other movies, including Hustlers. Constance Wu's protagonist, Dorothy/Destiny, has the same set up as Rey in being palpably lonely and torn between wanting to finding belonging/companionship and wanting to be completely self-sufficient because her parents (immigrants whose marriage fell apart) abandoned her as a child. Even in other movies I can think of where there's a young female character striking out into the world on her own and trying to find herself (I also just saw Little Women or Victor Nuñez's Ruby in Paradise is another good example), it's not about "making a name" by finding a legacy. Which was the entire deal with Luke in the OT. So I guess that's the perspective they brought with them to the character/movie and why they likely didn't understand what's specific to a character like Rey. Her loneliness and isolation and how she negotiates that in figuring out who she wants to be and building relationships to finally replace what she lost (remember that quote from Maz?) when her parents abandoned her.
@snufkin
You can add to this type of stories the beautiful, subtle Brooklyn. The protagonist has complicated relationship with her home, and an opportunity to get accepted into the family with high standing and rich legacy (Domhnall Gleeson plays her suitor), but she prefers to forge her own path and find a companion who responds to her newly found maturity and strength. No, she doesn't remain single and strong!
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Post by Forsythia on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 4:27 am

@snufkin wrote:The ending also insults the character whose primary trait/motivation through two films and the Before the Awakening short story was her loneliness, which helped spark the initial connection between her and Ben. But thanks to the Terrio penned Visual Dictionary* (source), it's now changed that her primary trait is her "lack of identity" (source)
How does getting a last name suddenly give her identitiy? And how is it her "primary trait"? Apparently Terrio never saw TFA and TLJ. In both films Ben saw her loneliness and that she was looking for parental figures everywhere, like Han and Luke. But they were temporary father figures. Han died, Luke turned out to be a disappointment and then died too. And Leia died in TROS. How is choosing a bunch of dead people as your family a good and satisfying ending, when she still has living friends? And if she wants a dead family, she doesn't even need a new one because she already has her dead parents who in her opinion were strong and protecting her. Why replace them with Luke and Leia just because they have a better last name? Suspect

@DeeBee wrote:One random VD comment about this:
Official TROS Spoilers discussion - Page 4 Img_4210
Awesome. Rey and Poe can deny their families without consequence because they are so good. Poe is forgiven for chosing the wrong path and gets a second chance. When Ben does the same, he has to die.

When Rey's family disappoints her, she can choose a new family and name. When Ben's family disappoints him, he chooses a new name and "family" in Snoke/FO because he has no one else, but we are told it's wrong.

(TFA: "I know where you come from. Before you called yourself Kylo Ren [...] You may try, but you cannot deny the truth that is your family.") Weird how the message about family in TROS completely contradicts what was said in TFA. TFA tells us that your birth family matters, you can't deny them and picking a different name is pointless. Apparently that message is only true when you're Ben Solo or when your family name is Skywalker. When you're Rey Palpatine, you get a different treatment, can change your family and name and completely erase your ancestry Rolling Eyes
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Post by SanghaRen on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 4:32 am

@snufkin
I haven’t opened that book again. It’s that introduction that partly made me buy the book. That and the drawings. I think I will give the book away along with other SW things in due time. I will keep the TLJ related stuff.

All I see now in TRoS is the failings of a corporate machine and how they screw up even the smallest remains of humanity with their greed. I work in a corporate environment and this past year has been sith. It has taken a toll on everyone even the most motivated and optimistic colleagues. You have to literally cling to your soul to not lose it. And it won’t be better this year. When I saw TRoS even the first time, it was shocking to me how much I could see the corporate greed behind it and it was not something I wanted to be reminded of while watching a SW movie! I could literally picture the suits in meetings reducing the creative process to numbers they can crunch and display in whatever graphic format. And JJ and CT are just your usual project managers, chosen because they are willing to please the suits no matter how, even if that means sithing on your predecessor, silencing the experts who might find the bugs and make the employees work even harder. The project outcome doesn’t have to make sense especially on the human level. It has to be ready on time and achieve the financial targets. Whether TRoS will achieve the targets, only the suits will know.

