Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby pseudoidiot » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:51 pm UTC

General thoughts that have basically already been said:
Spoiler:
Like others have said the parallels with A New Hope really stood out and a couple were slightly annoying -- another big giant round death weapon? OK. Another beepy droid with important information? OK. But, overall, I didn't care. I had a blast watching the movie. It was a lot of fun. I loved all the new characters, I loved the call backs, I loved seeing old faces.


Further thoughts I don't think I've seen anyone up above mention:
Spoiler:
I really loved the sense of violence from Kylo Ren's actions and lightsaber. The different look and sound of his lightsaber were just really visceral. Every time he brought it out it was like a gut punch. Like, that fucking lightsaber is serious fucking business and he's not fucking around.

It goes for his other actions, too. Like he wasn't portrayed as being this deft and agile force user in the least. When fighting with his lightsaber or just using force powers they were never subtle. I really really dug that about his portrayal on screen.

I also really appreciated how quickly people accepted Finn. I was so happy they didn't go the route of "Oh, you were a Storm Trooper? Well then we can never trust you." Instead it was "Great! You saved Poe, that's good enough for us. And you have inside information, you can help us. Let's do this."
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Drumheller769 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:43 pm UTC

Question about the rebels in the spoiler...

Spoiler:
So I have a question, the rebel alliance in ROTJ has a rather sizable fleet. Where did that go? Why wasn't it around to help assault the First Order?
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Dark567 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:45 pm UTC

Drumheller769 wrote:Question about the rebels in the spoiler...

Spoiler:
So I have a question, the rebel alliance in ROTJ has a rather sizable fleet. Where did that go? Why wasn't it around to help assault the First Order?

Spoiler:
The Rebel Fleet is with the New Republic which has made peace(at least publicly) with the First Order.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:55 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Which is presumably why the First Order wants to complete a secret Galactic Empire doomsday weapon to finish the New Republic off, rather than engage them in fleet battles.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby mosc » Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:51 pm UTC

Seriously should just have a spoiler thread at this point. Fuck people who haven't watched this yet.
Spoiler:
You know, what I want to see most now? Luke's training Ray and whatnot and she sees her friends in trouble. Luke tells her to stick with her training even if it means their death and... she's totally fine with it. Could even comically surprise Luke with the irony of it.

I also kind of want him to talk to force ghosts we, and Ray, can't see. Jedi's throughout time don't stop by, only ones you directly knew so it doesn't make sense that Ray would see/hear them.

I also want Luke to blast mediclorians:
Ray = Where does the force come from?
Luke = Once, people thought it was micro-organisms called mediclorians. Later, we learned these organisms are attracted to those who control the force. Measuring them can be used to detect force sensitives, as it was done in the old republic to start children on the path to the jedi but they are not the source of the force.
Ray = The force was always in me?
Luke = The force is everywhere and in everything, good and evil, light and dark. It is the Jedi's crusade to keep the balance of the force. Jedi's believe in the chaotic nature of freewill in balance with the shared need of the greater good.

I loved me some Jedi = Balance, Sith = Chaos (more than good/evil) TFA. Anakin brought balance not by balancing the number of Sith vs Jedi but by killing the emperor. Sith imbalance the force.

Also, I'm hoping Ray is not related to Luke/Leia. Everyone in this story doesn't need to be related. Fin is not secretly related to Lando, right?
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Dark567 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:39 pm UTC

mosc wrote:
Spoiler:
I loved me some Jedi = Balance, Sith = Chaos (more than good/evil) TFA. Anakin brought balance not by balancing the number of Sith vs Jedi but by killing the emperor. Sith imbalance the force.
Spoiler:
Something they hinted at in the prequels(which the new trilogy probably will do away with) is that Qui-Gon is really the one to have the best idea of the force. He was a little bit more open to emotion than the robotic Jedi and did approach things as arrogantly. I think one of the deeper lessons of the prequels is that just as much as Anakins fear and love for Padme helped ruin the Jedi, the Jedi were ruined because they couldn't empathize with him or for that matter the general population of the Republic(who saw the Jedi as a walled up secretive organization/cult). Anakin and Luke bring balance to the Force not by ignoring their feelings, but by Anakin empathizing with Luke, Luke empathizing with Anakin, Leia, Han and the others. The correct view of the force isn't to remain good by isolating yourself from caring about anything, but to still care and still resist the temptation, which is actually much harder.


mosc wrote:
Spoiler:
Also, I'm hoping Ray is not related to Luke/Leia. Everyone in this story doesn't need to be related. Fin is not secretly related to Lando, right?
Spoiler:
If Rey is a Skywalker and Finn Lando's kid I might puke. Occasionally people don't need to be related. Its big damn galaxy.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:47 pm UTC

Drumheller769 wrote:Question about the rebels in the spoiler...

