A Critique of Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Introduction

A Critique of Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Introduction

English subtitles by MatrixLegion ABC News: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
is being called the film of a generation. Chris Stuckmann: Star Wars:
Episode VII – The Force Awakens… (laughing like a madman) Angry Joe: (making TIE Fighter sounds) Jeremy Jahns: (more onomatopoeia) Scott “Movie” Mantz: I gotta
buckle up, so I don’t get to crazy. Carrie Fisher: That’s very good… Angry Joe: Aaaa!
Delrith: Ow! Joe, stop hitting
me in the face! Confused Matthew: That’s right ladies and gentlemen,
we have good Star Wars films again. Jeremy Jahns: Nothing but
Staaar Waaars! Chris Stuckmann: (heavy breathing) Yes! Armoured Skeptic: That was an
amazing movie! What can I say? It was everything I wanted
it to be, and more. Mike Stoklasa: It was everything
I hoped it would be. Repzion: It was everything I ever
wanted Star Wars movie to be… Angry Joe: Star Wars is back.
It’s back to its true form. ???: Seen the movie,
and it kicks ass! Chris Stuckmann: It’s not just a great
Star Wars movie, is actually a great film. ???: I mean it’s the best movie
of the 7 (movies) by far. – O rly? – Wow. Mark Kermode BBC: Very entertaining,
very engaging, very um, dramatically solid… Repzion: Um, this movie is incredible,
phenomenal, fantastic, excellent… moviebob: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
is a pretty damn good movie. James Rofle (AVGN): I thought
it was very exciting. YourMovieSucksDOTorg: …and I thought this movie
was an enjoyable and refreshing addition to the franchise. I Hate Everything: The high points are so high, that
the low points are kinda meaningless to me. Chris Stuckmann: Guys, in all honesty,
I love The Force Awakens. Repzion: (crying tears of joy) I cannot express
to you my absolute love for Star Wars. Mike Stoklasa: I loved it. Angry Joe: Thank you J. J. Abrams
for saving Star Wars! ABC news interviewer: Do you wanna say
anything to the die-hard Star Wars fans? Carrie Fisher: Please go to this film,
if you’ve heard that it’s good. Stephen Colbert: The gravy must be that like,
Disney and George Lucas and the fans are so easy to please.
Like, all of them… J.J. Abrams: XD Stephen: …no one has any
critiques of your work. Andre “Black Nerd”: Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
It was an entertaining movie, critics liked it, Star Wars fans
approved of it… Chris: But is it good? ralphthemoviemaker: Is the movie bad? No. Is the movie great? No. ???: It’s not a great movie and
it’s certainly not a bad movie. It’s a good movie that happens
to be titled Star Wars. Repzion: However, it’s not
without it’s flaws… Ozzy Man Reviews: Overall, I’d say Disney
wanted to have it’s cake and eat it too. Jared Genesis: To the haters,
of Force Awakens, guys listen, you’re letting your nostalgia make you that way.
This movie, Force Awakens, it wasn’t a bad movie. WorldClassBullshitters: Hey Dan,
what did you think? Dan: I think it was a movie. J. J. Abrams: It’s been the funniest thing to see…
the arguments that have developed over this thing. I Hate Everything: But I guess it reached that point
that it’s cool to hate The Force Awakens now. The Cosmonaut Variety Hour: If you go on YouTube,
you will see countless videos complaining about The Force Awakens, ‘cuz everybody
likes to complain about this movie. feministfrequency: We can love the media
and be critical of it at the same time, and I think this film is a
grand test of this very mantra. CinemaSins: It’s at this point you had a nagging
feeling in the back of your mind that this whole movie was simply repurposing everything
from A New Hope, and you haven’t even gotten to the new
Death Star yet. Nostalgia Critic: Did it really had to
be so similar to the other movies? J.J. Abrams: …it was this big corporate thing,
and it had been in the news everywhere as a four billion dollar purchase, that it
would be this kind of corporate approach to making a film. Lyle McDouchebag: Star Wars:
The Force of Money! hackfraudmedia: What’s the overall
grade of The Force Awakens? Disappointing. WorldClassBullshitters: Expectations were
at zero today honestly, usually I don’t even care about this, and then I watched
it and… I just didn’t care. Nicholas Spargo: So far to say that it
is in fact, worse that the prequels. E;R: This farce will never be Star Wars.
Search your feelings, you know it to be true. Cosmonaut: I just want people to
re-evaluate the reasons behind their criticism of this movie, because it truly
isn’t as bad as they say it is. Angry Joe: But maybe, just keep this in mind as
people start to pick this thing apart, cuz I’ve got notes upon notes of where I can pick it
apart, um, just realize they do it with love. George Lucas: I’ve discovered that most
critics themselves are cinematically illiterate. They don’t really know much about movies.
They don’t know the history, they don’t know the technology, they don’t know anything.
So for them to try to analyze it they’re lost. Mauler: Hello there, ladies and gentlemen,
I’m Mauler and welcome to a critique of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I will be covering far more than just the
film itself, but as the title implies, the majority focus will
be an assesment of the film. If you would like to skip over the introduction,
please use the time code and it will take you to the beginning
of the analysis (1:05:35). The introduction is essentially more so about me,
my process, what you can expect in the series and an update
for my subscribers. Though I will say that it is worth having seen the
Star Wars saga up to the latest films in the series before watching my videos, as it
will benefit you in following along. But seriously, we have a long introduction this
time, and there’ll be a bunch of topics covered that you might have
absolutely no interest in. So if you’re new and you’re here for
Star Wars alone, please skip on ahead. Though I will be able to
tell you what you can expect. Ever since I completed my four videos on
The Last Jedi at the start of this year, my channel has grown from
2,000 to 100,000 subscribers. I really can’t say how much I
appreciate you folks, and your support. This whole thing has been quite life-changing,
and I’ve been provided some potent encouragement to push right on, including the
support to build a new PC that was used to create this very series. So thank
you for helping me pursue my dreams, and I hope that you enjoy
what I put together. So to begin, I think it makes sense to talk a bit
about objectivity, considering that will be the baseline for this assessment.
So permit me, if you will, to go on a rant about the state of video
essays and reviews on YouTube these days. Star Wars: The Last Jedi was panned quite thoroughly
across much of YouTube, but since it is a part of such a popular franchise, it had plenty of fans
remaining, as does anything with that kind of reach. At this juncture however, thanks to months of
discussion, most points have been brought to the logical baseline, with some who apparently
haven’t heard a single counter-argument still trailing to join the discussion. At the end of my assessment I said that the film
was overall objectively bad in terms of filmmaking. It is of poor quality. The utterly broken script was bleeding errors
with every second of screen time that passed, and stating the conclusion at the end
of the analysis is only natural. It can also assist in creating
a scale for objective quality. Now, in relation to those who find my channel
frustrating, there is an ongoing conversation about objectivity
versus subjectivity. I have been made an example of by a handful of people
as the channel who thinks his opinions are facts. Quinton Reviews: …or, to put it like he likes to:
his opinions are objective. And the opinions of people who disagree with him?
Well those, those are just subjective. Mauler: Isn’t it so strange that people can’t seem to
get a quote from my videos that would even remotely resemble that statement? The idea that I tell people
they are watching movies wrong, for example, when my discussions are always concerned with the
facts you use, and how well researched those are, versus the feelings
you experience. Anyone is welcome to generate an objective opinion,
based solely on the measurable elements of the content, or they can generate a
personal subjective opinion based on how they felt. But they are completely
different conversations. You can’t be wrong for how
you experience something. Patrick (H) Willems: …and I’m not coming
here to tell you that you’re wrong, unless you are actually wrong
about indisputable facts. Mauler: You see, you can do whatever you want,
however you want, feel what you want, just don’t tell me that an apple is a banana
and expect me to say “you are right” by an objective standard. As you just heard, Patrick made a great point, but these
same people purport that I make statements about denying someone’s feelings or watching
movies wrong, when they can’t show it. Though if we reverse that accusation, I actually
can use quotes, instead of inventing them. So considering the amount of criticism objective
analysis receives from these folks, and how abysmal the current state of hollow analysis is
on YouTube, why don’t we explore their style and see if it holds up
against any kind of scrutiny? Patrick: I know it seems impossible
to watch movies wrong… (dramatic pause) …but you’re watching
movies wrong. Mauler: Oh dear, that seems
contradictive, doesn’t it? Patrick: And I’m not coming here
to tell you that you’re wrong… 6 months later… …you’re watching
movies wrong. You’re kinda watching
movies wrong. Mauler: This is what I end up hearing from
the same people who believe they have more authority to speak on the subject
of film analysis than others. Patrick: And all those plot holes
people complain about? They don’t
actually matter. The actual problems are that many of the central
characters are totally static and poorly motivated, and the one major moment of growth
is caused by a ridiculous plot contrivance. Mauler: So, plot holes in favor of payoffs don’t matter,
but plot contrivances in favor of payoffs do? Patrick, you realize that a plot hole is
a plot contrivance, but worse, right? At least with a contrivance, it could happen.
A plot hole by definiton is a strict contradiction. It should not happen. You seem to be
contradicting yourself quite a lot. Patrick: While I make some videos that are technically
film criticism, I don’t count as a film critic. Mauler: These people write scripts with more
inconsistencies than the films I am trying to criticize. And these videos that they make
are only ten minutes long. Patrick: Critics are not bought or bribed (sure…).
Disney does not pay off critics to trash DC movies. It’s not like bad reviews
hurt Suicide Squads box office, so why would studios
waste money on that? A few moments later… Before seeing a movie, I’ll skim reactions from critics
I trust on Twitter, or glance briefly at their reviews, and if enough of them seem
to dig it, I’ll see the movie. Why would studios
waste money on that? Mauler: How to you write
that in the same video? Many people accuse me of inaccurate
film criticism too, that I am not aware of extra knowledge that would have
changed my assessment, had I known it. This is actually a truth, there are a couple of things that I am completely
unaware of, and that is a human error, as you would call it. But I am happy to admit that
I can make that mistake. Patrick talks about how many critics are getting facts
straight wrong by not paying attention to the movie – as if he is separate from that collective,
only to then in the same video say this: Patrick: In the Alien, if the acid can melt through the
floor, why doesn’t it melt through the entire ship? Mauler: Patrick, acid doesn’t just burn forever, it will
neutralize after it eats through enough material. In fact, that is the immediate concern for the
crew of the Nostromo in the film Alien. Brett: That thing’s gonna eat through
the goddamn hull. Come on! Mauler: After realizing that it could potentially
eat through the hull, they then find the spot where it’s reaching its end
and comment on it. Brett: It stopped. Never seen anything like that,
except molecular acid. Mauler: Do you understand how many contradictions
we’ve reached in just a few minutes? His video on plot holes was so poorly constructed that
despite the positive ratings on the video itself, an overwhelming proportion of top
comments are in disagreement with him. This reaction is actually very similar
to the one H.Bomberguy received on his video in
relation to Bloodborne. The fanbase will always appreciate a good
new video, but once you have time to discuss it, videos with awful argumentations
start to fall apart. I would say that one of the most accurate
examples of this clear disconnect would be Joseph Anderson’s attempt at
explaining why horror games don’t scare him, and his follow-up video. His first video was very confusing in structure,
conflating his feelings with facts, while presenting that an entire
genre is fundamentally broken. This served to reveal a sense of ignorance in
the exploration of said genre, and I have honestly never seen such a major portion of the comment
section in complete disagreement. Similarly to Patrick and hbomberguy,
these were despite the positive ratings. This is the kind of thing that will of course
happen to me down the line if I fall out of touch. But how you respond to criticism can often say
more than the initial statement ever could. Speaking of which, Joseph responded to the criticism
with an extremely condescending video, explaining that it is in fact on the viewer to figure
out which statements he makes are subjective, and which are objective. This absolves him of any responsibility in his own
writing, placing the blame directly on the viewers. As a result, the comment section
ravaged him once again. (Filthy Frank: [muted] It’s time to stop!) These are the kind of videos you end up with
when you have a severe lack of self-awareness. Patrick: At least 50% of the plot holes that I see
people complain about are things that are actually explained in the movie,
if you just pay attention. In Alien, if acid can melt through the floor,
why doesn’t it melt through the entire ship? Brett: It stopped. Never seen anything
like that, except molecular acid. Patrick: But I guess if you’re too busy live tweeting
about plot holes, you can miss some stuff. Mauler: Patrick and many others like him are so
woefully beyond inconsistent that their only recourse is to invent quotes from their opposition, in order
to make them look more ridiculous by comparison. It’s a hypocritical straw man,
and it’s not very effective. While this backward logic is splattered across different
conversational threads, my channel has been generating more and more interest from
people who enjoy the central premise; people who rather clearly understand
what I’m actually doing here. So no worries folks, I am fully aware of
them trying to play the semantics game to discredit my work and the work
of many other creators (like Rags). Honestly, you should expect more of that as my channel
grows, since making enemies is just par for the course on the Internet, especially when you tell someone
that something they enjoy is poorly crafted. Or vice versa. Separating how they feel from the art itself
is something they disagree with at the core, so of course they get upset when you
point out a flaw they can’t reconcile emotionally. But, this is not a
foreign concept for them. They are fully aware of the difference
between objectivity and subjectivity, and they know when
content is poorly made. It simply doesn’t apply when it’s their sacred cow,
thus they end up taking criticism as a personal insult, but good Lord,
that is not the case. Besides, it’s much easier to simply smear people who
disagree with you, rather than open a discussion. Isn’t that right, Quinton? Quinton: To state that your opinions, which mostly
come down to things like thoughts about the lore and nitpicks about dialogue, are objective facts that
can never be disputed by anyone, is ridiculous. Mauler: Uh huh, well, you can sit down for now,
I have some important stuff to get out of the way. I’ll see you
at the end. Many people across all debate, discussion
and discourse from the dawn of time have put in a strong effort to blur the line
between subjectivity and objectivity; if not by malice, or ignorance,
it is a backward way to win an argument, to redefine a landscape until your
feelings are considered fact, with no regard for what the very
definitions of those words even are. And with more and more controversial discussions
taking place, you will eventually find that the word “opinion” is thrown around far more than
references to the topic being discussed. The purpose behind it in this case,
is to champion the idea that there is no such thing as good or bad content,
that everyone is simply sharing their perspective. You know, the mentality that everyone
gets a medal, no matter what. Participation is now
enough to celebrate quality. Everybody who was in the
race now gets a first-place medal. It’s as if they no longer want to recognize
how well the goal was completed, or how shockingly
it was failed. Of course, this doesn’t apply when talking
about The Room, or Birdemic, or how about CinemaSins? It is very difficult to find anyone who
declares CinemaSins is a channel of quality. However, CinemaSins is a form of art, he has
transformed the original content for a different purpose. Surely, whether his work
is bad is purely subjective. Of course, I don’t
see it that way, but what I’m trying to show is that they do
use objectivity as a scale when it suits them. But that fights their principle of
everything coming down to an opinion, so you will only find it happening with the things
they so desperately want beaten into the ground. Ultimately, if you subscribe to these channels,
their standards get very confusing, so I say let’s throw them out the window in
favour of something far more consistent. I think I should be clear in saying that anyone, including
myself, likely in this very series of videos, will eventually in their lives create bad pieces of content,
and it can be assessed for a conclusion. There are plenty of ways
to determine it. Let’s start with getting facts wrong,
that would be a big one. “Black Panther: An Unbridled Rage”
We open up in the 1970s with two characters
that have a plan to share weaponry to community surrounding the area with Wakandan technology,
because of the struggle that persists. – No, it was set in 1992.
What’s wrong with you? “In Defence of Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin”
As far as I’m concerned, plenty of these show
an opportunity for a backstab to activate and it comes across
as the game falling asleep. – Don’t you know that the Jester robes are
immune to backstabs, you hack! “Avengers Infinity War: An Unbridled Praise”
We then see the Hulk has been
transported directly to Kamataj. -No, it was Sanctum Sanctorum!
How can you call yourself a critic? Yes, these are a few moments of several
in which I get things wrong. Do you know why? Because there is objective information
that I failed to research correctly. I made mistakes in the art I created.
My work is therefore flawed, affecting the overall
objective quality. This is possible when you understand
that objectivity exists in art. But when it comes to these people,
facts are frustrating because it can force a strongly held position to face scrutiny, when they
would prefer to simply enjoy their perspective, while letting others know
they are incorrect for having theirs. This approach to analysis is novel and often
times very entertaining, but it will leave you completely inconsistent and outright
embarrassing to listen to. Especially when you begin to completely contradict
your own thesis without even realizing it. “Bloodborne is Genius, And Here’s Why”
hbomberguy: There will always be people for
whom an experience just isn’t for them, or are too dumb to understand how to play something,
or don’t realize that something they think is good is objectively bad. Some people really like Fallout 3, and they seem to be
the specific type of people who think clicking a dislike button is a decent way
of expressing their feelings. In other words: objectively
stupid people like Fallout 3. And there is a right way
to play the Souls games. You can hide behind a shield a lot, die over
and over trying to memorize every encounter, or use magic from a distance to avoid
having to engage with the game, or wear the heaviest armor
and hope that’ll save you, but the reality is it’s just more fun playing
it as someone who dodges and weaves, who parries, and who uses situational
awareness to assess a situation. Mauler: You guys remember hbomberguy.
He acknowledged my existence again on Twitter. It was wonderful. Last time he spoke to me it was
about my Dark Souls 2 series, and in relation to someone saying they
couldn’t be bothered to watch any more than 10 minutes, he had this to say
at the end of the conversation: “Have you ever eaten something bad and stopped,
or realized there were eight more courses and stopped? Because I think people who do that
might still have some relevant criticism.” And in response I said: “That is an interesting analogy and had someone
watched Part 1 and offered criticism for it, I am sure it would be helpful,
but to eat a potato and complain that the entire meal tastes bad
is simply not useful at all.” He chose not to respond to
me again after that exchange. [Completely Unrelated Audio Clip]: “Clearly behaving
like someone who definitely isn’t mad that they got owned online, and just wants to have a
reasonable conversation about the facts.” Mauler: But recently, the topic of objectivity versus
subjectivity came up, and I received this from Harris: “You’re 100% entitled to your opinion and you noticed
a bunch of genuine mistakes I made in the video, but pretending that your opinion is the only
one based in facts, and people who find that approach tiresome are just scared
of the truth, is a bit of an overstep.” [Completely Unrelated Audio Clip]: “I love being
acknowledged by my peers online. It makes me feel… powerful, virile even.” Mauler: So I responded by asking why he’s trying
to make me look crazy by implying that I think my opinions are facts
due to achieving objectivity. Though I shouldn’t be suprised, he’s not the
first intellectual to misrepresent my work. hbomberguy: “I don’t think you’re a bad person.
I simply don’t agree with your approach to video game criticism. It’s a little immature to write
as if you have achieved objectivity and I’m out to make you look crazy for it, and
I’d recommend like, chilling out? lol” hbomberguy: I guess it’s easy to win a
fight with a opponent made of straw. Mauler: You are damn right, Harris. So he will continue to ignore me, or take potshots
when available, instead of having a discussion. Which is fine, I suppose, but I must say
there is something very interesting about the first interaction I had with him.
He pointed out a criticism of mine that was not valid, as it was clearly taking a joke seriously.
I responded that even if it were a joke, I provided context, so that the viewers
would understand that and choose to ignore me, or see the argumentation for
how weak it was regardless. I kept getting notifications of that conversation
as time went on, likely because it was featured at the
end of my Last Jedi series. As a result, many had a problem with
how sheepishly he responded to my criticism, to try and come across as if he gave it a chance,
only to pick up on one quote, and then refuse to reply
when criticized for it. As a result, he has apparently decided to delete the
tweet entirely, to remove that mistake from memory. hbomberguy: It’s the closest I think I’ve seen
someone come to admitting that they’ve lost. It appears that I owned him so hard, with such
bulletproof reasoning, that he didn’t even mention me or my video directly, despite the fact
that we have mutual friends, so I know he’s seen the video and
I know it really pissed him off. Mauler: He later admitted that yes, there are
mistakes in Dark Souls 2 and his video on it, but they are not flaws in
overall game design, objectively. They are mistakes,
but they are not flaws… right…
(Yoda says it all) I’m still happy to chat with you Harris, whether or
not your perspective makes a lick of sense. We could get along famously, I’m sure.
Just stop with the snipes, unless you’re gonna give me a chance
to actually have a conversation with you. It’s a little bit unsporting,
that’s all. hbomberguy: I promise to not do that,
eventually, when I grow up, one day. Mauler: So yes,
objectivity and subjectivity. At this point, the concept has practically drawn
a line between two types of critical analysis. The issue is that many content
creators will blend the two ideas and then hide under the banner of
subjectivity to avoid criticism. Rather than being happy to compare
how they felt to the reality of the content, there is this stubborn assumption that the first
thing you felt is now the only piece of information that’s relevant to the
deconstruction of the media. How you feel may remain with you, but that doesn’t
mean you should stop listening to other people, exploring the content with any depth,
or allowing yourself to experience even more. Instead, there’s this idea that you should
hold onto that one narrow perspective, which is detrimental to communication,
especially if it’s based on false information. The Sun being a star
is just an opinion. Water being a liquid
is just an opinion. And of course, the Last Jedi having a script
chock-full of defined inconsistencies is just an opinion. It’s a fantastic tool for the modern
analyst, it’s like a free pass. You don’t have to do any work on your script
at that point, because it can’t be wrong, it’s all just an opinion. You know what guys?
Maybe I didn’t get the date wrong in Black Panther, maybe that was my opinion of the date;
it was my experience of the date. You can’t say it’s wrong! Do you see how useful it is to
construct essays that way? hbomberguy: I shouldn’t be allowed to
talk about Dark Souls anymore… Someone should just f***ing come and stop me
before I make a mother f***ing idiot of myself. Mauler: You can’t say
I didn’t try, Harris. So I had an extensive stream with my community
while playing Sly Cooper some time ago. This particular issue was discussed heavily,
and there were several comments about what seems to be this open frustration about using
the word “objective” whatsoever on YouTube. There is no fear of facts,
because analysts who claim subjectivity will still employ that objective
standard at their own leisure, especially when it’s not their
