[movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILERS

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[movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILERS

Post by Big Mac » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:26 pm

I don't have a ticket for Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens yet, so I am not coming back to this topic, until I have seen it.

But here is a topic for anyone who HAS seen the film and who wants to talk about what is in it, with other people who have already seen it.

Please do not post spoilers anywhere else, until a fairly significant time has passed. Thanks.

Meanwhile, here is the poster (that links to the Wikipedia article for Star Wars: The Force Awakens):
Image

SPOILER WARNING: SCROLL DOWN AT YOUR OWN PERIL

SPOILER WARNING: SCROLL DOWN AT YOUR OWN PERIL

SPOILER WARNING: SCROLL DOWN AT YOUR OWN PERIL

SPOILER WARNING: SCROLL DOWN AT YOUR OWN PERIL

SPOILER WARNING: SCROLL DOWN AT YOUR OWN PERIL

SPOILER WARNING: SCROLL DOWN AT YOUR OWN PERIL

SPOILER WARNING: SCROLL DOWN AT YOUR OWN PERIL

SPOILER WARNING: SCROLL DOWN AT YOUR OWN PERIL

SPOILER WARNING: SCROLL DOWN AT YOUR OWN PERIL

SPOILER WARNING: SCROLL DOWN AT YOUR OWN PERIL
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Big Mac » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:16 pm

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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Morfie » Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:06 am

Seeing it in 2.5 hours..

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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Morfie » Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:24 am

Now seen.. and I don't want to spoil it for anyone.. but it was worth seeing and I will see it again.

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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Havard » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:10 am

Watching it tonight :cool: :cool: :cool:

...and on Sunday (3D version then). :ugeek: :ugeek: :ugeek:

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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Bouv » Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:35 pm

So awesome! Just some great scenes. I do want more background (since it is 30 years after Return of the Jedi). Hopefully that will come.

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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Havard » Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:21 pm

Yes!

Just got back home from watching it. Definitely feels like Star Wars is back! :)

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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Morfie » Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:16 am

My brother-in-law is upset that You Know Who died... but as I figure it a main character dies in the 1st episode of each trilogy anyway, it was Obi-Wan in IV, Qui-Gonn in I.

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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Havard » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:21 am

It was upsetting. Having thought about it, I am still sad about it today. But I also think it was the right thing to do. That character/actor really shone in this movie and it added alot of emotional weight to this movie. What I really hope they're not going to do is kill off one member of the old cast in each movie. I am not sure I could handle that.

Another thing that just struck me is how the old cast now paralell characters from the original trilogy:

Luke Skywalker --> Yoda
Leia Organa --> Mon Mothma
Han Solo --> Obi Wan Kenobi


I really like the new cast as well. Love Rey, Fin and Poe and now hating Kylo with a passion :twisted:

Anyone else feel like Rey gets all the toys at the end of the film though?

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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Saunatonttu » Sat Dec 19, 2015 8:41 pm

I loved the movie. :)

Han's death was good (and not really surprising, knowing Harrison Ford) - and the crowning moment of badassery for Chewie that followed was mindbendingly awesome.

But I really liked the most was the new blood - good characters, good roles. And Daisy Ridley <3
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by agathokles » Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:17 am

Seen the movie tonight. It ranks above the Ewok movies, but that's all... the prequel trilogy, even Episode 2, is way better.
What I disliked the most is the choice to reuse so many scenes that the movie looks more like a reboot than a sequel. Also, it is a choice that forced things to go over the top... I mean, a planet-sized Death star throwing planet-destroying rays across the galaxy? By the time of Episode 9, we'll get a sun-sized Death star destroying entire galaxies...
Moving to the characters, Rey and Finn are ok, Poe and Kylo/Ben seem straight out of a parody. Chewbacca is always good, as are the droids (although C3PO's red arm is left entirely unexplained).
The political scene is not so clear, with the respective roles of the Republic, neo-Empire, and neo-Rebellion left unexplained.
Fx and visuals are very good, of course, and the old three make a nice comeback.
All in all, from an RPG point of view, I'd rather stick with the EU vision of the New Republic and New Jedi Order.
GP
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by shesheyan » Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:54 pm

agathokles wrote:Seen the movies tonight. It ranks above the Ewok movies, but that's all... the prequel trilogy, even Episode 2, is way better.
What I disliked the most is the choice to reuse so many scenes that the movie looks more like a reboot than a sequel. Also, it is a choice that forced things to go over the top... I mean, a planet-sized Death star throwing planet-destroying rays across the galaxy? By the time of Episode 9, we'll get a sun-sized Death star destroying entire galaxies...
Moving to the characters, Rey and Finn are ok, Poe and Kylo/Ben seem straight out of a parody. Chewbacca is always good, as are the droids (although C3PO's red arm is left entirely unexplained).
The political scene is not so clear, with the respective roles of the Republic, neo-Empire, and neo-Rebellion left unexplained.
Fx and visuals are very good, of course, and the old three make a nice comeback.
All in all, from an RPG point of view, I'd rather stick with the EU vision of the New Republic and New Jedi Order.
GP
Saw it yesterday. I have to agree with you on many points. This movie is a reboot. Too many reuses. The Uber-Death-Star is ridiculous. The world building is very weak... not to say I didn't enjoy the movie. It had its moments.

My current ranking is V, IV, VI, VII, III, II, I. With the caveat that episode II & III shwoed us Palpatine's plan to get rid of the Jedi and create the Empire. In that regard these movies are superior to Force Awakens.

