infinite zest - 2015-12-20 I saw it on thursday.. I wasn't paying too much attention but I guess if you like Star Wars then you like this one. Sometimes it takes 200 million to not reinvent the wheel I guess.
infinite zest - 2015-12-20 I guess I'm pretty lucky to have grown up with Star Wars, in a way, even though the movies came out before I did, so I missed all of the cynicism. In Murray's case was that more based on the nerd rage we're experiencing today or more like the dad-rage who spent Christmas eve looking for the last Boba Fett in the city?
Xenocide - 2015-12-20 I make fun of Star Wars a lot but the original three movies really are something special. They managed to build up so much good will that decades later, people willingly sat through two whole movies worth of Hayden Christensen, just because they had Star Wars in the title. In the second one, he tries to have emotions! It's amazing.
RedRust - 2015-12-20 @ EvilHomer
I found it off-putting how Han Solo acted like a giddy schoolboy in regards to Chewie's bowcaster. Would he not already know its capabilities by now?
EvilHomer - 2015-12-21 That's a good point, RedRust! Han had known about Chewie's bowcaster for some forty years, and if he was completely jaded to it back in The Original Trilogy, why would he suddenly be such a schoolboy about it now?
I think the answer is "pure smark": it's a nostalgic and somewhat interesting weapon which never got properly put-over in the first three films, so they decided to have their main carder give it a push.
Oscar Wildcat - 2015-12-21 I don't know this for a fact, but I'll hazard a guess that there's a few hundred shipping containers of plastic bowcasters sitting in a port in Shenzhen just waiting for that scene to play out across American theatres.
EvilHomer - 2015-12-20 Oh my fucking god, that movie made no sense.
Xenocide - 2015-12-20 I know, right? Like, how the hell is "Ben" short for "Obi-Wan?" There's no letter "e" in his proper name!
Everything else made sense.
EvilHomer - 2015-12-20 I should point out that I enjoyed it, I was thoroughly entertained by it, but the plot holes and spotty character development...!
EvilHomer - 2015-12-20 I don't wanna get into all the problems, because I don't want to spoil the film for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, but I'll give you one example: the Not-Death-Star, later in the film, you learn that it powers itself up by cannibalizing its own star. Once it absorbs that star entirely, so the bad guys say, the Not-Death-Star is ready to fire and kersplode about a half dozen planets.
OK, but what about the FIRST time the Not-Death-Star was fired?
Which star did the Not-Death-Star cannibalize so as to fire that first time? Clearly, the system in which the Not-Death-Star was built still had its primary sun, right up until the final act of the movie. I suppose the system *might* have originally been a binary system, but we are never told this, and even that answer would beg the question of, well, what happens once the Not-Death-Star is fired for the second time? There don't appear to be any other stars in the system; once the second firing sequence is done, the Not-Death-Star is going to be out of ammo, permanently. They'd better hope destroying a maximum of maybe ten or twelve planets is going to be enough to stop a galaxy-spanning Republic which consists of tens of millions of habitable worlds, because once the second round of firing is done, the poor First Order will be left sitting on a frozen, sunless, quadrillion-credit paper-weight!
EvilHomer - 2015-12-20 Other things to consider (without going into too many details): what *exactly* was the relationship between the Republic, the Resistance, and the First Order, and why wasn't it just the Republic vs The First Order? Why was Finn so cowardly and incompetent, given that he was apparently trained to be a Stormtrooper since birth? How could Rey, a girl who grew up in the middle of a desert and barely even knew of the Jedi's existence let alone what they were capable of, suddenly learn how to do a very specific Jedi Force trick, at the most convenient time possible? What was the deal behind that soap-opera style resurrection scene, for a character whom nobody had a chance to get attached to in the first place? Why didn't Finn take over That Character's role in the story, instead of continuing to be useless? etc etc etc
Also, hello? Coruscant to JJ Abrams, the Galaxy has more than just HUMANS in it, you speciesest neanderthal. WHERE ARE MY TWI'LEK GIRLS?!
Oscar Wildcat - 2015-12-20 So tell us more about these Star Wars of yours, EH. I want the Serious Breeze here, and I know you've got the dope. Thing is, I will likely never actually get around to seeing the thing, so you have a golden opportunity to completely pollute my understanding of it. I will only know of this Star War through you.
EvilHomer - 2015-12-20 The Republic was at war with the First Order, only it wasn't. The Republic ruled the galaxy, and the First Order was resisting it - except the First Order wasn't fighting the Republic, it was fighting the Resistance. The Resistance wasn't getting help from the Republic, except when it was, and the First Order was fighting the Resistance, but not the Republic... at least until it decided, fuck it, we should destroy the Republic too.
