Star Wars

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Sachi » Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:42 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote: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.

In her defense:

SPOILER: Show
Ren was already losing blood because of when Chewbacca shot him. That, and he had never had an even match before. All we ever see of Ren is him picking on those weaker than him and trying to act evil. He's a facade that was easily overcome when actually challenged. He'll probably develop into a much more formiddable villain in the next film after Snoke's training.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sat Dec 26, 2015 2:11 pm

Honestly, Kylo Ren is the weak link in the storytelling for me. This is a man who could stop blaster beams in mid-air without even needing to so much as put up a hand to stop them, unlocks a ton of Dark Force Level Upgrades on top of all that
SPOILER: Show
by killing his father,
then proceeds to suck at fighting between both Finn and Rey at the end. (Finn shouldn't have even stood a chance either, but he held up his end surprisingly well for someone not using the force.) How does someone that capable loose a fight with a force user and a non-force user? At this point the faults lay more with Kylo Ren then with Rey or Finn.

Rey, on the other hand, really doesn't seem to learn anything new about the force throughout the entire film. Her character growth is flatline. This is poor storytelling on her part, yes, but it no longer falls within "Mary Sue" trope definitions.

And I've never read Max Landis' opinions of this film. I'm just reading what's on this here thread.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Sicarius VI » Sat Dec 26, 2015 2:17 pm

^Not to mention when he takes his helmet off, his hair is untouched....


Also it was implied that Finn was
SPOILER: Show
Force Sensitive.

You know does that even need to be a spoiler? Because what idiot would come on this thread without seeing Episode VII?
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Mr. Tines » Sat Dec 26, 2015 2:38 pm

View Original PostSicarius VI wrote:Because what idiot would come on this thread without seeing Episode VII?
The same moderator who hasn't seen 1-3, rebuilds > 1.01, and a bunch of other pop-culture things taken as read elsewhere around the forum.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Sachi » Sat Dec 26, 2015 3:23 pm

In defense of Kylo Ren  SPOILER: Show
Once again, he was crtically wounded by Chewbacca. He's shown bleeding in the snow and punching his gut to get over the pain. Dude was not in a good state going into his fight with Finn and Rey. He may be a powerful dark force user, but he's still human and still not at his full potential yet as a villain. His inability to control his emotions also hinders his ability in the fight, and considering he just killed his own father, got shot, is losing to the resistance, AND is facing the first talented force user he's ever seen besides Luke, he's probably a huge mixed bag of emotions during his final fight. Once again, Kylo Ren is a facade; he's a Darth Vader wannabe that relies on a lot of posturing in order to appear menacing, and he uses his inherited power with the force to pick on those weaker than he is. He entirely underestimates Rey, and as a result ends up teaching her how to come in touch with her own abilities. He is very much an apprentice villain with a ways to go before he is on an actual Darth Vader level, and that's what makes him compelling. I'm fascinated to see his spiral into darkness and development as a dark force user. Just like Rey, there's a lot more to him and his character than we're shown in just this film, but there's still plenty here to work with here.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Chainsaw Owl » Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:22 pm

I'm starting to warm up to Kylo Ren a bit. He's certainly a different kind of villain. So far, every Sith we've seen was several levels ahead of your average Jedi master.

SPOILER: Show
Dooku was trained by the great Yoda himself.

Grievous wielded four sabers and massacred a billion Jedi, all while battling a terrible cold.

Vader was Vader.

Sideous was powerful enough to incapacitate Luke and mortally wound the aforementioned Vader without even picking up a Lightsaber.

Maul killed Liam Neeson single-handedly.

Now for the first time (in the movies at least), we're seeing a very incomplete Sith making human errors. I actually feel bad for the kid, and am interested in seeing where his story goes.
Last edited by Chainsaw Owl on Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby A.T. Fish » Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:48 pm

SPOILER: Show
I'm mildly annoyed with Rey's rapidly developing force powers as well, but I'm willing to forgive that due to the general atmosphere of the movie. For those more hungry for an explanation, consider the following. When Kylo Ren attempted to get in Rey's head she managed to get in his, and maybe she picked up a thing or two about the force when she was in there, even if unwillingly.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby cyharding » Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:15 pm

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:The same moderator who hasn't seen 1-3, rebuilds > 1.01, and a bunch of other pop-culture things taken as read elsewhere around the forum.


Also a guy whose local theater hasn't shown it yet and even if it does arrive, would probably be unable to see it due to a combination of bad winter weather and other matters making it perhaps not a good idea to go to the movies. I'll get around to seeing it probably when episode VIII comes around (a friend recommended that course of action to me a few days ago).
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Sicarius VI » Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:27 pm

@Tines and cyharding - Maybe I should've added "that care about spoilers"... ehh well that's gonna stay there.


