Author Topic: "It's... just a placeholder." The sole thing I don't understand  (Read 3500 times)

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sushia11

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"It's... just a placeholder." The sole thing I don't understand
« on: October 21, 2012, 12:04:30 AM »
I consider myself to be very understanding of story arcs, and extremely able to make connections. But this I just don't understand.

Some of you may have noticed that "For River" sounds a lot like "Forever". I thought this could symbolize the never-ending love John felt and all that cheesy jazz. But... "Just a placeholder" contradicts this idea. Forever is just that... forever. Does this quote just stand for John's inability to understand River's messages - "Just a placeholder" - and that one day he will?

And then there's the next line. In John's fake memories, we find out John's real name for the song is "To the Moon". The moon symbolizes the place that John and River are to meet if they "got lost". I thought it would make more sense if John's first name for it was To the Moon (without understanding the significance of it), and his second name would be Forever. That would form a statement somewhere along these lines: "Together, forever."

But I still don't get where that placeholder line comes into play. I'm not convinced it's just a cool line that Kan thought of. It's one of the most stand-out lines the the game. And if you didn't notice, Kan plans his work pretty well.

So can anybody shed some light on this?  :deepstuff:

Aurzel

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Re: "It's... just a placeholder." The sole thing I don't understand
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2012, 12:38:04 AM »
I felt like it was one of those 'Guy: This is cool. Girl: I don't like it. Guy: Yeah now that I think about it, I don't like it either.' type moments. She called the title cliche so yeah it's just until I think of a better one.

Sanicgottafeelfast

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Re: "It's... just a placeholder." The sole thing I don't understand
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2012, 12:42:14 AM »
Hm... maybe it was a personal placeholder like people have when they want to remember something good in their lives if I remember correctly in that scene Johnny found out River wanted to choose the lighthouse over her getting better. Because she thought his remembering would be more important to him then her life and her love for lighthouses, perhaps this was a moment johnny treasured because he knew it would be one of the last he would spend with River, and a moment of great distress when he realized he was going to be alone.

I think the "for River" thing is a reference to Fur elise although I remember that was mistranslated as for elise and not the original meaning of for elese so it could be forever/ for River pun kan was making hehe.
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Tumbles

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Re: "It's... just a placeholder." The sole thing I don't understand
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2012, 01:14:10 AM »
I felt like it was one of those 'Guy: This is cool. Girl: I don't like it. Guy: Yeah now that I think about it, I don't like it either.' type moments. She called the title cliche so yeah it's just until I think of a better one.

You summed it up better than I thought I could.

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sushia11

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Re: "It's... just a placeholder." The sole thing I don't understand
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2012, 04:03:17 AM »
It's kinda hard for me to let this go :/. Let's assume for a second, that it didn't actually mean "forever" and it was just "for River". I can't stand thinking that this is it! I can't believe that he just couldn't come up with a better title.

The only think I can think of is that he came up with such a cliche name because he didn't understand what River was trying to tell him. The "just a placeholder" line meant that one say, he would know.

Then at NASA he finally gets it. Now, because his fake memories are fabricated using his thoughts and desires, he realized that the moon was the place they were to be together.

Regardless if this idea (which I am liking more and more) of mine is true, you could say that the moon symbolized death. However, I would say "death" is a shallow way of looking at it. The moon would be the place he would find River again, and it's even the last thing he sees before he dies. He's even buried next to River.

You can tell I like the game.

r3kan

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Re: "It's... just a placeholder." The sole thing I don't understand
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2012, 05:03:23 AM »
It's kinda hard for me to let this go :/. Let's assume for a second, that it didn't actually mean "forever" and it was just "for River". I can't stand thinking that this is it! I can't believe that he just couldn't come up with a better title.

The only think I can think of is that he came up with such a cliche name because he didn't understand what River was trying to tell him. The "just a placeholder" line meant that one say, he would know.

Then at NASA he finally gets it. Now, because his fake memories are fabricated using his thoughts and desires, he realized that the moon was the place they were to be together.

