Anyone seen Rogue One?
Chris Katko

It's much better than Force Awakens. Force Awakens isn't even in the same category of quality.

Also,

video

Edgar Reynaldo

-*You had to know that wuss would kill Han Solo. This isn't the first time a shield had to be taken down by Han Solo and Chewbacca. I liked Rae as a character but Finn was kind of a wuss too and he couldn't use a light saber to save 9h8ims*ef/f*/ (that's my cat typing there...) I liked the fighter pilot. Rogue One was great because it had Donnie Yen using the force in it. Story was good but sad ending.

Chris Katko

I loved the Droid in Rogue One. The female lead was WAY more relatable than the one in Force Awakens. I LOVED the Force Monk. A guy who ISN'T a Jedi but still BELIEVES in the force. That's such a cool idea.

p.s. Allegro's e-mails send spoiler text straight into your e-mail. :)

Eric Johnson

I enjoyed Force Awakens for the spectacles, but it did little for me in terms of story. Things felt too contrived; there were too many conveniences, which felt cheap. I also didn't like the new characters.

As for Rogue One, it was "grittier", which I appreciated. I enjoyed it a lot more than Force Awakens. I just hope they do a decent job moving forward with episodes 8 and 9 (screw Roman numerals, by the way).

Edit
I should mention that my viewing experience of Force Awakens was lessened because someone had spoiled the bigger plot points for me before I saw it. >:(

torhu

As far as I'm concerned, the last Star Wars movie was The Return of the Jedi 8-)

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Eric Johnson
torhu said:

As far as I'm concerned, the last Star Wars movie was The Return of the Jedi 8-)

I wish. :-/ Episode 7 undermines nearly everything accomplished in the original trilogy.

Neil Roy

Seen it and loved it. it's basically a prequel to the first story. I don't know how in the hell you get "return of the Jedi" from it?!

Chris Katko

I was BLOWN AWAY that a tacked on PREQUEL to a series, that nobody really cared about, ended up being (to use your term) "gritty", and so damn amazing.

Also in the news. The new Dave Chappelle is on Netflix and it's GREAT. Though you can tell the constant cigarettes are starting to kill his voice.

LennyLen

A guy who ISN'T a Jedi but still BELIEVES in the force. That's such a cool idea.

What, you mean like a Sith?

bamccaig

I watched it when it first came out. I'm not a big SW fan so I couldn't really care less about the franchise, but I think I generally didn't like the movie. I can't remember my criticisms, but in any case I think I managed to sit through it all. As more of a Star Trek fan I find that the Star Wars media tends to seem rather low budget and random, even if they managed to spend tens of millions on its production. It just seems amateurish like they started hacking at a script without knowing how it was going to end. It probably helps that most Star Trek media is in the format of 40 minute TV episodes instead of feature length films, but they do have their share of those too (which admittedly I haven't seen many of them).

OICW

I wasn't expecting much of that movie and therefore wasn't let down or overtly impressed. There were some good moments though. The crashlanding on the imperial outpost and what was going on after that felt a lot like first missions in Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast, I liked the humour involving the droid.

However, it too was suffering from the syndrome introduced in Force Awakens - jumping between systems felt very fast. It was like: "hey we need a bombing mission on the other side of the galaxy", "sure no problem, ETA 5 minutes." I also disliked how they portrayed the Rebels as a bunch of cowards.

And don't even get me started about the final battle and the very quick tie in to the New Hope movie. It's like the introduction scene from that movie follows literally 5 minutes later which feels really cheap and out of place. Plus the CGI Grand Moff Tarkin... :-X

It all looks like someone sat down with a cool idea about a movie depicting the effort to obtain Death Star plans (already done in the first mission of Dark Forces by the way) and how a large number of Bothan spies died in the process. And then trying really hard to tie it in as a prequel for the New Hope. I mean it didn't need to be so bloody obvious, we would get it. And the end for the lead characters? Well, I don't mind but it felt so cheap, come on!

Neil Roy

Wow, I am constantly surprised at the criticisms of these movies. You question their ability to travel long distances in the blink of an eye but nobody questions how they are walking around their ships with full gravity and no inertia from movement etc... etc...

I guess I'm different. I go to see a movie, I don't expect realism. I expect... a movie... fiction. I can't think of anything that I didn't like.

I loved the ending where

the one base commander uncovered what the rebels were after and why and how the other one (I am bad remembering names) ends up destroying the base, commander and all. Destroying the rebels, but also killing the commander who could have warned them about what the rebels were up to.

I thought that plot twist was brilliant to be honest!

bamccaig

There is a bit of a difference between artificial gravity and super-speed.

Firstly, weightlessness is cool, but also hard to do well on a set with gravity, and expensive to try to make work. That can be forgiven. I don't think it would be practical to do this live actors for an entire feature length film (at least, not one with action and space battles, etc.).

Super-speed is always achieved with special effects or CGI so there's no technical excuse for it. And going faster than possible is actually harder to produce than slower. The main complaint about crossing extreme expanses in seconds is that we know it to be physically impossible (short of some kind of wormhole or bending space phenomenon). The galaxy is 100,000 lightyears across. Traveling at the theoretical maximum speed would take 100,000 years! Sort of a leap from 30 seconds. :)

Of course, this rule needs to be broken somewhat to achieve a story as well. It doesn't need to be completely thrown away though. They could invent a technology that can manage to bend it, but still take several hours or days or weeks to get where you're going. Star Trek does this, and I don't think too many people get upset about their speeds because it's not completely ridiculous.

Personally I don't remember what speeds were reached in Rogue One. It sounds vaguely familiar that I was annoyed with the distances traveled, but I honestly can't remember. I'm just speaking to the specific point that you brought up.

As for expecting fiction, of course, everybody going to see a fictional movie is expecting fiction. And each fictional universe can set its own rules. That's absolutely true, and desired. It's only a problem when the rules set out in that universe are bent or broken without explanation.

I don't know that Star Wars is particularly guilty of this, but again I'm not a fan so I haven't seen nor do I remember many films. Again, I'm just refuting the argument that anything goes because it's a movie. That's not true. A movie is very easily ruined if the ending bends the rules and nullifies the entire conflict of the story, for example.

