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


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winter shaker said:

As I think about TFA more, my biggest problem is still....

 

That's always been my biggest problem as well.   Most of the other problems I find to be strange head shakers, but that one I actually find to be immoral.

 

Justin Hanvey said:

But not looking for BB-8 good point, maybe he was worried he was being tracked.

 

But hadn't he promised BB-8 that he would search him out and find him?  As well, they had originally flew to the planet in order to get BB-8 when he would have had a similar knowledge that he was being tracked.

Here's the best explanation.  They didn't think it through, just like with so many other points like some of the strange factors surrounding that new Deathstar  (changing its name doesn't mean that it isn't a Deathstar) including their intel and the invasion.

 

 

 

 

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Thought I'd place this here even though it's more about general Star Wars canon, and was written actually before Force Awakens came out, but it's very interesting....and a lot of plot details in Force Awakens are seen in a new light.

Everythng You Need To Know About (the new) Star Wars Canon That's Not In The Movies

One thing that stands out to me is the fact that Nightsisters and Dathomir are still canon, but not Courtship of Princess Leia. I hope Dave Wolverton is well paid for his contribution to several huge plot details.

Edited by Justin Hanvey

"The truth is you're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin Ringo, I'm tryin real hard to be the shepherd." Pulp Fiction

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5 minutes ago, Justin Hanvey said:

Thought I'd place this here even though it's more about general Star Wars canon, and was written actually before Force Awakens came out, but it's very interesting....and a lot of plot details in Force Awakens are seen in a new light.

Everythng You Need To Know About (the new) Star Wars Canon That's Not In The Movies

One thing that stands out to me is the fact that Nightsisters and Dathomir are still canon, but not Courtship of Princess Leia. I hope Dave Wolverton is well paid for his contribution to several huge plot details.

That's confusing. The comic with Darth Maul doesn't feature him with robotic limbs, does it? That's nearly as stupid as Skippy the Jedi Droid.

Also, the Resistance isn't nearly all that diverse, at least as depicted in TFA. This is a minor annoyance, but J.J. Abrams didn't seem to rely too much on pre-existing aliens in TFA. Sure, he had Admiral Ackbar and Nien Nunb but where were all the Twi'leks and Trandoshans and Aqualish and Ortolans?

He finds no mercy

And he's lost in the crowd

With an armoured heart of metal

He finds he's running out of odd-numbered daisies

From which to pull the petals

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NBooth wrote:
: To my understanding, SW 1977 was the first time a pop film actually self-consciously replicated the Cambellian thing.

Maybe. There's some debate as to how conscious or intentional the Campbell connection was prior to the actual making of the first film -- though Lucas certainly played up the connection once people began taking Star Wars so seriously.

The classic essay on this is 'Galactic Gasbag', published by Salon.com in 2002, back when that was a site still worth following. Sample excerpt:

Lucas himself was mum about any Campbell influence when the original Star Wars opened — “The word for this movie is fun,” he told Time in 1977 — but he began name-dropping the retired Sarah Lawrence academic (who died in 1987) as the movie became a pop culture milestone. Feature writers took him at his word, unwilling to believe that a mere science-fiction flick could be so popular unless some deeper meaning was at work. Campbell, happy to have his work associated with the most successful film series of all time, returned the favor by praising Lucas’ use of mythological motifs, though he had trouble keeping straight exactly which motifs were being used. The relationship built until the men have become as closely linked in the public mind as Chang and Eng. . . .

Even the normally sensible film critic Roger Ebert is part of the Greek chorus. “It was not by accident that George Lucas worked with Joseph Campbell, an expert on the world’s basic myths, in fashioning a screenplay that owes much to man’s oldest stories,” Ebert intones in his “Great Movies” feature on “Star Wars.” Thus is Campbell, who from his own accounts didn’t even meet Lucas face-to-face until the 1980s, virtually elevated to the position of co-screenwriter. . . .

