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Discussion So J.J. Abrams wants Star Wars to feel real.

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' started by PrincessKenobi, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. TigerCraneFist Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 4
    I'm pretty sure Scott knew what worked about Alien. He just didn't want to make another Alien. Had the audience listened to him when he stated this over and over before Prometheus' release then maybe people wouldn't have been dissappointed because it wasn't a new Alien.
    Just saying.

    And neither the PT nor Prometheus objectively failed.
    Darth Raiden and -Jedi Joe- like this.
  2. El Jedi Colombiano Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2013
    star 3
    I'm sorry, did you even read the comment? GL has said before that Han Solo is not a cold blooded killer. It seems to me that you fit perfectly the arrogance I was describing. Congratulations.
    Andy Wylde likes this.
  3. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 4
    So it has come to this, talking about Han shooting first. WOW this news drought is agonizing.
  4. -Jedi Joe- Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 6, 2013
    star 2

    This. I really really enjoyed Prometheus. It was actually my favorite film last year.
  5. Darth PJ Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2013
    star 5
    That comment shows little to no understanding of how film/television works... You think Ridley Scott/Prometheus failed because he made a film not as seminal as Alien and you happen not to like it??? There seems to be a strata of the social networking and forum going public who can only form their opinions based upon the consensus of cretins at Aint It Cool News and such like...
  6. El Jedi Colombiano Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2013
    star 3
    I wouldn't be so sure that the general consensus of the public is that they want a return to the ''vibe'' of the OT. As several of you have said, anecdotes of the people you know and their opinions mean little at the end of the day.

    According to a Gallup poll dating to 1999, only 6% of the audience that watched Phantom Menace regarded it as a ''poor'' film. And yes, Jar Jar was the third most popular character of the poll. And we have to remember that it only takes into account the American audience, and not what the rest of the world thinks.

    So in the end the idea that the public hates the PT is simply a ''myth''. If anything, the filmmakers should do the wise thing and make the ST it's own thing. Sure where going to have the return of Han, Leia, Luke and Chewie, but let's also remember that much of the setting is likely going to take place in Coruscant, with the possible return of the Jedi Temple and the Galactic Senate. It has to weave in into the universe of Star Wars, regardless of what the haters think it should be.

    So if it has an OT ''vibe'' then great, as long as we aren't making fan-service to the wrong people.

    And as JJ said, at the end of the day, whichever film Episode VII feels the most similar to is a ''subjective'' point of view. We barely know anything about the film to cast our call yet.
    Darth Raiden and Darth PJ like this.
  7. Diggs Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 4
    I think Prometheus doesn't work because it has serious flaws in the script and some unlikeable and idiotic characters. Without wanting to get into a massive debate on Prometheus or other films, I think Prometheus, as with something like STID, Ironman 2 or KOTCS are films that have generally accrued a rather negative opinion, which suggests that on the whole, they failed to engage and win over audiences, or again, the debate wouldn't be raging (and I say this as a KOTCS defender). That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with loving any of those films, but to try and claim they weren't divisive with critics and audiences (with the majority in the negative camp) seems to be slightly living in denial.

    For example, and again, this is anecdotal, I'm yet to have a conversation (IRL) about Indy 4 where people think it comes anywhere near the original 3, if they will even admit to liking it.

    The PT, like it or not, are afflicted with a similar general view and I think the reason people harp on about the SE's is that this is where the first really jarring signs of a change in GL's MO become apparent (you could also argue that ROTJ holds the first signs of this with the Ewoks, etc).

    Conversely, TCW was initially derided after the decision to edit three episodes and stick it in theatres, but I think now, general consensus has swung around to the point where the show is highly regarded, and one of the things it's often praised for is how like Star Wars it feels (by which commenters usually mean the OT - sadly there are quite who few people who do feel that the PT does not feel like the SW they grew up with and loved, and that cannot just be put down to nostalgia). That may seem odd, given that it is a 100% animated show, but weirdly I think animated films sometimes hold an advantage in some aspects, as there is no way audiences can ever notice the 'join' like they can in live action, and so, providing the writing, acting and direction is up to snuff, there is nothing to draw us out of the story.

