Rian Johnson and Pablo Hidalgo Clarify Disney’s Role in the Creative Process of Star Wars

There has always been much debate about how much of Star Wars has been pre-planned (dating back to the original trilogy). One of the biggest fears among fans was that after its acquisition of Lucasfilm, Disney would turn Star Wars into its perfectly neat little corporate package, with “suits” standing over writers and directors, looking over their shoulder telling them what to write and what to create. Although J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy continuously and definitively stated that isn’t the case back in 2015, we live in a world of skeptics, and many fans still believed “The Mouse” was controlling the galaxy. A recent exchange on Twitter between fans and The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson, and Lucasfilm Story Group’s Pablo Hidalgo, should further if not completely destroy the thought that the films have already been mapped out and that the corporate heads at Disney are overseeing and deciding everything. It is evident that is not the case at all.

 

 

Here are the exchanges on Twitter:

 

 

 

Pablo Hidalgo adds

 

 

There are some pretty emphatic bullet points to take from this:

 

Rian Johnson

  • No part of The Last Jedi story was planned out before Johnson began writing. His only template to work from was The Force Awakens.

 

Pablo Hidalgo

  • Reminded fans that not only is the sequel trilogy not mapped out, the first two trilogies worked the same way (Aside from the obvious need to have Anakin fall to the dark side and get messed up enough to need his Vader suit).
  • Nothing is set in stone until it is committed to a released story.
  • The Empire Strikes Back had FOUR different drafts before production began.

 

 

In a recent interview that we covered, Kathleen Kennedy spoke about Lucasfilm’s uncertainty on whether or not the saga story will continue beyond Episode IX. They are making this trilogy with no idea whether the story will end after Episode IX, or leave an opening to continue with an episode X, or even a new trilogy down the line. It is always fun to theorize, and it’s often smart to be skeptical in a world that is becoming more and more cynical. But here we have the writer and director of The Last Jedi clearly and directly stating he had complete creative control for his film. We have one of the heads of the Lucasfilm Story Group stating it is odd to think Disney would have this all planned out ahead of time, and that a movie is never ironed out until it is completed.  And lastly, we have the President of Lucasfilm herself explaining the uncertainty of the saga beyond Episode IX (you can read that article here.)

 

Star Wars wasn’t always some secret cryptic conspiracy society, and frankly I think fan obsession has created that myth in a way. There was once a time where it was simply “a boy, a girl, a galaxy”. Yes they want to protect their content as much as they can to make the viewing experience as surprising and enjoyable as possible, but maybe Snoke is…just Snoke? What we do know is Rian Johnson wrote and directed The Last Jedi, and that nothing was mapped out for him.

 

Can we finally put the theory that the “suits” at Disney are pulling the strings and deciding the fate of the Star Wars saga? I think we can, but what do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

 

 

“For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.”

You can find me on Twitter @JohnnyHoey, my profile is canon.

 

 

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John Hoey is the Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net and the host of The Resistance Broadcast podcast

"For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is."

John Hoey

John Hoey is the Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net and the host of The Resistance Broadcast podcast"For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is."

137 thoughts on “Rian Johnson and Pablo Hidalgo Clarify Disney’s Role in the Creative Process of Star Wars

  • May 30, 2017 at 7:41 pm
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    Wow, this movie is going to be a surprise! Even for the filmmakers

  • May 30, 2017 at 7:55 pm
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    This is reassuring for me. Rian Johnson is a talented director and I’m excited to see how he treats the universe and its characters.

    Unfortunately I think many people will always call these movies “fan-service” because, for the first time, the directors of these movies were fans of Star Wars before working on them. It must be tough to change your perspective on something you grew up with.

    • May 30, 2017 at 8:03 pm
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      Screw those people.

    • May 30, 2017 at 10:42 pm
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      Glad we got some fan service before we fucking died.

  • May 30, 2017 at 8:00 pm
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    I’m not convinced that “His only template to work from was The Force Awakens.”

    From what we’ve seen already, it is clear that Lucasfilm and Rian are taking numerous plot directions from ESB, for better or worse…

    • May 30, 2017 at 8:02 pm
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      That’s not what they mean at all and also an exaggeration.

    • May 30, 2017 at 8:51 pm
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      All that from a teaser trailer, eh?

    • May 30, 2017 at 10:41 pm
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      Well I mean we still have an old Jedi Master in a robe, a young gifted student with attachments that she’ll feel in the force and she needs to be trained or she could be lost to the dark side, droids, and the Millennium Falcon. These movies are going to be similar there is no way around it if you want it to feel like Star Wars. Maybe you would like Guardians of the Galaxy set in the Star Wars universe. I would loath it. (Even though I like those movies)

      • May 31, 2017 at 2:48 am
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        Dude. Your bullet points for your argument are crap. End of story.

        • May 31, 2017 at 5:06 pm
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          And I fart in your general direction!

  • May 30, 2017 at 8:02 pm
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    THIS is why Star Wars will be fresh for years to come. It’s not coming from one man or even one group. A myriad of storytellers will come in and give their fresh take on the series.

    • May 30, 2017 at 10:19 pm
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      And already the two films have taken on the style of their directors. RO is certainly similar, for better and worse, to Godzilla and Monsters. TFA was certainly a JJ film. TLJ looks like a Rian Johnson film.

      If we respect GL as an auteur, than we should defer to the directors and their takes as much as is appropriate. That’s a cool legacy for SW that Kennedy has so far established.

  • May 30, 2017 at 8:05 pm
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    This kind of discussion will never fade. Nostalgic consumers need to justify their fandom, and blaming Disney for creative control is their best solution. Especially as they get older and are no longer the target audience, these consumers are compelled to fight against the change in dynamic; they want to feel younger, they want to see these older characters get their due because they need a reason themselves to feel better. Star Wars means a great deal to me, but my daughter found a character in Rey that she loves, just as I did with Luke as a child. What these films can bring to kids today is nothing short of exciting. Lucasfilm is independently making decisions, and it’s for the longevity and survival of the franchise.

    • May 30, 2017 at 8:43 pm
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      Good insight, the new Star Wars is for dads with daughters. Luckily, the good movies are the ones made for us.

