Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-09-21 02:00pm

JJ Abrams can take risks. Off the top of my head, destroying Vulcan in Stark Trek qualifies.

That said, he also retreads old ground a bit too much (see his lamer Wrath of Kahn remake, as well as TFA).

Still, I expect that they'll be at least a little more wiling to take risks now. Maybe. I get playing it safe with the first film, even if its a reaction to stupid Prequel bashing. And now they've got a hit with TFA (financially speaking), followed by Rogue One proving that they can do riskier plots and still succeed (Rogue One also nicely proved that you can provide buckets of OT nostalgia without actually following OT plots).

I also think that in some ways, TFA is more innovative than a lot of people give it credit for. Yes, it has some broad plot similarities to the OT, but it also has some striking differences. Off the top of my head:

-Increased diversity in casting. Not just that, but I'd argue that Rey is an example of a female action lead done right. Sure, she doesn't have the deepest characterization, but they managed to portray her without falling into the major pitfalls of gratuitous sexual objectification, or beating the audience over the head with the fact that "She's a STRONG FEMALE LEAD, aren't we edgy?" Rogue One did this too- its one of the two things I think Disney has gotten consistently right with Star Wars, the other being how it portrays Vader (mainly in Rebels and Rogue One).

-Reformed Stormtrooper as the lead. I find Finn a very interesting character.

-A very different approach to the main villain. Kylo Ren isn't Vader with a different coat of paint. He is a Vader wannabe who is actually nothing like Vader, and that's the point.

People focus on a few obvious similarities to the OT and write off the film, unfairly, as just an OT knock-off.

I also think that with all the OT comparisons, people overlook the KotOR parallels, which I think are equally valid, if less obvious to the average movie-goer.

Edit: I'll note, though (and I believe it came up previously in this discussion, or a related discussion), that the stuff that works in TFA is mostly character stuff (and some of the visuals). Abrams can do characterization and flashy visuals moderately well. Most of the time.

Its in making an original yet comprehensible plot where he tends to fall flat (though some of that at least was likely other writers he worked with).

What he needs is strict editorial oversight of the plot. Then he'd be fine.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Civil War Man » 2017-09-22 09:19am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-09-21 02:00pm
-A very different approach to the main villain. Kylo Ren isn't Vader with a different coat of paint. He is a Vader wannabe who is actually nothing like Vader, and that's the point.
I think part of the reason some people don't like Kylo Ren is that he's a Vader wannabe who's nothing like Vader...but everything like Anakin. :P

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Patroklos » 2017-09-22 10:04am

I like that there is a character with the characteristics of Ren. I really do. The problem is that in being a Vader wannabe is that he is also a wannabe in the ways that make a character (such as Vader) a successful main villain, specifically menace/competence/charisma. He just shouldn't have been billed as the main villain.

The result is the movies, as of right now, had and have no villain to serve as a major threat. ANH had Tarkin and Vader, both successful in their own ways. They killed one to provide the feel good ending (you can do this when you are a good enough writer to have TWO effective villians). We maintained Vader through ESB with an intro to the Emperor, and then we were back to two no shit villains for RotJ, which allowed for the redemption of one and the destruction of the other for a two punch feel good trilogy finale.

Lets be honest here. Does anyone give a shit if Ren, Hux, or Snooki die? Or even show up at all? Like if they just said the died off screen or just pretended they never existed and new effective villains showed up would you be sad? Well maybe Ren just a little bit, but you get the point.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Adam Reynolds » 2017-09-22 01:52pm

Indeed. A villain is not supposed to be interesting. They are supposed to be competent and a threat to the protagonist and their goals.If they are also interesting as well, this is a nice bonus, but they need to be competent first and interesting second. Kylo Ren had this backwards.

All of the best antagonists in film history were competent first and interesting second. The Terminator had a grand total of 18 lines of dialog in the whole movie, but because he was the unstoppable killing machine, he was effective and memorable. The Joker* is so memorable because he made Batman and Gotham bleed by attacking indirectly and in serving as a foil for both. Darth Maul was for some the only memorable part of The Phantom Menace because he was so intimidating he stopped an entire roomful of soldiers in their tracks and killed a Jedi Master in combat.

