Author Topic: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens  (Read 25594 times)

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jenkins

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Re: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
« Reply #150 on: December 20, 2015, 11:52:48 AM »
0
but it's solid if the Star Wars crowd doesn't echo the smug dismay of the Mad Max crowd

what are you talking about?  what are you ever talking about?

that was great smug dismay and it's what i'm talking about. but what i meant is it's totally ok if you didn't like Star Wars
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Gold Trumpet

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Re: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
« Reply #151 on: December 22, 2015, 11:46:06 PM »
+1
I'm an asshole, Star Wars still sucks.

Spoilers....


So, build up idea of greater threat than Death Star by featuring something 4 times as big and as dangerous. Instead of develop a narrative to focus on threat and huge accomplishment of possibly destroying it, convolute the plot by featuring side stories and introducing the idea of this new death star almost at the beginning of the third act. Yes, Star Wars is intentionally serial, but hell, the original trilogy featured narrative with better focus and tried to have pay offs. Even though Abrams is trying to be true to the original trilogy, the movie still suffers from abundance of unnecessary action sequences at too many corners of the film.

It's also a story that feels like a retread of the first film. Yes, new generation means new fighters but feature a lonely girl from a desolate planet like Luke Skywalker and seemingly coming from same meager background, she becomes unexpected person touched with the force. She helps leads a miraculous assault against an impossible foe. I'm guessing in next film or after, she may have an unlikely connection to other characters explained? This feels like remake territory. Nothing really surprised me about what direction the story was going, save for the first moment the girl touches Skywalker's lightsaber and feels different points of fate, history, and such, hitting all her senses.

Star Wars fans will like this. Too much about the film is endearing to the history of the series. It just doesn't do much otherwise. Going forward, in Rian Johnson, I hope. I fear he may get sucked into the dark side of predictable storytelling and an adventure chronicle that has been done a million times.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
« Reply #152 on: December 23, 2015, 12:17:08 AM »
+2
This is my favorite Star Wars movie. I knew that the second it ended.

I've never had any special reverence for the originals. I experienced them as kids' movies on VHS — they never hooked me in a way that I might have become obsessed. I managed to see the prequels in the theater but obviously didn't have any reverence for them. (Lucas must have been so humiliated after seeing this one.) As such, I don't feel like the purity of Star Wars must be protected. I'm open to anything as long as it's good. And this was definitely good.

Never has a Star Wars movie had this kind of emotional impact on me. I cried like 4 or 5 times, seriously. And it wasn’t out of nostalgia.

Spoilers begin

Rey is a better character than Luke Skywalker. Is that even controversial? I have never connected with a Star Wars character so deeply. For real though, I was frequently moved and inspired by Rey. Star Wars movies aren't supposed to do that to me.

What other character in this universe contains so many multitides? She is fierce but compassionate. Eager and ambitious but also a little freaked out. She has vulnerability and yet somehow also has all the things Luke was missing. Luke was often whiny and could be a little dumb; Rey seems to have already transcended that. She is endlessly likable and has a kind of maturity that Luke rarely demonstrated.

But now the best part. Has there ever been a better revelation of powers in these movies? The answer is no. Rey is backed into a corner and finds herself in a circumstance where the force must awaken. Her inner strength and her determination is literally what activates it.

Crucially, it’s not that a magic randomly or even naturally surfaces; it is only her will and her own strength of character that causes her powers to be revealed. She chose to fight back. She chose to flip the switch.

Kylo Ren was great too. Everything between him and Rey was pure magic. And their lightsaber fight… man, I still have chills from that.

— — —

Onto my quibbles, which are minor, but which for some reason produced a lot of words:

(1) They certainly tried to cram as many "rejections of the quest" as they could into the early plot, didn't they? Finn's was clearly not going to last more than 5 minutes and did not feel especially organic. Rey's rejections were at least plausible and came from a legitimate sense of panic... and were somewhat in response to Finn's rejection. So anyway: Han, Finn, and Rey all rejected quests. Did I miss any? You could probably include R2.

(2) It was more callback-heavy than I expected. The entire plot was kind of based on A New Hope, right? I guess Han's quip callbacks were the only ones that actually bothered me, though.

