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Trish
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 9:10pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Cardassians

The other thing that strikes me as I think about both of these episodes together, TNG's "Suddenly Human" and DS9's "Cardassians," is how UNlike the story of Solomon's judgment they are.

For anyone who did not grow up with Bible stories, Solomon is said to have been the wisest king in all of history, and his wisdom is illustrated by his handling of a case when two women came before him with one baby, each woman claiming that she was the baby's mother and the other woman was trying to steal the child because her own had died. With no concrete evidence to determine the truth, Solomon called for his servant to bring him a sword and declared that he would cut the child in two so each woman could have half to bury. One woman said, "That' fair," but the other said, "No, give the child to her. I give up my claim." Solomon pointed to the woman who had surrendered her claim and declared, "That is the true mother. Give the child to her."

Maybe the writers thought it would be too obvious to retell such a classic tale. But it comes across like a very sad situation for the boy that the two fathers (as I recall, we are given no hint of what the mothers would have thought) never say, "I don't want to put my son into the middle of a tug of war. Enough people have already been hurt by war between Bajorans and Cardassians. Let him go with the other man, who can give him something I cannot." That man, whether the line would have been given to the Bajoran or the Cardassian, would have been the "real" father. In a sense, Rugal ends the episode truly an orphan.
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Trish
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 7:46pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S2: Cardassians

Some of the surprise in the ending of this episode was, for me, because it was the opposite of the surprise ending in TNG's "Suddenly Human," in which Picard, after spending almost the entire episode trying to "reawaken" the boy's humanity, sends him back to his adoptive father and his (frankly disgusting) adoptive culture. I felt a flare-up of my Star Trek Moral of the Story Whiplash Syndrome.

I tried to think of what makes the situations so different, but all I can come up with is "One decision is made by Picard, the other by Sisko." And maybe that's what it's all about, that each is showing us what kind of person the leading character is. I know in real life, children's fate is often determined by the luck of the draw of which government employee happens to be deciding their case. One goes back to the only parents they have known, while another goes "home" to a stranger.

I know some will say that Jono (the boy in TNG) hadn't been taught to hate his humanity the way Rugel was taught to hate being Cardassian, but Jono had certaintly been taught that his adoptive people were superior to all others, and therefore by implication that humans were inferior, that only his association with his adopted people spared him that inferiority. In both cases, there were loving birth relatives and loving adoptive relatives who wanted the child back.

Is it really so, well, wrong for Rugel to be ashamed of being Cardassian? In-universe, the Cardassians are portrayed as having done much to be ashamed of, despite the fact that most Cardassians who WEREN'T raised by Bajorans have no shame for most of it. Maybe sometimes a little shame is not pathological self-hatred, but just facing reality.
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Michael Miller
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 7:39pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S3: The Q and the Grey

At the beginning, when they were watching the supernova, they stated that they were 10 billion kilometers away ( 6.2 billion miles) they called that "close" lol that's out of the solar system. And there's no way a shock wave could bit them that fast, at the speed of light that's only 186,000 miles a second. When will star trek writers ever TRY to make the physics make even a little sense!
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 7:02pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

@Mephyve

So, all in all, did you like the Orville?

I'm asking because most of your reviews of the individual episodes seemed pretty negative, yet your summary review of the show (on this thread) was quite positive.

Left me totally confused LOL
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Sigh2000
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 6:15pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: VOY S6: Barge of the Dead

Barge of the Dead. Initially I was taken out to sea on it , largely because I started watching it after midnight. I was tired, missed 25 percent of the scenes, nodded off, then awoke to see the final scene.

Then I read the reviews, Jammer's first, then everybody else's. Never been a huge fan of Klingon episodes. Liked Worf in TNG; loathed him in much of DS9. I like B'Elanna and always look forward to Roxann Dawson's contributions, but my bias against Klingon bombast is pretty hard to shut down.

So, as I read the reviews, I agreed with many of the so-called dissenters, based on my 'half-out-of-it' impressions of the scenes. THEN I watched the episode when actually awake. Changed my mind.

