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Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (December 2019)

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Yeah and Uncle George said he had a singular vision for 12 films planned from the very start...

 

The director of the last film chucked out a bunch of stuff JJ set up because he thought it was crap and she would have had final sign off on all those decisions.

 

Episode IX - The Rise of Backpedalling

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13 minutes ago, JohnC said:

 

This is actually from the Resistance animated show and the figures with it are also from that, apart from one crossover character (not the one named in the spoiler).

 

 

Ah, didn’t know that, haven’t seen any of Resistance.

 

1 minute ago, JohnC said:

Kennedy claims the Emperor had been planned for this movie for a long time.

 

Its either a brilliant bit of forward planning that has been kept secret since TFA went into production, or a massive bit of recon due to Snoke being sliced up in TLJ.  Would rather it’s the former, suspect it’s the latter, looking forward to seeing it play out in December.

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52 minutes ago, BitterToad said:

Right but what's a satisfying end to the Snoke storyline that hasn't already been played out within the Star Wars canon? That isn't just Snoke is related to someone we already know? I'm not saying that that Trope is totally dead in all fiction, but in Star Wars? The series with the most famous familial twist of all time? Nah mate. What are your options; Snoke's Ray's Dad? Bleh, a retread of Empire. Snoke's Han's Gran? It feels nice to say and it's a nice image and he did look a bit like one of those old women you see that look like they've had a fuck tough life, but I'm pretty sure the TLJ sucked crowd wouldn't go for it. 

 

What I'm saying with the above, sort of aside from all the Nan content, is that in the age of the internet it's quite difficult to come up with a series of twists that won't get thought up and shared around between the exact group of people that hated their beloved Star Wars baddies not seeming as important as they'd like. Nerds that like Star Wars a bit too much. So the bigger twist is to just throw it all away. Make the films about the characters rather than some tired DUN DUN DAAAAAAAH moment linked to a series of films that came out 40 years ago. This isn't about Snoke in the same way it's not about Rey's parents. It's about Kylo Ren and Rey. Two interesting, well developed characters that we've seen grow over two films. I'm much more into their story than that of unseen abandoner parents and big bollock head evil Andy Serkis. 

Exactly right. I think his character should have been fleshed out, given motivations, reasons, a back story, a journey. All the stuff they’re doing with kylo and Rey. Proper character development.

 

If they weren’t up for doing that, then he shouldn’t have been in it at all. Well, definitely not hyped up the way he was in TFA.

 

It’s just been badly handled and I hope JJ can pull it back on track.

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56 minutes ago, BitterToad said:

Right but what's a satisfying end to the Snoke storyline that hasn't already been played out within the Star Wars canon? That isn't just Snoke is related to someone we already know? I'm not saying that that Trope is totally dead in all fiction, but in Star Wars? The series with the most famous familial twist of all time? Nah mate. What are your options; Snoke's Ray's Dad? Bleh, a retread of Empire. Snoke's Han's Gran? It feels nice to say and it's a nice image and he did look a bit like one of those old women you see that look like they've had a fuck tough life, but I'm pretty sure the TLJ sucked crowd wouldn't go for it. 

 

How about the story about how he turned Kylo is interesting in itself, has relevance to Kylo's growth and change, they come up with a thread or two to establish him as a threat and he's not fucking connected to anyone else bar he's a Dark Side user and the Galaxy is fucking huge? 

 

I disliked he was useless. But I get people might have liked the sequence, for expectation pulling if nothing else. But 'there's no possible decent story' for him' is up there with 'They did the only possible good story with Luke'  as a big pile of ginormous balls. 

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I would contend that such a story just didn’t exist and wasn’t intended to exist. The creators just needed someone bad at the top of a new evil organisation to mandate the need for some good guys and set into motion the story they wanted to tell. He’s just a plot device. 

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4 hours ago, Popo said:

I would contend that such a story just didn’t exist and wasn’t intended to exist. The creators just needed someone bad at the top of a new evil organisation to mandate the need for some good guys and set into motion the story they wanted to tell. He’s just a plot device. 

