Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bearfan, Oct 30, 2012.
Peter Jackson? Oh god no, last thing we need is three 4 hour long Star Wars movies!
They should hire J.J. Abrams, though I don't think it would happen since he's too busy with Star Trek franchise.
Oh my god! He's already turned The Hobbit from 1 long movie into 3 long movies! With Episode VII alone, it would be turned into a 3 or 4 movie affair.
I wouldn't mind seeing Joss Whedon direct. He has an enormous credit under his belt including The Avengers and The Avengers 2 but then again, he might be too busy with that to bother with Star Wars.
I would much prefer three four hour long films to three 1,5 hour long films.
I'd say that depends on how good the script (source content) is. If the source is good, you would like to use as much as possible of it. If it isn't, I rather have the "highlights" only, and cut the minor stuff.
I'd rather have a film, especially when it's part of a series, be "too long" rather than too short. Keep in mind that the return of the Jedi is 2 hour and 15 minutes. Try and cut that one 45 minutes short.
1,5 hour long films tend to leave out too much, just scratching the surface in many regards. There's usually only time enough to run through the main story line but not enough to sideline anything or pursue any intricate character development. That's exactly why books generally do the story more justice than screened counterparts (i.e. Harry Potter). Imagine if the Lord of the Rings had been narrowed down to 2 hour films each. Or worse: Two movies.
Then my boredom would have been cut short.
I can't say much about Lord of the Rings, because both the books and the movies bored me to hell. To me, there was way too much attention to detail that distracted from the whole story, which could have been told efficiently in two two-hour films, in my opinion. I know that's what Tolkien fans love so much about it, but that's why I'm not a Tolkien fan. If I want to read up on the history and tradition of a culture, I'll do it with one that actually exists or existed, thank you very much.
It's interesting that you mention Return of the Jedi, though. In my opinion, it could have been cut short by at least half an hour if you trimmed the scenes in Jabba's palace (we got that he's a decadent and sadistic autocrat, do we really need to endure a pointless scene of Luke vs that big monster?) and towards the end. Especially towards the end. That whole Ewok battle ruined the pace of what is otherwise the most dramatic climax of any saga imaginable. It could have been done with showing how Han, Leia and the rebels overcome the imperial surprise attack by wit and superior tactics (we all know what poor fighters the stormtroopers are, it would only have been consistent). It could have been done to increase the tension instead of providing out-of-place comic relief. Plus, all you'd have needed was one or two cuts to Endor. We could have concentrated on the real finale, which was the fight between Luke, Vader and the emperor. But no, we get fucking teddy bears which distract from everything.
In that case, thank heavens you didn't have a say in the LoTR production.
I pulled a Foro and edited my original post.
Efficiently, yes. But then we're back at what I'm talking about. Films that efficiently go through the main story line tend to neglect character development and, the thing you dislike so much, details. Stories don't necessarily have to be told efficiently. For "efficient" and detail-lacking story telling I'll go to my cousin's 10 year old son . He could probably sum Star Wars up into three sentences, complete with "uuuh" and "eeeehm" inbetween. Quality and detail ---> Efficiency.
So this is where we differ. We obviously have two contrasting perspectives.
Regarding the Ewoks: I can imagine The Return Of The Jedi with the Ewoks taking up less space (although I wouldn't want to scratch them completely, and I do enjoy the scenes in the Ewok city a lot) and the Endor battle being done in a different way, with more focus on the rebels vs stormtroopers, because well. The Ewoks are kinda stupid - But the concept with the Endor battle is not. I love how it alternates between the rebel fleet, Endor and the duel. I like that you get a three way perspective (which is kinda a Star Wars signature. They tend to do that a lot).
And I'm going to go ahead and edit as well: Your complaint isn't with the length of SW episode 6. It's with the ewoks themselves and that's a different, although correlated, subject. You didn't say that you feel that the ending needs to be cut short, just that the Ewoks are stupid and ruin it for you.
Yes, I think we differ in some points. When I read a book or watch a movie, what I am primarily interested in is a good story. I have been doing quite some reading on narrative theory and agree with the theory that if the basic storytelling 101 is neglected, the entire book or movie fails. The first thing a story needs to work is a premise. A premise is a basic formula which sums up the entire story in one sentence. Take the original Star Wars film. Its premise was something like "belief in oneself triumphs over the greatest terror". The premise sets the theme, in this case spirituality vs technocracy and fortitude vs intimidation. It is the background against which the plot itself is developed. The plot in Star Wars revolves around a young boy who discovers that the potential that lies within himself is more powerful than the deadliest machines and the most ruthless villains.
