Author Topic: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens  (Read 18039 times)

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Offline Sushi

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
It's only there, on the edge, closing her eyes, clearing her mind, reaching for the Force as a Jedi would do, that she takes control of the fight. She won as Obi-Wan would have approved of, not as Vader would have.

You sure about that? I think her sudden fury and turnaround had a lot of "Luke finally loses his cool against Vader" in it. She was definitely harnessing the force, but I'm not convinced it was the light side.

 

Offline StarSlayer

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
(the weakest performance, I think, was Finn, but in purely relative terms; he was still solid)

I actually liked him, I'm not sure if I'm reading too much into the performance but I attributed much of his behavior to essentially being raised as a serial number his whole life and now being loose in the wide world.  I'd expect a little awkwardness and tendency towards ham, the fact that Han even calls him on it got a laugh out of me.  I also thought he meshed pretty well with Ridley and Oscar Isaac which is obviously the most important.
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Offline SypheDMar

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
A TIE with a GUNNER SEAT?!  You're kidnapping babies for your elite units and you want to put TWO PEOPLE in one of those deathtraps?!  They should have gone for TIE/d's
The X-Wings in this movie don't seem to have much better survivability, though. Maybe the TIEs actually have shields now, and we just don't notice because a single penetrating shot means death anyway.
I'm pretty sure I saw X-Wings taking multiple hits and having a shield effect. Maybe I was mis-seeing things, but if it did happen, then that's +1 to X-Wings.

I think it's more fair to say that these two fighters now possess distinct advantages rather than one being so much better than the other. Well, it was kinda like that for the older era, but I think they're more or less equal.

e: Of course, I could be completely wrong. Needs more movies and official media to dissect.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
You sure about that? I think her sudden fury and turnaround had a lot of "Luke finally loses his cool against Vader" in it. She was definitely harnessing the force, but I'm not convinced it was the light side.

Where's the fury? She came at him with fury because Finn was hurt, but when we get here we stop. She closes her eyes. We are obviously meant to interpret things as changing at this point. Her expression, when she opens her eyes, isn't furious. It's actually hard to read it,  I grant, but I see determination and focus, not anger. The way she attacks him could be described as "furious" but that's not a description of her emotional state.

Luke lost his cool against Vader because Vader provoked him. The provocation in this scene has come and gone already. This doesn't make sense based on its presentation or writing.

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Offline Scotty

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
She defeats Ren after the provocation has passed, but her expression as the gulf opened up between them made it pretty clear what the outcome would have been.  I'm hoping she felt the touch of the dark side, because it'd result in the most interesting thematic route the story could take.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
To be honest, I don't doubt she did feel it in that scene, but I think it was the first phase and Ren's just a better darksider then she is. He's trained for it an all.
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Offline karajorma

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Okay, so the film has finally been released in China! Time for opinions.

Firstly, I did enjoy the film in the cinema. Whether it will degrade on repeated viewings like the prequels is another matter. I don't think it will ever degrade as much as even Revenge of the Sith did though, let alone the other two prequels.

Lightsabre fights are good again rather than simply looking good. The emphasis was definitely on the characters fighting rather than flashy acrobatics.

On the other hand, I hated Han Solo's final scene. Han is a badass and deserved a good death. Not going out like an idiot who couldn't see that his son would obviously kill him. What really pisses me off about it, is how simple it would have been to make that scene better. A minor change like having the explosives on a timer and Han trying to distract Ren would have give the scene more impact. Yeah, he's still trying to turn his son, but something else is going on too and Han knows that it could cost him his life.

1. Who made that map... and FFS why??

Very much this. The map was basically the central mcguffin of the entire first 2/3s on the film. That means that at some point we need to know why the **** it exists, who created it, why they didn't just give it to Leia, why R2D2 has most of it, and why R2D2 is powered down. NOT ONE of those questions was addressed in the film. This is pretty much Phantom Menace level scriptwriting where the prophecy surrounding Luke was always stated but never explained, or why we never heard a single good reason why the Trade Federation kept throwing in with Palpatine despite it never getting them anything other than expensive droid replacement bills.

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.

As opposed to Luke who after a few hours on the Millennium Falcon and a few days with Yoda is suddenly up to a lightsabre battle with the fully trained Darth Vader? Or who can pilot an X-wing better than anyone the first time he ever sits in one? Or who suddenly realises he can send telepathic messages to Leia when he doesn't want to fall off of cloud city?

