back to article JJ Abrams and Star Wars: I've got a bad feeling about this

“Boys are only interested in pirates and Star Wars,” my daughter tells me. She is four and speaks with the confidence and clarity only a four-year-old can manage. Star Wars Thirty-seven years on, and the Star Wars franchise still captures kids' imaginations Her proof? The games played, toys brought in and the clothes worn …

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Re: Overly Harsh

Actually I hope JarJar is in the new movie - being horribly tortured, and then sliced to bits with a light-saber. A touch of the Game of Thrones sensibility would really improve Star Wars.

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MJI
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Re: Overly Harsh

I think you meant Alien Resurrection. 3 was not too bad

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Re: JarJar

I think many people would pay to see that !

But torture ? In a kids' film ? Can't have that.

A dip in lava maybe, but not torture. That would be too cruel.

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Re: Overly Harsh

"I think you meant Alien Resurrection. 3 was not too bad"

Agreed, 101%. Alien 3 is actually my favourite in the trilogy (the alleged Resurrection doesn't exist in my world, much like the mythical Highlander 2 that didn't get made either.) I liked it because it raised the stakes, and therefore the suspense, to even higher levels than Aliens, by eschewing the hardware and making the protagonists even more expendable than Marines.

In Aliens, Ripley had access to a military arsenal - machine guns, grenade launchers, flame throwers, sharp sticks... the outcome was a foregone conclusion. But in Alien 3, it was down to just the sharp sticks. My favourite line in the entire trilogy is in 3 - Ripley's immortal and beautifully sarcastic, "What about torches? Do we have the capacity to make fire? Most humans have enjoyed that privilege since the Stone Age!" describes the desperate situation perfectly. And don't forget the Big Whammy at the end - that Ripley sacrifices her life to wipe out the last surviving specimen of the Xenomorph brings the story, Wagner-like, full circle.

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Re: Overly Harsh

The alleged killing of Edward II with a red hot poker could be reimagined only with a light sabre.

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Unhappy

Alien Resurrection. 3 was not too bad

I actually liked them both equally in a not a patch on the first 2 way! Its just that 3 had so many false starts and rewrites and it almost made David Fincher's brain explode. Google Alien 3 wooden planet for a hint.

I just felt 3 was a bit of an Alien rehash with the generation of british character actors prior to all those currently appearing in GOT. Also I've never quite gotten over the disappointmnent I felt when Hicks and Newt were killed off - offscreen. That still makes me sad :(

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Re: Overly Harsh

That would make his eyes pop out on stalks ...

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Re: Alien Resurrection. 3 was not too bad

"...generation of british character actors prior to all those currently appearing in GOT"

You do know that the guy who played Dr. Clemens in Alien 3 (Charles Dance) is now better known as Tywin Lannister, right?

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MJI
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Re: Alien Resurrection. 3 was not too bad(Gordon 10)

Those deaths were jarring but it was still much better than no 4

My favourite is Alien as Aliens is a bit American

I also prefer The Terminator to any of its sequels, short fast, to the point, good characters, good story.

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Re: Overly Harsh

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Re: Overly Harsh

Actually I hope JarJar is in the new movie - being horribly tortured, and then sliced to bits with a light-saber. A touch of the Game of Thrones sensibility would really improve Star Wars."

STAR WARS: Game of Clones

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Not even bad

Those things have all been so mediocre they did not even register. Now that I see the common thread I will steer clear. To paraphrase an old expression from Wolfgang Pauli, those movies were 'not even bad'.

I am glad that others said it: Star Wars was OK, but not nearly as great as people seem to think. I am a long time sci-fi fan, but The Godfather movies were truly great; Star Wars is not in the same class at all. Our culture is pretty vulgar, so the fact that something is really popular is not much of an endorsement.

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Anonymous Coward

"other asteroid disaster movie"

Deep Impact was about a Comet not an Asteroid.

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TRT
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Re: "other asteroid disaster movie"

Not a patch on Meteor with Sean Connery.

