Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

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Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

Postby mtwentz » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:56 am

I haven’t seen it, but I’ve read the reviews and it appears JJ Abrams was influenced by the loud minority of fans critical of The Last Jedi and did pure fan service for The Rise of Skywalker. The result, if the critics are to be believed, is the worst Star Wars ever.

Imagine if Lynch and Frost had taken that approach. Imagine if they had made The Return in order to service the fans, out of a desire to not disappoint any of them, profoundly or otherwise.

What we would have gotten would have pleased not one, not the Lynch purists nor the Twin Peaks Season 1 purists. Cause folks, when you get down to it, fan servicing leads to mediocre art.

My hope is that Rise of Skywalker will be a cautionary tale to artists. Make the film you want to make, not the film you think others want to see.
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Re: Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:13 am

I know this isn’t a popular opinion, but Star Wars is a series that has benefited from nostalgia more than perhaps any other. The first two films are undeniably great entertainment (albeit also arguably responsible for birthing the blockbuster-fueled zeitgeist of modern Hollywood, but that’s a different gripe). They grabbed a generation of viewers at exactly the right time, and have now been passed down to children and grandchildren. But the series has been skating by in the afterglow of those films ever since. Everything that’s come since has been kind of janky (cinematically, anyway...I know some of the TV series, with I haven’t bothered with, have been well-reviewed, and I never read the zillion books which have now been mostly retconned out of existence anyway). There were a few really great characters and worlds that Lucas conceived in those early films, and all the subsequent movies (both with Lucas and without him) feel like unsuccessful fan service-y attempts to recapture that initial magic. Ultimately, I think this universe just isn’t that interesting a place to explore beyond the initial ideas (unlike the much-maligned Marvel movies, which have decades of rich source material to mine, even if they don’t always do so successfully). I will say that I enjoyed Rogue One, and I liked The Force Awakens on first viewing mostly because its return to the fun tone of the original trilogy was a breath of fresh air after the dour prequels (and it was great to see the original characters/actors back), but in retrospect, TFA is very cookie-cutter. I haven’t seen the new one yet, but this sequel trilogy seems to be the exact spiritual opposite to TP:TR.

And since this is a TP forum, let’s all take a moment to reflect on what a DKL-directed Return of the Jedi would have looked like. :mrgreen:
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Re: Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

Postby mtwentz » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:00 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote: And since this is a TP forum, let’s all take a moment to reflect on what a DKL-directed Return of the Jedi would have looked like. :mrgreen:


I mostly agree with you, although I like the Prequels more than the originals (except for Empire Strikes Back, which is clearly the best in the series) because the originals are 'kiddie shows' in my opinion, and just never really interested me. Which is also why I did not like The Force Awakens, at all. Empire Strikes Back and the Prequels (except for Attack of the Clones, which is awful) were all sufficiently dark and nuanced to catch my interest.

Return of the Jedi is my least favorite in the original trilogy, I had to leave the theater about halfway through that film in its original run because my friend was sick from drinking too much, but I wasn't too disappointed because it bored me to tears as a retread of A New Hope. I never actually was motivated to see the whole film into several years later, and only then because Joseph Campbell had used the final scene as a discussion point in his conversations with Bill Moyers.

So I for one believe Return of the Jedi would have been a much better film with Lynch at the helm, had he been given creative control and the ability to re-work the script.

Luke Skywalker would have killed Darth Vader and gone over to the Dark Side, which is what I think was the original draft of the script. It would have been darker than Empire Strikes Back.
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Re: Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:30 am

I think RotJ would certainly have been a stronger film with Lynch at the helm, but he probably wouldn’t have had much creative control, similar to Dune. It probably would have felt like as much of a compromise as Dune was. It also might have been detrimental to his career, though. It’s a minor miracle that he survived Dune and rebounded. If his RotJ had bombed, it would have been an even more intense backlash due to the love for the earlier films, and he wouldn’t have had the support of Dino DeLaurentiis (who allowed him to make Blue Velvet despite the disappointment of Dune). If his RotJ had been a success, it might have been even worse for the world if he abandoned his more personal work to do more mediocre big-budget projects.
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Re: Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

