The Force Awakens (but hits Snooze for 10 more minutes) Spoiler-friendly Discussion Page

If haven’t seen THE movie, then don’t proceed any further! Remember the tree on Dagobah!

112 thoughts on “The Force Awakens (but hits Snooze for 10 more minutes) Spoiler-friendly Discussion Page

  1. Excellent. We’ll, I guess I’ll give it a first go. Overall, I enjoyed it, though I do think JJ may have been trying a bit too hard some times with the call backs to the original trilogy (though not nearly so bad as with the last Star Trek film). I do think the setup at the end with Rey finding Luke alone on the mountain makes for a good setup for VIII.

    I’ve been reading a fair number of threads on IMDB and Reddit, and I can appreciate some of the feelings that folks have that this was a heavy rehashing of ANH and ROTJ. I largely had to turn my mind off from asking the questions like “Why does the New Republic need a “Resistance” to fight the first order?” “How does the First Order go about building a superweapon on a planet without the New Republic/Resistance getting wind of it?” “Who is this Snoke fellow? Sith Lord? Failed Sith apprentice that the Emperor had in his back pocket?”

    Of course, I wanted to know more about how Luke’s academy fell apart and what set Ben Solo on the path to the dark side, but, much like Vader in the first Star Wars, I could accept that we were given enough of his backstory for now. To a degree, like ANH being episode 4, this did feel more like we were coming in on episode 9 or 10, with a couple of chapters missing. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing some novelizations coming over these next couple of years to flesh out the time line. Realistically, Ford, Fisher, and Hamill are old and the story told today really had to be set as far after ROTJ as it was.

    While, given the setup, it would have been more of a shock if Han had been able to talk Kylo Ren off the bridge, I think his death did make sense. While on camera there wasn’t a lot to setup a connection between them, I think most of us old fans have enough of a connection to Han that we could fill in enough of the gaps to still feel the pain of it. Realistically, Obi-Wan’s death in ANH strikes Luke and the viewers pretty hard, even though, prior to Luke having to chase after a couple of droids in the desert, Luke didn’t really know “Old Ben” very well at all.

    And, I think that may be the big takeaway – even the original trilogy was not deep and terribly lucid story telling. It was and remains space opera, and The Force Awakens definitely honors that tradition. And, by God it was one helluva ride. I’m definitely on board for all the next ones.

  2. The death of Han really pissed me off, I feel if he had to die (rumours that Ford only agreed to do the role if he was killed off) then he should have went in a blaze of glory.

    His death was turned into something fit for a slasher flick, I wanted to shout out “don’t go down there!”

    The X-Wings are capable of jumping to light speed, so did not need the star killer’s shields to be switched off as they could have jumped through the shields like the Falcon did. Making Han’s death feel even more contrived.

    Calling Max Von Sydow’s role a cameo would be a gross overstatement..sheesh.

  3. I loved the movie.

    So there were things that bothered me. However, they were the kinds of things that bother me in every action movie. Such as 15 minutes before planet destruction. Seriously, the dramatic tension couldn’t have been set at hours? It’s absolutely believable that something that charges with that much energy can take a day to charge up. That leaves a far, far, far, far more realistic timeline for finding things on a planet, entering a massive complex, setting of charges, gathering people, escaping a planet, etc. They made up for it by dodging other movie tropes (such as Rey finding out Finn was lying and essentially saying “I don’t give a shit, come with me anyway”. Well done there.

    Anyway, my fears were more along the lines of Disney making the movie about angsty teems in space and this movie did a great job of not doing that. This movie was good and dark. Kylo Ren may have been a temper tantrum filled brat, but he was dark enough to instruct the storm trooper to kill every innocent bystander in a village for essentially no reason whatsoever. Well played.

    As for being a rehash of ANH, it quite seemed like they were trying to be ANH on crack. The death start took out a whole planet? We’ll take out 5. The death star was as big as a moon? We’re as big as a planet. When a planet explodes in ANH the scene takes 5 seconds tops? We can top the shit out of that.

  4. Good points all around. I agree with the consensus — it felt like Star Wars. I can’t wait to see it again, to catch stuff I missed on the first pass. I’ll try not to rehash any points. . .

    -Rey’s Jedi abilities came a little more quickly than I felt comfortable with. I can rationalize it out, but the Jedi mind trick and lightsaber mastery came to her pretty damn fast, with no training — other than Kylo’s interrogation.

