How Do You Make a Good Star Wars Movie?

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SethS

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Interesting. Another off-saga trilogy. Probably to off set the release schedule of Rian’s trilogy. I think more original tales as opposed to spinoffs is smart. I have no idea what these guys would do, but I feel like a First Jedi / Old Republic / WAY back prequel will be the rumor dejour for them.
 

sztriki

Sr Member
No great revelation here but on a strictly visceral level, Star Wars never "feels" like Star Wars to me without the music of John Williams. Seeing Rogue One really brought that home (which is not meant as a knock on Rogue One, I respect that it tried to do something unique).

But I've often wondered if the OT movies would have resonated with audiences as deeply as they did without Williams. I don't think you can overestimate the emotional heft and complexity he added to those movies. When the time comes and he's not able to perform that task, the new filmmakers will have some tough decisions to make regarding future scores. Do they go for some familiar imitation or strike out in a new direction?
That's true although again I would like to bring the first KOTOR as an example. Apart from bringing in the Force theme every once in a while it was all new music and felt very much in vein of John Williams' score. Conversely, the PT had fantastic soundtrack and it could not really evoke the same feeling.

I felt the same.

To be fair though, I found TFA and TLJ to be pretty forgettable too. In fact, I can only think of Rey's theme off the top of my head.
Mmm, I thought TFA was really lacking on the soundtrack front but after listening to the OST album again I appreciated more and more. I don't know, maybe it's the audio mix or just need some time to get used to it. I really like Rey's theme, the escape from Jakku, Resistance theme, final duel and the Jedi steps are all really good themes.
 

astroboy

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Another rule for making a star wars movie:

It should appeal to everyone.

I hate the idea that they are gearing certain aspects of this franchise for certain types of fans. Rebels is for kids, but rogue one is darker, for adults.

Again, Lucas had it figured out. He made these movies like fairy tales first. Sure, there was a violent military aspect, but it never overshadowed the fairy tale.

Disney wars hasn't yet figured out that sweet spot.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 

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Ridire Firean

Sr Member
Star Wars is a Geek Tragedy. <--- Nope, not a typo.

It is no wonder us geeks love the Original Trilogy so much...

There is a loner without any friends. He is stuck spending his time doing menial chores. He gets picked on by bullies. He hangs out with old people. He is told stories of Knights and heroism and his father that sparks courage within him. His luck changes and he gets a friend or two. His luck really changes and he gets kissed by a girl. Everything goes wrong and the bully beats him up. He develops himself into a physically and mentally stronger individual with the aid of a weird little friend. He confronts his tormentor and overcomes adversity. He proves himself the hero, like his father and the Knights before him.

Some other Geek Tragedies: E.T., Back to the Future, The Goonies, Stand By Me, and even Indiana Jones to name a few.

Star Wars has many elements within it. But to me, lightsabers and the Force are paramount. It's the Arthurian legend in a galaxy far, far away. I liked Rogue One, but I kept hoping through the entirety of it that there'd be a lightsaber battle tucked in there somehow. I'll probably go see Solo, again knowing there won't be any lightsabers in it, but hoping it will be fun. And then there's Kenobi, the trailer is just not making me feel fantastic about the direction of the movie. Again, it will likely be a movie devoid of lightsabers, but it may delve into a greater understanding of the Force. Though all the reaching out with the Force to contact Qui-Gon, is not something you would do if you were being hunted by the Emperor and Darth Vader. So we'll see.

This is a random thought, I just need to type it before it goes away... the over explaining/sciencing-up of the Force with midi-chlorians in the Prequel Trilogy is rather odd considering the story of they decided to tell of Anakin's conception was SUPER faith based. Shouldn't that have had a scientific explanation too? Like Shmi was swimming in a public pool where the chlorian level was too high or something and it did a little bit more than burn her eyes and bleach her hair? ;) And shouldn't Anankin's 'Force presence' have been felt by Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan much like Goku's Ki is felt by his friends and foes alike in Dragon Ball Z, rather than having to have it measured by a scientific instrument?