Often this bending of rules makes the conflict (or minor-conflicts throughout the movie) not actually a problem because you can just workaround the problem as if it never existed. There's no point watching something where literally anything goes.

Take the most tense moment in film history, impossible odds, how are we going to get out of this. Don't worry, we just did. Because. How fun? No, completely boring. That's like watching a sporting even where at any moment a team can win the entire match by snapping their fingers or getting lucky or something else ridiculous. What would be the point of playing or watching the game if the entire premise can be compromised in the blink of an eye? All of the hard work of the opposing team for nothing. Nobody would want to watch that. That is what watching a movie that doesn't obey its own laws is like.

Chris Katko
OICW said:

It's like the introduction scene from that movie follows literally 5 minutes later which feels really cheap and out of place. Plus the CGI Grand Moff Tarkin... :-X

The tie in at the VERY end did feel really rushed. Plus, Darth Vader while everyone thought he was super cool... the continuity didn't make sense. He's super super angry in this movie and swinging and force choking everyone. And then we begin A New Hope and... he's so much more calculating and reserved. And I think that was kind of the point. A Sith MASTER uses the dark side but isn't controlled by his emotions. Whereas a Sith new recruit is overwhelmed by them ala Kylo Ren (even though Ren is supposed to be a master or whatever which is also B.S.). But at the end of Rogue One, Darth Vader is like some crazy murderfest guy... which is fine if you want that but... then a New Hope hits and he's TALKING to people, interrogating prisoners. He's creepy BECAUSE he's so reserved.

Also, if he can force pull people, why the hell not force pull the ONE guy with the damn deathstar plans?

The tie-in at the end was silly and forced. (Ha. Pun.)

That being said, I loved the rest of the movie. It did feel like they spend very little time at each spot BUT contrast it with Force Awakens where they just go from one planet to the next and SIT AROUND AND TALK. Every place just spends 5 minutes of fan service without actually propelling the movie forward. There were like 10 minutes of ORIGINAL content in Force Awakens of new, cool ideas. In Rogue One there's at LEAST an hour.

Ships shooting ion torpedos. COOL. (We haven't seen those since freakin' X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter games.)

New service droids and the reprogrammed one that feels like C3-PO meets . VERY Cool.

Space Muslims. Cool.

Force Monks. Very freakin Cool.

MORE SHIPS. Great space battles. (Unlike the Force Awakens Tie-Fighter / X-Wing battle which is literally just background effects while the characters do stuff. The X-wings "win" and then magically lose somehow and allow Kylo Ren's ship to leave.)

Seamless hyper-transport. (The very end where they're retreating and then Darth Vaders ship WARPS INTO IT destroying it?)

NEW SHIPS that feel canon and look right. YES.

Pushing one destroyer into another. Mwahaha.

Explaining why the Death Star had such an obvious defect? Neat. I didn't ask for it, but it's a "plausible" reason and not some horribly obvious tacked on handling. It felt canon.

Death Star using 1 generator instead of full power? A neat special effect that ends up having a PRACTICAL plot effect. They're worried the Death Star might not run at full power, and then the obvious--I don't want to mention--part. Excellent use of a new concept twice. It the movie didn't feel like we were just being "shown" a bad thing, and then the second time "feel" the bad thing. Both times felt pretty natural.

I loved the grittyness of the film. You saw camera angles that George would NEVER use like the handicam shots.

(spoiler...Ish)

I REALLY liked the characters that "seemed" like bad guys / traitors but didn't end up being. How the one "good" guy rebel was a pretty dark asshole assassin.

I really liked the ambiguity.

LennyLen said:

What, you mean like a Sith?

If you saw the movie you'd know what I'm talking about. A guy who ISN'T a Jedi. He CAN'T wield a lightsaber or use the force... except he can use hints from the force because he is such a strong BELIEVER in the force. Like a wizard in Harry Potter. You either are or aren't. But what if you were such a studied muggle that you could "kind of" use a wand.

OICW said:

I also disliked how they portrayed the Rebels as a bunch of cowards.

The point about the Rebels is a good one. HOWEVER, it wasn't the rebels that were cowards. I REALLY liked how they showed that the rebels were TIRED. They were fighting for so long and (NEAT) did unethical things "For the greater good."

ALSO, the COSTUMES. They were new AND FELT NORMAL. Way more than Force Awakens (though it's set in the future, yeah... but not that far.) The new Imperial general clothes, cloaks, etc. It all felt normal and GREAT. (Although the Sith's Temple or whatever... looked WAY too much like Mordor...)

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Contrast with the big pile of DOG POOP force awakens where they straight up make the Empire... Space Nazis... but don't have the balls to actually put a swastika on them.

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It was so damn stupid. It took all of the real fear of a cold, calculated Empire and replaced them with silly Westboro Baptist Neo Nazis.

I also liked the bad general dude. He was slightly cliche but he had SOME depth. I liked his "too eager to suck up to get ahead" attitude. He felt like some Wall Street jerk in the Empire attracted to money and power, and once he got high enough in rank he ended clashing against something different than bureaucracy and greed... the cold calculating evil of the Sith. A completely different motivation behind their actions.

- ANOTHER good thing. When they're getting attacked on the planet and all the Empire guys just stand around and the white general dude is like "DO SOMETHING!" That's a REAL feeling scene. Everyone is so shocked that anyone would dare attack them, they're stunned, and then the bureaucracy is so powerful that nobody knows who to call or what to do when a real situation happens.

The TWO unforgivable parts in the movie?

- SAYING THE NAME OF THE MOVIE and calling attention to it. WTF. It took you right out of the movie and made you THINK about the fact you were watching a movie. ROOKIE. DAMN. MISTAKE.

- Darth Vader saying a FUCKING PUN. A #@!%!@#%!@ing pun?! "Be careful you don't CHOKE on your aspirations." while force choking someone. WTF? DARTH VADER DOESN'T MAKE PUNS. That's a huge slap to the entire franchise.