    -I knew something bad was going to happen the moment Han and Chewie split up to place the charges. (I think I would have been more upset if we’d lost Chewie, though.) That scene was definitely powerful. I can’t recall the last time a movie death affected me so deeply (although this guy was a major fixture of my childhood). Fuck Kylo Ren. It’s going to be awfully hard to sell a redemption arc for him after this.

    -He must be a terrible lightsaber master, if two first-time users gave him such a hard time. Especially when we saw one of them get his ass handed to him by a stormtrooper with a charged club.

    -I guess we’re supposed to be wondering if Rey is Luke’s daughter.

    -Is Snokes really what’s left of the Emperor? Or a giant Gollum?

    -I made the same comment you guys did about it being a retread of ANH. Starkiller(good name) = Death Star with amped up power. BB8 = R2-D2 with amped up cuteness.

    – The wreckage of old Imperial stuff on Jakku was very cool.

    -Mixed feelings on the fan servicing. I enjoyed every frivolous reminder of the originals, but at some point, you need to leave the past in the past.

    -So the legendary Milennium Falcon was sitting in a junk field unrecognized? And was that easy to steal?

    – No more Death Stars, please. We’ve had 3 now, all destroyed in similar ways.

    I’ll stop.

    • Just saw it tonight. I’ll say this, it was everything that Star Wars should be. Finally, someone who gets it.

      That said, is it me, or has J.J. Abrams established a pattern? What? Your Big-ass starship Enterprise is All That? Well, the Bad Guys have one 4 times as big. What? Your Daddy’s Death Stars were All That? We’ve got one Bigger than all of them… with pretty much the same weak points.

      Of course, I more or less saw what was coming. I saw this about 6 weeks ago
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtGd-dA4RqM

      Rey’s force handling did come REALLY fast. Perhaps because a minor force trigger on the light sabre? Maybe Kylo Ren’s ham fisted reading her mind… Maybe?

      I think Kylo’s inability to deal with Rey and Finn properly in that duel may have been caused by the stress of KILLING HIS FATHER… might have shocked him a bit that he could pull it off.

      I thought about that light speed business getting past the shields, and I think that was Han taking a risk to buy time to save Ben Solo. Also, it is probably very risky punching through a shield at light speed and stopping without plowing into the planet. You may need to make a lot of special modifications to your ships before doing it.

      I am a little upset with the hand-waving bit played around Luke’s/Anakin’s light sabre. “Don’t worry about that. That’s a story for another time” — WTF? All you needed to say was “it was recovered from Bespin”, Seriously, a story for another time? MEH

      I’m going to now try to sleep on it. Fat lot of chance though.

  5. I would love to chime in!!!

    I had such a blast watching this movie today! I cannot wait to see it again – I wanted to stay in my seat for the next showing. It was also a fun memory to watch Hayden and Sophie’s reactions, as they watched the movie! They both ate it up.

    A few points that have not yet been touched upon here:

    – How long did each of you wait in line today to get your seats for this movie? Or did you have reserved seating? Jack and I purchased our tickets about a month ago and we waited in line for about 2.5 hours. We were about 40 people from the front in a 500+ seat theatre. It worked out very well for us!

    – BB8 was more than an cuteness-amped up R2-D2, he was just a pure joy of machine parts and CGI-free!!

    – That Poe Dameron was really fun to get to know, and his pilot skills were super cool! (It makes me appreciate him in a different way since we play X-Wing the Miniatures game. Now I want him as a pilot for MY X Wing!

    – Maz! Maz! Maz! What a creatively cool character- again, CGI-free! Of course, I feel as though she is this segment’s Yoda, but still, she was awesome. I bet we will see her again.

    – Luke looked awful. Was that intentional?

    I agree with Jack a bout the Imperial ship wreckage sites, that brought a tangible feeling of the universal devastation that the Imperial brought to the universe.

    – Did anyone else catch how Stormtroopers were taken from birth or taken from their families at a very young age and then programmed to become monsters? I thought the writers did a great job of throwing that “human side” to stormtroopers in a 3-minute scene. Will we see more of that in the future installments?

    – Carrie Fisher looked awful.

    – My suspicion is that Rey is also Leia and Han’s child. That she and Ben are twins. (I recall this being a storyline in a book that was written about Han’s children, after ROTJ. And one twin was evil and one twin was good. I feel this is where Rey’s story is heading.