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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Big Mac » Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:56 pm

Big Mac wrote:I am not coming back to this topic, until I have seen it.
I ran out of the door yesterday and saw The Force Awakens at at 10.15 show at a local cinema. I'll probably watch it again later, perhaps at a bigger screen or perhaps with a friend.

That's got rid of the "threat" of people telling me spoilers and I can now look at any fan theories online.

I accidentally watched about a third of the Chinese trailer, after a friend posted it onto her Facebook timeline, but bailed out of it. This guy, called Akasan, watched the entire Chinese trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and regretted it:
Image

He is pretty annoyed at somebody telling him to watch it, because there were no spoilers. Obviously some people have a different idea of spoilers to other people.
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by agathokles » Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:02 pm

LOL! Indeed, standards may vary widely. Personally, I don't even watch trailers anymore. I did saw the first trailer, but stopped at that -- it's not like I need to decide whether to see a Star Wars movie or not...

GP

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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Big Mac » Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:34 pm

Morfie wrote:Now seen.. and I don't want to spoil it for anyone.. but it was worth seeing and I will see it again.
Same here.

I'm not sure where I rate it yet, but I don't regret seeing it.
Bouv wrote:So awesome! Just some great scenes. I do want more background (since it is 30 years after Return of the Jedi). Hopefully that will come.
This is where the EU novels would have helped fill in details...but as this movie is ignoring them, people are going to need to start that process again.

The interesting thing here is, are they going to publish a ton of new JJ Wars novels, that fill in the gaps between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens?

Are we going to get new tabletop suppliments for the JJ Wars era (that replace previous post-RotJ sourcebooks)?

I'm guessing that most people with active Star Wars campaigns are going to be less able to use the JJ Wars material because it will either be set in the future or will clash with material they have already established for their players.

But maybe we will get a bunch of new tabletop products, board games, miniatures and so on. I guess we will have to come up with some forum tags to help people work out what is what into Star Wars forum at The Piazza). :?

One thing that disappoints me is that Episode VI left us with a kind of "They all lived happily ever after..." universe, and they used the front-crawl of Episode VII to suggest that the good guys were on the back foot, without really explaining why those changes happened. And, now they have called this Episode VII, they can't really insert another movie into the gap between RotJ and TFA.

I think I would have preferred to have seen an Episode VII, where the New Republic started on a high and the movie plot threw it into decline. But I guess they could do that with a live-action TV series about the New Republic. :?
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Big Mac » Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:20 pm

Morfie wrote:My brother-in-law is upset that You Know Who died... but as I figure it a main character dies in the 1st episode of each trilogy anyway, it was Obi-Wan in IV, Qui-Gonn in I.
I kind of get the feeling that either:
  • They wanted to make it obvious that this was different from Chewbacca getting killed off in the EU novels or
  • Harrison Ford said he would come back, but only if they killed off his character.
Havard wrote:It was upsetting. Having thought about it, I am still sad about it today. But I also think it was the right thing to do. That character/actor really shone in this movie and it added alot of emotional weight to this movie. What I really hope they're not going to do is kill off one member of the old cast in each movie. I am not sure I could handle that.
Actually, I think they are more likely to have Chewbacca tell Leia and Luke that Han got killed off and have them decide that they "need to kill off Kylo Ren", because he is beyond saving. That would be a different ending to the way that Luke previously turned Anakin Skywalker back from the Dark Side.

Given that you need to have a good guy fight a bad guy in order to have a lightsaber battle, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if Kylo Ren didn't kill Luke Skywalker in Episode VIII or Episode IX for the simple reason that Mark Hamill is older and they have to pay him more money.

I suppose that JJ Abrams might try to subvert things by having Rey get killed off before Luke Skywalker has time to train her. :?

Logically, Ren should spend Episode VIII and part of Episode IX getting trained up to defeat both Kylo Ren and Snoke.
Saunatonttu wrote:Han's death was good (and not really surprising, knowing Harrison Ford) - and the crowning moment of badassery for Chewie that followed was mindbendingly awesome.
Killing Han but keeping Chewie alive does leave us with a major character, who does not speak English, but who has never been given subtitles. But it is great that Peter Mayhew will be getting more work.
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by agathokles » Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:33 pm

I've got time to write down in a fuller way my considerations on Episode VII. I'll clarify from the start that I didn't like it much -- as I said elsewhere, I'd rather have Jar Jar back.

BTW, the rest of this post is obviously rich in spoilers, but since you're in the second page of a spoilers thread, I'll just assume you've seen the movie.

You reboot scum!
Episode VII is more of a reboot than a sequel. It basically attempts to reuse as many scenes as possible from the original trilogy, not only the staples like a cantina, but also main plot elements like the Death Star, the droid carrying information, etc. It is so lacking in originality that even the main planet, Jakku, is a clone of Tatooine (compare with the prequel trilogy, which reuses and expands Tatooine, of course, but also introduces Naboo, Coruscant, Kamino, Geonosis, etc., all of which are quite distinctive).
Overall, it seems as if the director/producer was so scared of doing something that would be accused of not being Star Wars that he ended up doing something completely unoriginal.

I want to know what happened to the plot they sent you
Even worse, the new movie tries to condense Episode IV and VI in one movie. It starts with an Episode IV style recruitment of young characters on an almost identical mission, and ends with a super-Death Star attack straight out of Episode VI, except everything is oversized in an attempt to do "more" (the Death Star, instead of being as large as a "small moon", is an entire planet, pilots always exit or enter hyperspace while in atmosphere or in hangar, etc). The main change is a reshuffling of character roles -- Solo takes Obi-Wan's place, Luke's role is split between Rey (fringer Luke) and Poe (rebel pilot Luke plus a dash of Episode VI Lando), and Han's place is taken by Finn (as the uninvolved character who just wants to get away but finally comes back to save the lead).

