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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Discussion *MAJOR SPOILERS!*

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I've just come back from the Force Awakens midnight showing in the UK.
I have seen the film and wish to create a space for those who have seen the movie to discuss it without ruining it for others.

Below there will be Major Spoilers! You have been warned, this is the point of no return.

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Yes, another spoiler barrier:
I loved the movie. Absolutely loved it.

The Lorerunner
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I enjoyed the film. I like where they are taking it, and that ending makes me want to see Episode VIII.

I was expecting a Vector Prime situation with Chewbacca due to knowing Lucas supported his death in the EU, I wasn't expecting it to be Han.

The moment Han stepped on that catwalk I knew what was going to happen. When Ben lowered his lightsaber in-between him I my worries died down thinking it was over.... but then the Starkiller consumed the sun, getting rid of the light literally and symbolically, and then we were all shocked. My grandmother had her hand over her mouth when she was that happen.

I'm still miffed about Han's fate, but I guess that happens when you impale an icon that has been a part of out culture for 38 years.

I was surprised at the power of destruction that Starkiller Base was capable of. An entire star system gone.... the New Republic... mostly gone.

At least the New Republic was established in the Hosnian System and not Coruscant. Word has been going around that they made the New Republic be set on new planets and not Coruscant because J.J. wanted to blow them away.

The end of the film taking place on what most assume is Rakata Prime/Lehon made me feel good. The reason we think this is because it is the only new planet on the new star chart that isn't said to be visited. Plus it looks like Rakata in my opinion.

Some are confused about the New Republic, Resistance, First Order thing. I though the film explained it well enough. The Republic and the First Order are in an armistice. The resistance is an independent militia (secretly supported by the Republic) that is trying to push back and destroy the New Order.

I wasn't expecting Ben Solo to be who he was. I have to make more of an opinion on that, although I like that Rey leaves a massive scar on his face in the end. Even though he was who he was I wanted him to die for what he did, I see no redemption, he will be redeemed, but I don't want that. I want him to suffer an burn. I think he was a well done villain and is a good villain, but like Geoffrey from Game of Thrones I hate him.

I'll be watching this film twice more while in Cinemas. There are problems with the film and parts that could have been better, but I loved it and hope you all have enjoyed it as well.

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Well in my opinion the film was the best it could be given that it was absolute apping the original films. I'm kinda hallow on the Han death but I felt the film was better then I thought it was going to be. So I feel it's better then the forth so they are off to a good start if they want to surpass the original trilogy.
Side note: When the "Lucasart" came up, people cheered. People like to say they hate that guy but they still cheered his name.

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I loved the movie as well.

Loved Finn's journey, Poe Dameron was really likeable and want to see more of him on the next movies, Rey was simply amazing... having a way with technology does really run in the family, doesn't it?

Kylo Ren. That is a very complex and interesting villain right there. Not super powerful or skilled, yet, just seemed like an average force user (And i rally liked that... average force users ARE scary anyway)... but the personal impact rally sold it.

Loved some little tidbits thrown here and there... Luke did had a new Jedi Academy... Ben destroyed it and then Luke exiled himself... and that makes so much sense.

We also see some characters knowing/using the force but not being Jedi, good reference for the future there.

I do hope Kylo Ren gets destroyed and Ben Solo gets a redemption, though... and I'm really curious about Supreme Leader Snoak.

Han, Cheiw and Leia were just perfect. Loved the interaction and dynamic between Han and Leia, of course they still loved each other, they both were just copping with what their son did in their own way. Someone could argue that they didn't make the best decisions... but they made the human decisions. No one makes the best decisions all the time.

Small touch/detail... Han still showed love/affection and caressed his son's face AFTER being impaled. Great scene.

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The Force Awakens really surprised me in a good way. It's not necessarily an amazing movie, but I had kept my expectations in check. I was expecting an okay movie and got much more than that.

What's immediately apparent is that Episode VII feels much more real than the prequel trilogy. There's more movement and more dynamic shots. The characters also felt well developed and believable, especially due to the great chemistry between all of them. There were some excellent moments between Han and Leia and Kylo Ren and Rey for example. The humor was on point, too. There's a bit more in here than in the original trilogy, but it's well written and performed. The acting overall was straight-up great. Even grumpy old Harrison Ford did a decent job. I liked the blend between practical effects and special effects, although I would have liked to see a little more of the former. It wasn't really a problem, however, since the CGI looked great. The movie also has really good pacing with a nice ebb and flow to it, perhaps a little too much ebbing in the second act, but not by much.