The Secret History of Star Wars also quotes Lucas to the effect that he didn't rediscover Campbell until he was working on the third draft of Star Wars, but The Secret History of Star Wars then questions how influential Campbell really was on the film, and argues that in some ways the second, pre-Campbellian draft was actually closer to Campbell's typology than the third draft was.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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LARB: Making Things Right: “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” by J.D. Connor

Connor goes through various arguments for and against the movie before concluding that the thing that makes it work is BB-8:

As a soccer ball, BB-8 is an emblem of the beautiful game’s globalized universality and hence of an ideal Star Wars universe. As a dog, it is an emblem of fidelity and obligation for Poe, Rey, Finn, and R2-D2, and hence of an ideal relationship with fans. As a sphere, it is the analogue of the wireframe animation of the Death Star and the hologram of Starkiller Base. Compared with the real Death Star it is infinitesimal, but compared with the projection, the droid appears to be a nearly 1:1 materialization. That inversion extends to its hemispheric head, which echoes and inverts the satellite dish indentation behind the Death Star’s superlaser. It is small but large enough to be awkward when Finn lowers it below the deck of the Falcon; it is small but not the smallest of the movie’s spheres. Aboard the Falcon, Finn finds and tosses aside Luke’s old Training Remote, that ball that would zap him as he practiced with his lightsaber. It is the droid they are looking for, hence the object of both nostalgia and suspense.

If we aren’t paying close attention to The Force Awakens, BB-8 will be cute. Paying attention, we realize that it is the material emblem of the revitalized Star Wars universe, the ways that universe, like a bubble, must balance internal and external pressures, the ways it tucks innumerable aspects of earlier films into itself and rolls onward in the service of Disney’s long-term profitability.

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On January 7, 2016 at 10:24 PM, Justin Hanvey said:

Your formatting is really weird Attica and makes my page all wide lol

 

Strange.  I don't usually use my own editing software.  I am on a wide Cintiq for a screen so maybe that's making a difference, although I can't really see it.

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If you've seen that 40 plotholes in Force Awakens article floating around and either hated it or agreed with it, I invite you to read this brilliant takedown.

glad I don't have to write that now.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/matty-granger/at-long-lastmy-star-wars-episode-vii-review-the-force-awakens-the-rise-of-idiot-/10153163095086277

also there is another article referred to in the note called Star Wars Ring Theory. That article was also pretty brilliant, and even speaks, as this guy shows, to a lot of the mirroring effect that Episode 7 had. (Though I personally do hope that Episode 8 and 9 don't mirror ESB and ROTJ too much)


Edit: Also, just found this...

StarWars.com Confirms identity of "TR-8R"

TR-8R, a name given by the Star Wars fans because of his famous quote of "Traitor!" is the baton wielding Stormtrooper that fights Finn outside Maz Kanata's castle. He is revealed to be FN-2199, nicknamed Nines, an old friend of Finn's from back in his training days. You can read about that training and friendship in the Before the Awakening Anthology novel featuring three stories about Finn, Rey, and Poe

Edited by Justin Hanvey

"The truth is you're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin Ringo, I'm tryin real hard to be the shepherd." Pulp Fiction

Justin's Blog twitter Facebook Life Is Story

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Justin Hanvey said:  

:(Though I personally do hope that Episode 8 and 9 don't mirror ESB and ROTJ too much)

 

Mirroring those films would be a crime against humanity.  These new films need to chart their own path.

 

:

it could just be my phone. got a new Samsung Galaxy S6.

 

 

Maybe you should get a Cintiq.   :)

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6 minutes ago, Ryan H. said:

Attica, the text in your posts looks really wacky to me too.

It must be the Cintiq then, or rather how my computer is formatted for it.  I guess for whatever reason this new board isn't able to adjust the writing.

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J.J. Abrams on criticisms of repetitiveness:

"It was obviously a wildly intentional thing that we go backwards, in some ways, to go forwards in the important ways, given that this is a genre — that Star Wars is a kind of specific gorgeous concoction of George [Lucas]'s — that combines all sorts of things. Ultimately the structure of Star Wars itself is as classic and tried and true as you can get. It was itself derivative of all of these things that George loved so much, from the most obvious, Flash Gordon and Joseph Campbell, to the [Akira] Kurosawa references, to Westerns — I mean, all of these elements were part of what made Star Wars."

He continues, "I can understand that someone might say, 'Oh, it's a complete rip-off!' We inherited Star Wars. The story of history repeating itself was, I believe, an obvious and intentional thing, and the structure of meeting a character who comes from a nowhere desert and discovers that she has a power within her, where the bad guys have a weapon that is destructive but that ends up being destroyed — those simple tenets are by far the least important aspects of this movie, and they provide bones that were well-proven long before they were used in Star Wars."

