[SPOILERS] Star Wars movie thread... [Don't read this thread if you haven't seen the movie yet]

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I finally watched it today. Overall, it certainly was enjoyable, but I have yet to make up my mind about whether I really liked it or not. I think a part of the problem is that it really does feel more like a reboot than a sequel. But at the same time, it is exceedingly well put together. Some quick thoughts, most of which have already been covered...

1. Yes, the Death Star is definitely the curse of the film. In some ways, it's almost inevitable, because the villains in Hollywood films have to keep pulling out bigger and bigger guns. So, what's bigger than a Death Star capable of blowing up a planet? Well, a bigger Death Star capable of blowing up multiple planets at a long range. Umm, ok, but where will you go from there, Star Wars? You can't keep on repeating this forever. At the same time, in defence of the new Death Star: it really didn't bother me while watching the film. It only started bothering me afterwards. As long as you're in that space, immersed in the story, the new Death Star seems to be just plausible enough in this context that you don't really worry about it.

2. The Hitler speech. That really was weird. It's something that's virtually unimaginable in the earlier Star Wars films, and certainly seems to make no sense here, either - why would storm troopers, who are brainwashed and "retrained" at the slightest indication of problems, need this kind of motivation? More importantly, why does the audience need it? I guess it's mainly there so that the film doesn't have to explain to us what the planets being blown up are - that is, why are they important.

3. What is up with the New Republic and the Resistance being separate organisations?

4. The "desert planet" thing actually didn't bother me, except for one detail: even though they mentioned its name over and over again, it took me the longest time to finally accept that this is not Tattooine. In that regard, they probably would have done better had they picked a vividly different landscape - if you want a desert-like landscape that retains a strong sense of being different to an actual desert, go to the Mongolian steppes, the Canadian tundra (in the summer!), or whatever. Or, you know, just don't make it a new planet, and instead set the action on the real centre of the Star Wars universe, Tattooine.

5. I definitely like how little exposition there was - hugely different to the prequel trilogy, which constantly overdosed on exposition. That having been said, there were still moments that seemed excessive, in particular when Han Solo does his speech about the Force being real. Yeah, we know, we've watched the films.

6. The last ten minutes of the film were utterly gratuitous, and seemed to really only be there to allow the film to be marketed as bringing back all the main characters of the original trilogy. In the original trilogy, the film would end at the victory celebration. What's-her-name's voyage to the end of the universe and facing a (speechless) Luke Skywalker would either have been the opening of the next film, or perhaps skipped entirely, and only described in the opening crawl.

7. Given how the film is being accused of fan-service so much (and in some aspects, quite justifiably), it's really quite funny how we never, ever see a single new space ship. You'd think someone, somewhere, would design a new fighter, some sort of new X-Wing replacement. Or a new Tie Fighter. But no, rather than giving the fans what they want, the film seems to want to give the public what they want, which is basically more of the same instantly-recognisable stuff.

8. Am I the only one who found that at the end of the day, I couldn't care less about Finn, and certainly felt no great drama upon seeing him comatose? Also: isn't it a remarkable coincidence that the only Imperial turncoat we've ever seen happens to be black, while all the other Imperial officers we see seem to be white? It just feels odd.
 

Hunter_13

Commodore
Well put Quarto. I was also confused by the New Republic and Resistance being separate entities. I'd imagine it has something to do with the military draw-down after the Battle of Endor alluded to in that abomination of a book called "Aftermath". I found myself liking the new characters a lot more than I thought I would (perhaps due to the aforementioned abomination of a book by the hack known as Chuck Wendig) and the lack-luster characters contained within.... but that's a whole 'nother rant.

As far as the new designs for fighters, I think J.J. nailed it. Here's why. Not only does it serve the fanboys with the icons of space combat in the Star Wars universe, it also plays into reality that was simply lost on George Lucas. That guy simply doesn't know how time works. It's 30+ years after the Battle of Endor, and the battling factions are developing tried and true technologies. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, and you don't always have the resources to start replacing your entire fleet with brand new stuff. Where does this play into reality? My biased favorite, the B-52, is currently on the "H" model, the newest one rolled off the assembly line circa 1961, and she's gotten more upgrades through the decades than can easily be listed here. The F-15 is 39 years old, as far as base airframe. The F-16 first flew in 1974. Point being, it's well established in reality that due to a myriad of reasons, airframes (spaceframes?) can see service over several decades, see countless updates and refits to suit the warring faction(s) needs. And, we get to keep that classic X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter look.
 
