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Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

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39 minutes ago, M. Leary said:

I could totally have done with more Poe, though.

 

YES.

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Poe's disappearance from so much of the film -- and the whole "presumed dead" thing -- made no sense whatsoever. Did they even bother explaining why he didn't go looking for BB-8, or how he ended up where he ended up?

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13 minutes ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

Poe's disappearance from so much of the film -- and the whole "presumed dead" thing -- made no sense whatsoever. Did they even bother explaining why he didn't go looking for BB-8, or how he ended up where he ended up?

Do they have to? They're not exactly pressing questions and they're really filled in by speculation.

We know Poe survived the crash. He probably looked for BB-8 and learned that the droid had left the planet.

Presumably he made contact with the Resistance to get himself off of Jakku, and by that point, BB-8 had been located on Maz's planet.

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The more I think about my complaints about the film is that they all boil down to emotionally being disappointed with Han's death.  The plot holes bug me but not as much as that.  And I expected it, but just am not satisfied with it.  I still like the movie way more than any of the prequels, but not as much as JEDI. 

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On a scene-by-scene level, it's much better than JEDI. It lacks the narrative heft of JEDI's throne room stuff, but it is the introductory film of the trilogy, after all.

I quite liked the bridge scene. I knew it was coming as soon as it began, but the performances really sold it.

Edited by Ryan H.

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I liked the bridge scene as well.  I thought that the film sold it, but also had earned it, yet mind you maybe this "earning" came from the nostalgia.  I'll have to think about that.

I'm generally not as hard on Jedi as many others are.  I think I would see this film as being the fourth best in the series.  It of course has some cooler battle scenes than Episode 4, but it's missing that little something to do with the force and greater purpose that 4 has.  Obi Wan's relationship with Luke connected to the mystery of the force brought something to the table that this film doesn't have.

This film also has me thinking that Empire is probably more of an accomplishment than many had even realized.  Can they ever pull off something to that standard.  But even more importantly, will they want to?  I mean we are noticing this film's problems but how many theatre goers will really care?  These new films can probably sell the tickets even while missing out on much of the heart of the earlier films that so much struck the imagination and spirit of those of us who grew up with them and were so greatly influenced by them.  

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Just got to thinking about what I had posted earlier with the death star needing "human made gravity."  It still would have had it's own gravity without being near a star.  Duh.  But surely they would have had to great some sort of ability for it to retain it's atmosphere, nevermind heating the thing.

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17 minutes ago, Attica said:

Just got to thinking about what I had posted earlier with the death star needing "human made gravity."  It still would have had it's own gravity without being near a star.  Duh.  But surely they would have had to great some sort of ability for it to retain it's atmosphere, nevermind heating the thing.

Get your science out of my Star Wars, bro.

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Ha.   Sorry.   :)

Edited by Attica

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But I still think that it's worth noting that the earlier films can have spaceships flying around like airplanes with sound in space without ruining my suspension of disbelief, but what this film has done with that planet has pushed it beyond my limit.

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The bridge scene was undercut, for me, by the fact that the bridge didn't have any railings. And I know that the bridges in these films NEVER have any railings (see, e.g., the bridges or catwalks where the Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan/Maul duel in Episode I took place). But still. Just as aquariums exist in action films only to be shot, therefore sending water and fish all over the floor, so too bridges of *that* size and narrowness and elevation exist in movies like this only to... well, you know.

Ryan H. wrote:
: Get your science out of my Star Wars, bro.

Amen! One might as well ask why there's gravity on the Millennium Falcon. (Although The Force Awakens does kind of raise the question by including that shot -- which has been used in multiple TV spots -- of BB-8 rolling around the Falcon's walls. Do the inertial dampeners only work when the Falcon is in outer space? I hope not, or that wild upside-down maneuver that Princess Leia tried on Bespin would have caused all sorts of chaos on the ship in Episode V...)

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In the long list of Episode IV recreations, no one has mentioned the Cantina scene? This movie did combine it with the Dagobah Tree scene from Episode V, so there's that.

As for the death scene, I thought it was ok, but the aftermath was totally mishandled. You have to let certain other characters grieve before you just put them back into the action like that.

Also, I thought all of the dialogue between Han and Leia was silly.

As for the Starkiller Base, I thought it WAS a real planet... just one that had been completely hollowed out and turned into a base by the bad guys. And I thought the whole point of that scene where the long red laser tentacles went shooting out of it, seemingly all the way across the galaxy, was to show that it didn't need to be mobile. But I certainly could have missed something.

