SDCC Open Thread

So, the Star Wars panel at SDCC was a big mix of conflicted feelings for me. It was the first big Star Wars panel at SDCC in over 5 years and yet it was the first I hadn’t attended since I started going to SDCC 11 years ago, largely due to my aversion to sleeping on the pavement plus the fact I was volunteering. A part of me is pretty bummed about that, especially since the OT3 appeared together, something they didn’t do at Anaheim (thanks, plane crash). I wasn’t expecting to feel bummed about it either.

On the other hand, not much earth shattering was revealed so this panel–based on Twitter reports–seemed to lean more on a few more character revelations and “the feels.” In a nutshell: practical, practical, practical, Simon Pegg, practical, practical, here’s the cast except Andy Serkis and Lupita N’yongo because they would remind you it’s not all practical.

Were you at the panel or following it online?  Sound off.

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82 Responses to “SDCC Open Thread”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    If they’re so obsessed with the word “practical,” they really should just rename the move “Practical Effects: The Movie”

    Best part honestly was when Kasdan said: “The guy who brought us all here is the genius, George Lucas.”

    • Noah Says:

      “Practical Effects Episode 0: The Mediocre Pandering of Abrams the Flare Lord”, complete with the “Hypocrisy Edition” where they say practical yet have MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTION-CAPTURE!

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        Let’s not exaggerate. Still, I have not watched the SDCC footage, but if it is really as bad as suggested here, ouch!

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        Just (finally) watched the “Behind the Scenes”. Everything nice and good, but honestly, I was unable to really appreciate it because of the “real sets! Practical!” comments at the beginning. That may also have to do something with me, but I can’t help myself that this video just tries to appease “you know who.”

  2. mes520 Says:

    I’m so tired of the “p” word, it is just ridiculous.

  3. lazypadawan Says:

    Gee, they had a concert too. I didn’t know about it. Did they play any prequel music or was it only from practical effects movies?

  4. Mindless Droid Says:

    Gonna go out on a limb here and predict on 7/11/15 that there will be a scene in which Han Solo will shoot someone for the sole purpose of shooting first.
    Oh and Simon Pegg blah

  5. Morgan Cherney Says:

    When I saw Pegg, I felt like headdesking. “Hey, let’s give the guy that continually bashes half our movies his lifelong dream!” And then the jackals goes off on how movies like this are making audiences stupid…

  6. Morgan Cherney Says:

    *jackass, not jackals. Damn autocorrect…

  7. Daniel Xie Says:

    http://thegreysithofkingslanding.blogspot.ca/2015/07/why-we-shouldnt-bank-on-nostaligia-to.html#more

    I feel reluctant to post this since it is a hateboy or I like PT but x piece and the author appears to be an outright sjw, but it makes a lot of good points as to why we can’t just appeal to nostaligia or pratical effects throwbacks for a good movie.

    • Stefan Kraft Says:

      Good article indeed, and I would even say that there was not any real criticism in it. Or let’s say, if all criticism of the PT would be like this, Fandom would be a better place.

      • Daniel Xie Says:

        I wouldn’t be so sure and the introduction to that blog clearly states that he has problems with both hateboys and PT fans. Also note that he is very conciliatory to the hateboys by calling them “trilogy fans” as if to legitimatize them as SW fans.

        It could easily be someone who hates the PT but no longer participates in trashing us saga fans, like Eli Roth(maybe he has children or friends that convinced him to have a change of mind), or a Saga fan that decided to step away from the debate either due to peer pressure or because of fans he thinks are overzealous. That or a “I like the PT except” type of person.

        Still, much better than what passes on as an “opinion” on the internet.

    • Bob Clark Says:

      I dont’ see any real criticism either really. I would’ve used a few more movie examples than How I Met Your Mother or Warcraft (lord knows there’s enough movies out there that are doing the nostalgia thing), but it’s not bad.

    • madmediaman Says:

      The author points to the “success” of Mad Max… That’s pretty relative to be honest. The film cost over $150 million to make and will finish it’s worldwide tally with about $350 million… That barely breaks even for the studio. While it may have been a critical success and the fanboy community loved it, it’s pretty clear there’s no mainstream desire for the franchise.

    • Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

      I just left a comment.

      I didn’t see criticism as much as I saw not wanting to play the hand on whose side the author is on if any. And the point of the thing is golden.

  8. LadyJediScientist (@LJediScientist) Says:

    There were two shout outs to George himself, which was encouraging: one from Kadsan & one from Abrams.

