Discussion in 'Arts & Entertainment' started by EgonSpengler, Aug 15, 2014.
Watched the first episode of The Mandalorian. Absolutely loved it! There were a few nit-picks here and there, but overall it was a very satisfying start, although it was a bit short for my taste - only 40 minutes.
Eek!! I so want a baby Yoda doll now, he was sooo adorable!
Looking forward to seeing the Mandalorian tonight once I get home from work
I remember the prequels being really bad. Both my own personal opinion and a large chunk of the fan base at the time. Well at least the first two. The third one had enough redeeming qualities that I remember it being entertaining if not over the top. In recent years it seems as if the fan base has softened its stance on the prequels even viewing them favorably. And there are things to like in the prequels. The music is great, the overall premise of the prequels is good even if the execution wasn't there, Ewan McGregor is great as Obi-Wan in the last two movies, the lightsaber duel at the end of TPM is one of my favorite action sequences ever. I haven't watched them in years but I may now that I have Disney+ (yay another streaming service /s)
See, now I don't get where that myth comes from. I've been pretty involved in the fandom for 30+ years and never encountered a large upwelling of dissatisfaction with the PT from the fan-base. Fan reaction was largely positive especially in the early 2000's when they were still being produced. There were a few groups that loudly voiced their dissatisfaction and TPM rightly or wrongly took the brunt of the criticism that I did encounter, but nothing I'd consider a "large chunk". I did see an overall rise in negative opinions from fans well after the fact ('08-'15) as those movies were relentlessly dissected, but as you say even that has seemed to dissipate over the last couple years.
Definitely agree about Ewan's Obi-Wan portrayal - one of the top 3 best things to come out of the PT.
Supposedly, McGregor is going to get an Obi-Wan series. I don't know where that is in the development process, so it could be years away. I think McGregor still looks pretty young, so exploring the years before "Ben" was on Tatooine is probably doable.
Umm, that was officially announced back in August @ D23. It does take place between ROTS & ANH and will start shooting in July next year.
From a recent interview with the main writer Hossein Amini:
Michael Slavin: Yeah, that’s fantastic thank you. So, one of your upcoming projects is the anticipated ‘Obi Wan’ show for Disney+ and I was wondering what you can say about the current production status of that series, I know you can’t say everything-
Hossein Amini: I can’t say very much. The plan is to start shooting in July, Ewan McGregor is signed on. I think he’s already said that it spans the period between episodes 3 and 4, so sort of after the fall of the republic and the massacre of the Jedi before the events of ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’. It’s fascinating in the sense that it’s a period where there is a lot of change in the galaxy and a lot of hardship. So, for Obi Wan’s character, he has a lot to adjust to given the loss of his close friends and the order that he believed in. It felt like a really exciting opportunity to explore a different side of a franchise that I always loved and I’ve always loved it because of its spiritual aspects as well as its fun and action elements, it seems to work on way more than one level which isn’t always true for those big franchises.
Michael Slavin: That actually links very well onto my next question because I want to sort of ask how is it where you’re tackling such an iconic Star Wars character, but you’re tackling it in perhaps the worst span of their life because everything they ever stood for has fallen and everyone they have ever known has been massacred before this new hope is given, so I was wondering how you’re approaching that aspect of the character.
Hossein Amini: For a writer that is a difficult journey to explore because there is so much conflict in terms of internal and external and that’s what you’re always looking for in a story. When things are going great it’s difficult to wrangle a story out of that because there is nothing to struggle against in both the interior and exterior sense. So, I’ve always been drawn to situations that revolve around some kind of crisis.
Michael Slavin: Previously Obi-Wan was actually reportedly planned as a movie so why do you think that this story works best as a six-episode limited series?
Hossein Amini: I think because of what we were speaking about before, the situation is so complex both for him personally and in a way, the state of the galaxy, you sort of need time to explore it and to be honest there are loads of other stories within that period as well, it’s quite a few years. There is so much going on between episode 3 and 4 that hasn’t been explored. The idea of being able to go into a character journey plus the politics and plus all the vastness of the empire and what’s going on is exciting just because it feels like a proper period of history and sometimes that is hard to do in two hours. Sometimes with two-hour movies there is always an imperative for the action and the plot to move particularly fast and quickly and to go from action sequence to action sequence and there are many more aspects to storytelling that I find interesting.
Michael Slavin: So, how did you actually come about joining the project? Did you have to pitch, were you contacted? I was just wondering how you ended up working on the series?
Hossein Amini: I was initially contacted by the original director for the film version, Stephen Daldry and chatted with him and loved him as a director and then with Lucasfilm, it was more of a conversation than a pitch, I am incredibly gracious about it. They didn’t make it feel like an audition.
