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Discussion What would your reaction be to the next SW film if it's very formulaic but very well-made?

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII and Beyond (Archive)' started by Darth Nerdling, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. Darth Nerdling

    Darth Nerdling Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 20, 2013
    This question might sound a little self-contradictory. When I say well-made, I mean that the acting is strong, the production values are impressive, the action scenes are well-choreographed, the dialogue is believable, etc. And what I mean by formulaic is that it's just the same stuff we've seen before -- a nasty baddie threatens to destroy or take over a planet or planets and the good guys beat them in the end -- and there's nothing more than that. Sort of a plot in which you could stick the characters from Star Trek or the Avengers or Harry Potter, and the film would still work just as fine.

    For instance, the original Saga has some of those formulaic elements, but it also gave us a lot of unique things, especially for its time -- the first 20 minutes following a stuffy robot arguing with a chirping trashcan on wheels, a sort of Eastern religion combined with super powers (the Force), a teenager whose uncle doesn't want him to leave the moisture farm, a hermit with magical powers, the greatest master of the Force a 2-foot tall creature who speaks with the wrong word order, the villain being revealed as the hero's father, the other main villain running both sides of a war to gain power and tempting the guy prophesized to kill him to be his ally, etc., etc.

    And to give you an idea of where I'm coming from when I say a well-made formulaic film. I'd say both the 2002 Spider-Man film and the new Star Trek were pretty well made but also pretty formulaic. (Star Trek is really almost a remake of SW without any of those original elements mentioned above).

    So what would your reaction be if the new film is a good Hollywood film and nothing more? Would you be disappointed if it didn't have any those original elements that make SW unique? What would you prefer -- a new installment that is okay but original and feels like Star Wars OR a new installment that is entertaining but also feels more like a generic by-the-numbers studio film?
  2. Darth_Zidious

    Darth_Zidious Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 3, 2001
    I want Episodes VII, VIII and IX to match the previous episodes. I don't want something radically different.

    The standalone movies and the movies after IX can be anything they want to be. But I want Lucas-type movies for VII, VIII and IX.
  3. Circular Logic

    Circular Logic SWTV Interview Host star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Mar 3, 2013
    I imagine that the upcoming film will be very formulaic, both in good ways and bad ways. You can probably expect Abrams and Arndt to stay faithful to the spirit of the original trilogy, and bring back elements of those films to appeal to the nostalgia of the fans. The plot will probably be quite predictable when stripped to its bare bones, though I imagine you'll get classical Star Wars twists thrown in, naturally. What I am concerned about is that the story will be very cookie-cutter and set to appeal to every denominator, which can hurt the overall quality. It's a fine balance, and while I think Abrams is a good enough director to pull it off, I and many fans here are rightfully concerned that he might not be able to do it. I've already stumbled across spoilers for the whole film of Star Trek: Into Darkness, and I fear that Abrams will play it mostly safe without giving us something that will really blow us away as fans. If nothing else, though, the films will most likely be emotionally riveting.

    So I will say I prefer a new installment with originality that retains the classical SW themes and sense of scale rather than an entertaining, but generic Hollywood flick.

    Best case scenario, we get a great film worthy of the saga preceding it, and perhaps superior in many ways to the PT films and even the originals, appealing to fans of every generation with classical SW overtones. Worst case, it'll probably be a generic summer blockbuster-type film. Either way, Disney will turn out a profit if only because of the franchise name and overall popularity. However, reception to this first film, Episode VII, is key. It will set the precedent for what we can expect for the rest of the trilogy. I, for one, am looking forward to what Disney and LFL have in store.
  4. Vthuil

    Vthuil Force Ghost star 5

    Jan 3, 2013
    First, Abrams is the director. He plays an important part, but in this case, I don't think responsibility for the fate of the film lies primarily with him.

