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The Lounge => Media and Inspiration => Topic started by: Kiero on September 21, 2022, 05:32:40 AM

Title: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Kiero on September 21, 2022, 05:32:40 AM
This series starts today. I'm cautiously optimistic, if only because besides The Mandalorian, Rogue One was the only good thing they've made recently. All the other movies - sequels, Han Solo, etc were complete shite.

Assuming they don't go woke-crazy, they can't really fuck that up too much. Amazed they greenlit a series which features an ostensibly straight male protagonist as the lead.

I ground my way through three episodes of the excrable Obi Wan (turn a badass hero into a broken down loser, that'll make everyone excited!) before giving up. So a low bar for this to cross.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Shrieking Banshee on September 21, 2022, 10:10:51 AM
If you want more STAR WARSTM in the same way you want a big mac, then I can see being optimistic for Andor.

If STAR WARS is about some expansive universe and focusing on growing it and telling stories within itself that have not been experienced before, then andor is more mediocre slurry.

I am sick to fucking death of Empire V Rebels disposable pablum.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on September 21, 2022, 11:12:21 AM
Disney could have drawn upon the EU that had grown around the IP, but instead they decided to discard it completely.

One of the problems with Disney's SW shows is that they can't create anything that stands on its own. Everything has to be a sequel, or a prequel, or an interquel, or explore the adventures of a movie character, etc. Even the Mandalorian suffers from being an offbrand Boba Fett show with cameos by legacy characters.

The animated anthology Visions is the only production that doesn't suffer this problem. While it does feature the Empire, the jedi, and the sith to the exclusion of other potential plots, it doesn't feature any legacy characters. Unsurprisingly, this happened because Disney gave the directors complete creative freedom. Some of the stories don't feel appropriate for the universe, like the jedi prodigy who slices a Super Duper Deluxe Star Destroyer in half with his lightsaber while breathing in space like Captain Marvel. But overall it shows a fraction of the potential that Disney fails to explore.

But to be entirely honest, trying to turn SW into an EU franchise was doomed to failure from the start because it was never intended to be one. If you want a franchise universe, then you have to build it from the start as one, like how original TTRPG sandbox settings are designed. You need to build in plot hooks and so forth, otherwise the writers will be left hanging and not have any idea what would be appropriate for the overall tone of the universe.

Multimedia franchises that were developed ad hoc by accumulating various detritus from various writers over the decades will always be inferior to settings that were created to be sandboxes from the start. You can see countless examples of this in how every franchise that develops this way falls apart quickly. Alien, Terminator, Predator, MCU, SW, etc.

Not only that, but even if you do start with a detailed sandbox setting you still need competent people to develop for it. Games Workshop has Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 but has consistently failed to develop any of it into a multimedia franchise despite the setting's incredible (and underutilized) flexibility. Rather than focusing on how you can tell novelty stories involving all the really weird but interesting stuff that appears nowhere else in the setting, the games and streaming shows have used only the clichés of the setting.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Shrieking Banshee on September 21, 2022, 11:34:50 AM
Disney could have drawn upon the EU that had grown around the IP, but instead they decided to discard it completely.
Lots of the EU is just repetative and bad....But then Disney makes content that feels exactly like that repetative filler content.
Its like they removed the EU not to make something better, but so they could just do it again. 'That Dark Empire comic is deep garbage. Lets just jumble it up and make it into a movie'.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Thornhammer on September 21, 2022, 12:37:08 PM
This series starts today. I'm cautiously optimistic, if only because besides The Mandalorian, Rogue One was the only good thing they've made recently. All the other movies - sequels, Han Solo, etc were complete shite.

I'm still surprised that The Book of Boba Fett was so disappointing. The best episode was an episode of someone else's series.

Andor might be better since I'm not going into this one with a lot of expectations. We'll see. Andor is tonight's featured episode on Stationary Bike Theater.

Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Armchair Gamer on September 21, 2022, 01:26:59 PM
One of the problems with Disney's SW shows is that they can't create anything that stands on its own. Everything has to be a sequel, or a prequel, or an interquel, or explore the adventures of a movie character, etc. Even the Mandalorian suffers from being an offbrand Boba Fett show with cameos by legacy characters.

   This has not been unique to Disney. Back in the day, there were people at Bantam Books who wanted to expand beyond the movie characters, but Lucasfilm insisted on keeping them front and center. They thought the success of the X-Wing books would finally break things open for them, but Lucasfilm said "Sorry, Wedge is a beloved movie character; doesn't count."

   The video games and comic books were less constrained, which helped the old EU a lot, for all its flaws.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Armchair Gamer on September 21, 2022, 01:28:29 PM
Disney could have drawn upon the EU that had grown around the IP, but instead they decided to discard it completely.
Lots of the EU is just repetative and bad....But then Disney makes content that feels exactly like that repetative filler content.
Its like they removed the EU not to make something better, but so they could just do it again. 'That Dark Empire comic is deep garbage. Lets just jumble it up and make it into a movie'.

