Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:31 pm UTC

Angua wrote:Come on, recessive genes and point mutations are a massive thing, as are multiple loci required for a trait. Something can easily be genetic while popping up in random places. Being able to figure out which of the young children will happen to be spiritual? It certainly doesn't point to it being something that anyone would be able to do - young children are identified as being force sensitive at a young age, before they've had a chance to be taught.
And I dislike the idea of raw talent being due to genetics, or due to the concentration of some intracellular parasite that mostly runs along family lines.

It's the Ratatouille quote - 'Not everyone can be a great artist, but a great artist can come from anyone'. I felt the original Star Wars embodied that, sort of, making Lukes force training a product of his gumption not his parentage, and that it was all kind of thrown away with the prequels saying 'Just kidding, it was totes mitichlorians'. And incidentally, learning that Bending was genetic also was SUPER disappointing to me. I'm fine with the Earth Kingdom only having Earth Benders, but knowing that a Water Tribe orphan raised in Ba Sing-Se couldn't Earthbend rubs me the wrong way.

Angua wrote:And Bilbo's obsession with the ring was due to the ring's influence, not gold fever.
Eh, kind of one and the same - susceptibility to selfish inclinations right?

Angua wrote: Not sure where it is quoted that Hobbits don't practice magic...
If you want to look at each race as a commentary on various people or forces in WWII era Europe, I certainly agree that hobbits are supposed to be 'the everyman', a kind of disinterested and petty and immature and not-wordly peoples. But Frodo's narrative is (I feel) supposed to be one that impressed upon the reader the power of bravery and the imperative of responsibility and duty and friendship - NOT, the power of the anti-magical individual to be best suited for the job that destiny dictates you'll win anyway.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Lazar » Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:24 am UTC

George is so delightfully bitter. He previously said this about Disney's plans for the series:

The issue was ultimately, they looked at the stories and they said, "We want to make something for the fans." People don't actually realize it's actually a soap opera and it's all about family problems – it's not about spaceships. So they decided they didn't want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing, so I decided, "Fine, I'll go my way and I let them go their way."

Then, when asked how he liked the movie, he says this:

I think the fans are going to love it. It’s very much the kind of movie they’ve been looking for.

Damn fans! They ruined Star Wars.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Angua » Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:08 am UTC

We're going to have to agree to disagree on this one, because I certainly don't think you're ever going to convince me that Luke could have been replaced by any random kid on tattoine and they would still have been able to become a Jedi. Or that Hobbits are more resistant to the ring because they're Hobbits. I don't personally think it takes away from the story because these things still take a lot of character and force of will to over come, but the idea that you have to already have the innate talent inside you for it to come about doesn't bother me at all.

If you want a movie where anyone can become the chosen one, then go watch
Spoiler:
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Mambrino » Sun Dec 27, 2015 3:07 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Angua wrote:Come on, recessive genes and point mutations are a massive thing, as are multiple loci required for a trait. Something can easily be genetic while popping up in random places. Being able to figure out which of the young children will happen to be spiritual? It certainly doesn't point to it being something that anyone would be able to do - young children are identified as being force sensitive at a young age, before they've had a chance to be taught.
And I dislike the idea of raw talent being due to genetics, or due to the concentration of some intracellular parasite that mostly runs along family lines.

It's the Ratatouille quote - 'Not everyone can be a great artist, but a great artist can come from anyone'. I felt the original Star Wars embodied that, sort of, making Lukes force training a product of his gumption not his parentage, and that it was all kind of thrown away with the prequels saying 'Just kidding, it was totes mitichlorians'. And incidentally, learning that Bending was genetic also was SUPER disappointing to me. I'm fine with the Earth Kingdom only having Earth Benders, but knowing that a Water Tribe orphan raised in Ba Sing-Se couldn't Earthbend rubs me the wrong way.


I read the ANH-ESB-ROTJ novelizations as a kid, and if it's not in the movies until ROTJ, it's pretty explicit there (in the novelization) that Force sensitivity runs in the family. Luke's father was a magical space wizard knight, and it's Luke's destiny to be one, too, and save the galaxy. (Aunt Beru says how he is his father's son and not a farmer.) Luke is not any farmboy, he is a hidden noble with an honest, down-to-earth upbringing in the country but everyone can see he's really something better (Moses and Jesus and Tarzan and (some versions of) King Arthur and Aragorn and Carrot Ironfoundersson all over again).

It's one of the oldest tropes in the Western (and maybe elsewhere) storytelling, which probably has quite much to do with how the vast majority of political structures of Europe and Asia and Egypt and about everywhere were justified with the exact same idea for ages - a rightful heir to throne because of the blood and all that shit, aristocracy being aristocracy because they were born into it - and Star Wars is basically an imaginative rehash of the hero's journey and couple of other basic fantasy tropes in space.

Now you can disagree if that trope is a good thing and think it deserves to die (along many other classic fairytale tropes like princesses just being beautiful trophies waiting to be rescued by handsome male heroes, or the Uckly Duckling turning out to be the most beautiful bird of them all because of his parentage), but it always was there.

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:00 am UTC

That's a fair point. Maybe my issue was more with wanting it to be a certain way - and mitichlorians were the final nail in the coffin of ensuring that no matter how hard I studied with Yoda I'd never be a Jedi.

I suppose with the arc of the hero that there's still a sense of being able to put yourself in their shoes, which I didn't feel with mitichlorians, but I should just think of them as another badge of 'being chosen'.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Wildcard » Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:45 am UTC

The idea that certain people are more capable of learning certain skills than other people is fine with me.

The idea that it has to do with something in their blood, I'm not.

That way lies eugenics and ethnic cleansing.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:34 am UTC

I love big universes (or galaxies in some cases) with lots of moving parts and things always changing and new things being discovered. That is something I enjoy about Halo and comic books and what I loved about Star Wars and its expanded universe.

It is, to my mind, the biggest Sin of the prequels. Bigger than the treatment of General Grievous, bigger and stinkier and generally worse in every way even than Jar-Jar. The prequels made Star Wars feel small. The same characters in the same places fighting the same fights.

