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Lord Varys

[SPOILERS] Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker

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Luke had a good last role in TRoS, but it was all they could do to salvage the caricature of him in TLJ.

The whole point of him throwing everything away - and that's what he did in TLJ and allowing the galaxy to descend into chaos and madness just because one apprentice failed is, well, not very mature. This kind of thing can happen, and he knew that from the start.

This is just the worst kind of writing for the character - especially if you keep in mind how mature a lot of EU content dealt with the concept.

Pretty much all of the new movies appear as if some morons tried to write bad EU fan fiction - I mean, 'Dark Empire' is the better TRoS even on the ridiculous super weapon level. The Galaxy Gun was a stationary black mail device, something a rag tag fleet could actually attack and destroy in the way it is seen in the story. A huge magical fleet - manned by what? Shadowy Sith cultist who conveniently disappear when the final boss is defeated? - is definitely less convincing than that.

In fact, the Galaxy Gun was even better than the ridiculous planet-size Death Star from TFA considering it actually explained how it could target every planet of the galaxy (because it fired projectile weapons with built-in hyperdrive engies).

Even the overall theme of 'Dark Empire' to have Luke himself becoming a Sith apprentice to fully understand why his father did what he did was a very interesting concept. One could have really done something with those ideas both for Luke or his nephew - if the latter had turned to dark side in an attempt to understand and conquer it from within and then losing his way in the process of that his story could actually have made sense.

Even in the department of the survival of evil guys both DE and TCW with Darth Maul made more sense than the new movie. Just mentioning cloning in passing doesn't really explain anything.

The old comics even did a hell of a job with that kind of plot with Ulic Qel-Droma.

Does anybody understand the final plot in the new movie:

Spoiler

What was Palpatine's plan there? To take possession of Rey's body or to rejuvanate himself the way he did when they were together? That's not clear. And why even go with the original guy in a shitty body if he apparently can use the Sith power of essence transfer as established in the EU? Why wasn't Palpatine in a young clone body? Or a Palpatine who had taken possession of some other body?

In fact, now that I think of it a really great story could have been if the Evil Hologram guy or whoever else was the original villain of the new bodies had been a person possessed by Palpatine's spirit - a fact only revealed later on in the story. That would have been much better than what we got.

If the former is true then this actually allows for a very interesting interpretation of the plan in ROTJ - as to why Luke was supposed to strike him down. For me this is perhaps the best addition of the new movies to the Star Wars canon. It adds another interpretational layer to ROTJ.

And as for the rejuvenating ritual - I so hoped they would restore him to his old grandfatherly self from the PT. That would have underscored both the success/power of that ritual as well as helped him play the part of the grandfather that he was.

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You do have to ask actual children what the new movies mean to them - many children actually very much like the PT, no matter how people who were already adults in the early 2000s judge them, so that's that. You can also ask how people who watched more, you know, modern movies before they eventually got around watching the OT felt about those.

I agree, and I'm sure many kids like them. But the question is whether they like them in the way kids like "He-Man, or the way kids like "Lord of the Rings" for example. There's a big difference.

In fact, if you take the OT as a whole story then ANH is just a pointless prologue. It wastes a lot of time with droids and desert scenery instead of introducing the proper characters. There should have been first hints about the Skywalker past and the Emperor, etc. in the first movie, yet there is pretty much nothing of that. There should have been some darkness in Luke, a glimpse that this Jedi thing was something that could go both ways, etc.

I think people are willing to forgive that, considering everyone though ANH would flop and the idea that there would even be sequels was a pipe-dream. So they went with a very simple, fairy tale in space approach and didn't bother developing the mythology much because there might not be one. Plus it was the 70s; people didn't expect science fiction films to go too heavy into world-building back then. What Star Wars was trying to do was revolutionary enough as it was.

And as for Luke's development in the OT: That's a joke, right? The boy never gets any formal training at all. He spends, say, five minutes with Obi-Wan and then ten minutes with Yoda. In fact, one could say that losing his hand and changing his wardrobe is the only 'development' he gets.

He gets little training in ANH but he only uses the force once, and it's a moment of pure instinct that plays out in the movie's dramatic climax. Obi-wan tells him to "let go" and he does so in a last ditch attempt to save the rebellion. 

It makes sense for characters with innate powers to have a moment of great need where they tap into something greater out of pure instinct, without really knowing how or why they're doing it. It also helps that he's already a great pilot, and is not doing anything particular complicated with the Force other than to guide his already competent piloting skills.

