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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Spoilers Inside!)


DarkeSword
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Highlights:

  • Kylo being a tryhard (probably my favorite choice the filmmakers made)
  • Han landing a few more one-liners before exiting the saga
  • Seeing the inside of a TIE fighter(!)
  • Having the major themes of the original trilogy explored a little further (this annoyed some people, but not me)
  • The joy of anticipation. It's been a long time since I've watched a tentpole movie and actually been hungry for more. I'm so pumped to see what Rian Johnson does with the next film.

Lowlights:

  • Who cares? This film has flaws. So do all the others (except Empire IMO, but there are still people who hate that movie). Expecting perfection from a subjective medium is a recipe for unhappiness.

I thought Episode 7 was great.

 

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14 hours ago, DarkeSword said:

The Star Wars Saga is the story of the Skywalker family.

Sure, it certainly has been.  In much the same way, you could say Castlevania is about the Belmont Clan's struggle with evil.  But in order to tell a good story and keep things from getting stale, Iga knew things needed to be switched up now and then.  In Symphony of the Night, Richter's struggle with evil is still very much a part of the story - but he wasn't the one who was able to stop Dracula this time.. instead, someone else had to take up the responsibility (ironically/topically, the now-main character Alucard actually IS the son of Dracula :P ).  It gives you the sense that there's not just one all-powerful, all-important bloodline that ends up popping out the only people to matter in the struggle against evil.  Personally, I think that's much more engaging and immersive, and creates a richer universe full of great/important characters.  Again, Castlevania is a great example - tons of interesting characters and development of the universe that's not always *directly* involved with the Belmonts.  SotN and Aria of Sorrow are shining examples of a narrative with a Belmont who's involved tangentially, and whose struggle is important to fleshing out the story, but without them being the main character or the ONLY person who stands a chance to fight evil

I'm still going to argue that it's potentially a better story if Rey isn't a Skywalker.  Just because the Skywalkers HAVE been the main characters doesn't mean they need to keep being the mains/only ones able to fight and stop the bad guys.  I think instead of ANOTHER new Skywalker, it'd be more interesting to delve into Luke's personal battle with the dark side, carried over from ep VI.  But hey, opinions and all that!

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I think it took some time to warm up to the movie more than even the Prequels did for me, because I really liked the prequels. I felt like the dialogue wasn't quite as sophisticated in the new movie as it was even in the prequels. People also seemed a lot less mysterious or wise. The new characters, I get that they aren't in any way trained or restrained like perhaps Obi-Wan was in Episode 2/3. It's probably just what they were going for, more of a common folk vibe, but I missed the formality the characters had in previous movies, and the intelligent well-spoken dialogue. I'll need to see it again to really know how I feel about it, it's hard to tell from 1 substandard viewing. 

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47 minutes ago, Mirby said:

I also wanted to mention how much I enjoyed how cocky Poe Dameron was regarding his piloting skill, and that it wasn't just mindless boasting. He was able to back it up.

And we should've known Finn wasn't cut out to be a Stormtrooper. I mean he can actually hit things when he shoots!

Actually one of the things I really liked about this movie was that it made Stormtroopers more powerful and scary. First Order Stormtroopers are more on the level of the Repubic's Clonetroopers than the Empire's old Stormtroopers. That fight between Finn and the Riot Control Trooper was awesome.

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Yeah, the Stormtroopers were certainly more capable this time around. Which was nice. I mean how did the Empire have such a hold when their troops couldn't hit the broad side of a barn? At least these guys know what they're doing.

Also, that Riot Control Trooper was a great design in general.

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1 more thing I wanna point out is, look how far light saber fights have come since the OT 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kpHK4YIwY4

this is 'wat'

The battle at the end of episode 3 is the best of the entire saga by far. I hope they do another light saber battle in the new movies.. the one in episode 7 didn't really count, it was cool though, especially to see FN-24601 trying to fight with no experience against Kyle and not actually doing that bad

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Watched the movie yesterday not having seen any of the trailers or knowing much about the story or characters at all. I was pleasantly surprised by how restrained the whole thing felt compared to the prequel trilogy. No Duel of the Fates in the score, no massive space battles, no over-the-top lightsaber fights, no needlessly convoluted story threads, and no one building secret bases in lava biomes just for the hell of it. Still not sure how I feel about the direct parallels between VII and IV, but the idea that the trilogies are supposed to reflect one another in themes and story arcs was already established by Lucas in the prequel trilogy, so I'm entirely willing to give the writers the benefit of the doubt on this one.

