Star Wars: The Not The Prequels Awakens (Spoilers)

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bumblemusprime

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I know at least one of you Brits has seen it!

Open to spoilers after the weekend?

Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

Brendocon

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Extremely positive initial reaction.

More detailed thoughts without specific plot spoilers as follows (though I'd say don't read this unless you've seen it):
Great energy to it. It's not ploughing any ground that's particularly original - a lot more "direct homages" to stuff from previous films than I'd like, but it does well with them, throwing in some little twists on the premise so at least they're not direct rehashes. Overall gives it a bit of a rogue fanfic vibe, but not necessarily in a bad way.

Makes me want to break out the term "fanwank" as a compliment. Possibly leans a bit too much on provoking a nostalgic reaction, but full of great performances and adds up to an extremely emotionally satisfying cinematic experience.

Definitely in my top four Star Wars films. :)


And I don't recall seeing any ******* lens flare, either.

Grrr. Argh.

snarl

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There was a lot that I liked about it.

Spoilers below...







The first 3rd to half I was well into it, thought it was amazing. Think it lost it's way a little bit when they got to the resistance base.

Some random things that grated:

The death. Bit forced. Lacked tension, lacked build up, could see it coming from a mile off. Didn't make me sad at all. I was more like "Is that it?".

On paper getting killed by your son sounds meaty but when we don't know who the **** the son is it loses it's impact.

The entire Han/Leia/Kylo thing after they got to the base just seemed like it went through so quick that there was no real emotion attached to it.

"Oh yeah, our son just happens to be the sith incarnate...no big deal"... then Han dies and everyone moves on.

I think lack of build up once they got to the resistance base was a problem in general. Especially the way they just threw in the new "Doomsday of the month" weapon out of nowhere.

It was like "Oh by the way, we just happen to have a planet that can destroy other planets from long range. And... yep, just ******* blew you all up. Later." And then the Rebels managed to fly to it within what, a ******* day, and destroy it?!?

So the resolution for me was too quick. Again, the pacing with that for me led to a lack of dramatic impact and tension.

Ren to me was miscast. He seemed actually pretty ******* intimidating and credible with the mask on, but off... the actor seemed to not bring enough weight imo. Didn't seem as credible.

Han seemed a bit tired, also too nice - lost his edge.

Then the pretty green storm trooper wasn't immediately outclassed and killed Reb - somebody who is essentially a sith lord. That was also a bit AIDS imo.

it sounds like I didn't enjoy it - I did. But it felt like it tried to stick too much in in the second and third act, and let itself down a bit.

Oh, also... the idea that the rebels essentially have ended the Empire at the End of Ep 6... How then do they manage to **** off and build a weapon much much stronger than a death star and look as strong as ever without getting rumbled?

I'm sure this will get an explanation at some stage, but straight off the bat it struck me as odd.

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Okay, here goes.

Great casting Especially with Rae. She was the highlight of the movie for sure.

Loved the first half of the movie. The new characters were set up nicely I thought. I was really into it.

Loved Han and Chewie. I was concerned Harrison would not bring the needed gusto for Han given he's in his 70's, but he didn't disappoint.

By far my favorite scene of the film was the last scene with Luke. So powerful. You know, for a short thirty seconds, Mark Hamill really nailed that scene. The torn look on his face. The sadness. So well done.

And now for my biggest gripe, the thing that really, REALLY bothered me, and continues to do so, in my heart and soul. The way they killed off Han. Now I know Han had to go. I predicted as much before the film was released. I'm sure many did given Harrison's age. But how ******* tragic did you have to make this!!! We're talking about one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, sci-fi character of all time. I predicted a heroic death, not a tragic one. Hey Abrams, at least you could have had Chewie carry his body back to his wife for a proper burial. Instead, our great hero goes the way of Darth Maul, sliced by a lightsaber and thrown down a chasm. But what's worse? What's worse is what happens after. When they return to Leia, Chewie just kind of mosies on passed her. No hug. No look. They barely shed a tear! Who does Leia hug instead? Rae. WTF?

Now I know Disney has to market to the newer fans. But for ****s sake, an entire generation has been emotionally invested in this core cast of characters for thirty decades. I feel like Abrams knew he could have given Han and Leia more of a moment, knew he could have given Han a bigger send off, but chose not to for fear that Han would overshadow the likes of Finn and Rae and steal the show. Thirty years and Chewie barely goes apeshit? Thirty years and Leia barely sheds a tear? Thirty years and Chewie walks past Leia without even a consoling hug? They had more of a response when he was frozen in carbonite! The death of Han could have been so much more. Not what I expected with Han.

