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Nature Vs Nurture

May 18, 2020 by Tim

My kids have gotten into Star Wars in a BIG way over the last couple of months. We watched the original trilogy together, then episides I and II, and we’re now working our way through The Clone Wars.

Like many people, I held a serious dislike for the prequels for many, many years. But The Clone Wars, by its sheer quality, in turn helped elevate the films themselves to a far more tolerable level for me. The movies are still not my favorite, but their contributions to the overall arc are at least watchable.

More than that though, as I’ve been watching Star Wars through the eyes of my children, I’ve been able to come to a sort of tentative peace with the elements of the movies that always irritated me. Jar Jar (to use a common SW lightning rod), will always annoy me. But he was not made to entertain teenager me when the movies came out, or grown up me right now. He’s for the kids. I always knew it, intellectually, but watching my kids find his antics amusing on a purely innocent level has helped me come to terms with it in a more fundamental way.

My relationship with Star Wars is a strange and complex one that spans decades. I have loved it, I have hated it, and I’ve been thoroughly ambivalent about it, at various points in time. At this point I’ve come to realize (and accept) that Star Wars not a franchise where every installment is going to be a winner. For every Rogue One, there’s a Phantom Menace. But when I step back and look at the mythos as a whole, I still find I have a lot of love for the series. The highs average out the lows, and we end up with a franchise that is generally, overall, pretty good.

And more importantly, it is not a franchise that belongs to any one age group, a perspective I feel I may have lacked when I was younger (though for the life of me I still cannot figure out who Rise of Skywalker was supposed to be for).


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Pulse

your son has a good head on his shoulder.

Christopher
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Christopher

Which shoulder?

Karrde
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Karrde

I dont know who The Last Jedi was for. Probably people who hate Star Wars.Or at least hated Luke Skywalker

FITCamaro
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FITCamaro

Certainly not people who enjoy Star Wars being Star Wars.

Kevin
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Kevin

I enjoyed the Last Jedi. In general I thought it was fun. I also liked how it took a different look at the past Star Wars movies. In particular every movie seemed to have the heroes have a plan that was just crazy enough to work, and it always did. Every time they tried and someone said “i think this is a bad idea” or “the odds of this working are 3,720 to 1.” and the hero just says “I don’t care i think i can do it anyway.” I liked that the heroes in Last Jedi took that from… Read more »

Joel
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Joel

Holdo manoeuvre.

Karrde
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Karrde

I particularly liked how they changed the direction Luke’s character took. At the end of the series, you’re hopeful, you think that the jedi are in good hands, and that they will finally return to the galaxy. I feel that the subversion of expectations by making him a suicidal hermit with depression really shook up the galaxy. His defeat at the hands of Rey, and his intentional sacrifice at the end of the film really helped bring the new characters into their own. Having watched the film, I can really empathize with Luke Skywalker, wanting to kill myself in turn,… Read more »

CloudHiro
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CloudHiro

I honestly liked last jedi and rise of skywalker as someone who watched the original han shot first no cgi VHSes religiously as a kid. I think mabie because I always felt star wars was more of a “fun action series” than something to take seriously. you look at those movie in that vein? still pretty good. looked pretty, fun action, anything wrong with it you can make a legitimate argument of having the same problems in the original trilogy just glossed over there with rose tinted glasses, etc. Really the only “Terri-bad” star wars movies in my book is… Read more »

foducool
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foducool

guess you only have one son now

MarthKoopa
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MarthKoopa

Jar Jar is better than the sequel trilogy

leduk
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leduk

nothing is worst than the prequel trilogy

Soag
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Soag

Says the one who misspelled Ahsoka :D.

I have the high ground, don’t fight me! ^_^

Soag
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Soag

Guess it’s fixed now. Glad you read these comments ;).

Eldest Gruff
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Eldest Gruff

The man who played Jar Jar, Ahmed Best, would be pleased to hear that. He put everything he had into that role, and the hate he got afterwards nearly drove him to suicide.

