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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Spoilers Inside!)


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i loved it. i thought kylo's performance was stellar - he's not some implacable foe (which we didn't need more of), he's this deeply conflicted dude who is not necessarily the strongest of jedi, or ev

people are complaining about rey being a mary sue because of latent misogyny

^ so true it was clear from the moment the very first teaser appeared (and those who weren't already in the know because they had been stalking lucasfilm for the past decade), that there was going

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I was compelled by..

Kylo Ren's emotional instability and insecurities

Finn's concern for others over himself and the one line he completely broke character for "Is there a trash compactor?" "Yeah there is"

I was trying not to break a sweat over my crush on Ray

Harrison Ford's incredible cheesiness WHICH THIS MOVIE NEEDED MORE OF TO FEEL LIKE STAR WARS. All the staging and lines are too meticulous and shrink-wrapped.

The space battles

Making me horrified, angry, and sad watching a death star do its thing (probably the highlight of the film for me)

 

Was not compelled by..

The "this is fanservice" tone for many moments

Yeah we get it Abrams, you thought of using the force to stop a blaster in mid-air

Again, very very very by the numbers. Abrams very carefully followed Lucas footprints.. but put on a bigger pair of boots, making it clear this is more of a 1-up than an effort to break new ground. It's got the push for diversity and that's about it.

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I thought the movie was good, but not great.  Some of the things I had problems with (Rey being stupid-good at the Force despite having zero training and only knowing she was Force sensitive for like 20 minutes) other people had already mentioned, but one thing that bothered me no one else has brought up yet.

None of the main characters feel very heroic.  Okay, well, there is Poe, but he doesn't get much screen time.  Finn is a good guy but would rather run than fight.  Rey is a good person as well, but is more worried about getting back to Jakku than anything else.  Both of them had the potential to suck it up and sign on with the Resistance, but neither actually does it.

Finn was all ready to leave and do his own thing, but makes a detour to save Rey after she's captured.  He helps the Resistance because that will lead to Rey getting rescued, and actually lies to them in order to make sure that he can rescue her.  He might have changed his mind by the end, but he's unconscious by that point so we don't know what he thinks.

Rey gets pulled into the conflict by Finn (the stormtroopers see them together when they're after him, which he points out makes her a target too), tries her best to stay alive without getting any of her friends killed, consciously rejects the idea of becoming a jedi and fighting the First Order and mostly just wants to go home, but she's captured and spends most of the rest of the movie escaping.  There's the bit where she goes to find Luke at the end, but honestly given that there's no dialogue it's impossible to say why exactly she's doing it.  (To bring him back to help the Resistance and save the galaxy?  To get answers about the visions she had?  To embrace her destiny and train as a jedi?  To get his help in healing Finn?  Because he's her father?  To return his lightsaber to him so she doesn't have to carry it around anymore?)

Han is deliberately avoiding the Resistance (and has been for years, apparently) and even when he does get involved again, it's clear that his relationship with Leia and his son are his real motives (and what he's been running from until then) rather than any particular calling to help the Resistance or fight the First Order.

None of these would have been problematic on their own, but when every main character is like that, it leaves things feeling a little flat.  If either Finn or Rey had been eager to sign on with the Resistance and fight the First Order (thus leading the other to do the same because they're important to each other), then it would have solved the problem.  But they don't, so it seems like they end up being heroes basically by accident instead of because they're heroic characters.

 

Now, things that were really good:

The dynamic between Finn and Poe was fantastic.  The (sadly few) scenes where they're on-screen together are some of the best in the film (even the "Damn, that's one badass pilot" scene where Finn is watching Poe from the ground without realizing who it is).

The return of Han Solo was great, and they really nailed the sense of "older and wiser, but still getting himself into trouble".  Harrison Ford's wisecracking was amusing without being overdone.

Finn and Rey were both well-acted.  My issues with their character arcs aside, I have no problems with the way their dialogue was written or executed.  I see what some people mean about Finn being Jar-Jar light (he's certainly not as smooth as other Star Wars protagonists), but I disagree with that characterization.  Seeing him get flustered made for an interesting contrast to the other main characters, who are generally unflappable.

On the same note, the relationship between Finn and Rey was also done well.  They clearly care for each other, and it was developed much better than the standard "love at first sight" or "I publically hate you but secretly love you".

 

Things that were less good:

I didn't particularly care for the performances by Poe or Kylo.  They weren't horrible, but they weren't especially compelling, either.  (Except when Poe was with Finn, anyway.)

