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The I've Seen The Force Awakens Thread (spoilers OBV)


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I guess LDR is the lone hater of this movie. I don't understand, but I also welcome it. Like Driver I've talked so much shit about the prequels that I guess I deserve to be on the other side.

 

The problem, though, is that I don't think LDR truly hates this movie. He's just wearing a troll hat and crazy pants.

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It's true. All of it.

I think he's named about famed podracer Ben Quadinaros.

One thing I also find funny is that with the prequels and midichlorians and all that stuff people complained that The Force lost it's mystery and mysticism. Well now we have Rey getting her powers "to

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I think they got more than they miss and ditching Lucas was the best thing to do.

 

Disagree completely. As a matter of fact, almost everything I found wrong with this movie can be traced directly back to an allergy towards Lucas. Including the two biggest flaws.

 

1. A complete lack of imagination.

 

There's almost nothing new in this entire movie. All they did was rename Tatooine to Jakku, the Death Star to Starkiller Base, and Yavin to what I assume is something else. Their most successful new creature was a retread of R2-D2. The only interesting environment was the derelict battlefield. The story itself didn’t even bother to hide how closely things were mirrored to A New Hope.

 

Now The Phantom Menace had elements of A New Hope in it as well. But it came at it from a completely different angle and a new storyline. Working with Lucas, they may well have figured out a way to rhyme instead of echo. Working with Lucas, they could have actually added to the ecosystem of the universe with new landscapes and interesting characters.

 

Does that mean that they should have listened to Lucas on everything? No. There's no need to do that. If he ponders that it would be cool to have a 50s diner or something, it could be shot down as not what they're going for.

 

This is Star Wars we're talking about here. An opportunity to unleash creativity. A place where creatures, characters, and worlds cross over into the mainstream consciousness. But almost no effort was put into expanding our horizons and finding new joys hidden in the landscape. If not Lucas, than someone in there needed to spearhead the idea factory. Instead, they married themselves to a vision that's 40 years old. More interested in making us remember Admiral Ackbar and Nien Numb than pushing forward to the next set of memorable characters.

 

If they weren't running so hard away from Lucas and the Prequels, they likely would have noticed these problems. Instead they mistook their bug for a feature.

 

2. The climactic battle was a mess.

 

Say what you will about Lucas, but the man knows how to get his movies to the point where everything comes together for the climax. Return of the Jedi can pretty much rest its goodwill on how well the three elements of that battle blended into probably the most extended climax ever that managed not to wear out its welcome. The previous weakest, Attack of the Clones, at least had a solid progression to it that was easy to follow. Biggest problem there was that the stakes of the larger battle weren't clear.

 

The Force Awaken's climax was sloppy from start to finish. Which is really strange since it should mirror the tension of A New Hope. Which was not only the best climax of the series, it has a strong case for being the best action climax in movie history.

 

But the repeat falls flat its face from poor execution. From the very beginning, they undermine the tension by Han confidently asking where the weak point is. And Wedge isn’t standing around declaring this suicide mission impossible. Han isn’t running away and offering to take Luke with him. Everyone’s in on this. There’s little sense that this is a nearly hopeless cause buoyed by Luke’s unending youthful optimism.

 

Princess Leia looks to be staring at what looks like the same screens she did 40 years ago while the same guy counts down the time that oddly takes forever. But it’s all rather superfluous. The X-Wing attack she's watching feels completely pointless up until when they take the final shot.

 

Heck, they redid the trick where they turned one lever to shut down something important on the Death Star and then went out looking to break the female lead out of imprisonment. Both these tasks are near impossible, but get resolved in moments. Captain Phasma is kidnapped. Problem solved. Rey’s right out the window. Problem solved. In A New Hope, the rescue of the princess is a centerpiece sequence. In The Force Awakens, finding Rey is treated as a joke.

 

Even Ben’s trip down to turn off the tractor beam, while relatively uneventful, was given weight by his good-bye to Luke and the realization that he wasn’t planning to come back. Compare this with Finn treating the turning off of the shields as an annoying side-quest.

 

If you’re going to copy, you really need to do it well. The Force Awakens simply doesn’t. It’s a poor imitation.

 

And comparing unfavorably to A New Hope isn’t the only problem. There are numerous pacing issues as well. There’s no urgency whatsoever to anything they do because they have no issue stopping the countdown in order to focus on something like killing Han. The scene was one of the best of the film in a vacuum, but it rather brought the action, such as it was, to a halt for a few minutes.

 

Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace both managed to juggle multiple threads within a single battle without stalling. Yeah, it’s difficult, but it can be done. A large portion of the dialogue heavy RotJ throne room scene takes place intercut with the space battle and the Ewoks on Endor without the film losing an ounce of momentum.

 

And then we have the lightsaber duel, which shouldn’t even be a close match at this point no matter how badly that bowcaster shot stung. It was probably the least interesting lightsaber duel since Alec Guiness. It neutered the villain immediately following his greatest act of evil. It’s motivation is strange (Kylo Ren screaming at Finn). The only good thing that can be said about it is that it finally allowed Rey to literally embrace her destiny by taking hold of Anakin/Luke’s lightsaber.