 

Nope. He turned Kylo. He was going to complete his training. He had knowledge of Vader and Luke. I can completely believe theyd nothing written down, but if they hadn't some idea he wouldn't have been so connected. It's well documented that Rhian Johnson abandoned previous ideas  for better or worse.

 

As above, if he's just a throwaway don't put him in and do something else. 

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18 minutes ago, kensei said:

 

Nope. He turned Kylo.

 

that's the bit I kinda wanted to know more about. Luke says it was all Snoke's fault so he presumably knew the guy, unless he did all his seductive darkside whispering to Kylo via space-telephone. Did he have his 'obvious baddie' face at the time or did Han fuck him up? There will probably be a comic at some point.

 

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Right, but that's all happened pre-TFA. What do you want, a movie of flashbacks about Kylo and Snoke? We've seen a Sith turn a confused adolescent before; it was boring.

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6 hours ago, JohnC said:

Kennedy claims the Emperor had been planned for this movie for a long time.

Bollocks. Just like flipping director, with the baddie they have one for half the duration then they shit it and run back to the safety of a safe pair of hands

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6 hours ago, JohnC said:

Kennedy claims the Emperor had been planned for this movie for a long time.

 

I can believe it, given that it’s heavily hinted at in the Aftermath books, which were the main tie-in in the build up to The Force Awakens, and the same hints are referenced again in the Last Jedi novel. It’s perfectly possible that it was always planned to reveal the Emperor as being behind things in the last film, and RJ also being allowed to throw out things he wanted to, so long as he didn’t contradict or change the overall story arc. And Snoke being unexpectedly killed in the middle film does not contradict the notion that the Emperor has been secretly pulling the strings all along, as a kind of hidden enemy, a phantom menace if you will.

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7 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

Right, but that's all happened pre-TFA. What do you want, a movie of flashbacks about Kylo and Snoke? We've seen a Sith turn a confused adolescent before; it was boring.

 

Nah I’m fine with a comic or Wikipedia article tbh

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6 hours ago, JohnC said:

Kennedy claims the Emperor had been planned for this movie for a long time.

 

I watched that hour of drivel before the trailer and Kennedy is like the most corporate on-message drone imaginable, like JJ and the others were at least trying to answer questions while avoiding spoilers, while they were just sliding off a wall of buzzwords and the least genuine sounding PR puffery whenever they were addressed to Kennedy.

 

Which is a longwinded way of saying I don't believe this in the slightest.

 

Quote

I can believe it, given that it’s heavily hinted at in the Aftermath books, which were the main tie-in in the build up to The Force Awakens, and the same hints are referenced again in the Last Jedi novel. It’s perfectly possible that it was always planned to reveal the Emperor as being behind things in the last film, and RJ also being allowed to throw out things he wanted to, so long as he didn’t contradict or change the overall story arc. And Snoke being unexpectedly killed in the middle film does not contradict the notion that the Emperor has been secretly pulling the strings all along, as a kind of hidden enemy, a phantom menace if you will.

 

This stuff was setting up a (ditched) backstory for Snoke and that Palpatine was aware of him (he had all these Observatories set up around the rim of the Galaxy), it's absolutely not setting up what you think it's setting up. The same pieces of media that set this stuff up explicitly say Palpatine is dead because he wants the Empire to destroy itself and not outlive him!

 

On 15/04/2019 at 15:07, Uncle Mike said:

What did you like about him? Granted, I think I've only seen TFA the once when it was released, but I just remember a floaty head not doing much.

 

I thought Andy Serkis gave a great performance, much better than any of Ian McDiarmids scenes.

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32 minutes ago, K said:

The story of how Snoke turned Kylo seems like one of those things that's best left as implied backstory rather than told explicitly. Stories need spaces like that to engage the audience; if you spell them out, then it's really rare that what you see lives up to what you imagined, cf. Casablanca:

 

Renault: What in heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?
Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.
Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert!
Rick: I was misinformed.

