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 Post subject: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:01 pm 
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Just came back from the cinemas, and I'll give you my honest, first impressions: I'm still trying to figure out whether this was a good movie or not. :? I know the reviews so far have been raving and singing its praises (because Lucas isn't involved anymore), but I approached this movie with a heavy dose of caution. This might take me a while.

I will give the movie credit where its due: it wasn't afraid to take a risk near the climax; if you've seen the movie, you'll know what I'm talking about.


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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:21 pm 
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I guess I can start with all the nostalgia references to the older movies. Hell, the whole movie is a gigantic nostalgia reference when you think about it. But it is done in a way that isn't obnoxious. And the lightsaber fights in this movie are much cruder than the prequels. Both because its another homage to the original movies... and also because at this point there are no more Sith and no more Jedi left to teach anyone, so both light and dark sides have to start over from scratch. At least, that's my theory. :geek:


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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:23 am 
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I went to the movie also tonight, and found it quite enjoyable. Do I think it measures up to the previous chapters? Well...no, probably not, to be entirely honest. But it's by no means bad, and has a number of very stirring and evocative scenes, while still introducing new characters and concepts (I thought the Starkiller was a particularly neat idea). And the new characters are surprisingly engaging right from the start, which is fortunate, since we'll be spending at least two more movies with them AFAIK.

I found myself musing over whether or not this movie could stand purely on its own merit, if it had nothing to do with Star Wars...and my answer to that is also probably not, no. It's solidly entertaining, but I think if it weren't Star Wars, it would be fairly forgettable. As it stands, the movie relies very heavily -- in fact, almost entirely! -- on Star Wars nostalgia to carry it, rather than trying to tell a truly powerful new story of its own. Considering that this is Episode VII, I think that's appropriate up to a certain point, and luckily the original source material is strong enough to carry it. But the movie depends so much on previously-established characters and mythos that the plot almost feels a bit lazy in places.

Despite all of that, I would definitely say it's worth seeing, and I would encourage everyone to go check it out for themselves and make up their own minds.

But the people who've been pitching this for months as "the best Star Wars movie ever", simply because Lucas is no longer involved, are fucking stupid.
snowman1989 wrote:
I guess I can start with all the nostalgia references to the older movies. Hell, the whole movie is a gigantic nostalgia reference when you think about it. But it is done in a way that isn't obnoxious. And the lightsaber fights in this movie are much cruder than the prequels. Both because its another homage to the original movies... and also because at this point there are no more Sith and no more Jedi left to teach anyone, so both light and dark sides have to start over from scratch. At least, that's my theory. :geek:
Yeah, I'd have to agree on all counts.

I also wish they'd bothered to explain how the First Order "rose from the ashes of the Empire" to become a dominant force in the galaxy so quickly, when the Empire was completely decimated at the end of Episode VI. As it stands, it feels like the answer is probably no more complicated than "because J.J. Abrams wanted to recreate the whole Imperial-Rebel dynamic" from the original films.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:01 am 
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CWS wrote:
I went to the movie also tonight, and found it quite enjoyable. Do I think it measures up to the previous chapters? Well...no, probably not, to be entirely honest. But it's by no means bad, and has a number of very stirring and evocative scenes, while still introducing new characters and concepts (I thought the Starkiller was a particularly neat idea). And the new characters are surprisingly engaging right from the start, which is fortunate, since we'll be spending at least two more movies with them AFAIK.


This is the part of the movie I found to be the weakest. The Starkiller is not new.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
It's just another Death Star. The First Order are trying to out-Empire the Empire to a degree I found a little ridiculous. Kylo Ren is a Vader wannabe. Snoke is a wannabe Palpatine. Captain Phasma is a Boba Fett expy. And that commander in charge of the Starkiller is just a screaming Tarkin without the gravitas of Tarkin himself. My God, this movie's a repeat of A New Hope! :o Goddammit! :x


The new protagonists however, do have redeeming values to make them interesting to see where they'll go next. Which is definitely a good thing. Also good is the fact that not everything about them has been explained or revealed yet to give them future story arcs.

CWS wrote:
But the people who've been pitching this for months as "the best Star Wars movie ever", simply because Lucas is no longer involved, are fucking stupid.


True. But Lucas not being involved is a positive point in this movie's favour. :P

CWS wrote:
I also wish they'd bothered to explain how the First Order "rose from the ashes of the Empire" to become a dominant force in the galaxy so quickly, when the Empire was completely decimated at the end of Episode VI. As it stands, it feels like the answer is probably no more complicated than "because J.J. Abrams wanted to recreate the whole Imperial-Rebel dynamic" from the original films.


[Reveal] Spoiler:
I'd like to know how they got the resources to create the Death Star 3.0 when it took a galaxy-spanning Empire to create something ten times smaller.
My impression was that the First Order is just a remnant of the Empire, a breakaway faction from when the Emperor died. They only rule a portion of it. The New Republic is explicitly stated to exist, while the Resistance is an insurgency within the First Order's territory that is in open rebellion and is being bankrolled by the Republic.