Difficult to see. Always in motion is the movie
The result is that there is no time for details. Where in Episode VI we get explanations from Obi-Wan about the Force, and from various characters about the political status of the galaxy, here there is plenty of unexplained elements -- actually, the only thing we get explained is that Luke trained Han and Leia's son, who went to the Dark Side and betrayed him. The reasons why Anakyn's lightsaber should be in the pantry of a seedy cantina (after being dropped into a gas giant planet), Leia is not working directly for the New Republic (what is the Resistance about, if the New Republic is a "good" government, and in general what happened to the galaxy in the last 30 years or so?), C3PO has a red arm, etc.
Regarding the New Republic, it's a bit disappointing that Episode VII, rather than taking into account the Rebellion's victory in Episode VI, attempts to immediately bring back things as they were at the beginning of Episode IV -- thus the New Republic is wiped out in a one-minute scene. Also, no information is given on what happened to the rest of the Imperial army, navy and bureaucracy.

I find your lack of continuity disturbing
One of the major problems with Episode VII is that it throws away much of the established lore about Star Wars -- half of the previous movies where based around things like the impossibility to reach hyperspace from a hangar or planetary atmosphere, the length and difficulty of a Jedi's training, and so on. Instead, in Episode VII we see Han doing the hyperspace from/to previously impossible locations twice, Rey mastering lightsaber combat and Force powers in mere hours after discovering the Force. Now, she may be, in the rest of the sequel trilogy, a super-Chosen, but here we get Finn fighting with a lightsaber, where in the original trilogy even Luke (who eventually becomes a powerful enough to defeat Vader) does not actually use his father's lightsaber even after being trained by Obi-Wan.

It bothers me a bit that even within the movie, coherence was not a priority -- Poe says he was ejected from the TIE, but it appears he was also ejected from his jacket, since Finn finds it (unscathed!) in the wreck.

Not exactly the worst hive of scum and villainy
Villains aren't, unfortunately, Episode VII's strong point. Ok, Stormtroopers still not hitting anything may not be too much of a problem, but the Empire-clone suffers from at least two crippling issues. First, the First Order looks straight out of Iron Sky or another Nazi parody -- Kylo Ren's fits of destructive fury immediately reminded me of the Interned memes based on "Downfall". Second, Kylo Ren removing the mask is really an anticlimatic scene -- the fact that Ren strongly resembles an adolescent version of Severus Snape surely doesn't help. Where Darth Vader is mysterious and deadly and Moff Tarkin is obsessive but charismatic and obviously powerful, here both Kylo and the general look more like bickering adolescents.

There is still good in it
My judgement on Episode VII is obviously quite negative, but there are a few positive notes, mostly for the future.
First, Rey and Finn are good characters, although in the excessive speed at which things happens in Episode VII, their development has been way too fast (Kylo and Poe are annoying, OTOH).
Second, unless they get one of the main characters in carbonite, they've exhausted the scenes from the original trilogy, so Episode VIII is unlikely to be as bad as this one, at least from the point of view of originality.
Third, visuals are good. Except for the First Order, which as mentioned before is too much Iron Sky Nazi-on-the-moon with Stormtroopers, the remaining characters, main and extras, are styled well.
Fourth, the first few scenes, from the opening titles to the point where Rey and Finn escape Jakku, are very enjoyable.
Fifth, Chewbacca.
Finally... I actually like Jar Jar, so don't take my opening comment as "Episode VII is ugly", but rather as "Prequel trilogy is better than Episode VII"... although, if you didn't like the prequel trilogy, there might be not too much difference :twisted:

GP

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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Big Mac » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:00 pm

Havard wrote:Another thing that just struck me is how the old cast now paralell characters from the original trilogy:

Luke Skywalker --> Yoda
Leia Organa --> Mon Mothma
Han Solo --> Obi Wan Kenobi
Both Ben Kenobi and Yoda had the teacher role in the Original Trilogy. Luke is the only living person who can be the Jedi Trainer, but they did suggest that they couldn't work out where the map section was in the Galaxy, so I don't see why there couldn't be a ton of Force users beyond the area that the Republic, Empire and New Republic occupied. (I bet if you looked at the roleplaying products for Star Wars, they wouldn't make Force using PCs a teeny tiny percentage of living people. ;) )

I think that Leia Organa had already started to assume her leadership role in A New Hope, to be honest. It would have been nice to have had a reference to Mon Mothma, but I guess she would have been a very old lady by Episode VII.

Harrison Ford has specifically said that his character is not like Obi-Wan Kenobi in an interview with Entertainment Weekly:
Harrison Ford in Entertainment Weekly wrote:He does not aspire to the position of Obi-‘Ben’ Kenobi, nor do I aspire to be some New Age Alec Guinness. His development is consistent with the character, and there are emotional elements which have occasioned his growth.
However, I'm inclined to agree with you, in that he gets to be the dude who explains the universe.

One thing that baffles me is that the two young characters think that the Force is legendary, but Rey knows that the Millenium Falcon did the Kessell Run. She just should not know that.

