(spoilers galore) Star Wars Force Awakens: Seen it discussion

So I saw it last night and despite one MAJOR flaw - I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved how vicious Kylo Ren's lightsaber was. Technically Luke's was too. I do hope in the next one there is more elegant use of them but I was absolutely satisfied with what I saw. 

I laughed out loud more than I thought I would despite the fact that it couldn't leave anyone without getting it. And George Lucas's reaction was correct after seeing it "it's a film the fans want." I got to a point before the end, knowing it was coming, that I was praying for another hour.. I even tried settling for 45 more minutes. Sadly it came though. Any movie that is over 2 hours to me and you just want there to be more is a good sign that you liked it. 

It was really hard for me to be critical about the movie other than the fact that a lot of what is seen happened in the original trilogy.. and I mean a lot. This movie is sure going to sell a lot of toys - but we all knew that Disney wasn't stupid paying what they did for the rights to it.

I'm going to see it again tomorrow afternoon so maybe my childhood blinders will be off and I can look at it more critically. But one thing I won't forget, no matter how much it seems to copy other star wars plot lines. I had HUGE expectations for this film and I absolutely loved it. It's crazy to know the story now and think they're already filming the next one! Rian Johnson must have really been involved in Vii's script..

Rating 8.5/10

I know this was a bad start to the discussion - I just need to talk and no one at work has seen it yet!

 

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Comments

  • Two of my friends that have now seen it loved it. Neither mentioned any bit of plot copying so maybe just some of the harshest critics will bring that up. One friend was lucky enough to sit next to Tom Savini - I was a bit jealous.

  • Just got back, although I liked I was a bit disappointed tbh.

    I felt some of the film didn't have that Star Wars feel and the music, although very good lacked those uplifting moments the originals and even the prequels had. When the original score did kick in it was always mellowed out.

    I still liked it and will be buying it, just not as good as I'd hoped. The first half of the film was excellent but I felt the 2nd part wasn't as good and didn't leave me with the wow factor that would have had me clawing at my face knowing it's gonna be at the very least a year before the sequel is out.

    I will add thought the 2 newcomers were brilliant and can't wait to see more of them.

  • Went for a 2nd viewing today and I absolutely loved it. I think once you get over the fact that the music isn't as in your face as Geore Lucas's Star Wars films and the fact that Kylo Ren is not Darth Vader (well for now) then you'll enjoy it a lot more. Kylo seems very much like Anakin was to me.

    It is funny though that my wife had her first viewing today and she said the same thing about the music. Be interesting to see what she thinks when I get the Blu-Ray.

    Really looking forward to episode 8 aswell now.

  • I couldn't believe my 2nd viewing on Saturday was more packed than Thursday night. The jokes did not have the same effect on me as the first time.. Maybe because I was so gay and jolly the first time around. Or it could be that I realized how over played they were, unlike the first trilogy in which the jokes just seem less forced making them timeless.

    I still definitely enjoyed it the 2nd time. And I actually wished this theater was louder than the first time - because I want loud john williams star wars music to rumble my soul when I watch a star wars flick.

  • Every time I saw Finn, I had to remind myself ....OK, that isn't Kevin Hart, that isn't Kevin Hart.

    Hesh

  • edited December 2015

    Gonna drop in here, after months of (involuntary) silence in the forum from me... But I thought this film deserves some discussion with all you nice people :)

    Oh my gosh this film was amazing, compared to what I dared to hope for.

    Yes, there are, put nicely, a lot of nods to the original trilogy, especially regarding the overall storyline compared to episode 4, but that didn't make it less enjoyable for me. There was enough novelty to keep me entertained through the whole film, and kept me longing for more. I think this is one of the biggest compliments towards a movie, when the only time you have a look at the watch in theatre is happening in fear it might be over soon.

    What's best about this movie for me are, without doubt, the characters. Especially Daisy Ridley as Rey - incredibly strong female lead, accompanied then by Poe, Finn and BB-8. These four are the stars of the movie, and watching them act together was just fun and felt so natural. BB-8's thumbs up, Finn trying to hold Rey's hand, Poe's and Finn's conversations while on the run were just some of the moments that had me grinning way more than they should. It doesn't feel forced though, it's not like they tried to make it a comedy - it's believable. Which goes for most of the film, actually - there were no moments that took me out of it, that left me puzzled or disappointed.

