Star Wars: Force Awakens Trailer #2

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Silverleaf
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I'm one of those people who didn't see them as a kid, and as an adult person without nostalgia-coloured spectacles I don't see the appeal, personally.

I've only seen one the whole way through, but I've seen chunks of the original trilogy, enough to tell me that every movie is full of things that irritate me.

Things that irritate me (an abbreviated list):

* Stupid voices

* Puppets

* Incompetant professionals

* Comic relief in an otherwise serious movie

* Primarily humanoid aliens (thank goodness for Jabba)

* Speech you can only understand via the speech of other characters (e.g. Chewbacca and Han, or those stupid robots) which really should be subtitled

* Whiny kids and/or wangsty teens

* Pseudo-scientific explanations for things that probably shouldn't be explained

And lest I forget:

* Stupid voices

and

* Puppets

Not that I'm all "Stop liking Star Wars!", just explaining why I'm not keen myself. Like away, people.


Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

Arcanist Lupus
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Silverleaf wrote:
Speech you can only understand via the speech of other characters (e.g. Chewbacca and Han, or those stupid robots) which really should be subtitled

Can you can articulate what about this bothers you?  Untranslated speech like this (if done properly) is actually something I enjoy a great deal, so I'm curious about what makes it objectionable to you.  Also, what do you think about one-sided phone conversations?


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

- Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

Silverleaf
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Arcanist Lupus wrote:
Silverleaf wrote:
Speech you can only understand via the speech of other characters (e.g. Chewbacca and Han, or those stupid robots) which really should be subtitled

Can you can articulate what about this bothers you?  Untranslated speech like this (if done properly) is actually something I enjoy a great deal, so I'm curious about what makes it objectionable to you.  Also, what do you think about one-sided phone conversations?

I'll try. I think it's mostly because the other party has to speak in an unnatural way in order to communicate what the first character is saying. In extreme cases, they have to basically repeat what the character said.

Take the traditional Lassie example. If Lassie could actually speak with actual words, the conversation would sound to the viewer a bit like this.

Quote:
LASSIE: Hey, Timmy's fallen down a well. We should probably do something about that, right?

HUMAN: Oh, that's bad. I'll get a rope and some energy bars. Is he hurt?

Natural conversation. If the viewer can't understand Lassie, this is what has to happen.

Quote:
LASSIE: Woof.

HUMAN: What's that girl, Timmy's fallen down a well?

Note that the human understands Lassie perfectly. They should respond as in my first example, but they have to repeat Lassie's statement so the audience knows what Lassie said. It breaks the immersion when that happens.

It's exactly the same as the well-known trope where one character tells another character something they both already know (and something they both know they both know), because the audience needs to know it.

"As you know Captain, this ship has no photon torpedoes..."

Unless there's a deliberate breaking of the fourth wall, it feels wrong to me that characters modify how they would naturally speak and behave just because there's an audience.


Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

Silverleaf
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One-sided phone conversations are very similar in my head.


Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

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Silverleaf wrote:

I'm one of those people who didn't see them as a kid, and as an adult person without nostalgia-coloured spectacles I don't see the appeal, personally.I've only seen one the whole way through, but I've seen chunks of the original trilogy, enough to tell me that every movie is full of things that irritate me.Things that irritate me (an abbreviated list):* Stupid voices* Puppets* Incompetant professionals* Comic relief in an otherwise serious movie* Primarily humanoid aliens (thank goodness for Jabba)* Speech you can only understand via the speech of other characters (e.g. Chewbacca and Han, or those stupid robots) which really should be subtitled* Whiny kids and/or wangsty teens* Pseudo-scientific explanations for things that probably shouldn't be explainedAnd lest I forget:* Stupid voicesand* PuppetsNot that I'm all "Stop liking Star Wars!", just explaining why I'm not keen myself. Like away, people.

Fixed most of that for you...

Silverleaf
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Greywind wrote:
Silverleaf wrote:
I'm one of those people who didn't see them as a kid, and as an adult person without nostalgia-coloured spectacles I don't see the appeal, personally.I've only seen one the whole way through, but I've seen chunks of the original trilogy, enough to tell me that every movie is full of things that irritate me.Things that irritate me (an abbreviated list):* Stupid voices* Puppets* Incompetant professionals* Comic relief in an otherwise serious movie* Primarily humanoid aliens (thank goodness for Jabba)* Speech you can only understand via the speech of other characters (e.g. Chewbacca and Han, or those stupid robots) which really should be subtitled* Whiny kids and/or wangsty teens* Pseudo-scientific explanations for things that probably shouldn't be explainedAnd lest I forget:* Stupid voicesand* PuppetsNot that I'm all "Stop liking Star Wars!", just explaining why I'm not keen myself. Like away, people.

Fixed most of that for you...

Yay!


Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

Arcanist Lupus
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Silverleaf wrote:
Note that the human understands Lassie perfectly. They should respond as in my first example, but they have to repeat Lassie's statement so the audience knows what Lassie said. It breaks the immersion when that happens.