(3) I think the destruction of those planets could have been treated with more gravity. Take notes from Battlestar Galactica.

I was pretty much fine with everything else. Re: Picolas - a lot of your complaints are valid (Snoke is not great), but virtually none of that annoyed me. Maybe I just went in with medium expectations. I expected silliness from Star Wars. Yes, a lot of stuff was said very loudly and clearly (and sometimes a couple times) so the kids would understand it, but Star Wars has always been like that.

I got the sense that those things were done for plot efficiency and to plug a few holes. And yeah, this movie is a little rough around the edges. But the really important stuff was done so well.
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polkablues

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Re: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
« Reply #153 on: December 23, 2015, 06:17:28 PM »
+2
I'm in line with JB, in that I have no real personal emotional or nostalgic connection to Star Wars as an entity, I just want the movies I watch to be good movies. The Force Awakens is a pretty good movie! I don't really feel like getting too into the hardcore nitty gritty of it all, because I just don't care hard enough, but briefly:

John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Issac, Adam Driver, and BB-8 were all fantastic. More of them, less of the old characters. I could have watched two hours of Boyega and Ridley bickering on the Millennium Falcon and been perfectly happy.

picolas nailed it about the writing being way too opaque. It's a consistent trend in modern blockbusters, where the writing seems to be divided cleanly between exposition and gags. Every line of dialogue spoken is one or the other (Marvel movies are the absolute worst offenders at this). In this case, similarly to Guardians of the Galaxy, the gags were great, the exposition was awful. As forced and mannered and overwritten as it could possibly be. No trust in or respect for the audience whatsoever.

JJ was a good choice to kick things off, because he is above all else a competent director. He made exactly the movie that this needed to be without fucking it up, which ensures that the next batch, from filmmakers with actual distinct voices of their own, might be allowed to be unique and risky and have the fingerprints of their makers on them.

Best Supporting Actor nomination for BB-8, starting here. That robot had moxie.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
« Reply #154 on: December 23, 2015, 08:48:08 PM »
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Your and picolas's critiques of the writing are completely true of course. I think I was emotionally manipulated so successfully that it mostly washed over me.

It does seem like they got that out of their system, though, doesn't it? A first chapter, getting everyone caught up, and introducing a new generation to a fresh version of A New Hope. Now that that's out of the way, the next two could be truly remarkable.

SPOILERS

I actually did feel some Han Solo overexposure. But I'm okay with that after what happened. I suppose they needed to squeeze what they could out of him now, and they needed to sufficiently immerse Rey in his world so she could take over the Millennium Falcon.

I wanted to like the Leia stuff, and it wasn't necessarily bad, but it definitely felt like Carrie Fisher playing Carrie Fisher. I could barely detect the original character. I suppose it's plausible that she's been that transformed by war, though. It's just strange, because Han Solo looks pretty much the same and carries himself the same way.

I very much hope that Rey is not Luke's daughter. That would be most boring and widely-predicted outcome. Shouldn't they upend that expectation? For example they led people to believe (with the marketing materials) that Finn was the new Jedi, showing him wielding the lightsaber and Rey with her staff, so surely they can surprise us with Rey's backstory.
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Gold Trumpet

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Re: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
« Reply #155 on: December 23, 2015, 09:03:11 PM »
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[SPOILER]

I very much hope that Rey is not Luke's daughter. That would be most boring and widely-predicted outcome. Shouldn't they upend that expectation? For example they led people to believe (with the marketing materials) that Finn was the new Jedi, showing him wielding the lightsaber and Rey with her staff, so surely they can surprise us with Rey's backstory.

Spoilers...

