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So, we went to see Star Wars The Force Awakens finally.  We'd been waiting for the crowds to thin out a little.  It was a good movie and I enjoyed it, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed.  I guess I expected more based on all the hype and money it's made.

Instead, in a way, it was pretty much a retelling of the story just using different characters - scared farm boy ex-storm trooper rescues princess girl-jedi-in-the-making and together with a rogue-ish pirate pilot and wookie wookie destroy the death star starkiller base, all while battling Darth Vader Kylo Ren (......Kylo Ren, I am your father....er grandfather).  There is even a saloon scene!  So nostalgic.  Deja vu.

Then my significant other and I discussed the plot holes of science....not that we are scientists by any stretch. But seriously, can a weapon within a planet really absorb an entire sun without the planet exploding? I mean...an ENTIRE SUN. That's like a coodle-kajillion-babillion-sasillion watts of energy. And yet the starkiller base is like Iceland on the surface....all snow and cold and crap. Where's the tremendous gravity coming from that is needed to draw in that power that drains the sun? My brain is trying to wrap around the concepts and just can't. Maybe that's the point and I'm not supposed to think about those kinds of things.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it and glad I went.  But, it's not worth going a second time (I'll wait for it to come to Netflix), and it definitely wasn't worth standing in an obscene waiting line or paying an arm, leg, and kidney for coveted tickets on ebay.

Date: 2016-01-24 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icassop.livejournal.com
I really liked TFA, saw it twice even ^^

You need to keep in mind that people were enraged that the prequels were nothing like the old ones and now that TFA pays tribute to the originals by honouring the theme, people are still not satisfied.

Also, if you haven't realized yet, in cases of big franchises, there is always a formula that the movies adhere to. In case of SW:
1) character of lowly status on an isolated planet
- Luke, adopted son of a farmer, on Tattooine
- Anakin, slave, on Tattooine
- Rey, abandoned scavenger, on Jakku
2) meets older mentor figure
- Luke meets Ben/Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Anakin meets Qui-Gon Jinn
- Rey meets Han Solo
3) who dies
- Darth Vader kills Obi-Wan
- Darth Maul kills Qui-Gon
- Kylo Ren kills Han Solo
4) big space battle at the end
- Death Star gets blown up
- Confederation ship gets blown up
- Starkiller Base gets blown up

Of course after 6 movies the plot will feel familiar but that's kind of the essence of Star Wars.

You should also look at the things that TFA did differently: The jedi-to-be and the main character is female this time; we get a glimpse behind the mask of a stormtrooper; Kylo Ren has depth and an actual back story in comparison to the very one-dimensional Darth Vader in ANH; we see new ways that the force can be used; the main goal of the movie was finding Luke, not blowing up the enemy; and several mysteries to solve in the coming movies (Rey's past, Luke's exile, Kylo's turn to the dark side, etc.).

I think TFA establishes itself as a strong foundation for a new Star Wars trilogy while setting up a new story.

The Starkiller Base is ridiculous though. It's nice that they made it a solar-powered Death Star (how environmental friendly lol) but to make it more contemporary, they should've made the empire into a terrorist group à la ISIS... Because iirc the rebels won at the end of ROTJ, so shouldn't the Republic be back in power? Hence smaller and focused but more destructive attacks by the Empire would've made more of an impact on us, the viewers. But maybe they're saving that idea for episode VIII since a ton of people must've died on Starkiller Base when it blew up.

One more thing people were upset about was that Starkiller Base had a weakness somewhere on the inside again. But from what I understand, shooting at those things wouldn't really have made massive damage. It would've only disabled its ability to gather energy, I think? The only reason the Base blew up was because it was so pumped full with solar energy that needed to go somewhere.

Btw, what DID you expect to happen in the movie? You seemed to have high expectations. I was honestly thoroughly entertained. It was funny, exciting, engaging, had great characters and looked incredibly good (except for the CG characters).

Date: 2016-01-24 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jukebox-csi.livejournal.com
I think I know where they will go with Rey's past. We're betting that she's Luke's daughter. As for the Republic, didn't the Starkiller base pretty much kill off the whole Senate and a lot of the Republic when it destroyed the 5-7 planets early in the movie?

I really don't know what I expected. I did like the movie. My kid thinks it's the best movie he's ever seen in his whole life (then again, he also thinks the last 3 prequel movies are great). But, when it was so very much like the original, practically scene for scene, it was disappointing.

