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Old December 19th, 2015, 07:29 PM
VanceCope VanceCope is offline
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Default Star Wars: The Force Awakens ***SPOILERS***

So the biggest movie of the year for a lot of us came out this week and since I don't want to spoil on Facebook I'll post my real thoughts here so if you are reading this be warned that there will be spoilers all over this thread.

First a quick, not super-spoiler-ly review

First, while I did watch the first two or three trailers I tried as hard as I could to avoid any plot points about the movie as best I could given the fact that promotion for the movie is EVERYWHERE so while the main characters looked familiar to me and I didn't really know their names or any of the plot going in.

Overall, I really liked this movie and will probably go see it again in the theaters (though I won't drop the cash for Imax again even though it was awesome)...I felt that this first sequel did MUCH more justice to the original trilogy than the first prequel did (not that it would have been very difficult). I think they did a fair job of appealing to both the old school SW fan and the younger generation whose introduction to the SW Universe were Epi 1-3, as well as a new generation of fans and those that weren't SW fans before but are just going as a companion/buying into the SW hype machine that has been in over-drive as of late. The new actors did a great job in my opinion, JJ treated the material well, and the special effects seemed to fit in very well (nothing seemed fake)


Last warning, spoilers below!

Let's all have a moment of silence for Han Solo.

Holy crap. I mean I already kinda knew that Han probably wasn't going to make it out of this one alive based on Harrison Ford's interviews MANY years ago that Han should have died in the original trilogy and that was probably the only way they got him to agree to return for this one but it was still gut wrenching seeing him ran through with the light saber by his own son! And then hearing Chewie cry out and the flash to Leia who felt it through the Force...ugh...great moment. I kinda had a feeling that Kylo Ren was Han & Leia's kid from the start based on his use of the force and assumed he had Skywalker DNA in him somewhere and I can't wait to see his back story develop more especially since it seemingly cause Luke to go into self-exile. I had a feeling the last shot would be of him (Luke) since he hadn't been in any trailers and has done almost zero press for the movie.

I wish there would have been more space battles because even though they were intense and done well, the x-wing/millienium falcon vs tie fighter battles on the planets just weren't as fun to me

Thoughts?

Last edited by VanceCope; December 19th, 2015 at 07:44 PM.
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Old December 19th, 2015, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens ***SPOILERS***

I skipped over your post without reading it, but I'll comment after I finally see the film (right around New Years day or so). My two oldest kids and I are really looking forward to seeing it.
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Last edited by Twisted; December 28th, 2015 at 12:28 AM.
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Old December 23rd, 2015, 09:00 AM
Krista 96-02 Krista 96-02 is offline
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Default Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens ***SPOILERS***

I have not seen it yet, and I was debating for a while whether I wanted to see it at all. I came to peace with "Revenge of the Sith" being the last; I showed up at midnight for its premiere and saw it once or twice after that in the theater. But now that it's out, I'm making plans. I was going to see it yesterday after getting back into town and had the afternoon off, but decided after lunch that I just wanted to stay home. So, probably after Christmas at this rate. I've bought all of 2 things for my daughter for Christmas, and one of those items was while I was out of town and now I had 2 days to get *that* wrapped up..pun intended because I despise wrapping. I also thought about seeing it while I was out of town at the local Cinemark XD theater, but time just did not allow for it.
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Old December 28th, 2015, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens ***SPOILERS***

I dont mean to spoil this but. It was great until Obi-Won showed up and convinced Bill Murray to leave that desert island even though he was having lots of fun drinking with those sand people. Then there was that part where Han Solo and Chewbacka spend a lot of time alone together on that Millennium Falcon ship and realize that what happens on the Falcon stays on the Falcon.
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Old December 28th, 2015, 04:39 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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Default Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens ***SPOILERS***

I loved it. It was way more fun than any of the prequels.

