Solo: A Star Wars movie

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Chris Brady
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Re: Solo: A Star Wars movie

Post by Chris Brady » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:04 pm

So of the last seven Star Wars films have all been prequels of something we already knew.

The Prequels, Rogue One and Solo's stories were already told, so why did we need them?

Is it sad that I like Rebels and Clone Wars CGI show more than the last 7 films?

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Ares
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Re: Solo: A Star Wars movie

Post by Ares » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:57 am

L-Space wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:47 pm
All other gripes withstanding, I think we can all agree that seeing Chewbacca (sans bowcaster) kick ass was awesome. :D
Definitely. We finally got to see what Wookies should be capable of given all of the hype they got. Heck, we got to literally see Chewie rip someones arms out of their sockets.

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Re: Solo: A Star Wars movie

Post by Ares » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:58 am

Chris Brady wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:04 pm
So of the last seven Star Wars films have all been prequels of something we already knew.

The Prequels, Rogue One and Solo's stories were already told, so why did we need them?

Is it sad that I like Rebels and Clone Wars CGI show more than the last 7 films?
Just because one story is part of an established story's history doesn't mean it isn't a story worth telling.

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Re: Solo: A Star Wars movie

Post by Woodclaw » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:19 am

Okay. Last night I've finally watched it and ... it was entertaining. I wouldn't call it a great movie and I still think that there are a number of EU/Legends products that did much better with Han's past, but I enjoyed it.

My general feeling was that this movie tried way too hard to act as a joint between the rest of the franchise. The mention of Aurra Singh during the first meeting with Lando and Darth Maul's appearence at the end of the third act were both meant to link to the Clone Wars and Rebels TV shows. The attempts to show that this was Han were there but, as someone else observed, it felt like all the key events of his life happened over the space of a couple of weeks. The bad thing, in my eyes was that this was easily fixable, just by adding a few more "timestamps" across the entire movie and devoting a bit less to action and a bit more to dialogues.
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I also wouldn’t call Han “passive,” except maybe in the one early scene where the fact that events spiral out of his control — he gets his loot stolen, he loses his girlfriend, etc. — are kind of vital for kick-starting his narrative arc. He is very “reactive” instead of “proactive” for most of the film, as he has to respond to events instead of shaping them. But that’s kind of standard fair for a heist film: The crew makes a cunning plan, they start to execute the plan, something goes wrong, the hero improvises his way out of it... Standard stuff.
I think this is a rather fair assessment of why some viewers might find this version of Han to be a bit too less than essential to the plot. Although when he takes the spotlight he actually set things in such a way that others can solve the plot.
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Re: Solo: A Star Wars movie

Post by Ares » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:57 pm

I didn't mind this being about a young, rookie Han Solo who was being mentored and slowly learned how to stand on his own. It leaves room for him to grow.

I think the thing that annoyed me was how quickly they tried to cram in a lot of Han's exploits into one film. Obviously Chewie and Han needed to happen, since that's generally the reason for Han leaving the Imperial Fleet. I'm not sure I like them changing Corellia into this Gotham City-style Hellhole, but it made a more dramatic reason for Han leaving.

The version I'd heard about Han and Chewie was that Han was in the Imperial fleet, he saw Chewie being abused, and tried to help him escape in secret. But when they got caught, Han had the opportunity to simply say "I caught this slave escaping" and could have kept his career, but instead chose to openly help Chewie escape, forcing Han to desert and become an outlaw. This was a little different and removed some of the altruism of Han's actions, but it worked pretty well. There's no mention of a "life-debt", but given that was something created by the novels and not part of the films, I can see why they just glossed over it.

Them getting the Falcon was kind of a given, since you really don't want to see a Han Solo film franchise without him piloting it. I think I would have preferred him and Lando being called in on the job, working together, and playing a few Sabbac games over the course of the film, ending with Han winning at the end and instead opting to get his pick of Lando's ships, and picking the Falcon, which Lando had been quietly upgrading. Then at the end, Han picks it and him and Chewie fly off together, and you really get the feeling Han has really come into his own. If anything, the Falcon got too much play in the movie.

