Use the Falchion

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  1. First off, good luck on your stuff. This has been an interesting distraction to all of my papers, projects, and work as well, so thanks for that. I guess my closing points: Ask yourself: "what did the movie require to tell its story?" That's a different question from "what did I want to see?" But we often confuse and conflate the two. Do I want to see Snoke corrupting Ben? Absolutely. But are these scenes important to the story? If so, how? What do they add? Who is benefiting from this information, and why? What is the narrative these scenes fit into? And I'll warn you, from one aspiring writer to another, we have to be incredibly careful about the information and knowledge you're putting in for the audience versus the characters. If the characters don't need the info, think twice about why you're including it. Ben's corruption wasn't worth showing in my opinion because: 1) the story (and in this case mainly the flashbacks) isn't about him being corrupted, but rather him having been corrupted. There's a difference there. 2) These flashbacks would have slowed a pretty slow story already to a massive crawl and would feel massively out of place. Flashbacks like these are good for a book, and I would happily welcome them there.* But Star Wars isn't Stormlight. In a movie, unless these flashbacks have a connection to the story (like the ones we get), these scenes would feel very superfluous. After all, why would Luke spend his time telling Rey about "that one time Ben did something super shady and I probably should have seen the red flags then," when he's spending all of his time actively avoiding her and trying to convince her why the Jedi should die? 3) About the nephew-murder, Luke already explains this. I've been trying to tell you. It's not about him getting to a point where he'd do that (even though Luke explicitly states "yeah I could stop this kid from taking everything I loved and worked to build"), it's about him always being there. That state of being has nothing to do with Kylo being Luke's nephew, (although that is what walks Luke back from the edge). It was always about Luke protecting those that he loves. That's what fans can't reconcile, or so it seems. Luke's actions in the flashbacks are totally in-line with his character throughout the OT. But it's hard to see because it's not what we want to see. But hey, Kaladin's arc in Words of Radiance is hard to face at times, but it's in line with his character. So too with Luke. Remember the context around the Flashbacks also. Flashback 1 was because Luke (to paraphrase) said "I don't want another Ben Solo incident." Flashback 2 was Kylo (to paraphrase) saying "Luke attacked me. I'm the victim here!" Flashback 3 was Luke (again, to paraphrase) saying "Yeah I had a bad instinct/reflex because I wanted to protect my loved ones, and it scared Ben off. We're all victims," in order to clear the air. How does exploring Kylo's past fit into this narrative? TL;DR - It really feels like you're asking the movie for information it already gave in detail it never promised, and ignoring what the movie outright states in order to justify that view. How did Kylo fall to the Dark Side? Snoke corrupted him. The end. How did Vader fall to the Dark Side in the OT? He was seduced by its power and then corrupted. The end. TLJ never promised to show what that looked like, and you complaining about that fact isn't fair to the movie or yourself. Why did Luke nearly kill his nephew? He saw what his nephew could become and could destroy, and his instinct went ahead without thinking in order to protect his loved ones, as he has always done. The end. *In fact, in my Revision head-canon, the trilogy novelization actually would be plotted out like a Stormlight book, flashbacks and interludes and all. TFA's novelization would be about Finn, TLJ would probably be Rey & Kylo, and TROS would either be Poe or Poe & Kylo, assuming the latter isn't sharing the spotlight with Rey in TLJ's novelization.
