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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 29 May 2018 at 8:37pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I was even annoyed with Return of the Jedi when Luke was
suddenly a bad ass without going back for training. Jedi
is when it started going downhill for me.

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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 29 May 2018 at 8:54pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

- Girl can fly the Falcon like a pro, without ever 
setting foot in a ship before (as far as I know and 
how it came off in the movie)

- Girl turns on lightsaber for the first time in her 
life and kicks the guys ass who has been training 
forever. (they should have played up his wound he 
suffered earlier to make it more believable)

- Girl is stronger in the force than any Skywalker. 
Why? Why try to one up the previous movies? It would 
have been more intense and interesting if she was 
struggling with her powers, was weak at first but 
growing.

-----

Sure, it's Dragonball Z syndrome. Some power baseline is set and then it keeps getting upped in order to raise the stakes in storytelling. It's been present in STAR WARS since the OT ended, especially in the video games where we see characters like Kyle Katarn and Starkiller pulling off feats that they self-trained far greater than we've seen the Jedi do in the movies. It's why people praise the scene in AOTC where Yoda hops around like a manic spider-monkey while fighting Dooku. Fans know what the Jedi can do, so they want to see MORE.

Certainly, call out the writers for giving the fans what they want, but the suggestions out there that Rey is an attempt to diminish Luke in some display of Girl Power is trying too hard.
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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 29 May 2018 at 9:02pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Sure, it's Dragonball Z syndrome. Some power baseline
is set and then it keeps getting upped in order to
raise the stakes in storytelling. It's been present in
STAR WARS since the OT ended, especially in the video
games where we see characters like Kyle Katarn and
Starkiller pulling off feats that they self-trained
far greater than we've seen the Jedi do in the movies.
It's why people praise the scene in AOTC where Yoda
hops around like a manic spider-monkey while fighting
Dooku. Fans know what the Jedi can do, so they want to
see MORE.

---

I've hated this in all fiction. J. Michael Straczynski
did it to his own universe in Babylon 5 where he tried
that spin-off where there was a threat worse than the
Shadow race. Why can't they just write good stories.

If Ray was weak and didn't know a thing or two, it
would have been a lot easier to identify with her and
when she did pull something off, it would have been
that much more exciting.

Like Superman ripping the door off of a car was more
compelling than him lifting a mountain.

Edit: And i really hated that Yoda flipping around
scene.

Edited by Thomas Woods on 29 May 2018 at 9:04pm
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 29 May 2018 at 10:03pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

This thread has become another separate thread for SOLO, and as such is becoming redundant. Does anyone else have an opinion on the original topic that JB was going for, namely the issue of "fatigue" regarding specific movie properties?

I gave my opinion in both this thread, and one I started on my own not too long ago. I'm curious about what others think on that subject.


Edited by Matt Hawes on 29 May 2018 at 10:03pm
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Rick Whiting
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Posted: 29 May 2018 at 11:23pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

What's problematic is:

1) the suggestion that greater inclusion is an attempt to exclude white males. If race and gender don't matter, why is there a knee-jerk reaction when there are fewer white male faces that people are accustomed to? And if the inclusion of more minorities and women means the exclusion of white males, what does that mean for most of Hollywood film history where the converse was true?

2) the suggestion that storytelling is compromised by inclusion. STAR WARS was lightning in a bottle, and attempts to recapture it have led to varying degrees of success. Even Lucas was unable to do so with the prequels. THE LAST JEDI was polarizing with regard to Rian Johnson's storytelling and boiling that down to "Star Wars was ruined because of sucky female and non-white characters foisted on us because of an SJW agenda" is reductive and wrong. I liked TLJ, but from the discussions with people that hated it, I see more complaints about it not following through with the set up of THE FORCE AWAKENS than the fact that female characters were included.

__________________________


Michael, I agree with both of your points. I also liked TLJ, but there were a few things that were done in the film that made the film less enjoyable to me. Specifically, how most of the characters were handled. It seems that the writers,directors,and producers were trying way too hard to show how cool and capable all of the female characters were at the expense of all of the male characters, instead of trying to treat all of the characters equally. Then there was the killing off of the iconic older characters (which was one of my main problems with TFA) and the killing off of a few of the cool newer characters. I'm also pissed that the fight between Finn and Captain Phasmus that was part of the final cut was no where near as cool as the version that was cut. Which was another example of making the female characters seem very capable and kickbutt at the expense of the male characters.
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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 29 May 2018 at 11:25pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I think the desire for sequels (and the inevitable franchise that follows) is perfectly natural (it is the movie business), but may be very counter-productive from an artistic standpoint. Market saturation and "franchise fatigue" kinda become inevitable. Even Genre-Fatigue can be inevitable.

