Jump to content

A new study on the TLJ fan backlash finds...


Recommended Posts

Boyega being disappointed his role fell off a bit is 100% fine and fair. Throughout TFA Finn and Rey are kinda co main characters. However as the movie goes on it starts to become clearer that Rey is the main character and by the final 10-15 minutes Finn is in a coma and sidelined so the story can totally focus on Rey and Kylo. Then TLJ continues on that path where the story is mainly about Rey and Kylo with Finn sort of being demoted to the 2nd rung along with Poe and Rose.

 

I don't think it has anything to do with any issue of non direction though. The process of shifting the focus from "Rey and Finn on an adventure" to "Rey and Kylo" began in TFA and just continued in TLJ.

 

I won't comment on TROS because no character was handled well in that movie.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 71
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Is somebody at Disney or Lucasfilm saying "We need to cater to the racists"? Not in those words, no.   Is Disney looking at the anger online and trying to make a data-metric about what fans as a whole

As a "side" character, Finn gets a large amount of screen time. It just never goes anywhere. In TFA we get the final act and find out that Finn isn't force sensitive. Rey the center of all of this. In

Star Wars has always been more about the incest crowd than the interracial crowd.

Did Finn's character fall off a bit? I agree. Does Boyega have the right to feel disappointed and does he have the right to express the disappointment? Sure. But the fact he fell off a bit, is evidence of the fact the writing wasn't there. Like you point out, Finn was a main focus in TFA. He had a lot of screen time in TLJ, too, but his journey effectively ends by the third act of TLJ, and really his actions are not that relevant beyond a personal growth he experiences. If he was originally supposed to be one of the new big 3 comparable to Luke-Leia-Han in the OT, then he definitely wasn't written that way. But I think as the trilogy unfolded, the real focus is Rey and Kylo. That effectively turned Finn into a supporting character.

 

Bad writing, is what I think. Remember, JJ Abrams wrote 2/3s of the ST. If someone has a problem with how Finn was handled, I say blame JJ. He is not exactly known for deep writing. But is it some conspiracy or lack of sensitivity in Disney's part? No.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont know that hes claiming conspiracy, at least not anything Ive seen. What hes saying is there was a big deal about a black actor being cast, and how they were looking for one, and then the part got smaller and smaller. If you really want to be progressive and make a big deal about hiring minorities, actually do something with them and not just tokenism.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that sounds like a conspiracy, to me.

 

Like I said, no direction and bad writing cause a mishandling of Finn. I don't think it was tokenism. Just evidence that JJ Abrams can't write hsi way out of a paper bag. Even though I don't like TLJ, at least you can say RJ tried to do something with his character, and succeeded with Finn's personal growth. It's just his style of writing also led to Finn's actions not making much of a difference for the rebellion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Did Finn's character fall off a bit? I agree. Does Boyega have the right to feel disappointed and does he have the right to express the disappointment? Sure. But the fact he fell off a bit, is evidence of the fact the writing wasn't there. Like you point out, Finn was a main focus in TFA. He had a lot of screen time in TLJ, too, but his journey effectively ends by the third act of TLJ, and really his actions are not that relevant beyond a personal growth he experiences. If he was originally supposed to be one of the new big 3 comparable to Luke-Leia-Han in the OT, then he definitely wasn't written that way. But I think as the trilogy unfolded, the real focus is Rey and Kylo. That effectively turned Finn into a supporting character.

 

Bad writing, is what I think. Remember, JJ Abrams wrote 2/3s of the ST. If someone has a problem with how Finn was handled, I say blame JJ. He is not exactly known for deep writing. But is it some conspiracy or lack of sensitivity in Disney's part? No.

I don't think Rey-Finn-Poe was ever supposed to be a big 3 like from the OT. In fact in TFA Poe was supposed to die in the first act on Jakku. Oscar Isaac told JJ he wasn't interested in the part if he died early in the movie because he had done that in movies before. JJ really wanted Oscar though so he re wrote the part.

 

As for Finn, through 2 movies he goes from a storm trooper to just wanting to run away to only caring about Rey to eventually actually believing in the Resistance cause strongly enough that he is willing to kill himself for it. That's a pretty good arc.

 

The third movie has the idea present of other troopers deserting. This shouldn't have been a small thing. This should have been Finns story in the movie. He should have been captured by troopers he used to know and then inspire a large scale mutiny among the storm troopers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that sounds like a conspiracy, to me.