    Colombiano - seriously, you are 100% deluding yourself if you think the PT is as well loved as the OT, by quite some margin. I know I have zero chance of persuading you on this, but it is true.

    Criticism of the PT as crimes against cinema may be massively overstating the case, but the general feeling that the PT is not as well loved as the OT, for whatever reasons, is NOT a myth.
    Last edited by FinleySlade, Sep 26, 2013
  8. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 4
    I liked the movie enough to see it again, but at times I thought it lacked precisely what Abrams points out about what makes movies feel real. Promoetheus is a good example for this IMO.

    The movie presents a situation with a lot of variables. A situation no one was really interested or invested in prior to the movie. No one was like "Oh my god I can't wait for the Alien prequel to explain what the hell this creatures are and where they came from". Alien doesn't really imply a rich backstory to that whole species's existence at all, making Prometheus a complementary film to the series and that's cool.

    Something similar happens with the Sequel Trilogy. Nobody was really expecting it and no one knows what will be presented at all.

    With Prometheus, Scott used a very complex story arch to explain the existence of these creatures, many were baffled, but still, it was very engaging and mysterious. That element of the story was done superbly IMO. But one of the things I've discussed with friends is that it didn't really feel real, because no one really believed the characters. The dialogue was poor as were some of the performances. So you have this whole backstory carefully crafted, with many ridges and beautiful eerie Giger style of visuals, an amazing homage to the Alien universe, or a very well crafted expansion on this universe. . . But your emotional vessels to tell this story are not really there. It kind of feels like a missed opportunity to me.

    Now, getting back to Star Wars. I'm sure Abrams is investing a lot in character development, focusing on them as vessels. Not necessarily a complex story line or a special effects bloated production. With the exception of LOST, this guy is the most archetype oriented filmmaker out there and it has been proven through his body of work that these archetypes are meant to feel real through emotion, which is something that I personally believe Ridley Scott didn't accomplish all that well on Prometheus.
  9. Darth PJ Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2013
    star 5
    But that kind of flies in the face of the scores on the doors. Prometheus, STID and KOTCS all did huge business and... if memory serves me right... they were all circa 75% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes (STID being even higher). Obviously this doesn't mean that the films were objectively 'good' (you know my views on Iron Man and JJ Star Trek), but they were undeniably popular and liked by the majority. If we're saying that there's a perception that these films aren't as good as the originals... then yes, totally agree that there's a consensus there (and I'd agree that there not as good, in the main, as the originals)... but I don't think one can call these films critically divisive, unpopular or disliked... I think any backlash/dislike is largely exaggerated in forums such as these. :)
  10. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 8
    We're really still talking about the "Greedo shoots first" scene? Really?
  11. Diggs Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 4
    Transformers 2 & 3 did huge business. Doesn't mean they are great films or overwhelmingly loved. What it means is that people wanted to see them (and did).

    I agree that the backlash/ dislike is often exaggerated and internet forums again can become an echo chamber.

    But I think for all those films listed, there is a general perception that they are not that great.

    I cannot back that up with evidence though.
  12. Darth PJ Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2013
    star 5

    I don’t think you’re alone in your opinion of Prometheus… and I think some of your comments are entirely valid. However, I’m simply pointing out that, as a movie, it was largely well received by audiences and critics alike. If the criteria for ‘success’ was that it be on a par or better than Alien… then I think that’s a little unreasonable and an unfair gauge. If you think the movie failed you, then of course that’s your prerogative.

    Re. your comment about Abrams. I’m not sure what you mean when you state ‘archetype orientated filmmaker’? For me he seems to be a technically proficient filmmaker that has directed absolutely nothing of note. I find his films soulless… although never offensive. I certainly don’t actively dislike him as a director, but I do think he is responsible for some incredibly uninspiring work. To me he’s kind of the culinary equivalent of Starbucks.
    Last edited by Darth PJ, Sep 26, 2013
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  13. Diggs Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 4
    Really? I'd say Prometheus was generally on a par in the disappointment on the level of Crystal Skull, perception wise.
    Last edited by FinleySlade, Sep 26, 2013
  14. Pfluegermeister Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2003
    star 4
    Oh, so that was all OUR fault, then?