Can't really compare that to Rey, who's using Jedi mind tricks and beating trained Jedi in lightsaber duels before she's even heard the word 'Jedi'. I mean, Rey's first use of the Force was a Jedi mind trick, something she'd never seen anyone do, and which we've only seen advanced Jedi like Obi-wan, Qui-Gon and a fully trained Luke do. Very different to Luke's first use of the force, which was a dramatic hail mary moment.

As for ESB, one of the things I love most about it is that Luke fails all his tests with Yoda on Dagobah, then leaves to rescue his friends despite Yoda urging that he's not ready, and subsequently gets his ass handed to him by Vader, because Yoda and Obi-wan were right; he wasn't ready. He barely survives and it's a pivotal learning moment for him, an essential part of the heroes journey which is noticeably absent from Rey's story.

ROTJ benefited from the fact that a year had passed and Luke's training took place during that period between ESB and ROTJ. Sometimes it works to leave things to the imagination and have Luke's training occur off-screen; we can picture him training and meditating in the desert, maybe studying Jedi scrolls in Obi-wan's hut, and eventually constructing his own lightsaber. 

I think it's pretty effective when he emerges in a black cloak and challenges Jabba the Hutt.  It's definitely a new, more mature and commanding Luke, and I really felt he had come a long way since the callow youth in ANH, something I've yet to feel with any character in the new trilogy.

 

 

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If the plot of TROS had been rolled out over the course of all three movies instead of just the first and the last, it could probably have made for a solid and satisfying trilogy story. There's a glimmer of an interesting concept that shows up all throughout TROS -- from The Emperor's return to how the relationship between Rey and Ren ends. Given enough attention and time, the big concepts and arcs could actually have worked. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if JJ Abrams had both the Emperor and the whole Rey/Ren arc in mind from the get-go.

But TROS was too much a product of its circumstances to have the required emotional impact. Not just Carrie Fisher's death, but mainly a preceding movie that had absolutely nothing to do with the plot that TFA and TROS tried to bookend. TLJ should have lent the whole trilogy the emotional substance of character growth, but when the second movie refuses to play ball, you're left with two attempts at jump-starting a plot that ends up feeling rushed and conceptual rather than satisfying.

Edited by denstorebog

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31 minutes ago, Werthead said:

WE DON'T LOSE ALABAMA TICKET SALES

The fuck you talking about? That snippet of a scene isn't getting clipped in the U.S. It's getting cut for China.

 

ETA: Also, Williams scored three hours of music, and there is definitely some new pieces, like "Escape from Kijimi".

Edited by Ran

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38 minutes ago, Jen'ari said:

I've now seen it and overall I really enjoyed it, sure there are plot holes, but overall it's a really enjoyable ending to the Skywalker saga and visually I thought it was amazing.

It was visually stunning and I loved the showdown with Palpatine. Agree WITH @Ranthat Adam Driver is fantastic in this. He is such a good actor and I'm thrilled to see him getting so much work and performing so well in it all. Hopefully this bears out in Awards season (I mean for his other stuff BTW, not SW).

 

I love all of the cast and characters in this trilogy and I also love the new creatures th is trilogy introduced. 

 

Unfortunately this was the weakest of the trilogy for me :( I didn't hate it but did not like it anywhere near as much as the previous two. There were things to love, and I did still enjoy it, but I was overall a bit disappointed 

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Did it include a Lord of the Rings style celebration equal to the happy happy Hobbits all bouncing on the bed together in unspeakable joy until the audience got uncomfortable and started to fidget and look away?   Sounds like it.   I'm prepared to really enjoy this thing.   Teetering on the edge of going to see it now that it's becoming clear there's a bearded lady to gawk at.

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1 hour ago, Darryk said:

I agree, and I'm sure many kids like them. But the question is whether they like them in the way kids like "He-Man, or the way kids like "Lord of the Rings" for example. There's a big difference.

That is also largely up to taste, of course (LotR also qualify as a children's movies considering their lack of proper blood and the goofy jokes), but I'd certainly say that theme-wise Star Wars is more mature than, say, Lucas' Indiana Jones movies, and there are also many cinematic aspects there one can cherish when one watches those movies later in life.

But they are also children's of the 1970s and may eventually fall out of date. Especially ANH is a very slow film compared to modern takes, and this kind of thing does not necessarily click well with younger audiences.

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I think people are willing to forgive that, considering everyone though ANH would flop and the idea that there would even be sequels was a pipe-dream. So they went with a very simple, fairy tale in space approach and didn't bother developing the mythology much because there might not be one. Plus it was the 70s; people didn't expect science fiction films to go too heavy into world-building back then. What Star Wars was trying to do was revolutionary enough as it was.