  2. I'd argue that those people need to remember how Luke behaves in the OT, and see if this lines up. Because to me, it does. Luke's gut reaction has always been to protect those he loves. That's why he went off to save Leia and Han in ESB despite the warnings of Obi-Wan and Yoda. That's why he freaked out against Vader in ROTJ when Leia was mentioned, despite seeing the good in him. This was the same, but on a smaller scale and far more destructive. Luke didn't freak out because he saw just the darkness that he'd been fighting, but the death of those he loved. Not really, but I also don't think that was a job for the movie. When in the movie would they have time to explore that? Would it be in a flashback monologue? If so, why not just compress all of that knowledge into one scene?* Would it be explored throughout the movie? If so, why? Whose storyline would that serve? That sort of thing is for EU material to explore post-TLJ, as Kylo's increasing corruption had little to do with the story at hand, and for a story like that we'd need more time than the movie can (and I'd argue should) give. Sadly the best we have right now is Charles Soule's Rise of Kylo Ren comic series. I've heard it's good, but...well, my interest in the Knights of Ren mostly went down the drain after TROS... (It also retconned what TFA and TLJ said about Kylo running off with a few of Luke's other students, implying he wasn't the only former apprentice who was a Knight of Ren.) I think TLJ did an interesting move by exploring the idea of perspectives and "a certain point of view" ala Rashomon with what happened that night. And I'd argue what happened was in line with Luke's character. Like I mention above, Luke has always been one to immediately, instinctively, and aggressively rush to the protection of his loved ones. This is Luke's fatal flaw, as it leaves him open to the Dark Side and prone to anger and mistakes. (The ferocity of which Luke acts, not the acting itself.) So let's play out a scenario: Luke, finds out about how someone he cares for who's been corrupted by the Dark Side has the potential and the capability to destroy what the Jedi loves. Luke, propelled by the need to protect that loved one, aggressively (and quite justifiably) lashes out, brandishing his green lightsaber to strike down evil. But as his enemy lays before him, Luke realizes who he is lashing out against, and feels nothing but shame and remorse. Is Luke about to finish off Vader or about to attack Kylo Ren in my scenario? The main difference is that with Kylo, there was no time to stop and explain, because Kylo saw Luke as an aggressor and freaked out. To quote the oft-memed phrase, "it's like poetry; it rhymes," this time once for comedy (in the Greco-Roman "happy ending" sense) and once for tragedy. To help solidify my point, here's the clip from ROTJ. I'd skip to the 4 minute mark, as that's where my point is made. Even against those he loves, if those loved ones threaten other loved ones, Luke snaps. *...oh wait, they did.
  3. Luke Those aren't the thoughts of someone who actively went out to kill someone. Those are the thoughts of someone who had a gut reaction, and let it pass, but not soon enough. I like your idea, I really do! Heck, a big part of me would prefer it. But I think it would undercut the message of TLJ. TLJ is about failure. Luke failed as a teacher and a mentor. Poe failed as a leader. Finn failed his mission, as did Rey. And Kylo failed to corrupt or kill Rey, destroy the Jedi, and win the war. But it's about what we do when we fail that matters. Luke gave up, and it was the wrong move. But he got a chance to get back up and do better. Like another character from another certain piece of work that came out late 2017, Luke has to take responsibility for what he's done. But yes, your version would easily be the better, less controversial one. And I like that fact.
  4. If you've been trained to move it off safety because you've been fighting in combat zones for decades, and then the person next to you immediately sets off those "this person is a threat to my life" reflex, I can imagine it being the same. It's the type of training that you're looking at, not the reflex. But they're both reflexes of self defense, and reflexes to take down someone who's a threat. It's muscle memory, and you bet your but it can be trained and used to take a weapon out for self-defense. But you're missing the forest for the trees. The point is that Luke, being a Jedi who has fought Sith, Knights of Ren, and other various creatures and villains throughout his life, had a moment of pure self-defense reflex that he's trained himself to have. Kylo took that self defense reflex to mean assault and freaked out. If you want to continue missing the forest for the trees be my guest: how many times have you missed an exit when driving or exited too soon, because you were distracted by something else and your body went on autopilot, taking you down a path you know by instinct? How many times have you turned right to go to a familiar store when you meant to go left? How many times have you been so caught up in your head that your body goes on autopilot?
