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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:33 am 
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Didn't get see it on Thursday because I had to work but watched it tonight and am still processing what I saw. Here are some initial thoughts:

1. Definitely more enjoyable than the Prequels.
2. It LOOKED more like the Classic trilogy than the Prequels but in some ways it FELT less like Star Wars. Perhaps that's because J.J. Abrams directed it. He definitely gave the new Star Trek movies a different feel.
3. Unlike the Prequels, the characters were likable.
4. The visuals and action scenes were AWESOME! No disappointment there. I did notice that more places looked like earth than in any of the other movies, though.
5. It really was like watching a classic Star Wars film. Maybe a little too much. At times it almost felt like I was watching a remake. In same ways it felt more like J.J. Abram's homage to classic Star Wars than the creation of something new. But I have hopes for the next episodes to go a more creative direction.
6. Although I was not looking for any spoilers, I actually didn't get any. Disney told us a lot less of the story ahead of time than Lucas did with Phantom Menace, and there were plenty of times when I was surprised by what happened next.
7. Death Star 3?! What?! Maybe I missed something, but the way that worked didn't make much sense. Even with a jumbo-sized Death Star, the idea of sucking up an entire star and turning it into a hyperspace laser beam is preposterous even for space fantasy.
8. Where was the Republic? They were secretly supporting the Resistance (aka Rebel Alliance with a slightly different paint job), but even as the First Order (aka Empire's whiny, angsty off-spring) was busy blowing up multiple planets at once (that were conveniently close together), I don't remember seeing some massive Republic fleet come in to stop them.
9. The pace of the movie was hyper and spastic, and it never slowed down enough to tell you much of what was going on. But that was still preferable to the ponderous political proceedings of the Prequels. Plus I'm guessing the next episodes will actually take the time to explain things. Episode VII certainly left plenty of room to fill things in with additional stories and Star Wars wiki articles.
10. Killing off the most beloved character and actor was...bold, but also disappointing. I'm guessing they couldn't get Harrison Ford to sign onto more movies? Or they're just really anxious to move forward with a new, younger cast.
11. Um, Jakku? Um, Tatooine? Um?
12. DEFINITELY looking forward to the next movies.

Unlike with The Phantom Menace, I kept my expectations for Episode VII reasonable and was not disappointed in the least.

Agree? Disagree? What are your thoughts?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:47 pm 
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This Huffington Post article on the 40 plot holes in the film is pretty good, although I wouldn't agree with some of them: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5675b365e4b06fa6887da6d0


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:43 pm 
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Fixed Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-abra ... 50324.html
and 20 more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-abra ... 56844.html

Still processing, but not going to lie; a little disappointed.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 1:04 pm 
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It's been two weeks

If you haven't seen TFA yet please do not be surprised if anything that follows is a spoiler.

O.K. so does anyone think there is something a bit too familiar about some parts of TFA?

For example
Poe Dameron's words to BB-8 "Get as far away from here as you can". Whereupon the droid then leads someone (who escaped from the bad guys) on an out of control adventure?

How about a character making a zero clearance hyperspace jump to the surface of a snowy planet in order to avoid detection by the bad guys? Oh and the planet also happen to be the home of a colossal super weapon?

http://www.rsplot.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1372

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 5:00 pm 
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Some thoughts from other people over at bluemilkspecial.com.


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Richard Pini, co-creator of ElfQuest: “The new Star Wars movie. I saw it. It was some fun. Some gorgeous cinematography. Someone on another page commented “2:15 of deja vu” and I think that’s fair too. J.J. Abrams is gunning for some kind of major recycling industry award, as he’s now done for Star Wars the very thing he did with Star Trek: take a decades-old franchise, shuffle various character archetypes and situations, and reboot it for a new generation. It’s obviously working, and I had a decent time, but original and (more to my own heart) mythic, it’s not.”

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Karen, BMS reader from the USA: I liked BB-8. I liked Rey and Finn. They are good characters and I didn’t mind them. I liked all the actions and visuals. The dialogue and tone and look were all old school… …But that was about all I liked. I was pushed over the edge by Han and Leia and it was A New Hope again. That’s so stupid. Captain Phasma was useless. Remember when they held her at gunpoint and had her take down the shields? I thought she was going to do something bad ass, and you know… NOT do that. I am shocked at how weak and dumb that character was. They literally had a diagram with “exhaust vents”. Are you f#$%@ing kidding me? Why is there a magic map to Luke? Why is R2 asleep? He’s a droid, you could just get the thing out of him. Threepio was weird. Luke pussied out. I hate Kylo Ren. Like Hayden levels!