  9. Hunk a Junk Says:

    I don’t want to be bitter about this film. I REALLY don’t. But Lucasfilm and J.J. are working overtime to make me feel this way. They are all but saying, “We agree the PT sucked and look, we’re not making THOSE movies anymore, see?? SEE?!!” What’s maddening is that they DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS! They can make their movie and simply be respectful of what was done before and, most importantly, to the guy who made it all possible! But this “Hey, look in the camera! It’s FILM!” stuff just sucks. It’s jackassery. It’s saying (without having the guts to just say it), “George made those movies all wrong but we’re making them right because WE know what we’re doing and he didn’t.” I’m beginning to seriously suspect that they might simply drop the episode number from the film itself because they don’t want admit that SIX films came before theirs instead of only three. God, just make your damn movie without all the self-congratulatory pandering BS.

    • jarjarbacktattooguy Says:

      Anyone catch Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales? I guess it retells the whole saga from the Droids perspective, Lego style!

      It starts off with TPM, and they make sure to let you know what they think of the prequels right away.

      Jar Jar is killed off before they get to Tatooine, and there are constant jokes about how nobody understands (or is bored by) the whole trade federation blockade plotline. It was just all hateboy humor, so I decided to watch Chipmunks: Chipwrecked instead.

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        Ouch! Really? Why? The other Lego specials before included the whole Saga and created an incredible mix of all six movies.

      • buick runner Says:

        Awl man, that really sucks. There was no reason for Lego to do that.

      • Noah Says:

        Unfortunately buick-runner, 😦 Lego either gave in to DIsney’s pure-pressure or just do not care for how their adaptations turn out. Ninjago is probably the only decent Lego show out right now, and the company seems to let WARNER BROS exploi… I m-mean, “run” a number of their stuff. And by their stuff, I mean “licensed materials” and “BATMAN AND FRIENDS”. Pretty much Lego has forgot about their library of in-house characters and stories (like Lego Island, Jack Stone, Knights Kingdom 2004, Ogel, even their mascot Max is under the radar). So just like Star Wars, Lego is probably going through a dark time at the cost of their financial success. However I digress. As for Star Wars, decent Lego Star Wars shorts and shows may have disappeared when Yoda Chronicles lunched (that show was as boring as… it was boring). 😦

  10. Christopher Dugan Says:

    I am trying so hard to be better than all the PT haters and not be overly cynical about everything but that’s getting harder and harder to do each time someone from the crew opens their mouth. If they are so in love with “practical” effects and so convinced that’s what makes Star Wars work why don’t they actually make the movie completely analogue. No mo-cap anywhere. I’m talking jerky-jerky stop motion creatures and motion control plastic spaceships with heinous matte lines aplenty. Analogue sound. Static, incredibly fake looking matte paintings. I’m dead serious. I’d love to see them try that but they never would because no one would take that movie seriously in 2015 (and it would probably cost 500 million dollars).

    P.S. I still think the shot construction looks off. Too much high-key lighting and swoopy, zoomy cameras. IMO the way SW is shot, lit and edited is way more important to “feeling” like Star Wars than how the effects are done.

    • buick runner Says:

      The hate boys just use CGI, as a scapegoat for why they don’t like the PT. Much like accusing Lucas of always being a lucky hack and that Gary 2 as the real genius, just utter nonsense.

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        The CGI criticism has become something that is sometimes not grounded in reality, I agree.

    • Stefan Kraft Says:

      “IMO the way SW is shot, lit and edited is way more important to “feeling” like Star Wars than how the effects are done.” Absolutely agree with that.

  11. jarjarbacktattooguy Says:

    I certainly don’t mind the use of practical effects, or lack of traditional CGI, because in 2015 that is novel. The problem is if they don’t give us enough new and innovative kinds of effects. Star Wars has always done that, pushed technology forward. Jar Jar was just that in 1999, but that’s been done dozens of times since.

    On the other hand, I don’t want the When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth-like stop motion of ESB…I still love those effects, but we need something new!

    The whole idea of “corporate” Star Wars makes me sick. If this was any other franchise, the fanboy press would be talking so much smack about how Disney is a souless, greedy corporation run by lawyers (which it is!).

    I don’t want a new Star Wars movie every year…year after year. I don’t want a young Han Solo movie! I don’t want an Obi-Wan movie! Their stories were told in their respective trilogies! I don’t want to see those characters whole lives explored on the screen; if they become too real they lose their charm!

    Sorry guys, but George is partly to blame for all of this. He knew this would happen, especially with a company like Disney.

    I really wish he had sold to a smaller company like Lionsgate. They would have treated it more like a normal franchise, and not like IP to be exploited for Disney Infinity games and puke inducing new theme park rides.

    A smaller studio may have done spin offs too, but I’m sure they would have at least waited until the ST was complete! Disney is just going to stamp Star Wars movies out on an assembly line. They’ll treat it like Mountain Dew soda, tweaking the formula every year to create a new flavor…but they all taste the same!