  5. You're missing the reflex. If I have a reflex to punch when surprised, and someone who has suffered physical abuse surprises me and I punch them, you bet there'd be fallout. Was my reflex wrong? No. Was their reaction wrong? No. It's no one's fault, it just is. Likewise, that is what happened here. Luke saw the darkness and lit his lightsaber as a reflex. The moment passed, and before he could put it away and talk with Ben, the kid woke up and freaked out. This has nothing to do with Luke thinking that he couldn't change Ben if given the chance, because he was never given the chance. That's the whole point. And when Luke does confront Ben, he realizes that unlike Vader, Kylo doesn't want to change. Had Luke turned off his lightsaber in time, we'd be seeing a different story.
  6. ...except they explicitly say how Luke got there in the movie. He saw the darkness in Ben (something he'd seen in pieces but never the full extent), reflexively lit his lightsaber, and Ben woke up at the exact wrong moment. And that's perfectly in line with Luke. Because Luke always goes rushing off to fight the darkness. He did so in ESB, rushing into a situation he wasn't prepared for. He did so in ROTJ, giving in to his anger when Vader threatened his sister. He's been fighting darkness in the galaxy for decades. How is it out of character to have a reflex that leads to bad results? When I was a kid and had nightmares, I'd go to my parents room to sleep with them. However, my dad, being a martial artist, always had a reflex to attack when he was woken up. It scared me as a kid, but it wasn't good or bad, it just was. Like with Luke, it was simply an instinct. Do I wish we saw how Kylo got to that slippery slope? A little, but that was the price of focusing of Rey and Luke, and the idea of alternative perspectives. Just because he hasn't a different writing approach doesn't mean you should condemn it. He didn't need to work past is first draft because he felt like it was fine for the story, and I think it mostly was. But I think it was the right approach. We already had the Emperor as the Big Bad in two trilogies. We didn't need a third trilogy with an "evil mastermind." Something fresh was desired, and RJ took that path, creating a more interesting character arc for Kylo (potentially) in the long run. Kylo was to be a fresh, new type of Big Bad. He truly finished what Vader started in his journey to become Emperor. It's JJ who set things back to the status quo so things could end at the status quo. And ask yourself, which is the harder route - killing someone everyone is curious about and forcing your main antagonist to step up, or letting the status quo stay the same with some mysterious grandiose villain, a Skywalker Dragon who can't escape, and a turn to good that's clearly going to happen? Sometimes in writing you have to kill your darlings. Snoke was a darling that had to die so the story could move forward. EDIT: I want to ask, what does Snoke do for you in the story, and what does he mean to the characters in-world? Where did you see him going in an Episode IX that wasn't directed by JJ had he lived? What was his role, and had we seen it before? Was there anything new about it? What did he bring to the table? Next, what does Kylo's killing of Snoke doe to the story in a world where Episode IX wasn't directed by JJ in your mind? What would happen had he not killed Snoke in your mind? If Snoke's history doesn't matter to the characters in-world (either because they know or they don't care), then why should it be announced? If Rey's family identity doesn't matter to her, then why should we focus our attention on it outside of some fun (and responsibly managed) speculation? Is Snoke weak or strong in this story?