Spoiler:
So I have a question, the rebel alliance in ROTJ has a rather sizable fleet. Where did that go? Why wasn't it around to help assault the First Order?


I wondered about that too.

Spoiler:
They mention that a good chunk of their fleet has been wiped out WHILE talking about the fighter squadron's attack on the superweapon....the context leads one to believe that the TIE squadron(s) ARE the fleet. Which, from a star wars movie perspective, feels off in scale.

I mean, this is literally a movie series about wars among the stars. And it feels like one side didn't show up to that fight. It's a little odd

That said, I really enjoyed the movie. It ain't on the level of the prequels or anything, just...the worldbuilding was occasionally odd. New republic, cool! Oh, never mind, it's gone. I guess knowing about the resistance vs the republic and whatever isn't really that important.

Rey is definitely a skywalker, and that's fine. Luke leaving his kid and the map on the same planet is a reasonable thing to do, and at least marginally lessens the sin of convenience there. I mean, sure, it's still a whole world, but it's no worse than Luke running straight into Yoda...

Tossing Lando's kid in there as well would just be a really implausible coincidence, and would also set up the old crew in an amazing competition for Crappy Parents of the Century.

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Mambrino » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:10 pm UTC

Spoiler:
mosc wrote:
I loved me some Jedi = Balance, Sith = Chaos (more than good/evil) TFA. Anakin brought balance not by balancing the number of Sith vs Jedi but by killing the emperor. Sith imbalance the force


I didn't read that opening line like that, just that Kylo slaughtered all the padawans (who didn't join his "Knights of Ren" gang presumably?) there are not jedi enough for balance... maybe Luke doesn't even call himself a jedi anymore after that failure so there are no more...

--

The Lucasfilm logo took me totally by surprise. First there are some meaningless trailers and suddenly it's there in the glorious twinkling green and lights in theatre are going dark... Of course I knew there would be no 20th Century tune this time around, but still.

The first hour or so was awesome 5/5. (Okay the "old ally" in the beginning didn't get a proper introduction. "Who is this guy, oh he died anyway." However, everything before and after that bit. FN-2???'s reaction at the most brutal fight I think we ever have seen in the movies? Kylo Ren stopping that blaster shot in mid-air. Poe being all "you will get nothing but awesome banter out from me" *cut* "Get that BB-8 unit". Then later Finn's and Poe's escape. Rey's whole introductory sequence, ending in her putting that pilot helmet on -> *this is Star Wars and this is sort of new Star Wars but it feels like Star Wars should feel and what a time to be alive*.

Unfortunately after they got off Jakku the plot-thing started the creep in and bit by bit it turned out it was a quite mediocre one. We certainly got a serving of good J.J. Abrams and bad J.J.Abrams. Only thing Han didn't say when they compared new Death Star Killer "there's always a bigger fish" (...and now when I said that I got a bad ... a good ... erm, a suspicion about what Darths and Droids will do with that scene). Still, there were enough great moments so it wasn't actually that bad but "...meh"?

I understood it's not a secret to anyone in the galaxy that Kylo Ren used to be Ben Solo, and it's a good thing they didn't try to go for a ESB style reveal with that. (There was already a bit too much rehashing of old plot elements. And it might take at least a century and totally different franchise and context before you can redo a reveal like that in a way that it would work.) Kylo as a Vader-wannabe is a good twist. We get a Darth Vader like villain (as far external appearances go) that has a motivation that makes sense and yet still is something unprecedented.

It just might have been better without yet another superweapon, especially a superweapon that had not proper dramatic build-up and which destroyed systems whose names we didn't even hear. Destruction of one planet is a tragedy, but five is already a meaningless statistic. And then it gets destroyed after we barely got to know it.

All the good bits on the later half of the film would have worked (with some minor tweaks) if Starkiller Base would have been just a base, on a regular planet. Or heck, maybe even on that awesome Star Destroyer we saw in the beginning.

I also liked the final light saber duel. Only thing that bothered me was that Palpatine would have been overjoyed if he were to witness it. So much rage and anger.

Numbers are silly but I think they work for this kind of Hollywood movie, so 5/5 and 3/5 average as 4/5, but much depends on how the ep. 8 turns out.