 

Rey really should have lost this round. Or at most managed to pull off a stalemate before the earth separated them. I say this not just for the sake of Kylo Ren’s credibility, but also for her development. She’s really not earning her strength. It’s just coming to her. I suppose she lost Han, but I’d put her 5th in line of characters most affected by Han’s demise (behind Leia, Chewie, Kylo Ren, and even Finn)

 

I believe Lucas could have helped in these areas. He’s got an instinct for putting together the final battle that nobody on the current crew has ever demonstrated. And because of that, a film that really did start off well, stumbled in the third act.

 

A third issue where the filmmakers appeared to run away from Lucas and the Prequels and ended up hurting their film was the lack of sufficient exposition. The complaint that they spent too much time in the Prequels talking about politics and taxes got taken to the opposite extreme here. I, and several people who watched the movie around me, were confused as to what the status of the war is in this movie or even what all the sides represent. Is the First Order dominant, or is it the Republic? Is the First Order even a government? What is the relationship between the Republic and the Resistance?

 

I’m not even sure which planets got destroyed or why I should care. Again, going back to the scene this movie is imitating, all we had of Alderaan was a painting of the planet. But they managed to get us to care because Leia was caught between Tarkin and Vader pleading for her home planet and afterwards we cut to Alec Guinness visibly shaken for the first and only time in the movie when he feels the disturbance in the Force and tells Luke that something terrible has happened.

 

Closest we got here was a brief shot of the laser incoming to one of the planets and scientifically ignorant shots of people in other star systems watching the explosions in real time.

 

 

 

After killing the Tuskens he said he liked fixing thinhgs, hated sand and he threw a cup.

 

As I said, Kylo Ren’s tantrums were more over the top than anything Anakin ever did. Throwing that cup was the biggest act of childishness pique in all the Prequels. As it goes, fairly minor in comparison to Kylo Ren getting bad news and tearing up a room.

 

But even that was Anakin seeking to blame others for his mistake. A mistake he knew he’d made. A mistake he crawled into his childhood comfort zone in order to seek escape (yes, fixing things).

 

Anakin’s emotions were in turmoil in that scene. Loss of Shmi, regret over what he’d done, lingering hatred at those who murdered his mother, trying to blame others for his own shortcomings. In his mind, if Obi-Wan had not stifled him, he could have been powerful enough to save his mother.

 

This all ties directly to Anakin’s fall. It fits very much within the character presented.

 

Oh, and the sand line happened much earlier in the movie.

 

 

 

After killing Dooku he literally mumbled. "I shouldn't have done that."

 

Indeed. The threads of his morality were weakening by this point. The voice telling him to back away from the ledge not coming in as strongly. This is the progression of his fall to the Dark Side you spoke of. He can recite that what he did was wrong, but, in this case, he’s no longer feeling it as he once did. He’s now able to murder the guilty in cold blood.

 

His final step will be murdering the innocent to gain what he wants.

 

 

 

If you really don't see the difference between Hayden Christenson mumble-scowling his way through terrible dialog and Adam Driver delivering actual nuance and emotion while behind a mask, I don't think we can actually debate the point.

 

Perhaps. Though I’ve really no idea what mumbling you’re talking about. But I don’t see what was so super awesome about the Kylo Ren performance. His conflict about the Dark Side is touched on at first through a monologue. Now I’ve no issue with the monologue and find the idea that a Dark Side user would be tempted by the Light interesting, but Kylo Ren’s conflict was most definitely the screenwriter telling, not showing when it was first introduced.

 

And we’re taking it faith that we’re right and that Kylo Ren is going to turn out to be a poser. That’s a deeper interpretation than the plain meaning of the text. It could well be that they really just dropped the ball. I’ll wait patiently for how it turns out, but, as I pointed out above, these guys are far from perfect and I believe you’re giving them as much benefit of the doubt as you are taking away that benefit from the Prequels.

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I would love to see Lucas's outlines after the entire thing is said and done. They may have borrowed from it a little bit, an idea here or there. Lucas may be a crap director, but he's an idea man. I would think something like an outline would be right up his alley and it might not be all that bad.

 

Or maybe just a bitch to execute without tons of CGI.

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Lucas is a good idea man-- or at least he was. But he can't divest and remove himself from the ideas and let people who can write/produce/direct better run with his ideas. The best Star Wars movie is the one where he didn't direct or touch the script beyond the treatment phase.

 

And for all his talk about needing to wait for CGI to be good enough-- there's very little in the PT that benefitted from advanced CG. The space battles are actually the only thing they helped. Everything else would have been better practical, or wasn't needed at all.

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But he can't divest and remove himself from the ideas and let people who can write/produce/direct better run with his ideas.

 

Well, he doesn't really have a choice anymore. As they proved, Lucas could be involved as much or as little as they wanted him to be. If they'd only wanted him in to bounce ideas around, that's what would have been his role. And he obviously had no interest in continuing to spearhead the project himself. Otherwise, he would have just made his movies or hired someone else to do his bidding. So their exclusion of him wasn't because he couldn't handle not being in charge. It was because they made a conscious choice that he had nothing to offer and closed the door in his face.

