Spoiler Alert. Star Wars The Force Awakens.

If you haven’t seen the movie, you probably won’t want to read further.

So, I assume a lot of us saw it over the break. What are your thoughts?

Overall it’s a great movie and I give it a thumbs up.

It’s far from perfect though. I hated the yet-another-deathstar thing, the lightsaber fights were super lame (one of the things I actually really enjoyed about the prequels - a fighting style that suggests powers that lie beyond human capabillity, not that clumsy bashing), the super perfect girl that could pull jedi mind tricks out of nowhere and kicked kylo ren’s ass just like that who is supposed to be the pure incarnation of power and it’s violent abuse - c’mon :unamused:
Also what I didn’t like is that in-your-face nostalgia. I see what they are doing. I GET why they are doing it. But do you really have to cram every reference to the old movies in you could think of? That was really going overboard and appealing to the “back then everything was better”-folks.
Also: of course the prequels were far from perfect but they established a Star Wars universe that is complex and has a lot of depth. There is a senat, there are politicans, there are conflicting interests, there are extremely interesting locations like courouscant that could offer so much story telling wise. Especially since that stuff is already introduced and established now and could just be used without overloading the new movie like it did the prequels.
But the force awakens of course had to show it’s disgust for the prequels by completely ignoring 100% of it to appease the fanboys and opted for yet a new desert planet, a new ice planet, a new death star, and so on - we know nothing about. They missed the opportunity to tie all six movies from before together to make a coherent universe that offers an interesting “light” story on top but leaves a lot of “depth” underneath for the fanboys to discuss. Basically marrying the complexity of the universe of EP I-III with the character, charme and adventure of EP IV-VI. That would have been the movie I was hoping for. But of course we couldn’t get that. Because nostalgia.
Everything else I didn’t mention I found great though :smiley: Big Fan of BB8
I give it a solid 7.5/10

3 stars.

It was #4, A New Hope, without the wow factor.

#4 had the Imperial Cruiser flying overhead, light sabers, death star, etc. #5 had the Imperial Walkers, Yodi pulling an x-wing out of the muck, “I am your father”. #6 had the giant Jaba, a sand worm that digests you for 1000 years. I could go on, and even for 1, 2 and 3, they all had something where you went “wow”.

#7 - The x-wings had a new paint job? The death star was bigger? Not that much “wow”. Except of course Luke’s hair and beard. I figured he made Rey climb to the top so he could get the full effect of the wind going through the hair.

The new characters were excellent. The acting was great. Special effects outstanding. And a solid story.

Couple of things that I don’t get. Kylo wearing a mask? Makes him a wannabe, hardly menacing, more sad than anything. R2 waking, machines have the force? Lord Voldemort as the new emperor.

What my hope for 8 and 9 is the Rey back story isn’t cheesy. The Darth Vader back story was dreck.

I enjoyed the first 60% of the film, and then my attention started waining. Thinking about it after the fact, I agree a lot with IAB - it felt like a recycled film with someone checking the “ordinary teenage girl turned superhero” box ala Hunger Games, Divergent, etc.

How many death stars are we going to blow up? Why won’t someone just realize if they put some rebar over the exhaust ports it’ll keep the photon torpedos out?

The Kylo reveal kind of killed it for me. When I see Adam Driver all I can think about his him awkwardly doing it with Lena Dunham after my wife made me watch Girls. And that’s a horrifying image to intertwine with star wars. I agree with the mask comment…darth vaders face was all messed up at least, and the storm trooper was a horde army. But he just got the cool mask because it was cool, but then takes it off anytime somebody asks nicely? He should’ve just gotten a hat like the Angry ginger kid.

I was never a huge Starwars fan to begin with, so I felt pretty meh by the end of it. It had good effects, but I kind of emotionally dismissed it after Han Solo died. I enjoyed the first half at least when I still felt like it was building up to something more than a quick detonation of an entire planet.

Also, how do they build an entire planet sized deathstar AGAIN without the Republic fleet catching wind of it, when they can pinpoint the Millenium Falcon in 65 seconds???

I’m with you on the bigger death star. I didn’t mind the only slightly evolved x wings. I was a little confused as to why they were the “resistance” though. With the empire gone, and the Republic in control it seemed as though they would just be the dudes.

Overall I enjoyed at at more like 90% though. I thought Rey and Fin were great characters and had fun energy the way Han and Luke did in the originals. Po seemed flat. Some of the Nostalgia was fun “Is there a trash compacter around here”… some of it landed flat for me, the holographic cheese game accidentally popping up.

