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Discussion The Reception of The Last Jedi vs The Empire Strikes Back

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Sequel Trilogy (Released Films)' started by jaqen, Dec 26, 2017.

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  1. Bowen

    Bowen Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 1999
    I do agree with this. As a Star Wars fan, I'm pretty blinded by the fact that if it says STAR WARS, I will be there dozens of times, because Star Wars is amazing every time out. That's the hook, for me, they're the greatest movies ever, of course I'll show up. But honestly TLJ felt a lot like the end of a trilogy, with room open for another whole trilogy afterwards, sure, there's a lot more that can happen. But it didn't feel like a "hook" so much for what comes next. I actually was hoping and am hoping that JJ skips ahead at least 5 years but preferably up to 10 years, enough time for the Resistance to rebuild and recruit a few more Jedi or something epic for IX. I think it would be extremely lame if the movie took place 5 minutes later. That worked great for TLJ, but a sense of time also creates a sense of epic scale that I've always liked about Star Wars. I like that it takes place over long stretches of galactic time.

    I'm not THAT curious what happens "next" for IX, as far as right after, I'm actually way more curious what happens down the road. I also think that's an incredibly great way to handle Carrie Fisher's death, frankly. If you set it 10 years in the future, with an older, wiser Rey leading some new Force-users, Broom Boy is now 18 or something right? I am bad at telling how old kids are, but he's probably old enough to be a young adult. Then you have all of this time for the Resistance to rebuild its fleet and recruit new member systems, and the First Order has time to rebuild more impressively as well. Kylo gains complete control, etc. It could just be said that Leia retired from the fight, or that she passed away peacefully or whatever else, having given her last breaths to the Resistance. There are ways it could be handled where it's not like, "Oh Leia died of a heart attack suddenly aboard the Falcon. Whoops." There needs to be the largest time jump in the saga's history besides TPM to AOTC, for TLJ to IX, in my opinion. As a writer, that's how I write it. What JJ does, that's up to him, and I'm sure he'll pull off something I will love regardless of where he goes, but to me that's the clear choice.

    A trailer full of action sequences, new Jedi recruits, and epic battles, hinting at a final confrontation between Kylo and Rey, that's something that puts butts in seats and pleases the crowd.
     
  2. Instant Force Talk

    Instant Force Talk Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Dec 23, 2017
    I didn't see my first Star Wars film on the big screen until Return of the Jedi. Before this, I was both young and more focused on the action figures. Plus I also remember the annual watching of the first two films on TV. There is no thought on how I felt about the first two films back then, just that I liked putting my "ESB" Han Solo figure in a glass of water and freezing him -- Just like he was in carbonite. Along with a few bits and pieces on what I did own, and what I was introduced to. Just not how the films made me feel.

    But these days? I had to prepare for the rehashing of the same hate these "fans" give each film. Because after seeing The Force Awakens three times in Osaka, meeting Japanese fans that loved it, and all that jazz... I was denounced as a fan on Facebook. By those who skipped the rehashed "rehashing" claims and decided to act like anybody who enjoyed that film are idiots. Which is equally annoying as that (now whiny) Facebook troll who still uses a "Star Wars: Droids" Boba Fett avatar for his account.

    Even then... I wonder how those who trash this trilogy would feel if the hate for both The Empire Strikes and Return of the Jedi was revived. I wonder indeed. [face_thinking]
     
  3. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    I was 17 back in December 1980. Our fan club's president had watched the film in May in the UK and returned with mostly superficial first impressions he shared with us (without spoiling) like new vehicles and the like and provoked our appetites. Mark Hamill attended the German premiere in Berlin together with the German dubbing voice of Darth Vader, Heinz Petruo.

    As for myself and many others we were simply blown away. One has to bear in mind that in parts of Europe the time after Star Wars (A New Hope) had somewhat been filled with TV episodes of Battlestar Galactica edited into two feature films (released October 1978 and August 1979).

    Not only did The Empire Strikes Back surpass these movie experiences, but it brought our characters from Star Wars to an adult or mature level many of us hadn't expected. The lavish production design helped to suspend disbelief, again it felt we were not just watching a film but actually immersed in that galaxy, far, far away as if actually being there. On subsequent viewings the whole film watching experience had a profound 'spiritual' impact on myself, something I'd never experience again with the later films (I watched a bootleg recording of ROJ in the Summer of 1983 but unlike my friends I wasn't really that excited).