sacred cow being humiliated. But to label something you found to be factual as
objective is not something these guys want to do. People don’t want to use it because
it places a target on their back. It means that there is no safety net
to fall back on, no chance to say “it’s just an opinion.
Let me have my opinion”. You’re essentially saying that
your content is correct. So if it turns out to be incorrect when information
is fact-checked or new information arises, you have to admit that
you’ve made objective mistakes. Many YouTube reviews still accept it,
and it’s a great tool in an analytical arsenal, because you can grow from understanding
the difference between facts and feelings. Jay Bauman: Btw, when they let her out of the cage,
and they’re heading into the city for their mission, she’s like texting the Joker?
Why does she have a cellphone? Mike Stoklasa: Um… maybe
she hid it in… in some crack.
I really couldn’t tell. Jay: She had it in
there for years. Mike: Maybe she found one while they were
walking around on the street, I really don’t know. But yeah, she’s… Griggs: Listen, you’re being transfered.
I don’t know where you’re going. It’s from “Mr. J”.
You gonna tell him I took care of you? Harley: You’re so screwed. Mauler: RedLetterMedia created
an assessment of Suicide Squad. This was a writing flaw they cited to assist in
proving a conclusion about the film’s poor quality, without realizing they had missed a
detail in one of the scenes. So, they acknowledged the error, and despite that
flaw in their assessment, their conclusion was still strong, because of many other references
that were accurate to the events in the film. And the conversation was once again
completed after being amended. Which is great. In fact, it’s quite a positive
experience for everybody involved. But not for these guys. To be wrong is to have your position weakened, so
that is unacceptable and therefore everyone is right. No one can be wrong. Except people who use the term objective,
they need to be burned at the stake. As I said, this is interesting to me,
because these are the same people who make statements
of fact regularly. It is very easy to find – hell, they
admit to it directly sometimes, talking about the method being more convincing
and therefore useful to spread their message. “In Defence of Dark Souls 2”
hbomberguy: I know I talk authoritatively sometimes, but I hope it’s clear I’m just offering my opinion
in a way I think is interesting, or convincing. Mauler: But you can’t criticize them for that,
because they begin and end their pieces with that good-old disclaimer, or as it
should be known: “the safety net”. Downward Thrust: Hey guys, before I start this
video off, I just want to say that this video on Dark Souls is
my opinion only. The core of the game was a disappointment for me.
The ashes for me had burnt out. This is only my opinion, I know
there is a lot of Dark Souls fans out there. It still felt a bit hollow.
Personally, I think Dark Souls is a true masterpiece… In my opinion, it was not enough. For me personally though, I feel like
the fire has gone out in the latter titles. This is not your opinion, this is just how
I feel about the Dark Souls universe. This is just my opinion,
yours may vary. Go ahead and drop yours in the
comments section, I’d love to read it. Mauler: Yes, those were all
from one 15-minute video. These disclaimers are everywhere, and they are
incorporated by many prominent creators, and I am NOT saying that you should never use it.
I simply have some points to make. The vague label of “opinion” is being slapped
on every element of a video essay, as if the word means that everything you said,
whether feeling or fact, was subjective, and thus
cannot be disputed. Conversely, if a video presents
strong arguments on a subject, many will wave it off as
“it’s just an opinion”. As if the word means there was nothing
objective about the content whatsoever. That is not how it works.
An opinion can apply to the sharing of a view, constructed of feelings, of thoughts,
or of objective information. It depends on what is said. It is the
difference between objective and subjective. This applies to every facet of communication,
including discussion on art. Though that doesn’t mean you should
then spam it in every sentence of your essay, like many have started doing
as an excuse for poor research. Otherwise, it will end up in sentences
that absolutely didn’t require it in the first place. “In my opinion,
the Sun is a star.” Tywin Lannister: No, that’s
not an opinion, it’s a fact! Quinton: (flabbergasted) Mauler: The Sun being a star is, of course,
a judgment or view we can hold, making it an opinion by definition, but discussion
does not require the disclaimer of “in my opinion” before stating the Sun is a star, because
we all have the refined information available that proves
that conclusion. Several standards are used to measure whether the
Sun reaches the requirements of being a star. From there, we have words that are defined to
communicate those pieces of evidence, and “in my opinion”
becomes redundant. It is only when we share subjective opinions, or
unsupported opinions that we need that disclaimer, but even then,
unsupported opinions such as: “this game inconsistent hitboxes – in my opinion”,
does not absolve you from scrutiny in the way that
sharing a feeling does. Saying “the Sun is beautiful – in my opinion”
cannot be proven wrong, due to its subjectivity. Beautiful is inherently a
qualifier that is subjective. So let’s try another example: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi has no inconsistencies
in either its characters or its plot – in my opinion.” This opinion is inherently objective, and saying
“in my opinion” at the end would be redundant because of course
it’s your opinion. But that doesn’t
make it subjective. The opinion lacks any emotive language,
it is a statement of fact. To be inconsistent is
qualifiable outside of emotion. That means the statement the person made
lacked experience or information. It is impossible to come to the conclusion
that there are no inconsistencies, unless you are ignoring the meaning of
words in the English language. It is simple: you present the objective criteria,
then you satisfy the objective criteria and reach a conclusion. Your emotional experience didn’t enter
into the equation whatsoever. This should highlight the issue of “in my opinion”
being used arbitrarily to stave off criticism when criteria isn’t clear,
or when it’s downright contradictive. It’s as if they believe an
opinion can never be refuted. Aside from that issue, when you make these
statements and you don’t bother to back them up with any evidence or argumentation,
instead opting for the safety net… Quinton Jettster: In my subjective opinion… Mauler:… you are not only creating content with
the amount of substance that is on par with a “thumbs up or down” for each subject,
you have also admitted that you have so little faith in your own perspective that you had to put a
pre-emptive scrutiny shield in front of it. But don’t assume that I’m immune from this.
I am absolutely guilty of it too. It’s just something I try to avoid when writing,
and it makes the process much longer, hence why I still haven’t said it
in other than quotations yet. I understand though, holding (Holdo) a position
like “the Last Jedi as a masterpiece of a script” is rough without saying
something like “in my opinion”, but to then use the definition of an opinion as
a preventative measure from evidence that counters that position is ignorance
in its most classic form. You can still like the content, you can still
feel whatever you will, but stop asserting that it is logically written, when it is proven
not to be by any logical standard. It makes the
conversation fall apart. And from there, the party with the false or lacking
information, in this case being the video essay, will be criticized, only to have
something rather strange happen. There is no recognition of a mistake,
or a moment for growth to occur, they simply say:
“Well, it’s my subjective opinion”, and thus the word is being completely misused,
which is obviously very much to their own benefit, and whether or not that is the motivation,
there is this rising obsession with the idea that logic is a faulty metric for both
character assessments in storytelling, and when assessing a critic
and their inconsistencies. This all makes sense because humans are inherently
emotional, and they’re not logical whatsoever. Patrick: And you know what
human beings are not? Logical. People are impulsive, they
make choices based on emotion. Not everyone thinks exactly the same.
So if everyone acted totally logically all the time, only making the most logical decision in
any situation, no one would be acting human. Mauler: The issue here is that the word “logical” is
being used in two different ways at the same time. If a character behaves illogically because
of a previously established character trait, then progression is
logical in terms of writing. What happened made sense
with who they are. In this case, Patrick is referring to
the film A Quiet Place, the story of a world in which you make a single sound
and it can get you killed in a moment’s notice. Patrick makes the argument that we should
not expect the characters to behave logically, because they are human. However, the reason that the entire video
is often referenced as a straw man is because the complaint is not that they behave illogically,
it’s that their character writing is illogical. The characters are shown to take care with
sound dampening throughout the film, making very creative decisions to account for this
dire situation that shows intelligence and care, yet they blatantly ignore several options provided to
them by the environment that are proven by the film to be far more
beneficial to their goals. These logical contradictions in their characters
are made to generate drama in the storyline, which is inherently incompetent
writing and very lazy. Hopefully I can explain this
with a reverse example: do you believe that Thanos’
plan in Infinity War makes sense? Well, that’s irrelevant compared to what comes
first in consistent character writing, which is: do you believe that Thanos
believes his plan makes sense? The film makes efforts to show his history and
explore his values to explain his actions as a logical progression, despite the plan being
inherently illogical when considering the realistic effect of his snap, versus
what his intentions are. That is logically consistent writing for an
emotionally irrational or illogical character, and that is the nuance that you will
rarely find in assessments nowadays, because everything has to be
ten minutes long, or it’s wrong. I mean, good Lord, I haven’t begun my
assessment, and we’re already like 30 minutes in. So in turn, when you criticize these creators
for lacking nuance, skipping information or contradicting themselves, we end up hearing
more and more about how it’s all just an opinion, which ends up completely sapping
any meaning that word had. We go from the fight for the best idea supported
by references, to waving the counter-arguments off, and validity is defined by how loud or
far-reaching the message is, and that’s sad. Why bother with
any effort anymore? Why would you ever pay more for a writer
than any other? Why would they teach it? You may as well upload a video with the topic,
and a thumbs up or down, it’ll have the very same amount of
substance as the common reviews that open with: (I Hate Everything’s disclaimer) This active blurring of facts and feelings gets very
confusing for many viewers who actually listen to these people’s scripts, their videos, making us
question whether they actually understand what the word “objective” means. The Dishonoured Wolf: …even though
that movie is objectively horrible. Just Write: Right, right, exactly. But I wouldn’t describe it like..
I don’t like using, like the word “objectively” is just, it’s very… it’s tough to use
that word in regards to art, right? Because yes, there’s always that
one person who’s like: “Actually, I like it, because of such-and-such reason,
this happened in my life”, right? And then it’s not objective, right?
It’s not objective if one person disagrees with it. Mauler: Objective has nothing to do with whether
people agree world wide, that is nonsense. This is an active attempt at making the
word taboo to use in modern analytical discussion. But, we have to admit that
something is undeniably true. Bookending your video with “in my opinion”
will actually stymie the flow of critical responses from the audience, because they will parrot
this disclaimer as if it means anything, until this process starts
getting pointed out. Many channels will lower their own
standards to a point where 10 minutes can go by, and nothing is said. As long as they get their scripts out and
they tie it all together with subjectivity, they can make content quicker and quicker,
they can cover more eye-catching subjects, and they can have the benefit
of being bulletproof. It allows them to get basic facts wrong,
and they don’t face scrutiny, despite the fact that they run channels that are
entirely dependent on the concept of scrutinizing art. HelloGreedo: I cannot think of a bigger
waste of time than debating art. Mauler: My goodness, how sad is that?
Not to mention it’s completely hypocritical. All these people do is account further
arguments created by people on their channels. Just how good or bad something truly is,
while taking into account other arguments that people have brought
to the conversation. And that’s on top of the fact
that they are creating art as well. Make no mistake, video essays are
absolutely an art form. I mean, pretty much anything
can be art anyway, but these videos are designed to
evoke feelings in the viewer. It’s not like they are simply instructional videos telling
you how to prevent Sony Vegas from freezing – which I actually ended up
searching for, and it worked. They want you to feel something
specific when they make these videos and much of the time code can be
spent manipulating information to do so. That means they are open to scrutiny and it
doesn’t just stop the second you say “in my opinion”. Let me give you an example: Jonathan McIntosh
created the video in defense of the Last Jedi. He made several claims, including that
“male hatred” for the film was based on the female characters offering advice and
helping the male characters fulfill their arcs, despite their failings
throughout the narrative. And from there, the angry male fans have trouble
with that because it is ingrained into them that women don’t
usually fit that role. In order to achieve proving this theory, he
will actively ignore many facts of the narrative, while inventing his own. It serves to give the assessment a little
push in the direction that best suits his narrative, but it’s subtle, and so people get
sidetracked as to what point McIntoshes feelings and the facts of the
script get mixed up. Pop Culture Detective (McIntosh): The Last Jedi
is a movie that’s designed to subvert audience expectations. Finn’s intentions are selfish and
driven by a lack of faith. He’s convinced that the fight
against the First Order is a lost cause. Mauler: He even uses the essay
voice throughout his videos. Remember folks, soft-spoken, and
fragile, to sell that emotional resonance. Regardless, he is wrong. Finn makes it clear that he is motivated
to leave in order to save Ray’s life, because it’s only a matter of time
before the ship is destroyed. Which is true, because Holdo has
let her crew believe there is no hope. Poe: Tell us that
we have a plan! That there’s hope! Finn: Sorry, but this fleet is doomed.
If my friend comes back to it, she’s doomed too. Gotta get this beacon far away from here,
then she’ll find me and be safe. Mauler: So, Finn choosing to save someone
by leaving is inherently selfless, especially when considering that he
did not sign up to the Resistance, and yet when he chooses to leave, he is abused,
captured and told to fight for this cause, or he is a coward. These details are part of why the
film’s script is so heavily flawed. There was an attempt to send several messages,
but they are actively at odds with the narrative and the character progression. I understand that these ideas and these themes
exist, but they are not effectively executed. They contradict themselves. Both McIntosh and Johnson have a narrative to sell
and we hold both of their scripts accountable for their consistency, but saying
“in my opinion” doesn’t suddenly mean your video isn’t
actively ignoring facts. You are not now
immune to criticism. This is how false narratives
are written in video essays. They ignore counter-arguments and information
that could cause cognitive dissonance, in order to appeal to the audience
that they’ve already cultivated. They add “in my opinion” to imply that you
can’t address their fabricated references at all. But a film is finite in terms
of a source of information, which means fact-checking video essays
based on movies is incredibly simple. That’s not to say it’s impossible to defend the Last Jedi,
but to argue that the film is completely consistent in both its own rules and the rules supplied
by its universe after an in-depth assessment would be to lie
about the content. The people who agreed with McIntosh
agreed before the video was released. They were simply waiting for a mouthpiece
to address the film from a gendered perspective, because it is an
agenda driven channel. It didn’t matter what he actually said, as long as it
made a comment on women’s position in society. In fact, his audience wanted more of it,
more ways of pointing out what they already wanted to see before even
clicking the video. The people who watch and agree, and the people
who don’t watch and don’t agree were both doing it for the same reason: because of
the political bias in the assessment. This is essentially
confirmation bias. And so, this is how divides are
created, and how discourse is destroyed. McIntosh is not alone in
the grand scale though, his narrative is simply that of showing
gender-driven politics in media, whether or not
it’s applicable. Downward Thrust’s narrative is reporting on the
doom and destruction that is the gaming industry, whether or not
it’s applicable. Patrick William’s narrative is to undermine
the self-taught critics of YouTube, as he wants his film studies to mean that his work
is worth more than a random dude who just watches movies and
points out plot holes. Essayists will forget about the
facts that ruin their narrative. We all have a narrative, mine is trying to get to
to the logical baseline for every element in a script under an objective writing standard, and so
I provide you references that are researched, and my opinion is rarely relevant, because I
have to follow what is seen and heard, and then relay that to you guys,
which is essentially Quinton’s biggest mistake. He thinks I’m sharing my opinion of the
Last Jedi when I say there are contradictions in the script, despite referencing
many of them, and I can’t blame him because he is yet another person who
uses opinion as a shield from criticism. But I don’t. That judgment was objective,
supported by references. If it is inaccurate and based on
faulty information, then please scrutinize me. It will improve my work. What it won’t do is prompt me to say:
“it’s just my opinion, leave me alone.” Interestingly, McIntosh doesn’t really
use the term “opinion” either. He is that sure of his perspective,
which in a way is respectable, if only he would explore the people who completely
disagree to get to the bottom of the subject. Media is extremely important to culture
and discussion across the globe. Don’t avoid it just because ignorance is bliss,
and you have trouble with the idea of exploring your own reaction
to new information. Fortunately for us, either way, we can just
debate and discuss it regardless of these people. We can break down any piece of art
– including their own – objectively. And funnily enough, in a community that
subscribes to the idea of objective analysis, you’d think there’d be
quite the echo chamber, but it’s actually less of an echo chamber than
most communities, because we all hammer out the resources
and references. All of us have a certain amount of information,
which will be more or less than the next person. So we share it
and we grow. We hold each other accountable for
the proof of the statements we make, and of course it is completely valid to say
that you do, or do not like something. My Discord has discussions every day that share
references to get to the bottom of a subject. People learn there, because objectivity isn’t always
easy, and anyone is capable of working with it. It’s pretty neat. These people tend to have a
company line to follow, where you can’t say anything too
controversial if it doesn’t fit the narrative. Patrick: This is a film about space
wizards intended for children. Meanwhile Patrick: I think this movie is goddamn incredible.
It is easily the best Star Wars movie since the Empire Strikes Back, and today
we’re gonna talk about why. Uhhh… Patrick: We’re talking about a movie about
space wizards intended for children. A few inches later Patrick: I haven’t stopped thinking about the Last Jedi.
And to all the people who hate it, I wish that you could see what I see,
because it’s pretty great. Mauler: And if you don’t consider an objective
standpoint to be a narrative, you might be able to understand that it essentially
means you lack a narrative. It’s not supposed to make you feel
angry or happy, it’s supposed to offer you the chance to compare how you felt
about the craft with what happened in the craft. And yes folks, even some of my favorite films of all
time across the universe have objective issues. So please, take it from me, objectivity does not
have the intention of invalidating feelings, but it can, depending on
person to person. That part is subjective, and hey, you can
use the word “opinion” all over your analysis when describing thoughts and feelings, but I would
try and avoid it when you’re simply using it to ignore contradictive information, just to believe
your own lie, or in some cases, in the hopes of mixing the
objective and the subjective. If a creator keeps telling you that it’s
just their opinion, then try and imagine why they felt the need
to keep on saying it. Maybe they had no factual reference for
why they felt the way they did. Maybe they wanted to manipulate someone else’s
factual references without providing their own. Maybe they misunderstood their own
subjective experience for a factual reference. Maybe they wanted to copy and
paste the popular perspective, but they didn’t provide the factual references
that would lead to the conclusion. Maybe they can’t reach factual references because
they lack a sense of consistent argumentation. Or perhaps they generate their own factual references
in order to wedge their own politics into media. Or maybe they want to lie
just enough to sell their position. But what would tell you
the difference between these? Well, it would be their references compared
to reality, it would be the patterns they find, it would be how much
information they omit. If you don’t care about proof and
you were simply looking for validation, then yes, those videos
will work for you. But that is a serious
problem on YouTube. It’s an admission that the video has the exact
same level of substance as someone who said the exact opposite with conflicting references
to the script, meaning there is no discussion, just people shouting into a void,
and the second it shouts back, in comes the safety net. Quinton Jettster: In my subjective opinion… Mauler: In the context of discussion about art,
objectivity is the idea of explaining what happened and how effectively it was achieved
in its craft without influence from emotion. Subjectivity is the idea of explaining what it
made you think, and what it made you feel, and if you can, explain why it
does that for you specifically. Both of these offer great insight, but they need
to be separated for the sake of communication, otherwise we’ll never
understand each other. But interestingly, mixing them together
allows people to get away with making objectively terrible videos that
do well in terms of a view count. Video essays were essentially a format in which
people could share research on a topic, to help an audience understand
something large in a bite-sized format. On the video game side, Super Bunnyhop
and Matthewmatosis were some of the pillars that ended up fostering the creation of people
like Downward Thrust and Cleanprintsgaming. On the movie side, you have Every Frame
a Painting and Lessons from the Screenplay, acting as inspiration, while also giving rise to
channels like Pop Culture Detective and Just Write. The initial channels keep on trucking
or fall by the wayside, but these new ones have copied the style,
the voice, the editing, the titles… Some have even found a way to clone content that
takes weeks to make, and create daily outputs instead. The way they do it is that
they say nothing in these videos, or they say absolutely
inaccurate statements instead. But on both sides of film and games, the
element they failed to copy is the writing quality, and it’s showing. I don’t know if you guys have noticed,
but the video essay crowd is getting more and more bloated with awful content
creators, and it’s giving rise to passionate creators with standards supported by research,
because people are tired of being baited into a video
with no substance. It’s the reason I started making videos.
I just hated what was on the market. Passion is dead for so many video essayists,
and it needs to change. What was once a chance to hear from someone
who has insight into a topic has now turned into: “let’s listen to that random guy
who might have something to say, but basically just wants to
ramble for 10 minutes.” And it sucks. The video essay community has essentially
become the commentary community. That’s not to say that commentary
is worthless by any means. It is to say that video essays used to be
about research with a sense of accuracy, all in favor of making a solid point, but now,
like the commentary community, it is more about quickly
sharing some thoughts. Only, by comparison with video essayists
they make some things seem a lot more important and that you need to hear it, and that’s
all thanks to YouTube algorithms. This kind of content
is encouraged. But there are still great content creators out there,
you’ve just got to go look for them, and thankfully as time goes on,
these people are being called out more and more, so we are
getting there folks. Though video essays are one issue,
subjective versus objective is another one. And when you put them together, you really do
get some of the crappiest content out there. Now, does anything I just said sound
