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Filmspotting Message Boards => Movie Talk (Spoiler Edition) => Topic started by: Totoro on December 18, 2015, 01:53:53 AM

Title: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on December 18, 2015, 01:53:53 AM
Okay, let's do it.

- The Starkiller Base is so bad. Second Third Death Star Confirmed. But now that it's gone, are they really going to do a fourth?! Loved Han's line where he's like, "So it's a Death Star."

- RIP Han. Damn. That was a gut-punch, the film's best moment. Harrison Ford gives a truly fantastic performance here too. He's totally back.

- Wanted more Luke. Maybe just a line? That last shot is absolutely horrible. Should have ended on the shot right before it.

- C-3PO's red arm. Shown but never explained. His first scene is a synecdoche of the entire film.

- Out of the new leads, Driver MVP. Ridley is charming and likable, but like Boyega, they're surprisingly not given a lot of backstory - they're pretty blank slates. Boyega gives it his all. I look forward to seeing him do more here.

- Dumb lame macguffin is dumb and lame. Thinking maybe Luke "awakened" R2 after feeling Han dying.

- Needed more Oscar Isaac.

Overall a lot of fun. More thoughts later.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on December 18, 2015, 01:09:35 PM
Here's a smattering of my thoughts:

-I was really excited about the casting of Max Von Sydow and going into it not knowing what role he was playing, but that was a seriously nothing part.

-Speaking of which, Captain Phasma was such a cool mysterious looking character. Too bad she did zero things work talking about, and ended up a punchline to yet another forced call-back.

-Jaaku is a dessert planet with moisture farming and a race of funny little scavenging creatures, but don't worry, it's totally not Tatooine.

-BB8, however, is definitely just R2. This I am fine with. He's cute and overall works just fine.

-The idea of Luke Skywalker being the macguffin of the story is actually kinda neat. Implementing it as an exact stand-in for the death star plans isn't. Somehow, despite being completely unrelated, completing their mission to deliver the plans will still lead to the third-act Death Star assault.

-And yeah, The Starkiller is just the dumbest. Not only didn't we need a third Death Star (or a second for that matter), this is a perfect example of the bigger is not better problem.

-The Force has gotten progressively stupider as the series goes on, and this movie is no exception. Kylo Ren has, intermittently at least, far greater power than Vader yet hasn't completed his training and still has an inferiority complex? And Rey becomes a skilled Jedi by touching a lightsaber (WE'LL TELL YOU HOW THAT IMPOSSIBLE ACQUISTION HAPPENED LATER, maybe) and then closing her eyes and saying "The Force".

-Han Solo as Malcolm Reynolds as Han Solo. Followed by an action scene with CG spinning tentacle monsters that is easily the dumbest thing in all of Star Wars.

-Domhnall Gleeson, maybe short of John Boyega, seems to be having more fun than anyone else. His character is ridiculous and the "First Order" fails to make any real impact, but he managed to bring a little spark of something that the movie really needed.

-Giant CG Andy Serkis might have taken a wrong turn while looking for a movie where Giant CG Andy Serkis is appropriate.

- Needed more Oscar Isaac.

I agree, I wonder if they cut a lot of his stuff? When he and Finn reunite it sure seemed like they knew each other better than the 4 minutes we saw of them together.

- Wanted more Luke. Maybe just a line? That last shot is absolutely horrible. Should have ended on the shot right before it.

You're right, it would have been a much better cut to credits without that weird helicopter shot. Luke looked pretty awesome though. Out of the three original characters he's the only one I feel like should actually have been brought back, so it's a bummer that he's not really in the movie.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: 1SO on December 18, 2015, 02:01:38 PM
Don't feel like jumping into the Spoiler discussion. I liked it, didn't love it. Will probably make my Top 10 of the year, but doesn't compare to the imagination and discussion points of Mad Max: Fury Road.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 18, 2015, 05:08:18 PM
Bullet points for now:

Opening shot is ugly. Really ugly. Last shot is ugly. Really ugly.

Saw in 2D. 3D may have been better. Lots of motion blur that was distracting.

Liked Ridley a lot. Really liked Isaacs, but found his instant camaraderie with Boyega a little odd. Boyega was good.

Ford was really good. And now JJ Abrams will forever be known as the man who killed Han Solo. Ford's acting in the scene was good, the scene itself sucked.

Somehow the alien makeup effects weren't as good as what they did in 1977.

How do you put Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian in a movie and not have them do something that involves hand to hand combat? Instead you pit them against really, really, really dumb walking Sarlac pits.

Driver seemed too old for the part (even though he's pretty young). His emotional struggle felt very teenage to me. Very Harry Potter-esque.

Speaking of Harry Potter. What the heck is up with Snoke? Who in the world thought "Snoke" is a menacing name. I can't believe the actors kept a straight face even saying "Supreme Leader Snoke." His look was also very Voldemort-y.

Bigger stakes. Dumber solutions. That seems to be the general direction of most blockbusters these days.

Not-a-Death-Star planet is duuuuuuumb. I thought at least the idea was going to be they'd found a way to fire a weapon through hyperspace. Shoot here and hit a plant across the galaxy. Nope, giant point-and-shoot Death Star that literally kills a star to fire. How many stars can it pull from? It doesn't seem very mobile. Planets and stars are all extremely close in Abrams's versions of the universe.

The action sequences were entirely forgettable. The best moment was Ridley calling the lightsaber over Kylo Ren, but their duel afterward wasn't particularly gripping. And the CGI chasm that opens between them felt like the prequel visuals. Also, her saying, "Force." Like she needed to her Kylo say it to remind her that she could use it... What?

Luke. So, the moment I actually get a little emotional is Luke seeing his lightsaber after all these years. And then the moment goes on and on and on. Shot after shot. To the point I found it humorous.

RIP Han Solo. And screw that.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on December 18, 2015, 05:13:30 PM
Abrams is damned if he takes a risk, damned if he doesn't.

I loved everything about killing off Han. It puts the plot in a VERY interesting place. A risk that definitely pays off well.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 18, 2015, 05:21:19 PM
Abrams is damned if he takes a risk, damned if he doesn't.

I loved everything about killing off Han. It puts the plot in a VERY interesting place. A risk that definitely pays off well.

Does it really put the plot in an interesting place? He and Leia were basically over already. Everything was already leading toward Luke needing to lead Kylo away from the dark side. To me it's much more interesting if the non-Jedi is the one who is able to do that.

To me, death is not the most interesting stakes. It's quite far down the list really.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on December 18, 2015, 05:34:52 PM
I think the problem is that this story took no risks. It's all extreeemly familiar. It took all of a scene and a half to realize they were putting Han in the mentor role just to kill him off at the end.

And he just isn't a relevant character any more, nor should he be. That's why he wasn't supposed to come back in RotJ, and had very little to do when he did. I'm glad that they found a reason to try and give him some stakes, but it just plays like a shallow repeat of scenes the series has already done.

The design of the chasm for the father/son climax even looked like the Cloud City one.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on December 18, 2015, 05:40:33 PM
Abrams is damned if he takes a risk, damned if he doesn't.

I loved everything about killing off Han. It puts the plot in a VERY interesting place. A risk that definitely pays off well.

Does it really put the plot in an interesting place? He and Leia were basically over already. Everything was already leading toward Luke needing to lead Kylo away from the dark side. To me it's much more interesting if the non-Jedi is the one who is able to do that.

To me, death is not the most interesting stakes. It's quite far down the list really.

Why does it only relate to stakes? It informs Kylo a whole lot more and provides Rey a motive for revenge (which could tempt her to the dark side and probably will). Han was an important dynamic to have in the story as well. Without him, the other characters will have to provide some much needed levity as the series enter its likely darkest arc in the next.

As far as stakes go, it actually does make the next two films a lot more exciting because now they have a general sense of foreboding. It's an announcement. Now, anyone can die. There hasn't EVER been a character death as meaningful or shocking than this one. The only one that comes close is Obi-Wan, but he wasn't built up over several movies at the time. Maybe Padme, but we knew her fate from the beginning.

And besides, the point still stands. You dislike that Abrams didn't take risks then hate risk he does take. Han is the most liked out of the original three - also the best actor/strongest presence. He was hyped up in this film. He gives the film's best performance. Killing him off IS a risk for the series as a whole whether you guys like it or not.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 18, 2015, 06:19:01 PM
You dislike that Abrams didn't take risks then hate risk he does take.

Hence, not liking the film.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on December 18, 2015, 06:25:19 PM
I don't know, turning Han Solo into a villain would have been shocking and risky. Killing a likable mentor character in the third act to propel your heroes journey forward is storytelling 101. Especially when you're specifically doing a story about passing the torch to a new generation. I respect that you had a different experience, but I have never been less shocked, and I don't think Abrams risked alienating anyone with such a worshipful treatment.

I'm surprised to hear you praise Harrison Ford's performance so much. I thought it was adequate but felt a bit like Ford playing at being Solo rather than actually being him. I'm sure part of that is the writing though. What did you think of Carrie Fisher?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Beavermoose on December 18, 2015, 06:57:36 PM
- C-3PO's red arm. Shown but never explained. His first scene is a synecdoche of the entire film.

In the way that this movie is exactly the same as the original, but just a little bit different.


Also Rey is Luke's daughter right?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 18, 2015, 07:14:10 PM
What did you think of Carrie Fisher?

I think she could have been great if they gave her anything interesting to do. I re-watched the original films this summer and was pleasantly surprised at just how badass Leia is in those films. She takes charge in almost every scene, she fights, she's sarcastic and doesn't take sh*t from anyone (from the very first scene with Vader).
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on December 18, 2015, 07:35:35 PM
You dislike that Abrams didn't take risks then hate risk he does take.

Hence, not liking the film.

Go ahead not liking the film. But it's a hypocritical reason.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on December 18, 2015, 07:39:45 PM
I don't know, turning Han Solo into a villain would have been shocking and risky. Killing a likable mentor character in the third act to propel your heroes journey forward is storytelling 101. Especially when you're specifically doing a story about passing the torch to a new generation. I respect that you had a different experience, but I have never been less shocked, and I don't think Abrams risked alienating anyone with such a worshipful treatment.

I'm surprised to hear you praise Harrison Ford's performance so much. I thought it was adequate but felt a bit like Ford playing at being Solo rather than actually being him. I'm sure part of that is the writing though. What did you think of Carrie Fisher?

No one was as good as Ford. I think playing Han was intentional. He's an old man trying to relive the good old days while drifting out in space. I understand the disappointment in his performance but again I think you're short changing the intelligence of the writing here. Age has been unkind to Han. He has lost a lot. It's a fairly depressing position we find him in.

Fischer was bad for me.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 18, 2015, 07:42:51 PM
You dislike that Abrams didn't take risks then hate risk he does take.

Hence, not liking the film.

Go ahead not liking the film. But it's a hypocritical reason.

Now, you're just making me angry. There is nothing hypocritical about it. "Risk" isn't inherently good or bad. Substitute "choice" for "risk" and, yeah, I didn't like many of the storytelling choices they made.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on December 18, 2015, 08:02:09 PM
- C-3PO's red arm. Shown but never explained. His first scene is a synecdoche of the entire film.

In the way that this movie is exactly the same as the original, but just a little bit different.

I feel like that's the kind of thing that works great in the Star Wars universe when you don't specifically call attention to it.

Also Rey is Luke's daughter right?

It seems so blatantly obvious that you would think it must be a bluff, but with as obvious as the whole movie was I don't know if they're thinking on that level.

No one was as good as Ford. I think playing Han was intentional. He's an old man trying to relive the good old days while drifting out in space. I understand the disappointment in his performance but again I think you're short changing the intelligence of the writing here. Age has been unkind to Han. He has lost a lot. It's a fairly depressing position we find him in.

Yeah you're right about that. I do give them credit for not having him still be super important the way that Luke and Leia are. Even though I have a lot of problems with the execution, I think on paper that some of the smartest decisions they made involve Han.

Sadly I agree about Fisher. I am looking forward to seeing what Hamill can do as old Luke. Seems the most promising of the bunch.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Teproc on December 18, 2015, 08:19:00 PM
We are certainly meant to think she's Luke's daughter, or maybe Han and Leia's other kid ? Would be very surprised if she's not related to either.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 18, 2015, 08:26:25 PM
We are certainly meant to think she's Luke's daughter, or maybe Han and Leia's other kid ? Would be very surprised if she's not related to either.

In the books Han and Leia had twins. But, I don't see them abandoning their daughter on a desert planet while raising their son.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on December 18, 2015, 08:48:25 PM
Didn't they say none of that was canon any more? In the EU the son was Jacen and in this it's Ben, so I don't think they're keeping any of that the same.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 19, 2015, 12:00:45 PM
I keep thinking about how much better the story would be if Han and Chewy are near Jakku because they're looking for Kylo Ren.

-- Then it's not completely random that they happened to be nearby and picked up the Falcon's signal.

-- It would allow us to see the emotions Han is dealing with way up front instead of over halfway through the movie.

-- You could have a great reaction from Fin based on him seeing the evil Kylo Ren has wrought - That's your son!

-- Han could have a deeper discussion of the light and dark sides of the force with Rey and start her force journey earlier.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Beavermoose on December 19, 2015, 12:45:16 PM
We are certainly meant to think she's Luke's daughter, or maybe Han and Leia's other kid ? Would be very surprised if she's not related to either.

In the books Han and Leia had twins. But, I don't see them abandoning their daughter on a desert planet while raising their son.

Don't they say that Luke was training 2 kids?
Maybe after he saw that Ben was going to the dark side he was worried about Rey and erased her memories and left her on Jakku.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: sdb_1970 on December 19, 2015, 03:23:13 PM
Yeah, Rey's got too much talent not to have a pedigree.  Once the fanboys get their hands on that visions sequence with a pause button, I'm sure the theories will proliferate. 

The most fun thing I've read thus far is that Supreme Leader Snoke, who looks to be centuries old, is really Darth Plagueis - the Sith Lord who learned to create life and "cheat death".  (In III, Darth Sidious says he was killed by his apprentice, but he doesn't explain how to kill a wizard who can cheat death.)  The Yoda-ish parallel to this character would be Maz Kanata, who says she's old enough to have seen evil in forms that precede the Sith.  And Kylo Ren is a one-man cult of Darth Vader, who himself turned to the Dark Side in search of the secrets that only Darth Plagueis discovered (i.e., the "work" Kylo Ren vows to finish?)

But that was part of the magic of the original Star Wars - there was a good deal of enigma and mystery around that first film that has been forgotten in the wake of sequels and prequels (e.g., did Darth Vader kill Obi-Wan or did Obi-Wan magically transport himself somewhere?) I remember that the most popular t-shirt in my third grade classroom (1978) exclaimed "Darth Vader lives!" and yet, we lived in a world without obligatory sequels and franchising.  I think J.J. Abrams tried to add a bit of that anticipation back into the series (although I will stop short of opining on the efficacy of his efforts). 

Either way, the saga is all in Rian Johnson's hands now (as writer of both VIII and IX).  I think we need to convince Adam to take his buddy out for a drink (or four) to get the scoop. 
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: The Deer Hunter on December 19, 2015, 05:01:50 PM
We are certainly meant to think she's Luke's daughter, or maybe Han and Leia's other kid ? Would be very surprised if she's not related to either.

In the books Han and Leia had twins. But, I don't see them abandoning their daughter on a desert planet while raising their son.

Don't they say that Luke was training 2 kids?
Maybe after he saw that Ben was going to the dark side he was worried about Rey and erased her memories and left her on Jakku.