The big battle at the end was excellently done. Honestly, this might be my favorite lightsaber fight in the movie saga. It wasn't overly choreographed. It felt more real, but there were some great stunts thrown in to keep it exciting, such as Ren's force push against Finn. Some of the shots during the fight were really good-looking, like the one where we see Rey and Ren from the side, with some of the trees in the foreground. Overall, the terrain was nicely used as an element of the fight itself, but perhaps most importantly, the fight served as a great representation of the inner struggles of the characters. Rey had just lost Han and possibly Finn as well, the only two people who had ever cared about her, while Kylo Ren was trying to prove to himself that he had made the right decision. In addition to that, we have Rey developing her abilities even further as the fight is going on, lending further credence to the title of the movie.

There are some plot points in the movie that I do take issue with however. Some of them may be resolved in the sequels, but I want to point them out anyway.

1. Why do Rey's powers grow so quickly, without being taught anything? Luke needed more or less two movies to get to the same level, and he had Obi-Wan and Yoda teaching him. Explanation needed in Episode 8.

2. Why is it that nobody can disable the power saving mode on R2D2 and why is it that the droid awakens by itself at the end? Is it because the sword was brought back, is there some connection?

3. How can a lightsaber cry out for a person and show them visions? We've never seen anything like it, I think. Does it have to do with the crystal inside? Did Luke put some kind of force spell on it? Again, explanation needed in the future.

4. Last but not least I find it a bit disappointing that the republic is dealt with so easily. It just feels like a cheap way of elevating the threat the First Order poses, by simply erasing the bulk of the potential resistance casually.

Anyway, I did like the movie a lot. It's probably an 8 or an 8.5 for me. I'm really looking forward to Rey becoming an absolute bada**, and I wonder what role Kylo Ren will play in the future, since I don't think he's dead. Oh, and I think Rey and Chewie are going to make an excellent team!

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A super solid movie. I went in there with average expectations and it really had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was incredibly nice seeing actual camera work, lighting (very nice use of it in this movie), and all those little touches that can turn an average scene into something special. The atmosphere was top notch and really pulled you in to the moments. It's amazing what actually having sets and going to real world locations can do for you. Unfortunately it did make the places that were obvious greenscreen stand out quite a bit.

I was a bit sad to see that particular scene; you know the one I'm talking about. I don't really think it was necessary to do that, but it was not the worst way it could have happened.

If there was one major complaint, it seems that a bit of the next movie leaked in to the end. It really should have ended with them flying off, clearly headed towards that one point. Instead, we have a bit of a forced interaction at the end and then it just ends. It just ended on an awkward note.

I'm a bit disappointed that Sloke (SP) is a CGI monster. That looked incredibly out of place. I was with pretty much everything else, but I'm sorry, that just looked so incredibly out of place.

The lightsaber fight at the end was great. There was so much going on there that wasn't just fancy choreography. The split between them at the end right after she overpowers him was incredible and I'm not talking about the CGI.

I really enjoyed the treatment they gave the force users in this. It made them stand out so much more starting from the very first scene and gave you a real idea of what someone with proper training might be able to do. 'cause let me tell you, there were not force users in the movie who were actually properly trained. Kylo Ren does not count. That boy is obviously pretty messed up in more ways than one. Heck, I think Finn (who I like wasn't exactly a slouch at combat despite being a bit of comic relief), could have beat him if he wasn't scared out of his wits. Admittedly, he had taken a chest shot (thank you, Chewie, that was the right response) so he was struggling already, but still.

Genuine laughter at scenes that were supposed to be funny. Cheering when old characters came on screen. That was a welcome change rather than the embarrassed laughter at the awkwardness of the last few movies. The Falcon reveal was probably the best out of all of that.

All the characters are likable and relatable. That's an excellent start.

To response to ZGoten:

1. It's just that she's an incredibly powerful force user. She also knows what Jedi are supposed to be able to do (and tries to do those things) opposed to someone like farmboy Luke who had no idea at the time and had to be told what he could do. Remember when Kylo Ren was talking with CGI Monster and they agreed that now that she's figured out she's force sensitive, she has to be tracked down immediately before she'll essentially become too powerful just because she's started to figure it out. Sensitives are a real problem - especially when they know what they can do. There's also an indication she had been inactively using her abilities for a while all throughout the movie, so there may have been a bit of "muscle memory" for a lack of a better term.

2. Movie reasons I guess. Don't have a real explanation for that other than it had to happen. I suppose I wouldn't have messed with a Jedi master's droid without his permission. That's asking for missing limbs.

