Join 3,440 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


May The Please Don't Screw This Up Be With You.
March 2, 2013 9:39 AM   Subscribe

Here is what a bunch of folks seem to think are the 74 Things Every Great Star Wars Movie Needs.
posted by timsteil (62 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
75. Lens flare.
posted by Fizz at 9:41 AM on March 2, 2013


76. Lack of CGI.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:51 AM on March 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Entire planets with only one biome

Snrk.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:52 AM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


1. More beanplating.
posted by George Lucas at 9:54 AM on March 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


77 mind melds
posted by kliuless at 9:54 AM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ingredients count , but I think the prequels show that it's the preperation that matters.

Also, as part of my regular "Clone Wars is so much more Star Wars-y than any of the prequel movies" slot, it sounds like things are happening with Ahsoka Tano.
posted by Artw at 9:56 AM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Heh. Damon Lindelof picks "mystery".
posted by Artw at 9:57 AM on March 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I see 26 is "sand."

Don't just jam together every superficial detail from movies you like without giving any thought as to why you liked them. That's how we got the prequels.

What is the only Star Wars movie where nobody goes to Tatooine? That's right. The Empire Strikes Back.

Case closed. Fuck sand.

Also, it's coarse and rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere.
posted by RobotHero at 10:00 AM on March 2, 2013 [23 favorites]


Mystery by Damon Lindelof

I am pretty gobsmacked by the chutzpah of this whole entry. Dude is the cheapest date in the world when it comes to sense-of-wonder — he mistakes any hole in his own knowledge for a mystery of the universe (and then thinks his audience will do likewise, as Prometheus demonstrates).

Offensive, almost certainly unintentional ethnic stere­otypes

I'm not sure what the word "need" is meant to convey here.

Flaws

The prequels were great, then!

And then there's a whole category of items that it's palpably nonsensical to claim have ever appeared in Star Wars:
Moral Relativism
Witty Banter
Politics

posted by RogerB at 10:01 AM on March 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


76. Lack of CGI.

It is pointless to resist.
posted by Darth George Lucas at 10:03 AM on March 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


Dirt
posted by Authorized User at 10:12 AM on March 2, 2013


Ha! So much for my theory I could go to the mobile view and get a less wacky layout.
posted by Artw at 10:25 AM on March 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


78. The Gonk.
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:33 AM on March 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Is "Jar Jar Binks" on the list?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:44 AM on March 2, 2013


Gonk. Gonk.
posted by Artw at 10:44 AM on March 2, 2013


Ha! So much for my theory I could go to the mobile view and get a less wacky layout.

Amen to that. I must've made it at least halfway down the page before I realized that the ignorable-looking sidebars were in fact actual article content. And then I got to the randomly-placed click-to-expand sections...

I remember the days when Wired's sins against graphic design mostly extended to hot-pink-on-puke-green color schemes. Oh, how we laughed!
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:53 AM on March 2, 2013


Now, now, there was plenty of mystery in Prometheus. For example, I am still perplexed by why the captain of a spaceship can't run in right angles when being chased by a giant donut-y shaped thing.

Also, while I think Jake Tapper's entry is a minority view, I would point out that a scene involving politics is the only time in the entire prequel-verse in which the presence of Jar Jar Binks actually makes sense and moves the plot forward.

I hasten to add that I, like Tapper, would like to know a bit more about how one becomes a grand moff. It's interesting to me that Tapper assumes it's a democratically elected position. It had honestly never occurred to me that grand moff was an elected position, but rather a position appointed by the emperor. I'm open to another view on this, because (1) maybe I'm confusing Tarkin's military duties on the Death Star with his governorship duties and (2) my only evidence for this analysis is that I'm not sure that eliminating an entire world would be a very politically savvy move for an elected official, even if his constituency is remote.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:59 AM on March 2, 2013


79. Foreshadowing.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:10 AM on March 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Offensive, almost certainly unintentional ethnic stere­otypes

shouldn't that be on the list of things-to-avoid-at-all-costs?

also - what's with the image credits saying "photograph by" when the picture is so obviously a composite of a bunch of different pictures? is that really what photograph means? were all the photographs in the image actually taken by the person named?
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:10 AM on March 2, 2013


I see "Faulty hyperdrive systems" (62), but not the culprit: bad, sabotaged, or otherwise damaged motivator units.
posted by steef at 11:19 AM on March 2, 2013


The pic that accompanies "Choking" is brilliant.
posted by notsnot at 11:22 AM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


also - what's with the image credits saying "photograph by" when the picture is so obviously a composite of a bunch of different pictures?