I went back and watched all the movies the week before I went to see TFA in the theater, and I was probably easier on Lucas than most Star Wars fans were for the prequels. I didn't care much for The Phantom Menace at all from the beginning. Jar Jar is the second worst thing to ever be in a Star Wars movie.

But I used to think Attack of the Clones was ok - it had some good action bits and advanced the story line. But upon this most recent viewing, I came to realize that the love story (while necessary to the plot) was terribly ham-fisted. It was exceedingly dopey and forced. Anakin's lines were so stupid, any self respecting woman would not fall for him at all. Christiansen's acting was god-awful. I have no idea how Lucas wound up with that piece of wood as the star of the biggest movie trilogy in history (to that point) ... I can only come to the conclusion that he was starting to go insane. I believe Natalie Portman deserved the Academy Award that year for portraying a character that could have fallen in love with that petulant little punk. Hayden Christiansen is the worst thing to ever be in a Star Wars movie.

Revenge of the Sith was the best movie of the prequels, and I actually liked it better than Return of the Jedi. The Ewoks will always taint that movie for me... there is no way a tribe of 3 foot tall teddy bears with no technology beyond a sling could take down Empire troops and I will go to my grave believing that was a merchandising sellout and the beginning of the end... the point where Lucas cared more about turning a dollar than making a kick ass movie. It was all downhill after that... the special editions, the changes to the plot retconned into the old movies like Greedo shooting first, Jar Jar, superimposing young Anakin over Old Anakin at the end of Jedi (where are young Obi Wan and young Yoda?) and Hayden Christiansen in general.

So... I was elated when Lucas sold the Star Wars franchise to Disney. I felt, "Finally! Someone who will revere and take care of the franchise and make decent movies!" And my faith was rewarded. TFA was great fun, it paid plenty of homage to the old movies, the CGI didn't look fake or forced. It supported the story instead of telling the story. There was a decent story - clearly this was about building a foundation for the movies to come. I like all the new younger characters they created. I liked Han Solo and Chewie and Leia's roles.

I was really hoping that Abrams would have put something in the movie about someone asking Han about his run-in with Greedo, about how the legend was that Greedo opened fire and Han shot in self defense... and had Han say, "Hell no, I shot his ass first." Then I would have felt like Disney and Abrams were totally in the drivers seat and had completely cleansed the property of Lucas' funk.

I will always love Lucas for making some kick ass movies... American Graffiti, Star Wars, Empire, producing the Indiana Jones movies... He's like the Rolling Stones. No matter how shitty their songs after 1985 were, they are still the Stones who made kick ass music in the 60s and 70s. Just change the channel when the new stuff comes on.

Now...

I was really hoping that Disney would use the Timothy Zahn "Heir to the Empire" trilogy of books for the first 3 new movies. They were excellent, and continued the story well. But they're set too close to the end of Jedi to be done 40 years later, so I understand. Then I was hoping for the New Jedi Order books, which involved Han and Leia's twin children being trained as Jedi by Luke. One of the very first things in that book was that one of the kids got into trouble, and Han and Chewie went to bail them out and Chewbacca was killed. This caused an uproar among fans who read the books. R.A. Salvatore received threats and had to skip conventions for fear of his life. Salvatore later revealed that Lucas required him to kill off Chewie. Again, proving that Lucas had started to lose his mind....

Anyway, that led me to wonder very briefly while watching the movie if Rey is Ben's twin sister. I would be surprised if she was, since there was no reference at all by Han or Leia about a sibling for Ben. What was weird to me, though - When Rey came down the ramp of the Falcon, she shared a look with Leia as if they knew each other and went up and hugged her without a word. Did I miss the point in the movie where they met? There are separate fan theories that Rey is Luke's daughter or Han and Leia's daughter. In either case... why was she abandoned on a desert planet with nobody to care for her.

I don't understand how a dude with no Jedi/Sith training at all and no force sensitivity was able to hold off a Sith. Finn should have been diced to bits by any self-respecting Sith. I also don't understand how Rey could perform a number of advanced Jedi abilities with no training. The only conclusion I can draw is that Kylo Ren sucks balls at being a Sith.

