Rian's Forum

A place to discuss Rian's stuff, and stuff that isn't Rian's stuff. Hello!
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:36 am 
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This was a thoroughly enjoyable movie. It used exceptional cinematographic techniques, the right amount of CGI, an excellent score and it possessed good pacing and chronology. It also hit enough of the fantastical elements inherent in Star Wars movies that it did feel like it belonged in the Star Wars franchise. However, that was merely on a superficial level. That Star Wars feel all but disappears when you consider the elements of the storylines that are present in the movie. One arc(Finn & Rose), could have easily been avoided with the inclusion of one line of dialogue (Vice Admiral Holdo telling Po, the battlefield commander, the plan), and, that storyline, was rendered completely redundant by the fact that Finn and Rose trusted quite possibly the least trustworthy Star Wars character since Hondo Ohnaka in the Clone Wars and Rebels animated series, who actually tells them that nobody on the planet that they found him should be trusted. I actually enjoyed the way that The Last Jedi treated the back story of Luke Skywalker, and how he came to be on the island, for two exceptions. The first is of him coming to the conclusion to killing his nephew, who was still in the process of being seduced by the dark side, after going through everything he did to save his father, who, by that point, was completely turned to the dark side. The second is when all of the growth of his character (through the backstory) was ripped away by the appearence of Yoda, who couldn't use lightning whilst he was alive, and the fact that he wasn't see through, as force ghosts should be. These issues all lead to the lack of anything remotely resembling a male lead character. Now, to be fair, there is no need for the main character (in this case, Rey) to be male, even in Star Wars, but there does need to be a male lead, in The Force Awakens, Finn took this role, however, in The Last Jedi, his character was degraded to comic relief for the purposes of a plot device that I shall deal with later.

There is also the inclusion Vice Admiral Holdo as a one-off female character that is placed in charge when Leia is incapacitated, because reasons. She then spends just about every scene she is in talking down to Po, and quoting Leia, turning it from an arc focusing on her, or Po, to just another part of Leia's arc. Another down point about this character is that she's got short hair that has been dyed purple, something that has deep, real-life, social connotations that cannot be ignored. Also, is putting her in a dress really the greatest expression of femininity that Rian Johnson can come up with? Then there is the fact that multiple storylines crafted in the previous movie (The Force Awakens) are killed off, leaving JJ Abrams one seriously tough job to save the series in one film without it needing to be as long as to original movie in the The Lord Of the Rings trilogy(The Fellowship Of The Ring). This problem was even noted by Gwendoline Christie and brought up with the directior(Rian Johnson) as they were filming when she mentioned that it felt like they were shooting a stand-alone movie.

The problem that led to the travesty that this movie became is inextricably linked to every storyline in The Last Jedi; Rian Johnson's 'bold new direction'. The problem with the new direction is a very base and simple one. It isn't 'new' or 'bold' at all. All three storylines present in The Last Jedi, were about a female 'humanising' whichever male character they were with at the time. This is not a common thread in modern story telling because it dropped away as the various civil rights movements won whichever 'war' they were fighting at the time. However it is present in earlier works, especially by female authors, such as Charlotte Bronte in Jane Eyre(1847) and Daphne Du Maurier in Rebecca(1938). It is bad enough in both books, however it isn't as toxic to the medium in either of their works, because of the timespan that the story takes to complete. In The Last Jedi, it picks up where it left off in The Force Awakens and then takes around two to three days to complete, ending up with Rey being established as the quintessential Mary Sue, stronger in the force than Luke was at the end of The Return of the Jedi and able to fly just about any ship that she wants, and repair them, upon first sight...oh, and understand Chewie & R2-D2.

There is one last point that was handled well-ish, in this movie. I already stated that I enjoyed the pacing in this movie. It was paced like a modern action movie, lending a sense of immediacy that all previous Star Wars movies lacked, unfortunately, that immediacy lessened the immensity of the Star Wars universe as it was represented in The Last Jedi. I get that modern day action films tend to be faster paced, and the pacing used within this movie was done in order to do that very thing, however, the sections that were shown before moving on to the next set of scenes, were too short to be engaging with the audience, especially when it came to the training of Rey. I have seen this multiple times, and it is better on the second viewing, possibly because your expectations have basically had a wrecking ball taken to them, letting you focus on the more technical aspects. On the third viewing though, I just didn't care and had to really focus to concentrate on what was happening just about until Rey left Luke's half-hearted training sequence.