  Everything I've heard about Rise of Skywalker makes it sound like a Dark Empire movie. Meanwhile, TFA and TLJ feel a lot like the Legacy of the Force novels with less depth. (Karen Traviss and Rian Johnson both feel like they hate 90% of Star Wars. :) )
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on September 21, 2022, 01:43:03 PM
Disney could have drawn upon the EU that had grown around the IP, but instead they decided to discard it completely.
Lots of the EU is just repetative and bad....But then Disney makes content that feels exactly like that repetative filler content.
Its like they removed the EU not to make something better, but so they could just do it again. 'That Dark Empire comic is deep garbage. Lets just jumble it up and make it into a movie'.

  Everything I've heard about Rise of Skywalker makes it sound like a Dark Empire movie. Meanwhile, TFA and TLJ feel a lot like the Legacy of the Force novels with less depth. (Karen Traviss and Rian Johnson both feel like they hate 90% of Star Wars. :) )
Fair enough.

One of the problems with Disney's SW shows is that they can't create anything that stands on its own. Everything has to be a sequel, or a prequel, or an interquel, or explore the adventures of a movie character, etc. Even the Mandalorian suffers from being an offbrand Boba Fett show with cameos by legacy characters.

   This has not been unique to Disney. Back in the day, there were people at Bantam Books who wanted to expand beyond the movie characters, but Lucasfilm insisted on keeping them front and center. They thought the success of the X-Wing books would finally break things open for them, but Lucasfilm said "Sorry, Wedge is a beloved movie character; doesn't count."

   The video games and comic books were less constrained, which helped the old EU a lot, for all its flaws.
Thank you for the trivia lesson.

I find the obsession with zero degrees of separation in fiction writing very frustrating. It creates a stranglehold on IPs that makes them feel tiny.

What's frustrating is that corpos can't even do baby steps like episodic anthology adventures. The Vampire Hunter D novels all feature D as the protagonist, but all of the stories are otherwise unconnected from each other and do a huge amount in making the world feel huge and mysterious. Aside from D, Kikuchi never features the same characters after their first appearance, although some books make callbacks to previous books.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Shrieking Banshee on September 21, 2022, 04:27:13 PM
Everything I've heard about Rise of Skywalker makes it sound like a Dark Empire movie.

I know! The stupidity of Dark Empire (and Dark Horse in general) was held over the Star Wars EU for decades, one of the biggest reasons of needing to get rid of it. And then Disney just about does it (maybe with a change here in there in terms of equal badness).
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Armchair Gamer on September 21, 2022, 05:20:03 PM
Everything I've heard about Rise of Skywalker makes it sound like a Dark Empire movie.

I know! The stupidity of Dark Empire (and Dark Horse in general) was held over the Star Wars EU for decades, one of the biggest reasons of needing to get rid of it. And then Disney just about does it (maybe with a change here in there in terms of equal badness).

  Folding Dark Empire into the EU was, IMO, a mistake, and the first sign of the 'include everything' approach that I think wound up handicapping it--keeping material consistent is a good goal, but trying to retroactively incorporate things that hadn't been taken account of earlier caused more headaches than they were worth. Zahn had the right idea by pushing back against making the Thrawn Trilogy account for Dark Empire, especially since the comic was even more obscure then than it was at the time it was incorporated. (By the time the novels folded it in with the Jedi Academy Trilogy, you at least had the TPB published and the West End Games sourcebook to give it credibility as part of the 'canon'.)

  At least they haven't gone back to The Crystal Star yet ... have they? :D

  As for Andor, they're loving it over at TBP ... not a good sign. ;) But I try to avoid sending money to Minas Mousgul if at all possible. :)
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Shrieking Banshee on September 21, 2022, 05:32:20 PM
Folding Dark Empire into the EU was, IMO, a mistake, and the first sign of the 'include everything' approach that I think wound up handicapping it--keeping material consistent is a good goal, but trying to retroactively incorporate things that hadn't been taken account of earlier caused more headaches than they were worth.

On one hand I absolutely agree with this. On the other hand it prevents multiverse crap from happening where nobody has to care about previous events - ever. Instead of at the very least tangentially new stories, watch Luke defeat vader in 30000000000000 different ways (the Marvel Method).

And I think it was a reviled book writer (Kevin J Anderson I think) who folded the comics and added the idiocy of Dark Horse into the EU forever more.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Armchair Gamer on September 21, 2022, 05:35:21 PM
And I think it was a reviled book writer (Kevin J Anderson I think) who folded the comics and added the idiocy of Dark Horse into the EU forever more.