Kylo Ren would've recognized her if that was true.

I was shocked at Han Solo's death. Not because of how it was done (although it was a good way of using that lightsaber) but because it's Han freaking Solo!

I was disappointed at how little Luke we got. I kept waiting for him to show up in the snow at the end.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 19, 2015, 07:16:05 PM
I was shocked at Han Solo's death. Not because of how it was done (although it was a good way of using that lightsaber) but because it's Han freaking Solo!

I'm not happy we now live in a world where Han Solo is dead.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: The Deer Hunter on December 19, 2015, 07:54:17 PM
- C-3PO's red arm. Shown but never explained. His first scene is a synecdoche of the entire film.

In the way that this movie is exactly the same as the original, but just a little bit different.

In an interview J.J. said that was to show the passage of time. To show that when you haven't seen someone for a long time they look different.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 19, 2015, 08:03:41 PM
- C-3PO's red arm. Shown but never explained. His first scene is a synecdoche of the entire film.

In the way that this movie is exactly the same as the original, but just a little bit different.

In an interview J.J. said that was to show the passage of time. To show that when you haven't seen someone for a long time they look different.

Man, JJ's so right. I mean, when 73-year-old Harrison Ford and 59-year-old Carrie Fisher were on screen it didn't really sink in. But when C3PO came out with that red arm, I was like, whoa. It's been a long time.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: JakeIsntFake on December 20, 2015, 03:03:30 PM
In an interview J.J. said that was to show the passage of time. To show that when you haven't seen someone for a long time they look different.

Man, JJ's so right. I mean, when 73-year-old Harrison Ford and 59-year-old Carrie Fisher were on screen it didn't really sink in. But when C3PO came out with that red arm, I was like, whoa. It's been a long time.

I know what he's going for though; J.J's just thinking that people wouldn't believe that after this much time (?), C3PO would look the same. Its still a hackneyed and awkward way to go about it, but I understand the thinking.

How did everyone feel about the first battle scene with Fin as storm trooper, with the blood and the helmet and what nat?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on December 20, 2015, 03:22:31 PM
Threepio looked pretty different even without the arm. Matte finish and much chunkier build, it seemed.

How did everyone feel about the first battle scene with Fin as storm trooper, with the blood and the helmet and what nat?

I thought Boyega's physicality was excellent and all you needed in that scene. The bloodied helmet was really heavy handed and unnecessary. Also poorly thought out to make Fin seem so affected by his comrades deaths considering how shortly it is before he's shooting them in the face with zero disregard.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: JakeIsntFake on December 20, 2015, 04:03:14 PM
Also poorly thought out to make Fin seem so affected by his comrades deaths considering how shortly it is before he's shooting them in the face with zero disregard.

I agree, just like it was incongruous that he helped Poe because it was "the right thing to do", and then suddenly he was so quick to want to ditch the Resistance and care soley for Rey.

I thought Boyega's physicality was excellent and all you needed in that scene. The bloodied helmet was really heavy handed and unnecessary.

I was able to overlook the heavy-handedness for the most part just because it was impressive to see them humanize a storm trooper like that.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 20, 2015, 04:40:03 PM
I think the thing that really bothered me is the lack of, or murkiness, of character motivation throughout the film.

What does Rey want? To stay where she is because her mystery family might come back.

What does Finn want? To leave the First Order and get away. But, not join the resistance.

What does Han want? Over halfway through the movie we find out it's to try and bring his son back from the dark side.

Rey's motivation is super boring. Your main character wants stasis, which might work for rom-coms, but not so well an adventure film. We also have no connection to her mystery family, so when she brings up still wanting to go back to Jakku at the beginning of the third act it's really just a short moment of false conflict. Eventually she wants to learn about the force, but that's established after getting close to Luke's lightsaber over halfway through the movie.

Finn's motivation is clearly PTSD inspired. We see his emotional trauma in the opening battle. But that trauma is pure gloss. As soon as he's turned, Finn doesn't have any trouble killing anyone in the First Order. He's seen the evil of their ways, but he's not interested in fighting for good either, he just wants to get away. Which could be interesting. A traumatized soldier becomes a pacifist. He's done fighting. We see Finn make a point of avoiding conflict or not killing anyone when conflict is unavoidable. How big would the moment be when he takes up the lightsaber to defend Rey if we'd seen his struggle with this throughout the film?

Han's motivation has the most gravitas, but is established too late to make it as effective as it could have been. I already mentioned some thoughts on this, so I'll leave it at that.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on December 20, 2015, 07:53:05 PM
There's a lot of set-ups here for a huge plot twist in Episode VIII. Whether it's Han's pregnant pauses with Rey, Kylo's rage about a girl, or that whole murky flashback sequence, there's so much hinting at the next film that TFA doesn't often feel self-contained. Say whatever you want about the previous six, but they all have a level of self-containment in them. Also, what I am hoping for which probably won't happen: huge time jumps. There's a lot of time between every single film with the next. The shortest amount of time I believe is between ESB and ROTJ but that still has to be about a year, no? I'm worried it'll just be a few weeks or months when we start again. Or worse, a direct continuation.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 21, 2015, 04:42:13 PM
Really hard to say where the next one will pick up. I'm guessing it will be close to a direct continuation. It seems a shame to skip over Luke and Rey's first meeting, which is where it would be most natural to hear from him what he's been doing these last few years.

But, I'm with you, a bigger time jump could be more interesting.

Digressions:

Is it just me or did this give off a serious Harry Potter vibe? Especially around book six when the searches for Horcruxes take them to misty islands and caves. Luke is basically Dumbledore. A very Voldemort-y villain in Snoke (still can't get over that name). Kylo Ren gave off serious Malfoy vibes. And Rey the orphaned, but secretly uber-talented young hero. Finn is also very Ron-esque.

Also:

Luke is definitely going to say the line, "I am your father," in one of the next films.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on December 21, 2015, 10:23:39 PM
Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I'm not a huge Star Wars guy. I like the original 3 movies and the prequels came out at the right time in my childhood for me to see them with uncritical eyes, but I was always closer to the Indiana Jones side of the spectrum than the Star Wars side. There you have the best character from Star Wars (Harrison Ford's Han Solo), much less of the terrible dialogue, and, you know, good direction. Well, J.J. Abrams must be something a bit like me, because he made Han Solo the star of this film, at least among the previously seen characters, has a script that's actually funny, and directs some really dynamic and fun action scenes. Basically, this is A New Hope if A New Hope was well made. So I'm into it.

There are a few problems. There are some things that we didn't need to see again, there's a pretty bad alien creature action scene, and many side characters get the short shrift in favor of giving legacy characters their due time alongside the new crop of characters. But it's that new crop of characters that really make this as good as it is. Again, Han Solo is the key. Poe Dameron's cocky flying skills, Finn's self-centered running, Rey's mechanical craftiness, and Kylo Ren's everything all come from Solo's arc and character in the original trilogy. It makes sense, then, now that he has been dispersed among the four new characters at the center of this new trilogy, that he departs the series as he does here. It's the movie's best scene and it works because Ford, Adam Driver, and J.J. Abrams bring their considerable talents to heighten the drama and wring as much pathos out of the moment as they can. Just look at the lighting, both on Ford and Driver's faces and behind Driver in his side of the conversation to see what is playing out inside his mind translated to the screen. That's movies right there.

A.

A final note on screen options. If possible, see it in IMAX 3D if only for the other amazing scene in the film, the Millennium Falcon escape scene, which looks fine in 2D but blew me away in 3D and slightly taller to fit the IMAX format. And the sound really rocked my socks in IMAX as well. Worth the extra cash.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 21, 2015, 10:46:23 PM
Basically, this is A New Hope if A New Hope was well made.

Just no.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on December 21, 2015, 10:52:02 PM
Yeah, I genuinely can't conceive of how somebody could think that. :o
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on December 21, 2015, 10:56:24 PM
In the Great Totoro vs Philip918 vs. Melvil Battle of 2015, count me on Totoro's side, if my review didn't indicate that already. Maybe it's because I never loved Star Wars, maybe it's because I like these big action movies more than most here anyways, but I was pretty much all in on this. My concerns:

What the hell were Max Von Sydow, Gwendoline Christie, and Domhnall Gleeson doing here? I'm guessing they'll all have more to do, whether in flashback or spinoff movies for Von Sydow or in the next one for the other two, but they all seemed wasted here. Gleeson, especially, just shouts in that one scene and is otherwise very Grand Moff-ian in his background status. And boy is that big ball monster scene terrible. But I'm all in on Rey and Finn and Poe and Ben. Those are some wonderful characters and well acted, which is maybe not a huge thing but is unfortunately unique in the SW film universe.

Basically, this is A New Hope if A New Hope was well made.

Just no.

Yeah, I genuinely can't conceive of how somebody could think that. :o

I mean, I explained why I didn't like A New Hope (bad acting, boring direction, terrible writing) and then explained why I liked what TFA was doing better, so it's pretty easy to conceive if you just read the rest of it there. I apologize for not having the appropriate response/fan rage, but it's not changing and it's also not like this is a new opinion from me (except for the part about liking a movie that just came out, I guess).
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on December 21, 2015, 11:06:00 PM
I don't want you to apologize or think anything differently, my mind is just boggled to hear it said! I could say that I think the acting, direction, and writing are all absolutely spot-on in ANH for what Star Wars is while all of those things (especially the writing) felt spectacularly inferior in The Force Awakens, but I doubt either of us could convince the other by arguing the point.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on December 21, 2015, 11:18:39 PM
Yes, I think you're right, we won't be able to convince each other of our inherent righteousness. I don't think that all of your concerns are misguided, though. Remaking A New Hope is a less interesting choice than doing something totally (or even mostly) new. I have confidence that Rian Johnson will rectify that in 17 months. But what we do have, with the embiggened Death Star and the Tatooine-clone planet and the bad guy bureaucracy set-up and the Rebels still an underdog (at least in this context), still totally works for me. I think having the Death Star be a whole planet with a climate and such is pretty cool, I like Snoke (silly name aside) because I don't quite know what he is yet. Yes, it's lacking some creativity, but the film makes up for that lack with an abundance of verve, vivacity, and vigor. I'll take that over ANH's limp versions of the same ideas.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on December 21, 2015, 11:31:59 PM
I actually never liked ANH all that much when I was younger, particularly compared to the others, but in recent years I have come to absolutely adore it for how tight and efficient it's storytelling and world-building are. It certainly has a much more classical style, but I don't think there's a wrong note in the movie. Considering how much TFA took from that film, I think it's all the more egregious that the story is so messy and incomplete. The rest is a lot of preference, but I am hopeful about Rian Johnson turning things around, as I think his writing, direction, and humor are all leagues better than JJ's.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on December 21, 2015, 11:47:07 PM
More places of agreement!

-The Force has gotten progressively stupider as the series goes on, and this movie is no exception. Kylo Ren has, intermittently at least, far greater power than Vader yet hasn't completed his training and still has an inferiority complex? And Rey becomes a skilled Jedi by touching a lightsaber (WE'LL TELL YOU HOW THAT IMPOSSIBLE ACQUISTION HAPPENED LATER, maybe) and then closing her eyes and saying "The Force".

Yup. It is an ever-so-slightly-sillier version of "Use the force, Luke," from ANH. Didn't like it there, don't like it much here. And I thought that lightsabers would basically CINECAST! up an kill any non-force-adept person who might try to wield one. So either we know much more about Finn than the movie thinks we do or that whole idea has been thrown out. I like that lightsaber battle at the end a lot, both parts of it, but some of the other elements of it don't entirely work.

- Needed more Oscar Isaac.

I agree, I wonder if they cut a lot of his stuff? When he and Finn reunite it sure seemed like they knew each other better than the 4 minutes we saw of them together.

- Wanted more Luke. Maybe just a line? That last shot is absolutely horrible. Should have ended on the shot right before it.

You're right, it would have been a much better cut to credits without that weird helicopter shot. Luke looked pretty awesome though. Out of the three original characters he's the only one I feel like should actually have been brought back, so it's a bummer that he's not really in the movie.

Agree with all of this. I'll always want more Oscar Isaac, and he's so much fun here. And yeah, that helicopter shot is the worst! Could have just ended it with the shot right before and it'd be a super closer.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: MattDrufke on December 22, 2015, 07:39:10 AM
And I thought that lightsabers would basically CINECAST! up an kill any non-force-adept person who might try to wield one. So either we know much more about Finn than the movie thinks we do or that whole idea has been thrown out.

Not to get super-nerdy here, but Han Solo did use a lightsaber to open up the tauntaun in Empire. Granted, he wasn't fighting with it, but it does set precedent.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Teproc on December 22, 2015, 08:32:17 AM
I always thought lightsabers didn't look too hard to use... Jedi are able to do more elaborate things with them, such as deflecting blaster shots, but otherwise it seems pretty basic.

And Finn does get dispatched very quickly after picking it up.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on December 22, 2015, 09:18:24 AM
Just wanted to poke my head in with a few thoughts while I somehow wrap my head around how to write an intelligent full review of the movie...

After having watched the original trilogy over, and the prequel trilogy over, and then seeing this new one all in fairly quick succession, I think the determining factor (at least for me) that sets the originals apart from the prequels, and this new one apart from them as well, is simplicity. Re-watching the prequels I found they are too involved, with too much ambiguity, and too many scenes.

What Melvil mentioned earlier about ANH's tightness is exactly what makes the series entertaining I think, and with the prequels, Lucas tried to jam way too much stuff into them, with some poor casting choices (mostly related to Anakin), too much use of CGI and not enough practical effects. Mostly the political edge to the plots came across weaker than the simple good v. evil we get in the original trilogy. For this reason, I still believe The Phantom Menace is the best prequel. While Jake Lloyd and Jar Jar are two of the worst things about the prequels, the bones of the story and the efficiency of the story is strong. The following two get bogged down in the political side of things and for that reason there are longer stretches of things that just aren't entertaining.

With The Force Awakens, Abrams brings back that simplicity. We don't get a lot of context, but we also don't really need it. The good guys are good (which we know anyway because the old good guys are with them) and the bad guys are bad (which we also know because one of them seems to worship one of the old bad guys). Setting the trilogy up in this manner helps create intrigue for 8 and 9 while not feeling slight contained within itself. I was never worried about what the motive was or where the First Order came from, who Snoke was, etc. I trust the filmmakers to make a trilogy that will provide me with most the answers I seek through the course of the three films. Had this been a single film with no known trilogy structure, I would call it out more for lack of context. ANH I think can stand on its own well enough, this one perhaps not quite as much, but still not that bad. I can get into an easy good v. bad interpretation. Abrams also uses practices better CGI/practical effect balance, though I will say that the technology has advanced quite a bit in the last 10 years since a Star Wars film, and that has to be taken into account for the success of this film.

All in all, I really liked The Force Awakens, and can't wait to see it again and think more about it. I think a major reason why I enjoyed it as much as I did was it was a return to story simplicity with mystery and intrigue to set up the remaining films. The casting was good, and as Junior says, Abrams makes it an adventure again with the action scenes and funny dialogue. Really excited to see where Rian Johnson can take this series.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bad-yuyu on December 22, 2015, 09:37:44 AM
Allright specifically finally made an account to discuss here with you guys ;)

Saw the movie yesterday and here are my quick thoughts. these are just random thoughts and observations and not all equally important to me:

- I knew they would try to recapture the old movies but this... seriously if any other western movie series than Star Wars would just copy another western movies script this blatantly people would be calling bullshit on this. Seriously... not a single new idea in this movie. From the droid carrying the message away from the empire, to the dsesert planet, the cantina bar, to the death of the mentor by the masked vilain with a connection to the heroes to the Death Star 1.3 with the SAME BLEEDING weak spot and the SAME bleeding chasm sequence... seriously...