When Westerns or WW2 movies were popular, they used to crank out huge numbers of them. Now, only occasionally.  I expect this will be true of Superhero movies in general (now that they can make money) and similarly inevitable in Franchise movies of any kind.

This is part of the reason it really didn't bug me that Disney owned so many franchises, because reasonably they couldn't sustain those money-making engines forever.  Sooner or later, they would have to go looking elsewhere for material.

I've lamented the disappearance of the one-shot comic plenty of times. The relentless desire to sequel successful movies is similarly damaging to the production of those perfect standalone movies.
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Marc Baptiste
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 2:51am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I'm a die-hard Star Wars fan and I WILL admit am easily pleased - things didn't start going down-hill for me until very recently with The Force Awakens.

Marc
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 4:31am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

TFA scored points for having Harrison Ford in it. I enjoyed it more than I expected to. There were signs that we would get an interesting trilogy based on old and new characters. Signs that were effectively squashed by the abysmal LAST JEDI. 

I don't agree with all of Greg's assessments of that movie and its characters, but I agree that it's a poorly written movie and a disservice to old and familiar characters. 

I feel pretty much done with Star Wars. Not interested in SOLO, and not interested in Ep. 9 when that comes. 

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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 7:15am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I am a huge fan of Colossus, he is my favorite 
character. Whenever I see a writer get his powers 
wrong, or put him in a bad light (which is far too 
often), or anything that would make him less of a 
character compared to a popular character like 
Wolverine, I get angry ... I don't like it. 

So pretty much anyone who has written him the last 30 years? He's my favorite member of the X-Men and I have yet to see him handle like he was in the mid-80's when he became my favorite.

I like to make the point, as far as female leads and such go, that the blog culture helped create the backlash against "SJWs". What would be a conversation between people in the pre-internet days turns into blog posts where people essentially whine about stuff from their perspective. In comics, the fanboy element in writing and editorial leads to reactions as like "Squirrel- Girl SQUEEEE!"  and for some reason, there's a backlash against that thinking. Squirrel-Girl was often made fun of on the internet until she was re-introduced (by Bendis?) and fan response was divided between the "She's still terrible" and "Yay! Girl Power!" crowds. One side thinks that no comic should be like Squirrel-Girl, even though it has fans, and the other thinks EVERY comic should be like that (things like Captain America and Bucky should be a couple show up in online blog posts and articles). Low sales affect most comics but the complaints on both sides about a book like that not selling ranges from "It's a SJW book" to "40 Year-Old Neck Beards Don't Like Powerful Women". What could have been a conversation somewhere back in the day, now becomes Comics Gate. The attacks (from bloggers and comments section) tend to be more personal. Sometimes something doesn't sell because it doesn't connect with a large audience. Variety, Entertainment Weekly, and the internet overall can't seem to grasp that.
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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 7:37am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Fox might be guilty of "franchise fatigue" with their X-MEN franchise... seems with each new movie they fall further away from the source material. A part of me hopes Marvel Studios gets to fix things in the near future.

You know what REALLY suffers from franchise fatigue?? THE TERMINATOR franchise - should've been one and done. (tho' I didn't mind the sequel.)

-C!
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 7:48am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Since there's no "like" option...

Thanks, Doug Jones.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 10:15am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

And it is obviously time to put a SPOILER WARNING on this topic as well. It's getting hard to avoid the spoilers for recent distributions any more...
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 10:49am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Whether you're a fan of where Empire Strikes Back took the franchise or not, when it came out, look at what it added to the universe of Star Wars:  Yoda and a greater understanding of the Jedi, Lando and a glimpse at Han's past, Jabba's bounty hunters, a slew of new planets and technology (meaning cool toys for the kids, of whom I was one). Same with Return of the Jedi, whether the additions are liked or not, Endor and the Ewoks, finally seeing Jabba and his smuggler's den, finally seeing the Emperor and his imperial guard, etc.  Each film added to the world.

On the contrary, each film, starting with ESB, diminishes the original STAR WARS in some fashion. 

My biggest "add" from ESB was John Williams' Imperial March. But, even that was only necesssary as Darth Vader became second in power in the Galaxy only to the Emperor instead of a bionic, telekinetic junkyard dog of actual officers of rank. 


Edited by Brian Rhodes on 30 May 2018 at 7:47pm
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Ronald Joseph
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 10:59am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

You know what REALLY suffers from franchise fatigue?? THE TERMINATOR franchise - should've been one and done. (tho' I didn't mind the sequel.)