Anyway, I enjoyed this film for what it was. I feel less invested in it than in any of the other SW films. I hope to see it again in the theater to find out whether my reaction will be more or less positive on second viewing.

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Wait a minute. Anakin Skywalker's blue-beamed lightsabre, which Obi-Wan picked up from the hard-lava ground in Episode III and gave to Luke in Episode IV, was lost when Anakin cut off Luke's hand in Episode V. Luke had to build a brand-new green-beamed lightsabre in order to stay in the loop in Episode VI.

Never mind how Kylo Ren got Darth Vader's mask. I want to know how [ redacted ] got Anakin/Luke's lightsabre.

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A screenwriter I'm friends with on Facebook noticed that General Hux refers to Snoke as "wise" at one point, which he (the screenwriter) figures has to be a nod to "Darth Plagueis the Wise".

Gotta say, it will be really interesting if this new trilogy really *does* take an obscure bit of dialogue from the prequels as its jumping-off point. Could be fun to see Luke, Leia and Kylo all ponder the fact that they owe their existence to the fact that the bad guy created their (grand)father.

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I now find myself wondering if The Force Awakens is a movie for people who wish Han Solo *had* said "I love you too" to Princess Leia instead of "I know." Because that would be more, y'know, "respectful" of the franchise.

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Peter T Chattaway said:  

Amen! One might as well ask why there's gravity on the Millennium Falcon.

 

 

But it's different.  None of those other things go beyond my suspension of disbelief, but this new "Death Star" does.  I think there's a reason for that.  It's like you had said for the latest Fast and Furious awhile back - it can only be bent so far before it breaks.  They bent this too far and I think it was partially because they were so busy trying to give us a clone of what worked in those previous Star Wars films, and this for a third time, but in this by pretending to be clever and imaginative with a new Death Star type planet that ultimately showed that they hadn't really thought it through and thus gave us something that was supposed to be bigger and cooler, but ended up being kind of dumb .  This is indicative of several elements in this film and certain elements in a lot of the current crop of films.

 

Again the science doesn't really matter, but the lack of thought behind this in trying to sell us a lame idea, because it has basically been done twice already, and the third time, with it's breaking the suspension of disbelief, encapsulates so much of what is wrong with this film.  It does matter.  There were a variety of things in this film that broke the suspension of disbelief to differing degrees and the other films would have cared more to make the unbelievable universe they were creating become believable.  They didn't seem to care about that in this film, rather they cared about something that was *bigger* and *cooler* (supposedly) without actually being a cleverer idea, which is, again, indicative of some of the lamentable aspects of many current films.  Star Wars is supposed to stand above the pack, or even set things back towards a better direction.  Right?

 

This was this film's biggest "nuke the fridge" and gives us a real sense of the Crystal Skull aspects to this film that Overstreet had mentioned.

 

 

Morgan 1098 said:  

was to show that it didn't need to be mobile. But I certainly could have missed something.

-

But then it would have to be mobile in order to find another star to eventually power up again.  Or to have found that star since the last time.

 

-

See folks?  It's dumb!!!

Edited by Attica

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Morgan 1098 said:  

As for the death scene, I thought it was ok, but the aftermath was totally mishandled. You have to let certain other characters grieve before you just put them back into the action like that.

 

Not only did they not let the best friend (which was the longest lasting relationship in the films) grieve enough, they even had another character who had an important history with him walk past him in order to comfort someone whom had no real connection yet.  That was a pretty big flub.

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3 hours ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

Wait a minute. Anakin Skywalker's blue-beamed lightsabre, which Obi-Wan picked up from the hard-lava ground in Episode III and gave to Luke in Episode IV, was lost when Anakin cut off Luke's hand in Episode V. Luke had to build a brand-new green-beamed lightsabre in order to stay in the loop in Episode VI.

Never mind how Kylo Ren got Darth Vader's mask. I want to know how [ redacted ] got Anakin/Luke's lightsabre.

Well, remember that one of the strongest rumors about the plot for this film was that a new character discovers Luke Skywalker's severed hand and saber. I thought that was probably a joke-rumor started by people working on the film... but now I'm starting to believe that that story will, in fact, turn out to be part of this larger narrative. [redacted] does say that how Luke's saber happened to show up there is "a story for another time."

Edited by Overstreet

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9 hours ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

A screenwriter I'm friends with on Facebook noticed that General Hux refers to Snoke as "wise" at one point, which he (the screenwriter) figures has to be a nod to "Darth Plagueis the Wise".