    Practical effects or not, it is becoming more and more clear to me that Disney-Star Wars is not meant for my generation. The generation that grew up on TVs Buck Rogers, (the real) Battlestar Galactica, Star Crash, Jason of Star Command, Joe Dante’s Explorers, The NeverEnding Story, Krull, Return to Oz, Beastmaster, The Last Unicorn, Ralph Bakshi, Colecovision, Spielberg’s Amazing Stories, Galtar and the Golden Lance, Fantasy Island, Willow, The Starlost, Dio music videos, Space Ace and the Star Wars trilogy!

    This is wholly Star Wars for hipster Millenials and naive post Millenials, and as the one sheet said…don’t look back.

    RIP Amanda Peterson

    • PrinceOfNaboo Says:

      I don’t think there is a connection to generation and I don’t think we should blame George. He had to give away the Franchise at some point and maybe Disney promised to keep all of the Lucasfilm employees or whatever.

      But yeah, if nothing changes, I probably won’t go to see TFA.

    • Bob Clark Says:

      I dunno. I’m a millennial, and this movie certainly isn’t for me.

  12. darth66zannah Says:

    There’s a lot if prequel HATE brewing on the net right now after that comic con footage was released…all i’m hearing is how great JJ is for being practical and how much people wish death to Lucas for using CGI…this really sucks! can’t fans just love the whole saga and not turn it into a damn republican/democrat parody…I don’t even enjoy talking to star wars fans anymore or letting people know that i like star wars just to agoid hearing people hate on the thing i love

    • Hunk a Junk Says:

      And it would be one thing if Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy and JJ weren’t the ones driving this. They don’t have to be pushing this “practical” “hey, look, we’re doing things the RIGHT way” crap, but they are. It’s their marketing plan: hate on the guy who created the very thing you’re working on. I’m really disappointed in Kennedy.

  13. Edward Diego Says:

    Guys, i read a lot of frustration and negativity here. I love the PT as much as the OT. The PT was a ‘beacon of hope’ during a very dark time in my life, so it will always have a special place in my heart. But – honestly – i can’t see any link between the TFA Marketing and the PT/CGI Hating trolls on the Internet. Lucasfilm promotes this ‘Practical effects’ stuff because TFA is a follow up of the OT which used ‘Practical Effects’. They just want to keep the look coherent. Even the infamous *putting-Jar-Jar-bones-in-the-desert* thing is for me clever move by Abrams. Do you know why? I think it will give the Jar Jar Haters some kind of redemption. When they know that Jar Jar found it’s demise somewhere in the Star Wars universe, they will finally stop ranting about him.

    • Branislav Marček Says:

      TFA is a follow up of ALL SIX FILMS and all six films used practical effects.

      The look of the first six films IS coherent.

      Putting Jar-Jar´s bones in the desert won´t stop fanboy ranting.

    • Stefan Kraft Says:

      Everybody, I think we all agree to disagree. Please be respectful to each other and stay civil during the discussions. Don’t worry, everything is okay at the moment, but no one wants that the discussion gets out of hand and new readers are “scared off” because of it.
      My suggestion: No personal attacks against JJ or members of Lucasfilm. Criticize their decisions if you do not agree with them, but keep it professional.

      Again, everything seems o.k. at the moment, just make sure that new readers do not think that we have become ST or JJ haters.

      That said, my impression was also that JJ was catering to the hateboys when he mentioned Jar Jar’s bones. Would he have put Admiral Ackbar’s bones there? He probably did not want to be that mean, but I certainly did not like his comment.

    • Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

      Jar Jar Lives!

  14. zch81721 Says:

    I didn’t even bother to watch the damn thing. I saw like 30 seconds of the footage and I knew exactly where it was going. I didn’t even bother to read the damn comment section. As this movie gets closer and closer I keep dreading it more. Then there is Simon Pegg who I use to like but now I just want him to shut the hell up. I use to read a lot of film journalism in the past but this year it’s been hell that I’ve stopped reading anything now. It seems nobody cares about good story telling anymore. It’s how much practical shit can you throw in there. The anti cg crowd has always been around but they were thankfully few and fare between. But this year they seem to be everywhere now. Jupiter Ascending I thought was unfairly judged by critics. Yes it had flaws but it looked liked the critics where only complaining that cg=bad. Hell this summer can basically be boiled down to “if it’s not Mad Max it can go fuck itself”. I liked Mad Max don’t get me wrong but 98% on Rotten Tomatoes? You’ve got to be kidding me. And it’s all the same practical practical practical. First off that is a load of bullshit because there is a lot of cg in that film. Also if the director wants to use practical effects fine but don’t judge other films based on what that director decided to do. Jurassic World got beaten by critics because they went with cg but luckily no one gave a shit. But Terminator is getting slaughtered even though fans of the series (including me) have been enjoying the hell out of it. Now this shit which I feel when this comes out all of these “critics” are going to praise it like the sheep they are. As someone who went to film school and has done several student films this just makes me sad. It’s clear these people don’t know shit. There was a time where creators were encouraged to use the technology they had to bring their vision to life. Now, it seems you get punished for that and instead must used dated technology. I also feel this is a huge insult to the many talented cg artists out there. As someone who used computer effects in a film I understand the talent that is required for that field (and one I lack because I had to have a friend help me). But these people just spit int their faces. So yeah I just feel this is going to be a painful experience.