Final assessment: it's a powerful episode, very Beowulfian. The scenes with B'Elanna and Janeway are just too emotionally overwhelming to ignore. Will watch it again with much interest. I need that lump in the throat from time-to-time. 4 Stars.
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Top Hat
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 5:02pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

Rasmussen does not mention the Prime Directive by name: only Picard does that. He does say, "I've studied a great deal about your century, including the fact that you're all quite aware of the dangers of anyone altering the past, and that's exactly what I'd be doing if I were to divulge information like that." But this is of course him covering for the fact that he really has no information to divulge, and it's a classic con technique to flatter the intelligence of his marks ("you're all quite aware of the dangers..."). I see no reason why Rasmussen can't be just making an educated guess here; after all, the same thing can be said of people today, since we've been exposed to plenty of fictional depictions of time travel gone wrong.
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Jason R.
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 3:09pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

"I was pretty mad that the film so thoroughly caved to toxic bigoted fans, "

Just for my curiosity, what aspect of the story do you feel "caves" to bigots?
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Eric Cheung
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 3:02pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I was pretty mad that the film so thoroughly caved to toxic bigoted fans, but I've thought that if there was going to be one major change to the movie, I would have had Rose and Poe switch places. Leia was grooming Poe to be a general, so he could have commanded missions from the base. And this would have allowed Rose to have much more to do. She could have either filled Jannah's role, or provided some tension as she, Finn, Rey, and Jannah interacted.

I tended to interpret the kiss as not necessarily sexual, that it was more of a tension reliever, the kind of thing I kind of thought was going to happen at the end of Rogue One, for similar reasons that wouldn't have necessarily been the consummation of some kind of romantic relationship.

Abrams movies tend to be adequate entertainment in the moment that collapses under any kind of examination in retrospect, while Rian Johnson's movies are the opposite. They tend to have twists that are shocking in the moment, but are absolutely inevitable in retrospect, as organic outgrowths of character development informing the plotting.

I suppose if the movie was going to retcon Rey's parentage, her being a Palpatine was pretty much the only choice, from a narrative standpoint, especially as it still kind of preserves Johnson's nurture overcoming nature position.
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J.
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 1:26pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S1: Tomorrow Is Yesterday

A really wonderful episode that made time travel a hot topic. The Cold War was in full swing then and it was interesting to see the old fighter jets and base from the 1960’s. I don’t know why it was so vital to beam into the base and get the film footage. Couldn’t all of that have just been dismissed as a ufo? The whole deal with Captain Christopher having to do with future events was a great touch as were his attempts to escape the Enterprise. You’d think he’d have had a red shirt or two stationed outside his quarters if his confinement was that important. Nice seeing the old computers and equipment. An A+ episode if I ever saw one, well done!!!
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Jason R.
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 1:05pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I just think Jammer's apologetics for this mess are misplaced. The Mandalorian (to use a pertinent example) was hardly original and borrowed heavily from numerous cliches. Yet it made sense, it was well crafted, and it worked so most fans loved it.

The entire new trilogy was an exercise in recycling old ideas *badly* with emphasis on the latter. And it's the total incompetence of the writing that bears special mention here. I know I know, logic, continuity, consistency all silly nerd stuff we just need PEW PEW PEW to have a great movie except you really really don't and those things are really really really important.

When someone says "this makes no sense when you think about it BUT" you need to stop right there because there's no BUT. And when an entire trilogy is made of entire mountains of this gibberish, there's just no defence. Ditto for the "well yes there are plot threads that go nowhere BUT"

The Chrohnek : Yes Abrams has a problem with endings. Just like I'd have a problem winning my cases in court if I walked in with no plan, no agenda, no case references and winged it every time.

The failure of ROS is not merely some unhappy stumble or co-incidence - it was by design, or rather total lack thereof. It was as predictable as it was inevitable.
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Peter G.
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 12:47pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

@ Jason R.,

Yes, although even a really good preparation isn't going to provide as many facts as present themselves even in a simple walk down the corridor. There are just too many details in life, or things people bring up. He can spend weeks memorizing stuff and even then I imagine he'd need to fake some stuff to get through a conversation. So while it does seem reasonable to suppose that some of what he says is a straight-up con job, I think it's hard to believe he would come in totally unprepared.
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Jason R.
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 12:37pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

Peter, that is really the only logical conclusion. What is the alternative? That he just mashed the control pad to the time ship and randomly appeared in the 24th century on the bridge of the Federation flagship? Of all the gin joints...

In Enterprise we see that Daniels, who is basically the counterpart of whoever Max Headroom stole the time ship from, had a data pad with Wikipedia entries on pretty much everything about Federation history. You could put all this data on a single USB key or portable hard drive today, to say nothing of whatever hard drive a 29th century time ship has.