One thing you missed in your comparison between old and new is that Poe Dameron was obviously written into the story to replace Wedge Antilles. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't tippex the first draft after Dennis Lawson turned down the cash they were waving at him. :P
Havard wrote:I really like the new cast as well. Love Rey, Fin and Poe and now hating Kylo with a passion :twisted:
I am loving Rey and Finn. Poe is OK, but I didn't really think he got to do enough with Rey and Fin.

I'm really not buying Kylo Ren.

I think the "Marvelisation" of Rey and Finn (and their frequent expression of self-doubt) is just about acceptable, but having your big bad evil guy complaining that he is tempted to stop being evil and being a big cry baby about needing to kill his dad to prove he is evil just seemed pointless.

The other thing that seemed pointless was him wearing a mask with a big womble nose...when there is in-fact nothing wrong with his face. And his overly-manly voice was just weird.
Havard wrote:Anyone else feel like Rey gets all the toys at the end of the film though?
She is the new Luke Skywalker, to use your own comparison (probably with a side-order of Princess Leia, as she wants to be in charge).

Logically, this trilogy is her story. (Finn is her sidekick)
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by shesheyan » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:30 pm

Big Mac wrote: She is the new Luke Skywalker, to use your own comparison (probably with a side-order of Princess Leia, as she wants to be in charge). Logically, this trilogy is her story. (Finn is her sidekick)
Agreed, this new trilogy it will be her story.

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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Big Mac » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:18 am

shesheyan wrote:
agathokles wrote:Seen the movies tonight. It ranks above the Ewok movies, but that's all... the prequel trilogy, even Episode 2, is way better.
What I disliked the most is the choice to reuse so many scenes that the movie looks more like a reboot than a sequel. Also, it is a choice that forced things to go over the top... I mean, a planet-sized Death star throwing planet-destroying rays across the galaxy? By the time of Episode 9, we'll get a sun-sized Death star destroying entire galaxies...
Moving to the characters, Rey and Finn are ok, Poe and Kylo/Ben seem straight out of a parody. Chewbacca is always good, as are the droids (although C3PO's red arm is left entirely unexplained).
The political scene is not so clear, with the respective roles of the Republic, neo-Empire, and neo-Rebellion left unexplained.
Fx and visuals are very good, of course, and the old three make a nice comeback.
All in all, from an RPG point of view, I'd rather stick with the EU vision of the New Republic and New Jedi Order.
GP
Saw it yesterday. I have to agree with you on many points. This movie is a reboot. Too many reuses. The Uber-Death-Star is ridiculous. The world building is very weak... not to say I didn't enjoy the movie. It had its moments.

My current ranking is V, IV, VI, VII, III, II, I. With the caveat that episode II & III shwoed us Palpatine's plan to get rid of the Jedi and create the Empire. In that regard these movies are superior to Force Awakens.
...and...
agathokles wrote:I've got time to write down in a fuller way my considerations on Episode VII. I'll clarify from the start that I didn't like it much -- as I said elsewhere, I'd rather have Jar Jar back.

BTW, the rest of this post is obviously rich in spoilers, but since you're in the second page of a spoilers thread, I'll just assume you've seen the movie.

You reboot scum!
Episode VII is more of a reboot than a sequel. It basically attempts to reuse as many scenes as possible from the original trilogy, not only the staples like a cantina, but also main plot elements like the Death Star, the droid carrying information, etc. It is so lacking in originality that even the main planet, Jakku, is a clone of Tatooine (compare with the prequel trilogy, which reuses and expands Tatooine, of course, but also introduces Naboo, Coruscant, Kamino, Geonosis, etc., all of which are quite distinctive).
Overall, it seems as if the director/producer was so scared of doing something that would be accused of not being Star Wars that he ended up doing something completely unoriginal.

I want to know what happened to the plot they sent you
Even worse, the new movie tries to condense Episode IV and VI in one movie. It starts with an Episode IV style recruitment of young characters on an almost identical mission, and ends with a super-Death Star attack straight out of Episode VI, except everything is oversized in an attempt to do "more" (the Death Star, instead of being as large as a "small moon", is an entire planet, pilots always exit or enter hyperspace while in atmosphere or in hangar, etc). The main change is a reshuffling of character roles -- Solo takes Obi-Wan's place, Luke's role is split between Rey (fringer Luke) and Poe (rebel pilot Luke plus a dash of Episode VI Lando), and Han's place is taken by Finn (as the uninvolved character who just wants to get away but finally comes back to save the lead).

Difficult to see. Always in motion is the movie
The result is that there is no time for details. Where in Episode VI we get explanations from Obi-Wan about the Force, and from various characters about the political status of the galaxy, here there is plenty of unexplained elements -- actually, the only thing we get explained is that Luke trained Han and Leia's son, who went to the Dark Side and betrayed him. The reasons why Anakyn's lightsaber should be in the pantry of a seedy cantina (after being dropped into a gas giant planet), Leia is not working directly for the New Republic (what is the Resistance about, if the New Republic is a "good" government, and in general what happened to the galaxy in the last 30 years or so?), C3PO has a red arm, etc.
Regarding the New Republic, it's a bit disappointing that Episode VII, rather than taking into account the Rebellion's victory in Episode VI, attempts to immediately bring back things as they were at the beginning of Episode IV -- thus the New Republic is wiped out in a one-minute scene. Also, no information is given on what happened to the rest of the Imperial army, navy and bureaucracy.