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:25 pm UTC

charliepanayi wrote:
Spoiler:
- Phasma was a bit of a nothing role in the end, seemed a bit of a waste of Gwendoline Christie. Maybe she'll have more to do next time?

Spoiler:
I read some speculation today that's going straight into the ol' headcanon. Namely that Phasma is actually a deep-cover Republic agent. It would make her seem like a significantly less pathetic character in the "you're making a big mistake [pointing your gun at me]" *lowers the shield for the Resistance attack on the vital First Order base with no additional fuss*.

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Lazar » Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:37 pm UTC

Overall I'd say TFA was very good – somewhat better than I was expecting, though not overwhelmingly so. Some impressions (not all of them original):

Spoiler:
For better or worse, it hewed pretty close to ANH and TESB – notably including the plot elements of a droid with secret information stuck on a desert world, and a big round planet buster that needs to be destroyed. Knowing about some of these elements before seeing it, I was afraid that it would seem like a retread, but actually it didn't; I think the saving grace is that the attack on Starkiller is not the central focus of the movie, as the Death Star run was in ANH, but rather a backdrop for some very engaging human drama. (I actually enjoyed the self-aware flippancy with which they dealt with the mission, as if to say, "Eh, fine, how do we destroy this one?") Some commentators have been saying that the movie should have been more aggressive in treading new ground, but I'm not sure that this franchise had the esthetic capital, so to speak, to pull it off. Lucas tried interesting new things in the prequels, and it was fucking terrible. Star Wars is the equivalent of a chef who tried to make an overwrought pièce de résistance and failed miserably, and now needs to prove that they can make an omelet. But that said, I hope the new trilogy breaks out of its shell at least somewhat in episodes VIII and IX. For example, the levels of fanservice in TFA stayed just within the realm of tolerability (to some extent it's a necessary evil), but I'd prefer less going forward. Star Trek Into Darkness is an example of what not to do in this regard – and Abrams, to his credit, has been open about what went wrong with that movie.

The new characters and actors were really good. I'd say that the casting choices were inspired – especially in the case of Daisy Ridley, who was plucked from almost total obscurity and turned in an amazing performance. John Boyega was excellent too, and had great chemistry with both Ridley and Isaac. Oscar Isaac was charming, and I knew that he could act from having seem him in other things; in my mind the only issue with him is that he was somewhat underutilized. Note, of course, that good actors can only take you so far. The cast of the prequels included some fine actors like Neeson, McGregor and Portman, but they were given shit lines and shit direction, so the result was shit.

And Kylo Ren's character was surprisingly good too. I wasn't sure what approach they were going to take with him, but I enjoyed what we saw: an unsure and unstable young villain who's afraid that he can't live up to his hero. It's so refreshing to have a bad guy who's not a masterful, self-assured badass, someone who's finding his way just as much as the good guys are. His crackling lightsaber is emblematic of his incomplete development, and his mask – which he uses only as a prop – demonstrates his insecurity. In his own way he's pathetic, but the writing and Adam Driver's performance make him compelling. He's the sort of character that Anakin should have been in the prequels.

Also I love Gwendoline Christie, but she was basically a non-presence here. I hope we see more of her in the following movies. But even with her few lines she was light years ahead of Darth Maul, the most overrated and childishly designed villain in the whole franchise.

Harrison Ford did really well – unlike in some recent movies where he's given an impression of phoning things in. He's said in the past that he wanted Han to die in ROTJ and has no continuing interest in the character, so I suspect that they were only able to get him back, with a committed performance to boot, if they promised to give him a good death scene. I like that things didn't work out between him and Leia, because that's totally what would happen – he is a scoundrel.

And BB-8 was adorable, managing not to fall into obnoxious territory. Despite what Lucas may think, it's possible to have a cute character that appeals to both children and adults.

Another strength of TFA was the humor. It had many legitimately funny moments, and was probably the most successfully funny movie in the franchise. "That's not how the Force works!" And I loved the moment when two Stormtroopers hear Ren throwing a lightsaber tantrum and immediately turn in the other direction.

And on that topic, I enjoyed the humanization of the Imperial First Order characters, which was reminiscent of the deleted scenes with Jerjerrod in ROTJ. Finn's transformation is the prime example of this – and the Stormtroopers in general seemed at once scarier and more relatable than in previous movies. The officer on Starkiller Base who basically says "fuck it, I'm outta here!" was a nice touch as well.