Michael Slavin: Have you always wanted to- you mentioned you were really fascinated by the period and are clearly a big Star Wars fan. Is Obi-Wan a character you’ve always been curious to explore?
Hossein Amini: Well he was one of my favorite characters, probably because he spans throughout both the trilogy and the prequels and it’s just something about how different he is from one to the next that is really fascinating and makes him such an iconic character. It’s also that I loved Star Wars because I’ve always been interested in different religions, like the whole notion of the samurai I’ve always loved, there are so many aspects of Star Wars that particularly appealed to me when I was a kid and it’s been actually really exciting being able to look at all the animated series and read many of the books it’s a whole world and galaxy that I’ve loved diving into.
Michael Slavin: I was wondering how long you’ve actually been attached to the series because I know Ewan McGregor mentioned that he’s been having to lie to people for years about it. Have you been similarly having to keep things tight-lipped? How long have you been attached to the project?
Hossein Amini: It’s probably coming up to almost two years now.
Michael Slavin: Oh wow, so that is quite a long period that this has been worked on.
Hossein Amini: Yeah I mean obviously, it’s been on and off but yeah.
Michael Slavin: So, I was just wondering how has it been working with the Lucasfilm story group to make sure that this show fits into the wider Star Wars canon?
Hossein Amini: They’re fantastic and absolutely devoted fans but they also know so much so that’s obviously wonderful and inspirational safety net to have. They are incredibly helpful to the process.
Michael Slavin: The director of the series is set to be Deborah Chow, who has done an episode on the Mandalorian, have you taken any influence from the tone they’re going for there where it is much more grounded-
Hossein Amini: I haven’t seen any of it except for the trailer. I’ve only seen as much as you have. I’m really excited to see it, but it hasn’t really affected what I’ve been doing particularly. I am a big fan of ‘Rogue One’, so the trailer for ‘The Mandalorian’ looks fantastic.
Michael Slavin: So with regards to the series, its set in a period as we’ve spoken about where although there is so much to that period and so much intrigue and interest, it’s not one that’s been touched on too greatly within films and the TV shows outside of the cartoons and I was wondering are there any canon or non-canon Star Wars material that influenced the writing of this or have you just very much approached it from a personal standpoint of ignore the rest and just focus on your own story.
Hossein Amini: No, I’ve been researching madly for a really long time and also because I love the research, with other projects too, like I said I studied History so in a way the great thing about Star Wars is that obviously, it started with George Lucas but the fans and writers and comic book artists have all contributed massively to this world that is vast so I think as a fan I have a certain responsibility to that group and I think it’s really important to be respectful and yes I’ve always loved putting something of myself in as a writer but when it’s something like this I think you have to know it like you would a piece of history you would be studying with all the characters and what has come before and in this case what’s come after as well.
Michael Slavin: So, you’ve mentioned in the interview and in other interviews how much for you it’s character first and then the plot comes from that as opposed to how much is driven by plot nowadays. Apologies if I’m retreading ground, I just find this completely fascinating. Is that what with Obi-Wan attracted you was an opportunity to start with a character rather than here’s a plot now make characters for it?
Hossein Amini: It’s a combination of plot and the situation that the character finds themselves in, its possible that Obi-Wan in a different period- like I said before, they have to be in a situation that also makes them interesting so yes it does start with character but it’s a combination I guess of character and situation or crisis. I mean he is a fascinating character.
Michael Slavin: Is there anything outside of Star Wars that you could point to as a potential influence for the series? Is there anything else that you in your research have come across that you find has been a real source of inspiration in writing the series?
Hossein Amini: Again it’s lots of other Sci-Fi’s but also the spiritual aspects of Star Wars that like I said is something that’s always really fascinated me so, yeah I try to keep the research as varied as possible, going into all sorts of books about crisis and extraordinary bits of anthropological stuff and you get inspired by everything and that’s amazing about what George Lucas has done with Star Wars is that it’s just so full of- whether it’s Buddhism or theology or anthropology, it’s got so much it’s just so rich and I sort of feel again that with the research reading all the Star Wars stuff but also all the stuff that George Lucas himself read from ‘A hero with a thousand faces’ to all the studies he did from Samurai costumes to weapons, there are masses to research.
I see the "PT is terrible amirite?" trope mostly from detached people just emulating what they see from the loudest voices or OT elitists. In reasonable fandom spaces I've seen no real negative reception to the prequel movies. My experience matches up with @Laurana Kanan's.
Perhaps because the new films arrived and those people who hated the prequels moved on to hating the new films.
I'm sure there are some people like that - "Anything not OT is heresy." An alternate theory is that fans realized how good that had with the PT as opposed to ST.