What would be an example of that? All of the credited photos appear to be just that, albeit with some compositing or post-processing. Are you suggesting they be defined as "collages" or something?
posted by ShutterBun at 11:26 AM on March 2, 2013


Damon Lindelhof picks his nose.
posted by Mcable at 12:07 PM on March 2, 2013


I like the joke from Star Star Wars: Detours, god help me. Ah well, maybe Jane Espenson just gave us the only good line from it.
posted by Artw at 12:30 PM on March 2, 2013


I'd like to see some Force Fucking levitation acrobatics between jedis, although I guess they're supposed to be celibate.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:44 PM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, they're not supposed to fall in love.
posted by Artw at 12:45 PM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


What would be an example of that? All of the credited photos appear to be just that, albeit with some compositing or post-processing.

I guess it's the last one with c-3po, it just looks like it's been cobbled together from a bunch of stock images. I could be wrong, though
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:07 PM on March 2, 2013


Offensive, almost certainly unintentional ethnic stere­otypes

This was just a feature bug of the prequels, right? So, I'd say this is one of the many things a Star Wars film doesn't need.
posted by crossoverman at 3:38 PM on March 2, 2013


This was just a bug of the prequels, right?

No, people saw the Ewoks as stereotyped Pygmies before the prequel trilogy existed (e.g.). I don't know how much the Jawas or the Sand People were perceived that way on first viewing Star Wars, though — the aliens-as-racist-stereotypes thing may have been a post-Jedi reaction.
posted by RogerB at 3:50 PM on March 2, 2013


No, people saw the Ewoks as stereotyped Pygmies before the prequel trilogy existed

Interesting. That book also suggests Chewbacca is "the non-white companion", which is pretty troubling. But this might be filed under "almost certainly unintentional", as the article suggests.

Neither of these struck me in the same way that Watto - the stereotypical "Jewish business man" in the prequels, who is absolutely appalling.
posted by crossoverman at 4:16 PM on March 2, 2013


80. A mutually beneficial cred-swap with a respected mythological scholar that scores a broader audience for both.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:00 PM on March 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I always thought Watto was an Arab?
posted by Artw at 5:03 PM on March 2, 2013


/Because clearly that matters and makes it less awful.
posted by Artw at 5:04 PM on March 2, 2013


Yeah, I personally had to reappraise how I felt about the whole argument entirely after the over-the-top racism of Episode 1 (not just Watto, also the insane Yellow Peril shit with the Trade Federation guys, who I just learned are called "Neimoidians"). Before 1999 I found the Ewoks a lot cuter, and saw it as easier to argue that (just like a lot of the rest of the Star Wars films) they were consciously playing with/pastiching old Hollywood tropes, rather than partaking directly of the same racism as the old tropes. My favorite review of Episode 1, by Stuart Klawans, makes this retrospective reassessment very clear.

That book also suggests Chewbacca is "the non-white companion", which is pretty troubling. But this might be filed under "almost certainly unintentional", as the article suggests.

I think that the article makes the mistake of saying "unintentional" when it means "unconscious" — after all, it's very clear that Han and Chewie's relationship is that of the buddy movie, isn't it? And even clearer what that means when we learn that Lando Calrissian is Han's former buddy — though, in the expanded field of intergalactic race/species, he can still pair off buddy-style with Chewie or later with the other copilot guy (who I guess is called Nien Nunb? who in retrospect seems just as racecringe-worthy as anything in the prequels, a mildly extraterrestrialized version of Short Round).
posted by RogerB at 5:07 PM on March 2, 2013


The only one that's right is Scoundrels, i.e., "Han Solo" because Lack of Han (or Han Equivalent) in the prequels meant there was no antidote to the stiff dialogue, droning pronouncements, and general stick-up-the-assedness of the rest. A "Meesa!"-spouting CGI abomination who falls on his ass a lot won't do it, that's for sure.

