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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:19 pm 
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Hobbit
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kzer_za wrote:
The movie's plotline generally follows Episode IV too closely.


My thoughts exactly.

I didn't like the movie. I was bored through most of it because it was a rehash of episode IV (it felt like poorly written fan fiction by someone who couldn't think up their own story) ... and when they killed off Han, it went from tedious to *bad*. Han reads people better than that. :x He had a firm grip on the light saber and it was turned away from him. Why would he let it be twisted towards him without even noticing? Lame... but they had to kill off the aging *almost* mentor to the girl. It was on the list of plot points. :roll:

I wasn't expecting much from this movie, but I was still quite disappointed.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:22 pm 
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IAWY! :agree:

I giggled out loud when I read that, Prim. And, yes, we should never speak of the prequels again. :nono:

I like Al's theory on Rey. My friend, who is a serious Star Wars geek, says it follows some kind of story line somewhere. The Sword of the Jedi? (I think that's what he said.) So that Rey is the Sword of the Jedi. ??

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:14 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:20 pm 
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I would not have accepted on-screen Gungan anything. :P

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:10 pm 
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Gungan bones (specifically Jar-Jar's) on a sand dune in the foreground, as J.J. Abrams joked he would do?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 5:51 pm 
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I am willing to (partly) forgive its unoriginality because I like the new characters and because I can understand starting out safe to reestablish things, even if Abrams went too far in that direction. I will be much less forgiving if Episode VIII's plot is an obvious emulation of Empire's. If we have a bunch of Rey/Luke scenes that are an obvious retread of Dagobah, for example, I will not be happy. Rian Johnson is directing it instead of Abrams and he is known for being bolder and more offbeat and working in a variety of genres (he's done a neo-noir, a time-travel movie, and Breaking Bad), so I'm cautiously hopeful.

Actually, my feeling is that VII's legacy will depend a lot on how they follow it up. Even before Episode VIII, next year's side-movie about stealing the death star plans should be a good indicator whether Disney is going to just cash in on nostalgia or push the franchise in new directions. The prequels have a lot of problems, but one thing you can't fault Lucas for is a lack of ambition - he had some really big ideas about the corruption of a hero and the fall of a Republic; it just wasn't executed well.

As for Rey's parents, Han and Leia seem so obvious that it might be a red herring. One theory I've seen is that Rey was a student of Luke's when she was very young and had her memories suppressed after the disaster with Ren.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:40 pm 
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I was particularly unimpressed with how easily Finn broke his conditioning. Compare to Aeryn Sun in Farscape, another character trained from birth to be the equivalent of a stormtrooper. It about killed her to be considered disloyal. She was very angry for a long time in the series about being separated from her unit and her people. It was a big part of her character arc, learning to become herself without the Peace Keepers.

Finn just freaks out in one battle and has an instant mental conversion. Apparently has no hesitation and no second thoughts. That would ring true if he was a complete coward and fled every confrontation he faced- but he doesn't. He just throws off a lifetime of conditioning one morning and then steps (albeit a bit clumsily) into a hero role.

Not believable, in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:42 pm 
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Andurwhelmed.

The story is by and large a retread of the first film but that works both for and against it. One is lulled into a sense of "good enough" because of the familiarity of it, but then the facade keeps cracking.

There are bits and pieces that work if they had their own stories, like the two new main characters and the semi-main pilot. But overall it feels hollow. Everything is at least a little bit rushed, and some things are very rushed. The villains are piss-poor, even execrable. Kylo Ren is a disgrace to common sense, good writing and his family. Who is this Snoke and why should I care?

And most importantly, the original trilogy becomes meaningless because Luke was a failure as the new hope of the Jedi and as an uncle. Plus Han reverted to his old ways and he and Leia were failures as parents. I have no real desire to watch the rest now if this is what they end up as.

The whole thing could have been avoided if Anakin's Force ghost was there to slap some sense into his idiot grandson, who has no real excuse to go down his path mere decades after his time. It's just down to bad writing.

Setting it 100 or 1000 years later would have been better but then they would be hard-pressed to include all the old characters.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:18 am 
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It was fine. YMMV, but my odometer is quite accurate on such matters. The emotional impact of a movie is more important than the plot, anyway, unless it's a caper film.

ETA: It was a blessed relief to hear stretches of believable dialog come out of characters' mouths for extended periods of time without something heinous getting in the way. And the decision to lean towards physical models and use CGI for fill to reproduce the feel of the original three movies was a good one. Beyond that, I've expounded on my feelings over at my blog -- http://jeffreyhowe.wordpress.com -- so anyone curious can check it out if they haven't seen it. Short version: the movie plays in emotional registers the prequels didn't know existed.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:13 am 
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Excellent in terms of effects.

Mediocre to execrable as a film and a Star Wars story, especially as a continuation of ROTJ.