      • May 30, 2017 at 9:25 pm
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        “…the new Star Wars is for dads with daughters…”

        And for pretty much everyone else…

        • May 31, 2017 at 1:08 am
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          Well, I have a son and he liked TFA (I did not) but his favorite character is certainly NOT Rey.

          • May 31, 2017 at 3:28 am
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            Okay. So what? I have two boys and they both love the new Star Wars content. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that the “new Star Wars” is for dads with children; not just with daughters. Do you really have an issue with Rey as the lead?

          • June 1, 2017 at 7:12 pm
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            Oh, boy, here we go. I do not have an issue, I have a real life and more important things to worry about, what I do believe is that the new direction Disney is taking is not only an equality/representation issue, it is indeed a marketing thing, they have discovered a niche of SW parents (those of us that grew with the original trilogy) that have daughters that they want to share SW with. Great, but to Disney this is not a family thing or a bonding thing, is a money making thing, and their focus group and marketing efforts are in that direction. I cant even recall how many times I’ve read comments such as this one, “I love SW and my daughter finally has a character she can relate to” and since girls don’t want to be princesses anymore but warriors, (even if Instagram seems to prove me wrong on this) there you go.

          • June 1, 2017 at 11:59 pm
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            “…I have a real life and more important things to worry about…”

            Congrats. We all do. Nobody visits this site because it’s their job.

            “Great, but to Disney this is not a family thing or a bonding thing, is a money making thing, and their focus group and marketing efforts are in that direction.”

            Man alive. You really see things in the most simplistic manner possible. I’d encourage some nuance. First off, Star Wars has always been about making money. Was Lucas an artsy, indie filmmaker? Yep. Was he interested in telling a story free of the corporate shackles of Hollywood? He was. Was the fella interested in making money and harnessing the full powers of marketing in order to do that? You bet. Remember, most of the world’s great artistic masterpieces were made for profit. Painters and composers wanted to put food on their tables just like anyone else did. Shakespeare died a wealthy man. Disney isn’t doing anything that Lucasfilm hasn’t already done. They’re not doing anything that hasn’t been done for hundreds of years.

            So you can’t categorically aver (at least without any real authority) that Disney isn’t interested in family bonding or storytelling or whatever. Heck, Disney World is an amazing place for family bonding and it’s definitely a money-making machine. But once again, one need not exist at the expense of the other.

            You seem stuck on this idea that the only reason why Lucasfilm would create a female lead is to advance some sort of marketing ploy. But you don’t know this. This is either some idea you’ve cooked up or something you read on the Internet. But even if you were right, who cares? It’s quite possible to steer casting toward a female character and not have that come at the expense of the story.

          • June 2, 2017 at 1:00 am
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            OK, the only thing we can agree on is that Disney’s parks are cool.

          • June 2, 2017 at 3:30 am
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            I love them. It’s a pretty good testament to their quality as I don’t much like crowds and lines and I absolutely loath hot, humid weather but I’m always eager for my next trip.

          • May 31, 2017 at 5:55 pm
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            So?

      • May 30, 2017 at 9:53 pm
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        Feel free to sever yourself from all news related to movies you hate. Surely you have better things to do right? I have no interest in the Solo film so you will never see me wasting my precious time in there.

        • May 31, 2017 at 1:07 am
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          I will make up my mind AFTER I see the movies. While I do not like Alden as Han, I will watch the movie at least once to form my own opinion. So far it’s been, for me at least, one miss (TFA) and one Ok. Still waiting for the next great Star Wars movie, but since now they are made for “target audiences” and not from the urge to tell a story, as George did, I do not have high hopes.

          • May 31, 2017 at 3:25 am
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            “…since now they are made for “target audiences” and not from the urge to tell a story…”

            Telling stories and having a specific audience in mind are not mutually exclusive. George Lucas most certainly had a target audience when he was making the first Star Wars movies.

          • June 1, 2017 at 7:21 pm
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            George Lucas began toying with the idea of Star Wars in a hospital bed after that car wreck. He started writing it around 1972, he struggled to get it done. He didn’t sit with a “story group” made of Millennials to think of what people wanted to see. He did what he wanted, he told the story he wanted to tell. He was rejected by dozens of studios until Alan Ladd Jr. gave him a chance. While of course he was thinking of an audience, that did not dictate his decisions, contrary to what a big studio/corporation does. The proof to this is that with the PT que made the movies he wanted to make, even if that won him the hate of the world, and I applaud him for that.
            May I recommend all the BTS videos on ANH and the great book The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film by J.W. Rinzler?

          • June 1, 2017 at 11:45 pm
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            That’s a nice history of Lucas. I read Rinzler’s books. But nothing you just wrote addresses what I said earlier. There’s little doubt that Lucas made the movies he intended to make. Sure. But that doesn’t negate the fact that he had a target audience in mind. If you’ve read those books you’re recommending, you’d know this. One does not need to exist at the expense of another.

            Unless, of course, you’re suggesting that Lucas had absolutely no target audience in mind. Which would be both untrue and ludicrous.

          • June 2, 2017 at 1:05 am
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            “That Lucas had absolutely no target audience in mind. Which would be both untrue and ludicrous.” How? If I paint something, or write a song (which I do) or whatever, am I thinking of a specific audience when I do that? Sorry, I do not believe that, and I guess we’ll never agree about that. That the artist thinks that his/her work might suit some audience better, yep maybe, but to create only with that in mind is what is ludicrous and, indeed, corporate. Let’s take The Wall, a rock masterpiece, I bet Water/Gilmour were NOT thinking, ‘oh, I have to write for young rebellious rockers’. They poured their hearts out and what came out appeals to that audience mostly, but other ‘target’ too. I wonder if Davinci painted the Monalis thinking about his target audience, imagine Dali, the most rebellious artist thinking, “I have to paint for my target audience”. The problem is many people do not think of cinema as the art form that it is, and just want to go to the movies for the explosions. A new hope is art. I’m sure you know it is in the Library of Congress, where art is being preserved. Michael Bay directs for a “target audience”, George Lucas is a visionary. I want more Lucas in my Star Wars, and less executives.