- So the Rebel Aliance won the war but still consist of 40 people and 15 X-wings?

- Oscar Isaac is great as always, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are quite relatable. Too bad they wern't given the chance to have their own story.

- Geography means nothing anymore it seems. Planet size space station but everything you need is apparently within 5 min walking distance (or script convenience teleporting distance). Republic "in a far away Galaxy" apparently means 5 planets over... Run through the forest for 10 min. Kylo Ren finds Rey within 5 seconds...

- Neat idea with the anti Lightsabre equipment on that one Stormtrooper. Too bad Stormtroopers otherwise are still useless

- "This was the Death Star. THIS is the Planetkiller Base!" Death Star destroyed one Planet the Base can destroy THREE Planets! BWAHAHAHAHAH this is either a briliant parody or very lazy screenwriting

- Obi-Han-Kenobi death scene and ANOTHER Weakpoint X-Wing chasm approach was a little much

- The force gets stupider with each movie. I used to love the force as this subtle hard to learn power! Now you need to think about it really hard for a second and you mastered mind controll, resisting force powers, lightsabre use.. No problem!

- "Chasm-seperating-opponents Ex Machina" seemed like the most blatant ex machina until ...

- R2D2 Ex Machina is definitely lazy screenwriting

- NO! First trying to be in on the joke by having the Storm Trooper not be affected by Reys command and then still having it work? NO! F**** you movie!

- Han owes a lot of money to two colorful scoundrels and smuggles weaponized creatures, that sounds like an exciting story. To bad we're not watching it! Also: "WAITER! There is some Firefly in my Star Wars!"

- Chewie looks the same as in Episode III... do Wookies not Age?

- The Republic. Cool! They finally have anotehr big political force to be the New orders Riva... nevermind...

- "We lost most of our Fleet" says Lea and then cuts to a shot of exactly as many X-Wings as during the initial attack

- Cinematography is actually very competent here. Sad it couldn't be used on a fresher movie idea : (

- Bunsern-burner "thumbs up" was easily the best scene of the movie :D

- ... the Resistance and the entire system are still boned right? I mean the Sun is still gone!

Overall I didn't like this one. It feels like Abrams and the crew were more concerned with honoring the sacred old Star Wars movies than they were with making a good movie. It just feels all the talent and good cineatography were kind of wasted on this stale reheating of your childhood nostalgia. Say what you want about the extremly flawed prequels. At least they tried and added something to the universe. This movie is so devoid of any spark and so afraid to offend anyone it has nothing interesting to say! Pitty : /

Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 22, 2015, 10:15:23 AM
I mean, I explained why I didn't like A New Hope (bad acting, boring direction, terrible writing) and then explained why I liked what TFA was doing better, so it's pretty easy to conceive if you just read the rest of it there.

I honestly can't wrap my head around "bad acting, boring direction, terrible writing."

I started writing up counterpoints, but what's the use? C'est la vie.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on December 22, 2015, 11:27:29 AM
Allright specifically finally made an account to discuss here with you guys ;)

Seriously... not a single new idea in this movie.

Overall I didn't like this one. It feels like Abrams and the crew were more concerned with honoring the sacred old Star Wars movies than they were with making a good movie. It just feels all the talent and good cineatography were kind of wasted on this stale reheating of your childhood nostalgia. Say what you want about the extremly flawed prequels. At least they tried and added something to the universe. This movie is so devoid of any spark and so afraid to offend anyone it has nothing interesting to say! Pitty : /

Firstly, welcome! Nice to have you here.

"Not a single new idea" is where I think you've gone a bit too far. There is a new idea here, and it forms the core of some key plot lines and relationships: Kylo Ren is conflicted about his background and tempted towards the light side. That's a really interesting twist on Luke's story and here I actually buy it because Driver is a better actor than Hamill was during his Star Wars years. So that's the spark and the something interesting to say, at least so far.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bad-yuyu on December 22, 2015, 11:35:17 AM

Firstly, welcome! Nice to have you here.

"Not a single new idea" is where I think you've gone a bit too far. There is a new idea here, and it forms the core of some key plot lines and relationships: Kylo Ren is conflicted about his background and tempted towards the light side. That's a really interesting twist on Luke's story and here I actually buy it because Driver is a better actor than Hamill was during his Star Wars years. So that's the spark and the something interesting to say, at least so far.

Thank you : )

I admit that I'm being a bit hyperbolic. But I'm doing it to a purpose. For me the way this movie wallows in the Nostalgia and Fanservice of earlier movies at the detriment of it's own Identity, is going too far.

But looking at Box office sales and the raving praise that is thrown out about this movie I fear I might be very lonely with that oppinion!
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on December 22, 2015, 12:11:17 PM
Hey Bad-yuyu, welcome! Most of your points are things that bothered or at least registered with me, so you're not totally alone. :)

"Not a single new idea" is where I think you've gone a bit too far. There is a new idea here, and it forms the core of some key plot lines and relationships: Kylo Ren is conflicted about his background and tempted towards the light side. That's a really interesting twist on Luke's story and here I actually buy it because Driver is a better actor than Hamill was during his Star Wars years. So that's the spark and the something interesting to say, at least so far.

I wonder about this. It's true there's something a little interesting going on there, but does it actually make sense? Everything we know about the dark side seems to suggest Kylo Ren shouldn't be having the conflict he is. It's quicker, easier, more seductive, blah blah blah. So while your point stands, I also think Bad-yuyu's does, in that at the end of the day they use it to hit all of the same beats we've already seen, only with a variation that might just make it more confused.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bondo on December 22, 2015, 02:26:24 PM
Is this basically just a remake/rehash? Yes, but I think it is kind of the point, things are cyclical. Always two there are. I still think that setting aside originality concerns (how many times have we filmed Macbeth?) I think this is probably one of the better entries. I never thought the original trilogy was quite as a big a breakthrough as others, nor the pretrilogy as bad as others. They are not groundbreaking thematic works but are simple space opera (aka melodrama).

In Jedi we see the black visage of Vader removed to reveal a white man, and now we get the white stormtrooper suit removed to reveal a black man. Nice inversion there.

Love the moment when Finn first sees Rey and he's rushing in to save her and by the time he gets there she's sorted her own thing out. That was a fist pump moment. Love that Rey is engineering smart. Just love Rey and want to have her babies even though one would probably have to become evil because cyclicality.

With Rey taking on the role as the main Jedi for the light side, it draws out a kind of feminine/masculine division in light and dark. It is probably improper to say that masculinity is bad, but it may be a bit more warring. Women are capable of it (surely Gwendoline Christie isn't dead right, because she's completely wasted here) obviously, often because they have to compensate for sexist assumptions of weakness, but there is a certain split. But the broader point that comes out so well in Kylo Ren's angst which will have more time to blossom, is that inside us all is both masculine and feminine. It's about how we harness each. This all is a great foundation for VIII to work with if it chooses.

I would have liked more about how we got from Part VI to Part VII but I suppose that might come later? Feel like the transition from III to IV is smoother.

More thoughts once I dig into the thread I'm sure.

B+ for now, at least it's better than Jurassic World.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on December 22, 2015, 02:47:51 PM
Always two there are.

This is something I thought about afterwards. At the end of Jedi, Emperor Palpatine and Vader are killed in pretty quick succession, leaving 0 Sith left. With the knowledge, according to Yoda in the prequels, that there are always only ever 2, no more, no less; a Master and an Apprentice, I wonder then how the Sith are coming back. Snoke would appear the Master here, with Ren as the Apprentice, but where did he come from, where/who did he learn from? I suppose we don't know enough about him yet and those questions may be answered and as such this is not a criticism of the film, but rather an intriguing question I thought about. I wonder whether Palpatine had another apprentice we didn't know about at the end of Jedi, perhaps sensing Vader's shifting towards the light side...

Another question was about von Sydow's character. The way they set up his meeting with Poe made it seem like he should be a character we knew about before, from the previous trilogy. Not sure if they just meant he's an old dude who was around back them but we don't know about, or if they will be playing with this anymore.

Lastly, I wonder what the theories are concerning Rey's family. I for one think there has to be Skywalker blood there, but not necessarily Luke's daughter. It will be interesting to find out. This whole Star Wars thing has just become the space version of "Keeping Up with the Kardashian's", but with the Skywalker's. "Keeping up with the Skywalker's".
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on December 22, 2015, 03:39:03 PM
at least it's better than Jurassic World.

I probably agree, yet I can't help but feel like this movie makes Jurassic World look mildly imaginative. I hope the insane success of both doesn't signal a new era of remake-quels. Yech.

Lastly, I wonder what the theories are concerning Rey's family. I for one think there has to be Skywalker blood there, but not necessarily Luke's daughter. It will be interesting to find out. This whole Star Wars thing has just become the space version of "Keeping Up with the Kardashian's", but with the Skywalker's. "Keeping up with the Skywalker's".

If not a Skywalker then at least one of Luke's pupils. If the parallel's hold then I'm assuming there's going to be the same kind of hidden-on-a-dessert-planet once Kylo/Vader turned and started killing Jedi's dynamic.

I really feel like most of the plot questions I have aren't good mysteries but just poor storytelling. Whatever happened to making a satisfying movie that is still part of a bigger picture?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bondo on December 22, 2015, 03:46:35 PM
To earlier comments, Empire Strikes Back is in no way self contained, which is why it is one of the worst entries in the series. Still good.

I too had a "oh, this is what Star Wars looks like with good acting" or lines that don't sabotage the acting.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 22, 2015, 03:52:55 PM
I too had a "oh, this is what Star Wars looks like with good acting" or lines that don't sabotage the acting.

I just don't get this. I do get Hamill, even though he has an earnestness that helps me get over his limited acting ability. But Ford, Fisher, James Earl Jones's voice work, Alec Guinness?

I suppose, I don't even factor in the prequels, which certainly do have some all-time terrible performances.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on December 22, 2015, 04:00:10 PM
Empire is a middle chapter, and still manages to be way more self contained than TFA. Certainly in the way that you're not waiting on the sequel to make sense of what you've already seen.

I cringed at the dialogue and jokes in this quuuite a lot. Not sure I get that praise. It's not prequels bad but it's still pretty bad. But JJ's sense of humor has never worked for me, and the callbacks every other minute were never going to impress me. Why would I want constant references to things that were cool before instead of trying to give me new things that are actually cool?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Teproc on December 22, 2015, 04:06:33 PM
Humor has been somewhat of a problem for me in the Star Wars movies : the comedic elements in the prequels irritated me, and simply tended to fall flat in the original trilogy. Not always, there's some funny stuff in the original trilogy, but a lot that doesn't really work either. Here it all worked, in fact that's one of the main strenghts of TFA I think.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 22, 2015, 04:07:12 PM
Luke must be a really, really bad teacher. The guy who understood Vader better than anyone and turned him away from the dark side can't convey that to an impressionable young child?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bad-yuyu on December 22, 2015, 04:17:25 PM
Is this basically just a remake/rehash? Yes, but I think it is kind of the point, things are cyclical.

I get what you're saying but I can't accept that for myself. If there were just recuring themes fine yes fine. But we're not just rehashing themes we're redoing an entire movie scene by scene. Loved the Cantina-Bar? Here it is again! loved the death star? here it is again! loved the robot taking the data away from the empire on a desert planet full of nomads? here it is again! loved the mentor dies on a space station while the others watch?... you see where I'm going with this! And worst of all I don't think it was done well. To many things happen because the plot demands it. To many problems get "ex machinaed". I hold no special love or grudge for Star Wars and from the perspective of it just being a movie it was a bust for me.

Also I surely hope "better than Jurasic World" isn't the bar we're setting for movies from now on. That's a pretty low bar :D


How did everyone feel about the first battle scene with Fin as storm trooper, with the blood and the helmet and what nat?

That scene was well done actually made me hope they were going to humanize Storm Troopers and make Storm Troopers a meaningfull part of the movie and a real threat. But it ended up being just to set up Finn and then go back to faceless, emotionless, useless Stormtroopers (except the one random Stormtropper with anti Lightsabre Gear). Another wasted chance for me.

Humor has been somewhat of a problem for me in the Star Wars movies

There is this humor that's in ALL the Star Wars movies, ALL the lords of the Rings movies, ALL teh Pirates of the Carabean movies.. I think most of those big blockbuster adventures, that I find so slapstick and almost unbearable. There were some fun parts but everything concerning C3PO for example makes me instanly want to sigh. But it seems all Hollywood Blockbusters "desperately need" slapstick humor so I'm not gonna give Star Wars extra crap about it.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bondo on December 22, 2015, 04:50:59 PM
I do agree that they failed to extend humanity of storm troopers as much as they should have to not make it feel like a convenience. Still, that scene of was effective.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: 1SO on December 22, 2015, 06:34:45 PM
at least it's better than Jurassic World.

I probably agree, yet I can't help but feel like this movie makes Jurassic World look mildly imaginative. I hope the insane success of both doesn't signal a new era of remake-quels. Yech.
Okay, sure, but once you remove the hype that is Star Wars, the film is about on par with Guardians of the Galaxy.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bondo on December 22, 2015, 07:39:12 PM
No Marvel film is better than SW:TFA. There, I said it.

But then I'm cold on Marvel.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on December 22, 2015, 08:13:44 PM
useless Stormtroopers (except the one random Stormtropper with anti Lightsabre Gear).

Why in the world wasn't that Captain Phasma? The scene causes several problems for me by having it be a random schmuck, and if they needed an elite stormtrooper isn't that the character you designed and cast really well sitting over there doing nothing?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bad-yuyu on December 22, 2015, 08:32:32 PM
No Marvel film is better than SW:TFA. There, I said it.

But then I'm cold on Marvel.

I just don't see it how in a year full of very good action movies (no not the Marvel movies) this messy nostalgia rehash can be treated as a movie of the year contender...

I'm honestly asking: does the third Death Star with the exact same weakspot and all the other silly stuff somehow become less unimaginative if you're a Star Wars fan? I mean if any other movie pulled this kind of copycat shit critics would be nailing it to the cross. Think about it. Imagine if Guardians of the Galaxy seriously would have had a Planet destroying Space station that you kill by flying into it with a fighter through a corridor and blasting the one weakspot. People would have hated it.

But somehow just it being Star Wars seems to make every plothole a mystery, every blatantly copied idea an homage or callback, every in your face Fanservice a theme... I truely don't get it...
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bondo on December 22, 2015, 09:27:47 PM
Movie of the year? It might make my top 20 or 25. And the film isn't about plot, it is about character. I liked the characters.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: MartinTeller on December 22, 2015, 11:22:29 PM
No Marvel film is better than SW:TFA. There, I said it.

It's so rare that Bondo and I are in 100% agreement, but here you go.

I really enjoyed TFA, if I were ranking them I'd probably put it at #2, just below ESB. Sure, there's stuff you can nitpick, but the same is true of any film. I had a better time at TFA than I usually have at the movies.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: The Deer Hunter on December 23, 2015, 12:22:11 AM
useless Stormtroopers (except the one random Stormtropper with anti Lightsabre Gear).

Why in the world wasn't that Captain Phasma? The scene causes several problems for me by having it be a random schmuck, and if they needed an elite stormtrooper isn't that the character you designed and cast really well sitting over there doing nothing?

Also, that random stormtrooper kicked Fin's ass way more than Kylo did.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 23, 2015, 12:39:14 AM
useless Stormtroopers (except the one random Stormtropper with anti Lightsabre Gear).