Sure, there is that, but I don't think this is the only reason for that. Lucas didn't really have that much of a plan there. In the novelization he still has that old idea of the Emperor just being a puppet of the bureaucracy and military yet the dialogue in the movie aboard the Death Star implies the Emperor is actually ruling the Empire.

The retcon-revelation about Vader works extremely well in TESB, but there could have been better buildup for that.

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He gets little training in ANH but he only uses the force once, and it's a moment of pure instinct that plays out in the movie's dramatic climax. Obi-wan tells him to "let go" and he does so in a last ditch attempt to save the rebellion.

But Luke also suddenly is a space pilot when he was in fact just some farm boy. It is completely unbelievable that a guy knowing how to drive cars (which those speeders he has experiences with are) can pilot an X-Wing without proper training.

We later see that the grand Obi-Wan Kenobi and the even grander Anakin Skywalker had years of training in the Force (Obi-Wan over a decade; Anakin over ten years) before they rose to the rank of Jedi Knight (and I'm not even counting the younglings training Obi-Wan got before he was a padawan). Luke's abilities to stand against Vader or anyone with a proper training in the Force, is quite frankly, completely ridiculous.

Unless we really consider them special people who really don't have all that much to learn to use their innate potential - like child Anakin also was.

Luke can also suddenly move objects with his mind in TESB before he goes to Yoda despite nobody ever telling him that Jedi can do that or how this works. Back in ANH nobody moves objects with their minds unless I'm misrembering.

And Luke's failure in TESB is not followed by him having more training by anyone qualified - something they did much better in the new movies with Leia giving Rey some more training. The mere passage of time doesn't really help if 'the Jedi arts' truly are things some sort of magical initiate/tutor/master has to teach you. I'd agree that this concept was essentially torched by TLJ with Luke essentially giving Rey no training at all.

[By the way - them not having Leia as a Jedi was also a huge waste! The EU finally made Leia a Jedi in the later novels, a plot the new movies completely failed to make use of.]

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Can't really compare that to Rey, who's using Jedi mind tricks and beating trained Jedi in lightsaber duels before she's even heard the word 'Jedi'. I mean, Rey's first use of the Force was a Jedi mind trick, something she'd never seen anyone do, and which we've only seen advanced Jedi like Obi-wan, Qui-Gon and a fully trained Luke do. Very different to Luke's first use of the force, which was a dramatic hail mary moment.

I'd agree that a more subtle approach to Rey's story would have made a tidbit more sense, but if I remember TFA correctly, this movie had the weird idea that touching magical lightsabers somehow activates or awakens the Force (hence the title). Rey starts to use her potential after she touches Luke's original lightsaber, no?

Her being the magical pilot ace is exactly the same kind of thing we get with Luke and Anakin before her - there is no difference there (even Palpatine was a pilot ace, due to some obscure EU reference which then found its way into his biography in 'Darth Plagueis'). And if you keep in mind who are grandfather supposedly was then what we know about young Palpatine from the EU is that he didn't really need Darth Plagueis all that much - he butchered his entire family with the Force at a very early age, and he didn't have any formal training at that time (although there are subtle clues there he had known what he was and what he could do a long time before the Muun showed up).

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As for ESB, one of the things I love most about it is that Luke fails all his tests with Yoda on Dagobah, then leaves to rescue his friends despite Yoda urging that he's not ready, and subsequently gets his ass handed to him by Vader, because Yoda and Obi-wan were right; he wasn't ready. He barely survives and it's a pivotal learning moment for him, an essential part of the heroes journey which is noticeably absent from Rey's story.

Well, she also fails 'to save' babyface in TLJ, and both her and his stories are slightly different. Rey wants to emulate Luke in TLJ with Leia's nephew - and she fails at that. Unlike Luke she never believed in the strict good vs. evil thing in the first place - she never sat out to destroy Darth Vader/save the good guys, she went in there to save the bad guy.

But this weird reversal there in TLJ certainly helped to cripple the new trilogy even more - Rey started her attempt to save the bad guy at the wrong point in the overall story.

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ROTJ benefited from the fact that a year had passed and Luke's training took place during that period between ESB and ROTJ. Sometimes it works to leave things to the imagination and have Luke's training occur off-screen; we can picture him training and meditating in the desert, maybe studying Jedi scrolls in Obi-wan's hut, and eventually constructing his own lightsaber.