Let's face it, the original trilogy established that it doesn't take much work to turn someone into a passable Jedi. Yes, it takes a lot of work to become a great one, but basic training is pretty easy and we really don't know how much Kylo Ren got. Yeah, he's powerful, but probably almost completely untrained.

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.

1. It's a ****ty lazy feature.
2. Most of the ridiculous coincidences could have been explained away with even some basic thought.
3. We saw exactly the same kind of laziness in Trek, so it's not like this is something they can claim to have thought up for this particular film.
4. Luke didn't really have much in the way of amazing luck at all. Pretty much everything that happened to him flowed organically from the fact that Leia had deliberately set out to find Obi-Wan. The whole "The force makes amazing coincidences happen" thing was much more of a prequel thing, and it should have died there and been buried with a stake through its heart.
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Offline Bobboau

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
the map actually bugged the hell out of me. who the hell needs a map? you have the galaxy, and a line running through it, and at the end of that line is luke. you only need one part of that line, that last part, the end point, where luke is. three numbers, angle around the galaxy along it's disk, angle perpendicular to it's disk, distance from center. or rectangular or cylindrical coordinates. you don't need every star in the galaxy.

the only thing I can think of is it's a log from his ship or something.
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Offline Scotty

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
4. Luke didn't really have much in the way of amazing luck at all. Pretty much everything that happened to him flowed organically from the fact that Leia had deliberately set out to find Obi-Wan. The whole "The force makes amazing coincidences happen" thing was much more of a prequel thing, and it should have died there and been buried with a stake through its heart.

Let's look at this through the lens of the story as it was presented (i.e. before the Prequels).  Two droids escape from a captured ship because a pair of gunnery officers decide not to waste space bullets on their pod.  The droids are captured on entirely different parts of the planet by the same group of scavengers, brought to the same place, and sold to their owner's long lost twin brother.  The group (now plus the person the droids were sent to find, whom they found with little difficulty) heads to town, where they contract the pilot of the only ship in the system capable of outrunning the Imperial ships (we're explicitly informed of the ship's speed with regards to big government ships) who conveniently happens to be between jobs and looking for work at that exact moment.  They don't arrive where they're going until after it's exploded by a giant space laser, after which they're 'captured' and manage to rescue the person who originally sent the droids after the person they're looking for.  They escape (albeit that one isn't luck, thanks Vader) and return to the rebel base, where Luke is one of their best pilots, vouched for by his childhood friend who just happens to be there too and is also a pilot.  Luke ends up being the only one who can destroy the giant space laser with his magic telekinetic powers that he discovered literally three hours ago.

And that's not a giant mess of coincidence to you? :P

 

Offline zookeeper

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
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.

As opposed to Luke who after a few hours on the Millennium Falcon and a few days with Yoda is suddenly up to a lightsabre battle with the fully trained Darth Vader? Or who can pilot an X-wing better than anyone the first time he ever sits in one? Or who suddenly realises he can send telepathic messages to Leia when he doesn't want to fall off of cloud city?

Yeah, I do think those are much more believable, especially when he isn't actually shown doing anything amazing with the X-wing in ANH. To me, the major difference between Rey's and Luke's development is that in Luke's case, a lot of time kept passing. Of course he was training on his own between ANH and ESB, and between ESB and RotJ, with at the very least months having passed between both; he might have only gotten an hour with Obi-wan and a week with Yoda, but I don't feel like there's anything weird about him getting better between movies even if he's not at the dojo.

In Rey's case, there was no such off time at all. If the movie had ended after she learnt she can use the Force and there was a time gap between it and the next movie which would then show her doing all that stuff, then I don't think that would have been a problem, because that would be time we'd assume she's spent figuring things out on her own.

Also, I think it's clear that he survived fighting Vader in ESB only because Vader wanted to see what he can do and not kill him, and the telepathic call to Leia just... doesn't strike me as odd at all, really.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I won't deny that she did seem to learn pretty quickly, but Luke also learned fairly fast. Maybe not quite as quickly but fast enough to not make it hard to believe for me. I will agree that the film would have been better if she had either some time or training. It's not like Han Solo hasn't been around Jedi enough to have been able to give her some tips, but since Luke was never put in a position where he had to learn to fight that quickly, we don't know how quickly a Jedi can pick up on things.

And that's not a giant mess of coincidence to you? :P

You missed my point about not explaining the coincidences within the film itself. Coincidence is a mainstay of storywriting. You are allowed to have them in a story because they do also happen in real life and often make up the basis of interesting stories. What is bad storywriting is wild coincidence. Stories where coincidence upon coincidence happen for no explainable reason stretch your credibility. Even a throwaway line can prevent that.

