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After 9 total viewings, Ive decided.........

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' started by Chowdahead, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Chowdahead

    Chowdahead Rebel General

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    that even for all the problems i have with the 3rd act, I love the Force Awakens. As you guys know, Ive been pretty vocal about my dislike for how Luke Skywalker gets treated in this film, not because hes not in it, but because not enough info is given to make Luke look like anything but an as$hole. but I believe the pay off for this tension will be worthwhile. I have fallen in love with how the new characters see our favorite OT characters. Myths. The look on Daisy's face when she realizes Luke is real, or when she realized Han is THAT Han. its brilliant. it hooks me every time.

    I 100% believe the 1st hour of TFA stands with the OT. for the last couple of weeks, Ive stood by in my thoughts that ROTJ is still the better movie, and I still believe that to be true. But, had what i experienced in the first hour of TFA continued throughout the latter half of the film, I think it may have taken the cake. The first hour is that good. I dont say that lightly. The Jakku village sequence is maybe my favorite opening in a Star Wars film. MAYBE. Max Von Sydow is such a brillian f*cking actor and the way he plays Kylo's past just completely sucks you in. I love the back and forth between him and Kylo. My favorite shot in this sequence is the slow zoom on Finn as he lowers his gun without shooting the villagers and then lowers his head. Something about the "frown" that is essential to every Stormtrooper helmet just sells the entire scene even more. it's one of my favorite shots in the entire film. and when Kylo senses the force stirring within FN2187, turns, pauses to stare.... GOD DAMMIT I LOVE THAT. the whole Jakku village scene is brilliant.
    I love the entirety of the Tie escape sequence. you totally buy into Finn's cheering when he manages to shoot down the turret. You can tell his excitement stems from pulling off a move that he maybe didnt think he was capable of. its tangible as hell and Boyega plays it so well. I love how Poe and Finn's interaction and dialogue.
    One of the most brilliant scenes in the film is when Rey rescues BB 8. This is filmmaking magic here guys. The way Daisy plays this scene, the fact that she fixes his antenna, it all adds to her character. her empathy towards a small droid is contagious. Not to mentions all the shots of the sand dunes here, her climbing up the sand hill to see bb8 being bagged. Her allowing bb8 to tag along because deep down she truly wants companionship and it doesnt really matter where that comes from. bb8 is her first friend, at least that the audience knows of.
    I love the look on her face as she finds out Finn is "with the Resistance". Shes curious, excited, shes interested in this individual immediately because of where he "comes from". she craves adventure.
    My main gripe with the first hour is the falcon being on Jakku. it feels superbly convenient, but i actually enjoy how its played off. I like that Han lost his prized ship to a whole string of thieves and is still on the hunt for the old girl. I love that Han is in the exotic animal business. i love how f*cking han solo Han solo is in this film. The very first time i saw the freighter sequence, I bought in. my initial reaction was it felt well executed. I think the reason for this is the conversation Han has with the two different gangs who board his freighter. GOD DAMMIT Harrison acts his ass of in this movie. He just completely sells it. I like how Finn mentions the map to Luke Skywalker when it appears Han wants nothing to do with Finn and Rey's mission, as if Finn knew that if this truly is THE Han Solo, he will reconsider when he learns of Luke's involvement in regards to the mission. The way Han delivers "ya, I knew Luke". god damn that gets me, guys. it gets me hard.