The story had holes of course… How does Han loose the Millennium Falcon, and then after it running for 10 minutes just happen to be right in the neighborhood? After all that would Han and Luke really turn their backs in the face of evil… for 20 years? I thought the Storm Troopers were clones?Really, Fin didn’t look around the ship a little more to find Po? Can’t anybody do file sharing in this galaxy? Everything has to be stored on physical thumb drives in droids? … but hey, I don’t think Star Wars has to have an iron clad plot.

The thing I liked the most was the return to the slower pace. The originals were pretty slow. A little action, a conversation, a couple of light saber smashes, and “Hey, I’m actually your dad!” “Nooooo”… I liked that return to a more measured pace. Who is Kylo Ren… he’s Han and Leia’s son… Is Rey their daughter… nope, probably Luke’s daughter… the could just tell you all this stuff in 10 minutes, but then you would have to fill the rest of the 2 hours with Jar Jar Binks and a bunch of kung fu… and boom, you’d have episodes I,II, and III which I just thought were boring. Didn’t learn anything germane to the plot in any of the prequels.

Overall I think JJ did a good job. Shockingly, I liked the Star Treks he did better. I always was a Star Wars kid, never really got into the Treks ad a young one, but JJ’s Treks were pretty awesome I thought.

I got tickets to see it again on NYE so maybe my opinion will flatten with the second viewing. :slight_smile:

Also, this was my favorite quote:

“Is That Possible?”

“I Never Ask That Question Until After We’ve Done It.”

Harrison Ford was easily the best actor in the original Trilogy, he seemed to be on the stiff side in this one until his final scene with Kylo Ren… other than that quote. :slight_smile:
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Loved it, need to see it again. Abrams, Kennedy, and all others involved in the making of this film had a LOT of constituencies to make happy, and they did a fine job of meeting that requirement. As a reboot and atonement for the sins of the #1-3 movies, The Force Awakens was very satisfying.

I knew (as a born-in-the-70’s-Star-Wars-fan) that I was being pandered to, that red meat was going to be thrown my way every five minutes with nostalgic imagery borrowed from the original trilogy. I did not give one gundarkian crap. Opening title with plot crawl? Millenium Falcon “that piece of junk” introduction? Even dorky-ass C3PO being a dorky ass? Check check check. Give me more of that red meat, fill this reboot film with red meat, get everything back on track.

Most of the critical reviews I’ve read try to dissect the film’s plot, why they were sad that Solo died, why Rey can use the Force right off the bat. All valid arguments which could have improved the screenplay a little bit. There were too many coincidences as well - like Han and Chewie managing to be in the vicinity of the Falcon, or that the Falcon was just sitting there ready to fly. What’s that thing the Pixar chief says? Something about its OK to use coincidences to get the protagonists into more trouble, but not OK to get them out of trouble. The Force Awakens overuses the coincidences in this regard.

For sheer visual pleasure and cathartic satisfaction I am unequivocally stoked about this film. I like the characters especially Kylo Ren, who throws epic temper tantrums that HEY LUCAS visually show what it means to ‘give in to your anger and hatred’!

ID/UX content: Did anyone notice the glass display screens in the rebellion HQ? And how they resemble the glass display screens in Empire? There’s a scene in Empire when the evacuation from Hoth is starting; there’s a woman sitting at the glass console who is looking at the ‘screen’, saying “standby ion control…fire”. You may notice that the ‘screens’ are static, that the audience must suspend disbelief and ‘imagine’ that there are moving elements or information on the screen that she is making use of. However - you can clearly see that the ‘display’ is static, its just white paint on the glass. In The Force Awakens, they are still using these types of screens, but now they actually animate in a nice e-ink sort of way.

My favorite line from TFA was “that’s not how the Force works”. Going to get a lot of mileage out of that one.

Have you seen the titter handle “Emo Kylo Ren”?


Yes, easily the best twitter usage to date.

I didn’t mind the general old fan pandering, I think they did a good job with that and I was fine with the Xwing paint jobs. And at one point they mention the storm troopers and say “That’s why we used to use clones”, pointing out that at some point thereafter they started stealing babies (in which case I’d probably question why more storm troopers weren’t “defective”).

I also felt a bit like Finn, coming from a world of murder and training should have had “less” personality and shown him evolve from generally mindless trooper into more deep and meaningful character over 3 films, but it seems to happen way too fast. Is there a break room on the death star where the storm troopers can Netflix and Chill?

I finally got around to seeing it. I thought it was a lot of fun. I felt like there were a handful of scenes that were really engineered for emotional impact that drove the whole experience. …like Han seeing Leia for the first time after returning, etc. Interesting in a lot of ways… you don’t see a lot of older folks engaged in romance in hollywood films, but at the same time, it was still pretty light… they just hugged?