Max obviously knew something about the Enterprise, probably from the original time ship captain's own mission logs. The Enterprise was probably even a destination on his itinerary before he lost his ship.
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Peter G.
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 11:10am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

It seems impossible for us to know whether he's conning them about the facts individually, or just conning them about his general purpose (theft). For years when I watched it I just assumed he had first gone to the future, read some stuff about their ship and about this mission to study up, then came aboard using the info to impress them and gain their confidence. He has a time machine, so it would be pretty trivial to travel ahead of time to know how everything went, and then go back in time again to cash in. That's just what happens in Back to the Future. So maybe he's actually got some studied knowledge up his sleeve, and maybe he's really stretching credulity and knows nothing at all and is just making it up as he goes along. In the end it doesn't matter that much. But one thing I'm pretty confident about is that Matt Frewer did not dissect the episode moment by moment and decide for himself whether he was making up a particular fact or whether he really knew it. I think he generally went with an offbeat tone and was riding that through the scenes, without as much attention to minute detail.
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Karen
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 10:50am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

@Top Hat

“Is there a concrete example of him stating an actual fact that he can't possibly have been exposed to?”

Well yes, he first mentioned knowing about the Prime Directive which is basically how his con operates. He is aware he can get information without giving it. You’re right that it’s mostly a con though and who can say where he researched what little he actually knows.
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Silly
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 5:23am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

You can tell this was meant for Robin Williams by how Rasmussen's lines are so repetitive and lightly written. Basically "crewman X! Some cutesy remark about X! Ooh, wait, ominousness..."

Over and over.

It was written like that because of Williams' great strength in crazy improvisation. He would, in effect, have rewritten all the lines.

Frewer couldn't do that (like the vast majority of actors) so the character gets tiring very quickly.
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Booming
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 4:47am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

that is how a text looks that was written with german autocorrect on a tablet
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Booming
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 4:35am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

@Omicron
Well, from your perspective my views might seem extreme but your views would certainly seem extreme for many Europeans and the stuff of others you defend even more so. Rahul is for example a right wing extremist but he knows that many are not so he has to frame his views in certain way to make them easier to stomach.

He called mentally deranged a dozen times and worse. He wrote in many posts that leftists are either evil or naive. You defending him tells me all I need to know.

I told you several times already after you called me a communist that I am a liberal socialist, meaning limiting economic freedom while having extensive personal freedooms. My views are actually not far from the center in germany. And I am agnostic, not Atheist.
I'm on vacation at wonderful place with lots of sun and the soothing sound of the waves. Bye.
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The Chronek
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 2:28am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I mostly agree with Jammer's 2.5 stars. Of the new trilogy, I think it was the weakest film. And though I haven't watched Lost, I've read about it, and Rise of Skywalker shows that Abrams has a pattern of tough times with endings.

To me, Rise of Skywalker was a lot of Abrams just flinging stuff against the wall, stuff that resembled better moments we previously saw, and hoping it stuck. My big example with that would be Luke's Force ghost lifting his old X Wing out of the water, complete with the same John Williams score, that literally copied note-for-note the scene in Empire when Yoda lifts Luke's X Wing out of the Dagobah swamp.

C3PO's line about this being the last time he would see his friends, to me, didn't carry the weight that it should have, because I didn't care as much about the people in the room with him in that scene as I did about characters in previous films. I'm sure the line was meant to be an aside for the audience, but to me, it just didn't click.

I liked The Force Awakens. I think Abrams did well with that. I also really enjoyed The Last Jedi. I know it gets a lot of grief, but I liked the portrayal of Luke as someone who withdrew from the galaxy. Sometimes, you can only fight so much before you feel like giving up and wondering what it's all about, even if you're a Jedi.

I was also ok with Rey being a "nobody" as hinted at in The Last Jedi. So what if she didn't have some huge family lineage? There were plenty of Jedis who weren't Skywalkers in the prequels, and some of them turned out to be pretty compelling characters.

I also liked Leia's ability to use the Force in The Last Jedi. She showed Force sensitivity before, and between the original trilogy and The Last Jedi, maybe Luke showed her a thing or two.

So, yeah, missed opportunity to do a good story ending.
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Greg
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 2:05am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

@Proud Capitalist Pig

Thanks for that. As for myself I first saw the episode when it initially aired just over 55 years ago this month. As a 7 year old kid I didn't see past the space ship and the alien planet. It was only later I got the relationship angle.

Yeah, some of it can be a bit clunky when looking back on it from afar. But at the time, seeing it with the eyes of a 7 year old, it was magic. And I don't find Carmel's performance obnoxious but it certainly is over the top.

Star Trek has been with me for so long that I admit I probably can't be entirely objective about it. All of T.O.S. seem like old friends that I need to revisit from time to time. I realize the sets are cardboard and the original effects very crude by today's standard. And yes, some of the dialog is clunky. But T.O.S. was my first love as far as tv shows go. And Caramel is my favorite guest star.

