Episode VII - the Force Awakens

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speedchuck
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Re: Episode VII - the Force Awakens

#81

Post by speedchuck » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:35 pm

DharmaHelper wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:00 pm
speedchuck wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:52 am
DharmaHelper wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:50 pm
After TLJ I have to say I dislike TFA significantly more.
Because you liked TLJ or because you didn't?

Because I could see it either way.
I loved The Last Jedi. TFA was "A Star Wars" movie. TLJ was a great movie that was in the Star Wars universe. I think Last Jedi will hold up more, and stands on its own more, and TFA is, as time goes on for me anyway, more of a "Hey remember how cool THIS was from the Star War"
Good. I respect that opinion. I even agree with it. I would have disagreed with you otherwise. :beer:

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Re: Episode VII - the Force Awakens

#82

Post by G-Man » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:38 pm

I'm going to have to watch The Last Jedi again to really make sense of my rating for it. My wife and I watched TFA again a few days before we went to see TLJ. TFA was very good until they rolled out Starkiller Base. Its tone was less serious than the original trilogy, which bugged me at times but it was probably just an updating of the wink-and-nod throwback humor in the original trilogy (which hearkened back to the serials of the 30s and 40s). The fact that they fell back on the superweapon-that-blows-up-planets plot was disappointing. The new characters were all very good. Han was too meta and Leia's presence felt unnecessary (minus the go find out son line).

Spoilers for The Last Jedi follow...
Spoiler: show
Where The Force Awakens borrowed heavily from Star Wars, I felt The Last Jedi borrowed heavily from Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. How is Empire structured? An early battle, someone (Luke) learning Jedi stuff while other stuff happens to fill the time between Jedi-learning scenes, and a showdown. How is TLJ structured? An early battle, someone (Rey) learning Jedi stuff while other stuff happens to fill the time between Jedi-learning scenes, and two showdowns (Rey v. Ren and Ren v. Luke).

I liked what they did with Luke Skywalker. Maybe they could have toned down the snark but I loved the brooding mopefest. He failed in a big way that mirrors Obi-Wan Kenobi and he hates himself for it. His reluctance to teach Rey makes perfect sense. I'm fine with just about everything from the Luke-Rey side of the film. My problems lie everywhere else.

The space chase side of the film contains all the timeline issues of Empire Strikes Back but amplifies it all by setting a hard number for the timeline (sixteen hours of fuel I believe?). That makes everything happen almost too fast for me to believe. In Empire, Luke seems to learn enough about the Force in a few days (maybe two weeks at the most?) while Vader chases down the Millennium Falcon. Granted, they set Rey up to be surging in Force sensitivity but I find it hard to believe that she learned much to strengthen her skills in the two or three days she was on Ahch-To. She's still raw, so I hope they bring Luke back to teach her more, especially after that Yoda scene. This begs the questions: how synced up are the timelines of Ahch-To and the space chase? Yeah, yeah, faster-than-light travel warping and bending the flow of time, but seriously- how long are the days on Ahch-To?

The side-mission to Canto Bight ended up being a waste of time because it accomplished nothing but setting up a fight scene inside a bisected mega-star destroyer. Even the romance between Finn and Rose failed to flourish like the romance between Han and Leia. Sure the space chase gave us a brief mutiny and a short case study on hotshot heroics and their misogynistic leanings but it felt like time poorly spent in order to fill the void between scenes with Rey.

I also have a hard time believing that the Republic didn't have some kind of army. Maybe I'm wrong, but I understood the Resistance to be a Republic-funded band of guerilla fighters acting inside First Order territory. If the old Rebel Alliance didn't beef up an army to deal with pockets of the Imperial loyalists, then they deserve to be wiped out for employing lousy military strategy. If the Republic chose to eschew a formal military in order to avoid the risk of becoming the Empire all over again, then they were naive. This is why I had so much trouble with no one responding to Leia's transmission. It's not like Starkiller Base is still around. Maybe when people get the memo that Snoke is dead and part of his fleet destroyed, their spirits will perk up and they'll find their fighting spirit again.