Why in the world wasn't that Captain Phasma? The scene causes several problems for me by having it be a random schmuck, and if they needed an elite stormtrooper isn't that the character you designed and cast really well sitting over there doing nothing?

Also, that random stormtrooper kicked Fin's ass way more than Kylo did.

Yes, perfect spot for Phasma. Instead of just getting blasted, she's able to deflect the bolts but is driven back, etc.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bondo on December 23, 2015, 01:15:12 AM
So with "too repetitive of A New Hope" as a popular talking point, let me expand on one line of questioning. When can a classic be sufficiently classic to allow for repetition and reimagination? Romeo and Juliet becomes Baz Lurhman's Romeo + Juliet and West Side Story. Pride and Prejudice becomes Bride and Prejudice (in addition to just being Pride and Prejudice about 20 times). Same goes for much of Shakespeare, Austen, Bronte, Dickens, etc. Is it okay so long as it is going across media?

Or take this argument about the film that compares its narrative choice to that of comic books (http://www.vox.com/2015/12/22/10649574/star-wars-force-awakens-comic-books), where it is common to go back to the origin story and replot from a shared origin to explore new things. As similar as this first entry is, it is setting itself up for some new directions in the second. Vox posted a different article basically arguing you can't judge TFA until you see where they go. Which is probably true, though I suppose damns it from a self-contained perspective.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bondo on December 23, 2015, 01:43:29 AM
Yet another Vox article (http://www.vox.com/2015/12/21/10634568/star-wars-the-force-awakens-spoilers-republic-first-order) brings up what would be my more central concern with TFA. I would like more political context. JJ Abrams seemed to be working on simplicity, since people hated Lucas' focus on the political economy in the latter trilogy (stuff I actually rather enjoyed, as a person who cares about political economy). So I see why they pare it so much.

The key place where simplicity hurt is with the first use of the weapon on the Republic. I'm not sure they make clear what is being destroyed. Is it just some of the Republic, is it the very heart of the Republic, basically destroying it as a political establishment? Either way, I don't have a good grasp of who the people of the Republic or those planets were. I can obviously grasp that it is horrific, but it is fairly weightless for the deaths of millions or billions of people. Contrast that to the threatened second use, which was a clear existential threat to the Rebellion, but that seems to be like a few hundred people. It just happens they are the people we know and care about. Shouldn't I mourn the death of a billion more than fear the death of a thousand?

Saying "it's in the broader universe canon" or "we'll explain it later" isn't the most satisfying.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on December 23, 2015, 02:01:44 AM
Agreed on both counts. As far as legacyquels go, I'm into them so far. Creed is great, and I liked Jurassic World a good deal. It is more satisfying to graft a reboot onto a continuation of an old story in order to boost emotional and thematic resonance.

And yeah, I think that there could have been more to the political background in TFA. It would have cleared up some distracting sturdiness and made those pretty explosions mean something.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bad-yuyu on December 23, 2015, 05:27:36 AM
So with "too repetitive of A New Hope" as a popular talking point, let me expand on one line of questioning. When can a classic be sufficiently classic to allow for repetition and reimagination? Romeo and Juliet becomes Baz Lurhman's Romeo + Juliet and West Side Story.

Are we really putting one of the greatest and most influental literary works of western history and Star Wars on one level?

But in any case those movies take a basic plot and reboot it. a) This movie recreates entire scenenes almost shot by shot and b) doesn't reboot anything. Quite the opposite. It has the audacity to say the movie it is copying is actually part of the larger story it's telling. It's copying the answers on it's test and at the same time is saying: "you need to read the test of the guy I copied from!"
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on December 23, 2015, 07:26:49 AM
Vox posted a different article basically arguing you can't judge TFA until you see where they go. Which is probably true, though I suppose damns it from a self-contained perspective.

I think it's different if you already know there is a trilogy in place. With that in mind, I don't think any of them need to be "self-contained" movies, as they are part of a larger trilogy. When Lucas developed the idea for Star Wars, he said it was three separate stories which he broke into three separate trilogies. I believe this third trilogy is different than what he originally had planned back in the 70s, but the concept of a single story across the trilogy I imagine holds true. Unless you'd rather they give us a single, 7 hour movie instead of a trilogy...
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Jared on December 23, 2015, 10:39:28 AM
At their best the Star Wars movies are formed like mythical tales with broadly defined characters and a little bit of mystery about how everyone fits together. Maybe I've just grown a little bit tired of gritty James Bond getting his testicles abused in a torture scene or seeing the absurd trailer for the "dark and grown-up" Superman/Batman movie, but I had a lot of fun watching some of these Star Wars heroes, even if they were just reheating all the old character traits and stories. I just found the whole thing very pleasant, which isn't a feeling I get from many blockbuster action movies anymore.

While I generally hate the "it's just a popcorn flick, sit back and enjoy it" defense, I suppose it just feels a lot more applicable when I actually like the subject movie.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on December 23, 2015, 11:03:27 AM
So with "too repetitive of A New Hope" as a popular talking point, let me expand on one line of questioning. When can a classic be sufficiently classic to allow for repetition and reimagination? Romeo and Juliet becomes Baz Lurhman's Romeo + Juliet and West Side Story. Pride and Prejudice becomes Bride and Prejudice (in addition to just being Pride and Prejudice about 20 times). Same goes for much of Shakespeare, Austen, Bronte, Dickens, etc. Is it okay so long as it is going across media?

I don't see a re-adaptation as being the same thing, since in continuity that story and the original story didn't both happen. I also think you are correct that being a cross-medium adaptation gives more leeway, since the process inherently allows for more interpretation than a direct movie-to-movie remake.

The key place where simplicity hurt is with the first use of the weapon on the Republic. I'm not sure they make clear what is being destroyed. Is it just some of the Republic, is it the very heart of the Republic, basically destroying it as a political establishment? Either way, I don't have a good grasp of who the people of the Republic or those planets were. I can obviously grasp that it is horrific, but it is fairly weightless for the deaths of millions or billions of people. Contrast that to the threatened second use, which was a clear existential threat to the Rebellion, but that seems to be like a few hundred people. It just happens they are the people we know and care about. Shouldn't I mourn the death of a billion more than fear the death of a thousand?

This is the kind of thing I mean when I say "shallow rehash". In A New Hope, we had context and a reason to care about Alderaan. You felt the significance. I honestly don't even know what planets blew up in TFA. I don't think they told us, and nobody seemed to care. For that matter I don't have any sort of understanding of the relationship between the Republic and the Resistance. Or even how the First Order plays into it all, where they came from, or why they have all of the Empire's tech. I find it remarkable how much lack of clarity there is despite taking the structure from a movie that is so clear about these things.

I think it's different if you already know there is a trilogy in place. With that in mind, I don't think any of them need to be "self-contained" movies, as they are part of a larger trilogy. When Lucas developed the idea for Star Wars, he said it was three separate stories which he broke into three separate trilogies. I believe this third trilogy is different than what he originally had planned back in the 70s, but the concept of a single story across the trilogy I imagine holds true. Unless you'd rather they give us a single, 7 hour movie instead of a trilogy...

My concern is that the next movie is going to have to spend a bunch of time doing the groundwork that this one skipped over. Traditionally you would have the first movie in the trilogy set up the foundation for the next two, but I don't think TFA did that very well. As first chapters, both ANH and TPM give you a much more complete understanding of their respective universes.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bad-yuyu on December 23, 2015, 03:52:23 PM
I find it remarkable how much lack of clarity there is despite taking the structure from a movie that is so clear about these things.

I find it remarkable how almost unanimously critics don't care about this or even praise it. Just look at the Filmspotting crew. They tore movies appart for much smaller plot or stylistic discrepancies. But with star Wars it's not a discrepancy or lack of information. It's a Mystery!

I think I truely did not appreciate the extent of the power of nostalgia, and simply what people associate with a brand, until now!
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on December 23, 2015, 05:09:10 PM
I mean, we all knew that people will be a lot harder on this film than any other film this year so it's fairly impossible to take people seriously who talk in absolutes and/or make hyperbolic statements.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on December 23, 2015, 05:11:20 PM
No Marvel film is better than SW:TFA. There, I said it.

But then I'm cold on Marvel.

I just don't see it how in a year full of very good action movies (no not the Marvel movies) this messy nostalgia rehash can be treated as a movie of the year contender...

I'm honestly asking: does the third Death Star with the exact same weakspot and all the other silly stuff somehow become less unimaginative if you're a Star Wars fan? I mean if any other movie pulled this kind of copycat shit critics would be nailing it to the cross. Think about it. Imagine if Guardians of the Galaxy seriously would have had a Planet destroying Space station that you kill by flying into it with a fighter through a corridor and blasting the one weakspot. People would have hated it.

But somehow just it being Star Wars seems to make every plothole a mystery, every blatantly copied idea an homage or callback, every in your face Fanservice a theme... I truely don't get it...

Marvel is far worst. At least The Force Awakens took 30 years to copy its plot. Marvel movies copy each other's plots literally months after release.

Critics weren't nailing Guardians on the cross for having a spaceship crash into the ground or faking out a character death for tears. Don't understand your shock with critics here.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bad-yuyu on December 23, 2015, 05:27:09 PM
I mean, we all knew that people will be a lot harder on this film than any other film this year so it's fairly impossible to take people seriously who talk in absolutes and/or make hyperbolic statements.


Critics weren't nailing Guardians on the cross for having a spaceship crash into the ground or faking out a character death for tears. Don't understand your shock with critics here.

Not sure if you want me to react or not. It's up to you if you chose to take my opinion seriously.

Anyway. I'm not saying Guardians should not have been criticized.
I also accept that people like different stuff and me not liking the movie doesn't mean others can't like it.  But I don't get how critics don't seem to find any objections with the things I listed, when they so despise the exact same things in other movies... I'm sorry I don't feel people are being harder. To me it feels like the opposite.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on December 23, 2015, 05:53:56 PM
I mean, we all knew that people will be a lot harder on this film than any other film this year so it's fairly impossible to take people seriously who talk in absolutes and/or make hyperbolic statements.


Critics weren't nailing Guardians on the cross for having a spaceship crash into the ground or faking out a character death for tears. Don't understand your shock with critics here.

Not sure if you want me to react or not. It's up to you if you chose to take my opinion seriously.

Anyway. I'm not saying Guardians should not have been criticized.
I also accept that people like different stuff and me not liking the movie doesn't mean others can't like it.  But I don't get how critics don't seem to find any objections with the things I listed, when they so despise the exact same things in other movies... I'm sorry I don't feel people are being harder. To me it feels like the opposite.

And I'm saying they don't + giving examples.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bad-yuyu on December 23, 2015, 07:38:14 PM
And I'm saying they don't + giving examples.

Wait! I might have initially missunderstood your statement. Are you saying things like copying other movies, using Ex Machina devices, "saying not showing", or using a "bigger is better" approach are also not criticized in other movies?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: karlwinslow on December 24, 2015, 01:36:02 AM
It was fun. I like that a lot of the plot was similar to the first one but twisted in different ways. The father son dynamic shift being the most obv.

I thought that last scene was perfect. The look on hamils face totally earned the no dialogue moment (and this is a totally superficial analysis, but he looked waaayyy cooler than I thought he was going to. That beard was on point.)

Adam Driver was great as a not quite grown up/mature dark side guy. Imitating Vader with the mask and voice, then when you finally get the reveal he did look surprisingly kidlike.

The girl was great, Boyega was ok, Ford was surprisingly great (really haven't liked anything from him in years), super stoked for Rian to take over.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on December 24, 2015, 05:20:57 AM
I have to agree with a lot of the points made by Bad-yuyu (Welcome to the forum by the way). Overall I enjoyed the film, but the end run spoilt it for me a bit. Rey, Rey we only have 15 minutes to save the rebels! (apologies to Flash Gordon). Watching the scenes and wondering how they fly to another star system, rescued Rey, went to another part of the planet, planted 24 bombs over a large area, fought several fights, ran a couple of kms in under 3 minutes, but were still beaten by someone else to the point. The writers and JJ Abrams have much to answer for with the stupid/impossible amount of things that happen in 15 minutes.

Also Oscar Issac's was pretty ordinary, a lifeless character, that just seemed to pop up now and then.

I really liked Ridley and Boyega. I also liked they are willing to kill characters, makes for a much more interesting watch.

On a different note. Having watched Ford in many films over the years since Star Wars (the correct name for the original film, A New Hope is not what it is called, [/grumpy old man comment]) and seen Carrie Fisher in almost nothing I have to say I had no trouble recognising Ford, but much more seeing Fisher, all those slow changes that occur to our faces over 40 years I have seen for Ford, but not for Fisher so the change is much more noticeable.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 24, 2015, 11:27:36 AM
over the years since Star Wars (the correct name for the original film, A New Hope is not what it is called, [/grumpy old man comment])

This! This is actually my biggest problem with the prequels. I can easily ignore those films, but since they came out everyone starts calling Star Wars "A New Hope."
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on December 24, 2015, 12:13:08 PM
A New Hope was added to the title of the movie as early as 1981, didn't have anything to do with the prequels.

I do still always think of it as just "Star Wars", but you kinda have to call it A New Hope now for disambiguation.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: 1SO on December 27, 2015, 02:29:16 AM
Seen it twice now, and there's a moment that's bothering me. (Not against the film, just a questionable decision.)

After the death, they return to the base and Chewie walks right past Leia. Leia's moment of grief is with Rey. There isn't even an acknowledgement between Leia and Chewie. My theory is that there was a moment, but Chewie blew Leia off. He's not a hugger so his angry reaction probably played wrong. The very next scene is Chewie grieving by himself inside the Falcon. I think if they never planned for there to be a moment, Chewie would've gone to medical with Finn or just stayed inside the ship. Having the shot where he walks past Leia like they didn't just lose someone important is weird.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Teproc on December 27, 2015, 05:29:26 AM
Just rewatched it as well, I didn't catch that exact moment, but I did wonder about Chewie's reaction to Han's death. He shoots Ren, but we don't get anything after that really, so you might be right.

I'm also on the "Rey is Kylo's sister" camp now. Her and Han finish each other's sentences, the way he reacts to hearing her name (presumably not here real name), and that hug with Leia. My theory is Luke took her away and stashed her when things went to CINECAST! and Han and Leia didn't know where she was. Maybe ? There are problems with that too, but I like it better than being Luke's daughter. She's definitely not Kylo's twin though, she's clearly younger in the saber flashback/vision.

Rey's musical theme really stuck with me on a second viewing. It's no Imperial March, but it's good. The Starkiller stuff is still silly (as is the Domnhall Gleeson as Hitler scene), but the movie as a whole still works very well, especially the first hour and the last 20 minutes or so.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on December 27, 2015, 12:39:59 PM
Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Yep, and I'm sure Rey is related to the older characters in some way, but when almost every character's relationship to one another is a "mystery box" it makes it hard to get very emotionally involved since we don't understand where they're coming from.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: karlwinslow on December 28, 2015, 11:23:00 AM
Anyone else have thoughts on this?

I thought that was really odd too-- because we see chewie hug Leia when we see her for the first time in the movie! Then something really traumatic happens, and they just blow each other off. Didn't make sense.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: jdc on December 28, 2015, 10:29:49 PM
Seen it twice now, and there's a moment that's bothering me. (Not against the film, just a questionable decision.)