One other thing I loved was the physicality of the movie. Things in TFA have weight and texture to them – like BB-8, who makes such a pronounced thunk when he slams against the floor of the Falcon. The blaster bolts and lightsaber blades feel dangerous and inflict real damage, and the fight scenes have a visceral simplicity to them. This is in total opposition to the prequels, which took place in a shiny toyland, and in which the saber duels consisted of silly choreographed dancing. In fact, at a couple points during TFA I was struck by the thought that it can't possibly take place in the same esthetic or dramatic universe as the prequels – and the contrast is entirely to the new movie's credit. I love that Episode VII opens with my favorite tortured Swede intoning, "This will begin to make things right."

I do have two main criticisms of the movie. One is that it was very fast-paced, and very dense (in storytelling terms, not in Rick McCallum terms). I had been wondering for some time how the movie would manage to take so many characters and put them in their proper places; the answer is about as well as could be hoped, but as a result we had very little time to pause and take things in. (Game of Thrones has been dealing with the same issue lately.) Now that the world of the sequel trilogy has been set up, I hope that the following movies will be able to slow down somewhat.

The other thing was the score. It was serviceable and included some nice new material like Rey's Theme – but overall it didn't leave much of an impression on me, lacking anything with the sweeping memorability of TESB's Asteroid Theme, ROTJ's The Battle of Endor II, or TPM's Corn on the Cob, Corn on the Kebab. I've seen some say that Williams has "lost it", others that the script simply left little room for surpassing music. (Maybe they're just saving the exciting stuff for later.) Part of me thinks he should pass the torch to someone like Giacchino. Eh, we'll see.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:43 pm UTC

Some pretty serious flaws and places where absolutely moronic plot decisions were made (certainly nothing more egregious than what we've seen in any of the other films), but overall I enjoyed it very much.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby mosc » Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:21 pm UTC

It was just safe. If they make two more safe movies, it'll suck. If they start with a safe movie and go in an interesting direction from a now re-established base then 7 will be well regarded.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:25 am UTC

mosc wrote:It was just safe. If they make two more safe movies, it'll suck. If they start with a safe movie and go in an interesting direction from a now re-established base then 7 will be well regarded.


This sums up my feelings as well. They set the bar... medium (not really "low", but not as high as we'd expect a Star Wars film to be), and absolutely achieved it.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Lazar » Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:43 am UTC

Apparently J.J. likes the script of VIII so much that he wishes he were directing it. Though I think it may be for the best that each movie gets its own director – and based on Brick, Looper and the Breaking Bad episode "Ozymandias", I'd say that Johnson is a good choice. Overall I'm guardedly optimistic.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Weeks » Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:44 am UTC

It'll definitely be interesting to see how the directors handle the material. I don't think they can go too wrong with the new characters. It's now kind of scary how obviously hyped the next movie is going to be, though.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:20 am UTC

Yeah, this one was hyped but the zeitgeist was still wary - the next one will be hyped to lightspeed.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby pseudoidiot » Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:17 pm UTC

Ludicrously so.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Christo » Thu Dec 24, 2015 4:29 am UTC

pseudoidiot wrote:
Further thoughts I don't think I've seen anyone up above mention:
Spoiler:
I really loved the sense of violence from Kylo Ren's actions and lightsaber. The different look and sound of his lightsaber were just really visceral. Every time he brought it out it was like a gut punch. Like, that fucking lightsaber is serious fucking business and he's not fucking around.

It goes for his other actions, too. Like he wasn't portrayed as being this deft and agile force user in the least. When fighting with his lightsaber or just using force powers they were never subtle. I really really dug that about his portrayal on screen.


I'm mostly with you, but remember his introduction where he freezes the blaster shot in mid-air and just leaves it there? That was probably the second most effective setup of bad-assery ever--second only to the Poe's flippant, "Do you speak first? Do I speak first? How does this work?"

So, I thought Kylo was a little inconsistent with his force abilities.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Adacore » Thu Dec 24, 2015 4:56 pm UTC

Spoiler:
I liked the movie, but there was so much fan service and so many original trilogy references/parallels it got kinda ridiculous.

My main complaints were on the treatment of lightsabers: there's no way Finn should be able to hold his own against Kylo Ren for as long as he did unless he's got force potential too; and as Mambrino said, Rey seemed to have so much anger during her climactic lightsaber duel that she was practically channelling the dark side herself.

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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby pseudoidiot » Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:16 pm UTC

Christo wrote:
pseudoidiot wrote:
Further thoughts I don't think I've seen anyone up above mention:
Spoiler:
I really loved the sense of violence from Kylo Ren's actions and lightsaber. The different look and sound of his lightsaber were just really visceral. Every time he brought it out it was like a gut punch. Like, that fucking lightsaber is serious fucking business and he's not fucking around.