Where was I, oh yeah, Geek Tragedies... so where does Star Wars go from here? Do we want another retelling of the same old story? I'm not sure that I do. I wanted the end of a great story that could set up, but not necessarily initiate within this set, future stories that could be told. I'm not certain how to proceed either, but I'd like to see exemplary examples of honor, heroism, courage, kindness, love, and happiness in the face of adversity, hardship, cruelty, hatred, and despair.

The Last Jedi should have done that. Luke Skywalker was the hero who should have been setting that example. I'll never forgive the franchise for killing the hero he became to me through the Original Trilogy. Heroes are meant to be respected, they've earned it.

I saw The Force Awakens four times in the theater (the only movie I've ever gone back to more than twice), and I couldn't wait for it to come out on video! I wish it had Luke Skywalker with a much greater presence in the movie, but it did have two lightsaber battles and I loved it for that. I saw The Last Jedi just the one time in the theater, and it had lightsabers throughout it! I still feel a deep sadness about the story they told, and I'm struggling with the idea of even purchasing the video when it comes out.

I almost dread seeing Episode IX for fear of being further disheartened by how the franchise chooses to treat my heroes, or what's left of them anyway.

So, in summation of what makes a good Star Wars movie to me: Lightsabers, Family, Tradition, The Force, and a Geek Hero.
 

teragon

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
And then there's Kenobi, the trailer is just not making me feel fantastic about the direction of the movie
Just so you know, that trailer is purely fan made, and in no way representative of what that movie could be. I say could, because it also has not been officially announced in any way, nor was Mcgregor officially attached to the project.
 

sztriki

Sr Member
Thinking about it in the context of this Force-less Star Wars I don't know how many of you played the old-old PC games, but none of them had any Jedi or lightsabers in them except for the direct adaptations of the films for a long long time. It was all Rebel Assault 1-2, X-wing, TIE Fighter, Dark Forces up until 1007, when Jedi Knight was released. It's probably something to do with game engines, it's easier to dress a simulator game as a SW simulator or a shooter as a SW shooter, you probably need to be more creative with your game mechanics when you want to use pulls, speed ups, etc, but they worked around that issue in the earlier games and they still felt SW for me.
 

Ridire Firean

Sr Member
Just so you know, that trailer is purely fan made,

Oh, thank the Force! Just Googled "Ewan McGregor turban" and 'Last Days in the Desert' popped right up. I'd never seen that. Totally explains the floating scene looking the way it did and the weird turban look in exchange for a Jedi's hooded robe!

You just made my day teragon!!! Now the powers that be can't make it look like that, AND, they have a better idea of what NOT to do. I'm so relieved!
 
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astroboy

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER


If sex/nudity ever enters the galaxy far, far away then I am truly out.


The one hard rule that we need to follow is that you must be able to show your kids these movies. It's one of the things that breaks my heart about the current DC movies. There aren't any real Heroes. And frankly, what they did with Luke in the last one makes me sad. My 4 year old son LOVES luke skywalker. He's his hero on a truly fundamental level.

I'm going to wait until he's at least 10 to show him the sequel trilogy.
 

Ridire Firean

Sr Member
Yeah, the Thala-Siren milking scene was one of those things you can't unsee. :wacko And totally vulgar for a Star Wars movie. :(

I doubt many people caught sight of, nor even had Oola's 'wardrobe malfunction', register as such when seeing Return of the Jedi for the first time. I don't remember it from when I was little, and even wondered a few years ago if it was 'slipped' in during the Special Edition reshoots. But unlike the scene in TLJ, the scene in ROTJ was quite natural. Situations like that can and do happen like that when thrashing about. It... how to put it, ...has a very vintage National Geographic feel about it. It's just part of life. Even TBS leaves that scene in their broadcasting of ROTJ. But seeing the Thala-Siren scene as an adult, it registers to me as though it was set up as a spread-eagle, flippered, glorified sploosh shot, and only included to be such; and that is just tawdry. Even Yarna d'al' Gargan's triple-bikini's weren't that gross because it was part of the culture and ambience within the scene. And, yeah, I kinda remember the lady with 6 boobies. ;)

Need a sea-cow milkshake recipe? Sure, of course StarWars.com has one! Remember though, this is stuff you can't unsee... http://www.starwars.com/news/these-thala-siren-milkshakes-are-worth-a-trip-to-ahch-to