  Anderson did the deed for the novels, but the WEG sourcebook that explicitly placed it after the Thrawn Trilogy came out several months before the Jedi Academy Trilogy, and I suspect the 'make this canon' came down from Lucasfilm, if not higher up. There were rumors in the 90s that a certain bearded, flannel-wearing gentleman was very fond of the comics.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Shrieking Banshee on September 21, 2022, 05:39:20 PM
There were rumors in the 90s that a certain bearded, flannel-wearing gentleman was very fond of the comics.

Maybe, but that just feels very vague to me. I know George does lots of stupid stuff when without somebody else to limit him, but just about none of the Dark Horse comic material made it in anywhere in stuff he worked in.

Also I always thought he had a very 'hands off I don't care' aproach to the EU. At least audibly. He had some input, but I don't think he ultra cared. The Emperor returning was his idea in the Dark Empire comic (in place of a vader impersonator), but he put that down as a 'You guys feel free to do stupid shit in your own stuff'.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Lurkndog on September 21, 2022, 08:25:32 PM
So is Andor any good?

The way that all the trailers are 90% Rogue One footage gives me a bad feeling.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Thornhammer on September 21, 2022, 08:33:25 PM
So is Andor any good?

The way that all the trailers are 90% Rogue One footage gives me a bad feeling.

Kinda dull but has its moments.

If you’re wanting characters you haven’t seen before, this has them.

Are we doing three days before in depth discussion again?

Edit: okay, kinda real dull through the first two episodes.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: jeff37923 on September 22, 2022, 09:37:52 AM
I love Star Wars, but Andor has got some of the slowest pacing I've seen.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on September 22, 2022, 12:09:09 PM
Folding Dark Empire into the EU was, IMO, a mistake, and the first sign of the 'include everything' approach that I think wound up handicapping it--keeping material consistent is a good goal, but trying to retroactively incorporate things that hadn't been taken account of earlier caused more headaches than they were worth.

On one hand I absolutely agree with this. On the other hand it prevents multiverse crap from happening where nobody has to care about previous events - ever. Instead of at the very least tangentially new stories, watch Luke defeat vader in 30000000000000 different ways (the Marvel Method).

And I think it was a reviled book writer (Kevin J Anderson I think) who folded the comics and added the idiocy of Dark Horse into the EU forever more.
KJA? Of course it would be the same idiot who turned Dune into a farce. I known Frank had his own flaws (https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/TifG2m7BYW2sGmAoR/leto-among-the-machines?commentId=dvJezXSy5zMcgYfLw), but despite those Dune is able to hold itself together relatively well because it was written with specific themes and messages in mind. I don't get the impression that KJA even understands what themes are, much less is able to use them to inform his writing. His books all feel like they were written simply to make a profit off the IP, even though everything he adds is shitty and goes against the original lore and themes. That fucking idiot ruined fan discussions forever because now everybody who isn't an erudite thinks the Butlerian Jihad was against offbrand Skynet when Dune itself literally states that it was against attitudes. In one of the later books Alia outright states that AIs are incapable of rebelling against their masters and therefore are perfectly trustworthy. Argh
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Shrieking Banshee on September 22, 2022, 12:29:25 PM
That fucking idiot ruined fan discussions forever because now everybody who isn't an erudite thinks the Butlerian Jihad was against offbrand Skynet when Dune itself literally states that it was against attitudes.

Oh? Tell me more. I liked some dune things in theory, but I didn't read the books because the writing style didn't click with me.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Thornhammer on September 22, 2022, 06:46:43 PM
Episode three is an improvement, I’ll give it that.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Lurkndog on September 22, 2022, 07:29:34 PM
Is it worse than Book of Boba Fett, in terms of pacing?
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Thornhammer on September 22, 2022, 07:48:07 PM
As bad if not worse, yes.

If you go in expecting something like the pacing of a British espionage program, you might set yourself up for a better experience.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: Kiero on September 24, 2022, 05:48:05 PM
Two episodes in, and I don't mind the pacing. I was told from the off it's a spy thriller, not an action show, so that's what I expect.
Title: Re: [Star Wars] Andor
Post by: David Johansen on September 26, 2022, 10:42:38 PM
I'm really liking it so far.  If I have a complaint it's that the flashbacks to his childhood are a little odd.  I think it's a timing thing but they just cut to them and for the first couple you're not quite sure if it's flashbacks or something eles going on at the same time and once you're sure they're flashbacks, you're not sure who is in them.  It gets clearer as it goes but something about it doesn't quite click for me.

The Mandelorean was okay but often felt like self parody.  Self parody is okay but don't expect anyone to take you seriously ever again.  I did like when he came back from the job and the Jawas had stripped his ship down to the frame.

I didn't mind Obi Wan but it all felt a bit pointless.  Little Leia will probably be a mega star when she grows up.

The Book of Boba Fett had about one good thing, and that's when he crawls out of the Sarrlaac and collapses and the Jawas come along and steal his boots.