Postby LateReg » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:35 am

To be fair, Rian Johnson did go the Twin Peaks: The Return route with The Last Jedi. He attempted to subvert numerous expectations and embraced a meta approach in doing so. The film's thesis is literally to kill the past to move forward, which feels like a direct response to The Force Awakens. Furthermore, he tapped into something Lynchian/Returnian with Carrie Fisher's final performance. Almost every moment of her screentime seems like they somehow knew she was going to die, and serves as a fitting tribute or farewell. It's, well, uncanny.

Also, Rian Johnson dressed as Dougie Jones for Halloween in 2017, and it's no wonder. While The Last Jedi had to be completely shot by the time The Return aired, given what Johnson was trying to do it's obvious that he would have felt an affinity to The Return and Dougie.
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Re: Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:45 am

I did admire what The Last Jedi was trying to do, although I didn’t feel the execution was particularly successful as a standalone film or as part of the trilogy. In terms of the latter, the problem is that it feels completely disconnected from the surrounding Abrams films tonally (if the reviews of the new one are to be believed). It’s strange how hands-off everyone seemed to be in allowing Johnson to make his film, apparently letting him do kind of whatever he wanted without giving him much if any information about where the story was going in Episode IX. I’m a fan of both Abrams and Johnson’s other work, and the fact that their efforts in the Star Wars universe, taking completely divergent approaches, both feel so curiously inert really makes me feel that it’s just not that interesting a world.
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Re: Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

Postby LateReg » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:59 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:I did admire what The Last Jedi was trying to do, although I didn’t feel the execution was particularly successful as a standalone film or as part of the trilogy. In terms of the latter, the problem is that it feels completely disconnected from the surrounding Abrams films tonally (if the reviews of the new one are to be believed). It’s strange how hands-off everyone seemed to be in allowing Johnson to make his film, apparently letting him do kind of whatever he wanted without giving him much if any information about where the story was going in Episode IX. I’m a fan of both Abrams and Johnson’s other work, and the fact that their efforts in the Star Wars universe, taking completely divergent approaches, both feel so curiously inert really makes me feel that it’s just not that interesting a world.


That's interesting. I don't truly care to defend the films, but at this point it almost seems like it's worth doing just because they're better than all the complainers (not you, but fans) make them out to be. The Force Awakens perfectly recaptures that Star Wars spirit, and my enjoyment of it has only increased throughout the years; as a re-introduction to the universe, I don't mind that it rhymes too obviously with the first film, and the original characters are so well-written and performed. The Last Jedi doesn't feel inert to me at all, but momentous in its continuous forward motion and relatively bold blockbuster filmmaking. It also has a handful of rousing moments of pure cinema that, regardless of what surrounds them, are instantly applaud-inducing. And if you just took the Luke stuff on that island, you'd have a mini-masterpiece due to the strangeness of the humor, the texture of the cinematography and how it captures the setting, the Rashomon-esque storytelling trickery, the weird-ass creatures, and the numerous eerie moments. I also think it's incredibly wise about both franchise filmmaking and the mythology of the series and the force. I think it's the wisest of all Star Wars films. I do also think that its more modern styles, especially in its use of humor, too closely resemble current blockbuster filmmaking, and that the film is kind of a mess, but it uses both those elements to its advantage to stand out from the pack.

But overall, the best part of Star Wars is the world itself. You're alluding to this, I feel. The world and its textures are something you can luxuriate in even if the ideas behind it aren't there. The aesthetics of its physical world are truly something.
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Re: Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

Postby Agent Earle » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:24 am

mtwentz wrote:Imagine if Lynch and Frost had taken that approach. Imagine if they had made The Return in order to service the fans, out of a desire to not disappoint any of them, profoundly or otherwise.