Have you noticed something yet? We haven't lost a word on the setting so far. The story could take place anywhere and at any time. Since George Lucas opted to have it take place in an outer space environment, he needed to interpret the key elements of the plot in an appropriate manner. The idea of technocracy is turned into an ultimate battle station capable of destroying entire planets, and the villain is de-humanised by the fact that he was actually a man turned into a machine. The spiritual theme was interpreted in terms of the Force, which in the original film was actually a pretty vague concept that seemed to be more about discovering oneself. It was vague but it worked for the story. It later needed to be developed further in order to carry a much bigger story spread over many more films, but it still more or less retained its original idea. All the rest, the story about the Rebellion and the Empire, Princess Leia, Han Solo and so on is really just an afterthought to flesh out the setting and give the story a more interesting and vivid environment. I don't know how much of all this was in Lucas' mind when he wrote it, but that is not important because he got it right. Star Wars works as a story, and that's why I like it. I couldn't care less about if Bobba Fett could defeat a wookie in hand-to-hand combat.
With Lord of the Rings for instance, I can't find a real premise to the plot, nor could I narrow the story down to its basics and separate it from the setting. To me, it feels like the plot is just an excuse to present an elaborate setting that is all about the detail - which I couldn't care for less. I don't really know what the story is about. Is a bunch of fictional creatures trying to toss a ring into a volcano really a plot? Maybe I am missing something, but to me it's not a real story in the technical sense of the word. Now I'm not saying that everyone should agree with me, but only that this is how I feel about it. I enjoy Star Wars not primarily because of it's setting or it's universe, but because it's a good story. I don't enjoy The Lord of the Rings as much because I don't like the story. To me, the story is everything. All the rest is an afterthought, however cool or engaging it might be (and yes, light-saber duels are cool and engaging).
I have to agree with Perun on this, I really could not have said it better. Movies (book, or even songs) get lost when they lose sight of their premise, which is really the only reason they should exist. It does not mean there cannot be long good movies. I'll throw out the Last Emperor as an example, even though based on a true story, the film keeps with the primary plot points and has a good pacing. While it would be interesting to have seen some more about what was going on outside the city walls, etc .. that would have taken away from the film. Which in the end is meant to tell as story, not be a history lesson (real or imagined history in the case of Star Wars).
Perun, I agree with most of what you said, except how it applies to Lord of the Rings.
The premise of Lord of the Rings is "some things are worth giving up everything for."
The themes are the natural versus the machine (themes Lucas borrowed liberally from Tolkein in my few).
The plot is about a comfortable man who discovers he must give up that comfort in order to preserve it for others.
I get that you don't like the LOTR story, but to suggest it's not there is just wrong.
There is a reason its such a beloved story, and it's not the elves and the dwarves.
Really? All your reading on plot and story and you can't narrow it down to its basic element? I'm disappointed in you. It is blatantly obvious that it is no different from what you said about star wars. First of all it is a JOURNEY story, on the surface about going to a volcano, just like the Odyssey is about Odysseus going back home and Gilgamesh having to venture trough a cave, dark forest and eventually diving to the bottom of some lake. In reality, LOTR is about discovering that inner strength, just like Luke must fight the temptation of the dark side, Frodo must fight the temptation of the ring and BELIEVE IN HIMSELF. The power of the story comes in that a Hobbit, the tiniest of creatures, ends up being the hero, size does not matter, heart and strength of will does. Just like Odysseus has his "a-ha" moment when meeting Achilles in the underworld and Gilgamesh learns what it takes to be a good ruler through his journey. Jesus going to the desert, Dante going through Hell, etc, etc. All these "journeys" are nothing more than metaphors of self-discovery.
As for the lengths of the movies. SOME, yet very few movies should be more than 2 hours. If you can't tell a good story in 2 hours more often than not, there is something wrong with you. I point to my eternal examples of The Exorcist and Jurassic Park. I adore the books, and the movies are just as great even with trimming considerable fat. Their strength may lie in the fact that the authors also wrote the screenplays, who knows (didn't work for Ayn Rand), but they are perfect examples that good quasi-faithful film adaptations can be made of literature.
Well, I must admit that my familiarity with the Lord of the Rings is rudimentary because I spent most of my time with both the books and the movies waiting for them to be over.
All of them are the same basic story, journey of the hero of the thousand faces... And as Onhell said, LOTR is about knowing that the smallest things can help us to fight the greatest adversities, as well finding your own self and getting a motivation. That's one of the reason that explain why the Star Wars prequels weren't loved, they focused a lot of times in the politics rather than the journey of the hero. That and some other factors, of course.
HAHAHAHAHA fair enough
So, is this what people feared when they heard Disney were taking over the franchise?
They have has the Star Wars weekends for a number of years now ... nothing really new.
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