Author Topic: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens  (Read 18031 times)

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Offline Mikes

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
How is the movie goer supposed to know any of that?  The explanation of the galactic government consisted of the scrolling text mentioning that oh yeah, there's a republic again, and then later a silly scene of the apparently one system that makes it up getting exploded.  If there's actually a government, why the hell does there need to be a resistance to the leftover imperials (which are themselves a resistance if there's a new government).

So it's not explained ... but one could easily guess that the official republic government wasn t ready to take military action, ... hence that splinter force under "General" Leia.

Satisfying explanation? Well no, since it was absent in the movie, but still kinda obvious imho /shrugs.

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
My impression is that this issue is answered in the books.  The Republic and First Order are in sort of a cold war scenario, with neither having the political will to fire the first shot.  In the Republic's case, because they don't actually want to at all, and in the First Order's case because they want a decisive military advantage first.

 

Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
You guys have pretty much summed up my thoughts. I'd give it a B+. If anything, it's got nothing that's downright bad... which is just about all it takes to be better than the prequels. But I'd go so far as to say that it's at least entertaining with some good fun parts. But there were a LOT of plot conveniences...

(Many spoilers below! Even beyond the spoiler tags. I will not be held responsible at this point for you being spoiled by a marked post in a marked thread!)

Spoiler:
  • Map to Skywalker? What? Why?
  • Millenium Falcon just sitting there ready to fly for the plot.
  • Oh, good! Rey is a badass pilot! everything with little-to-no training!
  • Sure am glad Han Solo just so happened to be putzing around Jakku at that exact moment with a ship big enough to capture the Falcon. Also am glad he was transporting some killer death alien monsters that chose to not immediately kill Fin unlike the other guys.
  • Ok... where'd they get the blue Skywalker saber? Wasn't that lost on Bespin with Luke's hand? Someone (who wasn't Luke or Lando) actually recovered that? And then they just kinda held onto it, knowing exactly what it was? Let's just put it in a box for the plot... that juuuuust so happened to be near obvious skywalker daughter. (Not ready to say which skywalker parent, yet.)
  • Pretty good timing that that silver stormtrooper commander was so close to Fin/Han/Chewie and was so easily subdued. Why was she even a commander if she so easily just does whatever a group of 3 crazy intruders want... like lowering the base's shield?
  • Oh and Po Dameran got off Jakku somehow. Good thing, because he's clearly the best pilot ever.
  • Ground shattering crack opens up directly between Rey and Ren. That's got to be a movie sin.
  • Suddenly there's a whole big enough for an X-Wing to fly through and blow up the planet! Woulda lost the Resistance otherwise... so that's helpful!
  • R2 suddenly waking up with the full Skywalker map just because the plot for Episode 8 needed it.
  • Skywalker map leads directly to Luke standing on a cliff. That's a sci-fi sin for sure. Whole planets should stop being treated like small towns. I guess there was that dream stuff about the island Rey mentioned in passing. Glad she was able to find that specific island!

But don't get me wrong.. the movie is still worth seeing. It's got plenty of fun and entertaining qualities! Not to mentioned the fan service. OH LARD THE FAN SERVICE! I don't think JJ could have fit anymore of that in the movie even if he tried! Here's what I caught after one viewing. (I'm seeing it again Wednesday with my wife.. perhaps I'll catch more then.)

Code: [Select]
Intro pans down with very similar Ep4 music. Pans to a Star Destroyer.
Sandy planet intro. Jakku could have been ANYTHING! But it's basically a Tatooine clone.
Vader helmet. (Did he seriously go dig up burnt Vader's corpse on Endor for that?)
Skywalker saber being force pulled from snow.
Han/Chewie's bombs were basically the same shape and design as the Thermal Detonator in Ep6.
Basically everything done with/done in/said in/said about the Millenium Falcon.
Leia feeling that big spoiler from across the galaxy Yoda style.
Ren sensing Han.. Vader style.
Chewie crossbow gags.
AT-AT and other various Empire tech on Jakku.
Father/Son reveal.
Planet killer thing again.

I know there's more... I'm just blanking now.

Also did anyone catch the subtle/not so subtle killing of most things prequel related? Coruscant, Republic, etc. I guess Abrams never wanted the films to ever have to portray the city planet or the senate ever again. I half expected them to fire the damn star laser at Naboo, too.
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Offline Scotty

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
That wasn't Coruscant, hth.