3. I doubt the lightsaber directly influenced it. I got the impression that she was drawn to the lightsaber as part of her vision, not that it was the thing that unlocked it. We got to see everything from her perspective and it was pretty obvious she was in a vision before she even went downstairs. This is just us finally getting to see what a Jedi vision looks like to them. Pretty cool actually. It seems to be kind of a "sleepwalking" thing based on how Luke reacted in TESB, where it actively caused him to do things, yell stuff, etc. I have a feeling that to outside observers Rey probably looked like she was just sleepwalking downstairs.

4. That was kind of a cop out, I do agree, although I doubt that's really the last we've seen of the Republic. I think it was more of a demonstration than anything else. After all, what they destroyed is a bit of a drop in the bucket compared to the size of the Republic (assuming sizes here based off of other movies).

Anyway, could say more, but I suppose I should get back to work.

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I said before, there was one thing i wanted to say more than anything, after watching this move.


Let me get the stuff that rubbed me the wrong way out of the way first. Getting rid of the Republic as if it were Alderaan was a cheap move. And as my comrades from the Saga campaign who read this will unoubtedly understand - Poe, raise the damn shields!.

As for Han's death, i felt a disturbance in the Force the moment he and Chewie split up and the camera focused on Han for a few seconds more than it needed as he headed down. I smelled a rat right there and then. Then he catches sight of Ben Ren, and it all fell into place. The moment he stepped on to that catwalk, i knew. There was still a little room for doubt, but the moment the sun went out, there was only one way it was ending.

Honestly, i think that scene needed to be predictable. Such a crushing turn of events could not have been a plot twist or something in service of some other thing. It had to be it's own scene, and Han had to march in there, fully knowing and accepting what would happen, and so did we, or the audience would have most likely felt totally betrayed. You just don't take such an important and beloved character away without some catastrophic setup (and payoff).

Quite honesty, it doesn't upset me as much as i thought it would. Don't get me wrong, i don't like it, but it was a great scene, a good death, and you could tell immediately that he had no regrets. Many characters i'd grown very attached to throughout my time as a geek didn't get to go out anywhere near as gracefully.

And most of all, i still treat the EU as the real Canon of Starwars. Great as this movie was, and i did love it, it will never erase that. So i can't really see it as Han being dead. In this continuity, sure, but that's only because Mara wasn't available.

And just so you don't get to look at me that way Arch; yes, you did call something of this nature. And i would have been far more cynical about it, but the movie earned it, so i can accept it without bitterness.

So then, Rey was great, and Finn won me over. The two protagonists were excellently cast, and i'm relieved to retract my previous worries on that matter. It helped that it was Jaina who got to be the Jedi, which would have otherwise been one of the worst casting decisions in recent memory, IMO, but in Finn's defense, he did carry that Lightsaber with the dignity it called for. I had hoped such a great actor as Max von Sydow would have stayed with us a while longer, but the character he played was kinda tagged to not live long. The movie was also a LOT less emo that i'd feared, and earned it's emotional content with flying colors. I don't remember any time when the characters were getting vulnerable that i couldn't emphasise.

Oddities; i may be mistaken, but i believe that when the Lightsaber is first turned on, it's ignition sound is a mash of all 3. If so, it was a great nod to the mess that the prequel trilogies made in regard to that, which had annoyed me to no end.

Also, when they're running for their lives, and Rey says the ship Finn pointed offscreen was junk, my thought was "No, Rey. That's the Millenium Falcon".

I think that's it. I may have more thoughts later on, but it's still fresh on my mind right now, and maybe it's best to just enjoy it for a while.

Side notes, this movie pissed me off before it even started. 20 minutes - 20 fracking minutes of advertising before the Crawl would roll, and i was getting annoyed before the first 5 had passed. They had the nerve to advertise the very movie i was already there to see, after i had paid to see it, instead of SHOWING ME THE DAMN MOVIE. By the time they went through the usual checklist of "please turn off your cellphones and keep the room clean", i was like "NO! I'm gonna start picking my nose all tossing it all over the floor, asshole! You don't deserve my civility anymore!" (didn't actually say that out loud). And then they ran more advertising. I was almost starting to think maybe this was the movie, and i had just had my expectations set too high.

Also, major props to the audience. I was afraid they'd start to jeer and cheer and make jokes and talk during the movie, but everyone was perfectly quiet and unobtrusive from the Crawl to the Credits. I get the impression some other places out there might appreciate a participating audience. That would have been a nightmare for me. But they were great, and i had a great time. I'll see this movie again, for sure.

Last edited by K on Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:19 pm; edited 1 time in total

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This is the only time I'm spoiler tagging in this thread.:
A step in the right direction so far. Smart decision to create some interesting backstory between the movies to fuel speculation. I'm of course referring to Kylo Ren, Luke, and the New Jedi Order. The movie really had character and feeling, which is a relief after numbness of the prequels. Definitely though Ep VII was a solidly constructed movie.

