Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Crayz9000 »

Channel72 wrote:I thought Kylo Ren was actually very well done. Basically, there's simply no way you can possibly top Darth Vader as a villain, so why even try? Any attempt to do so will simply result in ridicule from the audicence. So instead, the writers wisely tried to depict a lesser villain, who is scary not because of his cold, ruthless competence like Vader, but because he is literally a fanatical psychopath who is calm at one moment and then brutally, ragefully violent the next. In some ways he is even scarier than Vader, because at least with Vader you know you are dealing with someone rational. This guy is more like a violent fanatic with major insecurity problems who is prone to lash out in anger at any second. I think that aspect was very well done. And he wasn't "whiny" in any sense, like Anakin - for the most part he was very calm and collected, until he starts fucking up and then he just loses it.

And he clearly is supposed to have some redeeming qualities at first - unlike Vader who is fully comfortable in his evil - Kylo Ren clearly struggles with feelings of compassion and kindness, which he hates because he feels they make him weak. He is in fact so conflicted by these feelings that he feels the need to commit patricide in order to psychologically secure himself as a true student of the Dark Side.
I will admit that my judgement of Kylo Ren may have been tainted by my intense dislike of the post-NJO EU. Basically, his character was such a dead ringer for Jacen / Darth Caedus that it more or less threw in some dissonance about who he really was.

Ignoring the similarities, in retrospect he does work as a villain. I'm not sure I'd rank him as a tragic character on the level of Oedipus or Hamlet, however. His backstory happens offscreen, with a presumably normal (as far as such things go in SW) childhood, then an abortive Jedi training with his uncle during which point he turned to the Dark Side and everything went downhill. Leia is (mistakenly?) convinced he can be redeemed, leading her to send Han off on a suicide mission to try and talk some sense into him.

The scene where they meet was well-written, the dialogue didn't feel forced, and the emotion (from Han anyway) felt real. At the same time, his prior behavior was, frankly, psychopathic. Sudden bursts of rage, the outward appearance of emotions, and the like all pointed to Han walking into a trap. It was obvious that whatever emotions he was showing were simply faked to bring Han closer so he could snap the trap shut. It's hard for me to say whether he was in fact struggling with any true feelings of compassion or kindness--his insecurity seemed to trace more to his own lack of finesse in the Force and his constant underestimation of his enemies.

So from that perspective, he definitely works. I don't think we've ever had a true psychopath shown in Star Wars. Kylo Ren is pretty much like Norman Bates inserted into Star Wars, with his obsession with his dead mother replaced with an obsession over his dead grandfather.

But that still doesn't make him a tragic character. Something must have happened in his childhood to damage his psyche to such an extent - you don't just flip a switch and become a psychopath overnight. He's about as unredeemable as you can get; I'm not sure how Leia could still sense the light in him if she hasn't seen him for years, and most likely that's just her feelings as a mother clouding her perceptions.
Channel72 wrote:It wasn't visible from the Resistance base - it was visible from Maz Kanata's planet. But I can see how that would be confusing because both planets look like generic forest planets, and they quickly transition from the action on Maz Kanata's planet to the Resistance base planet. The only visually distinctive thing about the Resistance base planet is that it is shown to have large rings. (In an earlier draft of the script, apparently both were the same planet - and the planet was Yavin IV. Glad they changed that, at least.)

So it's not as absurd as you think - but still pretty absurd - that they're able to see the destruction of Hoznian Prime from the ground. I guess Maz Kanata's planet is in the Hoznian system for some reason, or at least, that's basically what we have to accept since JJ couldn't think of any other way to have the news about the Starkiller weapon firing spread to our main characters without having it visible in the sky. (Don't they have some kind of Galactic Internet that could inform them about major events or something?)
You're right, and I realized after posting that it was Maz Kanata's planet. Since the new EU basically follows the same hierarchy as the old EU (with the old EU simply being relegated to the dustbin) I'm going to say that the Visual Dictionary is flat-out wrong, and Maz Kanata's planet has to be in the Hosnian system. Never mind how strange it is that an undeveloped garden world would be in the same system as an ecumenopolis with multiple moons/space stations, unless it was consciously preserved for nature reasons/etc.

