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Re: Star Wars

Postby IronEvangelion » Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:42 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:I have never understood why people think Jedi is so terrible. It is honestly my favorite of the OT

Same here, I never got the hate for it either. It still has the best space battle I've ever seen, and those little Ewok furballs are awesome. Also I think it has the best lightsaber blade effects in the entire series and Disney needs to replicate them if they haven't done it already. Bring colorsabers back!
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Re: Star Wars

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:25 pm

Visually speaking, (which film is a visual medium) the Empire doesn't feel as formidable of a villain if they're being beaten by little teddy bears. I understand (and even like) the whole "nature vs technology" aspect of the fight, that's never bothered me, it's just that it looks silly to see the Empire get kicked by a bunch of little fuzzy guys.

Ewoks aside, I also kind of feel that Luke Skywalker & Co. completely forgot they had the assistance of the Rebel Alliance when rescuing a character that was needed to be captain of the team to disable the shield of the Death Stars. That seems like it should be more of a priority to them than simply sending a handful of guys to hatch a needlessly elaborate scheme to bust out Han Solo. The scheme itself is fun to watch and every character is nicely used in it, but in context of the rest of the movie it just doesn't quite fit with the rest of the narrative.

Everything flaw beyond that wouldn't be any more than a nit-pick, and all of these flaws I detailed are completely forgiven once we get to the scene where Luke Skywalker beating Darth Vader into submission with a lightsaber. That scene was simply made of pure awesome, and I can't hate a movie with that scene in it to save my life.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Ieyasu » Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:32 pm

I never hated Jedi, but I get the gripes about how it was "slipping" compared to the others. It's the first of the OT where the Death Star is re-used, the whole first 1/3 of the movie is almost like a totally different movie and beat than the rest, Ewoks besting stormtroopers and all their machinery make the Empire look pathetic, Han Solo has nothing much to do, etc. and that's not mentioning the changes George made to Jabba's palace in the special editions that completely screw up the tone with that weird-ass musical number and the space beaver or whatever it was that was singing it.

I love Jedi. But I see that it was beginning to show cracks and some of the ideas were weak. But in my opinion makes up for it all with that final space battle and Luke's confrontation with Palpatine. I wish I'd been old enough to see that for the first time in the cinema on the big screen. As it happens the OT was just a part of my childhood from day one, I never remember my first watching or how I felt about it.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Bagheera » Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:34 pm

Honestly, both of those flaws sound like nitpicks, and I can address both off the top of my head fairly easily:

Ewoks: Everyone wishes the planet was Kashyyyk instead of Endor, but let's be real here: if you were the Empire would you put the shield generator for your superweapon on a planet full of wookies? That would be absolutely insane. You're basically saying, "hey, sure, wreck our plans. Be our guest." OTOH, a planet full of miniature teddy bears . . . hells, man, what can they do? They're harmless.

Jabba's Palace: Attacking a Hutt crimelord head-on is asking for trouble. The Rebellion would win, but it would cost them. Sending in a seasoned strike team (complete with wookie and the galaxy's last remaining Jedi) is a lot more sensible. Not every problem is best addressed with a brute force approach.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Glor » Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:56 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Ewoks: Everyone wishes the planet was Kashyyyk instead of Endor, but let's be real here: if you were the Empire would you put the shield generator for your superweapon on a planet full of wookies? That would be absolutely insane. You're basically saying, "hey, sure, wreck our plans. Be our guest." OTOH, a planet full of miniature teddy bears . . . hells, man, what can they do? They're harmless.


No matter how you rationalize it, Ewoks are still an incredibly silly element of the movie. I know I said Star Wars shouldn't be taken too seriously because of Space Samurai and whatever, but mini teddy bears are a little too ridiculous for me to handle. Even as a kid I hated that scene.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Sicarius VI » Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:58 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Honestly, both of those flaws sound like nitpicks, and I can address both off the top of my head fairly easily:

Ewoks: Everyone wishes the planet was Kashyyyk instead of Endor, but let's be real here: if you were the Empire would you put the shield generator for your superweapon on a planet full of wookies? That would be absolutely insane. You're basically saying, "hey, sure, wreck our plans. Be our guest." OTOH, a planet full of miniature teddy bears . . . hells, man, what can they do? They're harmless.


Or they could've just put it on Coruscant and been done with it... but I digress.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Bagheera » Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:07 pm

View Original PostGlor wrote:No matter how you rationalize it, Ewoks are still an incredibly silly element of the movie. I know I said Star Wars shouldn't be taken too seriously because of Space Samurai and whatever, but mini teddy bears are a little too ridiculous for me to handle. Even as a kid I hated that scene.