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Eduardo, BMS reader from Mexico: I liked it, but I had very high expectations… It was a worth SW film, but not as good as the original trilogyWe all knew there would be a major death, cause from this point the original characters will start to disappear, to make room for the new generation. But yeah, Han needed a better death scene. It just happened when the sun was turned off and suddenly Ren was evil. Phasma was also a huge let down. I hope she returns for the next one to do more than walking and standing. The CGI of Snoke was terrible. On the other hand, I felt the soundtrack was bland, boring and needed more Forciness and catchier themes. The only one I can barely remember is Rey’s Theme, and even that one doesn’t sound Warsie enough. The rest of the soundtrack is the repeated use of Binary Sunset, and occasionally Han Solo and the Princess or Princess Leia’s Theme. Anyway, I liked it as a movie, the battle scenes and all the dogfighting was pretty good. Rey’s journey was mirroring Luke’s, which I think is OK. Finn was well developed, and Poe became my favourite character in the movie. The humor wasn’t annoying, and that’s it.


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I want to make an important note. The reaction to The Force Awakens appears to be extremely positive from most people after opening weekend. Particularly glowing, near communal orgasm levels. That’s fine. I understand the sensation of being a part of something as special as the debut of a Star Wars film. These films are made for group screenings and Star Wars is the definition of a popcorn flick. The sheer feeling of seeing the opening text scrolling across the screen to John Williams’ music is something that works on more than just nostalgic levels. The music is exciting to mainstream audiences, and the text scroll sets everyone– fan and regular movie goer– up for the ride to come.

As far as I’m concerned, despite making little effort to come up with anything that was actually new for the Star Wars universe, the filmmakers still delivered by trusting the successful formula of A New Hope and Return of the Jedi. And even though it was almost ridiculous… no, it WAS ridiculous, how closely The Force Awakens followed the plots of both those aforementioned films, it felt like it was forgivable, because this felt like the Star Wars universe for a change, and the formula works for a reason. George Lucas gave us a good story in 1977. Even in the third iteration of the Death Star plot, it’s still exciting. So, I was willing to give a pass mark to the lame plot devices and similarity of themes, settings, characters, situations… just about everything, because the film was at least feeling like it had its heart in the right place.

Okay, so how soon will it be acceptable to discuss the one major and controversial event in The Force Awakens? I suppose the answer is when the film stops screening around the world in a couple of months. Until then, open discussion of Han Solo’s death will be preceded with spoiler warnings, but it’s too massive of a thing to not start discussing somewhere right now.

During the filming of The Empire Strikes Back, Harrison Ford pushed the idea of Han Solo actually being killed off. He has since been very public about his dislike of the character of Han Solo. He finds the character dumb, and boring. It seems he never wanted to look any deeper than the surface with Solo. When he was filming Return of the Jedi, he argued that Han Solo should be killed off to give the film an “emotional bottom”. George Lucas would not budge. When Star Wars VII was announced, many fans speculated (myself included) that Harrison would include a clause in his contract that Han Solo had to die. I thought of it more as a joke. I thought it would be too obvious of a decision. But now we can be sure that Ford signed onto the project by agreeing when Abrams delivered a plot that promised to send Solo off. Thanks, Harrison. I’m sure fans are dying to thank you.

As a long time fan, who is very attached to the original trilogy and the characters, specifically Han Solo and Princess Leia, I was upset like most people by the death. However, I was also reeling from the way in which it was done. It had little build up, and it was a less than glamorous way for Solo to bite the dust. I also want to add that, while many of us had an inkling that Solo could potentially die in this film, just because the producers are making way for the new, doesn’t mean out with the old needs to mean “death”. I just want to make that point, because I’m already hearing hand waving comments from people that aren’t really bothered with Han’s death who are talking like martyrdom is the only way an old character can bow out. I disagree, and I also disagree that Han Solo’s death was in any way martyr-like. It was heroic, as a parent trying to save their child, but it was essentially just murder. Harsh, brutal, and swift. Little effort was made to really build up to the scene. It just happened. And I don’t think that’s good enough in this sort of a fairy tale world.

It worries me how little the lame plot, the Emperor Mark II, Darth Vader / Anakin Mark II, the Death Star Mark III are being given legitimate criticism. But it worries me even more how accepting people are of Han Solo’s death. I know a lot of people were sad. But how many want to admit they were more than just sad, but taken out of the film, thrown for a loop, upset and angry and found it hard to think about anything other than that scene for the remaining 20 minutes? Hell, my whole weekend has been dominated by it. Is Star Wars just about shiny spaceships, lightsabers, special effects, and cool costumes? I thought Star Wars was about great characters. At least, that’s what Star Wars was for me. And we just lost one of the very best, and not in a great way either. For fans of Leia and Han as a couple, not only were the two now estranged, but before anything could be set right between the two (unless a hug counts), Han is killed, by his own asshole son. Not exactly any fan’s ideal direction for Han and Leia.