          • June 2, 2017 at 2:39 am
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            “How? If I paint something, or write a song (which I do) or whatever, am I thinking of a specific audience when I do that?”

            I don’t know if you are or not. But we’re not talking about you. Or Pink Floyd. Not once did I say that an artist HAD to have a target audience in mind. What I did say was that it’s quite possible that an artist can tell his or her story in an authentic way and ALSO do so with a target audience in mind. One does not necessarily come at the expense of the other.

            We’re talking about Lucas. And he most certainly did have a target audience in mind. Sorry, but this either/or dichotomy you seem to be clinging to just doesn’t vet against reality when it comes to how many artists operate. Macbeth was written for King James. And again, most of the Old Masters worked under the auspices of wealthy patrons who guided their work and gave it direction.

            “A new hope is art. I’m sure you know it is in the Library of Congress, where art is being preserved.”

            Well, that’s hardly an exclusive club. Pretty much everything is archived in the Library of Congress. I toured their film archives last summer and got a chance to duck inside the nitrate vaults and see the original negatives of movies like Dracula and Frankenstein. The original copyright print of Star Wars is also stored there. And so is pretty much everything else – right down to video games. One of the few copies of the golden record mounted to the side of the Voyager probe is stored 100 ft away from Linkin Park CDs.

    • May 30, 2017 at 9:25 pm
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      Absolutely.

    • May 30, 2017 at 10:06 pm
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      THe older audience actually has FAR more impact on the Box Office — as “Dad and Mom” were the ones carting the kiddos to the Theater to see TFA over and over again. If TFA has just been “Rey and Finn are buddies”, it would not have broken every Box Office Record. The inclusion of Han, Leia, and Luke had a FAR more profound impact on the Box Office than Rey and Finn. Period.

      • May 30, 2017 at 10:19 pm
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        This is why summer movies are geared towards teens and preteens of course…oh wait…

        • May 30, 2017 at 10:37 pm
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          Right, and those films aren’t the #1 movie of all time in North America. Teens will give you a “hit”. Teens won’t give you the #1 movie of all time in North America. Period. End of Story. And Fact.

          • May 31, 2017 at 1:36 am
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            Exactly, otherwise, Twilight or Hunger games would sit at the top.

          • May 31, 2017 at 1:45 am
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            Amen Gerry !

          • May 31, 2017 at 4:27 am
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            Take away the money from tickets sold to teens and children, and Star wars would be no where near the top. Period. End of story. BUTTER.

  • May 30, 2017 at 8:36 pm
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    I have never seen the Holiday special.

  • May 30, 2017 at 9:36 pm
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    To say that George Lucas had absolutely no idea what would happen in EMPIRE is bizarre to say the least. Pablo presents the fact that Empire had 4 drafts to mean that it had 4 radically different stories.

    I’m quite sure George had at least a cursory idea where both trilogies were headed before he started them. I mean obviously there was going to be a clone war, obviously Anakin was going to turn to the dark side.

    I agree it is concerning that nobody has any idea where this story is going. The PROBLEM with that is that like the TV show Lost, we may end up with something really crappy that doesn’t answer half the questions it sets up. This is different than having a through-line and modifying it along the way to make it more impactful. I had assumed that’s what they were doing.

    • May 30, 2017 at 10:18 pm
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      It’s true. He hadn’t sketched things out and Vader didn’t become Luke’s father until at least the 2nd draft.

      I’m quite sure Pablo is correct because, based on everything I have read for over 30 years, I’ve seen the same thing.

      Guess what: almost everything is made like that. It’s not concerning. It’s the process.

      • May 31, 2017 at 3:28 pm
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        As I’m sure you know, the Ewoks were supposed to be Wookies, but because of the way he portrayed them beginning 2 movies earlier Lucas created the Ewoks to take their place. Sound like he was just winging it the whole time?

        • May 31, 2017 at 5:44 pm
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          Yes. He had some ideas and stuff, it wasn’t a blank slate, but the details were always to be filled in later.

          You don’t have to look further than “There is another”, which they intended to be a new character, but decided they didn’t have time and just made Leia the other, who was Luke’s sister.

          That’s the process.

    • May 30, 2017 at 10:43 pm
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      Read J.W. Rinzler’s Making of ESB book and you will see that it really was NOT planned out.

      • May 31, 2017 at 1:30 am
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        AMAZING books all three, show the love and vision George had for all three movies, even if he winged some things.

  • May 30, 2017 at 9:59 pm
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    I’m all for new directors coming in and introducing fresh concepts, especially with the anthology films. Clearly Disney isn’t in charge of the story, though may have some say in the overall arc. My only fear is that Kennedy isn’t fulfilling Lucas’s role by giving the Saga a clear direction to go in, something I personally feel TFA showed a little of, perhaps due to time constraints. I’m hoping TLJ is a bit better thought out and sets up IX for a great end to the trilogy.

    • June 1, 2017 at 4:33 am
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      When Lucas said that he had an overall arc planned out, he meant that in the absolute broadest sense.

      ” also don’t agree that the previous trilogies were not planned out.”

      Doesn’t matter. I don’t know about the PT, but the OT was much more of an unplanned process than you think.

      • June 1, 2017 at 12:04 pm
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        I agree, it was only a outline – planned out was not the best turn of phrase for me to use. Vader being Luke’s father, Leia the twin, introduction of the Emperor for final showdown in RotJ, for example I know were not originally planned. So changing during the film process is a good thing.

        However, the statements above are implying there is NOT even a general outline, despite Kennedy’s first tweet saying they discussed for plotting the pace of the trilogy. “But we had to have some sense of where we were going”

        The rest implies it was all dropped and they’re totally making it up as they go along, perhaps the reason for another walker assault….who knows, but I can see why some fans are worried. Personally I’m looking forward to seeing how it all goes.

  • May 30, 2017 at 10:20 pm
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    “my profile is canon”

    lol, well done

  • May 30, 2017 at 10:32 pm
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    All trilogy movies are made on the fly. This is so obvious to me. Hell, Obi-Wan tells Luke that Vader killed his father, and in that moment in 1976 that was the literal truth. Of course the story evolved into Anakin falling to the darkside so that Anakin’s murder was more symbolism than fact. Even though I love the OT better than any of the others, you can tell that George had a more cohesive story going into the prequels than he did going into the OT. So having a mapped out story, a good movie does not one make.

