Star Wars: The Force Awakens - NOT a Committee! (Official Spoiler Discussion)

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a_e_martin

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#1  Edited By a_e_martin

In case you missed it, this thread contains SPOILERS. If you don't want to be SPOILED, this isn't the thread you're looking for. Move along.

The film is out in some parts of the world (including here in Finland), so I thought I'd throw out some thoughts and questions on what I've just seen.

Firstly, and probably most importantly, this film did what none of the prequels managed to do: it made me care about the characters from the word go. Gone is the awkward dialogue and stiff posing, replaced by living creatures with actual warmth to them.

That said, I don't like the design of Snoke. At all. Why the hell would they waste Andy Serkis on such a generic, Voldemort-looking CGI excretion?

Now, maybe the trailers were misdirection, but are we supposed to believe that Rey is Luke's daughter? If that's a big reveal they're saving for the sequels, then they sure were dancing around it in a pretty clumsy way (in a typical way to these stories, I guess). Should've just come out with it.

Also, I've been listening to the Thrawn Trilogy audiobooks recently, so maybe I'm conflating random stuff in my head, but did they drop hints that Finn is a clone, and part of a troop of clones that Luke was training to be Jedi, until shit went bad with Kylo Ren and Snoke? Maybe I'm going crazy, but I somehow ended up with that idea during all the excitement. (UPDATE after seeing the film again: I was totally conflating random stuff in my head. Disregard my foolishness.)

That's all I can muster for now. I'll definitely be seeing this again, and I'll hold off my final judgement until then. But holy shit, Daisy Ridley makes one cool Jedi. That's all you really need to take away from all this.

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Fruitcocoa

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I saw it here in Sweden this morning. Pretty excited, have to say. I really do think that a lot of stupid stuff is going on in Star Wars, but man - JJ is having a blast with this one. Apart from the ending being a bit anticlimactic I think the movie is just fine. But somehow I left with a feeling that the story lacked something. Maybe too much fan service and too little risk? I don't know. But I will see the next movie! :)

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HoM3R

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Just got done reading a article saying "Force Awakens was the most fun I had at the movies in ages" and without a doubt this is my final verdict 10/10.

That being sad I'm having so many mixed emotion that knew I would have because its a classic cant have you cake and eat it to.
From going ape over the trailers, rumors and the family bonds you expect in a Star Wars movie I wasn't surprised once in the hole movie.
The one thing I didn't know for sure was Kylo being Solo and Leia kid. This is just casually mention by Snoke 30 minutes into the movie. Then with Kylo having his identity crisis and Leia telling Han to bring their son back all that followed was super obvious and laid on thick. Now I knew before hand that you can only get one "Luke im your farther" and everything that happens in the new movies could never have that.
But the mix between fan service and it all feeling cliche is my main peeve, but I already knew I would walk away with this feeling before even seeing it this morning :D

I also think we are gonna have a lot more of this, because the way the fight with Kylo ended he seemed kinda messed up so is he gonna be a Vader 2.0?

Didn't like the design of Snoke either. Voldemort meets Gollum, some lines actually sounded like Gollum to me. My first thoughts were burn victim and that it was Vader who survived his cremation but chances of this are probably zero and im sure lore behind him might explain the look?

Still without all the Star Wars feels I think its just one of the best setpiece blockbuster movies I've seen in a while, all the fan service might even take away from the quality of the actual movie.

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Zevvion

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Controversial opinion: this is the first actually great Star Wars movie. They all had something good, some more than others, but they also had serious flaws. This one doesn't. The only thing I honestly didn't like was the lack of a well executed lightsaber fight. But I don't consider that a massive flaw. It is disappointing though, since Kylo's actions with the lightsaber and using the dark side felt so powerful. I was anticipating a fight with a worthy opponent for him to showcase his skills. That mostly didn't happen.

Either way, new ordering for me: VII, VI, III, V, I, II, IV

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a_e_martin

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@zevvion: You are absolutely right in that they all have their flaws, but I wouldn't say this one is any different. There are just as many convenient coincidences and "what I told you was true, from a certain point of view" -moments in the story, for example. Though that stuff doesn't really hinder my enjoyment of these films. What disappointed me in The Force Awakens were the obvious consequences of Disney's design-by-committee approach (the Snoke character is more than likely a result of this; just begging to appear in some animated spin-off).

I absolutely loved the lightsaber fights in this, Kylo Ren vs Rey in particular. I'd take that fight over any of the ridiculously over-choreographed scenes of the prequels.

If I was forced to rank the episodes, my order would currently be V, IV, VI, VII, I, III, II. The Force Awakens could potentially surpass Return of the Jedi after I've seen the former a few more times. At the moment, in my tired mind, the raging question is which is worse, the Ewoks or Snoke. Right now, Snoke is really bumming me out.

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probablytuna

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@a_e_martin: I thought they were gonna have Rey be revealed as Han and Leia's daughter instead, fighting against Kylo Ren, her would-be brother. I'm pretty sure Finn said he was abducted as a child and manipulated by the First Order and turned into a Stormtrooper (basically John Halo but less superhuman). I like The Force Awakens a lot, but the similarities between it and A New Hope knocks it down a notch. It introduced some really great characters though, can't wait to see what Rey and Finn will do next.

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a_e_martin

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@probablytuna: It would be weird for Han and Leia to not recognise or acknowledge their own daughter though, wouldn't it? And they do drop pretty heavy hints about Rey being Luke's daughter, what with her being left in the care of Max von Sydow's character on Jakku, and him being the one in possession of the map to Luke's whereabouts.