    If he didn't want to make an Alien movie, then he shouldn't have even bothered with the entire plot thread that led to the Deacon (Scott's own term for the proto-Alien at the end of the film). That entire aspect of the plot was needlessly complicated and ended up giving the film a schizophrenic quality it didn't need and I'm sure wasn't intended. The final problem with the film is that it was trying to be two things at once: it was trying to be a self-contained science fiction story in its own right, and at the same time it was trying to be a prequel to Alien. Clearly, for this film, two objectives was one objective too many, because it couldn't do both in two hours.

    Think about what the story was trying to do, and you'll see that it was actually trying to tell three separate stories: the first was the story of the good ship Prometheus and its crew exploring the ruins of an ancient and advanced civilization; the second was the more personal story of a deeply dysfunctional family led by a titan of industry who happens to be a near-madman with unlimited hubris; the third was a collection of mismatched scenes and lines interspersed among the other two stories to give the impression that this is in fact an Alien prequel when it isn't. Perhaps any ONE of those stories would have made for a fantastic and more focused film in its own right, but together they simply clash against each other. And that didn't need to happen.

    The story of Peter Weyland and Meredith Vickers made for a fantastic story in its own right, a story of incredibly powerful characters that would be right at home in an Ayn Rand novel grappling over immortality and what that means. But that wasn't the way they went. The story of the Prometheus and its crew could also have been a great film on its own, a story of characters exploring strange new worlds in a bit more realistic fashion than Gene Roddenberry could have written. But that wasn't the way they went either. They chose to do both stories AND to add a whole bunch of material that could do nothing but lead the audience into concluding that this was an Alien prequel when it wasn't.

    And please, don't give me that crap about the audience listening or not listening to Ridley: the audience doesn't have an obligation to listen; the filmmakers have an obligation to communicate clearly. By that reckoning, the advertising campaign was so vague from the start that the audience should be considered blameless. Statements like "it's not a prequel per se, but it has some of the DNA of the Alien movies" aren't going to definitively clear up any confusion, but they sure can CAUSE some confusion. For that matter, so does using parts of the score for Alien in the trailers and playing up every element in the film that was connected to Alien in the advertising; so too does editing the trailers and commercials to make the film more resemble a non-stop adrenaline-fueled scare-fest. The filmmakers were talking out of both sides of their collective mouth; it was not the responsibility of the audience to know which side of the mouth was more honest. [face_talk_hand]

    If they wanted to be clear about what they were doing, they should have said it outright: "This film is set in the same universe, but it will NOT feature the Aliens in any way, so don't go looking for them." And then they should have stuck to that, and not added in a creature at the end that was, for all intents and purposes, the Alien, doing what the Alien does and acting like the Alien acts. That's being two-faced with your audience. And in the end, the Deacon did NOTHING to help the film in anyway; it didn't make the film more interesting, nor did it generate interest in a sequel on my part, because I know damn well we're not going to follow this not-really-the-Alien in its adventures anyway. I could actually argue that it ruined the ending, because dramatically speaking, it should have ended on a high, with Shaw and David riding off into the sunset in search of Paradise; the addition of that stupid and pointless epilogue only ended the film on a whimper, not a bang.

    The moral of this in terms of the ST is this: communicate clearly to the audience exactly what you're trying to do with your film, commit to those goals, and then stick to that committment when you execute those goals; if you don't, you have only yourself to blame for the resulting reception. With his recent statement, undoubtedly the first of many, Abrams is at least trying to communicate his goals for the overall tone of the film, long before a frame has been shot or a role cast (so far as we know), and despite the fact that we fanboys here are picking it asunder, I'd say his statement on tone is rather clear and unambiguous.
    Last edited by Pfluegermeister, Sep 26, 2013
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  15. El Jedi Colombiano Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2013
    star 3
    Again, more people like Indy 4 than we think. The simple reason why it received positive reception with critics and not with a part of the public tells me that the haters of Indy 4 are the same prequel haters.