    The Empire Strikes Back: "Wow! Am I really seeing what I see?" ^:)^

    The Last Jedi: "Meh! Am I really seeing what I see?" :oops:
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  4. Dukeleto69

    Dukeleto69 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Just regarding this quote from RJ... I simply do not believe that. No I have no evidence! It simply doesn't make any sense that LFL, KK and JJ do not know roughly where they want to get to. At the very least Disney will want to know their $4bn+ investment is in safe hands. Heck the shareholders would demand it (well I would). I accept there may not be a fleshed out story treatment that RJ then had to base a script on but I cannot accept there isn't some kind of framework in place that says what the end game is and what some of the key character and plot points will need to be. Not doing that is sheer madness.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
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  5. Lt. Hija

    Lt. Hija Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 8, 2015
    I agree and we've seen where this leads too, but IIRC ahead of TFA Kathleen Kennedy did say something along the lines that they did make it up as they went. I'm sure someone can provide the actual quote.
     
  6. Dukeleto69

    Dukeleto69 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 27, 2017
    If they genuinely are making it up as they go along and passing the baton between directors without working within a framework then that is utter madness if you are deliberately setting out to make a TRILOGY of films (ie three parts of the same story)
     
  7. Scott109

    Scott109 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 22, 2016
    The Empire Strikes Back was a much darker film than The Last Jedi. The tone of The Empire Strikes Back was ominous, whereas the tone of The Last Jedi was hopeful. The Last Jedi also never subverted my expectations. I expected I would never receive satisfying answers as to who Snoke was or who Rey's parents were, and both of my expectations came true.
     
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  8. starwarsfan54

    starwarsfan54 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    May 29, 2017
    TLJ and ESB are very different movies.

    I think it would be fair to call TLJ a parody of Star Wars while ESB was a deconstruction of Star Wars.

    Add some comedic sound effects or a laugh track and TLJ could easily pass for a comedy.
     
  9. Satipo

    Satipo Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 29, 2014
    That's what George did on both previous trilogies. It's not madness. You can take either approach and either approach can work or fail. There has been more development overlap on this trilogy than either of the previous trilogies.
     
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  10. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    TLJ is a mixture of :

    Separating and challenging and testing the characters to learn more about them like TESB. Including some aspects remiscent of but played differently than Dagobah and some aspects remiscent of Lando and cloud city with DJ and Canto Bight.

    But it has more of a family friendly tone of ROTJ and its own take on the Vader and Luke “will they or won’t they?” throne room.

    It swaps out the combat Ewok hijinx more for Avatar’s spirituality in the form of alien animals like Porgs and Falthiers and Vulptexes and wisely leaves the zaniness of the Ewoks to a single BB8 moment and a couple light moments with Finn.

    Luke gets his own arc in the middle to overcome remiscent of Bruce Wayne’s in the Dark Knight Rises in some ways structurally but played a little more dramatically like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino.

    It delivers 8 big surprises (Rey really is a peasant girl, Snoke dies a full film earlier than the baddie trope usually is, Holdo’s sacrifice, Rey and Ben having feelings for each other and fighting alongside each other and being unwilling to kill each other so far, Yoda’s return, Luke’s Force feat, and eventually becoming one with the Force)

    It swaps out some (but not all) 1980s humor and dialogue for the evolutions in humor and style that could have occurred over 30 years there as it has here on Earth).

    It brings LOTR emotion and quality ensemble acting to the film.

    It has more bridge, chain of command, and supply logistics stuff than what we’ve typically seen in a Star Wars that’s normally seen more in multi-season SciFi serials.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
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  11. All_Powerful_Jedi

    All_Powerful_Jedi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 12, 2003
    The only big surprise was offing Snoke early. We already had an idea of who Rey’s parents were in TFA (not an answer, but a strong implication that they were the types of people to sell her into slavery and “were never coming back.”)

    TLJ didn’t really need surprises anyway in the way that ESB had. It just needed to challenge the characters as they had never been challenged before. RJ certainly made the effort to do that, although I’m not sure it landed for a lot of people.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
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  12. The Legions of Lettow

    The Legions of Lettow Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Yeah, GL took over for RM in ROTJ and director and had Ewoks.
     
  13. TheYodaPagoda

    TheYodaPagoda Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 23, 2002
    Movies in 1980 were a whole lot different than movies today...after all, to watch Star Wars or Empire required a visit to your local theatre. I suppose the good thing was these movies were so popular they'd be shown multiple times a year! I remember how much bigger the Star Wars universe became after Empire, and the vast quantity of figures we had to choose from spawned many imagined adventures. What will our heroes encounter while searching for Han? Is Luke really the son of Darth Vader?

    I can safely say that if I saw The Last Jedi in 1980, I'd be imagining what the Rebels (they're the Rebellion again) would be doing after the events of the movie.
     
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  14. jaqen

    jaqen Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 22, 2004
    I'm not sure you're using the proper definition of "parody".

    But that's interesting insight regarding Empire deconstructing Star Wars. Care to elaborate on that?

    I don't know about that. Tons of people seemed shocked about:

    Rey not being a Skywalker/Relevant Lineage
    Luke perishing
    Holdo's sacrifice
    Leia overtly using the Force
    Reylo

    Let's remember that the vast, overwhelming majority of audience members aren't sitting around thinking and over thinking the answers to these questions. So TLJ held a lot of surprising moments for many people.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  15. Nate787

    Nate787 Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2016

    A mod pointed this out before - The CW series actually shows untrained toddlers using the force. So what you're saying is correct.