Saw it in theaters when I was ten and I just couldn't be bothered to care because of all the space battles and sword fights and cool Jedi shit.

Ah well. To each their own.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby cyharding » Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:10 pm

I came into Star Wars in a weird way. I watched the OT backwards by mistake. I started out with Jedi and ended with New Hope. -o-; When I saw it again a few years ago, I did find the same narrative flaws, but I still like the movie.

Also this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wKqH6vlGHU
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Sicarius VI » Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:43 pm



I think this is gonna have to be my head canon now. Thanks for sharing that Cyharding.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Fri Dec 25, 2015 11:38 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Saw it in theaters when I was ten and I just couldn't be bothered to care because of all the space battles and sword fights and cool Jedi shit.

At the end of the day, "space battles and sword fights and cool Jedi shit" is where I stand on Jedi. Like I said, I can't hate a film where Luke and Vader have that confrontation.

And, for the record, I don't wish for Wookies instead of Ewoks. I just wish for something other than Teddy Bears. Heck, Endor could have been absent of any intelligent life forms for all I care. "Stronger visuals" doesn't mean "stronger intelligent indigenous life forms."

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:46 am

I saw Episode VII yesterday. The only thing that I really wanted was to be able to walk out of that theater and say, "I enjoyed that." I'm very happy to say that was something I was able to do! Episode VII is a fun ride all the way through.

SPOILER: Show
There were oodles of fantastic shots-- I saw the film in 3D, so that scene when Kylo Ren stops the blaster bolt in the first battle and the camera goes past it? It looked fantastic. I also very much enjoyed shots of the star destroyers (and come to think of it, I enjoyed pretty much anything that had to do with starships.) The film is visually beautiful. I felt like I was seeing the true potential of what worlds in Star Wars could look like, moving forward from the limitations of when the original trilogy was filmed and getting away from the prequels' unfinished CG. I loved the costumes, particularly the new stormtroopers. The looks of the movie were so good (in my opinion) that it will probably continue to be one of the things I mentioned when talking about how much I liked Episode VII.

Plot-wise, I could definitely feel the Episode IV in there. Person gets a thing, person is attacked by the enemy, person hides thing in a droid, droid is discovered by protagonist, protag is found by enemy, protag escapes on the Millennium Falcon (no getting around that similarity), protag is threatened by existence of giant weapon, giant weapon destroys some planets, resistance force figures out how to destroy giant weapon, giant weapon goes boom. Sure, it's similar, but it's different enough for enough of the way that I could appreciate it as its own story. It helped that the plot was mostly driven by entirely new characters.

We got a few new characters who made an impression on me, and I'll talk about them here.

I felt that Poe Dameron was underused-- I would have loved to have seen more of him. He's this cocky character whose personality I felt was perfectly transmitted by Oscar Isaac. He had a charisma that made me wish he had a bit more screentime and character development, and his lack of screentime is why I can't really say more about him here.

I absolutely loved Finn. I loved his introduction, I loved his bro-moment with Poe in the TIE fighter, I loved his character when he crash-landed on Jakku, I loved seeing him in the gunner's seat on the Millennium Falcon. What I liked the most was that we really got to watch Finn grow during Episode VII, and I look forward to seeing more of him in the future.

Kylo Ren is interesting to me. My suspension of belief wavered when I learned he was Han and Leia's son-- did he have to be related to somebody from the original trilogy? That was a part of his character that didn't strike me as something that really made him more interesting. I like the idea that he's trying to be the new Vader, and his position as a new Sith antagonist is interesting. I'm not in love with Kylo Ren, but I'm interested to see where he goes from here.

Then there's Rey.

I’ll open by saying that I do not think Rey is a Mary Sue. What I do think is that it feels like every time Rey shows unexplainable prowess in some way (and there are a lot of those times) it feels like it should have been payoff for a buildup that we didn’t get. Rey’s a badass. That’s not really deniable: she can fight, she can shoot, she can speak multiple languages, she can fly space freighters, she’s a crack shot, she’s force-sensitive, she can use the force, and she can best an experienced lightsaber wielder the first time she tries to use one. This fully-formed character is dropped into our hands… and then doesn’t really go anywhere. We like these big, badass powerful characters because we get to see them get that way. Neo wasn’t cool in the first Matrix film because he had godlike powers— he was cool because we got to see him realize he had them, and then we got the payoff when he destroyed an agent. I can understand how Rey’s knowing more about the Millennium Falcon than Solo or being able to use the force incredibly well (and better than characters who by all rights should be able to use it better) and the lightsaber duel with never doing either one before could come off as Mary Sue-ish, even though I wouldn’t use the term. The real beef that I have with her is that we don’t get to see her character develop into a badass. We’re just told that she is one. She’s a blank check— put her into a situation and you know she’ll get out of it. To return to the Matrix analogy, she’s Neo from Matrix Reloaded. The interesting stuff was seeing him become The One.

