It should have been a fight. Loud mouthed internet goblin v.s. Hollywood creative. But it wasn't. I found myself with other professionals from writers to NASA in a round table discussion if the 40 year wait for episode 9, Theft of Skywalker. Naturally I'm the dissenting voice here, laughing at Rey, Soylo, Whatever that Jin Erso movie was... the whole flaccid interchangable and forgettable mess that Star Wars has become.
I'll refer to my newest matey as "Death Star". Whom had hinted quite strongly at what internet rumors were true and which were not. And gave me insight as to life behind the scenes. Really people, death threats? I don't threaten the taco girl at the local stand for ruining my lunch or construction workers for delaying my camping trips... just saying.
So with that out of the way, Lets dive into my time with Death Star. And if you are reading this my friend, feel free to PM me if I overstepped here.
Death Star handed me some of his artworks, This is cool as fuck! I can not stress how much of a compliment it is to have an artist hand me something and say this is for your collection. We got along very well during our panel together, and this happening right after was many things to me, complimentary, humbling, and a token of respect. I could do a whole separate blog about the meaning of art and how sharing it freely has meaning. But you dear reader are here for...
Suffice to say, one good turn needs another. And with that I paired up with Death Star and his friend "Smiley", a prop maker and fellow artist known for his work on Star Trek. (See the new com badges in Picard? That's Smileys work.) The three of us set out to party, share alcohol in masse, and our perspectives on Sci-Fi.
So what can I verify and not overstep?
Finn is obviously a good start. His role as a character was supposed to be huge... HUGE. I can confirm with confidence his role and struggle with Captain Phasma was to be intense. The whole armada vs armada fight at the end of EP9 would have had, I daresay, meaningful stakes. Jannah was also meant to appear, uhm, earlier... like around Episode 8 earlier.
A surprise to me, as I thought the writers casually tossed Rose Tico out and pulled her in as a suppliment. Turns out that knee-jerk reaction was way off. There was a whole storyline involving mass defection from the first order with Finn taking on a much larger military leader role to combat the first order with stormtroopers marked with their symbol, a red bloody handprint. HOW epic that would have been, but Ruin Johnson wanted to subvert expectations and Kathleen let him crap in a bag and call it a movie.
Lastly as I went WTF? like so many others in the cinema or afterward. Finn says to Rey as they sink into the sand that he's got something to say. I can verify with certainty that he was not going to profess his love for her. That rumor is nice, but not true. I'll leave these cookie crumbs that it does relate back to Maz Kanata telling him that he has a weapon in EP7. That's all I can say without letting the cat out on that topic.
Perhaps the most hated or loved character, Ma-Rey Sue herself... It was hinted here and there she may turn to the dark side of the force. Which I may add has an excellent dental plan and refreshments in the lobby.
True as it gets, and yet another Ruin Johnson moment of spitting on the franchise and telling us that it's just raining and we don't understand. When and how in EP8 this was supposed to happen. I for one would have loved to see a main protagonist with a redemption arc, at least she would have had something the audience could relate to... The capacity to fail.
The design team for the EP7 movie poster intentionally made it look as if Rey -NOT-A-SKYWALKER- is holding a red saber staff. this is one of the many breadcrumbs intentionally placed to keep us speculating if she turns or not. After all it is fun when a rumor like that proves true, and people would have been blown away by either guessing right, or the shock of... I can't believe it. Instead we got Kanto Bites and the Holdo maneuver.
Sure, I want to punch this guy in the face. Show him I stand for equal rights, and equal lefts.
And I have to admit like the taco girl at the local stand, he is not in control of how satisfactory my lunch is. I begrudgingly give Jar Jar Abrams a bit of leeway, and had it not been for the people above him making decisions outside his control. Yes we would have gotten an extra 40 minutes of Star Wars - Grand Theft Valor. The cast and crew had their own private showing which is traditional as part of a wrap party. So boy-o-boy was J.J. surprised when suddenly the public lit up like a rabid ape high on pcp that just got pimp slapped.
Oh yeah, plot holes aplenty. A fast balls to the wall story... I use story here with reservations. EP9 is a jumbled mess of plot armor, convenience, Ma-rey Sueness, Making death irrelevant, and retconning a huge chunk of cannonical lore. I can not say if the cut content would have made the movie better, but many of the questions we shook our head at would have had some degree of closure.
Jar Jar does carry some of the blame, sure, but given the circumstances, I can both hate J.J. and respect him. Sewing up what Ruin and Kathleen did, and Iger letting them run ramshod all over the new trilogy... This was an uphill battle from the start. So to shorten this up, the 3 hour version exists, and we can't see it.
TL;DR Finn was underused and had a huge plot contribution scrubbed. Jannah was supposed to be much more than a defector turned freedom fighter. Phasma was supposed to make life hell for Finn in EP8 and really show us why she was hardcore in EP9. Rey was supposed to turn to the dark side and rock on with her bad self in EP8. J.J. Abrams isn't fully to blame, and was stabbed in the back for the public edit hitting theaters, as he wasn't in the loop about that edit.
Who do we blame?
The blame game is fun and easy. Was it Ruin with his volleyball shaped head? Kathleen with her shoving her political agendas into the films? The shills who take bribes to inflate the critical scores on popular sites? Us for being duped 3 times into watching the technicolor dumpster fire that is modern Star Wars? I called this years ago when Lucas sold off his creation... to an extent our creation, since he was kind enough to let folks play in his sandbox and add our sand castles to his galaxy so to speak.
Whatever the case and whom is really to blame. Since 2012, us doom speakers have been calling this new trilogy a mistake... I wish I wasn't right, because we all lose.
Anyway wall of text done, May the force be with you. Always.