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

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

Post by agathokles » Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:56 am

Havard wrote: 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'm definitely a fan of the prequel trilogy -- it's obviously very different from the original trilogy, but that's good, because it deals with a different era. I'd have liked something similar for the sequel trilogy, rather than an attempt to redo the original trilogy.
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 certainly prefer Anakin to Kylo as a character. That said, it is difficult to compare the two, because Anakin is the Chosen, and the amount of pressure he gets in return is unparalleled. Also, he turns to the Dark Side for a good reason -- albeit with horribly bad results. In comparison, Kylo is merely a spoiled kid with superpowers...
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.
Finn doesn't strike me as having any resemblance with Luke. He's certainly a lot more Han (reluctant hero, permanently wide-eyed, a bit of a scoundrel, Leia-equivalent's love interest; you'll note that in the EU, Han is an orphan and a former member of the Imperial military as well), without the piloting skills. He does get a Luke scene in the escape sequence on the TIE. Beyond his ability to fight with a lightsaber, which IMO is a sign of inflation in Episode VII (like the uber-death-star, etc), he's the character that is executed best. Also, the actor is convincing.

Poe seems more Wedge, as David said, with Han Solo/Lando Calrissian attitude. He gets Lando's role in the attack (which is modeled over the second Death Star, not the first).

In my case, this would not be a problem if it wasn't compound with the more general reboot issue.
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.
I don't mind it either way. I find the amount of friendship displayed in Episode VII by people who actually just met to be unlikely, and didn't miss it 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 :)
I think I'll go back to watch the prequel trilogy yet another time :-)

GP

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

Post by agathokles » Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:31 pm

Big Mac wrote: 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,
BTW, this plot element was really not that well conceived. I mean, they couldn't work out where the map section was in the galaxy, but when R2D2 projects the galaxy map, the missing part is huge! In comparison, Episode II's search for Kamino is brilliant...
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.
Also, Leia is the new Mon Mothma, so having both would have been redundant.
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.
Well, she knows how to pilot a spaceship, although she's never left Jakku...
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
I didn't know this. Indeed, it might explain the "death" of Poe in the TIE crash. Probably Wedge was supposed to appear in the initial part of the movie only, since he apparently turned down the role as it was too limited. Poe's role might have been extended to cover for the missing Wedge.
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.
Well, he probably wears it to hide his real nose :twisted:
BTW, in the Italian dub Kylo-without-mask has a wimpy voice, which makes him even more ridiculous...

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

Post by Big Mac » Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:34 pm

Havard wrote:
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.
There was a point when one of the generic stormtroopers called Finn "the traitor" and that line should really have been given to Captain Phasma. It would have been good to have had her pointing him out and contacting stormtrooper units by radio to tell them to outflank him and take him out. They usually use big officers, who give big orders that get sorted out by underlings. Captain Phasma would have been a great opportunity to have the stormtroopers following orders on a smaller scale, where they are fighting smaller factions of rebels.

The stormtroopers in The Force Awakens were mostly getting picked off because one or two were seeing the enemy and engaging on their own...so nobody else knew who was shooting at them. They still could have had that, but if Captain Phasma turned up to the front line, after a half dozen or so stormtroopers got picked off and started giving orders for her stormtroopers to get into cover and to check arcs of fire, the stormtroopers could have slowed down the rate they were getting picked off and then one of them could have spotted the enemy and called out their position. And then Phasma could have started giving orders for the stormtroopers to spread out and get around the sides, forcing the Resistance to pull back or get hammered. This is the sort of area where I think that Gwendoline Christie could really add something to the Star Wars story.
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Big Mac » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:06 pm

agathokles wrote:
Big Mac wrote: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,
BTW, this plot element was really not that well conceived. I mean, they couldn't work out where the map section was in the galaxy, but when R2D2 projects the galaxy map, the missing part is huge! In comparison, Episode II's search for Kamino is brilliant...
To be fair, R2D2 did spend years (maybe over a decade) in low-power mode, doing some sort of background processing to create that map. But, given that the Republic owns faster than light ships, they should be able to make a full galactic survey and a map fragment as large as the one that BB8 was carrying should be easily identifiable.

You do have a fair point about the Episode II search for Kamino. It isn't just a better search, it is also a better story, because the characters get plenty of chances to interact with each other and other people along the way. A full map was not the best plot-breadcrumb here. Instead there should have been a more abstract map (like the golf course escape route used by Bat 21 Bravo). It should have been a puzzle that Luke Skywalker knew that the Knights of Ren could get hold of, but something that Leia Organa could have solved.