Frankly, I suspect that the only reason Force Awakens included that convoluted "Resistance" nonsense at all, was because Abrams and Co. wanted to keep the whole "Empire = Bad, Rebels = Good" conceit - only they'd been painted into a corner by the fact that, by this point, the Republic would have been the Empire, and the First Order would have been the Rebels. So to get around this, they made up some vaguely Rebelly-sounding name for the faction which should have just been the Republic all along.
EvilHomer - 2015-12-20 Oh god, and don't even get me started on how flat the characters were. I have no clue who Rey is, besides uber-powered Luke Skywalker daughter, and Finn just seems to be the slightly-less obnoxious, slightly-more PC JatrJar Binks. Poe is unnecessary, Not-R2D2 is R2D2, General Not-Moff-Tarkin is... a twat, maybe? And Kylo, I actually sort of liked his character, but he didn't get enough screen-time, and the way the film was paced, I doubt he ever will. (it seemed like, every time the movie got to a point where the characters could sit down and talk and maybe go through a bit of character development, something blew up and laughs were had and then BOOM BOOM BLASTO time for another exciting action sequence. In other words, it was a JJ Abrams film.)
Don't get me wrong, the characters were better than what we got in the Prequel trilogy, and I actually sort of liked the cast this time around. But there were too many laughs and thrills and exciting sequences in which space stuff blew-the-fuck-up for the film's own good.
EvilHomer - 2015-12-20 Oh, and screw blasters. Blasters are lame. If you're going to have an action-oriented Star Wars, give us lightsaber duels, dammit!
I swear to god, more people get killed by Chewie's bowcaster than get killed by a lightsaber, which is a damn shame, especially given this movie's priorities.
EvilHomer - 2015-12-20 And what happened to Finn's commanding officer? Did they throw her into the trash compactor, or what? Hell, why did she even agree to lower the entire bases' shields in the first place?! Yeah, some dedication to duty there. No wonder Finn was such a cuck, if he was trained by an officer who'd be perfectly willing to help saboteurs cripple her army's most important asset.
EvilHomer - 2015-12-20 OK, I'm shutting up now. It's like one in the morning, I'm very manic, and I've been up since three AM yesterday.
So, so tired of all these Star Wars.
EvilHomer - 2015-12-21 FIVE HOURS LATER, I AWAKEN.
One last thing, because I was thinking about this all night: I'm really disappointed in how Sueish Rey was. I think that's probably my biggest regret about the film; that final scene, where she's climbing the mountain, I almost felt *resentment* against her, which is sad because I really wanted to like her character.
The Original Trilogy was a coming of age story, and a lot of fanboys shitted on Luke for not being tough enough, not being Han Solo-enough; but I think Luke's vulnerability was one of the real strengths of the first three films. The threat was always there, the tension was never lifted: in A New Hope, Luke and his friends eventually won the battle, but they clearly weren't winning the war. Darth Vader was still a serious threat - he killed the most powerful Good Guy, and the Rebels only really survived his wrath because they ran away from him. Then, in the Empire Strikes Back, the Rebels came out of it *even worse*: Vader kicked the heroes' asses! It was clear that Luke was still no match for Darth, and the heroes needed a lot of work if they were to stand a chance during the final battle.
But now Abrams has already undersold his Vader, and there's no sign of a suitably menacing replacement. Don't get me wrong, as I said yesterday I really liked Kylo Ren - he was the most fleshed out and believable of the new characters, and I loved that he was moody, prone to tantrums, and even a bit childish; a new Anakin, convincingly Dark Sided yet quite distinct from Vader. HOWEVER. Letting Rey beat Kylo, repeatedly, despite the fact that she has absolutely no formal Jedi training of her own, it totally deflates the tension and transforms her from a relatably vulnerable hero whom we want to grow, into an obnoxious Mary Sue.
I loved how Rey and friends destroyed the Starkiller Base, I gave a standing ovation at the showdown between Han and Kylo, but the final duel was a giant fart right in the audience's collective faces. It either should have taken two or three heroes, working at the same time, to bring Kylo down, OR the heroes should have had their asses saved by some deus ex machina - like, oh, say, the planet fissuring! You don't save the villain through dumb luck, you save the inexperienced and out-of-her depths hero.
As it is, I almost have no interest in seeing what Rey does next. She's already managed to roflstomp the second-most powerful villain in the series so far (the FIRST TIME she ever picked up a lightsaber!), so now that she's getting her Yoda-training from Luke, it's obvious that evil stands no chance.