    I'm split about Kylo Ren though. He seems to me like an unlikable, insecure little prick, that somehow has the ability to tap into the force, overcompensating his shortcomings and fears with over the top aggression, which is perfectly expressed in his lightsaber - I wonder how that could come from Han and Leia's offspring. I just wanted him to get beat down hard the whole time, and was so relieved when Rey finally did (badass!). And I'm not sorry at all that he died there (he did die, right?). But on the other hand, I think that's exactly what he was meant to portrait, and to be honest, it was something else than the typical, overly powerful, and just simply evil villain.

    As for the "old" characters, they did their parts well, too. Harrison Ford does still remember how to play Han Solo (RIP - you did not deserve that :( ), and Chewbacca and Leia did a lot to bring that Star Wars feeling back into the film. Sad we got to see so little of Luke, but I'm curious to see how the story develops with him back in the game in ep 8.

    Oh, on a side note - this film was the first film that made me actually think seeing it in 3D was worth the extra pay. Well, I didn't see a lot of 3D movies before it, but still. I really enjoyed it, it did enhance the experience, but wasn't too "in-your-face"-ish.

    Yeah, I'm geeking out a bit here. Sure, the movie was not perfect, but exceeded my expectations by far. I can understand why some people have even proclaimed it the best star wars movie to date, though I'm not sure if I agree yet. Have to wait till my second screening for that. Let's see what Triem has to say once he jumps onto this thread. I hope he does, as he went in so critically prior to the release.

  • @Robin, Kylo Ren was still moving when Rey walked away from him. A little later Snoke tells the general dude to leave the planet and bring Kylo Ren to him, so I'm guessing he'll survive.

  • Ah crap. Well that was obviously some wishful thinking on my part... 

    I just came across this video. It's a bit lengthy, but I thought it's a very interesting discussion on the movie featuring a lot of good points. 

    https://youtu.be/TyQRp_1PjbU

  • edited December 2015

    I did not read anything in this thread yet because I haven't seen the movie. I will, hopefully, in the next couple weeks get to it though.

    With that said, since you all have seen the movie, I do have one spoiler to contribute and hopefully no one has mentioned this yet but: Darth Vader IS Luke Skywalker's father!!!

    Sorry- I gotta be me. ;^)

  • I DID enjoy this. I'm sure I did... but I've got to go on a quick rant about some things.

    JJ seems to like really, Really, REALLY, unlikely things to happen to progress the plot. Hans find the Falcon so quickly hurt my brain. (even if he would track it, he was RIGHT THERE)

    Why does JJ seems to think that planets can see other planets in the sky as large as the moon? The same thing happened in the Star Trek movie, a planet blew up and someone (who needed to see it) JUST HAPPENED to be on a planet close enough to see it with the naked eye.

    The chrome trooper lowing the shields to the base (like that could even be done from there) just because a gun was waved at her... really? this is the same person talking about 'conditioning'. The good guys hold out on demands whenever possible, even under pain. But, what looked like, the head stormtrooper caved instantly.

    These things didn't ruin it. I liked the new characters and overall look of the show. But some of that stuff is just so very unlikely, it takes me out of the movie.

    If you were watching a murder mystery on TV and the main characters ran out of leads. Would you accept them picking up a phone, dialing numbers at random and, purely by luck, calling the exact person they need to progress the story? I honestly think that is MORE likely than some of the stuff that happened in Star Wars.

     

  • @fredclips I can't disagree with your comments but we could probably pick any movie apart tbh, you've just got to ignore these kind a things or they can ruin the movie every time you watch it. I've done it myself with films before and it totally kills it. I have though or more than 1 occasion gone back and watched a film and just let things slide. This one is no different as I mentioned in previous comments.

    Glad it didn't totally ruin it for you and hopefully like me on 2nd watch you will enjoy it.

    Plus I think ep 8 will be better, well at least from the rumours coming about the script anyways.

  • Tl/Dr version. Ranking all Star Wars movies and TV shows from top to bottom. 