     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  16. Satipo

    Satipo Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 29, 2014
    I agree that the whole "month on dagobah" thing was after the fact. I never got the impression as a kid that ESB spanned anything more than a couple of days.
     
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  17. jaqen

    jaqen Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 22, 2004
    That's the impression that I got from every episode.

    But that time can be most easily stretched in TESB. With TLJ having the least breathing room of them all.
     
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  18. Satipo

    Satipo Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Yes, coming right on the heels of TFA and then specifying the hours until the fuel runs out does compact things.
     
  19. DarthHass

    DarthHass Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 20, 2004
    The Benny hill theme song during the battles at d'qar and Crait? Last I saw it applied to a movie was alien covenant....

    As for esb being darker? I dunno -- last Jedi was dark also and both ended hopeful right?
     
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  20. Shadao

    Shadao Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 31, 2017
    I would say that The Empire Strikes Back is darker because our main character is brutally maimed by the villain and received the worst news of his life. And we follow him all the way until he reaches the Millennium Falcon, which is the only way of escaping the villain's grasp, with the knowledge that even the slightest mistake could spell doom for our hero. He was lucky to make it out alive and while there is a ray of hope at end, it is uncertain if our heroes can confront the enemy again.

    The Last Jedi ends with a more overt hopeful message despite having an even bleaker situation for our heroes. As a result, many people do not feel that The Last Jedi is as dark as say TESB or ROTS. In fact, many critics would highlight the humor in TLJ as much as darker elements, which makes TLJ less of a darker movie and more of a weird one, which is what many have described RJ's script to be. And one that RJ prides himself considering he's all for subverting expectations.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  21. MrElculver2424

    MrElculver2424 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2014
    TESB was darker because every dark or intense moment in TLJ was followed by a comedic joke.
     
  22. Ender_and_Bean

    Ender_and_Bean Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2002
    I don’t know about that. While Johnson did deliver some of the best situational comic relief in the history of the saga he certainly restrained humor from the most dramatic moments. I won’t address each such moment but here are a few obvious ones.

    No Joke immediatetly after Luke is explaining why he’s so frustrated at the Jedi ways for how they’ve impacted his family.

    No Joke inmediately after Rey’s sad Dark Side moment and reveal that she came here looking for answers and wasn’t getting any and Ben telling her she’s not alone.

    No Joke immediately following Rey’s Dark Side slide confrontation where she raises her saber in anger and ignores Luke and sets out to follow her vision with Ben Solo.

    No Joke immediately following Rey and Ben rising to their feet after Snoke’s death.

    No joke immediatedly following Holdo’s sacrifice.

    No Joke immediately folllowing Luke’s sacrifice.

    I could go on but I won’t. The humor was largely situational and Johnson wisely dialed it back in the moments where the film went darker or more emotional.
     
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  23. KembaSkywalker

    KembaSkywalker Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 16, 2016
    I don't agree with that at all. And while there was definitely a decent amount of humor in TLJ, and more modern humor at that, there seems to be some notion that there is a quick crack after every scene with emotional weight. That's just not true at all, and I'd invite you to maybe watch the movie more carefully when it comes out on blu-ray. I watched it 2 days ago with this in mind and it had never rang so false to me.

    The following is my opinion, but I thought I'd jot it down anyways. I think most, if not, all of the humor is absolutely warranted in TLJ. These movies, after all, are meant to be fun films for children. There are a lot of heavy moments in TLJ - moments that aren't particularly 'fun' for children. So I appreciate the humor in the film to help give it some life when it starts to feel like an adult drama rather than a space fantasy for children. If others don't like it - that's totally fine - but humor has never been something Star Wars films have shied away from. I wouldn't expect them to start with this particular film.
     
  24. MrElculver2424

    MrElculver2424 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2014
    I'm not against humor; I just think TLJ injected it at all the wrong times. I've watched the movie over 10 times now, and yes, in quite a few scenes that start to built in emotional intensity and darkness, suddenly they're stopped dead so there can be a corny joke. It just threw the tone totally off for me and left me feeling confused about how I was supposed to feel about the scene. It's not the best strategy, in my opinion, to throw so many different tones at your audience at once.
     
  25. KembaSkywalker

    KembaSkywalker Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 16, 2016
    Which scenes, in particular, bother you so much in that regard? I'm not asking you to put you on the spot or anything. I'm genuinely curious because, as I said earlier, I just watched the film again and it really cemented, to me, that this was a non-issue.

    The one I can thing of right off the bat would be Luke tossing the saber. I happen to love that, but I understand a ton of folks don't so we don't need to delve into a long discussion about it - different strokes for different folks.
     
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