So Han and Chewie partnering up and getting the Falcon needed to happen during the course of the first film, but everything else seemed kind of rushed. Han doing the Kessel run, Han ending the film heading to do some work for Jabba, it was trying to cram a lot of Han's accomplishments into one film. Why not save the Kessel run for the second film where he really establishes his cred in the underworld? Save the job that he screwed up with Jabba for the movie right before he links up with the New Hope timeline.

While I liked Donald Glover's portrayal as Lando, I was actually kind of put off by the idea of Lando cheating at cards. Lando is a con artist, frontman, smoother talker and rogue, but he was also a professional gambler. I would have preferred if professional pride made him win and lose fair and square, and didn't like how adversarial their relationship was at this point. I think I would have preferred a younger Han and Lando working together and coming out as good buddies initially, with Han taking the Falcon being the first real strain in their relationship.

And like I said, I understand why they put Maul in the film (technically he's no longer a Darth at this point), I don't think his inclusion was necessary. But they wanted a dramatic reveal and Maul was one of the few people fans of just the movies would recognize, so it made sense from a marketing perspective.

Overall I liked Solo, and it's probably the 5th best Star Wars film at this point (After the original trilogy and Rogue One), but I don't think it'd be my "canon" for how Han got his start in the universe.

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Re: Solo: A Star Wars movie

Post by Batgirl III » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:21 pm

I’d pretty much keep Solo as is, with two small changes (and one very small change):

• The pirates they kept butting heads with all film should have been pirates and not revealed to be secretly-good-all-along rebels led by a cute girl.

• The secret boss behind Crimson Dawn should not have been Darth Maul. I’d have opted for Jabba (if you wanted to tie it into the existing films), Prince Xizor (if you wanted to steal ideas from the EU), or Bail Organa (if you wanted a prequel connection and a real shocking twist).

• Lando shouldn’t cheat at cards.
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Re: Solo: A Star Wars movie

Post by Woodclaw » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:13 pm

Batgirl III wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:21 pm
I’d pretty much keep Solo as is, with two small changes (and one very small change):

• The pirates they kept butting heads with all film should have been pirates and not revealed to be secretly-good-all-along rebels led by a cute girl.

• The secret boss behind Crimson Dawn should not have been Darth Maul. I’d have opted for Jabba (if you wanted to tie it into the existing films), Prince Xizor (if you wanted to steal ideas from the EU), or Bail Organa (if you wanted a prequel connection and a real shocking twist).

• Lando shouldn’t cheat at cards.
I would also add a bit more time skips, just to give the impression of a more credible pace.
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Re: Solo: A Star Wars movie

Post by Batgirl III » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:30 pm

I could see that as an improvement, although I wasn’t too bothered by the pacing. The Star Wars films have always kind of compressed things that should take longer into a single dissolve cut. Maybe they could have thrown in a montage of Han, Woody, and the gang pulling other jobs after they met up and before the train heist...

The contemporary film that I really think had a pacing problem was Man of Steel. The first Christopher Reeve Superman took care to have a brief montage sequence after Superman reveals himself saving Lois from the helicopter crash where he flies around fighting crime, helping people, and rescuing a cat, that establishes in the audiences’ imagination that people do see him as a heroic and helpful figure. A nice guy in a “baaad out-fit!” that they can trust... Man of Steel has him put on the costume and *zoom* he’s hovering outside a military base. In the audiences’ mind, he still reads as mysterious and vaguely threatening. Cavil’s Superman is cold, distant, and alien; Reeve’s Superman was warm, approachable, and human.
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Re: Solo: A Star Wars movie

Post by L-Space » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:14 pm

I was happy that they didn't go the life-debt route for Han and Chewie because it makes their partnership more equal. I really liked that you could pretty much tell the exact moment that Chewie decided that he was going to stay with Han.

