Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

My immediate take on the movie as a prequel apologist was that it's clearly more fun than the prequels, but also less ambitious. What that's going to mean for my enjoyment of it in the long run remains to be seen, but I'm feeling really positive towards it so far.

Random thoughts incoming:

Acting is great. Old and new characters are great. Actually, the characters were so enjoyable that I just wish JJ would allow himself to slow down a little so they could actually talk to each other for a few minutes once in a while without another action sequence interrupting them. Felt like Harrison was really engaged in the movie. I've been saying since it was announced that he'd be in it that he'd finally get his wish and die, so that wasn't much of a surprise. Sad that we'll never see Han and Luke together ever again, but it makes sense. I like that his death reinforces the rhyme of a mentor figure dying in the first installment of the trilogy.

Rey is AMAZING and ABSOLUTELY MY FAVORITE!! While I was watching it, I really wanted her to be another child of Han and Leia. I still think there's a way to make that work, but it's probably more likely that she's Luke's daughter. I don't think it would work for her to be the daughter of random people we don't know yet after they clearly established that there's something mysterious about her origin and her family. That just feels like it would be shoddy storytelling. I did hear that Ewan McGregor voices Obi-Wan at the end of her vision-thingy, so I suppose it's possible there's some connection to him, but I'd definitely prefer her to be part of the Skywalker family in some way.

Snoke is stupid. He looks dumb and has a dumb name. And I don't like that holograms apparently no longer looks like holograms. Snoke is stupid.

Before watching it, I thought I would be really bothered by how all the planets looked like remakes of old ones, but it ended up working better than I thought it would. As long as I think of Jakku as a junkyard/scavenger planet and not as a desert planet, I actually think it's pretty cool. The only one of the main planets which I think should have been different was D'Qar (the one with the Resistance base). It is so blatantly a Yavin IV stand in that it's just distracting.

I was initially fairly disappointed by the score because I wasn't able to pick out any significant new themes while watching the movie. But having listened to the soundtrack on its own afterwards, I actually think it's great and another solid entry in Star Wars musical library.

Third death star is really boring and the less said about it the better.

Also, Snoke is stupid.

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Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Hansen wrote:

Also, Snoke is stupid.

I am absolutely %100 ready for Snoke to be a Wizard of Oz situation. For the briefest of moments during the movie (After he says, bring her to me) we were going to find out it was Luke pulling the strings or something behind the scenes. That was quickly dashed as insane and idiotic, but for the briefest of moments, it was there.

Maybe it's just a testament to my twisted sensibilities, but I kinda liked Snoke more when I thought he was a disfigured ancient giant. But hey, that's a different sort of movie I suppose.

ZangrethorDigital.ca

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Actually, I was so terrified that he'd be an actual giant, because that would eventually lead us to the dumbest looking fight scene in Star Wars ever. If you hated Yoda bouncing around Count Dooku, I can't even imagine what a fight between humans and that thing would be like. Also, Star Wars aliens are roughly human sized and I don't think I'm ready for a giant.  I guess it's still technically possible he's really big, but the reveal that he's a hologram felt like it punctured that notion.

However, I would love it so much if it's a Wizard of Oz situation. Preferably, it's some illusion controlled by someone who's not even force sensitive. That would be new and interesting and also work nicely with Ben being a pathetic misguided idiot, instead of Snoke just being this Palpatine-wannabe.

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Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Yeah, I mean, that was just when he was first introduced obviously, they get the hologram thing out there pretty quick. But I was thinking it would be more like a "This is one of the old ones that has been in slumber for a thousand years, but a new something something has awoken him..." But that's getting into some straight up Lovecraft shit there. Which that's a movie I'd totally watch the hell out of, but it's not really the mainstream Star Wars everyone's looking for right now.

Snoke being...oh my god....Snoke being like, a con man, would be amazing.

Although, going back to the actual movie for a second. I'm really in love with what they did with Kylo. For the first half of the movie he's this insanely badass presence that is intensely intimidating. But then as soon as he takes off the helmet we realize that he's realize this disturbingly perverse little psychopath with daddy issues and WAY too much power. He goes from being Vader 2.0 to a Criminal Minds killer with force powers in 3 seconds flat. The only thing I really wish they'd done, is save that reveal for 8, but obviously things got rushed along a bit by Harrison basically begging to be killed off, so they couldn't really save that for the 3rd act twist in 8.

I realize this post is so Squirrel it's not even funny, but stay with me here...

Having had a bit to process things that's where a lot of my issues with TFA comes from. Don't get me wrong, I loved the shit out of it, and it FELT absolutely like Star Wars again which is amazing. But everything felt just a bit too rushed. Everything is sort of mentioned in passing before we have to get the next thing out of the way. Which I can't tell is a symptom of this being the thing that needed to prove Star Wars to the world again, or if they're just trying to set EVERYTHING up for the next 2 movies and it just becomes too much.