My mind's in a muddle right now, but they definitely mentioned clones in the movie, and I thought they insinuated Finn was one of them. The story he told about being abducted might just be something that was fed to him at some point, or maybe he came up with it himself. I dunno, maybe I'm making this up.

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probablytuna

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@a_e_martin: I was referring to before they met up, like they left her on Jakku for her safety or whatever. Was she in the care of Max von Sydow? She looked like she was on her own the entire time and that village that got massacred was unrelated to her.

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a_e_martin

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#10  Edited By a_e_martin

@probablytuna: During her "Force awakening"-dream-vision-flashback-whatever down in the basement of that cantina, they show Rey as a child screaming at a ship flying away, and there's a man holding her hand. They don't show his face, but he says something and he definitely sounded like Max von Sydow to me.

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Zevvion

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@zevvion: You are absolutely right in that they all have their flaws, but I wouldn't say this one is any different. There are just as many convenient coincidences and "what I told you was true, from a certain point of view" -moments in the story, for example. Though that stuff doesn't really hinder my enjoyment of these films. What disappointed me in The Force Awakens were the obvious consequences of Disney's design-by-committee approach (the Snoke character is more than likely a result of this; just begging to appear in some animated spin-off).

I absolutely loved the lightsaber fights in this, Kylo Ren vs Rey in particular. I'd take that fight over any of the ridiculously over-choreographed scenes of the prequels.

If I was forced to rank the episodes, my order would currently be V, IV, VI, VII, I, III, II. The Force Awakens could potentially surpass Return of the Jedi after I've seen the former a few more times. At the moment, in my tired mind, the raging question is which is worse, the Ewoks or Snoke. Right now, Snoke is really bumming me out.

I didn't mind Snoke to be honest. Not that I think he was well designed, but more that he ultimately didn't matter and wasn't on screen that much. It was hard to be bothered by it.

As for the lightsaber fight, I thought it was believable, but Kylo vs Everything Else felt so damn powerful and it held a certain frightening atmosphere with it. Kylo vs Rey was lacking power. A ton better than any of the OG lightsaber fights, but I'd definitely put Darth Maul/Obi above it for instance. That stuff had power and character. This was more a discovery-type of fight for Rey how to use the Force. Which is totally okay, but it was lacking that raw fierceness that I wanted to see from Kylo.

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isomeri

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Rey turned out to be a really fantastic character and Kylo had more going on than I'd thought at the beginning of the film. I'll go ahead and agree that Snoke was pretty bland and generic. I'm still not a fan of Abrams' direction style, but he did a good job. It's definitely not the best film I've seen this year, but it might be the best "action film" I've seen in a while. In the end I find myself more excited for the next film than I was for this.

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a_e_martin

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@zevvion: Yeah, we definitely have different ideas of what constitutes raw and powerful, and that's cool! For me, the choreography in the prequels doesn't convey raw and powerful at all. I'd rather assign those descriptions to Vader beating down Luke in Cloud City in Empire, and Luke beating down Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi.

What bums me out about Snoke is that he's obviously going to be this trilogy's Emperor/Darth Sidious, and will play a bigger role in later films. Like I said, having Andy Serkis playing a character that's so damned generic is just a massive waste. I mean, Snoke looks like pretty much every villain from every Star Wars animated series. Here's the goddamned Inquisitor from Star Wars Rebels, for instance:

No Caption Provided

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Zevvion

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@a_e_martin: Eh... we indeed do disagree on what is powerful. To me it is trained physical form and choreography. Vader and Luke's battles always seemed like two random people were plucked off the street and told to fight. Not believable in the slightest. If these were the most powerful beings in the galaxy then I can only assume every other inhabitant is a senior with bad knees. At least Maul vs Obi showed training and form.

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Just saw it today with it a bunch of huge Star Wars fans (like myself).

General consensus was that it was a good movie where the characters and the dynamic between them just worked in a way that the prequels could only hope to archive. Also lots of good Star Wars humor and some great action scenes and visuals.

That being said the plot is so close to being a complete rehash of A New Hope that it's almost ridiculous, which means you are pretty much almost never surprised by anything the movie throws your way.

Young hero who lives on a dessert planet learns he/she is strong with the force. Check

Droid has secret plans (in the form of a hologram) that needs to get to the resistance while being pursued by the bad guys. Check.

Death Star that takes out the backbone of the good guys (but not the resistance) and gets destroyed right as it's ready to fire again. Check.

Etc. etc.

This extends to the heavy fan service throughout and the constant throwbacks. It almost seems like Abrams was so focused on making a Star Wars movie in the vein of the classics, that he forgot to actually make a new movie in the process. That doesn't mean it's bad, but the next movie really has to actually try to do something different, otherwise it'll start to reflect badly on the franchise as a part of the overall Star Wars arch.