After the death, they return to the base and Chewie walks right past Leia. Leia's moment of grief is with Rey. There isn't even an acknowledgement between Leia and Chewie. My theory is that there was a moment, but Chewie blew Leia off. He's not a hugger so his angry reaction probably played wrong. The very next scene is Chewie grieving by himself inside the Falcon. I think if they never planned for there to be a moment, Chewie would've gone to medical with Finn or just stayed inside the ship. Having the shot where he walks past Leia like they didn't just lose someone important is weird.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Chewie has been having an affair with Leia and didn't want to show any type any public attention or physical contact even though it would have been the natural thing to do under normal circumstances.



I have a bit to catch up on in this thread.  I didn't have any strong feeling about the film overall.  I was never a big Star Wars fan, I did manage to watch 4-6 earlier this year but it didn't bring back any fond childhood memories.  I enjoyed 4 and 5 more than 6.  This seemed like JJ was making safe choices to pick up with they left off the original series. 

Probably will give it a re-watch sometime around the release of episode 8 but no urgent need to view again now
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on January 05, 2016, 08:26:41 AM
I've been having this debate with a few co-workers, each of us ranking our favorite Star Wars films. I wonder how everyone else would rank the 7 Star Wars films. Here is mine:

V - Empire Strikes Back
IV - Star Wars
VII - Force Awakens
I - Phantom Menace
VI - Return of the Jedi
III - Revenge of the Sith
II - Attack of the Clones

My co-workers and I all had II as last, and IV and VII as 2-3.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: jdc on January 05, 2016, 08:34:40 AM
I don't have any strong opinion but the whole series.  but would order it this way:

V - Empire Strikes Back
IV - Star Wars
VII - Force Awakens
VI - Return of the Jedi
I - Phantom Menace
III - Revenge of the Sith
II - Attach of the Clones

Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Teproc on January 05, 2016, 08:56:37 AM
V - The Empire Strikes Back
VII - The Force Awakens
IV - Star Wars/A New Hope
VI - Return of the Jedi
III - Revenge of the Sith
II - Attack of the Clones
I - The Phantom Menace

Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: 1SO on January 05, 2016, 09:19:40 AM
Interesting to see the variations. I assumed the basic rankings would go...
The Originals
The Force Awakens
The Prequels

My Ranking:
IV - Star Wars/A New Hope
V - The Empire Strikes Back
VI - Return of the Jedi
VII - The Force Awakens
II - Attack of the Clones
I - The Phantom Menace
III - Revenge of the Sith
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Sandy on January 05, 2016, 09:26:54 AM
1. Empire Strikes Back


#1 is all I know at this juncture. Nostalgia's force is strong, so must figure a way to weigh out my thoughts on The Force Awakens. Rey's character alone may put it at #2, even though I wished for more new and less hearkening back. I haven't seen episode III in such a long time, that I can't place that one yet either.

Basically, I'm at a loss.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: colonel_mexico on January 05, 2016, 10:04:11 AM
Episode III Revenge of the Sith
Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
Episode IV A New Hope
Episode I The Phantom Menace
Episode VI Return of the Jedi
Episode II Attack of the Clones

Episode VII The Force Awakens

Sadly for all my Star Wars adoration I was let down :(
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: MartinTeller on January 05, 2016, 10:12:46 AM
V - The Empire Strikes Back
VII - The Force Awakens
IV - Star Wars/A New Hope
VI - Return of the Jedi
III - Revenge of the Sith
II - Attack of the Clones
I - The Phantom Menace


That's pretty much how they line up fo rme too
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on January 05, 2016, 10:23:45 AM
The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars
Return of the Jedi
The Phantom Menace
Revenge of the Sith/Attack of the Clones/The Force Awakens


I'm honestly not sure if I can make sense of whether I like The Force Awakens more than any of the prequels. Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith are probably worse movies, but their earnestness and creativity feels like a breath of fresh air after the lazy, numbing approach of TFA.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: MattDrufke on January 05, 2016, 10:29:07 AM
Without colors:

Empire Strikes Back
A New Hope
The Force Awakens
The Phantom Menace
Return Of The Jedi
Attack Of The Clones
Revenge Of The Sith

with "Sith" being the only film I truly dislike.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Sandy on January 05, 2016, 10:30:06 AM
I'm honestly not sure if I can make sense of whether I like The Force Awakens more than any of the prequels. Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith are probably worse movies, but their earnestness and creativity feels like a breath of fresh air after the lazy, numbing approach of TFA.

Rey was a breath of fresh air to me, but you expressed well the rest of it here.

Sadly for all my Star Wars adoration I was let down :(

I felt let down around the midpoint, bored even. Where were you disappointed?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: colonel_mexico on January 05, 2016, 10:37:09 AM
I watched this right after Xmas, and I went with kids so I held it in, I even said I really enjoyed it, but it wasn't right.  There are some epic parts, Rey and Fin are great characters, but the one who was to be my favorite, was barely even there.  I've tried to approach a review, but it fails me because i don't want to bash on my beloved Star Wars.  I've wanted to say well history tends to repeat itself, but then I think of the Harry Potter like evil emperor and a repeated death star.  I would have preferred Adam Driver to remain hidden behind the mask.  I would have preferred something more devastating at the ever so obvious twist.  At least in the prequels we had political intrigue, we had Anakin turning to the dark side as his best friend sets out to destroy him.  Here we have a promising story with a great actor playing Rey, but suddenly she's powerful and can use the force?  Lightsaber battles are one of the reasons I watch these and for me it's always been the most fun, and here there was a good one even if terribly unbelievable.  I can't pinpoint a moment, and it's taken me awhile to accept how bad TFA is, but it's terrible and my heart is broken.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on January 05, 2016, 10:43:32 AM
I'm honestly not sure if I can make sense of whether I like The Force Awakens more than any of the prequels. Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith are probably worse movies, but their earnestness and creativity feels like a breath of fresh air after the lazy, numbing approach of TFA.

Rey was a breath of fresh air to me, but you expressed well the rest of it here.

For sure, Rey is great! I just think the movie failed her. All of the new characters seemed sidelined in their own movie, second fiddle to Han and the nostalgia plays.

I think the best part of the movie by far is the 15 minutes or so spent with Rey as a scavenger.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Jared on January 05, 2016, 10:52:12 AM
Since I just watched two spin off movies I havent seen, I will rank them like this:

IV
V
VII
VI
Ewoks Battle for Endor
An Ewok Adventure
I
III
II
The Clone Wars
The Holiday Special
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: mañana on January 05, 2016, 11:23:21 AM
The Holiday Special
Merry Life Day.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on January 05, 2016, 11:48:05 AM
The Force Awakens - A-
Empire Strikes Back - B+
Revenge of the Sith - C+
Return of the Jedi - C
A New Hope - C-
The Phantom Menace - D+
Attack of the Clones - F

I also think it was important to see what Ben Solo looks like and not just keep it Kylo Ren. They're setting up a pretty major story there, and his humanity is going to be key to the whole thing, if it goes as I expect I to. Even better that he's kinda goofy looking. This isn't the ultimate evil, at least not yet. He's just a dude.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on January 05, 2016, 12:08:55 PM
I also think, in terms of developing the character of Kylo Ren, revealing his face to show that he has no need for a mask apart from mimicking Vader adds to the idea that he feels entitled to his "greatness", as though it is given through his bloodlines. That was the sense I got from Ren the whole way though, as though he has a silver spoon when it comes to power and talent, which is why he is so maddened by the natural abilities of Rey, who he feels is a nobody and doesn't deserve such powers. He will do anything to eliminate those who exist to show him or prove to him that he has to work for what he wants. It parallels with the current culture in America where Millennials are perceived as being spoiled and lazy, feeling entitled to what they have instead of working hard for it. This is obviously a broad comparison, and I am not saying anyone agrees with the assessment of Millennials, or that it is categorically true.

The difference is that the originals came out as the young Generation X were looking to prove they could make it on their own after the Baby Boomers, which parallels nicely with the character of Luke using his talents, honing them, and becoming a powerful Jedi to rise up against his evil father to bring peace and balance to the galaxy. I've heard the originals compared to the Vietnam War as well, and how it manages to bring sympathy to the "rebels" just years after the war ended against the "rebel" Viet Cong, with the USA being the Evil Empire. Having not been alive during this time period, I would be curious to hear others opinions on this, and the other, parallel(s).

I am completely spitballing here and haven't really spent the time reflecting on these conjectures, so feel free to rip apart my assessments.

EDIT: This theory also lends itself to seeing Rey as his opposite, as independent as she is, able to fend for herself on Jakku and take her future into her own hands.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on January 05, 2016, 12:31:58 PM
Interesting! I do like your character assessment of Ben Solo, his sense of entitlement. And I think you might be right connecting it to the perception of millennials (though numerous articles have supported the premise that the generation in question might be the most motivated and least reliant upon just getting things, which rings true in my friends and family). I wonder if they'll do anything with that. We know that he trained with Luke and Snoke, and there was mention of him continuing, which I assume will be part of the next film. Rey might also be an interesting counterpart in that she is surviving on her own, scraping a life together while her family (making assumptions here) is off being heroic or evil or whatever. That also rings true to my life and those of my friends. Was in school during the 07/08 collapse, graduated to a wasteland of practically zero job opportunities. Finally starting to get shit together. I can't say that this was part of what JJ and co had in mind when writing the film, but it does resonate.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bondo on January 05, 2016, 12:53:58 PM
Rylo is the 1%. Inherits all his wealth (power) but goes around acting like he earned it by his genius and should trust him. Let's call him Donald Trump.

Anyway, my ordering is something like this I think:
VII
IV
VI
III
I
V
II
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on January 05, 2016, 02:45:44 PM
I'm honestly not sure if I can make sense of whether I like The Force Awakens more than any of the prequels. Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith are probably worse movies, but their earnestness and creativity feels like a breath of fresh air after the lazy, numbing approach of TFA.

Rey was a breath of fresh air to me, but you expressed well the rest of it here.

For sure, Rey is great! I just think the movie failed her.

I agree. Ridley is great. Rey is awesome in many ways, but her motivation fundamentally doesn't make sense. She's desperately waiting for her family to return to Jakku. She's 19 years old and has literally etched out thousands of marks on the wall counting the days (the script specifies thousands). And yet despite this yearning for her lost family and fear that she may miss their return, she never once does anything to try and stay on Jakku or get back to it once they've left. So, she should be at odds with the other characters, which would be interesting, but instead just goes along for the ride.

Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Sandy on January 05, 2016, 02:46:20 PM
I am completely spitballing here and haven't really spent the time reflecting on these conjectures, so feel free to rip apart my assessments.

Fosh! ;) That's no spitballing, you've got me contending with an unexpected slow pitch. Backing up... Why didn't they make a movie of that? Why leave out all this great stuff? Are there going to be prequels to these sequels?

EDIT: This theory also lends itself to seeing Rey as his opposite, as independent as she is, able to fend for herself on Jakku and take her future into her own hands.

Rey might also be an interesting counterpart in that she is surviving on her own, scraping a life together

Go Rey!


I watched this right after Xmas, and I went with kids so I held it in, I even said I really enjoyed it, but it wasn't right.

That's so difficult, isn't it?! You don't want to burst their happy bubble. I went with my nephew and didn't have the heart to do anything but listen to his enthusiasm and nod and smile. I would have rather had a real conversation about it, but that's what I've got the forum for. :)

Quote
There are some epic parts, Rey and Fin are great characters, but the one who was to be my favorite, was barely even there.

Luke?

Like what I asked Corndog, do we not get to see this back story? Will the next movie be told in flashbacks?

Quote
I've tried to approach a review, but it fails me because i don't want to bash on my beloved Star Wars.

I couldn't do a review either, so snow sculpted instead! :)

Quote
I've wanted to say well history tends to repeat itself, but then I think of the Harry Potter like evil emperor and a repeated death star.

You're right! He was just like Harry Potter's nemesis! Even the nose was almost non existent. haha! I'd forgotten about that after seeing the movie. Not a good sign, when the movie fades that fast from my memory.

Quote
I would have preferred Adam Driver to remain hidden behind the mask.  I would have preferred something more devastating at the ever so obvious twist.  At least in the prequels we had political intrigue, we had Anakin turning to the dark side as his best friend sets out to destroy him.  Here we have a promising story with a great actor playing Rey, but suddenly she's powerful and can use the force?  Lightsaber battles are one of the reasons I watch these and for me it's always been the most fun, and here there was a good one even if terribly unbelievable.  I can't pinpoint a moment, and it's taken me awhile to accept how bad TFA is, but it's terrible and my heart is broken.

*sigh* yes. I'm sad for your lost opportunity of joy.

On a good note though. That lightsaber fight, though "terribly unbelievable," was pretty great. I liked how they were hacking at each other, especially Rey, since she'd never been taught finesse.

On a disappointed note, I too was bothered by her knowing how to use the force so quickly. Wouldn't that have also been a great movie thread, her discovering everything about it and herself?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: colonel_mexico on January 05, 2016, 03:19:25 PM
I had forgotten Luke though they were searching for him, Poe Dameron his unknown story and who he is felt neglected.  Oscar Isaac is a personal favorite and I wish I could have seen more, perhaps the sequels will redeem these questions and resurrect my hope.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on January 05, 2016, 03:37:00 PM
I think in time, everyone's story will be filled out. This is a trilogy, so the thought is it is one long story. I certainly have hope that the gaps will be filled in, which is why the open questions TFA left didn't seem to bother me, just excite me for VIII.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Sandy on January 05, 2016, 04:10:00 PM
Corndog, your enthusiasm is something I will hold onto. :)



I had forgotten Luke though they were searching for him, Poe Dameron his unknown story and who he is felt neglected.  Oscar Isaac is a personal favorite and I wish I could have seen more, perhaps the sequels will redeem these questions and resurrect my hope.

That's right! I remember you looking forward to Isaac being in the movie. He had one of my favorite moments in the film and I was disappointed that he didn't end up being a main part. He also has a story to tell!


More of this please!

"Do I talk first or you talk first? I talk first?" :))
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on January 05, 2016, 04:54:57 PM
Poe is a pretty great character. I can't imagine the writer of Brick and The Brothers Bloom not giving him a large part in the next two movies. Saw an interesting article a few weeks back speculating that Dameron might be gay, which would also be a really cool thing to do. If nothing else, Rey and Finn have been spectacular forces for good in the pop culture universe, and maybe this later development would continue the trend.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on January 05, 2016, 05:04:55 PM
Poe is a pretty great character. I can't imagine the writer of Brick and The Brothers Bloom not giving him a large part in the next two movies. Saw an interesting article a few weeks back speculating that Dameron might be gay, which would also be a really cool thing to do. If nothing else, Rey and Finn have been spectacular forces for good in the pop culture universe, and maybe this later development would continue the trend.

I think it would depend on how they play it. To me, if he is gay just to be gay, I don't like it, a la Dumbledore in Harry Potter. If it has no relevancy to the plot, then it feels like its being progressive just so it can claim to be progressive. If depth is added to such a revelation, such that it gives us further insight into the character fast superficially knowing his sexuality, or furthers the plot in some way, then I would be for it, of course.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: colonel_mexico on January 05, 2016, 05:14:07 PM
Lol yes there was actually a lot of very funny moments and his was really good in that scene! 
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on January 05, 2016, 05:17:16 PM
Being progressive to be progressive is how progress happens. Poe is already arguably the coolest new character, if he is either explicitly or subtextually gay, that's a pretty cool thing to do by me. I didn't love the Dumbledore thing because it came out after the fact. If it's in the film to begin with, I'd be into it.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on January 05, 2016, 06:24:22 PM
I think in time, everyone's story will be filled out. This is a trilogy, so the thought is it is one long story. I certainly have hope that the gaps will be filled in, which is why the open questions TFA left didn't seem to bother me, just excite me for VIII.