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Kaunisto

Commodore
I assumed Republic has been wanting to avoid confrontation and all out war with First Order, thus Resistance - people seeing Order as the threat it is - has been forced to fight without their support.

I think the ending aimed for a feel similar to Empire Strikes Back ending, but turned out more like Revenge of the Sith.
 

Hunter_13

Commodore
The feel I got from the ending of TFA was one of, "great! I can't wait until episode VIII!". The end of ROTS was just trying to shoehorn all of the stuff "needed" to set up episode IV... which we'd already seen.... and again, George Lucas shows just how much he doesn't understand how time works... i.e. it takes 18 years to build the first Death Star, but only 3 or so for the second (larger) Death Star. Assuming the Maw installation is not part of the new canon, of course.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
as far as the Resistance and the republic goes JJ filmed more scenes, but the writer kasdin (empire strikes back writer) talked him into cutting it.

spoilers incoming

anyways its also covered in the book aftermath, the rebellion and the empire reach a cease fire, and basically a cold war starts. A new republic is formed but of course leia still wants to fight the empire, so she forms the resistance with others like akbar. the empire eventually forms into the first order. The official PR line from the new republic is they are not funding the resistance at all, of course we all know this is not true due to what was said by c3p0 and general hux during the movie.

as a side note aftermath is the first of three books that bridge the gap between movies 6 and 7
 

Hunter_13

Commodore
Good call, JDawg, and congrats to you for making it through Aftermath without your eyes bleeding out of your skull.

My favorite writing by Chuck Wendig is from his Twitter:

"And to those complaining that it's in present tense ha ha ha I don't care and I can't fix it now, suckaz." -Chuck Wendig

Yeah..... this is the guy entrusted to write Star Wars canon now? No thanks.
 
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Jdawg

Commodore
as far as force awakens go some say its a remake of a new hope, but I dont see it that way. I see it as an homage to the whole OT. there are certainly elements of a new hope every where, but then there also lots of shades of empire strikes back and return of the jedi too. JJ basically righted the ship by making a great star wars movie. I honestly believe that is why he was hired, to get the franchise back to being respectable and playing it safe. rian johnson the director of 8 will take a whole lot more chances. he is the guy who did brick and looper, two movies which I adore, I think he will keep the feeling of star wars but take the series in a somewhat new direction.

rather smart or not, its truly hard to get a real take on the force awakens until 8 and 9 come out
 

Jdawg

Commodore
Good call, JDawg, and congrats to you for making it through Aftermath without your eyes bleeding out of your skull.
lol I dont think the book was horrible, it was like a 6 outta 10 for me, and I really like two of the characters norra and Sloane
 

Hunter_13

Commodore
I agree wholeheartedly with your take on TFA.

As far as Chuck Wendig is concerned... that guy invalidated his profession by complaining on his Twitter account to get his loyal, sycophant fans to give him good reviews for the book.... which of course, didn't do much. He's just the worst writer I've ever encountered, and seems like a shitty person if one is to judge from what he posts in response to criticism. I got my money back on the kindle edition of the book.... that's how much I hated it...

Barbara Hambly wrote better Star Wars fiction than Chuck Wendig. There, I said it.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
I agree wholeheartedly with your take on TFA.

As far as Chuck Wendig is concerned... that guy invalidated his profession by complaining on his Twitter account to get his loyal, sycophant fans to give him good reviews for the book.... which of course, didn't do much. He's just the worst writer I've ever encountered, and seems like a shitty person if one is to judge from what he posts in response to criticism. I got my money back on the kindle edition of the book.... that's how much I hated it...
I avoid most social media except fb bc my wife wanted me to have one. I love message boards thats my thing, but I agree if chuck is saying that he is a douche lol. I just think the book while not great was not terrible either especially the interludes, I thought that was a cool idea to show what was going on in other worlds. like I said got lords of the sith for christmas; heard that it is a great book, starting to read it in January, right now playing kotor 2, than starting mgs5 finally, got it also for christmas.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
I also agree his writing style is jarring though, took me several chapters to get it, my biggest problem with the book is one too many characters, and he uses the same adjectives to describe everything
 

Hunter_13

Commodore
I typically don't dig so deeply into things like the whole "Aftermath" aftermath, but so deep was my hatred, and feeling of betrayal... If he'd made stories from the interludes, that would have been cool. I couldn't get into the story as it jumped around so much (I'm simple minded). While I'm all about bringing in new characters, I was turned off by his near complete ignorance of the original characters. I felt like I followed a brand new character for a few minutes, and was on to another brand new character before the last one was even imprinted on my memory... thus, I didn't care about them. The jargon he used straight from Earth circa 2015 pulled me out of the story so often... again, I couldn't care about the story.