 

I don't think we would gain much from seeing a Casablanca sequel where we see why Rick really went to the city, because the answer isn't important. What's important is that he's there. There's another example from a 1970s sci-fi film, where this old man says something about a "clone battle" or whatever. Can't quite recall the name of the film, but it was pretty good IIRC.

 

I guess the advantage of inclkuding these kinds of spaces in a series like Star Wars is that it gives you material to farm off to comics or games, but it should generally be kept out of the main series unless its critically important (i.e. Rey discovering her parents were feckless alkies), and even then we don't need to see the details of how they came to sell her off. The important thing is her discovering this and what it means for her character.

This covers some good points as well and why Snoke being killed off before we knew anything about him was poor.

 

What you’re saying about the films you mention is that there’s plenty of implied backstory. Snippets of information that are mysterious, tantalising and flesh out the character, making them feel real and lived in. It encourages you to fill in the blanks and it’s fun to do that.

 

The problem with Snoke is that we got none of that. He was a compete blank slate. We were given nothing other than what we saw. We knew he was the leader and we knew he was training Kylo, but that’s it.

 

Even with such limited information, his obvious importance led me to think that his backstory would be drip-fed in and it was fun to wonder what that might be. It didn’t need to be explicitly shown, but a series of unravelling clues to his purpose would have been great.

 

Then Rian Johnson came along and slapped me in the face for spending a film and half looking forward to finding out more about him, turning him into a simple plot device to be thrown away.

 

If speculation is to be believed then it’ll be brilliant to find out more about him in Episode IX.

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4 hours ago, JPL said:

This covers some good points as well and why Snoke being killed off before we knew anything about him was poor.

 

What you’re saying about the films you mention is that there’s plenty of implied backstory. Snippets of information that are mysterious, tantalising and flesh out the character, making them feel real and lived in. It encourages you to fill in the blanks and it’s fun to do that.

 

The problem with Snoke is that we got none of that. He was a compete blank slate. We were given nothing other than what we saw. We knew he was the leader and we knew he was training Kylo, but that’s it.

 

Even with such limited information, his obvious importance led me to think that his backstory would be drip-fed in and it was fun to wonder what that might be. It didn’t need to be explicitly shown, but a series of unravelling clues to his purpose would have been great.

 

I agree with this. When The Force Awakens came out, Snoke was one of my least favourite aspects of the film: partly because the name was always silly and the character design unremarkable, but mostly because so little was explicitly known about him, compared to Kylo Ren and Hux. Still, I was hopeful that subsequent films would give us a good reason for him to become as memorable a threat as the Emperor or Jabba.

 

I liked The Last Jedi, and I liked the method of his defeat in the throne room, but I think the pair of films would have been stronger if there had been just a little more explicit detail on him.

 

There is a defence that people offer about the lack of backstory for Snoke: "We knew just as little about the Emperor before the prequels came out, and that never bothered anyone watching Return of the Jedi." To which my response is that what's acceptable (or even beneficial) at an early point in the saga is less forgivable later on, because of changing expectations for how much explicit detail we should get, versus how much should be left untold.

 

I'm going to repeat my Tolkien analogy that I've posted in the TLJ thread:

 

The Emperor in ESB (and @K's example of other backstory hints, like the first mention of the Clone Wars) is equivalent to the Necromancer in The Hobbit. A vague side-threat compared to the main thrust of the plot, but an intriguing one, that hints at the scale and depth of history of the setting. At this point the vagueness is acceptable because what we want are tantalising hints about worldbuilding.

 

The Emperor in ROTJ and in the prequels is like Sauron in The Lord of The Rings: his nature, backstory and threat become more explicit.

 

Continuing the analogy, Snoke comes across as if Tolkien had written a sequel to Lord of the Rings, set decades later, in which another similar entity has taken up residence in Mordor, and Gondor has started to fall, contrary to the golden age implied at the end of the previous trilogy. We catch up with some of the familiar hero characters... but we don't get any explanation of how the power vacuum left by Sauron was filled, or how the golden age of Gondor was cut short.

 

The vagueness and mystery that was beneficial at the start of the tale becomes something to criticise later; it's jarring for the storytellers to start leaving intentional gaps after they've started establishing a pattern of filling in the blanks.