One can do that - for Rey we do actually have something like that at the beginning of the new movie - because it is very, very obvious that considerable time did pass between TLJ and TROS (assuming they even take part in the same timeline/universe ;-)).

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I think it's pretty effective when he emerges in a black cloak and challenges Jabba the Hutt.  It's definitely a new, more mature and commanding Luke, and I really felt he had come a long way since the callow youth in ANH, something I've yet to feel with any character in the new trilogy.

But the whole conflict thing, the potential that he might actually turn dark like his father is never really visible there. In fact, you can only see that with the PT in mind when you compare Anakin's and Luke's wardrobe, and process that Luke could actually have followed in his father's footsteps. From what I heard from people watching the movies in chronological order for the first time this is actually pretty effective. The cut scene at Obi-Wan's place where Luke finishes his new lightsaber would have added much to that, considering that he looks nearly like Palpatine in that scene.

With Rey they do have the whole conflict thing. We see her 'darker side' a couple of times in the new movie, something we barely see with Luke. The only exception is his apparent (?) murder of the Gamorrean guards early in ROTJ.

1 hour ago, Darryk said:

Was kind of looking forward to boycotting it to be honest. Got very little desire to see the third episode in a trilogy where the first two were bad and there was clearly no overall story arc until JJ tried to salvage one from the wreckage of TLJ.

I don't think Abrams did do anything good insofar as setting is concerned back in TFA. And with the fucking Emperor returning this whole Snoke shit was just that - superficial shit that could have worked much better if somebody had been thinking. I mean, you don't have to be a Star Wars fan to know that it might have been better to introduce Count Dooku in TRM rather than AOTC - hell, why not make him Qui-Gon Jinn or Darth Maul.

It would not surprise me if Johnson rid his movie of the Snoke character because he saw him as a caricature/rehash of Palpatine - which he very much was - and if you try to make anything original you don't do that.

The core flaw of this new trilogy was that they really told exactly the same story as the last time - and that exceptionally bad, at least in the two first movies.

9 minutes ago, denstorebog said:

If the plot of TROS had been rolled out over the course of all three movies instead of just the first and the last, it could probably have made for a solid and satisfying trilogy story. There's a glimmer of an interesting concept that shows up all throughout TROS -- from The Emperor's return to how the relationship between Rey and Ren ends. Given enough attention and time, the big concepts and arcs could actually have worked. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if JJ Abrams had both the Emperor and the whole Rey/Ren arc in mind from the get-go.

That's pretty much correct, although I very much doubt that the Palpatine stuff was intended from the start. That guy must be Abrams replacement Snoke. For the story he wanted to tell - which, to be clear, is pretty much a rehash of ROTJ - he needed the real big bad.

From what little I know about the book material revolving around TFA the Snoke fellow was supposed to be monstrously old and powerful, so the idea that he was just a puppet of Palpatine's isn't very believable. In fact, the absolute worst part of the movie is the new status quo as per the opening crawl.

9 minutes ago, denstorebog said:

But TROS was too much a product of its circumstances to have the required emotional impact. Not just Carrie Fisher's death, but mainly a preceding movie that had absolutely nothing to do with the plot that TFA and TROS tried to bookend. TLJ should have lent the whole trilogy the emotional substance of character growth, but when the second movie refuses to play ball, you're left with two attempts at jump-starting a plot that ends up feeling rushed and conceptual rather than satisfying.

Yeah, although one has to keep in mind that TFA was pretty much a mess anyway. Slow character introduction, really no proper grounding/information on anyone - Rey doesn't even have her very own Owen and Beru, Finn has neither a name nor a background, either. You can essentially build nothing on that. And that no main character has any real connection to either of the good guy leads makes things much harder.

There cannot be much depth in a movie where the plot revolves around finding one of the main characters. That's just silly. Especially if there is essentially no good reason given why the guy is missing.

The point were TROS essentially feels like it takes place in a different universe entirely is the point where we have talk about Luke actually investigating things around Palpatine - right, he most definitely did that when he just blamed the Jedi for allowing Darth Sidious to destroy them and take power. He sure as hell would hide in the middle of nowhere if he thought Palpatine was still out there.

And how, well, bad Abrams is at coming up with a good story is the fact that he used exactly the same plot device as in TFA - first 'find Luke' then 'find the evil Sith planet'. It is remarkable that the new movie works despite that - because the plot device wasn't really necessary. The audience actually did want to know what was going on without anyone insisting they have to find something in the right moment.

By the way, a point in the movie where I thought they had a lot of potential of exploring things was the Ancestry Festival on yet another backwater desert planet - I expected Rey to have some vision there in some ritual or otherwise have some insight into her past. That could have worked pretty well.