 

Offline The E

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
One thing I can't quite get is all the harping on Finn and Rey for being able to a) fight and b) defeat Kylo Ren. We know Finn has had combat training, we know Rey is able to handle herself, and (minor thing, really) nowhere in Star Wars film canon is it said that only Jedi can handle light sabers in combat. Plus, it's a very definite plot point that Ren enters that fight wounded and keeps collecting wounds over the course of it.
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Offline Sandwich

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I doubt many people realize it now, but TFA just killed the concept of the gravity well-based hyperspace interdictors common throughout the EU. Han and Rey jumping in towards Starkiller base and having to manually exit hyperspace at the right moment - beneath the planetary shields, nonetheless - means that gravity wells cannot interfere with or yank ships out of hyperspace. :(
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Offline Scotty

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
And yet, we have Interdictor cruisers in Rebels.

The Falcon is just special.

 

Offline zookeeper

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
One thing I can't quite get is all the harping on Finn and Rey for being able to a) fight and b) defeat Kylo Ren. We know Finn has had combat training, we know Rey is able to handle herself, and (minor thing, really) nowhere in Star Wars film canon is it said that only Jedi can handle light sabers in combat. Plus, it's a very definite plot point that Ren enters that fight wounded and keeps collecting wounds over the course of it.

To me it's weird because despite all that, there is still a massive implied power imbalance there. I mean, Finn is a stormtrooper... and not exactly an experienced one, either. And Ren was actually trying to kill them, not capture or see what they can do, and he was established as someone who can freeze laser bolts in the air and paralyze people with his mind without breaking a sweat.

I do appreciate that they were both clearly stumbling very badly and most of the time were struggling to just block, so it's not that bad, especially considering how Ren was very inexperienced as well (except for his rather excessive force powers) and badly wounded. But I feel like Rey's part went on a bit too long and she was basically getting too good at it in the end. Which is pretty much my only problem with Rey in general; she was instantly uncannily good at everything she ever did. She flew the Falcon like a pro, started pulling off mind tricks immediately after learning that she might have some force sensitivity, sneaked through a base undetected and won her first ever lightsaber fight, against a moderately trained opponent.

Is it more incredulous than Luke being able to instantly pilot an X-wing like a pro when he's presumably never even flown out of atmosphere, or being a much better shot than stormtroopers? I don't know, maybe not.

 

Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
That wasn't Coruscant, hth.

Hmm, seems you're right. Must be easy to miss dialogue, because I'm not the only one on the internet who thought that! I'm never read any EU stuff, so mentions of connected but not really star systems are lost on me. It looked a lot like coruscant and that's where I remember last seeing the Senate, so I just connected the dots.


Quite separately, I wanted to mention that I thought Mark Hammil really looked the part of the washed up Jedi legend with the highest kill count in the original trilogy. :p (Link coming when I'm not on my phone.)

« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 09:50:58 am by mjn.mixael »
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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Good god, did he really only kill that one AT-AT in the entirety of Empire Strikes Back?
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
It's possible that it's the only one he actually caused to explode. Didn't he tie one with a cable? Being that those just get knocked down, they might not have counted as deaths. I don't know what the rules were that they were following when they made that video.
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Offline Mobius

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Watched it on 12/16, at 4pm. Far from being a bad movie, I'm pretty sure of this, but I will never, ever say it was a perfect one, sorry.

Also, and this may be a "feature" of my country's social media, there's a flood of articles whose authors have been criticizing the movie even before it came out. Another guy posted an article saying he's proud he can't distinguish between Star Wars and Star Trek, as he never watched any of these movies/sagas. People criticize left and right because doing so makes them believe they're cool, not because they do have a point.

The internet sucks as never before.

 

Offline potterman28wxcv

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
While the story has potential, I was very disappointed by the very extensive usage of Deus Ex Machina.

Everything feels so impossible and pure luck.

And the actors could have more believable emotions, really.. I have no idea who is to blame between the actors and the realization.

Spoiler:
That scene where Snare kills Han Solo.. He has no emotion at all. If it had triggered some kind of sadness within him to raise his power, I would have understood.. But he is not even sad. He is like a machine. This is just a free kill. Either the actor ****ed up in trying to show emotion, either this death has no sense at all.

I have found Snare to be played very badly generally speaking. Especially when angry. Yes, he was swinging his laser sabre, damaging the screens here and there. But was he actually feeling like being angry ? Not quite to me..

Same goes for the black Stormtrooper. His changes in emotions were too sudden to be actually believable.

Han Solo and the girl were playing good though.

But these amount of Deus Ex Machina.. The pilot, clearly assumed to be killed in the beginning (how could it possibly be otherwise ?), popping up after a while "Hey, you know what, I'm not dead actually ! I escaped !". The stormtrooper who apparently is an engineer as well ? Because how would he know the location of the thermo-thing room otherwise ?