As for Lando cheating at cards, I'm ok with it since it was done while he was younger and it ended up biting him in the ass. I like to think of it as learning experience for him that stops him from doing it in the future and rely strictly on his own skills.
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Chris Brady
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Re: Solo: A Star Wars movie

Post by Chris Brady » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:12 am

Ares wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:58 am
Chris Brady wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:04 pm
So of the last seven Star Wars films have all been prequels of something we already knew.

The Prequels, Rogue One and Solo's stories were already told, so why did we need them?

Is it sad that I like Rebels and Clone Wars CGI show more than the last 7 films?
Just because one story is part of an established story's history doesn't mean it isn't a story worth telling.
The Box Office pretty much says they aren't worth telling. And part of the issue is that all of these prequels have taken away from the mystique of a lot of characters. You can't tell me that knowing Vader's full story turned out better for him.

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Re: Solo: A Star Wars movie

Post by Ares » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:03 pm

Chris Brady wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:12 am
Ares wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:58 am
Chris Brady wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:04 pm
So of the last seven Star Wars films have all been prequels of something we already knew.

The Prequels, Rogue One and Solo's stories were already told, so why did we need them?

Is it sad that I like Rebels and Clone Wars CGI show more than the last 7 films?
Just because one story is part of an established story's history doesn't mean it isn't a story worth telling.
The Box Office pretty much says they aren't worth telling.
Box Office is not the sole arbiter of a movie's quality. It says something of the movie's popularity with certain demographics, but if we were to go solely by Box Office then the Michael Bay Transformers films are masterworks of cinema, as opposed to crap. And Solo is basically underperforming for a Star Wars movie, but doing okay as far as an average movie goes. And most of Solo's box office issues can be attributed to things outside of the movie's quality, such as when it was released, the lack of promotion, and again, the Last Jedi.
And part of the issue is that all of these prequels have taken away from the mystique of a lot of characters. You can't tell me that knowing Vader's full story turned out better for him.
I absolutely can and will tell you that. The Prequel films are sub-par Star Wars movies, but that has more to do with bad storytelling as opposed to a bad story. The Revenge of the Sith novel turns an average movie into an amazing story about political intrigue, the death of a generation of heroes and a good man's fall from grace. The Prequels gave us the Clone Wars and Rebels series, the former of which really showcased the kind of character Anakin was.

Darth Vader would have likely been amongst my favorite villains for his portrayal in the original trilogy. The expanded material we got from the prequels have made Vader my favorite villain ever because we got to see the kind of person he was, got to see him in his prime and see the tragedy of a character that could have legitimately been the greatest hero of his time. It made me appreciate Palpatine more as a villain to see how he won control of the galaxy and managed to subtly twist Anakin at his weakest moments into becoming one of the greatest villains in fiction.

So yeah, as sub-par as the Prequels are compared to the original films, I am grateful for what they did and the story they told. And I will take any of them over The Last Jedi, and frankly, I'm starting to prefer them to the Force Awakens.

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Re: Solo: A Star Wars movie

Post by Batgirl III » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:22 pm

I absolutely can and will tell you that. The Prequel films are sub-par Star Wars movies, but that has more to do with bad storytelling as opposed to a bad story.
So, you think three of the twelve films released so far are “sub-par”? Given your comments about The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens, I’m going to guess you’d say they’re “sub-par” too. You will probably also insist the two made-for-tv Ewok movies don’t count. So that’s leaving ten films of which five are “sub-par.”
The Revenge of the Sith novel turns an average movie into an amazing story about political intrigue, the death of a generation of heroes and a good man's fall from grace.
That means that Revenge of the Sith was an average movie.
The Prequels gave us the Clone Wars and Rebels series, the former of which really showcased the kind of character Anakin was.
That means that the films did not showcase the kind of character Anakin was.