 

Like I said, no direction and bad writing cause a mishandling of Finn. I don't think it was tokenism. Just evidence that JJ Abrams can't write hsi way out of a paper bag. Even though I don't like TLJ, at least you can say RJ tried to do something with his character, and succeeded with Finn's personal growth. It's just his style of writing also led to Finn's actions not making much of a difference for the rebellion.

You are right, his actions don't help. He completely fails and in fact his actions actively hurt the Resistance trying to escape. Ofcourse this was the middle movie of the trilogy and you'd think the characters would learn from their mistakes and use that to win in the last movie. Unfortunately thats not what happened.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I don't think Rey-Finn-Poe was ever supposed to be a big 3 like from the OT. In fact in TFA Poe was supposed to die in the first act on Jakku. Oscar Isaac told JJ he wasn't interested in the part if he died early in the movie because he had done that in movies before. JJ really wanted Oscar though so he re wrote the part.

I don't know if I agree. The promotion just before TFA came out, it certainly seemd like they were pushing a Rey-Finn-Poe triumvirate to me. That definitely did not seem the case for TROS. TFA it seems more like they paired off Rose and Finn.

 

 

 

As for Finn, through 2 movies he goes from a storm trooper to just wanting to run away to only caring about Rey to eventually actually believing in the Resistance cause strongly enough that he is willing to kill himself for it. That's a pretty good arc.

I am not saying it is a bad arc. I am saying that the pay off by the end of TLJ seems week, other than Finn having finally stopped running and now being all in on the fight for the rebellion.

 

 

The third movie has the idea present of other troopers deserting. This shouldn't have been a small thing. This should have been Finns story in the movie. He should have been captured by troopers he used to know and then inspire a large scale mutiny among the storm troopers.

OMG! I could not agree MORE! After TLJ but before TROS, I had always personally thought Finn would somehow become an inspirational figure for those of the First Order who want to defect, after Kylo going full blown maniacal and evil dictator. Wasted potential for having FInn lead a fifth column within the First Order!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Its hard to think of it as a "big 3" when 2 of the characters don't meet at all in the first movie and then not in the 2nd until the 2nd to last scene. I think people see what they want to see and they think of Star Wars as always having that trio due to Luke-Han-Leia. People assumed that those 3 would be similar, but they aren't. Not even close.

 

Maybe the marketing intentionally pushed people to think that. But you always have to separate the marketing from the movie. The marketing exists for one reason and one reason only, to make people want to see the movie. So if you are trying to put out the idea of a fun "Big 3" because marketing thinks people will respond to that it doesn't mean there actually is a Big 3. If marketing over sells Phasma because she looks cool on packaging and in trailers it doesn;t mean she was always meant to play a larger role. Basically the fact that they may have pushed them as a new Big 3 doesnt mean they were ever actually meant to be that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as the story goes, I agree with you. They were not a Big 3 for the ST. But I feel it was marketed like that. Perhaps it is a case where there was a disconnect with how the story was written VS the marketing department?

Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as the story goes, I agree with you. They were not a Big 3 for the ST. But I feel it was marketed like that. Perhaps it is a case where there was a disconnect with how the story was written VS the marketing department?

Read my earlier post. Marketing's job is to sell the movie, not to give us an accurate portrayal of the movie.

Link to post
Share on other sites

They did use the scene of Finn activating Rey's lightsaber in TFA as a heavy misdirect in the first teaser trailer. And starting the whole thing out with him, before you even see the actual main character, made everyone expect he was going to be much more important to the story than he actually was. But Boyega knew who he was playing and what the marketing strategy was.

 

I get how Boyega could have a mental framing around race, considering what happened to Kelly Marie Tran, and how BLM-centered latest news about him has been, outside of SW. It's probably how he's framing everything in his mind these days.

 

I 150% agree that it was poor writing, though. The story was always going to focus on Rey PALPATINE and Ben SOLO. But that doesn't mean the side characters can't be meaningful to the story, too. And it would be bad enough if all the side characters were portrayed as white humans, but Disney decided to go on a diversity initiative and cast all these poorly written characters with minority actors during a time of social justice uprisings and a reckoning in Hollywood about how white-centered it is. Great job, Disney! Could have been solved by hiring better writers, but I don't know why they thought that hiring different directors for each installment when prior trilogies were all controlled by one man's vision was a good idea, either. It's like they were like "hey, we bought an iconic franchise! No one will notice if we half-ass a bunch of money grabs, because the name is so big, how can we lose!?"