When we were walking out of the theater I mentioned to the friend I went with, that this feels like it's going to be a LOTR thing, where these 3 movies are going to be one giant movie. Which I mean, obviously. Luke doesn't even say a single word in this movie. But there are so many little things that get set-up that just never get touched again, and obviously they're setting them up to get paid off in 8 and 9. But it just leaves this one feeling the slightest bit...empty. If that makes sense.

...yeah. That was kinda forming as I was typing, but I think that kinda sums up my issues with it, such as they are.

Last edited by BigDamnArtist (2015-12-20 02:19:31)

ZangrethorDigital.ca

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

I recorded a two hour podcast today with four of my friends where went over the whole movie and our thoughts about everything. I'll post a link when it's uploaded.

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

I love how Carrie Fisher can just speak her mind and take the piss out the movie/franchise on the PR junket circuit. Everybody else has to stay on message.
If Shia LeBouf soils his own nest, he's ostracized by Hollywood, but Fisher gets a free pass.

not long to go now...

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Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

BigDamnArtist wrote:

Snoke being...oh my god....Snoke being like, a con man, would be amazing.

Iron Man 3 "Mandarin"... or to keep it in Star Wars, Flim, who faked being Grand Admiral Thrawn for the Hand of Thrawn duology. And I'd love it.

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Ewing wrote:

I recorded a two hour podcast today with four of my friends where went over the whole movie and our thoughts about everything. I'll post a link when it's uploaded.

Great - looking forward to it

Red Letter Media should be having their review out shortly too

not long to go now...

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Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Everyone on the speculation threads on TFN and r/starwars desperately want to believe he's Plagueis. This despite the fact that a.) Palpatine is explicitly said to have killed him, b.) his species in-canon isn't Snoke's, and c.) Disney is distancing themselves as far from the prequels as possible. I personally got really damn excited when it looked like he was gonna be an eldritch abomination, to the point where I was almost disappointed to see his hologram fade out.

Whatever he is, I can't wait to see more of him--more Serkis in my Star Wars, please. The mocap was great, too--his being a hologram and being softly lit probably helped there, because while Maz is also great, the texturing on her in particular, the eyes entered uncanny valley for me when she was in bright light.

Last edited by Abbie (2015-12-20 05:08:39)

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Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Snoke really is an odd name choice, but I can live with that. For me it was the character design that seemed kind of... unremarkable--an almost-Yoda without the charms or distinctive features. You've got Serkis. Go nuts.

The fact that his projection was so big was odd too (they just use that huge room for teleconferencing with the Snokester, I guess?).

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Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Rob wrote:

The fact that his projection was so big was odd too (they just use that huge room for teleconferencing with the Snokester, I guess?).

They can SKYPE with giant holograms, but they can't transmit a simple star map. It's got to be transported on a USB stick.

Last edited by avatar (2015-12-20 14:51:51)

not long to go now...

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Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Hey man. Encryption can be a bitch sometimes. They tried transmitting the map and all that happened was this shittily animated hologram of this fat dude saying "ah ah ah you didnt say the magic word" popped up. It was weird.

Rob wrote:

The fact that his projection was so big was odd too (they just use that huge room for teleconferencing with the Snokester, I guess?).

Really? With everything you know about the Sith and the First Order, the fact their leader uses excessive grandiose design and giant holograms to intimidate his underlings surprises you?

Last edited by BigDamnArtist (2015-12-20 16:03:17)

ZangrethorDigital.ca

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Right? Palpatine's hologram was almost the same size but it was just his head. Snoke was downright humble by comparison.

Boter, formerly of TF.N as Boter and DarthArjuna. I like making movies and playing games, in one order or another.

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Hansen wrote:

Actually, I was so terrified that he'd be an actual giant, because that would mean they built his room around him and he can't ever get out and that's why he's so damn angry and sinister.


Fixed.

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Snoke is fucking stupid and lame, John Williams phones it in, the 3rd act is lazy and the lightsaber fight feels like a weird cheat because these characters should not be able to hold their own for more than a few seconds with 0 training. Also there's way too much crucial backstory that goes unexplained (It really takes the kick out of the Han Solo death when you have no idea why his son turned evil, who the fuck Snoke is, etc).

Other than that, the movie's pretty awesome, great new characters, Harrison Ford crushes it, cinematography and vfx are great, good pacing and action sequences.

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Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Saw it last night.

Impressions:

Poe Dameron is the man! (he's like the new Wedge, but better)
BB-8 is my new favorite robot!
Who was Max Von Syndow's character supposed to be? I want to know more about him. 
Kylo Ren is a little bitch. 