Kylo wasn't especially impressive as a villain in general.  They humanized him too much, too quickly.  If you want a villain to carry a movie like that, then he needs to be a genuinely impressive threat.  Instead he gets beaten up by a wookiee, an ex-stormtrooper, and a girl with Force sensitivity but not an ounce of training.  Really, the whole climactic duel with Kylo (and Han's death preceding it) feels like it should have been the end of the second movie, a la Luke vs Vader at Cloud City.  Without the first act building up the character, it felt like a bit of a letdown.

They kept it a bit too close to the original trilogy at times.  We start on a desert planet that's not Tatooine, after the band of plucky do-gooders that's not the Rebellion gets some important information that's not the Death Star plans and sticks it in a droid that's not R2 because the rebel that's not Princess Leia is about to be captured by the evil force user that's not Darth Vader.  The droid ends up with the skilled pilot local kid who's not Luke, who ends up having to leave the planet after stormtroopers chase them off on the Millennium Falcon.  The middle bits (first with Han and Chewie, then with the old-lady alien) were great; they hit the Star Wars feel perfectly without seeming derivative... then it's back to rehashing the attacks on the Death Star -- launching from the no-longer-secret Rebel Resistance base to attack the superweapon's weak point with X-wings and blow it up before it can destroy the Resistance base's planet, while another team does a ground assault to bring down the shields and make it vulnerable.

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Pretty much hit the nail on the head. They tried to stuff WAY too much towards the end of the movie that were callbacks to entries in the previous trilogy. So much in fact that it was hard to focus on what was going on towards the end.

I'd also disagree with the idea that Finn is "Jar Jar Lite". Aside from his awkwardly "urban" dialogue, it makes sense why he's so finicky. He's been born and bred to be nothing more than a weapon of the First Order, and hasn't really experienced anything that wasn't seen from the inside of his stormtrooper helmet. Hell, he never had an actual name 'til Poe gave him one. I really liked Finn a lot and absolutely hated that he wasn't the actual force sensitive in the movie. That would have made for a better "redemption" story in my opinion. I personally wasn't too huge on Poe myself, although I definitely did enjoy the play between him and Finn. Honestly, I think the chemistry between the three purported main characters of this trilogy was pretty good.

And I understand why they felt the need to retread old ground. They couldn't just start from a movie that released nearly 4 decades ago as if no time had passed after all, but again, it just didn't feel deliberate enough. We can say what we want about the prequel trilogy, but they felt a lot more focused and willing to be different than this one.

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i loved it. i thought kylo's performance was stellar - he's not some implacable foe (which we didn't need more of), he's this deeply conflicted dude who is not necessarily the strongest of jedi, or even the strongest dude. i mean, look at him, he looks like he should be cashiering at a discount shoe store, and he's trying to live up to this galactic badass. his acting was fantastic, if you recognize that being awkward and difficult to get along with and riding the struggle bus emotionally is good acting  (in this case, it totally was).

i love the concept of finn's character, as well as rey. i like that there wasn't one major character who realizes that they're going to save the galaxy and becomes awesome just in time to suck in the sequel. finn's groundwork is set for him to eventually be a hero, but they didn't need to make him blossom in this film, and that'll make it better when he eventually does. and rey's just phenomenal. great acting, great character, great job fitting the role and the actress, etc. i don't think it's strange at all that she was able to pick up concepts of the force quickly (it's not like they had her creating a lightsaber from scratch, the concept of imprinting your will on someone else is something everyone wishes for and 'practices' from young childhood), or that she was good at dueling since she had the stick and was obviously trained at it. once she remembered to draw from the force - which, according to ep 5, comes as naturally as breathing to someone who has the potential - her actions were fluid, defined, and not desperate at all. conceptually difficult to render on a screen but i'm sure that a well-written book would be able to make that be clearer without assistance.

someone else mentioned how lived-in the world felt. i think that's a great way of putting where the initial series succeeded and the prequels failed. they were so sterile, and here it was much more realistic that the areas had existed for a long time.

i loved it. i want to watch several more of it. i wish my thread (which started on thursday night!) was the main star wars thread though :<

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None of the main characters feel very heroic.  Okay, well, there is Poe, but he doesn't get much screen time.  Finn is a good guy but would rather run than fight.  Rey is a good person as well, but is more worried about getting back to Jakku than anything else.  Both of them had the potential to suck it up and sign on with the Resistance, but neither actually does it.

Finn was all ready to leave and do his own thing, but makes a detour to save Rey after she's captured.  He helps the Resistance because that will lead to Rey getting rescued, and actually lies to them in order to make sure that he can rescue her.  He might have changed his mind by the end, but he's unconscious by that point so we don't know what he thinks.