Harrison Ford has been mailing in his performances for a long time now, but he was excellent in his return as Han Solo. I was pleasantly surprised to see him return to his smuggler ways. How Han and Chewie's reunion with the Falcon played out was one of my favorite parts of the movie.

I was a little disappointed with how much this movie parallels A New Hope. Opening with menacing look of bad guy spaceship trying to capture secret info hidden away in a droid, Desert planet introducing main protagonist, Death Star, Death Star destroying planet(s), destruction of Death Star, hero dies at the hands of bad guy in a showdown. There are a lot more too. It became a distraction for me the whole time, but that doesn't mean I disliked it.

I was expecting more from Captain Phasma. Instead she was basically a drill instructor and was subdued very easily. I expect this to change in the next movie unless she died in the explosion. I certainly hope not.

If Rey can basically teach herself how to perform force techniques on the fly, it's pretty crazy to think how powerful she can become as a Jedi. I like he character as well as all the others introduced. Seeing all these unrefined force users really makes Luke look like an even bigger badass.

One thing I'm not clear on: is Rey the daughter of Han and Leia? I don't know if it was ever directly said, but strongly hinted. If she's not a Solo, maybe she is Luke's daughter? I may have missed a line during the movie clarifying this.

--Oh another thing. Was that Coruscant being destroyed? If so then, wow.... Shocked
There's so much to analyze and speculate on this movie which is a good sign.

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Spoilers, Spoilers everywhere.:
This film was overall a great movie. Although it isn't my favorite, it is better than any prequel movie for sure.

Stuff I really liked:

1. Kylo Ren... aka Ben Solo. He had so much development in this movie and is such a complex character. He is weak enough to be beat by a force sensitive with no training. He is incompetent as he pretty much fails at everything in this movie. He has fear and anger, yet cannot control it. He is childish in many regards. He constantly struggled with himself between the dark and the lightside and he needed one final push towards the darkside and Han Solo was that final push. That moment whe  Ben asks for Han's help and Han immediately says "yes". Just one little fun poke at it, for the YGOTAS fans... KyloRen:"Can I have a hug".

Kylo Ren's turn had a significant effect on Han, Liea, and Luke. They more or less separated for a long time, Han went back to smuggling, and either to his old age, being out of touch for so long, or not having his ship, sucked really bad at it. Leia either went back to, or continued the resistance effort. Luke vanished.

2. Han Solo. Surprisingly great acting in this movie. Great death. My bro cried. Probably for the best considering how old he is and that he got injured on set was one of the first things we heard from the production. This isn't the first some we heard about Han potentially dieing, Producer Gary Kurtz, co-screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, and Ford all fought for the plan of Han's death in Ep6, but Lucas wouldn't budge because of toy sales.

3. Visual and Sound Effects were great.

4. That moment where KyloRen is mad and is sabering the chair/room and the 2 storm troopers turn around all like "NOPE"

5 Lightsaber fight was great, honestly, I think it was the best, not sure. The only problem I had was the end with the ground coincidentally splitting that was just too coincidental and looked unrealistic.


The some minor annoyances/knitpicks I had with the movie. Take it with a grain of salt:

1. The plot seems to be surrounded about the whereabouts with Luke. I think he was way over emphasized and put up in the front too much. It feels like Starkiller base was just a secondary minor plot until the end where they needed some sort of action sequences to finish the movie.

2. The map that lead to Luke's location. When they Analyze BB-8's portion they say it is unknown and doesn't match any star system, yet when the other piece is found, it forms like 2 pieces of a jigsaw puzzle even though BB-8's part wasn't morphed/changed in anyway.

3. The quipping. Although it isn't anything new in Star Wars, a lot of times it felt unnatural or like an Avengers movie. I felt it could of been toned down a bit, or better done somehow.

4. The scene with Han, Chewie, the pirates and monster scene. It was a fun scene, but it felt like filler.

5. Han shooting a guy without even looking... just no.

6. Han being so old and such long pals with chewie, yet has never tried Chewie's bowcaster?! you'd think he knew already knew about the weapon.

7. C-3p0 has Big Boss's/Venom Snake's arm from MGSV Phantom Pain. Never really explained.

8. Felt really rushed, cut really quickly, and too fast paced in the first 45 mins of the movie.

9. I found it a bit unbelievable about landing when coming immediately out of hyperspace, especially considering that Han hasn't had the ship in a very long time.

