[Archive] Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Dînadan:

Just got back from seeing this. Very good, better than the prequels, but also very derivative. A lot of the time it felt like they’d hacked the OT negatives apart and reassembled them in a random order.

Was a touch disappointed by the villain, Kylo Renn. He was very good at the start, but as soon as the helmet came off he became a bit whiny and pathetic in my opinion.

Overall I’d recommend the film, but it might be best to forget as much as you can about the other films otherwise you’ll constantly be going this is like X from RotJ, this bit is like Y from ANH, that character is like Z from ESB.

BABIS:

I really liked the movie! it’s almost a remake in my opinion, it has all the “nostalgic” elements from the first movies…

Doombeard:

yeah it was a weird re-hash of the originals but with some new kids in it to re-boot the franchise. Now the re-boot is complete we can see where it goes for the next two movies. My only complaint is Abrams did the same with Star Trek, maybe its just his style I don’t know, but he has a way of creating these very fast paced action sequences, with cool likeable actors and stylish, non stop ride type action movies, but with very little substance and detail. The originals A New Hope and RTOJ all had so much attention to detail, Lucas’ strength was in his eye for detail and flair for being a ‘world builder’ , and there are shades of this in Abrams (such as when BB8 holds out a ciggerette lighter in a thumbs up gesture) but at times this just feels borrowed or clumsy and still nowhere near the level Lucas imbibed in his work. Still was pretty good though , 4 out of 5 for me, and looking forward to what comes next

Tyranoth The Ashen:

Okej I need to get this out of my cheast. We know that Obi-Wan was calling himself Ben. We know that Han Solo and Leia Organa never heard about this name before.

We know that in the expanded universe that was erased by Disney, Mara Jade and Lukes firstborn son was named Ben Skywalker.

So why the fuck did Han and Leia name their boy Ben?

I would take that sun sucking planet and shove it up in J.J.Abrams rectum where the sun don’t shine and beat the shit of darth Micky Mouse.

Now Disney erased a timeline of 25,838 years, killed of 243 kinds of species not to mention exterminated millions of creatures. All the planets exept a few selected from the movies.

Is this a fair exchange from what we got, plus killing of Han Solo to spite us a little bit more? I will no longer support Star Wars, It died with Disney and it will never return to it’s glory.

Dînadan:

Agreed, it doesn’t make sense for him to be called Ben beyond coincidence. He’s obviously a composite of Ben Skywalker and Jacen Solo (with a dash of Brakis (think that’s his name) - Luke’s student from the first class he taught who fell to the Dark Side and went on to found an Imperial Dark Jedi Academy).

That being said, I think your reaction is a bit extreme. It sucks that the EU is gone but it could have been worse - just imagine if they’d junked just the good bits and kept all the bad bits :(. Wouldn’t be surprised if they rereleased some of the old EU repackaged to fit in the new one to try and make more money.

Tyranoth The Ashen:

Even Dark Horse comics was better than this movie.

Doombeard:

I’m guessing they wanted to hit the re-set button and begin a new EU. Rogue 1 is out next, the first movie set in the EU. About a squadron of x wing fighter pilots who steal the plans to the original death star, directed by Gareth Edwards

Willmark:

Strangely (given my avatar) this is the first Star Wars movie that I’m NOT looking forward to…

Dînadan:

Strangely (given my avatar) this is the first Star Wars movie that I'm NOT looking forward to...

Willmark
Might be a good mindset to have as it'll enhance the positive aspects as they'll be a pleasant surprise and will diminish the negative ones as you were expecting them to be bad anyway.

On the plus side, at least it's not TPM and you're going in with high hopes ;P

Admiral:

A friend of mine described this movie as “a good Star Wars movie, but not a good movie as such.” He meant that Ep VII works if you’ve seen Star Wars before, but it can’t really stand on its own legs otherwise as a masterpiece of its own. I’m grateful he told me this spoiler-less bit of opinion before seeing the movie, because otherwise I might have been a tad disappointed.

