Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (J.J. Abrams, 2019)

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
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mfunk9786
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#26 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:33 pm

I mainly meant that Super 8 was better than all of them.

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knives
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#27 Post by knives » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:37 pm

That is not something I could argue with, though I by a hair preferred Force Awakens.

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bearcuborg
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#28 Post by bearcuborg » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:01 pm

Perhaps he couldn't figure out a way write episode 9 with Carrie's passing. Does this mean Johnson at least writes episode 9?

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Ribs
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#29 Post by Ribs » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:26 pm

I think it'd depend on who ends up directing - I think there's a very real possibility that Disney had Brad Bird tentatively sign some in-case-of-emergency late-addition thing as part of doing the Incredibles and that they'd been kind of planning to force him into doing it on this exact relatively late-in-the-day scenario as it'd be the only way he'd come aboard. I can't imagine Johnson being brought in to cowrite without getting him to direct (a very realistic possibility as Last Jedi is inevitably approaching a final edit), though.

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movielocke
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#30 Post by movielocke » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:29 pm

What's most interesting about the director conflict this franchise has engendered is just how fragile the egos are of most hollywood directors.

That is to say, no hollywood feature director has EVER been in a situation where he (and it's always a he) felt like he wasn't the most powerful person on his project. Certainly with more power than the producers, even if they were technically his boss. The auteur theory that has been the utter and total dominance of all american film education (they teach you you have to act like an auteur, not how to block a shot) since Sarris translated the cahiers stuff, has led to a profoundly entitled culture where the directors believe themselves to be sacrosanct and every one else goes along with it.

That's one of the key differences between the current television regime and the feature film world (since the two are largely segregated), in television, the producers hold all the power.

So it's very interesting that Kennedy et al are establishing a new standard for features, and are running the franchise as though it were a TV production. ironic, considering Lucas was one of the brat generation director celebs that made the auteur theory root so strongly in american film ethos.

(on TV, no one ever wants to hire a feature director, since they're considered borderline incompetent at executing their jobs, likely to go six times over budget and annihilate the calendar of any series willing to take the risk. Often times the only time a celebrity director does a TV show for an established series is because network ordered it and is willing to take the budget and schedule brutality for the publicity).

So it is interesting that Abrahms--a TV director first--was the one that was able to easily transition into the TV esque system they are using on the star wars franchise. I wonder if he was partially responsible for some of these characteristics carrying over into the management of the new films?

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Ribs
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#31 Post by Ribs » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:32 pm

I mean, the Bond franchise has done this producer before director and even sometimes star thing for a long time, too, it's just weird that it's become the dominant mode for every single other franchise rather suddenly over the past decade.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#32 Post by matrixschmatrix » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:38 pm

I think producer first mentality has become part of the big IP business idea- I doubt any of the directors on the Harry Potter movies had absolute control, and it's pretty clear that Del Toro did not on The Hobbit, nor Edgar Wright on Ant Man.

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knives
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#33 Post by knives » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:44 pm

Yeah, since the '80s at least the idea of producer as semi-auteur has been pretty dominant especially on IP films. I also highly doubt this is the case with Trevorrow who is if anything notorious at this point for being a producer's dream director. Likely the reasoning is more complicated (maybe the failings of Books of Henry did do him in) then the annulment line that they pulled out of the handbook.

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Never Cursed
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#34 Post by Never Cursed » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:04 pm

I don't necessarily know if this is such a new idea; isn't this the way a lot of big budget studio era movies were made? Gone With The Wind especially comes to mind, what with the movie cycling through three directors.

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knives
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#35 Post by knives » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:07 pm

I took the original criticism as post-studio focused.

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Luke M
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#36 Post by Luke M » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:12 pm

I think Ava Duvernay or Ryan Coogler would be inspiring choices.


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Magic Hate Ball
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#38 Post by Magic Hate Ball » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:59 pm

I mean, at this point they might as well just prop up a dead person as a stand-in for how committee-controlled the process seems to be.

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MoonlitKnight
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#39 Post by MoonlitKnight » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:20 am

movielocke wrote:That is to say, no hollywood feature director has EVER been in a situation where he (and it's always a he) felt like he wasn't the most powerful person on his project. Certainly with more power than the producers, even if they were technically his boss. The auteur theory that has been the utter and total dominance of all american film education (they teach you you have to act like an auteur, not how to block a shot) since Sarris translated the cahiers stuff, has led to a profoundly entitled culture where the directors believe themselves to be sacrosanct and every one else goes along with it.

That's one of the key differences between the current television regime and the feature film world (since the two are largely segregated), in television, the producers hold all the power.

So it's very interesting that Kennedy et al are establishing a new standard for features, and are running the franchise as though it were a TV production. ironic, considering Lucas was one of the brat generation director celebs that made the auteur theory root so strongly in american film ethos.

(on TV, no one ever wants to hire a feature director, since they're considered borderline incompetent at executing their jobs, likely to go six times over budget and annihilate the calendar of any series willing to take the risk. Often times the only time a celebrity director does a TV show for an established series is because network ordered it and is willing to take the budget and schedule brutality for the publicity).

So it is interesting that Abrams--a TV director first--was the one that was able to easily transition into the TV esque system they are using on the star wars franchise. I wonder if he was partially responsible for some of these characteristics carrying over into the management of the new films?
This is hardly a new concept for the SW franchise; both TESB and ROTJ were also made this way, after all, with Lucas more or less serving as the 'grand overseer,' so to speak, for both movies and Kershner and Marquand serving as directors do in TV (I know it's become fashionable to downplay Lucas' involvement with the former since it's largely regarded as the best outing in the series, but whatever :roll: ). As a result, despite his initial 'auteur' status, one could also cite him as at least partially responsible for the current movie environment of the producers having more of a say in the final cut of a potential blockbuster movie franchise, just as it was in the Old Hollywood studio era. I've always been led to believe in the concept that film is the director's medium, television is the producer's medium, theatre is the actor's medium, literature is the writer's medium, etc., but there are clearly always going to be producers/publishers in each medium who care far more about the short-term bottom line than making something that will potentially still be relevant for generations to come.