Rey gets pulled into the conflict by Finn (the stormtroopers see them together when they're after him, which he points out makes her a target too), tries her best to stay alive without getting any of her friends killed, consciously rejects the idea of becoming a jedi and fighting the First Order and mostly just wants to go home, but she's captured and spends most of the rest of the movie escaping.  There's the bit where she goes to find Luke at the end, but honestly given that there's no dialogue it's impossible to say why exactly she's doing it.  (To bring him back to help the Resistance and save the galaxy?  To get answers about the visions she had?  To embrace her destiny and train as a jedi?  To get his help in healing Finn?  Because he's her father?  To return his lightsaber to him so she doesn't have to carry it around anymore?)

Why would you want a "heroic character"? Heroism is a one-dimensional concept. People are complicated. :< It's refreshing to see a story that isn't about someone wanting to save the universe just because it's the right thing to do. We've gotten quite enough of those over the last... forever in storytelling.

The exact questions you ended this thought with are why the characters are good. Because they're not the same old "save the world" heroes. "Save the world" heroes are uninteresting, aren't thought-provoking, and are incredibly predictable. Rey's character is interesting because while she seems to be a good person we don't really know the extent to which she's willing to put out for the cause. That's her defining flaw. Flaws in character define good characters. We don't understand her, because she has more complex motivations than "i must save the galaxy from darth kysnorenkolo", and this is the first act of her character progression.

A lack of one-dimensional heroism in the movie isn't a problem. In fact, Luke Skywalker had similar flaws. He was always willing to help, but he wasn't doing it because he really cared, he was doing it because he thought he had to. The Empire Strikes Back addresses his doubt and lack of genuineness on Dagobah. Yoda shows Luke through his training his lack of resolve and made him think hard about what he was doing and why he was doing it. And you know what? He fucks up and leaves his training incomplete because he gets worried about Leia and Han. Then he fights Vader, and because of his fear and his incomplete training, he gets his hand cut off and is overwhelmed by the emotion of learning Vader is his father. The Empire Strikes Back is such a good movie because everyone loses, and it's all Luke's fault because he put himself and his friends before the greater good. That's not "heroic".

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Hrmm I finally saw the movie, and I think the most entertaining part for me was the part where the theater worker got hit by the recorder.. clip here

Do they ever say who Ren or whatever her name's parentage is? It's implied that it could be Luke and Leia

 

Apart from that not too much happened in the movie. A lot of traveling to hide a droid and then something bad happens, some lightsaber fighting, inexplicable shit then everyone goes home.. I don't know how you're writing paragraphs

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7 hours ago, Brandon Strader said:

Hrmm I finally saw the movie, and I think the most entertaining part for me was the part where the theater worker got hit by the recorder.. clip here

Do they ever say who Ren or whatever her name's parentage is? It's implied that it could be Luke and Leia

 

Apart from that not too much happened in the movie. A lot of traveling to hide a droid and then something bad happens, some lightsaber fighting, inexplicable shit then everyone goes home.. I don't know how you're writing paragraphs

The sheer amount of drunk you had to be in order to not understand anything about this movie

 

also yes didn't you miss the part where Rey was born out of incest between Luke and Leia? this isn't rocket science

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Man does no one remember that Kylo Ren was dealing with a fucking blaster wound during the last battle scene...?

"HOW COME HE SUCK SO BAD"

I'd probably fight like garbage too if I'd been fucking SHOT and was trying to like.. not bleed out, on top of dealing with what I assume is a lot of pain

This is the only dueling scene in the entire movie, and he has a handicap.  Of course he's going to fight like shit.  On top of that, we have no idea how extensive his training has been, and it makes it seem like he's had hardly any formal force training and is instead just very force adept.  I don't find this super hard to believe, since he's fully aware of his lineage and knows that the jedi/sith/force aren't just myths.  There are plenty of people who are good at something with minimal (formal) training because they're aware of their affinity for it and have fostered their talents.  There are plenty of musicians who fit the bill right here :P 

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34 minutes ago, Phonetic Hero said:

"HOW COME HE SUCK SO BAD"

I'd probably fight like garbage too if I'd been fucking SHOT and was trying to like.. not bleed out, on top of dealing with what I assume is a lot of pain

Not only shot, but shot by Chewie's crossbow, which had the capacity to launch stormtroopers across the fucking room.

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7 minutes ago, Modus said:

It smells like a reboot, it resembles a reboot and nobody's... noticing... is this the end times

Is Hollywood a.. Hologram.. in the matrix

omfg

How is it a reboot? It references the previous trilogy in such a specific way. It's a sequel. It has Leia, Han, Chewie, and Luke, all played by their original actors, all older, decades later. Nothing is being rebooted (except maybe the Expanded Universe?).