By the way, I am not saying all suits and project managers are greedy a**. They are people too and some are also trying to cling to their human decency under the pressure of the ones who don’t care. Sometimes, it feels like the corporate machine has become a beast of its own that no one controls anymore. TRoS looks like a product of that beast.
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Post by MaddieDove on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 4:33 am

I feel this retcon of Poe's past will serve as another nail in the hateful villain Kylo coffin. You see, besides Finn, Poe is now another character that deviated from the right path temporarily, but he made his choice and came back to "his familial home to find that all would be forgiven if he forge a straighter path". That awful Kylo could do the same and quit the Nazis anytime, he would be forgiven, but he choose not to do that. Ugh

They're disgusting (whomever made decisions about the final version of the VD - and the movie/story).
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Post by Piper Maru on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 4:53 am

@SanghaRen wrote:All I see now in TRoS is the failings of a corporate machine and how they screw up even the smallest remains of humanity with their greed. I work in a corporate environment and this past year has been sith. It has taken a toll on everyone even the most motivated and optimistic colleagues. You have to literally cling to your soul to not lose it. And it won’t be better this year. When I saw TRoS even the first time, it was shocking to me how much I could see the corporate greed behind it and it was not something I wanted to be reminded of while watching a SW movie! I could literally picture the suits in meetings reducing the creative process to numbers they can crunch and display in whatever graphic format.
@SanghaRen

I work in a similar environment and I felt the same thing. While watching the film, I could see the executive meddling and how the cynicism of the executives/producers bled into the story. Not to get too deep here, but the subtext of this movie is ugly and dangerous, and it represents a scary part of our society. It's the antithesis of what SW means.
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Post by OrionStars on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 4:55 am

I think you guys don't need to pay attention to Pablo Hidalgo's diaries. TROS pretty much retconned a lot of detail in Pablo Hidalgo's TLJ diary. Just let Pablo chill around with his TROS diary until "Episode X" retcon his book again. Official TROS Spoilers discussion - Page 4 VcolXn7
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Post by motherofpearl1 on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 6:31 am

@OrionStars wrote:
@californiagirl wrote:I know Daisy has said Rey's legacy would be choosing her own family, but any hypothetical family is entirely absent at the end. Ben dies, she leaves the BFG, so who are her family really? A great many things the cast and creators said in the past don't really make much sense in the context of TROS itself. It's really just kind of degrading to quite a number of persons and groups, be it Ben, Rey, the Skywalkers, the Resistance pals, basically everyone gets done kind of dirty by the end.
@californiagirl

That's because you're a Reylo so you're biassed. 1 month ago I was blinded by my own bias too, I did refuse to see the truth. Daisy isn't a big fan of Reylo so she doesn't think "Rey ends up alone while Ben Solo is deddddd" is a problem at all.
Official TROS Spoilers discussion - Page 4 Zemr0NO
Remember way back post TFA when Daisy mentioned that she liked some Reylo fan art?
I wonder if she really sees Reylo as toxic, or she's being wary of offending people. You have to be careful these days.
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Post by OrionStars on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 6:47 am

I just saw this on Youtube and now I feel so devastated Official TROS Spoilers discussion - Page 4 VnouDV3

Official TROS Spoilers discussion - Page 4 B3pL4Yr


So they killed my Benny Boi just to push Leia' discount surrogate son.....Official TROS Spoilers discussion - Page 4 VnouDV3
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Post by KiraRen2015 on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 6:49 am

@motherofpearl1 I have a feeling that she sees "Reylo" as Rey joining Kylo Ren on the dark side. Hence that's probably why she isn't into it. But the artworks she liked all those years ago focused more on Bendemption, so I have a feeling she's more accepting of Rey with a redeemed Ben Solo. And yes, she is definitely aware of not offending anybody.
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Post by motherofpearl1 on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 7:42 am

I know a lot of people might disagree but I never thought of Kylo as abusive either. To quote Jason Fry's wonderful TLJ novelization, Kylo will always be a part of Ben, he's the armour Ben pulled around himself to protect the broken vulnerable boy inside.
As another poster pointed out, Rey needed to accept that part of him. If the story had gone a different way, Rey Palpatine might actually have worked - Ben would accept Rey's heritage and she in return accepted the part of him that was Kylo.

But.....they chose the easier path.
Whenever I watch. TLJ now, I mourn what might have been.
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Post by Nyx on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 8:22 am

I always felt that the satisfying part DR always talked about was about Rey and not reylo or the movie in general and always from an actor- career wise- POV. She probably felt that if Rey ended up alone her character would go in the pantheon of strong female heroes. Not to mention that she may have been on the same page as JJ-CT in regard to that killing off Ben would ensure that Rey's character would not be overshadowed in the end and the sole focus would be Rey. All this is assumptions on my part but that's the feeling I got.