    • May 31, 2017 at 3:29 am
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      Absolutely true. Anyone who’s done their Star Wars homework knows how much of the OT Lucas made up as he went along. And he made up a LOT of it as he went along.

      • May 31, 2017 at 5:54 pm
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        Yeah, it’s great for those of us who have been paying attention for over 30 years to have to deal with people who can’t even Google.

  • May 30, 2017 at 10:46 pm
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    I never thought the films were fully mapped out or that Disney was controlling where the film goes. That’s why they have corporate structure and Lucasfilm as an entity to oversee the process. There is no doubt in my mind they give a lot of creative control to them and in turn Lucasfilm has given a lot to Rian for his film. Still, that doesn’t mean they aren’t involved in the process in some way. To me it doesn’t matter how they get to a good film. They obviously had issues with Rogue One otherwise they wouldn’t have paid another director a reported 10 millions dollars for six months of work to come in and fix it to their satisfaction. In the end, it didn’t matter because the film was good.

    • June 4, 2017 at 7:44 am
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      Without having a structure set, Disney is taking a more reactionary approach. They can change anything on a whim, you know, like deciding at first that Finn will be a lightsaber wielder and then deciding that he won’t touch a lightsaber again after racists threaten to boycott the trilogy if a black character is a lead with a lightsaber.

  • May 30, 2017 at 11:49 pm
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    I don’t really see why people would be upset about this. You have to task some risks in making films and sometimes you have to paint yourself into a corner in order to keep things interesting. I’m sure Lucasfilm made some suggestions after they saw Rian’s first draft of the Last Jedi script.

  • May 30, 2017 at 11:55 pm
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    My only fear here is the possibility that mysteries have been created by people with no idea where they might lead. Am i to believe that they made Rey’s parentage a loose end with no properly thought out answer? Or that Snoke is just some mystery guy that they’ll figure out later? if that’s the case im genuinely terrified. it’s like the smoke monster from Lost all over again. I can’t believe they could possibly be so careless with details that pivotal to the entire saga. ive loved the first 2 Disney sw movies and am no JJ hater, but that would be infuriating.

    • May 31, 2017 at 5:34 am
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      You make sense, but remember that it’s well known that in A New Hope, Lucas didn’t know Vader was Luke’s father or that Luke and Leia were siblings. It can be OK to set up scenarios that need to be explained later even if it’s not known for sure what the explanations are. That uncertainty going in can be part of what keeps the creation of each episode fresh and exciting.

      • May 31, 2017 at 5:45 am
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        But characters weren’t specifically set up to have mysterious origins in ANH, whereas with Rey we have cryptic flashbacks and with snoke we are left completely in the dark, very purposefully making the audience curious to his origins. to create these scenarios with not even a rough outline of where they are headed would be madness. and what of Luke’s lightsaber, “a good story for another time” as Maz says. Are they just gonna abandon that explanation as well? Look, ive been a huge defender of TFA since day one, but if this half-assed approach is true im deeply concerned.

        • May 31, 2017 at 5:54 am
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          Yeah, that’s true about ANH not setting up mysteries other than just generally being dropped into the middle of a larger story. But my general point still stands: as long as they pass on the story to good storytellers and Lucasfilm story group keeps on top of what’s going on, I think it can be both risky and exciting to set up mysteries that others will solve or reveal.
          I know what you mean, though. It’s taken me a while just to get over that the current storyline is not what Lucas would have done, which in a way makes it seem less meaningful or less official. But I’m over it. If they just keep the quality high and let good storytellers take the canon where their artistic hearts want to go, I’m happy.

        • May 31, 2017 at 5:52 pm
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          They will explain it in the movie or in a book.

          In fact, there was going to be an explanation in the movie, but they cut it.

        • June 2, 2017 at 4:04 am
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          I’d say Luke’s heritage was something of a mystery. Beru says Luke has too much of his father in him and that’s foreshadowing of something (that something changed but if you don’t know it, it all works out). Certainly Owen and Beru aren’t Luke’s uncle and aunt in the traditional sense either. The Sith Rule of Two wasn’t a thing until Phantom Menace but Lucas tied it to the ending of Return if the Jedi in a way that made sense. I agree with what other people said. There were probably very rough character arcs but no story. I’m sure, for example, Adam, Daisy, and John signed on for three movies so Rian wouldn’t have the freedom to kill Rey if hypotherically he wanted to.

        • June 2, 2017 at 4:05 am
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          Oh and how Maz got Luke’s lightsaber is completely insignificant.

          • June 4, 2017 at 3:00 am
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            not to me. i want a plausible explanation for how the hell it was found after falling down a wind tunnel that eventually channels things down to falling through the clouds.

          • June 4, 2017 at 3:05 am
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            In terms of story, plot, theme, or character development, how would knowing how Maz got Luke’s lightsaber change anything?

          • June 4, 2017 at 3:15 am
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            it would answer a question they very lazily avoided answering by saying “a good question for another time”. if anything that annoys me more than any of the other common complaints about TFA. it’s just incredibly lazy unless they do provide an answer.

          • June 4, 2017 at 3:17 am
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            it’d be like if han showed up in ROTJ and when they ask how he escaped the carbonite he says “it’s a long story, kid”.

          • June 4, 2017 at 3:35 am
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            A pet peeve that doesn’t impact the atory, characters,or themes simply isn’t a valid criticism. Movies can get bogged down with that kind of over explaining. In A New Hope, we didn’t know Biggs or what the reference to Beggar’s Canyon was all about. In Empire, we didn’t know what the story about the bounty hunter on Ord Mandell was, didn’t know how Han won the Falcon from Lando. In Jedi we don’t know how Lando infiltrated Jabba’s palace or what his maneuver at the Battle of Tanaab was. If they took the time in the movie for Maz to explain that Jedi artifacts became collectible after the fall of the Empire or after Luke disappeared and she said she bought it on the black market from a wealthy Corellian who had contacts on Bespin, would that really improve the movie for you? To put that question on the same level as Rey’s parentage just seems wholly absurd. They never explained how Kylo Ren got Vader’s helmet either but again, it just doesn’t matter. I want important things explained. I want to know what Snoke is, what Rey is, why Luke left. But I certainly don’t need every little detail about everything spoonfed to me and the amazing thing is, in the 70s and 80s, no one did. I find this a very weird time in which a lot of movie goers are intent on being overly critical and think filmmakers are obligated to satisfy their every whim.