Going in, my biggest wish was that the new movie would make Star Wars a big galaxy again.

And mostly, it did.


Initial impressions:
Spoiler:
It didn't really ruin the movie for me, but all the witty dialog kinda fell flat on me. It didn't feel like Star Wars. I know I just finished talking about how I like big universes with lots of room for dour old men to be alongside witty banter, but whatever, these are my impressions, they don't necessarily have to be rational. It just seemed like there was too much of it and in some parts it went on too long.

That and the movie suddenly turning into A New Hope halfway through are about the only negative things that really stuck with me. Not so bad really. Maybe the could have built up the Han&Leia/Kylo Ren relationship a bit more, but on the other hand, this isn't Empire Strikes back and the film didn't really need that to be a Big Reveal in order to work, it would probably have just been lost in with the other call-backs anyway.

Also, minor peeve, but all the First Order officers seemed really young. The Imperial officers of the original Trilogy like Ozzel and Piet were all in their late thirties or older, whereas the First Order officers all looked to be in their late twenties.

I particularly liked how they added a lot of texture to the Han Solo mythos. Even without the Millennium Falcon, Han is a galaxy-class scoundrel and a swindler with friends and enemies in every port in the galaxy. I know it's a bit of a trope, but it fits well and is strongly executed here.
The Millennium Falcon itself makes a good accounting as well. I was afraid when Finn and Rey stole it that it would be some Phantom-Menace sized coincidence that Han and Chewie just happened to be on Jakku for some reason, shrinking the Galaxy. But instead having the 'Falcon stolen and re-stolen by a string of rogues, ending up in the one place Han and Chewie didn't look works well. It adds texture, grows the galaxy a bit and still fits with what we know about the Falcon having been won by Han off Lando who probably won or stole it from someone else. This legendarily fast ship just getting passed from rogue to scoundrel to gangster all across the galaxy. I like it. Now that I think about it, there's maybe only a handful of times int he Expanded Universe that the Falcon ever breaks down or shows its quirkiness, so having that aspect come out in spades was nice too. It would have been very easy to flanderize Han Solo, Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon, but they didn't. And they gave Han a dignified and meaningful exit. I would have thought I'd be more choked up about it, but it felt right for the character and the story. Now I'm interested to see if Chewbacca sticks around and what he does without Han.
Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata was delightful.

I also really liked the diversity of the human cast. The First Order isn't the empire, it has women and minority storm-troopers (and not just Captain Phasma either) pilots and officers. Same with the Resistance, I don't remember the Rebellion having any female pilots on-screen. It's 2015, almost 2016 and that kind of thing really shouldn't be unusual, but for some reason it still is.

In the end, I don't think it was perfect, but I liked it. Overall, maybe not Empire Strikes Back level good, but y'know, Return of the Jedi good at least. Definitely a strong entry intot he franchise and I don't think it's just because it compares so favorably to the Prequels. The Force Awakens stands up on its own.


On the origins/nature of the Force:

I recently watched a "de-Lucased" cut of the Prequels that, among other changes, omits any references to midichlorians. It served to highlight something about how people referenced the force in the Prequels that I hadn't noticed before.

For example, when Qui-gon is talking about the initial encounter with Maul, he says '[Darth Maul] is well trained in the Jedi arts' not that he's 'strong in the force' or whatever. Same later on with General Grievous. He says 'I Have been trained in your Jedi arts... by Count Dooku' and a few other similar instances scattered throughout. Makes the 'Force' seem more like a skill that anyone can learn with training and dedication, not some mystical power.

I tend not to like the whole 'Chosen One' with magical powers granted by destiny or genetics or whatever. Like Andrew Ryan says "no Kings or Gods, only Men".

The Force especially is supposed to be this mystical, all-pervasive 'Life Force' that binds the galaxy together. It seems really incongruous that there be some select few who through accident of birth are 'more worthy' than others of wielding the Force that penetrates and connects all life. I get that canonically the Force works that way, and there's a long tradition of such things in western culture (which is a whole other thing I could get into but won't right now) but I don't have to like it.

Luke may conform to the Chosen One archetype, but he works hard and suffers for his Jedi powers so it's ok. Anakin just happens to have been born with a blood parasite.

Edit:

Here is comicist and all-around smart guy Aaron "Dresden Codak" Diaz on the subject of The Force from two years ago: http://starwars1999.tumblr.com/post/615 ... ng-of-star
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Zohar » Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:55 pm UTC

I've seen you and some other people complain that only people who are "worthy" can use the force, and I don't get why that is. Force training doesn't mean you're good or evil or you're better than some or more worthy. Han and Leia are just as interesting and "worthy" as Luke. True, some Jedi become generals, but more often than not it's non-Force users. True, the training may make you become a better thinker, but anyone can learn to think better than they have before. Most of the time, Force users are just more versatile soldiers, and pretty much obsolete in big fights with many-against-many. In short, Sokka rules.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby ahammel » Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:38 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:For example, when Qui-gon is talking about the initial encounter with Maul, he says '[Darth Maul] is well trained in the Jedi arts' not that he's 'strong in the force' or whatever. Same later on with General Grievous. He says 'I Have been trained in your Jedi arts... by Count Dooku' and a few other similar instances scattered throughout. Makes the 'Force' seem more like a skill that anyone can learn with training and dedication, not some mystical power.
Maybe "the Jedi arts" in this context means lightsaber combat in particular, not the Force in general.

Prequels aside, I would have thought that lightsabers were a Jedi thing. Vader uses one when he fights Obi Wan and Luke, becuase he still thinks of himself as a Jedi knight to some extent, and lightsabers are what Jedi use when they fight. He doesn't bother with it against, for instance, Han. The Emperor tells Luke to "take up [his] Jedi weapon" in Return, and doesn't weild one himself. Probably the "Jedi arts" lines were intended to explain what all those non-Jedi were doing running around with laser swords. (Although lightsabers were so common in the prequels that they probably just should have established them as part of the Sith tradition.)