It's exactly the same as the well-known trope where one character tells another character something they both already know (and something they both know they both know), because the audience needs to know it.

"As you know Captain, this ship has no photon torpedoes..."

Unless there's a deliberate breaking of the fourth wall, it feels wrong to me that characters modify how they would naturally speak and behave just because there's an audience.

Ah, so your objection is to one sided conversations done poorly.  Yeah, that's annoying.  Ideally, it should sound like any other conversation that you can only hear one side of, and if the audience needs to understand more than can be picked up from context clues, then you add a character who can't understand either to act as the audience surregate and provide a reason for translating.  It's been a while since I've seen them, but I think the original trilogy at least did a pretty good job of keeping the dialog of one-sided conversations realistic.

 

Quote:
Luke: Vader's on that ship.

Han Solo: Now don't get jittery, Luke. There are a lot of command ships. Keep your distance, though, Chewie, but don't *look* like you're trying to keeping your distance.

[Chewie barks a question]

Han Solo: *I* don't know. Fly casual.

Quote:
Leia: I thought you knew this person.

Chewbacca: [Chewie barks something to Han]

Han Solo: Well, that was a long time ago, I'm sure he's forgotten about that.

EDIT:  Actually, looking back through some quotes, while Chewie rarely gets translated, C-3P0 has a tendency to repeat R2-D2 while answering him.  But I wouldn't be surprised if that was done on purpose, because C-3P0 tends to be very talky all the time.


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

- Terry Pratchett, Going Postal

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Threepio didn't know when to shut up.

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Not to mention, most of the time, R2 either was understandable through his beeps, he had subtitles ( you see a translation on the dash of Luke's X wing in Empire) or the other characters didn't understand so Threepio was doing his job translating for the group. And R2 conveys his opinions well with just a set of  beeps

Silverleaf
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Yeah. I actually don't mind a second character giving a clue about what the first character's saying, if it's done in a comedic way and used very sparingly.

But all the time, I hate it. If what the character's saying is important for the audience to know right now, they should be able to hear it (or read subtitles). If what the character's saying isn't important, then what's the point of them?

My understanding is somewhat disjointed since I haven't seen everything. But is there any real plot reason for C3PO being in the films, or is he just there to translate for R2D2?

My biggest problem with Chewbacca and the robots is the stupid noises, however. They could be subtitled every time and I still wouldn't be able to stand the roaring or the bleeps. I just want to punch them in the face. I know, I know. I just can't get over it.


Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

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I was generally fine with the lack of subtitles in Star Wars. It was easy to figure out and made the universe the characters inhabit feel very large, and in a tongue and cheek kind of way dealt with the Scifi trope of every civilization knowing English for some reason. The only time lack of subtitles bothered me was in the Holiday Special, and lack of subtitles is far from the top of the list of things that are wrong with that.


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Silverleaf wrote:

Yeah. I actually don't mind a second character giving a clue about what the first character's saying, if it's done in a comedic way and used very sparingly.But all the time, I hate it. If what the character's saying is important for the audience to know right now, they should be able to hear it (or read subtitles). If what the character's saying isn't important, then what's the point of them?My understanding is somewhat disjointed since I haven't seen everything. But is there any real plot reason for C3PO being in the films, or is he just there to translate for R2D2?My biggest problem with Chewbacca and the robots is the stupid noises, however. They could be subtitled every time and I still wouldn't be able to stand the roaring or the bleeps. I just want to punch them in the face. I know, I know. I just can't get over it.

You mean aside from being the straight-man for the jokes?

Hysterically...er, historically, Threepio was created by Darth Anakin before he went all Darth.

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Silverleaf wrote:
My understanding is somewhat disjointed since I haven't seen everything. But is there any real plot reason for C3PO being in the films, or is he just there to translate for R2D2?

As Greywind says, Threepio's purpose, story-wise, was to function as the loud member of the loud/quite comedy duo.  Plot-wise, he doesn't to a thing.  

 

(They're like the space opera version of Penn & Teller)


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

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A group of friends of mine managed to watch half of District 9 without realising the aliens should have subtitles. It works surprisingly well without (though we may have missed out on some things...), which oddly enough makes it a good example of how to do one-sided dialogue well, if unintentionally.


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Silverleaf, what did you think of WALL-E? The same guy did all the robot dialogue/sound design in that movie as in the Star Wars movies. It's kind of a tour de Force of achieving understandable dialogue and plot advancement without any explicit subtitles or translation.

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Silverleaf wrote:

Things that irritate me (an abbreviated list):

*Puppets*

and

*Puppets

This makes me really sad actually.

I love puppets. An old family friend who died of cancer when I was a kid was a puppet master who knew Jim Henson. One of my favorite movies ever is The Dark Crystal and there was a short video from Toby Froud (son of the folks who did Dark Crystal and Labyrinth) that was incredible. They have a very special place for me.