What I believe is that a character is interesting when we get to watch them develop, and Rey just doesn't do that in The Force Awakens.

However, all that being said, I like Rey. I want to like Rey. I want to see where the films go with her, and maybe if they'll give us the backstory that I think we don't have. I think she's a cool character and I want to see more of her in the Star Wars universe.


All in all, I had a great time when I watched Episode VII. I'm looking forward to next year's Rogue One and 2017's Episode VIII.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Bagheera » Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:56 am

Here's the thing with Rey:

SPOILER: Show
People see her youth, and the setup, and they think, "oh, she's like Luke!" And then she busts out all of these capabilities that are at odds with that character archetype and cry "Mary Sue!"

But she's not like Luke. She's like Jason Bourne. We're supposed to ask questions: How can she fight that freakin' well? Knowing tech makes sense, but why does she know her way around a hyperdrive? How does she come to accept the Force so easily? Why the heck does she know Wookie? What was up with that lightsaber vision? Why is Kylo Ren so freaked out by her? What does that look of utter desperation on her face when she meets Luke mean?

Rey's not a hero embarking on an amazing journey, she's an enigma to be understood. For once, Abrams more-or-less got it right. Now we just have to see if he can deliver the payoff in Episode VIII.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Sat Dec 26, 2015 2:06 am

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Here's the thing with Rey:

SPOILER: Show
People see her youth, and the setup, and they think, "oh, she's like Luke!" And then she busts out all of these capabilities that are at odds with that character archetype and cry "Mary Sue!"

But she's not like Luke. She's like Jason Bourne. We're supposed to ask questions: How can she fight that freakin' well? Knowing tech makes sense, but why does she know her way around a hyperdrive? How does she come to accept the Force so easily? Why the heck does she know Wookie? What was up with that lightsaber vision? Why is Kylo Ren so freaked out by her? What does that look of utter desperation on her face when she meets Luke mean?

Rey's not a hero embarking on an amazing journey, she's an enigma to be understood. For once, Abrams more-or-less got it right. Now we just have to see if he can deliver the payoff in Episode VIII.

SPOILER: Show
Thinking about it that way, I would be inclined to agree-- I haven't seen anything to imply that in the film, which is why I'm sticking to my current interpretation for now, but the idea that this isn't a Hero's Journey is interesting to contemplate, and could very well be the way this all turns out.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Sachi » Sat Dec 26, 2015 3:19 am

Saw it and loved it! Definitely felt up to par with the original trilogy. If it's goal was to capture the look, the feel, and overall essence of the original while promising a new direction, it succeeded very well, and I look forward to see where it all goes from here. The new characters are awesome, and the old characters were given justice without stealing the show. I think it had a perfect blend of nostalgia and new things to offer, and I already can't wait to see the next.

Specific thoughts:

SPOILER: Show
- Kylo Ren is a great villain. With all the talk within the franchise about how anger leads to hate, hate leads to the dark side, etc, it is very nice to finally have a villain that displays actual anger. You can tell he struggles to contain his temper, and ultimately becomes consumed by it. I had figured he was Han and Leia's kid going into it, though I was also hoping Rey would be the twin sister (maybe possibly still? Cousin?). His killing of Han was the trial he needed to overcome in order to completely dive into the dark side, that and becoming severely disfigured. I'm excited to see where he goes from here.

- Felt pretty underwhelmed by Starkiller Base. Would have preferred if the destruction of the oscillator simply disabled the weapon and that it would remain an element throughout the trilogy, but at the same time I'm relieved and hopeful that they're done with the gigantic weapon of destruction gimmick for this series and that this will open it up for new possibilities.

- Rey is a great character. People are fussing that she's too good too soon and too easily overcomes all obastacles, but I found her very interesting and her development was clear. Her relationship with the force came intuitively and was done very cleverly, particularly the scene she finds Anakin's lightsaber and the one where she resists Kylo Ren's mind probe. There's clearly a lot more to her than we're shown, and learning about her past will probably play a huge part in the next film. Perhaps during her training with Luke?

- Still pretty convinced Snoke is Darth Plagueis.