  15. Keith Palmer Says:

    This week I’ve been more interested in science “fact” with New Horizons making its final approach to Pluto (and I suppose there’s always more anime to be watched, especially with the latest quarterly season getting under way), so my own knowledge of what happened at the latest convention is all second-hand and mostly from sources like this one. Unfortunately, getting it that way just seems to strengthen an impression that there’s something terribly shallow about the emphasis on “old-fashioned effects,” as if “snappy quotable dialogue” and everything else that seems to be what the ostensible tastemakers want in Star Wars will just follow automatically. There are times when it seems to me that to demand so little from a “Star Wars movie” just makes having clung to disaffection about some of them for so long seem that much more pathetic.

    I suppose I have thought, even so, if the “code” we’ve been scrutinizing and scowling over is ultimately a sleight-of-hand trick, there’s the risk of becoming like the people who went to see Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith so intent on clinging to a sense of having been offended that they invented after-the-fact reasons to reject any immediate positive impressions.

  16. Daniel Says:

    Personally I’m really excited for TFA. I’m not happy about the subliminal message of “we’re doing it right this time!” that seems to be coming from JJ and Lucasfilm, but I’m still very excited. In my opinion, much of the EU after Jedi was mediocre. And I’m very excited to see what has become of the galaxy and the main three after Episode 6.

    *Spoilers if you still care about “Legends” content after Return of the Jedi*

    Although I didn’t read very much of it. The Thrawn trilogy was good, the whole thing with Han and Leia’s children was good, Mara Jade marrying Luke and having Ben was good, but I thought Palpatine returning in clone bodies and Luke turning to the Dark Side was just ridiculous. Luke resisted the Dark Side! For him to just give in and almost become a Sith just undermined “Jedi” in my opinion. And clone Palpatine? Just no… And the Yuuzhan Vong invasion was just bizarre to me. So I’m glad most of that isn’t canon anymore. I believe TFA will actually acknowledge the prequels in a big way that has yet to be seen. I wish Hayden would show up as a force ghost but that’s not likely to happen, but I do think they will still acknowledge the prequels. How can they not? One great thing about the new canon is the Darth Vader comics. They show that Vader still remembers very much being Anakin. And he doesn’t want to think about it. There are clear callbacks to the prequels in that comic series and it’s CANON! So I think that’s great. It’s unfortunate that so many hate on the prequels but they aren’t going anywhere. I’m hoping the Han Solo film will start with a young 10 year old or so Han right at the end of the Clone Wars. I’m hoping it will show some of the immediate results of the Empire taking power. Maybe Rogue One will even do something to pay homage to the prequels. I just think that all is not lost. JJ should show some serious respect for the prequels but still all is not lost. And seriously though, we all know TFA will have plenty of CGI. But CGI is not inherently bad! The Phantom Menace pioneered the use of pure CGI characters and since then it’s only improved. How people still think that filming tiny toy spaceships and matte paintings is superior to CGI is beyond me. But just look at Gollum in LOTR, Ceaser in Planet of the Apes, and I’m not a huge fan of the Transformers franchise but that CGI looks fantastic IMO. As for JJ, here’s to hoping that all the prequel hate stops when TFA is out and Rian Johnson takes over for Episode 8.

  17. may_child Says:

    I admit I did get very excited seeing the pictures/videos of the Big Three. But as for the rest, I didn’t really care.

  18. Hunk a Junk Says:

    Just watched some of the interview highlights from SDCC and now I’m even more steamed. To hear Kathleen Kennedy repeatedly saying, “We’re here because of the fans!” and “Fans are why were making this film” is becoming as sickening as all of their practical effects nonsense. They’re not there because of the fans, they’re there because of GEORGE! You’re making the movie, and collecting big, fat paychecks, because GEORGE created something, built it into a legacy, and now YOU’RE riding on it! The fans?!?! Half the fans have worked their hardest to tear DOWN Star Wars for the last 20 years! Half the fans have been the biggest a-holes in fandom! Here’s what’s true: every word out of these people’s mouths is calculated. They don’t just speak off the cuff, they’ve made a conscience decision to make and promote the film in a certain way. The fact that they don’t mention George, like EVER, is deliberate. They want to perpetuate the hateboy myth that Star Wars just poofed into existence and became successful despite George Lucas instead of entirely because of him.

    • piccolojr1138 Says:

      Actually, Kasdan paid homage to Lucas (but he was the only one).

      I think Lucas knew the whole thing was going to escape from his influence. He doesn’t seem to care much as long as they don’t touch his six episodes.