10. Sadly we know absolutely nothing about the Republic other than the allegations of the republic helping out the resistance and the capital and it's fleet got blown up. There are so many questions such as was Leia part of the Republic? Did she leave it (due to Ben's turn to the dark side)? What about the political landscape of the republic and why it isn't fighting against the first order?

11.Supreme Leader Snoke looks really fake, I've seen more realistic people in PS3 games. I get they're trying to keep him for the future moovies and out of this one, but we don't know anything about him. He's just "the bad guy" and honestly makes the story feel a lot less self-contained.

12. Whereabouts of semi-important characters such as Lando and Monmothma.

13. The ending scene. Rey takes 5 mins climbing the mountain, she and Luke look at eachother, she pulls out her saber towards Luke and they just stare at eachother for 2 mins straight while the camera spins for way too long. I was actually laughing at it. Rey's holding it out for so long, Luke is giving her a WTF face, and no dialogue between the two makes it even more hilariously awkward.

14. Probably the biggest complaint could be summed up in one sentence "it's like poetry, it rhymes". There are far too many parallels that feel more like ripping off than homages.
a. Probably the biggest example is the old wiser influence guy being killed on the superweapon by a lightsaber while the heros witness it.
b. Plot device in the early going about data being stored in a droid, people fleeing the bad guys ship forcing it to land on a desert planet, escaping the desert planet with the data on the Millennium Falcon while fighting off Imperial forces.  
c. A new ball shaped superweapon that destroys a planet, and gets blown up in the first movie it shows up in
d. A lot of others, but that's it for now.

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I really hate to trash the Prequels because they've taken enough abuse as it is and I don't hate them as much as most people, but I'm taking a jab anyway. I seriously thought about it and I think Ep VII has more character depth than all three prequels combined. I'm not even exaggerating.

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I just felt this movie was just New Hope 2.0. I know Star Wars is all about ring theory and all that but this film was almost scene for scene a New Hope.

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It did have a lot of hints of ANH, but then again, all of the Star Wars movies are pretty formulaic. Not saying that's a bad thing, but they're not breaking any new ground in that department.

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Let me get this out of the way first: I knew before heading into the theater that Han Solo was going to die. For real life reasons, it just made too much sense for that to happen; the actor was simply getting too old. And as a writer, I would have done the same. Kill the character, and make it a powerful moment. I don't think it was even supposed to be a surprise, as I gathered many hints before it happened, such as the look on Han's face as he holds Leia which says: "I'm not coming back." Great acting on Harrison Ford's part.

And the whole scene where it finally happened was remarkably well executed.

Kylo Ren being Han's and Leia's son kind of surprised me. However, I have to admit I did my best not to speculate too much about the story. And I love how we hear his true name once, and only once.

The significance of the mask cannot be underestimated. Has any of you ever wore one? Or simply put your headphones on and use music to block out the rest of the world? You'll find out it's a lot easier to simply not care once you do. And I believe this is the reason Ben had it. He said it himself that the light side "tempted him" (I saw the movie in French, but I believe that's how it was said), so I'm not surprised that he would use it to strengthen his connection to the dark side. Which makes it the more tragic when he takes it off to kill his father.

I hope he doesn't wear it in the upcoming sequels.

Finn and Rey were awesome. Please, don't make it a romance. You don't need to.

Poe, you're an amazing pilot. And you're so likable! Let me bring you home.

BB8 for the win! We all need some comic relief. He really feels like a little brother to R2-D2. Great acting too.

The similar plot to A New Hope felt kind of "meh" at first, but it was executed very well, so I don't have a problem as long they mix things up a little for the sequels.

Good use of the characters from the older movies. They didn't overdo it, and that's really important.

Overall, it was a very good movie. I found it better than Episode IV, and I'm curious as to see what they do in the future. They have a really good foundation, and they can build something truly amazing with it.

I could nitpick, but it would just get in the way of my enjoyment.

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15 Holy wall of TFA text, Batman! on Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:32 am

Okay, I’m not going to be around for the discussion on Twitch today, so I’ll try to get my major thoughts in here:
If someone wants to steal and discuss any of these live in my absence, knock yourself out.

There were two things that REALLY jumped out at me in this film.


It felt like a remake of A New Hope.  Not in a bad way, mind – it was (almost) all done very, very well – but the ANH parallels were really difficult NOT to notice.  I mean, let’s step through the plot: High-ranking figure of an insurgent organization carries a piece of data vital to the org’s existence, org figure and co are raided by Stormtroopers and the second-in-command baddie, org figure gives data to droid, org figure is captured and tortured for information by secondary baddie, droid wanders on a desert planet before finding a poor Force-sensitive with a speeder, Force-sensitive and droid board Millennium Falcon and run off to fight EvilGov, snide military leader on seemingly equal footing with secondary baddie uses superweapon to destroy peaceful planet(s), insurgent org plans counterattack against superweapon by means of chain reaction explosion, org carries out counterattack while superweapon prepares to destroy org base planet (a forest planet with old stone temples), X-wings do a trench run, chain reaction achieved, superweapon destroyed, secondary baddie escapes.