          • June 4, 2017 at 3:49 am
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            i absolutely dont need answers​ to every little detail, and all the little backstories and mysteries are part of what makes star wars great. but openly questioning “where did you get that” and then answering “good question, I’ll tell ya later” without any intention of explaining is lazy writing, hence valid criticism. I would’ve been much happier if they didnt acknowledge​ the issue at all, but instead they dealt with it in a completely half assed way — UNLESS they do end up explaining it….and the recent remarks about the writers having no plan as to where anything is going has left me with little confidence. i dare say that even as a survivor of the prequels ive never been this disappointed in the future of star wars. i just hope they’re playing coy and arent just ad libbing the most culturally significant story of modern cinema.

          • June 4, 2017 at 4:30 am
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            You’re just suffering from too much information. This is no different from how it was done with the Originals except then there wasn’t an Internet for “fans” to tear apart the things they supposedly love. As many people here have pointed out, there is no question that Lucas did not originally plan for Vader to be Luke’s father and that worked out pretty well. I can’t possibly understand how you can enjoy the movies when you’re stressed out about how Maz came to possess that lightsaber.

          • June 4, 2017 at 7:00 pm
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            ive enjoyed every star wars movie (except AOTC, which still has some elements i enjoy), so id say im about as loyal a fan as they come. why does it bother you so much that i want an answer to a question the movie deliberately brought up and then evaded? this particular bit of minutia bugs me because there’s no logical explanation for Luke’s lightsaber being recovered. it was basically dropped into a cloud planet abyss. to even bring it back without attempting to explain that bothers me. I’m entitled to that feeling.

          • June 4, 2017 at 7:06 pm
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            You’re completely entitled to be annoyed by anything. The only problem I have is you claiming it was lazy writing or that addressing it would have any impact on the story. Sometimes we have to acknowledge that things we personally care a great deal about are objectively unimportant.

    • May 31, 2017 at 11:42 pm
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      I can understand where you are coming from. I used to be an Abrams fan until I just realized he constantly relies on his mystery box, much like Whedon utilizes witty dialogue as his crutch. Though, I do respect Whedon’s work with characters, even if his work with them is rather linear.

      Still, these are my same sentiments. TFA was a giant mystery box and really that in of itself is a big gamble. My hope is that TLJ will start to deliver on some of those mystery boxes and really give us some answers. I’m not expecting everything nor should I. There is another movie. But by the end, my hope is that we’ll get a film that works very well as a standalone, but also within the greater Saga. A comparison I like to make is Legend of Korra second season which enhanced my love of Avatar lore wise.

    • June 4, 2017 at 7:34 am
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      With every post you all show why this approach is REALLY a problem, and it has nothing to do with Rey and Snoke. It’s because JJ set up MANY QUESTIONS with the other characters, too, characters that you all relegate to the background in every post. Rian Johnson also apparently did the same based on reports, because Disney let him make the movie he wanted to see. He didn’t want to see a movie that answered questions about why Finn was able to strike Kylo Ren on his right shoulder with a lightsaber like Luke did to Vader in Cloud City, and Disney didn’t make him address it. This approach allows directors to act like stuff like that didn’t even happen.

  • May 31, 2017 at 12:01 am
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    Having a rough idea of certain things (Snoke’s identity, Rey’s parentage, etc) does not mean that things are “mapped out.” Let’s not forget about all of the other source material (Novels, comics, TV) that is being created at the same time. Pieces from the Aftermath trilogy, or Bloodline, or Rebels will in/directly influence certain points or aspects of the films, but not the overall plot.

    Part of the problem is that 10 different people will have 10 different understandings of what “mapped out” means. Be a fan. Enjoy the new canon. And don’t forget, it’s all made up. Don’t get so caught up in the minutiae that you fail to enjoy the rest.

    • June 4, 2017 at 7:11 am
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      “Snoke’s identity, Rey’s parentage, etc”

      Ah yes, the two things everyone always mentions, not the fact that no one knows who Finn’s parents are, why he broke his first order conditioning, why he was able to wound Kylo Men with a lightsaber. Rian Johnson approached The Last Jedi the same way most of you would, thinking the only thing that matters is answering questions about Rey and brining Luke to the forefront. He ignored questions about Finn BEYOND HOW HE’D RECOVER PHYSICALLY, just like most of you would’ve. That’s a problem Disney should’ve prevented.

  • May 31, 2017 at 12:15 am
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    The fact that Luke Skywalker is now an ornithologist has me REALLY worried about Rian Johnson.

    • May 31, 2017 at 9:51 am
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      It’s no different from going from prequel Yoda to crazy swamp hermit Yoda, and then once Luke figured out that the little green dude is Yoda. He instantly becomes more like his old self.

  • May 31, 2017 at 12:22 am
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    If the 21st century has taught us anything at all, it’s to never ever take the PR statements of a global megacorporation at face value.

    There is no motherfucking way that Disney ever once considered making The Mandarin an Asian man in Iron Man 3 due to the fact that China is keeping Hollywood afloat now hence the lack of Chinese villians in major studio films.

    So while they may not micromanage the SW films at every level, They do get the final say in everything and if you have any doubts of that then you are probably the type who buy everything that comes out of White House press reports too.

    • May 31, 2017 at 11:38 pm
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      I feel bad for Rian. It isn’t his fault that TFA received such a polarizing response. For granted, he could have chose not to work on SWs. But I get why. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity? Especially, with someone whose career is just getting started. Overall, if anything, I want this movie to succeed just so that way Rian can have a wonderful career post this.