Okay so those are my impressions, here's a bit about what I thought analytically:
So here's the thing....despite somehow losing the ability to write good scripts or stories anymore, George Lucas showed us in the prequels that he can still churn out some great cinematography and editing (well, for a lot of it).  J. J., for all his merits, doesn't really hold a candle to George in these most technical terms.  So, by this metric, the movie didn't really feel synergistic with the rest of the series.   

Narratively, the first third of the movie had me giddy like a kid again.  It FELT LIKE STAR WARS.  HOLY CRAP.  I was 100% with it like really on board for that whole section.  Really daring, intense, kinetic, frenetic, and fun as hell!  I was really with it up until the point where Rey was like "I guess we'll have to take that old thing"  Boom Millennium Falcon.  The reason for this was that they just "happened" to end up in the millenium falcon.  I think that was a very poor narrative decision to make it coincidental that they found it.  And they when they just "happened" to get found by Chewie and Han, I was like "really?" Two dumb fanwankey coincidences within ten minutes.  wow.  Really, it would have made far more sense to have han and chewie still involved in the resistance, and they end up teaming up with our main characters back at resistance base 1 or whatever it's called. Everything about Finn and Rey, though, I was 100% with.  They were compelling and intense and believable.       

Basically, this film left me with some massive amounts of cognitive dissonance.  Like, there was some really, really great, and fantastic thematic and narrative stuff going on in there, but there was also a lot of unnecessarily dumb fanwankey nonsense.  This surprised me, seeing as J. J. is such a fan of Star Wars, and I would have thought he would be too concerned about getting the spirit of Star Wars right, to insert copious amounts of callouts to the previous films. 

So, did I like it?  Hell yes!  Way too much good in there compared with the bad.  Was I disappointed that the film felt a little disjointed and almost...like TV-showey in the middle.  Definitely.    So overall, there's some great and unique stuff in there, and it's certainly worth a rematch, but it still doesn't live up to the OT.

Bloggy:  Inf0verload

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Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Looks like I posted in the wrong thread before, so I'll move over here.

I left the theater really enjoying the movie. There were a handful of things that bothered me throughout but I had fun and it was definitely a serviceable addition to the story and universe.
My largest criticism is probably how derivative it was of the original trilogy.  At times it seemed like JJ was trying to make another reboot like he did with the 2009 Star Trek film.
Within the first thirty minutes we have what appears to be a Han Solo clone in Poe (brilliant pilot with an ego and sarcastic streak), a Kenobi clone in Tekka  (an old, robed white guy who sacrifices himself to the sith in front of the new jedi), a Luke clone in Rey  (wide-eyed, techie, jedi stuck on a backwoods desert planet), an Artoo clone in BB-8 (cute, unassuming Droid that speaks in boops and beeps and is given a macguffin crucial to the underdogs success) and A Vader clone in Kylo Ren (sith in all black with a mask and intimidatingly modulated voice).
I was pretty worried at first, but luckily most of these characters were given the chance to establish their own identities and in the case of Kylo Ren, may have intentionally been playing off our preconceived idea of what a sith is supposed to be. Ren may have been my favorite part of the film. His introduction on Jakku when he stopped the blaster bolt in mid-air really wowed me, I definitely hadn't seen anything like that before. He came off as dangerous, menacing and in total control. Yet as the movie progresses we see in reality he is young, unsure and a victim of his emotions. Truly a conflicted character with depth and room to grow.

I also really enjoyed Boyega's performance as Finn. He was instantly likable and provided a great protagonist for the audience to get behind. I only wonder how his character could exist given what little is revealed of his past. From the first time we see him it is clear he is unlike the other troopers. He appears sympathetic to fallen comrades, disobeys orders and generally seems to carry himself differently. From what I remember he said he was kidnapped by or sold to the First Order at a very young age and was trained since then to become a stormtrooper. One would assume that he underwent over a decade of brainwashing and training in that time. This can't be the first time he has questioned his role or the actions of the First Order. How has he survived so long in that environment while still being able to hold on to so much of his humanity?

I liked how they didn't treat Kylo Ren being Han and Leia's son as a major reveal or twist, rather it was simply dropped in earlier in the film. This really raised the stakes for Han when he went to blow up Deathstar 3.0 knowing he might run into his son and knowing he had to try and bring him back. I also think his death was handled pretty well (still don't know why all these bases require narrow catwalks with no guardrails over bottomless pits). For half a second you think Han might be able to talk his son out of what he's doing, at least just for a moment. Really felt bad for Chewie, I was just waiting for him to rip off stormtrooper limbs.