A film must be judged on its own merits, not on outside materials. I, Robot is one of the best things Isaac Asimov ever wrote and Asimov is generally acknowledged as one of the giants in his field... The 2004 I, Robot sucked. Hard. It’s a two hour love-story about Will Smith and his sneakers. That the original short-story anthology is a masterpiece of science fiction literature doesn’t turn the shit film into a good film.

The majority of the Star Wars films are fun, middle-of-the-pack action-adventure movies with top-notch visual effects. A few of the Star Wars films are true standouts in the action-adventure genre, setting the bar high for everyone else... But most are just middle of the pack.
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Re: Solo: A Star Wars movie

Post by Ares » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:22 pm

The original trilogy is the measuring stick I use to rate other Star Wars films. By that standard, I find Rogue One and Solo to be solid Star Wars films.

The Prequel films are sub-par by those standards, though much like a Marvel Cinematic Universe film, a sub-par MCU film is generally an average-to-above average movie. The only MCU film I think is outright bad is Iron Man 3, and the only MCU film I feel is kind of bellow average for the standards of the rest of the films is The Incredible Hulk. If a film is part of a franchise, I have no problems judging a movie by the standards the franchise sets.

The Prequels have problems with acting, directing and cinematography that the original trilogy didn't have, but the story was solid and worth exploring in other series. The prequels showed us Anakin Skywalker and in a way we wouldn't have gotten otherwise, and allowed for more exploration in books and television that really let us explore the character. Without the prequels, it's unlikely we would have gotten those series, much in the same way we likely wouldn't have gotten the superior Batman: The Animated Series without the Tim Burton Batman films bringing the character back into the public eye. So we got to see Anakin established enough that other hands could do better jobs of fleshing him out.

As for the Ewok films, I think they're fine for what they're meant to be: made-for-tv films designed to appeal to kids. I actually kind of like the first one, as it had a very Lord of the Rings style feel to it. The giant monster the Ewoks fight is even canon within Star Wars and used to explain why the Ewoks are good at rigging traps to take on ATST-sized beings: they're used to fighting creatures of that size, just not ones that have blasters and heavy armor. The second one I'm not so much a fan of, given they kill off the family that they worked so hard to save in the first one, and there's suddenly this medieval society within easy travel distance.

So I would say Star Wars has 4 great movies (the classic trilogy and Rogue One), 1 good movie (Solo), six 'okay' films (the Prequels, the Ewoks films, the Force Awakens) and one bad film (The Last Jedi).

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Re: Solo: A Star Wars movie

Post by Ares » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:30 pm

I also don't feel a franchise can decided as good or bad based by tallying up their number of good and bad films. Otherwise I'd have to consider Star Trek pretty bad to mediocre and the Aliens franchise pretty terrible, given the Aliens series (counting the Prometheus films) has all of 2 good movies to its name. I need to look at it from the perspective of how good the best works are, the impact the franchise has had on the world, and amount of storytelling possibilities left in the setting. By those standards, I would have to say that Star Wars, Star Trek and Aliens are all still great franchises.

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Re: Solo: A Star Wars movie

Post by Batgirl III » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:30 pm

Batman: The Animated Series certainly wouldn’t exist without the successful Tim Burton films; However, it’s existence doesn’t make the Joel Schumacher Batman films good.

A film’s quality must be measured by the content of the film, not the quality of a separate production in a different format.

Alien and Aliens are a great and a good film, respectively. The rest are mediocre to bad. So when asked, that’s what I say. I can’t say “Oh, yeah, Alien vs. Predator was bad, but if you read the Dark Horse Comic series blah-blah-blah it becomes good!” A bad film is a bad film.

Star Trek has had three really good television series (with a few bad episodes each). Most of its other series were mediocre, with the occasional outstanding episode or two. Trek had two great films, a few mediocre ones, and a lot of bad one. So when asked, that’s what I say. I can’t say “Yeah, ‘Threshold’ is a rotten episode of a mediocre series, but didja see Wrath of Khan? That was great and that makes this episode great too!”
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