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The Force Awakens Discussion Thread.(SPOILER ZONE)

Lozjam

A Cool, Cool Mountain
Joined
May 24, 2015
That final lightsaber duel between Rey and Ren was so amazing.
It was so emotional, you could feel the hate that Ren was trying to use, and the power behind it. Meanwhile, you feel Rey as really calm, collected, and masterful with her lightsaber.

This proves a huge point. You don't need a stupid mustafar hide and seek chase that goes through ridiculous phases. You just need good choreography, and proper lead up and emotion.

Abrams truly is doing what Lucas could never, ever do.
 

Dio

~ It's me, Dio!~
Joined
Jul 6, 2011
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England
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Absolute unit
I think what people are forgetting is that Anakin and Obi wan had trained for years with lightsabers and had done a hell of a lot more fighting than Kylo Ren or Rey which is why you don't get all the twirling and **** that you see in Episode 3.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
I thought the movie was pretty good overall, but not amazing. I'd give it 7.5 or 8/10.

The second half of the movie was a bit chaotic and could've used some trimming and streamlining. I also thought two of the biggest surprises in the movie (Han Solo's death, and Rey using the force to grab the lightsaber away from Kylo Ren) were very predictable. They alluded to Han's death for about 30-45 minutes before it happened.

It was fun though. I enjoyed the originals but was never obsessed with them, so I don't have the nostalgia glasses that many people surely do when watching this movie. It had good characters, and enough similarities to A New Hope that it can be seen as an homage to it without blatantly ripping it off.
 

Lozjam

A Cool, Cool Mountain
Joined
May 24, 2015
I think what people are forgetting is that Anakin and Obi wan had trained for years with lightsabers and had done a hell of a lot more fighting than Kylo Ren or Rey which is why you don't get all the twirling and **** that you see in Episode 3.
With Rey, that might be untrue(it really depends when Rey was abandoned. But it could not have been long). Ren, on the other hand, probably would have had just as much training as Anakin. They are around the same age afterall, and Ren would have been trained by one of the best Lightsaber Wielders in the whole canon(Luke Skywalker of course). Then he was also trained by Snoke.

Rey, on the other hand, probably had plenty of training with her wielding that staff so efficiently.... It wouldn't have been too much different from wielding a lightsaber as well. However, I actually think it would be cool if she wielded a double sided lightsaber in the future, or perhaps something even more unique due to her experience with staff like weapons.

Regarding all that twirling though.... Even if you had the proper training to do it... What is the point? That just leaves you wide open for a quick stab by your opponent. It would be effective on Droids and blaster fire. But in a real duel, it would be utterly useless.
 

Spiritual Mask Salesman

CHIMer Dragonborn
Staff member
ZD Legend
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Spiritual Mask Salesman

CHIMer Dragonborn
Staff member
ZD Legend
Comm. Coordinator
Site Staff
That final lightsaber duel between Rey and Ren was so amazing.
It was so emotional, you could feel the hate that Ren was trying to use, and the power behind it. Meanwhile, you feel Rey as really calm, collected, and masterful with her lightsaber.

This proves a huge point. You don't need a stupid mustafar hide and seek chase that goes through ridiculous phases. You just need good choreography, and proper lead up and emotion.

Abrams truly is doing what Lucas could never, ever do.
I wouldn't say Lucas screwed up the lightsaber duels, ever. I agree that going simple isn't bad as long as it's executed right, and in this case it was, and it worked flawlessly. I take more of a throwback to the orginal trilogy were the duels were never as complex as the prequel trilogy.

Though I agree Abrams certainly is taking things in a good direction.
 

Zorth

#Scoundrel
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
I think that it is the many questions you are asking that make the character more interesting, it was a brilliant move on the filmakers' part to not reveal every little tidbit about the villain. Yet we still know more about Kyle Ren than we did about Darth Vader in the original Star Wars. I think we will learn more about him and his turn to the dark side as the series goes on, especially as we learn more about Snoke and his powers.
I totally get that, but the issue to me is that it felt lazy not to go all the way. If they are anyway going to reveal something like "one of Luke's students turned on him", then it is really simple to add an extra line of dialogue saying something like "because XXX felt YYY about ZZZ". I guess it's more of an annoyance than an actual complaint, since the writers know there are 2 more movies coming.
 