(Edit: That also gives a good reason why it wasn't targeted by Starkiller Base despite being in the same system: because Kylo Ren discovered BB-8 & the fugitives were on it and was en route to hunt them down.)

I am glad that they changed it from Yavin IV; even in the prequels it was irritating how things kept going back to Tatooine, a dustball farthest from the bright center of the universe. It's a bloody galaxy folks, there's plenty of room for variety (as we caught a glimpse of in ESB between Hoth, Bespin and Dagobah).
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Borgholio »

Channel72 wrote:And yeah, overall I think it's a bit of a stretch that Finn and Rey had any success engaging Ren, but the script at least tried to account for it by going out of its way to make sure we realized Ren was pretty badly wounded (he keeps pounding his wound, and appears to be in serious physical distress).
Also the thing about Ren is that he may not have any real lightsaber training either. We don't know at what point he deserted Luke, and we don't even know who or what Snoke is in the first place. For all we know, everything Ren learned about lightsaber fighting he got from a holo-vid on fencing. With that said, the melee combat training Finn had and the practical fight experience that Rey had could very well be enough to somewhat stand up to Ren, especially in his wounded condition.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Tychu »

Just putting this out there.
Luke Skywalker has vanished.
In his absence, the sinister
FIRST ORDER has risen
from the ashes of the Empire
and will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi,
has been destroyed.

With the support of the REPUBLIC,
General Leia Organa leads a brave RESISTANCE.
She is desperate to find her
brother Luke and gain his
help in restoring peace and
justice to the galaxy.

Leia has sent her most daring
pilot on a secret mission
to Jakku, where an old ally
has discovered a clue to
Luke’s whereabouts . . . .
For me; the film would get more points if it said this: (something similar)
15 years have passed since the Treaty of Chandrilla. After decades of warfare the Imperial Remnant and NEW Republic have agreed to decommission their fleets.

The FIRST ORDER, in hopes to bring the Galactic Empire has been secretly building a super weapon to undermine the peace. Kylo Ren; leader of the Knights of Ren has helped the First Order in tracking down and decimating Luke Skywalker's New Jedi Order

In these times of growing strife;Leia has sent her most daring pilot on a secret mission to Jakku, where an old ally has discovered a clue to Luke’s whereabouts . . . .
"Boring Conversation anyway" Han Solo

"What kinda archeologist carries a weapon........Bad Example" Colonel Jack O'Neil

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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Gaidin »

Crayz9000 wrote: You're right, and I realized after posting that it was Maz Kanata's planet. Since the new EU basically follows the same hierarchy as the old EU (with the old EU simply being relegated to the dustbin) I'm going to say that the Visual Dictionary is flat-out wrong, and Maz Kanata's planet has to be in the Hosnian system. Never mind how strange it is that an undeveloped garden world would be in the same system as an ecumenopolis with multiple moons/space stations, unless it was consciously preserved for nature reasons/etc.

(Edit: That also gives a good reason why it wasn't targeted by Starkiller Base despite being in the same system: because Kylo Ren discovered BB-8 & the fugitives were on it and was en route to hunt them down.)
Maz Kanata's castle was on Takadana which was in the Mid Rim while the Hosnian System is in the Core Worlds. There's no way they're in the same system. You have to remember that at least the weapon effects are visual FTL.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Channel72 »

Crayz9000 wrote:It's hard for me to say whether he was in fact struggling with any true feelings of compassion or kindness--his insecurity seemed to trace more to his own lack of finesse in the Force and his constant underestimation of his enemies.
Well, there's a scene where Ren is alone in his quarters, talking to himself (or actually, talking to the mask of Darth Vader), and he admits that he struggles with temptations to come back to the Light Side. Since he's basically talking to himself and opening up emotionally, this has to be taken at face value. Also Snoke expresses some concern that Ren would be unable to resist turning back to the good side if he were to be confronted by his father.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Crayz9000 »

Gaidin wrote:Maz Kanata's castle was on Takadana which was in the Mid Rim while the Hosnian System is in the Core Worlds. There's no way they're in the same system. You have to remember that at least the weapon effects are visual FTL.
Again, it bears repeating that the new canon hierarchy is essentially unchanged from the old canon hierarchy, with the films superseding all else, and as a result the old EU has been relegated to the dustbin.