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Re: "other asteroid disaster movie"

That's just being astronomically pedantic

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"Star Wars' concept of space was a new telling of space. Space before Star Wars had mostly been a camp Saturday romp. Satin cat suits in Buck Rogers and phallic-shaped rocket ships belching smoke in Flash Gordon."

Right. So 2001: A Space Oddysey, Forbidden Planet, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Things To Come, The War of the Worlds, The Thing From Another World, This Island Earth, When Worlds Collide, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (to pick just a handful of the Hollywood films made before Star Wars which addressed SF/space themes and received significant mainstream attention without the aid of satin catsuits or phallic rockets) never happened then...

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A little pedantic imo

The only one slightly comparable to Star Wars in that list is 2001 - and even that is at the other end of the spectrum - its pretty damn opaque for the average movie goer.

The rest are undeniably great movies but very much of their time and therefore difficult to compare to the new Blockbuster era ushered in by Messrs Speilberg and Lucas and of which only SW and 2001 are examples of that canon.

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LDS
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Re: A little pedantic imo

I suggest you to watch Forbidden Planet. Far better than 2001 (which is highly overrated just because the Kubrick worshipping) - and it couldn't be different, Shakespeare's "The Tempest" is far better than any A.C. Clarke book....

If a movie without lasers zapping around is not good for you, well, it's your problem...

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Devil

Re: A little pedantic imo

Forbidden Planet is like Star Trek version 0.1. It's much better as a movie despite of it's obviously cerebral underpinnings. It doesn't seem to be trying to make itself painful like opera. 2001 comes off like it was trying to be opera. It's something you watch because you are culturally superior not because you actually like the thing.

Still. The design of pretty much all sci-fi before Star Wars favored the "shiny and new" approach and outfits that looked like they were trying too hard to be futuristic. The rustic design approach of Star Wars was a different direction.

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LDS
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Re: A little pedantic imo

SW visuals are stunning, but how things are displayed is very much related to how people perceive them in a given point in time. The Fifties were when airplanes abandoned WWII camouflages and where shiny metal objects. The first astronauts suites were also silver. Future was shiny. It inevitably influenced how a story should be told "visually". The second part of the '70s was different It was a time of crisis. Vietnam war showed a less shiny army, and a lot of soldiers and weapons among the forest mud. and dirtied by it and showing long war use. Future was much gloomer. This shift probably in one way or the other, changed the way to "show" a story.

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MJI
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Lost

Gave up half way through the penultimate series, was not worth the effort of MKV2VOBing it.

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Who are we talking about here?

A director with a patchy track record, a history of recycling bits from other genres', the inability to write scripts where the characters are anything more than 2 dimensional and is a mastery at the art of marketing.

I'm sorry are we talking about JJ Abrams here? because it sounds awfully like George Lucas. On that basis the Star Wars franchise is in good hands.

(as a side note, it was amazing watching the end of 633 squadron last night how much George Lucas lifted for the death star scene in the 1st Star Wars film. All it needed was a ghostly voice telling Cliff Robertson to "use the force, skipper" and it would of been virtually word for word)

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TRT
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Re: Who are we talking about here?

Or The Dam Busters...

Wing Commander Gibson, we're too high and taking flak...

Stay on target.

They've got us in their search lights! I can't see...

STAY ON TARGET!

Aaaarrrgggghhhhh!

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Re: Who are we talking about here?

Close but no cigar.

It was The Dam Busters. Dialogue?

Q: "How many guns do you think?

A: (The Dam Busters) "I'd say about ten guns"

A: (Episode IV) "I'd say about fifty guns"

and so on. This is not to say of course that the scriptwriters of 633 Squadron weren't lifting chunks of Anderson's 1954 masterpiece, because they almost certainly were.

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Anonymous Coward

Star Wars generated plenty of imitators at the time, but few - if any - are remembered.

Ludicrous!

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Re: Star Wars generated plenty of imitators at the time, but few - if any - are remembered.

May the schwartz be with you.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Star Wars generated plenty of imitators at the time, but few - if any - are remembered.

"You've never seen a Valkyrie go down!"