Libk

Spaceballs: The Mafia Player
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I totally get that, but the issue to me is that it felt lazy not to go all the way. If they are anyway going to reveal something like "one of Luke's students turned on him", then it is really simple to add an extra line of dialogue saying something like "because XXX felt YYY about ZZZ". I guess it's more of an annoyance than an actual complaint, since the writers know there are 2 more movies coming.
In the original star wars did we knkw what the clone wars were? Did we know Vader was Luke' father? Did we know about his sister? Did we know why Kenobi was hiding out on tatooine? Did we know much about any of the characters in the first star wars film? A lot of things were revealed in later films that gave us the answers to questions we had in the first. This is a new trilogy. Sure they could just outright tell us everything, but then we won't have as much to learn in the next few movies. Being dropped in a world and giving little information to lut us male inferences and ask questions about the characters is nothing new of the star wars saga
 

Zorth

#Scoundrel
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
In the original star wars did we knkw what the clone wars were? Did we know Vader was Luke' father? Did we know about his sister? Did we know why Kenobi was hiding out on tatooine? Did we know much about any of the characters in the first star wars film? A lot of things were revealed in later films that gave us the answers to questions we had in the first. This is a new trilogy. Sure they could just outright tell us everything, but then we won't have as much to learn in the next few movies. Being dropped in a world and giving little information to lut us male inferences and ask questions about the characters is nothing new of the star wars saga
We already got to know enough, during the clone wars the empire took over and all the jedi died. Hence why kenobi is hiding out. Him hiding specifically on tatooine, or who these clones were, isn't important at all to the story. And the family connections really are weird to compare since as far as we know Luke's father died, no questions asked there... and neither did we need to know/ nor asked the question, that he had a twin sister until later. It really wasn't important until brought up.

You are missing my point, I'm not against mystery. Just that Kylo Rens motivations seem a bit weak to me, specifically why he wants to emulate Vader.

edit:
feels like this is going into the wrong direction, I do not dislike the character of Kylo Ren nor do I dislike mystery. Just trying to understand him more.
 

Lozjam

A Cool, Cool Mountain
Joined
May 24, 2015
I really do love what they did with Kylo Ren though....

I mean, it was really his awakening, as much as it was Rey's. Kylo Ren wasn't a Sith in Force Awakens. He was not strong enough, he did not hold enough power, and was too "blinded" by the light side. By having a character like this, it really does expand what it means to be a Sith, as much as it is to be a Jedi. This allows us to see Ren's power get to be a greater, and greater threat as the films progress. That is something that is in direct contrast to the villains in the original trilogy. The Sith have always been their A-game, 100% of the time, and it was up to Luke to meet their level. But this is something different. Both Rey, and Ren have a ton of training to have.

Regarding his motivations, I think his motivations are clear. By some means or another, he wants to become a Sith. He may not have the power to do it, and that frustrates him. He has a fear a failure, something I personally relate to. He doesn't think he would be powerful enough to be Jedi. But as a Sith, he could maybe do it.

Ren still has a long way to go. Much like Luke did, and much like Rey does. It will be interesting seeing the training between a Sith, and between the Jedi. Something we truly haven't seen in Star Wars(well, not that much, and certainly not the films).
 

Linkmaster30000

Aim for the knee
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Location
Minnesota, USA
I enjoyed the movie. My wife was extremely disappointed, but I think she got her hopes up too much.

It seemed a lot like Episode 4 in terms of the overall plot. Info in droid, ends up on desert, rescued by random person who feels alone, they storm a big thing that destroys planets, old man dies, bad guy survives to fight again.

I do wonder how two of the most attractive people in the galaxy produced somebody so very much not. Like, with the mask on, he was cool. Once he took it off, I couldn't NOT picture him as teenage Severus Snape (no, he's not the same actor, but he could've done it).

All-in-all, I'm looking forward to Episode VIII, and I hope there's more lightsaber dueling in it.
 

Djinn

and Tonic
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Nov 29, 2010
Location
The Flying Mobile Opression fortress
It's clear that the previous films have showsn us that the Empire really does not care for guard rails at all. But damn...that bridge over the hundreds of miles deep chasm that Han and Kylo had their little scene on. It's like it was designed with the sole intent of being the setting of deep dramatic deaths.
 