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tenia
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#40 Post by tenia » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:27 am

domino harvey wrote:Thank God. Even with the producers' less than stellar reputation of interfering with directors, they could probably get literally anyone they wanted and his choice never made sense
I still don't understand why people get so caught up in thinking the director is so important for a Star Wars movie in 2017. It's so locked by the studio anyway, it's not as if a director could give the movie a very specific visual aspect (though for sure, Jurassic World is so visually bad, I guess a better director would be a nice thing to have).

On top of this, looking back at Ep 7 and Rogue One, their biggest issue certainly wasn't the direction, but rather the writing. I'd be much more reassured by knowing the scripts will be better and tighter than watching another probably meaningless director switcheroo.
swo17 wrote:This must be a fun day for Colin Trevorrow to read about himself on the internet.
The only thing I believe in is karma, and I guess that seeing how Jurassic World was one of the biggest recent hold up in cinema history, I guess this is simply payback.

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colinr0380
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#41 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:52 am

I agree with all of the above. Certain franchises have grown so big now that they seem larger than any particular star or director. Perhaps even the content of them isn't important any more when they're perhaps more important in sending you to Universal or Disney theme parks as telling a continuing story. You've got to keep the brand awareness up somehow, so why not with a new film to whet the appetite in between family vacations?

This all rather flies in the face of the 'auteur director' idea mentioned earlier, and even that idea that sometimes gets mentioned in commentaries that you just have to get to a certain stage of production and they'll have to keep you on, at least until control of the film can be wrested away in the editing room (as say happened to Peckinpah over and over), because its expensive to replace a director in mid-shoot. Then there's the possibility of maybe doing a "Director's Cut" later on (which itself is why its very interesting to see the 'Richard Donner cut' of Superman II, while it seems rather unnecessary to have an extra hour of footage added to Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. The latter appears to be done less because of editing room conflicting visions resulting in different takes on the material and more just for extra marketable 'content' for the home video release). Expense seems to be relative thing on big franchise movies though.

What strikes me as strange about this is why all these young up and coming indie directors were hired for big franchise entries anyway if nobody wanted their particular vision? They all had nerd-culture indie cred built up through small scale hits, but that seemed to get steamrolled over and the safe-but-bland Ron Howard and Lawrence Kasdan types brought in after all. That might make sense, in having a crushingly dull blockbuster series in crushingly dull safe hands (as with the majority of the Harry Potters, despite the Cuaron-directed middle one. Though there is that cautionary tale of being too crushingly dull in knowing how the George Lucas directed prequels turned out), but why line up such youthful energy in the first place to just dispose of it? Is it just that every studio were desperate for their own 'hip, young' Joss Weedon or J.J. Abrams type, then suddenly realised that not every other up and coming director were happy to rigidly work within the confines of a particular template? That other directors might be primarily concerned about their particular film than the total direction of the franchise itself?

Also, I know its an entirely different franchise so maybe there's no connection to be made at all, but how much did the 2015 Fantastic Four film having all of its troubles cause a sea change in studio thinking towards that particular generation of directors suddenly helming blockbuster franchise entries?

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JamesF
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#42 Post by JamesF » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:35 am

Tempting to wonder how Irvin Kershner and Richard Marquand would have fared as director choices against modern-day social media scrutiny!

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MoonlitKnight
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#43 Post by MoonlitKnight » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:52 am

Kershner was a well-regarded strictly for-hire director in the industry, so I doubt much would've been made of him. Marquand, on the other hand, would've likely suffered the same fate as Trevorrow and Lord & Miller, given that it's been fairly well-documented that it was felt his inexperience working on large-scale films showed quite a bit and that Lucas more or less ended up co-directing ROTJ as a result. I'm still not sure how "Eye of the Needle" made him an ideal choice for helming such a project (again, according to several people associated with ROTJ). Maybe they had gone all in on either Lynch or Cronenberg, and, once they spurned them, had no other marquee choices? :-k

Still, I find it strange that Trevorrow got the boot despite pretty much doing exactly with "Jurassic World" that Abrams had done with TFA, i.e. giving people a modernized rehash of the original film of the franchise and seemingly thinking they wouldn't notice. A lot of the sources I've seen seem to cite "The Book of Henry"'s poor box office performance as a significant reason. But, really, I can't imagine that film ever actually being capable of attracting a mass audience. I can't help but think Di$ney is being highly over-cautious. :|

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tenia
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#44 Post by tenia » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:23 am

MoonlitKnight wrote:I can't help but think Di$ney is being highly over-cautious. :|
If they were, they would never have hired Trevorrow in the first place.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#45 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:43 am

Ah yes, noted cinematic outlaw Colin Trevorrow



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domino harvey
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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#48 Post by domino harvey » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:51 am

Excellent news!

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#49 Post by Cde. » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:08 am

Yeah, I enjoyed VII. Might not be as interesting as Rian Johnson would have been (though I'll have to wait until December to get a better idea of that), but it's a big step up from the likes of Trevorrow and Edwards.

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Re: Star Wars Franchise (1977-∞)

#50 Post by aox » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:12 am

Glad Abrams is returning and will wrap up the trilogy

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