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Post by motherofpearl1 on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 10:50 am

If that's the case, I'm sorry for Daisy, but it hasn't worked.

The pity is, if Ben had lived, and they'd done more stories with the two of them it might have been good experience for a relatively new actress like Daisy to continue to work with someone who had experience, like Adam. I know I sound horribly pretentious but it's not because he's a man, but someone who's done a lot of stage and TV work as well as movies.

I'm genuinely bewildered by the direction the makers have chosen. Why did they kill off Leia and Han's son? Why, if they wanted a female lead, did they choose to make Rey no relation to them, instead of a long lost daughter? Why, if they wanted an eeeeevil villain, didn't they get another Darth Maul?

It's as if they started out with one idea then changed it at the last minute.
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Post by snufkin on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 10:50 am

@SanghaRen @Piper Maru Not kidding that when I found out what happened with the characters/stories, my immediate thought was that somebody higher up the chain of command spiked the ideas/themes that had been set out starting with TFA. Even though I don't care for Rogue One, even that's consistent with how all of the movies prior to TRoS got into into critiquing the system & putting characters who'd normally be on the margins at the center of the story. TRoS otoh is about uplifting the system and telling the same marginal characters who questioned it and came together to start to create something new, "here's your Passholder ticket." No clue what the corporate strategy was for rolling out a streaming service, theme park, and 42 year in the making movie which should've been given more time/attention all within a 2 month time frame. But it is what it is and clearly the movie is meant to placate current/potential consumers who weren't happy with the idea of evolving beyond safe nostalgia.

In terms of the characters, besides retreating Rey back into a safe avatar who wouldn't threaten the sensibilities of fanboys versus better current examples in film of what coming into her own means for a young woman, I also noticed this essay (Playboy.com so NSFW)  about the overall retreat in current film about anything to do with sex. Always joked it was a miracle that Rian, likely with Carrie's help, managed to sneak in details like the wet glove and mirror cave into Star Wars and feels like this movie really retreated back from that


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Post by motherofpearl1 on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 10:53 am

On the surface they made it 'kiddie friendly' but ironically broke a lot of kids' hearts by killing off their favourite character.
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Post by snufkin on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 11:26 am

@MaddieDove I actually saw Brooklyn in theaters on Christmas Day 2015 when there was an insane line and people begging for tickets for TFA (and you could hear the pew pew pew vibrations through the wall). Somebody, whether it was Terrio or Disney executives, either don't know or don't care that those are the considerations to take into account when writing a coming of age story for a young woman. Hell, we had Bob Iger falling all over himself praising Little Women without a shred of awareness, so who knows what happened. Other than the decisions made for the characters and story didn't have any thought or input coming from women (which is why @Piper Maru and I have discussed on PM how blatantly the finale lifted whole cloth details from Wonder Woman, Titanic, and Romeo and Juliet as if that would appeal to female viewers with no actual thought/reflection on what details in those stories actually resonate with girls & women and how that may/may not be applicable to the ST and Rey/her relationship with Ben).

Anyways, Rian's making BO with Knives Out and getting awards, so as I said TFA/TLJ/Solo are my ST and I hope I'll still be alive if/when the full story comes out about who exactly f**ked this up and their justification for doing so. At the very least, Rey smashed face with the villain, that kiss was pretty damn hot/satisfying, and being a Jedi nun isn't great but better than insulting her by paired her off afterwards with Finn or Poe because they're the designated "nice guys." Speaking of Finn, after the way this movie treats Rose (and misuses Jannah), I imagine that she dated him for a couple of weeks & then dumped him. The cynic in me thinks that some executive is already planning out the next ST, in which Finn and Jannah's child (who gets to be both FS and a Calrissian, so automatic nostalgia points) will be battling the 2nd Order.
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Post by californiagirl on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 11:53 am