    • Frida Nyberg Says:

      Any ‘artist’ (creating a film is an art, as far as I’m concerned, not the least in that it’s a story) selling themselves to ponder to ‘fans’ is doing something very wrong, and they are doing their work a disservice.
      You should never change your vision, what movies (or whatever your medium is) YOU want to make, because of some hateboys. If they don’t like it, tell them to go watch something else!

      But that’s not what’s happening here. The makers think the hateboys are the overwhelming MAJORITY, and so apparently they MUST follow their every whim, or they won’t make money. It’s so sad and disgusting.

      And about the hateboys – they call Anakin (one of the two most hated PT characters, and the main character of the saga incidentally) arrogant, selfish, narcissistic, WHINY, and… what are they exactly? It’s a perfect description of themselves.

      Star Wars hateboys are the most self-righteous, self-centered, arrogant, whiny, pathetic group of people on the planet.

      • M. Marshall Says:

        Lucasfilm needs to talk to “Arrowheads” (can we say ‘Olicity’ boys and girls?) and listen to David Goyer, who once said that when working on movies based on comics, screenwriters should NOT listen to fans.

  19. Jacobesico Says:

    I saw the video but I don’t get all the fuss because there were practical effects and location shooting in the prequels. They went to Tunisia, Italy and Spain didn’t they.

    Also, wasn’t there a rainstorm in Tunisia when they were filming The Phantom Menace that destroyed a lot of the sets?

    There was also some rain in that scene in Attack of the Clones when Anakin tells Padmé that he saw his mother in his dream. George said that it was Gods way of helping him of telling the story or something.

    Mind you it was nice to see Harrison Ford. Also, I think I saw a little bit of Greenscreen. 😉

    • Frida Nyberg Says:

      That’s exactly the point.
      The prequels were FULL of practical effects and there’s LOTS of CG in the new movies. But the creators pretend like that didn’t happen, just to pander to the hateboys.

  20. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    Could someone explain what the conflict between the Resistance and the First Order is about? Is there a third party in this conflict?

    • Bob Clark Says:

      I still want to know what’s up with this myself. It seems odd that the Empire still exists in the first place, and that it’s so strong that those fighting them are now termed “Resistance”, which implies something smaller and more desperate. I was honestly hoping for years that if we ever did see a Sequel Trilogy, it would be about the foundation of the New Republic, with Mon Mothma and Leia in charge of the Senate. I guess that’s out the window.

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        As far as I can tell, the new EU makes it pretty clear that the Empire could continue to (more or less) operate even if Palpatine died. The question is: was this the original idea by Lucas himself for the Sequel Trilogy? Lazypadawan posted an article on her blog some months ago that it is hard to tell whether Arndt’s script (based on Lucas’s story treatments) was only slightly rewritten for the final movie or not. While Lucas says his ideas were dropped for the new script, the short time between Arndt leaving and the finalization of the script may suggest something different. We may never know…

      • Keith Palmer Says:

        As far as I can tell, the new EU makes it pretty clear that the Empire could continue to (more or less) operate even if Palpatine died.

        So, just like the old EU?

        Kidding aside, it seems the “look! Stormtroopers! TIE Fighters! TIE Fighter Pilots!” of the second trailer that makes it hard for me to pep up my own interest. On one level, I can suppose “the old heroes now think they’re overseeing a new golden age from the galaxy’s centre… but on the fringes, a new generation are tracking down a new evil” would seem a bit too similar to “the movies we just had,” but I eventually got to thinking that the Expanded Universe of the 1990s, in treating Return of the Jedi as more or less “a significant space battle, but certainly just a turning point in a continuing war” seemed to feed dissatisfaction and/or a lack of simple analysis of that movie, such that there was something unsatisfying at the core of “its” Star Wars… Still, as much as I might have been too young at the time to “get” the insistence of certain fans that Mara Jade had “obviously” been introduced to be Luke’s soul mate and therefore wound up indifferent to her and the whole “post-movies novel” storyline, I have been inclined to think a trick’s been missed in managing to imply at least the first three novels “still took place twenty-five years before.” Of course, maybe the obsessed Mara Jade boosters weren’t as significant as they seemed to believe they were, and things can get by pitching to just the special effects-obsessed.

      • Bob Clark Says:

        This is the really sad thing– Everybody talks about Star Wars under new leadership being a great sandbox for new filmmakers to play in. But what happens when they get the reins? Reclycled OT, ad infinitum, just like what happened with the EU.

      • M. Marshall Says:

        But at least the EU after ROTJ gave Leia and Luke new roles. Leia became chief of state and Luke became the first of the new jedi order. I was unimpressed with one leaked picture of Carrie Fisher in battle gear because I wanted to see her get the Padme treatment = regal, lovely, authoritative gowns that she wore in the EU.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        Poor Carrie. Cheated again out of a fabulous wardrobe.