What we would have gotten would have pleased not one, not the Lynch purists nor the Twin Peaks Season 1 purists.e.


But it might have very well pleased Season 2 purists - Lord knows there are a few of us around! :D
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Re: Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

Postby mtwentz » Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:50 pm

LateReg wrote:
Mr. Reindeer wrote:I did admire what The Last Jedi was trying to do, although I didn’t feel the execution was particularly successful as a standalone film or as part of the trilogy. In terms of the latter, the problem is that it feels completely disconnected from the surrounding Abrams films tonally (if the reviews of the new one are to be believed). It’s strange how hands-off everyone seemed to be in allowing Johnson to make his film, apparently letting him do kind of whatever he wanted without giving him much if any information about where the story was going in Episode IX. I’m a fan of both Abrams and Johnson’s other work, and the fact that their efforts in the Star Wars universe, taking completely divergent approaches, both feel so curiously inert really makes me feel that it’s just not that interesting a world.


That's interesting. I don't truly care to defend the films, but at this point it almost seems like it's worth doing just because they're better than all the complainers (not you, but fans) make them out to be. The Force Awakens perfectly recaptures that Star Wars spirit, and my enjoyment of it has only increased throughout the years; as a re-introduction to the universe, I don't mind that it rhymes too obviously with the first film, and the original characters are so well-written and performed. The Last Jedi doesn't feel inert to me at all, but momentous in its continuous forward motion and relatively bold blockbuster filmmaking. It also has a handful of rousing moments of pure cinema that, regardless of what surrounds them, are instantly applaud-inducing. And if you just took the Luke stuff on that island, you'd have a mini-masterpiece due to the strangeness of the humor, the texture of the cinematography and how it captures the setting, the Rashomon-esque storytelling trickery, the weird-ass creatures, and the numerous eerie moments. I also think it's incredibly wise about both franchise filmmaking and the mythology of the series and the force. I think it's the wisest of all Star Wars films. I do also think that its more modern styles, especially in its use of humor, too closely resemble current blockbuster filmmaking, and that the film is kind of a mess, but it uses both those elements to its advantage to stand out from the pack.

But overall, the best part of Star Wars is the world itself. You're alluding to this, I feel. The world and its textures are something you can luxuriate in even if the ideas behind it aren't there. The aesthetics of its physical world are truly something.


What I don't understand is, how can you have a director like J.J. Abrams essentially wipe out most of the stuff from The Last Jedi, just because some fans complained about it? I don't know how this wiping out of the previous installment supposedly occurs (does Rey travel back in time, or was it all a dream :-)) , but damn, if they are going to change the story of these movies because a few folks shout loudly on Twitter, what hope is there for the Star Wars franchise going forward? Maybe just give it back to Lucas might be the only solution.

People can complain about the Prequels, but at least they tried to do something new, instead of just remaking the original trilogy.
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Re: Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

Postby LateReg » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:52 pm

mtwentz wrote:What I don't understand is, how can you have a director like J.J. Abrams essentially wipe out most of the stuff from The Last Jedi, just because some fans complained about it? I don't know how this wiping out of the previous installment supposedly occurs (does Rey travel back in time, or was it all a dream :-)) , but damn, if they are going to change the story of these movies because a few folks shout loudly on Twitter, what hope is there for the Star Wars franchise going forward? Maybe just give it back to Lucas might be the only solution.

People can complain about the Prequels, but at least they tried to do something new, instead of just remaking the original trilogy.


I'm with you on all that, including the prequels. They are, to whatever degree of success you want to grant them, a demonstration of pure vision, and there's no doubt about that.
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Re: Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

Postby eyeboogers » Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:18 pm

LateReg wrote:I'm with you on all that, including the prequels. They are, to whatever degree of success you want to grant them, a demonstration of pure vision, and there's no doubt about that.


