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Rank the Star Wars Movies (so far).

Discussion in 'Anything Goes' started by Howie, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. Edward M

    Edward M Well-Known Member

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    It makes the mediocre films stay mediocre, but it makes the great films all the more rewarding. There's something to say when you can watch one movie 4 times and come out with a different interpretation every time. Viewing film as art makes watching a movie an almost transformative experience. A movie can change your interpretation on certain aspects of the world. Studying it is as rewarding as one could imagine. This has been the best year for film in a decade I'd say, and my cinema experiences have been just incredible. Sure, I prefer art films in tiny theaters, but I don't go to a movie to turn my brain off. I go to watch the craftsmanship, work, dedication, and flow of these incredible artists' visions. Every image can be a symbolic representation of characters' struggles or deeper themes. It's a way to stimulate the mind and get sucked into a story and world. But, ya, I didn't like Rogue One so, guess I can't enjoy movies. ;)

    I think I just want more from my moviegoing experience than explosions and hollow characters. I feel like maybe you didn't read the reasons I didn't enjoy it. If you are asking for the little more than the bare minimum of storytelling, it's really not asking too much. It's simply a failure of a script. Sure, it's pretty, but it does not work as a well written story. Seriously, you can enjoy the film all you want, more power to you. I'm just saying why I think it's not a good film.

    Lastly, I don't want to come off like I hate blockbusters. In fact, I enjoy most films I see in the cinema. I thought Thor: Ragnarok was a fantastic time, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is probably my favorite MCU movie. Despite the above comments, I try to find some aspects of enjoyment in every movie I see. I even have a love for really bad movies. I can dislike Rogue One while still enjoying other films. Of course I love the cinema; film is amazing.
     
  2. witchfinder

    witchfinder Well-Known Member

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    Nail on the head there. This was precisely why I was disappointed by Rogue One as well. The characters were mostly either dour or you didn't get to know them enough before they started to be killed off. Whereas in the new trilogy they introduced new characters that had you caring about them almost immediately (in the case of Finn and Rey) or had the opportunity to develop them (in the case of Poe and Kylo). As a result even though it has some significant issues, TLJ is a much more enjoyable film.
     
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  3. balrog

    balrog Well-Known Member

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    No it is not. Even if I don't think this is the case in Rogue One, there are many things that can make a film interesting, but you don't need all of them to make a good one. The Raid has no dialogue, a very basic plot and zero character development, and it is still a damn interesting movie. You can decide to have a narrow view of cinema where storytelling is the important aspect and the other aspects must serve the story, you can also enjoy movies, or find them interesting, for there mastery of a few or even a single aspect of moviemaking. And there is a whole spectrum of appreciations in-between those two extreme positions. Do not try to force others to limit their own enjoyment with some pointless authority argument like "I study film".


    Yeah, I meant Star Wars movie obviously ...


    Not, I'm talking death star emerging from hyperspace over the horizon, the stardestroyer over Jedha, the slow propagation of airborne debris after the destruction of the Holy City. The arrival of Krennic's ship in the opening sequence ...

    I don't need to take anything away from a movie to enjoy it. Then again, it feels like you are dead set on what a movie is supposed to be. I'm not.

    I'm just saying I enjoyed it a lot. Maybe you didn't, but it doesn't make it bad. It just doesn't fit your expectations for a movie, which is fine. I don't feel the need to prove you RO is good, that has to be subjective anyway, and RT says 85% of the critics agree with me, so I don't think I'm a minority on this.

    I'm just saying that this scene does not make the film any bad.

    You did not, nobody did, and we are all glad about this. The prequels address a really interesting part of the SW universe, they try to tell a really interesting story, but obviously do a terrible job at it. I still think RO does a pretty good job though. It certainly could have done better, but I'm still very happy with it.

    I think that's a really good conclusion to this whole argument :)
     
  4. HeartlineCoaster

    HeartlineCoaster Well-Known Member

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    My point with the ruining it for yourself was you going in with the mindset of 'I know what is going to happen, so I don't care'. If you're all about viewing things for their objective quality, I don't think you should be shutting yourself off from characters and scenes just because of some pre-conceived ideas based on a separate film.
    They didn't have to all die in the film, there's no reason they couldn't have done their bit in this act and then not played any further part in the Skywalker saga.