One thing that amazes me is that I now have it all in H.D. on my computer so I can revisit it any time I want. And if that wasn't enough I have put it on my phone so I can carry it around with me. Hardly something I could have ever imagined as a child so long ago, waiting for my favorite show to air and hoping my parents wouldn't decide to change the channel.

Greg
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Greg
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 1:42am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S1: Mudd's Women

@ Booming
"Of course, if you want to continue to insist that the women are prostitutes the only logical avenue for that line of reasoning is to admit that marriage is itself a form of prostitution."
Nowadays because of the fact that men still dominate society economically, marriage for a shrinking subset of society retains an economical component. But for more and more people marriage is about tax benefits and other financial incentives and certain rights like parental rights or access in case of medical emergency.

Well, you are partially correct there. But in 2021 most of the financial incentives that accrue from marriage are for the women. The goal of many women isn't marriage per se, it's divorce. That is where the big payday is for them. But in most cases the marriage must come before the divorce. And the proof, of course, is the fact that about 80% of divorces are initiated by women.

"And as for the commenter that said if the story had continued they could see Ben and Eve marry and gradually learn to love each other. That is precisely what I myself would imagine."
Why? Their relationship started on lies/fraud and is now based on the women being live-in housekeepers. The miners are obviously superficial men and the mining colony seems like the most boring place in the galaxy. It seems far more likely that these people will start to resent each other pretty quickly. Or are we really to believe that a short speech from Kirk changed these people to their cores? That's not how reality works.

Well, my first answer to that would be that this isn't reality, it's fiction. If you think that is too flip then I have another answer for you. If you are looking for clues as to why they might stay together it's all there in the dialog. Kirk indicates it's time for himself, Mudd and Eve to beam up to the ship and then Ben says Eve will stay for now. We want to talk. This is obvious evidence that Ben has seen past the makeup and decides that Eve might be a good catch even without her enhanced looks and wants to discuss it over with her. Eve then responds to Kirk by telling him that he has someone named Enterprise up there he has to tend to. This indicates that Eve realizes a handsome man like Kirk is out of her reach and Ben might not be so bad a guy after all. Like I said it's all there in the dialog. Don't see how anyone could possibly miss it. Unless they wanted to miss it for some reason.

As for your objection that the miners are superficial men that seems rather subjective and based on scant evidence. Two of the miners aren't fleshed out at all. The only one that gets enough screen time to be anything more than a cardboard cutout is Ben. I mean there is just so much character development that can be done in 50 minutes. So if your contention is there is evidence that the men are superficial I think it's only because you want them to be.

I will agree with you that Rigel sure looks like a dull place but as Ben said they now have the good life in their hands, which I took to indicate that had already mined enough crystals to be rich. So I kind of doubt they were going to stay there very much longer.

And if your other objection is that the relationship started with lies, it has been my observation that most relationships between men and women start with falsehoods. I mean that is what makeup if for if you are a woman and what a sports car is for if you are a man. Some couples never seem to move beyond deception and some do. And let's face it. When ever one enters into a romantic relationship the first person one lies to is themselves.

Greg
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Big Poppa the XVII-th
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 1:13am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: Precious Cargo

Eh. Seen worse, seen (lot) better. 0 stars is overreacting. I'll give it 1,5 stars. 0,5 for T'Pol playing "tough", and 1 for the nice workout my right hand got, watching red-hot bombshell Lakshmi prance around on screen in a ripped-up dress. ;) And imagining being cooped-up in an escape pod with her for 2 days. Yummy.

Yea she's a terrible actress. Who cares with THAT body? Not me, I'm not watching her for her acting. Though I do wish she put that mouth of hers to better use ;) her voice is annoying.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 1:05am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

@Booming
"I'm neither a communist nor an atheist"

I'll rephrase:

Given your previous comments (which span years), it is clear that you're close enough to both views for my previous comment to be just as relevant.

"if you believe that Rahul and 2PacTruth are just well-meaning people asking questions then you are an idiot."

Sorry, but I think that in this particular discussion, Rahul and 2PacTruth showed more good faith than you did.

@Randall
"Atheists aren't the ones with the problem when it comes to respecting people with different beliefs. We don't ram legislation through states that strip people not like us of rights and dignity."

I don't support such legislation, and you'll find that many of the religious folks here (though not all) would agree with me on this.

The way you put all religious people in the same bandwagon and treat them as if they all share the exact same extreme viewpoint, say more about you then it does about them.

"There are theistic jerks and there are atheistic jerks."

Correct.

"The difference is, atheistic jerks are rude, while theistic jerks are rude, *and* try to make people they don't like second-class citizens by force of law."