The story seems a little rehash and trite, but didn’t impact the fun of it. I’m really hoping for some twists as the other two films develop.

Yo - funny you mentioned file sharing. I was watching “A New Hope” last night, and the first quarter of the movie is Vader trying to get back the stolen deathstar plans; as if something like that wouldn’t be on a bunch of computers and droids immediately after receiving it. Funny to frame this stuff all up in a pre-DRM/IP time.

At the end of the movie, I’m left with two main questions -
Where did Rey come from? She just learned she had the force, and then totally kicked Kylo Ren’s ass? Does that mean that she is a force anomaly like Anakin/Vader? does that mean that she is an immaculate conception, or the offspring of Luke, or Obi Wan?
Vvader had in the prequels…

ah, good catch. Missed that. Maybe with the Empire collapse they lost the ability to clone at that scale and had to resort to baby snatching in the First Order…

I caught the same thing when I rematched them over the Thanksgiving holiday. The funny thing is the plans were “beamed” to the ship in a transition, which they tracked. So they had the foresight to think about sending files digitally, just not that you would post them on drop box and pop a link on RedIt :slight_smile: I guess the Rebellion didn’t have WikiLeaks…

Actually Stormtroopers never were a clone troopers. After the fall of the Republic the clone army (which was aging rapidly because of their “design” to age very fast) was successively replaced by “normal” humans. Much cheaper and the empire had basically unlimited human resources. Clones are good for war times. They “regrow” very fast and are highly skilled - but also expensive. But because they got old very quickly they were not suitable for a standing army. By the time of Episode IV (which is ~20-30 years after the clone wars) all clones were retired already. This also explains their bad aim :wink: They are just not Boba Fett clones anymore.

I loved all of it. I’m with Slippy, in that I wanted all the pandering and wanted more of it. I’m willing to look past all of the minor plot foibles, and leave it as is. It’s not like any of the other movies, on their own, were masterpieces of writing. It was the whole Universe we were all enthralled with, and will continue to be enthralled with.

Where the lightsabers may have lacked, the flying scenes surely made up for it, ten-fold. Rey “stalling” the Falcon so Fin could get a better shot at the Tie fighter blew my mind. At that point I could see that they’re setting her up as someone who has a natural ability to use the Force without being taught to use it, which also makes sense further along in the story as she begins to use it against Kylo Ren.

I’m excited for the next two, but nervous as they’re not going to have JJ Abrams at the helm. And now he’s come out as saying he regrets giving up on 8 and 9. But, hopefully it’s all good. I did appreciate that the very first line of dialog was “This will make up for everything” or something to that effect. I need to see it again…

I saw it on opening day and left the theater a little unsure about it. I knew I liked it overall, but I wasn’t sure just HOW MUCH. I think maybe the freshness of it was throwing me off because, lets be clear, this film in no way resembled the Prequels - which for better or for worse is the trajectory the franchise had previously been on.

After letting it marinade for a few days, I found my perceptions and emotional reactions to it becoming more and more favorable. “Yes, I like this movie and am happy with where this is all going”.

Then I saw it again a couple days ago and I think that locked it in for me: I loved this movie! A few misses here and there, but overall I am totally on board with this - warts and all!

Last night, for kicks, the GF and I decided to rewatch the previous films starting with Ep I. We were both shocked to find that even though we didn’t love the prequels, we now went further and agreed that there was no need to ever watch that one again. Ever. Tonight we’ll be tackling EpII and I think chances are good this one could be the same.

In other words, I liked this new film SO much that it has completely ruined whatever credit I was willing to give the prequels. I’m not quite sure how much sense that even makes as I’m still trying to sort through my reactions and the reasoning behind them, but as it stands right now, this one sequel has potentially rendered the prequels absolutely unwatchable for me.

I think Abrams has a good vision for depicting speed, vertigo, motion, acceleration. The X-Wing battles were awesome; they felt immersive like the best video games. And holy sh*t hyperspace.

slippyfish - Your review is probably the best way to describe it for me - I loved the constant feeding of the “red meat”. Seems like the filmmakers really tried to understand what made the OT so endearing and to try and atone for the PT.

Bonus: NOT ONE single mention of a midichlorian at all!!! The force is back to being that weird, mystical, ethereal presence that it was in the OT - not relegated to little more than a rare blood infection (I still cannot understand WTF Lucas was attempting with that).

BTW - anybody notice JJ going crazy with the lens flares like he usually does? I spotted a few, especially at the beginning, but then it seemed to quiet down.