    Second, I don't think you can say you're "rightfully" concerned until after actually seeing the film.
  5. yodasbum

    yodasbum Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 4, 2004
    I think that's why Jedi suffers a little bit. The second Death Star was the laziest plot device and took away the thrill for me. I think that'll have an impact if VII is made to good production values but is formulaic however it won't resonate.

    I'd love to see the main battle happen in the middle act of the film that then devolves into a personal lightsaber fight in the final act. I can see issues with having the Sith but bigger issues in not having them. I certainly don't want see many simultaneous battles happening as I think that Star Wars has done that to death through Jedi, Phantom and Sith.

    Star Wars is the most formulaic of all series. The opening crawl, music, liner story telling, virtually no slow mo and crazy transitions. I think many people would be unhappy if it deviated. But it must stretch the material so it is not a well made remake. Most of all I think that it is the theme that elevate it to another level. It must have some substance.
  6. Corvax855

    Corvax855 Jedi Knight star 3

    Jan 23, 2011
    I would prefer "a new installment that is okay but original and feels like Star Wars". The film's first 20 or so minutes will play an important role in this regard. I hope it allows us to just sort of take everything in (kind of like the first parts of ANH and RotJ where the droids just wander around, encountering things) rather than immediately thrust us into the midst of action and plot points with the main characters. One of the goals should be to re-establish that sense of other-worldliness that I always felt the prequels lacked (to a degree). I actually wouldn't mind it if the first 20 minutes feels more like WALL-E or something, where we watch some strange droids or creatures go about their daily routine (like the Jawas in ANH), and this slowly builds up the tension until we start encountering major characters and story elements.
    KilroyMcFadden and darth ladnar like this.
  7. Darth Nerdling

    Darth Nerdling Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 20, 2013
    Why can't he? He says Abrams is playing to safe with Into the Darkness and he's concerned that he will take that approach with 7. He's using the word "rightfully" to mean "a proper reason to be" concerned, which is its meaning. Linking that to what he said about Into the Darkness and his preferences, it makes sense for him to be rightfully concerned. He has evidence, and he's using that evidence, to make an assumption. I have evidence that Bush was a bad president (based on my criteria), and I'd be rightfully concerned if he became Prez again. (Besides, considering Circular Logic's name, he doesn't even have to make sense (jk Circular).)

    Personally, what he says about Into the Darkness makes me rightfully concerned. I think he'd played it safe it with Star Trek and too often played for laughs and self-parody. I thought his direction job way okay for that film, especially since I'm no big Star Trek film, so the big shift in tone didn't bother me. (Overall, I was less satisfied with the Star Trek reboot b/c it had a plot that had so many things that made no sense and my opinion of Kirk was that he was a jerk, but I don't blame all of that on Abrams.)

    I guess, to turn it around towards you, would it bother you if Abrams took the exact same approach to #7? Not trying to say that that approach is a bad one. It all comes down to opinion, but it's an approach I wouldn't like.
    Circular_Logic likes this.
  8. Son of a Bith

    Son of a Bith Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 28, 2013
    Bring it on.
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  9. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 14, 2012
    I'd be ok I guess, however I prefer unexpected plot twists. Perhaps that's why the empire strikes back is considered the best SW (yet). ANH, TPM, ROTJ and ROTS are painfully predictable.
  10. my kind of scum

    my kind of scum Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 4, 2002
    Considering so many fans said that the prequels were "too different" from the OT, I think many would prefer formulaic. Honestly, I'm worried that both LFL and Disney are going to push for a film that that is as close in tone and plot with the OT as possible - and therefore stray close to the dangerous line of self-parody. I would prefer at least some differences and experimentation as long as the basics (elements of tone, classical soundtrack, etc...) remain true so that the universe "feels" the same.
    JainaSoloYJK likes this.
  11. Ryus

    Ryus Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 25, 2013
    ...and AotC wasn't? :eek: :p
  12. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 14, 2012
    I like AotC the least of all SW movies, so I don't bother mentioning it :p Aside from the Geonosis arena, and Kamino, it feels like a mediocore telenovela to me.
    KilroyMcFadden and Ryus like this.
  13. Echo-07

    Echo-07 Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 9, 2012
    Firstly, I would highly doubt we get a formula. Arndt is creative enough and has enough SW material to draw from that we should see something thrilling and fresh.

