Star Wars

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Chuckman » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:00 am

Oh for Christ's sake, using the term "white slavers" isn't like slipping up and saying "negro" instead of "black" unless after you say it you're going to hop on your velocipede and ride off to the drawing room for brandy and cigars and listen to that newfangled phonograph invention.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Mr. Tines » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:51 am

View Original PostGob Hobblin wrote:On the white slavers thing, yeah...basically, those who enslave white people.
Back in the day, it was the term for what we these days call sex traffickers.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Seele00TextOnly » Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:46 am

Anyway, back to Star Wars! Looking forward to seeing the movie again soon. I know I heaped a lot of praise on it but thinking more on it since my prior posts, I sort of wonder if it drags in the middle when they go to meet the yellow CGI goggles character and Rey goes running around in the woods. Also the soundtrack didn't stand out to me enough, wasn't grand enough. Whatever the new tunes are I should have picked them up on a first listen, and I didn't.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Bagheera » Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:07 am

A bit of insight from another forum, which I find to be accurate:

Some guy on RPG.net offered this  SPOILER: Show
In the first scene, it's hard to tell whether he's balking at participating in the violence, or afraid. (A bit of both, I think.) And throughout the rest of the movie, he has to really psych himself up to use violence - except when he's defending someone (or threatening Phasma, who he has a history with). I really think Finn hates fighting and really gets terrified in combat, except that he's got such a strong protective streak it overrides his fear completely when it kicks in. (The result of his stormtrooper conditioning being transferred to give him loyalty to his chosen friends instead of his unit?)

EDIT: also, I saw the movie a second time, and enjoyed it even more than the first time. All the stuff I hated the first time has been downgraded to a minor annoyance. In particular, nothing contradicts the idea that Maz's castle happens to be in the same system as the Republic capital, so the hyperspace weapon could easily be taking out a planet and its moons that are close enough for the explosion to be visible from another moon / sister planet. (Yeah, I'm sure that'd have some bad effects on the orbit and tides that would have to be ignored, but that's a level of scientific inaccuracy I can accept in a movie with space dogfights.) That leaves the hyperspace weapon as just a bad storytelling choice, and not an utter stupidity.

I can even think of an explanation for why they happen to be searching for a ship in the Republic capital system. Imagine this dialog just after they open the doors to the bar:

Finn: "We can't go in there! Look at all those people - somebody's bound to recognize us and then the First Order will be on us."
Han: "Relax. I know you're a Big Deal, but even if anyone does recognize you or me, the First Order can't touch us here. The entire Republic Fleet is stationed in this system. Why do you think we came here of all places to look for a clean ship?"
Finn: "Well... then can't the Republic give us a ship? Or can't we just give the map to them?"
Han: "Nah, they won't get involved openly. Everyone suspects they're bankrolling the Resistance, but there's no proof, and they want to keep it that way so they won't kick off an open war. Diplomatic neutrality, they call it."
Finn: "They won't fight? But don't they know what the First Order is doing to helpless planets in the Outer Rim?"
Han: "They won't openly fight back unless the First Order's stupid enough to attack a formal member of the Republic. Hey, don't get mad at me! I think it stinks too. Why do you think I went back to smuggling?"

This setup works nicely with the First Order blowing up every planet / moon in the system with the hyperspace weapon except for the one the heroes are actually on - they still need to capture BB8 to get the map to Luke, but they can't swoop in and capture them with the Republic fleet so close. So use up their one surprise shot to blow up the Republic fleet, THEN swoop in to capture BB8 and allies.

At least, that's the way I would set it up if I must have Starkiller Base at all. But I think from a dramatic point of view, Starkiller Base is a mistake:

The Death Star worked in the original movie because the entire movie was built around it. The opening crawl namedropped it. The first third of the movie centered around smuggling the plans to the Death Star off Tatooine, which reinforced how dangerous it was that they needed the plans to stop it. The second third was actually inside it, which reinforced the faceless regimented strength of the Empire. And then of course the climax involved destroying it. And thematically, the Death Star epitomized the threat of the Imperials in the first movie, which was about scale - the Empire controls everything. They have the troops to spare to occupy Tatooine even though it's in the farthest reaches of the Galaxy. They have bigger ships and more ships than everyone else. And they have the demeanor of bureaucrats: the only emotion Tarkin and the other leaders show is ambition, and annoyance when that's thwarted. They don't seem to really hate anyone, they'll just casually destroy you as a demonstration of their power if you get in their way. They don't want to cause fear for fear's sake, they just think that "fear will keep the local systems in line". So it makes sense that their main weapon kills at a distance, at a massive scale, in a bloodless manner.