    – I am also very curious to see how Luke is tested when he faces Kylo Ren in an epic lightsaber battle, since Kylo Ren killed Han Solo. Will Luke be drawn to the Dark Side again? hmmmm

    – Such fun! I hope the Wee People will take away a lasting memory from this venture we took today.

    • As mentioned elsewhere, reserved seating is pretty much universal here, so there was no queue and I just git to my seat 20 minutes before the ads started rolling.

    • I would so love to have reserved seating. As it is, I am quite crowd averse. So, I trade super special Imax fun for a smaller theater close to home in a dying mall. My wife and I waited on line 1.5 hours and got really good seats. The theater was not sold out, the crowd was mostly adults, and everyone was fun/courteous and we all had a great time. Best theater experience I’ve had in a long time. And, seriously, if you sit with the screen at the right distance there should be no perceptual distinction between Imax and LieMax.

    • Not really. About the closest thing was having a version of the Empire still exist. In the EU, they were known as the Imperial Remnant.

      And while not a direct connection, Kylo Ren being a former student of Luke who is turned by the dark side is a concept the EU explored.

  6. We didn’t have reserved seating for our showing and got there about fifty minutes before show time. The manager was monitoring the queue. While it felt like there were a lot of people in front of us, we still found seats that we’re quite good for the four of us together.

    Reserved seating theaters exist around here, they are not very common.

  7. Regarding Kylo Ren not being too effective in fighting, he did take a gut shot from Chewbacca’s crossbow, which was blowing other characters completely off their feet. He was shown bleeding from the wound.

  8. Here is something I’m considering in regards to how fast Rey steps into her powers. In one of the first scenes, Kylo Ren stops a blaster shot in mid air and then proceeds to more or less ignore it at that point. We have never seen anything like this from Jedi or Sith before. My impression is that the new breed of Jedi/Sith (for a reason that I hope will be explained) are far more powerful that the dying breed of Jedi/Sith in Episodes I-VI. I think Kylo Ren’s lightsaber is meant as a representation of the new breed of force wielders. Powerful as all getout and completely unrefined. I think this is the logical extension of IV-VI. A group of force wielders that can’t possibly be as well trained or refined as anything that existed before. That is why Luke walked away. He is probably less afraid of what he can or can’t teach the new group and is more likely just afraid of them in general.

    • Sure, her Insta-Jedi conversion may have been linked to the “something” that has “awakened.”

      I still have a hard time buying that Luke Skywalker would run away to sulk, but I’m confident that his actions will be explained in the upcoming films. We still don’t know what really went down between him and Han and Kylo.

      And we have to wait 2 years for the next one??

      • According to Abrams (I don’t know how clear this was made in the film), Luke was off hunting the first Jedi Temple. Perchance there is a good reason he abandoned everyone for that search. What did/will he find there that will help bring order/refinement to the new super-powered Jedi?

  9. For a balance to our enthusiasm, a good friend of mine back east stated that Ep VII is the worst film, even worse than the Christmas Special and the Ewoks TV special.

    I don’t post this to mock him, just to let there be a counter.

    • There are apparently a great multitude who share a similar view. I am not among them.

      One podcast I listened to made to observation that these uber fans who, prior to the Disney buyout and the relegating of the EU to “legend” status, knew all there was to know about Star Wars.

      Now, they are just and uncertain as the rest of us regarding the big questions we all have. Reminds me of all the book snobs who enjoyed spoiling the seasons of Game of Thrones now just as in the dark as folks who haven’t read the book about what comes next.

    • There was a young girl sitting to my right who seemed disappointed in the ending. Specifically she said, “They just stand there looking at each other for two minutes? What the hell!”

      I get the feeling she may just be a hater. Stupid 11 year olds…

    • Luke’s use of the Force is clumsy and imprecise until ROTJ, even with the guidance of 2 great Jedi.

      Rey’s use of the Force is on par with any non-Yoda Jedi we’ve ever seen at the height of their powers. It’s fine if she’s instantly powerful with the Force – – it’s her instant expert proficiency with Jedi tricks and a lightsaber that seemed fishy to me. (*not a reference to Admiral Ackbar*)

      And holy crap, I will yank out every beard hair of any hipster PC motherfuckers saying my reaction is because I’m sexist. If Luke had been as kick-ass as Rey at the end of ANH, it would have been equally Calamari.