I'm honestly not surprised. Think about it. Just because the Rebels won at Endor and blew up their superweapon, and their Emperor, you think an Empire, any empire, would be destroyed THAT easily? It's like saying that just because terrorists blow up all of America's nuclear missile silos, and just because they manage to assassinate your President, that it means that America as a functional state, as a nation, ceases to exist? NOPE. You'd be pissed off, you'd be in a bit of shock, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. You'd still have all of your army, airforce and gargantuan battle fleet intact. And ready to scorch the earth.


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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:28 pm 
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CWS wrote:
I also wish they'd bothered to explain how the First Order "rose from the ashes of the Empire" to become a dominant force in the galaxy so quickly, when the Empire was completely decimated at the end of Episode VI. As it stands, it feels like the answer is probably no more complicated than "because J.J. Abrams wanted to recreate the whole Imperial-Rebel dynamic" from the original films.

I doubt that, the primary writing was done by Lawrence Kasden, who did the screenplays for Empire, Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark and wrote Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. I know Abrams has a writing credit, but AFAIK, Lucasfilm(Funny they still call it that) still had heavy say in what was done.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:12 pm 
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If I had to give this movie a score, I'd give it a 6/10. It isn't a bad movie, there is plenty to like about it. The new characters, the return of familiar faces, Harrison Ford reprising his role as Han Solo as if he'd never stopped
[Reveal] Spoiler:
And then having his dark Jedi son kill him off for real, that was ballsy as FUCK
. Also, no Lucas or prequel shit. But it loses points because it is unoriginal. It's a remake of A New Hope. If you want to make nods and homages to the old films, fine. But the whole point of seeing a new Star Wars movie is to... you know, SEE SOMETHING NEW. I just don't feel like I was given enough material that was new and fresh. You have a whole universe as your playground, your limitless imagination left free to go wild with the possibilities, and you go for a retelling of A New Hope?!

Still better than the prequels, I'd rate this movie slightly higher than Revenge of the Sith because unlike the prequels, there is no dialogue that comes off as exceptionally cringeworthy, but the new trilogy has a long way to go to match the original. I'm willing to give the next movie in the trilogy a chance based on Force Awakens, but it has got to bring something new.


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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:09 am 
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snowman1989 wrote:
If I had to give this movie a score, I'd give it a 6/10. It isn't a bad movie, there is plenty to like about it. The new characters, the return of familiar faces, Harrison Ford reprising his role as Han Solo as if he'd never stopped
[Reveal] Spoiler:
And then having his dark Jedi son kill him off for real, that was ballsy as FUCK
. Also, no Lucas or prequel shit. But it loses points because it is unoriginal. It's a remake of A New Hope. If you want to make nods and homages to the old films, fine. But the whole point of seeing a new Star Wars movie is to... you know, SEE SOMETHING NEW. I just don't feel like I was given enough material that was new and fresh. You have a whole universe as your playground, your limitless imagination left free to go wild with the possibilities, and you go for a retelling of A New Hope?!

Still better than the prequels, I'd rate this movie slightly higher than Revenge of the Sith because unlike the prequels, there is no dialogue that comes off as exceptionally cringeworthy, but the new trilogy has a long way to go to match the original. I'm willing to give the next movie in the trilogy a chance based on Force Awakens, but it has got to bring something new.
I agree with the bulk of your sentiments on Episode VII, and with the parts of your review that aren't gratuitous jabs at totally different movies.

Not to take this out on you, but you have no idea how fucking sick I am of self-proclaimed Star Wars "fans" seizing on every possible opportunity to shit on Episodes I-III, and on Lucas himself by proxy, whenever they can. It's one thing to simply not like the movies, but after watching this go on continuously for more than a decade, I'm starting to get the impression that some of them feel obligated to do it at least five times a day while facing west, or something. It's become almost ritualistic, as though they feel some sense of social validation from it, like they're trying to place themselves on a specific rung of some kind of imaginary, irrelevant "nerd hierarchy" or something of the sort. And I've also noticed that most of them weren't alive when the original trilogy came out, either.

Sigh...sorry. Not all of that was directed at you (if it was, I'd have said "you" instead of "they" and "them"), but I had to get it off my chest.

Back to the original topic...my own rating would probably be 7/10. It's a very enjoyable movie and the new characters are actually great, but most of the plot is glaringly derivative, except for the last 10-15 minutes or so (which, not coincidentally, was the best part IMHO). I agree that it felt like they'd borrowed a bit too much from the previous movies, and from Episode IV in particular.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:26 am 
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The popular hate towards the prequels isn't totally blind. They are demonstrably bad Star Wars films, for the excruciating dialogue (esp. concerning Padme and Anakin's "romance"), the endless meetings that dragged on FOREVER, the comparative lack of action, Anakin's whiny bitch tendencies, and Jar-Jar. FUCK Jar-Jar. :evil: The whole subject of the prequel's awfulness could encompass an entire thread of its own. But for the sake of my sanity and yours, let's move on.

I do concede that the prequels did have their moments of inspiration. Revenge of the Sith came close to redeeming the whole mess, and I don't view that movie as harshly as the others. The opera scene was superbly done, the lightsaber fights were awesome, the battles were spectacular, Order 66 was a legitimately horrifying moment and the Emperor stood out as the trilogy's best character.