I don't see that difference. Those prequels are the very epitome of why prequels are redundant (and I'm saying that as someone whose favorite film is a prequel - but one that also serves as sequel). All the film does is depict things we've already been told in the old films. Over 8 unbearable hours we have to suffer through every step of the mythology as it unfolds without any major surprises. Nothing wasn't as we thought it was, and this particular family tragedy was somehow much stronger when we as an active audience had to put the scraps of information from the original trilogy together.

At least "The Force Awakens" had an original narrative concept (thanks to Lawrence Kasdan no doubt) - how do we for once get audiences to care as much about the new characters that are the future of the storyworld as they care for the nostalgia characters? By putting them into all of the same situations and seeing how these characters react differently - who they truly are.

Where the new films then took a disastrous wrong turn is that someone then thought it would be a good idea to repeat the same formula for the last two films in the franchise, instead of taking our newfound investment in Rey and co. and sending them into strange new missions on far off worlds.
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Re: Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

Postby mtwentz » Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:41 pm

For me what made the prequels was Ian Mcdiarmid and the Galaxtic Senate. I really enjoyed the story of how the Republic became the Empire.

The Prequels were eerie last n the way they paralleled events in the real world. I thought they were a great lesson in how democracies can because me authoritarian.

But for those who wanted the feel of the original trilogy, I can see the disappointment; but I think the prequels were the right movies for the right time in American history.
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Re: Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

Postby LateReg » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:29 pm

eyeboogers wrote:
LateReg wrote:I'm with you on all that, including the prequels. They are, to whatever degree of success you want to grant them, a demonstration of pure vision, and there's no doubt about that.


I don't see that difference. Those prequels are the very epitome of why prequels are redundant (and I'm saying that as someone whose favorite film is a prequel - but one that also serves as sequel). All the film does is depict things we've already been told in the old films. Over 8 unbearable hours we have to suffer through every step of the mythology as it unfolds without any major surprises. Nothing wasn't as we thought it was, and this particular family tragedy was somehow much stronger when we as an active audience had to put the scraps of information from the original trilogy together.

At least "The Force Awakens" had an original narrative concept (thanks to Lawrence Kasdan no doubt) - how do we for once get audiences to care as much about the new characters that are the future of the storyworld as they care for the nostalgia characters? By putting them into all of the same situations and seeing how these characters react differently - who they truly are.

Where the new films then took a disastrous wrong turn is that someone then thought it would be a good idea to repeat the same formula for the last two films in the franchise, instead of taking our newfound investment in Rey and co. and sending them into strange new missions on far off worlds.


The prequels may tell the stories we knew were coming, but the way that Lucas tells the story is nothing if not visionary. I'd argue there are plenty of plot elements, many political, that we wouldn't have seen coming (as MT points out, paralleling real world events) in quite the way Lucas presented them and even some baffling and bold decisions, but I won't even wade into that as mostly its the aesthetics, the tone, style, visual imagination in every nook and cranny, etc that join with the narrative choices to make this its own unique entity. I really hadn't anticipated anyone arguing that the prequels weren't entirely their own thing, so much so that they've proven to be the most influential films of their time, influencing almost every blockbuster made today (sadly, thanks mostly to the endless use of green screen). It's easy to forget that the prequels - like A New Hope - are basically the most expensive indie movies ever made, and I think that level of independence is very evident throughout. That's why they are pure vision - undiluted, untouched, exactly what Lucas wants with little care for what anyone else does. The story may be predictable as a whole, but everything else, for better or worse, is singular.
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Re: Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

Postby AXX°N N. » Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:37 pm

mtwentz wrote:I like the Prequels more than the originals (except for Empire Strikes Back, which is clearly the best in the series) because the originals are 'kiddie shows' in my opinion, and just never really interested me. Which is also why I did not like The Force Awakens, at all. Empire Strikes Back and the Prequels (except for Attack of the Clones, which is awful) were all sufficiently dark and nuanced to catch my interest..