          • The question you need to ask yourself, would this have even cropped up if Rey had been a male character? At the time I cannot remember anybody slagging off Star Wars for Luke being so good that he can blow the Death Star on his first attempt.

            Personally I really don’t care about Rey’s competence, I like the character, it was nice to see a female lead in blockbuster, and it was a fun film.

          • An even more important question to ask is if any and all nitpicking of the Rey character would be considered sexist if it wasn’t all in fashion right now. I really liked the story linked to above that leveled Rey out as a good character and role model for all children regardless of gender. I admit that I’ve been seeing the sexism in film/TV quite a bit lately and would like for us to get past it (see my post complaining about Juliana Frink). But, it seems to have gone overboard to a point where any problems someone has with a female character are chalked up to sexism regardless of the reason for the problem. I think people would have been just as nitpicky about a male character suddenly gaining quality abilities to use the force independent of quantity of abilities. It seemed to be something written into the story to move the plot along rather than any kind of reason having to do with her gender.

          • I don’t think you’re accusing me of patriarchal predispositions, Van. Your beard is safe – – and would be more Jedi than hipster, if you had one.

            The instant Jedi thing seriously didn’t diminish the movie at all for me. I hate to harp on this one point. I also reject the Mary Sue argument that I’m hearing out in the wilds. I don’t think she was too good at everything. Her mechanical aptitude makes sense with her tech scavenger life. Her melee skills weren’t explained, but who gives a shit? I just accepted that her skills came from years of hard living. It’s true that no one would question fighting skills for a male character.

            I acknowledge the existence of sexists who are uncomfortable with kick-ass female leads, but I don’t want to be lumped in with them (and I don’t think you are. Are you?). Rey is an awesome hero. I can’t wait to find out her history. I’d have said the same of any character who fast-forwarded to the cool stuff – as I did at the end of JJ’s 1st Star Trek, when Cadet Kirk was given full time control of the Federation flagship (and I like that movie a lot, too).

      • As for Rey’s ability to use a light sabre. Look at her ability to wield a staff set up earlier in the film. She has obviously been really well trained to use weapons. Or, as with the young Anakin, she has been unknowingly been tapping into the force for a long time to use weapons much as Anakin was doing so to pod race, fly ships to take out battle stations, etc.. And, she is significantly older than Anakin was in Episode I.

        • Counter point: Any sort of specialized fighting takes years to learn and gain proficiency. Learning how to fight with a staff, I’m sure Rey had many years of practice. Now, she has a light sabre. No problem. Works just like a staff, right? WRONG. Just knowing how to use one weapon doesn’t mean you know how to use them all.

          Try learning how to shoot a rifle. There are events around the valley (Project Appleseed, for starters). Learn it. Then go out and shoot a pistol. They’re both firearms. It’s exactly the same. Right? NOPE

          • Counter Counter Point: Everyone is so up in arms at Rey and Finn being able to hold their own against Kylo Ren with a light sabre. However, Kylo Ren has been shot full force with a blast from Chewbacca’s bowcaster, which we’ve established is a pretty kick ass powerfull weapon. I would say that someone that has been trained to use a staff (and/or whatever Stormtroopers train on) trying to generalize their skills to an unfamiliar weapon is still legitimate when faced with an opponent in as much physical distress as Kylo Ren.

          • To clarify your counter counter point, you’re saying that Kylo’s wound magically granted Rey the ability to fight sabre style?

          • No. I’m saying Kylo’s wound un-magically and extremely scientifically made him much much shittier at being able to fight sabre style. Wounds put the body in physical distress. They put people in a lot of pain, which also puts the body in physical distress. Go back to your original point. Learn how to shoot a rifle when you are able to focus and concentrate on what you are doing. Then get shot by a blaster that has a tendency to not only kill with a single shot, but also throw people across a room. Now try and shoot that rifle while your muscles are beyond any physical fatigue that you’ve ever put them through and you are experiencing blinding pain. It’s exactly the same. Right? NOPE

          • FWIW – It did seem to me that she was handling her light saber with the same technique she used when fighting with her staff.
            I don’t know what if any difference this would make.

        • 2016 is only hours old and I’m already earning my Asshat title. If I keep up at this rate I’ll graduate to Dickhead in no time.