In this case, the Star Wars databank and Visual Dictionary are only canon where they aren't contradicted by the movies. I don't care how much "hyperbabble" you throw at the problem; the visual appearance of the hyperlight weapon, as seen from Takadana, was very similar to the explosion of the second Death Star over Endor. Since there was no indication that the beam was visible from every planet in the galaxy, and such an effect would be extremely SoD breaking, the only logical explanation is that the secondary canon is simply wrong.

This has precedent, by the way: the Star Wars databank used to show the length of the Executor as 8 kilometers (thanks to the West End Games five-mile fallacy) but was eventually corrected to fit Dr. Saxton's visual calculation of 17.6+ kilometers.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by NecronLord »

Vympel wrote:
NecronLord wrote: Blasters are even shinier now. Stormtrooper armour is worse, much worse. No protection against toxins? Jeez.
They do protect against toxins, there's just no reason for Stormtroopers to be looking for toxins in that situation so the specific filter for that particular toxin were unlikely to be engaged. TFA novelization:
“Standard issue helmets are designed to filter out smoke, not toxins. To cope with the latter, a trooper needs to engage one of several special filters, depending on the specific contaminant. Identification is the province of one or two squad leaders. Having brought this ship on board theirs, I doubt anyone will think to check for airborne pollutants. It’s not like leading a ground assault, or forcing entry to an enemy warship. This is just an old freighter. Any kind of internal defense, much less something as nebulous as a gas counterattack, would be the last thing a squad sent to take its crew into custody would expect.”
That of course, is the novel not the film; Alan Dean Foster has a long (and welcome) tradition of fixing scientific and plausibility flaws in the movies he novelizes; for instance, in Alien he inserts a scene where the titular creature has been devouring food supplies on the Nostromo to explain how it managed to grow so large without eating anyone. I expect this is another of his improvements to the story; of course if I had my way I'd run Alan Dean Foster's version of movies as the highest canon. ;)
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Gaidin »

Crayz9000 wrote:
Gaidin wrote:Maz Kanata's castle was on Takadana which was in the Mid Rim while the Hosnian System is in the Core Worlds. There's no way they're in the same system. You have to remember that at least the weapon effects are visual FTL.
Again, it bears repeating that the new canon hierarchy is essentially unchanged from the old canon hierarchy, with the films superseding all else, and as a result the old EU has been relegated to the dustbin.
You try to tell me the TFA Visual God Damn Dictionary is in the dustbin again I'm going to not just say you're wrong but call you an asshole again.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Crayz9000 »

Channel72 wrote:Well, there's a scene where Ren is alone in his quarters, talking to himself (or actually, talking to the mask of Darth Vader), and he admits that he struggles with temptations to come back to the Light Side. Since he's basically talking to himself and opening up emotionally, this has to be taken at face value. Also Snoke expresses some concern that Ren would be unable to resist turning back to the good side if he were to be confronted by his father.
Fair enough. I suppose we'll have to wait for the next two installments to see what happens with his character development.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

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Gaidin wrote:You try to tell me the TFA Visual God Damn Dictionary is in the dustbin again I'm going to not just say you're wrong but call you an asshole again.
Oh for Sith's sake grow a pair and learn to read. I said the old EU - all of the post-RoTJ stuff and some of the other stuff - was in the dustbin. The AoTC ICS? Still part of canon as far as I'm aware. The TFA Visual Dictionary? It's secondary level canon in the new hierarchy: canon as far as not contradicted by the films.

In this case, it seems pretty clear that there is a contradiction, and guess what? The goddamned films win.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Gaidin »

Crayz9000 wrote:
Gaidin wrote:You try to tell me the TFA Visual God Damn Dictionary is in the dustbin again I'm going to not just say you're wrong but call you an asshole again.
Oh for Sith's sake grow a pair and learn to read. I said the old EU - all of the post-RoTJ stuff and some of the other stuff - was in the dustbin. The AoTC ICS? Still part of canon as far as I'm aware. The TFA Visual Dictionary? It's secondary level canon in the new hierarchy: canon as far as not contradicted by the films.