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#17  Edited By Sessh

I'll mirror parts of my blog (way more in-depth) here:

Things I liked:

  • Rey is a cool character and Daisy Ridley fits the role perfectly.
  • The same goes for Finn and John Boyega.
  • BB-8 is fun and over the top, but somehow manages to not be obnoxious. He's a pleasant surprise. (He's not R2-D2, though.)
  • Some of the scenes are visually just amazing and the sets look great. The new costumes (e.g. the Stormtrooper uniforms)/the new look for the ships are also well done.
  • I thought the lightsaber duels were also done pretty well, especially considering that most of the people involved in them never held a lightsaber before.
  • There's lots of fan service (e.g. Finn looking confused and throwing away the mini-training-bot that Obi-Wan used to teach Luke.), but it's not too on the nose and so I actually like it.
  • Kylo Ren seems like an interesting character too and his fits of rage/immaturity are a character trait that could go far.
  • The overall story is enjoyable and the story set-up for the other two movies is solid and could turn out really good, if they finally aren't afraid of diverging from the old movies any more.

Things I didn't like:

  • Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. He doesn't fit the role at all in my opinion and that just SUCKS. I guess they wanted to go with someone who looks a bit like Hayden Christensen, but come on, even that dude looked more menacing than Driver.
  • Snoke also looks dumb.
  • It treads way too much on familiar ground. There's a Death Star equivalent, there's a shield-base to blow up, there are X-Wing trying to blow up some small part of a giant ship (also there are only so very few X-Wing and not a single other ship, why is that exactly?), etc.
  • There are oh so many convenient coincidences. (Rey and Finn finding the Millenium Falcon, people running into each other again and again in huge facilities, Chewie just taking of right next to Rey who would otherwise have been fucked etc.)
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hellerphant

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But somehow I left with a feeling that the story lacked something. Maybe too much fan service and too little risk? I don't know. But I will see the next movie! :)

This. This x 100. It felt like Star Wars, the characters were all great, but it didn't stray from the path at all to explore anything. Let's destroy the planets that the Republic are on so the senate is gone, but no explanation as to how the senate fits into the galaxy, how they impact the First Order, or how the band of soldiers became the RESISTANCE again. Po's reappearance is flippantly explained away. For no apparent reason, R2 comes back to life at the end, when he could have done it earlier while everyone was there at the base. Don't get me wrong, I had a lot of fun with the movie, and I hope it's overt fan service was just to get people on board for a deeper, more exploratory next episode. I just wanted a bit more story there - a lot of it falls apart if you think about it longer than ten minutes.

Absolutely love Rey, Po and Finn. I think Ren is a pretty intimidating bad guy, especially when he just flies off the handle in those few scenes. I think he's going to have a great story come out if him.

I'll see it again, and I really enjoyed it, but I'm definitely thinking it's missing something. I wanted a new Star Wars film, not a re-telling of A New Hope. Also 3 out of 7 movies feature giant planet destroying stations that are destroyed by exhaust port like means.....time for something new there.

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probablytuna

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#19  Edited By probablytuna

@a_e_martin: Seems weird though that she wasn't at the village or heard about the attack if she was raised by him, unless she ran away and started living by herself inside a destroyed AT-AT by the start of the film.

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deactivated-5a0917a2494ce

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@dragon_puncher: you're surprised by this though? As soon as I learned that Abrams was directing this movie, I expected it to be nothing but fan service and a rehash of episode IV. I was much more excited when there were rumors Ben Affleck would direct it.

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isomeri

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#21  Edited By isomeri

I forgot to talk about Finn. To me he was really the weakest link of the new characters, apart from Snoke obviously. From the very start, him leaving the First Order didn't seem to fit the idea that the Stormtroopers are this unrelenting mass of brainwashed soldiers. After that he just sort of makes his way through the film by accidentally bumping into other more important characters and following them. His motivations were pretty thin apart from wanting to run away from the First Order and hey look that's a pretty lady. I also don't think that Boyega's acting, even though I've really liked him in past films, is on the same level as Daisy Ridley for example. This lead to him feeling a little stilted in a few scenes, like when him and Rey were running around Han Solo's new ship. All that being said, as far as weak links go, he's still miles better than any of the characters built for the prequels. I just hope that they'll develop a little more complexity into him come the next movie.

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#22 sweep  Moderator

Alright, I loved the film, but despite that there were some things that was super frustrating to me;

The film consistently fucks with the scale of the universe by having the characters coincidentally stumble onto one another so easily. For example, the Deathstar 2.0 is supposedly big enough to have it's own atmosphere and surface life, but our heroes seem able to successfully navigate it, finding exactly where they need to be and who they need to find, within about 3 minutes? What are the odds.

Also, for all the hype that was given to the Chrome Trooper, she didn't fire a single shot and she had about 3 lines. I assume she's going to get a bigger role in the next couple of films because that felt like a huge anticlimax.

The characters, in general, are fantastic. I was pretty sceptical of Harrison Ford's performance as he's been very dismissive when asked about his role in the film, saying things like "I was only in it for the money", and in general seems to have spent most of his career trying to escape the fact he was Han Solo instead of embracing it. But he actually nailed it, even if his death was completely predictable. Not sure what was going on with the big-eye alien lady in the bar though. She was nowhere near quirky enough to be interesting or endearing.

This is hugely hypocritical of me, but the CGI was predominantly underwhelming, too. The whole Death Star thing was CG porn and I don't know anyone who's impressed by that stuff any more. When it comes to CG what works best is subtlety, not extravagance. I would have hoped JJ had learned that by now, but apparently not.

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a_e_martin

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@probablytuna: That's the thing; either I'm going crazy, or there are a lot of little tidbits that are dropped and left unanswered in this film, only to be the focus of later films, I guess. Like who are Rey's parents? Who was Max von Sydow's character and why did he have the map? What's the deal with the First Order's clones? I'm sure there are more, will post them when they come up.