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to say it was a mistake to hire different directors that's fine (I disagree but thats ok) but I don't think its fair to say Disney took the attitude you seem to think they did of just like using the name for short term cash grabs. You don't have to like the movies but they were all made with care and effort. Disney knows the best way to make the most money over a long period of time is to make good movies that people like. If you think they failed at that, ok, but thats why they were trying to do.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On a production level, I agree, the ST was successful in the FX, filmography, organization, etc. On a story telling level, I don't share your enthusiasm. I think Kennedy's motives was to push new and younger writers and producers, backed by JJ Abrams to lend his clout to the ST. But I think by initially wanting to divide the ST by 3 different writer/directors was a mistake. In fact, I think that is why JJ Abrams was brought back for the final film, because they realized that it was a mistake. If you are making a trilogy that is intentionally a 3-act story (not like when you have a sequel(s) to a movie originally supposed to be a 1 film story), you have to have a unified vision, and that was the flaw of the ST, IMHO, at least. That, and I think it is clear JJ is a big problem with the ST, too. But I admit my bias there, I hated what he did with Star Trek, and honestly don't think much of ANYTHING he has done.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to say it was a mistake to hire different directors that's fine (I disagree but thats ok) but I don't think its fair to say Disney took the attitude you seem to think they did of just like using the name for short term cash grabs. You don't have to like the movies but they were all made with care and effort. Disney knows the best way to make the most money over a long period of time is to make good movies that people like. If you think they failed at that, ok, but thats why they were trying to do.

I didn't say that they did. I said it feels like they did. If they really put in as much care and effort as you say, and they still couldn't produce a quality product, well, that sure feels like maybe they didn't put in that much care and effort.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a "side" character, Finn gets a large amount of screen time. It just never goes anywhere. In TFA we get the final act and find out that Finn isn't force sensitive. Rey the center of all of this. In TLJ he starts out with a selfish goal and ends up fighting for something bigger. Canto Bight just ruins both Finn and Rose's story. I don't know how big the Kelly Marie Tran vitriol actually was, but if that scene was better maybe the hate doesn't occur? In TROS I'm assuming Finn being force sensitive was a retcon. Then you take away the Rose relationship. Now it seems Finn is fawning over Rey again. Then you add in the other stormtrooper defects. Like it was said earlier that might have been a better way to handle Finn in the movie. At the end it seems like he's a hanger on. Not only was there no direction for him, it was tiring for fans.

 

He's treated way better than Kelly Marie Tran. They tried with Finn. Rose was given up on and I felt bad about that as I was watching the movie.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are leaving out the toxic fan angle, which Boyega says didn’t help.

 

From people saying stormtroopers shouldn’t be black to his casting being claimed as PC, it was awful. I’ve said over and over, TROS is clearly a movie plagued by studio notes and rewrites because the suits were desperate to win back all the angry TLJ fans. They kowtowed to bad fans, and one thing bad fans wanted less of, was Finn. They hated a girl as the central figure too, but Kennedy doubled down on that one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are leaving out the toxic fan angle, which Boyega says didn’t help.

 

From people saying stormtroopers shouldn’t be black to his casting being claimed as PC, it was awful. I’ve said over and over, TROS is clearly a movie plagued by studio notes and rewrites because the suits were desperate to win back all the angry TLJ fans. They kowtowed to bad fans, and one thing bad fans wanted less of, was Finn. They hated a girl as the central figure too, but Kennedy doubled down on that one.

I definitely agree that is a factor, but do you really think racist fans were really that widespread? Or could it be Boyega is more sensitive to that because it affects him more directly?

 

I have no doubt TROS has suit interference. But you have fan babies (who studios don't care about), and then you have Star Wars fans that didn't like the direction the ST went in, and walked away or lost interest and enthusiasm (the ones suits may have been catering to). I think it is important to make that distinction.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

You guys are leaving out the toxic fan angle, which Boyega says didn’t help.

 

From people saying stormtroopers shouldn’t be black to his casting being claimed as PC, it was awful. I’ve said over and over, TROS is clearly a movie plagued by studio notes and rewrites because the suits were desperate to win back all the angry TLJ fans. They kowtowed to bad fans, and one thing bad fans wanted less of, was Finn. They hated a girl as the central figure too, but Kennedy doubled down on that one.

I definitely agree that is a factor, but do you really think racist fans were really that widespread?

 

Have you looked at America lately?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll rephrase. I know there are racists out there. But what I am saying, do you think Disney catering to them really is a thing? That is just bad business, if you ask me, and I don't think they would be that stupid.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll rephrase. I know there are racists out there. But what I am saying, do you think Disney catering to them really is a thing? That is just bad business, if you ask me, and I don't think they would be that stupid.