As such I got the most out of the movie when seeing it. It’s easy for me to heap praise on the bits I appreciated and think they got right, like the gritty bits (Star Wars with a touch of 40k or Star Craft, one might say at times) with shipwrecks, raids, clandestine dealings and sense of lethal power in battle scenes. Refreshingly, the First Order military were not portrayed as a solid bunch of incompetents. Aesthetically it’s all pleasing. The music didn’t steal the show the way it did in the originals, though. There’s lots of details, world building (which I’ve always appreciated overly much, allowing me to like even the prequels to some extent and more than like the Hobbit movies) and characters to like in the movie. The main villain’s temperament problems when masked was funny. Even more so than the prequels, which felt like Star Wars without delivering too much of a great story.

Just like Jurassic World, this movie builds heavily upon references to the original(s). Not bad in and of itself, and Ep VII do deliver some new memorable scenes like Solo’s two front gang confrontation and Chewie going berzerk. The handling of old characters returned is not poorly managed, and Ep VII manage ties-in with the original trilogy way better than the prequels did (e.g. why didn’t a very young Han Solo show up in Ep III and why not use Tarkin in the background of the Emperor more than once in the prequels?). The main villain should’ve kept the mask on, though, because the mask-less performance wasn’t that good apart maybe from the big event at the bridge.

However, there was something which I can’t put my finger on, something probably about the pacing of the story or some similar movie rhythm that didn’t always seem well crafted, unlike much of the original trilogy. Much as I liked many bits, the movie didn’t pull the viewer into itself the way most of the original trilogy and some parts of Ep III did. Hope this works out better in the upcoming episodes. There were some other bits too, but nothing terminally wrong.

Also, would it have been better if the First Order was visibly under lethal pressure by forces of the Republic? The underdog role for the imperials made things interesting in the old Thrawn trilogy, and allowed the victory at Endor to have a large impact without wrecking all of the Empire. Might have been good to use that trick in the movie sequel to the originals, and then allow the First Order’s actions to regrow it on screen into the monstrous threat which the old Empire once was.

And, naturally, if we ever needed proof that super-weapons are boring, we need only point to The Force Awakens. The Death Star worked the first time around on mere novelty, and the second time it worked since it played the part of trap and didn’t even blow worlds to smithereens. Conventional military confrontations, like the battle of Hoth and Endor, are way easier to make interesting than a repeat of the quite dull narrative of destroy the super-weapon before it destroys you wholesale.

Don’t draw inspiration from nukes, draw inspiration from the kind of battles humans has waged against each other from the dawn of time.

All in all, a neat watch. And I’ll have to agree with my friend on his assessment, though it’s not a bad score for the movie. Let’s see if episodes VIII and IX can deliver better.

Grimstonefire:

Saw it earlier.

I seem to be one of the few who really like the prequels (well, episodes 2 and 3 anyway), and not so much 4,5,6.

So a few things struck me as interesting here:

Firstly, from a plot point of view it seems the first order must have been working at least for 20 years to make that planet ship, meaning the republic have been really lazy at keeping an eye on things…

Secondly, I still don’t get why there is a rebel alliance again!?!? If the galaxy is at peace why are they there?  If they are an alliance against the first order are they not just representatives of the republic and not “rebels”?

Plot wise I think this is on a par with the later films for me.  Not a keen on Rylo, he was a pretty lame sith considering he learned jedi skills from Luke.  Compare him to Anakin at the same age and they are a world apart.

Also, the big build up to Mark Hamills return and he didn’t even say one word!?!?!? :mad

As a stand alone film it’s good, but they need a slightly stronger plot and more attention to force skills.  I want to see Luke being the ultimate Jedi and use the force to do incredible things.

So if I give them marks out of 10:

Episode  score

I   5
II  9
III 10
V 6
V  7
VI 7
VII 8

Dînadan:

Might be misremembering things, but the galaxy hasn’t been at peace for the full time since to OT. The Empire collapsed into numerous factions of which the First Order is just the most prominent. The Rebellion became the Republic. After the First Order became more aggressive and open in its actions, some of the Republic military formed the Resistence to fight them. Presumably there wasn’t a state of open warfare between the Republic and the First Order, so the Resistence isn’t officially affiliated with the Republic (even though their leadership is formed from prominent Rebellion leaders and their military gear is Republican). And even if not, they’re called the Resistence, not the Rebellion, so they could be an alliance of governments that are resisting the expansion of the First Order.