And hiding a lightsaber in the basement of a pub would have made a lot more sense, if it was put there by Luke Skywalker, while he was setting up the route to his hidden location. If Rey and Finn were trying to locate the Resistance and stumbled onto Luke Skywalker's breadcrumb map, it would have made sense for them to follow the trail to a pub and then get the clue to the next location there.

Hopefully, Episode VIII will explain why Luke Skywalker ran away and hid, instead of going to his sister (who presumably might also have been a target for attack by the First Order).
agathokles wrote:
Big Mac wrote: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.
Well, she knows how to pilot a spaceship, although she's never left Jakku...
That's a fair point. Although given how many times the Falcon scrapes along the ground, I'm surprised it didn't blow up. :roll:
agathokles wrote:
Big Mac wrote: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
I didn't know this. Indeed, it might explain the "death" of Poe in the TIE crash. Probably Wedge was supposed to appear in the initial part of the movie only, since he apparently turned down the role as it was too limited. Poe's role might have been extended to cover for the missing Wedge.


Expanding one character to fill in for another one sounds about right.
agathokles wrote:
Big Mac wrote: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.
Well, he probably wears it to hide his real nose :twisted:
BTW, in the Italian dub Kylo-without-mask has a wimpy voice, which makes him even more ridiculous...
I think I need to listen to Italian Kylo! :twisted:
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Big Mac » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:09 pm

The title of this story, is overdramatic, but I feel sorry for these people who watched Episode VII at the ArcLight Theatre in Hollywood, as the projector jammed and then the film jumped forward 15 minutes when the staff unjammed the projector. :o

This is the new Darth Vader: "Noooooooooooooooo!" for me. :twisted:
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by agathokles » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:11 pm

Big Mac wrote: 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.
Indeed, and it would not have been too difficult to work out. The key problem is, they didn't take the time in the movie to explain it. The more I think about it, the more the problems of Episode VII boil down to "we want more ``cool'' scenes, no time for dialogues or explanations".

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

Post by Havard » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:52 pm

agathokles wrote:
Big Mac wrote: 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.
Indeed, and it would not have been too difficult to work out. The key problem is, they didn't take the time in the movie to explain it. The more I think about it, the more the problems of Episode VII boil down to "we want more ``cool'' scenes, no time for dialogues or explanations".
I could be wrong, but I think this could be attributed to JJ Abrams. Many of his films suffer from this. On the other hand the prequels suffered from the exact opposite problem where we were given explainations for things that didn't need explaining and detailed insight into things that took away from the story (Politics, trade negotiations). I will agree that a balance could be found somewhere in the middle here, though I am also ok with many things being left to be explored further in the rest of the trilogy. Abams will not be directing the next chapters so we will have to see how other directors take this, though I suspect at least some things may be left to explore in books, comics etc. even if that is in no way an ideal sollution.

As to offer a fan theory:
I am guessing that the New Republic began suffering some of the problems of the Old Republic of being passified through corruption or other problems. The Resistance did seem to have the support of the Republic though, but perhaps the Resistance was also supported by systems that had not joined the Republic itself?

Some of my friends were really disappointed by the decision to completely ignore the Expanded Universe. I can see them wanting to distance themselves from all of that, but alot of that material was quite good and had a large following so I dont see why they could not have given a nod to the New Republic and perhaps the Thrawn trilogy etc as there is nothing in this movie that would really contradict most of that from having happened.


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

Post by Saunatonttu » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:07 pm

Some of my friends were really disappointed by the decision to completely ignore the Expanded Universe.
I've always done that :)

There's Star Wars and that's all there is to it.
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Havard » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:21 pm

Saunatonttu wrote:
Some of my friends were really disappointed by the decision to completely ignore the Expanded Universe.
I've always done that :)

There's Star Wars and that's all there is to it.
I prefer Han Solo's approach: Its true. All of it* :)


*=I know that's not what he meant, but hey I can make up my own canon. :)

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

Post by agathokles » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:39 pm

Indeed, I also disliked this decision. The EU has some strong elements, such as the Thrawn trilogy.

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

Post by Havard » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:49 pm

agathokles wrote:Indeed, I also disliked this decision. The EU has some strong elements, such as the Thrawn trilogy.
Big fan of the Thrawn trilogy here too.