irrefutable and simply true? Well, it shouldn’t, because I haven’t figured this
all out yet, and many words come with more than one definition. BUT, something that is key here is that
objective does not mean irrefutable. You can have an emotionless argument
that was built on bad information. That is why two people who
assess objectively can still argue, because we all have different amounts of information,
and so we will share it with each other, and then we grow. However, this is the bedrock of critical analysis,
and so it’s a very complicated subject that cannot be completely explained in one hour,
which is beside that fact that I am still learning. Though this line of thinking not only
behaves as the most consistent, it accounts for the methods
of that the other essayists employee, and it betrays what
narrative they push. Jonathan McIntosh: The Last Jedi is a story about
men learning to trust women’s ideas and decisions, and then becoming better people
and better heroes because of it. It’s a vital lesson that men need to
learn if we are to achieve gender equality. Mauler: The biggest problem I face is
having false information or poor research. The biggest problem they face is having
the viewers actually listen to their videos. Patrick: …you’re kinda
watching movies wrong. Mauler: Oh, there it is again.
Rags: Yeah, there it is again… Fortism: Thank you for telling me
how to do stuff. I like that. Rags: Good to get the confirmation that there is
a correct – or yeah, there is a correct – objectively! There is correct and an
incorrect way to watch movies. Not a thing that we have ever said. This is a thing that people us that we say
and we’re wrong for saying that, but when somebody else
says it, they’re correct. Mauler: Once you spot all of the blatant contradictions
in a video essay, you’ll be able to find what the motive is behind it.
And believe me, with the worst researched videos,
there’s always a motive. Patrick: With the movie like the Black Panther,
a review by a 25-year-old white guy on YouTube is probably not
going to have much to offer. Quinton: Saying that every angry gamer is
trying to be James Rolfe is like saying that every racist gamer is
trying to be JonTron. moviebob: Mobile games are for moms and casuals
and those people suck and I hate them for some reasonin the case of this Diablo business. It’s less about
resentment at you not getting a hypothetical something, than it is anger that a hypothetical someone
that you dislike might be getting something and feeling good about it.
(did you catch all of that folks?) Jonathan McIntosh: Many of these guys can’t help
but view a woman who’s serving as teacher to a male hero as anything other
than preachy, annoying or emasculating. The fact that Rose also happens to be played
by an actress of color only magnifies their anger. Quinton: So, umm, here’s the thing… I f***ing hate Trump. I would be a much happier person if we
found a way deport him from every position of power that he has ever had.
(This is during a film review) Mauler: Therefore, in conclusion,
work a lot harder on your scripts. Explore the layers that come with the definition
of the word “opinion” and how it is used. Push the boundaries of well-crafted
content and then you won’t need those pesky disclaimers in
the first place. Besides that, no matter how
much mud gets slung at me, I won’t just stop the objective
and subjective train. I’m afraid I’m a big fan of research,
references, knowledge, passion and effort. So either get on the train and argue your ideas,
or get off the damn tracks. Now, perhaps you’re wondering
why I started with this topic. Well, in relation to Star Wars,
objective quality in the script of the Last Jedi has opened up all the conversations
once again among many Star Wars fans. These conversations include:
Just how well-written is the entire saga exactly? Are the prequels actually
awful, or excellent? Are the originals actually classics,
or just average? Is the Force Awakens a
fantastic film or not? We already know that these questions are
a tad hyperbolic, and there are plenty of YouTube channels and critics that
have covered the saga completely. Mr. Plinkett: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was
the most disappointing thing since my son. Mauler: Plinkett sort of covered the Force Awakens,
though I guess I would say hackfraudmedia did a more thorough job
on that one. And hell, Plinkett can do as he wishes
when it comes to Star Wars, but it was a voice many
people wanted to hear from. Mr. Plinkett: So after a certain online critic
deconstructed the prequels, and explained in reasonable terms why
most people hate them. Someone who basically changed the way
the Internet complains about movies, and paved the way for other youtubers
to complain endlessly about movies. Mauler: Perhaps that is true,
but it sounds a little bitter, especially when there are many content
creator that predate you. Every critic has influences,
every critic has a style. And thankfully, RedLetterMedia
actually released a video on the Last Jedi, and despite throwing their hat in later than
many, they added plenty of substance to the conversation, discovering even
more flaws in the Last Jedi, that many, including myself,
didn’t actually consider. Either way, throughout these videos
you’re going to see several clips pop up from various creators with
their own ideas and patterns. The point will be the same for this
as when I do my video game critiques; I keep a pulse on the community that first
approached the content to see what changed. I mean, everyone has covered
every film in the saga pretty much, in depth, spoilers, secrets
and all things in between. But someone hasn’t
quite done that yet. Me. I only have the one Star Wars critique under
my belt, and I’d like that to change. And the order in which I’ll be covering
the entire saga is up for the debate, but I think it makes sense to take a look back
at the Force Awakens as my second critique, since the film itself pleased a hell of
a lot of people when it released, and now, especially after several other reviews,
the quality has been brought into question, similarly to other content in the
Star Wars saga once time passes. Especially in this case, when we have it’s
sequel to answer for so many of its setups. It will also allow me to spread the bedrock in
preparation for an analysis of episode IX when it releases, being that I should probably
approach the first two films in the trilogy before summing it
up as a whole. I am going to try my best to remain consistent
and approach every film in the franchise with the same lens as we
progress over the coming years, until completing an in-depth look
into the scripts for them all. Also, since I received a lot of
appreciation for it last time, I won’t be using harsh swear words in this series
until the Force Awakens has been fully covered. I will signpost that change
when we come to it. I have a few guest spots from other youtubers
that have agreed to share their perspective on Star Wars
as we progress. They will pop up periodically and provide how
they feel about the current state to shake it up. That means they will say things that you
or I could very well disagree with heavily. But it will be neat to have someone,
you know, other than me to listen to, as we go forward. I’m sure you guys would appreciate a break
from my voice every 100 hours…or so… On top of that, I will be exploring many sources
of media to inform the analysis, like interviews, production elements, first-hand accounts,
alternative reviews and other stories told with relevant
writing techniques. There’s going to be a lot of that,
I took a long time with this one. And man, you notice a lot of patterns when
you see all this stuff in one big bunch. Like how there’s this strange
obsession with interviewers asking the cast to make
noises and impressions. (mating call) – That was kind of a sexy,
sexy Chewbacca. (more animal noises) (The sound of Hell) Gwendoline Christie: Is it that?
You should know, is it that? Interviewer: It, it… (please stop) Harrison Ford: With the, with the theme of the Force,
and, and all that good stuff. (Should’ve gone as a Han-burger) *Burps* Daisy Ridley: Ho, ho, ho… Oh my God, I sound like Santa! (You said it Chewie) (lightsaber noises) (spaceship?) (have mercy) Gwendoline: Is it that? Interviewer: It’s good enough. Mauler: Anything could pop up in this series,
it’s gonna be pretty mysterious. Oscar Isaac: I have no
idea what’s gonna happen. I have no way of knowing,
it’s such a mysterious thing. It is a huge, huge movie.
It’s more than a movie, it’s a phenomenon. But I… I don’t know
what to really expect. Mauler: But once again, third party lore and
information from other shows, or comics or books is not going to be permitted as an
explanation for weak writing in the script itself. It is important to add that as we advance, you will
not agree with everything I’m going to conclude on. There is always room
for more discussion. My video should be evidence of that,
but I will make objective mistakes, depending on whether I have researched elements
thoroughly, and I leave it to the comment section to let me know
where I have stumbled. Hopefully, I can add an addendum to the
final part of the series for corrections, if enough should rise. I would like to say that I fully appreciate
anyone willing to share my videos, but I would ask that you don’t add the tagline:
“Mauler will prove your feelings wrong.” This isn’t what I’m here to do folks, I’m here to create
an objective assessment for those who are interested in the topic up
for discussion. Even if other content creators twist what my
intentions actually are for an easy sucker punch, don’t believe them and don’t
propagate that sort of behavior. That goes the same for targeted harassment
of cast and crew members in these productions. Unless of course you are provoked,
which can absolutely happen. All I have to say is, try to leave them
alone and let them live their lives. And hey, I know a vast majority of you
don’t enter into either of these behaviors, but I figure I should say it.
Be civil, and if not that, be humble about mistakes that
we do end up making. There are many videos that already explore
the pros and cons of Star Wars as a whole, meaning you may hear what you’ve already heard
before and many of the content creators on YouTube and other analytical sites can be
credited as inspirational. Links for each video I watched in prep will be
in the description, and each clip will of course be taken from a larger context that
you are free to explore. In any case, I have tried to provide as much
of my own content for this topic as possible, despite being a
well-traveled subject. As some of you guys know, I have one of those typical
histories with Star Wars for my generation, being that I saw the first six episodes as a kid,
and the Force Awakens was the only one I viewed for the first time as an adult.
Quite the interesting experience, and on release TFA was the peak of discussion for
our culture, as most Star Wars movies end up being. But we are far past release and we have a wealth of
perspectives about the film from numerous sources. So, the purpose of this series of videos is
to assess the quality of the Force Awakens, to analyze the film with strong reference
to it’s sequel, to compare writing techniques and quality across many mediums where relevant,
to comment on the meta surrounding the film, and finally, to not only incorporate, but criticize
my peers in relation to the assessment of this film. For those who think I’m here to hate the film alone,
I will extend to you the olive branch of knowing that I really liked this film on
my first watch through, and like many humans on this
planet, I was a little blindsided and enjoyed the spectacle
for what it was. Though that and where the money was made should
not be the judge of what makes a quality script. Mark Hamill: My larger point was: it doesn’t
matter if it’s good, as long as it makes money. So, because the Force Awakens made a lot
of money, I can’t be, it’s not “ergo, it’s good”. Mauler: Either way, once the veil was lifted and
the shell-shocking nature of Disney Star Wars films no longer worked, some people
started to really pierce through the glamour and notice the writing
flaws on the spot. This likely contributed to the mass
negative reaction to the Last Jedi. Being Star Wars alone really isn’t enough to
get critical praise from the masses anymore. Many of those same people saw right
through the Force Awakens from day one. So my goal is not nefarious, I don’t wish
to stomp on Star Wars while it’s down. In fact, I do wish to celebrate the
parts of Star Wars that I really do think are quality in the future, but for now
I want to conduct an assessment and find what the positives and the negatives
of this script are, and then come to a conclusion. For those of you who are shocked that I’ve spent
an excessive 5 hours on one film in my last critique, it may behoove you to know that I created
a 10 hour series in response to a 1 hour video about a video-game. Five hours is actually quick work for me, compared
to how long I would prefer a series to be. And shockingly for Houston, Turbo, hbomb,
Folding Ideas, and many, many commenters, and the population of the moviecirclejerk subreddit,
saying that a video is long doesn’t actually function as a
argument of quality. You need to be more specific. Many are
propagating a myth, and it goes like this: “If you create a review of a film and it’s longer
than a film, then it’s a bad review.” This logic is literally based on nothing
but the idea that it sounds about right. But let me ask you this: have you ever
spoken with a friend about a scene in a film? Just a scene, where the event takes place,
or a character takes an action. Have you ever discussed these moments and their
structure with a friend for longer than the scene itself? Let me make this simpler:
have you ever discussed a line of dialogue? Walter White: I am
the one who knocks. Ellen Ripley: Get away
from her, you bitch! Tony Stark: I am Iron Man. Colonel Jessup:
You can’t handle the truth! Chigurh: What’s the most you
ever lost on a coin toss? Proprietor: Sir? Chigurh: The most. You ever lost.
On a coin toss. Clarice Starling: Most serial killers keep
some sort of trophy from their victims. Hannibal Lecter: I didn’t. Clarice: No,
no you ate yours. Snape: Always. Gimli: Aye. I could do that. (unknown): Let’s go to work. Darth Vader: I am your father. Mauler: These moments occupy extremely small
amounts of screen time, yet you can spent hours with friends going over everything that makes
them so powerful, because in an assessment you are trying to break down all of the pieces
of design that work to create that very moment, to explain the craft behind it
and why it’s worth celebrating. And on the flip side of things, it doesn’t take
very long to consume something awful, compared to how long it takes to
break down why that thing is awful. Besides, anyone who says my videos are only filled with
the subject itself are just outwardly lying to themselves. I go on writing tangents all the time. A more accurate
criticism would be that I go off topic too much, but the tangent will serve to explore a writing
technique that is currently being discussed. At least,
that is the intention. All you need to do is have an actual citation
when you criticize someone. Is that so hard? I have a rather large pile of references and
ultimately the title is simply what you’ll be hearing and seeing the most. The reality is that if I were to show you the
third-party research clips alone, all in a row, I would likely have a run-time
longer than the film already. So again, come up with a
better criticism, this one is boring me. Though I have no recommendations for
a circle jerk community, the whole premise is that their hive mind dare not be
challenged, so… keep going, I guess? All I should say is
I appreciate the free promotion. Thank you. Despite all of that though, my general audience
may still not be prepared to find out that this series is going to be about 15 hours long,
cut across six videos releasing weekly. For those who think they understand such
intellectuals like “Will. I. Am Shakesman” and his famous quotes, I have something
to tell you about “Brevity is the soul of wit”. Did you think that when he said that,
everything should be a particular length? If you have one story, then it should average
a certain length, when in a movie for example. Yeah, that makes
enough sense. But wait! What if you watch
two movies in a row? Should they now be shortened
to the length of one? Oh dear, it looks like what
he was saying was contextual. The context for my work is that I have a huge amount
of research from a ridiculous number of sources to share with you folks, and laying it all out
will take exactly as long as it takes. Being concise isn’t exactly about
being strictly short, but in a way it’s about being as short as you
can for what you are trying to achieve. I redraft my work as I said, and I will
try and cut out as much of the repetition or filler in the script that I can find, leaving
it to be essentially several months worth of work on as many sources as I could find,
crammed into 15 hours that is bite-sized for you folks at home, so that you don’t
have to watch every single video that these things
originally came from. What I’m saying here is that, if you have a
criticism of the length of the videos, try and be more specific, because
that alone isn’t really an argument. And besides, you have
to consider girth ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) You can pause my assessment at
any moment, and continue when you prefer. I know I wouldn’t watch it all in
one go myself, so with that knowledge, take any full library of a youtuber
and watch it all in a row. Combined with the concise
logic that is being used right now, their videos would no longer
be concise, would they? And hey, you can criticize anybody with
Mr. Shakesman now, isn’t that brilliant? Either way, I am sadly not quite there,
but perhaps one day I will have a series that is actually impossible
to watch in one day. I have given this script 7 full redrafts,
and it is in a position I am proud of. Redrafting is seriously
important folks, I am not kidding. Rian Johnson: You know, invariably it’s awful,
it’s terrible, the first cut is like, you know… illness-inducingly bad.
Like, always. Mauler: Yes it is, Rian. Well, without further ado,
welcome to an extended look into Star Wars: Episode VII
– The Force Awakens. I think it’s best to start right where
we did for the last critique, right at the beginning:
the title crawl. But the mere idea that this film exists
is an admittance of something important. The saga was complete, which means the mere
concept of the Force Awakens is to remove the last page of the proverbial book of the
original trilogy, and continue the story on the page in which it used
to say: The End. And thus, we are going to have
plenty to discuss from the get-go. I hope you’re ready. Caddicarus: So, Star Wars, the name that either
causes the brain to erupt in euphoric glee and childish excitement, or causes it to
cringe internally in disappointment. Personally, I’m somewhere in the middle,
mostly because Star Wars was not a film series I religiously watched or grew up with. And yes,
I do believe that has a large part to play in some of the vile hatred and
violent love some will show towards it. The first Star Wars film I watched was the
Phantom Menace when it first came out in 1999, when I was five years old.
I was sucked into the world straight away; however, not for the reason of Jar Jar jiggling
his metaphorical keys at my face. It was the enthusiasm of the public that
ran off onto me, to the point of me asking for all the related video games and LEGO sets
of the Phantom Menace, despite me knowing nothing about the earlier movies.
Attack of the Clones was one of the most boring films I’ve ever seen, and even today
I can’t enjoy it with my newfound appreciation and understanding
for film-making. Revenge of the Sith I find alright. The original
trilogy though, opened up my eyes a little bit when I finally got around to
watching them many years later. The practical effects, the vivid realism of the sets,
the character arcs, the presence of the actors, the themes – it’s all classic cinema that I
recommend anybody should check out. And you know what?
I really like the Force Awakens. Rogue One wasn’t bad, and the Last Jedi
from a technical, entertainment, acting and character dynamic standpoint
I found that one especially great. Plus, the amount of ways it surprised me
with ideas and scenes, completely different from anything I could have predicted. It has
a good few problems and cringy moments in places, but it mostly felt
fresh for a 40-year-old series. My face was beaming throughout most of
the Last Jedi, and that’s more than I can say for even some entries, like
Return of the Jedi. Not for fan service, not for classic actors returning,
but just as a film within the series itself. Here’s the thing: despite me having differing
opinions towards all individual films, I have always looked to them in the same kind of way:
operatic, family-friendly space adventures that were heavily merchandise-oriented, even
from the original trilogy. They are all dumb, and to some degree, all
have some kind of corporate greed behind them. I have things I like and dislike in every single movie
because of this view towards them, aside from episode II, which I just can’t stand.
I can’t look at episode VII and VIII as a betrayal to its classic routes, nor can I call them
masterpieces, because they all hit the same notes for me that I look
for in a good Star Wars film. To some degree, in my eyes, each film in the entire
saga has emotional moments, funny moments, badass action, great character motivation,
clever scenes and game-changing twists, but some of them have a lot of more of that
than others, and some don’t have them at all. And one thing I can’t deny is how cheesy
and ridiculous every single one of them can get at points. Once again,
some more than other, and it’s this balance that intrigues me with
Star Wars. Episode I, II and Solo take themselves far too seriously for me, and two I just find a
complete mess as a Star Wars and standalone film. But the rest I can sit back and enjoy for that special
giddiness only that that series is able to muster. And as for abusing the actors of films
that we don’t like is concerned, because nothing will ever top the Empire Strikes Back, the original
films had Ewoks, Boba Fett’s pathetic death, Leia not deciding what accent to do,
useless stormtroopers, the Holiday Special… My point is, it’s not a flawless
series and it never will be. It’s just good old-fashioned fun, and some
have better moments to carry it along. Criticism is indeed important, but being abusive towards
it won’t change either the minds of the people making the films,
or the films themselves. They are what they are: it’s Star Wars. Mauler: Now let’s rewind a few
decades to get a strong baseline. Along with many of the elements of the
film’s themselves, the Star Wars title crawl was inspired by adventure serials that George
Lucas had previously enjoyed when growing up, as many may or may not know,
but it is not one-of-a-kind in its purpose. Many films require an opening with text of sorts
to essentially establish history or rules, whether fact or fiction. This will ease the audience into acclimating with
a world that has minor or major differences from our own, like being based
in a particular time period, or having a few key elements changed,
like the addition of superpowers in people. A quick intro with text
or speech can cover that. Charles Francis Xavier: Mutation.
It is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled
organism into the dominant species on the planet. But every few hundred millennia,
evolution leaps forward. Mauler: Of course, there is no real limit on what
you can talk about in the opening to your story. You can go on forever because the world
is never strictly finished in terms of building in any piece of media.
There is always more to explore, it is a whole universe, after all, that’s why books
tend to win in the thoroughness of that aspect. Thing is, where the story that’s being
crafted from science fiction or fantasy, there is so much more to have
to deal with in terms of a set up. We need all of the new rules of the world that
differ from our own in order to create the stakes. We know how death works in a
reality that is similar to ours, we know what abilities humans have at their disposal,
but with these incredible new worlds, there’s a sudden
deficit of information. New life, new technology and the history of
the world need to be provided to the audience, assuming they wil have relevance
to the drama of the story being told. If you don’t bother establishing the relevant
information, or you contradict it as you progress, then the stakes will
take a hit as a result. The audience needs to know what is
possible and what is not possible. Otherwise, climactic events might just seem
tacked on to save the day, or end the day. In film, you establish rules of what you
see and hear throughout the scenes. Obviously. Technology, life and lore get their
tidbits while the story unfolds, with the importance of each
element coming down to context. Though it is wise to get a lot of that explanation
done quickly with the opening; with the title crawl, or some kind of variation. The rules of this new world could be dictated,
the life could be described, the political or social aspects
can be established. Ultimately the drama of what is going to
be shown is supposed to be given context; a set of rules so that we are ready to
be invested, as opposed to being confused. With something like Star Wars in 1977, the title
crawl acts as a shortcut in terms of world building. It is established that there is a civil war on
galactic level, and one side is described as evil, so we are already clear on who we will be
rooting for, and who is going to be the enemy. The world, plain and simple
is in space. There are bad guys
and good guys. They are going to fight,
and we’re going to watch it happen. Then we get the information on a fight
that sets up the film and why it is important. The bad guys have a massive weapon,
and the good guys have the means to destroy it, thanks to a recent battle
that we don’t need to see. Well, we didn’t need
to see it anyway… Saw Gerrera: Save the dream. Mauler: Finally, we get an introduction
to a character and specific information. Princess Leia, custodian of the plans to
the weapon is moving the plans to her people to potentially save the galaxy,
while the Empire hunts her down. So that is pretty fantastic for three paragraphs,
and the resulting scenes take care of the rest for the viewers to
understand the events. It’s about as dense as one could be