Harrison Ford wanted to be killed off at the end of Empire when he was frozen in Carbonite. I agree, that he probably agreed to come back for this film only if his character was killed off in TFA. Chewbacca's anguished howl was one of the most heart-wrenching things I've ever seen in a movie. My biggest head-scratcher about Han is that I don't understand is how he went 40+ years without ever shooting Chewie's bowcaster before TFA.

I'm guessing that like most JJ Abrams joints, we will learn more about what we saw in the first episode as we watch future episodes. I hope it doesn't take 7 seasons to get unsatisfying answers like it did with LOST. Speaking of which... JJ missed a huge opportunity for an inside joke when the super weapon was drawing power from the sun to not give us EPIC LENS FLARE!!

That's all I've got right now.

**edited to clarify thoughts and/or de-akward some grammar.**
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Last edited by JStroop; December 28th, 2015 at 04:57 PM.
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Old December 30th, 2015, 12:21 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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Default Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens ***SPOILERS***

I've seen a couple posts on facebook about theories regarding TFA. One is that Rey is the actual chosen one that the prophecies spoke of (as opposed to Anakin.) I find that to be unlikely. The prophecy spoke of "restoring balance to the force" and Anakin definitely did that. Before Palpatine and Vader murdered all the Jedi, the balance was FAR on the side of the Jedi. When Obi Wan and Yoda were the only Jedi left... that was balance.

The other one, which is more interesting to think about, and something that JJ Abrams would do and is plausible despite being far-fetched, is that Kylo Ren became a Sith to kill Snoke, and had to kill his father to prove to Snoke that he was fully dark side.
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 08:52 PM
VanceCope VanceCope is offline
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Default Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens ***SPOILERS***

Quote:
Originally Posted by JStroop View Post
I don't understand how a dude with no Jedi/Sith training at all and no force sensitivity was able to hold off a Sith. Finn should have been diced to bits by any self-respecting Sith.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JStroop View Post
I also don't understand how Rey could perform a number of advanced Jedi abilities with no training. The only conclusion I can draw is that Kylo Ren sucks balls at being a Sith.
Well, we don't know if he is Sith...he is a member of the Knights of Ren who obviously embrace the the dark side of the force but we don't know enough about Snoke or the Knights to say they are Sith or some other group because in theory, once Palpatine and Vader died, the Sith would die as there was only suppose to be two at time, the master and the apprentice and Vader had no known apprentice (movie canon wise)...now some are theorizing that Snoke is really Darth Plagueis (Palpatine's master who he killed) or Darth Bane who created the whole "rule of two" for the Sith to start with a thousand years ago and was never killed by the Jedi like it is believed or it's a force ghost, not a hologram, talking to Kylo (and it explains why his lightsaber is the design it is, which is supposedly old and the crossbar is actually like exhaust ports)

Also I've seen a theory about the Kylo vs Fin vs Rey thing that kinda makes sense if you need to make it fit in the story. Basically it says that Kylo Ren was weakend by the shot from the bow caster (which we saw do major damage earlier but seemingly didn't affect Kylo as bad) so Fin, who had combat training (granted with a blaster and not a saber) was at least able to play defense for a few minutes until Rey shows up

Now there is a question of who Fin's parents could be and while non-Jedi/Sith/Force sensitive people can use lightsabers (ala Han cutting open the tauntuan on Hoth) they aren't suppose to be skilled with them becuase they are such powerful weapons that you need to use the force to control them properly, there is a chance he is some relative of Mace Windu (or is just gifted with the Force natually) since he was also removed from his parents as a child...it could be this connection to the force that caused him to not want to kill and abandon the First Order (I know some are hoping its a Lando connection, but I don't buy that)