If we’re counting things that appear a bit more out of order, we can also throw in Force-sensitive “denies the call” because they feel as though they have to return home, secondary baddie kills member of old guard while Force-sensitive looks on helplessly from afar and screams, neat cantina with jammin’ band and kickass alien designs.

IMHO the more interesting parallels (at least as far as sequel speculation goes) were to other movies of the original trilogy: Primary baddie revealed via hologram discussion with secondary baddie, Force-sensitive seeks old self-exiled Jedi grandmaster for training, that sort of thing.


I was surprised by just how much this movie DIDN’T discuss – especially the politics.  What exactly is the state of the Republic at the start of the film?  Why are they only supporting military intervention under the table?  Have they demilitarized, even in the face of the upstart First Order?  Where did the First Order come from?  One would assume they’re Empire remnants, but then why would the New Republic avoid even making a direct show of force?  Why does the Order hate the New Republic?  The only beef that we hear the Order have with them is Hux saying they’re “lying” to the public.  About what?  And why is that worth destroying five planets over?

I understand the desire to avoid political discussion in Star Wars after the prequel trilogy, but seriously, we got next to no info here.  No “The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.”  No “Before the dark times. Before the Empire.”  No “I was but a learner; now I am the master.”  Nothing, really.  Arguably, between ANH and TFA, ANH is the one that could have better justified the lack of background info; it was the first film in a new setting, and it could have gotten away with saying “this is how things are, deal with it” – but it didn’t.  TFA, I feel, not so much.  We have a whole bunch of background before this movie, then a big timeskip, and then we get “this is how things are now, deal with it.”  ANH dealt with background info by tying it to character development, and TFA just kinda skipped over that.

I won’t dock it any points because I’m willing to wait and see if ep8 fleshes the timeskip out more (and it seems like it will, if the Force-vision flashback was anything to go by), but being thrown in the deep end in the seventh film in a series really did feel jarring.

Beyond the politics: Snoke is a total wildcard, and Kylo Ren isn’t much better.  We were all speculating what the hell Ren meant when he said “I will finish what you started” when looking at Vader’s burnt helmet, and we still don’t have an answer.