I find your lack of continuity disturbing
One of the major problems with Episode VII is that it throws away much of the established lore about Star Wars -- half of the previous movies where based around things like the impossibility to reach hyperspace from a hangar or planetary atmosphere, the length and difficulty of a Jedi's training, and so on. Instead, in Episode VII we see Han doing the hyperspace from/to previously impossible locations twice, Rey mastering lightsaber combat and Force powers in mere hours after discovering the Force. Now, she may be, in the rest of the sequel trilogy, a super-Chosen, but here we get Finn fighting with a lightsaber, where in the original trilogy even Luke (who eventually becomes a powerful enough to defeat Vader) does not actually use his father's lightsaber even after being trained by Obi-Wan.

It bothers me a bit that even within the movie, coherence was not a priority -- Poe says he was ejected from the TIE, but it appears he was also ejected from his jacket, since Finn finds it (unscathed!) in the wreck.

Not exactly the worst hive of scum and villainy
Villains aren't, unfortunately, Episode VII's strong point. Ok, Stormtroopers still not hitting anything may not be too much of a problem, but the Empire-clone suffers from at least two crippling issues. First, the First Order looks straight out of Iron Sky or another Nazi parody -- Kylo Ren's fits of destructive fury immediately reminded me of the Interned memes based on "Downfall". Second, Kylo Ren removing the mask is really an anticlimatic scene -- the fact that Ren strongly resembles an adolescent version of Severus Snape surely doesn't help. Where Darth Vader is mysterious and deadly and Moff Tarkin is obsessive but charismatic and obviously powerful, here both Kylo and the general look more like bickering adolescents.

There is still good in it
My judgement on Episode VII is obviously quite negative, but there are a few positive notes, mostly for the future.
First, Rey and Finn are good characters, although in the excessive speed at which things happens in Episode VII, their development has been way too fast (Kylo and Poe are annoying, OTOH).
Second, unless they get one of the main characters in carbonite, they've exhausted the scenes from the original trilogy, so Episode VIII is unlikely to be as bad as this one, at least from the point of view of originality.
Third, visuals are good. Except for the First Order, which as mentioned before is too much Iron Sky Nazi-on-the-moon with Stormtroopers, the remaining characters, main and extras, are styled well.
Fourth, the first few scenes, from the opening titles to the point where Rey and Finn escape Jakku, are very enjoyable.
Fifth, Chewbacca.
Finally... I actually like Jar Jar, so don't take my opening comment as "Episode VII is ugly", but rather as "Prequel trilogy is better than Episode VII"... although, if you didn't like the prequel trilogy, there might be not too much difference :twisted:

GP
A wise man once said: "Once you start down the Badwrongfun Side, forever will it dominate your destiny." :P

However, I'll go with this. :twisted:

The reboot thing: I must admit that the opening crawl left me dissatisfied with the setup of the Star Wars universe:
The Force Awakens wrote: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....
The First Order are clearly set up to be The Empire (from the Original Trilogy) and the Resistance are clearly setup to be the Rebels (from the Original Trilogy) but we know (from the end of Star Wars VI) that the Rebels won and that we had a return to The Republic. So why is Leia Organa operating outside of the Republic? Is the First Order supposed to be operating in territory outside of that captured by the Rebel Alliance?

With all the big flashy maps being thrown up in 3D, I think that a map showing the size of the Republic could have clarified this. Essentially the First Order could have been sold to us as a terrorist-like organisation that was taking over worlds in the outer rim in order to get them to contribute resources towards an effort to build up a military.

Instead, the Resistance, kind of sounds more like the French Resistance, with the New Republic not actually getting involved in a war, but lending the local people Leia Organa and at least several other people from the Rebel Alliance. Maybe the Republic don't want to do more than send in a Peace Keeping force, but surely they could be inspired to come in and bomb the hell out of a planet-killing weapon, once it's existence was known. (Even if they could not get there in the timescale of Episode VII, it should have been possible to send a messenger to those worlds and get a ton of military ships into space.)

It does seem to me that they wanted to create a small "Rebel Alliance" clone organisation that was taking on a larger "Empire" clone organisation, without a logical explanation as to why Leia Organa's "good" organisation was not outnumbering the "evil" organisation by a large ratio. Given the fact that, it's a big galaxy and that other things are going on in the Republic and on other sides of the Republic, I'm sure they could have come up with a better explanation for why Leia had a small force.

Presumably, if you look at the opening crawl, the mission of Leia's force is not even to take on the First Order, but to locate Luke Skywalker. So that might help explain why she has not been given a blank cheque and half the military of the Republic. But they didn't really make that clear. The fact that Luke Skywalker's restored Jedi training program, got destroyed, and Luke went into hiding is something that is pretty important. So that should have been a more important theme. They should have possibly turned this contest of factions on it's head, with Leia Organa's organisation being the controlling faction and the First Order being the faction hatching a secret plot to get one up on the Republican faction.
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Big Mac » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:20 am

Poe Dameron:

I don't really see too much of a problem with Poe Dameron, apart from it looking very much like the script was written for Wedge Antilles. (Having said that, he does wander fairly close to being Ace Rimmer! :twisted: )

Kylo Ren/Ben Solo: I have to agree with you on this one. The "Marvelisation" of this guy just doesn't work. He wears a big scary mask for no reason (other than presumably look cool as an action figure) and takes it off when dared to by Ren. And his overly-macho voice just does not work for me. It is the opposite of Darth Maul. Instead of a mysterious evil dude, we have a teenage-rebel dude worrying that he is "not evil enough for his granddaddy". It is kind of worse than the angry evil teenager theme that Anakin Skywalker had in Episode III.