Also, anybody else sort of irritated that they didn't show Coruscant (and the Imperial Palace, a possibly much better suited place for Palpatine to hide important stuff) or Naboo (his and thus, sort of, Rey's homeworld - she could have had some relations there)?

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30 minutes ago, denstorebog said:

If the plot of TROS had been rolled out over the course of all three movies instead of just the first and the last, it could probably have made for a solid and satisfying trilogy story. There's a glimmer of an interesting concept that shows up all throughout TROS -- from The Emperor's return to how the relationship between Rey and Ren ends. Given enough attention and time, the big concepts and arcs could actually have worked. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if JJ Abrams had both the Emperor and the whole Rey/Ren arc in mind from the get-go.

I think your observations are astute on this.  This film could have been so much better than it was if you didn't have this war between the second/eighth film and the first/seventh and third/final films. Opportunity lost. 


Abrams claims his idea was always to have Palpatine , apparently, but many question whether that's true.

Edited by Ran

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13 minutes ago, Ran said:

The fuck you talking about? That snippet of a scene isn't getting clipped in the U.S. It's getting cut for China.

Abrams made a thing about having LGBTQ+ representation in the film, but they clearly didn't have the balls to do it properly or the way people expected (i.e. Finn & Poe) because they didn't want to scare off the homophobes, so they put it in such a way that it involved a character people would barely exist from the last film and it was so short you could miss if if you happened to blink at the time. The fact they could snip it out quick for China probably played into that as well.

Spoiler

That was something else that was weird. They spent a fair bit of time in multiple scenes setting up Finn to confess his feelings for Rey and then completely dropped the plot point altogether the second he met Jannah. And then didn't do anything there either. Or address the semi-potential romance with Rose from TLJ. What has the guy go to do to get lucky in this galaxy?

 

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1 minute ago, Werthead said:

They spent a fair bit of time in multiple scenes setting up Finn...

Spoiler

Personally, I think what he was going to tell her is what he tells Jannah: that he felt the Force had been what had led him to Poe and Rey, that it had guided him to turn away from being a Stormtrooper.

To be honest, I think Abrams basically decided, yeah, if John Boyega wants Finn to be a Force sensitive, he deserves to be a Force sensitive.

 

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12 minutes ago, The Mother of The Others said:

Did it include a Lord of the Rings style celebration equal to the happy happy Hobbits all bouncing on the bed together in unspeakable joy until the audience got uncomfortable and started to fidget and look away?   Sounds like it.   I'm prepared to really enjoy this thing.   Teetering on the edge of going to see it now that it's becoming clear there's a bearded lady to gawk at.

It had a semi-complete rerun of the ending of the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi.

Spoiler

Down to a celebration on Cloud City as a Star Destroyer burns in the background and on Endor with an adult Wicket cheering another Star Destroyer coming down. No scenes on Coruscant, which I can only assume Abrams forgot exists, plus another celebration scene on Jakku and then a lot of cheering at the Rebel Base and Chewie getting the medal he was denied at the end of ANH.

 

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It was a 7/10. The first half or 2 thirds were very uneven, but I think they largely pulled it off in the end. Serious whiplash from the title crawl though. If you had gone into the film completely blind from trailers and announcements, the reaction would have been “oh what the fuck?”

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4 minutes ago, Stannis Eats No Peaches said:

It was a 7/10. The first half or 2 thirds were very uneven, but I think they largely pulled it off in the end. Serious whiplash from the title crawl though. If you had gone into the film completely blind from trailers and announcements, the reaction would have been “oh what the fuck?”

I knew there was a reason I watched the Fortnite event. The actual message was.... uh, broadcast there:

 

_If_ JJ was telling the truth that he always planned for Palpatine, pretty sure his vision was to have that message as the shock reveal at the end of his version of the TLJ.

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36 minutes ago, Ran said:

Abrams claims his idea was always to have Palpatine , apparently, but many question whether that's true.

From what I hear Kennedy said months ago they had always planned that ... but seriously, who can believe that? They had their Palpatine copy in the Snoke fellow. They were already the same character, there was no need to bring him back.

And if you want Palpatine - then why not make the whole thing somewhat more proper with some actual buildup and explanation?

By the way - was Palpatine supposed to be blind before the rejuvenation scene? And was that weird thing going on in the eyes of the evil general some sort of hint towards the idea that the Imperial military was always sort of fueled/directed by the Dark Lord Emperor like Zahn has Thrawn claim in the books? I read that as a nod in that direction...