What I have come to appreciate about them as an adault however is they offer an aspect of realism on film, a strong sense of something tactile that never has been captured using GCI effects. As an audiophile, they are like recording in analog vs recording purely digital. There is this tangible warmth that can never be truely replicated through other means that I personally find very satisfying.

I'm not trying to change your mind or argue anything. It just hit me reading your list and it tugged on my heart strings a tad.

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Star Wars (ep. 4) is based on "The Hidden Fortress", which is a great story.  Lucas based the 2 droids off of the 2 peasants in that film.

In Kurosawa's film the peasants are comedic, but also a play on reversal of class dynamics, as the princess and her Samurai escort have to rely on these bumbling, treacherous peasants to get to their destination and save her kingdom.

In Star Wars the droids become loyal, and R2 becomes awesome.  His awesomeness is intentionally offset by his reliance on the bumbling C3PO to communicate at all, and his navigational limitations.

I will second Foote on the Muppets, the CGI of the later films pales in comparison.

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Foote wrote:

What I have come to appreciate about them as an adault however is they offer an aspect of realism on film, a strong sense of something tactile that never has been captured using GCI effects.


That's one of the great things about the TV show Farscape - the use of muppets to represent nonhumanoid aliens in a way you don't ever see in Star Trek (or Star Wars, though the latter definitely does better with nonhumanoids).
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Trajector wrote:

Silverleaf, what did you think of WALL-E?

I haven't seen it, I'm afraid.


Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

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Foote wrote:
I love puppets.

I'll clarify about puppets.

I just can't get past the idea that puppets are for kids' shows/movies, or comedy. It comes from a childhood of the Muppets, Sesame Street, Rainbow, and Spitting Image and it's so heavily entrenched in my brain that I can't see them any other way. I don't dislike puppets themselves so much as puppets in a "serious" piece. I find it really jarring.

it's a bit like going to a fancy restaurant and getting a dark chocolate fondant with chantilly cream and a blackberry and whiskey coulis, with gummy bears scattered over the top of it. I love gummy bears, but not with my sophisticated grown-up dessert, thank you very much.


Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

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I have to add that I do also agree about CGI. This conflicts with my puppets opinion, but there it is.


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Damn it, Ronway!

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Silverleaf, I know that it can be considered a "kids" movie, sorta, watch The Dark Crystal. It's pretty fantastic (obviously huge opinion there), but it's super dark and pushes the envolope of the "puppets are for kids" thing. 

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Foote wrote:

Silverleaf, I know that it can be considered a "kids" movie, sorta, watch The Dark Crystal. It's pretty fantastic (obviously huge opinion there), but it's super dark and pushes the envolope of the "puppets are for kids" thing. 

I saw it a while ago. Unfortunately my brain kept screaming THEY ARE PUPPETS AND THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE SERIOUS at me and that's incredibly distracting I'm happy to give it another go though, but I think I'm irreparably broken.


Just assume I'm always doing that.

Damn it, Ronway!

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SyFy chamnel had a competition show where the winner got a job at the Jim Henson company. I thought it was a lot of fun to watch.


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What about War Horse?  They use a very different sort of puppetry, so I wonder if it would trigger the same gut reaction.

In The Dark Crystal, they try to hide the puppet nature of the characters, and yet you can never really forget that they're puppets.  In War Horse, they don't do a thing to hide the puppetry, and yet it's astonishingly easy to forget that you're not watching flesh and blood horses.


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Silverleaf
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Arcanist Lupus wrote:

What about War Horse?  They use a very different sort of puppetry, so I wonder if it would trigger the same gut reaction.In The Dark Crystal, they try to hide the puppet nature of the characters, and yet you can never really forget that they're puppets.  In War Horse, they don't do a thing to hide the puppetry, and yet it's astonishingly easy to forget that you're not watching flesh and blood horses.

I haven't seen it and don't know much about it, but I did enjoy The Lord of the Rings musical which had very obvious Nazgul horse puppets, which just evoked the movement and form of horses while really not looking much like horses at all.

Interesting point! I hadn't thought about that.

Oh. I've just realised. I totally blame Punch and Judy. It's not just the Muppets, because I saw a lot of Punch and Judy shows on seaside holidays before I ever saw the Muppets.

Also, for non-UK people, Punch and Judy is an incredibly disturbing live puppet show for kids including domestic abuse, extreme child neglect, a crocodile stealing sausages and biting a baby, and an incompetent policeman. The puppets are grotesque, and the voices are made with kazoo-like instrument lodged in the throat.


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Punch and Judy sounds like a terrifying experience for children.

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My only experience with Punch and Judy is from one of the Chrestomanci books, "The Magicians of Caprona", in which two of the characters get turned into Punch and Judy dolls.


"Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?"

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Belle Sorciere wrote:

Punch and Judy sounds like a terrifying experience for children.

A little, I guess, but kids liked it when I was a kid and presumably still do. I think it's much more scary (but in a completely different way) for adults.


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It's scary that people enjoy it so much.

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