Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

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Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Gandalf »

So this film felt incredibly "by the numbers," essentially retelling ANH with a bigger budget and some of the elements shuffled around in a way seemingly designed not to tick off fans. I liked the characters (except for Kylo Ren, who seemed to be sort of poorly rendered Loki), and the elements of the film were decent, but that's about it.

Thank fuck Han Solo is dead. Least interesting character gets decent death. Small cheer from me in the cinema.

Also, if Luke lives on Planet Cliffs, where does he get food/laundry? Those Jedi robes can't stay so white on their own.

Ultimate verdict: Didn't suck, will watch again.

More thoughts later.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by atg »

Just got home from watching it, have to give it a big 'meh'. Not awful but not great. First half was interesing peicing together who and what was going on, second half was very by the numbers as Gandalf said.

Kylo's biggest issue I felt was that the imagery is trying to portray him as Vader but the character just doesnt have the presence, especially with running to daddy Snoak whenever something happened.

Also did Phasma die in the trash compactor when the planet blew? Most anticlimactic bad guy ever.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Gandalf »

I think Phasma was sent off (unkilled) so she could come back in another film. It'll probably depend on merch sales and contract negotiations.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Darth Yan »

Word of god I think confirmed she'll be in episode 8. Anyway I heard early reviews like Kylo. And in any case whacking Han Solo is ballsy as shit. My uncles (who saw the original as teens) are probably going to be outraged
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Mange »

This thread went by me, so I wrote a brief review in the TFA thread. There were quite a few technical things that bugged me:

Does the First Order only have a single capital ship? We see a few X-Wings destroyed and that was "half the fleet"? Where is the Republic that is referred to in all of this? What does the First Order control? And the Starkiller's energy source...
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by ray245 »

JJ Abrams does not have a sense of scale it seems. It's similar to his Star Trek movies. Why does he have to be the one in charge of setting up the new franchise and limiting the sense of scale for the other directors?
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Anacronian »

Mange wrote:This thread went by me, so I wrote a brief review in the TFA thread. There were quite a few technical things that bugged me:

Does the First Order only have a single capital ship? We see a few X-Wings destroyed and that was "half the fleet"? Where is the Republic that is referred to in all of this? What does the First Order control? And the Starkiller's energy source...
The republic made peace with the first order - the people we follow in the film is the resistance a splinter group from the republic (like the first order is a splinter group from the empire) - at least that is how i understod it in the movie.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Anacronian »

Kylo Rens powers seem to fluctuate quite a bit with him going from stopping a blaster bolt in mid-flight to having trouble moving a single piece of metal - also, he's personality seemed erratic at best, I wonder what is the true nature of his relationship with Snoakes.

Also, I loved the line "I have been tempted by the light side.."

But the best of the film is Daisy Ridley - Rey is an awesome character and i will enjoy following her in future movies.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Tiriol »

My more or less honest-to-god review after having just watched the movie. Notice that there are indeed spoilers (this is a spoiler thread, duh).

First of all, the minimalism is striking. I don't care how much the Resistance is supposed to be a splinter cell of the Republic and the First Order some sort of weird splinter cell/successor organization to the Galactic Empire, the apparent lack of capital ships and ships in general was disgusting. Even ANH showed that the Empire had several Star Destroyers and the Death Star and it was the worst OT film in terms of minimalism (by ship numbers). How the hell did the First Order manage to turn a planet into a Galaxy Gun and Death Star's love child is beyond me.

Visuals were cool, actors good and for the most part the characters worked. It was nice to see the bad guy Ren trying his hardest to be like Vader, but being more like Anakin-turned-Vader without Anakin's real sense of power and lack of self-doubt. When Ren managed to stay calm he had at least something Vader-like qualities in him, but his lack of self-control made sure that he was no Vader and I'm sure that was the intention to begin with. They wanted some Neo-Nazi fantasizing about being Otto Skorzeny, not a clone of Skorzeny himself. I also liked that he had some mannerisms that Luke and Anakin both had and he also looked a lot like Anakin before he fried to crisp.

Harrison Ford's sheer charisma and presence carried much of the movie, although it was helped that the protagonists had good and likeable actors. I especially liked Finn's actor and character, although him abandoning the First Order after (apparently) almost a life-long indoctrination which denied him even an actual name outside a series of numbers and letters was a bit hard to swallow, although not impossible. Han's death was well done and you couldn't see it coming from the start (but at least after Ren sensed Han's presence it was clear that Han was destined to become one with the Force aboard the Death Sta- that planet thingy).