    • piccolojr1138 Says:

      Even with the leaks of MakingStarWars.net, it’s still very elusive. But we know that both are searching a lightsaber which contain informations about the secret location of Luke Skywalker.

      Leia leads the Resistance, and Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) leads the First Order.

  21. may_child Says:

    Interesting perspective on the whole thing, from a poster at (of all places) TheForce.net:

    This even explains why the those involved who aren’t repeating the company talking points aren’t and those who are repeating the company talking points are. Ford and Fisher are above such nonsense. Ford doesn’t need Star Wars. With or without, he’ll still have a career. And Fischer ‘s attitude is “Oh, Leia may die in Ep . 8. That’s cool. Whatever.” She’s just come back for the heck of it.

    The ones who keep towing the company line have to tow the company line. Hamill hardly appears in TFA, and he wants to guarantee his character is treated well in future installments. If he acts the hell out of these upcoming films, he might be able to return to Hollywood as a character actor, instead of being relegated back to voice work. Chewbacca can clearly be written out, so Peter Mayhew has to tow the line. (Like he really cares about practical effects, he’s always been a furry suit, which he probably finds incredibly uncomfortable.) JJ also can’t come out of this looking like of failure. More and more people have become critical of his Trek films over time. He can’t anger the fans of the much larger Star Wars fan base. Plus, he’s always been kind of a sycophant anyway.

    Disney has so, so much riding on this film. If TFA is a failure with audiences, the further Saga films and spin-offs will undoubtedly suffer greatly, so they will do anything they can to make this film work. Disney is under some serious pressure. This was supposed to be Disney’s year, but it may end up that Universal will have the 2 biggest films internationally this year — Jurassic World and Furious 7, which both have or will out-gross Age of Ultron — and it’s Universal, not Disney, that keeps breaking new international box office records — fastest to 1 billion, fastest to 2 billion, fastest to 3 billion, etc.

    • zch81721 Says:

      Also Universal has Minions coming out and that is a money maker right there. But I’ve always suspected that something has gone wrong behind the scenes for a while. Keep in mind when Disney hired Abrams to direct back in early 2013 he was still very popular. People loved Star Trek 09 and Into Darkness was coming out that summer. With a lot of hype behind him I’m sure Disney thought they had an ace in the hole. Then Into Darkness came out. It made money of course but it wasn’t the big hit people thought it would be. It seems the general public was getting tired of Abrams’s bag of tricks. Then there was Michael Arndt leaving and Abrams having to delay the film. If there is one thing studios don’t like doing it is delaying movies. They work very hard to get those spots and if they have to change they have to find a window where they aren’t competing with something similar to their movie. Luckily for Disney they have the big guns so when they pushed back to Star Wars Universal did the smart thing and delayed the Warcraft movie. Let’s not forget they dragged Kasdan out just to slap his name on the poster. Then they started shooting. Harrison Ford breaks his leg as we remembered. But as this is going on Disney already has a director lined up for Episode 8. You would think if they thought they would have an ace in the whole they would want Abrams for more movies. There were rumors that Abrams would be back for Episode 9 but it is now sounding like Colin Trevorrow (I’m down for that) maybe in the running. Let’s also keep in mind that in the marketing Abrams’s name isn’t anywhere. They don’t have it in the trailers or the poster. Sure he does interviews but that is just standard for a director to do. There have also been reports that Abrams wanted to delay the film again for 2016 but the CEO of Disney promised the share holders they would have a Star Wars movie out by 2015. As you said Disney has a lot riding on this. They need a franchise for young boys. They have the girl market cornered but not for boys. Keep in mind they are already coming off 3 gigantic flops: Prince of Persia, John Carter, and Lone Ranger. They of course have Marvel but there are a lot of parties that they have to shake hands with when it comes with money so they don’t end up getting all the money. With Star Wars they can get a much bigger share. So yeah I won’t be surprised if the production hasn’t gone as smoothly as they are telling us.

  22. Nick Skywalker Says:

    Everytime I hear the “practical effects” “We’re not relying on the special effects like the prequels” line I want to scream. Believe me, if the technology that existed in 99, 02, and 05 existed in 77, 80, and 83, George would have used it without a doubt.

    These producers have some nerve thinking they can actually top what George Lucas did, let alone get on the same level. Very rare will you have a sequel written by the original author top the first one, let alone a completely different writer.

    I see all this hype blowing up in their faces big time if TFA even has the slightest imperfection. These hateboys vilified the man that brought them so much joy and happiness without a second thought, there’s no doubt they won’t do it this time if there’s something they don’t like.