Personally, I thought he was funny, if a bit childish. But then again, I’ve never been very invested in the Star Wars films, so there was nothing to really be disappointed over. I had no soaring expectations of Phantom Menace.

Andhaka
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Andhaka

Never liked Jar Jar, always thought it was a dumb character… but taking it out on the actor playing him… that’s a level of low I’m happy to say I’m incapable of reaching.

Cheers

Nobody
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Nobody

Jar Jar wasn’t a great character but doesn’t deserve the hate most have for him. Episode 1 had a lot of problems and when you placed all the problems into a Vin Diagram you find Jar Jar to be the overlap for many of them, so he became the focus of the hate.

FITCamaro
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FITCamaro

Exactly. I despise the Jar Jar character. But I never even knew the guys name. Nor cared who it was.

Deadly-Bagel
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Deadly-Bagel

This is a great example of hating the design, not the execution. If looked at in a void, he did a really good job with the character. Too bad the character sucked.

Merendel
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Merendel

Agreed, It wasnt even so much that Jar Jar was a bad character it was more he didnt fit well with previous expectations. Stick him in a fresh franchise and he’d be an ok comic relief character. Shove him into starwars in front of people who have nostalgia glasses for the original trilogy and they wonder what this abomination is and why is it standing in the way of my nerdgasim.

Kevin
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Kevin

And also it could have been a lot worse. Lucas originally wanted Michael Jackson to play jar jar but he would only do it if he had an actual Jar Jar suit on with a physical jar jar head on top of his… I shudder to think how that would have turned out.

Michael
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Michael

That’s how the suit was anyway; CGI spared us the head-on-head action that Liam & pals put up with.

Kenz
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Kenz

I never had the hatred of Jar Jar the majority of fans had. I hated Hayden Christianson or whatever TF his name is. He was a terrible Anakin and I will never understand why Jar Jar got all the focus. But that’s me I guess.

Merendel
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Merendel

JarJar had a head start by being in the first movie. That said to this day I still dont know who was to blaim for the bad Anakin. Was it bad writeing, bad directing, bad casting, or bad acting. He wasnt that bad an actor in other movies.

Urazz
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Urazz

I’d say bad writing and directing mostly myself since a lot of Anakin’s lines were just painful. I’ve seen Hayden Christensen in a few other films and such and he wasn’t bad in those but he wasn’t great either. I’d say he was about average and bad writing and directing will make you seem worse than you actually are as an average actor. A good actor will probably perform well enough that people will recognize that he/she isn’t at fault for the character they are playing being bad though.

Urazz
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Urazz

Yeah, I despise Jar Jar with a passion but I never blamed the actor for him, I blame George Lucas for the character, along with the prequel trilogy being as lackluster as it is (most especially in dialogue, some lines just made me cringe badly).

leduk
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leduk

well the presquel sucked really hard but it was not jar jar fault imho

Tom
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Tom

I was a kid when I 1st watched the prequels and I hated Jar Jar even then.

Ir8munk33
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Ir8munk33

Tim’s face in the 2nd panel, i can just feel it X-D

FITCamaro
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FITCamaro

Yeah I can only imagine the laugh my wife will have if any of my children tell me they like Jar Jar.

el Charlot
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el Charlot

N O T O N E E P I S O D E of the prequels for my kids, not one of the sequels too by the way. Even the anti cheese edition were horrible to watch by myself, I can’t imagine letting my poor kids growing up thinking Jar jar is cool !

ChefBrianWasRight
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ChefBrianWasRight

Yeah how dare kids enjoy things you don’t!

Evil Paladin
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Evil Paladin

“Anti cheese edition”?
What’s that?

Diamond655
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Diamond655

Yes, how dare literal children enjoy things that weren’t made in such a way that you could enjoy them. How dare they form their own opinions on anything. How dare.