- Even though I saw Han Solo's death coming from a mile away, it was Chewbacca's cry afterwards that broke my heart. Chewie had tons of great moments, both humorous and badass, and I loved every moment he was on screen.

- Phasma felt really under utilized. I wish there would have been at least one more good scene with her, especially since her last scene made her look pretty bad, though perhaps that will provide future incentive for her character. I know her role is supposed to be minimal and around the level of Boba Fett, so hopefully she comes back with glory in the next film.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Monk Ed » Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:59 am

I saw the movie today (or technically, yesterday because it's waaay past midnight here).

Star Wars Episode VII  SPOILER: Show
I was pretty excited to see this movie. The excitement didn't really hit until I was actually in the theater, watching the classic opening, but when it hit, it hit hard. I was giddy and let it show. If I'd thought it would be socially acceptable, I'd have cheered at the opening logo.

The movie started strong. Kylo Ren's introduction was fantastic: stopping a blaster bolt in mid-air? That's not only just plain badass (and visually executed very well), it was something I couldn't recall ever seeing before in any of the many Star Wars materials I'd consumed since childhood. That and seeing stormtroopers do their job effectively for once communicated to me that I was in for a movie that was looking not just to emulate the past but possibly improve upon it.

Towards that end, I loved Kylo Ren. I loved everything about him. I love me a good Vader emulator, and as the movie went on, I felt he developed some serious Vader-esque mystique, even at the same time as he was humanized by the explication of his inner struggle. Even his obvious oneupsmanships of Vader, from his look to his voice to his even more pronounced uses of the Force (stopping a bolt mid-air instead of just in his hand, summoning a choking victim to his hand instead of just choking them, etc) fit the dot and tittle of his character because of its obvious relation to his inner struggle. I had nothing bad to say about his depiction.

That is, until he removed the mask. After that, the spell was broken. I understand intellectually its thematic purpose, but emotionally, it ruined something magical that I had been experiencing, and I had to put in effort to not fixate on it and let it ruin my experience. So much of enjoyment in life is about attitude, but it's so much better when you don't have to try. I think I would have been a lot more fine with it if it had happened only during the confrontation with his father, but that's easy to say after the first time had already happened.

Even then, by the end of the movie I felt like a lot of that goodwill had been restored, and I think back fondly on his character overall even now. I guess how I feel going forward will depend heavily on how his presentation evolves -- my brother conjectured that Snoke's line about completing Kylo Ren's training was a hint that he would more completely assume his masked persona in the future.

And then there's Rey... She seems a more divisive figure, and I've yet to settle my opinion on her. During the movie itself I had nothing but love for her depiction; it was only seeing criticism afterwards that tempered it (and criticism of the criticism which tempered that). I accepted her many instances of great aptitude due to her main character status as well as, what can I say, my love of strong female characters who seem designed to appeal to both sexes. I spent more time in the movie worried that her badassery might be undermined by some dumb turn of events than that she might come across as overpowered -- I was happier to see the movie err on the side that it did than on the other as I was watching it.

About Finn, there isn't as much to say that hasn't already been said or isn't obvious. One thing I can say that might be new is that I was surprised at how well I got used to him. When I first saw him in that first teaser many moons ago, I didn't think he looked like main character material. He was wearing stormtrooper armor for crying out loud, which does not make for a good first impression. And between him and Rey, he's not, but in those times where he served as more of a viewpoint character, he served it effectively, even if it was marred by the division in focus between him and Rey.

One last part of the movie worth mentioning, and in a negative light, is the whole Starkiller angle. The Starkiller could have been so much more impactful than it was allowed to be, and represents to me the movie's single greatest moment of wasted potential. The firing of what should have been such an awe-inspiring weapon just didn't have the buildup nor impact it should have. It should have been breathtaking, and though I tried to gin myself up to experience it as I felt it should have been experienced, ultimately I couldn't lie to myself well enough and it just fell flat.

By the time I walked out I was... well, honestly, disappointed, and I don't know how much of that I should say is my fault versus the movie's. Perhaps, in an ironic twist, it was that I so enjoyed everything up to that first spellbreaking moment that made it and the other flaws stand out enough to make my experience feel so much less than it felt like it was going to be early on.