Anyway, I've gotten us off topic, apologies. I liked how Alan Dean Foster pretty much did for TFA as he did for the original Star Wars book he ghost-wrote. 10+ hours of an unabridged audiobook to extend my enjoying of the story.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
as far as finn he is my third favorite character behind kylo and rey. thought he was funny smart and a great actor. he even got a really good emotional scene at the castle, where he is trying to run from the first order, you understand why he wants to run away, but ultimately does the right thing.

to be honest Chewy was my favorite returning character, he got more development in 7 then he did in all the OT
 

Jdawg

Commodore
I typically don't dig so deeply into things like the whole "Aftermath" aftermath, but so deep was my hatred, and feeling of betrayal... If he'd made stories from the interludes, that would have been cool. I couldn't get into the story as it jumped around so much (I'm simple minded). While I'm all about bringing in new characters, I was turned off by his near complete ignorance of the original characters. I felt like I followed a brand new character for a few minutes, and was on to another brand new character before the last one was even imprinted on my memory... thus, I didn't care about them. The jargon he used straight from Earth circa 2015 pulled me out of the story so often... again, I couldn't care about the story.

Anyway, I've gotten us off topic, apologies. I liked how Alan Dean Foster pretty much did for TFA as he did for the original Star Wars book he ghost-wrote. 10+ hours of an unabridged audiobook to extend my enjoying of the story.

all very true and valid criticisms of the book, but I think why I enjoyed it at least some is bc I did enjoy two characters and the interludes so I forgave it more, but I completely understand where your coming from. It seemed to me he was trying to write star wars without knowing what star wars actually was, much like what george did with the prequels
 

Hunter_13

Commodore
I have also enjoyed the new characters Poe, Finn and Rey (in that order) to the point of picking up Greg Rucka's "Star Wars: Before the Awakening" to get even more backstory on those three. Yes, they are junior novels, but quite good. Rucka also wrote Star Wars: Shattered Empire, Star Wars: Smuggler's Run, which I also highly recommend if you are so inclined.

I'm finally getting around to reading Wing Commander: End Run and playing through Wing Commander 2. Don't ask why, but there's something in my brain that's broken and I don't like the #2 of anything.... though I'm seeing how that has robbed me of some enjoyment as I'm enjoying both book and game immensely.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
I have also enjoyed the new characters Poe, Finn and Rey (in that order) to the point of picking up Greg Rucka's "Star Wars: Before the Awakening" to get even more backstory on those three. Yes, they are junior novels, but quite good. Rucka also wrote Star Wars: Shattered Empire, Star Wars: Smuggler's Run, which I also highly recommend if you are so inclined.

I'm finally getting around to reading Wing Commander: End Run and playing through Wing Commander 2. Don't ask why, but there's something in my brain that's broken and I don't like the #2 of anything.... though I'm seeing how that has robbed me of some enjoyment as I'm enjoying both book and game immensely.
I love wing commander 2 its my second favorite after 4, especially the expansion special operations. there are some brutally hard missions there though. the only two novels I read so far were fleet action and false colors
 

Hunter_13

Commodore
HA! Those are the two I haven't read! I've read Freedom Flight, Action Stations, Heart of the Tiger, and Price of Freedom. Haven't touched the Pilgrimverse.... yet.
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
HA! Those are the two I haven't read! I've read Freedom Flight, Action Stations, Heart of the Tiger, and Price of Freedom. Haven't touched the Pilgrimverse.... yet.
A topic for a different thread, of course. But since the topic has come up, IMHO, the Fortschen novels are good - particularly Fleet Action, as it sets up WC3 (no doubt why its a download with the GOG version of WC3). The Pilgrimverse is...different. Whether you'll like them or not is a matter of how much you enjoyed The Movie; from a writing standpoint, they're not bad. Speaking of which, my wife received a Roku streaming stick for Christmas, which was the final straw she needed to get a Netflix account, so I will likely be watching the Movie from stem to stern for the first time in the near future.

Nothing new to add to this thread, so I'll shut up for now. At least until I think of something constructive to add.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
HA! Those are the two I haven't read! I've read Freedom Flight, Action Stations, Heart of the Tiger, and Price of Freedom. Haven't touched the Pilgrimverse.... yet.
Im not a fan of the wing commander movie at all, so I will prob never read those books, and I also try to ignore prophecy, gameplay was great in 5, but I hated where they took the story. wing commander 1-4 and the two novels I have read are all excellent in one way or another.
 
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