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I don't want to hear JJ Abrams make any excuses for the repetitiveness of The Force Awakens if he isn't going to acknowledge how it mirrors the repetitiveness of Star Trek into Darkness (particularly its third act). It honestly still boggles my mind that Star Trek fans turned against Abrams for his shameless mimicking of earlier Star Trek plot points while Star Wars fans have, by and large, defended if not outright praised Abrams for his shameless mimicking of earlier Star Wars plot points.

In any case, it sounds like Abrams almost admits that Lucas built a new thing out of many, many *other* things ("all of these things that George loved so much"), while Abrams merely took an old thing and recycled it ("the story of history repeating itself").

Justin Hanvey wrote:
: If you've seen that 40 plotholes in Force Awakens article floating around and either hated it or agreed with it, I invite you to read this brilliant takedown.

I hadn't heard of the "40 plotholes" article until people started linking to the takedown, but suffice it to say the takedown isn't as brilliant as it thinks it is. Yeah, yeah, a lot of things that people call "plot holes" might not, technically, be plot holes. But they can still be examples of bad writing. (E.g., the fact that this movie spends so much time *setting up the sequels* is at least as much a bug as it is a feature. It's one of the movie's main problems, it's not a defense of the movie's problems. I believe it's all part of what SDG referred to as the Marvel-ization of Star Wars.)

: Speaking Kurosawa Jedi is derived from a word that more or less means samurai movie

Jidaigeki, yes. And the name Yoda might have come from Yoshikata Yoda, a screenwriter who often worked with Kenji Mizoguchi.

Ryan H. wrote:
: Attica, the text in your posts looks really wacky to me too.

Me too. Though with all the problems this board has been having the past few months, who knows what's going on.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Here I am again with my horrible formatting...

 

Peter T Chattaway said: 

 It honestly still boggles my mind that Star Trek fans turned against Abrams for his shameless mimicking of earlier Star Trek plot points while Star Wars fans have, by and large, defended if not outright praised Abrams for his shameless mimicking of earlier Star Wars plot points.

 

 

This probably gives indication of the slightly different (even if obviously somewhat overlapping) fan base for the two franchises.  But more importantly, the different expectations from fans in regards to the two different franchises.  The more logical leaning minds and expectations as compared to the more fantastical and intuitive leaning minds and expectations.  (loose analogy)

 

Which maybe at least partially explains why your more bothered by these films than some others.  Your more of a Star Trek fan... right?

 

 

:

In any case, it sounds like Abrams almost admits that Lucas built a new thing out of many, many *other* things ("all of these things that George loved so much"), while Abrams merely took an old thing and recycled it ("the story of history repeating itself").

 

 

Seems that way.

 

 

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Attica wrote:
: Your more of a Star Trek fan... right?

Huh. I don't know. When I was growing up, I don't know if it would have made any sense to say that I was more one or the other. I role-played Star Wars but never role-played Star Trek. And while I grew up with re-runs of the original Star Trek series, I never really watched any of the other shows except for the last few years of The Next Generation (and even that, mainly because I had roommates who were fans) -- but that was partly because I've never been much of a current-TV watcher (I never saw any of the Star Wars TV shows during their first run either, except for the first Ewok movie). I have probably read more Star Trek comics and novels than Star Wars comics and novels, though.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Well as I argued in my review Disney execs knew they'd be getting a scriptwriter/director who was known for his shameless mimicking. That's exactly what they wanted in a gatekeeper to a new trilogy. Someone who would write a first movie that completely hearkens back to the Original Trilogy in concrete ways while making us excited for the new directions the rest of the trilogy would take. This is why they hire a nostalgic mimicking director for the first film and a truly original director to write the scripts of the next two and direct the second one.

So for better or worse, and that's up to you, I think we got the exact film Disney wanted us to get.

Compare this to Into Darkness after we'd already gotten a somewhat original first film only to have the second just be a straight mimicry of Wrath of Khan and not very well done either like TFA was and I, being a hardcore ST and SW fan of both franchises, agree with the condemnation of Into Darkness while also agree with the love of TFA

"The truth is you're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin Ringo, I'm tryin real hard to be the shepherd." Pulp Fiction

Justin's Blog twitter Facebook Life Is Story

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Justin Hanvey said:

 

:This is why they hire a nostalgic mimicking director for the first film and a truly original director to write the scripts of the next two and direct the second one.