This matches my experience and recollection as well. I remember being very underwhelmed with EP 1, and EP 3, and liking EP 2 the best of the three, but being fairly lukewarm to all of them. I also remember a huge amount of howling about the PT from fans about how bad they were. I always thought the outrage was way overblown, but there was definitely lots of outrage. I used to try to defend the PT with the standard "It's a kids' movie. You can't expect to feel the same about it that you felt about the OT when you were a 10 year old." And I recall that a substantial portion of the replies I got to that were along the lines of "we have the right to expect something better!" and "as lifelong fans we're entitled to a quality product!" and "the writing / storytelling / acting is absolutely awful!" and similar refrains.
After a few years of this I got weary defending the PT from all the angry PT haters, my benefit-of-the-doubt/bias faded towards the PT and i just became resigned to the reality that they just weren't as enjoyable. Eventually though, I was forced to re-evaluate EP 1 through the lens of a parent introducing my kids to Star Wars, and I realized that EP 1 is actually a damn fine little-kids movie. When viewed through that lens, and comparing it to appropriate competition like Thomas the Tank, Home Alone, Cars, Barney and Friends, Frozen, etc., I realized that EP 1 is actually a brilliant film.
In any case I fully expect that in a decade or so it will be the same with the ST. Folks will be talking about how good they are and denying that there ever was any widespread hatred of the films and/or claiming it was just a few loud outspoken purists but the overall reception was good... or something along those lines.
"The movies are only good if you are little baby." is a weird flex.
There is a difference between "baby" and "little kid" but if you want to strawman, hey, I can't stop you.
My point was that having children of my own gave me a new perspective on EP 1 that I was not able to appreciate when I was a twenty-something. Other viewers may have liked EP 1 just fine without that particular perspective, but that's what it took for me.
Also,you don't have to be a kid to like movies that are geared towards kids. I enjoy plenty of kids movies.
The acting - if you even want to call it that - by Hayden Christensen was simply horrendous. There were some laugh-out-loud groaners in the script that I don't remember now, but even Natalie Portman couldn't do anything with it. It was years before I realized Portman isn't a car-crash of an actor, and I still won't watch anything with Christensen in it.
Really? I thought Christensen was fantastic. Portman wasn't great, but I've never thought she was particularly fantastic. Passable, but wouldn't make a list of actors I hold in high regard. Her performance in Thor was about what I thought of her performance in Star Wars, which is to say disappointing in contrast with the cast surrounding her.
Mind, I definitely agree that the script could have been better. Some of the scenes felt rushed, and the script suffered as a result. But in general I felt it did a good job in offering a playground for fans to either interact in directly or imagine themselves in.
Christensen did the "overwhelmed adult boy with no coping skills" personality perfectly. His cringy scenes match up well with how people IRL act when they think they've got swagger but are just painfully young and unshaped.
I think this is a function of how you define "fandom." Sure, people who were so into it that they were dressing up as Chewbacca at conventions were going to love the prequels even if they had been a close up of Lucas's butt while he dropped a steamer, so if you limit "the fandom" to those people then the prequels were indeed "well received." But if you expand "Star Wars fans" to include someone like me* you will find that there was indeed a significant segment who were extremely disappointed.
saw first movie during "long lines it may be a record breaker" stage-check
eagerly bought tickets to see sequels in theater shortly after release-check
practiced how to make light saber sounds as a potential party trick, and looked for parties where such a trick would be a good one-check
overall never said a word below "great" about any of the original three movies-check
but never dressed up, looked for "reasonable fandom spaces," or had a Star Wars themed wedding cake
If the last Star Wars-related thing you enjoyed is from 1983 then you probably fall under OT elitism.
This gem springs to mind: "I'm haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me." That was a cringer...but he then goes on to say "My heart is beating...hoping that kiss will not become a scar. You are in my very soul, tormenting me...what can I do? I will do anything you ask."
I actually liked EP 2, but that scene was tough to get through... the only thing that makes it watchable is Portman's epic, eye-popping outfit.
Sooooo...anyone who liked the first trilogy but recognized the next as being really bad is just an elitist? It isn't possible that maybe the second trilogy actually was really just bad?
If your appreciation is limited to, what, 10% of the series's content? Probably. If I like AC/DC's first song and hate everything that came after, I can't really call myself an AC/DC fan while arguing that everything except that first song is garbage.
Hmmmm. So, at one point I liked 100% of the series content. And somehow it's my fault that the producers of the series started pumping out trash? By the way, I recognize that this offshoot of the conversation perhaps never should have happened, since the last SW related thing I've enjoyed isn't actually from 1983. I liked Rogue One a lot. I thought Solo was pretty good. While I'm not really sold on the current trilogy, I acknowledge it as a gigantic improvement over episodes 1-3.
Separate names with a comma.