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Just got out of the movie and i'm still floored by what I saw.  I'll admit I wasn't as excited for episode VII like so many were but seeing it has completely reawakened my love of the star wars universe. 

I was amazed at the pacing of the movie.  Nothing felt too drawn out or overly concise and the segues were all classic star wars without the feeling of suddenly dropping the viewer that episode I-III had a huge problem with imo.  

I'll gush more tomorrow but it was definitely everything it needed to be.

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Really enjoyed the movie and I will probably see it again when it's available to see at home. Several others have shared my opinion on the movie, which is that it tries too hard to be an episode 4 reboot for it to be truly great. But this is the Star Wars movie we need right now though, something to set the tone for the new trilogy, to wash out the bad taste of the prequels. They can save greatness for ep 8.

The acting was better than it needed to be, which was nice (Ridley in particular was excellent), and the special effects were great. My complaints are pretty few and minor - some of the jokes didn't land, and the movie was slightly too overstuffed for me. I think it could have done with one or two fewer characters, and a couple scenes went too quickly for me to really appreciate what was happening. It's not like A New Hope didn't have problems with its script and story either. Ep 7 would easily be a direct post if I were a movie judge.

I'm super excited about Rian Johnson writing and directing the next one. Looper was a dark, innovative take on a well-worn sci-fi concept, and I'd love to see what he can do with this well-worn universe. If they are following the spirit of the original trilogy (if not the actual plot), he seems like the right director to do the Empire Strikes Back reboot.

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I liked the light saber duels in the prequels, especially the big final one in Episode 3, the choreography was amazing. It wasn't sped up and they just practiced it for months to get it down that well. Really impressive stuff. The comparison to an anime fight scene... well... look at DBZ, when they get stronger they fight pretty fancy don't they? They go a lot faster. They have more and better attacks. Even in a Star wars video game, like let's say The Force Unleashed, you'll gain more abilities and fight more fancy as you go along. From what I could tell they take a lot of stylistic choices from actual swordfighting in the earlier light saber duels (even in the original trilogy though it's a lot less advanced speed and movement-wise.) Plus EVERYONE knows if you spin or put on racing stripes, you'll move faster and have more power put into your movement. :lol: 

Though in the end its all up to preference, and it's cool to try different things. I'll always have that epic Episode 3 fight I can go back and watch on youtube or whatever.

@AngelCityOutlaw How did you embed your youtube video the way you did? I thought that functionality got removed in the update. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSwy412nttI

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1 hour ago, Brandon Strader said:

I liked the light saber duels in the prequels, especially the big final one in Episode 3, the choreography was amazing. It wasn't sped up and they just practiced it for months to get it down that well. Really impressive stuff.

 

Even though I'll agree that what they did for the fighting choreography fit the mood of the movie and emotion of the scenes perfectly, being a huge kung fu movie fan I would have liked to see some more interesting light saber combat too.  The only beef I have with it is that it takes people years to learn to move correctly when doing a fight scene like that and the prequels had so many inconsistencies between the actors and the people who knew what they were doing.  Not to say this movie didn't have it's moments like that, that fight scene between Finn and the Storm Trooper with the single giant shock tonfa near the end sort of details what i'm talking about.  Finn went that entire scene barely looking like he knew what he was doing.  I mean there were a few moments where he took way too long to prep for the next step and the storm trooper was pretty much looking at him like "hey c'mon hit me already! I don't want to stand here forever!"

...and you know what?  With Finn being a former storm trooper fighting with a lightsaber, it worked perfectly!  

 

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On 12/26/2015 at 8:07 AM, Brandon Strader said:

The battle at the end of episode 3 is the best of the entire saga by far.

*Projectile vomits*

Anyways, I just saw The Force Awakens, and:

  • I think the galaxy is supposed to be in anarchy now, and the First Order are like space terrorists.
  • I really like how the movie really tries to convey that the lightsabers are dangerous weapons. The lighting was dim so that the glow of the lightsaber would be apparent, the sound effects used seemed harsh and loud, and the way the actors handled them indicated that they were dangerous. In the prequels, the lightsabers are constantly being drawn, with a flat angle, and swung around like harmless toys. The lightsabers in The Force Awakens are pretty intimidating by comparison.
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23 minutes ago, Slimy said:

I really like how the movie really tries to convey that the lightsabers are dangerous weapons. The lighting was dim so that the glow of the lightsaber would be apparent, the sound effects used seemed harsh and loud, and the way the actors handled them indicated that they were dangerous. In the prequels, the lightsabers are constantly being drawn, with a flat angle, and swung around like harmless toys. The lightsabers in The Force Awakens are pretty intimidating by comparison.