I know the movie is a good one. But I'm having a hard time with this hang up.

"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

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Couldn't deal with the opening day crowds and didn't plan to see the movie at all until next week sometime. However, the wife pointed out that it'd be nearly impossible to avoid spoilers, since I work with about 1,000 chatty kids, many of whom are going to see the flick.

So, we went to see an early (10:00 AM) show in Tokyo near her office.

Every theater I've ever been to in Japan has assigned seats. We bought ours in advance, so we didn't have to worry about showing up too early.

Most movies that play in Japan have a selection of merchandise available to purchase. One such item is a magazine-type program. I've got the programs for all six previous Star Wars movies (and the Special Editions), so I wanted to be sure to grab this one. There were TWO available. The first is the standard edition. The other is limited to only one copy per ticket-holder and is specific to the date of your showing. The back cover shows the date you saw the movie on. Ours is 12/19/2015.

The LINE to get these special programs stretched up for three entire floors. But, we had some time to kill after the showing, so we waited the 30 minutes and each bought the special programs (for about $8.50 each).

There were a bunch of cosplayers (because, you know, Star Wars AND Japan) including a FLAWLESS Kylo Ren. Which I thought was really admirable. That guy didn't know anything about the character OR the movie he was in. But he (making an assumption here) went ahead and put together a costume (which I estimated at about 1,000 USD) anyway.

This is the only movie I've seen in Japan where the audience applauded at the start of the film AND the end of the credits. Nobody laughed at the humor, though, because Japan.

Glad I went. It was a fun experience. It was only when the wife left for work and I was alone in Tokyo that the whole anxiety thing set in. So, I hopped on the nearest train and got the hell out of Tokyo ASAP. Took care of the Christmas shopping in Kawasaki until I felt better.

Good day.

snarl wrote:Just... really... what the **** have [IDW] been taking for the last 2 years?

Brendocon wrote:Yaya's money.

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I thought the casting of Kylo Ren was perfect, because it's the realisation that under that intimidating mask and voice - he's just a kid.

Loved the film so much. Plenty of flaws but I don't care.

It follows a lot of beats from episode 4, and I imagine that history repeating itself will be a theme of sorts. In this sense, if Kylo Ren is to be the Darth Vader type character then I hope they succeed in redeeming him.

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Hound wrote:I thought the casting of Kylo Ren was perfect, because it's the realisation that under that intimidating mask and voice - he's just a kid.

Loved the film so much. Plenty of flaws but I don't care.

It follows a lot of beats from episode 4, and I imagine that history repeating itself will be a theme of sorts. In this sense, if Kylo Ren is to be the Darth Vader type character then I hope they succeed in redeeming him.


Absolutely right. Adam Driver as Kylo Ren was perfect. Here is a character who feels deeply inadequate compared to Vader and his use of the mask and saber are meant to disguise the fact that he is a scared kid. His unmasked self is meant to make you think "wait this guy is just a kid!"

Han's death was also well handled and his call to his son, "Ben" will be right up there in terms of other emotional lines such as "No I am your father" or "You were the chosen one!"

Pay attention to the lighting and cinematography during Han and Ben's meeting. It is brilliant. The blue slowly fading to red. The whole scene was well done.

Oh and Poe Dameron is amazing.

Loved Daniel Craig's cameo as well.

My only worry is that the film really pushes the line between homage and remake of A New Hope. I hope the next two films break new ground.
 

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Computron wrote:
Hound wrote:I thought the casting of Kylo Ren was perfect, because it's the realisation that under that intimidating mask and voice - he's just a kid.

Loved the film so much. Plenty of flaws but I don't care.

It follows a lot of beats from episode 4, and I imagine that history repeating itself will be a theme of sorts. In this sense, if Kylo Ren is to be the Darth Vader type character then I hope they succeed in redeeming him.


Absolutely right. Adam Driver as Kylo Ren was perfect. Here is a character who feels deeply inadequate compared to Vader and his use of the mask and saber are meant to disguise the fact that he is a scared kid. His unmasked self is meant to make you think "wait this guy is just a kid!"

Han's death was also well handled and his call to his son, "Ben" will be right up there in terms of other emotional lines such as "No I am your father" or "You were the chosen one!"