 

I understand and agree with why they took this approach at the start of a new Star Wars trilogy (setting up numerous potential threads that could help expand the universe and regain some mystery, as a reaction against the prequel films, which were all about filling in the blanks and were criticised for nailing down phrases from the OT that worked better as mysteries). And I was perfectly happy for some of the mysteries set up in TFA (Rey's parents; how Luke's lightabre ended up where it was) to stay unresolved. But the whole character of Snoke was a case of them misjudging how much mystery to leave.

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There's definitely enough information for us to fill in the blanks. We know he has the power to link minds across the universe, so he probably used that to communicate with Kylo Ren in private or something. Or maybe he influenced his dreams and subconscious. Either way it'd be a waste of time to see it. What we did get, fleshed out wonderfully, was the crucial moment where Luke lost Ren's trust.

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12 hours ago, JPL said:

This covers some good points as well and why Snoke being killed off before we knew anything about him was poor.

 

What you’re saying about the films you mention is that there’s plenty of implied backstory. Snippets of information that are mysterious, tantalising and flesh out the character, making them feel real and lived in. It encourages you to fill in the blanks and it’s fun to do that.

 

The problem with Snoke is that we got none of that. He was a compete blank slate. We were given nothing other than what we saw. We knew he was the leader and we knew he was training Kylo, but that’s it.

 

Even with such limited information, his obvious importance led me to think that his backstory would be drip-fed in and it was fun to wonder what that might be. It didn’t need to be explicitly shown, but a series of unravelling clues to his purpose would have been great.

 

Then Rian Johnson came along and slapped me in the face for spending a film and half looking forward to finding out more about him, turning him into a simple plot device to be thrown away.

 

If speculation is to be believed then it’ll be brilliant to find out more about him in Episode IX.

 

The way he threw away everything set up in TFA was what left me really disappointed in TLJ on first viewing, although subsequent watches without expectations getting shat all over let me see it was actually a bloody good movie once you were past that.

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14 hours ago, K said:

 

I guess the advantage of inclkuding these kinds of spaces in a series like Star Wars is...

 

This is honestly not a petty jibe about an obvious typo - I’m only quoting the above as a public service gesture to let other rllmuk members know how much fun it is to say “inclkuding” aloud - I’ve been doing it for about ten minutes now and I’m still really enjoying it!

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15 hours ago, Uncle Mike said:

Right, but that's all happened pre-TFA. What do you want, a movie of flashbacks about Kylo and Snoke? We've seen a Sith turn a confused adolescent before; it was boring.

 

No, I want the reasons behind that explored via their current relationship. I want to know more about Kylo, I want to know more about Snoke. I never seen proper Dark side training so hiwdoes that go? How's it different from what Luke did. I want to know how the fuck he built a new Empire because when I left it, everythkng was fine and Ewoks were dancing. Mostly, I Snoke to be what I want all baddies to be: a genuine threat. He was closer to comic relief.

 

The prequels were shit, so all possible variations of the same story outlines will be shit, is another terrible argument.

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Those all seem like criticisms of TFA, rather than TLJ, is I guess more what I was trying to get at. Snoke turns up in TFA for, what, 5 minutes tops? Sitting in a hologram chair, complaining that the other two aren't good enough. We get no idea at all how the First Order got re-established, or any of that. But everyone was fine with that!

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Being dropped into the middle of things is how Star Wars always was, isn't it? By design? This desire to have Snoke's rise to power explained, to watch Kylo grow up and get corrupted, isn't in TLJ's brief at all. That was in the past in the first frame of TFA.

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2 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

Being dropped into the middle of things is how Star Wars always was, isn't it? By design? This desire to have Snoke's rise to power explained, to watch Kylo grow up and get corrupted, isn't in TLJ's brief at all. That was in the past in the first frame of TFA.