Regardless if this idea (which I am liking more and more) of mine is true, you could say that the moon symbolized death. However, I would say "death" is a shallow way of looking at it. The moon would be the place he would find River again, and it's even the last thing he sees before he dies. He's even buried next to River.

You can tell I like the game.
you have to remember that johnny is potraited as an extremely straight forward type of person, almost safe to say hes the opposite of river. its the authors intention to make the forever pun and the placeholder comment but i doubt johnny was conscious of any of this.

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Re: "It's... just a placeholder." The sole thing I don't understand
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2012, 05:26:09 AM »
I felt like it was one of those 'Guy: This is cool. Girl: I don't like it. Guy: Yeah now that I think about it, I don't like it either.' type moments. She called the title cliche so yeah it's just until I think of a better one.

I believe it was just something like this. River thought the song name was a cliche so John said it was a placeholder to imply it wasn't going to be the final name. Probably to save himself the embarrassment of the situation.

r3kan

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Re: "It's... just a placeholder." The sole thing I don't understand
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2012, 05:55:56 AM »
I felt like it was one of those 'Guy: This is cool. Girl: I don't like it. Guy: Yeah now that I think about it, I don't like it either.' type moments. She called the title cliche so yeah it's just until I think of a better one.

I believe it was just something like this. River thought the song name was a cliche so John said it was a placeholder to imply it wasn't going to be the final name. Probably to save himself the embarrassment of the situation.
agreed, it would be pretty embarassing to be cockblocked by your partner AND have your sense of creativity judged at the same time

Aurzel

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Re: "It's... just a placeholder." The sole thing I don't understand
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2012, 07:55:47 AM »
To add on to my previous statement, I think when he first named it 'for River' he felt he was being romantic or touching or whatever other adjective you care to add but it didn't quite work out that way.

Ferdk

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Re: "It's... just a placeholder." The sole thing I don't understand
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2012, 11:44:56 AM »
Notice a few things:

1- He says its called For River. No placeholder. Then when River calls it cliché, he says "Its... just a placeholder".

2- Note the "...", there's a pause, he doesn't just normally respond "its just a placeholder", he hesitates. He thought maybe she would understand the title meant something special for him but when she kind of brushed it off, that's the best excuse he could come up on the spot. Take in mind a dedicated composition is a very vulnerable statement for a musician, you're putting your heart out there. In this situation that's the best he could handle it without just completely breaking right there.

Also, he never actually changed the title. The sheet music is still named For River. To me  the "To The Moon" title is a nod to the real name (which in my opinion, IS For River) because he wouldn't be able to use the name of someone he doesn't remember, but if you think about it, why does he want to go To The Moon? the answer is: For River.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 11:52:41 AM by Ferdk »
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Efram

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Re: "It's... just a placeholder." The sole thing I don't understand
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2012, 12:17:34 PM »
I never thought of analysing this particular scene but I think the simplest solution is the best. To me it just feels like a cute moment between the couple. Afterall "For River" is a pretty cliché title and for someone to have a placeholder is not that uncommon. As for the song being retitled "To the Moon" well it'd be certainly weird to name a song after a co-worker that you've barely met and since going to the moon was motivated by River that's just a title that makes sense.

Fran

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Re: "It's... just a placeholder." The sole thing I don't understand
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2012, 11:12:20 PM »
I felt like it was one of those 'Guy: This is cool. Girl: I don't like it. Guy: Yeah now that I think about it, I don't like it either.' type moments. She called the title cliche so yeah it's just until I think of a better one.

I believe it was just something like this. River thought the song name was a cliche so John said it was a placeholder to imply it wasn't going to be the final name. Probably to save himself the embarrassment of the situation.

This is honestly how I felt. I both laugh and felt bad because I know I've done similar without meaning to. To River it was a simple comment, but to Johnny it must have felt a little embarresing and so he quickly came up with something to save himself. I never thought anymore of it, but I like what people are saying here.