  23. Nick Skywalker Says:

    Oh my goodness even Wikipedia has a section dedicated to “box office projection.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars:_The_Force_Awakens#Box_office_projection

    People never learn not to get their hopes up. They can keep hyping up this movie like it’s the greatest thing to happen to humanity but the minute they hear/see something that doesn’t match their wildest, WILDEST fantasies, they’ll write it off. I’ll eat these words in December if it happens, but there’s no way TFA will top Titanic or Avatar. See, Universal was smart. They released a full trailer for Jurassic World 7 months in advance and continued releasing new trailers and new information as time went on. Of course, Jurassic Park is a fan favorite for many so that definitely helped, but Universal’s marketing ploy did the trick also. Disney is waiting 3 months until the release to even release a full trailer. Less than 6 months away from the film and we know next to nothing. That’s not good marketing. You don’t have to tell the whole story, but a little bit gradually never hurts. And considering the fact that they’re releasing it the last shopping weekend before Christmas and a week before Christmas in GENERAL, it should be interesting if that plays a part.

    And one last word. With all these hateboys screaming at how they hate practical effects and want a “realistic” feel, I’m assuming they won’t go see it in 3-D and settle for the standard showing at the run down theater down the block? I mean, it’d only be right…

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Universal is just killing it this year: Fast and Furious 7, Jurassic World, and, as I predicted but fanboy nation/geek nation ignored, Minions.

      A lot of the radio silence we’re getting on TFA is because of Abrams. He likes to be secretive.

      I think they should show TFA in black and white, without sound, at a nickelodeon. There’s some old school movie experience for ya!

      • Jim Raynor Says:

        Jurassic World and Furious 7 show the power of the real mainstream audience. Both came from established franchises but neither franchise had a crazy fanboy following. They weren’t hyped and endlessly covered the way the geek media covered Age of Ultron, but they both will probably outgross it.

        Age of Ultron itself may be an example of the dangers of fanboy marketing. The film is mostly bright, fun, and optimistic, just like the first Avengers film that took both the fanboy and mainstream worlds by storm. But the entire marketing campaign misleadingly emphsasized how DARK and violent it would be. The fanboys ate it up, because they thought that Marvel would FINALLY become gritty and serious.

        I remember being in the theater and seeing a group if young children pointing an Avengers display out to their mother. I’m a big Avengers fan myself, and I kept thinking “Don’t take them to that movie.”

        Turns out I was wrong about the movie, although many parents apparently had the same thoughts as me. Statistics show that the median age for the Age of Ultron audience was higher than it was for the first Avengers film. The audience was older. Fewer kids had gone out to see the movie.

        Geek media had been hyping AOU up as the possible biggest movie ever and the predestined box office champ of 2015, but the movie fell well short of that. It will make significantly less than the first Avengers.

        But hey, those fanboys were sure excited leading up to it!

      • zch81721 Says:

        Jim Raynor hit the nail on the head. Sadly I can’t seem to reply to him for some reason. But I pretty much went into this on my facebook page. Here’s the post I made going into further detail on how I think Disney’s marketing for TFA is going to not as well as they expect it to. I do apologize it is long.

        This is a long post, I apologize. I will try to make this the last Star Wars post for a while. This is just going to be me rambling. When I was thinking about the Force Awakens I made a sudden realization. I don’t know anything about the plot or characters of this film. Of course I know of the main 3 but the ones that are suppose to be carrying the franchise I don’t know shit about. The only name that has stuck with me is Kylo Ren who’s suppose to be the villain. Yes I know the film is 5 months away but the Warcraft movie is a year away and I know more about that film from the stuff I’ve read on that film than I do on this one. The marketing for this film has pretty much been practical effects, original trio, practical effects, prequels suck, practical effects, Simon Pegg opens his mouth, practical effects, George Lucas sucks, did we mention the practical effects. As we’ve seen with the success of Jurassic World the general audience doesn’t give a shit about how much practical effects you use. When the first trailer came out we knew several things. Park’s open, generic hybrid, Chris Pratt trains raptors. There you go. That’s all you have to say. We’re two trailers in and I don’t know crap. Even though Terminator’s first trailer was a mess it still stated that the timeline had changed. Even Mad Max got the point across that Furiosa is trying to get away from psychos and Max is along for the ride. Now yes I know you have to worry about showing too much like with Terminator’s second trailer. But you still have to give something for the general audience to care. You have to find that happy medium and Jurassic World did that perfectly. Perfect example of marketing not telling you anything and going terribly wrong, John Carter. The marketing didn’t tell you anything and people just couldn’t give a shit. As with highlighting the main trio, Terminator is suffering because they focused more on the fact that they got Arnold back than they did on the actual movie and now it is sadly paying the price. I feel Disney needs to focus on the new generation instead of the old. They are the target audience and for some kids this will be their first Star Wars movie. They are going to be the ones buying the toys. They aren’t going to give a shit about how much practical effects you used or the fact that you used film. They aren’t going to care you got the trio back because they won’t know who these characters are. Now we still have 5 months to go and maybe their marketing will change. But if Disney keeps going down this road they will realize the angry fanbase isn’t as large as they think it is. It will still make money of course because of the brand but we’ve seen movies that thought they could just survive solely off brand recognition but didn’t make as much as they thought they would. But what do I know. This could just be the ramblings of a mad man.