 

Snoke looked old enough to have been around in the original trilogy and even the prequels so it did feel a bit unsatisfying that this powerful Force user seemed to appear out of nowhere when the OT was at pains to point out that the Skywalkers and Palpatine were the only ones left. It's like they just invented a new Emperor character without any explanation. When you're making a cinematic saga you want to have an idea of how history unfolded between instalments. TFA isn't the first film in the series - the tantalising thing about it is, what's happened in the 30 years since ROTJ? Thus far, Snoke just feels like a plot device rather than someone satisfyingly woven into the story.

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13 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

Those all seem like criticisms of TFA, rather than TLJ, is I guess more what I was trying to get at. Snoke turns up in TFA for, what, 5 minutes tops? Sitting in a hologram chair, complaining that the other two aren't good enough. We get no idea at all how the First Order got re-established, or any of that. But everyone was fine with that!

 

I'm not as hot in TFA as a lot of people here, but that seemed fine at the time when I naively thought there was a trilogy with a plan mapped out that would dole out at least some of that information at opportune moments. Not necessarily it all, but enough to feel satisfying.

 

I think a lot of the criticisms will ultimately by aimed at the whole trilogy, and the messy way it's been done. But hey, maybe IX will be mind blowing. I live in hope.

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16 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

Those all seem like criticisms of TFA, rather than TLJ, is I guess more what I was trying to get at. Snoke turns up in TFA for, what, 5 minutes tops? Sitting in a hologram chair, complaining that the other two aren't good enough. We get no idea at all how the First Order got re-established, or any of that. But everyone was fine with that!

 

14 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

Being dropped into the middle of things is how Star Wars always was, isn't it? By design? This desire to have Snoke's rise to power explained, to watch Kylo grow up and get corrupted, isn't in TLJ's brief at all. That was in the past in the first frame of TFA.

 

What I was arguing with my above post is that being dropped in with no explanation was great at the start of the saga, but after the world building had been filled in so much in the years between Episode IV and Episode VII, I expected either more detail on gaps, or for the kind of mysteries to change.

 

Bringing some of the mystery back to Star Wars after the prequels filled in too many blanks was a good idea, and I'm also on the side of most of TLJ's subversion of audience expectations. How Luke went from being the Galaxy's saviour to a missing person was a good mystery with a good answer, spread across both TFA and TLJ.

 

But the lack of explanation for Snoke was just not satisfying for me. As you say, that's mainly a problem with TFA, and ideally his story would have been told there - but TLJ still had the potential to turn it round and make him into a great Star Wars villain. The fact that it didn't led to him coming across as the Emperor Lite, a poor imitation of what had happened before (like the First Order itself). With a stupid name even by Star Wars standards.

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I don't think TLJ was perfect. But I thought the decision they made on whose story the new trilogy should focus on was a correct one. Is the series about Rey and the old guard turning Ren back to the Light and defeating Snoke/The First Order general guy? I would argue we've seen that story already.

 

Is it instead about a new type of conflict between Rey and Kylo, where neither of them are on a sure footing and neither of them understand where they're going to land? I think I would suggest this is more interesting turf for a new Star Wars story to plough, although I would readily grant you there are loads of issues with its execution to date.

 

Throwing Snoke away was, to me, a legitimate decision. He was just plonked there, achieving nothing. Take him off the board, and put the interesting story up-front.

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@Uncle Mike They should have done that from the start then and not waited until the second film to throw everything away.

 

There needed to be a vision for the whole trilogy, not going in one direction for first film, then off in another for the next. And probably off in another for the final instalment.

 

I don’t want to lay blame on either film so far as they’ve both got their good and bad points, but it’s viewing them as a whole were it totally falls apart for me.

 

All we can hope is that we all enjoy Episode IX. I know I’m still looking forward to it even though I think Disney's handling of the franchise has been way below average so far. 

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1 minute ago, PeteBrant said:

I dont get this obession with wanting to know more about Snoke. It's not his story, he isn't important. His sole purpose was to serve to develop Kylo as a character.

Read the thread. It’s just a single point we’ve landed on and are discussing.

 

As I just said in my post to Mike, it’s more of a problem that the two directors were pulling in different directions that had left Snoke, amongst many other things so far, feeling massively underdeveloped and badly thought out.

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