In this case, it seems pretty clear that there is a contradiction, and guess what? The goddamned films win.
Why don't you learn to read. The movie has dialogue explaining that weapon fires a blast that can be explained as FTL. The book goes into an even deeper explanation. Meaning the visual dictionary saying the planets are in different systems, published in the same month as the movie by the way, is PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE. Do us all a favor, and get over it.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Crayz9000 »

Since then, the only previously published material still considered canon are the six original trilogy/prequel trilogy films and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series and film. Most material published after April 25—such as the Star Wars Rebels TV series and all novels beginning with A New Dawn—is also considered part of the new canon, on account of the creation of the Lucasfilm Story Group, which currently oversees continuity as a whole. Characters under the Legends banner are still available for use as needed, even if events concerning them are no longer canon.
Alright, I'm just going to drop it. I see I was wrong about the new canon hierarchy, and apparently the Visual Dictionary is considered just as canon as the movies. It makes me wonder how the Story Group plans on fixing the inevitable conflicts as they happen, so I wouldn't be surprised to see some revision of the new policy down the road - but the point is moot.

I still dislike the idea of a hyperlight weapon being visible across the entire galaxy, but fine. It's a stupid one-shot plot MacGuffin, and good riddance to it.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Grumman »

Oskuro wrote:Firstly, I never understood the assumption that anyone without specific lightsaber training would instantly amputate all their limbs upon trying to use one.
I agree. A "Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't." rationale would make sense, and in a duel a trained user might be able to simply lock blades and overpower an opponent who cannot exert as much leverage, but the use of a lightsaber outside of combat should not be that dangerous as long as you don't let the blade glance off of an armoured target.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Galvatron »

Channel72 wrote:I think the fight between Kylo Ren and Finn is the first time in Star Wars, like ever ... that we've seen a non-force-user try to fight a force user in lightsaber combat.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by charlemagne »

Why is everyone so baffled about Rey and the force awakening in her, in a movie called The Force Awakens? :D The force probably just was fed up with Luke's angst and decided to kickstart a new light side agent. Personally I think Rey has some Skywalker family connection, too, but we'll just have to wait and see.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Galvatron »

Did anyone else notice Rey's crude doll of a pilot in an orange flightsuit and the fact that she had Luke's helmet? I personally believe that the Knights of Ren kidnapped her and left her marooned on Jakku to spite Skywalker (or some variation thereof). It's even possible that we'll discover that her mother was also one of the Knights of Ren.

Oh, and...
Galvatron wrote:Just saw it again.

I'm now assuming that Maz Kanata's planet was in the Hoznian system since they were able to witness the destruction of Hoznian Prime and its moons from the surface.
Fuck the visual dictionary. It's just plain badly researched and wrong.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Batman »

The Force isn't just awakening in her, it's wide awake, bushy-tailed and raring to go. She manages Mind Control pretty much first go, blocks Darth Whiner's mind probe, out-TKs the guy (who earlier managed to freeze a blaster bolt in mid-flight) and soundly beats him in lightsabre combat despite having zero training in using the Force. The Force 'awakening' was Luke in ANH.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Galvatron »

Rey doesn't necessarily have to be as strong or stronger in the Force than Anakin or Luke, but she's definitely a natural at controlling it. Once told it was all real, she obviously knew about the Jedi mind trick from the stories she'd heard and decided to DO it. Not try. Do.

Midi-chlorians aside, Rey may need very little training to master the abilities of a Jedi. I can imagine Episode XIII showing Luke being amazed at how quickly she learns to do things that required years of practice for himself.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Batman »

Episode 13? Somebody's being very optimistic :)
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Galvatron »

:lol: Touche.

Then again, I'd be surprised if Disney ends up stopping at Episode IX. At the very least, we'll get spinoffs for the next 50 years.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Gaidin »

Well...I mean. ...look what's happened with Marvel. I won't complain.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Galvatron »

Neither will I. I think the brand is in better hands now than it ever was. In Kathleen Kennedy I trust.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by JLTucker »

This is easily the best Star Wars to date, I think. I know that this apparently makes me ignorant of movies or some such nonsense.