for such a limited amount of time, while remaining
simple to understand. The Star Wars title crawls have always
been an important writing tool from as early as the first film.
It is a moment for the writers to sit down with a viewer directly and explain the set up
without the risk of breaking the fourth wall, despite how meta
the text is. So after each of the six films and their
long-running story, beginning with the accumulation of power for a growing Empire,
and ending with its destruction, it is clear that the title crawl will be massively
important to continue this universe. So where does our
new story take us? Well, whatever this movie is about to offer,
I’m sure I’ll be able to get through it really fast. I won’t get hung up on every last event,
every last scene, every last word… this will be some smooth
sailing right to the finale. “Luke Skywalker has vanished.” Alright, stop. Markiplier: I have
so many questions! Mauler: We already know that this
film will not be standing on its own, it’ll be using the source material
and subsequently developing on it. Which is a good thing.
This is a sequel, after all. It is by design meant to further an existing tale,
whether that decision is ill-advised or not. But it means this is not some kind of
new imagining, where we ignore, or *ahem* KILL the past. The past is alive and well, and is being developed.
Therefore, in the interest of being a sequel, how does this film respect the previous
ones and remain consistent? How do these opening four
words affect our landscape? “Luke Skywalker has vanished.” For the sake of clarity, this analysis
will selectively jump ahead of time, while tackling the scenes in order to offer
some more insight chronologically. In this instance, we know that Luke is not going
to be in this film, aside from the final scene, and that is a bold choice. Many people might have assumed that he would
simply be in his own “B” plot alongside the main story, but the reality is that Luke is only in it for a
handful of seconds, and he has no dialogue. The only thing longtime fans will usually want
answered at this point, before declaring that this is a bad choice is rather simple: why has
he been missing for so long in universe? And once they reach the end of this film,
the question remains with a simple addition: is the sequel that he’s a part of going to make up for
this choice to leave him out, until the last minute? Well, now we have an answer
for that second question, of course. But that would be a matter of
reading just a little too far ahead. Mark Hamill: Because when I sat down
to read it, you should’ve seen me. What’s the very first
words in the crawl? “Luke Skywalker has vanished.” I said: “Ooh,
this is gonna be goood.” Mauler: The concept of Luke being missing
sets off a lot of ideas in people’s heads. It’s quite a mystery and we can’t wait to
find out what the reason behind it is, and how he’s gonna
come back. J. J: What are stories
but mystery boxes? Mauler: Right, yeah,
we’re gonna tackle that, but not for about twelve hours,
I’ll see you then J. J. Put simply, it was a bold move to have
one of the successful movie franchises return without
its iconic hero. A character recognized across the world
is now relegated to a cameo. The reasoning behind it is that
it gives our new characters time to shine, and they can become established,
before having the screen time of the classic characters
begin to overshadow them. And that works just fine
for many franchises… or it doesn’t.
(Ghostbusters 2016) I suppose it’s
down to execution. In fact, I’m on board with the
idea myself, it makes sense because we will not care about anyone that is new,
as much as we would care with Luke. Though, the drawback is of course, the confusion
of our hero being missing in his own storyline. This will go over fine if it’s
for a good character-accurate reason, which is why for this film choosing to
lack a detailed explanation can be accepted, as long as the eventual answer
to the question makes up for the loss. That is not
what happened. Hermit Luke: Go away! Mauler: Either way, the next
line is very important. “In his absence, the sinister First Order
has risen from the ashes of the Empire and will not rest until Skywalker,
the last Jedi, has been destroyed.” So after the initial surprise for Luke, we have
this crucial line to redefine the landscape. The First Order is a new faction
and they have risen from the Empire. Their apparent goal is to destroy Luke,
and it is implied that they were able to rise due to Luke’s absence. This will raise
a question or two. Was Luke’s presence the only thing
holding back the Empire’s return to power? No. That is definitively not true. Many were involved in the Empire’s suppression,
with plenty more ready to sign up, considering the toppling of said Empire
was down to more than Luke alone. So we need better reasoning for the
Empire to be concerned with Luke’s demise before re-establishing
dominance. Is this new Empire only
concerned with the death of Luke to prevent any conflict
to their rise once again? Because there should be
plenty of other threats. Why treat it as though Luke
is the only adversary of the Empire? We need more information than this
to account for the world and its players. Are there no new Jedi?
Did Luke train no one? We will get more, rather ridiculous answers
on that in the future, which will act as a major cutoff to the idea of
new force users approaching the series. Considering how the original trilogy closed out
with a strong potential to reinvigorate that aspect. This may not seem like a big deal,
but when the film released, this removed the potential
for many character ideas. Having the abilities of a force user offers
a large amount of agency for a character, and so if they don’t like the way
the world is, they can change it with far more effectiveness than a man
with a pistol, or a low-level politician, and watching that unfold
can be very interesting. I mean, why do you think people are so
obsessed with the Knights of Ren? We know nothing about them, but they might use
the Force, they might have advanced weaponry, they might be able to tell us more about Luke,
and all of this means they might have a lot of power and agency, and they might offer more details in
relation to the gap between episode VI and VII. Throwing several force users with different
goals or conflicting ideas together is a big part of what this
universe can offer its audience. Not to say that you can’t have an effective
story or conflict without Jedi, or Force users, but for those coming back to this franchise with
the hope of seeing the iconic elements were now concerned, knowing that
the world is extremely limited when it comes to a
new Force-using order. That’s a choice the writers made, and
of course we have new Force users, but we are simply shunted in that respect,
and it is for no other reason than the writers wanting it to be that specific way,
to tell that specific story, a story that
has been told. Limited Force users was almost
a core part of the original trilogy, and it is now being repeated,
despite limitless potential. Restrictions like that don’t prevent
a great story from being told, even if they ignore what came before,
but it is something to think about. They could have had a whole new generation of
Force users in training, each with their own stories, but they chose to
erase that possibility. In fact, this choice to apply dramatic limits when
the opportunities were endless, was probably an aid of crafting a narrative that was
as close to episode IV as possible, regardless of
the inconsistencies. But then the goal changed from cloning the old,
to generating as many Force users as they could for the future, and so
episode VIII obliged. This scene alone ensures the potential of
hundreds of Star Wars films to come, after the “clone” film
was completed. But the limitations that they had to write themselves
out of, were set by themselves in the first place. Both of the writing decisions at the beginning of
The Force Awakens and the end of The Last Jedi, in relation to changing the number of active
Force users are fundamentally backwards. They serve what are more than likely
cynical ideas from producers, rather than serving
consistency in the world, and it’s yet another detail
that turned a large world small, when the time we spent away gave
the world a chance to bloom in all aspects, only to seemingly
do the complete opposite. The world is now being described as though
Luke is the only one who had the power to hold back the tide of the Empire, despite
there being an entire faction performing it as well. A faction that, as far as we knew,
had been in power for the past 30 years. Have they not grown
more powerful now? Despite that,
the First Order has risen. They are apparently able to hunt
Luke with impunity, and by killing Luke they will erase the Jedi as a collective,
resulting in a reign that cannot be challenged. Not only implying that Luke has trained no one
over this expanse of time that hasn’t apparently died, but that the Jedi are down to a single member,
despite being aligned with the reining government. What in the world
has happened? Mark Hamill: …and now we have this thirty year
gap between the films, so a lot of it is conjecture. I mean we can’t really,
it’s not specifically my story. Rey now is
the protagonist. So I think you’ll find some thing that might
suprise you, and they certainly suprised me. Mauler: Luke was indeed the last Jedi in episode VI,
but the whole point once they were victorious was that Luke had an opportunity to grow the
Jedi Order over the 30 years we hadn’t seen him. If you aren’t going to show us this
30 year gap, then why allow incredibly important character-180-events
to take place during them? Not to mention
landscape changing events. Luke earned his chance to create something new
for the Jedi, something better and stronger as a reward for his battle
throughout the original trilogy, and overcoming those who would
prevent that level of growth. And before we can even engage with that idea, that
he created something out of the destruction, we are told it’s all dead anyway, only to be left
in the dark until halfway through the second film in which we receive a sorry explanation
as to why all of this has happened. Like I said, lots of reasonable assumptions about
the world being made from the previous films are being immediately thrown out here, and they
require a full trilogy of their own to explain. Ultimately, the good guys are massively crippled, in
both the Jedi side of it and the Galactic government. We are not going to get substantive information
on why these collectives failed so systemically, yet these new positions for each of the significant
factions decide the stakes for the main characters throughout the
sequel trilogy. It is important that we know where they
stand now, but not how they got there. The motive behind writing this way
will be made clear very soon. “With the support of the Republic, General
Leia Organa leads a brave Resistance. She is desperate to find her brother Luke and gain
his help in restoring peace and justice to the galaxy.” So Leia is back, and instead of
holding some high position of the Senate, or a position that would allow her to affect
policy significantly, she is a combat general, conducting the resistance. Which… okay, there is
so much to unpack. These two paragraphs are
the world building in total. This is what we have to work with,
so let’s go from the beginning. We left the universe with the leading figures
of the Empire all being destroyed. The fleet was crippled, and their fledgling superweapon
was torn apart moments after first being operated. These are major defeats. As a result, the audience could expect
many things from a sequel movie. Perhaps the regime that was the Empire
had been turn to dust, never to return. Not quite. Maybe the factions around the
universe are now rallied in favor of never allowing an
Empire-like entity to rise again. Mmmm-no. Maybe a galaxy-wide rush for power begins,
all factions playing it “Old West” as they wonder what happens next
and who is truly in power. Nope. Regardless of all that, surely a new modern and
powerful war-born Republic would be established, headed by our galactic heroes to
bring the world into a new golden age? Right? No, not even that. These examples are far
from what has happened. So it’s safe to assume our heroes did establish
a Republic, or at least helped to form one. And beyond it being formed, it would seem
that it did nothing and it was worth very little. On top of that, Luke fled the galaxy and Leia
is now looking for him with her resistance force, with no mention
of Han or Lando. So if we move a little further,
why is there a Resistance? Why it would have been
created in the first place? Shouldn’t it be a
part of the Republic? You can look into third party information to find
answers that attempt to repair the source material, but that’s not what
we do on this channel. A story should
stand on its own, not require additional stories from a completely
different medium in order to be coherent. It’s a sad reality that writing will only
get worse if we continue to use this as a retroactive excuse
for past incompetence. It is very clear that a Resistance
exists alongside a Republic, despite them being aligned
against the same enemies, so that once the Republic
is obliterated in the storyline, our heroes can easily
slip into the role of underdogs. This creates the very same struggle
that we saw in a certain other movie, whether or not it
makes a lick of sense. So the factions being completely misplaced
is a fundamental world-building flaw. Perhaps not irreparably breaking the narrative
at hand, but in this case, it ain’t good news. The movie does not explain why the Resistance
exists outside of the established Republic. The movie does not connect what we knew of
our classic characters with these new characters the same actors are playing with
anything close to substance or respect. The movie does not explain the drastic increase
in strength for the remnant of the Empire. The movie does not explain why the Republic is
so inept, understaffed and lacking ambition. Each of these questions have an incredibly
important effect on creating the stakes for the story, and we are left to simply
infer the past from tidbits. Interviewer: Many of us has been thinking about
what happened after The Return of the Jedi for the past 32 years.
Did all of you had those questions, and when you got to finally answer them,
did it live up to, or surprise your expectations? Carrie Fisher: I did not
understand the question. Mauler: Ultimately, the movie relies
on the action of inference. Writers actively causing fanbases to generate
stories to tell each other through mystery. Why is it that a war-recovering modern
Republic wouldn’t, over the 30 years we haven’t seen them, build a powerful
galactically supported army ready for any threats, space or planet bound, crushing any
sense of a potential Empire, considering the horrors previously
wrought upon the galaxy? If anything, you would expect them
to overcompensate, rather than fizzle out. Kinda like in our own tragic history, certain countries
censor media to prevent any proliferation of ideas that could pose a serious
threat as it once did. Instead, the Republic is apparently resolved to
shrink their own powers and allegiances. No more additional and loyal planets throughout
the solar system, no more massive fleets, and no more
planet-assaulting armies. And this is happening despite the fact that the
exact same superweapon, only planet-sized, has actually
been completed. They are reaching levels of
strength previously unheard of! Can you imagine what our planet would
do if another national-socialist party with an open policy of murdering opponents
began to rise in any country of power? Especially Germany. The biggest joke of it all is that the
Republic supports Leia and her Resistance. They are aligned,
yet they exist separately. And we see the Republic provided Resistance fleet,
it is sent to destroy the most horrifying weapon in history later in the film,
and it amounts to 12 X-Wings. The Republic, being the biggest
collective power in the galaxy, could only spare Leia 12 fighters for a military
organization meant to protect the galaxy? No bombers even? Ah, well, we can
get to that latter… More importantly though,
does Leia have allies? The Last Jedi confirms that she does, but there is
no contact with them until the end of that film. Why hasn’t she contacted
them during this film? Actually, who is with her in this film?
Anyone we can confirm? Well, we have Admiral Ackbar,
so where are the Mon Calamari ships? Why is it that the new Rebellion
is in a weaker position now, than when they were fighting a losing
civil war at their wit’s end, 30 years ago? The Last Jedi will confirm that they have no
capital ships in the fleet, except for the Raddus. Why would they have no
capital ships forged, or remaining? What about support ships? Well, they have them, but only as of The Last Jedi,
despite taking place immediately after this film. Aside from that,
why isn’t the Raddus – the most advanced and incredible
ship in the Resistance fleet – not her in the planets orbit right now,
at the Headquarters with the general? Is it supporting another battle?
Should the viewers be aware of this? Is there an active
war with the First Order? This section brings up so many questions about
just what in the world has the Republic been doing? No matter how you look at it, this is
a strong message from the writers; they are basically telling you that
they will not be putting in the legwork. This is where
the good guys are. Deal with it. So what about
the bad guys? First of all, there’s no
war being run against them. The facts are that the First Order is massively
feared already, yet the Republic is in power, and the First Order conducts
attacks that are public knowledge, but no one is
currently in an open war. More importantly though, where are
the First Orders resources coming from? Where are these soldiers
being pulled from? This could be compared to the Clone Wars, where
the Republic used their seemingly infinite army against the seemingly
infinite army of separatists. This is explained by the faction
being droids and clones. Both are mass-produced, both are
considered completely expendable. They are practically doing their job
when they are defeated respectively. Sergeant: We’re just clones sir,
we’re meant to be expendable. Plo Koon: Not to me. For the First Order however, as we will find out,
the troopers are now taken from birth and trained to become merciless
killers with conditioning. This may have started as much
as 20 years ago, at least. They have been getting away with taking
huge portions of children just under the nose of the Republic for decades, or they
had massive reserves of Empire Loyalists just itching to join up to the First Order,
and the Finn was the only one they actually took from
a family 20 years ago. You may be struggling to see the issue here,
but when we left the original films, the figureheads of the
Empire had been destroyed. Who led the army
to a rebirth? What would make troopers remain a part
of the regime, if not fear in the first place? To this date in every main-line episode,
they have never really fully explored sentient stormtroopers that actually
believed in the dark side. So who is rallying them?
Is it this guy? Well, where did
he come from? Why is he in a
position of power? Asking questions about him is
going to end well, isn’t it folks? The original showed us that the Empire
had the galaxy under their thumb, free to conscript from any planet
down to a low or strict force. The weaponry they had compelled
the other systems to remain in fear, and the Rebels were a plucky guerrilla faction,
constructed of those who stood up and against this idea, and constructed plans to pierce many
holes right through the heart of the Empire, though that choice to stand against
them did not go unpunished. Ultimately, it resulted in
the freedom of the galaxy, so that means the forces of the Empire
would not only be significantly splintered, but the troopers and commanders
would return to their home planets or rule alongside the modern Republic,
as they were simply taking orders, or so we may
have thought. Either way, we need more
information to account for what we knew about these factions
having moved on. On the bad team, we have strength
and organization to be dealt with, despite expecting this
to be a fledgling force. On the good team, we have a handful of people
with some ships completely unprepared, weak and on the run, despite expecting them to be
stalwart, far-reaching, respected and powerful. This world is completely upside-down, and
it is clearly an aid of recreating what we had in that classic films
so long ago. But you can’t simply force a restart, you have to
put in the work to bring the system back down. Even Game of Thrones opens up
with piece of the kingdoms in full force. The factions that won a victory during
the equivalent of a Galactic Civil War – Robert’s rebellion – are now
aged, and yet still powerful. They fear the uprising of their old enemies,
and stagnation of their old systems is apparent, only to then degrade and destroy those
very positions over the first two seasons, leading to an open war throughout the
countryside with many factions involved. Had the audience experienced Roberts
initial rebellion, watching his victory only to then skip to season 3 of Game
of Thrones, it would be ridiculously jarring, and that is what
has happened here. We have skipped too much of what was
important to understand how this has fallen apart, leaving us to blame the incompetence
of what we thought were intelligent and proactive characters. Thus, to summarize these two opening
paragraphs that connect episode VI and VII, we have: Luke, our hero is gone, the Jedi
– the class of our hero and primary iconography of Star Wars,
is near extinction. The modern flourishing 30-year
Republic is crippled and headless. The government-funded and supported resistance
fighters prepared to knock out opposition at any moment have less in their fleet than any rebel
organization we saw in the previous trilogy, even though they were a self-supported
guerrilla force by comparison to a government-funded military. Finally, they have a
completely hollow set of allies. Many are missing, and of the ones that are here, they
are limp by comparison to their once heavy might. On the flipside, we have a
completely trumped-up enemy team being provided massive amounts of money
and order, with an army and fleet to boot. This, supported by a brand new set of darkside
users that have come out of nowhere, and they don’t seem to have trouble going
about whatever business they deem necessary in a world with an active government of good
guys who apparently turn a blind eye. By comparison, in the prequels, we had
a bloated government that was inefficient and drowning in red tape, and despite that,
they actually cared when attacks were carried out across the universe in systems
that they were meant to represent. Ki-Adi-Mundi: What about the
Droid attack on the Wookies? Mauler: You deserved
better, Mundi. Interviewer: …if there was preparation,
rehearsal between the two of you for those scenes, when you’re, the pair of
you isolated on that island? Daisy Ridley: Mark? Mark Hamill: I’m sorry,
I wasn’t listening. (audience laughing) Mauler: Now, the obvious point is that the world
has flipped back to the opening of a New Hope, or at least as close as the writers could get
without general audiences noticing immediately. It is a strong example of applying
artificial limitations to create drama. In this case, they are
aping previously constructed work, while ignoring the narratives history, making it a
hollow copy, and this issue persists in The Last Jedi. Lupita Nyong’o: You know, this film, we learn
a lot more about the history of the universe, which is really exciting, and I think
everyone’s gonna be really pleased to see how
those secrets unfold. Mauler: No, not quite. The writers had one goal when
they came up withe the premise of this film: create a war between the
rebels and the Empire again. The problem is that if you do that,
the good guys will be winning immediately. But the good guys
can’t be winning immediately. It has to be a war where the good guys are completely
outmatched, they need to be the underdogs. If that is the case, then we can actually get scenes
where our heroes are being courageous and sacrificial. The writers knew that our heroes were
in a very strong position, so to get them in a weak position again,
you would need a compelling set of events that are changed by character decisions
built on what we’ve come to learn. The trilogy could have been
about the fall of the modern Republic, with stories to tell about our heroes
making governmental decisions in positions of
experience and power. These decisions could reflect their roles in the original
films, they could deal with hubris, arrogance and vanity. Instead, they chose
to flip a switch. A switch that was initially flipped very
slowly over the course of three films, and it’s now been flipped right
back in two paragraphs. They aren’t going to create a trilogy
covering it like the prequels did, because who wants to see bad
guys win in a Disney movie? Right? We will make the bad guys the powerful ones in the
beginning, and we wil smash them by the end. Twice. With a third time waiting
in episode IX, I’m sure. And so, in order to achieve this, we have the artificial
limitations on every aspect of our hero’s resources, making their eventual victory
that much more impressive. So, what could
have been done? There are plenty pieces of media that have
to deal with strong characters being crippled in ways that their strength
cannot easily save them. This is a common problem
when writing for superheroes. Superman has his kryptonite,
Iron Man suddenly has terrible security, Spider-man often has
to protect his loved ones. This isn’t binary of course,
there are plenty of minor and major uses of nerfing or challenging your
heroes across a whole scale. The three I just mentioned are
very different in terms of writing quality. The focus is on
the generation of drama, which is difficult when the good guys
should theoretically win any battle. So, what is
a writer to do? Should they magically poof an
extremely powerful entity into existence, while breaking all of the heroes apart and
sapping any strenght they previously had? No, that’s extremely lazy and contradictive,
but this is a tough situation to write for. How do you challenge your heroes when they
have such an extremely potent position of power? Ah yes,
One Punch Man. This show is about a guy called Saitama,
who is an invincible hero who can kill anything in just one punch, if he so pleases,
causing any fight to end rather anticlimacticly, frustrating him to no end. Saitama: Not again…