    The good ones: Empire, New Hope, Jedi, Clone Wars (Genedy Tartakovaky

    The watchable ones: Force Awakens, Clone Wars (3D series)

    Crap: Sith, Attack of the Clones, Ewok Movies, Phantom Menace, Clone Wars (3D Movie), Holiday Special. 

    @Robin very mediocre movie. Visual Design and VFX were strong, but it's ILM building off work from fantastic designers. 

    I liked Rey and Finn, and I enjoyed BB-8 (despite his stupid design).

    Otherwise I feel like I was watching a high-budget fanfilm that somehow talked Harrison Ford into joining. Or a pilot episode of a Tv show. Either way, no Star Wars movie is ever allowed to do a planet-killer again. Yawn. 

    It was fun. Just don't think about all the unbelievable coincidences such as a janitor turned trooper breaking his conditioning in time to save a random dude then managing to randomly run into some Force user who will turn out to be child or grandchild of a previously established character, before they randomly end up in an iconic ship before they randomly run into it's owner just before they are randomly attacked by random gangsters which they escape from by hitting a random button to release random monsters. Then they end up at some random alien's who randomly has a certain random lightsaber, etc...

    There's a lot of random shit happening is what I am saying. Because, just like with Lucas's prequels and Abrams first Trek movie, it's not so much an actual organic story as a series of plot events forcing characters to be where the writer needs them to be. UNLIKE Annakin/Obi-Wan in the prequels and Kirk/Spock in Trek, Rey and Finn are actually likeable and sympathetic characters. Even Poe is pretty cool, even if he's more a plot device than a person. 

    Kylo Ren might never be as powerful as Vader, but he's as whiny as Annakin. Turning and carving up an entire wall due to anger only makes one scary because one is out of control... And has a lightsaber... Crying during patricide also undercuts your evil. Being some sort of trained warrior and having your ass handed to you by two kids who've never held a lightsaber before makes you a really ineffective villain. All the potential of Force-holding a blaster bolt thrown away... 

     

  • edited December 2015

    Hi everyone! Saw this last week, and here is my review using Hitfilm light saber effects!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2WNXDMbkTI

  • I'm waiting for the BR edition now (no, not the Battle Royal edition ;) ), because I think there'll be a lot of deleted scenes. That is what I felt when I watched it fourth times.

  • I agree with everyone who said random events being too coincidental. This movie was filled with it.. sometimes and it reminds me that certain people were naturally meant to write together... abrams and kasdan were not. But that also shows how well made this movie was because the story did not kill it. Although I believe a small majority can't accept the events that took place or seemed repeated.

    Episode VIII in my eyes will be the best of the "trilogy." I think it's what I liked best about empire strikes back. Most of the characters are already introduced so we don't have to rush that alongside building up to a climax. I think people will be more patient in slower scenes too, like when Luke went to the dagobah system. We'll also get a real lightsaber battle or two - although I was not offended with the more melee battles is vii and am "OK" with Rey beating Ren because her medichlorian count is probably top notch. 

    The story just needs to slow down a little bit more and let characters make important decisions to progress the plot rather them react to it happening. 

    Most would suggest Han dies.. who knows how he will be back in the next episode. And I don't care if he took a lightsaber through the chest and fell 100,000 feet into a planets core before it exploded into a sun... in any movie, unless you actually see a main character die, they are NEVER dead.

    And to end with..

    I forget if I said already but I can't stop saying it enough. When Kylo Ren takes his mask off - I thought I was watching an SNL skit and andy samberg was playing Ren with a turtleneck on. 

     

    I am planning to see it again at imax in a couple weeks for a third time. Untill then I'll just continue to enjoy listening to the soundtrack that I received for Christmas :)

  • DanielGWoodDanielGWood Staff
    edited December 2015

    As you know FXHOME and Star Wars go way back, to a long time ago etc, so most of us went to see it right after release. We're big Star Wars fans*, so while expectations were high, we were also a little wary of getting burned...

    It was awesome, absolutely loved it both times I've seen it. The feel is right, the humour is funny (and yet not daft/slapstick), the characters great (Rey in particular, what a badass), and it looked stunning.