I feel like this movie is being given a pass on skimmed-over characters, missing back-story, and unnecessary mysteries that any other movie wouldn't. The movie itself feels like a trailer for the rest of the trilogy, and just because they might fill it in later doesn't make this movie any better. I can't think of a first-entry in a trilogy that did a poorer job establishing itself for it's sequels. I have faith in Rian Johnson, but I'm worried he's going to have to spend half his movie covering stuff that should have already been covered.

Poe is a pretty great character. I can't imagine the writer of Brick and The Brothers Bloom not giving him a large part in the next two movies. Saw an interesting article a few weeks back speculating that Dameron might be gay, which would also be a really cool thing to do. If nothing else, Rey and Finn have been spectacular forces for good in the pop culture universe, and maybe this later development would continue the trend.

I think it would depend on how they play it. To me, if he is gay just to be gay, I don't like it, a la Dumbledore in Harry Potter. If it has no relevancy to the plot, then it feels like its being progressive just so it can claim to be progressive. If depth is added to such a revelation, such that it gives us further insight into the character fast superficially knowing his sexuality, or furthers the plot in some way, then I would be for it, of course.

I agree that it's a question of execution, but I don't agree that it needs to be a plot-point or revelation. Both could be done poorly but I think it's okay for people just to be gay without it being a big deal (just like in real life!).
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: 1SO on January 05, 2016, 09:29:13 PM
I think in time, everyone's story will be filled out. This is a trilogy, so the thought is it is one long story. I certainly have hope that the gaps will be filled in, which is why the open questions TFA left didn't seem to bother me, just excite me for VIII.

I feel like this movie is being given a pass on skimmed-over characters, missing back-story, and unnecessary mysteries that any other movie wouldn't. The movie itself feels like a trailer for the rest of the trilogy, and just because they might fill it in later doesn't make this movie any better. I can't think of a first-entry in a trilogy that did a poorer job establishing itself for it's sequels.

Prometheus, which to me is the best example of a film that was so busy "world building" it left the movie with a frustratingly long list of questions.

I feel like Force Awakens is being scrutinized like few movies in history. Star Wars (Ep. 4) has about the same amount of character building, missing back story and mystery. I like that we are dropped into the world without a ocean of explanation. On the other hand, the characters are far from skimmed-over. I left Force Awakens satisfied with what I saw and excited to see what comes next, not carrying a mental list of things I hope get explained.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on January 05, 2016, 09:43:22 PM
Welcome to the film corner of the internet, where everything must be absolutely perfect or it is terrible. Say "thank you" to Honest Trailers, Red Letter Media, and the like for their part in it. Throw in a series which everybody loves but is not actually that good to begin with and you've got yourself a recipe for ultra-critical reactions.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bondo on January 05, 2016, 11:23:38 PM
Saw a speculative post on a blog I read that was thinking it was setting up Rey as too quick to use the Force in anger against Kylo and perhaps she'll be susceptible to the dark side, meanwhile I still think they are telegraphing that Kylo has fairly weak attachment to the dark side. So we might see a role reversal by the end. Not sure I could take Rey being a baddie though. Unless she travels through space-time and starts chopping up Men's Rights Activists with her lightsaber. I'd be on board with that Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back inspired turn of events.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on January 06, 2016, 01:29:45 AM
Prometheus, which to me is the best example of a film that was so busy "world building" it left the movie with a frustratingly long list of questions.

Ohh, that's a good one. Was it conceived of as a trilogy? I thought it was just poorly written.

I feel like Force Awakens is being scrutinized like few movies in history. Star Wars (Ep. 4) has about the same amount of character building, missing back story and mystery. I like that we are dropped into the world without a ocean of explanation. On the other hand, the characters are far from skimmed-over. I left Force Awakens satisfied with what I saw and excited to see what comes next, not carrying a mental list of things I hope get explained.

I'm not seeing the scrutiny and I can't agree about the characters, but we may just have different definitions of those things.

What equivalent problems do you think A New Hope has? That movie is so much more focused that it has less to explain, yet still provides more clarity and world-building through natural exposition. The only "mysteries" I can think of are just things that are only unanswered in the context of questions asked later.

Welcome to the film corner of the internet, where everything must be absolutely perfect or it is terrible. Say "thank you" to Honest Trailers, Red Letter Media, and the like for their part in it.

I agree that those types of "criticism" are terrible, but this sounds a lot like "anyone who disagrees with me is a hater" logic.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on January 06, 2016, 01:54:48 AM
It's not that I think those who dislike the film are faking it or disingenuous in their motivations. Not here, at least. But I do think that many of the things pointed out as flaws or problems or whatever are glossed over when they happen in the original films. Does one thing with the floating ball count as enough training to later "Use the force, Luke" and if it does, why does Rey's similar trajectory get scrutinized? Down to the same reminder at a vital moment. And also, why is this the thing we care about? Why is "spot the plot hole" our new national pastime? If it's a symptom of a film's underlying problems, let's talk about those instead.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: 1SO on January 06, 2016, 02:02:56 AM
Prometheus, which to me is the best example of a film that was so busy "world building" it left the movie with a frustratingly long list of questions.

Ohh, that's a good one. Was it conceived of as a trilogy? I thought it was just poorly written.
Jon Spaihts's original script was originally just another film with DNA from Alien. Then it was decided this could reboot the Alien franchise and Damon Lindelof was brought in to build it into a new trilogy. Prometheus 2 is now Alien: Covenant.



What equivalent problems do you think A New Hope has? That movie is so much more focused that it has less to explain, yet still provides more clarity and world-building through natural exposition. The only "mysteries" I can think of are just things that are only unanswered in the context of questions asked later.
Luke's backstory. Everything that has led to The Empire dominating the galaxy. I think both films do an equally fine job of laying in the world as a setting and not something that needs to be explained.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on January 06, 2016, 07:39:42 AM
Luke's backstory. Everything that has led to The Empire dominating the galaxy. I think both films do an equally fine job of laying in the world as a setting and not something that needs to be explained.

Correct. Of the original Star Wars, I could ask the following similar questions:

1. Who is the Empire and how did they come to power, particularly the Emperor and Darth Vader? Who is Darth Vader? (Parallel to the First Order, Snoke)

2. Who is Luke Skywalker, and what is his history? (Parallel to Rey)
- We may get that he lives with his Aunt and Uncle and his father died fighting with Obi-Wan, but we later learn that is not completely true, and my question would be, if his father was a Jedi Knight killed by a bad guy, why is Luke stuck on an outer-rim planet as a farmer instead of somewhere cool where he could have been more involved with the rebellion, and what about his mother, I don't remember them mentioning his mother at all, how does that not ever come up?

I think those were the two biggest questions I had after seeing TFA, and they are not dissimilar to possible questions from Star Wars, but we aren't distracted by being immersed in an incredible new universe like we were the first time we saw Star Wars. We've spent time in the universe before with our TFA experience, so I feel like it is easier to point out these questions then see things like the lightsaber, Darth Vader, the Death Star, the Millennium Falcon and be amazed by them. Were there other questions that were also glaring omissions?

Also,

3. I also don't quite understand the uproar over Rey and Finn knowing how to use the lightsaber. That's like being shocked that I would be able to fight with a sword. Have I ever before? No, but that doesn't mean I'm incompetent to the point of not knowing how to pick it up and use it like a sword. Finn at least has Stormtrooper training where he probably had weapons training, so just like any weapon, he should be able to wield it sufficiently for a battle against a not completely trained opponent (Kylo Ren). Like Junior mentioned before with the floating ball blaster from the original, that was the only light saber training Luke had, and he was at least component with the weapon during that training.

I'm basically agreeing with Junior's earlier comment. I do not think anyone is being disingenuous about disliking TFA, just trying to build conversation.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: colonel_mexico on January 06, 2016, 09:47:58 AM
I think JR and CD are overlooking the fact that Luke was in training with a Jedi Master, there are no Jedi Masters helping Rey along.  And she was able to use the Force in ways that took training on Dagobah with Yoda for Luke.  I'm not trying to spot the plot hole, I'm saying there are very obvious things about the film that are essentially a reboot of Star Wars and not something new.  I thought Fin should be a lot tougher given his Storm Trooper training and yet he still looked like a layperson.  Snoke just seemed something ripped from a Harry Potter film and I just didn't see a whole lot of creativity I guess I was over-excited for.  I don't want to rip apart this film, and I hardly can take JR seriously considering he thinks the other films as average, but it just wasn't good.  It seemed very plain and Disney-fied.  I mean we get Han killing Gredo, who shot first!?, and the seediness of the Mos Eisley cantina and Ben Kenobi cutting off an arm to calm things down.  Here we have an angry Knight of Ren who destroys rooms and whose lust for power is the same as Anakins (which most people criticize greatly about the prequels, so for me I should appreciate this since I thoroughly enjoy those films). 

This isn't to say there isn't potential for these, and admittedly I can let Rey have her jump in Force abilities if she really is like her (maybe) grandfather and father(?) and being heir as the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy. 
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: 1SO on January 06, 2016, 09:55:25 AM
3. I also don't quite understand the uproar over Rey and Finn knowing how to use the lightsaber. That's like being shocked that I would be able to fight with a sword. Have I ever before? No, but that doesn't mean I'm incompetent to the point of not knowing how to pick it up and use it like a sword. Finn at least has Stormtrooper training where he probably had weapons training, so just like any weapon, he should be able to wield it sufficiently for a battle against a not completely trained opponent (Kylo Ren). Like Junior mentioned before with the floating ball blaster from the original, that was the only light saber training Luke had, and he was at least component with the weapon during that training.
Also, Ren is suffering from an injury, a blast from Chewie's weapon that has killed everyone else up till now. JJ maybe should have shown the seriousness of such an injury, but it's surprising that Ren is even able to stand let alone fight.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on January 06, 2016, 10:17:11 AM
I'm not trying to spot the plot hole, I'm saying there are very obvious things about the film that are essentially a reboot of Star Wars and not something new.  I thought Fin should be a lot tougher given his Storm Trooper training and yet he still looked like a layperson.  Snoke just seemed something ripped from a Harry Potter film and I just didn't see a whole lot of creativity I guess I was over-excited for.

It seemed very plain and Disney-fied.  I mean we get Han killing Gredo, who shot first!?, and the seediness of the Mos Eisley cantina and Ben Kenobi cutting off an arm to calm things down.  Here we have an angry Knight of Ren who destroys rooms and whose lust for power is the same as Anakins (which most people criticize greatly about the prequels, so for me I should appreciate this since I thoroughly enjoy those films). 

I can't really argue with these viewpoints, and I can totally see where they can be a turnoff or change of direction for a fan of the series.

Good point about Finn. It seemed to me that his first field mission was the village massacre on Jakku, and up to that point it never felt real to him, and therefore he didn't know what he had in him. I try to imagine what a German soldier during WWII would be like, brainwashed into a hatred that a singular person may not agree with. I do think there are moments of bravery, but you are right, he is not a blind killer like we often think of the Stormtroopers as being. For me that was a charm to the character, and his ability to make the Stormtroopers human and relateable. On this point, I am interested to see what role Captain Phasma plays going forward, as perhaps the antithesis of Finn. I understand some were disappointed in her use in this first film, but when I think about a character like Chewbacca, so loved and a major part of the series, what is his role in the first film but as an aggressive, alien race who plays co-pilot and not much else. Heck, we don't even know how he and Han met and became partners, to this day (I'm sure the Han spin-off will resolve this), and only later learn that he was a part of the Clone Wars (as he meets Yoda in the prequels). So I guess what I am trying to say about Phasma is that her mystique may grow through the films as she becomes more involved, but I also don't think her role has to be central to any of the plots. She can be a Lando, or even the weird head-device sidekick to Lando and still be a cool character.

I don't want to rip apart this film, and I hardly can take JR seriously considering he thinks the other films as average, but it just wasn't good.

Then I hope you will understand the opposite of this consideration.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on January 06, 2016, 10:28:28 AM
It's not that I think those who dislike the film are faking it or disingenuous in their motivations. Not here, at least. But I do think that many of the things pointed out as flaws or problems or whatever are glossed over when they happen in the original films. Does one thing with the floating ball count as enough training to later "Use the force, Luke" and if it does, why does Rey's similar trajectory get scrutinized? Down to the same reminder at a vital moment. And also, why is this the thing we care about? Why is "spot the plot hole" our new national pastime? If it's a symptom of a film's underlying problems, let's talk about those instead.

That point is rather minor in comparison to my big problems with the movie, but if you do want to scrutinize it there are some differences. Luke spends time actively being trained and taught by a Jedi Master, even if it's only for a few scenes, you see that he is learning these things. Rey's evolution is played as a mystery, for some reason the lightsaber calls to her, and she touches it, and apparently receives more training than Luke did through actual training. We are also told that Luke's father was a great Jedi, so he has a familial connection to the force. Again, Rey's parentage is played as a mystery so we have to speculate on why she's so powerful.

The biggest difference, obviously, is that Luke does not take on Darth Vader in a lightsaber fight at the end of A New Hope. It's not until the end of Empire and a whole lot more training with Yoda that Luke is ready for that, but Rey gets there and holds her own in one movie with no training.

Luke's backstory. Everything that has led to The Empire dominating the galaxy. I think both films do an equally fine job of laying in the world as a setting and not something that needs to be explained.

Luke is a farm boy raised by his uncle because his Father is dead. Everything you need to know about the Empire is in the opening crawl and introductory scenes. Neither of those are mysteries and they don't withhold information for the sake of a later reveal. The sequels expand on those things, but you don't feel like you're missing anything when you watch just ANH.

The Force Awakens has the extra burden of being a sequel with 30 years of changes having taken place. Their explanation seems to be "everything is the same with a different name." Aside from being lazy and ruining the legacy of the original trilogy, the problem is this makes me actively try and make sense of the new dynamics, but they don't even try to give you enough info on that.

1. Who is the Empire and how did they come to power, particularly the Emperor and Darth Vader? Who is Darth Vader? (Parallel to the First Order, Snoke)

Already answered that the Empire is explained as much as is relevant. Darth Vader is explained to be a powerful Jedi and pupil of Obi-Wan's who turned to the dark side. What else do you need in the context of that story? The Emperor doesn't become relevant until Empire.

2. Who is Luke Skywalker, and what is his history? (Parallel to Rey)
- We may get that he lives with his Aunt and Uncle and his father died fighting with Obi-Wan, but we later learn that is not completely true, and my question would be, if his father was a Jedi Knight killed by a bad guy, why is Luke stuck on an outer-rim planet as a farmer instead of somewhere cool where he could have been more involved with the rebellion, and what about his mother, I don't remember them mentioning his mother at all, how does that not ever come up?

Because his uncle is a farmer on an outer-rim planet. Why are you trying to re-write the movie? The point of his whole hero's journey is that he starts off as a nobody.

Were there other questions that were also glaring omissions?

These come to mind. Some may be answerable, but I feel like I would have heard a definitive answer by now if people agreed on it.

Luke - Why is he in hiding? Why did he leave a map to himself in two pieces? Why did R2 have one of the pieces and why was he sleeping? Why did he wake up? How does Max Von Sydow play into this?

The First Order - If the Empire was defeated, how did The First Order seemingly become a drop-in replacement with all of the same technology and scale of forces within 10 years or so?

Finn - The questions about Rey have been well covered, but they also never explain Finn. They say the Stormtrooper conditioning has never failed before, so what's special about him? He seems completely unaffected by what should have been a insurmountable experience. Why?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on January 06, 2016, 10:32:17 AM
Sorry, colonel_mexico covered some of the points I made while typing very well.