31 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Abrams made a thing about having LGBTQ+ representation in the film, but they clearly didn't have the balls to do it properly or the way people expected (i.e. Finn & Poe) because they didn't want to scare off the homophobes, so they put it in such a way that it involved a character people would barely exist from the last film and it was so short you could miss if if you happened to blink at the time. The fact they could snip it out quick for China probably played into that as well.

The romance thing very much shows how botched this entire trilogy was. There was no plan on that department for any of the characters aside from Han and Leia.

The Johnson movie helped to fuck up things, but it is clear Abrams had no plan either, considering something seemed to start between Rey and Finn in the first movie, sort of continued in the second only to essentially disappear without a trace. And what we have between Rey and the bad guy was, well, kind of dubious considering it had always this power connotation.

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The reason I buy that Palpatine was always part of the JJ plan is that if it wasn't, then Rey's parentage was also 'fixed' for TROS. There was clearly a plan for *something* in TFA, and the idea of a Skywalker trying to lure a Palpatine to the dark side is some pretty potent stuff, the kind of idea you'd base a trilogy around.

Following that line of thought, in JJ Abrams' TLJ, you would see Snoke turn out to be a puppet of Palpatine. This seems completely plausible to me, because do we really believe that Abrams would ever reveal his main antagonist in the first movie?

Imagine a TROS beginning from a TLJ where Palpatine has already been revealed, where the clock is already ticking for the galaxy, where Rey has already shown some Palpatine-esque anger issues, and where Kylo is already apprehensive about who he's really serving. You could then have an entire TRIS dedicated to both Kylo and Rey switching sides, and Kylo trying to bring Rey back. Hell, you could even have Kylo go and seek redemption and training from Leia in order to save Rey. Not this rushed version where we're supposed to believe that Rey starts giving in to her anger and ancestry the moment she learns her last name, and Kylo gives up on the dark side after 30 seconds with his imaginary dad.

Heck, we might even have had time to learn how exactly Palpatine became a grandfather.

 

(BTW, speaking of dropped romance plots -- did we ever find out what Finn wanted to say to Rey before getting swallowed by sand?)

Edited by denstorebog

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10 minutes ago, denstorebog said:

So in JJ Abrams' TLJ, you'd have Snoke turn out to be a puppet of Palpatine. This seems completely plausible to me, because do we really believe that Abrams would ever reveal his main antagonist in the first movie?

Definitely agree with this. If what Abrams says is true, it makes perfect sense to me that Palpatine would be the real big bad for the final film. In essenc, it'd be Abrams saying that the Skywalker Saga is inexorably linked to the Emperor who lured Anakin to the Dark Side (and who, in some tellings, directly or indirectly was responsible for Anakin's birth in the first place), and so a final reckoning with him was the most poetic way to say the saga is done.

ETA:

 

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did we ever find out what Finn wanted to say to Rey before getting swallowed by sand?

I said this elsewhere, but I think it was his belief in the Force having guided him to turn against the First Order, and that it guided him to befriend Poe and Rey. His feeling Rey's death seems pretty clear to me to mean that he is a Force sensitive, a fact not explicitly acknowledged.

Edited by Ran

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Imagine a TLJ where:

We learn that Luke didn't go AWOL just to drink tit-juice, but because he went on a quest to track some weird signals across the galaxy and realized who was waiting at the end of the line. And he wasn't about to face that particular nightmare again or give Palpatine another chance at getting a new Skywalker pawn, so he went into hiding.

Rey then spends most of TLJ trying to get Luke to train her, but also to accept and reveal the truth he came across and which he maybe has repressed. While he reluctantly trains Rey, he also opens up to her, and near the end of TLJ, he finally shares a vision with Rey showing what he discovered. This happens around the same time that Poe and Finn trace a series of hints to Exegol where the Sith are gearing up for their master's return.

Luke finally agrees to come out of hiding to help Rey and the others confront the Emperor one last time, and leaves the island with Rey. He is reunited with Leia, Chewie, R2-D2 and C3P0 just as the Resistance gets word that a Sith fleet has started emerging from the Unknown Regions. Bam, end of TLJ.