[edit]

I forgot to complete my thought about the rebels. The rebel LEADERS were hesitant to engage in an operation that would cause many losses and may not actually help their cause. So I don't really count them as cowards.

Also, WTF: Look at all the cool scenes they ripped from the movie we saw: (Scroll down to near the bottom for the "dialog cut from movie" video.)

http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/12/17/rogue-one-whats-the-deal-with-darth-vaders-castle

Notice the FREAKING TIE FIGHTER floating up when she goes to walk out to the "align the dish" switch at 2:15 mark. Maybe she shoots the guy in the cockpit? It would have made that trip to the switch WAY more interesting instead of "tacked on" that it felt like.

"HEY GUYS, ANOTHER SWITCH YOU GOTTA PUSH because the writers said so."

The other switch was so silly too. The one the force monk and his buddy die trying to turn on. There are X-WINGS flying over head and you're pinned down in a doorway? You can't call for X-wings to drop a bomb on those black storm troopers?

OICW
Neil Roy said:

You question their ability to travel long distances in the blink of an eye but nobody questions how they are walking around their ships with full gravity and no inertia from movement etc... etc...

Well, it wasn't meant like this. As bamccaig put it, some things wouldn't be fun or practical to shoot, unless you are Stanley Kubrick :) My point was rather at the fact that in the New Hope it takes them quite long to jump from Tatooine to Aldebaran and we actually get to watch what they do on board of Millenium Falcon while in transit. Sure, subsequently they started to cut things because there wasn't important stuff to be shown.

However, both in Force Awakens and in Rogue One it felt really rushed up. And the whole thing with the whole Republic being smashed by a single shot from the "New Death Star", that was such a shortcut that I was really pissed off. I mean before the empire the Galactic Republic was spanning the whole galaxy or at least a vast majority. It was superceded by the Empire and after it felt, again the Republic was established. You don't want to tell me that it was just a single planet and several moons neatly together to simply vaporize them with a new superweapon. That was like super rushed and I got the same feeling from the rest of the movie.

The tie-in at the end was silly and forced. (Ha. Pun.)

Exactly :) though, I didn't mind the actual pun delivered by Vader.

Chris Katko said:

The point about the Rebels is a good one. HOWEVER, it wasn't the rebels that were cowards. I REALLY liked how they showed that the rebels were TIRED. They were fighting for so long and (NEAT) did unethical things "For the greater good."

Yeah, right, they were tired, I forgot that. Maybe I just can't express myself very well on this. The thing is they felt completely different from the Rebels you get to watch literally 5 minutes after the end of this movie and in Empire Strikes Back. Their behaviour felt totally out of place.

Don't get me wrong, I kinda liked both movies, especially audiovisually. But storywise, well, I liked Rogue One more as it was grittier. Yet, again, just as it was actually cool to think about the Clone wars as Obi Wan uttered a mention about them in the New Hope it was a let down to see them portrayed in the second trilogy. So, in my opinion, same goes for the theft of the Death Star plans.

Chris Katko

That reminds me of another thing I hated about Force Awakens. The Super Death Star (Star killer?) was such a stupid thing.

Building TWO death stars in the series was almost insane. "Hey guys, we build this MOON sized ship... TWICE. With the SAME flaw in it." By time you hit Jedi. BUT, they changed it up because it was till being built. Which was kind of cool.

Force Awakens... they build a THIRD DAMN DEATH STAR? I MEAN COME THE HELL ON. .. And it's got ANOTHER critical weakness... A THIRD TIME? They're really stretching credibility here. It's straight up comical at this point, like some insane silly James Bond villain. "OH NO, here's comes Dr Evil with his THIRD LAIR of DOOM!" Or like a comic book villian, "Here's comes X, trying to take over the world again with his robot minions! However will we defeat him, team?"

Moreover, it's just damn lazy. (TO DAMN LAZY for a BILLION DOLLAR franchise.)

"OH WOW, this NEW death star can blow up FIVE planets in a row."

Okay... but... the LAST two could also do that... they just had to fly around for five minutes for each one. WHO CARES if an entire galaxy, an entire civilization blows up in 30 seconds, or 30 minutes?! WHO CARES?! Compared to the thousands of years they existed on those planets?

And how can ANY of us possibly comprehend and empathize with an entire civilization dying? How can any of us wrap out heads around it? It's a horrible plot device. A human brain can't comprehend it, so why the hell is it in the movie? Am I supposed to be sad everyone is dead? And if not, why the hell are you showing me it? (Just like what Disney did in Tron: Legacy where they killed all the synthetic people... but never showed them. All you heard was cheesy death sounds. Am I supposed to care about these people that live in a computer that I've never heard about before?)

Moreover, if they were gonna go the "Empire are just neo nazis" route, it would have been a THOUSAND times more heartfelt and impactful if they did ACTUAL Nazi stuff instead of "POLITICALLY CORRECT NAZI" stuff. Actual torture chambers. Actual interment camps. Actual genocide. THAT would have been intense. Not this White Washed, PC, version of Space Nazis where they would never torture you... but they'll blow up your entire galaxy (including ALL the important resources/documents/armies alongside it? REALLY?). Taking Scorched Earth policy to a whole new level there...

And why blow up the Republic anyway? Couldn't they have just THREATENED them with the new doom laser and extorted them into gaining resources, power, influence, slaves, whatever. It just doesn't make sense.

When the USA got nukes, they didn't blow up entire countries off the face of the Earth. They dropped TWO BOMBS. Enough to get the point across so they could then extort/influence the country to their whims.

How many potential new Storm Troopers could they have enslaved from those planets they blew up? It's SILLY.

And just as a movie device, GOOD GOD. "Hey guys, it's a death star... but this one is... BIGGER." Has got to be the laziest plot device for a SciFi movie in the history of movies. Look at Tremors 1, 2, 3, etc. Even though the 2nd onward are cheap B-movies, the movie revolves around prehistoric worms. BUT, each movie had NEW evolutions of those worms. The 2nd one, they could walk and see heat (while the 1st movie was vibrations ala Dune). The 3rd one had jetpack "butt buster" ones. And so on. NONE of those movies did "Hey, it's a worm... but it's a BIGGER WORM!!! OMGAWWD". If you can't beat a SciFi channel B-movie, what the hell are you doing with your career? Would you have watched Star Trek 1/2/3 if they were just Wrath of Kahn (good movie!) but... BIGGER WRATH OF KAHN SHIP. And the next one... BIGGER WRATH OF KAHN SHIP! ("But this time Kahn IS A ROBOT!") Hell no you wouldn't.