On a side-note, I have seen multiple movies of Rian Johnson, and he appears to like to subvert audience's expectations. I can understand that there is a view amongst filmmakers that the audience doesn't know what they want in a film, however, Star Wars fans do know what they want to see. Keeping that in mind, it doesn't do anyone any good if you just give the audience what they want, it limits creative freedom to an extent that is truly unfortunate. However, subverting every expectation that fans of a long-running series like Star Wars have, alienates the long time fans, which is not good for the survival of the franchise.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:01 pm 
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Yeah, so you're wrong.

I'd write more but you used up all the words.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:37 pm 
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Hey, Justin, do you have any idea what "that Star Wars feel" is? Thin characterizations and one liners? Bubble gum under your seat? I'm nonplussed.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:21 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:22 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:10 am 
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Justin wrote:
Yeah, so you're wrong.

I'd write more but you used up all the words.


Exactly how am I wrong? Just stating that I am really isn't very useful. And there are many, many, words in the english language that I didn't use. But if you really want, you can use some of the ones that I did.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:16 am 
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shane1594 wrote:
Justin wrote:
Yeah, so you're wrong.

I'd write more but you used up all the words.


Exactly how am I wrong? Just stating that I am really isn't very useful. And there are many, many, words in the english language that I didn't use. But if you really want, you can use some of the ones that I did.


At the end of the day this is Mr. Johnson's forum. This would be like going to a party at his house where everyone is celebrating his latest film and trying to poke holes in it. Even if you did have valid points, no one really wants to hear them, especially while they're high off the movie's success. There are plenty of other places on the internet to discuss the movie.


Last edited by Rocco on Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:10 am 
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Rocco wrote:
shane1594 wrote:
Justin wrote:
Yeah, so you're wrong.

I'd write more but you used up all the words.


Exactly how am I wrong? Just stating that I am really isn't very useful. And there are many, many, words in the english language that I didn't use. But if you really want, you can use some of the ones that I did.


At the end of the day this is Mr. Johnson's forum. This would be like going to a party at his house where everyone is celebrating his latest film and trying to poke holes in it. Even if you did have valid points, no one really wants to here them, especially while they're high off the movie's success. There are plenty of other places on the internet to discuss the movie.



Firstly, let me say that I loved the film... That being said, I don't agree that honest criticism is something to be quashed. Anyone, like Mr. Johnson, who opens up a public forum on the internet should realize that it is exposed to both the praise and the criticism of anyone who so chooses to express such.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:38 pm 
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I am dying to do the whole "everything you said was wrong" bit, but let me just go with this: No, there is literally no reason for there to be a "male lead." At all.

I'm also sitting here laughing about these mysterious "deep, real life, social connotations" with regards to purple hair. (My hair is purple, and green, and blue, and black, and...) I'm genuinely curious what these "connotations" are. :lol: Does men's hair have "connotations?"

it's funny because I would agree with you about some aspects (like Luke even considering murder - although the writer in me can come up with a few reasons,) but that stuff is just lost in the rest of that jumble about male leads and the deep mysteries of a woman's dyed hair.

Also it's Poe.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:30 pm 
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JulesKD wrote:
I am dying to do the whole "everything you said was wrong" bit, but let me just go with this: No, there is literally no reason for there to be a "male lead." At all.

I'm also sitting here laughing about these mysterious "deep, real life, social connotations" with regards to purple hair. (My hair is purple, and green, and blue, and black, and...) I'm genuinely curious what these "connotations" are. :lol: Does men's hair have "connotations?"

it's funny because I would agree with you about some aspects (like Luke even considering murder - although the writer in me can come up with a few reasons,) but that stuff is just lost in the rest of that jumble about male leads and the deep mysteries of a woman's dyed hair.

Also it's Poe.