  7. Okay, I've thought about it some more, so I can provide more feedback than just one word lol! This was very different from the revisions I've seen from others. Probably the most different, being honest. Overall I like your focus on more alien (heh) threats and the expansion of the galactic scene as a whole. It's clear that Thrawn is important to you, as are the EU material. (A good thing to have for a lore junky...which reminds me that I need to read Thrawn: Alliances.) I'm not sure if I agree with Finn being paralyzed, but I think I see what you're going for here. As a quick revision, maybe, in the revised version of TFA in your head, the movie starts with the New Republic saving a broken and fleeing First Order from the Grysk? That way you can deal with the ramifications of the New Republic taking them in as both a political dialogue while also dealing with the idea of taking back someone/thing that makes you a worse.* That way you can work the Finn x Poe dynamic into them being antagonistic towards each other to begrudging respect to finally love, not unlike Han and Leia. Kylo's a non-person in this story, but I'll just chalk it up to this being a quick toss out of ideas, which is fine! And most importantly, you've given me an excuse to share my version of a ST revision! Before I begin, I want to say that my original goal was to keep the director's visions in-tact as much as possible while also changing things to fit the story I wanted to see and tell. That means the first two movies don't change as much as you and others would probably like. (Teleportation and Healing stay in.) And I'm fine with that. TROS is a different story, as the small changes rippled down in a way that necessitated changes. This revision was also plotted out like a book in some ways, with room for subplots, sequels, and small Easter Eggs. This is both a weakness and a strength. The writing gets more descriptive and detailed as it goes on. That makes sense - when I first wrote this, it started as concept changes...but as I continued to write, the story fleshed itself out. Avengers: Endgame was also a big inspiration on this revision. I feel like where TROS went wrong in a lot of places, Endgame got right. Not perfect in all cases, but right enough. So without further ado...Use the Falcion's Sequel Trilogy Revision Draft 4.5 TFA TLJ TROS Prologue & Part 1 Johnson's philosophy for the arcs was to make the characters hear the hardest thing. This worked with Rey to a degree, since the hardest thing she had to hear is that she has no place in the story.** This worked for Kylo, as the hardest thing he had to hear was that his family will stay with him the more he tries to push them away. This...didn't work so well for Finn and Poe IMO, but that's an old complaint. Luke's arc was due to how JJ set things up in TFA and George Lucas' own notes. George's concepts had a grumpy Luke brought out of seclusion by an aspiring young woman, and he was supposed to die in Episode XIII in that version. Granted, Lucas' concepts of the ST change a LOT, I believe we have evidence of this one. Add to that the fact that it was JJ who sequestered Luke to the island and came up with a backstory (he felt like Luke would overshadow the new characters, which he was 100% correct about). Rian had to come up with a reason for Luke to feel like he failed and to stay away. And in a way, do see Luke's point of view. He failed, and in his failing saw how the previous generations failed. Luke saw systematic failure and decided that the system would end with him. So he did what he thought was the noble thing to do, and took himself out of the equation. It's not that he thought the Light Side wouldn't exist or fight back, he simply didn't believe that it had to be a JEDI who was the fighter, due to their flaws and hubris. (See his comments about how the Jedi "owning" the Light was vanity.) Now, we all know he was wrong, but it was still noble in his mind. From a meta-perspective, Luke represents the old guard of fans, their "Sacred Jedi Texts" being the old canon stories. He's dogmatic about his teaching, mocking those who want to learn and warping their perception of what they think they wanted. He's a gate-keeper, believing his way is the ONLY right way. Rey in this struggle represents a new generation of fans who want to love Star Wars, but are met with resistance within the fandom at every turn. Kylo represents someone who felt like Rey did, but now gave up, deriding everything Star Wars, and now wants to burn it all down. Or at least that's how I saw it. In terms of Snoke, I think RJ did the right thing. Could Snoke have been awesome? Absolutely! He could have been Plagueis or a dozen other cool ideas. But RJ took the tough approach IMO. The harder approach. He turned someone we're supposed to feel conflicted about and made them the Big Bad. In many ways, Kylo fully became the antithesis of Vader. Where Vader failed (overthrowing his master and ruling the Empire), Kylo succeeded. Where Vader was conflicted, Kylo was finally sure. Where Vader gained what truly mattered, Kylo lost it all. I liked it. No more "let me turn to the Dark Side and then back to the Light." For the first time in Star Wars we had someone who fell to the Dark and stayed that way....until TROS. *This may be misconstrued - I mean this as a talk about how the Republic would deal with those who praise and idolize its darkest time and iteration coming back into the fold. NOTHING MORE THAN THAT. **This doesn't fully work, as Rey is never really worried about it, but w/e.