    FinleySlade- I NEVER said that the PT was as loved as the OT-don't read something I didn't say and don't take it out of context. I'm simply saying that the IDEA THAT EVERYONE HATES THE PT IS A MYTH.

    CAN I MAKE MYSELF MORE CLEAR?????
    I HAVE PROOF TO SHOW YOU:http://www.gallup.com/poll/3757/Public-Gives-Latest-Star-Wars-Installment-Positive-Rave-Reviews.aspx
    Andy Wylde likes this.
  16. TtheForceHurts Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2010
    star 4
    My main problem with Indy 4 was basically the same as with the PT:
    Unecessary and unrelistic use of CGI (monkeys and ants), bland and wooden acting villain (Blanchet), especially if you compare her to the previous villains:
    Belloq, Toht, Mola Ram, Donovan and General Vogel. Though I would have liked it more if they hadn't gone with the aliens theme, but rather something biblical or mystical it was ok. I even thought the nuked fridge was ok, if you consider the plane rafting and mine cart sequences of old. But Shia swinging with CGI'd monkeys to the rescue was simply too much...
    FinleySlade likes this.
  17. Krueger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2004
    star 4
    I do agree with this. However, you also have to remember that no film makes the kind of money that the Transformers sequels made if everyone who wanted to go and watch them only watched them once. People were clearly going again and again to see them. The same with Indiana Jones 4. It made close to 800 million worldwide. That can only mean that a lot of people watched it more than once (or twice) in the cinema.
    Last edited by Krueger, Sep 26, 2013
  18. Darth PJ Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2013
    star 5
    If we're trying to be objective about it, I think we can only go off box office and critic reviews... anything else would be just anecdotal... and KOTCS and Prometheus do pretty well in the facts and figures. Again, this is not evidence that they were 'good'... but only that they were generally well received. However, would we agree that the notion/feeling of disappointment associated with these films (and to some extent the prequels) is separate to and distinct from wether one actually values the film/s or not? I was disappointed to some extent with Prometheus, but I still enjoyed/appreciated it.
  19. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 8
    No Alien movie will ever be as bad as the two AVP abominations.
  20. Diggs Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 4
    Yeah, like I said, I can't prove this at all, and Krueger's point about multiple viewings is also a fair call.
  21. Grand_Moff_Jawa Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2001
    star 5
    I liked about the first half of it. It started to fall apart when the two guys are left inside the mountain while the storm builds. The dialogue got really cheesy and it went downhill from there for me.
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  22. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 8
    I really really liked Prometheus mainly due to the always great Michael Fassbender, and Noomy Rapace is such a cutie.
    Pro Scoundrel likes this.
  23. TigerCraneFist Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 4
    @Pfluegermeister. You are right, the marketing campaign for Prometheus absolutely promised us a new Alien, this is true. Though I'd say that was probably the studio's marketing department who was to blame, not Ridley Scott. I would also guess (though I have nothing to back this up with) that the proto-Alien (Deacon?) at the end was a studio demand since it really clashes with the rest of the film.
    However, the film is still not trying to be Alien - Scott never tried to remake Alien (and he told us as much), so my original point still stands.

    And I really liked the film, btw. I think it's way better than Alien: Ressurrection, and almost as good as Alien 3 (that I love). It's just different from earlier films in the franchise - and to be honest, no films in that franchise is very similar to each other.

    Anyway, back on topic [face_peace]
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  24. Diggs Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 4
    Dude, calm down, you'll give yourself a hernia.

    One poll from 1999 is not going to swing me, sorry. And I really don't think I took what you said badly out of context at all, just as I never said that everyone hates the PT anyway, I said that the general consensus is that the PT is inferior to the OT.

    Do you disagree with that simple statement?

    BTW, I think you're overstating the positive reception for Indy 4 as well ;)
    Grand_Moff_Jawa likes this.
  25. fishtailsam Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2003
    star 4
    I really want to see a Giligans Island-style TV show that is:
    Show Spoiler
    The girl searching the universe for the alien guys and the android head trying to kill the the girl.

    Every Episode.