Digi
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Digi

I personally have nothing against the prequels. They are entertaining and that’s what movies are about. Entertainment.

Cyrad
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Cyrad

As someone who thoroughly disliked the movies even as a child, I have some choice words for the likes of you and others that enjoy these “abominations” of the Star Wars universe!

I envy you. So. Much.

N7 Elmo
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N7 Elmo

And creating the best memes ever “YOU UNDERESTIMATE MY POWER

Hinek
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Hinek

Wait, did you draw this, just because of that comment on the last one? (“On a side note, how come we rarely ever see your wife in these introspective comics?”)

Johnny 5
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Johnny 5

I was wondering about that.

Cyrad
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Cyrad

Well, yes, Jar Jar was made for children.

But he could have been an enjoyable character for *all* ages if he was better written.

Unvoiced
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Unvoiced

Rise of Skywalker was for fanboys who hated Last Jedi

Merendel
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Merendel

Didnt work. Lothed LJ enough that I would have had to hear an awful lot of good to bother going to see rise. Didnt hear much initially that would have changed my mind and the spoilers I’ve seen were kinda meh. At this point I’ve more or less accepted star wars died when Disney killed off the EU. And this from someone who has 95% of the books now called “Legends” siting on a shelf. Geeked out hard and threw way too much money at star wars over the years and now cant even be bothered to bootleg the new… Read more »

Unvoiced
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Unvoiced

RT Audience score would indicate that overall it did work

I really don’t understand the position that Last Jedi was for those who hate Star Wars. I love Star Wars, but after TFA didn’t really bring anything new I was ready to see a different direction for the franchise. Last Jedi was that opportunity. While it wasn’t executed well, at least it had a different progression for characters that actually make sense considering all that happened. You don’t come out of a war with your views unscathed.

Urazz
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Urazz

Big problem was continuity. TFA set up one thing while Last Jedi decided to go off the rails and do it’s own thing and then Rise of Skywalker was an attempt to fix the mess that Last Jedi created and put things back to what TFA was setting up. It didn’t work but I can see what they were trying to do. Disney just plain fucked up the sequel trilogy by not having one person in charge of the whole thing. At least with the Original Trilogy and Prequel Trilogy, we had a singular voice as the ultimate guide for… Read more »

Michael
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Michael

The only way Haldo makes sense is if she’s working for The First Order. But even with that excuse for her deliberately non-existent strategy and gas-lighting, it was still Leia’s character-assassination to have her trust Haldo over Poe “did nothing wrong” Dameron. Speaking of character-assassination, the guy who sought redemption in his genocidal child-murdering warlord father would rather boil alive than even consider killing his own nephew for having naughty thoughts.

Karrde
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Karrde

Luke was absolutely character assassinated. That alone cemented that there was nothing worthwhile to be seen in Star-Wars from that point on. Poe was vindicated the moment they were followed through hyper-space, and his only mistake after that point was not using lethal rounds on Holdo when he took over.

Robert Loughrey
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Robert Loughrey

Yeah that’s the real problem right there. Even the original movies were kinda meh by today’s standards of sci-fi/fantasy. But then for 15 years we had dozens of pretty good books that made that whole universe great. And they threw it all in the bin to make 6 more “meh” movies.

Michael
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Michael

And a poor job at that; what Last Jedi haters really want is a good movie.

Karrde
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Karrde

I think the folks who really hated The Last Jedi cant get anything they want in a star-wars universe where that movie exists as canon. The character assassination of Luke Skywalker destroys star-wars for many people.

Some guy who rages
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Some guy who rages

I would have enjoyed Rise of Skywalker if it wasn’t for the main actress being in clenched “anxiety / fighting mode” in every gdamn scene

Karrde
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Karrde

I never saw Rise because of how terrible The Last Jedi was. Star-Wars died with Luke Skywalker’s character. Luke isnt a suicidal depressed loser, and I refuse to accept a star-wars universe that has that as his end. I’ll stick to Legends, thanks.