I think it's leading to something like that. During her hallucination (of sorts) when she first touches the lightsaber, she hears Ewan Mcgregor as Obi Wan talking to her. Now in other stories, Obi Wan's daughter and Luke are an item. It could be their child. It could be Han Solo and Leia's daughter. When Ren references Solo being a disappointing father item to her, I thought that. However, these stories are variations of each other. It's both a criticism for predictability and an earnest theme of circle of life and the battle versus good and evil being a revolving door and the light or dark side can encompass anyone.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 10:07:06 PM by Jeremy Blackman »

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
« Reply #156 on: December 23, 2015, 09:09:30 PM »
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SPOILERS

I'm much more fascinated with the idea that there are a select few people out there with whom the force is strong, and that in the right circumstances they can awaken it. We don't need yet another descendent of Anakin Skywalker.
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cronopio2

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Re: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
« Reply #157 on: December 23, 2015, 09:21:14 PM »
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SPOILERS

I'm much more fascinated with the idea that there are a select few people out there with whom the force is strong, and that in the right circumstances they can awaken it.



polkablues

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Re: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
« Reply #158 on: December 24, 2015, 01:03:11 AM »
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He's succumbed to the orange side of the force.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

Garam

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Re: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
« Reply #159 on: December 25, 2015, 10:45:11 AM »
+1
Anyone notice in the credits that Nigel Godrich cameod in this?

Anyway I enjoyed it a fair bit. I agree with picolas that the scene with Han and Leia chatting about their son was APPALLING in its exposition, but i have to remember that, fundamentally, these are kids films. And I feel like the kids now aren't as familiar with the original trilogy as they are with all the detritus inspired by it, the cartoon shows and videogames and whatnot. Most of the callbacks were inspiring mirth from 25+ year olds, but not many young uns.

I'm not crazy about JJ's style...at all but he did a pretty good job here. I hope they've got all the nostalgia out of their systems for the next ones.

edit: OH and I agree that Snoke is a really shittily designed Harry Potter-looking character. Bad. Even when Star Wars was at its worst, they were always good at making interesting looking creatures. Snoke is so dull.

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
« Reply #160 on: December 27, 2015, 08:16:01 PM »
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SPOILERS

Quick question. Can anyone explain to me why there is a Republic and a Rebellion? Are they interconnected? Do they share armed forces? Is it a local rebellion against the First Order, and the Republic hasn't fully intervened yet?
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idk

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Re: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
« Reply #161 on: December 27, 2015, 10:08:58 PM »
+2
SPOILERS

Quick question. Can anyone explain to me why there is a Republic and a Rebellion? Are they interconnected? Do they share armed forces? Is it a local rebellion against the First Order, and the Republic hasn't fully intervened yet?

http://www.vox.com/2015/12/21/10634568/star-wars-the-force-awakens-spoilers-republic-first-order

Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
« Reply #162 on: December 27, 2015, 10:44:28 PM »
+1
Perfect! Thank you. That answered all my questions and more. Excellent article.

SPOILERS

I think this information intensifies my complaint that the destruction of those planets was given far less gravity than it deserved. Leia should be absolutely freaking out if millions of lives were just extinguished. Or is she just really drugged up? JJ even dealt with this sort of thing much better in the Star Trek movie(s), didn't he?
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polkablues

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Re: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
« Reply #163 on: December 28, 2015, 12:38:19 AM »
+6
This is a problem I have with the arms race of stakes-raising taking place in Hollywood movies right now. Dramatic stakes can't just be personal, they have to be global, galactic, universal, multi-versal. The bigger they get, the more numb the audience gets to it, which leads them to believe the answer is to go EVEN BIGGER, when the fact is, the bigger the calamity, the more abstract it becomes. Humans aren't wired to have strong emotional reactions to mass deaths outside their sphere of influence; if we were, we'd never get anything done. We respond to personal tragedy. Those we know, those we identify with, those we see ourselves in. We can sympathize with the other, but we don't grieve them, which is an important difference. To a movie-watching audience, an entire solar system being blown up affects us less than seeing Chewbacca getting shot in the arm, because we KNOW Chewbacca.

So ultimately, the only way for those planets being blown up to affect us is, like JB intimates, for us to watch it affect the characters we know. And for the characters to have had a realistically proportional reaction to it, it would have required grinding the plot to a halt, which simply isn't allowed to happen in a movie that Disney is expecting half a billion dollars out of on its opening weekend.
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

Drenk

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Re: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
« Reply #164 on: December 28, 2015, 07:34:41 AM »
+1
SPOILERS

Basically, they blew up the New Republic because they wanted the Old Story back...

Even if it doesn't make any sense.
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