And the arguments between Kylo Ren and Hux come across as a bit pathetic (when compared to the respect that we saw between Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin). This is a couple of evil dudes openly arguing in front of subordinates, instead of being uber clever and playing mental poker with each other. Both have their own agendas, but Kylo Ren should be asking Hux to divert more forces to tracking down the map of Luke Skywalker and Hux should be telling Kylo Ren to help him complete his plan to blow up a bunch of key Republic planets, to throw the Republic into chaos.

Finally, Kylo Ren's temper tantrums look much worse than Vader's Episode V tantrums (strangling officers that fail him). Instead of killing incompetent officers, Kylo whips out his weird light-sabre and randomly chops stuff up. Presumably that stuff is important and somebody has to come along and spend time fixing it. If they had him going into a room and torturing slaves to death to deal with his stress, I would have seen him as evil, but he just looks foolish to me.

A small rewrite could have made Kylo Ren a lot better. He should have refused to take off the mask until the scene where he met Han Solo. That could have tricked the audience into thinking that he was repenting and coming over to Han Solo's way of thinking, instead of moving in for the kill.

C3P0's red arm: Honestly, in the Star Wars universe, C3P0 and R2D2 are both robots churned out on production lines. There are tons of identical robots out there. These two are older models (hailing back from the era of The Phantom Menace) but I wouldn't expect anyone to remember them. (Ben Kenobi didn't remember either of them in A New Hope.)

The Red Arm could easily be a replacement arm or arm panels, after some sort of breakdown. And I think they used it as an excuse for C3P0 to get in between Leia and Han and actually get a line into the script. :P

It was a bit pointless, but in the grand scheme of things, it isn't much to gripe about. He has been knocking around for 30 years. That's plenty of time to loose an arm.

The plot condenses Episode IV and Episode VI: I'm not sure that is a valid criticism either. Episode VI ends with the rebels finding out they are about to be blown up and launching a mission to destroy the Empire's super-weapon. Episode VII also has this end-game. The fact that it is a repeated theme doesn't really mean that Episode IV and Episode VI are being merged because Episode VI was already rebooting the Death Star attack.

I would agree with the "attempt to do more" criticism, but that is something that Star Wars has been doing since The Empire Strikes Back. The space fights get more and more ships. The lightsabre battles get longer. The explosions get bigger.

I'm not sure that you can call this a "bigger Death Star". It isn't quite that. It is a bit more like an X-ray laser, eating up a sun to make hyperspace death rays that blow up several planets in one go. The First Order have not built a moon-sized weapon. Instead they have dug a gigantic trench in the equator of a planet and put a uber-weapon into the innards of the planet. I'm not sure why earthquakes didn't cause their trench to collapse or why volcanoes didn't break through from the core of the world. These are questions that bug me a lot more than the fact that it is a "planet sized Death Star".

I'm guessing that the First Order selected a world with dead geology and then used Stormtroopers to steal the resources needed to convert that world into a weapon. But, seriously, the fact that they were able to do this means that the Republic spies must be totally useless. There is no way that the Resistance should find out about a planet killing weapon within an hour of it blowing up a ton of Republic planets.

Again, this could have been easily addressed, if the big trench had been covered by a cloaking device that made it look like the trench was not there to passing ships. The "Resistance" organisation could have been a small organisation trying to get to Luke Skywalker before the First Order and could have stumbled onto a plot to blow up worlds at the last moment. That's kind of what happened, but they didn't really sell it that way, so they make it look like a mistake.

Weak world building: I agree with you on this one, as I couldn't understand some of the politics, but George Lucas didn't explain a lot of stuff either. We have character names from the toy figures and novels.

The entire thing with Luke Skywalker fancying his sister in A New Hope and not realising he has a sister who is an adopted princess is a gigantic plot hole. Quite clearly, they make this stuff up as they go along. I'm not really a fan of J.J. Abrams (I'd have rather seen Peter Jackson make new Star Wars films) but he is making a seventh film that builds onto six films with pretty poor continuity control. I think that where I would criticise J.J. Abrams here is that, rather that make the same continuity errors that George Lucas made six times, he has give us a lot of new places, with generic names, to sidestep continuity problems. Effectively, this is a different part of the Star Wars galaxy.

One problem the Prequel Trilogy had was that they did some world-building stuff (via infodumps) but didn't spend time building characters, so made a lot of 2D background characters that people didn't care about much. I think that J.J. Abrams has addressed that criticism by spending screen time on making us realise that the main characters all have feelings. And I think he has overcompensated a bit too much and taken away the time needed for world-building.

I think that one of the problems Star Wars faces is that there is no logical infodump-character in the story. Star Trek has Spock to spout technobable and Red Dwarf has Kryten. A New Hope might have had Ben Kenobi (at least for a while). Both Episode II and Episode VII have had "a person in a pub who knows stuff". That allows the character to visit the infodump-character and then leave.

You can't go to hyperspace from a planet: That's a standard science fiction trope that ensures you get space battles before a ship can escape to light speed. But it is 30 years since the Battle of Endor and it isn't too hard to believe that someone has come up with some sort of way to improve the way that spaceships work. I can buy that, but I can't buy the fact that the Millenium Falcon has been stolen from Han Solo and that he has recovered it after years and can do this hyperspace-stunt, without going over the entire ship to make sure it won't explode if he tries the stunt.

Rey manifesting Force powers without training: Presumably, the two way *cough* "Vulcan mind meld" *cough* between Kylo Ren and Rey gave her more than some of his memories. He actually told the stormtroopers that the longer they took to catch her, the more powerful she would become, but quite clearly J.J. Abrams didn't explain the "fluff" behind his "crunch" here.