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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:42 am 
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snowman1989 wrote:
The popular hate towards the prequels isn't totally blind. They are demonstrably bad Star Wars films, for the excruciating dialogue (esp. concerning Padme and Anakin's "romance"), the endless meetings that dragged on FOREVER, the comparative lack of action, Anakin's whiny bitch tendencies, and Jar-Jar. FUCK Jar-Jar. :evil: The whole subject of the prequel's awfulness could encompass an entire thread of its own. But for the sake of my sanity and yours, let's move on.

I do concede that the prequels did have their moments of inspiration. Revenge of the Sith came close to redeeming the whole mess, and I don't view that movie as harshly as the others. The opera scene was superbly done, the lightsaber fights were awesome, the battles were spectacular, Order 66 was a legitimately horrifying moment and the Emperor stood out as the trilogy's best character.
I should also add that unlike yourself, most of the people I was complaining about in my last post either can't or don't bother to actually break down the movies and explain why they hate them so much, except perhaps to bitch about Jar-Jar (which is a subject that virtually the entire human race is in agreement on). This leads me to conclude that many of them are simply repeating what they've heard others say.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:47 pm 
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Note to self, don't read this topic at all, too much spoiler-y stuff in non-spoiler tags. :/

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:09 am 
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I've now seen it, and I can not see it again soon enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:57 am 
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Just saw The Force Awakens. This is a movie weakened by several glaring flaws: in the end, though, I still enjoyed it.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Flaws
Bear in mind this is what I can remember/focus on, at 1am.

Let me lay out what the movie established: the New Republic formed from the remnants of the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. The First Order is something like the Imperial Remnants of the old canon, only they have to kidnap children to be Stormtroopers, they seem to have like one Star Destroyer, operate in the outer rim, where they somehow avoid the Republic's eye, and are far more extreme than the Imperial Remnants ever were. The Resistance, meanwhile, seems to be a coalition of outer-rim governments and militias that works with the Republic to combat the First Order, but who actually seem willing or able to enter combat. I imagine the Republic's hands might be somewhat tied by war fatigue: perhaps they had no support for a war against the meager First Order.

Quote:
Starkiller Base: despite being a sliver of what the Empire was, and having little by the way of resources, the First Order is somehow able to convert an entire planet into a Death Star that can kill multiple planets at once, by somehow absorbing an entire fucking star in a matter of hours. There is no reason we should believe this weapon could have been built by the First Order in 30 years, let alone that it should be able to function. This is a planet, that has had a significant portion of its crust excavated to be replaced with the weapon's machinery, while the Order has Vader Litetm, one Star Dreadnought, and a handful of brainwashed troopers. The first Death Star took decades to build, and that was by the Galactic Empire. The second Death Star took three years, but it also had the resources of the entire Empire at hand. So, what is the First Order? On the one hand, it's a ghost of what the Empire once was. On the other hand, it's capable of turning entire planets into superweapons.

How did they manage to keep this a secret? The Rebel Alliance had the greatest spy network that the galaxy had ever seen: this is how they found both Death Stars. The Republic, made up of both the Rebellion and Imperials who returned to the fold, somehow failed to notice an entire planet being turned into a gun. Where were the credits coming from? How was that trail hidden? The logic doesn't fit.

Starkiller Base operates on the same principle as the Galaxy Gun did, which was to send its payload through hyperspace so it could not be intercepted. Starkiller, though, fires a laser through hyperspace (where it is invisible to the naked eye in real space, until the film needs the drama of a giant red death laser flying through the sky). How? The Galaxy Gun's projectiles were hyperdrive equipped vehicles able to destroy capital ships to hit their target. Never has Star Wars shown a kind of portal technology, capable of opening a wormhole at both the gun's muzzle and at the target point. This weapon is also incredibly inefficient compared to the Death Star II: that battlestation was far smaller, and able to fire its Superlaser every three minutes, on a reactor's charge. Starkiller base requires several hours at least, and has to consume an entire fucking star. As we all know, that's a retarded metric to go by: there are stars of unfathomable sizes, and stars barely larger than a (large) gas giant. And, even the SMALLEST of stars emits far more energy than would ever be required to kill countless planets. The star we see absorbed in the movie could be the size of our sun, or it could be the size of Arcturus.

That doesn't matter, though: this weapon is impractical and insanely inefficient. If they required a weapon capable of intimidation, they could just build another Death Star at a fraction of the resource cost. If they wanted to be able to kill all life on a planet, they could have built several ships akin to the Eclipse-class Super Star Dreadnought. That would have had the advantage of producing vessels that are also very effective in conventional battles, and that lacked the glaring weaknesses that the two Death Stars managed to have, and that Starkiller Base also managed to have. How do they siphon off an entire star without killing everything on the fucking planet because of the exposure to insane heat and deadly stellar radiation? How is the planet not flung out of control once the stars gravity is reduced enough that it no longer influences the bodies in the system? Given the planet is now laden with the mass of a star, only compressed into an infinitesimal (by comparison) space, why does it not just turn into a black hole or neutron star? Even if the star's matter is somehow contained in hyperspace, its mass would continue to influence the planet around it. That's what hyperspace interdiction imitates (the mass of a planet or star). Gravity cannot be absorbed, transformed, or protected against, at least in our universe. In Star Wars, the amount of energy required to shield against that amount of gravity would be obscene.

