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Cleolinda Jones @cleolinda
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So yesterday I watched the two Star Wars prequels I had on hand (little bit vexed about the first one)
Granted, I overdid the livetweeting, but the reason it took all day was because I kept pausing for discussion in the replies. Here’s Attack of the Clones.
Here is Revenge of the Sith, which I started after dinner and nearly passed out during, because it was late and I was tired, not the movie’s fault.
I’m going to watch Rogue One after lunch, not to livetweet the plot, but because I’m interested to see how it plays after the prequels, but before we’ve seen the OT. Please feel free to mute #sithmas if you Do Not Want.
Meme dance break before we get started #sithmas
I did worry yesterday that I was disappointing people who love the prequels, so afterwards I sat there asking myself why I wasn’t connecting with so many of the Fun Action Sequences, why I kept saying “there is too much movie in this movie.” #sithmas
I actually liked all the fun stuff in theory! I just kept wishing it was half as long; I think George Lucas is the kind of guy who says, “If you like the *idea* of this, you are gonna LOVE thirty minutes of it.” The ROTS Grievous opening was SIX DVD CHAPTERS LONG. #sithmas
And maybe you do love it! It’s just, I realized that 1) I’m on the spectrum and I get overloaded 2) these movies came out when I was already an adult and all I wanted was a nap. #sithmas
I don’t know why the new movies don’t do this to me. Better pacing? (Maybe TLJ a little? There IS a good bit of movie in that movie.) Generally I walk out of the theater (for the two I saw there) thinking, “I’m sure this has flaws, but have you considered: I don’t care.” #sithmas
Re: Grievous opener: are you shitting me #sithmas
Anyway, we had some good discussions yesterday. #sithmas
I think the thing about Star Wars is that usually there’s too much movie in the movie, and there’s things where you’re like “what in the actual fuck,” but the stuff that is good is SO GOOD. #sithmas
So: on the second day of #sithmas, my TV brought to me: a Rogue One on a widescreen DVD. I’m curious as to how it plays without rewatching the OT first—in theory it could be your first glimpse of the Empire, but I feel like the Galen storyline may work best as a subversion?
As in, I think it has a lot of weight to have had the Empire in your cultural consciousness for years/decades and THEN go back and humanize someone on the inside. If you watch the series in story order, you don’t have that status quo yet to play off. #sithmas
My favorite aspect of this is how bb Jyn drops a stormtrooper doll (art book says she calls it “Stormy”?). Like, this is a culture where a child sees STORMTROOPERS as comforting toy soldiers. It tells you so much in a single visual. And then they come for her family. #sithmas
Krennic is an interesting villain; he’s far less badass than he originally seemed in the trailer, but he’s still fairly... I can’t think of the word... hateable?
He feels like an unusual type of villain for this series—a petty, arrogant middle manager trying to claw his way up the ladder, and maybe that’s not exciting, but MAN, is it recognizable. It’s also a very concrete motivation. #sithmas
And here’s Cassian, who I love, and they cast him perfectly because of you’d gone more hardboiled, I don’t think it would have worked. You need someone with a face as sensitive as Diego Luna’s to get the constant internal conflict across. #sithmas
He’s sympathetic enough that you wonder, if I were an undercover rebel—in any setting—how far would I be able to go? How far would I have no choice but to go, once I started down that path? #sithmas
I’ll just say, much the way that “so this is the way liberty dies” has an uncomfortable resonance today, Rogue One came out about a month after the election. It was... really something to go see it in that mindset. “What can we even DO?” “I don’t know, SOMETHING” #sithmas
It’s also the only movie to date that’s not about any Skywalker protagonists at all, just everyone else living and dying and not being the chosen one or having any laser swords. It’s less Star and more War. I love fantasy, but I like Rogue One as a change of pace. #sithmas
What I also like is that Rogue One manages to reverberate forward into the OT—you hear about the weakness in the Death Star and it has this entire heroic/tragic back story. And we’ve seen Bail Organa in four movies now? Alderaan is really going to hurt. #sithmas
I can’t really say “it makes A New Hope better” until I (re)watch it later today, but that’s now got extra emotional resonance built in. (Will we get a side movie about many bothans? I... I’m not sure what a bothan is?) #sithmas
Soooooo here’s CGI Tarkin. I’m not going to say whether they SHOULD have done it; I’ll just say that, as a Hammer horror fan who re/watched a slew of movies last October, I feel like this is a credible Peter Cushing impression. Some very nice vocal flourishes. #sithmas
Again, I’m not saying the CGI works—I think it’s *so* good that it goes screaming into the Uncanny Valley—but *given that they chose to do this,* the performance is as good as you could possibly ask for. #sithmas
I remember sitting there in the theater thinking, “From the back—mirror reflection—great way to handle this, yeah—wait, now it’s a full... he’s still... they’re still... wow, they are really committing to this, this continues to be a thing that’s happening?” #sithmas
Ah yes, the two random angry dudes Cassian and Jyn bump into (autocorrect desperately wants that to be “hump”?) in Jedha who I am apparently supposed to know. I look forward to finding out who they are 1-2 movies from now. #sithmas
Galen’s house: “Look, it’s blue milk!”