My kid loves Star Wars, all of them, is watching IV right now. The more I watch them the more I think Jedis were mostly assholes, as written. Especially Yoda, what a jerk he could be. Only the Clone Wars animated series makes any of the Jedi sympathetic. Which is why you needed other characters to roll their eyes at them or cut through the bullshit.
posted by emjaybee at 5:11 PM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure I saw Superman beat up Nein Numb in a racist WWII cartoon.
posted by Artw at 5:13 PM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just from an editorial perspective, this is horrible.

From a fannish perspective, it's even more horrible. Hearing that JJ and his crew of assholes was going to be involved in this (FUCK Damon Lindelof, you fucking fuckwad) and seeing their comments makes the hurt even worse.
posted by emcat8 at 6:11 PM on March 2, 2013


From a fannish perspective, it's even more horrible. Hearing that JJ and his crew of assholes was going to be involved in this (FUCK Damon Lindelof, you fucking fuckwad) and seeing their comments makes the hurt even worse.

Watch the Red Letter Media review of his Star Trek movie. Plinkett pointed out that it was as exciting as a Star Wars movie should be.

I joked about this in the last thread, but Tarantino should direct. Star Wars was originally a pastiche of genres he loved: Westerns, samurai films, war movies. He could do them justice and fix Star Wars' horrible dialogue.

Honestly I want less Jedi and no continuity or seriousness. Just a swashbuckling space adventure full of action, odd creatures, derring-do and last minute rescues. I'm sick of bloated cod-mythology.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:11 PM on March 2, 2013


Ahsoka Tano is awesome.
I watched The Wrong Jedi twice last night just to savour it.

Man, Tarkin is evil. I've never thought that before, even with the whole blowing up a planet thing, but no: evil to the core.
posted by Mezentian at 9:14 PM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Only the Clone Wars animated series makes any of the Jedi sympathetic. Which is why you needed other characters to roll their eyes at them or cut through the bullshit.

Clone Wars is making them pretty inept, corrupt and inward looking. Also: terrorists and brutal.
The Jedi as we know them now are just as bad as the Republic Senate.
They even know they're doing the wrong thing by fighting in The Clone Wars and yet they don't do much about it.
posted by Mezentian at 9:19 PM on March 2, 2013


81. Bad feelings about this.
posted by Spatch at 1:23 AM on March 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


This gets a few things right and a lot wrong. One of the things that always fascinated me about Star Wars is that Lucas seems to have had clear rules about which features are simple and which are complicated. For instance: yes, every planet only has one biome. But they don't repeat, which leads to a staggering variety of planets. The same goes for the honorifics: there's an endless supply (Supreme Chancellor, Vice Roy, etc etc), but each is only used once. The dialogue is extremely simple, but the fx and backgrounds are as detailed as possible. The story arcs are simple, the creature designs aren't. There is swinging from ropes, "a bad feeling", a monster fight, and a race in every movie, but only once per movie. It's a sprawling universe, but put together with some very simple, basic rules--which I suspect is part of its appeal & success. I worry that they're going to botch it if they only half-understand the principles at work, as this article does.
posted by muckster at 2:36 AM on March 3, 2013


This layout...is this the Web 2.0 I've been hearing so much about? I'm 35 years old, can somebody explain how the world works now?
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 4:40 AM on March 3, 2013


That is not layout, even by the standards of Tumblr.

So, I guess it's Web 3.0 or 4.0.
posted by Mezentian at 4:45 AM on March 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


-1: The involvement of George Lucas
posted by Samizdata at 12:28 PM on March 3, 2013


I have long and loudly contended that Leigh Brackett was the best possible thing about the Star Wars series. She brought scope, grandeur and mythology to Lucas's tale. Lucas was content to muddle about with a world. Brackett delivered a universe.

The whole business of "Luke upside down" in Empire becomes far more grand once you realize that it isn't a recurring joke. This is a deliberate evocation of the Hanged Man, a surrender to a higher power. The Force only really kicks in when Luke lets go of himself. Luke must finally surrender to the Force to rescue his friends and family.

Luke's resignation to his destiny and his gravitas were obviously apparent in Return of the Jedi. He is no longer the naif from Tatooine. This is why, for all its faults, I hold RotJ high: there is a sadness, a distance, between Luke and his friends. Han seems less like the savvy companion and more like a relic of the life Luke left behind.
posted by SPrintF at 2:39 PM on March 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Zoe Saldana wants to be a space princess.
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM on March 3, 2013


But, she always was. Earth is a spaceship, man.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:28 PM on March 3, 2013


Only the Clone Wars animated series makes any of the Jedi sympathetic. Which is why you needed other characters to roll their eyes at them or cut through the bullshit.