Rotation: does the planet rotate? If it does, there would be no way whatsoever to aim the weapon and get an accurate shot, since it seems to have to be aiming AT its targets, given it appears to fire unguided plasma. But, the planet is encrusted in ice. If the rotation stopped suddenly, all that mass would keep going, and destroy all the machinery built into the surface. Did they stop the rotation slowly? That doesn't seem possible over the 30 years or so that have passed since Return of the Jedi. And then, what's with the interior of the planet? Either that would keep spinning, throwing the aim off, or they somehow removed the entire interior to make room for a... sun-compressor. Which makes the time frame it was constructed in even more unbelievable. And, given Finn knew about Starkiller... he's not good with shooting people himself, or the first order killing people where he can see it, but he's okay with a superweapon that absorbs stars -- fucking up the balance of the entire galaxy in the process -- and then wipes out several planets at once, killing tens or hundreds of billions?

Then we come to the assault on the Starkiller itself. The Millennium Falcon jumps into the planet's atmosphere, which is impossible unless Han and Chewie fucked with the hyperdrive computer and removed the inbuilt safeties that prevent such a thing from happening. They disable the planet's shield, which prevents ships from entering at sublight speeds. Okay. That seems a very specific and strange thing for a shield to block. Once the shield is down, though, the Resistance enters with... a handful of fighters and bombers. While the "Republic" is apparently gone following the Starkiller's attack (I don't see how this is possible, given how vast an entity it is, spread across tens of dozens of core worlds), that doesn't mean every single asset should be gone and unable to mobilise. Where is the fleet of Mon Calamari cruisers, Corellian Corvettes, Nebulon-B Frigates, ex-Imperial Star Destroyers and Super Star Destroyers, and capital-class vessels, that both the Republic and the Resistance themselves, should have access to? We're talking tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, of vessels, all in the hands of the Republic and Resistance. Once the shield is gone, Starkiller should have had several Home One-class ships jump into orbit above it and obliterate it from there. I don't know what exactly dictated this choice: Han Solo and Chewie had to destroy the shield generator anyway. Finn had to go try and find Rey. Rey could have fought Kylo Ren anyway. Han could have died regardless. But an assault by Capital ships just makes far more sense, and would have left the mission with a 0 risk factor: the weapons present would have been incapable of destroying heavier capital ships before the base itself went up.


Quote:
Rey
I'm going to say here that I disagree with those who say Rey is a Mary Sue. She is not quite that bad. There are a lot of issues with just how strong she is, though, as a character. Her piloting of the Millennium Falcon is both believable and unbelievable: she's hitting the ground a lot of the time, but that doesn't change the fact that she can get the very best out of the ship, which is a heavily modified and souped up YT-1300 series freighter. The power to weight ratios would be different to anything she'd ever encountered, even if she'd grown up flying YT-series ships. I suppose we're expected to attribute this to the Force, since we later discover she is Force-sensitive. She's able to resist Kylo Ren's interrogation. That makes sense. She's strong-willed, and he is not a well-trained user of the force: interrogation techniques that draw from the dark side like that require a steel will, the ability to channel not only your passion, fear, hatred, etc. but also that of your target, and the light side gives immense strength of will to those who can draw upon it.

What doesn't make sense, though, is that she's able to defeat Kylo Ren just like that in a lightsaber duel. Lightsabers are an entirely separate beast to the Force itself. They are unbalanced weapons -- nothing like her staff -- and generate a strong gyroscopic force when activated, which makes the blade resist some swings and put too much power into others. They require years of training to use without killing yourself: even an immensely strong Force user, a savant, cannot just pick one up and fight with it. To me, it would have made much more sense if she actually defeated Ren using the Force, given he's clearly never had to face a strong user of the Light Side -- like Luke or Obi-Wan, or their equal -- in combat, before. He is used to overwhelming others with the sheer power of the dark side, as is shown when Rey manages to get into his mind when she is being interrogated.


Quote:
Han Solo

Is Han actually dead? Well, looks that way, but don't forget, Darth Maul LOOKED dead, and he was cut in half. Solo was stabbed through the right side of the chest, nowhere near his heart, and fell into a bunch of "clouds". This one becomes a difficult issue: will the writers have the balls to keep Solo dead, or will they bring him back, somehow? Bear in mind, Captain Phasma was also made a huge deal of, and she apparently got thrown in a trash compactor. Her whereabouts, and Solo's whereabouts, remain technically unknown.


Quote:
TR8R

The Stormtrooper with the riot prod who fought Finn -- who had a lightsaber -- and won. He is, for some strange reason, insanely popular with Star Wars fans, who're demanding he gets his own spinoff, despite being iced. Thought I'd bring him up here because of that, and because of this tidbit: the one word he says is also his name.

"Traitor"
"TReightR"
"TR8R"


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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:54 am 
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[Reveal] Spoiler: The Force Awakens
I honestly can't argue with most of your crits regarding the Starkiller, particularly the physics of it. The only thing I can really say is that, being completely honest with ourselves, Star Wars has always been much more of a "space fantasy" than "true" science fiction. It's always been primarily a work of pure imagination, and has rarely concerned itself with scientific accuracy. I'm not saying that's a defense, I'm just saying that, personally, it's a subject where I know I have to suspend a bit more of my disbelief than I might in other cases, and Star Wars has enough personal meaning for me to be okay with that.