Abrams is responsible because the buck stops with the director. Abrams had near unprecedented input on the shaping of not just this film, but the story for the ongoing sequels as well. What we got onscreen had his stamp of approval on it. I am not a Lucas fan boy by a long shot, but we know at least one thing Lucas would NOT have done. He would not have bent over to Harrison Ford’s longtime desire to kill Han Solo.

The weak script is forgivable up to a point… the point at which the air is sucked out of the room by an obvious and poor decision on the part of Abrams and someone else who’d been wanting a certain something to happen for a long time. At least Harrison Ford left the theater 100% satisfied. Good for him. Glad he’s happy. Good for him. Asshole. There, I said it. Harrison Ford is an asshole (when it comes to Han Solo, at least).

The Force Awakens is a weak script, with good acting, great production values, a few good ideas, lots of laughs, generally a lot of fun… up to the point it stops being fun. I find this odd, considering Abrams’ apparent desire to make a fun film, and naming A New Hope as his personal favorite. He delivers, until it turns into a cross between Empire Strikes Back and Revenge of the Sith near the end.

Is it a great movie? I don’t think so. Is it a good Star Wars movie? I don’t know. It’s hard to be able to claim it is when the Death Star is becoming a joke now for anyone to make when the topic of Star Wars is brought up. I think Guardians of the Galaxy was a better Star Wars film. It at least has a different plot. It appealed to the masses and it had depth and fun at the same time, without taking itself too seriously and going emo on us.


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Leanne, co-creator of BMS: I was super psyched for TFA. I got chills when the opening theme started and we saw the first title scroll. Unlike the prequels, the film felt like Star Wars to me. Sure, the plot was basically ‘A New Hope’ Redux, but I liked all of the new characters (save Kylo Ren), enjoyed the effects and action scenes, laughed and enjoyed seeing all of the old characters I’ve come to cherish so much. At one point, I leaned over to Rod and whispered, “I really hope they don’t kill Han.” Because after seeing him again, going on another adventure with him again, remembering why I loved him so much, I wouldn’t have been able to bear it.

By the time I left the theater, I was upset. Depressed. I’ve never felt so conflicted over a film. When Han Solo died (and really, it felt like I watched him die twice after seeing him stabbed through the chest, then fall over the edge into oblivion), everything that came afterwards became a blur. I couldn’t concentrate on anything because the image of Han’s dying face kept cropping up in my mind’s eye, making me cry. I cried when Leia felt Han’s death, and again when Rey comforted Leia with a hug. It was one huge sucker punch.

I understand that I am completely in the minority about all of this. Most people are raving about the film and have seen it multiple times this weekend. Rod and I were going to attend a second screening on Saturday night, but as soon as I walked out of TFA, I cancelled our tickets. I just couldn’t find it within myself to sit down and watch it again so soon.

I certainly have more of an emotional attachment to these older characters then most fans, because pretty much everyone save for a handful of friends are gushing about the film and don’t seem to care about Han’s death or the way in which he died. And it’s not like it’s a BAD film. I just felt sucker punched and have had a hard time getting past it. Maybe it’s because I’m so close to the source material through BMS, or maybe it’s just me being me… But what would have been a fun (albeit recycled) film suddenly became dark and depressing for me. And I’m still not over it.

Guess I’ll be turning to the Expanded Universe after all?


Quote:
I just want to add that one of the friends we saw the film with was not a diehard Star Wars fan, more of a casual old school Star Wars fan. He had intentionally kept himself free of spoilers to a degree hard to believe possible. I hope to include his predictions about the film prior to the screening in an upcoming blog. Anyway, Leanne thinks that she and I were upset because of how close we are to the material because of working on BMS. I disagree, because John, our hermit Star Wars friend, also came out of the film conflicted and upset. Not just at Han Solo’s death, but the overall experience. One guy in a row behind us mumbled he was shaking because he was so angry.

On the other hand, we had another friend who actually had the inside scoop on the film’s plot, and had known in advance for many months about Han Solo’s death. In fact, he knew the entire plot. He did nothing but gush about the film immediately after seeing it. I do think that as people come down from the immediate high of a new Star Wars film, in a couple of months we might start seeing some more objectivity emerging. It happened with the Prequels.


Overall, I think the line "The Force Awakens is a weak script, with good acting, great production values, a few good ideas, lots of laughs, generally a lot of fun… up to the point it stops being fun" sums up my take.


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