The First Order is all about hatred. They are REALLY PISSED OFF that the Empire lost, and they rant and rave about it. We do see them attack with overwhelming force, but only against civilians or single enemies - when the Resistance shows up in force, they retreat. And (until it gets blown up by the hyperspace weapon) we know the Republic is out there with a space fleet too, so there's really no reason to think that the First Order has an advantage of scale. What they have is terror tactics: they're the first to resort to violence and they're really brutal and vicious about it when they do. The threat of the Empire in the opening moments of A New Hope was about crushing scale, as the Star Destroyer engulfs the consular ship. The thread of the First Order in the opening moments of The Force Awakens is about personalized, in your face violence - they send an attack team to a planet and fuck their shit up, with special attention payed to how chaotic and frightening it is to have this happen to you. The same thing happens with the attack on Maz's castle.

So Starkiller Base actually works against the main theme of the enemies in this movie - it's performs a single decapitating strike that overwhelms the enemy in one overwhelming blow, which is something the Empire would have done but feels out of place for the First Order. The terror of the First Order should be emphasized by having them make a vicious, bloody assault, not an attack ordered and carried out at a distance. Plus Starkiller Base is not integrated into the movie very well - the opening crawl is about the search for Luke (personal stakes, in line with the more personal level of threat the First Order shows) and the chase part of the movie is about trying to control the map to Luke, nothing to do with Starkiller Base. It just shows up to be an extra threat at the end.

The final act of the movie SHOULD have been centered around an escalation of the First Order's terror tactics. They could upgrade to a full planetary bombardment and full-scale invasion of the Resistance's secret base, with the Resistance evacuating the planet while mobilizing X-Wings to try to shoot down their landing craft, which are protected by screens of TIE Fighters. Meanwhile Finn, Han and Chewie sneak on board the Star Destroyer which is bombarding the planet to rescue Rey, and try and sabotage its shields so that the Resistance fighters can drive it off. In the end, Kylo Ren kills Han, Chewie hits the detonator and the shields come down, the X-Wings make a strafing run that hits the engine and causes the Star Destroyer to start to break apart. Kylo Ren fights Rey and Finn in a disintegrating ship and in the end they are all tossed out into space, just in time for Chewie to rescue them in the Falcon (and General Hux to rescue Kylo Ren in his shuttle). Same story beats, but emphasizing the First Order's viciousness and the theme of the search for Luke (they're attacking the Resistance base now because Kylo Ren allowed BB8 to be taken back there, so they think the Resistance could have Luke's whereabouts and want to destroy them before they can go looking for him). Also, while this still borrows a lot from the original trilogy, it makes the climax a mix of the Hoth attack from Empire and the Death Star infiltration/rescue from A New Hope, rather than a mix of the rescue from A New Hope and the second Death Star attack from Return of the Jedi, which is a slightly more inventive combination.


Gonna see it later this morning on the Ultrascreen in 3D, so looking forward to that.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Bagheera » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:20 pm

Having seen it again this morning, I've noticed several things that had me scratching my head. Not plot holes, exactly, nor badly handled elements of the film, just stuff that seemed . . . weird. For example:

  • I'm surprised Ren's shuttle can actually fit in a hangar bay. It seems big and clunky for the sake of being big and clunky (and I realize that that's exactly the case), but it's a serious step down from the old Imperial shuttles.
  • When we first see Rey she's covered head to toe, while inside the remains of a star destroyer. When she comes out she takes off her helmet. But this is weird, because having it on inside (where it was dark) would impede her vision, while taking it off outside defeats the purpose of the whole outfit (i.e. sun protection). So she wore it when she didn't need it and took it off when she did.
  • Rey can fight a lot better than I'd expect from a scavenger.
  • Poe's disappearance was a bit of a head-scratcher for me. Finn got thrown from the TIE, check. But the front part of the ship was intact, complete with cockpit shield, and yet somehow Poe got thrown farther away than Finn, and in such a way that the latter couldn't find him.
  • When the stormtroopers attack the settlement on Jakku they call in air support. That was great, I liked it. Said air support destroys Rey's ride, which is also cool, but then they do . . . pretty much nothing to the Falcon while everyone gets on board and gets situated. And then, when Rey gets the Falcon off the ground, only two TIEs give chase. Given that this was the whole reason why they were on Jakku to begin with you would think the First Order would send out all its ships to do what they need to do so they can get the hell outta Dodge.
  • Stormtrooper helmets filter smoke but not toxins? I don't even know how you'd design a filter to do that, let alone why.
  • Most of Rey's prodigious capabilities don't bother me, as I can rationalize just about all of them. But why is she able to understand Wookie?
  • Most of the dialogue in the film was great, but the cutesy "Abramsisms" -- you know, "do you go first or do I go first?", "What are you doing with your chin?", etc -- read like shit dorks come up with for stupid YouTube videos, and not stuff that felt natural in the context of the scenes. And it's not just that the humor was out of place, because it wasn't -- every comedy moment with Chewie or BB8 was solid gold.
  • Han and Chewie have been together for, what, forty years now? And Han is only now paying attention to the bowcaster his buddy's been carrying for all that time?
  • I understand the purpose of Kylo Ren's character, and I could even buy someone actually buying into that sort of thinking, if all they've known all their lives is pain and abuse. He would think the promises of the light side are lies made to sucker people into submitting to authority or whatever. But that doesn't fit what we know of Ren's backstory at all. He had parents who loved him, a sound mind, and a teacher who knew well the mistakes of the old Jedi Order. Ren's insistence on following this path in defiance of all common sense is a really tough sell for me.
  • Ren's helmet seems awfully heavy. I mean, he drops it on the catwalk and it doesn't even bounce. I would not want to wear such a thing.
  • Even after having seen it a second time I still cannot make sense of Rey's Force vision. I don't think those were suppressed memories, but Ren's interest in her suggests otherwise. But everything else we know about her doesn't jibe with that at all.