Kylo Ren uses a lightsaber because
Spoiler:
he's a huge Vader fanboy. And, looking back on it, he's not very good at it. I guess the curriculum at the Luke Skywalker accademy of Jedi-hood doesn't include a lot of lightsaber fencing. Why would it, really? Who would he be expecting them to duel with?
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:41 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I've seen you and some other people complain that only people who are "worthy" can use the force, and I don't get why that is. Force training doesn't mean you're good or evil or you're better than some or more worthy.


I think that's basically the point I and the others who have made similar arguments are trying to get across though. Force-aptitude doesn't make you good or evil or better, but in universe, force-training does grant people special respect and privileges that they haven't otherwise earned, and Force-aptitude connects people to an over-arching destiny that non-force-users can't really influence. Star Wars probably isn't the best example of the more general 'Chosen One/Royal Blood' I'm against, but it definitely places itself firmly in that tradition.

You are correct that Sokka rules though. Sokka definitely rules.

ahammel wrote:Maybe "the Jedi arts" in this context means lightsaber combat in particular, not the Force in general.


That's definitely true in the as-released prequel trilogy. I just thought it was interesting that without the context of midichlorians, that distinction becomes less clear. It gives the force a distinctly different flavor and feel than it has when you include midichlorians. Very much highlights how out of place that little bit of lore is in the larger setting.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:47 pm UTC

Wildcard wrote:The idea that certain people are more capable of learning certain skills than other people is fine with me.

The idea that it has to do with something in their blood, I'm not.

That way lies eugenics and ethnic cleansing.


Perhaps, but by cannon (which was... erm... eugenics and ethnic cleansing), Jango Fett was fast enough with his pistol that he could take out a Jedi (not a Jedi Master like Mace Windu, but he kills a few Jedi in the "Attack of the Clones" scene). Han Solo and Wedge (Red Two... and later Red Leader in Return of the Jedi) are also exceptionally skilled people (pilots specifically) without any force sensitivity at all.

Lucas was pretty good with making sure mundane people without any force sensitivity were able to become skilled enough to do great things.

----------

Speaking of Sokka rules...

Spoiler:
I really want Finn to be the new Sokka. Anyone can use a light saber (ie: Han Solo in Empire Strikes Back, when he opened up the beast's guts and hid inside with Luke). It'd be amazing if Finn were just a regular old guy who managed to go toe-to-toe with Kylo Ren, despite not having any force sensitivity. They did show that Stormtroopers have melee weapon training of some kind (the Finn vs Stormtrooper melee fight was particularly awesome IMO). So it would make sense for Finn to know how to handle melee weapons... not necessarily well but with some degree of training
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby speising » Tue Dec 29, 2015 6:11 pm UTC

I'd like to point out that no fairy tale ever written embraced the ideals of equality, democracy, and free will. Why should SW be any different when it's explicitly conceived as a fairy tale, in spaaaace?

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Zohar » Tue Dec 29, 2015 6:23 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:Force-aptitude doesn't make you good or evil or better, but in universe, force-training does grant people special respect and privileges that they haven't otherwise earned, and Force-aptitude connects people to an over-arching destiny that non-force-users can't really influence. Star Wars probably isn't the best example of the more general 'Chosen One/Royal Blood' I'm against, but it definitely places itself firmly in that tradition.

I don't disagree - Jedis are respected and revered. I disagree that it's inherently bad. It's hard for me to think of a real-world analogy, but take, for example, being tall - certainly not a thing you have much control over and is definitely somewhat determined by birth (of course nutrition intake affects this, but to a certain degree), much like Force potential. Tall people aren't revered, but they get treated differently in society. Some of them are even expected to do certain things - the amount of times I've been asked if I played basketball is staggering (and the surprise when I say I don't), and I'm not even that tall. It's not "destiny" but it's some sort of expectation. And unlike using the Force, it doesn't take skill to grow tall, but if I wanted to be a basketball player, on average, being tall helps.

And I definitely agree about "Chosen One" storylines - they're often boring and unimaginative. Even though some of my favorite media has used it (Buffy and Avatar), I feel they both used them in different and somewhat unusual ways.

speising wrote:I'd like to point out that no fairy tale ever written embraced the ideals of equality, democracy, and free will. Why should SW be any different when it's explicitly conceived as a fairy tale, in spaaaace?

Because it's a modern story, created in a modern culture with modern ideals, catering to an audience that specifically supports these ideals.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby JPatten » Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:47 pm UTC

Because it's a modern story, created in a modern culture with modern ideals, catering to an audience that specifically supports these ideals.


That may be, but even with our modern ideals, that story still resonates on a deep level emotionally with people. The idea of being chosen, being special, is one that connects to people.

A story where the greatest satisfaction and fulfilment is found in being absolutely equal sounds, at least to me, horrifying.

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Zohar » Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:30 pm UTC

That's not what we were talking about. At least not what I was talking about. What bothered me was the idea that Force-users are inherently better for being able to use the Force. And I don't think the films demonstrate that, either - there are plenty of non-Force users who are important and impact the story and direct their lives. They're loved, they have meaningful relationships, they're interesting, sometimes even to a greater extent than Jedis. I'm sure people would be a lot more upset about a scene where one of the cute droids is destroyed than when one of the main characters dies.

In some ways Star Wars talks a lot about what is a person, what it means to be good, who has the capacity to be good or evil, and this movie expands on that idea - it's not just humans or aliens, and it's not just droids. The faceless soldiers we were so used to seeing are made of flesh and blood, and they can choose, despite the difficult circumstances of their lives. It's more about the equal potential of people to choose their way of life than about the equality of people.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:44 pm UTC

Even in the prequel trilogy, there's a distinction between Force-sensitivity and suitability for Jedi training - an ability to sense the Force is necessary for Jedi training, but it's not everything, otherwise there never would have been any question about Anakin being trained. An analogy would be the way you're unlikely to get into Juilliard if you're tone-deaf, but plenty of people with excellent musical sense don't get in either...