@isomeri While I really like John Boyega as Finn, what you're saying about his character's behaviour is what makes me think there's more to him than is overtly said in the movie. Even after a night's sleep, I could still swear that they insinuated that Finn is one of a breed of clones Luke was training to be Jedi at some point. Either that, or he's got to be Force sensitive for another reason, otherwise his behaviour doesn't make much sense.

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@horseman6:

I was expecting fan service, that was pretty obvious from the trailers, but I wasn't expecting a plot that was almost a complete rehash for episode 4. The prequels are pretty bad in many regards, but at least they tried to be their own thing.

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At the very least this is the best looking Star Wars movie there has been, with some of the best action sequences of any movie and is better than any of the prequels.

I got the feeling there were a few scenes left out of the movie. I hope at some point there is a directors cut released.

The comparison to ANH is well worn ground already. Overall I thought it was good, and really good in parts.

ps - Rey has to be Lukes daughter, right?

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@probablytuna: During her "Force awakening"-dream-vision-flashback-whatever down in the basement of that cantina, they show Rey as a child screaming at a ship flying away, and there's a man holding her hand. They don't show his face, but he says something and he definitely sounded like Max von Sydow to me.

I'm pretty sure she was left with that alien slave driver dude who was handing out portions.

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WalterCrunkFite

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@zevvion said:

Controversial opinion: this is the first actually great Star Wars movie.

It's objectively the best Star Wars film (coming from someone who has no nostalgia for the others)

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#28  Edited By hassun
@gregorygold said:

It's objectively the best Star Wars film

Does not compute.

My personal thoughts on the film:

  • Overall the film looks quite good although some of the sets and gear felt plasticy and weightless at times. Not that there is anything wrong with plastics and maybe that's how that future works but it's still something I noticed. That being said I am very happy with how many actual sets and props they used compared to the green screen nightmares that were the prequels.
  • The acting is far better than the prequels and they managed to remove or avoid most of the cringe.
  • The humour was surprisingly OK as well. My personal highlight was Finn and BB-8 giving each other the "thumbs up".
  • At first it seemed like they were going to go too far in trying to show how Rey was "a strong independent woman who don't need no man". I feared they would lean into that too much but thankfully they let that go pretty quickly after her first few scenes with Finn, allowing her to be an interesting, fleshed-out character and not a statement.
  • Before watching it I feared it was going to be very cloying and referential but I have to say that most of the callbacks were OK and they managed to keep the schmaltz down to a minimum. I'm impressed at the amount of restraint Abrams managed to bring to the table.
  • Speaking of cloying and schmaltz, while BB-8 most likely designed in an executive room with the aid focus groups to get the highest possible attachment rate from the widest possible audience, eliciting the highest amount of "awww"s and "how cuuuuute"s per minute and and sell the highest amount of merchandise I think that, ultimately, they managed hide that pretty well and make the droid feel like a valuable an interesting member of the cast.
  • I was kind of weirded out by just how much "Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva" Adam Driver was channelling in his performance as Kylo Ren. Especially during the Rey interrogation scene.
  • Kylo Ren's voice while wearing the mask was annoying in a bad way. I hope they drop it in future films.
  • Snoke is extremely uninteresting and lame so far. It could change in future films but I'm already thinking that CGI was definitely not the way to go with that character. (His name is really dumb as well but then it's Star Wars.)
  • The new Death Star (yes that's what I'm going to call it) was really lame. "Oh hey it's bigger and this one can blow up multiple planets at once!" *Yawn* They did manage to salvage it somewhat by adding the explanation of how it was powered but overall it was pretty goddamn stupid and boring. Not in the least because of just how simple and easy it apparently was to destroy this one as well. Maybe it indicates a pacing issue towards the end of the film but I suppose I'm glad it's gone now at least. DON'T MAKE ANOTHER ONE OF THESE.
  • This brings me to my final point and biggest gripe with the film: It's extremely formulaic and predictable. Kudos to them for not even bothering to keep Ben/Kylo Ren's lineage and Rey's force sensitivity a secret for long but even disregarding that you can see pretty much everything coming from a parsec (sorry) away. It just mirrors what's been done before so much. It's like the script was a checklist or something. And with Snoke being extremely unimpressive so far I really hope they have some big twists up their sleeves because if they want this series to go on for a few more films they're going to have their work cut out for them in terms of keeping it fresh and interesting.
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a_e_martin

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@maystack said:
@a_e_martin said:

@probablytuna: During her "Force awakening"-dream-vision-flashback-whatever down in the basement of that cantina, they show Rey as a child screaming at a ship flying away, and there's a man holding her hand. They don't show his face, but he says something and he definitely sounded like Max von Sydow to me.

I'm pretty sure she was left with that alien slave driver dude who was handing out portions.

That could well be the case. I'll keep an eye out for that when I see the film again.

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hassun

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@maystack said:
@a_e_martin said:

@probablytuna: During her "Force awakening"-dream-vision-flashback-whatever down in the basement of that cantina, they show Rey as a child screaming at a ship flying away, and there's a man holding her hand. They don't show his face, but he says something and he definitely sounded like Max von Sydow to me.

I'm pretty sure she was left with that alien slave driver dude who was handing out portions.

That could well be the case. I'll keep an eye out for that when I see the film again.

I didn't see it clearly but it kind of looked like a non-human hand. Max von Sydow's role in this is interesting though.

