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16-12-2015, 10:17 AM #1
Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Spoiler Thread
Here is a star wars spoiler thread so one can discuss Star War's with people who have seen VII or who do not really care to know about the plot twists ahead of time (Discussions on actual spoilers go to the racing forum). As this is a spoiler thread, you don't have to resort to the formalities of whiting out things.
Last edited by Grizzly; 18-12-2015 at 06:26 AM.
16-12-2015, 06:59 PM #2
16-12-2015, 08:55 PM #3
I know life can be full of surprises, still... is there anything to expect from a new star wars episode ?
17-12-2015, 12:28 AM #4
FWIW I've watched the Star Trek reboot a few years ago and it wasn't terrible, the best way I can describe it is, a carefully engineered blockbusting entertainment product, so I'm not sure that I would expect something in a different league; and as long as it delivers sword fights, explosions, dogfighting, people in costumes with a touch of soap and avoiding terribly dislikable characters (or Ewoks), they will tell you SF IS BACK.
17-12-2015, 01:11 AM #5
17-12-2015, 01:22 AM #6
Maybe it's a depression bomb like jurassic world, like it wants to tell kids old fans are cool too and will feature han solo wearing a shirt of the first movie while mourning how jabba "felt" real.
17-12-2015, 02:10 AM #7
Guess it depends on what you mean with SF. For the most part I'd say in mainstream cinema it has been displaced by SF-flavored somethings or others (that's not necessarily a bad thing but it often is, most certainly when the movie is supposed to be a blockbuster), where the SF elements aren't shaping and/or informing the story being told, but rather are more or less generic building blocks, used when necessary to provide a setting and convenient set of tools.
The more SF-ish movies are either not very popular or so derivative that they appear to have made for an audience with no exposure whatsoever to any type of SF before, I'm thinking stuff like Source Code or Moon, but Matrix would be a fitting example as well, though the first film kind of redeems itself in other ways.
17-12-2015, 03:12 AM #8
I just got back from seeing the film, it wholly exceeded my expectations. It was Star Wars. I don't think there's much more I can say than that. I'd rate it the 3rd best film in the franchise, after Empire and A New Hope. There's really not much to say, the new characters are all really likeable, BB-8 and Poe were definite stand-outs. The last scene with Luke was wonderful and the whole film was beautifully scored, though that's to be expected with it being done by John Williams. Though a lot of the music while they were on Jakku felt very similar in tone to Indiana Jones.
Also, fuck Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. I'm still somewhat devastated. The second they mentioned splitting up I knew either Chewy or Han would die. Then, they even went so far as to have that one gleaming moment, one brief point where there's hope, and it seems they're going to get out of it alive, and then JJ stabs you in the fucking gut.
I'm very disappointed in Starkiller base though, they really shouldn't have destroyed it. It being disabled would have been fine. Starkiller base should have been a trilogy-wide threat. It's basically a death star with trees. And they didn't even have the balls to destroy a named system either. Right now Starkiller base had essentially no effect on the universe, there was no real threat from it, the system it blew up is meaningless to everyone. They should have destroyed Coruscant, something with huge importance to the galaxy, if not Coruscant then Correlia, (that would have made Han's death so much more devastating) or even Naboo.
The film borrows a lot from Episode IV, not a bad thing, though it got a little strained at times. Considering the premise and structure was pretty much the same, hell, Han was basically Obi-Wan for the new cast.
I'm convinced Rey is a Skywalker though, I have no doubts in my mind. It's the only reason why she's so powerful, and why Kylo would have abducted her as a child. I mean she fucking mind tricks a guy a couple of minutes after finding out she's force sensitive. It took Luke a year to be able to lift a noodle with the force, and he had some training.
In terms of SF debate, I don't feel Star Wars was ever Sci-Fi, and I feel it's wrong to label it as such. Star Wars is Fantasy that happens to be set in space, the technology doesn't matter, it's just a backdrop for the story. I'd place things like Star Trek (not the shitty reboots) and 2001 in the Sci-Fi genre. And films like that just sadly aren't popular. Though Interstellar was great, but there's really not that many that have come out in the past decade.
17-12-2015, 06:52 AM #9
I went to see that film not expecting much. I like the first trilogy, but the very thing that makes it interesting, its narrative construction as a fairy tale, makes it insuitable as the basis of an extended universe. It's way too manichean for that, you can't really make an interesting universe where everyone is either super good or super bad (despite what some Star Wars fans have tried telling me times and again).
So with that background set, what did I think of the film?
I'm not sure, but i will say I'm somewhat pleasantly surprised and would say i liked it. Basically i have two opposing feelings about it.
On the one hand, the film goes way too deep with its nods to the first trilogy. "Plucky resistance person gives to its dear robot a super important map and then send it on its way on a desert planet to avoid capture by the bad guys"? Seriously? You couldn't find ANY other starting plot? And that's just one of the example of ways too many heavy references to the first trilogy. The end also shares similar stuff with yet another spherical base that will gets destroyed by plucky resistance people. I think that's a common thing that JJ likes to do, showing his geekcreds with direct references, but that's way too much for me.