As I said, most of this isn't stuff I would consider plot holes per se. It's all just . . . well, very odd creative decisions.
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I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Rosenakahara » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:47 pm

The thing about Ren is he really comes off as a whiny scene kid, you know those "you dont understand me, nobody understands me!" types of shitnuggets that some teenagers turn into for a few years so I sorta understand his mindset here. Because honestly most of the teens like that have perfectly happy upbringings too and can still be utter assholes.
The whole
SPOILER: Show
killing his dad thing though
is a much harder sell for me because he has 0 reason to be that far gone, at least from what we have seen, he really just doesn't seem the type.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Gendo'sPapa » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:16 am

The Force Awakens is an okay movie - if I was to rank the many films I saw in theaters this year it would smack dab in the center of the list - but it has two scenes that I think are prequel level awful.

1. Everything to do those giant tentacle monsters that get loose on Han Solo's freighter & those weak cameos from the cast of The Raid as pirates is just awful. Pretty much all discussion of the film online glazes over that section because it is truly awful. It's especially more egregious in that the 15 minutes or so of screentime wasted on poorly handled monster business would have been far better used in just having the film's strongest elements - the characters - hang out & get to know one another. It's the worst section of the film by a large margin.

2. The second Poe Dameron starts to repeat the climax from A New Hope only instead of just firing torpedos through a hole in the reactor, this time he FLIES THROUGH THE HOLE & blows it from inside. Yawn.

In the long run I think the most interesting thing about The Force Awakens is going to be how people view it five years from now. It has a piss poor story, character motivation is almost non-existent, often characters don't make sense & it's not even all that good a movie when you look at it. BUT the nostalgia is strong right now & it's very easy to miss the forest for the trees when the iconography you grew up on - lightsabers, practical aliens, the sets - is replicated with such a fetish attention to detail. I'm curious to see how people will look back on The Force Awakens four years from now when we've been hit with AT LEAST four new Star Wars movies. Will Force Awakens have the longevity to be looked back on with the admiration it's got going on right now? I don't think it's going to culturally fall off the face of the Earth as fast as Avatar did - that first movie came, took over the world & then disappeared in record time, very curious to see if James Cameron can replicate that magic with the next three films after a decade of cinematic universes taking over - but I struggle to believe people are going to carry a torch for this movie through their childhoods. Especially not when Star Wars movies become as replaceable as the Marvel films are right now. Oh, you didn't like Avengers 2 or Ant-Man? Don't fret over it, there's a Captain America 3, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor 3, Spider-man 3.0 & Black Panther flick all coming out in the next two years. No big deal.
Star Wars is going to fill that role pretty soon. We're seeing The Force Awakens break every box office record imaginable in record speed & I'd be very surprised if we see anything close to this kind of success three years from now.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Rosenakahara » Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:47 am

You forgot the only real marvel movie to be hyped over, captain marvel.
Carol Danvers op yo.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby A.T. Fish » Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:26 pm

View Original PostBagheera wrote:Even after having seen it a second time I still cannot make sense of Rey's Force vision. I don't think those were suppressed memories, but Ren's interest in her suggests otherwise. But everything else we know about her doesn't jibe with that at all.


I've seen theories about the visions being of both past and future events combined.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Bagheera » Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:41 am

Have an interesting article on George Lucas:

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultur ... ge-awakens
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Chuckman » Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:45 pm

Chuckman dismisses this criticism as lame hipsterism. Oh all sequels suck we're in the era of reboots and uncreativity and that somehow makes Lucas taking a bunch of shit he ripped off and mashing it together superior. Here's a bunch of fifty cent words explaining why it's better when he does it because he did it a long time ago.