While I believe The Force Awakens played its narrative extremely safe by sticking to the template provided by A New Hope, there were a few subtleties that separated the movie from A New Hope. I like how there were more battle sequences in The Force Awakens, and they all felt very tense and believable. The opening sequence with Finn touching a fellow downed storm trooper was especially well done with the smeared blood remaining on his mask after touching the remains. It felt like he was literally paying in cold blood for all the terrible deeds the First Order had done. It was nice to see quite a lot of action early on with BB-8 on Jakku. I enjoyed the being captured by a passing trader, then by the servants of the greedy merchant, then almost by the First Order a lot better than the Jawas simply claiming R2-D2 as their own after a simple blast with a stun gun. I also enjoyed how far we've come from the Death Star simply destroying Alderaan with a quick explosion to actually seeing people on the planet realizing their imminent doom. That said, I couldn't really connect with these people the same way I could to Leia losing her home world. They were just some random people meeting their doom.

What truly bugged me about the movie, however, is the sheer number of coincidences. It just so happened that Rey and Finn stumbled upon the Millenium Falcon, which just so happened to be picked up by Han Solo and Chewbacca. Rey also happened to be at the place that held Anakin's old lightsaber, she learned Jedi mind control at the most convenient of moments, and she developed force abilities faster than Luke Skywalker did in three years. The latter is the most forgivable considering that Anakin went from good to evil in the span of a day in Revenge of the Sith. Additionally, it felt a bit too convenient when Rey and Kylo Ren were separated at the end of their lightsaber duel by the ground collapsing between them. That said, after discussing this scene extensively with someone, I can respect it as a metaphor for the separation between the light and dark side. The one thing that truly was unexplained is how R2-D2 suddenly switched on and had the missing parts of the map at the end of the movie. It felt like J.J. Abrams buried himself into a plot hole, so he just used the laziest way possible to get himself out of it.

Returning to Kylo Ren specifically, I found it extremely hard to take him seriously after he removed his mask. He seemed like the personification of teenage angst, not an apprentice of the dark side. The actual scene of him removing his mask was so much less influential than Darth Vader's grand unveiling. I love the build-up to the moment of unmasking in Return of the Jedi when we first see the back of Vader's burned head in The Empire Strikes Back as he puts his helmet back on in his force meditation chamber.

Kylo Ren also lacked character depth in this movie. I didn't really feel the conflict in him, because most of his backstory was handled by dull conversation between Han and Leia, poor visual cinematography that would be more at home in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Still, I felt that Kylo Ren provided a truly scary villain, the likes of which we haven't seen in Star Wars yet. The opening scene in the village, the flashback Rey sees when touching Anakin's lightsaber for the first time, Kylo pointing his lightsaber at Rey in the green forest, and the final lightsaber duel in the winter forest had a more heavy, tense, horror vibe to them. I'm in definite agreement with MW7 that Rey retrieving the lightsaber from the snow at the end of the movie when Kylo Ren thought he was doing so, and the subsequent look of consternation on his face, was fantastically done.

Unfortunately, what should have been his most epic moment, the killing of Han Solo, felt somewhat unconvincing. Han Solo is the type of character I'd expect to go down guns blazing, not to lower his defenses in front of someone trained in the dark side, even his own son. I understand that Han shouting, "Ben!" to Kylo Ren was supposed to add a more human feel to the father and son confrontation, but it felt very sudden and out of the blue. There was also a lack of closure for Han's death. Only Rey and Leia's hug and Chewbacca's forlorn howls and expression really captured how important of a character Han Solo was for the franchise. If Qui-Gonn Jinn received a proper burial send-off, Han Solo should have been a mourning ten times that. It felt strange for Luke to not even acknowledge his longtime friend's passing at the end.

One more smaller criticism I have about the movie is the lack of memorable new music. The new music I heard sounded a bit generic, like something you'd find in a typical action movie. I was grateful for the few times some classic Star Wars tunes were heard.

Overall, I'd rank The Force Awakens at the middle of the pack for Star Wars movies. It was a great action film, but there were too many inconsistencies and borrowed elements from the original trilogy, although some did have their own twists. In retrospect, the safe narrative of The Force Awakens has made me appreciate that George Lucas took more of a risk with the prequels, even if many elements of those movies did not pay off. That said, I've seen the first six episodes countless times, so it's hard to compare this new movie to them. My opinions on the film are still fluid, and will no doubt develop over the coming weeks, months, and years.
 

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