 

I had touched on a similar thought here awhile back.  I think you're right on the money.  

Although I would like to think that Disney wanted us to get some of the film's nostalgic mimicking without some of it's other problems. plus in that, a nostalgic mimicking which was handled in a way that wouldn't lead to some of the push back that this film is receiving.  

 

Peter T Chattaway said:  

:

 I role-played Star Wars but never role-played Star Trek. And while I grew up with re-runs of the original Star Trek series,

 

When I was in my early teens Star Trek used to play at 1 o'clock or so on Saturday mornings and I often stayed up and watched it.  At the time video was unheard of so Star Wars could only be seen in the theatres.  Star Trek definitely influenced me, but Star Wars was easily the most influencial and important media for me (although I can remember being influenced by films like Davey Crocket.)  Part of the reason Star Wars made such an impact was because, even though I didn't have much access to the actual films, Star Wars lived on in my imagination through the toys that I continually played with.  In talking about this film we might have forgotten to fully consider how impacting those toys would have been towards our nostalgic responses to the franchise.  Of course, I've noticed some pretty nifty toys in the stores of late, such as remote control flying tie-fighters.  

Oh, and by the way, I still have most of my early Star Wars toys.  I've sometimes thought that some of them might be worth something, but I was one of those kids who ended up "redesigning" some of the space-ships in order to make them "cooler."  

 

 

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Justin Hanvey wrote:
: So for better or worse, and that's up to you, I think we got the exact film Disney wanted us to get.

Oh, I agree with that. I, and many others, have been saying all along that what sets this film apart from the first six movies is that it's nothing more than corporate product. It doesn't have the personal energy that George Lucas brought to his films, for better and for worse.

: Compare this to Into Darkness after we'd already gotten a somewhat original first film only to have the second just be a straight mimicry of Wrath of Khan . . .

I believe one of the many arguments I once mounted *against* bringing Khan back in the Star Trek sequel was that JJ Abrams' first film had *already* ripped off some of the basic story elements from The Wrath of Khan (like the creatures that make you comply with the villain's wishes, or the villain motivated by the loss of his wife, etc.; to say nothing of the Kobayashi Maru scenario). So Abrams was basically mimicking aspects of The Wrath of Khan in *both* of his Star Trek movies.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Corporate product this may be, but it's still something more than Marvel (to say nothing of the Transformers films or endless spectacles), because The Force Awakens is at least trying to conjure something of the mythic tragedy and drama that drives Star Wars as an enterprise. I'm not sure that Abrams values and understands that mode of storytelling (and while Lucas certainly valued it, though whether he really understood it is another matter for discussion), but Abrams does value Star Wars, and in trying to recreate its various narrative and visual textures, he achieves moments of true resonance.

Whether those evolve into something truly special is largely in Johnson's hands, since he is shaping the stories of the sequels.

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Ryan H. said:  

 :because The Force Awakens is at least trying to conjure something of the mythic tragedy and drama that drives Star Wars as an enterprise. I'm not sure that Abrams values and understands that mode of storytelling (and while Lucas certainly valued it, though whether he really understood it is another matter for discussion), but Abrams does value Star Wars, and in trying to recreate its various narrative and visual textures, he achieves moments of true resonance.

 

Agreed.

 

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If the next two movies turn out to just be corporate products (not always a bad thing in and of itself), then I'll probably not be too happy. Depending on how that turned out. I do hope Johnson will create something truly artistic.

"The truth is you're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin Ringo, I'm tryin real hard to be the shepherd." Pulp Fiction

Justin's Blog twitter Facebook Life Is Story

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If future movies are all corporate products then they might be well received but it will be the demise of Star Wars standing apart as anything special.  Which I believe it still does.  This would possibly also lead many to forget that the original Star Wars (at least the first two i'd think) were anything *but* corporate product, and indeed the studio just didn't really know what to make of it.  That would be tragic, and that is part of the problem with what is potentially going on here.  If they continue to play so hard on people's nostalgia, what was so special about those films that lead to the nostalgia in the first place, could be lost.  The franchise could end up devouring itself, if you will.

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