It goes for his other actions, too. Like he wasn't portrayed as being this deft and agile force user in the least. When fighting with his lightsaber or just using force powers they were never subtle. I really really dug that about his portrayal on screen.


I'm mostly with you, but remember his introduction where he freezes the blaster shot in mid-air and just leaves it there? That was probably the second most effective setup of bad-assery ever--second only to the Poe's flippant, "Do you speak first? Do I speak first? How does this work?"

So, I thought Kylo was a little inconsistent with his force abilities.
Inconsistency like that doesn't really bother me much. Pretty much any fiction with magic/super powers falls prey to that. It supports the drama and I can live with it.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Lazar » Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:08 pm UTC

Yeah, everyone seems to be a little overpowered here compared to the OT, but I don't think it's a major problem. Even within the OT, the Vader/Obi-Wan duel is pretty underwhelming compared to the later ones with Luke.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby maybeagnostic » Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:56 pm UTC

I liked it. It was every bit as good as I had hoped so lowering my expectations definitely worked. Remained consistently funny and engaging throughout and that's about all it needed to do. The most impressive work was done by their marketing department. Even some people I know who never go to the cinema are getting enough of the hype that they're going to see the movie.

Spoiler:
It was very much a villain's movie. The fact that Rey is Luke's daughter remains to be revealed in the next movie, FN-2187 doesn't even remember anything about his past and pilot-whose-name-I-forget isn't around long enough to matter. Kylo Ren, on the other hand, is front and center to the conflict and drama of this episode. The first hour of introducing us to the new actors and putting them through some lively action-comedy routine comes to a grinding halt as soon as Han and Death Star III appear and then we get to the actual story where Rey and Finn are simply part of the scenery. To that effect, I think the movie would have made a better story if we had followed Kylo throughout and tried to figure out what is up with Finn and where Rey came from, how much they know about what is going on and so on along with him.

We pretty much do that anyway except the movie is so aware it is the beginning of an epic and ridiculously popular trilogy that it can afford to spend nearly half of its runtime setting up things that won't even become important until the following movies. It could have been done more subtly and masterfully but it didn't distract me in the theater so it isn't exactly a big problem on its own.

Starkiller base, on the other hand, was just sooo boring. How many of these things are they going to watch get destroyed? Did anyone doubt even for a moment that it would be*? The first one was already too big to imagine and could destroy planets so making them bigger and more planet-destroyinger isn't making them scarier or more impressive. We witnessed two genocides in a light-hearted action comedy Christmas flick and the movie treated them both like no big deal. First the five(!) planets got destroyed in the same moment as they were introduced and then the (presumably) hundreds of thousands or more Storm Troopers running a planet sized machine got blown up... but we know they are all jannisaries that were kidnapped as children and can break out of their mental conditioning so they aren't really very villainous at all.

At any rate, the new Death Star just brings up the question why we are bothering with the inconsequential squabbles of the jedi and sith. The Empire/First Order clearly has the resource and engineering/scientific know how to build a machine that consumes a star as a warm up. That is so much more interesting and important than what the movie chose to focus on. Kylo Ren is just a slightly more dangerous storm trooper in comparison to a machine that can wipe out a solar system in a day.

*I'd actually convinced myself that they would temporarily disable it and then the rest of the trilogy would be fighting over control of it as it is too big to be destroyed in a single attack but... nope.


About the "duel":
Spoiler:
Beyond the shadow of a doubt, Finn is force sensitive. He breaks out of the mind conditioning, manages to pull off acts of daring no sane person can hope to achieve and stands up to Kylo Ren in single combat with absolutely no training. Several other scenes in the movie show that none of the other storm troopers or officers think they stand a chance around an angry Kylo Ren. So I am calling it right now: the trilogy has Ben Solo, Rey Skywalker, Finn Windu and weird ugly hologram guy is probably Palpatine's clone child or something.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby CannedCourage » Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:26 pm UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:I liked it. It was every bit as good as I had hoped so lowering my expectations definitely worked. Remained consistently funny and engaging throughout and that's about all it needed to do. The most impressive work was done by their marketing department. Even some people I know who never go to the cinema are getting enough of the hype that they're going to see the movie.