Kylo was probably emotionally drained from killing his own father. He also got shot in the gut by Chewy with a blaster a few minutes before so he wasn’t exactly feeling 100%. Lastly, Kylo is just an apprentice who has probably only been barely trained in lightsaber combat. We know this because at the end of the movie, Snoke said that he would complete Kylo’s training. His fight against Rey was probably one of his first ever fair fights against someone who knows how to use the force. And Rey didn’t exactly kick Kylo’s ass. She was losing for most of the fight until the very end.

It’s also possible that Rey has been trained in the Force but doesn’t remember it. She has all of these flashbacks, especially when she touches Luke’s lightsaber, so maybe she was trained but her memory was erased or who knows what else. The point is that there are two other movies left that will probably explain this. Even if they don’t explain it, it’s perfectly plausible that she could have beaten Kylo since he was suffering from a fatal gun shot, was not that experienced with lightsaber combat, and she is exceptionally powerful in the force.

Don’t confuse over-complication with depth.

I would argue that the prequels are actually so over complicated that the story gets completely lost. The motivations of the characters are unclear, and everyone seems sort of stupid/blind to what Palpatine was doing. The prequels had the chance to be like “Breaking Bad” but in space with magic (the transformation of a good person to an evil tyrant). But instead we got some weird movie about trade tariffs and blockades or something.

You have some interesting points but don’t forget, there are still at least 2 more movies that could very likely explain all of this. Think about what you knew immediately after watching “A New Hope”. There were so many unanswered questions that eventually came to the surface.

My only criticism is the third death star thing. It was just so unoriginal and so stupid. The rest of the movie was so good that I can live with it, though. I give it a 9/10

But that’s a looooot of slack you are cutting there for EP VII, don’t you think? :wink: The amount of slack people never were willing to cut for anything from the prequels.

What I am trying to say is that the biggest weakness of the original trilogie was that the world itself felt kinda “small”. Everything was created around specific story requirements without really fleshing things out. Which is natural because back then the univers was pretty young.
What was the biggest weakness of the original movies is actually the biggest strength of the prequels: they give you this “galagtic feel”. The world feels huge and full of stuff, cultures and individuals that still could be discovered. Not talking about character developement, story, acting, whatever, here. (Even though people like to forget that Episode III was actually a really solid, good movie… yes, go check the imdb score, I’m not the only one :stuck_out_tongue: )
My critique is that EP VII misses to have that vibrant galactic feel for the sake of being nostalgic. A move that I think would not have been necessary.

I also don’t really like the “wait for the next two movies” argument. I didn’t go to the cinema at 00:01 to watch a $200 million “set up” for a movie that will be released in 2-4 years.

I agree with all the above/previous criticisms. I loved SW as a kid, but hardly would say I’m an adult fanboy.

I would give the movie a solid rating of 3.25/5 stars.Good, but not great, and certainly not a classic like the original.

Biggest thing for me, was that the plot was EXACTLY the same as the first SW trilogy kinda just remixed (sorry, not calling it Ep.4 - I like to ignore the prequels as they were just garbage). Young regular kid gets into some trouble, gets dragged into a mission, finds Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon to escape + help of some droids… sandy planet…Giant Death Star has one stupid weakness…regular kid the only one who can defeat it. Boom. Wise old alien gives advice…Someone attacks/kills their father/kid on a bridge…

I also found the pandering to bring everything back from the original just bring and lazy. Why couldn’t it be like “Where’s R2?”…“Oh, he got recycled”. How convenient that the Millennium Falcon is just rusting away junked for 30 years, but still works fine and is full of fuel. And even after they find Leia and the rest of the crew, the Millennium Falcon “junk” ship is still the go to ship to attack the Giant Enemy? They don’t have anything better?

At least it would be been less obvious if at the end Luke Skywalker is not shown and just ends when Rey gets to the top of the mountain.

And how are the only important people in the entire galaxy related? Kylo is Han and Leia’s kid, Luke and Leia are Darth Vader’s kids, Rey is pretty obviously Luke’s kid. Is BB the love child of R2 and C3PO? The old alien with the glasses Yoda’s Mom? All the Ewoks are Chewy’s love-childs?

Movie was entertaining, and since I’m not that much of a fanboy and ignore the prequels, details and plot holes were OK for me. Just found it a bit too light/funny (don’t expect SW to be dark, but too many jokes) and you could see the “twists”/results coming miles away.

Effects were good. Fighter scenes great. Lightsaber battles just look like slamming a bunch of light sabers around like kids play.

New characters were just OK. Finn boring. Rey great. Kylo a baby taking tantrums. The other pilot guy ?

Glad JJ didn’t mess it up, but it felt overall too considered and Disney.