It would have been really easy for Kylo Ren to have pushed his own abilities into Rey. They did enough dream-sequence nonsense where she had premonitions of meeting Kylo Ren. If they had removed some of that and made a dream sequence where she mentally saw a flashback of him learning some of his force powers, we could have seen her seeing him do Ben Kenobi's mind control trick and so on. They could even have done some sort of super-flash thing and then had her "learn as she went" with a number of flashbacks that occured after the original mental contact.

But they didn't do that. So it looks wrong.

Stormtroopers not hitting anything: I didn't think they were too bad actually. And the fact that Finn went up against a stormtrooper who was trained to duel against lightsabers explains both how Finn was able to use one and how the First Order might have tried to get the stormtroopers to try to kill some of Luke Skywalker's apprentices if they had gone up against them.

But they did kind of suggest that Finn was some sort of toilet attendant who lied to the Resistance in order to get a chance to rescue Ren. So if that is true, I would expect him to possibly be more poorly trained than some of the other stormtroopers.
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Big Mac » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:26 am

One gripe I have is with Captain Phasma.

I first heard about her after some dude complained that a female stormtrooper should have boob armour (which they kind of do on the cosplay scene :roll: ).

After hearing about her, I found out she was going to be this big important character, and she kind of is, but you don't really see her doing anything. The actress that plays her is awesome in Game of Thrones, so she could really have done stuff in The Force Awakens, but she does pretty much nothing useful. Maybe they are setting her up to do more in Episode VIII. :?

I'm not the only one complaining that there is not enough of Captain Phasma.
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Havard » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:44 am

agathokles wrote:I've got time to write down in a fuller way my considerations on Episode VII. I'll clarify from the start that I didn't like it much -- as I said elsewhere, I'd rather have Jar Jar back.
Sorry you didn't like the movie GP, although when I read at the bottom that you like Jar-Jar, I had to rethink your entire post :)

(I don't mind Jar-Jar that much myself. My issues with the prequels are mainly about Anakin, and overall movie making).

I agree with most of your criticism, but overall those things don't bother me too much. I guess one thing we disagree on are Kylo Ren and Poe Dameron. As mentioned I like all of the new characters and with Kylo Ren, I actually find that this is where the story does take a turn for originality. I like that Kylo isn't Darth Vader, like the trailers lead us to believe, but something closer to what Anakin should have been. The Dark Side clearly has a hold on him, though his path to the dark side is a bit different as it is the false connection to his grandfather that is pulling him onto the Dark Side.

I agree that the other villains (and the super weapon) are a bit unimpressive though, so since they decided to take this portrayal of Kylo Ren, means I am feeling some need for a Vader or Tarkin type. Hux and Phasma did not manage to fill that role although I like that Hux and Kylo are more like equals rather than Kylo being above everyone.
I want to know what happened to the plot they sent you
Even worse, the new movie tries to condense Episode IV and VI in one movie. It starts with an Episode IV style recruitment of young characters on an almost identical mission, and ends with a super-Death Star attack straight out of Episode VI, except everything is oversized in an attempt to do "more" (the Death Star, instead of being as large as a "small moon", is an entire planet, pilots always exit or enter hyperspace while in atmosphere or in hangar, etc). The main change is a reshuffling of character roles -- Solo takes Obi-Wan's place, Luke's role is split between Rey (fringer Luke) and Poe (rebel pilot Luke plus a dash of Episode VI Lando), and Han's place is taken by Finn (as the uninvolved character who just wants to get away but finally comes back to save the lead).
I have already tackled the old cast, but here is how I see the new characters:

Rey: Fringer Luke, Jedi Luke and Leia (i.e. strong female character, independent).
Poe: Rebel Pilot Luke, Han Solo ("best pilot in the...", brash attitude)
Finn: Goofy young Luke, Reluctant Hero (Han Solo)

I rather like these parallells though. Seeing some recognizable things while at the same time not being carbon copies of the originals is something that I appreciate. One thing I really like about Episode VII is the sense of the beginning of a strong friendship between these characters. This is something I feel is important to Star Wars, and that really never was shown in the prequels.

Overall, I don't think it was a perfect movie, and the criticisms I have are similar to yours, but because they bothered me alot less, I still ended up loving this movie, even more so after watching it a second time :)


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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Havard » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:00 am

Big Mac wrote:One gripe I have is with Captain Phasma.
Yes, she was disappointing. But I wonder if that isn't more about the hype in advance than anything in the movie itself. I really liked the scene where Finn tells her who's the boss. On the other hand, the movie could have used a more intimidating enemy as I mentioned above, and Phasma could have filled that role I suppose. That said, I expect she will return in the next movie and she might be upset that they threw her in the garbage chute so that could make for a great story arc for her.

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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by agathokles » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:40 am

Big Mac wrote:Poe Dameron:

I don't really see too much of a problem with Poe Dameron, apart from it looking very much like the script was written for Wedge Antilles. (Having said that, he does wander fairly close to being Ace Rimmer! :twisted: )
The character is ok, although it is not terribly clear why Leia should send her best pilot on a mission where no big piloting was supposed to happen... Bothan spies might have been more effective. I just didn't like the actor much.
C3P0's red arm: Honestly, in the Star Wars universe, C3P0 and R2D2 are both robots churned out on production lines. There are tons of identical robots out there. These two are older models (hailing back from the era of The Phantom Menace) but I wouldn't expect anyone to remember them. (Ben Kenobi didn't remember either of them in A New Hope.)