@A.T Fish, Sachi, Freaky- You guys keep forgetting to mention that we already see Rey on her own being capable enough.
SPOILER: Show
When we see Finn meet Rey is more than already a capable fighter, so much so to fight off smugglers who are bigger than her with a metal stick and her legs. Also I don't think it's too far to say she may have used the force on Jakku in the past without realizing it. Likely due to the lack of force sensitives around her.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Chainsaw Owl » Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:29 pm

You should see it if you get a few loose hours, Tines (and anybody else who hasn't seen it.) Watching the prequels is not at all a requirement to get the full experience. In fact, to my memory there's not a single plot element that relies on them.

At worst, it's still just plain old good entertainment, even if it doesn't manage to catch lightning in a bottle like the original. More than I can say for almost every new movie I've bothered to watch in the last five years.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Sachi » Sun Dec 27, 2015 1:19 am

View Original PostSicarius VI wrote:@A.T Fish, Sachi, Freaky- You guys keep forgetting to mention that we already see Rey on her own being capable enough.]

Don't group me with those haters. :P I love Rey as a character and had no complaints.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Chuckman » Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:50 am

View Original PostSachi wrote:In her defense:

SPOILER: Show
Ren was already losing blood because of when Chewbacca shot him. That, and he had never had an even match before. All we ever see of Ren is him picking on those weaker than him and trying to act evil. He's a facade that was easily overcome when actually challenged. He'll probably develop into a much more formiddable villain in the next film after Snoke's training.


This movie undersells a bunch of stuff, this included.

SPOILER: Show
I was thinking last night how the Death Star is built up in Star Wars. The whole movie works to build up how huge and powerful it is. With the Starkiller Base/Megadethstar, it's just sort of there in the background. When it blows up a planet we don't see a wide shot of the planet exploding. The scenes of devastation and destruction it causes have no scale. The villains never have a conversation with each other about it, they're more interested in talking about where Luke is than the giant weapon they're about to deploy. One of the heroes is captured and taken there and and it doesn't come up in conversation with the villain. It's like it's not really in the movie at all as more than an afterhtought.

We have no real sense of the villains or what their goals are; Ren is sorta-there, he wants to overcome his better nature and fully commit to the dark side of the force, fine. What is the First Order actually planning? What is the First Order? Are they rebels? Do they control part of the galaxy, and the Republic another part? Is the resistance an insurgency against the First Order or a commando unit that fights them or what? The movie doesn't really offer an explanation of who is where doing what and why. Some people want that and have some interest in being thrown in without exposition blah blah blah but I consider that the movie equivalent of not using quotation marks because Cormac McCarthy does it. You don't need to dwell on these things- nobody looks at the screen and explains the role of the villains in the OT, but it's immediately clear from the screen crawl and the dynamics of the characters on screen that the evil empire rules the galaxy and the rag-tag Rebellion is fighting them. The relationship between all the villains is clear, the relationship between all the heroes is clear. Nothing requires explaining after the movie.

Same thing with Ren's injury. He gets shot, he bleeds... but he's really fine. He doesn't look injured. He doesn't limp, he doesn't appear to be coping with pain or appear off balance or anything like that and he fights like normal. They undersold the injury and oversold Rey's prowess with the lightsaber. Even if she'd gotten beaten up a little more, maybe taken an injury before overcoming Ren or the match ended in more of a draw.

I enjoyed this movie while I was watching it, enough that I didn't need to analyze its themes to amuse myself. This is still a problem with it, though. It's a list of story beats and many of them are very "off". It felt too long and too overstuffed with plot points and action elements. The Megadethstar was completely unnecessary, chasing down Luke could have filled the entire film. That's the problem, I think. They slavishly wanted to make an episode to the first movie and it gimps the storytelling with a tensionless b-plot that would be better served as its own film.

They took a cool concept and wasted it. If anything the giant weapon should only have been teased in this one.

Rey is probably the strongest part of the movie- but her storyline has its weaknesses too.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:17 pm

^ I agree with all of this.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Bagheera » Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:27 pm

The problem is less with what happened than with how Abrams presented it. He's trying to do show-don't-tell here, but while all the elements are there he doesn't have the chops to really pull it off effectively. Think of what we'd see if the actual plot -- down to the last detail -- was the same, but we had George Miller directing it. View it through that lens and everything will pop into place.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Chuckman » Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:56 pm

"Show don't tell" is a canard at this point. It's vastly overused.

Some things you just do tell, and "telling", that is expository dialogue, can be part of showing. Otherwise we'd have actors pantomime everything and never speak.

Star Wars uses mostly dialogue to establish between the "technological terror" of the Death Star and the power of the Force.

The fault with Abram's version is

SPOILER: Show
We're presented with a lot of showing without any telling for context. We don't even know what planet is blown up. Was that Coruscant? is Not-Yoda's bar planet so close to Corsucant that it's visible in daylight? Where is the Megadethstar, exactly? DId it have to move to eat another sun after firing the first time?

I'm getting into repeating myself here, but my point is that everything in the background has been reduced in prominence to the point that it's just noise. We don't know what the First Order even is or what they want. That's a problem.

The antagonists int he OT have clear goals:

Star Wars: Destroy the Rebellion and complete the Emperor's grip on the galaxy
The Empire Strikes Back: Destroy the Rebellion, capture Luke Skywalker
Return of the Jedi: Destroy the Rebellion (with a trap this time) and turn Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side

It's not clear to me from Force Awakens what the First Order is, who Snoke is, where either of them came from, or what they want. It's implied, it's hinted, but the hints aren't strong enough to put a coherent picture together.