Perhaps this can be chalked up to the demon of expectations. I have always felt like the original Star Wars was "simply" a solid, fun movie, and I never saw it in the form of a big premiere with a lot of hype going into it or anything. It was just something I grew up with and something I enjoyed watching whenever I watched it -- something I had never truly watched a first time, my earliest memories of it being themselves rewatches. Rewatches, like replays, are always different experiences than first times, so perhaps my opinion will evolve with time, plus much of what I said might have been true of the original if I'd been old enough to experience it for the first time as an adult.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Mr. Tines » Sat Dec 26, 2015 6:44 am

It's hard in this day and age to convey how much of a breath of fresh air the original Star Wars was in the 1970s, when set against the sci-fi films of the era -- indeed the whole of the SF genre of the time, which was suffering from the hippy-dippy New Wave in the early part of the decade, and, by mid-decade, post-'Nam malaise. It didn't matter that it was Knights and Wizards in Space (or even that it was the final outcome of what started as a pro-Vietcong parable), because it came over as good old-fashioned Saturday morning serial fun, but played straight.

It would have been great if it had stopped there -- but even in '78 the "trilogy of trilogies" thing was a part of the lore. The sequels came as disappointments because they couldn't hold the tone -- ESB was too po-faced, and Return of the Teddies (originally Revenge of the Jedi) felt too much like it had become an extended toy commercial, aimed at extending the age demographic downward.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:44 am

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Here's the thing with Rey:

SPOILER: Show
People see her youth, and the setup, and they think, "oh, she's like Luke!" And then she busts out all of these capabilities that are at odds with that character archetype and cry "Mary Sue!"

But she's not like Luke. She's like Jason Bourne. We're supposed to ask questions: How can she fight that freakin' well? Knowing tech makes sense, but why does she know her way around a hyperdrive? How does she come to accept the Force so easily? Why the heck does she know Wookie? What was up with that lightsaber vision? Why is Kylo Ren so freaked out by her? What does that look of utter desperation on her face when she meets Luke mean?

Rey's not a hero embarking on an amazing journey, she's an enigma to be understood. For once, Abrams more-or-less got it right. Now we just have to see if he can deliver the payoff in Episode VIII.

I like your approach. I do want to know more about her too.

Also, I'll just list how the "Mary Sue" trope becomes worthless when applied to this film:

"Mary Sue" is a boringly competent female authorial insert into a fan fiction.

But SW VII is not a fan fiction.

"Mary Sue" is a boringly competent female authorial insert into a fiction.

But SW VII doesn't have female writers or directors, so it's not likely that they're vicariously living through Rey.

"Mary Sue" is a boringly competent female character in a fiction.
(Now we've removed half of the requirements from the original meaning of the "Mary Sue" trope. The trope should no longer apply at this point, but let's peruse this thought a bit further anyway.)

But the reasons why Rey is boringly competent have more to do with Kylo Ren's character being so anti-climactic at the end compared to his introduction. (Plus, this ignores the solid 30 minutes of screen time where Rey fails royally.)

"Mary Sue" is a female character in fiction.

Rey is a female character in fiction.

Let's complain about this.

Look, I still think that the last half of the SW movie is a narrative mess. Part of that could be because it leads into the next movie, or maybe not. I don't know. Honestly, I've always disliked these kinds of mysteries in episodic films, as they only make me think of poor character writing as opposed to making me excited to learn more about the character or want to know what happens next. Wondering of Han Solo was going to be rescued after watching Episode V was a great cliff-hander ending. I'd prefer a cliffhanger ending to an ending where I gotta wait until the next movie for all the meaty character development I was kept from seeing in this film.

But "Mary Sue" Really guys? Really? That trope is much more applicable (and fun!) when discussion actual female authorial inserts into fan fiction. (Fifty Shades of Grey, for example.)

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Bagheera » Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:50 am

As an aside, a cliffhanger ending is most appropriate for the middle film of a trilogy, not the first (if you're gonna go with a cliffhanger at all, that is). The first should be all about establishment and getting the audience invested in the characters and the setting. SW VII appears to have done that with the characters, but maybe not so much with the setting. Time will tell if that's enough . . .
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Ray » Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:15 pm

I take it with all the "Mary Sue' discussion That you've all heard about Landis (the Screenwriter of Chronicle, and writer of Superman: American Alien), getting all the twitter back-lash from the perpetually offended when he said he thought Rey was 'too perfect?"

Remember in the age before the internet? When we could all have opinions, and enjoy what we wanted in a work of fiction, without being worried that we might hurt the feelings of a vocal minority miles away whom we will likely never meet? I know that hypocritical of me. But still, Landis stated an opinion, and he's an eccentric, is that really enough for twitter to crucify him?
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Chuckman » Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:36 pm

I think Rey got too competent too fast and shouldn't have been able to take Ren on her own. This is purely from a storytelling perspective. It's why the Matrix sequels suck.
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