    My main gripes:
    Snokes Dialogue. its bad. its too generalized as if to properly lay out the consequences of our plot. The dialogue makes the scene stick out like a sore thumb, and not in a good way
    One of the bigger issues i take with the film, Han and Kylo's relationship. My first couple viewings, i never really bought into it. it felt forced. We needed a scene featuring Kylo and Han before the final confrontation. This would create more tension and it would make it easier to buy in. because we dont get enough context (Han and Leia repeating "our son" 6 times in 3 minutes doesnt count) the entire scene feels really staged. and it doesnt really work. if it werent for Adam Driver, this scene would be a failure in my eyes. but he sells it well. Kylo Ren is JJ's crowing achievement, as the whole Vader fanboy idea seemed ridiculous to me. But its incredibly well executed.
    I also wouldve appreciated more discernment between Kylo's motivations and Snoke's/Hux's motivations. I got the feeling that Kylo was completely uninterested in StarKiller and its power, as he stays in Orbit and watches the blast while the entirety of the First Order is down on the planet with great seats. I like the idea that Kylo has no interest in mass genocide. he's not opposed to killing randoms, but it seemed even this destruction was a bit too much for him. I do love how after Kylo learns of bb8 being in possession of his father, he feels "a pull to the light". i love that struggle within him. Kylo Ren is the best onscreen villain in years.
    I felt Carrie Fisher got the shaft. I think she delivered her lines to the best of her ability, but those lines were poorly written. Ive heard many people criticize her abilities as an actor and i think she definitely can still act her ass off. the subtleties in her expressions as she says goodbye to Han are so very much Leia. and i think she did a fantastic job. she just got f*cked in the screenwriting department. I hope Rian Johnson can right that ship. I really dont like that Han's motivation for confronting Kylo, after years of coming to terms with his fallen son, is Leia asking him to do so. I didnt really buy it. Why is Leia asking him to go on a suicide mission. it felt selfish of her. Why does she even think this is an option at this point? because Vader? then touch on that. that all needed to be fleshed out better.
    JJ failed to make Maz anything but a glorified exposition dumper. It's painfully obvious he never really liked the character in the first place. she feels tacked on, artificial. she needed more personality. she needed more of " HANNNNN SOLLLLLLO" attitude. the whole power of her eyes thing needed to come into play more than it did. She coulda been a really cool character but ultimately she gets fumbled.
    Starkiller. just no. shouldnt have been the final conflict. or at least it shoulda been better explained. It appears it was a desperate attempt on the part of the Resistance, but we never really feel that. and so when Han decides to stay after rescuing Rey, it feels clunky and weird. it needed to be layed out better, and the Resistance shouldnt have rushed through the Oscillator subplot. there needed to be a clearer objective.
    Finally, Luke Skywalker. Its unfortunate we dont get much info on why Luke left. what we do get left me feeling sour, as it is completely out of character for Luke to abandon his friends and family in a time of crisis. This is NOT debatable. it creates tension, because we know Luke just wouldnt dip out because he was sad/guilty/ashamed etc. This tension adds a texture to the rest of the film. and i think i understand, after 9 viewings why they went this route. I like that even Han doesnt get Luke dipping out. You hear it in his delivery "Yeah.... i KNEW luke." My hope is that JJ abrams didnt fundamentally misunderstand such an important character, but that he understood what such a contradicting and conflicting idea would stir within the audience. I sincerely hope the reasoning of Luke's absence has a real payoff. its essential to the future of the character. I have great hope in Rian Johnson. I loved LOOPER. loved Brick. loved his brilliant writing in Breaking Bad. the guy can write and direct his ass off. and i fully believe he intends to blast on TFA with the Empire Strikes Back of the Sequel Trilogy. cant wait. i hope he does delve into the politics of the FO and the New Republic in some form. we needed that info in TFA.

    TFA's first hour is brilliant cinematic magic. i love it dearly. all of it. I love TFA. i rated it about a 7/10 on first viewing. I now rate it an 8.5 out of 10. The characters and the actors who play them are just so damn good that it elevates the weaker parts of the film. Cant wait for Episode 8.
     
    #1 Chowdahead, Jan 2, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
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  2. ArynCrinn

    ArynCrinn 1030th Lieutenant (Jr Mod)

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    I don't think it's so much her acting ability as it is her ability to remember lines. Years of drugs (recreational and perscription) and electro-shock therapy to treat mental illness take their toll on a person. That being said, she did get a few additional scenes cut, just to give her a bigger reveal in the film.


    Leia's not really asking Han to go on a suicide mission... Han volunteers to go with Finn. Leia just tells Han "If you see our son again, bring him home." I'm sure she would have gone along with him if she didn't have a Resistance to lead.