In a similar vein, one thing about the Starkiller that I haven't seen much discussion on is the fact that it isn't "just" capable of obliterating multiple planets in a single shot. It wipes out entire solar systems, by design but not even as its intended objective; it's something that just incidentally happens in the course of simply charging its weapon.

Loki Kola wrote:
So, what is the First Order? On the one hand, it's a ghost of what the Empire once was. On the other hand, it's capable of turning entire planets into superweapons.
I think it's a fairly safe bet that there is probably a lot more to the First Order than what we've seen so far.

Loki Kola wrote:
While the "Republic" is apparently gone following the Starkiller's attack (I don't see how this is possible, given how vast an entity it is, spread across tens of dozens of core worlds), that doesn't mean every single asset should be gone and unable to mobilise. Where is the fleet of Mon Calamari cruisers, Corellian Corvettes, Nebulon-B Frigates, ex-Imperial Star Destroyers and Super Star Destroyers, and capital-class vessels, that both the Republic and the Resistance themselves, should have access to? We're talking tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, of vessels, all in the hands of the Republic and Resistance. Once the shield is gone, Starkiller should have had several Home One-class ships jump into orbit above it and obliterate it from there. I don't know what exactly dictated this choice: Han Solo and Chewie had to destroy the shield generator anyway. Finn had to go try and find Rey. Rey could have fought Kylo Ren anyway. Han could have died regardless. But an assault by Capital ships just makes far more sense, and would have left the mission with a 0 risk factor: the weapons present would have been incapable of destroying heavier capital ships before the base itself went up.
Number one, I don't think it's at all accurate to say the Republic is "gone" after the Starkiller's attack, but it targeted and destroyed the Republic's capital and several other nearby planets. Assuming the Republic even had an organized military fleet, their command structure would have been thrown into complete disarray. The Star Wars Wiki states that the New Republic's fleet was "utterly destroyed" along with the planets in the Starkiller's line of fire, or at least the bulk of it, and whatever was left was presumably nowhere remotely near the same area of the galaxy. Travel through hyperspace is not instantaneous, and knowing they only had a few hours in which to respond, the Resistance basically did what the Rebellion had done at Yavin IV and scrambled whatever meager ships they had on hand.

Loki Kola wrote:
Rey
I'm going to say here that I disagree with those who say Rey is a Mary Sue. She is not quite that bad. There are a lot of issues with just how strong she is, though, as a character. Her piloting of the Millennium Falcon is both believable and unbelievable: she's hitting the ground a lot of the time, but that doesn't change the fact that she can get the very best out of the ship, which is a heavily modified and souped up YT-1300 series freighter. The power to weight ratios would be different to anything she'd ever encountered, even if she'd grown up flying YT-series ships. I suppose we're expected to attribute this to the Force, since we later discover she is Force-sensitive. She's able to resist Kylo Ren's interrogation. That makes sense. She's strong-willed, and he is not a well-trained user of the force: interrogation techniques that draw from the dark side like that require a steel will, the ability to channel not only your passion, fear, hatred, etc. but also that of your target, and the light side gives immense strength of will to those who can draw upon it.

What doesn't make sense, though, is that she's able to defeat Kylo Ren just like that in a lightsaber duel. Lightsabers are an entirely separate beast to the Force itself. They are unbalanced weapons -- nothing like her staff -- and generate a strong gyroscopic force when activated, which makes the blade resist some swings and put too much power into others. They require years of training to use without killing yourself: even an immensely strong Force user, a savant, cannot just pick one up and fight with it. To me, it would have made much more sense if she actually defeated Ren using the Force, given he's clearly never had to face a strong user of the Light Side -- like Luke or Obi-Wan, or their equal -- in combat, before. He is used to overwhelming others with the sheer power of the dark side, as is shown when Rey manages to get into his mind when she is being interrogated.
I had a similar reaction to that climactic lightsaber duel, especially considering how long Luke had been training before he was able to even try to fight Darth Vader (and lose). :imyourdaddy:

But then, I thought about a couple of lines from the previous films. During the earliest part of his training in A New Hope, Luke asked Obi-Wan if the Force controlled your actions, and Obi-Wan answered in the affirmative (his exact response was "Partially, but it also obeys your commands."). And in Revenge of the Sith, Yoda counseled Anakin not to mourn for "those who transform into the Force", a very interesting choice of words.

When analyzed carefully, the audio heard during Rey's earlier Force vision strongly suggests that, through the Force, she had established a connection to not only Luke, but also to Yoda and Obi-Wan. With that in mind, it is not at all unreasonable to think that during that pivotal duel, Rey probably received active (if subconscious) guidance from two of the most skilled and powerful Jedi in the Order.

Also important to take into account is the fact that Rey (and Finn) was fighting Kylo Ren, who is...a rather strange case, to put it mildly. On the one hand, he is obviously very strong in the Force, to the point where he can use it to paralyze people and even hold a blaster bolt suspended in the air. By contrast, his lightsaber skills are just as obviously very lacking, as he had difficulty dueling two people who had absolutely no prior lightsaber training whatsoever, the latter of whom actually defeated him.