Pay attention to the lighting and cinematography during Han and Ben's meeting. It is brilliant. The blue slowly fading to red. The whole scene was well done.

Oh and Poe Dameron is amazing.

Loved Daniel Craig's cameo as well.

My only worry is that the film really pushes the line between homage and remake of A New Hope. I hope the next two films break new ground.


Yes! When the lighting turned to red it was genuinely creepy and you knew Han was ******. I rarely notice things like that.

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snarl

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I can't equate the actor being young with making the casting good.

He just wasn't very good at actually acting in the dad scenes imo.

The Solo death scene just felt so emotionally flat - and a lot was to do with both actors.

All the actors his age on GoT would have done a better job imo.

Carrie Fisher was also pretty balls - wooden springs to mind. And Ford in the scenes after they got to the base. Could have had a bit to do with him breaking his leg though.

The new keira knightley was really good though, and John Boyega.

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Loved all the new characters. Just, ALL of them. Not only that, I REALLY loved how they interacted with each other (and with the OT cast).

Po/Finn was magic. Finn/Rey was great. Rey/Han was terrific/ Han/Finn was awesome. Finn/Chewy was glorious.

BB-8 was so much better than I had any expectation of it being.

Dug Kylo, too. I really thought they were gonna go the Darth Maul route with him, and have him show up for about 10 minutes then get cut down to make way for whoever's going to be a big deal in the next one. It was a pleasant surprise that he was an actual character, and a very interesting one as well. "Anakin done well" is how I'd describe him.

We didn't need to see him as a kid, or his training, or more than 2 seconds of the sudden but inevitable betrayal. Just "He was the son of two main characters. He had a darkness to him. His uncle tried to help him. That didn't work out so well." That's fine. That's all we need (for now).

Loved how the lightsaber fights were back to being just two people wailing on each other with laser swords, not the intricate, carefully choreographed dance routines from the prequels.

Especially liked how for the first time in forever, the lightsabers were shown to do damage that wasn't limited to instant death/dismemberment.

DIdn't have much of a problem with Finn holding his own against Ren. The Stormtroopers have been trained since birth. The Finn/Stormtrooper fight shows that Stormtroopers KNOW how to counter lightsabers. And Kylo Ren, while strong in the force, doesn't have a whole lot of training.

One thing thought: STOP BUILDING DEATH STARS. FFS, PEOPLE! How did that conversation even go? Was Snoke like, "Alright, we're gonna learn from the failings of the past. So, we need a super weapon, but not a goddamn Death Star. The first two were blown up, literally within DAYS of coming online. This time, let's make our weapon a secret! We'll conceal it inside of a remote planet. And this weapon will drain the power from nearby stars, causing their deaths, in order to use that power to destroy other pl....GODDAMIT ITS ANOTHER DEATH STAR, ISN'T IT?!?!"

It literally wasn't even an issue. "There's another Death Star. Let's blow it up. K. Lunch"?

Line of the movie: THE FORCE DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY!!!

snarl wrote:Just... really... what the **** have [IDW] been taking for the last 2 years?

Brendocon wrote:Yaya's money.
Last edited by bumblemusprime on Sun Dec 20, 2015 4:22 am, edited 3 times in total.

bumblemusprime

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I actually enjoyed Driver's performance, quite a bit. I think it was a nice commentary on the banality of evil. A big spoiled baby emo kid with too much power.

Here's a post from another forum I made:

Loved:

- Rey--she was basically Emma Watson as Hermione as Star Wars mechanic.
- The lightsaber battle. The previews and the film itself were all giving us a red herring that had Finn dueling Ren, but when Rey beat him, it really brought a lot home.
- BB-8. Oh, I loved the look of that droid.
- Every moment that Harrison Ford was onscreen. He owned that movie. His confrontation with Leia was fantastic.
- Threepio was FUNNY! I mean, most of the time he's only tolerable in the OT, but when he bursts in awkwardly, he was wonderfully used.
- Driver. I have a lot of friends who hated what he did but I really liked it. It showed an interesting balance and kind of showed the "big baby temper tantrum" nature of evil--immature idiots with too much power.
- A lot of Finn. He was over the top in places, but he was really enjoyable as someone who was both morally conflicted and living life for the first time.
- Han's death scene. Again, this is one a lot of people didn't seem to like. I loved it. It was absolutely clear he was walking to his death, but it was also clear that he had to confront his son.