What sets Jedi apart is not just their innate gifts, but also the dedication and training that has allowed them to master those gifts without turning to the Dark Side, or deciding to settle down and raise a family instead.

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby mosc » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:58 pm UTC

I think it's more like:
a) how force sensitive is this kid? Are we talking some sense of it (maz) or an inherent foresight (anakin)?
b) Is this the kind of kid we want to train? Are they conflicted with permanent attachments to their current life (young enough, parental attachment, etc)

So more like a two dimensional thing. This is based on the assumptions:
1) The force is not a yes/no ability but a spectrum of abilities
2) The Jedi are more concerned with emotional attachment interfering with the will of the force than some kind of inherent benefit to starting the training young
3) There are lots of force sensitive kids born, throughout the galaxy, all the time, who are NOT related to Jedi's
4) Force sensitivity does pass on through reproduction and the Jedi may seek to avoid breeding a race of Jedi and accordingly recruit young and teach celibacy.

Zohar wrote:In some ways Star Wars talks a lot about what is a person, what it means to be good, who has the capacity to be good or evil, and this movie expands on that idea - it's not just humans or aliens, and it's not just droids. The faceless soldiers we were so used to seeing are made of flesh and blood, and they can choose, despite the difficult circumstances of their lives. It's more about the equal potential of people to choose their way of life than about the equality of people.
That's why I prefer dark side = slavery light side = freedom vs evil/good parallels. Sith is much more about "the strong shall rule" and indeed using the force as a means to differentiate social hierarchy through capability. Jedi's are the protectors of freedom and preach non-interference and peaceful coexistence. They're more akin to an independent Judiciary branch of the republic than a clandestine military seeking galactic rule.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:43 pm UTC

Here's my general thoughts and impressions...

Spoiler:
I think it goes without saying that this was heavily derivative of the earlier series. I'm mostly okay with that. Like others, I would have liked to have seen the Starkiller thing handled a little differently--maybe it doesn't have a glaring flaw, or it isn't destroyed, or I dunno. Given that they've done that same story arc twice in the original series, plus kind of ones more in the prequels, I think that it's a little excessive. Other than that, I didn't mind the fanservice too much, although I was definitely aware of it.

Generally, I felt that the first half of the movie was much better than the second. Mostly due to the introduction of the Starkiller arc, I think.

I loved that you got a better sense of scale for things. Seeing just how big a star destroyer is compared to a person was awesome. Likewise the size of TIE fighters and other things. Visually, everything was really stunning, but for whatever reason that really stood out to me.

The First Order generally feels a lot more badass than the Empire ever did to me. They gave them a bunch of fairly mismatched battles to start with that were fairly devastating, so that from the point of view of the characters, they seemed really threatening. The Empire comes closest to this in Empire Strikes Back, I guess, but even then, I don't think the Imperial soldiers (Vader aside) ever felt as competent as the First Order does. In the first half of the movie.

Finn and Rey are both very good, and have good chemistry together. Really, no complaints there. Pretty much every scene where they were together worked really well.

Ren is an interesting villain. I think it was a good choice to make him really emotional, and occasionally go into violent rages. Also how he's constantly overestimating his abilities and aptitudes. He's a unique villain for the series.


Re: the fight at the end.
Spoiler:
The impression I got from that scene was that Ren was injured (from Chewie's crossbow), which was what gave Finn and Rey a chance at beating him in the duel.

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Adacore » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:34 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Re: the fight at the end.
Spoiler:
The impression I got from that scene was that Ren was injured (from Chewie's crossbow), which was what gave Finn and Rey a chance at beating him in the duel.

Spoiler:
This is also the impression I had. Ren has been trained in lightsaber combat, and Rey/Finn are complete amateurs. Even if they have more natural ability, there's no way they'd beat him in their first duel if he was healthy.

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby maybeagnostic » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:57 am UTC

Spoiler:
But how trained is he really? Other than possibly that one weird stormtrooper with the shock baton thingie, he wouldn't have had a sparring opponent at least since whatever happened at Luke's jedi academy and that was half his lifetime ago. Besides jedi just seem to know how to fight with lightsabers naturally for whatever reason. Other than learning to deflect blaster shots while blinded, the movies never show or mention a jedi training to fight. Even that is a baby padawan's first exercise in learning to trust the force more than combat practice.

Now, yes, the wound was definitely put there to explain why they could take him on now but he would still be a threat after Rey gets her training, I am just not so sure Ren is any kind of master at lightsaber duels at the moment.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby jaap » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:03 am UTC

There's something in this movie's final fight that I'm sure I have seen before in some other film, but I can't think which one, namely
Spoiler:
the way Kylo Ren thumps his wounded side, as if to keep his body working
Does anyone know where this was done before?

Edit: I think it could be from a samurai movie, possibly a Kurosawa one. If so, it may be building on how Lucas was inspired by Kurosawa in the original trilogy.

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Chen » Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:45 pm UTC

Adacore wrote:
Spoiler:
This is also the impression I had. Ren has been trained in lightsaber combat, and Rey/Finn are complete amateurs. Even if they have more natural ability, there's no way they'd beat him in their first duel if he was healthy.


Spoiler:
Note too that Ren was clearly toying with Finn to start. After Finn actually wounded him he took him out in very short order. Similarly Ren was clearly in the dominant position against Rey until he tried to convert her. Then there was clearly some "use the force" moment and Rey became all badass (you know like how Luke made a ridiculous torpedo shot in A New Hope by using the force).

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby pseudoidiot » Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:20 pm UTC

jaap wrote:There's something in this movie's final fight that I'm sure I have seen before in some other film, but I can't think which one, namely
Spoiler:
the way Kylo Ren thumps his wounded side, as if to keep his body working
Spoiler:
I didn't interpret the thumping "as if to keep his body working", but more to keep the pain and anger fresh.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby ahammel » Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:42 pm UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:
Spoiler:
But how trained is he really? Other than possibly that one weird stormtrooper with the shock baton thingie[...]