But I am not a fan of all of the EU so overall I have mixed feelings about it. I think they are trying to do something similar to the Marvel movies where they will cherry pick what they like from the comics etc and retell the stories in their own ways. Well, I suppose we will see :)

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

Post by Saunatonttu » Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:13 pm

Havard wrote:
Saunatonttu wrote:
Some of my friends were really disappointed by the decision to completely ignore the Expanded Universe.
I've always done that :)

There's Star Wars and that's all there is to it.
I prefer Han Solo's approach: Its true. All of it* :)
Absolutely!

I was just saying that I refuse the concept of "EU" - there's just Star Wars. It's all Star Wars. All of it. :)

Especially the original Marvel Comics run. That's still just as true as The Force Awakens.
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Bouv » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:37 pm

Here's a couple thoughts that I'll share (and have shared elsewhere).

Kylo Ren's unmasking was suppose to be anticlimactic. Here we are built up this really BA villain, super strong, powerful, etc. Ends up he's just a whiny, punk kid who has family issues. What? THAT'S who were suppose to fear? HIM!?! What's worse, we have no sympathy for him. He knows what he's doing and has no remorse for it. Also - he maybe "force strong" but how much training has he really had? From conversations he has with Snope, it's clear his training isn't complete. It seems as if he was seduced by the dark side before his formal jedi training was complete as well.

As for using a lightsaber - Rey had demonstrated being able to use melee weapons earlier in the movie pretty well. Fin - maybe all stormtroopers got training with that stun-baton thingy since the First Order suspected they might be fighting Jedi with lightsabers?

Also, here's the real kicker - Han has known Chewie for what? 50 years? And not once, NOT ONCE did he fire that bowcaster before the movie?

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

Post by Saunatonttu » Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:48 pm

Saw it again today. Quite a few cool details I missed on a first view, and stuff like Daniel Craig and Kenobi! was nice to properly spot now that I wasn't diverting my attention to the story as much. Poe was cooler than on the first view, and Daisy Ridley was still as lovable as she was last thursday <3 Anyway, the biggest thing was that seeing it a second time felt like seeing one of the originals for the x:th time - this was the biggest test for me, it really felt like one of the Star Wars on a repeat view.

Even the music worked better now, when I could give it better attention. No new "instant hit" like Duel of the Fates was, but there was some good compositions. I especially like The Scavenger (and Rey's theme) - it has moments of sheer Morricone in it.

Ps. Still not even close to being best action/adventure film of 2015, though. Fury Road stays unbeatable :)
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Big Mac » Fri Dec 25, 2015 4:29 am

Havard wrote:
agathokles wrote:
Big Mac wrote: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.
Indeed, and it would not have been too difficult to work out. The key problem is, they didn't take the time in the movie to explain it. The more I think about it, the more the problems of Episode VII boil down to "we want more ``cool'' scenes, no time for dialogues or explanations".
I could be wrong, but I think this could be attributed to JJ Abrams. Many of his films suffer from this. On the other hand the prequels suffered from the exact opposite problem where we were given explainations for things that didn't need explaining and detailed insight into things that took away from the story (Politics, trade negotiations). I will agree that a balance could be found somewhere in the middle here, though I am also ok with many things being left to be explored further in the rest of the trilogy. Abams will not be directing the next chapters so we will have to see how other directors take this, though I suspect at least some things may be left to explore in books, comics etc. even if that is in no way an ideal sollution.
I found out a few days back that J. J. Abrams was responsible for LOST. Once I found that out, it made more sense. LOST was full of cool looking stuff that didn't make sense. I used to be pretty sure they put most of it in there, to get fans talking about things on the Internet. But I wonder if J. J. Abrams doesn't quite join-up-the-dots when making stories and that is just his "style".

And I know what you mean about this being the opposite thing to the Prequels. Watching this, I thought that I should have preferred this. But I think he has sucked out a bit too much of the George Lucas vibe from the story. It isn't so much that I need more details, but that I want the sort of details that George Lucas would have put into the movie.

There was plenty of time for details to be put in.

We saw an excessive amount of footage of BB-8 rolling around. We saw a tiny amount of C3P0 and hardly anything of R2D2. (I didn't even see R2KT and I was looking for it.)

We saw a few repeats of Finn doubting himself, but not really enough of him deciding to defect for my liking. The bloody handprint on his helmet was a clever touch (marking him, so that we could see him moving around) but I'd have liked to have seen a scene with him and a bunch of other First Order stormtroopers all taking pills and suiting up or somesuch.

There is a bunch of scenes with Rey hunting for junk, but not much building of her character. The flaw there, again, is that she does not really have anyone (family) to chat to about stuff. Short of having her talk to herself, there is no way for her to get her character across.