Still not sold on:

- The notion that Luke just ran away. There has to be something more there, or he has gone from being the guy who saved the galaxy to the guy who is sitting back and letting it burn.
- Starkiller Base. Empire got by just fine without a super-weapon and it is one of the most criticized aspects of Jedi; why did we need another one?
- The chronically under-explained history. It feels like I missed a movie. One movie at least. The references to the Knights of Ren, to Han and Leia sending Kylo Ren away, Rey's flashbacks, all combined to make me feel TOO excited for Episode 8. I wouldn't mind if these were coming out in the LotR bracket of once a year, but they're coming out at least a year and a half apart.
- Rey's prodigious powers. We should have had a moment where Leia, or someone, helped Rey explore her powers. The moment with Lupita Nyong's character wasn't enough.
- Snoke. Some have suggested he is a smoke-and-mirrors Wizard of Oz creation put together from an old Sith Holocron, to keep Kylo Ren as the Darth Vader the FO needs. I like that. Him being some real remnant of the Sith--I don't like that.

Didn't like:

- The obvious Hollywood structure. A lot of that story felt like it came from a committee. In particular, I thought that Han's monster-smuggling was a dumb attempt to spice up the middle, and that section should have been given to other things.
- On the same note, the "we all run away" bit, in a tavern where they had already been recognized, was idiot plot. And sloppy.
- R2's convenient awakening--also idiot plot.
- The similarities to 2009 Star Trek. I would have liked this movie a lot more had I not seen another franchise reboot where everyone watched a planet explode from the surface of another planet. Or magically sending something into warp speed that doesn't usually go into warp speed.
- The constant shoutiness. I think that Abrams would have directed the kissing scene in Empire as a back-and-forth full-blast volume. The whole movie needed just a bit of room to breathe.

Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Episode 7 puts even more pressure on Episode 8 to do well. There are a ton of plot issues that need addressing. So while they have built up a lot of good will the franchise is, in a way, on a knife's edge. I really hope they have a solid plan for 8 and 9 that isnt a rehash of ESB and RotJ.

That being said I do want to see Ackbar command a starship again.
 

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Ray was phenomenal. There's not a single scene in the movie where she over- or under acts. Kylo as the confused impetuous youth was well done.

I didn't have a problem with the scene of Hans death. It was set up beautifully. It's what happened afterward that's got my diapers crinkled. No burial. No powerful scene with Leia and Chewie. I would have had added a scene at night akin to Luke with Vader. Something aside the Falcon. I took a half a star off just four that alone.

On second viewing I would say the first 3/4 of the movie are gold. Four stars. But slumped a bit wirh the whole ridiculous Starkiller bit. That was so very very lame. Yeah we want nostalgia but not a total rehash.

.

"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

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So George Lucas's complaints about TFA have to be a red herring. He was bitching that it was supposed to be "a family soap opera" and that Disney didn't go with that? How was that not a family soap opera?

Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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bumblemusprime wrote:So George Lucas's complaints about TFA have to be a red herring. He was bitching that it was supposed to be "a family soap opera" and that Disney didn't go with that? How was that not a family soap opera?


I was kind of thinking the same thing.

Almost felt like his "It's not a family soap opera thing" was almost a spoiler that the Skywalker family wasn't a big part of the movie. If so, then good on George.

Saw it again the other day (because I'm the geek that otherwise normal people want to see geek movies with). All of my (minor) criticisms were mitigated. Like, "yeah, I thought that was maybe kinda wonky...but it was handled SO well."

snarl wrote:Just... really... what the **** have [IDW] been taking for the last 2 years?

Brendocon wrote:Yaya's money.

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Another problem I had. Where were all the original aliens and races at? No Greedos, no Hammerheads, no Weequays, no Devarions, etc. Would it have killed to slip a few of them into the lineup just to make things more authentic? Thankfully we at least got Admiral Akbar and Niem Numb.

I chalk that up to "selling more toys" by Disney. But then I think to myself, if that were the case, why no new ships. Then again, I guess adding a single red panel to a TIE fighter is enough to make people buy new ones.

"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

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We are getting something like a new movie every year, right? I'm glad this movie didn't blow its load. There's lots of time to answer these questions, introduce new vehicles and aliens etc

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Hound wrote:We are getting something like a new movie every year, right?

Yeah.

Episode 7 this year, Star Wars Anthology 1 next year, Episode 8 2017, Star Wars Anthology 2 2018, Episode 9 2019, Star Wars Anthology 3 2020. Or so I've read.


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