Clone Wars is making them pretty inept, corrupt and inward looking. Also: terrorists and brutal.
The Jedi as we know them now are just as bad as the Republic Senate.
They even know they're doing the wrong thing by fighting in The Clone Wars and yet they don't do much about it.


Heh. Clone wars seems to have taken a very strong "screw the Jedi Council" stance. Mace Windu, in particular, is a total dick - which gives him something to do other than "be Samuel L. Jackson", I guess.
posted by Artw at 10:23 PM on March 3, 2013


Tarantino should direct. Star Wars was originally a pastiche of genres he loved: Westerns, samurai films, war movies. He could do them justice and fix Star Wars' horrible dialogue.

You might like the fanedit (prev) The War Of The Stars: A New Hope Grindhoused, which was reviewed in the Wired/Geek Dad review of fan edits.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:29 AM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tarantino should direct. Star Wars was originally a pastiche of genres he loved: Westerns, samurai films, war movies. He could do them justice and fix Star Wars' horrible dialogue.

I couldn't think of anything worse. Or, at least, don't put him on the main trilogy - put him on one of the off-beat spin-offs. Really let filmmakers loose in the Star Wars-verse.

Also, I don't think the original trilogy had awful dialogue. Some of it was pedestrian. Much of it workman-like, but there were obviously flourishes of greatness once Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan were on board. Tarantino's dialogue would be too much, too distracting.
posted by crossoverman at 5:49 PM on March 4, 2013


I couldn't think of anything worse. Or, at least, don't put him on the main trilogy - put him on one of the off-beat spin-offs. Really let filmmakers loose in the Star Wars-verse.

Which movie that came out this summer had a roguish main character shoot an enemy first before that enemy could shoot them? Star Wars has been missing the Han Solo factor - it's been about the Jedi, not about the fun and space adventure. Tarantino could bring that sense of fun back to the franchise.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:28 PM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


War of the Stars (the grindhouse edit) is definitely awesome and hilarious, and very much like something Tarantino might be expected to come up with. Although after the awesome first scene, it runs out of steam pretty quickly, and ends up mostly being "the unaltered version, but with lots of scratches and graininess."
posted by ShutterBun at 10:04 PM on March 5, 2013


There may be one person who has not heard, but Carrie Fisher is - apparently - coming back.
posted by Mezentian at 4:38 PM on March 6, 2013


Also, as part of my regular "Clone Wars is so much more Star Wars-y than any of the prequel movies" slot, it sounds like things are happening with Ahsoka Tano.

Goodbye, Captain Rex: Lucasfilm calls an end to Clone Wars
posted by homunculus at 2:22 PM on March 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Bon Voyage, best Star Wars thing in ages.
posted by Artw at 2:23 PM on March 11, 2013


This news ruined my day until I realised that it was, logically, going to have to end soon anyway.
Unfortunately, I can't watch the clip at iO9 since the new iO9 is crashing all my browsers, but what I saw before it did crash (or, rather, while I was watching the greyed out screen hoping it would pop back to life) they're going to segue directly into Revenge of the Sith.

I just hope this is a planned ending and not Disney mandated.

I will now grumble to the cat about the cancellation of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
posted by Mezentian at 6:58 AM on March 12, 2013


I will now grumble to the cat about the cancellation of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

That thing is aces too.
posted by Artw at 7:04 AM on March 12, 2013


There's no debate necessary — here's the person who should make the next Star Wars cartoon
posted by Artw at 9:45 AM on March 14, 2013


Bricken is right on the money about everything in that (except Clone Wars being necessarily better than Star Wars: The Clone Wars).

I really do need to watch the cartoon again. It did make a lot of things total bad-arse, but I think SW:TCW has added a lot of nuance to the nature of the Galactic Civil War which are important, specifically the morality of using clones, the role of the Banking Clans and Commerce Guilds, and the complicity of the Jedi in war crimes.
posted by Mezentian at 7:16 PM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


But will the ending of Clone Wars reveal the birth of the Inside Job?
posted by homunculus at 6:32 PM on March 17, 2013


Nooooooooooo!
posted by Artw at 6:16 AM on March 24, 2013


« Older "The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking" [NYTimes.co...  |  Open States... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments