"That bit is explained in the visual dictionary.."

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Something I kept hearing and being really frustrated about with the ST is how missing elements and plot points are explained in other medium - comics, books & TV shows etc.

Over the past few years this has REALLY wound me up and is largely why I had held so much disdain for the Sequel Trilogy after TFA. Why on earth should I have to spend all this time delving into comics and other shows to enjoy a damn movie?! I'm today wondering - have I just been incredibly hypocritical with that thinking - especially as I've spent an absolute ****tonne of time on YouTube videos of people trashing the films.. ?

It's the same for OT and even the PT to some extent. ALL I did as a kid when it came to Star Wars was get absolutely sucked into the franchise with their video games and other stories to expand the universe further and explain what went on. I think it's purely a time thing - as an adult with responsibilities I didn't have time to seek out all this other material like I did when I was a kid and had plenty of spare time on my hands to fully explore the universe that was created.

I've never seen the films outside of the cinema. TFA I saw three times, TLJ twice and only one viewing of TROS - for TROS I didn't even bother to do the midnight showing. I'm finally going to re-watch them all with an open mind and having this weekend started to watch/read some more of the material that has been produced alongside the films.

I also wonder - what do children/teens think of these films? Do they hold them in a higher regard than adults - are they as interested and excited to seek out the stories/novels/material as I was as a kid with the OT/PT?
 
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Having just got done doing yet another post in a different thread where I defend Rian Johnson and TLJ...I'll say that I agree with this complaint about the ST. While I won't try to claim that it's not an issue with TLJ (it's too late here for me to figure that out right now), it's so clearly a problem with the JJ Abrams approach to storytelling. He is about flourishes and visual reminders of things you've liked in the past, combined with "decide-as-you-go" screenwriting -- all frequently at the expense of actual world-building and narrative clarity.

In TFA, the key aspect of this is the political reality in which the movie takes place. Things are so muddy within the actual movie, the machinations of the various sides don't make a lot of sense. Which for Abrams approach is fine: you got nu-Rebels, you got a proto-Empire II, bam, let's go. But if you want to know what the heck the Hosnian system is, why you should care about it, how the First Order came to be, why Leia is a scrappy Rebel again...gotta read those supplementary materials. Which is, uh, not an ideal way to convey a movie's narrative.

(I also think this choice stems from the general revulsion of the prequels and a strong desire to not duplicate what people saw as their flaws; because of that, any mention of politics had to go. Can't even get a hint of that reality, like the "the Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us..." scene on the first Death Star, lest people start making Jar Jar jokes in the crowd.)

Anyway, all that is about failings of TFA, which in my mind is about a thousand times more successful than TROS, which feels like a filmed outline of ideas for two and a half more movies. At this point, I'm just hoping supplementary materials can salvage some degree of connection between Episode IX and the movies that preceded it (especially VII and VIII).

edit: Again, I'm a big fan of/apologist for (depending on your perspective) The Last Jedi. That movie alone makes the sequel trilogy worth revisiting. The trilogy is deeply and perhaps fundamentally flawed -- but it's certainly better than one would think after watching a succession of angry YouTube videos. For what that's worth.
 
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Completely agree, if the movie can not stand on its own. (within reason) then no one should need a additional source to understand what happened.
(Given the Hasbro/Lucasfilm relationship, I can't imagine that other product vendors have the updated constantly changing info needed to be 100% accurate.)

Anything outside the films is EU (regardless of how its labeled) Sometimes it adds something really great, sometimes its junk that can be disregarded & often its up to the viewer to decide what they accept as canon, because of contradictions in the various stories.
 
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This has always been one of my main pet peeves as well. I'm of the belief that if a story-arch or plot-point is introduced in the films, it needs resolved in the films. It's super obnoxious when something is set-up in the cinema and you need to shell out extra cash to get some sort of answer to or culmination in. The first time I can remember this occurring was with Attack of the Clones with the whole Sifo Dyas mystery. The ST does that infamously as well. It's a lot of fill in the blank...or having to go to the visual dictionary for answers. That's just lazy writing IMO. It's established and leads you to believe we'll get some answers, but we never do for some things...on screen anyway. Showing is always better than telling. It's just a literary rule. SW can get away with telling some lore, throw away lines like "That bounty hunter we ran into at Ord Mantell" or "Someone must have told them about my little maneuver in the battle of Tanaab," those work for two reasons: They build lore and character. One reinforces Han is a wanted man. One establishes that Lando is a seasoned fighter and pilot. The second reason they work is because those are not immediate to the MAIN plot. They're just fun throw-away world building comments. This is what EU should be, supplementary content that is both fun but not required reading information to understand the film the references come from. Either that or make EU completely out of the realm of the films, which was done...and sadly (in some cases) erased. But instead, crucial beats like Sifo Dyas, how Maz got Luke's lightsaber (which comes to play a major role in the ST and all we get is...she just did), how the First Order was begun or what it even truly is, Palpatine, Snoke, the Knights of Ren and others are all answered or being answered in other mediums when really should have delivered ON film!

I always loved Shadows of the Empire because I found it an enormously fun story that is not essential to know in order to understand how our film protagonists went from Empire Strikes Back to Return of the Jedi. We don't need to know how Leia got her boussh disguise, all we need to know is Luke continued to train, and we already know Han is being delivered to Jabba. It's not required fill in the blank because the opening subplot of Jedi isn't about HOW they got to the point where they can rescue Han but rather ABOUT the rescue of Han. It's simply....expanding our knowledge. Hence the name. That's what ideal EU is to me.
 
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I agree & disagree.

When it comes to main plot points & important story elements, I agree that the info given in the film should at least be sufficient to have a purpose in the film. If you're going to focus on a submerged X-wing, it should have a purpose in the story you're telling. Also, the full story should be evident. In other words, you should be able to follow & understand the whole story from the film, without having to refer to other forms of media.

But at the same time, one of the concepts involved in Star Wars is presenting a 'used universe' with the purpose of conveying a sense of reality that's helps submerse the viewer into the story universe. The real world messy and there aren't always explanations for everything. So when it comes to smaller details that might seem arbitrary, a bit of something only lightly hinted at or briefly shown can suggest depth of reality. It's not a new thing, that references are made in the films but explained more fully elsewhere. I think what's change is that in the past things were referenced in the film first, then the explanation in some other media was created afterward. Example 'The Empire Strikes Back' gave us a reason for Han Solo to change his mind about settling things with Jabba.... "that bounty hunter we ran into on Ord Mantell changed my mind". Later that curious reference to a specific event was flushed out more fully in the newspaper comic strips. I'm okay with films dropping unexplained references like that. In fact, I don't see the compulsion to explain every single reference like that. Then again, it's frustrating if the film makes primary elements too cryptic as well.
 
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Argh, okay. So I decided to start watching the sequels again from a completely open mindset and willing to accept that there may be parts covered in other media. But I'm really, really struggling to get through The Force Awakens. I'm at the part just before they go off to attack SKB and I've had to pause it. All the problems I initially had with it are still there, even more so now.

Why is Finn so well balanced for a character who was supposedly taken from his family as a child? How does he know so much about everything?! Yes it can probably be explained somehow, but every time he's on the screen and acting the way he does takes me out of the film. He also comes across even worse to me now that I know all of the vague "this guy is a special force user" was completely wasted and never really bought up again.

I can just about accept that the First Order were a terrorist like organisation and managed to get enough power to start causing a lot of destruction in the galaxy, just about - but I understand the origins of Starkiller base are still not properly developed in to other media? What gives?! Are they too scared to touch it in other media and even try to explain because of how utterly absurd an idea it is that a planet can shoot lasers across a galaxy?

Also the SW universe just feels so small in the film, plus Rey's insertion into the story is way too convenient for the plot's sake. I gather they were going for the whole "it's in your destiny that you end up here" kinda thing, but that annoyed me even with the prequels and OT - it is just way over the top in ST.

I don't even mind that they followed the same basic idea as ANH, but the story just makes no sense.

The comic timing is still way off too, the first seen with Kylo & Poe's cheeky remark to him.. urgh. No thanks.
 
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They really did Finn's character dirty. Even in TFA I got the sense they wanted him to be like Shia LeBeouf in Transformers. I said that back then when only TFA was around, but it applies even more now. His character ends don't meet, and he could've been (one of) the greatest character(s).
 