I actually think the problem with Rey as a Mary Sue is not that she was too strong as much as it was that it felt that none of the antagonists were ever a threat to her because they never felt effective enough. Snoke might be effective in the next movie, but the fact that he is surrounded by idiots makes him less so. The Emperor was introduces as a threat because Vader kneeled before him. Kylo Ren and Hux doing the same thing is less notable because neither of them are powerful enough for that to work. It could have worked better if Hux were more competent due to intelligence, in which he constantly talked down to Kylo Ren but still kneeled before Snoke, but Hux felt like less of a threat than Tarkin.

* Though I personally can't stand that his plots make no sense, he is quite memorable to audiences.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-09-22 01:57pm

I think that the First Order is a fairly impressive villain faction, or at least has the potential to be one. Starkiller Base, actually competent stormtroopers and tie pilots who aren't canon fodder, and they're smart enough to cut their losses and retreat when they're at a disadvantage.

But the film does lack formidable individual villains. Ren is a great character, but not a particularly threatening main villain. I mean, sure, on an individual scale, but he doesn't seem like a great political mastermind or commander. Phasma was wasted. Hux just seems like a frothing at the mouth fanatic, without any particular abilities (what little we've seen of him).

Snoke is theoretically impressive in what he's accomplished, and seems like he could be developed into a threatening sinister mastermind, but at present most of what he's ostensibly accomplished took place off-screen, so he just comes off as a more boring Palpatine knock-off.

Phasma is a bit part billed as a major role.

Fortunately, it would be easy for the problems with Snoke and Phasma (and even the others) as threatening villains to be fixed. There's nothing wrong with what's their. There just needs to be more. Episode VIII can take care of that.

Time will tell weather it will.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Adam Reynolds » 2017-09-22 11:02pm

In what way are First Order stormtrooper better than their Imperial predecessors? This is something I have heard others say but see no evidence of based on the film. I would actually say the opposite. In A New Hope, it was clearly established by both Leia and Tarkin that the only reason the heroes escaped from the Death Star was because he allowed it. In The Empire Strikes Back stormtroopers appearing is a good sign the heroes are in trouble, and there is also an implication that they were allowed to escape. While they do lose to teddy bears in Return of the Jedi, even that is not as bad as it looks considering just how few stormtroopers there actually were, and they still felt like a legitimate threat to the heroes for most of the battle, at least scoring hits on two major characters(R2 and Leia).

In The Force Awakens, they are utterly worthless at defending Starkiller Base against the heroes. While we had to be told that Imperial stormtroopers allowed the heroes to escape the Death Star, First Order troopers just lost outright without any sort of explanation. On Jakku, they immediately call for air support even though Rey and Finn aren't even armed. Takodonia is probably their best showing, but even there we only see one stormtrooper that really inspires anything, and that is the moron who drops his blaster to fight hand to hand against an untrained lightsaber wielding enemy, only to be shot in the back by Han Solo.

We also see most of them get blasted by X-wing fire. While that is not entirely their fault(though they could have done more to take cover), it doesn't give much faith in the ability of their TIE fighter corps to provide much in the way of air cover. Far more X-wings also escape Starkiller Base than the Death Star, despite seemingly being opposed by more TIE fighters(admittedly there might have been more X-wings over Starkiller, but I doubt the ratio was all that much better for the X-wings).

While neither group is all that effective, especially in the common perception by fans, FO stormtroopers are certainly worse and no less cannon fodder. The only truly effective infantry that were not always cannon fodder were clone troopers, who only ever really lost to overwhelming enemy numbers or surprise attacks. When they were on the offensive they generally won. Rebel troopers also generally showed competence, occasionally making up in courage and ability what they lacked in firepower. Battle droids get an honorable mention because while the standard battle droids were comic relief and mostly useless, their bigger brothers were not. Super battle droids, droidikas, or commando droids were almost always a threat when they showed up. Rogue One also largely used the battle droid model with Krennic's guards as the competent ones and standard stormtroopers as the cannon fodder.

Having an antagonist fold rather than playing until the end can be effective, as with Thrawn in the Zahn novels, but that is only because he also is able to win something most of the time. There is a difference walking away with most of your chips and walking away after losing most of them. The first is a smart player, the second is a loser. Also, the first time they retreat, on Maz's planet, they actually lose the thing they went there for originally by leaving without BB-8.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Patroklos » 2017-09-23 03:13am

But the have cool slick new helmets and awesome giant red buttons on their blasters! That means their awesome broski!