Quick break to check in on my guild’s territory war; yesterday I put a very nice 360k GP Tarkin-led fleet on defense #sithmas
Discussing SWGOH strategy is BY FAR the nerdiest hobby I have and I’m not even sorry. I genuinely scout the new movies for playable characters, and I want a Praetorian guard squad NOW. #sithmas
In fact, here are the game characters from Rogue One. I straight-up refuse to fight Chirrut-Baze (“Chaze”) squads in PVP, they’re a living nightmare of taunts and healing. I’m still working on my own. #sithmas
It’s interesting how the markets (?) of Jedha would probably have a very cantina feel in any other SW movie, but Rogue One gives its settings probably the most grounded, lived-in aesthetic of the entire series, and I’m including the Falcon interiors in that. #sithmas
I can’t believe there’s a fucking rebel ugnaught in this scene. My guild has this running joke about running a maxed-out zeta ugnaught in PVP just to troll people. I don’t even know what they are or what movie they’re from. #sithmas
(I love how Diego Luna has to hide that he’s laughing when K backhands him. Was that something Alan Tudyk improvised?) #sithmas
lol, complete with gifs #sithmas
I don’t know what a Whill is, but I appreciate that the supreme fighter of the movie is not a Jedi and/or lightsaber-user. Yes, Force sensitive, but it plays into TLJ’s larger point about the Force belonging to everyone. #sithmas
In fact, there’s a couple of times that Jyn seems to wish on her kyber pendant when they need to get out of a jam that subtly implies she might be accessing help from the Force, knowingly or not. #sithmas
So I hear Saw Gerrera was on—which show, Rebels? I have no idea what’s going on with all that, particularly since there’s some fascinating but abandoned stuff in the trailer (“What will you become?!”). OTOH, there *is* this: #sithmas
I will say, I saw this movie at a very difficult point in my life—a month after the election, two pets died within the next couple of months, and we were worried about my grandmother. I usually do not cry at movies, but December ‘16, I was ~emotionally compromised.~ #sithmas
This was around the time I infamously cried through the literal entirety of Moana, starting during the previews. I saw Rogue One twice in the theater, and the part I always sobbed through was Jyn’s father’s hologram message to her, because I also have Issues. #sithmas
“WE STAND HERE AMIDST **MY**ACHIEVEMENT, *NOT* YOURS!!11!1!” is Krennic in one sentence, if you needed that #sithmas
As angry as Jyn is about the plot to assassinate her father, I feel like the movie makes a very strong case as to why the rebels would think they couldn’t take any chances. Like, they don’t know these people! They don’t have the message for proof! #sithmas
I admit, once the movie leaves Rain Planet II, it feels like it drags a little until the battle, which may speak to how much better it does with action and movement. #sithmas
But I feel like “we don’t all have the luxury of deciding when and where we want to care about something” is another really resonant line nowadays. #sithmas
omg it’s Vader’s extremely dramatic lava castle DUN-DUN DUN-DUN!! So, watching this right after the prequels, this is us getting to see how that whole “do not want” thing turned out for him. “Soaking in a bacta tank,” apparently. #sithmas
I just had a flash back/forward? from OT Vader to Immortan Joe’s he-man body armor and respirator, which is interesting in terms of what Fury Road might have been doing there #sithmas
ugh, Sheev #sithmas
Actually, I think I’m going to take a break for a while. I need to rest my back, and I’d like to be able to go straight from Rogue One into A New Hope. Maybe we’ll pick up after an early dinner. #sithmas
Update: Allergies kicked my ass and I went to bed before 7 pm. I mean, cheerfully, but I needed it (so did my back). Discussion is fun enough that I will slow down the schedule and do a movie a day.
Which honestly works even better, because if I did decide to discuss The Last Jedi, that would put us out beyond the DVD/BR release Tuesday. Give people a *little* chance to get it first.
It’s funny, the other week I was like I DON’T THINK CIVIL DISCUSSION IS A THING WE CAN DO ON TWITTER and here we are doing it. I suppose angry randos *could* parachute in, but we haven’t had it so far.
I think it’s also important to note that 1) I am a very mild-mannered people pleaser who you might even say tone-polices herself, and no one should *have* to do that; 2) I see women who aren’t white, particularly black women, get shit all the time for no valid reason at all.
There is one writer in particular who I follow who is just living her life, and actual real people who are apparently not trolls come at her with attitude for the most benign things 24/7. Sociologically I know why. But I don’t understand it.