    The lightsaber duel was beautiful, and the swordplay itself nicely halfway between the slow paced, almost-too-gentlemanly stuff in the originals, and the ridiculously-over-the-top-lets-see-how-much-spinning-we-can-do stuff in the prequels. I liked the angry, aggressive style of Ren against the opportunist, natural ability without formal training style of Rey.

    Good to see the Falcon again, Han, Leia and Chewie, and I was willing to accept the series of farfetched coincidences in order to get there...I think it's preferable to some very long-winded approaches they would have had to take otherwise. Chewie actually had independent thoughts rather than just being Han's whipping boy, which was nice, and Leia's sorrow was palpable. Despite being a grumpy old sort, Harrison Ford actually did a great job in the film, and was very human. RIP Han Solo, until Rey came along you were the coolest character in the galaxy.

    To echo a criticism above, I thought the Chrome Trooper part was just plain daft. Presumably that role was cut down in the edit, otherwise it might as well not have existed. Not remotely sinister or malicious, more of a disco-trooper.

    Also agreed that the plot similarity (Death Star III, trench run, final moments of Yavin unless something miraculous happens) was a little meh. I see why that was done - it instantly builds the First Order up to maximum bad guys, wipes the slate clean, and has big nostalgia value. However, I hope it's the last time there's some giant planet-killing space station, it's become too much of a staple. As a fan, it was a little sad to see the Republic instantly wiped out (at least, as far as I can tell, that system was the core of it? Seemed a little easy/was it really that small/etc). As others have written elsewhere, it kills the dream - Luke, Leia and Han saved the galaxy for all of 5 minutes, which might be more realistic than a happy utopia, but is still sad. I also wanted to see "what it was like" after the Empire, but effectively what they've done here is to just nope that.

    One plot point that did give me pause was the appearance of Anakin/Luke's blue lightsaber. Pretty sure that was lost down a hole at the end of Empire?

    As to speculation about characters, I hope Rey isn't actually related to anyone. As pointed out in an article I read last night, it'd be refreshing if not everything was tied to the Skywalkers, and a complete nobody could just turn out to be a Force prodigy. I don't buy that she's Han/Leia's child, and I think it would weaken both Luke's story of exile/tragedy and Rey's unknown badassery if she were his.

    All in all a great film, maybe even 9/10. Credit due for the amount achieved - we know what happened to most of the original characters in the intervening 30 years, some great new characters have been set up and developed a bit, there was a great lightsaber scene, space fight, and the usual climatic stuff. It's a great set up for Episode VIII.

    * You should all ask @SimonKJones and @JoshDaviesCEO what they first said about the prequels, it's quite funny.

  • I'll bite: @SimonKJones, @JoshDaviesCEO what did you say first about the prequels? 

    I went second weekend of Phantom Menace. We teased the guy in the Darth Maul costume with the Vader Saber. I mean, if you're dressing up second weekend, have the wrong prop, AND it's your first time... 

    Anyways, film ends, we walk out, wondering what to say, when Maul bursts out, screaming, "That >blasphemous incestuous< Jar-Jar Binks ruined that entire >BLASPHEMOUS INCESTUOUS< movie! And stalks off, throwing away his lightsaber. 

    I still have it. 

  • Well at last I snuck in a quick viewing over lunch (80's power lunch style). Anyway, it was everyhing I wanted and more, frankly I loved it. Yeah, it did the whole histroy repeating itself story thing, but that's kind of ok, it worked enough for me.

    As for the look and feel, it was spot on, I was in Star Wars heaven.

    I had to run back to the office through a very busy shopping center (mall) and I tell you this, I was feeling the force as I doged and weaved my way through the shoppers like an X-Wing.

    Loved it, NEXT please.

  • "All of this has happened before, and it will happen again." 

  • Now now let's not go mixing franchises just yet...........

  • @NormanPCN as much as I like BSG, I don't think the Galactica would last very long in Star Wars. When it got damaged it actually seemed to matter, whereas in TFA they shoot at that regulator thingie for hours before it finally has any effect. Presumably Starkiller base is built with an exceptional level of redundancy. Nerd cap off.

  • More franchise mix.