And lets not forget the child slave soldier schlock. Seriously, these storm troopers couldn't be less impressive if the tried. I am more impressed by actual child soldiers in Africa giving their AKs gangster grips.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Patroklos » 2017-09-23 08:57am

Edit: Wrong thread...

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-09-23 11:18am

Patroklos wrote:
2017-09-23 03:13am
But the have cool slick new helmets and awesome giant red buttons on their blasters! That means their awesome broski!

And lets not forget the child slave soldier schlock. Seriously, these storm troopers couldn't be less impressive if the tried. I am more impressed by actual child soldiers in Africa giving their AKs gangster grips.
That's not why. I mean, do I really strike you as the kind of poster who would think that they're "hard core" or some shit for having child slave soldiers?

To be honest, its probably the guy who fights Finn more than anything, and the implication that they have actually trained their grunts in anti-lightsaber (i.e. anti-Force user tactics).

Plus, I remember some of the maneuvers the tie pilots pulled while chasing the Falcon as pretty impressive.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Patroklos » 2017-09-23 12:37pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-09-23 11:18am
That's not why. I mean, do I really strike you as the kind of poster who would think that they're "hard core" or some shit for having child slave soldiers?

To be honest, its probably the guy who fights Finn more than anything, and the implication that they have actually trained their grunts in anti-lightsaber (i.e. anti-Force user tactics).
I wasn't directing that at anyone in particular.
Plus, I remember some of the maneuvers the tie pilots pulled while chasing the Falcon as pretty impressive.
That sounds impressive until you realize a rank amateur who has flown nothing but rickety wrecker trash and never sat foot before in the craft she was flying flew BETTER than these supposedly professional trained veterans of their top of the line military grade no expense spared fighter craft.

This is of course a separate problem, namely how to you make your mooks mooks but let the audience forget they were always going to die. The short answer is you need to resist the urge to just have the main characters own them outright and provide some sort of plausible context for their defeat, either due to plausible circumstance or luck, or is just schlock with no tension because they present no threat (there are movies where schlock is okay, this wasn't one of them). Right now TFA stormtroopers are like Prequal battle droids, it doesn't matter if they are there or not because they are so effortlessly dispatched (cue Reys instant expert marksman status...) they are really meaningless to the plot.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Galvatron » 2017-09-23 12:58pm

We've been over this ad nauseum. Rey was natural ace pilot for the same reason Anakin and Luke were: the Force was strong with them. That and she was intimately familiar with the wreckage she was flying through after years of scouring them clean of salvage.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Patroklos » 2017-09-23 01:02pm

There is also the odd circumstance where we see Rey not exactly dominate the TIE pilots but compete far outside the realm of possibility then we have Poe who literally just looks at TIES and they explode while at the same time having Rebel pilots who rest somewhere between them actually die competitively due to these same TIE pilots. The tone of the combat is just all over the place. That existence of plausibility side by side with supermench performances just smacks the audience upside the head with a plot armor club.

Would it really have been that hard for the writers to have come up with a clever contrivance to get Rey off or Jakku. Its not like Walter White beat the shit out of Tucco in a fist fight, walking away just barely. Would it have been that hard to show Poe have to break a sweat when fighting TIE fighters, or at least look like he is not stiffling a fucking yawn (seriously watching the clips to write this posts he looks like hes just playing x-box in his boxers on a Sunday morning. I mean, I don't want him to be panacing or anthing but how about SOME emotion, SOME display of tension)? Its not like Maverick just just shrugged his way through the Top Gun finale. Would it have been such an expense to teach whatever actress plays Rey how to correctly hold a weapon instead of having her flick her wrist and hit a stormtrooper in the face at thirty yards? Its not like Tom Hanks walked off the landing craft and start head shoting Germans with his off hand. I mean seriously, just TRY.
Galvatron wrote:
2017-09-23 12:58pm
We've been over this ad nauseum. Rey was natural ace pilot for the same reason Anakin and Luke were: the Force was strong with them. That and she was intimately familiar with the wreckage she was flying through after years of scouring them clean of salvage.
And the result is going to be the same, that Anakin and Luke anything but the BEST PILOT ON SCREEN in any of the sequences of their first film (in Lukes case, in ZERO sequences). All of them had a buildup of their force abilities and other skills, and in Lukes case he had to have a freaking master Jedi's ghost tell him what to do. Anakin had experiance established in competative pod racing where his natural talent was mentioned but he was NOT winning for his first time in said pod racer, or for however many races he was in prior to the one we saw. Luke was established as a terrestrial craft pilot for years, with a perchant for marksmanship, not outside the realm of possibility for any human. Both bumbled through their first space fight, one requiring an entire squadron of veterans at his back just to keep him alive plus another plot armored main character plus a fucking ghost.