* While I did think the overall plot was derivative, and kinda flimsy (at least as a standalone film – again, we’ll see how ep8/9 flesh out the new setting), it was at least a derivative of an excellent plot (duh).  Perhaps more importantly, it was presented EXTREMELY well.  Acting was mostly terrific, character interactions were mostly brilliant, the humor was on point and never felt forced or unnecessary, and good Lord they NAILED the aesthetic.  Absolutely effing NAILED it.  The visuals just oozed “original trilogy made with modern movie tech.”  That alone made it very easy to get lost in the setting again.  Absolute feast for the eyes.
* Prequel trilogy had established good government vs. upstart/hidden bad government.  OT had established bad government vs upstart good government.  New trilogy looks like it’ll have upstart vs upstart, more in the style of the Old Republic era.  Again, kinda hard to tell the state of the new governments given the lack of political info, and doubly so for the New Republic in particular (given that it’s kinda in pieces at the moment, har har).  But the seeming lack of a real status quo means they can be very flexible in where the bigger picture goes in ep8/9.
* Similarly to the above, the status of the new Force users is very much in flux as well.  Rey is obviously a neophyte, but despite Ren’s more established status, he’s clearly not a terribly learned practitioner himself.  We’ll definitely see a grandmaster/neophyte training in Luke/Rey in ep8 to mirror Yoda/Luke, but I think we may see another parallel training in Snoke/Ren, which would be especially interesting.  We haven’t seen almost any formal Dark Side training take place in the films, and this may give us our first glimpse.
* The Poe/Finn interactions during the escape were fantastic.  Really brought back memories of Luke/Solo escaping the Death Star, and in the best possible way.  Instant friendship forever.  Great stuff.
* Why are the new TIE solar panels white?  I get reversing the colors, and it looks great, but how the hell do they even fly now?  shrug
* Boy, the Star Wars galaxy sure loves its random Force sensitives stranded as orphans on desert worlds, doesn’t it?  Razz
* Loved that Rey was offered effectively almost a year’s wages for the droid.  Didn’t call it a year’s wages, just showed us what she made on an average day or two, and then dropped the motherlode.  Loved, too, that she instinctually took it immediately before thinking better of it.
* LOVED BB-8’s acetylene torch thumbs up.  LOL.
* Did a good job with callbacks without being terribly overt about it.  With the exception of the Kessel Run and the garbage chute, I don’t recall anything really thrown in our faces with a knowing smirk.
* Solo’s death was very well done.  Mentioned in this thread earlier, and I agree – it was pretty obviously set up, but that was for the best.  He deserved better than a Whedonesque sudden-death.
* The ANH parallel that irked me most was the superweapon.  I’m kinda superweaponed out, particularly when the new one is basically a bigger Death Star.  (Favorite quip read in a review so far: a Big Gulp Death Star).
* That said, I definitely loved the scene on Hosnian Prime where the public can see the beam coming for them several seconds before it hits, with another beam blowing up a companion planet in the background.  Even though the actual planet and system both kinda came out of nowhere (again – critical lack of background info), we still got to feel connected to it, and we got it in a way that we never did with Alderaan.  Really nice touch.  Major props.
* Hux, the new Tarkin-alike, was great.  Snide, sneering, prim and proper, total bastard of a character.  Worthy successor to Peter Cushing.  Actually glad he didn’t die, if only because I want to see that kind of character do something other than give the order to blow up a planet(s).  Also glad the division of command between Tarkin-alike and Vader-alike was more obvious this time around.
* Apart from Ackbar and one Sullustian X-wing pilot (and Chewie), I didn’t see any old alien species here.  Might have missed them, of course, but I was kind of expecting an Ithorian or a Quarren or surely a Twi’lek in the background somewhere.  Didn’t catch any.  Not sure what to think of that.  Not sure the setting needs quite so clean a break from the old.
* Ending scene was overdone, sure, but the core was brilliant.  Luke turns around, sees another person for the first time in who knows how many years, and then she hands him HIS FATHER’S LIGHTSABER.  No words spoken.  I don’t care how badly Luke wants to exile himself, there’s no way he doesn’t look at that and *immediately* understand that the Force is kicking him back into the thick of things, whether he wants it or not.
* Side note: What is up with Jedi grandmasters exiling themselves after a major fuckup?  I get the need to re-evaluate your teaching techniques, but I can’t help but feel increasingly like secluding yourself while your disaster of an ex-apprentice wreaks havoc on the galaxy is a good way to get billions of people killed.
* Rey kicks ass.  Actually, all three of the new major players kick ass.  Great casting choices.  Hope they’re utilized well in ep8/9.
* Phasma was desperately underutilized.  Just gonna leave it at that.  Hope she lived.
* HOLY BALLS KYLO REN CAN STOP A BLASTER BOLT IN MIDAIR.  Not just reflect it off the special glove like Vader – just stopped it.  Dead.  Hanging there.  And that’s despite the fact that Ren is clearly not the best he can be, not by a long shot.  SUPER excited to see what other new powers are out there.  Just hoping it won’t be TOR-level overdone.


* Ren immediately knew not only which trooper rebelled, but his ID number.  Did he “feel” that at the time, or afterwards?  Could he recognize each of the soldiers under his command?  Interesting unexplained capability there.
* Do you think the “awakening” refers only to Rey, or perhaps something more broad?  Are there other Force-sensitives waiting in the wings?
* Rey thinks Ren is scared that he’ll never be as powerful as Vader.  Why do you think he wants to be?  Needs to be?  Super open, I know (again, critical lack of background info) – but still, important.  Presumably it ties into whatever he wants to “finish” that Vader didn’t/couldn’t.  Personally, I think he feels like he *needs* the Dark Side, but doesn’t actually *want* it.  Scared of not being as powerful as Vader, tempted by the light and explicitly tries to stop it, etc.  He strikes me as someone who’s deliberately trying to fend off their better self for a greater cause.  Should make his motivations, and the (inevitable) redemption story, very interesting.
* Do you think it’s a coincidence that Han and Leia named their son Ben?  Because I sure as hell think not.  Wink

Aaanyway, it’s 3:30am local and I have to be up in three and a half hours.  Looking forward to seeing the discussion VOD when I get back!

- Diosjenin -

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I read a comment on Youtube speculating the possibility that Rey may use a duel-blade lightsaber. When you think about it, she is already proficient in combat with her staff so the transition would be natural. Maybe she converts her staff into a lightsaber because she still brought it with her even though she was carrying a superior weapon in a lightsaber. Not that she has that in mind right now, but rather the staff has some attachment to her.

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Well I was basically watching the film while Arch was streaming so I'll watch the vod later.

Like others I was managing my expectations thinking that at best I will get the same amount of enjoyment as I did from spectre or some of the marvel movies but it genuinely surprised me and I think this might be my favorite movie of the year.