all it took was one punch. Damn it! Mauler: The drama ends up revolving around
Saitama having to defend the cities he’s a part of, while trying to avoid
becoming too bored. The show has him deal with
training a potential protégé, who doesn’t quite understand
what you would call his lessons. He tries to find ways to make sure he has
food to cook each night, as well as shelter, while doing so
at a cost-effective pace. His hero work often gets
in the way of this. Outside of that, he has to try and rise in the official
hero ranks for the recognition of his abilities, though these tests are not
simply related to physical power. This is all on top of character conflicts
originating from Saitama’s lack of social skills, or misunderstandings in general,
with several supporting characters that are indeed much weaker than Saitama,
thrown in for good measure. All of these elements ultimately result in several
heartfelt moments that can really catch you off guard, in what amounts to
an action comedy show. – No one has to tell me I have no chance
of beating you. I already know that! It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about
me taking you on right here, right now. Enough of your rambling.
Time to finish you off. You can do it! You’re the cyclist for justice! You can do it! Beat that weird monster, beat him! You can do it! Mauler: Despite primarily acting as a comedy, it
provides strong lessons for our protagonist, and for us. Having alternative restrictions to a powerful
character can create endearing drama. Conflict doesn’t always need to rely on an equally
powerful entity that ends with a punch. You can have a
great story without that, but don’t assume that I’m saying that it’s always
good to end a conflict without punching. Superman: Save… Martha. Batman: Why did you
say that name!? Mauler: And so, through the strength of its writing,
One Punch Man is able to achieve the solution to the problem of having too much power in your
protagonist, while maintaining dramatic tension. You can do it. It takes time, effort and talent, but you can
make a grounded heartfelt story push powerful heroes into a vulnerable state
that isn’t related to power levels waning. Now compare those writing ideas from One Punch Man
to this “wonderful” set of opening two paragraphs. This minute of screen time avoids the
responsibility of creating a narrative that is consistent with the source material
they are supposed to be developing, and instead opts to quickly drop the heroes in as
much danger as possible for no other reason than: Jason Nesmith: The show must go on. Mauler: …which would normally be completely valid,
except this time, the writers have interpreted the continuation of the show to mean
performing the same show with younger actors and expensive sets. It’s as if it’s an ongoing production
in a theater of the same story throughout the generations, though
unlike a repeat production in Broadway, the original was always available,
playing just besides this new one. But more importantly,
also unlike Broadway, they want to convince us that this
new one is a continuation of the story. As a result, they are forced to write these two simple
paragraphs and hope no one thinks about it, which can lead you to
an obvious comparison. The first six episodes of Star Wars adhere to
jumping through time in a very specific way. There are events that take place in
these gaps in time, but when we return, our characters are mostly unscathed and the
factions of the world are relatively unaltered. The writer brings the audience back
when the drama is reaching its high point, involving massive character and
world-changing events to maintain continuity. This time jump though, it started
with Luke looking over a life well earned, family and friends are safe and loved,
with a thankful galaxy ready to flourish in freedom under a new Republic,
only to cut to: Mark: “Luke Skywalker
has vanished.” Mauler: And then if we consider
the sequel, it turned into: Luke doesn’t want believe in the Jedi,
the Jedi are almost extinct, Luke no longer cares for the relationships
he’s previously fought for, the Empire is in power and not-Palpatine
is the head of it. Han Leia have broken up,
Han is a smuggler once again, Leia has given up on her son and her lover, Lando is
nowhere to be seen, and the Republic is pathetic. This is a definitive smash cut,
with nothing to fill the gap. Hell, once we get the pieces
of history in this gap, it sounds as though we’ve skipped
a genuinely fascinating trilogy. Ultimately, they are forging drama by
ignoring the established storyline and taking as much benefit of
the 30-year doubt as possible. In a situation like that, you need as much
expository dialogue and flashbacks that are needed to catch the audience
up with your major changes, but the Force Awakens doesn’t even try beyond a
handful of lines and this embarrassing text scroll. It is irrevocably lazy writing
on behalf of the Force Awakens and the Last Jedi in order
to tell their own stories. Ultimately, this alone will
sever the interest of many fans, because the world is massively important
to the stakes of the story being told, and its just been flipped upside down for
no other reason than creating drama. As if there were
no other choice. Yes, you did just watch me talk about the
opening seconds of a movie for 30 minutes. Welcome to my
YouTube channel! So, from this mess we now have
our connection to the previous film, no matter how flimsy, which means it’s on to the
setup for the film in particular, with the last paragraph
of the title crawl. “Leia has sent her most daring pilot
on a secret mission to Jakku, where an old ally has discovered
a clue to Luke’s whereabouts…” Much like everything else in the Force
Awakens, this is fine at first glance, because it’s going to set up our opening scene,
but once you give it some thought, it also begins
to fall apart. Why couldn’t this old
ally come to Leia? She’s a part of the current galactic government,
it is safe to travel, and reaching the Republic would mean a huge source of protection,
especially for an old ally. So why make it difficult and situate
yourself on a very distant planet, demanding that people
come to you? From a meta-writing standpoint, the
First Order can’t just show up to interrogate this old friend at
a republic planet. That would result in an actual war, and the good
guys would get their information immediately, so we can’t have that. But, if you do it on this planet, they can
be an imposing force, even if it makes no sense. Let’s refocus on this point: the title
crawl would have us believe that Leia wants Luke in order to save the galaxy, and this
is her one chance for that goal to be reached. Why then does she not collect this
man and deliver him to her base? Why not – if he refuses – send a
fleet to meet him and protect him? Perhaps 12 X-Wings,
or the Raddus? Why does Leia send one man
for something this important? Not just any man, mind you,
she sends her greatest pilot. Why would any General risk their greatest
combat pilot on what is a spy mission? Seems a little silly to me. No intelligence officers to spare?
No investigators or informers? No Bothans available? At this point, we then realized that Poe is
using an X-Wing, so if anyone wants to argue that Leia was attempting to remain inconspicuous,
then why send the only ship that ties the pilot to the Rebels and
the Resistance directly? The reason I’m assuming this is espionage is that
they had the audacity to send a single unit, as opposed to an army to
secure this information from Tekka, galaxy saving information,
and Poe is caught as a result. Now, these are not plot holes, they are reasonable
questions that may have reasonable answers, but those answers didn’t
make it into the script. Thus, our heroes are already
in a large amount of trouble, when as far as we know,
they could easily not have been. The stakes will be affected for many viewers,
since they may not believe that someone like Leia
would make these choices, and so their immersion
takes yet another hit. And we haven’t even
seen a character yet. Though, to finish up this section, let me
acknowledge a portion of the audience that may be yelling
at me right now. “Well, you could ask any question about world-building
you’ve put forth so far about every Star Wars movie! In fact, you could do it
with every movie in existence!” Very well. As with most title crawls or
movie introductions, or setups in general, we have to accept the facts as given by the writers,
even if they conflict with our universe. We would typically refer to
this as ‘internal consistency’. The fiction is only beholden to itself,
not our world rules, but theirs. Otherwise, wizards, uruk-hai, aliens and mutants
would be off-limits in terms of storytelling. Internal consistency is a fundamental of
fictional writing, and many will ignore the concept to try and drive the point home that,
even if one thing in the story exists in a way that does not compare to our world,
then nothing needs to make sense at all. What I mean by that, is that many people
will end up screeching about space wizards, meaning there is no logic
to be expected in a story, despite stakes and progression being
entirely reliant on logic in the first place. And so, if a world tells us
that up is down, then up is down. We have a responsibility to understand that
the world is as dictated by the writers, without questioning how
everything came to be, because this is the beginning of the story,
and the story is not about our planet. In reality, it is about a fictional world that
may come close, but with key details changed. And that’s fine, as long as
they tell us what they are. The Earth is scorched now? Okay, but you better stick to that
in your world when show it. If they give us statistics and we accept that these are
accurate, even if they are loosely based on real life, then it would be permitted
to embellish the real numbers, as long as they don’t contradict themselves
in the story it was established. No matter how awful the story is,
this is the benefit of an opening crawl. Take all of the opportunity you get to tell the
audience what your rules are, and what your setup is. It can be incredibly useful to set a completely alien
world with a very simplistic set of statements. Sure, there could be more to explore,
but this is what you need to know for the story to be understood
and for the drama to maintain the stakes. But, it will indeed fall apart when
you create a set of establishing rules that conflict with
other established rules. The original Star Wars films had
nothing but a blank canvas. Specific details weren’t required and
they still provided a strong context, but a sequel has the daunting job of
creating something new within the rules of the previous
story established. To be clear, let’s talk about
world building a little bit. You guys ever
watched Terminator? It’s a world where machines have taken over
due to the advancement of technology, but the humans fought back
and beat them into submission. As a last-ditch effort to maintain their reign,
the machines sent one of their own back in time to kill the leader that led
the humans in the future. It’s a neat idea, because it
creates a neat story to tell. An efficient killer-robot-slasher film
in a time where it would be impossible to have an efficient
killer-robot-slasher film. The established rule is simple:
the machines were limited to sending one absolute unit back in time, and they
chose to do it when the target was yet to be born. The resulting plot is dealing
with that very machine. But then we got a second movie doing the
same thing, which raises a question: “Oh, they can send
two machines back? So, were they limited to two,
and not one, or many? Hey wait, were the humans
limited to just the one guy? And then the one robot?
Why didn’t they send a robot both times? Why don’t they send more
than- I don’t understand.” Then Terminator 3 happened,
and so three have been sent back, but this one could also infect old
machines and turn them hostile, which starts to throw
everything out of whack. Then Terminator 4 and 5 happened,
and the writing is a horror show. Nothing makes any sense;
the timeline has been torn to shreds and a reboot is all that’s left to have
any sense of a coherent story to tell. Yes, I will make a rage
video for Terminator Genisys. My God,
that is a guarantee. Star Wars isn’t quite at that point, but
the same thing is happening by attempting to tell the same story over and over again,
but labeling these stories as sequels. When writing fiction, you can make
whatever rules you want as a base, and then you can build whatever kind of
world you want around those rules. In this world, magic exists and you can
learn about it to become more proficient. In this world, there is a myriad of brand-new
species that all have pros and cons, and a Dark Lord who wants to rule them all in a
medieval land, complete with magic and dragons. This world has so many hundreds of assassins,
being that it is a common profession, that there is an open organization
to house and service them. These are all kinds of different, ridiculous worlds
compared to the reality we actually have, and that is the beauty of
fiction and internal consistency. It maintains stability, as long as
the rules don’t contradict themselves, and as a result, the audience
maintains their immersion. It only begins to fall apart in Terminator,
and of course Star Wars, when your established rules and world are
being overwritten for the sole reason of generating more drama,
otherwise known as… well, contradictive writing. This is in the category of bad,
for those who aren’t following. The audience does not require detailed
information about the worlds premise in a story beyond that which allows them
to understand what’s at stake. The audience does however, require detailed
information about the world’s premise in a story, beyond that which allows
them to understand what’s at stake if it appears to contradict the stakes
of the story that now acts as its history. The former is what we were dealing with in 1977,
and the latter is what we’re dealing with in 2015. The criticisms aimed at The Force Awakens
world building exist because of Episode IV. If Episode VII were the first episode, the world
building would be far more forgivable, as it has
nothing to contradict. But even then, it’s flawed by representing a universe
while maintaining that no factions are concerned with the Galactic War, a war that will determine
which faction becomes the reigning government. In addition, the story for this film,
separated from the others, is already sprouting issues,
and we have barely begun. But, there is something
else to address. There are many out there who don’t
see any issue with contradictive rules, as long as they
serve emotional payoffs. This argument is especially propagated
when it comes to children’s content. So how about I make a
fundamental comparison to try and bridge this gap
between the two sides of this argument? In Story 1, we have a
superhero called Billy. He wants to fight criminals, and his power
is to be able to throw rocks at people, because he is
a “solid scientist”. In this universe, it is established that
you may only master a single form of matter, and summon it on command
to use as a weapon. Billy defeats Scissorman at the end of
the story by throwing rocks at him. This is
very fundamental. Despite that, rules have been set, just like every
other story when it comes to progression. And thus, the audience knows the difference between
safety and danger, and what can be lost or gained. Obviously, your standard story will come with
a lot more dressing and complexity. Though, we didn’t need any more information than
what I just gave you for the story to have its stakes. In Story 2, Billy fights Rockman, and thus
throwing rocks does nothing. But before being smashed to pieces, Billy summons
rock acid to throw, and thus melts Rockman. The first story is just the result of an ability
we were made aware of from the get-go, but the second is a denial of
information provided by the first story, because that very information has
become obstructive to the emotional payoff that the creator
wanted in the second film, or in this case – cartoon! It’s a very simple concept. The writers have put themselves into an
unsolvable situation, until they summon a tool that allows them to escape it,
otherwise known as Deus ex machina. So, instead of working within the limits they
agreed to tell a story within, they copped out. They use not only an established rule, but a
contradictive rule, and it saves the day. The reverse of this would be
placing the heroes in danger when all known information
points to them being absolutely safe. You would more than likely find
this quality of writing in children’s stories, because the victory of the good guys is far
more important for children to feel happy about, then being consistent
in the narrative. Children are naive by nature, and so reality isn’t
always a factor in how they consume media. I am NOT saying that you need to
be a child to enjoy The Last Jedi, but it does ignore the reality of its own universe
in very similar ways to typical children’s writing. But the problem here is that that
would be an example of BAD children’s writing, because to say that children’s writing doesn’t
require criticism is antithetical to the many creators who write
exceptional children’s stories. A children’s story simply means it will
lack overt violence, drug use, sexual activity, and it will often lack a deep and emotional
theme, but that’s not a guarantee. Many children’s stories have a deep theme for adults to
pick up, and for children to accept subconsciously. In many ways, children’s writing requires more
criticism than adult writing, because it’s meant for an audience that is much
more susceptible to influence. These are children we’re talking about. They are
like sponges to the stories they consume. I think it makes much more sense that we
take a lot more care with children’s content. Typically though, adult writing is held
to a much higher caliber. Even though there are films designed
for a much more mature audience, with the kind of writing quality that would be far
more suitable for a child’s perception of reality. But rather than the contradictive writing being a
result of creating a positive environment for children we are dealing with adult creators
that may lack a talent for the craft, may lack respect for the craft, may not care for
the previous stories compared to their own vision, or they may have
ran with a first draft. Again, that’s an awful idea, because everyone makes
mistakes, whether or not they’re aware of it. So putting in more time for a feature-lenght multi-milion
dollar project will likely benefit the experience. And the excuse for having inconsistencies if favor
of it being for children is ultimately disrespectful to the capacity
of a child’s mind. I would have found it insulting if
someone told me I should have liked when I was younger, because I don’t
understand how logic works anyway. And to quote a friend:
“Why not remain consistent?” So, what are we to do when writing
additional stories for new worlds? Well, when it comes to perceived contradictions,
due to returning over a large period of time, the solution is to write the connecting
journey and have it laid in exposition. Subtle, yet extensive,
so your audience can follow along, otherwise the contradiction
is no longer simply perceived. As for the elements
with no development, that saved the day in the moment for
the benefit of an emotional payoff. You would have needed to set it up earlier on,
or you betray the intelligence of your audience. I suppose you could say that both
of these elements of writing are about respecting the information
that comes before. The first being that you use what you have
in your history to line up a reasonable future, supported by exposition. The second being that you set up
the elements that facilitate the biggest payoffs in the
story well ahead of time. For the latter point, if you are
writing your story in one draft, it is difficult to use every element in
the beginning for substance by the end, without returning for
a second draft. And vice versa, you may forget to leave
breadcrumbs in the beginning of your script if you come up with a
different payoffs at the end. A good rule of thumb would be that
what’s established is what you can use. Obviously, people will attempt to
stretch this when writing, as if to say “I’ve established it,
therefore can use it a few seconds later”. But I’m sure many of you
know what I’m talking about. When you structure the writing, you end
up with something called “setup” and “payoff”. For example, Ed didn’t pull the
rifle from nowhere (Shaun Of The Dead). They told us it existed
from the beginning. Ed: Why d’you think there’s
a rifle over the bar? Shaun: ‘cos the pub’s
called the Winchester. Ed: Exactly. Liz: What makes it so secure? Shaun: Because it’s got big heavy doors,
and dead bolts. You’ve been to a lock in. Liz: Several. Ed: And there’s a
rifle above the bar. David: I would think that’s deactivated.
Dianne: Surely. Ed: It’s not. I’m telling you… Shauny! Why didn’t you
just shoot him man? Shaun: For the last time, it- Mauler: Bond doesn’t summon
gadgets from the ether to save him. Q will introduce them
well ahead of time. Q: Now, watch
closely please 007. Q: Insert it in…
Oldm’n: Oh, pull the tag. Q: You said- Mauler: Frodo was provided his mithril vest
much earlier than when it became useful. Bilbo: Here’s a
pretty thing. Mithril. As light as a feather,
and as hard as dragon’s scale. Aragorn: That spear would’ve
skewered a wild boar! Gandalf: I think there’s more to
this Hobbit than meets the eye. Mauler: You can indeed create whatever
crazy rules and resources you want, whatever world you want,
but as soon as you have it written down, you have shackled yourself to
those very rules and resources. And so you work withing
what you have from the start. And you shouldn’t look at this as a negative thing.
Rules promote creativity in writing. For example, if your character
cannot operate in sunlight by rule, then he’s going to have to use
the sewers to travel by day. Instead of just giving up on the rules
that you have, and saying: “Well… now it works
differently, idk.” But, is it possible to make a new story that doesn’t
step on any source material writing? Yes. It’s very possible. Seriously, you can make great additional stories that
don’t ruin the original stories, despite adding to them. No, Shrek and Shrek two are genuinely great
animated films, I’m not even memeing. The Star Wars sequel trilogy however, is not only guilty
of stretching things that have been put in place, not only guilty of breaking things
that have been put in place, they have now outright clunkily morphed
the state of the world to whatever allows them to tell their new story, and this
very criticism cannot be applied to any of the previous
six episodes to this degree. In the case of the Force Awakens, the writers
wanted to have a civil war once again, despite it being
over and done. They want the bad guys to be powerfull,
despite them being crippled and hunted. They want the heroes ready to make some incredibly
lucky and skillful moves to save the day, despite them having massive and
controlling governmental powers. And finally, they will likely want us celebrating
the victory of the good guys by the third film in the modern trilogy, as we
have done twice already, despite us already having earned
that very position over 30 years ago. Hopefully, this extensive section offers some
explanation as to why so many viewers were completely uninterested by the Force
Awakens after discovering the content of the opening three
paragraphs alone. The opening crawl is quite a nightmare for many
people, and it serves to completely unweave what is a relatively simple,
yet satisfying tale. All the while insulting the
intelligence of the viewer, pushing a huge amount of
the audience away immediately, in an attempt to retell what was
a very profitable story long ago. Which has now ironically
damaged that very story itself. CinemaWins: Short, sweet, and to the point,
First Order bad, Leia good. It’s perfect. – Like, from the opening crawltext,
which by the way, this crawl text, – It’s great. – It’s phenomenal. ˙ʇɐǝɹƃ s,ʇI- – It’s, it’s, it’s, it, there’s no, – IT’S GREAT. Mauler: No. But it was breaking and changing the
world in favor of its own story, and perhaps that will
be worth the damage. A story we have
yet to see in full. So how about
we dive right in? Fringy: The original Star Wars trrilogy tells an
entertaining, cohesive and well-rounded story. The narrative presented in these
three films isn’t particularly complex, but it didn’t really
need to be. OT (Original Trilogy) Star Wars’s
greatest strength is its characters. While the world building and artistic direction was
excellent, the central characters, especially Luke, are a heart and soul
of Star Wars. A New Hope, Empire and Return of the Jedi are some
of the most culturally significant films ever made, and them being placed on a
pedestal isn’t unwarranted. I mean, even without the groundbreaking
visual effects, or amazing score, the original Star Wars films are good films, with
likable characters and satisfying narrative arcs. The Force Awakens when I first saw it in theaters,
but it only took a few monts and subsequent viewings to dampen my
overall opinions on the film. Though The Force Awakens does have its fair share of
plot contrivances, and weak character development, I don’t think it’s
an outright bad film. It is pretty average though,
and almost painfully unambitious. I don’t think anybody could have foreseen how far
Star Wars would fall in just three years. In that time, the impossible
has been achieved: a new film in the Star Wars franchise is
no longer guaranteed to break even. Never has Star Wars as a series been
in such a tumultuous position, despite the insistence of many
that there is nothing wrong. The only thing that The Last Jedi has successfully
done is alienate possibly half of all Star Wars fans, and Rian Johnson’s attitude toward said fans in
the interim has been absolutely embarrassing. The defense of this film by the people involved
in this production has been beyond dishonest, and their refusal to acknowledge any of the valid
criticism being directed towards this terrible film is serving to further drive a wedge
between the studio and the fans. A lot of people are angry, and when they’re
being insulted and slandered for simply disliking a deeply flawed film, it’s no suprise
that they’ve stopped showing up to the cinema. I mean, Solo was
destined to fail. I’m not sure the ship can be righted,
but you know, anything’s possible. That said, the reputation of Star Wars as a franchise
isn’t going to improve if they intend to stay the course. Interviewer: Mark, you maybe up for that.
Maybe? Maybe up for that? No? Mark: Again, I wasn’t
listening, what were- (audience laughter) Mauler: We open on the daunting image of a
Star Destroyer peering over the planet Jakku, and its silhouette begins to
block out a possible moon, giving a strong visual reference
to the original Star Wars, while implying that this is
a heavily encroaching force. It’s eclipsing our current
perception of the galaxy. It also confirms that Star Destroyers are
still utilized as a ship for the enemy faction, if not given
a few updates. We are then given a smash cut right
into the squad of stormtroopers who are preparing to
assault a village on Jakku. This is filmed with several quick cuts, diminished
lighting and a non stable frame to create tension. Who are these guys?
Where are they going? Well, we’re about
to find out. It’s a strong opening set of visuals,
because in 2015 we were starved starved of Hollywood-level mainline Star Wars
content, and immediately seeing something as recognizable as a Star Destroyer
or stormtroopers with small changes to their designs can reassure fans of the content
they’re about to consume is something familiar, while encouraging that there
will be something new. However, this is more of a writing
analysis, and thus I have to ask: what’s with the
crappy transport lighting? We know it was done to encourage that sense
of tension, as the troopers are partially revealed, but there’s no need to sacrifice
reality for something like that. You could have had a low red light instead. It certainly
would have added to the intimidation factor, just like the blinking
lights would have. Instead, we are to assume that a faction as powerful,
organized and meticulous as the First Order don’t have effective
lighting on their ships. It’s clearly a style choice, but this is a good
place for me to take another tangent. Let me address the screaming
audience members, just like Quinton, who are saying
something very specific. “Mauler complains that the lights flicker, and that is
why The Force Awakens is an objectively bad film. He is nitpicking, meaning all of
his arguments are now worthless.” Okay, first of all, people seem to be obsessed with
the idea that you can grab any one point I make, and sell it as the entire point of my videos
despite also complaining that I talk too long about a huge amount
of different topics. So that’s confusing. The other part that’s confusing is that you
are telling me how much I value these things. The fact that I mention them does not mean that
I think that they are detrimental to the film. Stop ascribing my value to a point that I
don’t describe my value to in a video. It’s disingenuous and it
doesn’t make sense, so just…
stop doing that. The truth is, I tackle all mechanical
writing issues as I find them, big and small. How detrimental the issue is usually
correlates with the time I spend on it, unless I make it abundantly clear to help
explain why it is impactful or not. We’re already done
with the flickering lights. It was mentioned, I had mentioned
an alternative, it’s already over. It is a minor issue that only brings an
element of operation into question, that if left unanswered doesn’t affect the
plot or the characters whatsoever. But it’s still an issue, because we
can identify why the choice was made, and what was sacrificed to create it, meaning that in
the future we could correct it, as content creators. But if you don’t care about
these things at all, it can begin the process that starts to
rot the quality of writing in most projects. I don’t structure my videos by covering only the small
issues, and then only the large, fundamental issues. I go with chronological
breakdowns, and then I summarize. It shouldn’t be too hard to tell that flickering lights are
a nano issue, and character assassination is not. And besides all that, the phrase “nitpicker” is one of the
most overused criticisms of critics in internet culture. The criticism changes between
each person who says it, but they refrain from qualifying it to
make it sound just a little bit stronger. It can mean anything,
but typically means: “I think the thing you are talking about
isn’t as important as you make it sound”, and there are way more effective or
downright accurate ways of assessing a critics flaws than dropping them into
this vat that applies to basically anything, depending on
the person. And then on top of all of that,
do you really want to ignore nits? You accept that there are issues by making
this criticism, but you’ve decided that they are too small
to say anything about? Do you understand that I can
say you are nitpicking my analysis? Do you understand that in the
land of subjectivity, one man’s nitpick nitpick is another man’s
hyperdrive kamikaze. And so, simply stating it
doesn’t mean anything. When you spot a car in the background
of Lord of the Rings, it’s almost nothing and it doesn’t affect any element
of the script as a production error. But it is valid, and it is something to
learn from in future as a movie mistake. Many people will find it interesting to note or
to think about if they weren’t aware to begin with. A clear benefit is to identify something
small in terms of a writing flaw, that can lead to something
large down the line. So, the highlight of a
nitpick is harmless to me. It’s when you use a nitpick to justify the entire
project lacking quality that I take issue, and that’s not what
I do in my videos. But bringing up blatant rules being broken in aid of
moving your drama forward is not a nitpick whatsoever. C-O-N-T-E-X-T M-A-T-T-E-R-S. You would have to qualify it if you
wish to have a meaningful discussion, and good luck finding them
in a YouTube comment section. I mean, they do exist, it’s just like…
it’s like 10% at most? Though it needs to be reaffirmed that the clear
benefit of identifying a small issue and moving on, is that you can learn from it
and avoid them in the future, or at least spot
them in the future. Nobody wants to put even the smallest
of scratches on their phone or their car. We will work
to be rid of them, even though they really don’t matter
in terms of how well your car will drive. Similarly to how a story will function
just fine with a few nitpicks. And let’s be honest,
you won’t catch them all. The fascinating part to me is that
the nitpick crowd will stay rather silent when you point out very small
positive things about production. I said the Doctor Strange maintaining his
surgery scars is a strong piece of continuity, but let’s be honest, it’s a minor point that most won’t
see, and carries very little benefit to the script at all. The scar makeup could have
been forgotten, and nothing changes. But nobody in the comment section
talked about me delving too hard into the tiniest of details to
try and make the film look good. May as well call that
something now for the future. I guess it’s a…
“positive nitpick”, or a “neat-pick”? idk. Either way, the point of showing both sides of
the coin is to add things to think about as a whole. When you watch my videos, I am asking that
you leave your brains switched ON for the duration, and you will
have things to think about. If you aren’t interested in that,
then leave those nits in your hair. At the end of the day, it’s only
going to be detrimental to you. The media, and my assessment of it are not
created for the sole purpose of being ignored. And for those who like to watch my videos
to go to sleep, don’t worry, you can certainly switch
your brain of then. Sleep tight. (Yoda’s dying though) But to add a final olive branch to this discussion
that arguably started because of a flickering light, maybe this will help
you understand the point. There are flickering lights in the escape
vessel in the finale of Alien. It is what could be argued as a kind of
safety light, or a precautionary light, but we all know why
it’s actually flickering. It creates this extremely
unnerving visual of the creature. We aren’t clear on what
we’re seeing, thanks to the flicker, and that makes us unable
to clearly understand it, making it more unpredictable and
mysterious, which adds to the fear factor. In the case of The Force Awakens,
it’s flashing recognizable imagery and it’s creating a build-up
to the coming scene. I have the same assessment
of both examples. It is something you’d have to consider on set,
and they chose it even when it made no sense. I love Alien. I think it’s incredible, and this little moment
is something that you can discuss. Perhaps by highlighting it, someone will
have a fair reason in the comment section section for why it was standard in both The
Force Awakens dropship and the escape vessel. In that case, I have a chance to learn,
and that is an example of what I talked about an hour ago – a simple
lack of information. And besides, it isn’t necessarily a contradiction,
as this could be simply how the lights work in their universe, but it can be interesting
from a filmaking standpoint nonetheless. But I happen to have a friend who’s an
ex paratrooper, and it made no sense to him as a militarized color
or lighting code. So I’m opening the
discussion about it briefly. I will do this a few times throughout
the assessment, and it’s something for the brain to chew on
while we approach larger subjects. Hopefully that makes more sense, but if it doesn’t,
this really isn’t the channel for you, and I’m sorry if someone directed you
here saying that you have to watch this to understand
“X”, “Y” and “Z”. But then again, if you
really did feel that way, I seriously doubt you got to
this point in the video, so, umm… let’s continue folks! The setup here is that Poe, the daring pilot,
has come come to visit Lor San Tekka, an old friend of Leia’s. Tekka has an important lead to finding Luke
Skywalker, and so Poe is going to collect it. Of course, I only know this
man’s name from the Wiki page, as the film works quite hard to mystify
the origin of the map and its holder, but I would prefer to use the character
names when going through it in detail. Tekka says that he wants Poe to take the map,
and it will begin to “make things right”. Many people associate this line with Tekka
saying that the prequels were a mistake, and now this trilogy
will rectify them. Which, if true, is a very interesting take on a statement,
especially with the Star Wars climate in 2015. But considering where we’re at now, assuming that’s
the point of the line, it’s just embarrassing. Though it is confirmation that Tekka has
a personal stake in this map reaching Leia. Poe then replies that the general – being Leia –
will appreciate having it, and Tekka says: Tekka: The general?
For me she’s royalty. Mauler: Implying he has known her since the
Galactic Civil War, when she was Princess Leia, rather than general Leia. This raising the question again of:
why not come directly to Leia if you’ve known her for so long so well, especially
if you’re personally invested in this mission? Well, because we
need this to happen. After BB-8 detects the incoming troopers and
warns Poe to escape, Tekka warns Poe as well, with a moment to discuss the potential
rescue of both Tekka and Poe. On top of this, Poe takes a moment to
look at the enemies through his binoculars instead of getting
to his ship. First of all, had you brought a ship to pick up
Tekka with instead of simply meeting him, then this wouldn’t have
been a problem whatsoever. Secondly, if you had a ship with space for two,
rather than a one-seater X-Wing, you and he could have escaped immediately
as a safety net, if this was to happen. Thirdly, you CAN escape immediately, and yet
you dawdle, looking through your binoculars and telling Tekka to hide
in this tiny desert situated village, against a 100 man raiding party
with no compunction about brutal murder. Where in the world is Tekka going to hide,
and why are you wasting so much time? Another interesting element to explore is that
the arrival of Kylo is treated as a bad bit of luck. Why does he know this is happening,
and how did he arrive at exactly the right time before it would
have been to late? We’ve already begun copying Star Wars,
so we may as well compare. Do you remember how the original
film gave us a reason for this? Vader: Don’t act so surprised, your highness.
You weren’t on any mercy mission this time. Several transmissions were beamed
to this ship by Rebel spies. I want to know what happened
to the plans they’ve sent you. Mauler: This dialogue is
referencing the opening crawl. Spies stole the data, and the Empire followed
the transmission of those plans to this ship. And what do we
get in this film? Kylo: The map to Skywalker. We know you’ve found it. Mauler: Okay? It was
findable, apparently. And when this old, random guy found it,
he must have told the good guys, which alerted the
bad guys too. That’s unfortunate. This provides us an inconvenience.
The original scene was cause and effect. This was just unlucky. But a bit of bad luck or good luck is fine,
any story has a bit of both. Let’s see how that goes
as we progress. Though additionally, I don’t know
if it’s tied to luck or not, but why is it that the Star Destroyer got so much time
to approach the planet before anyone detected it? I suppose it’s just a little bit hard to believe,
considering the technolohy of the universe, and this delay in detection results in
the instant grounding of an X-Wing, allowing Poe to be caught,
pushing the plot right along. Overall, it’s pretty simple, all of these
little things simultaneously go wrong, because if any of them behaved as
expected, the scene changes dramatically and the good guys end up finding
Luke in just under 10 minutes. …assuming R2-D2 still
woke up for no reason. But, let’s not get too
far ahead of ourselves. The troopers land, beginning an
all-out laser battle with the locals, resulting in their
death or capture. Two stormtroopers then break off, and
shoot Poe’s X-Wing, disabling it immediately. After that, the troopers are dispatched and
no other troopers seem to notice or care. This is interesting, because how isn’t
an X-Wing in the middle of a small village that might have the most important data to the
First Order not the focus for this assault? It should be a high priority, since it’s
directly associated with the Resistance and it would likely have
the information they would need, as it’s the only thing that they can see
has the the potential to escape the area. Yet, they send two guys,
and once they are dead, nobody seems to give Poe and his craft
any attention until the plot demands it. Either way, these two troopers were more than
enough to permanently ground the X-Wing. How inconvenient
for our hero. Poe then views the damage and doesn’t
bother with a potential repair from BB-8, when it would be perfect, considering
BB-8’s skills in that department, and because nobody seems to care
about their existence as of right now. Either way, Poe puts the map inside BB-8 and
tells the droid to get as far away from this area as possible, only to turn and begin shooting distant
troopers that are still unaware of his existence. Poe: Do you hear me?
I’ll come back for you! Mauler: We will
remember that line. Also Poe, I need to level
with you here for a second. This is a
horribly bad idea. There are four major transports
with like, 20 troopers a piece, spilling into this
extremely weak village. Most of its defenders
are already dead. You cannot win, and you
have the knowledge that both the Resistance and the First Order
apparently need to win their war, therefore you are putting the galaxy in
jeopardy to score a couple of potshots. You have to run! Run like BB-8, but in any other direction,
run to a town or hide somewhere. The only thing that can happen here is capture,
to ultimately be tortured to death for information. It makes no sense to stay, since that is the worst
possible outcome with the information you have. And yet,
you’re staying. Does anyone want to hazard
a guess as to why? Well, Poe needs to be captured in order for the
First Order to actually have a plot to follow. And obviously they chose to
have it be a bit heroic first. It is interesting that we get to
see Poe nail a handful of kills, and he still
doesn’t get noticed. It’s only after he gets very emotional and
tries to kill Kylo himself that he’s actually caught, meaning that he would have a great chance
to get very far away before being caught, had he done the normal person thing and tried to
escape, because Tekka could have delayed Kylo. Other than that, I do actually
like the detail a lot that Poe, Finn’s future friend, is the one that killed
Finn’s fellow soldier in this scene. The event that put Finn in a position where he
wanted to rescue Poe and betray the First Order was his fellow soldier
death at Poe’s hand. There is certainly something to
approach there in terms of conflict, perhaps Finn would no longer see
Poe as a hero, or even a friend, if they got to
have that discussion. Perhaps by learning that Poe killed Finn’s friend, Finn
could learn something about the morality of war. No, not in that forced,
garbage way. In a nuanced way, both sides commit
similar misdeeds in favour of their ideology, when looked at
from the surface. They are essentially
forced to. So, who do you
really wanna serve? Imagine that from there, Finn became
a bounty hunter, or a lone gunman, and that he didn’t care about the
fight between good and bad. Everything about that
potential is dropped. The film doesn’t explore it, which is a shame,
but it actually matches a pattern. It’s a setup without a payoff,
which could be the subtitle for this film, but that will be
explored as we progress. In fact, we can cover
it a little bit here. There is a
world building issue. Finn the stormtrooper begins to lose his mind because
of the violence and death he is having to face, leading to his eventual
mutiny of the First Order. Now, the first question that sets off
the rest of the questions here is: Hang on, this is a
hing that can happen!” Tywin Lannister: Apparently so. Mauler: But wait,
ok hang on, we know from the main line of episodes
that this didn’t happen with the clones, and as for the original trilogy troopers, we weren’t
given any reason to assume they would defect. The theory would go that the Empire
controlled most of the galaxy’s resources, thus controlling the troopers
with fear or threats. They never make it
absolutely clear on how, but they make a rule that the
troopers are die-hard Empire loyalists. At least as long as the main
figure heads are in charge. That would be something to explore,
considering they’re all dead, because they were strong
symbols of intimidation. Commander: The Emperor
is coming here? Vader: That is
correct, commander. Mauler: But now it’s been made clear
that the troopers are conditioned, and that conditioning
can be breached. If that happens, it prompts reconditioning,
meaning that they can now defect as a rule. So to have a trooper do this in such a dramatic
manner really does raise a lot of questions. Is Finn the only
one this applies to? If yes, then what in the
world made him so special? Of course, there’s nothing to answer that,
so let’s go with the other assumption. They must know this is
possible and relatively common, because Hux asks about Finn’s
previous instances on nonconformity, once Finn attempts to escape with Poe,
meaning that there is a protocol to monitor nonconformity, and that wouldn’t
exist if nonconformity wasn’t expected. Which means there should
be more instances, so… where are those troopers,
and have they ever revealed the fact that the First Order are
currently building the Starkiller base? I mean, we already know that Finn
has worked on it “extensively”, and we’re gonna
get to that. But yeah, let’s ignore
secret projects for a second. Have the defects never been able to
reveal that the First Order are even a thing? Have they never revealed what they’re planning
to the Republic, or anyone for that matter? If they are aware the defects exist,
then you would need extremely special circumstances
for one to escape. It should not
be this easy. Though, I am
jumping ahead. They’ve introduced the undoubtedly brilliant
idea of troopers having their own agency, their own
characters, but they have failed to account
for it in terms of world building, because this is a
sudden new rule. If they did account
for it in their troopers, then how does Finn manage to slip their
presumed monitoring and capturing systems, despite having a significant mental breakdown
in front of the other troopers, Kylo Ren, and their
commanding officer? Only to then kidnap their
greatest prisoner moments later. You expect me to believe that they simply
tell the defects to go to reconditioning, and hope
that they do? They really wouldn’t be captured,
or at least escorted? Finn’s change of heart tells us that
stormtroopers are now human in nature. They are layered.
They possess a sense of morality. They are not radicalized or conditioned effectively,
they can feel for others, as well as themselves. And honestly, that is some
fantastic and bold work to give your grunt-like foot soldiers
and galactic warfare some depth. From here, we could have scenes reminiscent of
many fantasy or science fiction war stories. The troopers can discuss
the First Orders positives, perhaps even sharing their past
and love for the long gone Empire. Since, as a audience, we now want to know
why they would stay, if they can think freely. This is also supported by captain Phasma, in that she
chooses to lower the shields in exchange for her life. The film established that they are not
complete drones anymore, they are people. The other films didn’t explore it because the
benefit of having grunts is that you can show death and battle progression, without the audience
feeling conflicted on the damage being dealt. And so we can root for the
good guys without confusion. Stormtroopers really weren’t considered
people as opposed to units, but they are now. So the first thing we
could expect if Finn is to revolt, is the difficult idea of trying to find allies
in the men who are also captives. These are men he respects and cares for, so this entire
scenario is going to have massive stress on him. Unfortunately, what I’m talking
about is developing the groundwork, groundwork that will be
abolished immediately. It’s the lack of payoff
for a clear set up. Both the Force Awakens and The Last Jedi
quickly forget all of the progression provided to
the stormtroopers. From here on, they will be nothing more than
drones again, except for Finn, of course. This, while also forgetting
basic character consistency. Nobody would know that Finn was a
stormtrooper from the moment he drops his gear, since that history is never given additional
detail, despite being potentially fascinating, to provide a different view to what the
audience sees is a reprehensible force. This is the writing equivalent of
having your cake and eating it. We want there to be a stormtrooper
who mutinies from the First Order due to his natural values
overcoming what he was taught, and we want him to
become a hero in the story, complete with an extremely helpful and
friendly disposition throughout his interactions. That is an
interesting idea, sure, but you also want the stormtroopers
as a whole to remain docile, cold and faceless, as they are torn down
in scores to the satisfaction of the audience. Let me be clear:
you cannot have both. The audience is left with a contradiction,
and the solution would have been to make it clear why
Finn was a special case. Perhaps his conditioning
never took place, and that was a mistake in the birth and
training of him in the First Order. This could have been accounted for
while explaining the worlds progression, in an opening that was far more
substantive than what we got. As the film progresses, Finn could have shared that
he only stayed with the First Order out of fear, and he couldn’t
take it any longer. That could work as an arc for
his character overcoming cowardice. Though, there are far more writing issues surrounding
Finn, and we will tackle them as they crop up later. For now, this is simply a large change
for the world that isn’t accounted for with any sense of explanation,
and it falls back on itself when you approach it
with any thought. Kylo: Perhaps leader Snoke should
consider using a clone army. Hux: My men are exceptionally
trained, programmed from birth. Mauler: Only they certainly aren’t exceptionally trained,
and that programming doesn’t take sometimes. It’s also fair to mention that this scene seems
to evoke the very influential scene in Saving Private Ryan, which is
adding to the confusion. Not to say that this
scene isn’t directed well, just that many in the audience will be confused as
to the situation here, when giving it some thought. Stormtroopers are people when need
them to be, also they are not. Kylo Ren then arrives on the
scene and it is very reminiscent of Vader’s entrance during
the original Star Wars: all black, shrouded in smoke, accompanied
by his subservient stormtroopers. This scene and the Star Destroyer opening can be seen
as respectful references, harmelss if not welcomed. But we’ve already seen larger
plot points ripped from the old, and what decides whether
it is a respectful reference, or something far more frustrating and complicated,
is something we can cover as we progress. Kylo: Look how
old you’ve become. Tekka: Something far worse
has happened to you. Mauler: The dialogue here implies
that these characters have a history. What that history is,
we never get to learn about, making Tekka’s death just as random
as the first viewing implies. Then again, Kylo’s character
history is a whole other topic. Kylo: The map to Skywalker. We know you found it. And now you’re going to
give it to the First Order. Mauler: There you have it. The First Order
simply know about Tekka and the map, compounding how ridiculous it was to
palm the information off in this manner. Regardless, Kylo is blatant in what he wants,
demanding the map from Tekka, and then something
strange happens. Tekka ignores his question, making a comment
about how Kylo has not risen from the dark side. This is great dialogue for
the audience to chew on, because light and dark is a
staple of the Star Wars universe. But the reason this is puzzling to
me is that Kylo threatens Tekka, and Tekka basically
says “bring it on”. Kylo: I’ll show you
the dark side. Tekka: You may try, but you cannot
deny the truth that is your family. Mauler: And then Kylo
kills him? Why? This man has very important information,
and he is refusing to share it at face value, so know you need to do
what you are shown to do later: use your force torture technique
on him, here and now. He’s old, as you so
accurately pointed out, you know he’s not going
to put much of a fight. He knows where the map is.
Kylo even comments on that himself. Look, we are faced with the idea
that the First Order need this map to secure their
dominance over the galaxy. Of course, we went
over the horrid world building, but let’s ignore that for the sake
of assessing the film’s own consistency. This map is more important
than anything to the First Order. It will allow them to kill the apparent last Jedi,
and they are hell-bent on doing that, according to the opening crawl
and subsequent scenes. Yet, Kylo kills the guy who has the
definitive knowledge on its location. Because what? He taunted him by
suggesting he might not be evil? A common defense for this would be
that Kylo is unhinged as a character, and a remark that he is not quite
on the dark side was enough to push him to kill Tekka as
a moment of rage. But first of all, Kylo is calm,
cool and collected. Kylo: You were so right. Mauler: Secondly, if he was enraged,
why wouldn’t he torture Tekka? Not only would Tekka live for a while longer,
allowing Kylo the satisfaction of proving that he is that far gone
to the dark side, but he could get the
information he knows Tekka has. Thirdly, as we now know
thanks to The Last Jedi, Kylo is obsessed with reaching Luke
Skywalker more so than any other goal. That motivation informs his
investment in the chase for BB-8. He wants revenge on the master
that betrayed and failed him, which means the safety of Lor San Tekka
should be paramount to success right now, at least until Kylo
gets the information. This is just ridiculous
to think about. The film would be over if either Kylo tortured
Tekka right there, or if Poe would just ran off. Kylo has no
leads beyond Tekka. Remember how Kylo can extract the memories
of looking at a map from people’s minds, and this somehow allows him to
transfer it to the First Order hard drive? He doesn’t even try that here, it’s almost
like they invented that as an ability later, when he captures Rey to explain why he
decided to leave the planet without BB-8, despite spending the whole film
looking for that very droid. Despite all of that, however, lucky for Kylo,
the one who has the only remaining lead decided to stay for no reason and openly
attacks him the moment he kills Tekka. To be meta for a second,
the positive for this execution in terms of the script is that it helps to
solidify Kylo as an antagonist to the audience. He happily murders this innocent, defenseless
old man who apparently knew him well. We know this
guy is bad news. But this process, this method is
lifted one-for-one from Star Wars, only in the Force Awakens, it doesn’t make
sense narratively, whether compared or not. I submit that Disney
wanted to recreate this with this. But this made sense, as Vader simply wanted to find
the Death Star plans aboard a singular vessel. After the captain he has by the
throat lies to him, he is killed. Vader doesn’t waste time,
he knows the plans are on ship, they can’t be anywhere else, so he orders the
ship to be torn apart until the plans are found. The current area to search
is a small ship. Kylo on the other hand, has the opportunity to
get the map location directly from Tekka, only to decide that he won’t even
try torturing him for information. He will instead just kill him immediately for the
impact, and I guess decide to search the area. But for the sake of clarification,
the current area to search is a planet, meaning he is now in need of another lead,
or he will have to search the entire village, assuming some droid hasn’t
rolled away with it already. In conclusion, it looks like we have an
attempt to gain the same gravitas for Kylo here as Vader during
episode IV. They do it with very specific actions being repeated,
but in the case of the “clone”, it commits to the actions without
maintaining a narrative thread to explain why the character
performs them. This is an attempt to create emotional resonance
without maintaining the intellectual consistency of the story, which is
a topic on its own, and there is a selection of people in this world
who think intellectual consistency doesn’t matter compared to the goal
of an emotional payoff; the idea that you should be
concerned with being emotional, instead of being concerned
with making sense. Just Write: I’m just saying like, you should be
more concerned with creating art that is emotionally resonant, than something
that is like, intellectually satisfying. Mauler: This is a clip from a debate that was
held between myself, Wolf and Just Write about objectivity and subjectivity
in art on Wolf’s channel. There is a link to the
full video in the description. Many statements were
made throughout, but none were more troubling
than the one I just played. Just Write: I’m just saying like, you should be
more concerned with creating art that is emotionally resonant, than something
that is like, intellectually satisfying. Mauler: This was covered earlier quite
briefly in relation to Patrick Williams, but the first mistake this statement
makes is implying that emotional resonance and intellectual consistency are counterbalances
to each other when telling a story, that if something becomes more logical,
it must become less emotionally effective. This is inaccurate, as many people would
cite intellectual consistency as the source in which they draw
an emotional response. Seeing a series of events play out in a realistic
manner yields more immersion for them, making his statement
confusing as a general rule. The second issue is that it
blurs subjectivity and objectivity, implying that an assessment of
either one infringes on the other. This is an attempt to make objectivity
appear as a subjective viewpoint, when in reality objectivity can be used by anyone,
and it is beholden to no one. It existed before i was born, and it
will continue to exist well after I’m gone, but my subjective viewpoint, how I feel personally
about media, that begins and dies with me. It’s not hard to distinguish emotional
arguments and objective ones. This goes the same
for assessing quality. Interviewer: Now here’s an interesting one: what’s
your personal rank of the six Star Wars movies? Oscar Isaac: I mean, I just have to go with emotion
on it. For me, number one is Return of the Jedi, then the Empire Strikes Back,
Star Wars… and then III, II, I. Interviewer: You put Jedi before
Empire and Star Wars? Oscar: Yep. Interviewer: Is that because
you grew up with it? Oscar: I recognize that Empire Strikes
Back is a better film, but for me, I can’t, I can’t divorce my emotional response
to Return of the Jedi – even the Ewoks, everything about it is, you know, I have a very personal
connection to the memories that it elicits. Mauler: Excellent take, Oscar. Empire is the superior film in craft, but
Jedi has some incredible emotional payoffs, and many saw it as their first film, so it
holds a special position in their hearts. Objectivity and subjectivity
sit in separate fields. There is a clear line between them,
and the objective assessment merely adds information that can affect subjective
quality from the perspective of the viewer, but affects all viewers
differently for every case. Thirdly, the statement ignores the
cognitive dissonance that occurs when you view content as flawless
personally, and flawed objectively. That would normally offer a
great opportunity for discussion. Instead, it’s avoided. And then, instead of pursuing introspection
about this conflict, you suddenly declare that discussions about the measurable qualities
of art are harmful to the enjoyment of art, admitting that the truth
is causing you discomfort. Just Write: No, but you’ve reduced the
amount of enjoyment in the world, right? Like, if my Hobbit videos actually convinced people
to dislike those films, then like, that sucks. Mauler: Which is the crux
of this discussion overall. The truth is not something to value,
unless it makes you feel good. This is the same logic that we use
with Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, assuming it would take the fun away
from children to know the truth. We should not be using this as adults
for whether a story makes sense. Debate and discussion
help us grow. HelloGreedo: I cannot think of a
bigger waste of time than debating art. Mauler: If art is meant to teach us about
life itself, while allowing us to escape, then the more it can maintain consistency that we
recognize, the stronger immersion can become, because our world is very much a consistent
one when it come to cause and effect. I mean, how about we check out Just Write
in one of his videos about Game of Thrones? But as he talks, I’m going to change the visuals to apply
his own principles on the subject to something else. Just Write: The pressures of creating a serialized
story on a schedule almost invariably lead to compromise. Logic is usually the first victim,
and convenience becomes commonplace Mauler: He is
absolutely right. As you take a story on and on,
it becomes more difficult to sit within the rules of your universe,
and the more pressure you have to create can result in stories that ignore
logic and make strong use of convenience. Just Write: The problems
are widespread now, and they are eroding the empathy
we had for these characters. Mauler: Just Write, seen here explaining that
logical errors and conveniences are ruining the emotional resonance
in the content. Just Write: And yet, we go on watching
out of some sense of obligation, bonded to it by the empathy
it hooked us with in the beginning, blinding ourselves to
the faults along the way, because we’re going
somewhere, right? There has to be some
more meaning left, right? Mauler: Yes, that makes
a lot of sense. Hbomberguy is a firm believer
in the subjective nature of art, yet he will tell people they are playing
a game wrong for their choice of gear, and simultaneously refer to an error as a mistake,
while maintaining it is not objective. Patrick Williams said there is no reason
a company would pay for reviews, only to then share that he will see
films based on what the reviews say. He also said that no
plot holes actually matter, only to explain that there are
certain plot contrivances that do. HelloGreedo argues that
debating art is a waste of time, yet he will engage in it regularly
both on his channel and his Twitter feed. Quinton Reviews will tell you there is
nothing in this world that is objectively bad when he’s talking about
things he enjoys, only to then call out bad sound design,
awful dialogue and low-quality filmmaking in many areas of
the media he covers. Just Write will create a video highlighting writing
issues and their effect on an audience, only to then recognize those same issues in other
media and claim the opposite effect on the audience. Mauler: So, why didn’t they use hyperdrive,
all the Star Destroyers in the fleet? Just Write: Yeah, I dunno. Mauler: Because, you’re gonna
tell me they didn’t have the fuel? It’s like ugh, why,
how are they there? Just Write: Yeah. Mauler: I don’t know what it means when these
content creators end up providing a counter to their
own principle. Oftentimes the video that the principle
is stated will provide the contradiction, but it always comes down
to a bias they fail to see, or actively ignore to
protect the media they love. God forbid they admit
their sacred cow is flawed. “Hypocrisy is a noxious weed,
it should be torn out.” Though, to bring it back down, Just Write is
very capable of assessing media very effectively. What is being highlighted here is an
emotional bias preventing an assessment from reaching the conclusion it would
normally reach without hindrance. All of the content creators I have given criticism to in
this very video have that issue in select moments, as do I. Working to draw the line and let people know
when you are speaking from your own experience and heart is important, versus
when you are simply stating facts. If we keep on being vague and using
“it’s just my opinion” to avoid criticism, conversations and responses
are only going to get worse. Growth will be stunted and media
will continue to crumble as every IP falls prey
to fast, single-draft scripts. Too many people become immediately defensive
and assume it’s an attack on character whenever you criticize media they enjoy,
refusing to engage in discussion. And then, if a conversation is ever going to
take place, it starts to sound like this: (Parks and Recreation s05e03)
Joan: In my opinion has been embarrasing, and that is a fact. Leslie: No, that’s your opinion,
it’s the definition of an opinion. Joan: Well, that’s your opinion. Mauler: I genuinely believe many content
creators can do this by mistake, and that includes myself, but you
will find several content creators that do this deliberately to try and
turn their audience into a weapon against the people
they disagree with. Oh, there’s Quinton again. That’s a pretty strong claim to attach
Quinton Reviews’ face to, isn’t it? On a completely unrelated note,
I have a podcast now. It’s called Every
Frame a Pause, or EFAP. We watch video essays live and ©react
to them with a bit of commentary. There will be a link in the description and
I recommend checking out each of the episodes for a little bit of fun, but if you’re confused,
perhaps episode 10 will answer the question of why Quinton
keeps getting referenced. The point is: if you’re not accurate and not clear,
you can start dealing damage in many ways, and sometimes it
can be intentional. And when it comes to art,
we can discover the moving parts by talking it through and learning from it
when we experience something else. This applies to the very art that creators
like myself and Just Write make, but to pretend that we are immune to
the very consistencies that we point out in other people’s work
is simply naive. When telling a story, a human reaction starts
at what you saw and heard put together. We build our connection based on the
development of the story being told, to what we are perceiving as reality,
which is tied to its progression and its consistency within its own rules that it’s asking us
to remember, in order to create its own stakes. We do not need to lie to ourselves about
what took place to make the experience better. When events cause cognitive dissonance,
it brings many viewers away from the immersion, thus diminishing the emotional resonance
by lack of intellectual satisfaction. We can grow from
an experience like that. It can leave us wondering why we
thought of it so differently before. Or, you can scramble for any alternative
to reconcile the writing flaw, as seen here: Mauler: But then my follow-up
question to that would have been: So why didn’t you do it when he held her at
gunpoint and threatened the lives of the entire ship?” which I don’t have an argument for,
because it’s absolutely ridiculous that she doesn’t do it
at that point. That’s the breaking point in which you’re gonna
sacrifice the entirety of the Resistance, just to prove a point about Poe’s
recklessness? Are you kidding me? Just Write: Right, maybe she’s,
I don’t know, like… See, this is
interesting, right? Because… for me, like none of
that stuff shows up in a first viewing. Mauler: Let’s get
hyperbolic for a second. How in the world are you meant
to feel about Leia performing this act, when it wasn’t set up, it creates evidence
for her death outside of the danger of space, and it contradicts our universal rules,
along with the rules in the Star Wars saga. How could anyone enjoy this,
or feel it was well presented? How, I ask you. How!? Well, that is the
beauty of subjectivity. Your feelings will always remain as valid
as they were when you first felt them. They do not require logic or consistent
reality to be considered valid, but they are invalid when
submitted as objective evidence. The interesting thing about this
is that your subjective viewpoint can be affected by
the logical assessment. Breakdowns of media will change
your mind at some point, and that’s great. – Hi, I’m commander Chris Hadfield,
astronaut, spaceship Commander, space walker. I’m here today to hopefully
debunk some common space myths. “You will immediately fry to a crisp by the unadulterated
solar radiation if you get sucked out of the airlock.” In truth, it’s way
worse than that. In the shade in space, it’s like minus 250 degrees,
but the part of you that’s in the Sun, it’s plus 250 degrees at least, so it’s like lying on a red-hot stove
with a piece of dry ice on your back, and your lungs are gonna be
sucked flat instantaneously. Your blood is gonna boil, like opening a can of pop,
where suddenly all the little bubbles come out, because there is no
air pressure around you, You are going to freeze, boil, burn, get the bends,
and no longer be able to breathe. Not a good
way to go. Mauler: This is why facts, reason,
logic and objective values are important to compare to
subjective values. You get to see whether you discern a
reaction from the events taking place, or from you interpreting the events
taking place due to a bias. From there, you get to explore that bias,
and thus you get to explore yourself, but art can also always be
deconstructed on a technical level, because that is
precisely how its created. George Lucas: You don’t invent technology
and then figure out what to do with it. You come up with an artistic problem,
and then you have to invent the technology in order to accomplish it, so it’s the
opposite of what most people think it is, and any artist
will tell you that. An art on all levels
is just technology. Mauler: To ignore the technical backbone of arts
from the incredibly complex process of CGI, down to making making marks
on a wall is to also deny reality. To preserve that special view of art, that it is
something beautiful, mystical and it cannot be boxed, only appreciated through spirituality
in a disconnection from the cold, hard reality we all face,
when in reality it’s both. Denial of this fact lets people run rampant with the
idea that no comment is inaccurate or ill-advised. People will then begin to attach
connections where there really aren’t any. Adam Driver: The world that creates is so,
um, a lot of things are very unanswered, so people have attached meaning to
things that seem to have no meaning, and that kind of
makes it more personal. Mauler: Once you establish reality and
compare it to your personal reaction, you can learn far more about yourself
and what you value personally. There is this strange myth that I don’t
value personal experience on this channel, but that is
not the case. Subjective assessments will
always pop up in my videos, because there are things I like
to share with you guys that I felt, rather than something
I can prove mechanically. And that is
absolutely fine. But you have to accept that
on the scale of subjectivity, something like the Last Jedi could be
a masterpiece, or it could be nothing. Everyone is different, and that is why objectivity
is a valuable baseline to be able to compare. Iterviewer: With every movie we walk away
learning something, and in this particular one, what is it that we will
be walking away learning? Adam Driver: Again, I think that, sorry… again
I think that’s a personal kind of thing. For probably some, it will
be nothing. For others- (interrupted by forced fake laughing) (still laughing…) Mauler: Yeah, you can
laugh, but he’s right. Some people really don’t respond to content in
one way or the other, and what does that mean? Well, they have the bias that takes
them out of Star Wars completely. Perhaps it is based on trauma in your life, or
lessons that you’ve come to learn, or a lack of both, but that doesn’t take anything away
from the objective assessment. They can simply admit that the facts don’t
affect them in one way or the other, and that is
absolutely fine. Rian Johnson: I feel like I need to
rewrite the opening sequence, in terms of the big-picture
stuff of what’s going on, and I freaked out because I’m
like ‘this doesn’t track’, you can’t follow what’s happening,
you can’t follow what the big stakes are. I got really scared. Mauler: And you see, that’s fine,
it’s only human that you can create something that doesn’t quite make
sense or it’s hard to follow, but that doesn’t mean that
we should sugarcoat it. Let’s talk about reality. The sad fact is that the social influencers,
like the many I have covered in this video, believe that objectivity takes away validity
from subjective perspectives of art, reducing the meaning, thus
making it a negative endeavor. Not to say I am certain
of their perspectives, but it is what I have come to understand
from several of them, in my opinion. Just Write: No, but you’ve reduced the
amount of enjoyment in the world, right? Like, if my Hobbit videos actually convinced
people to dislike those films, then like,
like that sucks. Dishonored Wolf: Well, I don’t think, when you
point out the bad things in something that you perceive to be good, and someone’s
like “oh yeah, that is kind of bad”, I think that really kind of strengthens the
enjoyment for the really good things. Like I personally hold the Lord of the Ring movies
to be the best movies I’ve ever seen in my life, and movies like the Last Jedi just kind of
enforce why I love those movies so much, because the Last Jedi has so many
problems that just aren’t even present in the Lord of
the Rings films. And so, when I see a bad movie,
and I know and understand why it’s bad, I think that helps
make the good even better. Mauler: As Wolf just laid out, you can now gain
enjoyment from it where you previously may not have done, because you didn’t
register the objective value within the art that
could affect your feelings. Thus in that instance, you increase
the enjoyment in the world overall. This is the undeniable result of the
pursuit of evidence and reason. We don’t always like what we find,
but sometimes the facts can not only be reassuring, they
can be enlightening. Though it is important to remember that facts
do not require that we feel they are valid. They simply have to follow defined rules,
be it logic or standards of a craft. So to clarify, a subjective feeling of
quality must be felt by the person to be considered valid, and it is not beholden
to evidence or consistency whatsoever. Emotion is the bedrock
of these assessments. An objective fact of quality must match
predetermined measurable criteria and definitions. It follows rules and respects consistency,
irrespective of feelings. Logic is the bedrock
of these assessments. Both of these forms of
analysis have standards, and their quality is defined by the
degree to which the standard is satisfied, be it the satisfaction of your feelings
or the satisfaction of the craft. This creates a line between objective
quality and subjective quality, while showing how objectivity
can affect subjectivity, but that we shouldn’t shy away
from it out of fear of losing enjoyment. We should embrace it, as the
truth isn’t designed to hurt you, it is meant to act as an
offer to learn and grow. George Lucas: I would like to see our
society mature, and become more rational and more knowledge-based,
less emotion-based. Um, I would like to see education play a
larger role in our daily lives, and um… you know, have people that come
to a larger understanding, the bigger picture understanding
of how we fit into the world and how we fit
into the universe… not necessarily thinking of ourselves,
but thinking of other. Mauler: Too right George. Think what you will of the man, but
improving critical thinking through the education system is not an
idea that many would disagree with. When it comes to facts about media or
life itself, there are instances in which the truth will do massive harm
and have zero benefits, and thus we refrain from sharing the
truth and we label it a white lie. There should be an important
takeaway from that statement. Just Write: No, but you’ve reduced the
amount of enjoyment in the world, right? Mauler: To prevent a loss of enjoyment by
avoiding the assessment would be a lie, and since I don’t actually intend on
sacrificing my integrity, I won’t accept a lie. Life and art don’t become meaningless
by understanding the facts behind them, or to understand a
bias about yourself. Timmy thought that the Sun was an alien,
and at night the alien goes to sleep. He later found out the facts, and that
perspective is now completely changed. The facts exist, and you can feel
as you do in support of them, or regardless of them, just don’t be so stubborn
as to assume that what you felt happened is what
actually happened. Rewatch, redraft and explore
more than just how you felt. Rian Johnson: …and it can be sort of like that
thing when you saw a movie a long time ago, and you remember a scene one way,
but then you watch it again and you’re like: “oh, that’s completely different
than I thought it was”. Mauler: Thank you Rian,
that was bang on the money. But yeah, it all comes under the
difference between arguing from emotion, or arguing from references
and confirmable facts. And the latter is what I intend
to do with this series. Obviously I’m gonna screw up here and there,
but I really have given it my best shot. We have so much to get through, so many stories,
rules, characters, lore, tools, people, tech, sources, and of course:
much more Star Wars. Obviously I’ve only tackled
about five minutes of the film, but I think you can see that I wanted to talk about
a lot of different subjects that have been plaguing my channel
as of recently. In a way, this will sort of work as an
introduction to how I tackle media. You could watch this video
in prep for any of my other series, and you’ll get a bit of insight
into how I do what I do, and that is why I was comfortable in
releasing it on Christmas on its own. Oh yes, by the way,
Merry Christmas all. 🎅 You can expect that now we’re
past the introduction, the rest of the parts are pretty much
going to be entirely Star Wars. But it’s not going to be quite like
my usual release schedule that involves one video per week from
the release of the first video. That is impossible
this time. The rest are not completed,
but the moment they are, I will look forward to seeing you folks
as they release weekly, from part 2 onwards, and I’m sure I will be called very angry, or very
unhealthy from many YouTube medical experts. But at least they’ll watch the
series before criticizing it, right? Patrick: If you are a person who thinks that SJW’s
or diversity or feminism ruined this movie, or if you want to tell
me that I’m a Disney shill, or if you’re going to tell me that I should watch
a five hour rant by some angry guy on YouTube… Mauler: Angry guy? I thought
I was mostly level-headed… Oh well, integrity is
hard, I suppose. And I look forward to 15 hours being referenced
everywhere in future instead of five. We can finally
shake it up. Thank you all so much for
your encouragement and support, I am so glad to finally be putting this series
out, and I hope you’re having fun with it. Thanks again, and I
will see you next time. English subtitles made by MatrixLegion. Yoda: A Jedi uses the Force for
knowledge and defense, never for attack. Luke: The sacred jedi texts! Yoda: Oooh!
(f*** that s***)

100 thoughts on “A Critique of Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Introduction

  1. EDIT: Timestamps included Below

    Hello there!

    I decided to make this series of videos nice and short, that's why we have a 2 hour and 42 minute intro for a movie analysis :^).

    Either way, the remaining parts will be released at a later date as they are not currently complete. This part works on its own as I tackle quite a few fundamental topics at the same time as covering the main world building elements of TFA and part of the opening scene.

    I know that many of you have taken issue with Patreon as of recently with the controversy that's still on going. I have managed to get YouTube Membership set up as a possible alternative. If you would prefer to use that as a subscription service for support, it offers a £5 per month tier and it gives you emotes to use on the EFAP streams. If you would like to use this method, click the link and use the "Join" option on this page – https://gaming.youtube.com/user/TheMauLerYT

    I hope you folks enjoy, this series has taken ages to put together and I cannot wait to get the whole thing out. o/

    I have an audio commentary coming on New Year's Eve as well, looking forward to seeing what you guys think of both. Thank you so much for supporting this channel, Merry Christmas and have an awesome new year!

    Timeline edit courtesy of Sapheiron:

    Table of Contents:

    0:00 – Montage of initial reactions to TFA

    4:00 – Disclaimer 1

    5:18 – The Objectivity vs Subjectivity Debate

    6:23 – Clarifying MauLer's Position

    7:48 – On Consistency in Fiction and Argumentation

    20:30 – On the Practice of Purely Subjective Critique

    49:02 – The Force Awakens Critique Proper

    50:26 – Disclaimer 2

    1:02:28 – Cameo 1: Caddicarus

    1:05:35 – The Title Crawl: Bridging the Gap between Episodes

    (1:31:29 – One-Punch Man: An Unbridled Praise)

    1:37:07 – The Title Crawl: Story Set-Up

    1:41:36 – Worldbuilding Difficulties in Continuing a Story

    1:53:55 – Cameo 2: Fringy

    1:56:22 – The Opening Scene: Opening Shot and Flickering Lights

    1:57:43 – A Tangent on Nitpicking

    2:04:02 – The Opening Scene: No Stone left Unturned

    2:21:35 – Intellectual Consistency and Emotional Resonance

    2:40:19 – To be continued…

  2. You know this 'soldiers reminiscing' idea just gave me some inspiration that could have served to give debth to both the troopers as people and Captain Phasma. What if after the raid on the village in the intro, we were given a small scene that just showcased a few troopers talking, maybe seeing that Finn had it rough and trying to comfort him or just invite him into the conversation. Creating a whole group of fleshed-out characters like that one squad in the Empire series of comics, but just a few more baseline personalities. Show a guy (or girl as stormtroopers can be women too according to the comics) with a scar and some stories, maybe a more trigger-happy person who has a sidearm constantly on their person, a more strict officer-like dude/lady, just some basic people-personalities. Maybe one of them could even be TR-8R, the dude Finn fights on Tacodana. But basically, my idea is that instead of Phasma confronting Finn in the shuttle, he is comforted somewhat by his remaining comrades. Maybe they share stories of previous experiences as soldiers, maybe they try to honour the memory of the guy who died next to Finn but sooner or later, one of them could talk about Phasma. Not like "Oh my Force, Captain Phasma is just so cool in that armour!" but maybe tell a little story about encountering Phasma during training or on guard duty or maybe an anecdote of her performance in battle that they heard that would give us an impression that while she's a fierce warrior and causes fear, these soldiers also idolize her to some extent. Maybe setting the stage to why they joined the First Order. Instead of fear, its officers and leaders command with respect and authority. That could've led into Hux still being creepy and conniving but mire proficient as a mass manipulator. Instead of being portrayed as fanatical, he could've been shown as someone who can understand the psychology of his soldiers and say the exact words he needs to maintain complete control. Granted, that flies in the face of the 'kidnapped kids' idea, but I'm improvising here. Getting back to Finn, this established character group could then be involved in later scenes. Maybe in the hangar scene as Finn starts firing at his fellow soldiers in fight or flight mode, he might accidentally hit one of the few introduced earlier and just stare for a second or two in complete horror. Po would shout at him to snap out of it and keep firing, unaware that Finn just killed one of his friends and during the commotion, Phasma could come in and save another of these introduced characters by pulling him/her behind cover once Finn starts firing again, this time in complete panic. As the two leave, there could be a shot of TR-8R firing after them, enraged by what his assumed friend just did and maybe Phasma commanding him to cease fire, adding a bit more for her to do. Then later, when Finn and TR-8R meet and have that fight, it could actually be meaningful. Finn could constantly be trying to dissuade him from attacking, apologizing and trying to explain himself, but 8R would just be attacking with rage but also skill. And then instead of Chewbacca blowing the guy away like a goofy ragdoll, it could be that in the scuffle, Finn either accidentally impales his former friend with the lightsabre or kills him in some other way that's in-heat-of-moment but very much adds more blood to his hands. Maybe the dying trooper's final word could be "Traitor…" as he passes on, laying even more blame on Finn but also solidifying in him the idea that blindly following a regime like the First Order, that brainwashes people on this level, is a horrible idea. This could've gone well if you ask me, but I'm curious what others may think of this.

  3. I'm glad to hear that I'm not crazy, I've felt like half the critique channels these days just explain what's on screen, talk about it being cool or MAH THÉMES BRUV and move on.

  4. Just found this channel and already I'm enjoying the content. I Enjoy content that offers critique and/or constructive criticism especially to things I personally enjoy

  5. The amount of "Writing" you put into one of these videos…. Jesus man, just write a movie script already with all that energy! You might overwrite tho just a thought

  6. Regardless of this video Dark Souls 2 is the worst souls game and if that dude can’t except it he’s just flat wrong

  7. Not to defend the movie or anything, but the flickering light could be caused by re-entry into a planet's atmosphere, passing through the magnetosphere may interfere with some of the ship's electronics, and being somewhat low priority, the lighting in the transport compartment possibly won't be as shielded from interference as the cockpit.

    That being said, it would have been nice to have something to explain that, a sound clip of a pilot over an intercom saying 'Entering atmosphere' could have done nicely.

  8. This is not a critique of The Force Awakens. This is a critique of its premise and what it sets out to do. Make of that what you will?

    I like how you cite crappy worldbuilding as an issue considering quite a few movies as of late have gotten criticism for prioritizing worldbuilding over their own plot – see: Age of Ultron, Batman v. Superman, The Mummy. Tells you how certain movies get such good reviews.

  9. Can we talk about how the title of the movie has nothing to do with the movie? How exactly does the force awaken? It's not even about the force, Jedi or Sith. It's not even tangentially related to the subject of the force or anything that can be described as it's "awakening". You'd think it should be about Luke establishing the academy and raising new Jedi but it isn't. The academy is destroyed before it even starts!

  10. Objectively that painting has holes in it. Subjectively i dont mind and the holes mean things to me. Both of these statements can be held at the same time.

  11. Huge fan of your work. It’s really changed the way I’ve thought about and assessed films. Is there any update on when parts 3-6 are coming out?

  12. I still don't understand people's gripe with Leia's space scene, it is not inconsistent with the world's rules.
    You can for a fact survive for a few minutes in the vacuum of space, and she force pulled herself to the ship. This also tells us she is force adept now.
    Yea it looked a bit silly, and it should've been used in a more important fashion maybe. But it is not inconsistent.
    Grievous survived in space, and he wasn't adept in the force.
    Maul survived being cut in half and falling from very very high, thx to the force. Anakin with all limbs cut, burned all over.
    Point is miraculous survival isn't a wild concept in Star Wars.

  13. In reference to people saying a review is bad because its longer than a movie. We live in an era where talking too much or having too much to say is frowned upon by simple minds who don't possess the mental capacity or the attention spans to keep up with everything that is being said, let alone be able to process it and offer a valid and coherent response. Mainly because their own brains have atrophied from the lack of usage and other simple minded idiots around them. So its actually a compliment and a validation of sorts that they find it bad.

  14. MauLer: "Yes, you did just watch me talk about the opening seconds of a movie for 30 minutes – welcome to my youtube channel"

    Me: Instantly subscribes

  15. I still believe that the worst thing about TFA is that the most interesting parts of the story all happen before the movie starts or off screen

  16. OMG Have you ever seen the South Park episode where Kyle's family moves to San Francisco, and everyone loves smelling their own farts.? That's you, and all the people in this video you're arguing back in forth with, and all trying to one up the other. Here's a tip for your community of "great minds" learn to laugh at yourself………

  17. If i were to construct my own version of episode VII, it would be a world where the First Order exists, but rather than for whatever reason being a force larger than the central political power in the galaxy, they're a small opposition who opt to use espionage and assassination to fulfill their goals, those goals being revenge for the destruction of their/the Empire's regime. I'd have this modern society filled with new jedi trained by people like Luke and whoever came from his teachings, with the First order's goal being to assassinate every last one of them. Don't make them a militaristic force, make them a rough 'n' tough underground syndicate. You could keep Luke's disappearance logical with something in the Force awakens which is thrown away as a concept. In TFA, Han mentions that Luke may have been looking for the Jedi's ancient Sacred texts, and I'd want to make that the reason he disappeared, to get away from his loved ones to stop them from being caught up in assassination attempts, but primarily to find the Jedi sacred texts in the far reaches of the galaxy which may hold powerful Jedi secrets which could help empower the remaining jedi, as no one really knows who or what the First order is, due to them being underground and secretive about their operations.

    The reason I keep the "Luke disappearing" thing existing at all is because I want to keep the core concept in tact….just in a way that makes some sort of sense. All thought It's fairly clear that Luke disappearing at all isn't the best choice

  18. Hey man. As somebody who only has one movie review I'm trying to make more I find myself coming back to this video a lot to make sure that I don't fall into this category. Well I consider myself to be decently intelligent, within reason LOL I find myself afraid because I feel like sometimes I do fit the category of you saying that I just want to Ramble On for 10 minutes which is kind of true. But I promise I don't have an agenda. Long story short I used to work graveyard shifts and for a whole year I would driver on the patrol car listening to movie reviews. I never really cared about the ones that had an agenda but I just enjoyed listening to somebody talk about the movie and how they felt their first time. It serves as a surrogate for not being able to erase my own memory and watch the movie for the first time again you know? Anyway I'm rambling again LOL but I guess it all just comes to making sure that if you make a statement make sure there is a clear line between understanding whether or not your statement is based on fact or whether it's based on emotion and how you felt right? You're an intelligent man and I appreciate your videos I want you to know that. I hope one day my videos and the way I express my feelings and views on movies can be up to par with how you present yourself in your videos. Thanks man much love

  19. Anyone who thought this film was good is a product of extreme social engineering and brain wash, often referred to as a "sheeple" 😂👎

  20. Can you edit some images over other people's commentary instead of just showing a VCR. More transformative work would be appreciated if you insist on using other YouTubers commantry. God bless 🙂

  21. I hate and love you, our like marmite lol, Iv come across your video by chance and never planned to watch such things and I'm still watching over 30 mins late. I love our approach and script but I can not watch until the end. I have however subscribed 🙂

  22. Ooookay. I've watched many a critique that's almost as long or just as long as the source it's critiquing. But good god, man, the intro to a six-part series, on its own, is longer than the movie. Is this movie worth that effort?

  23. Lindsay Ellis dissected the hell out of The Hobbit trilogy with in-depth studio research, educated literary analysis, interviews with the cast, and a trip to New Zealand. She did so with three 40 minute episodes. She said all there is to say about them. How the actual fuck is your intro to a six-part series about one movie of similar caliber almost three hours? What could you possibly have to say that's worth taking that long?

  24. "If one person globally disagrees, then the matter is no longer objective"
    Holy shit imagine being this much of a fucking brainlet.

  25. objectively, those examples of that jewish-like looking popculture expert analyzing starwars, are subjectively? more funny than i think they are supposed to be, because of "funny on so many levels"? let's say five. I am objectively surprised you are not hit with defamation here, if you took the clip through after effect, and made animation, like let's say "the hobbit" from 1977, you would have had made hate speech-content. sort of funny, i guess :/

  26. Hbomberguy is one of the most obnoxious content creators my piers and the algorithm seems to want me to like. He’s a cocky fanboy who feels morally justified because of his political leanings to be intellectually dishonest. His jokes seem to frame him as someone who “wrecks” or “pwns” manchildren and fanboys on the internet, but he does so by straw- manning the shit out of them. He’s like a less duplicitous Steve Shives meets a far less intelligent and more condescending Lindsay Ellis and his smarmy tone is like nails on a chalkboard.

  27. The idiots that say dumb shit like, "A white guy shouldn't be critiquing Black Panther", is then saying that no one except white people should critique any movie with primarily white actors. What the fuck? Also, I'm over this forced diversity shit. If it makes since then put it in the movie. All that shit they keep forcing into Star Wars…..you can feel how forced it is. There are men all over and then suddenly when the purple haired chick takes over, anyone else notice she is surrounded by woman on the bridge? Did all the men suddenly take lunch. Also, just like in the last Avengers movie, they prove that men can't give them self for the team but a woman can. Look at Black Widow when she gave her life. That happened because it was going to be Hawkeye and then a woman told the men that, "A man isn't going to take Black Widow's sacrifice away from her." You can see that shit on video. So then what happens? In Star Wars Finn is about to give his life to try and save everyone else….and then Rose goes and stops his attempt. The wrath of Kathleen Kennedy strikes again. She is even seen in a video saying that there were hundreds of men that wanted to work on the movies and she said that she didn't give the jobs to the men because she was going to give them to women….HOW ABOUT YOU GIVE THE JOBS TO WHO DESERVES IT? Or give the job to whoever actually wants to be there because with those big pieces of shit movies that keep coming out, obviously they have people that aren't fixing anything and care.

  28. While obviously quite late to the party on this one, after viewing the entirety of the critique on TLJ and then witnessing the rant regarding subjectivity/objectivity I felt compelled to bring up two points.

    In the TLJ analysis you where objectively correct on the mass majority of points and the conclusion but you were objectively incorrect regarding the shielding at the bottom of the shitty bombers. Shields have been handled pretty inconsistently through the OT and PT regarding their shape, visibility and protective selectivity (which it could be argued there are just different types of shields for different situations). But to the point at hand, there have been numerous instances of invisible shields throughout the franchise. These include the docking bay of the Deathstar Hangers and Star Destroyer (and other capital ship hangers). Just as in TLJ the existence of these shields is not specifically mentioned, but we are left to infer that they exist by the fact that people are standing in the hangers and not suffocating, and also because we know shields exist due to several mentions of shields on nearly every single ship in the films as well as the Hoth shield and the Second Deathstar shield (all of which are also invisible). This is but a minor error but I found it noteworthy since it was not only presented during the scene by scene analysis but also again at the end of the videos during the conclusion. And it was also baffling considering clips of these other unmentioned invisible shields where used during several other clips in the videos, including the one of the BF2 Y-wings firing a torpedo in to a non-visible hanger bay shield like 4 different times.

    Also the analysis of Luke's fall is a subjective opinion that he would not behave in such a way. There were of course objective issues with specific moments *coughghostlightingcough*; but declaring that Luke would never attempt to kill kylo (even for a split second) or become depressed is not objective. Firstly because in order to declare that you infallibly know how any person would or wouldn't act you would literally need to know every single thing about them,all their feeling, thoughts, and entirely life history which is impossible for anyone except that actual person living that life. You may conclude based on your experiences with them that it is unlikely they would act a certain way, but as real life suicide/depressions have shown us, many times those on the outside, even those close to the person in question would have never guessed they would take such actions. Secondly the analysis completely ignores previous evidence where Luke acted exactly like this. In TESB Luke fails at the cave, faltering briefly to the dark side by bringing he weapons/fear into the cave. Yoda even reminds him of this failing later in the franchise and urges him not to forget how he failed there. And at the end RotJ Luke briefly fails again succumbing to his rage during the end of the duel with Vader. He only just stops himself from killing Vader and then it could even be argued only because the emperor opened his big mouth and distracted Luke giving him a moment to regain his composure. So the assertion that Luke has never faltered to dark impulses and therefore could not even contemplate killing Kylo even for a moment is objectively false. You may not like the direction taken with Luke, and that is fine; and you may state that you find it unlikely that Luke would take these actions. But this is your subjected opinion based on your feelings about Luke's character. But you cannot objectively say that there is no prior bases for these actions or that it is impossible that Luke would take them.

  29. Interesting how Mauler is like the atheist, armed with logic and reason, and his detractors (not surprisingly) are like the gullible theists, with awful arguments riddled with fallacies. I'm sure glad I'm an atheist too. Thanks Mauler. This is my 2nd viewing. My only regret is that I had forgotten about Patrick and now I have to swallow the vomit that just filled my mouth. 🙂 Peace.

  30. You spend 2 hours to speak all of of this shit?
    Congratulations, i definitely prefer your silence, it’s one thousand more intelligent!

    You have no light in you now and brain!

  31. MauLer, i want to tell you something.

    this is the second video i watch from your channel, the first one being "in defense of dark souls 2 scholar of the first sin". i'm not a native english speaker but im considered good enough to count as fluent speaking by many people.
    but your videos are so well and eloquently written, i hear words or sayings or metaphors i haven't known prior watching your content. and i want to thank you for that. i find it quiete enjoyable to watch something that is entertaining, teaching and interesting alltogether. they make me think. plus i find your voice very soothing and easy to listen to. your videos are really lenghty, but well constructed. they are a prime example to the high standard of how a critique video should be made today and i wish you the best of luck for the future.

    even now this very comment was altered thanks to your impact on my english and arguing skills.

  32. Why am I watching a crazy person's PoMo existential meltdown deconstruction of objectivity? This is insane. You need to learn to edit dude, less is more.

  33. MauLer you hack! 59:50 You promised a 6 part series on a weekly basis 10 months ago and the Rise of Skywalker is almost upon us! You've forced me to rewatch your series from the Last Jedi again. Though I gotta say, I've thoroughly enjoyed your 5-hour rant on the second watch. Unlike other things…but that's just my opinion

    Note: Keep up the excellent work. Even if you're becoming the GRRM of Youtube.

  34. I've just stumbled upon these commentaries this past weekend. Wow! It's nice to know that I'm not alone in how disappointed I am with the Disney interpretation. They (Disney) are systematically trying to kill my childhood. I saw the original as a 8 yr old in 77 and it changed my life. Fuck you Disney.

  35. I want to see that Terminator Genesis video so bad. I don’t know why, probably because I genuinely love the first two, and absolutely hate Genesis, and listening to your voice for an hour or two ripping it apart would’ve bring me great pleasure

  36. I uploaded English subtitles to this video, but they need to be approved. So if anyone has the time to go into "add subtitles", then "English" and click on the big blue button to approve them, I would be very thankful.

  37. Your arguments about objectivity and subjectivity are repetitive; your feuds with other youtubers are irrelevant. I am interested in your critique of the movie, where you have significant insights that I can benefit from, but not in your detailed explanations of why various other content creators are wrong, which makes you come across as petty and childish even though in most instances you are right. I summarize your thesis in the following way: you don't reject subjective experience of art — you definitely respect it and embrace it on a personal level — but you believe that art can be qualified as objectively good or bad based on the technical mastery it displays. This is to some degree true, but it has caveats. Work can be identified as technically flawed and criticized on that basis, based, in the case of film as here, on logic and internal consistency, or cinematography or sound design or any other aspect of contributions by film professionals. Substitution of first-time film experience (the "roller coaster ride" strategy of filmmaking) for the value of long-term repeat-viewing pleasure is indeed an undesirable trait, since we see movies, like them while they are in progress, and then get annoyed later on when we recognize the goofs and illogic. The caveat to your thesis is that in a work with objective flaws, elements with subjective appeal can be so relevant and significant that they can genuinely be perceived en masse as more important to the experience of the consumer. A movie can be good in so many ways that the mistakes get overwhelmed for a high percentage of the audience. (That doesn't mean that your rival content creators are correct to discount your "nitpicking" per se — most likely your audience wants the nitpicking. I liked The Force Awakens, but I still want to know what nitpicks you have to offer. My taste per se doesn't matter, but your audience probably contains many others with the same taste, and if so, then you are doing the right thing by nitpicking.) What you get, if the positives are outweighing the negatives for a high percentage of the audience, is a film, or other artwork, that remains popular and influential despite the fact that some people believe it sucks. Such artworks are frustrating wherever they occur, in every medium. As a consumer of visual art, I think Cy Twombly is bogus and unworthy of his dominant position in the field, and I can give objective reasons why I think so, but many people still like the work of Cy Twombly, and I just have to put up with that. As a teacher of literature, I despise Lord of the Flies, and I have significant reasons for feeling that way, but a lot of my colleagues like to teach it. I believe I'm right, and I believe my reasons are solid, but nevertheless, the work I dislike carries cultural freight. I can pull out my hair trying to figure out why people like Twombly or Golding, but they do, and that is that. I have to assume that my supposedly objective reasons are irrelevant because the subjective elements of the work overwhelm them in the larger view.

  38. This video earned my subscription, holy crap an actual critique of fake critics followed up by a real critique of the force awakens that illustrates the exact reasons the movie was just meh for me. i didn't hate it like the last Jedi, but i also did not love it like Empire strikes back or the 1st alien movie.

  39. In the first 3 minutes you seamlessly showed the deterioration of public opinion of this movie from unanimous praise to outright disdain. All while only using clips from other interviews and reviewers. You could give Crowbcat a run for his money

  40. 56:14 – 56:21

    Can we take a moment to appreciate how this guy finds visual puns and metaphors for a lot of the things he says? That's just a seven second example of something we get HOURS of.

  41. I felt such a disconnect when I saw The force awakens, I felt totally alone as everyone around me seemed to not have any issues with it. All made 10x worse by The Last Jedi and the scores it reached on IMDB.

  42. I agree with your points

    Amusing to also remember that A New Hope also began with a rather weird contrivance. The escape pod containing c3po, r2d2, and the stolen death star plans was not fired upon and destroyed, because the officer said "there were no lifeforms detected on board"

    Considering that a.) the mission was to prevent the rebels from acquiring the plans, b.) stolen parcels of data do not register as "life forms" c.) DROIDS are as common as cellphones in the Star Wars universe, there was no justification for them to be so stingy as to save one measly shot by sparing an escape pod.

    I hope that officer was fired, because without him the entire Saga would not have occurred.

  43. I find it interesting that you bring up both Donward Thrust and Pop Culture Detective. Both are channels I subscribed to due to the quality of the first of their videos I saw, but in both cases I eventually realized while viewing more of their content that despite a few good presentations, their overall channel quality either wasn't up to the same standards, or were in service wholly to a subversive agenda.

    However, you said something similar about Just Write. And maybe I'm missing something there, but I've had a completely different experience with that channel than what you've described.

  44. Most people are stupid but don't want to acknowledge their stupidity. So it's much easier to say "there are no objective facts", so "everyone gets a trophy, because noone is wrong"

  45. Hmmm I really do love about learning the difference between objective and subjective. It makes me think of my own past conversations. Speaking to other people about controversial subjects is entertaining to me. At the same time though, I openly admit to a genuine lack of care in the subject. For whatever reason I find everything to be rather pointless in the grand scheme of things regardless of what statements I use… which i think (I'm not quite sure as just grasping this) are opinions based off of my own experiences combined with objective information I've come across.
    Edit: I've also found my genuine lack of care to be the main reason I so easily admit to being wrong. I've no emotional investment in the argument so admitting to fault is easy, I am a fallible human after all and learning something new is far more entertaining than screaming I'm right.

  46. 5% of the video: an actual critique of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    95% of the video: discussing life, that is good and that is bad, that objective and subjective means, and so on

  47. Who the fuck described the asian as "actress of colour"? She is asian, there is literally no way that can be offensive to say unless the person being offended wants attention, in which case they're a cunt.

    In my opinion.

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