Point is, I don’t want to get self-congratulatory about peaceable discussion. I *am* pleasantly surprised though.
Okay, gonna pick up #sithmas with the rest of Rogue One. We're still at Vader's Extremely Extra Lava Castle.
His scenes are already past, but I'll note that it took a little bit of vision to cast Mads Mikkelsen as Galen rather than villain Krennic. I remember they announced him and I honestly wondered if he was going to play Tarkin. #sithmas
(DRAMATIC MUSIC PLAYING) (Side note, Giacchino did some really lovely themes for this score.) RED DUDES! I love the red Imperial Guards. #sithmas
You know, I'm honestly gonna give "choke on your ambitions" to Vader. Krennic's such an arrogant doofus that he deserves dad jokes. #sithmas
Also, James Earl Jones' snarky line reading of "MY APOLOGIES" is A+ #sithmas
1) #sithmas
2) re: Galen #sithmas
I should add, this is technically the first time we have seen "Darth Vader," not just "Anakin in a robot suit struggling to deal" #sithmas
I suppose it's fitting that he's immediately Force-choking a dude. But yeah, in story order, this movie gets to introduce the entire concept and visual of ~Darth Vader, Galactic Terror #sithmas
This is also the first time (in story order) we see what happened after Palpatine and Vader took over, and how people are coping with it ~20 years later. #sithmas
Not terribly well, judging by some on-the-nose dialogue about "We must have hope!" "THERE IS NO HOPE" #sithmas
And here's Cassian's big moment to volunteer for a doomed mission. I think a lot of this works--"we've all done terrible things"--because Luna played that buried angst in his very first scene. It was there the whole time. #sithmas
A side note for Bodhi; Riz Ahmed gives him a similar sensitivity, and neither character comes off as weak--it's more that idea of "showing courage by how difficult it is to muster it."
I haven't read the tie-in book(s), but I want to say I heard that Bodhi got to know Galen in the Eadu facility cafeteria? Am I hallucinating that? Bodhi's last scene seems to indicate that it really made a mark on him. #sithmas
"Jyn, I'll be there for you. Cassian said I had to." Man, I just really enjoy K-2. They managed to do a variation of "fussy odds-calculator" that somehow isn't just a Threepio redo. #sithmas
Oh, apparently you also see Chopper roll by at some point. That meant nothing to me at the time, but the Phoenix gang has since become my strongest synergy in the game. Sabine has a NASTY zeta AOE, it’s magical. #sithmas
And here's Bail Organa telling Mon Mothma about a Jedi friend who "served him well in the Clone Wars and has lived in hiding since the Emperor's purge" (Order 66?). Like, even *I* knew who we were talking about. #sithmas
Rogue One's purpose is very clearly to set up A New Hope--like, within a single scene of it--but I would also like to see a movie set during the first 1-2 years of the Empire. For depressing reasons you can imagine. #sithmas
"You will need someone you can trust." Bail: "I would trust her with my life." oh god I'm gonna cry #sithmas
Jyn taking out the kyber pendant when Bodhi's trying to get Scarif to accept the code is one of those "accessing the Force, which is for everyone" moments I was talking about #sithmas
Jyn's speech about taking chances "on, and on" until either they succeed or... they don't, helps frame the narrative objective here: they don't have to survive, they just have to get the job done. #sithmas
Like, I didn't know spoilers going into the theater and even I knew they were all going to die. The people we've never heard of before? It's because they didn't make it. So it helps for the movie to still give them a way to "win." #sithmas
Which reminds me--it never really bothered me that we learn a limited amount about the Rogue One crew. We can infer a good bit, and honestly, this isn't Ken Burns' "The Battle of Scarif" in twelve parts, although I would totally watch that #sithmas
I know this is Jyn's big speech, but the way Diego Luna says "make ten men feel like a hundred" completely steals the show, imo #sithmas
So now we're on Scarif (Jungle Beach Planet) and from here on out, Rogue One is firing on all cylinders. It's just SO GOOD. It's also where the movie starts to diverge from the trailers. #sithmas
It's so good that I don't even care, but I'm still fascinated by the entirely different two or three movies in those trailers. "What will you become?" over a glamour shot of Jyn in an Empire uniform (they were just messing around on set?) #sithmas
There are shots of Jyn and Cassian (and I think one where you can see Alan Tudyk in his K-2 rig) running across the beach carrying the files by hand; in the movie, the files never physically leave the tower. #sithmas
I think I've also seen some BTS stuff where Jyn and Cassian collapse, shot, in a doorway. Apparently they had a number of options, and I like where they ended up well enough. #sithmas
(THRILLING MUSIC PLAYING) We're seeing some of the footage they shot in London's Canary Wharf station--I loved that in the trailer, but Jyn and Cassian are clearly not in Imperial uniforms then #sithmas…
For science, here's the first trailer in question, not much of what I'm talking about:
Ah, here's the really good/early/different trailer ("I rebel"). Apparently I still get chills from it #sithmas
Meanwhile, Saw Guerrera doesn't even have hair. It's real, real different. Also has a really fantastic shot of Krennic that did not really indicate what kind of villain he turned out to be. #sithmas
Man, my eyes got so big when the AT-ATs showed up in the trailer. Not as fan service, just as "oh fuck they are so fucked" as the AT-ATs ("YOU KNOW, THE BIG WALKER THINGS") just lurch in, Godzilla-high. #sithmas
There's a couple of sentimental lines--K telling Jyn her behavior is so unexpected, Baze calling her "little sister"--that don't quite land for me, and I don't know why. #sithmas
There's incredible depth and motion in the aerial battles, and they cut so effortlessly back and forth to the beach. For whatever reason, the one in Ep III also has incredible depth, but doesn't seem as nimble to me. #sithmas
I may have missed it just now, but I heard that there's something on the project files Jyn's looking at that may have become the hyperspace tracking thing in TLJ? #sithmas
K-2's death is so sad, how is it so sad #sithmas
The thing the pacing/editing in this section does so well is have everything happening so much in umpteen different locations and Bodhi is dodging bullets and then Baze is running by and it really feels like *war.* But it's never confusing. #sithmas
oh no. Chirrut. I have actually seen people start muttering "I am one with the Force and the Force is with me" now and then. #sithmas
I should have known Cassian wasn't actually dead yet because it didn't make me want to curl up under my desk and sob. #sithmas
This is a new blu-ray player, in that I have never owned one before this, and I am still struggling to learn how to rewind and fast-forward on it and that struggle is EXTREMELY REAL #sithmas
So here's where Chirrut dies in Baze's arms, and I was sitting there in the theater like, "Are they... are we saying that... I mean I really don't know how else to interpret the way Baze says 'Don't go, don't go'" #sithmas
"Look into the Force and you will always find me." While Baze holds his hand. Like... these two guys are space-married, idk how it works, where exactly in the LGTBQIA we are, search your feelings #sithmas
I get that we need clear, explicit representation--I know it often means a lot to me--but I also like that this just kind of is what it is? We don't know a whole lot about anyone, but we definitely know... *waves hands vaguely* #sithmas
Again, it's that thing about needing a variety/quantity of representation so that no one example has to carry the weight of the world. A fitting subtlety isn't lacking if there's plenty representation elsewhere. #sithmas
And then Baze picks up with the "I'm one with the Force" as Chirrut dies, like it is a Jedi/Guardian prayer and tbh I think they say it is and I'm even less okay than I was previously #sithmas
Rogue One is kind of the movie edition of "I came out to have a good time and I feel so attacked right now" #sithmas
K-2, HONEY #sithmas
I'm still just so struck that Bodhi's last words are "Galen, this is for you." This one person just made such a difference in not only his life but the entire course of galactic history just by saying, be strong enough to do what you think in your heart is right. #sithmas
BAZE, I CAN'T #sithmas
Heard you like destroyers so I'm gonna destroy your destroyer with a destroyer #sithmas
The theater wasn't even very full the first time--I like to go to early matinees--but when the Death Star appeared over the horizon, the entire audience very softly went "ohhhhhhh" #sithmas
Like, we all knew at that point exactly how this was going to end. We knew that no one was getting out and no one was going to save them. #sithmas
As much as I completely wanted Jyn and Cassian to make out, it reminds me of the end of Pacific Rim, when Mako and Raleigh don't either--clearly this is a very emotioinal relationship, but it can be what you want it to be. #sithmas
To me, if they'd lived, they would have gotten together romantically, but maybe you don't want that, maybe a deep non-sexual friendship is what you'd rather imagine; the movie doesn't push a definition too quickly either way. #sithmas
Okay, are you ready for me to ruin you. This is gonna hurt. Are you ready. Jyn's dad called her Stardust, and now she's going to be stardust, because her dad's own invention, and yeah. Yeahhhhh. #sithmas
Getting out the New Hope disc. Here's why I was really doing all this: I haven't seen the OT in about 15 years. #sithmas
So anyway, if Rogue One does nothing else in this life, it makes Darth Vader fucking terrifying in a way that I'm not even sure the OT does, AFTER he's been diluted by pop culture for 40 years. #sithmas
Also, I don't mind the CGI Leia appearance, although all of these movies hit the "HOPE" key really hard, and this scene is no exception. But it feels like a nice grace note after a sad movie, a couple short weeks before Carrie Fisher passed. #sithmas
I am serious, I saw this movie twice, and the first time was before her passing and the second time was after. 2016 was... tough. #sithmas
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