In Ren's defense, he was wounded at the time. But he was wounded because he had failed to deflect Chewbacca's bowcaster shot, which had been fired from a distance of at least a hundred meters, probably more. So...that doesn't say much in defense of his lightsaber skills, either, does it?

But back to Rey: I like her quite a bit, and found her much more interesting than I'd expected to. Personal disclaimer: My niece absolutely loves her, and is overjoyed to finally have a strong Star Wars heroine she can relate to...so that's good enough for me. :D
Loki Kola wrote:
Han Solo
Is Han actually dead? Well, looks that way, but don't forget, Darth Maul LOOKED dead, and he was cut in half. Solo was stabbed through the right side of the chest, nowhere near his heart, and fell into a bunch of "clouds". This one becomes a difficult issue: will the writers have the balls to keep Solo dead, or will they bring him back, somehow? Bear in mind, Captain Phasma was also made a huge deal of, and she apparently got thrown in a trash compactor. Her whereabouts, and Solo's whereabouts, remain technically unknown.
I'm pretty sure Han is actually dead. I would point out that as far as the movies are concerned, Darth Maul was dead after he was cut in half.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:37 am 
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[Reveal] Spoiler: TFA
CWS wrote:
In a similar vein, one thing about the Starkiller that I haven't seen much discussion on is the fact that it isn't "just" capable of obliterating multiple planets in a single shot. It wipes out entire solar systems, by design but not even as its intended objective; it's something that just incidentally happens in the course of simply charging its weapon.


Yes. That's also somewhat... strange, at least, about the First Order. The Galactic Empire had no qualms about collateral damage, just so long as that collateral damage didn't fuck them up quite so much as it fucked... well, anyone else up. With Starkiller, they're removing entire fucking stars from the equation. All that mass, and gravity, either gone altogether (converted into pure energy, I guess), or... fired out of the weapon in place of a superlaser. Which would just fling entire systems and the like into disarray. All I can really say is that a third Death Star would be a much more precise weapon overall, if it could also fire through hyperspace. I don't know. Maybe the star's gravity rips a hyperspace wormhole or some shit. Like I said, though: Death Star II could fire every three minutes, without destroying a star. Three minutes is nowhere near enough time to evacuate a planet, and perhaps not even enough time to get a message to a planet saying to evacuate the leaders.

CWS wrote:
I think it's a fairly safe bet that there is probably a lot more to the First Order than what we've seen so far.


I agree, but it also feels far less... threatening than the Imperial Remnants of the EU did. Perhaps that's just because it lacks the cold and calculated planning and presence of characters like Grand Admiral Thrawn, Gilad Pellaeon, or Natasi Daala.


CWS wrote:
Number one, I don't think it's at all accurate to say the Republic is "gone" after the Starkiller's attack, but it targeted and destroyed the Republic's capital and several other nearby planets. Assuming the Republic even had an organized military fleet, their command structure would have been thrown into complete disarray. The Star Wars Wiki states that the New Republic's fleet was "utterly destroyed" along with the planets in the Starkiller's line of fire, or at least the bulk of it, and whatever was left was presumably nowhere remotely near the same area of the galaxy. Travel through hyperspace is not instantaneous, and knowing they only had a few hours in which to respond, the Resistance basically did what the Rebellion had done at Yavin IV and scrambled whatever meager ships they had on hand.


The Republic had a fleet made up of old Rebel and Republic ships, plus Imperial Star Destroyers and the like which had been surrendered by Imperials who were only loyal out of fear. A journalist friend of mine read up, and apparently Abrams is unconcerned with putting out a substantial backstory, because fans will fill in the gaps themselves. Which, you know, makes sense, because they already have started doing that. Though, the New Republic apparently lost a significant number of ships at the Battle of Jakku: the loyal Imperials went down with their ships, using tractor beams to pull Republic vessels down after them. This feels kind of like a cheap shot (I never thought tractor beams could pull ships up to and larger than yours down), but, whatever.

As for the entire fleet being destroyed... I don't think that's possible. The headquarters of the New Republic is not Coruscant: rather, it rotates from planet to planet, once per a standard year. It would also make sense for the fleets to be split up amongst the various contributors to the Republic. Mon Calamari ships would be on standby at Mon Cala, Star Dreadnoughts at Kuat Drive Yards for refit, whatever. To me it's just hard to believe there are no response "fleets" of Capital ships, given that's the advantage the Rebels always lacked. That, and B-Wings would have been way more suited to an attack on that facility, because they're designed to take on much larger vessels, up to the size of Star Destroyers. :geek:

To me it feels connected to the issue of this story being a retelling of A New Hope with not much else to offer besides nostalgia. Because setting the Republic back to what it had been as the Rebel Alliance pretty much sets the rest of this trilogy up to be The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, all over again.