    I read all your reasons, I just recognise that I'm not going to get anywhere trying to argue most of those points. You watch and appreciate films in different ways, so we're not going to match opinions here.
     
  5. Edward M

    Edward M Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm glad this argument didn't develop into childish namecalling or anything like that. You both have good reason to enjoy the movie, and I'm not trying to take that away. It's just a film that didn't work for me. I really did want to like it though cause I'm a huge Star Wars fan. In fact, I really hope every movie I see will be good. I did pay $10 after all! I can't argue that, effects wise, it's brilliant, and, if that's what you're looking for, then it's an amazing film for that. Oh, ya, and I love The Raid! However, it's worth noting just how brilliantly shot and choreographed that film is. I try to find aspects of every movie that are worth appreciating, and I can't deny Rogue One has some fantastic aspects. Nonetheless, any argument towards the film's quality I started I'm going to end cause, well, we all watch and appreciate movies differently! And, as long as you have a good time at the cinema, that's all that matters :)
     
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  6. ThomVD

    ThomVD Well-Known Member

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    Do you remember any of the characters in say Dunkirk? I don't think a film needs memorable characters to be good.

    Also, I don't think suspense about an ending is a necessity. Yes, we roughly knew how Rogue One would end, but why would that be such a big problem? Isn't a film about the journey at least as much as the destination? I know every classic Hollywood film will have a happy ending, so there isn't much suspense to them either. Does that make them poor films? Again, we also knew how Dunkirk would end.

    You can't say Rogue One is an objectively bad film just because it does some things differently to what you appreciate as a film fan. I personally preferred it over The Force Awakens because I loved the journey itself, even if I knew how it would end. The second half of the film was very impressive in IMAX.
     
  7. Edward M

    Edward M Well-Known Member

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    Ugh, I've said my spiel already. I can enjoy Thor: Ragnarok and know that Thor won't die. That's cause I could enjoy the unique tone, visuals, and humor. Dunkirk's focus was not on characters, but it did have characters. I do in fact remember them as well as their arcs. Still, Dunkirk had an interesting plot and was shot and choreographed very well. Nolan had a vision, and it seemed to have shown through the film. Rogue One had no interesting characters or plot really, so it had to rely on special effects. You can enjoy Rogue One and its special effects, and I'm not trying to say it's an objectively bad film because there's no such thing as an objectively bad film. Someone will enjoy one film you hate and vise versa. Still, I can point out why I find it pretty awful. Everyone's got their own opinion; that is mine. In fact, I'm well aware I'm in the minority on not enjoying it. It's critically enjoyed, and fans seem to really like it. I just didn't.
     
  8. ThomVD

    ThomVD Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, sorry. I was on page 8 when I typed that and didn't realise there was a page 9 :p But I couldn't be bothered to delete the post.
     
  9. furie

    furie SBOPD Staff Member Administrator Moderator CF Award Winner 2016

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    I know that there's been a good arc of discussion about this, but I will get in to some of the errors with the opening argument :p

    Nope. That was ruined the moment fiairly early in the film at what should have been a watershed moment.
    Leia should have died needlessly and wastefully. THAT would have been a shock. Or how about Finn (who was pretty useless) buying the farm in the big gun saving everyone? It would have raised the stakes. Nothing else was a shock? It was clear the build up was to centre Rey and Kylo as the big thing, and SNoke was an after thought. It was clear Luke wasn't really there. It was just the world's slowest car chase
    After that point, I never felt any major character was in danger.

    I think the reason there was a passionate kick back to this is because it's so flawed. Yes, that's kind of the fault of Disney making a film that was essentially the first half of ANH, but to criticise part one because you saw part two first isn't really a fair argument ;)

    We know they get the plans, but we don't know how and we really don't know about why characters aren't in the sequel (30 years after the fact being ignored :p ). There's a lot of the fleet and rebellion that make it out of the battle at the end of Rogue One we don't see in ANH. ANH is the rebellion divided and defeated. We now see why it's such a desperate bid for what was a fledgling group with their first major battle just a month before. It adds to ANH by filling things in. Which brings me to...

    In ANH, we have no context for Vader. If you think back to the first few times you watched ANH (though I watched it several times before ESB was released, so may have a different take). Vader looks to be "the main villain". Yet Tarkin seems to be in charge. As the films go on, it becomes clear that Vader is a "special cog" in the Imperial war machine, but he's still just another military unit. Okay, he's the Emperor's bloodhound and troubleshooter, but in ANH, he feels different.