Rey is obviously strong with the force, even without training, and probably has a Skywalker lineage given that Anakin/Luke's lightsaber called out to her at Maz's but I kinda don't want her to be Leia/Han's "forgotten" daughter or Luke's "long lost/abandoned" and would prefer to be somebody else...now as far as fighting Kylo Ren, Rey was obvisoly already a skilled fighter with her bow staff as seen on Jakku...add in a lightsaber, her new found belief/wisdom of the force, and a planet literally falling apart around them and she can easily fight an already weak (from the bowcaster blast) Kylo Ren

As far as her doing the Jedi mind trick thing earlier, I think she really didn't know what she was doing but had heard stories that Jedi could do things like that (since she wasn't even sure Jedi were real since she had been alone on Jakku for so long) so she gave it her best shot OR she knew that since Kylo Ren had searched her mind with the Force that she kinda just did what he did but in reverse and even though the stormtroopers are no longer clones, they are still weak minded individuals (except Fin) as they have succumbed to the First Order programming

Quote:
Originally Posted by JStroop View Post
The other one, which is more interesting to think about, and something that JJ Abrams would do and is plausible despite being far-fetched, is that Kylo Ren became a Sith to kill Snoke, and had to kill his father to prove to Snoke that he was fully dark side.
I've heard this one too and it kinda seems that way, but not sure if I want it to actually play out that way
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 09:05 PM
VanceCope VanceCope is offline
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Default Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens ***SPOILERS***

The best part so far about Episode 7 in my opinion is the amnt of fan theories and guessing what's next for the franchise...it's fun to have that as part of the fandom again
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens ***SPOILERS***

I finally got to see it yesterday with my two oldest kids (Jedis-in-training). It was hard not reading the spoilers posted here and elsewhere, but I resisted the temptation until today. All in all, definitely a hit, even in the Star Wars universe and standard. I would say it had much the same feel as episodes 4, 5 and 6 for sure, with elements carried over from all three.

I agree with Jeremy about the prequels. Regardless of the opinions among the hard-core freaks about burning Lucas at the stake, he created a big part of my childhood from age 10 through my senior year in high school, so I'm always appreciative to his contributions to that, as well as American Graffiti and his numerous production credits (Indy for sure). While I was a bit bummed with the CGI graphics overdose on the prequels and some scenes that didn't always go anywhere really, I also know much in the prequels were a necessary part of the tale that needed to be told. And yes, much of the acting was cheesy for certain characters. Other than giving you a view of Anakin's childhood and his amazing potential, Episode 1 was a bit hokey at times and didn't tell much of a story until the last big battle as well as minor bits here and there throughout the movie, but it did draw a new generation of young fans into the saga. I enjoyed the 2nd episode, although I knew it was mostly filler to further Anakin and Obi-Wan's bonding, as well as to forge a bit of love story, plus a few hints at Anakin's anger to foreshadow his future. And Episode 3 definitely brought on more inner conflict, although the final shift from Jedi to Sith seemed a bit too abrupt. It was almost like Lucas had dragged out the inner struggle so much that he suddely realized he only had a half hour to to finish the story and just warped ahead to Anakin being Mr. Superevil. Still a great chapter in my opinion, blowing away the first two episodes.

Skipping ahead from there to the same younger version of Anakin being used at the final part of Return of the Jedi, it just fit horribly in my opinion. Maybe if the scene had the middle-aged Obi-Wan and young(er) Yoda as well, it could be showing all in happier and more youthful times, but mixing the ages just didn't work.

But this is really about TFA. I'm sure right now I'm still on a "feel good" high after seeing it for the first time when it all was fresh and new. And it felt great, almost like spending an evening with best friends you haven't seen in years. I'm sure I'll be able to nit-pick after watching it again the next few times and noticing the little things and maybe questioning a bit more. Vance and Jeremy have both pointed out most of the feelings, questions, and "what if's" I'm having. And yes, even though it was something I had pondered about Solo's grand finale possibly happening, it brought out emotion within Chewie that had never been seen before. Very powerful scene in my opinion, and it almost seemed to allow Rey to slip right into Solo's role as Chewie's partner and share a bond together, even from their different backgrounds. Sometimes surviving battle together forges fast bonds that can last forever. Naturally, I'll have questions about who was connected to whom, and what Rey and Luke's conversation or reactions will be when Episode 8 begins.