EvilHomer - 2015-12-21 I mean, shit, even Obi-Wan barely won his first duel against the Prequel Trilogy's own initial Big Bad - it took two fully-trained Jedis almost ten minutes of simultaneous kung-fu fighting to bring down Maul. And please note, even THAT was a disappointment: killing Maul was one of the worst mistakes in the Phantom Menace, but at least it was sort-of, kind-of justifiable, in that audiences have already seen that Obi-Wan is going to be a badass, and the overall story is less about his growth and more about Anakin's. Force Awakens has no such excuse.
Callamon - 2015-12-21 It did take 2-3 heroes to bring down kylo ren. Chewie shot him with the bowcaster that han spent half the movie talking up. Finn fought him, then finally Rey fought him.
Oscar Wildcat - 2015-12-21 So, to recap : m2f trannie Luke beats up Jim Henson's Vader Babies and takes another whack at the Death Star Pinata. Is that it?
EvilHomer - 2015-12-21 Callamon - sort of, but not really. Kylo goes three rounds against three heros, which isn't the same as one villain going against multiple heros at once (as was teh case with Maul). Yes, he was "injured" by Chewie, and yes, he was also "injured" by Jar Jar, but those were essentially one-on-one battles (further diminishing his credibility as a threatening villain) and his injuries clearly weren't the determining factor in his loss to Mara Katarn; rather, it was the Miss Kyle Jade's super saiyan lightsaber skills that carried the day.
The core problem here is: Kylo shouldn't have lost. At best, it should have taken the combined might of all three heroes simultaneously to fight him to a draw.
Consider Vader. The reason why *Vader* was such a convincing and memorable villain was that he was never actually beaten in a straight-up fight until the third film, and even then, it was not Luke's physical prowess, but Vader's inner emotional and spiritual conflict that broke him! The fact that Rey, on the very first occasion she picked up a lightsaber, was able to defeat Kylo, supposedly Luke's star pupil and the heir-apparent to Darth Vader, both oversells the hero (turning her into an obnoxious Mary Sue), and undersells her opponent (meaning there's not going to be much at stake for the remaining films, particularly if they bring Kylo back as a recurring character). I'm all for making Rey into a powerful character, or at least hinting at her potential; Rey could have gotten a couple good hits in without diminishing the film. But ultimately, we should have been left feeling like it was the heroes who barely escaped with their lives - not the other way 'round.
Oscar: yes, more or less!
My tl;dr review - "Force Awakens" was "A New Hope", remade with better action sequences, dumber characters and plot.
Oscar Wildcat - 2015-12-21 Ladies take note: with the power of the Strap On, you are undefeatable!
Also: Jar Jar, you say? YES! Please tell me Bea Arthur is reprising her role as the lounge singer in the ORIGINAL Star Wars Holiday Special.
I'd just like to reiterate that I did not hate it, I enjoyed the experience, and I think most fans (unless they're horrible autistic nerds like myself) will be perfectly happy with this film. I liked the ideas behind the new characters, just not always the execution, and most of the film's problems don't really start becoming apparent until the second half, by which point the constant barrage of action will have probably numbed you to everything anyway.
EvilHomer - 2015-12-21 Oscar - by "Jar Jar", I mean Finn. I was doing a sketch of Jar Jar dressed as Finn this morning, and according to some of my co-workers, I am hardly the first person to make that comparison!
I do like Finn, and I think he could be a great character, although he's often presented as the film's comic relief, occupying his own distinct spot somewhere between C3P0, Han Solo, and Jar Jar Binks. *Unlike Jar Jar*, Finn is legitimately funny; he got a lot of laughs from the audience, which was neat to see. But again, by about halfway through the film, the bumbling and prat-falling started getting old. A few jokes here or there are fine, but this guy was supposed to be a life-long Stormtrooper, and you saw less and less of that backstory as the film wore on.
EvilHomer - 2015-12-21 I also really enjoyed Poe, but I can't for the life of me figure out why they did with him what they did. He was a cool character with some great lines and real vulnerabilities, but we didn't have much time to get attached to him, and he would have worked far better as the Kamina to Finn's Simon.
Callamon - 2015-12-23 I kind of want to shoot you then have a couple of my mates take turns on you now.
Scrotum H. Vainglorious - 2015-12-20 I'm tired of SW too! I'll probably wait until they hit Netflix as I really don't like going to the theater these days. How were the crowds when you went?
The upside to the new SW flicks is that we get to look forward to the stroke guy to review them.