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3 minutes ago, DarkeSword said:

How is it a reboot? It references the previous trilogy in such a specific way. It's a sequel. It has Leia, Han, Chewie, and Luke, all played by their original actors, all older, decades later. Nothing is being rebooted (except maybe the Expanded Universe?).

Someone mentioned this before:

Start on desert planet

Funny Droid has a map (formerly plans)

Main characters meet Han Solo 2.0

Aboard the Death Star (now with multi-targeting feature)

Blow up da death star

 

And the old characters show up for no super convincing reason, save for Han Solo 1.0. It's preeeettty purebred fanservice.

 

Now Rey is a much better Luke because she's cute and her performance was great and there's a couple of other great change-ups IMO. Mostly Finn.

 

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I didn't really enjoy it, although after I saw it I can't stop thinking/reading about it and I want to see it again, just to form a more definitive opinion.

The bad:  Most of my issues come from randomness and awkwardness.  Finn randomly wanted to stop being a Storm Trooper.  Why?  and why is he the only one?  If more people end up doing that, fine, but for now he's the only one we're aware of.  If they took him when he was a baby and he's been surrounded by Storm Troopers and that's all he's known his whole life, I don't understand why all of a sudden he would want out.  I thought Poe and Finn's interactions were awkward, especially when Poe gave Finn his name.  My feeling was basically "Who are these new characters and why should I care about them?  At the moment, I don't."  I guess I didn't really like their character introductions, but Rey on the other hand I really liked her introduction and character.

I thought Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher were just awkward.  Han Solo had some good parts and some awkward parts.  I hated one line, "I like this kid!" or something like that when referring to Finn.  Just came off as weird to me.  Not sure if it was director's or actor's choice but General Hux was really awkward to me; his voice, facial expressions, weird.  Some of the humor was funny but some of it fell flat for me.

The good:  I really, really liked the acting of Rey and Kylo Ren.  Their mind-reading exchange blew me away.  I found it surprising that some people in this thread felt his acting was stiff, but I thought his performance was very nuanced, and impressive considering he wore a mask most of the time.  Kylo Ren came off as an emo kid, rebelling against his parents, as if he fell into the wrong crowd, but I think it worked for his character.  I didn't find the movie terribly interesting until Han Solo confronted his son, and from then until the end it got really good for me.  I wanted better light saber scenes but I was okay with it, because all three of them are relatively young and inexperienced.  Finn and Rey can fight, sort of, but even with Rey and The Force, she is untrained.  And Kylo Ren as others have mentioned was injured, and although he's strong with The Force, I imagine his training was rather incomplete, misguided.  I thought the ending was really epic; Rey is connected to everything somehow, and for her to meet the only Jedi (in the galaxy?) was really epic and I can't wait for the next one.

Considering the bad and good, overall I just didn't enjoy it all that much, it just didn't gel for me at the time.  I happened to be rather tired and maybe I just wasn't feeling it, but like I mentioned above I want to see it again and I have a feeling upon 2nd viewing I'm going to end up loving it.

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2 hours ago, Modus said:

Someone mentioned this before:

Start on desert planet

Funny Droid has a map (formerly plans)

Main characters meet Han Solo 2.0

Aboard the Death Star (now with multi-targeting feature)

Blow up da death star

 

And the old characters show up for no super convincing reason, save for Han Solo 1.0. It's preeeettty purebred fanservice.

 

Now Rey is a much better Luke because she's cute and her performance was great and there's a couple of other great change-ups IMO. Mostly Finn.

 

That's not a reboot.

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Yeah, they followed the OT too close.. Jar Jar Abrams played it too safe. That's one of the main criticisms I've been hearing from almost everyone not on this forum that I've talked to

9 hours ago, Neblix said:

The sheer amount of drunk you had to be in order to not understand anything about this movie

 

also yes didn't you miss the part where Rey was born out of incest between Luke and Leia? this isn't rocket science

 

Really? I understood everything about the movie. It was just boring as hell. And nowhere in the movie does it say Rey is an incest baby. 

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8 hours ago, Phonetic Hero said:

Man does no one remember that Kylo Ren was dealing with a fucking blaster wound during the last battle scene...?

"HOW COME HE SUCK SO BAD"

I'd probably fight like garbage too if I'd been fucking SHOT and was trying to like.. not bleed out, on top of dealing with what I assume is a lot of pain

not only that, but the bowcaster was obviously ragdolling dudes all movie, and here he just kinda staggers a bit. yeah, i guess he's a wimp.

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