Rogue One felt like a narrative. The characters were just a part of a bigger story going on. Force Awakens felt like the opposite. It felt like the WORLD bent to whatever the characters (::cough:: writers ::cough::) needed to happen so that these characters could go through a list of "cool scenes". It was like Family Guy. And I mean that seriously. The writing for Family Guy is extremely lazy. I'll never forget the South Park creators talking to film students saying:

"What we've learned makes a good story is, you never have 'this happens' AND 'this happens'. You want to do 'this happens' BUT 'this happens' BECAUSE 'this happens'. Use BUT and BECAUSE. If you have this AND this AND this, it ends up boring."

Family Guy is SUPER like "this AND this AND this." Peter discovers X, then Y shows up under the carpet, then Z happens. There's no real struggle, suspense or twists. Even the "twists" in Family Guy are all just tacked on, for the same of a list of jokes they want to say. And Force Awakens felt like a bunch of tacked on bullet points of neat scenes that barely fit together in any natural way, and only link because the writers deemed that they should.

I mean, the millennium falcon JUST so happened to be sitting on the first planet AND it just so happened to be fueled and ready to fly? REALLY? ... REEALLLY? In the original New Hope movie where the ship is introduced they remark how "old" and "piece of junk" the ship is. So this 100+ year old ship is both faster and more powerful then contemporary ships AND ready to fly?

Pacific Rim's "Big robots punch Godzilla" felt better put together and had me cheering way more than Force Awakens. (Though I did cheer on Rogue One at some badass stuff.)

bamccaig

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This is getting intense. But I generally agree, the story was very poorly written. And considering it's a franchise that goes away for years at a time I think it was a pretty big let down for the people that give a crap.

I personally know people that paid extra to watch it on the special release night thingamabobber, at least locally, and the show was canceled because of a snow storm. And it was sold out for days afterward. I'm not sure how or if the theater ever made it up to them. Can you imagine?

Chris Katko

"Did you like Force Awakens?"

Me standing in front of my TV:

video

Samuel Henderson

I wouldn't consider myself to be much of a Star Wars nerd, although I have watched all the movies so I watched Force Awakens and Rogue One mainly due to curiosity more than anything.

When I walked out of the cinema after watching The Force Awakens, I remember feeling satisfied that it at least felt like a Star Wars movie (unlike Episode 1,2 and 3). Then after further reflection I was disappointed when I realized it's 'familiar' feeling was basically because it was just a carbon copy of Episode 4.

I felt like Rogue One was a much better movie. I didn't realize that the actor that played Moff Tarkin had kicked the bucket until about halfway through the movie when there was a particularly bad scene of him. If they would have kept him in dimmer lit areas I might never have noticed he was CGI'd at all.

LennyLen

If you saw the movie you'd know what I'm talking about.

I did see the movie. I guess I just read your words literally.

Neil Roy

Oh, and I also liked episode 1, 2 and 3. I really think people are far too critical.

Eric Johnson

I'm 22. I wasn't alive to see the original trilogy while it was new, though they were the first I saw as a child. But I personally prefer episodes 1-3 over 4-6, as they are more nostalgic for me, and I enjoyed the CGI. Yeah, much of it hasn't aged well, and lots of the dialogue is cheesy, but I still enjoy it. Besides, the light saber fights are way better in the prequel trilogy, and there's plenty of cheesy acting in the originals, too.

But hey, each to their own. 8-)

I'm just hoping that things improve moving forward with episodes 8 and 9. My expectations aren't too high though. I enjoyed the Star Trek movie reboot thing a from a few years ago, for example, but hated the sequel (rehashing the Khan story but in a crappy fashion felt cheap and disrespectful to the original movies). I thought the third movie would bring things back to good standing, but I was even more so disappointed with that one. So I have very little expectations from JJ and Star Wars.

It seems that a lot of sequels are garbage these days. They used to almost always be garbage, but in the mid 2000s, things seemed to be a bit brighter for a time. But now it's back to garbage. Or maybe sequels have always sucked, but I was just blind to it? Just like they're rebooting King Kong again! I saw the trailer the other day and thought, "didn't I they just remake that?" But then I realized that was 12 years ago! Man, how time flies... I just don't see a reason to remake/reboot these things so quickly (if at all ever). I've recently felt the same way with video game sequels, too. Animal Crossing from the GameCube era, for example, is more than enough for me. I bought the first two sequels, but felt they were not as good as the original. I recently tried the third sequel was was really disappointed. Kind of bummed me out. So screw sequels, I guess... >:(

Ramble, grumble...

bamccaig

I think there is such a thing as far too uncritical. :)

Append:

I think that sequels can be good, but it's rare the the writing is done well, or that the money is available. I think that production companies see sequels as an easy way to make money. Which is really shitty business, IMO, which might have something to do with the rental and ownership business going down the toilet. When odds are a movie is going to suck who cares anymore?

Chris Katko
Neil Roy said:

Oh, and I also liked episode 1, 2 and 3. I really think people are far too critical.

Some people were making good points that Force Awakens really highlighted how overly critical we were of George Lucas and how much we shat on him. Don't get me wrong, I'm not "super" impressed with the prequels with lines like "You are softer than sand... m'lady" (was he wearing a fedora?) and MITICHLORIANS RETCONNING the entire series.

HOWEVER. As much as "Star Wars Prequels" didn't feel... exactly like Star Wars. (Read: Force Awakens being so conservative its afraid to do anything at all) It sure as hell felt like SOMETHING NEW. It was so new that it didn't exactly feel like Star Wars so much as "in the universe of Star Wars". But George sure as hell put a lot of effort into it.