When Finn rescues Poe, you don't get too much talking before Finn is on his own and then when Finn meets Rey (or rather when he tracks down BB-8 and sees Ray with it) they don't really chat together in a friendly way.

I think that is where the "problem" lies. I think it is more of a surface tension thing. I don't think the same problem will be there in Episode VIII (assuming Finn is still alive) because they have already broken through that "surface tension" barrier. But I've got a feeling that they just won't talk about stuff.
Havard wrote:As to offer a fan theory:
I am guessing that the New Republic began suffering some of the problems of the Old Republic of being passified through corruption or other problems. The Resistance did seem to have the support of the Republic though, but perhaps the Resistance was also supported by systems that had not joined the Republic itself?
I would say that the Republic, covered a small part (probably less than ten percent) of the Galaxy and that there were always groups trying to get one over on other worlds. In the Prequel Trillogy, Darth Sidius played the Trade Federation off against the Senate to make the leadership of the Senate seem to be useless. Then he used the same trick, spun the other way around to trick the same people in the Trade Federation to "switch sides" from working with the Sith Lords to working with an organisation that was claiming to oppose the SIth Lord controlling the Federation.

Clearly, the planets in the Star Wars universe have always had governments that are vulnerable to political BS. (And lets not forget that these are Dark Side mind tricks causing this in-fighting. They can do this as many times as they want, because they are being sneaky and doing whatever works.)
Havard wrote:Some of my friends were really disappointed by the decision to completely ignore the Expanded Universe. I can see them wanting to distance themselves from all of that, but alot of that material was quite good and had a large following so I dont see why they could not have given a nod to the New Republic and perhaps the Thrawn trilogy etc as there is nothing in this movie that would really contradict most of that from having happened.
I totally understand the need to dump the Expanded Universe.

I bought some of those books, but a few of them (like the Courtship of Princess Leia where we are supposed to believe that the New Republic would make Princess Leia marry some dude) have the most absurd premises ever.

And, although a lot of people like the Timothy Zhan trillogy, I wasn't as impressed by it as others. He has stupid names, like Jorus C'baoth, which are just impossible to say. That's a big no-no for me. I also got annoyed by the robot called Bollux (which sounds the same as the British English slang word for testicles and I'm convinced the Irish author of those books knew that). I can accept weird names in Star Wars, but not ones that make a mockery of it.

And the big turn off with the Extended Universe is that they killed Chewbacca. So if J. J. Abrams didn't want to repeat that plot, the EU needed to go.
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Saunatonttu » Fri Dec 25, 2015 6:42 am

I totally understand the need to dump the Expanded Universe.
I really didn't see any need to do that. They could just have made The Force Awakens as it is, without spending energy on the unnecessary "dumping" of "Expanded Universe".
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by agathokles » Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:22 am

Regarding the Extended Universe, it is understandable that not everything could be kept -- unless they decided to actually follow the plot of some of the book series in the movie, since there are quite a few important events in the EU timeline between 30 and 40 years ABY. It is also true that the New Jedi Order era in the EU is too rich to be used without dumping the EU entirely. But the Legacy Era is pretty sparse, and the Legacy of the Force series might have been a good starting point. Not to mention it was co-written by Mystara's Aaron Allston and Dark Sun's Troy Denning...

That said, the EU includes many interesting characters, starting from Mara Jade and the post-Sarlacc Boba Fett, and it's definitely a pity to lose them to get in return Kylo Ren & company...

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

Post by Big Mac » Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:33 am

Saunatonttu wrote:
Havard wrote:
Saunatonttu wrote:
Some of my friends were really disappointed by the decision to completely ignore the Expanded Universe.
I've always done that :)

There's Star Wars and that's all there is to it.
I prefer Han Solo's approach: Its true. All of it* :)
Absolutely!

I was just saying that I refuse the concept of "EU" - there's just Star Wars. It's all Star Wars. All of it. :)

Especially the original Marvel Comics run. That's still just as true as The Force Awakens.
I don't go for decanonisation myself.

If something is published, it is published. It might be good - it might be bad - but pretending it didn't really happen doesn't wash with me.

But they need to say they are not using the EU plot otherwise they can't do anything.
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Saunatonttu » Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:05 am

But they need to say they are not using the EU plot otherwise they can't do anything.
Yeah, that's the big disagreement. The only way of doing this I would have accepted would been just making The Force Awakens as is, with no commentary whatsoever on "EU". The Force Awakesn = Star Wars. Original Marvel Comics run post-Return of the Jedi = Star Wars. The Dark Horse comics, the books that some people for some oddball reason want to call "EU" = Star Wars. The video games = Star Wars. etc. etc.