But for now, regardless of any questions I may have for later, yesterday I simply let go and let myself be pulled through the Star Wars universe and became that same ten-year-old again. Dammit,I'm turning 49 years old on Wednesday, so it feels great to warp back to childhood again. Maybe I can just stay there...
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Last edited by Twisted; January 4th, 2016 at 01:48 PM.
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Old January 4th, 2016, 02:55 PM
JStroop JStroop is offline
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Default Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens ***SPOILERS***

Quote:
It was almost like Lucas had dragged out the inner struggle so much that he suddely realized he only had a half hour to to finish the story and just warped ahead to Anakin being Mr. Superevil.
I was actually ok with this. Anakin had already started down the dark path when he murdered the Sand People after his mother died. Add to that his petulant and impulsive tendencies, his most importantly desperation to save Padme's life which he had forseen, and the subtle manipulation by Palpatine mentioning that he knew how to save her with dark side powers... it all worked ok for me.

Over the weekend, I was given a link to a youtube video that completely changed my opinion about Jar Jar Binks. The theory, with extremely compelling and plausible evidence that Jar Jar was a Sith lord, either pulling the strings for Palpatine or was having his strings pulled by Palpatine.

High points:
-Jedi and Sith are martial arts masters. Jar Jar's style is Drunken Fist - appearing to be clumsy and uncoordinated but actually dominating the fight, as Jar Jar did in the big droid/Gungan battle in Phantom Menace.
-It's rare to see Palpatine and Jar Jar not in the same place in the 2nd and 3rd movies.
-If you slow down the video, you can see several instances where Jar Jar appears to be using the "mind trick" influencing people's conversation/decisions.
-Lucas had said that the Star Wars original films and prequels were sort of a poem... they "rhymed" - several events in the prequels mirrored events in the original trilogy. In this case, a character first appearing to be an annoying buffoon/village idiot turns out to be a master (Yoda/Jar Jar.)
-In one of the "making of" video segments, Lucas says to one of the designers "Jar Jar is the key to all of this" meaning the design of the character had to be just right because he was central to everything.

The theory posits that Lucas chickened out of this story line because of the vitriolic backlash to Jar Jar in the Phantom Menace and hastily added Christopher Lee's Count Dooku as the Sith Apprentice... this is really the only spot in the theory that doesn't hold up for me, because based on his changes to the original trilogy it was pretty clear that he didn't give a rat's ass about what the fans thought, and if he liked something he didn't hesitate to go with it no matter what kind of hate it might spawn (like Greedo shooting first.)

So... I saw this since I posted my previous message in this thread about Jar Jar being the second worst thing to appear in a Star Wars movie. IF this was true, and Lucas had followed through with it, I feel confident that I would have thought it was genius and would have forgiven him for Jar Jar's annoying presence in Phantom Menace, as it would have meant something other than to have a character the kids could relate to. I think the failure was not disclosing some hint of this at the end of Phantom Menace. Had we seen some clandestine handshake or hologram conversation between Palpatine and Jar Jar, that would have probably completely changed the tone of and my appreciation for the movie - and it would have definitely been a better ending for the movie.

Here is a link to one of many youtube videos that tie everything together:

https://youtu.be/8yy3q9f84EA

I've also seen addendums to this theory that Snoke is Jar Jar... the Dutch word Vader means father - foreshadowing his identity. The Dutch word Snoak means fish (specifically pike) which Jar Jar resembles. That one's a little far-fetched but still plausible.

So... I've reversed course on my Jar Jar condemnation.
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