    RO gives us that better introduction to Vader. He's not the top of the tree, he's something else. We get context for ANH by his introduction. We never understand in the original trilogy why he's so feared by both rebels and imperials alike. We see that in RO.

    Now, this ties in to the Vader that has always been in the expanded and extended universe. He's ANAKIN SKYWALKER!!! Did you not see the prequels? :p

    Now, I do think that a film shouldn't make you rely on knowing the extended texts/TV shows that surround it to prop the film up. So I agree that RO does seem a bit abrasive with Vader here, but it IS justified with his introduction and showing his true power.

    Speaking of extended universes...

    It's very much like the books and TV series of the extended universe. It's certainly a film that benefits from being submerged in that universe. Though I doubt that's why it gets so much love. I agree that the characters are poor and it's a very flawed film, but the journey is basically a fairly decent adventure from set piece to set piece. It does the job of filling in the back story of ANH well, much as a bit of the extended universe should.

    Which then rolls back round to my issue of TLJ. It also feels like part of the extended universe and not a major Star Wars film. I've seen similar plots and character building in Rebels. That's great for a short, fun, Saturday morning kid's TV show, but for a major bit of Star Wars filming? It's just not good enough. I'll go into more detail when I get a chance ;)
     
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  10. Edward M

    Edward M Well-Known Member

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    I agree! Still, I did feel that
    there were stakes since there was far more death, especially unexpected death, than I was expecting. I don't think that The Last Jedi is a great movie, but I felt invested at least. I do really agree that Leia should have died then, and I think Finn's arc was a bit forced. Nonetheless, I enjoyed myself in the theater, and that's more than I can say for Rogue One."

    I disagree. A film that has no point to exist has no point to exist. It's a 2 hour series of images meant to fix a plot hole no one really minded that much. My criticisms still stand. Most people going into Rogue One have likely seen or at least know about A New Hope. I would have been fine with the film if I cared about the characters, but I didn't. I understand your point of view, but I still think my initial argument is valid here.

    Hmm, I can see the flaw in my argument. It's well worded and duly noted. Your investment in the rebellion likely made the film more enjoyable, but I just didn't really care. Mainly because, again, I know the rebellion wins in the end. I don't care about anyone on that planet, and I know they get the plans. Therefore, I have no investment in what is happening. It's worth noting that I saw the film with people who've actually never seen any Star Wars film, so they didn't particularly know the conclusion. Still, they didn't like the movie and found it uninteresting. It's not just me on this. I really got nothing out of the film, but I can see how others did.

    Ehhh, I'm not really with you here. Sure, it's a decent introduction, but you must admit it felt out of placed and forced. Darth Vader could have not been in the film, and it would have been the exact same. He had no bearing on the plot or other characters. Yet again, I'm glad you could enjoy that and see aspects of it that I didn't. However, I just want more from the films I'm watching. Perhaps that is a fault of my own, but I didn't like it.

    I'll rephrase a few things here. Rogue One was terrible in my opinion. The film had some amazing aspects I cannot deny, like the amazing action scenes and CGI. It should not tamper the enjoyment of the film for anyone else. I'm glad you could enjoy something I didn't. In fact, I sometimes wish I could enjoy flawed movies more! I just really need characters I care about to anchor a film. I think that's why The Last Jedi worked for me while Rogue One didn't. I knew the conclusion and was just waiting for the film to be over. I just think the whole thing is a bit pointless.[/SPOILER]
     
  11. davidm

    davidm Well-Known Member

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    Well, I wanted TLJ to be over about 25 minutes before it was!
    If they had cut out most of Finn's story (scratch that - all of it) then the overall "saga" story would be no different. Seems to be that they introduced 2 nice young marketable characters in the first (new) movie, then had no idea what to do with one of them come the second movie...?
    I don't buy the "but Finn & co were igniting the rebel spark" shtick at all, when earlier in the movie someone was saying "everyone recognises the symbol" and frankly the whole universe was celebrating just 30 years earlier.
    Not that I didn't enjoy the movie overall, just was too long and had too much in it that just didn't matter ; you know like the fluff that padded out the prequels (and to an extent all of RougeOne, but you knew what that was going to be before you saw it so that was OK.)
     