What the frell? That's just frackin' nasty! :sick May the Force help us! :lol

Now, can we have tasteful sexuality within Star Wars, absolutely! Padme's summer/lake retreat dress with its shoulderless, backless design, was STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS! The torn belly shirt in the arena on Geonosis was a little frivolous, but not completely gratuitous. Leia's metal bikini... O.K. it was a little gratuitous, but Carrie Fisher pulled it off with panache as the facial expression exchange between Leia and Luke was priceless! Besides, the world would be a lesser place if denied those scenes. Daisy Ridley's exhaustive fitness efforts don't go totally unnoticed and hidden away beneath her outfits as we are privy to Rey's wonderful unclad upper arms and calves. Her outfits are tailored, but not at all revealing. She's going the 'less is more' route and that's perfect for her character. In stark contrast Miss Ubbla Mollbro could have used an extra layer or two of clothing.

So do it to be natural, do it to be cheeky, but don't do it to be gross.
 

Mr Webber

Master Member
Yeah, the Thala-Siren milking scene was one of those things you can't unsee. :wacko And totally vulgar for a Star Wars movie. :(

I doubt many people caught sight of, nor even had Oola's 'wardrobe malfunction', register as such when seeing Return of the Jedi for the first time. I don't remember it from when I was little, and even wondered a few years ago if it was 'slipped' in during the Special Edition reshoots. But unlike the scene in TLJ, the scene in ROTJ was quite natural. Situations like that can and do happen like that when thrashing about. It... how to put it, ...has a very vintage National Geographic feel about it. It's just part of life. Even TBS leaves that scene in their broadcasting of ROTJ. But seeing the Thala-Siren scene as an adult, it registers to me as though it was set up as a spread-eagle, flippered, glorified sploosh shot, and only included to be such; and that is just tawdry. Even Yarna d'al' Gargan's triple-bikini's weren't that gross because it was part of the culture and ambience within the scene. And, yeah, I kinda remember the lady with 6 boobies. ;)

Need a sea-cow milkshake recipe? Sure, of course StarWars.com has one! Remember though, this is stuff you can't unsee... http://www.starwars.com/news/these-thala-siren-milkshakes-are-worth-a-trip-to-ahch-to

What the frell? That's just frackin' nasty! :sick May the Force help us! :lol

Now, can we have tasteful sexuality within Star Wars, absolutely! Padme's summer/lake retreat dress with its shoulderless, backless design, was STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS! The torn belly shirt in the arena on Geonosis was a little frivolous, but not completely gratuitous. Leia's metal bikini... O.K. it was a little gratuitous, but Carrie Fisher pulled it off with panache as the facial expression exchange between Leia and Luke was priceless! Besides, the world would be a lesser place if denied those scenes. Daisy Ridley's exhaustive fitness efforts don't go totally unnoticed and hidden away beneath her outfits as we are privy to Rey's wonderful unclad upper arms and calves. Her outfits are tailored, but not at all revealing. She's going the 'less is more' route and that's perfect for her character. In stark contrast Miss Ubbla Mollbro could have used an extra layer or two of clothing.

So do it to be natural, do it to be cheeky, but don't do it to be gross.

Exactly. At least Leias bikini had some context being Jabbas slave essentially.
 

BTTFSpencer

Sr Member
I agree with the geek tragedy thing but I think the current political and societal agendas that are woven within the film industry ultimately have ruined what is essentially a relatively young art form in order to make money. The studio system is bigger than ever. It has gotten so bad with this last film that I basically feel like Star Wars fans are being trolled. Rian Johnson made an insanely disappointing movie and I'm glad that enlightened people are voicing that and not merely following their favourite logos.
 

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Solo4114

Master Member
I would agree with that— do you think you could make a Star Wars movie that was successful without any of the visual cues we know? Like all new production design, no Jedi, no lightsabers, no plots characters from another movie.

All new production design? No, probably not. There have to be some visual cues. But no Jedi? No lightsabres? Yeah, absolutely. No characters we're familiar with? Yeah, I think so. Rogue One barely had any such characters, and I thought it did a fine job. I think future films would do well to expand outward. However, I think it'll be a bit before that approach is taken. My hope is that films like Solo are going to serve as launchpads for new characters, rather than just opportunities for the old characters to be explored in-depth.