I think I would have liked to have seen something along the lines of the Star Wars Rebels animated series, which I truly enjoy. Not sure if you've seen that series, but basically you have a rogue group of thieves, one of which is a jaded jedi. They encounter a street orphan who steals the cargo they just stole from the empire, and the jaded jedi discovers the boy has the force with him (an untrained jedi in the making). The boy joins the crew and they all work together to thwart the empire at every angle - helping various communities that are under the thumb of the tyrants. Or maybe anything else - maybe a story where Rey truly is Luke's daughter and they are living on a remote planet - he is tortured and she is blissfully unaware though he has been subtly training her - when the war suddenly comes to them. I don't know *shrugs*

I have hopes the next movie will change direction and not be a rehash of The Empire Strikes Back. Though wouldn't it be cool if we find out that Han Solo doesn't die? Instead his fall is cushioned somehow, and a person recognizes him for the bounty on his head then freezes him 'for transport' which effectively stops him from dying from the light saber wound. hmmm...wonder where I got that plot bunny *pauses TESB while pondering the idea* ;)

Date: 2016-01-24 06:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] icassop.livejournal.com
I was talking about the Republic being in power before the movie. Destroying that crowded planet (Coruscant?) along with its neighbours was the first time SKB was used afaik. So the Republic could've well been in charge those 30 years since ROTJ and interfered with any huge building projects of the Empire like SKB.

Rey being Luke's daughter was my first thought, too, but then I was thinking about why he would leave her alone on a planet with nobody she or even he knows. If you remember the scene with her exchanging tech parts for food, she basically gets ripped off and barely gets enough food to survive. When that alien offers her 60 rations for BB8 (she previously got a quarter only), she was almost desperate enough to trade the droid in. So I'm wondering if Luke would really leave her there stranded and barely surviving for years. We know Luke isn't evil and I'm pretty sure he knows people who would've taken her in. And if he didn't, then sure as hell his sister Leia would have known some people. Maybe there's a plausible explanation why she's on Jakku if she were indeed Luke's daughter.

I've heard good things about the animated series but haven't had the chance to watch it yet. The main thing with TFA is it's part of the main storyline of SW and that means it's a Skywalker story. Even George Lucas adhered to the formula, I described, in the prequels. There is a reason for that and maybe that reason is how the Force is so tightly connected with any member of the Skywalker family, thus making history repeat itself over and over. So while the plot of SW Rebels sounds intriguing, something similar wouldn't work with the main movies. I feel it would lose that SW essence if you know what I mean. It would sound and look like a SW movie, sure, but it'd be a story taking place somewhere in the SW universe. Thus it wouldn't make sense to name it Episode VII. It would feel a lot more like a reboot actually (think the new Star Trek).
However, we will get non-main story SW movies. The first one to come out this year titled "Rogue One" and that will be completely different. And perhaps that is more up your alley if you want something different that's still SW. Also the Han Solo movie will come out after VIII. So that's another chance to see a different style of SW movie.

I don't think that VIII will be the same as TESB. Maybe the overall theme will be similar, that is the evil guys will gain the upper hand. But that's probably all. How the story will actually play out is to be seen.

I disagree with the Han Solo death. I like Han but his death felt right in that moment. Letting him live would feel half-assed. It would feel like they're clinging to nostalgia instead of delivering a proper movie. It would be fan service and catering to fans and forcing the story to go off its natural progression.

Btw, I didn't think the movie was the same "scene for scene". The major plotpoints are the same obviously (see formula) but the scenes themselves were vastly different. For one, we got more scenes of the Empire and the stormtroopers up close, we also have a fugitive stormtrooper who's in many scenes of the movie and interacts with our heroine, which is absolutely different from ANH and Rey herself is independent and capable enough to do stuff on her own (she managed to escape on her own! Princess Leia had to be rescued...). Remember how Luke got on the Millenium Falcon the first time? He did nothing but sit around and ask questions. Most of the actions were done by Han and Chewie.

Imo TFA shines more in its details =) You should really re-watch it when it's out on Netflix.

Date: 2016-01-24 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jukebox-csi.livejournal.com
You're probably right. My expectations tainted my view of it. I definitely plan to watch it again when it's released on video. I did like how smart the Rey character was when it came to machinery.

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