The Red Arm could easily be a replacement arm or arm panels, after some sort of breakdown. And I think they used it as an excuse for C3P0 to get in between Leia and Han and actually get a line into the script. :P

It was a bit pointless, but in the grand scheme of things, it isn't much to gripe about. He has been knocking around for 30 years. That's plenty of time to loose an arm.
Sure. My point here is not that C3PO having a red arm is a problem, rather that the movie tries to pack to many things, most of which are left unexplained or just dropped there.
The plot condenses Episode IV and Episode VI: I'm not sure that is a valid criticism either. Episode VI ends with the rebels finding out they are about to be blown up and launching a mission to destroy the Empire's super-weapon. Episode VII also has this end-game. The fact that it is a repeated theme doesn't really mean that Episode IV and Episode VI are being merged because Episode VI was already rebooting the Death Star attack.
If you look at Episode VII finale, it is practically lifted from Episode VI... of course Episode VI is already redoing the Death Star, which makes it even more unnecessary in VII.
I would agree with the "attempt to do more" criticism, but that is something that Star Wars has been doing since The Empire Strikes Back. The space fights get more and more ships. The lightsabre battles get longer. The explosions get bigger.
I disagree. In Ep. I, they only blow up a droid command ship -- one of many in the Trade Federation fleet. In Ep. III, they do destroy the Invisible Hand, but it is not any larger or powerful than a large Star Destroyer.
I'm guessing that the First Order selected a world with dead geology and then used Stormtroopers to steal the resources needed to convert that world into a weapon. But, seriously, the fact that they were able to do this means that the Republic spies must be totally useless. There is no way that the Resistance should find out about a planet killing weapon within an hour of it blowing up a ton of Republic planets.
Indeed, there is plenty of unrealistic planetary structures in Star Wars, and it's no problem at all. That the First Order could build something on this scale without the Empire's resources, and keep it hidden from the Republic is really a bit much even for Star Wars.
Again, this could have been easily addressed, if the big trench had been covered by a cloaking device that made it look like the trench was not there to passing ships. The "Resistance" organisation could have been a small organisation trying to get to Luke Skywalker before the First Order and could have stumbled onto a plot to blow up worlds at the last moment. That's kind of what happened, but they didn't really sell it that way, so they make it look like a mistake.
Once more, it boils down to deciding to pack more action instead of more briefings...
Weak world building: I agree with you on this one, as I couldn't understand some of the politics, but George Lucas didn't explain a lot of stuff either. We have character names from the toy figures and novels.
I think not having names for certain characters is not that much of a problem. But in Episode VI, the brief conversation between Vader and Leia clarifies the political status of the galaxy (there's a government with a Senate and an Emperor, there's a faction in the Senate that opposes the military-building efforts of the Empire and supports the Rebellion). It is clearly incomplete, but that's because it is a movie with no background. Here, there are at least 6 movies of background...
One problem the Prequel Trilogy had was that they did some world-building stuff (via infodumps) but didn't spend time building characters, so made a lot of 2D background characters that people didn't care about much. I think that J.J. Abrams has addressed that criticism by spending screen time on making us realise that the main characters all have feelings. And I think he has overcompensated a bit too much and taken away the time needed for world-building.
That's probably (part of) why I like the Prequel Trilogy but not this one.
I think that one of the problems Star Wars faces is that there is no logical infodump-character in the story. Star Trek has Spock to spout technobable and Red Dwarf has Kryten. A New Hope might have had Ben Kenobi (at least for a while). Both Episode II and Episode VII have had "a person in a pub who knows stuff". That allows the character to visit the infodump-character and then leave.
Person in a pub who knows stuff is fine for informants -- although the informant who knows all about unusual weapons is IMO a better choice.
You can't go to hyperspace from a planet: That's a standard science fiction trope that ensures you get space battles before a ship can escape to light speed. But it is 30 years since the Battle of Endor and it isn't too hard to believe that someone has come up with some sort of way to improve the way that spaceships work. I can buy that, but I can't buy the fact that the Millenium Falcon has been stolen from Han Solo and that he has recovered it after years and can do this hyperspace-stunt, without going over the entire ship to make sure it won't explode if he tries the stunt.
Exactly. Once more, they wanted to pack so much action that time for repairs was not available...
Rey manifesting Force powers without training: Presumably, the two way *cough* "Vulcan mind meld" *cough* between Kylo Ren and Rey gave her more than some of his memories. He actually told the stormtroopers that the longer they took to catch her, the more powerful she would become, but quite clearly J.J. Abrams didn't explain the "fluff" behind his "crunch" here.
The problem here is continuity. In past movies, Jedi take years to develop any power. Neither Anakin nor Luke develop at that speed. And, once more, the point is that the director didn't want to spend time on things other than action, so Rey has to develop powers while in an action scene...
Stormtroopers not hitting anything: I didn't think they were too bad actually. And the fact that Finn went up against a stormtrooper who was trained to duel against lightsabers explains both how Finn was able to use one and how the First Order might have tried to get the stormtroopers to try to kill some of Luke Skywalker's apprentices if they had gone up against them.

But they did kind of suggest that Finn was some sort of toilet attendant who lied to the Resistance in order to get a chance to rescue Ren. So if that is true, I would expect him to possibly be more poorly trained than some of the other stormtroopers.
Stormtroopers not hitting anything is ok, actually. And Finn is probably the only character that is executed without major flaws.

GP

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