(Fun fact: Tons of the original SCRAPPED ideas for Star Wars New Hope that producers/etc ripped out of his movie for being too silly or stupid ended up in the prequels. Almost like he was like "SCREW YOU. Those WERE good ideas damn it!")

So I'm still on the fence about the prequels. One thing I remember as a kid, being MOST interested in was ... "How did Darth Vader become Darth Vader?" the coolest bad guy in fiction ever created. And then the prequels hit and I was like "Wait, so he's just a whiny bitch?" and then the prequels ENDED the moment he turns into vader! We never got to actually SEE Anakin BECOME Vader. We just saw him turn to the dark side and get the suit. All of that I didn't care about... I wanted to see young vader WITH the suit, encountering stuff and becoming more and more of the badass we see in the originals. What missions did he go on? What things did he see? To me, the prequels were set at least 10 years too early. I was hoping George was going to give us info about vader that would enhance the words we saw in the original series. Pick a random line, say, "You are apart of the rebel alliance and a traitor." and then we find out he was referencing a very specific event in his history that fueled his emotions and actions. (We did get a slight hint/taste of that with Rogue One.)

Neil Roy

I dunno, I guess I just don't go over movies with a fine tooth comb like that. <shrug>

I felt the story in the prequels was needed. Jar Jar was a tad silly at times, but I got a laugh from it when it first came out. But if you wanted a story about Darth Vader, than you really needed those movies the way they were. I recall people whining about there being a love story and I was like "What?!" You NEEDED a love story, one where he was REALLY, deeply in love with her in order for him to go so bad when she died. Being a married man (32 years now) who once threw his doctor across the room for making his wife cry, I totally understand that aspect. ;)

I dunno... I just haven't seen a Star Wars I didn't like. Some more than others, the Ewoks felt a little like a Muppets show but... meh, just a movie, so I rolled with it. ;)

Chris Katko
Neil Roy said:

I dunno, I guess I just don't go over movies with a fine tooth comb like that. <shrug>

I can shut my brain off and enjoy a smashing fest. Like Pacific Rim. But it needs to be consistent within it's own universe. If Superman can fly, fine. Those are the rules setup. But he can't pass through matter. He can fly but he can't violate physics. If some lady is falling 100+ MPH and superman "saves" her within the period of 3 inches, the acceleration kills her. That kind of stuff.

I like nitpicking. But the key is, I can still enjoy it. I'm just discussing this stuff because I enjoy movies, the craft, and would love to make a movie one day. I grew up around kids who later went on to film school, so it's kinda ingrained in me to pick things apart. The same way, a musician might pick apart the melodies, etc of a song. "Notice the cool fade in of the crash cymbals.... HERE."

All that being said, on a related topic: I watched E.T. recently. It's beautifully done. The cinematography, the dialog, it's all amazing. Spielberg is a genius. They SHOW the plot instead of TELLING you the plot. It's not good just because it was popular in the 80's. It's STILL good. If I were to just tell you the plot bullet points, it'd seem to be a fairly boring story. "Alien comes to earth, gets left behind, befriends a kid, evil gubment wants to find the alien, ..." but the EXECUTION is just so phenomenal. Every character feels real. They talk real. They act real. Every scene has multiple threads going on. Each scene isn't just doing one thing, to be connected to the next. Each scene is actually establishing or reinforcing multiple things that will go together. When the kids befriend the alien over time, it really feels like they befriend the alien. It doesn't feel like "The writers decided they're friends now, so now they're friends." I would have to watch it like three times in a row to write down all the amazing points about the construction of that movie. (And I'm not even a big fan of kids movies, or the concept of E.T.!) There are so many good things going on in that movie, so quickly, you can't even recognize them in one pass.

bamccaig

I think that's the makings of a truly good movie: when you can't even catch everything in the first pass. Some people's minds move faster than others. If you write for the lowest common denominator then you're going to have a bunch of people bored out of their whits. If the movie is written for the top then the bottom won't even notice all of the stuff they're missing, and might even get replay value if they continue to watch it, whereas the top won't be as bored and won't have to nitpick to keep their mind busy.

Neil Roy

I guess I'll just remain a happy low denominator then. ;) I tend to be critical over important things in life. A movie... is just a movie. Man, if I nitpicked over everything wrong in SPACE movies, I could write a novel!

I just haven't seen a problem. The latest batch were all well done I thought. Rogue One was a prequel with a surprise ending (at least for me). I absolutely LOVED it when I finally realized what the movie was about, I was like... GREAT idea for a movie! So... I dunno. If you don't like 'em, my advise is to stop watching 'em! :)

My oldest brother (who recently passed away :( ) complained when the first Star Wars came out that he went to see it three times and hated it. ;D... this reminds me of you guys. I was like... than, ummm... why did you go back to see it?! LMAO... but... smoking weed will do that to you I guess. ;D

bamccaig

As a side note, does anybody else despise prequels? I can't think of many that I've liked. In general, I feel like they're washed up duplicate content. You already know parts of what is going to happen, and it seems they're never done very well so they stand on their own. And of course, going back in time has the disadvantage, particularly in a technology genre, where the technology goes back in time for the worst. That really sort of limits the potential because you won't likely be seeing any fancy new ideas. Just rehashed old ideas. I find that boring.

I guess I'm really ripping on Star Trek here though. I was reading about the new Star Trek series that is going to be airing shortly. First of all, we can hope they don't fuck it up as badly as "Enterprise". What a disaster that was. But so far it's not looking very promising. Looks like two female leads just to force the issue that women are people too, which would be fine if it wasn't some political agenda they're trying to force feed us, but it is. They aren't female just because that is the story that they came up with. They're female because feminism. I fucking hate that.

But even overlooking that, the series is a prequel to even the original series. Naturally this limits what they can do technologically which I think is going to severely hurt the creativity of the show. So far the prototype designs for the ship are ugly as fuck. I didn't grow up in the 70s so I personally find the original series ship ugly too. If you started with TNG Enterprise like I did then it's hard to go back.