So the film takes a lot of elements from A New Hope, but seeing as how my favorite part of the EU is basically the original trilogy redone as an RPG (KOTOR), this didn't bother me and I don't think they went as far as to directly rip anything off, they also did some of these moments better such as the starting shot with the ship eclipsing Jakku. Now if someone loses a hand or basically reenacts scenes shot for shot, then that may start to irritate me.

Rey, Fin and BB were great, they had great chemistry as well as noticeable character arcs. Kinda hope they both end up as Jedi and hoping that Rey isn't conveniently related to Luke anyone else. Also thought that it was kinda bullshit that Rey could overpower Kylo just by taking a breather, would have rather had Rey and Fin teaming up against Kylo alternating between blaster/staff/lightsaber with Fin being downed near the end of the fight but maybe that's because I don't really hate the flashy choreographed fights of the prequels.

Loved all the returning cast, my favorite scene being Han and leia's reunion were C3P0 does what he does best, cock-blocking. But tbh I didn't really are about Han's death, I was actually more convinced that the one stormtrooper (that was training his blaster on Han since he got on the catwalk) was gonna snipe him, probably while Kylo would be in the middle of redeeming himself to his father.

As for Kylo Ren... well at the time I didn't really like him, at first I was thinking "Oh Hai Malak" but I do understand his role and i'm interested in what happened that turned him. Still don't like the cross-saber, his fighting style doesn't seem that different from standard lightsaber combat and he still twirls it around which what always annoyed me about the cross saber, it just seems more prone to self harm if you use it like a normal saber.

One thing that kinda annoyed me was the politics and state of the galaxy and how little we know of it atm, for some reason we're the resistance now rather than rebels/republic and it seems that despite the utter defeat the empire suffered, the first order manages to keep enough resources and manpower to build Deathstar 3.0: REVENGANCE and have any other plans or skills at their disposal. I was hoping for the new order to be the underdog, winning against the odds through tactics like thrawn rather than winning through brute force and being led by incompetent people;

Kylo is understandably inefficient, Hux is just there for now, phasma does fuck all not even participating in a fight or sabotaging Fins plan when captured and Snoke is a complete non-entity at the moment.

I loved the humor, I was chuckling throughout the movie, whether it was BB's thumbs up, I will also drop my weapon or the two trooper passing by Kylo's tantrum and just going "NOPE".

In the end I was pleasantly surprised by episode 7, might have to watch it again to solidify my opinion of it but I think it easily ranks within the original trilogy.

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Why R2D2 woke up:
Just read an article where JJ said that R2 woke up because BB-8 had communicated to him that he had the other part of the map. Apparently it just took a while. I guess.

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I need to brush up on my droid beeps.

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TheThird wrote:
Why R2D2 woke up:
Just read an article where JJ said that R2 woke up because BB-8 had communicated to him that he had the other part of the map. Apparently it just took a while. I guess.

I thought it had to do with Rey arriving with Luke's lightsaber... at least that made more sense to me.

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I have now seen the movie. Meh.

It seemed like it was trying to be a rehash of A New Hope except with Jacen Solo and the new kids on the block. A lack of world-building, the extreme sense of minimalism, and a lack of scale and scope were deterrents. All things that are corrected in the novelization. Even giving the star system the Starkiller blew up a name, and calling the New Republic capital Hosnian Prime. Although the low thousands of ships of the NR fleet were also in orbit when the planets blew up. Despite Hosnian Prime being in the Core Region, its destruction was visible from Maz' planet (in the Midrim) and the ground on the Resistance base (in the Outer Rim).

There were only a few characters I did not like. Maz Katana was little more than a exposition kobold. Captain Phasma is everything I hated about Boba Fett and Darth Maul (all style, no substance); thank god she died in that trash compacter. Admiral Hux, I had to learn his name from novelization. Supreme Leader Snoke is a non-entity for now, nothing else can be said about him.

Despite all of that, and the stuff JarJar Abrams brought over from Star Trek and how it undermines the OT, I have to say that I overall enjoyed it.

Actually now that I think about it, did the resistance have to be Claire Chennault's Flying Tigers instead of just being inspired by it?

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Here is some backstory on the state of the galaxy and characters to help clear some things up for anyone. Spoilers obviously.


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WAIT a second. Luke's lightsaber was green in ROTJ. Why is it blue now?

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Because it's Anakin's lightsaber that Luke lost at Bespin.

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Ugh, that makes it far less epic. The green one is where it's at. Luke built that one himself. I guess it adds another layer of depth to the final fight in Ep. 7 though.

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