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Zevvion

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@hassun said:
@gregorygold said:

It's objectively the best Star Wars film

Does not compute.

My personal thoughts on the film:

  • The humour was surprisingly OK as well. My personal highlight was Finn and BB-8 giving each other the "thumbs up".
  • I was kind of weirded out by just how much "Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva" Adam Driver was channelling in his performance as Kylo Ren. Especially during the Rey interrogation scene.
  • Kylo Ren's voice while wearing the mask was annoying in a bad way. I hope they drop it in future films.
  • The new Death Star (yes that's what I'm going to call it) was really lame. "Oh hey it's bigger and this one can blow up multiple planets at once!" *Yawn* They did manage to salvage it somewhat by adding the explanation of how it was powered but overall it was pretty goddamn stupid and boring. Not in the least because of just how simple and easy it apparently was to destroy this one as well. Maybe it indicates a pacing issue towards the end of the film but I suppose I'm glad it's gone now at least. DON'T MAKE ANOTHER ONE OF THESE.
  • This brings me to my final point and biggest gripe with the film: It's extremely formulaic and predictable. Kudos to them for not even bothering to keep Ben/Kylo Ren's lineage and Rey's force sensitivity a secret for long but even disregarding that you can see pretty much everything coming from a parsec (sorry) away. It just mirrors what's been done before so much. It's like the script was a checklist or something. And with Snoke being extremely unimpressive so far I really hope they have some big twists up their sleeves because if they want this series to go on for a few more films they're going to have their work cut out for them in terms of keeping it fresh and interesting.

Everyone loved the thumbs up. I'm going to see the movie many more times and expect the same reaction as yesterday. That is, the entire theater laughing out loud.

I really liked Kylo's voice to be honest. It felt intimidating because of the accent and calmness of it.

Thought the new Death Star was just fine. It is Star Wars' weapons of mass destruction. How many terrorists in videogames and other movies thrive for a nuclear weapon? Pretty much always. It doesn't seem likely any sort of Empire/First Order would not be interested in one. Also, it looked pretty intense and impressive.

Eh, being formulaic is hardly a sin considering how people feel about the prequels. As for predictability: we're talking about Star Wars. Unpredictability is hardly one of the qualities that make the movie. Can't name a single was that was unpredictable.

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hassun

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#32  Edited By hassun

@zevvion: I didn't mind his regular voice at all. Just didn't like it with the mask on. Something about the relative volume and modulation.

I don't agree with your other points though. Star Wars doesn't NEED a weapon of mass destruction. Nor do all video games need terrorists or all video games with terrorists need nuclear weapons.

And I definitely don't agree with the predictability comment. Other than Darth Vader being Luke Skywalker's dad (due to his extremely obvious name) and the happy ending, the original trilogy didn't feel all that predictable at all. And even if it did, no film should ever strive to be formulaic and predictable. Screw that.

If I watch a film and about 20min I can already predict the entire plot and maybe even the plot of future films that is a bad thing.

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Ares42

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Watching the first half of the movie I had a bad feeling, but it was Star Wars and it was good. Second half though, I just felt like leaving the theater. Not because the movie was bad, but I've seen this movie a hundred times before. In some ways this is even worse than the prequels because it's just not a new Star Wars movie, it's "JJ Abramas reimagines A New Hope in 2015". I can't imagine I will ever want to watch this one rather than rewatching A New Hope again.

Also, Snoke is a really stupid name (sounds like a Harry Potter villain), Adam Driver doesn't instill any fear, and the movie has some really jammed in and rushed parts.

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Zevvion

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@hassun: What was so surprising about any of the previous movies? I guess I have a keen eye, but I doubt anyone would honestly believe these movies to be some sort of mystery. I just can't remember anything that surprised me. At least, not moreso than anything happening in VII. Kylo killing Han was predictable, but yet when the scene happened there was a slight moment of doubt if he was going through with it. I can't name any such thing happening to me in any of the other movies. Kylo walking away from Finn's insubordination is another thing. I was 50/50 on him doing that or doing something about it.

But then, I often tend to think people hold the original trilogy in a favorable light because of memories. I watched them again after VII and my opinion on them changes for the worse with each time I watch them. I know I am the outlier on this subject though.

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Joe423

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#35  Edited By Joe423

Just got back from seeing this - I felt like it was too derivative. The Han Solo death scene almost seemed like a copy and paste of Kenobi's death from episode IV.

Also, I know Kylo Ren is meant to be a tragic villain and conflicted etc. etc. but would it hurt to at least make him look threatening? He's a trained Sith (or whatever they call themselves now) and yet Fin managed to hold his own for a few minutes despite being untrained and not having the force, then Rey definitively beat him despite never wielding a light saber before the fight.

Also felt they didn't set the scene well enough - I think a bit more information on how the First Order was born and why there is a need for a resistance after everything seemed fine at the end of episode VI would have helped.

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s-a-n-JR

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#36  Edited By s-a-n-JR

I absolutely loved this movie. Is it perfect? Nope. But it's fucking great. And it's Star Wars. No, I'm not trying to be objective, and no I don't care that I'm not.