Exactly my opinion. The first 2 originals are good pulp, but the prequels (minus Attack of the Clones, which yes, is garbage) are more interesting to me. As the critic Camille Paglia once said, Revenge of the Sith has a genuine neoclassical grandeur to it, all of its many bad qualities aside. I have a hard time believing anything in the new trilogy is genuine.

Mr. Reindeer wrote:It’s strange how hands-off everyone seemed to be in allowing Johnson to make his film, apparently letting him do kind of whatever he wanted without giving him much if any information about where the story was going in Episode IX.

I don't think it's strange, in fact I think it's a somewhat ironic extension of the boardroom executive approach. Empire Strikes Back was regarded at the time as a real dark horse, 'never thought it was going to go in this direction' kind of thing, with its sudden bleak tone and more interpersonal storytelling. Therefore, in order to create a new trilogy that emulates the originals as much as possible, they had to get someone who would subvert expectations, which is actually what the expectation was.

I don't know what the original conception for episode IX would have been, and perhaps part of the motivation for a dark horse sequel this time around had to do with fan reaction to VII being such a rehash, only for them to again pander to fans and go back to a rehash after a decidedly new take. Whatever the case actually is, it's significant that in the end, the new trilogy matches up with the original in this way:

Establishing -- Subverting -- Rehash of establishing.

eyeboogers wrote:
I don't see that difference. Those prequels are the very epitome of why prequels are redundant (and I'm saying that as someone whose favorite film is a prequel - but one that also serves as sequel). All the film does is depict things we've already been told in the old films. Over 8 unbearable hours we have to suffer through every step of the mythology as it unfolds without any major surprises. Nothing wasn't as we thought it was, and this particular family tragedy was somehow much stronger when we as an active audience had to put the scraps of information from the original trilogy together.

I think that's focusing on the wrong thing. You can't explain away all the hatred of the prequels without it involving, from a rabid fan perspective, their lack of redundancy. Look at the difference of focus. What was once western-style action-intensive is evoking noir tropes, what was once a fantasy setting is a world of gilded age and tribal piecemail historical iconography, politics replaces mysticism, nazi allusions are replaced with parallels to the Iraq war. They're informed by extremely different genre notes. Much of the critical discussion, by academics at least, is how they were timelier narratives with more ambivalent things to say as compared to the originals, which were more simplistic fables with clear good/dark morality.

Now, there's a lot that is redundant, yes, and the plot this is all draped on is predictable and hardly ever engaging. But, to echo LateReg, to say that it was as anyone would have expected it is off, because the prequels have a lot going on and are ambitious in many ways that no one expected (and many never wanted). And that is clearly missing from the new ones, which are just corporate calculations and trying not to upset audiences.
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Re: Twin Peaks Season 3, Star Wars, JJ and Fan Service

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:41 am

I watched each of the prequels exactly once when they first came out, and, granted, I was 15 when The Phantom Menace first came out, but I don’t feel my tastes have substantially changed since then. I’ve never felt any desire to revisit them. I’m with Eyeboogers in that they felt like an exercise in excruciating inevitability, demystifying a character who was iconic precisely because of his air of mystery/ambiguity (similar to that awful Hannibal Rising prequel). It didn’t help that the last two were centered around an unbelievably wooden performance from Hayden Christensen, and a love story with zero chemistry. I can see the appeal of all the trade-embargo stuff, although at the time it struck me as a baffling pretentious choice. I appreciate LateReg calling the films the biggest-budget indie films of all time, but honestly they struck me as generic big-budget nonsense for the most part, all spectacle and little substance, and I agree that they heavily influenced mainstream Hollywood—in an extremely negative way (much as I feel the originals did the same, single-handedly bringing the silver age of 1970s cinema to a crashing halt as Hollywood began prioritizing crowd-pleasing eye-and-ear candy over humanity). I will say that the third one was a substantial improvement over the first two, but that’s not saying much.

It is interesting that so many intelligent film fans on a David Lynch forum admire/enjoy/defend the prequels, a position I rarely see anyone take! It’s actually kind of refreshing, even though I disagree.

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