Let's look at this through the lens of the story as it was presented (i.e. before the Prequels).  Two droids escape from a captured ship because a pair of gunnery officers decide not to waste space bullets on their pod.  The droids are captured on entirely different parts of the planet by the same group of scavengers, brought to the same place, and sold to their owner's long lost twin brother.

I'll give you the gunnery officer not shooting the pod. However, let's posit that this is the coincidence that results in there actually being a Star Wars. A New Hope is the first film in the franchise, so it's allowed one as a central conceit. What follows though is not wild coincidence. R2D2 was looking for Ben. He would have tried to put the pod down somewhere near where he'd expect Ben to be. It's not a coincidence that Ben would be living near Luke. And the desert of Tattooine is probably like the Australian outback. There probably isn't another settlement within 20 or 30 miles of where Luke lives, hardly surprising that they happen to bump into him.


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The group (now plus the person the droids were sent to find, whom they found with little difficulty) heads to town, where they contract the pilot of the only ship in the system capable of outrunning the Imperial ships (we're explicitly informed of the ship's speed with regards to big government ships) who conveniently happens to be between jobs and looking for work at that exact moment.

We have no idea how many other ships there were that could have avoided the blockade. Mos Eisley is supposedly a hive of scum and villainy. It's not the least bit surprising they find a good smuggler there, especially since they found Han specifically because they were looking for someone like him. They didn't just bump into him in the bar and knock his drink over. Ben specifically goes looking for someone. That he turns out to be such a good choice is not a coincidence but part of the story. Interesting things should happen in a story or there is no point in watching it. But it's not a coincidence. The EU probably has a book that mentions the back story every single person in the cantina by now :p  I'll bet that there were other people in there who would have been suitable.


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They don't arrive where they're going until after it's exploded by a giant space laser, after which they're 'captured' and manage to rescue the person who originally sent the droids after the person they're looking for.

Once again, coincidence isn't an issue, it's wild coincidence that is the problem. Leia, Vader and the Death Star all have very good reasons to be there which are explained as part of the plot. It's not like they stumbled upon the Death Star en route to deliver the droids. Given how big the empire is supposed to be, that would be a wild coincidence.

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They escape (albeit that one isn't luck, thanks Vader) and return to the rebel base, where Luke is one of their best pilots, vouched for by his childhood friend who just happens to be there too and is also a pilot. Luke ends up being the only one who can destroy the giant space laser with his magic telekinetic powers that he discovered literally three hours ago.

Okay, I'll give you Wedge as a wild coincidence. So that's one. And it's not exactly one that drives the plot anywhere really. Nor is it completely beyond belief that someone who grew up with Luke would end up in the same place. Had Luke's uncle and aunt allowed him to go, he probably still would have ended up seeking out the rebels with Wedge. But fair point, I'll give you Wedge.

I'm not going to give you Luke being a great pilot, we've established that he is by that point. We've also established that Luke could hit a target that size and has been doing so for years. The telekinetic powers aren't something new so much as something he is told to use again rather than the new technology he has been given.

The hero being in the right place at the right time is something that is the central point of almost every action film. The hero being the only person who could do something is a major part of many fantasy and sci-fi films too. But we don't watch films about the also-rans. We watch films about the hero.

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And that's not a giant mess of coincidence to you? :P

As I've pointed out, the only wild coincidence is Wedge. And that's not a big one. There are other coincidences but they are explained in the film. Now compare The Force Awakens. How many wild coincidences are we asked to swallow? And what really galls is how many could have been explained away.

For instance, we can explain Han Solo turning up pretty easily. There's no reason Poe and Han can't be acquainted, so there's no reason Poe wouldn't know that Han is looking for the Falcon. If Poe spotted the Falcon earlier while on his secret mission, he might have sent word to Han. A couple of lines from Han about how he'd heard the Falcon was in the area and maybe a nice bit of banter between the two once at the rebel base could have cleared that up. And that's just off the top of my head. What upsets me is that the scriptwriters are lazy enough to stretch credulity beyond belief without even the slightest attempt to explain the coincidences.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 07:35:06 am by karajorma »
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Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
...Biggs. Not Wedge. Luke met Wedge for the first time at Yavin.
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Offline headdie

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
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.