Rey picked through a junkyard...
Last edited by Patroklos on 2017-09-23 01:09pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Galvatron » 2017-09-23 01:08pm

Yeah, Poe was ridiculously wanked out. Hell, even Han and Wedge didn't shrug off enemy fighters as easily as Poe did.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Adam Reynolds » 2017-09-23 04:01pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-09-23 11:18am
Patroklos wrote:
2017-09-23 03:13am
But the have cool slick new helmets and awesome giant red buttons on their blasters! That means their awesome broski!

And lets not forget the child slave soldier schlock. Seriously, these storm troopers couldn't be less impressive if the tried. I am more impressed by actual child soldiers in Africa giving their AKs gangster grips.
That's not why. I mean, do I really strike you as the kind of poster who would think that they're "hard core" or some shit for having child slave soldiers?

To be honest, its probably the guy who fights Finn more than anything, and the implication that they have actually trained their grunts in anti-lightsaber (i.e. anti-Force user tactics).

Plus, I remember some of the maneuvers the tie pilots pulled while chasing the Falcon as pretty impressive.
That is actually quite stupid. Clone troopers were reasonably effective against Jedi by using their blasters and overwhelming numbers. Trying to take on a Jedi one to one is suicidal. Even the most expensive possible battle droids, with superhuman reflexes, are frequently incapable of this feat. Especially considering their weapons were not lethal, which made it an unfair fight against a generally superior enemy. He was quite lucky he encountered Finn rather than an actual Jedi.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Q99 » 2017-09-23 04:56pm

It's not like the purpose of the melee training was primarily anti-Jedi, that weapon was a 'riot baton'. The main point more is when they do have melee troops, they're trained quite well and have a nice weapon.

And Rey didn't just work on junk, she flew it and tested it and such. She flew a speeder regularly, and what did Luke train in? An airspeeder. So, yea. Even so, she's an ok pilot so far, no top ace.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Batman » 2017-09-23 05:03pm

'OK pilot'? She lined up the shot for Finn with a fucking stuck gun.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Galvatron » 2017-09-23 05:44pm

I call it luck.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Batman » 2017-09-23 05:49pm

One thing that always pissed me off about that sequence-the Falcon has TWO quads. The reason Finn didn't just get off his ass and move to the other one was....what, exactly?
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Galvatron » 2017-09-23 05:56pm

I always wondered that myself. Maybe everything happened so fast that it didn't occur to him.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Batman » 2017-09-23 06:30pm

Well on hindsight I think we're applying out-of-universe info to the scenario. WE know the Falcon had two turrets. Did Finn and Rey? The Falcon wasn't Rey's first choice as an escape vehicle, she just picked it because her first choice got blown up and Finn knew even less about the ship than she did.
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Q99 » 2017-09-23 07:18pm

Galvatron wrote:
2017-09-23 05:44pm
I call it luck.
Like, *they* thought it was luck. And it was still Finn on the timing of the shot, it's not like she set it in the sights, she put it on an arc that briefly intersected the TIE giving Finn a brief moment.

That may have been the Force giving them a nat 20, but it wasn't exactly setting the TIE up for an easy kill.

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Batman » 2017-09-23 08:01pm

That's the whole point. It wasn't an easy kill. It was a very difficult one...yet Rey managed to set it up
'Next time I let Superman take charge, just hit me. Real hard.'
'You're a princess from a society of immortal warriors. I'm a rich kid with issues. Lots of issues.'
'No. No dating for the Batman. It might cut into your brooding time.'
'Tactically we have multiple objectives. So we need to split into teams.'-'Dibs on the Amazon!'
'Hey, we both have a Martian's phone number on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt.'
'You know, for a guy with like 50 different kinds of vision, you sure are blind.'