The purple hair: There's no deep mystery about it. Generally, women that have cut their hair short and dye it the colour that Vice Admiral Hondo's was, tend to be the really radical feminists, that have a propensity to attack men, no matter who they are, or what they've done, no matter how correct their actions were. As to males dying their hair, there are issues with that too, but, as far as I can recall, none of the male characters in The Last Jedi had died their hair, so there is no issue with that.

Male lead: There is a very large difference between a 'main' character and a 'lead' character. I have no problem with female main characters, however there does need to be a male lead in order to not ostracize the male audience. I was very specific about that. In The Force Awakens, this role was filled by Finn whereas this time he was basically relegated to comic relief that floated around Rose in a largely pointless arc. The problem of lacking a strong (well developed) male character, is compounded when it comes to Star Wars, which still has a predominantly male fanbase, even after The Force Awakens.

Poe: Thank you for the correction.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:36 am 
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Loved the purple hair. Loved the kick-ass female lead. Its possible to do both of these things and still be a satisfied male.

I will admit, it can be a challenge sometimes to overcome the urges of stereotyping. I think it can be a natural reaction to want to place people into statistics or classifications, and I believe there may be some evolutionary advantage for our minds to have adapted to stereotype. However, I recommend to attempt to overcome that urge, as it can be quite rewarding to train oneself to really try each day to see people as individuals rather than as one of a category - whether it be female, male, black, white, asian, tall, fat, hairy, purple-hair-y, etc...

One of the greatest ways of paying respect to someone is by attempting to understand who they truly are.
Attempting to resist the urge to classify can be one step in attempting to do so.
Each human is unique and special to me.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:01 am 
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rcj_yay wrote:
Loved the purple hair. Loved the kick-ass female lead. Its possible to do both of these things and still be a satisfied male.

I will admit, it can be a challenge sometimes to overcome the urges of stereotyping. I think it can be a natural reaction to want to place people into statistics or classifications, and I believe there may be some evolutionary advantage for our minds to have adapted to stereotype. However, I recommend to attempt to overcome that urge, as it can be quite rewarding to train oneself to really try each day to see people as individuals rather than as one of a category - whether it be female, male, black, white, asian, tall, fat, hairy, purple-hair-y, etc...

One of the greatest ways of paying respect to someone is by attempting to understand who they truly are.
Attempting to resist the urge to classify can be one step in attempting to do so.
Each human is unique and special to me.


I have no problem with people treating others as individuals, or with doing it in my day to day life and, like I said, subverting audience expectation is fine, when done well. Unfortunately, the subversions in The Last Jedi, weren't. They were too 'in your face' to the point that it was like Rian was going out of his way to insult his audience. Regarding kick-ass female characters, so do I, but not when their badassery comes at the expense of the other deuteragonists. Generally speaking, I have no problems with women dying their hair, no matter the colour, it was just symptomatic of the problems that I had with Vice Admiral Holdo. My issue was with VA Holdo was her actions and how it did nothing other than reinforce the stereotype. Speaking of which, stereotypes are generated by observations of events that have occurred a large number of times and playing with them needs to be done correctly and with a degree of subtlety that I found lacking in The Last Jedi.

I thought that I had made it clear that I have no problems with female lead characters, or female main characters. I am currently writing a novel with both. The problem that I have is that the way that they were used within the story is the same way that you would see them in late nineteenth to early twentieth century proto-feminist novels. Those works had a tendency to be very anti-male and, in such works, the females were used as a way to 'humanize' a male character. In The Last Jedi, that played out three times. If that was the aim, then well done. However, to me, a series like Star Wars should be pushing the bounds of can be done, and, to a point, questioning what has been done in the past, not repeating it. Nor should it be reduced to pushing propaganda for any movement.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:08 am 
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rcj_yay wrote:
Rocco wrote:
shane1594 wrote:

Exactly how am I wrong? Just stating that I am really isn't very useful. And there are many, many, words in the english language that I didn't use. But if you really want, you can use some of the ones that I did.


At the end of the day this is Mr. Johnson's forum. This would be like going to a party at his house where everyone is celebrating his latest film and trying to poke holes in it. Even if you did have valid points, no one really wants to here them, especially while they're high off the movie's success. There are plenty of other places on the internet to discuss the movie.



Firstly, let me say that I loved the film... That being said, I don't agree that honest criticism is something to be quashed. Anyone, like Mr. Johnson, who opens up a public forum on the internet should realize that it is exposed to both the praise and the criticism of anyone who so chooses to express such.


Not saying there can't be disagreement. But why come on here and say, "hey, people who loved this thing and guy who made the thing, here are all the things I don't like about the thing" No one's mind is going to be changed.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:46 am 
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shane1594 wrote:
Exactly how am I wrong?

To paraphrase Rocco, exactly the wrong time and exactly the wrong place. Is that definitive enough for you*? To which I might add exactly too much of everything. Like a Fabergé egg made of Legos©, your diatribe attempts to establish its own authority by simple precedent with apparently no awareness of the long standing culture into which it is dropped like a bomb from the stratosphere. We can't even see you from here. Please feel welcome, however, to discover this community, its vitality and dynamic. Your contributions, as opposed to faits accomplis, are welcomed.

In the interest of fairness, it would be useful to understand that the core group here (12+- active) are movie actors, movie writers, movie editors, movie producers, movie directors and/or personal friends of Mr. Rian Craig Johnson, Esq. I make myself useless by having opinions and being retired. Most of those who post in the most active thread, the movie review thread, have day jobs directly related to movie making, book publishing, music production, movie distribution/showing, etc. The general length of reviews there will give you a good idea of how much input these busy people have to throw away. Again, sincerest best wishes. It's not like we're a cover site for Breitbart refugees, D'n'D victims or Criterion® addicts.



*some Bourne movie

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:27 am 
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Rocco wrote:

Not saying there can't be disagreement. But why come on here and say, "hey, people who loved this thing and guy who made the thing, here are all the things I don't like about the thing" No one's mind is going to be changed.


Neil_Leach wrote:
shane1594 wrote:
Exactly how am I wrong?

To paraphrase Rocco, exactly the wrong time and exactly the wrong place. Is that definitive enough for you*? To which I might add exactly too much of everything. Like a Fabergé egg made of Legos©, your diatribe attempts to establish its own authority by simple precedent with apparently no awareness of the long standing culture into which it is dropped like a bomb from the stratosphere. We can't even see you from here. Please feel welcome, however, to discover this community, its vitality and dynamic. Your contributions, as opposed to faits accomplis, are welcomed.

In the interest of fairness, it would be useful to understand that the core group here (12+- active) are movie actors, movie writers, movie editors, movie producers, movie directors and/or personal friends of Mr. Rian Craig Johnson, Esq. I make myself useless by having opinions and being retired. Most of those who post in the most active thread, the movie review thread, have day jobs directly related to movie making, book publishing, music production, movie distribution/showing, etc. The general length of reviews there will give you a good idea of how much input these busy people have to throw away. Again, sincerest best wishes. It's not like we're a cover site for Breitbart refugees, D'n'D victims or Criterion® addicts.



*some Bourne movie



The very first thing that I did in that post, was point out what I liked and enjoyed about it, and I'm not trying to change minds. I am well aware that, at site's such as this, people's minds have already been made up, and nothing said right now is going to change anything about The Last Jedi. This is about raising issues that need to be considered going forward so that many of the glaring problems in The Last Jedi do not find their way into the subsequent installments into the franchise that Rian shall be making in the future, which I wish him all the best with and look forward to watching.

Neil, my original post was not a 'diatribe', please do not try to lessen the validity of the points that I raise with ad hominem attacks and trying to attack the nature of my post rather than the arguments made within. Also, keep in mind that the post is not an academic essay, so 'quoting precedent', isn't to establish any form of authority. It is merely pointing out the fact that some parts of the storylines within The Last Jedi have been used before, and discarded. Please, tell me exactly which culture are you referring to, the culture that Jane Eyre and Rebecca were written in; the culture of Hollywood; the culture of this website? As to your assumptions about me, why is it that you think that I don't work in the industry? Also, I am politically aligned to the left, so please, keep publications such as Breitbart out of this. Me being on the left though, does not mean that I can't see inconsistencies and problems within culture and when they are directly reflected in media.


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