Spoiler:
It was very much a villain's movie. The fact that Rey is Luke's daughter remains to be revealed in the next movie, FN-2187 doesn't even remember anything about his past and pilot-whose-name-I-forget isn't around long enough to matter. Kylo Ren, on the other hand, is front and center to the conflict and drama of this episode. The first hour of introducing us to the new actors and putting them through some lively action-comedy routine comes to a grinding halt as soon as Han and Death Star III appear and then we get to the actual story where Rey and Finn are simply part of the scenery. To that effect, I think the movie would have made a better story if we had followed Kylo throughout and tried to figure out what is up with Finn and where Rey came from, how much they know about what is going on and so on along with him.

We pretty much do that anyway except the movie is so aware it is the beginning of an epic and ridiculously popular trilogy that it can afford to spend nearly half of its runtime setting up things that won't even become important until the following movies. It could have been done more subtly and masterfully but it didn't distract me in the theater so it isn't exactly a big problem on its own.

Starkiller base, on the other hand, was just sooo boring. How many of these things are they going to watch get destroyed? Did anyone doubt even for a moment that it would be*? The first one was already too big to imagine and could destroy planets so making them bigger and more planet-destroyinger isn't making them scarier or more impressive. We witnessed two genocides in a light-hearted action comedy Christmas flick and the movie treated them both like no big deal. First the five(!) planets got destroyed in the same moment as they were introduced and then the (presumably) hundreds of thousands or more Storm Troopers running a planet sized machine got blown up... but we know they are all jannisaries that were kidnapped as children and can break out of their mental conditioning so they aren't really very villainous at all.

At any rate, the new Death Star just brings up the question why we are bothering with the inconsequential squabbles of the jedi and sith. The Empire/First Order clearly has the resource and engineering/scientific know how to build a machine that consumes a star as a warm up. That is so much more interesting and important than what the movie chose to focus on. Kylo Ren is just a slightly more dangerous storm trooper in comparison to a machine that can wipe out a solar system in a day.

*I'd actually convinced myself that they would temporarily disable it and then the rest of the trilogy would be fighting over control of it as it is too big to be destroyed in a single attack but... nope.


About the "duel":
Spoiler:
Beyond the shadow of a doubt, Finn is force sensitive. He breaks out of the mind conditioning, manages to pull off acts of daring no sane person can hope to achieve and stands up to Kylo Ren in single combat with absolutely no training. Several other scenes in the movie show that none of the other storm troopers or officers think they stand a chance around an angry Kylo Ren. So I am calling it right now: the trilogy has Ben Solo, Rey Skywalker, Finn Windu and weird ugly hologram guy is probably Palpatine's clone child or something.


It's probably nothing, but...

Spoiler:
When the First Order attacks the Republic's system, there's the slimmest possibility that the short sequence where the people on Maz's planet witness the beam from Starkiller base holds a clue related to Finn's Force-sensitive status. Finn hears screams and then looks up to see the impending destruction, but there are no establishing shots of crowds where he is. Some people have even said that the screams seem identical to the ones heard when the shot switches to the people on the targeted planet.

It's definitely meant to evoke the destruction of Leia's planet on a meta level, but whether Finn senses it like Obi-Wan did is unclear. That is certainly how I read the scene.

I don't think they are related to anyone known, but I'd put money on at least one of them being a part of Luke's fledgling Jedi Order as a young padawan, before Kylo Ren/Snoke tore it down. Considering Obi-Wan's line during Rey's vision, "...these are your first steps...", I'd be more likely to put my money on Finn. If Rey is a long-lost padawan, that's good too, though. :)


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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:04 am UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:About the "duel":
Spoiler:
Beyond the shadow of a doubt, Finn is force sensitive. He breaks out of the mind conditioning, manages to pull off acts of daring no sane person can hope to achieve and stands up to Kylo Ren in single combat with absolutely no training. Several other scenes in the movie show that none of the other storm troopers or officers think they stand a chance around an angry Kylo Ren. So I am calling it right now: the trilogy has Ben Solo, Rey Skywalker, Finn Windu and weird ugly hologram guy is probably Palpatine's clone child or something.


Spoiler:
Finn Windu makes no sense. I know they like to reuse characters, but out of the hundreds of inhabited planets and the billions of billions of citizenry, a Windu line just happening to have a kid taken by the Empire is far, far too convenient. Also, I'll be honest, I like the idea of Finn's life before he defected literally not mattering. He doesn't know, doesn't really care, and it bears no relation whatsoever to where he is now. Then again, I'm a big fan of the repeating pastless Prisoner motif of the Elder Scrolls games.