They "contradict"? Who gives a toss... And just disgreard any "fan" who starts talking about "canon" or "continuity" or other silly old things that come in the way of Fun :)
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by Havard » Fri Dec 25, 2015 11:01 am

Regarding the Timothy Zahn novels:
I think they were awesome mainly because they were well written and had a compelling story, but also because of the following:

1) They gave us Star Wars in a time when we didnt have any Star Wars movies, comics, video games or novels. The only Star Wars material available at that time was what came out from West End Games for the D6 RPG. Not only that, but the novels felt like Star Wars too.

2) They brought back all of the characters we loved. Not just Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie and the Droids, but also Lando, Wedge, Mon Mothma and Admiral Ackbar. Telling us what our beloved friends had been up to since Jedi, but also giving us new adventures with these characters at the center.

3) They introduced new characters. Okay so Joruus C'Baoth might not be to everyone's liking, but how about Talon Karrde and Mara Jade? The Zahn novels also expanded the universe in a way that still felt like it was Star Wars.

4) Those novels kicked off the Expanded Universe. Okay so not everyone like the idea of the EU, but what I am talking about here is kicking off the novels, comics, video games and all things Star Wars. Again, more Star Wars movies was not even on the horizon yet. Heir to the Empre came out in 1991 and back then at least to me it was great just having Star Wars again.


Saunatonttu wrote:
But they need to say they are not using the EU plot otherwise they can't do anything.
Yeah, that's the big disagreement. The only way of doing this I would have accepted would been just making The Force Awakens as is, with no commentary whatsoever on "EU". The Force Awakesn = Star Wars. Original Marvel Comics run post-Return of the Jedi = Star Wars. The Dark Horse comics, the books that some people for some oddball reason want to call "EU" = Star Wars. The video games = Star Wars. etc. etc.

They "contradict"? Who gives a toss... And just disgreard any "fan" who starts talking about "canon" or "continuity" or other silly old things that come in the way of Fun :)
Although the EU was hyped by fans, that is how it always worked under Lucas. It was always clear that the movies would never aim to be consistant with the EU and new movies could contradict what the EU had set up any time George felt like it. I set up a separate thread for the different Star Wars continuities in the Star Wars RPG forum. So in many ways I think the new Disney Canon is more about selling new books, comics and video games than it is about the new movies. Of course, the new books, video games and comics do help in promoting the new movies and vice versa, so there is a bit of the chicken and the egg type situation here. :)



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

Post by Dragon Turtle » Fri Dec 25, 2015 11:16 am

Discussion of Ep VII planets split into separate thread here: viewtopic.php?f=93&t=14917

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

Post by Saunatonttu » Fri Dec 25, 2015 11:20 am


Although the EU was hyped by fans, that is how it always worked under Lucas. It was always clear that the movies would never aim to be consistant with the EU and new movies could contradict what the EU had set up any time George felt like it.
Yeah. Not caring about things already published if the story called for it was one of the things Lucas did right. But - he still had that silly list of A level "canon" (movies), B level "canon" etc. Which led to this whole insistence that there is this thing called "EU" which is somehow separate from the "canon" of the movies. And that's what I've always opposed :) Scre canon! :D Not just on Star Wars, I mean in general. If continuity helps storytelling, use it - if it's in the way, discard it. Fans (not you folks, but in general) often get way too stuck on the whole continuity and forget to actually enjoy the story.

*jumps off soapbox*

Anyway, I might go and see Episode 7 a third time, after watching the orginal trilogy around holidays :)
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Re: [movie] Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens SPOILER

Post by agathokles » Fri Dec 25, 2015 12:06 pm

I think what Lucas did for the prequel is quite different from the current policy. Sure, it was always the case that the EU had less precedence than the movies. But, there was a clear boundary for the EU -- i.e., no EU material covered the time between Episode I and Episode IV until Episode I was out. That space was reserved for building the prequel trilogy, and made it so that EU remained relatively consistent with the movies -- sure, there are individual conflicting items, but it was not necessary to drop entirely the EU for the prequel trilogy.

GP

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

Post by Irondrake » Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:02 pm

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
Just got back from seeing Episode VII, and was sorely disappointed in it. Everything agathokles had to say is spot on, and I echo his thoughts on the film. These are exactly the same points I discussed with my wife as we ate lunch after seeing it.

Wow, I'm really bummed that this film was such a disappointment.

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

Post by Saunatonttu » Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:18 pm

Wow, I'm really bummed that this film was such a disappointment.
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