History tells us a very different story (see my answer to Jeffrey Jakucyk below)

@Jeffrey Jakucyk

"Being an atheist means simply not believing in a god/gods. There are no tenets, no scriptures, no clergy, no pronouncements. It is not a belief system, it is a rejection of a belief system."

True.

But even atheists believe in *something*. Every human being has beliefs, and a person's primitive human nature does not magically change just because he is an atheists.

So the question is: Are atheists any less adamant/extreme/oppressive/violent in defending their views? Enter Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao and Korean Kim to tell you: Nope. Human nature just sucks, and power-hungry people will find excuses for their rotten behavior, with or without religion.

In short:

Religion is not the problem here. Dogma, prejudice and hate towards people who think differently - is.
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Jeffery's Tube
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 12:48am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Trek: The Motion Picture

I love this film. It's a snapshot of what Star Trek might have been. A way that Star Trek might have gone, and then didn't. And none of the other TOS films ever had this much money to spend again. This film had budget (and went way over it), and you can really see all those dollars on the screen. Oh, I know it isn't a good movie, per se. The first time anyone watches it, I can't imagine this being the movie they'd hoped it would be. The movie they'd hoped to see. But the second time. Or the third time. When you already know what it's going to be, and what it's not going to be. What then?

I don't think it can be argued this is a *good* film. But it has merit. And I love it anyway. I do.
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Trish
Tue, Sep 21, 2021, 10:22pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

@Tidd
@Karen
@Top Hat

I have not seen this one in a few months at least, but my recollection is very like Top Hat's, that Rasmussen is just doing what conmen do best: giving people just enough vague input to encourage them to fill in the details. It's like fake psychics who do "cold reading."

("I'm seeing an old man, some connection with the Z … Oh, you say your Uncle Donald worked in a zipper factory? Yes, that's what the Z is about. And did Uncle Donald, at the end of his life, have trouble with his heart, something drawn out and painful? You say he got divorced shortly before he was hit by a bus while running a marathon? Yes, the heartbreak of his divorce is what the problem was …")

For example, I don't think there's any indication that he knew the size of Picard's office before seeing it, such as saying BEFORE entering it that he can't wait to see if it's really X feet wide or Y feet. When he walks into the room, he starts talking about a debate between historians of his time, but he's making that up on the fly.

The writers are conning first-time viewers as much as he's conning the Enterprise crew.
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Peter G.
Tue, Sep 21, 2021, 9:28pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

There does seem to be some difficult in crafting a review that disentangles technical achievement of a plan from the plan itself. I fondly remember Ebert's review of Basic Instinct 2, where he talked about how there was no way he could recommend the movie, even though from a certain perspective its low and almost embarrassing goals seemed to be achieved with gusto. So he gave it something like 1 star, but hinting that it could have been 4 if he gave in to his baser impulses.

The Rise of Skywalker is a film that, conceptually, I would have to give around zero stars. Somewhat like its predecessors, there is scarcely a single major plot point that yields a response even from its proponents of "Alright! Finally, this is what we wanted!" Even the big fans of these films seem to have to moderate their praise with disclaimers like "well, it's true this part didn't exactly make sense, but.." Jammer, I think you are completely correct about this overbearing responsibility for the creators of these sequels to do...something. Certainly they can't do everything, as you suggest. But what should be an embarrassment of riches seems instead to have been treated by the creative team as a struggle to do come up with what to do. I just wonder how that's possible. I bet most posters on this site, even the Trek fans who aren't as hot on Star Wars, have a laundry list of things they'd find really cool to see features in a SW film. I have such a list myself. So to say that finding arc after arc as recycled material is more than just frustrating, it's almost unfathomable.

From the standpoint of looking at the plot and character outlines on paper, I really find The Rise of Skywalker especially to be almost without any merits at all. But because the team executing this plan has state of the art technology, design teams and editing that are unparalleled, and a legacy that can feed even an empty schematic, it can still play energetically and even get a rise out of you despite yourself. I actually felt something near the end, even though it was totally unearned. It's one of those times it makes you have more fun than you even want to have, because of how undisciplined the writing and concept are. It's sort of like a jerk who makes a joke in terrible taste, but you're ashamed to find a laugh sneak out of you from some primal sub-intelligent place in your psyche.

From a certain perspective, getting any result at all from a pathetic concept sort of deserves an award of its own. But do we really want to give out such an award? At least when Bach wrote fugues out of lame musical fragments, he did cool things with them. This is more like a pop song cutting and pasting from lame musical fragments, using the same tired hook you've heard 1,000 times, and yet it makes top 10 on the radio anyhow. And you know this because you've got the radio on yourself.
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