Spoiler:
Why would there be only one Stormtrooper with the shock baton thingy? It's probably part of their standard kit. Possibly Finn's handiness with the lightsaber owes something to melee weapons training as a Stormtrooper.

Maybe First Order has gotten wise and trained their troops not to fire blasters at lightsaber-wielders, which explains why the trooper chose not to use his blaster in that scene. Finn preaumably can't do the "reflect the blaster bolt back at the enemy" trick, but how would the trooper know that?
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby ConMan » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:32 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
maybeagnostic wrote:
Spoiler:
But how trained is he really? Other than possibly that one weird stormtrooper with the shock baton thingie[...]

Spoiler:
Why would there be only one Stormtrooper with the shock baton thingy? It's probably part of their standard kit. Possibly Finn's handiness with the lightsaber owes something to melee weapons training as a Stormtrooper.

Maybe First Order has gotten wise and trained their troops not to fire blasters at lightsaber-wielders, which explains why the trooper chose not to use his blaster in that scene. Finn preaumably can't do the "reflect the blaster bolt back at the enemy" trick, but how would the trooper know that?

Spoiler:
I haven't read it myself, but apparently somewhere in the new set of tie-in novels there's reference to the Stormtroopers getting training and/or equipment to protect against lightsabers, and Finn specifically wonders why that's necessary if all the Jedi are gone.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby maybeagnostic » Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:23 am UTC

Spoiler:
The whole scene with the stormtrooper with a shock baton just felt really out of place to me. Like, that melee weapon and shield were pretty bulky but there is exactly one stormtrooper in that whole assault that decided to bring them along instead of a blaster and Finn just happened to run into him? Everything about it screamed of the "hey, fans, see what we included?" fan service that happened throughout the movie but I had no idea what the thing was in this case.

Didn't Finn think jedi are a myth? Why are stormtroopers being taught ways to counter jedi lightsabers if they don't believe they ever existed? It's like teaching marines special techniques to take down the boogeyman and then one of the marines goes "You know what, on this mission I'll bring my security blanket instead of my assault rifle, just in case we run into any boogeymen".
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Chen » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:40 pm UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:
Spoiler:
The whole scene with the stormtrooper with a shock baton just felt really out of place to me. Like, that melee weapon and shield were pretty bulky but there is exactly one stormtrooper in that whole assault that decided to bring them along instead of a blaster and Finn just happened to run into him? Everything about it screamed of the "hey, fans, see what we included?" fan service that happened throughout the movie but I had no idea what the thing was in this case.

Didn't Finn think jedi are a myth? Why are stormtroopers being taught ways to counter jedi lightsabers if they don't believe they ever existed? It's like teaching marines special techniques to take down the boogeyman and then one of the marines goes "You know what, on this mission I'll bring my security blanket instead of my assault rifle, just in case we run into any boogeymen".


Spoiler:
Well the leader of the First Order is clearly Force Sensitive (probably Sith) and seems kinda paranoid on making sure Luke is found and killed. I could see him enforcing lightsaber defense training on his troops. Doesn't have to be rational.

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby ameretrifle » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:36 am UTC

Finally got around to seeing this (not a fan of crowds). Was apparently one of the only theaters showing it on IMAX film, too, which I'm vaguely guilty about because it was probably lost on me. I was worried I'd hate it, because I'd never seen anything done by JJ Abrams that I didn't hate with some degree of passion. But it was good! It was quite enjoyable! After you walk out you're all "eh, that was a little silly, or that could have been done better", but it's still a really enjoyable and watchable film.

Spoiler:
I liked that the characters liked each other. That idea seems to get lost in a lot of remakes these days. You could easily argue that they went a bit overboard on everyone liking and trusting each other, but eh.

Honestly, I thought Kylo Ren was a little weak, mainly because I just couldn't get any sense of his motivation. It's probably something they want to save for the sequels, but I'm too lawful dumb to just roll with "for the evulz". (Rewatched Return of the Jedi the day before, though, and it's better than the Emperor's "Yes! You are doing what I want you to! Let me remind you why you should not do what I want you to!" through the whole goddamn final fight. FFS.) There were a bunch of vague possibilities tossed around-- daddy issues? Granddaddy issues? Brainwashing?-- but it would've been nice to get a less vague sense of why he wants to do what he's doing. Or what exactly he wants to do. Other than be the very evilest, like no one ever was?*

More character interaction would've been nice, to kinda back up the camaraderie a bit. But I'm happy they didn't have Finn trying to keep his hasty secret the whole damn movie, or make that a whole tiresome Thing for ages. The Death Star mk 17 (now even deadlier!) was also kinda unnecessary. Save that nonsense for the sequels, it's already been done so many times. Where is the first order getting all these resources, anyway? Why isn't the Resistance an official force, given that you'd think the Rebellion would have had a heavy hand in setting up the Republic? Why would the Republic detente with the remains of the Empire? Just too many of them to start a fight with in their fragile state? Eh, you could go on for pages with all the details we didn't get. I imagine the novels have/will. I'm still impressed at how enjoyable it was. But like I said, I was worried I'd hate it outright, so...

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he says it's my destiny
(the dark side!) oh, hate is my friend
also excessive violence
(the dark side! imbalance the force!) evil is fun
dark cookies for everyone
you rebel, i'll torture you
the dark side!
gotta kill 'em all-- gotta kill 'em all!
the dark side!

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Weeks » Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:46 am UTC

ameretrifle wrote:
Spoiler:
*to kill Dad is my real test, to evil-things my cause
i will travel across the stars, searching far and wide
teach skywalker to understand, the jedi knights must die
(innocents! gotta kill 'em all!) Master and me
he says it's my destiny
(the dark side!) oh, hate is my friend
also excessive violence
(the dark side! imbalance the force!) evil is fun
dark cookies for everyone
you rebel, i'll torture you
the dark side!
gotta kill 'em all-- gotta kill 'em all!
the dark side!
10/10 would sing along again.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Wildcard » Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:48 am UTC

*Waves to AMT* :D

Spoiler:
I agree with you about people liking each other. And not keeping the hasty lie around for the whole show. In my opinion those are crutches that unconfident filmmakers lean on—maybe learned in film school—that keep a lot of bad movies bad. (By "those" I mean the plot points of: having a lot of unnecessary contention amongst the good guys to "add drama", and keeping a dumb obvious lie alive for a very long time to "add suspense." Glad JJ has better sense than that.)

