Star Wars: An immersive and sophisticated movie experience

Swank

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Star Wars was like a theatrical rollercoaster; you had to get on and just enjoy the ride. The credits, the music and the intro with that huge spacecraft flying over your head was something that you had never seen before. And the fact that everyone went to the cinema to watch it meant that we all experienced that same feeling of specialness. So that when the titles tell you that this is a story set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, it's hard not to accept it at face value.

I have had a hard time thinking of any space movie before Star Wars that didn't feature Earth and humans; Star Wars was (I think) the first movie - or at least the first popular movie - to feature aliens fighting aliens. So there is no emotional attachment which tells us 'this is which side you are on'. And as it's all about alien species, then why not that there are lots of planets where they live, that they do things that humans don't do, and science doesn't work in the same way?
I think the humans are humans. I think "a long time ago" is exactly the same as the way Dune talks about its events as being historical events in the past - a past that is 20,000 years in our future.

Like Dune, the humans in Star Wars have adjusted to their future environment. They are bad asses.
 

Rodders

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I'm in the same boat as Phyrebrat and my life as a whole is better for having Star Wars in it.

I think one of the major contributing factors it just the simple timig of it. I remember reading Skywalking and it mentioned that at the time of release the cinema was in decline to the point where the potential for p**nography going mainstream was a real concern.

I also think that the sheer talent involved in the movie cannot be underestimated. Special Effect always gets a mention, of course. But consider the costume design, make up effects, set design, editing and sound effects that were all at a really high level. I doubt Star Wars wouldh've been as successful without so many new and talented film makers.
 

KGeo777

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I read Skywalking but I don't think it is reliable journalism.
Low budget film was making money--it was big Hollywood that was sour because they ignored public taste. And then they jumped on the B movie bandwagon rather cynically.
Only someone like Lucas could have done Star Wars because he cared much more about technology than story--and a traditional director would never have been like that. Lucas was seeking out people to recruit for an FX company to make Star Wars--although John Dykstra bailed out and took equipment with him to do Battlestar Galactica and Ralph McQuarrie joined him--and McQuarrie absolutely was the pivotal person in Star Wars publicity--his designs sold the movie to the public.
But BSG was too cheap to compete. It was tv after all.

They used bubble wrap as curtains on a spaceship.
 

KGeo777

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Ever see American Graffiti?
Yeah he wasn't an actor's director. The focus for him in that movie was the technology--the cars and the soundtrack. Traditionally, directors were more concerned about theatrical elements--performance, dialogue etc. Lucas is more interested in the technology side. The dialogue in the prequels was horrible--only Christopher Lee or Ian McDiarmid could keep themselves afloat because of their experience. They could direct themselves.
 

JunkMonkey

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Yeah he wasn't an actor's director. The focus for him in that movie was the technology--the cars and the soundtrack. Traditionally, directors were more concerned about theatrical elements--performance, dialogue etc. Lucas is more interested in the technology side. The dialogue in the prequels was horrible--only Christopher Lee or Ian McDiarmid could keep themselves afloat because of their experience. They could direct themselves.

Lucas was concerned about performance and dialogue. He reshot take after take of the hold up scene. Every time the bottle of booze was tossed to the actor he caught it perfectly. Lucas keept shooting it until that moment where he almost dropped it... and stopped. That was the take used That's a director getting the performance moment he wanted. A director doesn't have to direct every nuance of an actor's performance to be interested in the theatrical elements.

Graffiti (Lucas's best film in my opinion) plays more like a documentary in many ways. The cars and the tech were so prominant in that movie because that's what the characters were in love with. (And yes I know it was 'autobiographical' in setting.)
 

JunkMonkey

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BTW I loved SW when it came out. I was 16. Blew my socks off it was like someone had taped the inside of my head while I was reading all the 50s and 60s pulp SF I was addicted to, and shoved it up on the screen.
A few years later on a re release I watched it twice in one day in the cinema while tripping. Very very immersive.
Since then I must have only watched it three or four times (including once more in the cinema with the pointless redone SFX).

I fell asleep every single time.
 

Iwroteathing

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For me, Star Wars movies are not sophisticated. They are simple campy sci-fantasy stories for kids not to be taken at all seriously and we're wasting our time talking about such.

They are also a fine example of what good immersive cinema is, beloved by generations, huge parts of people's childhoods, and we must absolutely critique it as we would any genre-defining silver screen masterpiece.

Yes. Characters are cookie-cutter but loveable, the story is simple but exciting. But the effects are special (either blowing minds in the 70s with computer effects, or making us nostalgic with puppets and practical effects). They are a musical delight with a memorable score, and a buffet of sounds with humms of lightsabers and pews of blasters. Scenes and dialogue become engraved in your memory, you get taken on the occasional geography trip too, and they still find room to make us laugh.

Empire is therefore the best Star Wars film because it succeeds at all of the above, and I'll fight anyone who disagrees. :LOL:

But this has gotten me thinking about how every piece of (live action) Star Wars media hits those points too. The music, story, action, fantasy elements, world building, characters, memorable moments, etc.