At the start of the fight between Kylo Ren and Rey, I thought for a moment that Rey was accidentally holding her lightsaber upside-down as she activated it, and I was like 8O.

I like how Kylo Ren's lightsaber is slightly more flamey-looking with a less cleanly defined edge than normal lightsabers. Really nice visual touch.

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Fun fact, it isn't just a "visual touch" for the unstable appearance of the lightsaber.  According to this (which, Lord knows could be a simple fake fabrication born of the internet), the crystal itself is cracked and is close to overloading, which gives the blade the jagged appearance. It also explains why the crossguard blades are there: basically, they're lateral exhaust vents to prevent the crystal from going boom.

Kylo Ren is basically a tryhard hipster who's trying too hard to copy his idol while using an outdated lightsaber design because muh aesthetics.

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On 12/23/2015 at 0:02 AM, zircon said:

Maybe you missed some of his dialogue. He made the decision to get out after his first battle, which was the first one shown in the movie. He saw a friend / colleague killed in front of his eyes, and was then asked to kill innocent women and children. He hadn't done any fighting at all before - he was in sanitation. So as soon as he saw all that, he wanted to leave. Sounds perfectly human and natural to me.

I suppose the question then becomes, was the First Order really going to pains to hide their brutality, and if so, why? Didn't seem like it, to me... which means that, even in sanitation, it seemed like he would have had an inkling of their general killyness & slaughterizing, no? ...also seemed weird that Kylo was going around using the force like it was going out of style during that initial attack, and yet when Han later talks about the force being "all true" it comes off as some kind of revelation? Wasn't quite clear on all of that... but it didn't matter much. None of the many nitpicks (valid or invalid) are super-critical, regardless, and even in aggregate they don't represent a serious problem, at least to me...

So yeah, just saw the film for the first time, tonight. Unfortunately, I missed about 20 minutes towards the beginning because I was sick, so I certainly need to see it again. And, from seeing the majority of the film, I can definitely say that it's a film I WANT to see again, unlike the prequels.

It's funny, I'm not sure if folks remember, but when each of the prequels came out, there was a honeymoon of about a week in which people were convinced of some degree of greatness, or at least non-suckiness... as time passed, that certainly wore off, and we slowly came to understand how truly compromised the franchise had become.

This movie was good. It didn't feel like a return to the greatness of the original trilogy (yes, including RotJ), it didn't feel like a complete purging of all the flaws that so flagrantly marked the prequels, and it didn't honestly feel like the BEST Abrams is capable of. BUT, for the first time in a looooong time, we've got a new, WATCHABLE Star Wars film... and that makes me happy. If I had to put a number to it, I'd say 7/10. If I had to name-drop a recent science fiction film I enjoyed more, I'd say Guardians of the Galaxy. Yeah, I said it :) And here's the thing... TFA feels like an acknowledgement of the soullessness of the prequels and an attempt to address that, but it also feels like too cognizant/self-aware an attempt. Guardians of the Galaxy feels like legit heart & soul, to me - intro gets me in the feels, as does the callback to the intro towards the end. Again, we're in the realm of personal opinion, but I just didn't find myself caring much about Rey's family, or Finn's anything... but it WAS clear to me that material was being presented that to some extent would at least make me consider caring... which I suppose is something. Here's the other thing: it was one thing to have the death star rebuilt & destroyed a second time in the original trilogy... but AGAIN!? This felt plain old empty to me; I like that the movie feels comfortable in the skin of its (only TRUE) ancestors, but running a land & air attack on a large, world-destroying sphere AGAIN? I know some of you are stoked about this movie & feeling that burn of nostalgia, but give it a month or two and revisit this question... at this point, the Empire, the First Order, and evil in general is more accurately just described as "Spherebuilding" - "What, they're building a large sphere capable of planetary destruction? AGAIN? Let's analyze the plans... again... and look for a catastrophic & complete design flaw... again!" At least many Bothans didn't die for the information, this time...

At any rate: good but not great. I feel like time & perspective will reel in some of the most exuberant fans, i.e. the Ansari brothers :) Evaluated relative to the prequels, a breath of fresh air... otherwise, something that tries pretty hard, does a pretty darn good job, and is fun to watch. Can't argue with any of that, but greatness lies beyond competence & solid execution...

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