  8. WHEN THE WINGED HUSSARS ARRIVED!! (My friend showed me them a few months ago, and the next day I saw them on Reddit. It was hilariously fortuitous.) Anyways, Band-Maid just came out with a new music video and song today, and it's GREAT.
  9. Interesting!
  10. While I agree with a lot of your points and also really don't like the movie, I don't think Luke's journal or the Sacred Jedi Texts (which is what they probably should have been) as a source of information is a bad thing, no more than [ROW SPOILERS] But that's beside the point. I'm quoting you because I'm curious. How would you revise the sequel trilogy? What would you change? What would you keep? How much of how you interpret JJ & RJ's vision would influence your decisions, and how much would you let go? I'd like to see this from you. As an aspiring writer myself, I find that doing this to projects I dislike (or am dissatisfied with...or do like and am curious about how I'd interpret the future of) in worlds that I do like is a great source of catharsis as a fan and self-discovery as an aspiring writer. So yeah, what would your version of the sequel trilogy look like? (And note, I'm asking more for a revision than anything else, since saying "I'd throw it all out" doesn't really help the case. We all have ideas as to what our versions of Ep 7-9 would look like - I want to see what your revision of their version would be.)
  11. First of all how dare you. (But really enjoy it all!) Second of all, no Spider-Man: Miles Morales?
  12. Welcome to the Shard Quick Ben! (Love the username btw!)
  13. Oh absolutely. As an aspiring writer as well, I understand the mastery involved and what Brandon is trying to do. I don't always have a problem with it either, but here it bothered me because it felt like a 180. Again, I'm happy for the change, but it left me wanting to see the measuring stick, if that makes sense, if only to see how far we've come and to make some of the moments that happen in this story a little more dramatic. Imagine how we'd feel for Rysn if we saw little moments of her actively moving forward through the moment of the accident in her mind? Imagine how strong she'd seem if we saw her take that first step into who she is today. And maybe these are scenes better suited for an adaptation (especially since I imagine the series as a cartoon!). Maybe a better example of my overall complaint about skipping parts to tell a story would be in Starsight. At the beginning of the book: But we don't get that. And while I understand why that is (heck, the last time Sanderson tried that it didn't go over as well...), a part of me feels like there's a story there that could have been and would have been great to flesh out the characters and the world. The same is true for Shallan's wedding in OB, or Dalinar and Gavilar meeting Navani. I'm not saying these scenes should have been there like other people have, but I'm saying those are the scenes that, while not adding to the story proper, add to the characters and the world, which make them all the more important for me. Because to me, it's all about the little moments; those small, interlude-esque scenes that help humanize your character and connect the arcs. Those small arcs that aren't always life-changing, but leave you wanting more. Mad Max exists in a type of archetype of characters that don't really change much. Superheroes in comics belong in that archetype too. Batman never really moves beyond his initial goal of cleaning up the streets, but his crusade affects those who join it or find their way in its crosshairs. Same for the Flash and others. Captain America in the movies is a weird example, since his priorities and methods never change, but his stance on government (not people, but government and oversight) does. Rysn wasn't like that before though, and we see that she's still not like that. Rysn is growing, changing, and maturing. I LOVED the scenes where she bartered and inspired and showed the maturity we all knew she had within herself. And don't worry, I wasn't comparing it to a full-fledged novel, but Edgedancer. In Lift's novella, while the tone was appropriately Lift, it never felt YA to me the way Dawnshard did for some reason. And we see the development in Lift alongside her journey. It's not off-screen (...unless you skipped ED to go straight into Oathbringer...). I'm sure when I revist the novella I'll feel more positively about it; and I don't dislike it! I just think that something was missing in the novella for me.
  14. *Insert "Living on a Prayer" memes and jokes* But more seriously, this is awesome news! I'm still a little sad that Skyward 3 will be the shortest book in the series, but hey, if it's out on time, I won't complain.