Easily, Empire and New Hope trump the rest. I'd argue the first season of Mandalorian comes close to emulating what Empire and Hope did so well in hooking in old and new fans... better than Return of the Jedi perhaps?

Empire Strikes Back
A New Hope
Mandalorian S1
Return of the Jedi
Andor S1
Mandalorian S2
Rogue One
Force Awakens
Phantom Menace
Last Jedi
Revenge of the Sith
Solo
Obi Wan S1
Book of Boba Fett S1
Attack of the Clones
Rise of Skywalker
 

KGeo777

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Lucas was concerned about performance and dialogue. He reshot take after take of the hold up scene. Every time the bottle of booze was tossed to the actor he caught it perfectly. Lucas keept shooting it until that moment where he almost dropped it... and stopped. That was the take used That's a director getting the performance moment he wanted. A director doesn't have to direct every nuance of an actor's performance to be interested in the theatrical elements.
That's not theatrical performance. That's prop handling really. It's techie stuff too. I am talking about emotions and speech issues. Traditional theatrical concerns.

Terence Stamp refused to work on the prequels after the first one because Lucas didn't direct actors.
I have never heard anyone say that Lucas can direct actors. It was so bad that Coppola was said to have given him pointers for a scene in Revenge of the Sith.

He is not a traditional narrative fiction director. He commented when TESB came out that the movie could play as a silent film. He cares about visuals and sound--not so much about character drama and inflection in the voice. He wanted C3PO to sound like a used car salesman and someone --Stan Freberg I think--said the best voice is the one you have already.
It would have been a JarJar disaster if they went with a car salesman voice.
These are concerns a traditional director would have--character personality--but Lucas was not like that. Or he had quirky tastes.
He wanted a little green guy for Yoda--that is a technical choice-a lot of traditional directors would have refused to use a puppet because they would fear that it wouldn't work or they didn't want to lose control of the staging (Lucas wasn't even the director on the sequels).
Lucas wanted to have a puppet as a major character and it works--but that's the trade off.
Some directors let the spfx people manage the scenes. Paul Verhoeven did that--he would handle the actor stuff but let the FX people dictate the sequences with FX usually. There's the Robocop case where Verhoeven wanted the mask off for the final scenes and Rob Bottin was against it because he feared the makeup would not work and they fought bitterly about it--but in the end they were both happy with it.
And it is risky because the technology has to be convincing for the audience--if not--then it can destroy suspension of disbelief or cause inappropriate laughing.
And traditionally, a producer also can contribute a lot to a film's construction-- Gary Kurtz must have made decisions to soften the eccentric qualities of Lucas.
 

paranoid marvin

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Yes they use the term humans for themselves/others in the canon.


I didn't know this. Does this come from stuff outside of the movies? Tbh I thought that with Lucas setting his story a long time ago and in a galaxy far away he was (literally) distancing them from the human race. It almost ties the 'Star Wars' storyline in with 'BSG'.
 

Phyrebrat

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I didn't know this. Does this come from stuff outside of the movies? Tbh I thought that with Lucas setting his story a long time ago and in a galaxy far away he was (literally) distancing them from the human race. It almost ties the 'Star Wars' storyline in with 'BSG'.

Yes, the first time I heard it I felt a bit strange at the use of the word/term. I think it would have been in the animated canon like CW or Rebels or Bad Batch but I’ll have to check and get back to you.

I suppose inventing a new name for humans in the SW universe would be a bit like overkill. The only thing I’d love to change is the use of the word sh*t in Andor. That stuck out like spilled claret on a white tablecloth.
 

Swank

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Yes, the first time I heard it I felt a bit strange at the use of the word/term. I think it would have been in the animated canon like CW or Rebels or Bad Batch but I’ll have to check and get back to you.

I suppose inventing a new name for humans in the SW universe would be a bit like overkill. The only thing I’d love to change is the use of the word sh*t in Andor. That stuck out like spilled claret on a white tablecloth.
It's a shame it came up at all. In the film trilogy, there is no mention of race with the exception Wookies - which was used in a very functional way to warn how to behave around Chewie. Every other time a group got any sort of label it was functional - Jawas roamed around selling droids, Sand People were dangerous bush dwellers. The issue of race/species is so unimportant that Luke had no idea that Yoda would be a 2 foot tall green dude. At least in speech, it is a very egalitarian galaxy. Even the Imperial officer's distaste for Chewie could be chalked up to elitism rather than racism, since Wookies were supposed to be pre-industrial (and isn't wearing pants).

The only racism we actually see is aimed at droids.
 
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paranoid marvin

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Yes, the first time I heard it I felt a bit strange at the use of the word/term. I think it would have been in the animated canon like CW or Rebels or Bad Batch but I’ll have to check and get back to you.

I suppose inventing a new name for humans in the SW universe would be a bit like overkill. The only thing I’d love to change is the use of the word sh*t in Andor. That stuck out like spilled claret on a white tablecloth.

I haven't watched Andor yet, but I agree that that kind of language seems out of place. Although I do suspect that R2D2 has a few choice expletives that are hidden amongst his beeps and whistles! My favourite (translated) insult is calling C3PO a mindless philosopher - not sure where he got that one from. :LOL:
 

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