As opposed to Luke who after a few hours on the Millennium Falcon and a few days with Yoda is suddenly up to a lightsabre battle with the fully trained Darth Vader? Or who can pilot an X-wing better than anyone the first time he ever sits in one? Or who suddenly realises he can send telepathic messages to Leia when he doesn't want to fall off of cloud city?

Yeah, I do think those are much more believable, especially when he isn't actually shown doing anything amazing with the X-wing in ANH. To me, the major difference between Rey's and Luke's development is that in Luke's case, a lot of time kept passing. Of course he was training on his own between ANH and ESB, and between ESB and RotJ, with at the very least months having passed between both; he might have only gotten an hour with Obi-wan and a week with Yoda, but I don't feel like there's anything weird about him getting better between movies even if he's not at the dojo.

In Rey's case, there was no such off time at all. If the movie had ended after she learnt she can use the Force and there was a time gap between it and the next movie which would then show her doing all that stuff, then I don't think that would have been a problem, because that would be time we'd assume she's spent figuring things out on her own.

Also, I think it's clear that he survived fighting Vader in ESB only because Vader wanted to see what he can do and not kill him, and the telepathic call to Leia just... doesn't strike me as odd at all, really.

I mentioned the whole Finn and Ray lasting so long against Ren with my dad who I watched it with and he brought up the point that Ren had been shot with Chewie's bowcaster which in previous shots has been seen throwing storm troopers like matchsticks which would have been both extremely painful and numbing as evident by his need to keep striking his leg, so I am guessing that the wound was beyond his ability to manage with the force meaning that he didnt have much left to fight our two upstarts
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Offline Scotty

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
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They don't arrive where they're going until after it's exploded by a giant space laser, after which they're 'captured' and manage to rescue the person who originally sent the droids after the person they're looking for.

Once again, coincidence isn't an issue, it's wild coincidence that is the problem. Leia, Vader and the Death Star all have very good reasons to be there which are explained as part of the plot. It's not like they stumbled upon the Death Star en route to deliver the droids. Given how big the empire is supposed to be, that would be a wild coincidence.

Except this is exactly what happens.  Luke and Ben via Han and Chewie are en route to deliver the droids when the stumble upon the Death Star (and the remains of Alderaan).

Something being plot justified doesn't make it not a coincidence.  Luke and Ben arriving at Alderaan moments after its destruction (and not, for example, minutes before and getting caught in the explosion) is a coincidence.  It wasn't planned, they had no way of knowing to modify their arrival time, Vader and Tarkin had no way of knowing that if they'd just waited for ten minutes they'd have ended the only threat to the Empire that currently existed or they would have.

You could argue (probably successfully) that the coincidences in The Force Awakens are a deliberate plot point.  A New Hope wasn't originally intended to be a part of a trilogy (and premiered in theaters simply as "Star Wars" with no subtitle or episode number) at its release.  There's there's a necessarily different lens to be examined through with the knowledge that TFA is the first part of a trilogy.

 

Offline Akalabeth Angel

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The only thing that isn't a coincidence in TFA is that it's a sloppy, rehashed story and the director is JJ abrams

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Except this is exactly what happens.  Luke and Ben via Han and Chewie are en route to deliver the droids when the stumble upon the Death Star (and the remains of Alderaan).

Nope. The Death Star has a very good reason to actually be there. It's not in some random part of space and they happen to fly by it.

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Something being plot justified doesn't make it not a coincidence.  Luke and Ben arriving at Alderaan moments after its destruction (and not, for example, minutes before and getting caught in the explosion) is a coincidence.  It wasn't planned, they had no way of knowing to modify their arrival time, Vader and Tarkin had no way of knowing that if they'd just waited for ten minutes they'd have ended the only threat to the Empire that currently existed or they would have.

I spent a lot of effort explaining the difference between coincidence and wild coincidence. You quoted me saying that and then argued that I don't think it's a coincidence. I've already said it is. And I've already said I have no issue with coincidence in a plot line as long as you're not lazy about it.

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You could argue (probably successfully) that the coincidences in The Force Awakens are a deliberate plot point.

Maybe you could. Fine, let's go with that instead. I was prepared to go with JJ Abrams simply overusing coincidence because he is lazy (Which he is. Star Trek already proved that), but fine, you want to claim he did it deliberately? Okay, then it's a really, really ****ty plot device and I'll tell you why. If the force can make things happen by coincidence because it wants them to happen then you've now created a universe where no one has free will. Han states that he's been looking for the Falcon for years. That means that the force made 3 people steal the Falcon just so that it could turn up on Jakku. The last one then abandons it on Jakku and sells it to someone who decides to leave it sitting on the planet for years rather than flying it around like the awesome ship it is. Why? Because the force wants a ****ty contrived story. For the Force to be responsible for the Falcon being on Jakku at the same time as Han arrives requires not only that the Force can control people but that it can also plan. At which point you've made the Force into God. And a god who likes ****ty stories at that.