CWS wrote:
I had a similar reaction to that climactic lightsaber duel, especially considering how long Luke had been training before he was able to even try to fight Darth Vader (and lose). :imyourdaddy:

But then, I thought about a couple of lines from the previous films. During the earliest part of his training in A New Hope, Luke asked Obi-Wan if the Force controlled your actions, and Obi-Wan answered in the affirmative (his exact response was "Partially, but it also obeys your commands."). And in Revenge of the Sith, Yoda counseled Anakin not to mourn for "those who transform into the Force", a very interesting choice of words.

When analyzed carefully, the audio heard during Rey's earlier Force vision strongly suggests that, through the Force, she had established a connection to not only Luke, but also to Yoda and Obi-Wan. With that in mind, it is not at all unreasonable to think that during that pivotal duel, Rey probably received active (if subconscious) guidance from two of the most skilled and powerful Jedi in the Order.

Also important to take into account is the fact that Rey (and Finn) was fighting Kylo Ren, who is...a rather strange case, to put it mildly. On the one hand, he is obviously very strong in the Force, to the point where he can use it to paralyze people and even hold a blaster bolt suspended in the air. By contrast, his lightsaber skills are just as obviously very lacking, as he had difficulty dueling two people who had absolutely no prior lightsaber training whatsoever, the latter of whom actually defeated him.

In Ren's defense, he was wounded at the time. But he was wounded because he had failed to deflect Chewbacca's bowcaster shot, which had been fired from a distance of at least a hundred meters, probably more. So...that doesn't say much in defense of his lightsaber skills, either, does it?

But back to Rey: I like her quite a bit, and found her much more interesting than I'd expected to. Personal disclaimer: My niece absolutely loves her, and is overjoyed to finally have a strong Star Wars heroine she can relate to...so that's good enough for me.


The Force controlling your actions relates to how it permeates you and everyone around you, I believe. That is, your emotions and actions feed into it, and it feeds back into you. Fear begets fear, Anger begets Anger, Hate begets Hate, and Suffering begets Suffering. Love begets Love, etc. Calling upon the power of the Dark Side is so seductive and dangerous because the hate that you feel in yourself feeds upon the force, with the dark side feeding upon it in return. Though, this always seems to happen to people who deny either the light or the dark side. Grey Jedi, who -- as their code -- believe that "There is only the Force" never seemed to run into these issues in the EU. That the Force obeys your commands is a given, since, you know, it can kill for you, throw people for you, control people, etc. But, as I said, never before (in the movies) has force proficiency equaled ability with a lightsaber. Always were the two tied together, through the specialised training I'd mentioned.


CWS wrote:
I'm pretty sure Han is actually dead. I would point out that as far as the movies are concerned, Darth Maul was dead after he was cut in half.


Yeah, although Harrison Ford is apparently signed on for the other movies. Unless he becomes a Force ghost that returns to parent the shit out of Ben, or something. We will see, and at this point I wouldn't put anything past them, given they apparently killed Solo, and he's always had the thickest of plot armour.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:01 pm 
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I stumbled across a rather interesting YouTube video analyzing Kylo Ren's lightsaber, and I must say this idea makes more sense to me than the "crossguard" concept.


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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:44 pm 
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...this is a movie people honestly claim is better than Revenge of the Sith? Really? Huh. Maybe well-developed drama is just horribly underrated these days?

No, seriously. The whole movie's a nonstop sequence of energetic scenes (which I understand J.J. Abrams is known for)...with next to no development behind them. I mean, Rey can pilot the Millennium Falcon...for no apparent reason (she says herself she doesn't know how she did it). The Falcon gets picked up...for no apparent reason. They happen to be picked up by Han and Chewbacca...for no apparent reason. They escape to a planet Han knows of, where Han's already decided he wants Rey to stay with the Falcon...for no apparent reason. The place they go happens to have Luke's old lightsaber...for no apparent reason. Rey is able to resist Kylo's Force interrogation...for no apparent reason. Rey develops the ability to control a stormtrooper...for no apparent reason (seriously, what happened between "failure" and "success" in those few seconds?). Rey is ultimately able to overwhelm Kylo in lightsaber combat...for no apparent reason. And R2D2 reactivates after years in low-power mode, precisely after the destruction of the Starkiller base, to project the rest of the map the whole movie's theoretically driven by even though it's been there for a while...for no apparent reason.

Even worse is the lack of characterization. I mean, what do we know about Rey as a person? For comparison, in A New Hope we learn Luke feels trapped on Tattooine, that he wants to get away from it all to go fight the Empire, that he feels responsible for Owen and Beru's death at the hands of the Empire, that he looks up to Obi-Wan for showing him the world is a much bigger place than he thought it was. Rey...wants to go back home and wait for her family. I don't feel like I'm stepping out on a limb when I say “wanting family back” is quite a generic desire; and so there's not really a whole lot that distinguishes Rey, dramatically, from anyone else with a similar personality.

And while I'm sure killing Han off was supposed to be gutwrenching....It just came off as wasteful. I mean really, that was the only indication of the relationship Han and Kylo had. Maybe if some time had been spent establishing it...or more than a flyby or two spent establishing the relationship between Han and Rey...or if there was some element of sacrifice on Han's part...or maybe if it wasn't drawn out to the point of being awkward....But no. Han's death comes off as done for cheap shock value, relying wholly on nostalgia from the original trilogy for the “shock”.