I prefer to think of midichlorians as simply being microorganisms that thrive in force-sensitive individuals. A high midichlorian count would be an indicator that you are strong in The Force or that you have used The Force a lot ... but a low midichlorian count would mean nothing: you may be strong in The Force and never subjected to midichlorians in the first place.

Edit: The point of midichlorians was only to show that Anakin was strong in the force. It was a cheap way out. GL could have told it some other way but he was lazy. That's all there is.

Yup. Correlation != causation.

Yeah - What makes a good Star Wars movie feel like Star Wars is quite limiting in terms of story telling and concepts. So as Disney continues to mine all possible corners of the universe to keep their investment profitable this 'feel' will start to dissipate. Though I imagine once Disney roll out more films than Lucas ever did, this 'Star Warsyness" will change more and more in to generic Sci- Fi fantasy and become the new status quo. :(

Hmm. I think the general sense of what constitutes "Star Wars" will broaden as the focus shifts away from the traditional "saga" films and we explore more film styles and storylines.

I don’t understand SW living beyond The Force part of this statement ? If the ‘ Force ‘ isn’t represented in some way ( big or small ) in a Star Wars film , why call it Star Wars ?

Why not not call it something else ... anything else ? ... It’d just be another sci - fi film wouldn’t it ? After all , the Force is strong in Star Wars films ! ... it’s what makes SW = Star Wars .

Why call it Star Wars? At a baseline, because it's in the same setting/universe. Maybe it'll deal with similar themes. Maybe not. But at the core, I think the setting is what matters most as far as being identifiably "Star Wars." That and the "vibe" of the film, but I'll get to that a little later in this post. Although, I think setting is likely to become more important over time.

I felt the same.

To be fair though, I found TFA and TLJ to be pretty forgettable too. In fact, I can only think of Rey's theme off the top of my head.

I have a hard time recalling any kind of musical score in recent years, but part of that is because I rarely re-watch films anymore. I used to rewatch them all the time, so the scores for them would stick in my brain, but nowadays? Not so much. Repetition is really the key. I felt like Giacchino's overall feel for Rogue One was appropriate. I was pleasantly surprised at his work, mostly because I found his Star Trek stuff so awful and boring.


Anyway, to the core question of what makes a good Star Wars film.

I think there are a few elements that MUST be there, and some others that are nice to have but not absolutely necessary.

In the Must Have category:

- The films should generally look like and refer to things that make it clear that they are set in the Star Wars universe. Terminology, character attitudes and behavior, etc. are a big part of this. Production design is another. How problems are solved plays into this, too. For example, Star Wars is not and never has been "hard sci-fi." It's not concerned with scientific plausibility or fact. The setting has certain "rules" regarding how the universe works (e.g., ships travel by hyperspace and normal space; blasters fire discrete bolts of energy rather than beams; spaceflight is essentially WWII naval and aerial combat; etc.). There's some space mysticism, but it's not part of every character's experience of their universe.

- The setting necessarily affects how characters interact with it. One big distinction is that there is usually almost no time spent on resolving or otherwise addressing scientific concepts. Beyond simply ignoring Newtonian physics in space in most cases, science is rarely either the "problem" or the "solution" to any dramatic moment. Scientific plausibility rooted in our own understanding isn't important, either. Instead, it's space fantasy, with technology providing backdrop rather than focus (or at least the details of how the technology works isn't really the point).

Outside of those elements, though, I don't think a Star Wars film NEEDS to be anything else. Star Wars is a setting first and foremost, and I think you can create compelling stories within that setting that take a number of different approaches. You could do a detective movie, a heist film, a western, a war movie, a spy movie, etc., etc. As long as you retain the familiar cues of the setting, and you don't lean too heavily outside of the established "vibe" for the series, I think you're good. You don't need Jedi in everything. You don't need The Force in it. Regular people live in this universe, too. You need some kind of fighting, obviously, but if this franchise is going to grow -- and Disney definitely wants it to -- it has to break out of its established boundaries and explore new stuff. That means getting away from the OT civil war, or the PT clone wars, or the FO/Resistance fight in the ST. It means getting away from All Jedi, All the Time. It means moving beyond Jedi vs. Sith. It means having underworld characters who aren't clones of existing characters (e.g., Han, Fett, etc.).