    And why does she think there is still a chance to save her son?
    I don't know... perhaps because she's his mother. Mother's tend to have trouble accepting that their children are lost forever...
    And in the case of Kylo Ren, I don't think Leia is entirely mistaken.


    The real problem here -- and the biggest problem with the movie in general -- is that the script was rushed. The first draft was only completed in December 2013, and filming began in the middle of May, about 6 months later. TESB, on the other hand had it's first draft completed more than a year before filming began, with a drafts completed after that one before Lucas even brought in Kasdan.

    I'm not sure when it happened, but the moment that really messed up Maz was when they decided to change her from the fortune-teller to the pirate. In an earlier version of the story, the Skywalker lightsaber was the MacGuffin that Poe obtained from Lor San Tekka. When Finn and Rey eventually meet Han and show him the lightsaber, he decides to take her to Maz Kanata to get information or something. Maz would then go on to use her gifts to show them the backstory of the lightsaber through a series of "force-backs." When the First Order eventually show up, Maz would use her Force abilities to get past some of them. Based on behind-the-scenes photos and material from the art book, I believe Maz was still characterised in this way during the first month or two of filming.

    Out of necessity to give Rey a greater connection to the Force, and better set up the "awakening," Maz Kanata's character was significantly changed. The Force vision sequences were re-purposed to better serve Rey's journey, and instead of being a crazy old-mystic with answers and information, Maz Kanata became a crazy old pirate with mystical ideals, who existed only to fill a gap in the story.

    It's quite unfortunate. I'd really like to see the first draft, original and final shooting scripts...


    Except it is completey in character for Luke to go off on his own if there is something he knows he needs to do.
    Case in point, Luke left his friends on the forest moon while he goes alone to face Vader.

    I think the key here is this "First Temple" that Luke was rumoured to be searching for.
    I am hopeful -- confident even -- that whatever reason he had for seeking it out, and staying where he is, will be explained in Episode VII.
     
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  3. Darth Malkovich

    Darth Malkovich Rebel General

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    Carrie is in this British sitcom called Catastrophe occasionally as the mother of Rob Delaney's character and is great in that. Gary was even in one episode.
     
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  4. Xeven

    Xeven Rebel Official

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    Great write up! I think and hope, Luke was hiding because he was afraid that Snoke would use him in some way. In other words Luke was convinced if he did not go into seclusion he would end up hurting everyone in some way. Maybe the pull to the Dark Side is just too strong in the Skywalker's and Luke had to hide to not become Darker himself. If that is how they do it I hope they do it in some depth so it is obvious. I don't want to have any doubts about Luke's loyalties and Heroism.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 8, 2016, Original Post Date: Jan 8, 2016 ---
    I'd like to see Luke needing "something" to complete his quest at the Jedi Temple where then Maz guides him and Rey to Tatooine and OB1's old home or maybe the place where Anakin killed the Sand People, where he recovers something that had belonged to little Kid Anakin. Something maybe Shimi passed on to him as a child and forgotten (perhaps clues to Anakins beginning). Then the last piece is recovered on Dagobah, maybe by Rey in the Dark Side cave. Finally with all the pieces Luke returns to Jedi Temple to do something that will help him with Snoke.

    I love the whole artifact chase (Anakins sabre) and would like to see that continue while including old haunts of past characters.
     
  5. Old Biff from the Future

    Old Biff from the Future Dune Sea Hermit

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    After 9 total times viewing this thread, I've decided..........
     
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  6. Quill

    Quill Rebel General

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    The tension is killing me!
     
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  7. Ammianus Marcellinus

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    good for you
     
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  8. MarsPhoenix

    MarsPhoenix Sith Psychiatrist

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    It's been my 10th time yesterday... Each time I rediscover something.

    Last night, I was tired, I fell asleep during the movie... A couple of times (not because the movie was boring, just that I was exhausted)...

    But, what I really enjoyed this time was the final space battle.

    I never really paid attention that much to the sequence since there was a much more important scene going on... But... Hey! It really worked for me, and the 3D was awesome!!!

    And Daisy Ridley is soooo cute and pitch perfect in this movie.
    Now I understand why my son went to see it more than me. (And they're almost the same age).
     
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