Either way, I'm intrigued to see what comes to be in Episode IX. There doesn't seem to be much of the past left for them to lean on and borrow from. The way forward is all wide open.
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Re: Episode VII - the Force Awakens

#83

Post by Ricochet » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:22 pm

DharmaHelper wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:00 pm
speedchuck wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:52 am
DharmaHelper wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:50 pm
After TLJ I have to say I dislike TFA significantly more.
Because you liked TLJ or because you didn't?

Because I could see it either way.
I loved The Last Jedi. TFA was "A Star Wars" movie. TLJ was a great movie that was in the Star Wars universe. I think Last Jedi will hold up more, and stands on its own more, and TFA is, as time goes on for me anyway, more of a "Hey remember how cool THIS was from the Star War"
I agree to certain extent. I prefer everything Johnson attempted to everything Abrams yielded to, in the category of "what/how a new Star Wars movie should normally be". Not that it's a difficult comparison, given that even the Rebels being chased by a giant space wiener-dog would have been preferable to TFA. I think the word "subversive" got thrown in a lot, but as a Star Wars IDGAF-er, I don't mind the bits that TLJ closed the chapter on or refused to expand upon, toy further with or give into out of sheer fan service.

Where I for one draw the line, though, goes two ways:

a) Johnson didn't go all the way through. About two-thirds in, past a crucial 'join me' moment, it reverts to Starwars-esque banality. Make no mistake, the marketing stitches still exist in the movie, the ESB / ROTJ nods exist, but it would have been nice for a cathartic, weird "burn it all" full gesture.
b) it's not a well balanced movie, it really isn't. Daring, sure, but messy all around in the process. One wouldn't normally praise a movie with three endings, plotholes or plot conveniances, a timeline implausibility rivaling that of GoT's season 7, so one shouldn't just because it's a SW movie.

So, you know, far from legendary status, but cred for its effort. I liked Hammill, Ridley was ok; Finn is officially wasted as a character; Kylo Ren remains the most compelling character imo, but even he was dragged through the most absurd amount of bait-of-switch tropes throughout the whole movie. There were some truly dreadful or dumb moments, as well, but I won't spoil into any of them.

I believe Johnson had to work with something that is sort of creatively stuck, on the whole, and might, if anything, have proven these very limitations. This movie also left me with no clue what Episode IX should even be about anymore, apart from a few unfinished confrontations, nor with any particular emotion of looking forward to, consider Abrams' return.
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Re: Episode VII - the Force Awakens

#84

Post by DharmaHelper » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:41 am

To be perfectly honest with you @Ricochet
Spoiler: show
If as you alluded to, Rian Johnson had gone all in with the 'join me' moment between Rey/Kylo, it would have been the best moment in Star Wars, possibly cinematic, history.
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Re: Episode VII - the Force Awakens

#85

Post by speedchuck » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:29 am

DharmaHelper wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:41 am
To be perfectly honest with you @Ricochet
Spoiler: show
If as you alluded to, Rian Johnson had gone all in with the 'join me' moment between Rey/Kylo, it would have been the best moment in Star Wars, possibly cinematic, history.
Oh good, I'm not the only one who wished it had gone that way

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Re: Episode VII - the Force Awakens

#86

Post by DharmaHelper » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:40 am

speedchuck wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:29 am
DharmaHelper wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:41 am
To be perfectly honest with you @Ricochet
Spoiler: show
If as you alluded to, Rian Johnson had gone all in with the 'join me' moment between Rey/Kylo, it would have been the best moment in Star Wars, possibly cinematic, history.
Oh good, I'm not the only one who wished it had gone that way
Spoiler: show
It may have been a little too deep into Fan Service territory but if that was how they decided to go with it and We got a Gray Jedi type situation for the third film I would have been floored.
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