    Secondly, even if we do get something formulaic I honestly don't care as long as the movie kicks ass as I'm sure it will at this point having not seen the casting of the other major roles outside the Big 3.

    Lastly, I want everyone to think of one thing -- JJ Abrams loves SW. He is a HUGE fan. He also is a prideful guy with a comeptetive nature -- being the nature of the biz. I have no doubt his GOAL is to make the best damned SW movie ever. So even if it only cpomes very close to the OT we'll have something special and unforgettable on our hands.
  14. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 10, 2005
    If it's a good movie, I don't mind something kinda formulaic, I think at this point most movies really kinda are. Do I want something awesome and new, sure! But if it's a movie I can enjoy, I'll be happy.
    ChildOfWinds and JainaSoloYJK like this.
  15. Motterman

    Motterman Jedi Master star 2

    Dec 22, 2000
    Tell a timeless fable + advance the characters we already know and love + introduce new and exciting characters to carry on the story +make it look like and sound like Star Wars + don't forget the fun(ny) = Profit
  16. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 27, 2010
    I don't care if it's 'formulaic', as long as they get the music, feel, and characters right. 'Star Wars' isn't meant to break new ground in stories. It's meant to entertain and tell a morality tale.
  17. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    I don't notice "formulaic" much any more, unless it's a John Grisham novel, in which case I always wonder how the main character is going to end up in the Caribbean at the end of the story.

    I want the movie to feel like Star Wars and I want to be entertained, other than that I don't care that much.
  18. KED12345

    KED12345 Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 10, 2012
    The prequels were predictable because you know what's going to happen. I don't agree with ROTJ though - Vader throwing the Emperor down the drain and returning the light was a pretty good plot twist.

    I guarantee you won't go into Episode VII being able to predict anything that will happen.
    darth ladnar likes this.
  19. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    Agreed. 30 years later I still remember how I felt when I saw that happen--eyes bulging, mouth open, "Dude--what did Vader just do??? Holy ****."
  20. janstett

    janstett Jedi Master star 3

    May 29, 2004
    A film can be paint-by-numbers and if it's well done it's still entertaining.

    ANH, for example. Despite how radical it was at the time, take a step back and it is all quite familiar -- and that's no coincidence, Lucas read Campbell.

    If we can extrapolate from JJ's Star Trek, he will boil down the universe to essentials and hypercharge the smallest personality traits -- but it will be an exciting film.
  21. spicer

    spicer Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 14, 2012
    I sure hope so.
  22. Darth Claire

    Darth Claire Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2012
    IDK about this. I'd like for them to try to be as new and fresh as possible...but that comes at the risk of being too different from the past films *but then again being your own trilogy that isn't relying on clinging to the formula of the past films ain't that bad of a thing IMO if its done right. Allows it to become its own distinguishable thing if done well*. I dont like repetition but if they can pull it off well while still being suprising then...sure? IDK...I just want to be suprised :(
    spicer likes this.
  23. Ryus

    Ryus Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 25, 2013
    :eek: Wait! You mean a non formulaic movie is possible? My mind is offically blown. 8-}
    spicer likes this.
  24. 3PO

    3PO Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 5, 2003
    Very shocked that it was well made if Lucas is heavily involved :p
  25. Darth Nerdling

    Darth Nerdling Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 20, 2013
    I think a lot of people are going to be returning to this thread if the spoilers are true for "Star Trek Into Darkness." Based on what's being said, you can definitely predict what's going to happen in Into Darkness, and the guy who's directing SW7 oversaw the making of that film.

    I now just hope that they maintain faithful to the treatments GL gave them.