---

While I remember -- and in the interest of fairness -- some random highlights for me:

  • C3P0 was actually funny in this one! He's been largely expendable so far, but his amnesia subplot was actually a fun little addition and gave a couple of heartwarming moments as well.
  • Even though it felt like JJ seeking redemption for forgetting to properly address Han's death in TFA, it was heartbreaking to see Chewie's reaction to Leia's passing.
  • I was thrilled that the movie opened with actual representations of Sith mysticism, because this has never been done in any of the movies before! The whole occult aspect, complete with giant statues and all, is something I've always associated with the Sith after exploring their ruins countless times in computer games or reading EU novels. But this was actually the first time we saw that aspect of the SW universe in a film.
  • Han's appearance ... oh man. The "I know" line may be kinda overused at this point, but it was pretty perfect in this context.
  • I finally saw a glimmer of the Han 2.0 that we always knew Poe was supposed to be. The hints about his background and his relation to Zorii were welcome elements.
Edited by denstorebog

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

It had a semi-complete rerun of the ending of the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi.

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Down to a celebration on Cloud City as a Star Destroyer burns in the background and on Endor with an adult Wicket cheering another Star Destroyer coming down. No scenes on Coruscant, which I can only assume Abrams forgot exists, plus another celebration scene on Jakku and then a lot of cheering at the Rebel Base and Chewie getting the medal he was denied at the end of ANH.

 

WAs that first scene Cloud City? I thought it was Coruscant, i recall a mushroom shaped building like that.

@denstorebog i enjoyed 3PO in this one too! And i’m on record as not a fan usually. I kept laughing in spite of myself...i enjoyed the scene in the sand work cave “You didn’t ask, but i’m alright too.” (Paraphrased)

 

Another thing i enjoyed which actually WAS fairly consistent/built up over all three films was the strong connection between Rey and Ren. I felt it made for some really cool moments, especially the whole taking things from one another at a distance

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10 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

WAs that first scene Cloud City?

Definitely Bespin's Cloud City. 

C-3PO was great in this. Laughed when everyone was staring at him and he turned around to see what they were looking at. It was nice that Anthony Daniels got a spotlight in what is likely his last turn as the character.

The whole "dyad of the Force" thing was ... actually awesome and clever, and made me feel much better about Rey's strength. I don't know if it's a JJ invention or an EU thing or even something he got from Lucas.

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7 minutes ago, denstorebog said:

The reason I buy that Palpatine was always part of the JJ plan is that if it wasn't, then Rey's parentage was also 'fixed' for TROS. There was clearly a plan for *something* in TFA, and the idea of a Skywalker trying to lure a Palpatine to the dark side is some pretty potent stuff, the kind of idea you'd base a trilogy around.

Well, I'd imagine the idea in TFA for Rey's background - if there was any, which I assume there must have been - would have been that she was Luke's daughter. The Johnson movie completely ruined the possibility to go in that direction considering how they

The Palpatine stuff really comes far too late there to be something they thought of from the beginning. I mean, it is awfully convenient to have her parents be dead for no good reason - a proper way to use them if the Palpatine connection was there from the start would have been to have her mother or her father show up in some capacity - for instance, one of her parents could have been part of the villains (even Snoke, say) and her mother one of the good guys.

7 minutes ago, denstorebog said:

Following that line of thought, in JJ Abrams' TLJ, you would see Snoke turn out to be a puppet of Palpatine. This seems completely plausible to me, because do we really believe that Abrams would ever reveal his main antagonist in the first movie?

Why not? The Snoke fellow was just Mr. Evil Hologram, a character about whom we learned literally nothing in TFA. There would have been sufficient time to give his back story, his connection to Luke, Han, and Leia, how he corrupted things, where his military came from, etc. All this would have been something they should have done to tell a compelling story.

In the PT movies Darth Sidious is always there from the start, just as the Emperor is mentions first in ANH. There is really no reason to make the identity of the villain a big mystery.

7 minutes ago, denstorebog said:

Imagine a TROS beginning from a TLJ where Palpatine has already been revealed, where the clock is already ticking for the galaxy, where Rey has already shown some Palpatine-esque anger issues, and where Kylo is already apprehensive about who he's really serving. You could then have an entire TRIS dedicated to both Kylo and Rey switching sides, and Kylo trying to bring Rey back. Hell, you could even have Kylo go and seek redemption and training from Leia in order to save Rey. Not this rushed version where we're supposed to believe that Rey starts giving in to her anger and ancestry the moment she learns her last name, and Kylo gives up on the dark side after 30 seconds with his imaginary dad.

Sure, that kind of thing could have worked. The Palpatine thing, if planned, should have been there in hints from the start. In fact, a really great connection could have been if Snoke/Rey's father/mother had been one of Luke's students as a Palpatine - something that could then have caused all sort of conflicts and mistrust for various reasons, not necessarily just on the Force era but also on the political level with this person being the unwilling figurehead of a Imperial military believing in the restoration of a Palpatine to the Imperial throne.