High points:

  • The look and feel of this movie. I don't think I can say anything about it that hasn't already been said.
  • Rey, Finn, Poe and Ren. I am very happy that these are the new faces of Star Wars, especially Rey and Finn. Great characters and great performances.
  • Rey and Finn deserve their own bullet point because that's how awesome they were.
  • Force-holding a blaster bolt in mid-air
  • How the Falcon was revealed. I honestly didn't see it coming.
  • The humour. All the jokes landed for me, so thumbs up. Shout-outs to John Boyega.
  • All scenes with Han + Finn and/or Rey. This movie gave me that family 'feeling' that was present in the OT but missing from the PT.
  • That scene. Heartbreaking, but was a necessary and great progression of the overall story.
  • The ending lightsaber duel. No flashy choreography, but that just made it feel more...urgent? I feared for the safety of Rey and Finn watching them fight, even though my better judgement knew not to be. Also, that moment when Rey pulled the lightsaber out of the snow, I was like "IT'S ON NOW MOTHERFUCKERS".
  • "That's not how the force works!"

Low points

  • Poe is an awesome character and I wish there was more of him.
  • Captain Phasma did absolutely nothing, which was disappointing because the marketing made it seem like she would be a formidable presence.
  • Cantina song...eh. Ok I've entered nitpicking territory.
  • You got the friggin' The Raid guys and that's all they do??
  • The last minute of the movie with Rey holding out Luke's lightsaber and the rotating camera shot felt kinda goofy.

Additional notes

  • While they did yet another blow-up the big space-death-machine run, I didn't get the sense that it was meant to be a primary focus of the third act. I was way more invested in what was happening with Kylo.
  • I think this movie works great as a first Star Wars movie. They turned the stories of the old trilogy into myths. That's perfect. It reflects the status of the original trilogy in our own pop-culture which will resonate with non-Star Wars fans. People who've grown up hearing of Star Wars without ever seeing it will have heard of Luke Skywalker, but will have never actually 'seen' him.
  • There were a couple fan-service callbacks to past movies, which I enjoyed for the most part because they didn't feel too out-of-place or like J.J was *wink**wink*-ing at the audience in an obvious way, EXCEPT FOR ONE; the hologram game turning on. It was cool to see, for sure, but there was too much pause at that moment. It ever-so-slightly broke the immersion of the movie for me, and someone who's never seen Star Wars is going to be like "Ok...so what's the significance of that?". If they just had a shot Finn playing the game with Rey or Chewie, that would have been better, I think.
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hassun

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#37  Edited By hassun

@zevvion: Nostalgia has pretty much 0 effect on me so that's certainly not it.

  1. The original Star Wars had zero baggage, most things about it were new.
  2. Empire Strikes Back had Yoda, Han Solo getting frozen in carbonite and the protagonists actually not managing to save him + Luke's hand getting chopped off and a bit of a love triangle between Luke, Leia and Han.
  3. Return of the Jedi had Yoda dying, the whole "Leia is actually Luke's sister and also Darth Vader's child" angle and the conclusion of the trilogy.

The Force Awakens following nearly exact the same template as the old films is just not a good thing. Unless they manage to subvert this or do something original in future entries it's just going to be steep decline because of diminishing returns.

Now I'm saying The Force Awakens is very formulaic but this is definitely a problem in a lot of Star Wars media. Many side stories in comics, cartoons, video games, etc. have slavishly followed a set pattern set by the original trilogy. (The wise teacher, the fast starship, the roguish smuggler with the dark past, the star destroyer, the superweapon, etc.) It's not good for any Star Wars-related content to mindlessly copy those ideas and concepts but it's especially problematic in episode VII because it's not supposed to be a derivative work. It's the new goddamn Star Wars film! It's not supposed to follow the formula, it's supposed to create the formula!

-

@sanj: I assume/hope that this was merely an introduction to Phasma and that we'll get more of her in future instalments. I thought Poe already had a nice arc though. You're right about the The Raid guys not really being put to good use. I would hope they could at least do some cool fight choreography in future films or something.

-

One other thing I did like but forgot to mention earlier: The relationship between Kylo Ren and Hux. It's far more interesting than in the old films where you just had Darth Vader terrorizing the imperial military commanders. It's like they're very competitive siblings, each vying for attention and approval from their leader/father figure Snoke. I definitely see a lot of potential in the character of Hux.

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sodapop7

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I fucking loved it.

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BBAlpert

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#39  Edited By BBAlpert

My theory for a reveal in the next movie: Snoke is gonna be really small. Like, Yoda sized, maybe even tinier. His hologram is really big, but we don't have any scale. For all we know, his big throne could a chair in a cute little dollhouse!

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Whitestripes09

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#40  Edited By Whitestripes09

@bbalpert: I thought the same thing when I saw that it was a hologram. I really hope that is not the case because that would just be really dumb... Honestly the weakest link for me in this movie was Snoke. I mean we know there are other Dark Side users besides the Sith now thanks to Rebels, but where exactly did he come from and why does he have that giant gouge in his forehead? Overall his appearance is very boring to look at, but at the same time I feel like they really need to flesh out his character more for me to be more interested in him.

Also... I'm sorry but Carrie Fisher made me cringe so hard when she came out and overall she brought out about zero emotion out of me. She is definitely a husk of what she used to be and that's sad... Harrison Ford was the exact opposite of her and that was great. Honestly, I feel like this was probably one of his better roles in a really long time. I feel like he finally abandoned trying to rekindle young Han Solo/Indiana Jones and finally did something unique with the role he was given.

I feel really bad about Mark Hammil... They really screwed him over and only gave him about 20 seconds of screen time and zero lines to say... here's hoping they at least give him a whole movie's worth of screen time to be in and hopefully not kill him off too soon.