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Re: Star Wars generated plenty of imitators at the time, but few - if any - are remembered.

Battle Beyond the Stars? If only I could forget it! It even had a simple farm boy in it (don't get much simpler than John Boy Walton).

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Re: Star Wars generated plenty of imitators at the time, but few - if any - are remembered.

I'm surrounded by assholes!

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Re: Star Wars generated plenty of imitators at the time, but few - if any - are remembered.

well theres only one thing I can think of that's surrounded by asshole

and that would be a Richard

if the shoe fits

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Re: Star Wars generated plenty of imitators at the time, but few - if any - are remembered.

"Battle Beyond the Stars" was deliberately "The Magnificent Seven" in space. And that was "The Seven Samuri" in the Wild West.

Just shows there's nothing new in story telling.

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Joke

Re: Star Wars generated plenty of imitators at the time, but few - if any - are remembered.

Nothing new - pshaw!

I dont recall either the 7 samuri or the magnificent 7 moseying around in a Boobie shaped wagon.......

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Re: Star Wars generated plenty of imitators at the time, but few - if any - are remembered.

What was that?

Mumble-mumble, space herpy!

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If not JJ Abrams, then who else?

I mean, take on a great space/western franchise like Star Wars, and do a good job, or, even a great job? Who is there? Who else could Disney have chosen?

Thinks: Firefly. Did Jos Whedon ever write or direct any films or TV that was any good? In the genre? Recently? One would love to think he was offered the job but had to turn it down on account of being too busy.

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Re: If not JJ Abrams, then who else?

Could be worse. They could have given it to Uwe Boll.

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Re: If not JJ Abrams, then who else?

Damn straight - Firefly and Serenity are probably the nearest we'll see to the original SW in our lifetime. Awesome premise too - What If the British had Won the War of Independence - IN SPAAAAACE!!! Now there's your goram cowboys.

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Meh

Re: If not JJ Abrams, then who else?

@lee h o

"Did Jos Whedon ever write or direct any films or TV that was any good? In the genre?"

Ahem - Avengers Assemble ring any bells? Arguably a sub-genre of the SciFi/Fantasy movie.

I believe he ruled himself out of the SW running early on - (although so did JJ until the moola was increased no doubt). Also I may be getting my timelines muddled not sure whether the grosses were in for AA at that point.

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@Youngdog Re: If not JJ Abrams, then who else?

Upvote, but I always assumed the allegory was supposed to be to the American Civil War, rather than the War of Independence.

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Linux

Re: @Youngdog If not JJ Abrams, then who else?

Yes. There was a very distinct divide in the old west between the townies who tended to be northerners and the cowboys who tended to be ex-Confederates. This is not something acknowledged in most conventional westerns.

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Re: @Me If not JJ Abrams, then who else?

The Civil War analogy never sat right with me. The historical Union always struck me as the good guys so I could never equate them with Firefly's blatantly evil Alliance. It also suggests that Joss Whedon might be some 'cold dead hands' nutter and as he's from a Union state (NY) that doesn't work either.

Call it post-colonial guilt but I always saw the Alliance as representing the overbearing British empire. Casting the amazing Chiwetel Ejiofor in 'Serenity' and him doing such a bang-up job probably didn't help!

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The Force is always with Star Wars, it's just an utterly brilliant setup.

I once heard a story about Columbus and people saying anyone could discover USA, where he ask people to put an egg upright, after failed attempts he picks up the egg and smashes it so just the end breaks leaving it upright. One comment that he could have done that and Columbus respond something like "you didn't".

George Lucas got the idea and made it come to life, unfortunately we have a sad group of egoistical assholes that somehow thought because they enjoyed watching some children movie when they were kids and in some weird reality distortion filter forgot Star Wars was never Blade Runner or some other epic grown up movie, they had RIGHT's and it was wrong of GL to keep making children movies and toys and whatever else kids stuff has been branded with Star Wars.