Is somebody at Disney or Lucasfilm saying "We need to cater to the racists"? Not in those words, no.

 

Is Disney looking at the anger online and trying to make a data-metric about what fans as a whole like and dislike? Yes. And when you zoom out for a macro view like that, the loud angry voices, even if they are a minority, move the needle significantly.

 

So was Finn's role lessened because everyone at Lucasfilm and Disney is racist-- probably not. Were the angry racist voices part of the larger fan-baby crying that pushed Disney into trying to make things as ":safe" as possible? Absolutely.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, is it really a Disney Problem, or is it a Lucasfilm problem? You don't hear such arguments about the Marvel MCU side, or other Disney projects. At least I haven't.

Star Wars fandom is unique. There is a certain segment of fans who feels it is "theirs" and they dont want it to be anyone elses. Its sad.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, is it really a Disney Problem, or is it a Lucasfilm problem? You don't hear such arguments about the Marvel MCU side, or other Disney projects. At least I haven't.

 

For years I was yelling back at people who said DISNEY DID THIS OR THAT like Walt himself was there telling everyone what to do. Disney, generally, is hands-off with it's sub divisions. Up into TROS the buck stopped with Kennedy at the top of the Lucasfilm chain. Disney made no creative decisions. So long as the movies were profitable, and delivered on time, they would let Kennedy do as she saw fit.

 

This is why you never hear about them interfering with Marvel. Marvel's hot to fail ration is very low-- granted they also pump out 4x as many movies as Star Wars.

 

BUT, after Solo bombed and TLJ divided the fanbase I think that Disney sent in some hatchet men for sure. This has never been confirmed, and no one has spoken to it outside of Abrams clearly being flustered at trying to make a movie for everyone-- this is my supposition. When I say TROS was plagued by studio notes, this is a thing I have a fair amount of experience with. When you see a movie full of random ideas and plot twists, an ending that makes no sense to the rules the movie set up, a lot of fast-paced borderline montage scenes, or inserted bits with a completely different tone and pacing-- these are all signs of a note/idea being forced on a director.

 

With TROS you have ALL of these things on top of it reading like a checklist of satisfying fan complaints. To me that says Abrams had nowhere near the freedom he had with TFA. And as the last entry into the saga after two films that did not work like they had hoped... AND with Disney spending billions to add Star Wars lands to both of the flag ship parks, AND the future of all merchandising, TV shows and what not in the balance, I think there were a lot of people pissing in the pot.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, you guys are making good points. I suppose it boils down to trying to dissect the world views of a certain segment of fans that I personally cannot wrap my head around in the first place. While I am a fan of Star Wars, and I also am not really a fan of how the PT was handled, and I admit I have been vocal on this board in the past about that displeasure, I don't identify with the crazy segment (or racist for that matter) of fans, either. That way of thinking is hard for me to just understand.

 

But I do understand the point (now, anyway) that from a spreadsheet level, Disney just saw "x" amount of fans not being happy, so take action "y", and that Disney didn't break down who each segment of the fans really were.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Finn is reduced to a bumbling schlub of a sidekick who runs around screaming Rey's name for no reason. I was expecting him and Rey to have a bit of a romance, but of course THAT could never happen in a Disney movie. Remember, they were trying to market these movies to the Chinese, and the Chinese don't like black people in their movies. They didn't like Rose Tico, either, because she is Vietnamese. Disney was thus faced with a problem: they needed loads of different characters so that they could tick off the boxes in their Diversity Hiring list and appeal to Westerners; but they had to downplay those roles to appeal more to a Chinese audience. It doesn't work.The Chinese have NEVER liked Star Wars, so marketing it to them is baffling and makes no sense. Why is Hollywood so concerned about sucking up to the Chinese all a sudden? Who cares what they think, when they aren't even going to watch it?

 

At any rate, the result is an absolute mess. Minorities were added, not because they could enhance the story, but because Hollywood is obsessed with diversity. Finn and Tico were there to fill up a quota, rather than to become memorable, interesting characters. Evidently, making room for space horses was more important than adding a few extra scenes for the oh-so-important minorities that they made a big deal out of hiring. Editing continued right up to the movie's release date, and I have a feeling that a lot of scenes with Rose and Finn wound up on the cutting room floor (or its digital equivalent). I would have preferred seeing fewer characters in these films, so that we could focus on their interactions and personal growth. Instead, Disney chose to throw as much crap on the screen as they could, trying to appeal to everyone at the same time. That's not a good plan for making a movie.

Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...