I should also make it clear that "spot the plot hole" is not why I think this movie is bad. Those are annoyances on top of a bunch of other more important problems. This Finn conversation is a good one. I find it unfathomable that the whole basis of Finn's character is his horror at the massacre and holding a dying comrade, and then he immediately becomes completely fine with killing stormtroopers left and right. What were they thinking?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on January 06, 2016, 11:18:39 AM
Welcome to the film corner of the internet

Oops, I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere.

Saw a speculative post on a blog I read that was thinking it was setting up Rey as too quick to use the Force in anger against Kylo and perhaps she'll be susceptible to the dark side, meanwhile I still think they are telegraphing that Kylo has fairly weak attachment to the dark side. So we might see a role reversal by the end. Not sure I could take Rey being a baddie though. Unless she travels through space-time and starts chopping up Men's Rights Activists with her lightsaber. I'd be on board with that Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back inspired turn of events.

I have almost no doubt that Kylo will be a hero in the third film and Rey will at the very least undergo a brief stint as villain.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on January 06, 2016, 11:22:04 AM
Were there other questions that were also glaring omissions?

These come to mind. Some may be answerable, but I feel like I would have heard a definitive answer by now if people agreed on it.

Luke - Why is he in hiding? Why did he leave a map to himself in two pieces? Why did R2 have one of the pieces and why was he sleeping? Why did he wake up? How does Max Von Sydow play into this?

The First Order - If the Empire was defeated, how did The First Order seemingly become a drop-in replacement with all of the same technology and scale of forces within 10 years or so?

Finn - The questions about Rey have been well covered, but they also never explain Finn. They say the Stormtrooper conditioning has never failed before, so what's special about him? He seems completely unaffected by what should have been a insurmountable experience. Why?

These questions are legitimate. It appears to me, the more we discuss this, that our differences in opinion are the resolution of these questions. For me, their mystery holds an anticipation that helps build toward the next two films while not spoiling everything we see from this film. It reminds me, in many ways, of JJ Abrams Lost, which every episode seemingly raised twice as many new questions as it answered, but in the end I was satisfied with the answers I did get each episode, and intrigued by the new, unanswered ones. While, for others, colonel, Melvil and Sandy included, the mysteries are a hindrance and/or annoyance to the narrative. Simply a difference in taste.

But I still stand by 1SO concerning the rise of the Empire in the Original. Here is the crawl from the original, which does nothing more than say they exist and they're bad, which is essentially all we need to know, and also all we know of the First Order.

Quote
It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.
During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.
Pursued by the Empire's sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy....

I suppose the difference between the two is we know at the end of Jedi, the Empire is supposedly defeated by the Rebels. Perhaps, since throughout the original trilogy it was always my impression that the Rebels were a small band, that at the end of the final battle, the Rebels we unable to truly overtake the full infrastructure of the Empire, leaving Imperial loyalists to occupy some of that space and perhaps "rise from the ashes of the Empire", as TFA crawl tells us, and become the First Order. Not trying to say the movie(s) tell us this, but rather just theorizing.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on January 06, 2016, 11:34:16 AM
These questions are legitimate. It appears to me, the more we discuss this, that our differences in opinion are the resolution of these questions. For me, their mystery holds an anticipation that helps build toward the next two films while not spoiling everything we see from this film. It reminds me, in many ways, of JJ Abrams Lost, which every episode seemingly raised twice as many new questions as it answered, but in the end I was satisfied with the answers I did get each episode, and intrigued by the new, unanswered ones. While, for others, colonel, Melvil and Sandy included, the mysteries are a hindrance and/or annoyance to the narrative. Simply a difference in taste.

Yeah, like I said the lack of explanations I find annoying but it's not my main problem. I enjoy mysteries when they are done well, and there are others even in TFA (mostly regarding The Knights of Ren and Luke) that I didn't bring up because they don't bother me. The problem is when unanswered questions actively distract me from the story being told. Also the mysteries in Lost were much more enjoyable to me than the answers, so that comparison does not inspire me with hope. ;)

But I still stand by 1SO concerning the rise of the Empire in the Original. Here is the crawl from the original, which does nothing more than say they exist and they're bad, which is essentially all we need to know, and also all we know of the First Order.

Quote
It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.
During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.
Pursued by the Empire's sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy....

I suppose the difference between the two is we know at the end of Jedi, the Empire is supposedly defeated by the Rebels. Perhaps, since throughout the original trilogy it was always my impression that the Rebels were a small band, that at the end of the final battle, the Rebels we unable to truly overtake the full infrastructure of the Empire, leaving Imperial loyalists to occupy some of that space and perhaps "rise from the ashes of the Empire", as TFA crawl tells us, and become the First Order. Not trying to say the movie(s) tell us this, but rather just theorizing.

Right, you can speculate answers, but I think scenes like the Starkiller destroying planets would hugely benefit from being oriented in this new universe. And isn't it a crime to completely erase every element of the happy ending from Return of the Jedi? Eck, I still get upset about it.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on January 06, 2016, 11:44:10 AM
And isn't it a crime to completely erase every element of the happy ending from Return of the Jedi? Eck, I still get upset about it.

I suppose so, but did you feel that way when they announced the new trilogy? There was always going to be some new evil to fight, otherwise there wouldn't be 3 new films. At least that evil wasn't a turned Luke, eh?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on January 06, 2016, 11:54:37 AM
At least that evil wasn't a turned Luke, eh?

Technically, we don't know that yet.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: verbALs on January 06, 2016, 12:02:33 PM
It's a long thread, but I haven't seen an answer for how an energy beam splits itself into parts on its way to destroy multiple targets. Splitting hairs? Or splitting energy beams? :o

But just to balance it with an equally unlikely energy beam problem from the original film; What is stopping the energy beam from a lightsaber from petering out into the distance? In a Larry Niven story (and then Ringworld) a floating ball extends out from the handle of a cutting tool (used to cut for construction or to cut off the head of a two headed plant eater) and the energy beam is held between the two ends.

Of course none of these things are real. And I thought I'd continue enjoying both films instead of letting the technology of a galaxy far, far away baffle me too much. I wouldn't have the physics.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on January 06, 2016, 12:09:33 PM
And isn't it a crime to completely erase every element of the happy ending from Return of the Jedi? Eck, I still get upset about it.

I suppose so, but did you feel that way when they announced the new trilogy?

Yeah, I absolutely did! It was something I discussed a lot, but I never imagined they would care that little. The problem is in order to honor the original trilogy things couldn't be exactly the same, and my mistake was in thinking they would be more creative than that.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Jared on January 06, 2016, 12:20:57 PM
And isn't it a crime to completely erase every element of the happy ending from Return of the Jedi? Eck, I still get upset about it.

I suppose so, but did you feel that way when they announced the new trilogy?

Yeah, I absolutely did! It was something I discussed a lot, but I never imagined they would care that little. The problem is in order to honor the original trilogy things couldn't be exactly the same, and my mistake was in thinking they would be more creative than that.

Huh, I never thought of that. I can see how that would be annoying. Every time I see the perfect ending of T2: Judgement Day I'm bummed out that it doesn't work as well anymore.

I guess the whole time Ive been conscious of the movies (since I was 5 or 6 years old in 1989-1990 ish) I was aware of the endless stream of other stuff associated with the franchise, including books following around the characters after VI. I think I read a book called The Glove of Darth Vader or some such thing in early elementary school.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on January 06, 2016, 12:29:01 PM
I think I read a book called The Glove of Darth Vader or some such thing in early elementary school.

The second book in that series, Vader's Boot, is easily the best of that trilogy.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on January 06, 2016, 01:06:45 PM
Who's game for a group marathon after 9 comes out!? I think there would be some great discussion based on this thread. Would be especially curious to hear the prequels discussed.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: EternalSunshine on January 06, 2016, 01:10:30 PM
DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO GET TICKETS FOR THE SOLD OUT MAYNE STAGE SHOW FOR FILMSPOTTING? I REALLY REALLY REALLLY WANT TO GO!
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on January 06, 2016, 01:25:15 PM
Apparently there are canon novels that occur after Jedi and before The Force Awakens. It is a trilogy called Aftermath (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/The_Aftermath_Trilogy). Only one of them has been released so far, with the second coming this summer, and the third the summer after that. Anyone else aware of this? I know it doesn't help with defending the movie(s) of the new trilogy since they are separate and it's kind of silly to assume viewers will read these books for the information that presumably should be in the films, but I would be curious to learn if any holes are filled in with these novels, or if they walk down a different story line altogether.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on January 06, 2016, 01:36:09 PM
The First Order - If the Empire was defeated, how did The First Order seemingly become a drop-in replacement with all of the same technology and scale of forces within 10 years or so?

In Return of the Jedi the Rebel forces destroy the new Death Star and kill the Emperor and his second-in-command (Darth Vader). This would be like wiping Washington DC and New York off the map, killing the US President and Vice-President. Yes the head is dead, but the rest of the empire lives and functions. There would be a power struggle and someone would wrest control of the resources of the old empire and a new one would arise. The structural weaknesses that saw the demise of the Roman Empire would not be in play, so while there would be some splintering of the forces, it is easy to imagine that after 30 years one group would be powerful enough to bring control to a large part of the former empires resources.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on January 06, 2016, 01:46:59 PM
Apparently there are canon novels that occur after Jedi and before The Force Awakens. It is a trilogy called Aftermath (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/The_Aftermath_Trilogy). Only one of them has been released so far, with the second coming this summer, and the third the summer after that. Anyone else aware of this? I know it doesn't help with defending the movie(s) of the new trilogy since they are separate and it's kind of silly to assume viewers will read these books for the information that presumably should be in the films, but I would be curious to learn if any holes are filled in with these novels, or if they walk down a different story line altogether.

I've heard about them, but I'm not particularly interested (wouldn't have been even if I had liked TFA). In my mind they're about as canon as The Clone Wars, Rebels, The Force Unleashed, and other supposedly "canon" material. It's cool if people enjoy that stuff, but for me if it's not in the movie it's basically fan fiction.

The First Order - If the Empire was defeated, how did The First Order seemingly become a drop-in replacement with all of the same technology and scale of forces within 10 years or so?

In Return of the Jedi the Rebel forces destroy the new Death Star and kill the Emperor and his second-in-command (Darth Vader). This would be like wiping Washington DC and New York off the map, killing the US President and Vice-President. Yes the head is dead, but the rest of the empire lives and functions. There would be a power struggle and someone would wrest control of the resources of the old empire and a new one would arise. The structural weaknesses that saw the demise of the Roman Empire would not be in play, so while there would be some splintering of the forces, it is easy to imagine that after 30 years one group would be powerful enough to bring control to a large part of the former empires resources.

Sure, I know that the empire wouldn't have been instantly dismantled, but the implications are clearly that defeating the Emperor will ultimately bring it down. Tarkin himself stated that the only thing keeping the individual planets in line was fear. Without the death star, the emperor, and Vader they have neither leadership or fear in their favor.

The opening crawl in TFA also states that The First Order came to power only after Luke disappeared, which seems to be a much more recent thing, so again I'm a bit confused about the timeline and how a consolidation of power came about, especially since they seem to be serving The Knights of Ren which are yet another element we don't know much about.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bondo on January 06, 2016, 02:20:04 PM
Who's game for a group marathon after 9 comes out!? I think there would be some great discussion based on this thread. Would be especially curious to hear the prequels discussed.

I'd be game. The Harry Potter marathon was fun.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Sandy on January 06, 2016, 02:20:40 PM
I'm there too!
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: ses on January 06, 2016, 04:05:52 PM
What's up with the Supreme Leader?  It seemed out of place to me and cartoonish.  Is he present in some of the novels or a totally new character?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on January 07, 2016, 04:07:06 AM
The First Order - If the Empire was defeated, how did The First Order seemingly become a drop-in replacement with all of the same technology and scale of forces within 10 years or so?

In Return of the Jedi the Rebel forces destroy the new Death Star and kill the Emperor and his second-in-command (Darth Vader). This would be like wiping Washington DC and New York off the map, killing the US President and Vice-President. Yes the head is dead, but the rest of the empire lives and functions. There would be a power struggle and someone would wrest control of the resources of the old empire and a new one would arise. The structural weaknesses that saw the demise of the Roman Empire would not be in play, so while there would be some splintering of the forces, it is easy to imagine that after 30 years one group would be powerful enough to bring control to a large part of the former empires resources.

Sure, I know that the empire wouldn't have been instantly dismantled, but the implications are clearly that defeating the Emperor will ultimately bring it down. Tarkin himself stated that the only thing keeping the individual planets in line was fear. Without the death star, the emperor, and Vader they have neither leadership or fear in their favor.

The opening crawl in TFA also states that The First Order came to power only after Luke disappeared, which seems to be a much more recent thing, so again I'm a bit confused about the timeline and how a consolidation of power came about, especially since they seem to be serving The Knights of Ren which are yet another element we don't know much about.

Missed that bit about the timing of the rise of the First Order in the opening crawl.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on January 07, 2016, 07:39:24 AM
Missed that bit about the timing of the rise of the First Order in the opening crawl.

Yep:

Quote
Luke Skywalker has vanished. 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.
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.
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....
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bad-yuyu on January 08, 2016, 09:03:37 AM
Welcome to the film corner of the internet, where everything must be absolutely perfect or it is terrible. Say "thank you" to Honest Trailers, Red Letter Media, and the like for their part in it. Throw in a series which everybody loves but is not actually that good to begin with and you've got yourself a recipe for ultra-critical reactions.

This is simply not true. At least not for me. But in MY world there are movies I like a lot or a little or find ok or just entertaining or I hate. And yes there are people that only give perfect or terrible scores but nearly all the critics in this thread have layed out a detailed account of what they dislike and why. Claiming that people are now just "hating on the movie" because it's not perfect to me rather speaks to an issue on your side with accepting that people didn't like a movie you loved than a "perfect or terrible" kind of rating system on the side of the movies detractors here!

I will gladly outlay again why I didn't like the movie and explain why I think Rey's use of force is redicolous to me. But Only if there is an interest in a discussion.  But if it's only going to be dismissed as spite I'd rather spend the time spinning on my office chair shouting "weeeeeeeee" or smth : )
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on January 08, 2016, 10:29:36 AM
There's a lot of missing context there. I was responding to 1SO's prior post and I later clarified that I was talking more about the idea of finding "plot holes" rather than, you know, engaging in actual criticism. Here is a rant that I mostly (though not entirely) agree with on the subject: https://m.facebook.com/notes/matty-granger/at-long-lastmy-star-wars-episode-vii-review-the-force-awakens-the-rise-of-idiot-/10153163095086277

So you do what you want. If you're going to talk about Rey's force journey, I probably won't respond because I've already pointed out how closely her path follows Luke's in ANH three times now. If you bring something new to the table, I'm all ears. But do whatever you want, I'm not the boss here, I don't control the conversation. I only wish for a higher level and work to achieve it.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bad-yuyu on January 08, 2016, 10:41:37 AM
 For me "It was also this bad in the original movies" detracts the original movie not excuse the current one. There are differences but they shouldn't matter. Reys "thinking about the force really hard for a second and mastering it" journey is unbelievable to me on internal logic alone. Independent of what the previous 6 movies did beyond world building!