And...HELLO THERE, good to see you! :D
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Mambrino » Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:48 pm UTC

Weeks wrote:
ameretrifle wrote:
Spoiler:
*to kill Dad is my real test, to evil-things my cause
i will travel across the stars, searching far and wide
teach skywalker to understand, the jedi knights must die
(innocents! gotta kill 'em all!) Master and me
he says it's my destiny
(the dark side!) oh, hate is my friend
also excessive violence
(the dark side! imbalance the force!) evil is fun
dark cookies for everyone
you rebel, i'll torture you
the dark side!
gotta kill 'em all-- gotta kill 'em all!
the dark side!
10/10 would sing along again.


...and by of course, the instrumental soundtrack needs to be darker and edgier!

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:18 pm UTC

Wildcard wrote:The idea that certain people are more capable of learning certain skills than other people is fine with me.

The idea that it has to do with something in their blood, I'm not.

That way lies eugenics and ethnic cleansing.


The idea that genetics might somehow have an influence on what a person ends up being proficient at? Yeah, that's totally crazy. Proper Hitler stuff right there.

Finally got around to seeing Force Awakens at the weekend. Really enjoyed it. Mostly, I suspect, because I never boarded the hype train, so there was little chance of disappointment. I wanted a Star Wars film, and I got Star Wars. No more, no less.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby SecondTalon » Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:48 pm UTC

jaap wrote:There's something in this movie's final fight that I'm sure I have seen before in some other film, but I can't think which one, namely
Spoiler:
the way Kylo Ren thumps his wounded side, as if to keep his body working
Does anyone know where this was done before?

Edit: I think it could be from a samurai movie, possibly a Kurosawa one. If so, it may be building on how Lucas was inspired by Kurosawa in the original trilogy.

Spoiler:
Other than Farscape and the Luxxan thing, beating a wound until the blood turns clear so it doesn't poison the Luxxan in question, I am unaware of bearing a wound for health reasons.

I too assumed it was to keep the pain sharp, not let it become a dull throb, but did't go so far as to assume dark-side emotional state but to keep his reactions up and not try to zone out/pass out.


At any rate, there's an article floating around about how the prequels were almost perfect, the idea hinging on a slight rework of the Jedi and Palpatine (and by extension, Anakin's motivations) that basically boils down to the Jedi = Conservative Cult and the Sith = Libertarianism, at least in their presentation to Anakin.

basicslly that's why they like to get them young, to indoctrinate them and Anakin, being older and knowing the outside world, would see a lot of what the Jedi were saying was bullshit, then here comes this smooth talker who says "Yeah, it's bullshit, you can totally do what you want and not be a terrible monster, they just jelly"

(I say that though that's not entirely what the article says based on all the stuff I've read with people being tempted by/going to the dark side, even with good intentions, always ending up seeking control and subjugation of others. Even under the guise of "They just don't know better and letting me control everything is in their best interests and whoops I'm a dictator.")
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:16 pm UTC

I'm having trouble with the idea that the trilogy is nigh perfect even in that light.

I mean, I appreciate folks trying to find better interpretations, but you still have a rather hamfisted love story, some rather tedious politics, and from the narrative framing, it's pretty clear that the Sith are intended as bad sorts, and the Jedi are *supposed* to be good...just...Lucas was clumsy at conveying that, and there's all sorts of baggage if you stop and think about it.

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby commodorejohn » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:39 pm UTC

