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No thread on this? Seriously? Oh my, the A&F forums have slowed down haven't they?

I watched the first three episodes on DisneySuperfluplus and I find them unexpectedly and ridiculously entertaining, so much so that they make me wonder for the first time in years why all Star Wars movies after Return of the Jedi suck so bad (by which I mean are seemingly designed to make me not care about them.) I wonder if it is Jon Favreau, though honestly I just re-watched Iron Man, and it's not like I think he has some secret sauce. I think what the show helps me reiterate is that the gaps between movies in Star Wars are so large and so seemingly randomly placed that it's hard for me to invest in any story because I know whater happens will be undone in the first five minutes of the next one. It would like if Alien Resurrection just skipped Alien3 altogether and had a screencrawl that said, "Ripley crashed on her way home, oh and she's pregnant by an Alien now...." Not that I admit anything after Aliens actually happened (it's all a hypersleep induced dream). My point is that Star Wars always feels to me like six chapters selected at random from the entire Song of Fire and Ice collection of books: (Movie One, Bran gets pushed out the window, movie two scrawl tells us Ned is dead and we have Red Wedding, movie three, Dany, whose entire backstory is introduced in a scrawl, burns King's Landing.) 

But anyhow, The Mandalorian. How can you not like a show that features Werner Herzog putting a bounty on ... well, I won't spoil it for the two of you who are yet spoiler free. I dig the way that it expands the details of things in other movies while telling an actual story with development (and not just plot). This franchise could have been so great...maybe it was meant to be a television show on some level....

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  • 2 weeks later...

I enjoyed this show, mainly because it's nice to see a big-budget franchise component that isn't afraid of going for long periods of time without dialogue. Also, I found myself really liking the episodic, "adventure-of-the-week" structure. While I like the more serialized, "prestige tv" style of storytelling, there's just so much content out there nowadays that it's nice to have something fun I can watch for 40 minutes without thinking about "how it all connects together" or "how it builds on previous storylines and lore."

My main misgiving is that, like most of what Disney has done with Star Wars, it strikes me at times as a bit too "studio-driven" rather than "artist-driven," if that makes sense, particularly given that they're drawing from the Marvel well of filmmakers like Favreau and Waititi. As much as I think it's cool that "Baby Yoda" functions as homage to Lone Wolf and Cub, there's something about the way that character is shot and depicted that feels entirely marketing-driven. I come away feeling like Baby Yoda's primary purpose is to generate memes and garner publicity for the show. Am I really supposed to believe that reactions like this one are not by design? Or have I just grown too cynical?

Edited by WriterAndrew
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19 hours ago, WriterAndrew said:

My main misgiving is that, like most of what Disney has done with <i>Star Wars</i>, it strikes me at times as a bit too "studio-driven" rather than "artist-driven," if that makes sense, particularly given that they're drawing from the Marvel well of filmmakers like Favreau and Waititi. 

Part of my surprise in how much I enjoyed the show is that I had just rewatched Iron Man and not found anything exceptional in the direction. I remember being okay with Jungle Book, but the Lion King remake reminded me of Van Sant's Psycho. So it's not like I am devoted to Favreau. (I did like Chef.)

This is all conjecture on my part, which means its probably bullshit, but perhaps Favreau having been attached to the MCU from the beginning -- the fact that he helped build it -- gave him a sort of confidence in helming a project that is *STAR WARS*!!!!! I've always attributed my dislike of any of the last three SW movies (five if you count Rogue One and Solo) to a staleness and sameness. Perhaps that is "studio-driven" but even with Rian Johnson and JJ Abrams, I felt like the car was driving them rather than them driving the car...like...maybe they were cowed a bit or overwhlemed a bit? I didn't really get that with The Mandalorian. (Some of that may be because it was TV and because of the way it was rolled out, its not like it was going to flop. ) There's an ease about the whole enterprise, whereas I have felt like all three of the prequels and the last three film were just trying so hard to be great, like the aging slugger swinging for the fences every pitch:

 

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I seem to be the only person in the universer without Disneyfication+, so I have not seen The Mandalorian. Thank goodness for social media, so at least I know what Baby Yoda is. Sort of.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Up to ep. 4. I categorize as A Man With No Name in the SW universe.  Even pretty much sounds like a young Eastwood.

 

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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