At this point, odds are 1:3 for Rey being Luke's kid, some random student, or Padme's clone.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:57 pm UTC

Mitichlorians ruined all this because -
Spoiler:
FUCKING FORCE SENSITIVITY SHOULDN"T BE GENETIC. I'm all about continuing the storylines of loved characters, but can't Kylo be badass because he was a badass on his own, not because he was of the Anakin Skywalker lineage?

The best thing about the original series was this notion that any 'ol farm boy could be plucked from his backwater planet and thrown into a galactic conflict, AND MASTER SPACE WIZARDRY SIMPLY BY VIRTUE OF BEING AWESOME AND HAVING A GOOD TEACHER. Putting some stupid genetic component on the whole thing takes away from the accomplishment, and reminds us that heroes are only heroic because their family destiny demands it.

FEH! Fin is a badass because Fin is a bad ass. He isn't Windu's kid - also, I'd love for this universe to have more black people than just Sam Jackson, so that if we see a black person we aren't meant to infer that it's gotta be a relation of Mace.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Lazar » Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:13 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Izawwlgood wrote:The best thing about the original series was this notion that any 'ol farm boy could be plucked from his backwater planet and thrown into a galactic conflict, AND MASTER SPACE WIZARDRY SIMPLY BY VIRTUE OF BEING AWESOME AND HAVING A GOOD TEACHER. Putting some stupid genetic component on the whole thing takes away from the accomplishment, and reminds us that heroes are only heroic because their family destiny demands it.

Luke wasn't any 'ol farm boy, he was the son of a powerful Force user. You could argue that the genetic component was not yet firmly established in ANH, but it certainly was by the time of RotJ, when Luke says, "The Force is strong in my family," and probably even by TESB, when the Emperor says, "The Force is strong with him. The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi." But it was fantasy genetics, the magical kind. The reason why people hate midi-chlorians is that they made Force sensitivity mundane and quantifiable – as if Tolkien had included some scientific technobabble to explain Maiar magic.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Weeks » Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:16 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Lando wasn't related to Windu, and he didn't have anything to do with the Force.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Angua » Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:06 am UTC

It really amazes me how many people see the force as being something that anyone can do. I always thought it was pretty obvious (even from a New Hope) that Luke being a Jedi was pretty connected to his father being a Jedi as well.

I mean, it's always been the same to me as the mechanics of bending from ATLA - you are born with the innate ability, but it requires spiritual growth in order to master. It's a pretty common mechanic with magic in a lot of settings - not everyone can do it, but those who can tend to be more connected to their spiritual side because it draws upon the spiritual nature of the universe.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Weeks » Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:03 am UTC

Also Leia, despite being Luke's brother, barely had anything to do with the Force, besides being able to tell that Luke was alive in Empire.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:18 am UTC

Weren't benders born of non-benders, and vice versa?

And yes, I absolutely presumed that the force was not something genetically predetermined. My issue with mitichlorians had nothing to do with quantifying the force, and everything to do with removing force power from the efforts of the individual. It'd be like if instead of Frodo being able to bear the burden of the Ring through force of will and friendship magic, he was able to do so because Hobbits are inherently anti-ring magic.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Zohar » Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:40 am UTC

Re: Force sensitivity of some characters:
Spoiler:
I'm pretty sure Finn will be able to use the Force. During the village scene at the beginning, when Kylo Ren feels Finn losing his shit, it seemed pretty clear to me it was because he felt the Force from him.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:19 am UTC

Spoiler:
It could have just been because he was the only Storm Trooper not obviously following orders? Or because in a field of Storm Troopers whose thought processes are probably 'Doopa Doopa follow orders secure the perimeter orders orders', there's one dude thinking "WHAT THE FUCKING SHIT OH MY FUCKING GOD THAT GUY DIED THOSE PEOPLE ARE DEAD WHY AM I HERE OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT"
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Wildcard » Sat Dec 26, 2015 7:54 am UTC

Spoiler:
I'm not upset in the slightest that it hews so closely to the plot of the original trilogy. I don't regard it as "fan service" (whatever derogatory connotations that's supposed to have).

To me, it's more like JJ & co. said:

"Okay, the audience likes Star Wars. Our movie is part of the Star Wars franchise. Let's give them Star Wars.
"As opposed to giving them film school crap formulas and crappy angsty terrible writing and bad CGI and some goofy original ideas that aren't Star Wars and just make the movie bad."
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Angua » Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:27 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Weren't benders born of non-benders, and vice versa?

Given that the Jedi didn't seem to do sex and relationships, I would guess that most of them were born of non-Jedi.