That article has very little to say about why Star Wars was actually good.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Bagheera » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:09 am

The point about the prequels doing something different instead of rehashing the same old shit is a good one, though. I mean, that's about the only point in their favor, but it's hard to argue the point that TFA isn't exactly novel.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Chuckman » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:12 pm

No, it isn't, that is true.
the prophecy is true

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Re: Star Wars

Postby NemZ » Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:16 pm

TFA is basically Rebuild 1.11, but framed as a sequel rather than a do-over. I sincerely hope that the point is reinvigorate that feeling of old-fashioned SW greatness and shake off the lingering prequelitis "meh" so that they can build on it to do interesting new things later.

That said, the JJ-nes of not really thinking out the implications of a superweapon that can just obliterate anything regardless of distance is also the stupidest part of his previous star trek film. I can't help but notice he seems to play by 'rule of cool' a bit too much and doesn't really consider how his new toys would make all the interesting established bits of the IP pointless.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Sachi » Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:57 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:TFA is basically Rebuild 1.11, but framed as a sequel rather than a do-over. I sincerely hope that the point is reinvigorate that feeling of old-fashioned SW greatness and shake off the lingering prequelitis "meh" so that they can build on it to do interesting new things later.

I beat you to the comparison. :P

View Original PostSachi wrote:Everything is the same, yet everything is different:

SPOILER: Show
Personally, I was upset that Starkiller Base didn't play a bigger role, but on the other hand would it have been beneficial for it to? Build up the concept too much, then it really is a Death Star 3.0 and a waste of an entire plot. Leave it as a side note, however, then it fits perfectly with all the other parallels to the original trilogy: protag is on a desert planet, droids have secret plans, there's a gigantic weapon of destruction, villain in black, emperor/supreme leader giving orders via hologram, death of the mentor figure, etc. All theses parallels are intentional, and it suggests the cyclical nature of the Star Wars universe; everything is happening again yet under different circumstances. It's all the same, yet it's all different. This is like the Rebuild of Star Wars. If they can deliver in Episode VIII by giving us something truly different, then all the parallelisms of TFA are going to pay off really well.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby NemZ » Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:15 pm

Well good call then, mod-bro! :cheers:
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Tankred » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:46 am

View Original PostBagheera wrote:http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-george-awakens



Well it doesn't actually feel like Star Wars that's for sure. The Prequels are not very good films but they do get the general feeling of Star Wars right. There's something wrong with TFA, I'm not really very good at describing what I mean, but I guess it all amounts to it being soulless.

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Re: Star Wars

Postby Sachi » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:56 am

View Original PostTankred wrote:Well it doesn't actually feel like Star Wars that's for sure. The Prequels are not very good films but they do get the general feeling of Star Wars right. There's something wrong with TFA, I'm not really very good at describing what I mean, but I guess it all amounts to it being soulless.

How do the prequels capture the feelings of Star Wars better than TFA (if at all)? And in which ways do the prequels have more soul than TFA? Because IMO, it's the opposite of what you say. TFA feels more like Star Wars than all the prequels combined, and seems to have been made with a lot more love, care, and attention to detail than any the prequels had.

I am somewhat of an apologist for the prequels, considering that I grew up with them, and I do believe there are a lot of good things to be taken from them, however they are also undeniably bad in many respects. The acting is wooden (even Sam L. Jackson is bad), the characters are bland, the CG is terrible (and continues to become more terrible as it ages), the story is very meh. The highlight of the prequels were definitely the lightsaber duels, but even those were lacking, because they were essentially elaborate 20min dance routines; cool to look at, but they didn't seem real, whereas if you look at Luke and Vader's duel in ROTJ, it may not be elaborate, but it feels passionate. I feel as though the recipe for a very good Star Wars trilogy is present within the prequels, but the execution itself was bad and leaves a lot to be desired. Across the board, however, TFA delivers quality acting, intriguing characters, real sets with minimal CG, and while the story may parallel the original trilogy a bit too much, it is still different enough to feel unique and promise something new in the future films (and Rian Johnson does promise us something entirely new for the Star Wars universe in Ep VIII). In short, TFA feels like Star Wars again, and much moreso than the prequels.
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Chainsaw Owl » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:21 am

So do we know why Threepio has a red arm? Did I miss some exposition during those four minutes I was in the loo?
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Re: Star Wars

Postby Gendo'sPapa » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:30 am

That will be told in the highly anticipated spin-off film.

In the summer of 2020, be ready to learn the fascinating story of C-3PO's red arm in... C-3PO. THE TALE OF THE BULLSHIT RED ARM. A STAR WARS STORY.


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