Another problematic point, the movie is so eager to get going and present its characters, that it starts with a string of very unlikely events (or total plot holes). The suspension of disbelief is hard, especially when they are telling you a similar story as before. That gets somewhat better later on, but there is nothing surprising regarding how everything goes (that whole Han Solo/Kyle face-off was over before in my mind it started, the result was obvious if Abrams wanted a credible threat)
And yet, and yet..this is the best description of the Star Wars universe i have seen in the long time. The First Order makes for great Space Nazis, and for once, it's not just the one Darth Whatever who represents them. The Resistance has similarly well aged, it feels believable they would be in that place. Less obscure but still underdogs. The main duo works very well, with credible performance. They are very likable and Abrams takes pain in making sure they share equal rights in the ultimate result. And as for the whole philosophy around the Force, JJ has toned down the most stupid aspects. No more midiclowhatever technobabble, but also no more philosophical bullshit about Anger / Fear being super bad or whatever. I also liked he broke some shackles from the first trilogy by unmasking its vilain right away.
So yeah, I'm conflicted but on the whole positive. In one sentence i would say "Story is pants, but stay for the characters and the background universe"
Last edited by Ksempac; 17-12-2015 at 08:15 AM.
17-12-2015, 08:20 AM #10
17-12-2015, 09:27 AM #11
*typing with eyes closed so as to not see any spoilers*
Please be mindful that the opening couple hundred characters or so of things that you write here will be visible in the "what's new" view of the forums.
17-12-2015, 10:02 AM #12
17-12-2015, 02:39 PM #13
So I've seen Force Awakens It's great. It's not up there with the original trilogy quite, but it wipes the floor with the prequels. Fantastic to watch on the imax. There's a few issues with pacing of the plot, some directing/editing choices and some scenes are robbed of intensity in places by that. So I think it comes up just short of New Hope and Jedi.
- Abrams I'm still not sure I like his directing style. There are some beautiful shots but the cuts are overly frequent and aggressive. That may just be a personal taste thing though.
- All the echoes of the original trilogy are fine. It manages to walk a fine thread of telling it's own story while also evoking the originals. I mean the originals do this a lot anyway, losing hands, repeated death stars etc.
- They reveal Kylo Ren's parentage way too early. Also he takes his mask off far too often. So by the time his big scene happens with Han he's lost his Darth Vader style dread. There is potential there but I think he'd have had more menace kept mysterious for a bit longer. Also that scene with Han is way too obviously sign posted. Which again as a directing choice sort of robs it of a bit of impetuous.
- It's actually funny in places. Which gives it a great family christmas action movie feel, like the originals and Indiana Jones always did so well.
- I really like the new characters.
- The light sabre duel is brilliant. We were talking in the other thread about how the originals had weight and emotion to them, so the duels seemed deliberate and thrilling. Unlike the prequels which were all showy ballet action with no real guts to them. This was definitely the former. I got a spine tingling thrill to see light sabres again.
- They don't really bother with a whole lot of attempted ret-conning or worrying about continuity. Unlike the Star Wars reboot which went to such great lengths to tie it back to old spock etc. that it was rubbish. Or the prequels.
- The pacing is just a bit off somehow. The final attack on Star Killer base seemed to lack a bit of gravity. I think probably as none of the main characters were actually flying X-Wings. So it never seemed as tense. Also nothing wrong with MacGuffins, and the Scottish Isles look wonderful, but the last bit with Luke was a bit rushed or something. There was an obvious ending point just before then, then there's just another scene on the end. Then again MARK FUCKING HAMILL!!!
17-12-2015, 07:20 PM #14
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
Got back from seeing it a little while ago. I liked it - but unless something's a real stinker, I usually feel that way about something until the whole spectacle of the cinema wears off a bit. I think there's a fine line between calling back to the classic star wars movies and just retreading them, and this manages to walk that line pretty well. The characters were good, but the whole thing to me at least, felt like one long intro sequence? I will say this, though. Starkiller base is a fake out. Literally nobody except the rebs care that it's destroyed, did you notice? Not the general, who just reports on it like a setback, not the sith lord, who's away doing something more important, and not the emperor palpatine take 2. He's scarcely even annoyed by it, just telling the general to pick up his pupil and bug out. None of them cared in the slightest. Speaking of wrinkes 2: the wrinkling, I think he's probably more of an evil wizard of Oz. The fact that he represents himself as a giant holo figure is one thing, but I'm not buying the what the holo shows as the real deal either. I did like the rebirth of the empire as a crazy cult, though? I mean the 99% faceless stormtroopers are very explicitly brainwashed, but then you've got this weird space dad thing going on where Kylo abandons his education and his family to join up with this weird old dude, and in his absence, you can see him try and use the same teachings Snoke has given him to try and entrench that brainwashing - leading him to make some kind of terrible life decisions, but also to show that there is good in him. I like the idea of someone struggling with the light side, totally reversing the idea of the seductive nature of the dark side. Yeah. I think it's a good one. Not quite the second coming of star wars, but a worthy film in and of itself.I wrote a fantasy novel, called Lavender! Perhaps you'd like to read it.