Also, given that they seemed to be raised from very young children (even in ESTB Yoda says Luke is 'too old') that's another thing for 'trait one is born with'.

And yes, I absolutely presumed that the force was not something genetically predetermined. My issue with mitichlorians had nothing to do with quantifying the force, and everything to do with removing force power from the efforts of the individual. It'd be like if instead of Frodo being able to bear the burden of the Ring through force of will and friendship magic, he was able to do so because Hobbits are inherently anti-ring magic.

Also, the Hobbits specifically don't perform magic like the other races (they can use magical items, and be effected by it, but they don't have the ability to do it). I'm pretty sure that's implied to be one of the reasons they're good at resisting the ring, because it doesn't call to them in the same way. Also why they are less effected by gold-fever - they are a more 'innocent' race. I mean, an individual hobbit would still need a lot of force of character to be able to resist and let go, but it was still a big factor in why a hobbit had to be chosen to carry the ring.

Having an innate ability to do something doesn't have to clash with also needing to have the strength of character to not become corrupted by what you are doing.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Dec 26, 2015 3:18 pm UTC

Angua wrote:Also, given that they seemed to be raised from very young children (even in ESTB Yoda says Luke is 'too old') that's another thing for 'trait one is born with'.
That's a plug for training young children, not proof it's genetic. If kids are recognized as being force sensitive and Jedi take vows of celibacy, that seems to suggest that force sensitivity pops up randomly all over the galaxy and that it clearly *isn't* a genetic thing.

Angua wrote:Also, the Hobbits specifically don't perform magic like the other races (they can use magical items, and be effected by it, but they don't have the ability to do it). I'm pretty sure that's implied to be one of the reasons they're good at resisting the ring, because it doesn't call to them in the same way. Also why they are less effected by gold-fever - they are a more 'innocent' race. I mean, an individual hobbit would still need a lot of force of character to be able to resist and let go, but it was still a big factor in why a hobbit had to be chosen to carry the ring. Having an innate ability to do something doesn't have to clash with also needing to have the strength of character to not become corrupted by what you are doing.
I don't think that's canon at all - all sentient creatures in middle earth are capable of some feats of magic (telepathy, healing, calling spirits and such), though perhaps using that universe as an example was a bad call on my part, given that many characters are specifically powerful/magical because of their lineage. Hobbits, for example, are most certainly affected by gold-fever - we see this with Bilbo's obsession with the ring. I inferred that their 'innocence' was more in regards to their lack of a lust for power relative to humans. My point though was that the character arc we see with Frodo is made possible because bearing the ring is a challenge he overcomes (and fails, at some points!), NOT because Hobbits were the obvious and only choice for being ring-bearers given the field of anti-ring magic they project. And Frodo volunteered, he wasn't chosen to carry the ring.

Mitichlorians to me ruined the oomphs
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Weeks » Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:47 pm UTC

Just forget they exist.

Midichlorians I mean, not Hobbits. Though you can forget them too I guess.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby ahammel » Sat Dec 26, 2015 7:22 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Does 3PO count for this installment's instance of arm damage?
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Weeks » Sat Dec 26, 2015 8:53 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
Spoiler:
Does 3PO count for this installment's instance of arm damage?
Spoiler:
It does, but no one lost an arm in A New Hope.

What I'm saying is next episode will have two arm cutting scenes.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Angua » Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:09 pm UTC

Come on, recessive genes and point mutations are a massive thing, as are multiple loci required for a trait. Something can easily be genetic while popping up in random places. Being able to figure out which of the young children will happen to be spiritual? It certainly doesn't point to it being something that anyone would be able to do - young children are identified as being force sensitive at a young age, before they've had a chance to be taught.

And Bilbo's obsession with the ring was due to the ring's influence, not gold fever. He was still able to give it up after having it for so long - so was not as effected by it as other people would be. Not sure where it is quoted that Hobbits don't practice magic, but [url=this]http://www.minastirith.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=002142;p=1[/url] has people in agreement with my memory of it.
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Re: Star Wars: Episode 7: Electric Boogaleven

Postby Gopher of Pern » Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:15 pm UTC

Weeks wrote:
ahammel wrote:
Spoiler:
Does 3PO count for this installment's instance of arm damage?
Spoiler:
It does, but no one lost an arm in A New Hope.

What I'm saying is next episode will have two arm cutting scenes.


Spoiler:
Cantina scene. Dr Evazan's alien sidekick gets his arm lopped off by Obi-Wan.
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