For some reason the planet buster was a cool concept visually, reminded me a lot of various pulp fiction pictures and sci-fi ideas I've seen around (Unicron, even, and some Valerian and Laureline's adventures comics). Sadly it had too much of Galaxy Gun vibes for me (I never liked that concept) and boy, the First Order is magnitudes more bad than the Empire with their "battlestation" security. And about the First Order: how the hell do they tell apart each other's ranks? At least the Imperial officers had SOME insignia, so far I saw only those First Order symbol patches and maybe, MAYBE something on officer's sleeves. The uniforms look less like military uniforms and more like uniforms used in Iron Sky when they were promoting President's campaign, but I think that's the point (the First Order seems to place a lot more emphasis on looking "cool" than the Imperials).

The actual situation of the galaxy was left in a bit of a mystery, moreso than in ANH or TPM. In TPM, it is clear that the Republic, despite being a vast entity, is corrupt and weak; and in ANH it is clear that the Empire is the galactic government and the Rebellion is meekly trying to resist. In this movie... I don't know what sort of political situation is in the galaxy. The Republic was around, but so was the Resistance. The Empire was mentioned as a thing of the past, maybe? And the First Order seemed to be much more like some half-religious Neo-Nazi movement with actual punch to them than an actual government. A sort of ISIS or what would happen if Neo-Nazi movements would be given more power.

I liked the humor quite a lot and those winks at older movies. That, however, brought the minimalism from time to time back to attention: the lack of capital ships was especially noticeable when the movie does its hardest to remind us of former movies and their vessels and vehicles.

All in all: a good, if somewhat mediocre film, but not fantastic. I rate it above TPM and AotC; it's a tie with ANH; and it loses to RotS, RotJ and ESB.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Anacronian »

Personally, I would rate it above RotJ and definitely above RotS making it my number 3 SW film.

1: ANH + ESB.
3: TFA.
4: RotJ.
5: RotS
6: TPM.
7: AotC.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Ace Pace »

Before reading any of the posts here.

I think it's a great film. I enjoyed the hell out of it and will see it again.
Lets put the obvious out of the way, this is A New Hope, for 2015. It's a fun, fast movie. Very little setup and what exposition exists, flows very well. No plot twist was unexpected, nothing really surprised me.

But it was amazingly well executed for my tastes. Music, acting, effects, basic plot structure. I could start quibbling about the camera, or the overuse of certain CGI effects. But I had a grin on my face the entire time.

To the spoiler part, we all knew Han was going to die. And it was fairly obvious Luke would be a recluse in the end.
I'm curious whether Fin will be an honest force sensitive or was it just a fluke against a weak Kylo Ren. I hope it's the latter because the last thing we need is more Jedi. The minimalism was jarring, a single planet is the core of the New Republic?
Many unintended EU throwbacks. Kylo Ren pretty much sounds like a Jacen from Dark Nest, or Kyp Durron from the Jedi Academy. It's very much unintended since those are pretty obvious plot points, but it is fun to have that as background material. Along the many intentional EU references along the YT freighter and other such quips.

The bigger picture, unfortunately, is lacking untill later movies. You could feel them trying to cram in as much information as possible.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Crown »

Meh.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by fgalkin »

Holy shit, just how powerful is Rey? I mean, nothing untrained Luke or even padawan Anakin did even remotely compares to what comes naturally to her. With the First Order being as incompetent as they were, it really looked like watching a leveled-up KOTOR character at times.

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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by fgalkin »

Other thoughts:

Harrison Ford got his wish at last. I was expecting it, of course, but still sad to see Han go. At least, he got a good exit.

It was nice to see the villain get saddled with the angst for a change. Conversely, the complete absence of angst in Rey and Finn was refreshing. Kylo Ren was kinda what Anakin should have been.

Loved the action scenes and the remakes of iconic ANH scenes were nice. The dialogue was nice.

Somehow, JJ managed to surpass Lucas in crappy worldbuilding (by basically having none whatsoever), but meh, whatever.

Overall, I quite enjoyed it

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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Prometheus Unbound »

Ren is a better Anakin than Anakin, imo. Whilst not perfect, it showed I think (in reverse) what Anakin was meant to go through.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Adam Reynolds »

Haven't seen this yet, but I couldn't help myself and so read the thread anyway. Turns out that the spoilers I read months ago are pretty accurate.

Does Rey end up getting involved in the lightsaber duel? For some reason I envisioned a scene in which she calls a lightsaber to her hand after Finn starts losing.

So is Rey Han and Leia's daughter? That is something I oddly haven't seen confirmed. Same question as to Kylo's origin?

Also turns out I called it on Han's death. Though going by the ANH remake vibe, a mentor had to die.