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  12. balrog

    balrog Well-Known Member

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    Finn's is for sure the weaker storyline in the movie, but it carries a bit more meaning than just the spark thingy :
    It serve as a lesson that sometime, you just fail. Not because it's a trap, but because your plan was just not so great. It is the first time it happens in a SW movie, and it is a serious wake up call for Poe. Failure is the greatest teacher, says Yoda, and Poe was groomed by Leïa to become the leader of the resistance. By the end of the movie, his learning is complete and he can finally assume leadership ("don't follow me, follow him"). Without Finn's story, Poe's ark becomes very weak.
    Plus, it expands the universe. The main criticism TFA being its overreliance on familiar SW stuff, some universe expanding was necessary in TLJ.
     
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  13. furie

    furie SBOPD Staff Member Administrator Moderator CF Award Winner 2016

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    Edward - Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to convince anyone RO is good :) I don't think it's a particularly great film at all and certainly understand why you don't think it's good. Just trying to explain a little about where I think you're off-track, but it's just arguing for the sake of it. I can totally understand you're view that it's pointless.

    To me, that's kind of the point though LOL

    It's absolutely fan service. It's the story of how the rebels get the plans. The story of the fledgling rebellion's first major attack. A "what kind of thing was going on in the Empire between the two trilogies?" filler. It was all pointless, but all padding and it needed Vader to give that padding. None of it was needed, it was all "look, this is interesting backstory".
    It's all part of the extended universe and it's really meant to appeal to people who want to know those things. That makes for it to be a hit with a very specific audience, but there are a LOT of Star Wars fans out there for it to appeal to. It isn't a Star Wars film in that it doesn't carry the characters... Which is what I was going to get on to with TLJ.

    We all know that Star Wars wrote the script on how to make a Hollywood blockbuster. By design or accident (or theft :) ) - Lucas produced the perfect script, with the perfect story arc,the perfect flow and the perfect characters. It's well documented that for years, Hollywood blockbuster writers were meant to follow the Star Wars way to produce a summer hit. It became the template for an action film and a perfect example of the hero's journey.

    However, there's something much subtler and simpler going on than the "lost, special child - finds mentor - find quest - uses untrustworthy rogue to complete quest - mentor dies to allow the child to become the hero - rogue turns traitor - hero fights final overwhelming odds with the help of newly conscienced rogue. Phew.

    ANH and ESB are both very simple. They're the story of two characters in orbit with each other. They both thrust from different parts of the plot until they collide together. They do this through just a small handful of set pieces.

    ANH is the story of R2-D2 and Vader. It's told through both their eyes. They are the two narrators of the film. The film is basically R2's quest to get to the Death Star in Luke's X-Wing. Vader's story is to destroy the hope in the title by using the force (or the Death Star).

    The scenes rotate around them. Tantive IV assault. Tattoine. Mos Eisly. Death Star rescue (and death of Obi-Wan). Death Star assault. Yes, there's more detail, but they're your major pieces. What do you remember about ANH? The opening attack. Jawas. Cantina. Trash Compactor. Obi-Wan dying (sorry, spoiler :p ) and then the Death Star run. There's nothing to it, and it's all told through the eyes of either R2 or Vader (well, maybe not so much the Cantina, but he's there :) ).

    ESB is similar. It's the orbits of Luke and Vader this time. Assault on Hoth. Asteroid chase. Dagobah. Bespin. Duel.

    In both, it's really about two characters and 5 scenes. Both are quintessential Star Wars.

    When you start to mess with that formula, it goes to pot a little bit. What is ROTJ? Which characters orbit each other? Luke and Vader again maybe, but Endor is a big set piece. They're not involved in the battle of Endor either. It gets less clear cut, more complex (yet ROTJ is essentially Jabba, Ewoks, then the messy Endor/battle/throne room) and loses the magic.

    Let's not even start with the prequels.

    This is why (despite being a safe repeat of ANH), TFA is so successful. It's back to simple. It's the tale of Rey and Ren orbiting their stories until they clash. Simple set pieces you can replay in your mind. That's why it feels like a Star Wars film (and also because it is a carbon copy - but they still could have screwed that up - look at Krull, Battle Beyond the Stars and a dozen other failed Star Wars wannabes).