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Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

bullet3 wrote:

Snoke is fucking stupid and lame, John Williams phones it in, the 3rd act is lazy and the lightsaber fight feels like a weird cheat because these characters should not be able to hold their own for more than a few seconds with 0 training. Also there's way too much crucial backstory that goes unexplained (It really takes the kick out of the Han Solo death when you have no idea why his son turned evil, who the fuck Snoke is, etc).

Other than that, the movie's pretty awesome, great new characters, Harrison Ford crushes it, cinematography and vfx are great, good pacing and action sequences.

I agreed with you on the score the first view, but the second time I found myself liking it quite a bit more. It's not as melodic as Williams' previous stuff, but Rey's Theme and The Jedi Steps are both lovely pieces of music.

As for the duel--that complaint has been popping up a lot and I utterly disagree with it. They spend a lot of time building up how powerful Chewie's bowcaster is so when Ren gets gutshot with it you understand just how much it probably fucked him up. Finn would have had some sort of melee combat training as a stormtrooper, and even then there are moments where you can see Ren is toying with him. And not only has Rey been established as being able to handle herself in melee combat, Ren doesn't want to kill her--he wants to take her back to Snoke. So overall I completely buy the final duel.

Last edited by Abbie (2015-12-21 18:22:02)

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Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Saw it yet again. Williams' score does seem better on repeat viewings, but it is more subtle than I expected.

My sister said, so long as they're aping the original films, that when KR kills Han, Han should've said "I love you" and KR should've said "I know." That's a bit too cute, even for me.

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Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Oh wow. If that were just a stand alone piece of dialogue that would be a solid fuck you from Kylo. I think I would love it.

ZangrethorDigital.ca

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

In that vein, on r/starwars it was suggested that Ackbar, upon seeing BB-8's hologram, burst out with "It's a map!" I lol'ed.

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Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Saw it this afternoon and really liked it. The only real disappointment was the rehash of "the baddies have a giant death ray, so protect the droid with the diagram". The characters were great; the humor was on target; the melodrama was pretty solid.

Minor disappointments:

  • The story rambled (rewatched ANH afterwards and it is TIGHT by comparison; characters state a goal, make a plan, then execute the plan)

  • There's zero motivation for A LOT of what the characters do, good and bad (your fan theories notwithstanding)

Also, does JJ Abrams not know how maps work? To find the Statue of Liberty, you don't need the part that shows how to get from my house to Pittsburgh.

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Zarban wrote:

Also, does JJ Abrams not know how maps work? To find the Statue of Liberty, you don't need the part that shows how to get from my house to Pittsburgh.

There is a line in there that hand waves it away. But the hand wavey in and of itself is kinda...."thaaaat's not really how this works JJ". But whatever, Star Wars is full of those.

ZangrethorDigital.ca

Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

I like this movie. I have some quibbles here and there (hyperspacing into a planet's atmosphere? Really?) and think the pacing could have been better (The ending goes on forever, it starts sucking the impact out of the climax. I'm of the option that Luke should not have been in this movie.) but overall I'm a fan. Hell, my MOM liked this movie. They nailed the thing that really mattered, the characters and the feel. As long as they have that, they can take a few movies to get the rest dialed in.

"ShadowDuelist is a god."
        -Teague Chrystie

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Re: The Star Wars 7 Thread (SPOILERS. SERIOUSLY. ALL THE SPOILERS.)

Second viewing.. some observations

Saw it on the biggest IMAX screen in the world tonight. More questions...

* Why did Fin want to leave in Rey in the bar? And 10 minutes later he was freaking out when she was being carried away. It's like that contrived rom-com formula where they have be break up for a bit, except this one felt totally unmotivated.

* So R2D2 had the map the whole time and was just sulking? Didn't anyone know that? And Kylo knew what piece was missing and couldn't figure it was the Jedi Temple?

* Is the Falcon a piece of shit or not? They want it both ways. Traders steal it off each other (so it must be in demand) then it sits under tarps collecting rust and is their second choice.

* Why doesn't Chewie fire his bow several times when Han dies? Just one lame shot and a long pause and then turns to stormtroopers. His best mate just died. He should have been hammering Kylo with rapid fire as soon as the saber went through Han. And what's he doing during the whole duel scene? He could've helped them out. Lucky the planet took so long to explode as Poe blew up the thermal oscillator ages ago.

* Han seemed to frequent Maz's bar a lot but was unaware Luke's saber was stashed in the basement.

* Still not clear if the Empire is the same as the First Order and what the relationship between the Sith and First Order is (is one subordinate to the other?)

* Rey has to be Luke's daughter, right? There were a few subtle clues in the flashback sequence. Luke got drunk around the bonfire on Endor and knocked someone up.

not long to go now...

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