      I am a huge fan of his work and really, I want him to defy expectations and really deliver a memorable movie to knock most of the naysayers out.

      • June 4, 2017 at 4:28 pm
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        It’s a mistake for Johnson to be directly answering fans. He should wait till after the film’s released.

  • May 31, 2017 at 1:53 am
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    I understand wanting to give the writers and directors some artistic license in telling their stories, particularly when it comes to the standalone movies. But for a trilogy, important plot points, themes, character arcs, etc. should be mapped out. Setups need to pay off. Subplots need to intertwine. How the heck do you foreshadow something in the first episode if you have no clue what the next guy might do? Or the next guy? Good storytelling has good structure.

    If I were building a house, I certainly wouldn’t hire three different contractors, then give them each license to do whatever they wanted. I’d want my hallways to actually lead somewhere.

    • May 31, 2017 at 3:22 am
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      While I don’t agree with it, I am not surprised and anyone who has ever watched anything by Abrams should know he never never has a clue where to take his mysteries.

      My guess is they have a sense but it is art and art is ever evolving so nothing is set in stone till it’s released. Then they don’t have a choice. Unless your Lucas and you keep tinkering.

    • May 31, 2017 at 5:51 pm
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      Except that’s not how storytelling works. TV shows are not planned out. Breaking Bad had one season planned out, the second and the writers said it was torture. It’s better to see where the story takes you.

    • May 31, 2017 at 7:00 pm
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      Well you wouldn’t want the contractor painting the walls or doing the plumbing. And I wouldn’t want JJ doing a mid-story character development piece. You hire JJ for the fun opening, RJ for the character piece, and another JJ-type for the rousing ending.

  • May 31, 2017 at 2:00 am
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    Hmmm….is now a good time to angrily demand that they add more banthas?

    • May 31, 2017 at 7:05 pm
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      It’s never too soon.

      • May 31, 2017 at 7:06 pm
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        And it’s never too late.
        (with retcons)

  • May 31, 2017 at 2:28 am
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    people crack me up…its a well known FACT that the prequels were writing film by film and a lot of it was written on the spot during production..Rogue One was the same way..The end of that movie was made weeks before release..and you can totally tell…The ending sucked Horribly and completely makes the first 20 minutes of A new hope confusing and make no sense…but hey they gave us a cool Vader scene so no one cared…even though a week after the end of Rogue One Vader was fighting like an 80 year old man when he faced Obiwan when he could have just bounced him around the room and wiped obiwan out in 2 seconds if you go by how powerful Vader was at the end of Rogue One…. But the OT was the same way…They didnt know Leia was going to be Lukes SIster until they wrote Return of the Jedi…Proving the theory that in ESB when Yoda says ” there is another” was NOT about Leia and about someone else..and the reason Leia Kissed Luke was because they didnt know they would make them siblings later…
    ….why people are acting so shocked and horrified by this is beyond me.

    • May 31, 2017 at 3:25 am
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      Vader was “bouncing around” Rebel troops. That won’t work on a JEDI MASTER like Obi Wan 🙂

      • June 1, 2017 at 11:03 pm
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        And we have visual proof of it, likely still lying on Mustafar as human limb fossils, lol

        Obi-Wan don’t play that game lol

    • May 31, 2017 at 3:34 am
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      “…even though a week after the end of Rogue One Vader was fighting like an 80 year old man when he faced Obiwan when he could have just bounced him around the room and wiped obiwan out in 2 seconds if you go by how powerful Vader was at the end of Rogue One…

      That’s because the Vader vs. Obi-Wan duel was filmed in 1976 with one of the actors in an incredibly clunky and cumbersome costume. The other was an elderly man. It is what it is. Things like that don’t need reconned or explained or whatever. It’s just how the movie was filmed. Relax.

    • June 1, 2017 at 11:06 pm
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      Vader didn’t even move laterally once in RO.

      He just deflected bolts and took blasters out of their hands and cut them down like an ornery dude that emerged from a bacta tank with a bit of energy. Likely he was already tired by the time he was choking Mr. Big Mouth.

      Do we have any info on whether Vader had medical rejuvenation apparatuses on the DS or his ship (more than a meditation chamber), because he likely would need to get back to Mustafar once and while after expending energy cutting Rebels to pieces.

    • June 2, 2017 at 3:53 am
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      Nothing in Rogue One makes anything in A New Hope confusing. In Rogue One, Vader was ever so slightly more nimble than in A New Hope, but Gareth Edwards showed incredible restraint. He wasn’t flipping around like Yoda or Dooku in the Prequels. It was a perfect compromise between the stiffness that was brought about by 1976 limitations and the action audiences want and directors are able to deliver in 2016.

  • May 31, 2017 at 2:33 am
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    There is no way they dont know who SNoke is or who Rey is…calm down people..Its pretty damn obvious that Snoke is the Mysterious Dark Entity Palpatine was searching for in the unknown regions of space..If you think otherwise, you are thinking too hard

    • May 31, 2017 at 2:46 pm
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      I think too, that at least Rey’s parents and Snoke overall backstory was already set. It is not a thing that ties the director’s hands, because he already got pre-established characters anyway.

      • June 4, 2017 at 6:45 am
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        Those are the things many fans cared about based on how TFA ended, but those weren’t the ONLY important questions Episode VII set up. Rian Johnson should’ve been required to progress all the questions from VII in whatever way he preferred instead of ignoring most of them.

    • June 4, 2017 at 6:42 am
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      That isn’t the issue. The issue is Disney allowing Rian Johnson to IGNORE MANY QUESTIONS that JJ Abrams set up in The Force Awakens and only focus on the ones he cared most about, which for Rian Johnson sounds like it’s Luke and Rey mostly. Less of a passion for Johnson was the fact that The Force Awakens did in fact create many questions about whether Finn was in fact force sensitive, which Rian Johnson didn’t care about answering and, therefore, didn’t address at all according to him and John Boyega. Disney should’ve REQUIRED HIM TO at least touch on that SOME in The Last Jedi. They didn’t. Not all fans only care about Rey’s family, where she came from, and why she was awakened in Episode VII, as if she was the only one who was.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KC8DkSYO57U
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YByg2UoncBs
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsisLD16CLk
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyvIX1m7KdU
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIul4CpWyyo

  • May 31, 2017 at 2:45 am
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    George Lucas didn’t have it planned out either. He made it up as he went along.