Also, I did not get the part where they want to reach the Rebellion, then we see the DSPE (Death Star Planetary Edition) firing death ray at a planet (which I assumed was the planet they wanted to reach ?) In any case, since we actually see the explosion of that planet, it is in the same solar system as where is Han Solo during this scene. If the planet was that important, why didn't Han Solo land on it, since it was in the same solar system ? And if the planet was not important, then why did they shoot it ? Did Snare wake up one day "Hmm I would like to destroy a planet. That one. Yeah, it will be perfect" ?

So many details that have been left, hiding them with a pile of action.. The story has so much potential, but because of this lack of attention, i really did not enjoy the film :( And I do not even mention the questionnable physics behind the DSPE (holding a star within a planet, without any kind of heat effect on the surface ? There is even snow !), or the overall design "Ok guys, we know last time we built a death star it had a single point of failure. You know what ? Let's do the same ! The rebels will never expect us to leave such a design failure again !"

It was a good movie to watch. But it wasn't a good Star Wars (to me at least). Phantom Menace remains my favourite Star Wars film :)
« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 07:58:54 pm by potterman28wxcv »

 
Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Some things:

I am properly convinced that it's an Abrams-ism to be able to "see" bad things happen to planets even though there's no physical way you would be able to. It happened in Nu Star Trek 1, and it happened here. I say it's just a metaphor, and move along, stormtrooper.

I really loved the way that blasters feel dangerous in this movie. In every single previous one, and especially in the prequels, blasters seem like they could have just been flashy, slow-moving projectiles. Here, they explode, burn, shatter trooper armor and other good stuff.

Kylo Ren in general seems a poor Sith. He's very strong in the force, but doesn't seem really able to harness his emotions in a beneficial way. Instead of focusing his rage on something productive, he just wrecks stuff with his laser sword. In his final saber fight of the film, instead of focusing and just force-choking Finn or Rey, he tries to slash them to death; in my opinion because of distraction from his wounds and also emotional distress from murdering his own father. /spoilers

Without Finn seeing his body in the TIE Fighter, I fully expected Po to survive, and was not surprised at all to see him again.

But I was kind of disappointed at the amount of plot convenience by sheer luck going on. And it definitely felt a whole lot like a set-up for more story/nostalgia trip than it did a full movie in its own right.

That said, I found it highly enjoyable, but flawed. Met expectations, would watch again.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Everything feels so impossible and pure luck.

Honestly, this argument kind of feels like you've missed the underlying conceit of the movie; the Force is a thing. There is no coincidence, no luck, just the currents and eddies of the Force. Jedi and Sith are born able to manipulate/perceive those eddies even when untrained assuming they're not so powerful they literally warp chance around them by passively existing (Anakin was implied to do this, even as a child; Luke had a couple moments too), so the fact they have bull**** luck is not a bug. It's a feature.

Or as Qui-Gon explained it: Be mindful of the living Force, Padawan.
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Offline Beskargam

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I'm seeing people criticize it for being the same, but if they hadnt reused so much stuff then people would have said its not star wars. And SW has a pretty long histiry of doing this. Now that it has eatablished itself as a worthy successor, it can move on to new territory.

I'm intrigued at how much they drew from the books. Seems like 75-80% of everything in it was in the books. Yeah the names, places , and times were different. I don't know if that was intentional or coincidence.

 
Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Great Movie, flawed with some plotting issues and too little self-confidence (Exhibited primarily by its obsessive desire to mirror ANH).

Spoiler:
My main issue is Starkiller Base, unlike the Death Star it's entirely unrelated to the plot until literally the moment it fires, and it exists solely as a mirror of ANH. The plot and movie are hugely improved if it is excised completely and replaced with, say, a raid to retrieve the FO part of the Skywalker Map or a Star Destroyer/SSD leading the hunt for Skywalker or something similar.

While the plotting was less tight then ANH, ESB, or ROTJ the character work was very well done and the writing was arguably better than most of the other movies. It relied heavily on coincidence buuuut I'm OK with that and it doesn't meaningfully detract from the movie as none of the flaws are really 'the plot doesn't work'.

The bowcaster shot in the Kylo fight was a cool trick, and the character work/dramatic structure of the fight was excellent.

You can really see Abrams being Abrams all over the place.

The Hauler clearly picks up the Falcon nowhere near Jakku, as Han is surprised when he hears that it was found there and notes that he tracked their transponder somehow later.

Kylo is well done as someone visibly attempting to mirror Darth Vader, Rey and Finn are a great leading duo with excellent actors who carry the film. Poe is lovely and carries every second of screentime he has. Snoke is kinda meh. Hux is neat, both in the FO as a subpar mirror of the Empire and in his dynamic with Kylo as a political rival. The returning cast who actually get lines are very well done. Mark Hamill has greatly improved his health for this movie.