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by Khaat » 2017-09-25 11:00am

Batman wrote:
2017-09-23 06:30pm
Well on hindsight I think we're applying out-of-universe info to the scenario. WE know the Falcon had two turrets. Did Finn and Rey? The Falcon wasn't Rey's first choice as an escape vehicle, she just picked it because her first choice got blown up and Finn knew even less about the ship than she did.
Finn would have seen an up and a down as he entered the ladder space. And since he had the know-how to tell her to fly low, as it would confuse the TIEs' tracking, he should have climbed up. He could have engaged the TIEs during more of the chase, as the Falcon was more commonly lower (a fighter jock would know that the TIEs would want to stay "above and behind" to control the engagement, so the top turret would have been a better choice - not Finn, though.)

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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-09-25 05:28pm

Adam Reynolds wrote:
2017-09-23 04:01pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2017-09-23 11:18am
Patroklos wrote:
2017-09-23 03:13am
But the have cool slick new helmets and awesome giant red buttons on their blasters! That means their awesome broski!

And lets not forget the child slave soldier schlock. Seriously, these storm troopers couldn't be less impressive if the tried. I am more impressed by actual child soldiers in Africa giving their AKs gangster grips.
That's not why. I mean, do I really strike you as the kind of poster who would think that they're "hard core" or some shit for having child slave soldiers?

To be honest, its probably the guy who fights Finn more than anything, and the implication that they have actually trained their grunts in anti-lightsaber (i.e. anti-Force user tactics).

Plus, I remember some of the maneuvers the tie pilots pulled while chasing the Falcon as pretty impressive.
That is actually quite stupid. Clone troopers were reasonably effective against Jedi by using their blasters and overwhelming numbers. Trying to take on a Jedi one to one is suicidal. Even the most expensive possible battle droids, with superhuman reflexes, are frequently incapable of this feat. Especially considering their weapons were not lethal, which made it an unfair fight against a generally superior enemy. He was quite lucky he encountered Finn rather than an actual Jedi.
In fairness, we do have examples of non-Force users holding their own against Jedi. The odd Mandalorian, and Cad Bane, come immediately to mind. Force abilities give you an advantage. They don't make you a god. High-quality equipment and training can counter them. You probably couldn't afford to equip all the rank and file in such a manner, but a major power having special forces units capable of matching Force users doesn't strain suspension of disbelief much for me.
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Re: Colin Trevorrow replaced with Abrams as 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Director

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-09-25 05:33pm

Patroklos wrote:
2017-09-23 12:37pm
I wasn't directing that at anyone in particular.
Alright, but I still want to clarify where I stand on that issue, since I'm the one defending the First Order here.
That sounds impressive until you realize a rank amateur who has flown nothing but rickety wrecker trash and never sat foot before in the craft she was flying flew BETTER than these supposedly professional trained veterans of their top of the line military grade no expense spared fighter craft.
Perhaps, but Rey is a Force user, and I'll be a bit surprised if she doesn't turn out to be a Skywalker. And stupid or not, its canon that Anakin outflew experienced pod racers (and Trade Federation droid fighters and experienced Naboo pilots) when he was nine.
This is of course a separate problem, namely how to you make your mooks mooks but let the audience forget they were always going to die. The short answer is you need to resist the urge to just have the main characters own them outright and provide some sort of plausible context for their defeat, either due to plausible circumstance or luck, or is just schlock with no tension because they present no threat (there are movies where schlock is okay, this wasn't one of them). Right now TFA stormtroopers are like Prequal battle droids, it doesn't matter if they are there or not because they are so effortlessly dispatched (cue Reys instant expert marksman status...) they are really meaningless to the plot.
Again, I would point to not just the pilots chasing Rey, but the fact that one of them was apparently trained to fight hand to hand against light sabers, and nearly killed Finn.

I mean, they're not exactly the best of the best. But they're arguably a cut above standard storm troopers at times. Star Wars has never had terribly impressive villain armies, once you look past the flashy tech.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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