Rolando
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Rolando

I’ve had big and solidly fundamented criticism for SW, since I was a kid and watched the originals in the ’80s (yeah, weird I guess lol). The many movies since, have only confirmed my arguments. Now, I don’t judge people’s taste. Anyone can just tell me they like it, present no actual argument for their liking, and I respect that. Taste in movies doesn’t require logic. You had a good time? I’m honestly happy for you. Fiction has its BIG share of positively brain-dulling franchises. I’d rather they watch SW instead, if it comes to that. AND, historically, SW opened… Read more »

Deadly-Bagel
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Deadly-Bagel

That face tho! xD

The Legacy
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The Legacy

“Though for the life of me I still cannot figure out who Rise of Skywalker was supposed to be for.” Disney. It was for Disney. Trying to link two very different movies together into a trilogy, where the pieces didn’t fit, pieces were missing, and the person who made the second movie tried to make a bicycle out of a boat. Then the first person tried to make a ridable boat-cycle for the third movie. And they only had the one bike for parts. Considering how different the first two movies were from each other, and considering the second movie… Read more »

Urazz
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Urazz

Rise of Skywalker was pretty much the sequel to Force Awakens that Last Jedi failed to be. It was pretty much two movies jammed together into one. Disney just fucked it up by not having a singular voice running things.

Dan
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Dan

I’m a huge Star Wars fan… but in fairness, no SW movie was perfect. My favorite, Return of the Jedi, had Princess Leia bikini bondage fan service for the first half, and tribal teddy bears for the second. Stupid decisions, IMHO. The Phantom Menace, for all its faults, had freakin’ Darth Maul and Qui-gon Jinn in it. Episodes 1-6 had a fantastic arc and a consistant theme and message, which I really appreciate. The Disney Trilogy, while having the best actors they could’ve hoped for (Daisy Ridley & Adam Driver), had terrible writing and were unnecessary. There was no consistant… Read more »

Karrde
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Karrde

I’d say that Slave Leia was a fantastic choice, have you SEEN young Carrie Fisher? They should have had her in that outfit in all the movies

Rubica
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Rubica

My daughter and I watched the movies in episode order a while ago, and when we got to the end of Revenge of the Sith she cried when Anakin was cut down. To her Anakin was the hero of the story.

Evil Paladin
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Evil Paladin

If you mean “watch from episode 1: Phantom Menace to episode 6: Return of the Jedi”, then your daughter must have been on a MASSIVE roller coaster of emotions, watching her hero be a bench mark of evil that cuts the hand off of his own son, and then later last minute redeems himself by saving his son and killing the Emperor.

I’m sorta jealous of your daughter going through that emotional trip.

Did you also include Rogue One in the movie lineup.

'Drew Bergy
Guest

The Rise of Skywalker was only to boost the ego of one person: “Jar-Jar” Abrams!

Him.
Guest
Him.

“Sir? We have bad news. It turns out…George Lucas may have been a genius after all.”

Drew
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Drew

George Lucas wrote an excellent story, but isn’t great at dialogue. The best movies (ESB and RTJ) were co-written by Lawrence Kasdan. When George writes dialogue, you get gems like “I hate sand”, “It is obvious this contest cannot be decided by our knowledge of the force, but by our skill with a lightsaber”, and “I have the high ground.”

Urazz
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Urazz

Yeah, that’s what made the prequels pretty bad. George Lucas pretty much got a bit of an ego and figured he didn’t need help writing them. When he had help writing the dialogue, it made it better.

It’s why I feel Hayden Christensen gets a bad reputation for something that wasn’t his fault. George Lucas had some pretty crappy dialogue for Anakin and Hayden Christensen was just an average actor in my opinion and so he wasn’t able to do squat with crappy dialogue.

Leon
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Leon

Meesa suck

Andrew DeCoster
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Andrew DeCoster

You should always look at star wars (especially the original trilogy) as kids movies. They have clearly defined good and evil characters, a princess, etc, etc. There’s very little ambiguity for the most part.

Drew
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Drew

You might want to skip the final four episodes of Clone Wars until after your kids have watched Revenge of the Sith. The show overlaps and then passes the movie, timeline-wise.

Bakhtosh
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Bakhtosh

Seeing my daughter laugh at Jar Jar then say she didn’t understand all the hate he got made me take a step back. Being able to watch the sequels with her made them better.

Mr_Meng
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Mr_Meng

Jar Jar gets way way too much hate. Yes he was a silly stupid character intended for laughs but when you’re a kid watching the movie back in 1999, or even today, that’s totally fine(something that a lot of people seem to refuse to understand). Besides it’s by no means the first time a fantasy or sci-fi has had a character like that including the original trilogy. I mean C-3P0 was largely played for laughs he just wasn’t as stupid. Anyone who lets their feelings of Jar Jar descend to the levels of actual hate(as opposed to dislike or just… Read more »

jar-hate
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jar-hate

“he was not made to entertain teenager me when the movies came out, or grown up me right now. He’s for the kids”
yes, that’s the problem. wacky comic-relief characters that are for the kids belong in kids movies, not star wars

Harold
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Harold

Your son has learned how to troll

Beliar
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Beliar

I never hated Jar-Jar, and while I quite like the Star Wars Universe I never understood the problem people have with him (in Episode 1.)

SimplyMonk
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SimplyMonk

Rise of Skywalker was for Disney stockholders.

Caleb
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Caleb

Rise of Skywalker was for people like me. It is my favorite Star Wars movie so far.

EvilDrZ
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EvilDrZ

I still like the ‘Jar Jar is secretly a sith lord’ theory. Even if it is just speculation. Kind of redeems the character in some way.

Vedrit
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Vedrit

Take this all with a healthy pinch of salt, because I am not, and never have been, really big on Star Wars. The prequels were exceedingly OK. They had good moments, and bad moments. They had good characters, and bad characters. Some parts of the prequels aged well, some did not. To discount or ignore the prequels because they weren’t as reliably great as the original trilogy is like getting a burger and only eating the bread because the meat is a little dry. But you can, in my opinion, ignore the sequel trilogy as it does not add or… Read more »

Jéquiyot
Guest
Jéquiyot

I was thoroughly underwhelmed by The Rise of Skywalker, which disappoints me so much. I don’t remember how old I was when I watched the original trilogy for the first time, but I grew up with the prequels, which gave them a lot of weight to me. While they had their problems, I also enjoyed The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. But I was expecting so much more from the end of the Skywalker saga than what The Rise of Skywalker gave me. It felt separate from the other films, almost standalone in the way that Rogue One and… Read more »

Karrde
Guest
Karrde

Thats literally what people said about The Last Jedi. IF anything, The Rise of Skywalker is the sequel to The Force Awakens that was envisioned by Abrams, while The Last Jedi was a post-modernist derailing of a billion dollar franchise for the lol’s.

Naice
Guest
Naice

I didn’t really hate Jar Jar, they just took Wicket the ewok and put him in more silly situations because people liked ewok. He is annoying in Phantom Menace at worst. Not that I liked it much either, but I have to say that The Clone Wars really redeemed the character. I found myself rooting for Jar Jar more than once. The Aftermath trilogy also makes a good job giving him a bittersweet goodbye. As much as the character was poorly received, he earned this ending, not the “gungan skeleton in the desert” that Abrams wanted. He is as much… Read more »

Some guy who rages
Guest
Some guy who rages

There’s a correlation between age and when the movie was seen on some elements. For example ewoks. If a person dislikes ewoks, the likelyhood that they were in their late teens when first seeing them is high, but if you saw it as a kid, you absolutely love ewoks, even as an adult.