Can't say I'm surprised about the minimalism. I guess it could loosely be justified by the fact that the First Order is acting in the margins outside the authority of the Republic or Empire. Though haven't seen it yet to comment.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Adam Reynolds »

fgalkin wrote:Somehow, JJ managed to surpass Lucas in crappy worldbuilding (by basically having none whatsoever), but meh, whatever.
Actually that was among the best elements of the prequels overall. It gave a nice variety of interesting locations to interact with. Things like a 1950s diner on Coruscant or a sinkhole world with extremely tall aliens were fairly interesting.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by loomer »

The minimalism was one of the few things that really irritated me. Also, the idea that some... random planet getting blown up would end the Republic was pretty hilarious to me.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Raesene »

Went to the midnight screening and fortunately took the day off. While I enjoyed the movie it didn't really get me. The lack of context for the events left me ... disoriented, I could say with a bit of exaggeration.
I don't want to have to buy a whole new line of books to be able to really follow the plot.

I also hast the -obviously wrong- impression everything takes places in the same solar system, e.g. Han and Leia seeeing the shot that destroys the New Republic's capital planet.

Overall, I liked the first half of it , the second less to my taste. Actors were ok, effects great and visuals stunning as expected. Overall a good movie, but not in my top 3 of SW Films.

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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Vympel »

I loved this movie.

- The criticism that it follows ANH's formula is in my view totally overstated. There are superficial similarities, but that's all they are - its a question of emphasis, and in the movie finding Luke is far more important than Starkiller Base.
- The entire cast fucking nailed it. There's no one I didn't like. Adam Driver was great. A girl next to me didn't know it was Adam Driver until the helmet came off and she almost had a seizure from surprise.
- So good to see Han and Chewie again. He nailed an aged Han so well. I did pick up when he was saying goodbye to Leia that it would likely be the last time he ever saw her.
- There's a lot of unanswered questions that have been scattered about in a deliberately ANH style manner:

What is the New Republic's relationship with the First Order? Why is their fleet protecting the Resistance considered some sort of scandal by the (fanatical) Hux? Why isn't the New Republic directly fighting the First Order?
What did Starkiller Base destroy? A star system to be sure, presumably their seat of government? Was it multiple planets in one star system? Couldn't really tell.
What the hell does Snoke want?
Why did he leave Ben Solo's training incomplete?
How the hell was Anakin's lightsabre even recovered?
The vision Rey had - obviously she had a vision of Luke's duel with Vader on Bespin, but Kylo Ren and the other figures - was that them slaughtering Luke's students?


- So I got it wrong, assuming Ben would be Luke's son, but yeah - clearly Rey is Luke's daughter, right? I mean:

Han acts weird with her all movie and clearly knows who she is;
R2D2 only reactivates in proximity of Rey.


- This movie was just beatifully shot, wasn't it?
- So many funny moments without veering into embarassing prequel comedy territory.
- If I had a criticism, its that the moments needed time to breathe. Things were given short shrift in various instances - a glaring example is how quickly Han established sneaking onto Starkiller Base (with its ultimate variation of velocity dependent shields).
- Oh, and Captain Phasma got robbed. Seriously, using her as a plot device to lower the shields was weak. Here's to seeing her actually do something in the subsequent films.

Technical Thoughts / Nitpicks

- Starkiller Base is insane. A far greater feat of engineering than the Death Star, built by a faction necessarily less powerful than the GE, and its ability to entirely - and safely - absorb a star's energy until the star is entirely reduced to nothing is probably the most uncontroversial thing we'll see in the films re: their ability to handle huge amounts of energy safely. Not to mention it is necessarily mobile, though we don't see it move before its (unfortunate, plot wise IMO) destruction.
- The thing at the start with Poe and Finn having to shoot the turrets on the FOSD didn't make much sense on its face - those turrets were fairly big, are they really the primary threat to a TIE Fighter?
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Darth Tanner »

I'm still not sure on this film having just got back from seeing it in IMAX...

First I definitely enjoyed it, the acting, special effect, camera work ect are all fantastic... The humour especially was very well handled - not too much but very good where it was.

However it just seemed disjointed... they rush through a lot of by the numbers action scenes seemingly for the entire purpose of those action scenes and some the lack of plot just leaves me with a bad taste. The long lets stare at each other scenes started to drag too.

Random thoughts...

What the hell with the Star Killer base..., if the entire thing is an artificial construct why build it inside a planet? We never see it be mobile and yet it seemingly fires slower than light projectiles at that random planet and its moons... that just happens to be in the same system Han and co flee to to be able to see it impact? If it drains a star to power itself then did it jump into the system to charge then fire? Why did what was seemingly a mini Coruscant not notice that jumping in with its Star Destroyer escort?

It would have made a lot more sense to destroy Coruscant with your first shot... that would really throw the Republic into chaos... but random planet G?