Which...is emblematic of the movie as a whole, really. It's very well executed on the superficial scene level, but lacking on substance behind it...relying on a combination of nostalgia and not giving the mental time to process what's going on before the next attention-demanding scene starts. The design seems to discount that mental processing is what leads to the deeper intellectual/emotional understanding that keeps stories on the mind far longer than the visceral reaction to seeing them on the screen. The best analogy I can think of here is attempting to retell a classic love story as a porn montage, on the misguided belief that if there's enough sex on the screen, viewers will just assume a romance exists.

I suppose the approach can work with the right medium (hasn't the past 10 years of politics been dominated by a nonstop stream of focused news stories that barely hint at what the politicians were doing leading up to them?), but to me it seems absurdly shallow for Star Wars.


As tends to be the case, Film Crit Hulk goes into a lot more, highly insightful, depth on this.

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 Post subject: Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:50 pm 
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The Phiend wrote:
...this is a movie people honestly claim is better than Revenge of the Sith? Really? Huh. Maybe well-developed drama is just horribly underrated these days?

No, seriously. The whole movie's a nonstop sequence of energetic scenes (which I understand J.J. Abrams is known for)...with next to no development behind them. I mean, Rey can pilot the Millennium Falcon...for no apparent reason (she says herself she doesn't know how she did it). The Falcon gets picked up...for no apparent reason. They happen to be picked up by Han and Chewbacca...for no apparent reason. They escape to a planet Han knows of, where Han's already decided he wants Rey to stay with the Falcon...for no apparent reason. The place they go happens to have Luke's old lightsaber...for no apparent reason. Rey is able to resist Kylo's Force interrogation...for no apparent reason. Rey develops the ability to control a stormtrooper...for no apparent reason (seriously, what happened between "failure" and "success" in those few seconds?). Rey is ultimately able to overwhelm Kylo in lightsaber combat...for no apparent reason. And R2D2 reactivates after years in low-power mode, precisely after the destruction of the Starkiller base, to project the rest of the map the whole movie's theoretically driven by even though it's been there for a while...for no apparent reason.

Even worse is the lack of characterization. I mean, what do we know about Rey as a person? For comparison, in A New Hope we learn Luke feels trapped on Tattooine, that he wants to get away from it all to go fight the Empire, that he feels responsible for Owen and Beru's death at the hands of the Empire, that he looks up to Obi-Wan for showing him the world is a much bigger place than he thought it was. Rey...wants to go back home and wait for her family. I don't feel like I'm stepping out on a limb when I say “wanting family back” is quite a generic desire; and so there's not really a whole lot that distinguishes Rey, dramatically, from anyone else with a similar personality.

And while I'm sure killing Han off was supposed to be gutwrenching....It just came off as wasteful. I mean really, that was the only indication of the relationship Han and Kylo had. Maybe if some time had been spent establishing it...or more than a flyby or two spent establishing the relationship between Han and Rey...or if there was some element of sacrifice on Han's part...or maybe if it wasn't drawn out to the point of being awkward....But no. Han's death comes off as done for cheap shock value, relying wholly on nostalgia from the original trilogy for the “shock”.

Which...is emblematic of the movie as a whole, really. It's very well executed on the superficial scene level, but lacking on substance behind it...relying on a combination of nostalgia and not giving the mental time to process what's going on before the next attention-demanding scene starts. The design seems to discount that mental processing is what leads to the deeper intellectual/emotional understanding that keeps stories on the mind far longer than the visceral reaction to seeing them on the screen. The best analogy I can think of here is attempting to retell a classic love story as a porn montage, on the misguided belief that if there's enough sex on the screen, viewers will just assume a romance exists.

I suppose the approach can work with the right medium (hasn't the past 10 years of politics been dominated by a nonstop stream of focused news stories that barely hint at what the politicians were doing leading up to them?), but to me it seems absurdly shallow for Star Wars.
That's quite a comprehensive review, and I don't really disagree with any of it. I do, however, have some observations about Rey that I've been waiting for the chance to share...and now I finally can!

Many people complain about her overly convenient ability to do all of the things you mentioned. And that's a valid point, but I find the specific talents she displays to be very intriguing. I'm convinced that she has some kind of connection, likely through the Force, to Anakin Skywalker. She has exactly the same natural talents he did, and even some of his specific skills. Like him, she's a gifted mechanic, an instinctively skillful pilot, and almost unnaturally skilled in the Force.

Further, study that lightsaber duel at the end, specifically after the point where Rey begins consciously tapping into and channeling the Force. During the course of the duel after that, she does several very specific things that mirror Anakin's duels with Count Dooku and Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith. For example, the overhead two-handed power swing, the kick, and the grapple.

Of course, one or two of these things could certainly be coincidental. But all of them? I seriously doubt it. This also makes her remark to Kylo Ren, that "you're afraid you'll never be as strong as Darth Vader" seem much more meaningful.

I even thought for a while that she might be a "failed" clone of Anakin/Vader, simply because that would explain virtually everything about her. But then...The Last Jedi came out, and pissed all over that idea (among other things). Because apparently J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson never communicated about anything, at all. :? But I still believe there is some kind of connection between her and Anakin.

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