Now a distant past prequel might have been interesting. There are gaps in the technology timeline left to explore. But they aren't doing that. They're going 10 years before the original series. So probably the technology is going to be almost identical and it's just a clone of the original series with women starring. How quaint. ::)

Chris Katko
bamccaig said:

Looks like two female leads just to force the issue that women are people too, which would be fine if it wasn't some political agenda they're trying to force feed us, but it is. They aren't female just because that is the story that they came up with. They're female because feminism. I ing hate that.

They've also got an openly gay guy too. Because more labels = more diversity and we all know the gay guy on a TV show will be handled carefully and with respect, and not used any time the writers simply want a "gay story". Hollywood is known for treating minorities with dignity, after all! ;)

It might be good. It might also bomb harder than any Star Trek made. So it'll either be a good show, or a good show to watch crash and burn. ;D

Quote:

prequel

Now THAT I didn't know and that's pretty damn pathetic.

OICW
bamccaig said:

As a side note, does anybody else despise prequels? I can't think of many that I've liked. In general, I feel like they're washed up duplicate content. You already know parts of what is going to happen, and it seems they're never done very well so they stand on their own.

I don't despise them, I just don't like them. I mean Jar Jar Bings was totally useless comic relief character targetting the children audience. But yes, same applies for Ewoks, that is mostly my main grief against The Return of the Jedi. Storywise The Phantom Menace is about a planet you don't really care about with trade federation nobody talked about in the original trilogy. It's introduction of the characters that are important, fine, but so lamely executed that it's hard to believe someone actually approved the screenplay. And don't get me started on that battle between droids and Jar Jar's people. That and the midichlorians (or how it is spelled) thing about the Force...

I was really expecting a lot from The Attack of the Clones but no, you get to watch cheesy romance, CGI on par with Blizzard animated intros, R2D2 performing things that would have saved a lot of situations in the original trilogy - jetpack. You see senator Palpatine preparing the take over which is fine but the rest of the movie is meh. Especially the battle scene at the end.

The Revenge of the Sith was the best of all of them, except emo Anakin, the whole romance pushed really far too much and all done in such a hurry just to get to the point where you kill off the Trade Federation because nobody talked about it in the original trilogy, you create the Vader at the very end of the movie and shove Luke and Leia to their protectors to get an obvious tie in for the episode IV - at least not so rushed as in the Rogue one case :)

Maybe I'm too harsh and verbose, so tl;dr: I was really letdown by the prequels as while watching the original trilogy there were hints here and there about what happened before the empire, there were questions about the Jedi order, about the clone wars etc. Back then I was expecting more stories like Rogue One. In a sense that we would see events that led to the downfall of the Republic, the ascension of the empire, birth of Darth Vader and the beginning of the Rebellion culminating with the theft of the Death Star plans.

Say, for example, episode one dealing with the downfall of the Republic, shadow machinations of Palpatine, creation of the clones. Episode two would depict the clone wars whatever they would be given the Obi Wan's remarks in episode IV. And then finally episode three would deal with the Rebellion, evolution of Vader and the theft of the plans.

Neil Roy

I also loved "Enterprise". The one story got a bit long, but after that it started to get really good. It had a lot of potential, but was cancelled due to whine asses. This is part of why I can't stand overly critical people.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine goes on for 7 seasons, the most BORING star trek ever to be made, but Enterprise which I really enjoyed gets cancelled. It's one fucked up world.

LennyLen
Neil Roy said:

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine goes on for 7 seasons, the most BORING star trek ever to be made, but Enterprise which I really enjoyed gets cancelled. It's one fucked up world.

DS9 is probably my least favourite series, but ironically, it probably has some of my favourite episodes.

I was also disappointed that they cancelled Enterprise when they did. It seemed like the show had finally found itself and was starting to get fun.

bamccaig said:

As a side note, does anybody else despise prequels?

I'm completely ambivalent to the concept of prequels, but I've both loved and hated specific prequels. I can't think of many movie prequels I've particularly enjoyed (I did like Rogue One), but when it comes to books, there have been many.

Chris Katko

I'm SO GLAD you guys mentioned DS9 being boring. I couldn't even get through it. It was so boring. Like that episode where they're on a multi-billion dollar space station called DS9, and they're all trained military officers... and they spend the episode building a friggin' solar glider and sitting INSIDE the glider that has no windows so you can't even SEE something interesting going on.

They also committed one of the WORST sins you can do. Before any of the characters are established so you "know" who they are and how they act... they do an episode where "People aren't acting right." How the hell are we supposed to know? And there was a second episode where the doctor guy isn't "acting right" and again, we can barely tell, except for the INSANE amount of bad acting as the doctor actor had no ability to be intimidating so he just stressseddd alll ooff hiiss woorrddds to come off as "evil." The audience doesn't know the characters yet and the ACTORS don't know the characters yet!

What business do you have switching people up within the first ~10 episodes?!

Could you imagine how fast X-Files would have tanked if in episode 3, Mulder becomes "Not Mulder"?

Such a waste of a great IP. They never should have canned Star Trek: TNG that year. They could have easily gone another 3. (The real reason is the actors salaries kept rising so in an effort to reduce costs they killed the entire show. A common trait for non-animated shows. See Big Bang Theory where it's one of the most popular shows and they threatened to write Raj and Walowitz out of the show if they didn't take the "studio decided" pay raise.) Now, don't get me wrong. One reason TNG (like Seinfeld!) is so highly regarded, is that it was canceled before it got bad! But, Star Trek: TNG was NOT slowing down at that point and had some of the best episodes in the later seasons, and every season had a bunch of notable, great, episodes.

And Voyager? I can't... I can't get myself to watch it even though I would LOVE some more Star Trek to watch. DS9 soured my tongue... and everyone says Voyager is just "out there." Like a more generic scifi show, or a knockoff star trek, where they do crazy stuff just to keep ratings up. And their casting choice... everyone looks so white washed and generic to me... from what I hear, Captain Janeway is basically better than everyone else at their own jobs so it's like, "Why do we even have anyone else on the ship?"

I need to go back and watch the original series. There's some damn good episodes in there and I've never seen them all.