    Luke, Han, Leia. Three. Finn, Poe, Rey. Three. Light, Dark, Grey. Three.

    The One. The one that was, Anakin. The one that is, Luke. The one that will be, Rey (speculation). Three.

    @DanielGWood Yep, none of that silly shields BS in the BSG universe. They had to defend against the incoming ammo. Star Trek probably made shields a normal concept in the energy weapon world. In normal combat you mostly miss. So in the future they must be better and thus not miss nearly as much. If they don't miss and the weapons are good, and since it is the future they must be, then the story ends fast. So add shields. Now the drama shifts to how long do the shields hold up in the battle.

  • The one that that Was, Is and Will be? Sinclair, Sheridan and Delenn? You got Babylon 5 in the Star Wars thread! 

  • As I read that, I heard it in Zathras' voice.. (Zathras, not Zathras.)

    I'd put TFA firmly between the original trilogy and the prequels. It was good, but not great, in my opinion. Abrams seems to be stuck doing remakes. I know his main mission was to set up a new franchise and not screw it up, but it could have been a bit more original. I loved the sets and the return of the classic aliens, but had problems with the story.

  • edited December 2015

    " (Zathras, not Zathras.)"  You win.

    I can forgive the droid carrying a message, stranded on a desert planet, meeting up with an unknown force sensitive to start the snowball rolling. And other things. But another death star? Come up with some other kind of super weapon the good guys need to overcome.

    The second death star in the original movies can be explained as typical government thinking. Why build one, when you can build two at twice the price.

  • The Galactic Empire: 5 Leadership Mistakes

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

  • edited January 2016

    All in all, I rather liked the film, and look forward to seeing it again. They may have borrowed the plot directly from A New Hope, but at least they mixed it up a little by adding in the bit where Han and Chewie need to plant explosives in the shield bunker from Return of the Jedi, before the Death Star Starkiller could be trench-runned into oblivion. 

    I think stealing the plot for the original so blatantly did help retain the feel of the original trilogy and made some sense for the first of the new films, but it felt a bit heavy-handed.  And seeing all the familiar faces was excellent. I thought Luke in particular did very well with his one moment of screentime. Having R2 just sit sleeping in a corner the entire time, holding the map that everybody is dying to get their hands on, until he decides to wake up in the third act... that's lazy storytelling.

    Most of the new characters were great, at least on the Light side. Finn, Rey and Po were well developed and likable, which makes the next films very promising indeed. But the new dark side characters... eh. Kylo Ren wasn't a villain, he was a whiny little boy with a bad attitude. Captain Phasma did nothing, except let StarKiller Base be destroyed, and Snoke's all CG giant hologram was well over the top. It will be interest ing to see if he does indeed turn out to be Plagueis. The First Order was set up nicely, and the over-arcing bad guy group, but none of the individual characters seemed particularly strong or terrifying.

    The final lightsaber fight it was fun to watch, but Ren has been trained to handle a blade for years and Rey was apparently picking one up for the first time. Skill with a lightsaber isn't something that the force can impart instantly; she wouldn't have stood a chance. It took Luke years, and 3 films, to develop the level of fighting skill seen in ROTJ.

    I understand why killing Han was useful in moving the story away from the original cast, and focusing on the newer, younger cast, but come on. If you are going to kill off Han Solo, either do it in a cool way, a way that involves a meaningful sacrifice, or a way that enhances the villainy of the bad guy. Granted, there is a chance he isn't dead, but I expect them to play that card on Kylo Ren for the next film, and having neither one of them actually die would be too much. They should have killed off Leia instead.

    The one other thing that just felt wrong was the incessant use of TIEs and X-wings in atmosphere. In the OT, there were always separate vehicles used for surface combat; speeders, imperial walkers, speederbikes, etc. TIEs and X-wings were reserved for space combat.

    All that being said, though, I did enjoy it very much while watching, up until the point that they killed Han. And it did nail the feel of the original trilogy pretty well, which is only a good thing.

  • I think this "Han might be alive" business is wishful thinking. He got Qui-Gonned, before falling down a deep hole into an exploding planet. Even a character in the Fast & Furious series would be dead at the end of that.

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