I honestly can't say I had any issues with it other than some spotty CGI, ridiculous cameos that took me out of the movie, and the sense of astronomical scope. All the rest is perfect.

Yes, this has been criticized as a rehash of A New Hope, but it really isn't. It is an homage to the movie that started it all and what it does is take the OT to a conclusion deemed logical by the filmmakers.

It's interesting to take note of a few things of I think are of major consequence:

1. Luke turned into a gigantic pussy like Yoda and Obi-Wan, and continued the legacy of rearing child soldiers. He should have died instead of Han. In fact, I'd have killed all of the resistance for their continual use and support of child soldiers.

2. The internal dilemma between the Light and Dark side hasn't really been shown on screen. Kylo Ren's struggle to determine where he belongs in the universe is great to behold and reminds me immensely of Hamlet's patricide. All in all, he is a far better villain than Vader ever was. The prequels attempted to humanize Anakin and make him relatable, but the detestable dialogue, acting, and direction in AotC made that impossible. Imagine if Adam Driver played Anakin.

3. The reliance on Luke to help save everyone is very reminiscent of Anakin being the Chosen One to restore balance to the Force. Luke's seclusion decreased morale in the resistance fighters, leaving them nigh hopeless. It's not until Rey arrives that the Force is now accepted as something that is real and can be used to aid in the fight against the First Order.

4. The First Order is not as threatening as the Empire, but that is to be expected. The Empire was crushed at the battle of Endor, hence the slow rise of the new Order. Rylo is this movie's Vader, but the difference is that he is not as ambitious as Vader was and struggles far more than his grandfather. This shows an inconsistency between the objectives of the First Order compared to the Empire. The Empire didn't have two ranking officials battling for the affection of the SupremeLeader, causing dissent among the ranks, much frustration, and a lack of leadership. More depth to any character is better than what ANH offered, which this movie apparently ripped off.

In the end, Rylo killed his father, shed the skin his mother, father, and Luke tried to instill in him, and embraced his full nature. I expect the Order to be more powerful in the upcoming movies.

5. The dynamics between Rey and Finn are unexpectedly the anti-thesis of action movie tropes involving a male and female lead. Rey rejects Finn's advances with conviction. "What are you doing?!," as Finn grabs her hand. "Stop holding my hand!" being another example. In the end, they are friends, but her becoming a genuine love interest for Finn is nowhere to be found.

6. A storm trooper not being a mindless drone is a breath of fresh air. We've never seen that. They obey orders and never question. We understand how new troopers are picked and it adds depth to otherwise useless cannon fodder.

7. Who is Snoke? The master of Darth Plagus the Wise? Is he one of the first Siths? Is he a Sith at all?

8. Too damned long to wait for the next installment. I am glad Abrams is not back for the sequel, as he showed us all he can't handle then worth a damn (Into Darkness). Rian Johnson has made some good movies, notably Brick, so his contributions to the series should be great.
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Batman »

Um-where exactly were the Resistance shown to use child soldiers?
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Re: Ep7 Reviews (Spoilers)

Post by Crayz9000 »

Galvatron wrote:Neither will I. I think the brand is in better hands now than it ever was. In Kathleen Kennedy I trust.
Just the new canon policy - seriously, the Lucasfilm Story Group needs to grow a pair, hire a decent science advisor, and know when to tell people where they can shove stupid ideas.

What we saw in the movie was easily explainable without resorting to hyperbabble. They could've been in the same system, and all it would have taken to make the TFA VD consistent with the movie is a simple change to the planet's location, like the official placement of Vulcan and the ice world in the Star Trek reboot.

Sorry, I said I was done, so that's the last on that.
A Tribute to Stupidity: The Robert Scott Anderson Archive (currently offline)
John Hansen - Slightly Insane Bounty Hunter - ASVS Vets' Assoc. Class of 2000
HAB Cryptanalyst | WG - Intergalactic Alliance and Spoof Author | BotM | Cybertron | SCEF
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