I'll be blunt, I've gotten really weary of one singular Daisy quote that was a sloppy response to one bad, impromptu red carpet question from an interviewer who was very unaware of shipping culture from April overriding every single other thing she's ever said about Reylo or Kylo. Like this one comment is the be all end all of interpretations, no further discussion or investigation necessary. And actor interpretations are relevant only to a point. Oscar believes Finn and Poe should be a romantic couple, and many other people wanted that as well, but the text to support that was never onscreen. Daisy may say Rey chose her own family, but it doesn't matter her own views, or whatever Reylo bias we may have, as there is also no onscreen text to support this. The fact is she ends alone on Tatooine. It's this kind of cognitive dissonance from what is said versus what was actually portrayed that is leading to all the swirling conspiracy theories. Nothing adds up, so speculation abounds.
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Post by motherofpearl1 on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 11:58 am

Maybe Rose can get sweet with a resurrected Ben, as his girlfriend forgot about him five minutes later and her boyfriend dumped her so he could run around shouting:
"REY" at inopportune moments!😆
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Post by snufkin on Sun 05 Jan 2020, 2:30 pm

Honestly after reading the screenshots from the "new new canon" Visual Dictionary and seeing the movie 2x I've come to the conclusion that the following happened:

- Disney execs freaked over the "burn it all down and start something new"/the little people rise up and band together against the political financial powers themes in TLJ and Solo and the old school fanboys meltdown and wanted something safe/non controversial because the plan was to simultaneously launch the theme park ride and streaming service with the movie for something something synergy.
- The damage control interviews from the screenwriter and editor clearly point to something that was rushed and put out to meet a hard deadline by management, hence being the minimum viable product.
- the LF chain of command was excluded from the final decision making process for the film, because of the above detail, in response to the issues they had with both Trevorrow and Lord/Miller,  and/or part of the deal making to have JJ return he had executive privilege and didn't have to run things by KK and the SG.
- Per the cameos in TFA, JJ treated this project doling out favors to various friends, the biggest perk being handed over to Chris Terrio, with little or no awareness at how that changed things like the story to date for Rey or "we had to cut out Rose but we love her, she's a fan favorite" a** covering comments. It's especially cynical how they used KMT in the press to promote the movie and tout their company having her back and then cutting her down to less screentime than Paige's entire opening scene.
-  Comments like "I should've had Leia hug Chewie" or "we listen to fan feedback" were absolutely management freaking out over the louder and uglier fan backlash.
- No thought/awareness put into Rey Palpatine besides it being a contrivance because everybody is related to everybody else, JJ's personal pet theory, and a half-a**ed attempt to present her relationship with Ben as Romeo and Juliet. I suspect JJ's "you can't tell people this doesn't mean anything" NYT quote is him taking issue with Rey Nobody and "we are what they grow beyond" (which not surprising given his love of safe nostalgia but he entirely missed the point that these things didn't need nostalgia to have meaning).
- In regards to the story, it was equal parts the writer's individual wish fulfillment/headcanons and especially for Ben and Rey, there was no thought put into his ending beyond doing a half a**ed rehash of the basic RotJ structure, hence his death. What makes any of those parts work as the best part of the film comes down to the work of the actors, not the writing or editing. But they literally didn't think any of this s**t through like how it undermines Rey or even as OT fanboys, zombie Leia is a horrible mother and the entire family getting wiped out isn't a hopeful message. Ben's "death" (which I predict at some point they'll resurrect the character, though likely not getting the same actor to return or quality of writing in the first two chapters) is that he got whisked off to the Disney vault to not interfere with the mandated "YAY TEAM! GROUP HUG!" moment or that horrible ending of "we'll finally have her be Rey Skywalker."
- Honestly it really takes a lot of hard work to f**k up having the actor of the moment playing an immediately iconic and beloved character people were rooting for and use him as Darth Exposition. Especially after the sheer volume of memes about him generated from the last movie and fans who were rooting for him and Rey to get together.

Also I ran across a post on Twitter which sums up how nearly everything was tee'd up for the last movie in the Saga/trilogy with very clear end/start points for the characters, let alone the running themes that were already in place thanks to the previous two movies and Solo (which no wonder Kasdan walked away from working with them and told the uninvited messenger he wasn't going to review the script)

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It's really a shame that instead of following through with these threads and tying something up that was consistent/coherent with the OT and PT, they instead decided to do a sh**ty rehash of RotJ in the most unimaginative and perfunctory way possible. But it is what it is and I can console myself with 3 more movies to add to the 2 I've always loved, along with looking forward to whatever Rian works on in the future (SW or otherwise), and that maybe at some point the tea will spill about what the Hell happened to make this go down so badly.
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