Stormtrooper armour is not poison proof.
Stormtroopers in the First Order are stolen children brainwashed into following orders... Fin was assigned to be a janitor but then finds himself as part of an elite unit raiding a mission critical settlement?
Poe is some sort of uber pilot with a god cheat - I'll scip over how the hell he got off planet and beat them back to Resistance base but he just ubered his way through tie fighters like they were tissue paper.
Captain Phasma was the worst villain character ever... even the random stormtrooper with the energy mace gets better scenes than her... she comes across as a random boob... as a matter of fact if the shields were down just because an infantry officer turned them off why can't anyone turn them back on?
The new Star Destroyer design is pretty rubbish with lots of hollow space more or less designed for enemy fighters to exploit.
The battle of Jakku left MonCal ships ruined in the dessert.
The first order likes the ladies, female officers and Stormtroopers abound.
The first order seemingly knew where the rebel base was anyway - why not just destroy it with your star destoryer years ago? The resistance is apparently a dozen X wings.
Seemingly the Republic/Empire doesn’t care enough about all that military equipment dumped in the sand but just leaves it to junk dealers.
The Republic protects the Resistance from the First Order... but does nothing to protect its planets from a death star?
Internal First Order security makes the Empire from Rebels look competent.
The Resistance can't match a map of probably 10% of the galaxy with their existing records?
Blasters seem to have improved/changed significantly in tech form, they now throw people around quite a lot, except when they are main characters and are projectiles... the turbolasers on a star destroyer fire homing lasers or were they missile batteries?

I actually loved that Kylo was such a rage filled teenager, it was a change from what I presumed to be a vader rip off. He got his ass handed to him by an untrained Ren and Fin but he had just been shot.
I also agree Ren is lukes daughter... probably. Who the hell dug Luke his thousands of steps and wall if he is an isolated hermit?

Overall I'd say about 8..5/10 - we will see how the plot actually gets developed with the next films to see if it has a plot at all? I don’t know how I would rate it compared to the other films yet… its too fresh at the moment to be objective.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Mange »

Vympel wrote:What did Starkiller Base destroy? A star system to be sure, presumably their seat of government? Was it multiple planets in one star system? Couldn't really tell.
The planet (and was it moons?) was called Hosnian Prime. In the new canon, Chandrila is mentioned as being the capital of the Republic. Hosnian Prime (which from the brief glimpse we were offered) seems to be an ecumenopolis of some importance. What importance? Well, we don't know why (yet) as this is something Abrams isn't good at (we at least understood why Alderaan was so important to Leia before it was destroyed).
Vympel wrote:- The criticism that it follows ANH's formula is in my view totally overstated. There are superficial similarities, but that's all they are - its a question of emphasis, and in the movie finding Luke is far more important than Starkiller Base.
I think that when several lines are lifted directly from ANH, are slightly modified and then placed in a similar situation (the Stormtroopers discussing the new BT-17 and the line about them "splitting up" and being on "level what-it-now-was"), are more than "superficial similarities". And a few things on the Falcon seemed to have been included just to please the audience.
Vympel wrote:- This movie was just beatifully shot, wasn't it?
Apart from a few nice shots (especially of the TIE-fighters coming in), I think it was pretty lackluster. But it's merely an opinion.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Mange »

Sorry for the double-post, but the edit window has closed. I had meant to address this, but it slipped my mind:
Vympel wrote:What is the New Republic's relationship with the First Order? Why is their fleet protecting the Resistance considered some sort of scandal by the (fanatical) Hux? Why isn't the New Republic directly fighting the First Order?
In the (poor) novel Aftermath, Mon Mothma put forward a vote to cut the military forces of the Republic by 90 percent once the war with the Empire was over (the remaining ten percent would be kept as a peacekeeping force). The peace treaty with the Empire (locking the Empire within the Core and Inner Rim) following the Imperial defeat at Jakku could've had a role why the Republic didn't fight the First Order directly.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Adam Reynolds »

On the issue of scale, is it any worse than ANH? Don't forget that besides the Death Star, we only saw a trio of Star Destroyers.

And the Rebel Alliance sends a grand total of thirty starfighters against the Death Star, which responds with only nine that we see(though there were undoubtedly more than that). Even the trailers show a larger sense of scale than this.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Anacronian »

Adam Reynolds wrote:On the issue of scale, is it any worse than ANH? Don't forget that besides the Death Star, we only saw a trio of Star Destroyers.

And the Rebel Alliance sends a grand total of thirty starfighters against the Death Star, which responds with only nine that we see(though there were undoubtedly more than that). Even the trailers show a larger sense of scale than this.
It's pretty much on par with ANH, as far as I know we only see one SD and the Resistance seem to be attacking Starkiller base with with 15-30 fighters (guess on my part but it's hard to get a precise count during a movie)
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