If you're going to argue that the force makes coincidences happen, where does this end? Are you claiming that Tarkin's decision to blow up Alderaan was simply him being controlled to do so by the force? What about Han Solo's decision to return to help Luke against the Death Star at the exact moment needed to save him from being shot by Vader? If you're saying that coincidence is also the force then either the Force made Han go away or kept him from changing his mind until the exact moment needed to make him arrive at the time Vader locks up Luke. So where is Han's free will in the matter of whether to help Luke or not? Either the force suppressed his ability to be a good friend and help Luke right from the start because it wanted a moment of awesome or it forces him to come back when he didn't want to.

And if the force can make things like that happen, you've made the worst change to the force since midi-chlorians.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 10:07:41 pm by karajorma »
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Offline Scotty

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
If you're already firmly convinced that it's a ****ty thing there's not much that discussing it will do except piss everyone involved off.  I have absolutely no doubt that JJ doesn't give much thought to scale (this one might as well be emphatically proven) or contrivance, but just because he didn't give much thought to it doesn't mean it's inherently non-sensical.

I'm not on the level of saying "The Force Awakens happens exactly the way it does because the Force is pulling the strings".  That would absolutely be a ****ty plot device.  However, we've been shown explicitly that the Force is an instrument and an actor that influences intuition.  In The Force Awakens were explicitly told (and not-so-explicitly told on several other occasions) that there are both a Light and a Dark side that are both projecting their influence and working at cross purposes.  It's the difference between "I'm here for no real reason looking for my ship and you happened to be right here!" and "I knew we should have double-checked the Western Reaches!"

"I have a bad feeling about this."

"Vader's on that ship."

"I'm endangering the mission I shouldn't have come."

"I sense something.  A presence I have not felt since..."

"You want this, don't you?"

This is something we're exposed to, repeatedly, for the entire length of six different movies.  It's not always something that our characters act on, but it is something that affects their judgment and experiences.  It's more blatant in The Force Awakens than any movie before it, but the reason for that is literally the title of the movie! :P

And if the force can make things like that happen, you've made the worst change to the force since midi-chlorians.

I'd appreciate, if you actually want to discuss this critically as a piece of entertainment and without turning it into a shouting match, if you wouldn't put words in my mouth.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Seriously though, read my edit. If you're going to argue that the force made those coincidences happen then you're arguing that you're okay with JJ Abrams turning the Force into a god.


It's the difference between "I'm here for no real reason looking for my ship and you happened to be right here!" and "I knew we should have double-checked the Western Reaches!"


Even if I accept Han having a hunch, (and that's not a bad explanation for it). That still doesn't explain the Falcon being there in the first place. Cause that is a pretty huge coincidence.


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This is something we're exposed to, repeatedly, for the entire length of six different movies.  It's not always something that our characters act on, but it is something that affects their judgment and experiences.  It's more blatant in The Force Awakens than any movie before it, but the reason for that is literally the title of the movie! :P

A more simple explanation is that force users can detect each other though. There's no need for it to be the influence of the force. And personally I've always preferred the explanation that the Force is a single galaxy spanning entity than two sides which are battling each other through deliberate actions.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 10:28:21 pm by karajorma »
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Offline Scotty

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
And if that's the argument you think I'm making here then we're talking past each other.  I haven't once suggested that the Force made the Falcon show up on Jakku.  I have suggested that the force influences intuition and decision making, which it plainly does (and has for six movies before this one).

I genuinely want to have a discussion about this, but you keep bringing reducto ad absurdum to stop that from happening while dismissing what I'm actually saying.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: !!SPOILERS!! Star Wars: The Force Awakens
And if that's the argument you think I'm making here then we're talking past each other.  I haven't once suggested that the Force made the Falcon show up on Jakku.  I have suggested that the force influences intuition and decision making, which it plainly does (and has for six movies before this one).

I genuinely want to have a discussion about this, but you keep bringing reducto ad absurdum to stop that from happening while dismissing what I'm actually saying.

Okay then, how DO you explain the Falcon being on Jakku?
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