As for Kylo, don’t recall Anakin being able to stop weapons fire in midair. Do remind him being whiny though, so in that regard he does live up to Anakin in the PT :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

cornixt:

Well I really liked it, even if it was just a rehash of ep4 in almost every way. The acting was good, the characters developed, the action scenes weren’t gratuitous like in eps1-3. I expect a rehash of Empire for ep8 (the light and dark training as contrasts, hands chopped off at the end in a confrontation) but if it is anywhere near as good as ep7 then it will continue to poop all over eps1-3.

Willmark:

Star Wars Episode VII “A Newer Hope”.

Abecedar:

Well I really liked it, even if it was just a rehash of ep4 in almost every way. The acting was good, the characters developed, the action scenes weren't gratuitous like in eps1-3. I expect a rehash of Empire for ep8 (the light and dark training as contrasts, hands chopped off at the end in a confrontation) but if it is anywhere near as good as ep7 then it will continue to poop all over eps1-3.

cornixt
Now that I've seen it, I think these comments sum up what I feel exactly

Admiral:

One reason why this might be a good Star Wars movie, but not a good movie as such, may be seen in one of the main characters, Finn. Having a Stormtrooper deserter as a main character is a sound decision, but it is poorly handled. We can see the man disillusioned by the blood and brutality of the raid. Decent enough, it goes against his nature or he just don’t have the guts for it when push comes to shove.

Yet the effects of a life of Janissary-like brainwashing and indoctrination is nowhere to be seen. Unrealistically, there is no visible inner conflict and agony when the world view inculcated in Finn collides with what he makes of his new experiences. Unlike Nux in Fury Road, to mention a recent movie example. There is no strict, cruel or just odd behaviour left over from a life of Stormtrooper training (he hasn’t known anything else since childhood years). There is a conviction that helping a man escape is “the right thing to do”, but there is no visible inner clashes with such expected military virtues as duty, loyalty, obedience and sacrificing for the higher cause, which would fill up a space Janissary’s ways of thinking.

On the upside, Finn’s freak spike of power madness, when being in a position of control over his former captain, works.

The ex-Stormtrooper aspect should have been played up hard. As it is, Finn might pass for a disillusioned conscript with but a year or two of training behind him, but not as a soldier trained and brainwashed from his childhood years up, knowing of no other life than the service.

There are lessons for story tellers to be learnt from Episode VII, not least from its weak spots.

cornixt:

That is probably the biggest plot hole. It doesn’t really make sense how he just suddenly realised it was all wrong - it should take more than the death of a comrade. Hopefully there is a deeper explanation in a later movie that shows how a rebel deliberately screwed up his indoctrination, or he was genetically immune to it in some way. I thought he was meant to be a clone of Mace Windu or something, probably a false rumour.

The other plot hole is how Rey realised she could use the force to get the storm trooper to release her, then forgot about using it until half way through the battle with Kylo Ren.

Abecedar:

Hollywood very rarely achieves greatness when making a movie from an out-standing book.

So If I love a book, then I try really hard not to think too deeply about the movie. If I did that I would be so disappointed I would probably give up going to see movies

Zuh-Khinie:

As for Kylo, don't recall Anakin being able to stop weapons fire in midair.  Do remind him being whiny though, so in that regard he does live up to Anakin in the PT ;P

Dînadan
No, Darth Vader just soaked blaster bolts with his hand...
Having played the roleplay (d6), soaking it is much harder to do, since the set difficulty is the damage of the bolt instead of a standard set difficulty which incorporates mass and velocity. :)

Anyhow, I liked the movie, and it ranks at nr. 3 in my overall top 7 :p
No star wars movie even comes close to ESB (yet?)
But I somehow left the movie theatre a bit... Empty and disappointed? Though I can't place my finger on what exactly, I felt something was missing.

Maybe it's just the fact that FA and ANH are so similar, I don't know.

There were however a lot of winks and nudges towards the old films and EU I really appreciated.

But in all honesty, and even though I'm a Wars-man before a Trekkie, I feel JJ did a better job with the reboot of ST than SW.

Forgefire:

My own opinion of the thing was that it was so full of disney and so damn obvious. Just less of the disney feel would have been nice. And really a damn superweapon again? How original … That being said the visuals whas really nice and the next movies should probably be better.