17-12-2015, 07:33 PM #15
Just watched it. It's really fucking good. Plenty of chills.
I absolutely loved Kylo Ren. I think the early reveal was meant to humanize him and make him a more active character. When you think about it, Darth Vader didn't do a whole lot aside from giving orders and being a choking hazard. He certainly feels more like a third main character instead of just a villain. I loved how he took a massive beating and still kept going
The lightsaber duels feel much improved. They actually feel like dangerous weapons now instead of toys. People swing to kill. I rewatched Revenge of the Sith yesterday and the duels there are all awful. Compared to this it's like light and dark side, as they say.
And yeah, I agree about the attack on the base. I felt there were missing scenes because it goes by so quickly and we don't really know anybody aside from rebel pilot man.
So yeah, it's great. If it wasn't for Mad Max it would be my favourite movie of the year.
17-12-2015, 07:59 PM #16
For the record, i totally agree on Kylo Ren removing his mask early.
When he first appeared i literally thought "What ? they are doing the masked dude with scary voice AGAIN ?". I think an unmasked Kylo Ren makes for a much more interesting than the masked dude that is "Very Very Bad Look At Me I'M Very Bad I'm Dressed All In Black and Have a Scary Mask". His unmasking in front of her prisoner shows how he isn't gonna hide, that he means business, he doesn't need any artifice to crush your soul.
17-12-2015, 08:11 PM #17
It reminds me of something Dan Harmon said about Rick and Morty, that you can't do these drawn out reveals anymore because people are too clever for that kind of thing.
18-12-2015, 12:00 AM #18
He is full of doubts, and has decided to kill his father in order to prove to himself and Snoke that he's totally fucking dark side, but his face as he did the deed wasn't one of empowerment or "I'm free now". He was still doubting, only he's now an even bigger asshole.
Overall, I like this a lot. This guy is not a dark lord. He's Draco Malfoy and he's gonna get it hard some day soon. I really liked the dynamic with the officer guy (admiral? forgot the name). A sort of teenage version of Vader/Tarkin, showing that yeah these sith warriors are badasses for sure, but they are not neccessarily who you want running your army. Hope to see more of that guy in the next movie.
Overall, liked the movie. I thought the new characters were great, especially Rey, though my friend rightfully pointed out that it's kind of awkward that they make such a big deal out of her being a girl, with the whole "stop holding my hand" thing. It's maybe not strange that Han Solo would treat her that way, since he's such a macho type already, but Finn has a female commanding officer, so what gives? The second half of the film had a much lighter touch on that front too so it wasn't unduly distracting, just unneccesary the few times it did come up. BB-8 was flirting incessantly with the audience, but I allowed myself to be manipulated because it really was adorable most of the time.
I'm looking forward to the next one.
18-12-2015, 12:35 AM #19
Yeah, I really love how unsure and confused Kylo is. He feels a lot like Anakin, only 1000x better. He's struggling with the Dark side, and he's so obviously untrained. I expect he's going to get much more powerful now that he's killed Han, and Snoke decides to train him properly.
General Hux was a real stand-out too, really surprised considering how little promotion he got in the run up, especially when compared to Phasma, who did pretty much fuck-all and then gave up because she had a blaster pointed at her. Really disappointing. Hux and Kylo have such a good dynamic, it's reminiscent of the Tarkin-Vader-Palpy power triangle IV had. With Hux and Kylo having pretty much equal rank, yet both with different methods and ambitions.
I feel somewhat disappointed with the score though, it's great, but it's by far the worst of the series. It just doesn't really have any standout or memorable theme or motifs. Rey's theme and The Jedi Steps are outstanding, but it just doesn't compare at all to things like the Trench Run, Imperial march, the asteroid field, Into the Trap, Binary Sunset, The Emperor's theme Duel of the Fates, Across the Stars or Battle of the Heroes. All of them are utterly fantastic and memorable, TFA just doesn't have an equivalent. I do like the resistance theme, but it pales when compared to the rest of the saga. A lot of the soundtrack just feels somewhat muted, it's much more similar in tone to the Harry Potter soundtrack than Star Wars.
Also massively disappointed by Snoke's theme, it's just really lacking, especially compared to the Emperor's theme which is very similar stylistic.
18-12-2015, 02:51 AM #20
I dunno the first few times Kylo Ren took his mask off I just thought "whiney teenage emo douchebag". Which sort of took the fun out of the character.