And that's terrible.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:43 am 
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I'm of the view that RotJ is a weak film, which maybe why I'm less-bothered by the flaws in TFA.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:17 pm 
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Yeah but TFA is weaker. Stronger than the prequels in many points but also weaker because its story is derivative (again).


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:26 pm 
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I had expected that a franchise reboot film would be derivative to some degree, so I wasn't bothered. They need to draw people back into the story for this new long series of films, so it's not unreasonable to use some of the elements that made the first film such a game-changer.

I certainly think TFA is better overall than RotJ, which had some very fine moments but many more that were cringeworthy (including the cheesy ending and final shot). TFA had more than a few fine moments, and nothing in it made me cringe; the ending was fine, with a final shot that I thought very effective (it gave me chills).

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:30 pm 
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Am I the only one who thinks that the guy who plays Ren was badly miscast? He's a solid enough actor (his in-helmet voice sound great, IMO) but I found him really goofy looking. He has literal helmet hair! Each time he took off his helmet I literally started LOLing. :P

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:48 pm 
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I rather liked the goofy-looking part, as it helped drive home the point that evil doesn't *need* to advertise itself to be evil. Sometimes evil comes in the form of a f***d-up goofy-looking kid (see Columbine, Sandy Hook, et al).


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:20 pm 
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I do get tired of villains being ugly onscreen. Most shows you can tell who is the bad guy before they open their mouths just by how unattractive they are. I hate that.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:59 am 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
I certainly think TFA is better overall than RotJ, which had some very fine moments but many more that were cringeworthy (including the cheesy ending and final shot). TFA had more than a few fine moments, and nothing in it made me cringe; the ending was fine, with a final shot that I thought very effective (it gave me chills).


I agree. Both TFA and RotJ suffer to some degree from the recycling of older plots, but in TFA the recycled plot is at least very well-executed. RotJ has recycled plot points with Ewoks, as well as the inexplicable twist of making Leia Luke's sister.

As a side note, there is a die-hard Star Wars fan who wrote extensively about the prequels who is really, really, hard on RotJ, to the point that he thought The Phantom Menace was a significant improvement over it. I don't agree with his enthusiasm for the prequels, but his essay on RotJ (most of which I do agree with) is here.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:22 pm 
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For those of you who liked it, doesn't it bother you that Luke is so far a failure at reviving the Jedi? He's failed the mission he got in the original trilogy and he's let the new Empire and dark-siders run rampant. It smacks of sidelining him so the brand new heroes have a reason to exist. You could almost say the same for Obi-Wan, but the difference is he was introduced in 1977 as already an exiled hermit while this derailed the happy ending of Return of the Jedi. Just contrived.

And the villains who made this happen are so wretchedly nebulous. The new Palpatine is a blank. The new Vader is Luke's nephew who should know better, who should have been raised better. Where is Vader's force ghost to set him straight? He whines about being conflicted over the light and dark sides, i.e. good and evil, but he's already served the dark side and the new empire for years, since Rey was a child. I don't buy it at all, especially since he was given no morality moments like choosing to spare innocents, or risking himself to save his men. The first thing he does is to slay an old defenseless man (by the way, a waste of the best actor in the movie, Max von Sydow). He's crossed all sorts of lines for years, so killing his own father Han would barely mean anything. It would work if he had only been Kylo Ren for months, not years.

In the old expanded universe books/comics/games/etc., Luke's reestablishment of the Jedi was bumpy, some of his students turned to the dark side, but he wasn't inactive for decades. There was a new Jedi purge but it happened many years after his death.


Last edited by Anduril on Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:33 pm 
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It doesn't bother me because I feel sure there is a reason for it beyond just assuming that Luke was incompetent. We don't know that reason yet because Luke was barely in this story—on screen only for a few seconds at the end. I don't think it's fair to object to the beginning of a story because it doesn't tell the middle or the end.

The reason for Luke's withdrawal may or not be satisfactory, but I know there must be one.

As for Kylo Ren's history, again, I'm sure there is a story there and that we'll know it in time. And, regarding the new "Emperor," he had more screen time in this film than in the first two films of the old trilogy put together. How much did we really know about Vader and the Emperor at the end of ESB? In ANH, why was the last Jedi being a hermit on Tatooine instead of helping the resistance? Why was Yoda doing the same on his own planet? Some of these questions were never answered within the film canon—at least until the prequels, which Lucas couldn't have been certain would ever be made. For a long time, what was in the original trilogy was the entire story, as far as anyone knew.

Edited to correct an oversight

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:58 pm 
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Anduril wrote:
For those of you who liked it, doesn't it bother you that Luke is so far a failure at reviving the Jedi? He's failed the mission he got in the original trilogy and he's let the new Empire and dark-siders run rampant..


I having a hard time seeing why this is a bad thing. Especially since he so very obviously will have a major impact on the next part of the story.

I was more annoyed at the massive importance placed on him. I'm like, hey, everybody, he's just one guy, and the villains can build planet-sized weapons, I'm pretty sure you all have more important things to worry about. What's he gonna do, lightsaber an entire to death?

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