Neil Roy

As for Voyager, I wasn't crazy about it at first. That first season was... meh, but it got better. And now it is one of my favourite series which I have actually watched more than any other. I even got my wife to like it, and she is not a fan of science fiction.

The series has a beginning, it has an end goal and a good story where they actually explore, a lot. It has a lot of humour in it I noticed as well and the characters really build up interesting relationships. The series gets much better once Seven of Nine comes on board I found. So, I would say, if you never really watched it past the first season, you're missing out as it did improve.

My top series are #1) Voyager, #2) Star Trek: TOS and #3) Enterprise now. I can't stand DS9 and I am not a huge fan of TNG either. TNG got better later in the series, but I wasn't a fan of it early on.

OICW

I watched Voyager around the same time as TNG went on in the TV here. Well, right after it, and that was maybe around the time I was around 10 I guess. I've seen several episodes of DS9 and was kinda intrigued by it because it was different. But at that time I totally liked TNG and Voyager was still good for me back then. When I was older and wiser I could get myself to watch TOS when it ran on in the TV, however, it's so cheesy.

Now, when I talked to real Trekkies on some convetions, I got almost the impression that DS9 is highly regarded while Enterprise is shunned upon. You have to take into account the fact that DS9 was conceived as competition against Babylon 5 that will also be not that costly as one episode of TNG. I can't tell whether it's good or bad as I haven't watched it.

What I know is that I need to watch TNG again with the original sound. I watched few episodes lately in the TV with Czech dubbing and I could pick up the bad translation there in lot of places. And anyway, there are some cheesy moments, but as a kid I loved that show, so I really need to rewatch it, if only for nostalgia :)

Chris Katko

I watched TNG remastered in 1080p on bluray last year. It was glorious.

bamccaig

I loved Voyager. I would hold it up next to TNG. To me they are comparable. I have watched TNG and Voyager full series a couple of times. I can still go back and watch them both and enjoy them as if they were new. I suggest giving both TNG and Voyager a chance if you haven't and want more Star Trek.

I never gave DS9 a chance because it seems the show revolved around one or more Ferengi, and I absolutely despise the race. It's an annoying character to sit through. It's all just "greed" and backstabbing and muffled voices. And they're ugly to boot. They have nothing to offer anybody, and they take take take. The few stories involving them in TNG or Voyager made for funny stories, and it was always clear that they were a loathed race, even if the officers did their best to be welcoming of them. I think it was a mistake for DS9 to make them regularly characters on the show. But then, I haven't given it a chance (mostly because after I sit through one episode with Fenengi if I see another one I turn it off).

I don't even remember Enteprise, but I think I remember everything just being different and the writing was not anything like Star Trek. It was like a completely different universe. The writing and acting was terrible. And I just couldn't. I think I gave up after the first few episodes.

I also find TOS cheesy. I've only seen a few episodes, and I just can't stomach it. Besides the cheesy stories and dialog, the ship looks ridiculous too. Of course, it was made during a time when options were limited and that probably looked pretty damn cool. So at least there's a little bit of give... But I'll have to be pretty bored with Counter-Strike before I'll even attempt to sit through TOS. :-/

Neil Roy
OICW said:

You have to take into account the fact that DS9 was conceived as competition against Babylon 5

Ooooh yeah, I absolutely LOVED Babylon 5!!! Seen ALL of those and the movies. I miss that series a lot. At the time I especially loved the fact that it used an Amiga computer to render the graphics (with Video Toaster) as that was my main computer at the time. But great series with an interesting story and great characters.

bamccaig said:

I also find TOS cheesy

I guess I can understand that if you're rather young. I grew up in the '70s, so that was all there was and it was awesome! I watched it on a B&W vacuum tube TV for a long time when we only had like... 4 or 5 channels we could get total. Understand that portable cassette tape recorders were a new and fantastic thing that would eventually replace all my 8 tracks I grew up with and computers... computers were on TV, nowhere in real life. Arcades consisted of pinball machines, analog ones, not digital with round wheels that had the scores on them that turned and cost 10 cents. You have to understand the context when it came out... so... it was pretty damn fantastic! Way ahead of it's time. The TRS-80 model 1 computer was still a decade away when it first came out, and about 5 years away when I first seen Star Trek... so it wasn't cheesy at all then. Compare to modern tech, yeah... but... I still love it. There are some episodes I despise though, the ones with the children in control mainly annoy me. the time travel ones were my favourite "Return to Tomorrow", "All my Yesterdays" or something like that I think were a couple.

OICW
Neil Roy said:

I guess I can understand that if you're rather young. I grew up in the '70s, so that was all there was and it was awesome!

Yeah, you're right, I'm too young for this, hell, I wasn't even born when TNG started in 1987. I really enjoyed lot of the TOS episodes. On the other hand there are some really cheesy and awkward moments like the infamous battle between the Kirk and the lizard man. But, on the other, there were some really clever episodes. And I don't really mind the production qualities.

Babylon 5, yeah, I've seen some episodes in the TV and did not know what's going on there. I've seen the movies and apart the fact that the CGI quality is on par with Blizzard games movies... I really want to watch the series as a whole, even though I don't like very much sci-fi shows with many alien races etc. The most remarkable fact about the show is that it was conceived as 5 seasons story arc from the very beginning. So nothing like "yeah, we have this concept, we prepare the first season and then will see where it can bring us" approach which was kinda obvious in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica.

Chris Katko

When I was a kid, I liked watching Andromeda ("Hercules in space!"), and Farscape.

Flame on. ;D

I tried to watch Babylon but everything feels "wrong" about the visual design of the show. The alien costumes, the dark foggy lighting of every shot. I can't explain why I dislike it. I just really do.

p.s. The original intro music for Andromeda written by FREAKIN' STING? That was epic. I used to play that on repeat as a kid.

video

Also, the original plot is pretty damn cool. It was built from Gene Roddenbary's "b-side" / scrap notes for Star Trek. Starfleet is always seen as some utopia. In Andromeda, it was literally starfleet (with a different name, the commonwealth), except they failed. The commonwealth collapsed. The good guys lost. And Kevin Sorbo is a captain of a commonwealth battleship that was fighting in the big final battle. But he got sucked through a wormhole or something transporting him forward in time. So he's the only survivor of the dead commonwealth. ALSO really freakin' cool is because the "good guys" lost, starship technology has REGRESSED. So his ship is one of the most powerful ships still around even in the future... but he's got no crew. (I don't remember why there's no crew survivors...).