Gotta say, it will be really interesting if this new trilogy really *does* take an obscure bit of dialogue from the prequels as its jumping-off point. Could be fun to see Luke, Leia and Kylo all ponder the fact that they owe their existence to the fact that the bad guy created their (grand)father.

Yeah, though I wonder if they'll touch on that or not.

I get the sense that Snoke is just using the First Order and isn't overly interested in the war aspect. He seemed much more interested in Ren/Rey.

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Oscar Isaac talks about the other major character who was supposed to die in this movie.

Isaac says he had been summoned to Paris for what he suspected might be a role in The Force Awakens. Sure enough, earlier that day, he had met with Abrams, screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and Abrams had pitched him the character of Poe Dameron, a badass fighter pilot battling against the remnants of the Empire.

“He’s amazing!” said Abrams.

“Sounds good!” thought Isaac, whose first experience in a movie theater had been seeing The Empire Strikes Back.

“He opens the whole movie!” said Abrams.

“Sounds great!” thought Isaac.

“And then,” Abrams went on. “He dies.”

“Oh,” thought Isaac.

The GQ article includes a spoiler warning, which strikes me as the absolute nadir of all this spoilerphobia going around; how can the details of something that was planned in the early stages and then dropped count as a spoiler, unless any-and-all details are now spoilers?

Edited by NBooth

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Attica wrote:
: . . . they were so busy trying to give us a clone of what worked in those previous Star Wars films, and this for a third time . . .

Or fourth, if you count Anakin's "lucky" destruction of that Trade Federation ship at the end of Episode I. (The ship wasn't a superweapon, but it controlled all the battle droids, so when a single shot blew it up, all the droids stopped fighting.)

Overstreet wrote:
: Well, remember that one of the strongest rumors about the plot for this film was that a new character discovers Luke Skywalker's severed hand and saber.

I do remember that. I think Ryan or someone even said that they may have shot a scene in which someone finds Luke's lightsabre in the grass? But that just makes me wonder where the grass is supposed to be. I always thought Bespin was a gas planet.

NBooth wrote:
: The GQ article includes a spoiler warning, which strikes me as the absolute nadir of all this spoilerphobia going around; how can the details of something that was planned in the early stages and then dropped count as a spoiler, unless any-and-all details are now spoilers?

No kidding. The whole "presumed dead" thing had no suspense whatsoever because the ads had already shown footage of Poe Dameron sitting in an X-wing cockpit, tapping Finn on the shoulder at the Resistance base, and doing other things that he hadn't done yet in the film.

Similarly, I'm a little surprised when people say that the whole why-does-Kylo-Ren-need-to-wear-a-mask thing turned out to be one big fake-out. The ads had already shown Kylo Ren swinging his lightsabre at people while *not* wearing a helmet. (True, we only saw the back of his head, with its hair waving in the wind, and not his face, but still.)

Ryan H. wrote:
: As far as I can tell, all details are now considered spoilers. When I informed someone that there wasn't much to spoil, I was told that I had just, in fact, spoiled the film.

Yep. And the worst part of all this spoilerphobia is that it just enables people like JJ Abrams and their stupid empty hollow mystery-boxing.

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My cousin isn't seeing the film until next week.  So I made a point of passing this "spoiler" along to him.

 

 

spoiler.jpg

Edited by Attica

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My review:

Quote

It’s the Star Wars film we all wanted The Phantom Menace to be back in 1999, a film which is not nearly as bad as it’s been deemed, but also not nearly as good as it could (or should) have been. The Force Awakens is narratively and thematically an exact parallel to the original 1977 film–I’m tempted to call it An Old Hope. (The closest cultural parallel I can think of is Ryan Adams’ recent remake of Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. Both albums stand alone as catchy well-crafted pop music, and Adams does take a divergent approach with his tone and production. It’s the same, but not identical. Such it is with A New Hope and The Force Awakens.)

--

This lack of empathy for secondary characters and lack of emotional gravitas for primary characters makes me wonder about the filmmakers’ understanding of the previous films in the original trilogy, as this film immediately follows them in the mythology. As an example (spoiler alert!), Han and Leia are estranged in The Force Awakens, then reunited through circumstances. This means that should a viewer watch these films in succession, after their budding romance is fully established in Return of the Jedi, we are reintroduced to Han and Leia as having fallen apart. We never see their romance blossom into marriage (if they actually did get married at all), never see them as parents or co-leaders in the Republic, never have them grow and mature beyond flirtation. It is a tragic picture of fidelity in one of the great sci-fi romance stories. It feels like Han and Leia are the millennial generation’s parents, whose long-standing marriages fell apart after the kids grew up and left home as young adults.

 

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