    And it's why TLJ doesn't feel like a Star Wars film. The set pieces as seemingly disconnected with characters all over the place appearing and disappearing. There's no subtle focus or revolving around set characters. Like Vader in RO, anyone who isn't connected directly to Rey or Ren in a "set piece" is superfluous. The film should be about them.

    It does a much better job than RO at capturing a Star Wars feel, but it just falls too short of it to feel like a true Star Wars film. I love watching the stories unfold. I love being submerged in the universe and having the tales told to me. I don't care if I like it or not. I don't speculate because I want to spoon fed the plots and tales. So I don't mind what happens in the films and how the characters act or react. What I really want though is the flow. I want to be carried along in a simple two seater canoe and experience the thrill of the white water plot. TLJ puts you in a pleasure barge on a canal, with canapés, aperitifs and the lots of opportunity for a toilet break. It's all very pleasant, but the key to Star Wars is that less is more.

    I do need to see it again, and on the big screen again (I've seen every film (bar two) at least twice on the big screen). However, like Episodes II and III, I just don't feel the compulsion. The silly bits stick in my mind more than the good bits. The dull bits fade into the background and make me think that the film was just five minutes of things to laugh at and nothing much else. And deus ex BB8... All the bloody deus ex BB8.

    Might go and see it again because evil BB8 was really fab. The Luigi death stare makes its way into Star Wars... Yeah, maybe for that ;)

    I'm excited for the next part though. I don't think the story was generally bad and I'm excited to see where it goes next and what happens next. It's back in the hands of a good director, so I think it will be a massive highlight to end the new trilogy.
     
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  14. Edward M

    Edward M Well-Known Member

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    Well @furie if it makes you feel any better, I think we agree on everything in Star Wars before Rogue One. I really love the passion you put behind your arguments, and your posts here are a joy to read. I really hope this is the conclusion of this Rogue One thing cause, man, I was really not expecting this much discussion on it.
     
  15. ThomVD

    ThomVD Well-Known Member

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    The Empire Strikes Back
    Return of the Jedi
    A New Hope
    Revenge of the Sith
    Rogue One
    The Last Jedi
    The Force Awakens
    Phantom Menace
    Attack of the Clones
     
  16. DelPiero

    DelPiero Well-Known Member

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    I've seen it twice now and wholeheartedly agree that the Finn arc was waaaaaaaay too long. All they had to do was cut the massively crap casino scenes and replace with meeting the codebreaker elsewhere within a few minutes and continue from there. That's the 15/20 minutes saved, cuts down on the boring crappy bits and leaves all the good stuff. Porgs pissed me off on 2nd viewing too and some of the dialogue was a bit naff. Not enough Phasma for me either.
    Gutted that Akhbar went out like that, he deserved a better death imo, the Leia spacewalk ruined it.
    On the plus side, the opening scene with the Dreadnought was fab(apart from the cringy on hold conversation), the cruiser warp was aaaaaaaaaawesome and the visuals in the final battle were brilliant. Best scene was definitely the Red Guards though, spine tingling.

    Empire
    New Hope
    Rogue One
    Force Awakens
    Last Jedi
    Return Of The Jedi
    Sith
    Clones
    Menace
     
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  17. balrog

    balrog Well-Known Member

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    Man, half of your message (outside the spoiler part) actually contains plot details.

    I agree the porgs become annoying with repeat viewings though.

    Top 8 attempt :

    Empire's Still in Business
    The Star Wars
    The Last Jedi
    The Force Awakens
    Revenge of the Jedi
    Return of the Sith
    The Phantom menace
    Attack of the sand

    I'm not ranking Rouge Un, love this movie but it is definitely not an "episode". RotJedi's place might change when I finish my grand annual rewatching session.
     
  18. furie

    furie SBOPD Staff Member Administrator Moderator CF Award Winner 2016

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    Not really any major plot spoilers though, I think it's okay. It's not like he went on about how Snoke cuts off Rey's arm, or the bit where Finn defects back to the First Order - so it's cool ;)
     
  19. DelPiero

    DelPiero Well-Known Member

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    I was careful around what I wrote, plot details without going into detail if you will. Who in their right mind is coming into this thread without seeing it anyway :D

    It's funny how the first viewing I was relatively Ok with them and they really wound me up on the 2nd viewing, it was the sounds that did it I think.
     
  20. jj23w

    jj23w Well-Known Member

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    What does everyone think of the Solo trailer?
    I think it's different but I'm just not hyped for the film.
     

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