But if you don't care then let's just not get into anything. it's fine : )
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on January 08, 2016, 10:45:42 AM
Oh, if you want to criticize the original films I'm all in. In fact, I could use some back up!
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on January 08, 2016, 01:18:17 PM
Thanks for the article Junior, a fun read.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on January 08, 2016, 06:15:07 PM
There's a lot of missing context there. I was responding to 1SO's prior post and I later clarified that I was talking more about the idea of finding "plot holes" rather than, you know, engaging in actual criticism. Here is a rant that I mostly (though not entirely) agree with on the subject: https://m.facebook.com/notes/matty-granger/at-long-lastmy-star-wars-episode-vii-review-the-force-awakens-the-rise-of-idiot-/10153163095086277

"The Huffington Post has no idea what the (cinecast) it’s talking about."

HA! That's been true for a very, very long time. It's pretty much a click-bait site.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Bad-yuyu on January 08, 2016, 08:11:44 PM
Oh, if you want to criticize the original films I'm all in. In fact, I could use some back up!

Oh I don't think they're timeless masterpieces. Rest assured. The acting in ANH is... well let's say consistency is different and the plot in Return of the Jedi is all over the place. But I wanted to stay on the Force Awakens and why I didn't really like it. And that has only in small parts to do with the old movies and is definately not based on holding Force Awakens to a higher standart. My expectations going in were actually quite moderate. But the combination of the lack of any Geography, the liberal use of Ex Machinas, the blatant copying of entire scenes from A New Hope and internal logic errors (like the use of the force in this movie) just kept me from enjoying it. I just have a real pet peve with movie explaining the rules of it's universe and then breaking said rules themselves. The rules as layed out in a movie are the viewers "key" into the world of the movie and if you aimply break these rules immersion is lost and the viewer just feels cheated.

Sorry :P

I'll gladly elaborate if any  of this still seems like "it's not perfect so I hate it" criticism! : )
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on January 09, 2016, 12:52:44 PM
I think, and hope, they're heading in the direction of the idea of bringing balance to the Force. There's a light side and dark side, but they're not really inherently good or evil. Rey and Kylo will need to work together and use both aspects to overcome the odds and restore balance.

With the help of Sadness, who we always underestimated and never fully appreciated.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Teproc on January 09, 2016, 01:01:29 PM
I think, and hope, they're heading in the direction of the idea of bringing balance to the Force. There's a light side and dark side, but they're not really inherently good or evil. Rey and Kylo will need to work together and use both aspects to overcome the odds and restore balance.

With the help of Sadness, who we always underestimated and never fully appreciated.

I highly doubt that. Disney wants to make one Star Wars movie a year for eternity (more accurately : for as long as they make money). I fuly expect other trilogies after this, and bringing balance to the Force kinda narrows possibilities.

My reading of that prophecy was that it was a Sith plant anyway, but I can't remember where I got that from.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on January 09, 2016, 01:12:46 PM
I think, and hope, they're heading in the direction of the idea of bringing balance to the Force. There's a light side and dark side, but they're not really inherently good or evil. Rey and Kylo will need to work together and use both aspects to overcome the odds and restore balance.

With the help of Sadness, who we always underestimated and never fully appreciated.

I highly doubt that. Disney wants to make one Star Wars movie a year for eternity (more accurately : for as long as they make money). I fuly expect other trilogies after this, and bringing balance to the Force kinda narrows possibilities.

My reading of that prophecy was that it was a Sith plant anyway, but I can't remember where I got that from.

I meant more in the context of the story they're telling right now, not them joining hands and a big Force wave extending out across the universe and everything being copacetic forever and ever. Plus, there will always be people and events throwing the Force out of balance.

Basically, there will be a Kylo/Rey team-up at some point.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on January 10, 2016, 12:47:51 AM
Here's another pretty fantastic article. This one about why Rey is so awesome. http://www.scannain.com/opinion-piece/girls-explain-star-wars-to-you
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Corndog on January 10, 2016, 08:34:21 AM
Speaking of awesome articles, I stumbled upon this essay, Star Wars Ring Theory (http://www.starwarsringtheory.com), which was linked somewhere in your previous link Junior. A really fascinating read, and extremely well argued IMO. Whether you agree with it or not, it is an entertaining and interesting read. Don't know if others have seen it before. It doesn't relate to The Force Awakens, though I wonder how the author would place TFA into his theory.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on January 11, 2016, 10:18:05 PM
There's a lot of missing context there. I was responding to 1SO's prior post and I later clarified that I was talking more about the idea of finding "plot holes" rather than, you know, engaging in actual criticism. Here is a rant that I mostly (though not entirely) agree with on the subject: https://m.facebook.com/notes/matty-granger/at-long-lastmy-star-wars-episode-vii-review-the-force-awakens-the-rise-of-idiot-/10153163095086277

So you do what you want. If you're going to talk about Rey's force journey, I probably won't respond because I've already pointed out how closely her path follows Luke's in ANH three times now. If you bring something new to the table, I'm all ears. But do whatever you want, I'm not the boss here, I don't control the conversation. I only wish for a higher level and work to achieve it.

He ends it with, "Wake me up when the war against fun is over."

Spoken like a true hardcore fanboy mad that people don't like his precious film and ending whatever credibility you said he had in "actual criticism".

Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on January 11, 2016, 10:20:47 PM
It's really not at all like Luke's journey in A New Hope, which has Luke lose three people in a row then have to build up confidence throughout his narrative. His succumbing to the force is him accepting death and - once he does - he is able to metaphorically destroy death by blowing up the death star. The allegory for A New Hope is pretty clear in this regard.

There is no allegory for The Force Awakens. It's appropriation of the allegory with no idea of how the allegory works.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on January 11, 2016, 10:31:43 PM
Remember the "(though not entirely)" part of that post you quoted, well, that's what I was talking about. I'm not as angry nor as in love with TFA as this guy is, so some of his invective goes too far for me.

I don't buy that stuff about A New Hope because I don't think that Hamill was a good enough actor to convey any of that subtextually, and since none of it is actual text, it falls flat as a driving force. I much more buy Rey's determination (plus whatever background will be later revealed) because Daisy Ridley is a good actor and can sell subtextual elements and emotions and shit.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: 1SO on January 11, 2016, 10:44:22 PM
I don't buy that stuff about A New Hope because I don't think that Hamill was a good enough actor to convey any of that subtextually, and since none of it is actual text, it falls flat as a driving force. I much more buy Rey's determination (plus whatever background will be later revealed) because Daisy Ridley is a good actor and can sell subtextual elements and emotions and shit.
This is what worries me about the next film. It's built up for Hamill to play a major role, but I'm not sure he's qualified.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on January 11, 2016, 11:24:35 PM
Neither was Ford, IMO. I have slightly more hope for Luke at least feeling like an evolution of his character rather than a caricature of it, but I guess I haven't seen Hamill do anything non-campy recently to confidently judge his acting capabilities.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on January 12, 2016, 05:37:38 AM

I don't buy that stuff about A New Hope because I don't think that Hamill was a good enough actor to convey any of that subtextually, and since none of it is actual text, it falls flat as a driving force. I much more buy Rey's determination (plus whatever background will be later revealed) because Daisy Ridley is a good actor and can sell subtextual elements and emotions and shit.

What?

Actors can't deliver allegories. Writers deliver allegories. Actors deliver lines of dialogue. You could see this allegory in the script. It's as plain as day.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on January 12, 2016, 05:42:27 AM
Also, Hamill is fine? His character is annoying - he whines a lot and has a lot of "gee whiz" style dialogue - but there's nothing atrocious in the performance. Ford is excellent. A lot of charm there. The comedic timing is VERY on point. The Force Awakens used him heavily in the promos and for a reason - that role DEFINES him, even more than Indiana. And it defines him because his performance is memorable in the ways of Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. It's a true star-making turn in every sense of the word. He never was as good again and he never made as lasting an impression. Iconic. I'd argue that he was a primary reason as to why the film has lasted so long in memory.

The only truly bad part of A New Hope is Fisher and she's worse in The Force Awakens.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on January 12, 2016, 09:47:47 AM

I don't buy that stuff about A New Hope because I don't think that Hamill was a good enough actor to convey any of that subtextually, and since none of it is actual text, it falls flat as a driving force. I much more buy Rey's determination (plus whatever background will be later revealed) because Daisy Ridley is a good actor and can sell subtextual elements and emotions and shit.

What?

Actors can't deliver allegories. Writers deliver allegories. Actors deliver lines of dialogue. You could see this allegory in the script. It's as plain as day.

No, that's called a book. For the allegory to transfer from the page to the screen, it needs to be translated via the acting and directing. In this case, neither element is good enough to make the allegory that may have been in the script come to life in the film.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Badyuyu on January 12, 2016, 11:02:08 AM
No, that's called a book. For the allegory to transfer from the page to the screen, it needs to be translated via the acting and directing. In this case, neither element is good enough to make the allegory that may have been in the script come to life in the film.

That's nonsense if actors were all that made movie every movie with Tom Hardy would be good. And every Tarentino movie would actually be a Samuel L. Jackson movie. Of course the script dictates what is conveyed and how we percieve it. the actors can bring a character in the script to life or fail to do so. But if teh script is crap the actor can act his bullocks off and the movie will still be bad. Daisey Ridley is good, most of the actors in FA are. If you would WANT me to reduce the many reasons of why I don't like the movie to a single source it's cause J.J. Abrams crafts his worlds with the subtelty of a sledghammer wielded by a demolition worked minutes before 5 o clock on a Friday.

I do get criticism of the original movies, i truely do. But I don't get how that excuses shortcomings of the current movie...
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on January 12, 2016, 11:25:25 AM
I didn't say that actors were the only important element in a movie. What I said was that they ALONG WITH THE DIRECTION were the conduits for the script because that is quite literally what they are. Allegories that might be present in the script can be lost in translation because it is the work of a director and actors to bring a script to life. If they screw that up because of a lack of skill, things visible in the script might disappear on screen. See The Revenant's muddled mess for another example.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: 1SO on January 13, 2016, 02:00:04 AM
(http://i.imgur.com/0oL9E0f.jpg)

I'm loving the attention this character is generating at the moment. Like Boba Fett in Empire, there's no telling who fans are going to latch onto. After the tease of Captain Phasma turned out to be a fizzle, we have FN-2199 (dubbed TR-8R by fans for his shout of "Traitor!" to Finn before ditching his gun and shield for that thing on his arm.) Never mind that this guy seems to have weapons nobody else has, it's a brief moment that seems to shout, "You want Star Wars!?! We Got All the Star Wars You Can Handle!"

There is currently no merchandise on this character, but it's only a matter of time.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: philip918 on January 13, 2016, 10:20:28 AM
(http://i.imgur.com/0oL9E0f.jpg)

I'm loving the attention this character is generating at the moment. Like Boba Fett in Empire, there's no telling who fans are going to latch onto. After the tease of Captain Phasma turned out to be a fizzle, we have FN-2199 (dubbed TR-8R by fans for his shout of "Traitor!" to Finn before ditching his gun and shield for that thing on his arm.) Never mind that this guy seems to have weapons nobody else has, it's a brief moment that seems to shout, "You want Star Wars!?! We Got All the Star Wars You Can Handle!"

There is currently no merchandise on this character, but it's only a matter of time.

I have no idea why this character wasn't Captain Phasma. It was the perfect point in the movie for her to confront Finn and show what a badass she is.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Melvil on January 13, 2016, 10:50:01 AM
Yeah, I'm seriously so boggled that they didn't use Phasma there. That had to have been the intent originally, right? It would even be somewhat justifiable why she might be trained with an anti-lightsaber weapon.

Personally I can handle a lot more Star Wars than that. :P I assume the only reason he's been latched onto is because there's so few new-feeling things to latch onto.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on January 13, 2016, 10:10:42 PM
I didn't say that actors were the only important element in a movie. What I said was that they ALONG WITH THE DIRECTION were the conduits for the script because that is quite literally what they are. Allegories that might be present in the script can be lost in translation because it is the work of a director and actors to bring a script to life. If they screw that up because of a lack of skill, things visible in the script might disappear on screen. See The Revenant's muddled mess for another example.

You can read the script for THE REVENANT and whatever allegory Inarritu is going for still isn't there.

I mean, there's a far more depth in the novel of THE AGE OF INNOCENCE but I guess since it's not a movie, it's not really there, right?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on January 13, 2016, 11:31:45 PM
I don't know what we're saying anymore. My contention is that the execution of a film can effect whether or not a bit of subtext is transferred from the script to the screen.

Books work in a similar way. An author who might be intending to convey an idea or message or bit of subtext might be undermined by their lack of execution or skill as a writer.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on January 14, 2016, 02:16:24 AM
And I'm just saying that allegory and thematic material (nothing about Luke's arc relies on subtext) can be found on each and every screenplay.

Tell you what. How about you read a screenplay of a film you've never watched - and it has to be like a complete shooting draft. Then watch the movie. Tell me wherein lies the differences in allegory and theme between the two. You'll find, for instance, in LOOPER, that pretty much all of the themes and ideas and even the mirroring allegory of Joe and Cid from the film are there in the script.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on January 14, 2016, 09:37:29 AM
Yeah, but Looper is a good movie. I'm not denying that there can be allegory and subtext in a script. I'm saying that it doesn't transfer to the screen in a bad film.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: EternalSunshine on January 20, 2016, 03:57:39 PM
mass produced garbage
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Totoro on January 21, 2016, 07:36:45 PM
Yeah, but Looper is a good movie. I'm not denying that there can be allegory and subtext in a script. I'm saying that it doesn't transfer to the screen in a bad film.

Allegory most certainly does. I found it in A NEW HOPE and it's not even subtextual. Are you saying that I am projecting?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Paul Phoenix on April 06, 2016, 12:28:50 AM
Kinda feel better now about missing out on this movie.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs3sVrm_W4o
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Junior on April 06, 2016, 01:03:33 AM
I mean, if you want to engage in a real conversation about the movie you might want to see the movie.

This mostly rehashes conversations we had here in this thread. There's some connection they try to make between it being a remake of A New Hope and it being bad, but, to quote a different thread, show your work. That's an observation, not an opinion. It's a lot of nit-picking about fan service and Mary Sue's, but there's no real engaging with the film as its own thing. And then it has a whole minute of fan-service of it's own at the end!
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: 1SO on April 06, 2016, 01:05:45 AM
I wonder how many people are going to get Plinkett from Red Letter Media making a voice cameo?
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Teproc on April 06, 2016, 02:16:16 AM
I like Honest Trailers, but I wouldn't trust them with... anything really as far as choosing films to see, they're really just trying to be funny (and mostly suceeding in my book, though that one wasn't great).
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: Paul Phoenix on April 06, 2016, 02:33:36 AM
I mean, if you want to engage in a real conversation about the movie you might want to see the movie.

This mostly rehashes conversations we had here in this thread. There's some connection they try to make between it being a remake of A New Hope and it being bad, but, to quote a different thread, show your work. That's an observation, not an opinion. It's a lot of nit-picking about fan service and Mary Sue's, but there's no real engaging with the film as its own thing. And then it has a whole minute of fan-service of it's own at the end!
I like Honest Trailers, but I wouldn't trust them with... anything really as far as choosing films to see, they're really just trying to be funny (and mostly suceeding in my book, though that one wasn't great).

Still, if it's really just a rehash of A New Hope, I could safely say that it won't be an urgent viewing any time soon, especially when you're not a hardcore Star Wars fan. The facts presented in the observation is like a bad trailer turning me off from a movie.

And besides, the blu-ray doesn't come out till months later, so there's nothing I can do anyway even if I want to watch it.
Title: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Post by: smirnoff on July 21, 2016, 09:40:37 PM
There's so many good points in this thread, I'm having a laugh reading it.