      • zch81721 Says:

        Sorry for the second post I can’t seem to edit the one I just made. But yeah Universal is on fire this year. This was suppose to be Disney’s year but Universal came in kicking ass and taking names. 50 Shades of Grey, Pitch Perfect 2, Furious 7, and Jurassic World doing better than anyone expected. And of course Minions just released and those guys print money. This weekend sees the release of Antman which a lot of people are worried is going to be the first Marvel movie that fails. So we’ll see how that goes.

  24. piccolojr1138 Says:

    If you watched the panel, at one point Abrams tells to a fan that he absolutely doesn’t view Star Wars as an “I.P.”, which means he doesn’t care about the stories told in the novels, the comics and the TV shows.

    He also says at another time that his “canon” is IV, V and VI.

    I conclude that unlike the new books and Rebels, which care about the whole universe (despite their bias towards OT), there will be absolutely no reference to the prequel era in The Force Awakens. Or maybe, just Jar-Jar’s bones.

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      I said so on theforce.net that I’d be much more impressed with the OT-only fandom if they could articulate what Star Wars is in terms of its themes and characterization. Because so much of the prequel-bashing and OT-nostalgia is framed in very simplistic and shallow ways. Star Wars has “practical effects.” The props and scenes have a “used” look. Blah, blah, blah.

      Where are all the people talking about the themes of generational conflict? What the movies have to say about growing up? The need for emotional balance? Parent/child relationships?

      Thst to me is the real core and heart of the SW saga. Those are all things touched upon in the OT and brought even more to the forefront by the Prequels. If people paid attention and just opened their eyes to what was present throughout instead of only looking at what was different, they would see all of that.

      But they don’t. They dismiss the prequels as a complete violation of SW and only look at half the saga in a shallow way.

      I want to remain positive and I will give Abrams a fair chance, but I’m just not seeing anything deeper from him. No discussiom at all about the story, characters, and themes, and how they all interrelate.

      Is this just a mandate for secrecy from Disney? Maybe. But Disney has allowed directors and writers to explain the depths of their work in the hype campaigns for the Marvel and Pixar movies, as well as the recent Tomorowland film. Why is it thst they have nothing to say about The Force Awakens other than the fact thst they’re usimg some physical puppets and sets?

      Come on. Is that all Star Wars really is?

      • Keith Palmer Says:

        I know “I agree” responses aren’t worth much… but absolutely, the seeming shallowness of the generic “OT-only fandom” (it only seems to have shallowed out in the years since TPM opened, when people were at least complaining about how they read the plot and arguing things grated on them) is something that’s struck me more and more too. In a sense, a Star Wars so diminished starts to seem less important to me, no different than any other work of “military SF” and perhaps easier to criticize and dismiss.

    • Bob Clark Says:

      Re: Military SF– That’s one of the reasons I like the PT more nowadays. The Rebels in the OT are so traditionally militarized I can’t take them seriously in a post-Occupy age. And on the point of martial sci-fi in general– am I the only one who thinks that Imperial hallway we see in the video looks more like a Battlestar Galactica set?

  25. piccolojr1138 Says:

    Some of you have sensed it before me (I wanted to believe George’s treatments weren’t completely thrown off) : The Force Awakens will not be a part of the Star Wars saga. It’s just an alternative expansion of the original trilogy.

    Obviously, the reasons why they didn’t keep “Episode VII” in the title weren’t just pragmatic.

    • Stefan Kraft Says:

      There is this risk, yes. But we should not judge the movie yet.

      • Frida Nyberg Says:

        The attitude of the filmmakers is really awful and disappointing, but I will judge the movie when I see it. Doubtful I will ever see a spin-off about Han or Boba though…

      • piccolojr1138 Says:

        There have been two teasers and a few behind the scenes stuff… And we’ve seen absolutely nothing which comes specifically from the prequels. Nothing, not even an extra alien in the back. Everything is either from the originals or completely new.

        I’ve read all the leaks and spoilers from reliable sources, and it’s the same. Absolutely no prequels stuff.

        So I’m really confident in my prediction 😀

  26. Kenny Kraly Jr Says:

    The only thing in the TFA Panel that really got me sort of un easy and their a lot of good that came out of that TFA panel at SDCC was J.J. talking about the piratical effects thing I like J.J. Abrams his films have been good and TFA will be great when it comes out but J.J. don’t forget the other films including The Prequel Trilogy used piratical effects too.

  27. Heidi Says:

    Guy’s, you don’t think that Abrams hates on Jar Jar because of some secret he’s not telling us about his initials “JJ”, do you?

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