If there had to be a Terminator sequel, it should have taken place in the future and ended with Kyle and the T-800 coming back to "start" the first movie. Nice, little loop. 

Which someone would have undone down the line, of course.
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David Miller
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Posted: 30 May 2018 at 8:49pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Marvel hasn't suffered from franchise fatigue -- despite a current pace of 5 features in 365 days -- in part because the movies, while being essentially the same from the bird's-eye perspective, offer quite distinct experiences to audiences.

For example, a Native American friend of mine, who has no interest whatsoever in superhero films as a genre and thinks I'm borderline mentally disabled for liking them so much, was nonetheless intrigued by Black Panther because it was a Ryan Coogler film, and what he'd heard about the racial themes. There are people who can't be bothered with a talking raccoon but want to bang Chris Evans eight ways to Sunday and therefore turn out for Captain America appearances. 

On the other hand, the Star Wars movies have all been essentially the same. A couple ship battles, a laser sword duel, some increasingly Harry Potter-esque world-building... SOLO's big distinction was there wasn't a lightsaber fight. These films don't offer enough variety to reward a pace of one a year.

Something studios seem to miss is that audience response isn't necessarily a matter of Pavlovian programming effected by proper marketing. Sometimes audience actually respond to quality.
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Paul Kimball
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Posted: 31 May 2018 at 12:48am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

On the contrary, each film, starting with ESB, diminishes the original STAR
WARS in some fashion.

++++++
I will never understand this. For me, the original is a thing unto itself. You can't
change it by addition or subtraction.
You can change the Star Wars universe and the sequels/prequels have done
this for sure, good or bad is up to you.
Nothing can diminish the original for me.
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Andy Mokler
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Posted: 31 May 2018 at 1:32am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Something I think Solo suffers from seems to be prevalent from modern writers.  The hero isn't really heroic or the star of their own movie.

In Solo, he fails at almost every turn and the characters around him are more interesting and more pivotal to the story being told.  This was a big problem I had with the Dark Knight movies too.  I think the new Superman(s) suffered from this as well.  The Ford Brody character in Godzilla(2014) was a glaring example of it.

I haven't made an actual study of it but it really seems like today's writers struggle with writing and portraying a heroic, likable, inspirational character that is the lead in a story that is supposedly about them.

I think that's why Wonder Woman and Deadpool both stand out.  Whatever else one can say about those movies, it's clear who the star is and why you're supposed to be rooting for them.  I can't say that about Solo.


Edited by Andy Mokler on 31 May 2018 at 1:33am
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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 31 May 2018 at 8:14am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

You can change the Star Wars universe and the sequels/prequels have done this for sure, good or bad is up to you.

I prefer Star Wars as a stand alone movie. I like original trilogy. I can watch the continued mythology (I'm skipping Solo) but Star Wars alone is one of my all-time favorite movies. If the original trilogy and all the other episodes didn't exist, Star Wars is not going to chance for me. I watch it a few times a year, not so much for any of the other movies. I do think that younger Star Wars fans are more interested in recent characters and that's where they should go with the franchise. Don't give us Solo and Yoda, give us new characters. It's not the franchise that is fatigued as much as it's going to the well too often.

today's writers struggle with writing and portraying a heroic, likable, inspirational character that is the lead in a story that is supposedly about them.

It happens in comics and on television as well. Heroes are "boring" to many writers who seem to be more interested in shades of gray. The key word I see is "inspirational" and writers are either too cynical to think that someone can be like that or just aren't interested in writing a character like that. Captain America and Superman are my two favorite characters but people tell me all the time how bland they are for being so good. There's nothing wrong with shades of gray but too many of that type of character gets old as well. At the same time, I don't think people want to see a flawed Superman or Captain America. There's a reason why Superman the Movie tends to be the preferred movie to Man of Steel. If you need to write either character "dark" and the movie bombs, the studio will blame the characters not the writers.


Edited by Shawn Kane on 31 May 2018 at 8:21am
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John Popa
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Posted: 31 May 2018 at 8:54am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Something I think Solo suffers from seems to be prevalent from modern writers. The hero isn't really heroic or the star of their own movie.

-----

To me, this also proves why prequels are generally counter to good storytelling because they require a character to NOT arc.

Isn't the nature of Han Solo's arc in 'Star Wars' that he starts off a selfish and decidedly non-heroic smuggler and then makes a heroic decision in the end to help Luke instead of himself? Given that, wouldn't a prequel show him as non-heroic for the entirety of the story? He hasn't made the decision to be heroic yet. If he makes that decision before 'Star Wars' then his arc in 'Star Wars' is rendered meaningless.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 31 May 2018 at 10:45am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I will never understand this. For me, the original is a thing unto itself. You can't change it by addition or subtraction. 
You can change the Star Wars universe and the sequels/prequels have done this for sure, good or bad is up to you.
---------------------------------------------------
I prefer Star Wars as a stand alone movie.

As a stand alone movie, STAR WARS is just about perfect. But if you follow the story thru the sequels and prequels (and Lucas revisions), the deeds accomplished, and the characters themselves, become diminished. 

Obi-Wan, once a trusted old soul, becomes a liar. 

Turns out Luke's feelings toward Leia are incestuous. 

The rebels didn't figure out a flaw in the Death Star, it was built in. 

The Empire was defeated with the destruction of that one and only Death Star! Oh, wait...never mind. 

Han shoots first and asks questions later. Or...not. And he boasts about things that maybe didn't happen. Or maybe they did. We probably find out more about him than we ever needed to know (haven't seen SOLO). 

Vader is not this mysterious henchman figure who killed Luke Skywalker's father. He was just a young lad -- that we found out WAAYY too much about -- led astray. Oh, and he WAS Luke's father. And second in command of the Empire. 

Anyone can tap into the Force. All one has to do is believe and train. It's almost mystical - and mythical - in its scope. 
Turns out there's a very science-y prerequisite: you have be born with (or from?) a high count of microscopic Force bugs. Not magic as much as super powers: telepathy, telekinesis, and you run fast and jump high. And sometimes shoot lightning out of your hands. 
 
Tatooine, made out to be this remote rock that no one of consequence would know about, turns out to be the home of both Jabba the Hut and Anakin Skywalker. 

On its own, STAR WARS is a great movie, but it's gotten picked apart by decades of fuckery. 



Edited by Brian Rhodes on 31 May 2018 at 8:01pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 31 May 2018 at 11:22am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

As I said many a time, my reaction to the title of the first sequel was "With WHAT?!?"

(One thing that comes close to annoying me more than all the rest is how these unnecessary prequels and sequels have made it so hard to simpy TALK about the movies.

("I think the first one was the best."

("You mean THE PHANTOM MENACE?"

("No, the one that came out in '77."

("Oh, you mean A NEW HOPE!"

("sigh....")

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Shawn Kane
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Posted: 31 May 2018 at 12:07pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

I knew times had changed when my students were asking me if I saw Episode IV when it was in the theaters.
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Adam Hutchinson
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Posted: 31 May 2018 at 1:51pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I don’t think this is necessarily franchise fatigue and certainly has
nothing to do with wounded masculinity and isn’t a result of trying to be
more inclusive. More like, speaking specifically about Solo (which was
a fun caper/western set in the Star Wars universe), Disney/Lucasfilm
making a number of mistakes and is finding their footing as a franchise
with an ongoing series of movies.

Not every franchise movie needs to do Force Awakens/Avengers
numbers; nor should they all have those budgets or be released as
“Summer Blockbusters”. (Thanks to sometime/kinda former JBFer Zaki
for articulating my feelings on this on his podcast)

Edited by Adam Hutchinson on 31 May 2018 at 2:47pm
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David Spurlock
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Posted: 02 June 2018 at 6:47pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Almost every franchise has a stumble or 2 along the way. Bond went through the Dalton/Brosnan years. Batman had the Schumacher debacle. Even Marvel has had a few stumbles, mostly through the fault of other studios having control of their properties. So, even SW had to stumble eventually but it might be on a downward spiral. Everything Greg said resonates with me. I hated TFA and TLJ was deplorable. My 22 yr old son wasn't much of a SW fan until I let him watch the OT without all of the extra added CG stuff. After that, he was a fan. He was a little more recpetive to TFA but he thought TLJ was ridiculous. I guess there may come a day when SW can turn around and become something worth watching but I don't see it ever happening.  
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 03 June 2018 at 12:40am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Simple difference between MCU & the Star Wars films is that the MCU has a roadmap of each four year phase whereas Star Wars is making it up film by film with the odd thing (hyper space tracking?) dropped in between films.

That leads to a big difference when discussing audience fatigue & box office. DC could learn from that as well. Pretty much Marvel say what they will do & stick to it. Yes there have been a few mins-steps (Ant-Man, Patty Jenkins & Thor, Inhumans) but I’d say 90% sticks.

Star Wars has fired two sets of directors from five films, reworked a third director. That’s 60% of their films going wrong in big ways. That’s unsustainable & is on the heads of the executives. Just remembered, they sacked a third director in Josh Trank - that’s a ridiculous failure rate. Someone is making really bad decisions @ Lucasfilm & that needs to be acknowledged & sorted out.
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