Basically this movie is what I was afraid of: It's an Abrams movie. I thought he made movies about movies, but what he really does is recycle visuals and plot elements over and over again. He thinks he's an auteur but he's not.

That said I did enjoy it while I was watching it even if I felt like it started to drag around the middle and I was wondering where the hell it was going.

It's like "chekov's gun". No, every single item that appears on screen does not have to mean something. Set dressing can just be set dressing, be a thing in itself, or serve a purpose when it first appears and then never appear again.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Monk Ed » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:07 pm

View Original PostFreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:^ I agree with all of this.

It was a marvelous encapsulation of what will probably go down as the canonical opinion of at least the Starkiller subplot. Just reading it made me ache for what could have been. I hate to say it, but given how strong the rest of the movie is, this huge waste of potential sticks out and makes me very sore about it all. I try not to think about it but when you get this close to recapturing that lightning, of course it's going to hurt.

Chuckman wrote:"Show don't tell" is a canard at this point. It's vastly overused. (snip)

And this... is turning me into a broken record.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Bagheera » Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:25 pm

View Original PostChuckman wrote:The fault with Abram's version is

SPOILER: Show
We're presented with a lot of showing without any telling for context. We don't even know what planet is blown up. Was that Coruscant? is Not-Yoda's bar planet so close to Corsucant that it's visible in daylight? Where is the Megadethstar, exactly? DId it have to move to eat another sun after firing the first time?

I'm getting into repeating myself here, but my point is that everything in the background has been reduced in prominence to the point that it's just noise. We don't know what the First Order even is or what they want. That's a problem.

The antagonists int he OT have clear goals:

Star Wars: Destroy the Rebellion and complete the Emperor's grip on the galaxy
The Empire Strikes Back: Destroy the Rebellion, capture Luke Skywalker
Return of the Jedi: Destroy the Rebellion (with a trap this time) and turn Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side

It's not clear to me from Force Awakens what the First Order is, who Snoke is, where either of them came from, or what they want. It's implied, it's hinted, but the hints aren't strong enough to put a coherent picture together.


That's pretty much what I said, Chuck.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Sachi » Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:14 am

View Original PostChuckman wrote:The fault with Abram's version is

SPOILER: Show
We're presented with a lot of showing without any telling for context. We don't even know what planet is blown up. Was that Coruscant? is Not-Yoda's bar planet so close to Corsucant that it's visible in daylight? Where is the Megadethstar, exactly? DId it have to move to eat another sun after firing the first time?

I'm getting into repeating myself here, but my point is that everything in the background has been reduced in prominence to the point that it's just noise. We don't know what the First Order even is or what they want. That's a problem.

The antagonists int he OT have clear goals:

Star Wars: Destroy the Rebellion and complete the Emperor's grip on the galaxy
The Empire Strikes Back: Destroy the Rebellion, capture Luke Skywalker
Return of the Jedi: Destroy the Rebellion (with a trap this time) and turn Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side

It's not clear to me from Force Awakens what the First Order is, who Snoke is, where either of them came from, or what they want. It's implied, it's hinted, but the hints aren't strong enough to put a coherent picture together.

Well, when you simplify it like that, then basically:

SPOILER: Show
The Force Awakens: First Order's goal is to destroy the Republic (accomplished), crush the Resistance, and find Luke Skywalker.

How is that any less than what we see in a New Hope? All we know is the Empire is big and bad and that they want to crush any and all rebellion. Yes, I have the same complaints that the political setting in TFA wasn't established enough; Starkiller Base was underwhelming, and I felt nothing for the Republic when they got wiped out. However, the prequel trilogy suffered heavily from political dialogue and little character building, and it seems that The Force Awakens really wanted to avoid the sins of the prequels. I don't need to know more about the First Order if their goals are basically to end the Republic and gain power over the galaxy; that's exactly what the Empire did!

What I would have loved to see more of was the Republic. What had they accomplished in in thirty years or so? But they're gone now, so meh. I no longer care. Ultimately it doesn't matter. This new trilogy seems to be driven by character drama, and the political stuff should be all background anyways.

I think the intention of this film was to cover most the bases of the original trilogy in order to get it out of the way early so that the story would be free to explore new things in the next film. Otherwise the story would be too predictable. I look forward to seeing things go into a different direction.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Chuckman » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:35 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:That's pretty much what I said, Chuck.


Just let me have my moment man.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Trajan » Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:53 pm

The Force Awakens is an entertaining movie but it really feels like a reskin of A New Hope. There's nothing really new here, it's all familiar territory that we've seen before. The film is afraid of taking risks, but it's so afraid that it doesn't delve into any background information. Maybe the sequel will improve upon that, but I had no idea why the factions even existed, what their ultimate goals are, and they just all seemed so bland to me. I mean, we're doing Empire vs. Rebel Alliance again? Seriously?
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