7eggert
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7eggert

There are worse things:
* Spaceships in stable orbit falling down on a straight path when engines fail
* Anikin’s conversion to the dark side: “Come join us!” – “Okey dokey, i’ve got nothing else to do, let’s kill all the Jedi!”

Evil Paladin
Guest
Evil Paladin

That bombing run at the beginning of The Last Jedi, will never stop upsetting me.
(I’m really working hard to hold back my massive rant about that bull shit).

The subspace ship chase through the movie where each ship runs out of fuel, and immediately stops dead in its tracks, will also forever upset me.

ASTRO PHYSICS DOESN’T WORK LIKE THAT!!!!

Corey Cole
Guest

The Last Jedi and Rise of the Skywalker were for my wife and I – Boomers who were already young adults when the original Star Wars first wowed us. The Emperor stuff in Rise was a dumb plot point, but we enjoyed most of the film. As for Rey being the long-lost granddaughter or whatever of the Emperor, , ok, that ruined the wonderful idea of her being “nobody,” but still being strong in The Force. But we can let that slide. Cynical Luke in The Last Jedi echoes the journey many of us have taken in questioning religion, government,… Read more »

Michael
Guest
Michael

“Cynical Luke in The Last Jedi echoes the journey many of us have taken…” How many children have you considered slaughtering (in their sleep or otherwise) for their bad attitudes? And of for those that destroyed your home in retaliation, how long did you wallow in self-pity instead of making the slightest attempt at redemption? I’m not going to question whether you watched the originals in your youth, but it seems you never took notice of Luke’s endless optimism that compelled him to find the best in his genocidal father. I deeply detest corruption in authority and that you equate… Read more »

Mordred
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Mordred

Personally, I didn’t like Jar Jar, but then I was an adult when the Prequels were released and not the target demographic for that character. I DID like the Ewoks, when I was a kid, and absolutely loathe them now. My sister’s kids love Jar Jar and the Ewoks. The only WRONG thinking, regarding Star Wars, is thinking the Sequels are good.

I kid. If you enjoy the Sequels, more power to you.

Wesley Riot
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Wesley Riot

When you say clone wars, I hope you mean the classic 2d Cartoon Network series directed by genndy tartakovsky, that bridged the gap between episode 2 and 3, and was later (incorrectly) declared non-canon by Disney… and not the watered down cg nonsense that managed to go on, inexplicably, for 7 series.

Bub
Guest
Bub

That is exactly why the Machete cut exists for new fans. A way to get the love on without the bad parts. Then once you have followed that order, you can introduce them to, “here’s another movie in the franchise if you really care about it.”

ExcentricDragon
Guest
ExcentricDragon

At least Lucas had all six of them written out in his head before they were created. This latest travesty is brought to you by a corporation where marketing executives and executive producers think they know more about what good writing and storytelling is rather than actual writers, directors, and actors.

Evil Paladin
Guest
Evil Paladin

It might be too late to leave him at the local fire station

Duane E Naulls
Guest
Duane E Naulls

I question whether Buckley every watched Droids or the Ewoks cartoons. He likely would have a better perception of Jar Jar if he did.

bsigil
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bsigil

I enjoyed Rise of Skywalker more than the other two movies in the sequel trilogy.

Erik Marques Schroeder
Guest
Erik Marques Schroeder

And I am here thinking Star Wars doesn’t have one really impressive movie. Can’t talk about the new sequels as I only watched the first one and thought it was just ok, not enough to want to watch the next ones. The only star wars movie I can agree with all that is horrible is episode 1. But besides that, most things about the older movies that make them so beloved are simply nostalgi. Personally while I don’t care for Jar Jar, I thought C3PO was way more of an irritating character than Jar Jar. I simply don’t think any… Read more »

M D
Guest
M D

The way we felt about Jar Jar is how the previous generation felt about Ewoks.