    • June 4, 2017 at 6:29 am
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      And that created PLENTY of problems that needed to be retconned, most of them UNSUCCESSFULLY. Leia still kissed Luke, which they always ignore. Luke still looked on Leia with lust in their earlier scenes together. Leia still says she always knew, meaning she knew when she kissed Luke…makes no sense. Now all of a sudden Obi-Wan was pulling Luke’s leg and over-philosophying when he said Darth Vader killed Anakin Skywalker…nonsense.

      Quit acting like making it up as they went along somehow made the Original Trilogy great. **NO** it did not. It created several contradictions that Lucas was not able to resolve. Many fans just CHOOSE to ignore them.

    • May 31, 2017 at 4:14 am
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      TOM HIDDLESTON!!

      • May 31, 2017 at 5:08 pm
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        I could see that! The funny thing is that I called it on Guy Henry being Tarkin. I’ll remember your post when you turn out to be right about this.

        I remember the rumor that he would be an “Imperial Officer” and then we didn’t hear anything after that. Well, ke kinda played him, with a CGI mask anyhow.

    • June 2, 2017 at 6:18 pm
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      eh

  • May 31, 2017 at 4:52 am
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    It must be strange for Rian Johnson to have to defend his movie to a great extent before anyone has seen it. It seems like they can’t fire-fight on this either because each answer they give raises new worries/interpretations etc. I think the best thing they could’ve done is to not comment on anything until the movie is out.

    I also don’t know why fans are so worried/up in arms. The movie will either suck or it won’t. There’s nothing moaning about it before you’ve seen it will do to change that.

    • May 31, 2017 at 11:34 pm
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      I agree on RJ needing to defend his movie sucks. It isn’t his fault with the polarization of TFA. And I say this as someone who isn’t super crazy on that movie. I do think that LucasFilm wanted to be a bit more open this time around with the marketing? Yes. Which has its merits and drawbacks. I may not like Abrams as a director, but I do respect his code of silence as that was very old school. Honestly, knowing the Hollywood system, LucasFilm is going to role clips and clips about the movie. Hence, why I’ll be avoiding those bits so as I can go into the movie fresh, much like most Blockbusters.

      As for fans being up and arms, it is understandable. Like it or not, TFA borrowed a lot from ANH. Now, does that mean TLJ will copy ESB? No, it won’t. I’m biased, but Rian Johnson isn’t like that. Abrams is like that, as most of his movies are repackaged for his mystery box, minus MI3 and Super eight which both were decent.

      And I mean logically, it wouldn’t make sense. TFA had nostalgia guiding it, as it had been ten years without SWs. We do not live in that era anymore, especially a post RO/SWs movie every year. And honestly, LucasFilm would seek to harm everything they have done. Particularly, the fans who gave TFA a pass on the hope that new stuff is to come which I believe.

      A form of special pleading? Yes, it is. But really, I am cautiously optimistic about TLJ and the future of SWs. If TLJ and episode nine are good, I’ll be happy to admit that TFA is a bitter pill, but a necessary one. But overall, we’ll need to wait and see.

  • May 31, 2017 at 11:54 am
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    The is a lot of wriggle room between no “mapped out story”/ “nothing locked in” and no ideas whatsoever. I’m pretty sure they hired Michael Arndt to write all three scripts and that’s what KK means by sitting down and plotting out. I’m guessing they had a rough idea for an overall ‘trajectory’ and some rough ideas for plot points. BUT nothing is set in stone until the premiere of the film and so if JJ, Arndt and team had one idea and RIan has a better one – they can switch – the same as JJ veered vastly from Arndt’s original for FA…. It’s also worth adding that the Last Jedi was developed in parallel with the production of FA and XI was developed in parallel with LJ so there is extensive opportunity to through plan.

    I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that George Lucas wrote treatments for all 3 prequels before filming but these ‘evolved’ as the process went out (thus the talk of Darth Jar Jar and the recent Padme alternate ending). Similarly Vader wasn’t Luke’s father in the first treatment of ESB – but the Vader is so close to the German Vater/Father that he had it in mind all along and kept the ‘Crown Jewels’ safely locked in his own brain for as long as possible …

    • May 31, 2017 at 5:49 pm
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      I’m pretty sure they didn’t hire Ardnt for that because he said it would take 18 months just to write Episode 7. They wouldn’t hire him to write 3 movies when they only had JJ for one. When a new director comes on, the script is fitted to suit their needs. They always go through changes.

      Lucas wrote one treatment, for this one film, according to LFL. There were ideas for future movies, I think, but one treatment for one movie is what I know for sure.

      Vader wasn’t always intended to be Luke’s father. Nothing in ANH points to it and Vader is treated as an entirely separate character.

      • May 31, 2017 at 9:35 pm
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        Again a lot of people think the close proximity of Vader to the German Vater (father) implies that Lucas actually did have it in mind from the beginning – but we’ll never know the truth I guess.
        As for Arndt the Guardian report in 2012 that Arndt was hired to write detailed treatments for all 3 films though it implies that he was at that point only in line for 1 actually script
        https://www.theguardian.com/film/2012/nov/09/star-wars-michael-arndt

        • May 31, 2017 at 10:32 pm
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          The thing is, the first appearance of Darth Vader was in his rough draft summary of The Star Wars from 1974. He was a fairly minor character and in no way the father of the hero or anyone else. The hero’s father was still alive and a different character from Vader.

          Lucas said the name had appeared in his head one day. “I added lots of last names, Vaders and Wilsons and Smiths and came up with the combination of Darth Vader.”

          Lucas even went to high school with a guy named Gary Vader. Maybe he was remembering that name.

          But the “Dark Father” thing is another myth, propagated by Lucas later on.

        • June 1, 2017 at 11:01 pm
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          I’m not sure we’ll ever know, but Annakin and Vader were two separate characters with no relation, and Luke Starkiller never existed until later drafts closer to 1976. The only evidence we have is the German translation of Vater.