Neil Roy

Yeah, you have to watch Babylon 5 from the start. It's quite good if you follow along. The story really gets quite good after a while and had a good ending. Certain characters will grow on you after a while you will find. And some of the movies were almost sad for me. I missed that series. It had a sequel, but it never done well and I didn't hear many good things about it.

Just keep in mind that Babylon 5 was done in the mid '90s, before computer 3D was a thing. Even ST:TNG didn't use much in computer generation, I seem to remember Babylon 5 as being one of the first series to really dive into computer generation. The Amiga computer (with Video Toaster) really opened up computer generated video for TV and such at an inexpensive cost. I remember the weather network started off using an Amiga (because it crashed one day and there was the flashing "GURU MEDITATION ERROR" on my TV and I was like... kewl! ;D).

Chris Katko

TNG had no computer FX! (Or almost zero.)

It was one of the, if not the, last major show to use "classic" special effects. It's an amazing achievement at the height of the craft. The behind-the-scenes shows are a lot of fun.

I remember Babylon 5 being pushed as CG. Entry-level CG looks super cheap / dated to me. But if you say the story is really that good, I'll have to try it some time...

bamccaig

The behind the scenes videos included on the ST:VOY DVDs talk about some of the technology that goes into it. The ships were actually not computer generated, but models made of paper and plastic and things ranging from a few feet to a few inches. In fact, the shuttle model scale was many times larger than that of the actual ship so they had to be crafty with the shot to make it look tiny in comparison (careful with light, I imagine). I personally found this fascinating to learn because I believed it was all CGI. That in itself is probably a dying art. It makes you wonder if computers are ever used today where the old school method would be faster and cheaper.

Neil Roy

I remember Babylon 5 being pushed as CG. Entry-level CG looks super cheap / dated to me.

Well, just the space scenes obviously use it. But do remember, this was released in January 1994, before Doom 2 was released. The graphics for this series were really good for the time, so remember not to judge it based on today's stuff. I remember it being one of the first series to use all computer graphics, if not the first, so this was new territory.

But it has an ongoing story that develops over time, not just random events. The main story comes to a pretty kewl ending I thought.

Londo Mollari was by far my favourite character. Always scheming, a bit of a villain who gets whats coming to him eventually, but you grow to like him and I felt sorry for him in the end.

This clip gives you a hint of why I love this series and Londo...

video

bamccaig

That's what you call a good scene? I'm starting to rethink this advice. I couldn't even sit through it.

Neil Roy
bamccaig said:

That's what you call a good scene? I'm starting to rethink this advice. I couldn't even sit through it.

I guess you had to see the show to understand the significance of what happened here.

If it's fight scenes in space you want (something you rarely see anymore), someone put together this video from the series...

video

Not that I expect you to like it, you seem to make it a hobby to be a critical ass. I loved the series, that's all that matters to me. What you think, means sweet fuck all. I share this for anyone that wants a good series, you... can go back to masturbating to porn or whatever in fuck you do in your miserable little life.

bamccaig

I'm comfortable with my tastes in art, even though many of them would not be shared by most others. I don't need other people to justify it. Just because I question your taste doesn't make it invalid. It just might not be right for me.

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LennyLen
Neil Roy said:

Londo Mollari was by far my favourite character. Always scheming, a bit of a villain who gets whats coming to him eventually, but you grow to like him and I felt sorry for him in the end.

He was definitely my favourite as well.

bamccaig said:

That's what you call a good scene? I'm starting to rethink this advice. I couldn't even sit through it.

To be honest, it's not the best scene if you haven't watched Lando mature a a character.

B5's biggest strength was it's biggest failing. It was one continuous story arc, preconceived almost entirely from start to finish. Most episodes were not intended to stand alone. They were a mesh of interconnected plots that wove through seasons.

This made it hard to jump into the series mid-show, or to get back into it after missing a few shows. At the same time it made the experience so much richer if you saw it through from start to end.

Chris Katko
LennyLen said:

B5's biggest strength was it's biggest failing. It was one continuous story arc, preconceived almost entirely from start to finish. Most episodes were not intended to stand alone. They were a mesh of interconnected plots that wove through seasons.

That sounds freakin' awesome.

Quote:

This made it hard to jump into the series mid-show, or to get back into it after missing a few shows. At the same time it made the experience so much richer if you saw it through from start to end.

That's a HUGE freakin' problem if you want a long term show to have an arc. I love arcs. But like you said, the barrier-to-entry becomes a problem. The only people who "sign up" are when a show is "so freakin' amazing" that people can convince their friends/neighbors/etc to watch it. Otherwise, you just see a show that makes no sense. The further you are from the start, the worse the "necessary list of episodes/info", the less likely you'll get new people. And you'll drop people every season anyway.

p.s. Netflix makes arcs and binge watching possible now so I really feel like we may end up with better quality shows overall. (Strange Things is amazing... need to finish the last 3 episodes. They're renewed for a second season.)

I just found an interesting article about Battlestar Galactica and how the ratings were "tanking" yet nobody cared and it kept getting more popular, making money, and green-lighting further projects.

http://www.today.com/id/26396271/ns/today-today_entertainment/t/galactica-proves-ratings-system-dead/

On the otherhand, Caprica got cancelled pretty quickly and this was written before it came out. (Maybe Battlestar Galactica - The Ship = Boring show? Ever watched How I Met Your Mother when they go to Lilly's house instead of the bar? It felt like the most generic sitcom ever.)

LennyLen

I forgot to add, B5 creator J. Michael Straczynski is also co-creator, with the Wachowskis, of the Netflix show Sense 8.

Bob Keane

I just watched the dvd. It was a little hard to follow with all the jumping around at the start. Also, I was disappointed

no Bantus died

Wonder how they are going to

edit Princess Leia out of next one.

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