Star Wars has an incredibly rich setting that could form the backdrop for a ton of terrific stories, but if all we ever do is try to emulate Lucas and the OT, or even the PT, the franchise will peter out over time. That, I think, was the great failing of Star Trek.

I'd also say that the Saga stuff should try to hew closer to the original vision. Mostly what I'm talking about is the "Star Wars Story" material. The Saga films need to break new ground, but stay much truer to the core of the old films. So far, I think they're doing a pretty good job of that, while also allowing things to evolve.
 

Keycube

Well-Known Member
All new production design? No, probably not. There have to be some visual cues. But no Jedi? No lightsabres? Yeah, absolutely. No characters we're familiar with? Yeah, I think so. Rogue One barely had any such characters, and I thought it did a fine job.

For sure. I actually found Rogue One to be cheapened by the force references, especially the Chirrut Imwe character. That whole thing felt gratuitous, and frankly, annoying. The movie was designed around a very "industrial" vibe, and his Force yammering encroached on all of that in an uninteresting way. Not to mention the whole "Force protection" scene on the beach. Off-putting and seemingly kinda fan-servicey on a few levels.

Not to rip on R1 at all; in fact, if you took out his and Baze's character (allowing room for a bit more personal exposition of the rest of the group, especially Cassian - what a potentially complex character!) and tone down some of the mega-distracting score to let some of the scenes breathe on their own, and you turn a really good movie into a freaking masterpiece.

As always, IMHO.
 

Solo4114

Master Member
For sure. I actually found Rogue One to be cheapened by the force references, especially the Chirrut Imwe character. That whole thing felt gratuitous, and frankly, annoying. The movie was designed around a very "industrial" vibe, and his Force yammering encroached on all of that in an uninteresting way. Not to mention the whole "Force protection" scene on the beach. Off-putting and seemingly kinda fan-servicey on a few levels.

Not to rip on R1 at all; in fact, if you took out his and Baze's character (allowing room for a bit more personal exposition of the rest of the group, especially Cassian - what a potentially complex character!) and tone down some of the mega-distracting score to let some of the scenes breathe on their own, and you turn a really good movie into a freaking masterpiece.

As always, IMHO.

I get what you're saying. I mean, I wasn't bothered by it, and I kind of liked the notion that people other than Jedi/Sith can tap into the Force somewhat, without really explaining it. But I can also understand where there's a criticism of "Really? You just HAD to include this guy? Couldn't go without even ONE Force-sensitive character?"

Especially after the PT, I was really wishing we could see more stories about regular people, rather than super-powered emotionally stunted space monks and their offspring. Gimme Firefly set in the Star Wars universe or something! Gimme the adventures of a spec ops team or a fighter squadron a la Rogue/Wraith Squadron. Gimme the story of a bounty hunter pursuing his or her prey. We don't have to have Jedi in everything. Regular people make far more compelling characters to me.
 

Bones_68

Sr Member
For sure. I actually found Rogue One to be cheapened by the force references, especially the Chirrut Imwe character. That whole thing felt gratuitous, and frankly, annoying. The movie was designed around a very "industrial" vibe, and his Force yammering encroached on all of that in an uninteresting way. Not to mention the whole "Force protection" scene on the beach. Off-putting and seemingly kinda fan-servicey on a few levels.

Not to rip on R1 at all; in fact, if you took out his and Baze's character (allowing room for a bit more personal exposition of the rest of the group, especially Cassian - what a potentially complex character!) and tone down some of the mega-distracting score to let some of the scenes breathe on their own, and you turn a really good movie into a freaking masterpiece.

As always, IMHO.

That's interesting. For me, Chirrut was one of the few characters in R1 I really became invested in (along with K-2SO). I liked the idea of this guy who has a connection to the force and Jedi if only in a peripheral way. It seemed like that connection wasn't strong enough to make him Jedi material but he devoted his life to it anyway, like a person who may not be musically gifted but they teach themselves to play an instrument for the sheer love of it. And it seemed like a good way to acknowledge the force without making it a front-and-center part of the story.

But, yeah, I agree that less force driven characters in future stories would be a nice change of pace.

Edit: or what Solo4114 just said!
 

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