In fact, there we have some sort of theme which could have been the background for the new trilogy - Palpatine's apparent death causes further chaos because there actually is an Imperial family, an Empress and at least an Imperial prince, and there are various factions who believe the galaxy belongs to those people - or they should at least play some role in a constitutional monarchy or a republic system. This could have explained when/how/why Rey ended up on Jakku.

I find the Ren return to the light very well done on a symbolic level. He is literally killed. He is dead, he failed at everything he tried to accomplish, yet he is still brought back to life/healed. That is a very powerful moment, and combined with the obvious feeling he had for Rey this very much explains why he shows. Han shows up there to explain that to him. The movie didn't make all that much right but this works.

Rey only having 'anger managment issues' suddenly in the third film (I don't think she was ever angry in the earlier two films in this way) strongly shows that her background is a late addition, something that came with that movie.

If they had wanted to play the Palpatine theme with her from the start, there would have been a darker side to her from the beginning, she would have been more like Anakin and not essentially a female carbon copy of Luke. I mean, she really is the prototypical hero in the first two movies, without any doubt whatsoever that she could ever become evil. Even her visits to the Dagobah cave on Luke's planet in TLJ gives no indication of her being in any way 'a (grand-)child of darkness'. Surely Palpatine would have showed up in such a scene if there had been any plans in that direction.

And I really don't buy they had Johnson completely divert from previous plans for his movie - I rather think they didn't have any, which is why he could take the story in the direction he took it.

What do you guys make of 'the message' in the end: Rey choosing her own name is fine for me, but couldn't the movie not also have been 'The Rise of Palpatine' with Rey in the end taking her own name, settling on Naboo rather than Tatooine and showing the world that a Palpatine must not be evil? Leia and Luke certainly are her adoptive parents (more so, of course, Han from TFA, although that, too, was an odd choice in retrospect, since he doesn't show up as a vision in the end), but the granddad aside, the Palpatines seems to be a less problematic family than the Skywalker-Solo clan.

7 minutes ago, denstorebog said:

Heck, we might even have had time to learn how exactly Palpatine became a grandfather.

That is definitely something that needs explanation. But then - so does much in this convoluted story.

7 minutes ago, denstorebog said:

(BTW, speaking of dropped romance plots -- did we ever find out what Finn wanted to say to Rey before getting swallowed by sand?)

Nope. People are speculating about this, but it seems quite clear to me that it must have been something like 'I love you' considering that anything else isn't something you would stop saying until the moment you think you die. That was their rather weird reference to Leia's own 'I love you' from TESB.

17 minutes ago, denstorebog said:
  • C3P0 was actually funny in this one! He's been largely expendable so far, but his amnesia subplot was actually a fun little addition and gave a couple of heartwarming moments as well.

Yeah, that was fun - although the reason for the memory wipe doesn't hold any water and is inadvertently hilarious if you keep in mind that Darth Vader actually built and presumably programmed Threepio.

17 minutes ago, denstorebog said:
  • I was thrilled that the movie opened with actual representations of Sith mysticism, because this has never been done in any of the movies before! The whole occult aspect, complete with giant statues and all, is something I've always associated with the Sith after exploring their ruins countless times in computer games or reading EU novels. But this was actually the first time we saw that aspect of the SW universe in a film.

That was good, but there was too little of that. There should have been more than just invisible cultists chanting. It would have been so great to see an aged Mas Amedda or Sly Moore welcome them at the Emperor's court, or even get glimpse at Sate Pestage.

Stuff like that could have at least hinted at who and how the rebirth/resurrection of the Emperior was possible/done.

And, as I said somewhere, it would have been so great if they had had good-looking Palpatine after the rejuvenating scene. That could have turned the thing around that evil can but does not have to look the part, and Rey could have turned the tables again when she finally defeated him (they did that pretty well with 'good-looking public image Emperor Palpatine' in the last episodes of Rebels). It could also have allowed for a powerful last seduction attempt scene, with Palpatine really trying to be a grandfather for once.

The last episodes of TCW (prior the soon-to-come very last episodes) also delved into Sith mysticism to some extent, so it is in the movie universe up to a point, but not very well established.

17 minutes ago, denstorebog said:
  • I finally saw a glimmer of the Han 2.0 that we always knew Poe was supposed to be. The hints about his background and his relation with Zorii were welcome elements.

Really have major issues with the Poe character. His pretty much shitty introduction in TFA ruined the character for me.

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