Went out to see this with the family yesterday. Conclusion: that was definitely the most money I've ever seen thrown at bad fan-fiction. (I wonder how many Eragons worth of money went into this?) Over two hours of a greatest-hits reel from ANH and ROTJ played bigger, louder, and more hyperkinetic, but still much, much less effective. To elaborate (are we doing spoiler-tagging? What the hell, I'll play it safe):
Spoiler:
  • The story seriously reads like something off of fanfiction.net, and the screenplay makes a hash out of it on top of that by never sitting down and focusing on any damn thing until about the 90-minute mark. The movie shows us a hell of a lot more stuff happening on Jakku than ANH did on Tatooine, but for all that I have vastly less of a feel for the place because every ninety seconds we're cutting away to one of two or three other plot threads, all of which are patently scrambling to fit in an assload of setup for...for...hell if I know.
  • It's also rushing to hit story beats that wiser men would save for the sequels (nice work cramming in the Quest to Find Luke Skywalker in the last ninety seconds of the movie there, guys.) There's loads of embarassingly obvious exposition and dialogue that even George Lucas would probably cringe at. ("HAN, BE SURE TO TRY TO REDEEM OUR SON, THE BAD GUY KYLO REN." "YES LEIA, KYLO REN IS CERTAINLY OUR SON. AND HE IS DEFINITELY A BAD GUY." "BUT ALSO OUR SON, WHOM WE CONCEIVED, BY HAVING SEX, TOGETHER." "YES, THAT IS HOW THAT WORKS. PERHAPS WE SHOULD DIAGRAM THIS RELATIONSHIP JUST TO BE CLEAR.") ("GEE, MAZ KANATA, I SURE AM AMBIVALENT ABOUT STUFF!" "THAT'S BECAUSE YOU ARE LONELY, REY, BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO FAMILY, BECAUSE YOUR FAMILY WHO YOU ARE WAITING FOR NEVER CAME BACK FOR YOU, BECAUSE THEY ARE PROBABLY DEAD." "GOSH YES THAT'S ABOUT IT!" "ALSO YOU FEEL LIKE HAN SOLO IS THE FATHER YOU NEVER HAD." "YES, I CERTAINLY DO!" "HE PROBABLY IS. BUT I WOULDN'T GET TOO ATTACHED TO HIM.")
  • Have I mentioned how thuddingly obvious and explicit this movie is about spelling out every goddamn thing? From laying out the entirety of what Kylo Ren's deal is several times over to Rey's conveniently complete-backstory-encapsulating flashback to basically laying every card on the table for just about every major character arc they have planned? We're only one movie in and I feel like I've basically already seen the sequels. I never thought I'd see the day where we could hold up freaking George Lucas as a model of restraint and subtlety, yet here we are. Wow.
  • Also, structurally speaking, this movie is like three or four first acts all abutting and/or overlapping each other until they finally decide that the movie needs to have a climactic finale about now. Everything up to the last half-hour can be summed up as: 1. Our Heroes go somewhere for some reason, 2. Kylo Ren shows up and blasts the shit out of it, and 3. Our Heroes run away to somewhere else, lather, rinse, repeat. As my mother said, "it's basically one long escape sequence." And not in the good, Terminator-esque sense.
  • Seriously, this movie only furthers my suspicion that J.J. Abrams literally does not understand anything about cinematic storytelling other than individual tricks he's copied from better directors.
  • The villains suck, unilaterally. Ren as obsessive-Vader-fanboy is the kind of thing that probably seems clever on paper, but mostly just plays as pathetic and lame, and his performance is bland and unengaging throughout the movie. The only actually good bits he gets are his hissy-fits, which are at least funny to watch, but that probably wasn't what they were going for, and his absolute befuddlement that anybody else could be Force-sensitive and able to resist him, which again is an interesting moment but seriously undercuts him as a threat. His scene with Han almost kinda works, but is kneecapped by the fact that every single viewer down to the slime-mold on the theater floor saw what was coming a full half-hour before, when the movie started reminding us who his parents were every five minutes. Hux is just as pathetic as Ren and doesn't even have the rare good bits Ren does; he can't pull off the sneering-Imperial-mucky-muck act half as well as the character's he's modeled on, and his big speech at the start of the third act is beyond lame. Snoke is Space Jockey Voldemort playing Palpatine minus the mystery, minus the menace, and minus the delicious, delicious ham. Phasma does not at this stage appear to have anything going on other than "HEY HEY HEY THERE'S ACTUALLY A GIRL IN THAT STORMTROOPER OUTFIT!" Maybe they're saving that for the sequels (assuming that they somehow contrive a way for her to not have died in the big kaboom at the end,) but as it stands she comes off as a complete nonentity.
  • The action vacillates hard between being actually pretty decent (it makes me happy to see lightsaber fights that actually look like fights again, and not Wuxia dance recitals, and some of the ground battles are pretty good) to astonishingly crap. Every spaceship sequence after the first couple - Poe and Finn in the TIE fighter and Finn and Rey in the Falcon, specifically - is utter shit; for all that the movie tries to set up a redux of the Death Star assault at the end of ANH, it replaces the narrow, claustrophobic, fast-paced, tightly-edited trench run at a small, easy-to-miss target with an incoherently-edited sequence of dozens of ships just milling around in open sky shooting ineffectually at the end-boss's giant fuck-me light for fifteen minutes and absolutely kills any tension as a result.
  • It's also deeply ironic that, for all the obvious effort that went into nailing the look of the OT (shooting on film, using practical effects, mimicking Ralph McQuarrie's designs,) they went apeshit with the modern-action-blockbuster hyperkinetic-camera style and undercut all that work. Half the time it feels less like a Star Wars movie and more like some kind of Star Wars motion ride with a surprisingly large budget.
  • And it's incredible to see how much this movie wants to crank everything up to 11 but fails to actually make any of it connect. ANH blew up a planet? Fuck, we'll blow up like five! And show everybody on the planet moments before they die! And play funereal string music over it! ARE WE HAVING FEELS YET!? No, J.J., no, we really kinda aren't. Well, how about that Death Star the size of a moon? What if it was a whole planet? Wouldn't that be SCARIER!? ...not really, no... It's amazing to see so much money spent to so little effect.

Now, in fairness, not everything was awful:
  • The new cast. John Boyega was great, and whatever else I have to say about how shit the screenplay was, they gave him enough material to work with to create quite a likeable character. (Even if it is odd that someone who's supposedly been programmed from birth to be a faceless mook on a murder squad would come across as such a completely normal person the minute he's removed from that environment.) Daisy Ridley was also good, although she doesn't get quite as much development and it looks like she's going to bear the brunt of the awful writing unless they get that sorted out in the next movie. Oscar Isaac playing Young Sylvester Stallone playing Young Wedge Antilles also seems likeable, although he's gone for 80% of the running time so it's harder to get a feel for him. The duos of Poe-Finn and Finn-Rey both have good chemistry, and a better director could really make something of that.
  • It's also incredibly heartening to see Harrison Ford giving a shit again. As many problems as the script has and as much as the movie overall never really sells itself as the same Star Wars the world knows and loves, as far as Han Solo is concerned, my God, it's like he never left.
  • It's also goddamn wonderful to hear John Williams back in full form again. The non-OT themes are not quite as insanely memorable, but they're still light-years better than 99% of what passes for music in most modern action blockbusters.
  • And I'd be lying if I said that there wasn't a part of me that got a big goddamn grin seeing the Millennium Falcon take off again.
In general, though...yeesh. I expect this thing to be underwhelming, soulless corporate pablum, but I honestly didn't expect it to be this outright bad. Maybe Rian Johnson can pick up the many, many disjointed pieces and salvage something out of them; it's definitely encouraging to not see J.J. listed as a writer on the IMDB page. But they've certainly got quite a mess to wade their way out of.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Chen » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:51 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:(I wonder how many Eragons worth of money went into this?)


In terms of production budget. 2, not taking inflation into account. So probably 1.7-1.8 if you took that into account. Advertising probably increases that number but then again the return on all that advertising (in terms of other merchandising) was probably significantly higher too.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Dauric » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:02 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Over two hours of a greatest-hits reel from ANH and ROTJ played bigger, louder, and more hyperkinetic, but still much, much less effective.