 

Offline Galemp

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I know we're all being hard on the Star Killer but remember, this thing has an entire ecosystem. My guess is that it's a Sith construct thousands of years old. We already know Ren has Vader's skull and shouts "That's MINE!" when he sees Anakin's lightsaber. I figure he's on some search for Dark Side artifacts.
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Offline Aesaar

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Ok, saw this yesterday.  The following is my opinion:

This was not a good movie.

First off, this wasn't Episode VII.  This was Episode IV mk2.  Nothing of what happened in the original trilogy has an impact on the plot.

Empire's still around, but with a new name and the Nazi dialed up to 11 (lol Nuremberg Rally scene).  Wouldn't want to be confused about who the villain is.  Rebel Alliance still around, but with a different name and slightly different X-Wings.  Yeah, they worked real hard on the premise, didn't they?  And don't point me to books.  Books aren't going to justify this film's fundamentally lazy premise. 

Rey (and Finn) beating Kylo Ren didn't feel like a triumph, it felt contrived.  There was no sense of accomplishment.  At no point does it feel like the characters earned that victory (or any of their victories).  Everything just felt like it was handed to them.  Rey jumps in the Millennium Falcon and she can fly it well enough to outfly TIE fighters immediately.  She can use the Force effortlessly 20 minutes after she learns she's Force-sensitive.  She beats the film's main antagonist in a lightsaber duel the very first time she picks one up.

It took Luke three movies to beat Darth Vader in a duel.  That scene had weight because of that.  It had weight because the last time he fought Vader, he got his hand served to him on a platter.  And that was after being trained by Yoda and Obi-Wan. 

Rey?  None of that.  Here, have a lightsaber and a handful of midichlorians, should have no problem beating a dark Jedi.  Yeah, he was shot by Chewie and stabbed by Finn first, but that's not the point.  Making the villain weaker still doesn't make the victory feel earned.  Same thing happened in Star Trek 2009 when Kirk gets command of the Enterprise despite not having graduated from the academy yet. 

It feels like JJ just thinks up cool scenes without caring at all about how those scenes are supposed to tie together and progress in a satisfying manner, because the individual scenes in this movie are actually pretty good on their own.

Han Solo died.  Okay, well, it's really obvious JJ wanted one of the original cast to die because that scene had no point and no emotional impact.  You could remove it from the movie and say a stormtrooper shot him on the way here and I wouldn't really care less.

Starkiller base: Really couldn't try a new plot, could they?  Constant ultimate superweapons was boring in the EU, it hasn't gotten less boring now.  Oh yeah, it blew up a few planets we didn't care about.  That happened but could have been faked for all the impact it had.  Looked good visually though.

Tangentially related: if it sucks up a sun to power itself, why does it need to fire at all?  Removing a star is going to **** up the planets in a system already.


Kinda related: there's no sense of distance or travel in this movie.  Where was the Starkiller Base when it appeared?  Where was it when it exploded?  Where is the rebel base in relation to all the other locations in the movie?  Are they all in different systems or did it move?  What about those planets it killed?

This is a JJ thing because Into Darkness had the same exact issue.  Everything feels right next to everything else.


Kylo Ren: so I'm guessing JJ was a fan of mopy, ansty prequel Anakin, because that's basically who this is.  I completely understand him feeling inadequate compared to Vader because he's a worse character in every way.  Summons none of the personality or sheer cool factor Vader did.  Hell, none of the villains in this movie even manage to be as memorable as Grand Moff Tarkin.

Actually, this kinda reinforces that this is really episode IV mk2.  I find Kylo Ren a much more obvious progression of prequel Anakin than original trilogy Darth Vader ever was.  Replace Luke with Obi-Wan or Yoda, Snoke with Palpatine, and boom, episode IV completely replaced (with a worse movie).

I think this movie tried way to hard to echo ANH, and JJ abrams is a bad, bad director when it comes to plot.

Visually, it looked good.  The dogfight scenes were solid, so was the lightsaber fight at the end.  That frozen blaster bolt at the start looked cool as hell.  I loved the graveyard of Imperial equipment on Jakku even if there's zero explanation for it in the movie, but I'm a sucker for ship graveyards.


Final verdict: worse than Revenge of the Sith.  Possibly worse than Attack of the Clones.  Still better than Jar-Jar.  Immeasurably worse than the Thrawn Trilogy.  I'm hoping it's made better by the next two movies.  Which is entirely possible.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2015, 04:40:55 pm by Aesaar »

 
Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Personally, I agree with many of your specific critiques, however in places you cite no emotional impact I mostly had the opposite reaction. For instance as obvious as Han's death was structurally, I cared in the moment. Provoking emotional responses is what JJ is good at, and that's why I was able to greatly enjoy it despite all it's flaws.

I'm quite glad he's not writing or directing 8 or 9 though.