          That’s less than circumstantial unless GL comes out and says that he looked for Darth Vader’s name by searching out ‘father’ in different languages, or something of the sort. That might be actual evidence of it. But it might be something of a myth, like how close the ewoks were to be wookiees, but that was from a very, very early version of the story and abandoned after Chewie became a character. That might be linked, but the Vader thing, from my viewpoint, is an even looser correlation to the point of just being a coincidence.

          We’ll need it from GL’s words directly, which have a tendency to be contradictory anyway.

        • June 1, 2017 at 11:01 pm
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          I’m not sure we’ll ever know, but Annakin and Vader were two separate characters with no relation, and Luke Starkiller never existed until later drafts closer to 1976. The only evidence we have is the German translation of Vater.

          That’s less than circumstantial unless GL comes out and says that he looked for Darth Vader’s name by searching out ‘father’ in different languages, or something of the sort. That might be actual evidence of it. But it might be something of a myth, like how close the ewoks were to be wookiees, but that was from a very, very early version of the story and abandoned after Chewie became a character. That might be linked, but the Vader thing, from my viewpoint, is an even looser correlation to the point of just being a coincidence.

          We’ll need it from GL’s words directly, which have a tendency to be contradictory anyway.

        • June 4, 2017 at 4:22 pm
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          There is a page of original notes –published in Rinzler’s The Making of Star Wars– with Lucas’ interpretation of what Darth Vader means and none of them have the word father.

      • May 31, 2017 at 10:00 pm
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        George Lucas to the New Yorker in 1997 “The scripts to the three films that I’m finishing now ” strongly implies that he wrote the first drafts for the 3 prequel scripts prior to shooting Phantom Menace

        • May 31, 2017 at 10:15 pm
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          And yet if you watch any of the behind the scenes stuff of the PT, or read anything, you would know for a fact he wrote each movie, one at a time, after he made the first one.

          They designing sets for episode 3, begging him for the script, which was not complete. This is not hidden knowledge. It’s well-known.

          ” He began working on Episode III even before the previous film, Attack of the Clones, was released, proposing to concept artists that the film would open with a montage of seven battles on seven planets”

          He sat down to write each one at a time. Same as the previous trilogy. He even radically rewrote Episode 3’s script to change Anakin’s descent into the dark side.

          And there was no Darth Jar Jar ever, but if you want to see an original story outline for Episode I, I recommend “How Star Wars Conquered the Universe” by Chris Taylor. Highly enlightening.

          As for Arndt, that’s an unconfirmed report from Deadline, which, while partially accurate, has also been known to be wrong (they once reported that Rian Johnson was also writing Episode IX).

          Arndt’s script was also drastically changed by JJ and Kasdan, so anything he put in might now be miniscule or even non-existent.

          From everything we have seen, he didn’t have that idea from the beginning because he didn’t include that into a draft of Empire until the 2nd draft. The Leigh Brackett draft has no mention of it. Why would he have her write a draft without that key point?

          Read that book I mentioned. It helps clear things up.

          • June 4, 2017 at 4:15 pm
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            Johnson did originally write a treatment for 9 but that changed once Trevorrow took over and the script had to be completely re-written after Carrie Fisher’s death.

        • May 31, 2017 at 10:33 pm
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          About the dark father stuff:

          The thing is, the first appearance of Darth Vader was in his rough draft summary of The Star Wars from 1974. He was a fairly minor character and in no way the father of the hero or anyone else. The hero’s father was still alive and a different character from Vader.

          Lucas said the name had appeared in his head one day. “I added lots of last names, Vaders and Wilsons and Smiths and came up with the combination of Darth Vader.”

          Lucas even went to high school with a guy named Gary Vader. Maybe he was remembering that name.

          But the “Dark Father” thing is another myth, propagated by Lucas later on.

        • June 1, 2017 at 2:05 am
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          There is no question about Darth Jar Jar, it’s a joke from reddit.

        • June 4, 2017 at 4:12 pm
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          There is a page of original notes with Lucas’ interpretation of what Darth Vader means and none of them have the word father.

    • May 31, 2017 at 9:11 pm
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      Maybe he was hired to give his vision on a possible trilogy and then to do the first film. So they have a general overall concept for a trilogy from both Arndt and Lucas that they’re using. The suggestion its all made on the fly is a bit rubbish I agree as there are certain plot-points that are required. A new generation of heroes to pass the torch onto, the training of a force-user, climatic face-offs.

      Lucas wasn’t going introduce the Emperor in RotJ, but was tired and wanted to wrap it all up at that point. Snoke is then simply a new plot element introduced to fill the hole of the Emperor, just as the First Order, since if the Emperor was to be introduced originally in the ST it stands to reason the Empire wouldn’t of fallen.

    • June 1, 2017 at 2:05 am
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      The Darth Jar Jar talk is just from stupid people.

  • May 31, 2017 at 4:09 pm
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    I love Star Wars just as much as everyone else here, but can we just let it be what it really is – a fun story? The constant criticism and hyperbole around a film that is not out for 6 1/2 months is getting old.

    • May 31, 2017 at 5:45 pm
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      If a franchsie grows this big, it’s sadly inevitable…
      Plus the internet is full of haters and bizarre people.

  • May 31, 2017 at 7:26 pm
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    I always had a feeling lucasfilm was in complete control. Star Wars is the one franchise that will never bow down to anyone

    • May 31, 2017 at 10:27 pm
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      Well, Marvel is in control. People don’t think Disney runs things there.

  • May 31, 2017 at 9:12 pm
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    Am I the only one who thinks Kathleen could be a good MILF?

    • May 31, 2017 at 10:26 pm
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      jesus…

  • June 1, 2017 at 2:09 am
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    All of this is perfectly reasonable but for the people who think Disney is evil and ruined Star Wars, this won’t matter. There’s a certain percentage of people who will see every fact as nothing more than proof of a conspiracy that is in direct opposition to those facts.

  • June 2, 2017 at 4:28 am
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    A the end of the day, though, the future of the saga ultimately exists inside the head of some white guy. Talk about creative freedom.

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