What do you think of the Star Wars Sequels?

Rodders

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I've enjoyed Baylor's thread on how we feel about the Prequel Trilogy and I enjoyed the debate there. A lot of polarised thoughts on Lucas's original vision.

Now that the series has finished and has a somewhat uncertain future, thought I'd start one for the sequel trilogy too.
 

Brian G Turner

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Individually, I found each film reasonably enjoyable. However, the continuity between them is really poor - for example, how does the ending of the second film prepare for the third?

There were some great moments - I really did enjoy Rey and Ren's connection scenes for their emotional intensity. There was some great imagery and fight choreography, too.

But there were poor ones, too - the First Order was vaudevillian, the Emperor came out of nowhere, and there was too much of a remake of the originals in them. General inconsistency problems, too - Death Star technology can destroy a planet in seconds, but can't get through blast doors on a mining outpost?

Ultimately, the question is: why did we have a story about Rey and how did that really connect with the purpose of the previous 2 trilogies, namely the fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader? I don't think there's really any answer outside of commercial interests, and that's disappointing.
 

Rodders

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I enjoyed them but they had a lot of faults.

By allowing the directors to write their own movies without giving any guidelines or an overarching plotline was a massive mistake and very short-sighted of Lucasfilm and Disney. Especially when you consider how the Marvel movies all tied in with each other.

J. J. Abrams is a competent director with a great feel for the visual, but TFA and TROS had too much of the Original Trilogy in them and were practically remakes. I though Rian Johnson tried to do something with TLJ, even though it greatly divides the fanbase.

I didn't enjoy the Emperor's return in ROS as I thought that it ignored George Lucas story of bringing balance to the force.

There were too many odd things happening. My main gripe was Rey being able to hand Ren a lightsabre through the Force. Yoda's Force Ghost being able to impact on the real. Utter nonsense.

Great music and special effects. I didn't think they were great movies, but they are enjoyable and i'll watch them again.
 

Overread

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One thing I felt which stood out is that the First Order didn't feel serious enough. Having an immature "lord vader" of their own - that I was fine with. It fit for his character and the fact that he really was a lot younger and immature. But having the First Order general also being a very immature individual spoilt it. It made them somewhat too much of a weekly TV show villain - the kind that you know is going to lose. To me it also sapped some of the grandeur from them. In the original films you have serious generals working under a climate of fear; each one working hard and rose through ranks to get there (or was born and trained for the role).

Snoke also unwound things, but that links to the point made by Brian that the films lacked an overall link between each other. Snoke appears from nowhere in the story and his entire contribution is to die as a side element to a duel. This annoyed me because he felt like a character who should have had a past and a future and had plans and been doing things. Instead he's far more of a figurehead who is plucked out of the sky and dropped into a role. Again its that TV-show villain feeling.

It jarring in Starwars because historically SW has had very strong lore in general. Like the films or note its original series and prequels all tended to work with strong lore elements knitting things together in the background.



I felt that the cinematography of the sequels was better than the prequels - there's an eye to beauty going on. Even some of the daft things like WW2 style bombing runs on the dreadnought felt and looked cinematic and great. They really worked that angle well. It was a visual treat - something that demanded you watched it.
It's a shame the story didn't quite match up.




I'd also say that the changes to Luke were poorly presented. Unlike many I actually enjoyed his character development and the changes to him. The problem was they launched the series too far along. First film really should have been showing us his fall from grace. First half should have been him training the new Jedi; starting to build the new order up whilst at the same time seeing the First Order rise up and unite the stray parts of the Imperium it could. Second half should have been Snoke appearing, launching his plan from the shadows and helping and then plucking up the corrupted new Jedi in training. Seeing him corrupt him; seeing him fall and then destroy the other trainees and in turn destroying Luke. We shouldn't have had that in the background between films - that should have been first film content thrust right under our noses. We should have seen Luke struggle and fall.


Then you can roll in film 2 where we see things starting to fall apart. They can even establish why the New Republic even has a Rebel Fleet flying around within it because at the stage of film 1 we still felt like the First Order was at the gates not in the gates and forcing peoples heads down already.
 

sule

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I agree that as a conclusion to "The Skywalker Saga" it didn't feel like it added anything to the Anakin Skywalker/Luke Skywalker storyline of the first six. As their own trilogy that stands alone, I felt that the first two were decent but that RoS added way too many elements to resolve within its timeframe that it felt bloated and didn't have to time to resolve a lot of the character arcs from the first two films. RoS also felt inconsistent within itself by making certain characters betray their allegiances for spotty reasons or 'killing' off a character in backhanded fashion only to reveal within five minutes that that character was not dead. I also agree with Overread; Luke's character in TLJ makes sense given what he's been through, but the audience didn't get to experience those falls with him and instead just have to be told about it in flashbacks, which makes it feel a bit off.

As an audience member I feel like I'm a little in the minority in that my favorite parts of the trilogy were the things we'd never seen before (the Holdo Maneuver [which I think was great but I understand why others don't like it], the WWII style opening to TLJ [mostly because it focuses on a character who isn't part of the main group], Luke's holograph fight, Kylo removing his mask in the middle of TFA, and the Rathtars sequence [I love how that part specifically is used as shorthand to let the audience know what Han's been up to in the past few years--'oh, you know, he's just scamming people and hauling dangerous aliens across the galaxy' and I do agree with its detractors that the part with the actual Rathtars is a bit weird {but only because I would have liked to see a bit more of a fight with Kanjiklub and the Guavian Gang before the Rathtars got loose (how many parentheticals can I fit inside this cluster?)}]). Any scene with Rey and Kylo (specifically in the first two films, although they had some moments in RoS) was great.

I think Finn was the most disappointing character across the whole trilogy because it felt like his arc got shifted completely out of whack through all three films and it wasn't really clear where he was supposed to end up. As far as the lore goes, I think that the first six films were better at making it seem like there was a lot of history going on in the background (the Iceberg theory and what not) whether or not there was an actual consistent history worked out ahead of time ("My father didn't fight in the Clone Wars, he was a navigator on a spice freighter." ooh, what's the Clone Wars? "Hey look, a lightsaber!"). Characters like Maz Kanata, Snoke, Hux, the whole First Order really, felt like they were just created and stopped existing if they weren't on screen. The Canto Bight sequence felt overly long and packed with neon signs labelled "METAPHOR" and 'CHARACTER GROWTH" which I guess is better than the Naboo sequence in AotC where the neon signs just say "SAND(?)."

The biggest problem I had with the trilogy is that its overinfatuation with rehashing the original trilogy cut it short of what made the original trilogy great, which is introducing us to places and things that we've never before experienced and I think that is the main strength of Star Wars as a whole. Hopefully Disney figures that out. There are some great parts in this trilogy, most of which either hint at the larger world or give us an experience that is completely new, and even some of the rehashes are so well done that they feel good in the moment. They just didn't have a consistent creative vision of story-telling across the whole of them.
 

Vince W

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I still haven't seen the last one, but in all honesty, the ones I have seen aren't particularly memorable. I can't bring up any details in my mind that stand out and make me think 'oh yeah, that was great'. I certainly haven't had any interest in watching any of them over again. The Disney Star Wars franchise has been relegated to Netflix viewing for me. I can't see myself spending money at the cinema given how poor the stories are.
 

thaddeus6th

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Overread, aye. Last Jedi is a tonal mess, leaping from war tragedy bombings and death to prank phone call idiocy in the same damned scene.

Films can of course be serious and funny, but the shifts were just ridiculous, robbing all gravitas from a scene that should've been serious. And if you make one of your villains the butt of jokes he's not exactly menacing. Compare and contrast with Grand Moff Tarkin. And if the director doesn't take a villain seriously, why should anyone else? Likewise the profound disrespect for and rewriting of Luke Skywalker. The guy who risked his life to redeem his father, contemplating what amounts to child murder? Yeah, that makes sense.

I've not seen the last of the new trilogy. It sounds pretty dire.

And yeah, it's clearly insane to have a trilogy with no bloody plan for what the trilogy will be.
 

Overread

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I was thinking the same - Grand Moff Tarkin was menacing and serious. He didn't have a huge number of scenes, he didn't have outbursts or huge dramatic speeches. But you knew he was serious, that he meant business. At the height of his power policing the Imperial worlds. If he was in all out war you can bet he'd be far more feared. He wouldn't be the butt of jokes.

Contrast to the First Order and they just don't hold a candle; in fact they don't seem to really have a leader worth leading them. It's more a powerful war-engine that seems to just "work" mostly because its the only one there is. The remains of the Republic got blown away mostly off-screen it seems and the united power of all those worlds doesn't seem to have given them much of a fleet.
 

Culhwch

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I agree with pretty much all the points raised so far. I keep going back to the fact that they didn't have an overall plan for the trilogy, and instead let each director take the story where they wanted. Daft, daft move. I also feel there was a bit of selfishness on the part of both directors in disregarding certain elements that had been established before them. I think of the three movies The Last Jedi is the strongest, but in a lot of ways Johnson really did a number on both the preceding and following films, weakening the trilogy overall.

There'll be a post on these boards somewhere where I talk about my greatest disappointment with the prequel trilogy being the missed potential, and the same applies to the sequel trilogy. At least Lucas took the prequels in a new direction and tried different things. The prequels got bogged down in recreating the original trilogy - sometimes beat for beat - in what was obviously an over correction to the prequels.

I understand why Disney ditched the Expanded Universe, and they really had no choice, but I feel they could have taken a lot more cues from that material than they did. I'd have much rather seen a trilogy about an ascendant New Republic where former rebels have to deal with maintaining a democratic, galaxy-spanning government, while the Imperial Remnant adopts the guerrilla tactics they were previously defending against. Add in a charismatic villain like a Thrawn who is able to utilise limited resources to wreak havoc, weave in Luke trying to re-establish the Jedi Order while facing the personal demons of a lost apprentice like Ben, and I think you have a nice background for a complete trilogy. Honestly, it doesn't stray far from what Abrams began to set up in The Force Awakens. Ah, what could have been.

Silver linings - I do love Rogue One, so not all of Disney's output has been disappointing.
 

Rodders

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I would imagine that Thrawn would be out of the question as he appears in Rebels. I really liked the EU (or Legends as they're now called), however I get that they wouldn't want to do something that has already been done.

Now that the Skywalker saga has been finished, I look forward to where Disney takes the franchise.

Is anyone else curious about George Lucas's ideas for his sequel trilogy?
 

BrightSparrow

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I agree with the general comments about the lack of seriousness of the villains and the tonal shifts. Abrams is a good cinema director but he doesn't really make good stories in my opinion. If the first episode of the sequels had more meat in it then the callbacks to the original would be stylistic sauce rather than feeling like a retread.

I think overall they are fine for what they are. Two different directors' visions colliding amongst the legacy of two previous trilogies that have influenced pop culture so much that we can't imagine science fiction without Star Wars. They were trying to tell the story of the old characters, plus all the new characters so no arc really got its time to shine. And the Emperor coming back was a completely Abrams thing to do that didn't satisfy me at all.

Personally I would have liked a more idiosyncratic take from a director who didn't feel the need to show all the old familiar in-jokes and characters. If the sequels had been about the difficulty of rebuilding peace and consensus after a war that would have been amazing. I don't think there was a need for a First Order style baddy.
 

Vince W

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I hate Abrams' take on Star Wars (and Star Trek :sick:). His forte is late-teen soapy dramedy and he should stick to it. I'm not saying Star Wars (or Star Trek) is particularly deep drama, but it requires a director that ensures that the characters believe in the universe they're living in, regardless of how naff some aspects can be. Abrams never achieves this.
 

thaddeus6th

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Vince, it's surprising that a director who's apparently good enough for both Trek and Wars to still have no understanding of the fact that space is big. In both the first 'new' Trek film and the first part of the Disney Trilogy you'd think the galaxy is the size of a solar system.

I know that's a minor point, but it still baffles me. I'm not after hard sci-fi, but the concept that space is big is primary school stuff.
 

Overread

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I really really REALLY Freaking hated that in the first of the new films they blew up several worlds with the planet killing planet - and you saw them blow up in the sky. When they were on the boarders and those worlds were in teh core. I can totally accept falling bombs in space; pewpew sounds but seeing things billions of miles away in the sky like that was terribly immersion breaking. It did indeed show me that he really didn't have a clue about space or how bit it is or how things are setup.
 

Rodders

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Star Wars could benefit from a little hard S.F., I think.
 

Vince W

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Vince, it's surprising that a director who's apparently good enough for both Trek and Wars to still have no understanding of the fact that space is big. In both the first 'new' Trek film and the first part of the Disney Trilogy you'd think the galaxy is the size of a solar system.

I know that's a minor point, but it still baffles me. I'm not after hard sci-fi, but the concept that space is big is primary school stuff.
Very true. Lucas, even though he confused speed and distance, had some basic understanding that space is pretty vast.
 

Night_Eternal

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Hoo boy, gonna have to hold back some here......

As a somewhat former Star Wars fan, these Disney "sequels" shattered what love I had for SW in a way I didn't think was possible.

Way back when The Force Awakens came out, I had a low expectations going into the film, which I waited almost until the end of it's theatrical run to even see (something that never happened with any of the six previous films). Yet still, a part of me was excited to see what they came up with. Almost halfway through the movie, I wondered why it felt like I was watching some sort of generic, forgettable Sci Fi film with Star Wars ideas and names slapped onto it. Once the Death Star version 3.0 came in, I just wanted the movie to be over with. I even considered walking out I was so bored. What was this I was feeling for a freakin' STAR WARS film??? Why couldn't I get into this?

After the movie ended, I left the theater and tried to figure just what the hell I had wasted my money on. I couldn't lie to myself and say that I enjoyed the movie at all, on any level, yet I so desperately wanted to. I felt like I was betrayed somehow. I do not have a poor attention span by any means, and I paid it in full to the movie. Yet try as it may, the movie just felt completely unnecessary to me. I couldn't understand why people were praising it so much. I mean, sure, yeah, practical effects, big whoop....but where was the story? Why were the characters so paper thin and over idealized? How come even Han and Leia didn't seem like Han and Leia? And just what the heck was the First Order and what did they really want, beyond just 'herp derp to rule da galaxy'? And, worst of all, if Luke didn't want to be found (the reasons we were given for this were so poorly presented that I won't even get into them), why did he leave a secret map in R2 in the first place? And why did the newer characters (especially Rey) feel more like they were there to make a statement than to be actual, real characters that we could somehow relate to, despite all the lightsabers and space explosions?

I remember engaging in dialogue with people who liked the movie, which included some die hard SW fans and not just the casual moviegoer. Many of them really enjoyed the movie, especially prequel haters (which I am not and never was). Right before The Last Jedi came out, I talked with many people about TFA and what I hoped TLJ would answer. The sequel would set things straight, right? Right?!!

Well, a day after TLJ hit theaters, I spoke with probably ten-fifteen people who saw it, and not one of them had a good thing to say. The first guy to give me his feedback enjoyed TFA, yet he said TLJ ruined that for even him. Then others reported the same thing, that TLJ was terrible and ultimately pretty lackluster. Others even told me it was enough for them to not even care about SW anymore. Still, though my expectations were low, I rented TLJ from Redbox and sat down with one of my friends to give it a shot. I'm not one to hate a movie based on others opinions, but TLJ was an unwatchable mess almost from the beginning. During the viewing, we tried to slog through it with alcohol (and maybe some weed), hoping that even though it seemed to be getting worse with it's lack of direction, maybe we could at least laugh at it. I think the Leia flying through space scene (which I had heard about beforehand and hoped was a lie) was where my friend and I began gradually talking about our frustrations with how health insurance is handled in America. Here we were, watching a supposed "SW" film, and we turned into a bunch of old farts complaining about the government! Eventually we lost total interest in the film and turned it off to watch Metal videos or something of the sort.

By the time Rise of Skywalker came out, I didn't give a *blank* anymore! I was NOT paying to see it, not even to Redbox, and when I did finally watch a crappy torrent online ("hey kids, here's Lando and Palpatine because we're desperate and have no coherent narrative"), I got halfway through it and just really didn't care. I tried to finish watching it in 15 minute increments, but to no avail. I didn't care about any of these "characters", and even the ones I did care about (Lando, the Droids, Chewie) just felt shoehorned in. All I was remember was "They Fly NowTheyFlyNowTHEYFLYNOW". Ugh!

Sorry to be so long winded, but these "sequels" make the teenage nerd in me rage. No film that calls itself Star Wars should take a back seat to boring adult talk about Blue Cross & Blue Shield over Signa for health care. Yet that's what happened.
 
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Culhwch

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I would imagine that Thrawn would be out of the question as he appears in Rebels. I really liked the EU (or Legends as they're now called), however I get that they wouldn't want to do something that has already been done.
I meant a Thrawn-like character, not Thrawn himself. Someone who had limited resources but the intellect and charisma to use them to the full potential. Rather than the wildly variable Hux.

Vince, it's surprising that a director who's apparently good enough for both Trek and Wars to still have no understanding of the fact that space is big. In both the first 'new' Trek film and the first part of the Disney Trilogy you'd think the galaxy is the size of a solar system.

I know that's a minor point, but it still baffles me. I'm not after hard sci-fi, but the concept that space is big is primary school stuff.
YES! Jeez, that bugged me. Also basically using hyperspace as some magic teleportation device...
 

Boaz

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I saw Star Wars just after my eleventh birthday. That was the best possible age to have journeyed to a galaxy far, far away. I loved Luke. I thought he was the greatest, but by The Return of the Jedi, I knew that Han Solo was better.

I enjoyed the first sequel, though I don't recall the title.... and I'm not going to bother to look it up. It was Star Wars all over, but with updated effects... and loads more of them. The reason for me why it was Star Wars all over is because it had Han Solo... and Luke at the end. I barely remember seeing the second sequel and could not tell you what it was about. I never saw the third. Why would I? No Han, no Luke. Luke had turned into Obi Wan's grandmother... that's not Luke.

If I were eleven years old again, I'd probably love the Star Wars sequels.
 
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