 

Frankly, the whole promotion of gaining goodwill via crapping on Lucas has been disrespectful. There were ways of saying that the tone would be more in line with the Original Trilogy without disavowing Lucas and the Prequels. It also hurt the movie.

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Poe Dameron has some very valid points. I agree with everything he says. This film was beyond a dissapointment. The Prequels didn't make me feel as bad as this film has made me feel. What is even more depressing is that people are loving this film. No imagination, nothing new, way too many conveniences and a massive disservice to the characters, especially Luke.

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Taste is a matter of taste. You don't go up to someone enjoying a chicken sandwich and say "HOW CAN YOU ENJOY THIS?! IT'S DEPRESSING HOW MUCH YOU LIKE THAT! The cook put egg on it, that's a terrible way to make it!"

 

"But I like it-!"

 

"NO! YOU'RE STUPID FOR LIKING THAT!"

 

Nobody does that. And yet they do it for another field of taste, entertainment. Which is why, bad as the PT is, I'll never mock someone for liking them as Driver does. Which also applies to people who hate this new installment ... even though I think it's magnificent.

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Poe Dameron has some very valid points. I agree with everything he says. This film was beyond a dissapointment.

 

For the record, I don't hate The Force Awakens. I'm just not in love with it. I'm not even all that disappointed. There's even some relief since Abrams took much better care of Star Wars than he did Star Trek, a franchise he fundamentally misunderstood.

 

I just didn't get a sense of joy like I felt with the other movies. In a lot of ways, it's Star Wars converging with the rest of risk averse Hollywood. Some of the humor follows the Avengers model. The direction and editing will drift into more modern techniques. It's a problem I'm going to need to deal with going forward in this franchise. And a problem the franchise itself will be forced to deal with as it becomes the same as everything else being produced.

 

Still, I'm not going to stand here and say that it's a bad movie, or that I didn't enjoy it. There were some aspects that worked very well. Particularly in the first 45 minutes. I just think they couldn't keep up the high level for the entire movie. And the more directly they tried to mimic A New Hope, the more glaring the gulf became between the execution of both movies.

 

 

way too many conveniences

 

Heh, yeah. Anakin building C-3PO might still be the high water in coincidences, but this movie had BB-8 running into Force sensitive Rey, Finn running into BB-8 and Rey, the Millennium Falcon just so happening to be sitting there with the keys in the ignition, Han taking Rey to meet Maz who has Luke/Anakin's lightsaber, finding Rey by looking out the window, etc.

 

The Force was working overtime in bringing all this together.

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What a terrible analogy, comparing tastes in food to tastes in film / art / literature, totally different... and then somehow arriving to the conclusion that by saying it's depressing to know everyone else is loving it that it becomes an insult. Have you not thought to consider it's depressing because I wanted to love the film just as much as you and everyone else did ? That show's a severe lack of intelligence on your part.

 

It's depressing that people like this film because this means that the rest to come will be more of the same, and by saying more of same I mean more re-hashed ideas. The next one will be like Empire, and the one after that will be like Jedi. Disney knows how to market these films, they give us what we've already seen in a new package, because they know what we already love, and this will always be the dominant factor in further productions, and is the reason we won't get to see anything new anymore, with fresh and original ideas.

 

The film was just drivel. It was like any other mindless blockbuster, it's as badly thought out and written as films like Independance Day and a Jurrasic Park Sequel. Then again, Abrams wrote Armageddon, and it show's in this films script.

 

Poetry and rhyming are a poor excuse for not being able to come up with new ideas. Star Wars used to be a lot more creative than this.

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I think while Episode 7 might be a rehash of A New Hope, it's just to re-introduce us to the Universe and the characters. I get the feeling that since Rian Johnson is behind Episode 8 that it won't end up being a carbon copy of Empire Strikes Back, and will stand on its own merits. (Episode 9 I'm already dreading)

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Look, TFA did mimic ANH in a lot of ways. But it was a set up, just like ANH was a set up. And it was a fun setup so i can overlook what felt like a re-tread in some places. Now where it goes in VIII will determine whether it succeeds or fails, IMO. And I think, ultimately, it will succeed.

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ROTJ was basically a retelling of ANH, only with more bad guys and some teddy bears.

Outside of another Death Star, I'm not following you.

 

Starts on the same planet.

The entire premise is to blow up another Death Star.

Main character loses a father figure.

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What a terrible analogy, comparing tastes in food to tastes in film / art / literature, totally different...

No its exactly the same thing. Personal preference and personal taste in both cases.

 

But you're not alone in being confused about this which is why people get into bitter arguments every single day about taste in movies, tv, music, etc but you never see that happen over food preferences. That's always deeply puzzled me.

 

I take your point about the depressed thing though. I totally get what you're saying now and it makes sense.

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I found it to be fun-- but honestly, the faults people point out are for the most part valid. It was just so much more heart than the PT that I'm good with it.

Every movie ever made had faults, whether we like a movie or not is based on if we feel the good outweighs the faults. I feel bad for people who couldn't just sit back and enjoy this movie, because it is so wonderful.

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