It's not about Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks, it's the FACT that the Jedi tries to be nice to them that matters, most of the movies we get shown all kinds of reasons why the bad guys is bad, but until Jar Jar Binks, we never got any example of the Jedi's being nice.

Beating on Jar Jar Binks, is like beating on a mentally retarded kid, it just show how much of an asshole you are.

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Joke

Sir

"Beating on Jar Jar Binks, is like beating on a mentally retarded kid, it just show how much of an asshole you are."

Oh and of course we always elect our retarded kids to the highest political body in the land..oh..carry on.

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They killed Jar Jar! The bastards!!

It's not about Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks, it's the FACT that the Jedi tries to be nice to them that matters

Jedis are Space Progressives? The mix of self-infatuation and direction-by-mantra exhibited in the low-numbered episodes are starting to make sense now.

Duke Leto wants to enter the council? He's a 1%er, throw him out!

Beating on Jar Jar Binks, is like beating on a mentally retarded kid, it just show how much of an asshole you are.

COMEDY GOLD!

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Anonymous Coward

Starwars orginal script

If you had read the original "starwars" script that was rejected and rewritten then you see that it was never George Lucas alone that produced what became Starwars

this maybe http://maddogmovies.com/almost/scripts/starwars_rough5-74.pdf

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Movies last too long

The clear thing to notice here is that trailers and snippets sell a lot of his work. The answer to this is obvious to me. Limit him to movies of 5 - 10 minutes and it should be alright.

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Re: Movies last too long

You could run them between the ads.

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Amen to That

An excellent article which captures everything that no one around me seems to care about.

Star Trek was an excellent reboot - in the sense that the audience interest graph stayed pretty much in the high end for most of the two films. There was swizzy technology, audience demographic involvement - and young rebellious children who could grow up to save the universe. Yay.

But in comparison to the previous incarnations the whole experience left me cold. The referential humour was butt clenchingly meta (good: Community, bad: Terminator 3) - and the whole Khan plot tried to be so clever it just came across as stupid (particularly to anyone who hadn't actually seen Wrath). The Federation as a totalitarian government was very hip and modern but again - did we need this change of direction?

I think Star Wars success was down to it being an original story which had been crafted together for years in Lucas and other people's minds. The technology was limited so they had to make it count. It was politically and historically referential but subtlely enough for it not to make people instantly identify with it. If we can have more of that then I'd be happy.

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Re: Amen to That

"The Federation as a totalitarian government was very hip and modern but again - did we need this change of direction?"

There have always been factions within each empire that seeks to destabilize for personal advancement - see 'Undiscovered Country' (you only have to watch it once mind, I'm not that cruel)

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LDS
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Re: Amen to That

"and young rebellious children who could grow up to save the universe. Yay."

Yaaaaaaaawwwwwnnnn.....

I've enough of "young rebellious children". That's something that sells well to the actual audience, but usually "young rebellious children" just create troubles, rarely solve them.

And that is what exactly Start Trek was not. But Kirk, who was a sort of "enfant prodige", the other characters are men who grow up learning their way through experience, and able to balance the "rebellious" spirit Kirk exibits sometimes. With TNG, they put in charge an older Captain who was able to learn a lot in its carreer (and has an artificial heart to remember him of a time when he was far less "experienced" and far more "rebellious"...).

Abrams just made a group of Wesley Crushers...

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LDS
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Re: Amen to That

Yes, but one thing is to show there are bad people in the Federation too - still the Federation fights against them, another turning Roddenberry's idea of a Fderation of Planets "in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" in something far worse - and in the process turn Vulcanians is something different as well.

It is that process began in the last ST movies and seasons, but it was one of the reasons those was often so-so in quality. They focusses too much on trying to re-imagine the ST universe to make it palatable to a different audience - the one who needs to see conspiracies everywhere...

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Linux

Re: Amen to That

> The Federation as a totalitarian government was very hip and modern but again - did we need this change of direction?

Trek taking on current events and embedding them in the middle of the plot.

That's pure TOS. Just go watch the original episodes.

If you don't like that kind of direction then that has some deep and significant meaning that you might want to contemplate further.

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