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They really did Finn's character dirty. Even in TFA I got the sense they wanted him to be like Shia LeBeouf in Transformers. I said that back then when only TFA was around, but it applies even more now. His character ends don't meet, and he could've been (one of) the greatest character(s).
Finn was hands down my favorite new character coming out of TFA and the one I was most looking forward to learning more about.

Within the first 15 minutes of TLJ he hit his head on a door and stumbled down in a hallway in diaper with a leaking colostomy bag.

Yea TLJ really advanced those characters...
 
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I've decided to watch ROTJ instead, not seen that in years. It certainly has less "what the hell, that doesn't make any sense.." moments and actually feels like it has a cohesive story. Same with AOTC which I saw the other day - though I think AOTC was the beginning of the whole "ohh, you have to check out this animated series or this other media to get the backstory on this part of the film".
 
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What I think about New Star Wars, Disney & Warner Brothers..........

usual bet mortimer.jpg
 
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Why is Finn so well balanced for a character who was supposedly taken from his family as a child? How does he know so much about everything?!

I can just about accept that the First Order were a terrorist like organisation and managed to get enough power to start causing a lot of destruction in the galaxy, just about - but I understand the origins of Starkiller base are still not properly developed in to other media? What gives?! Are they too scared to touch it in other media and even try to explain because of how utterly absurd an idea it is that a planet can shoot lasers across a galaxy?
I know it's cliche, but to me the relationship between the The Empire and The First Order is a bit like this... 'The Empire' was like Nazi Germany, and the First Order are more like 'Neo-Nazis'. There's a lot of people in this world looking for purpose. Give them a purpose, and you extend some control over them. Control in turn, becomes power. I think Finn is a free thinker whose really only discovering who he is. Up to that point he probably appreciated the structure and security The First Order added to his life. They were investing in him, and he had a purpose. He might even have felt like he was going to make a difference. Then it became apparent that he was expected to sacrifice his personal values for the First Order - so he left. As for him being balanced and knowledgeable... The First Order had probably invested many years in training and structuring him, from youth up. It's not a stretch of the imagination.

As for Starkiller base... if we were to start picking apart all the absurd things in the Star Wars universe, there wouldn't be much left to enjoy.
 
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The only ones I feel like had visual dictionary-only info that felt necessary to the story were the JJ Abrams sequel trilogy movies. Only really with the set-up for 7, but with almost every detail for 9. Pablo Hidalgo must have wanted to pull his hair out trying to make something coherent.
 
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...I also wonder - what do children/teens think of these films? Do they hold them in a higher regard than adults - are they as interested and excited to seek out the stories/novels/material as I was as a kid with the OT/PT?
My 7 year old son absolutely loved The Rise of Skywalker and it turned him into a legit Star Wars fan.
My brother and I took all the cousins to see TROS and it reminded us of when we saw ROTJ in theaters as kids. Everyone had a great time

I fully enjoy The Rise of Skywalker and all the ST movie while I watch them. I admit, there are times I stop and question, or more likely lament, the direction the writers went with the story. But I do enjoy the movie while I watch it, even now multiple times at home. And watching with my kids (my 4 year old daughter's fav character is Vader of coarse) and seeing them enjoy it makes it even better.

So for me, I enjoyed the movie as a 40 year old. And I was thrilled to see the awakening of Star Wars in my sons eyes with TROS, even if it is nothing compared to the OT. He had seen and enjoyed watching the OT and other Star Wars at home, but I think seeing Episode IX on the big screen unlocked an other level of devotion. And since then it has been pretty fun around here as a dad!

EDIT--

He also was all in on action figures, star wars books and other media. He binged the saga few times and finally I had him watch clone wars, which he loved. It was also great to watch the new season 7 with my son. I am sure he will be on to other things, but end to the skywalker saga peaked one 7 year old's mind.
 
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Oh, and yes, it is incredibly frustrating that seemingly a lot of the nuances of the story are being released outside of the film itself. Sure a book with back ground character names/descriptions and other stuff was always cool when it came to star wars. but it was never necessary to understand the 'basic' plot. I don't think my mom and dad needed to explain ROTJ's story as much as I needed to explain ROTS to my son...
 
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