Yeah, definitely this. Every time I could identify a scene from one of the original movies my headspace was instantly kicked out of the narrative with an "Ohh, that was <scene> in <movie>".

Spoiler:
  • The action vacillates hard between being actually pretty decent (it makes me happy to see lightsaber fights that actually look like fights again, and not Wuxia dance recitals, and some of the ground battles are pretty good) to astonishingly crap. Every spaceship sequence after the first couple - Poe and Finn in the TIE fighter and Finn and Rey in the Falcon, specifically - is utter shit; for all that the movie tries to set up a redux of the Death Star assault at the end of ANH, it replaces the narrow, claustrophobic, fast-paced, tightly-edited trench run at a small, easy-to-miss target with an incoherently-edited sequence of dozens of ships just milling around in open sky shooting ineffectually at the end-boss's giant fuck-me light for fifteen minutes and absolutely kills any tension as a result.
    <snip>
  • And it's incredible to see how much this movie wants to crank everything up to 11 but fails to actually make any of it connect. ANH blew up a planet? Fuck, we'll blow up like five! And show everybody on the planet moments before they die! And play funereal string music over it! ARE WE HAVING FEELS YET!? No, J.J., no, we really kinda aren't. Well, how about that Death Star the size of a moon? What if it was a whole planet? Wouldn't that be SCARIER!? ...not really, no... It's amazing to see so much money spent to so little effect.


Spoiler:
The space battles also underwhelmed me, especially given the backdrop of the giant spherical space-cannon was bigger, it felt like the Resistance went in to battle with a smaller and less varied fighter contingent then the Rebellion attacked the original Death Star with. While I can see the argument that it was -supposed- to make the big death-star V.3.0 more big and threatening in comparison, I couldn't suppress the feeling that the fighters the Resistance sent were little more than a token force, like the Big planet-killer was't really all that big a deal.

ANH there were at least two different fighter classes, the y-wing fighter-bombers and the x-wing interceptors. The loss of the Y-Wing squadron drove home how badass Vader and his escort were, which gave Han's last minute cavalry entrance more emotional punch.

Meanwhile in TFA the bigger target is destroyed by a smaller and less tactically varied force... the phrase "paper tiger" comes to mind, and ultimately it makes the new bad-guys look like bigger idiots than the Empire. "The Death Star was a failure, twice!. We'll make one that's bigger (and subsequently -more- vulnerable to single-seat fighters, cause it's not enough to double-down on the same failed tactics, we have to double-down on the same identifiable tactical failures), that will work where the Empire failed!"
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:20 am UTC

A note about the Death Star from Episode IV.

Han Solo and the Millenium Falcon are forced to land on the Death Star almost immediately after they leave hyperspace... I don't think its even the half-way point of the movie. You've got C3PO and R2D2 hiding out in a control room, you've got Han / Luke rescuing Leia from the prisoner bay. You've got Obi-Wan finding the Tractor Beam. You've got the trash-compactor scene. You have Han running off, chasing Stormtroopers in one direction, and Leia / Luke getting completely lost (using a grappling hook to move about a multi-story elevator shaft, while flanked on multiple-sides by stormtroopers). You've got all this action that truly feels like the Death Star is this MASSIVE compound, vertically AND horizontally, and a huge amount of time really did go into the movie exploring the size and scope of the Death Star.

True, the audience is directly told that the Death Star is "massive" (Obiwan: That's no moon) but more importantly, the pacing of the movie fully demonstrates the size-and-scope of the base.

How does this relate to Episode 7? Well...

Spoiler:
Episode 7 really just... didn't do the scope thing well. JJ Abrams was always bad at this however, and I went into the movie expecting the worst. Five planets are blown up without much fanfare at all (One was something about the new Senate or something... no damn idea about the other four). As far as we the audience is concerned, the base was a room where Han Solo talks to Kylo Ren, which happened to be the same target for the X-Wings to blow up. And an off-screen trash compactor where Capt. Pharasma hypothetically thrown into. That's... just about it.

Anyway, where I'm going with this is that JJ Abrams was never good at exposition or hitting the feels correctly. (Star Trek into Darkness, when the USS Enterprise crashed into Star Fleet central, you'd think that would have caused a bigger deal). So I just was... expecting crappy exposition from him. No real defense for Episode 7, but that's how I looked at it.
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commodorejohn
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby commodorejohn » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:46 am UTC

Oh yes, it wasn't unexpected (as you said, basically every problem here is something J.J. was already known for,) I was just taken aback by the scale of badness on display here. You'd think with four billion dollars and change invested in this, Disney would've exercised more oversight and been more demanding of professional workmanship. Instead, it looks like they pretty much just let him follow his worst instincts and didn't bother to check in on things at any point.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby maybeagnostic » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:47 am UTC

I don't know what kind of oversight you expected from Disney but they got exactly what they wanted out of the movie. Most of your criticisms are actually some of its strongest parts and just the reality of making a movie for the global market. Sure, to you it was obvious who Kylo Ren is and what his motivations were but most of the people who saw this movie don't know who Vader, Leia and Han are or how they are connected. What you call "embarrassingly obvious exposition" is just the minimum amount of information that needs to be conveyed to someone who's watching a Star Wars film for the first time so that the story makes sense to them. A New Hope has just as much blatant exposition except looking back at it, it makes no sense for characters to even say some of those things and it just shows Lucas had no idea where the story was going at the time of filming those scenes. The Force Awakens at least seems to know where all of its setup is actually going even if there is too much of it.

The movie really knows it is the first movie in a guaranteed incredibly popular trilogy and makes full use of that. But in the end, even if it is the improved and modernized Star Wars 2.0 and strictly better than the original in every way, it will never be as impressive to people who are familiar with the 1.0 version it was built on. It also occupies this weird space between a sequel, a remake and "inspired by" but the studio or JJ or many many people did a fine job of walking the fine line of making it appealing to old fans, distracted moviegoers and totally unfamiliar audiences who don't even speak English. It does make me appreciate TFA more as a product than a movie though.
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