The new actors and characters were all spectacular. I loved all of them really and I thought they all breathed in a new life into this series that will hopefully rejuvenated a lot . I just wish they gave Poe more screen time and I felt like there was about zero reason for them to essentially "kill" him off so soon. Why not have him tag along with the rest of the group? They loved so many callbacks to the old films, they should have had him throughout the whole film and have him find an old X-Wing to pilot. Adam Driver as Kylo Ren was pretty awesome in my opinion. His whole character feels like a raw nerve that's just ready to burst out at any moment and that's really great because of how opposite that is of Darth Vader. I just wish I understood better why he feels like he has to go to the dark side?

Something about the CGI just wasn't quite right... which is really weird to say, but they were honestly some of the more boring scenes of the movie. The only real awesome flight scene was the Falcon chase at the beginning, but the rest just felt so unreal and disconnected it just left me feeling blehhh while I wanted to see more of the Lightsaber fight or Chewie on a rampage. Maybe that's because most of the budget of this film was allocated towards practical effects and less towards CGI?

Honestly, if weren't for the new characters and pure nostalgia factor, I would have said this movie was okay.The similar plot has me scratching my head wondering if this new trilogy is going to bring anything new to the table or is it going to end exactly the way the audience think it's going to? There's enough mystery here to throw people for a loop and stand out as a unique part of this series, but I'm also really afraid that it's just going to keep on being predictable and not answer anything, which could only mean that every sequel to this is just going to be boring and stale. If it wasn't for very many things in this movie that made me grin like an idiot or made me laugh, I would be very disappointed.

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I saw the marathon today, and man it was fun. Was a great journey going through all the movies and finally seeing 7. There is conflict within me about this new one though.

  • It is almost a shot-for-shot remake of A New Hope, just with more modernized sensibilities and a Stormtrooper dude. A droid carrying plans, a Death Star, scrappy kid in the desert who is actually a Jedi, a fucking "Sith" guy with a mask who kills an important character in front of another important character.... it was infuriatingly similar at times.
  • Maybe I'm just butthurt, but Han Solo's death felt unearned. We barely know anything about Kylo Ren in this movie (or most of the other new characters tbh), aside from the fact that he's not as cool as Darth Vader but he wishes he was, and oh Han Solo is his dad so he has to kill him because that's what happens in Star Wars. It felt cheap, but at least Han is awesome in every scene before that.
  • On the bright side, the dialogue and action are spot-on in terms of what you want out of a Star Wars film. None of the pointless filler from the prequels, every set piece and character interaction is important to the overall plot.
  • I like the new cast, though as I said we don't get to learn too much about them. In A New Hope, all of the main cast have these rich, interesting backstories even without taking sequels into account, whereas there is very little told about Kylo Ren, Finn, Rey, and especially Poe. It's a younger cast, so I guess we're meant to be seeing their history unfold in front of us, but I felt they left a little too much for the other movies.

Overall, it was pretty good, certainly more thoughtful than the prequel trilogy though oddly not as ambitious. The prequels are bad, but they were a lot more experimental, even if most of those experiments failed. The Force Awakens feels like Disney showing people that they are 100% aware of what was good about the old movies, while adding almost nothing of their own design, but in the end it's better off for it. I really hope there are some surprises in Episode 8 though, and that we learn a lot more about this new cast.

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meteora3255

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#42  Edited By meteora3255

I came away from it disappointed. It didn't feel like a Star Wars movie to me. I can't put it into words but after watching the original trilogy before this there is just something in the tone of this movie that doesn't scream Star Wars to me. In a lot of ways it feels a lot like what Abrams did to Star Trek. They are fun popcorn sci-fi action movies but most of the hardcore fans will tell you those aren't Star Trek movies. I would chalk it up to not wanting to tread on old ground but as many others have pointed out its basically just a remake of A New Hope. Maybe it will grow on me but right now it just doesn't feel right and as Obi-Wan said I should trust my feelings.

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It was great for the most part, I did have a few problems or questions with it:

  • way too fan servicey, at the end I was just nodding and going "yup, you checked off that checkbox alright"
  • Along the same point as above, I'm getting a changing of the guards vibe where Fin is the new charming and rogue'ish smuggler/non-force sensitive dude to replace Han. Rey is the new jedi from Tatooine, I mean, Jakku, to be the new Luke. Kylo Ren is the new mask wearing voice altering sith and Snoke being his Sidious equivalent. And Maz being the new Yoda as the super old and tiny wise alien.
  • if Rey doesn't turn out to be Luke's daughter, then someone needs to nerf her force powers next patch because she is oooutta control! I couldn't buy into the idea that she adopted to the powers so quickly. Luke was the first descendant of Anakin and he took a while. For Rey to use mind trick as her first power no less broke the immersion for me.
  • Kylo Ren seemed a lot less menacing once he took his helmet off tbh... he just looked like an angsty teenage professor Snape at that point so i actually kind of wish they kept the mystery for a little while longer and not reveal him yet
  • More of a question that my friends and I were wondering about but... if the new death star (forgot its name) consumes a sun to charge up, then does it have to travel to a new sun? or does it just draw power from a further sun? because that place is gonna get permanently dark rrrreal quick if it was still operational

Some points worthy of mentioning:

  • I like the more comedic writing that's mixed in now, it feels like the Marvel movie in that sense and I appreciate it
  • New characters are great. Fin is humanized right off the bat and serves pretty well as the comic relief. Rey being the actual Jedi was a pleasant surprise, glad to see a female protagonist jedi for a change. And Kylo Ren (before he took is mask off) was pretty menacing, thrashing away with his light saber in his anger tantrums and having a great control of the force, the possibility was limitless!
  • Looks and sound designs (esp bb8's "voice" and some of the alien languages) were spot on, felt right at home
  • Kylo Ren's force powers felt pretty bad ass in this in a way we haven't seen force powers used before which is a nice novelty (minus the part where he was trying to find out luke's location off of Rey and she was force... defending... it... that scene dragged on just long enough for me to chuckle at how ridiculous it was that his hand was vibrating in front of her face and she was just intensely staring at him)

Off to a great start though for the new trilogy! Wonder what the one next year that Gary Whitta worked on will be like.

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The more I watched it the more it bothered me that it felt like a copy of episode IV. It is a good movie but because it feels more like a remake with Luke being obi wan, Rey being Luke etc than something new it loses a lot of my interest. I feel more underwhelmed then when I watched the prequels. Of course I watched them being 13-19 years old and I think this one is a better movie than those where but I still feel very underwhelmed.

Also how is it that people who have never used a light saber before can almost defeat Kylo Ren? Luke could barely fight a training droid in the beginning. Here they just naturally know how to fight a sith with years of training from Luke and a master sith.

Finn had more trouble fighting a storm trooper than fighting Kylo Ren. And how can he even use the saber not being a force user.

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bombedyermom

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One of the things that bugged me most was R2's convenient (or rather inconvenient) time to wake up, but driving home from the theater I had a thought. Rey is heavily hinted at to be Luke's daughter, and this is assumed for what I'm thinking currently:

Rey is never present at the resistance base where R2 is powered down, until the end of the film. Remember, she's captured before they get to the base. I'm thinking (or rather, hoping, so as to fix this otherwise stupid moment) that R2 was in sleep mode until Luke (or another Sywalker/someone with his DNA excluding Leia, because she's already) returned. He had the remaining piece of the map for this reason.

All speculation aside, I think it's difficult to judge the film's flaws in story until the next two films are released. There's an over arching narrative here that I'm optimistic will fill in the holes and strengthen the weaknesses this film has on it's own. That being said, I think the movie was good, and thoroughly fun.

As someone who likes both the original trilogy and prequel styles of lightsaber fighting (and tolerates the half assed explanation of why they're so different), I'm really excited to see the next fight with Rey and Ren. The untrained but naturally talented Rey vs the trained but still-apprentice (that doofus Snoke talks about finishing his training) Kylo was a great fight. The next time they meet (Rey trained by Luke and Kylo a full fledged sith) should be an awesome fight that hopefully blends the old and new styles of lightsaber choreography together.

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Turambar

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I'll throw some Giantbomb Bucks down on "Rey, I am your father." being used as a line in the next movie by Luke.

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#47  Edited By ripelivejam

I skimmed some but didnt see answer to my important question: is Captain Phasma awesome in this?

Though what i did see did kinda bum me out a bit. Leave it to giant bomb comments to be a bit of a buzzkill. Oh well, still seeing it (soonish hopefully)

E: was dumb and didn't see spoilers in big letters at the top but i still dont feel ruined for it by what i read.

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I loved this movie.

Everything that happened on Jakku was awesome. The main three kids Rey, Finn and Po were amazing.

The Han and Chewie show was great.

Force Dream! The comedic bits! BB-8 perfectly bordering on cute/obnoxious!

Solo dying by his own son was amazingly done. The right mix of foreshadowing and dread.

Kylo Ren was pretty good. Menancing but you could just see how unsure and inexperienced he was. Saying that when he took of the mask he just looked weird?

All the action involving a single ship was awesome.

It's so good having good star wars.

Finn and Ren fight was awesome. Finn was so far out of his depth.

_________________________________________

But this movie has some serious flaws.

Snoke? Seriously dumb name.

R2-D2 being in low power mode. Was just dumb. Just have him be with Luke at the end.

Rey just picking up a saber and rocking it? Like where did that come from? Plus the fight looked shit. I liked both Prequel and Old fights, this just seemed like it was shot messy.

Similarly I know Po is a good pilot but precision shooting stormtroppers from the air? Just a bit too much.

The battles just looked shit. Just explosions and noise. No sense of who was winning or the geography of the battles. It's so weird as when it just focused on a single ship facing two TIE fighter's it looked amazing.

How could they see the super death weapon? I mean space and light travel and all that. I know it's Star Wars but still.

____________________________________

But my main problem was everything involving the super weapon was not involving and unnecessary, from blowing up random planets, trench run and countdown all of it never really grabbed my attention. It didn't need to be in it at all. Just have Finn and Han go after Rey and steal the map to Luke.

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l4wd0g

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@sweep: from what I understand it was something Harrison Ford wanted for years (Han dying in Return of the Jedi)

I guess my question is, can Ben be saved?

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WalterCrunkFite

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The films have always been formulaic, inasmuch as they are just retellings of a Hero's Journey, like the Legend of Zelda or whatever. The characters in this one are basically fans of the original myths - even Ren is a Vader fanboy. It all ties in thematically this way, but I guess that's probably a element of the film that works better for none fans of the series?

One could easily imagine Rey and Finn watching "fictionalised" versions of the original films when they were kids, and Ren fetishising archival footage of Vader etc.