  10. Yes its flawed. Yes its a mish mash between a reboot and a sequel. But goddammit its a great film that also happens to be a Star Wars film. And here’s a great anti-joke: A female, a black man, and a Latino cornerstone the biggest film in history…

    Rad.

    • Yes, it does, though, having to write it from an early script and never having seen any of the movie, Alan Dean Foster’s versions varies in some places from the on screen version.

      Just finished the book today and enjoyed it. Iterestingly, on Goodreads, when it suggests friends that I recommend it to, most of them came up because “They like Fantasy” :-)

          • My eyes and my busy schedule don’t enjoy physical books as much these fays, but I still like to read.

            I’d like to check this one out – – as well as maybe “Aftermath.”

          • Uh oh. I was going to get the new Star Ward book from Audible when I get my credit on the 1st. I did Aftermath on Audible, which was also read by Marc Thompson. I had a hard time figuring out if it was mostly the book or mostly the reading that I didn’t like with Aftermath, but both were quite bad in my opinion. I think the book took top bad spot over the reading in the long run. I’ll have to see how this one goes considering Thompson will be doing all voices that are established this time around. I’ll give him a second chance as you seem to have a high opinion of him.

          • Chuck Wendig (“Aftermath”) seems to be kind of the darling of the internet right now. My unfair, fleeting, snap impression of him is that he’s one of those authors with prose skill who sits in front of their screen all day shouting, “I’m indignant and clever!” Again – – that’s an unfair quick assessment.

            I am discouraged to hear your negative review of his book. :-/

          • A good chunk of my disappointment is that he had a great deal of old time serial cliffhanger situations in which he sets people up that are 100% dead, only to find in the next chapter that they had found some fantastical magical way of escaping near death. Not my cup of tea.

          • I’m largely going to depend on summaries of Aftermatch to see how it contributes to the new canon. I’ve read almost nothing that gives me a favorable impression of his writing style and it sounds like he was a poor choice for this book.

            Overall, I’m not overwhelmed by what I’ve seen of the new canon. The book about Luke Skywalker set in the time between ANH and Empire was largely rubbish.

            So far, Alan Dean Foster’s experience with novelizing movie scripts has allowed TFA novel to stand out in the new canon.

            Granted, the “Legends” EU had a lot of crap in it as well, so I didn’t mind it’s loss terribly much.

  11. So I’m listening to a podcast about ‘Get Carter’ (1971 film), all the participants are US, and they compare it to Straw Dogs and how they are both set in Northern England.

    Get Carter is set in Newcastle, Straw Dogs is set in Cornwall, opposition ends of England.

    Umm ok.

  12. Can Star Wars VII her released on DVD already?!!! My mom is *dying* to see it and due to her current situation, she is unable to make it to the theatre.

    It’s kind of like her dying wish.

  13. Am I the only one who felt a bit uncomfortable with FN defecting from the Storm Trooper force due to all the killing … and then immediately turning around and killing all his fellow “kidnapped from birth and forced to be raised as ST” brethren?

    I got past that by the end of the film but for a few scenes it was like “Dude, these were your buddies just a few pages ago!”

    • I think many of us came away with different things making them uncomfortable. Oddly enough, one of my pet peeves was that all hyper-drive travel (including to what looked like the other side of the galaxy at the very end) seemed to take only seconds to accomplish. This is in start contrast to Episode IV where they had all kinds of time on the Millenium Falcon to get from Tatooine to Alderaan.

      • Star Wars has always played pretty loose with how long it takes to go anywhere is space. Time management in general is not a strong suit of Lucas era Star Wars and Disney seems to be continuing that fine tradition.

        • On viewing the original 1977 Star Wars, the initial jump to light speed the MF does looks a bit similar to the Dr Who intro for the Tom Baker era.

          I finally get that bit in the Star Wars pastiche the Family Guy people did.

  14. I’m trying not to think too much about the new “super weapon”.
    My SciFi gene is willing to accept it as a Planet that was hacked and turned into a weapon. I am okay with charging it by sucking a huge volume of fuel/energy from it’s nearby sun … but the ENTIRE SUN? Wait … doesn’t that mean it can be used only once?
    … but they used it twice? That would mean they had some means of MOVING THE WHOLE PLANET.
    Okay … but how did the Rebels find it’s new location so quickly?

    Well now I’ve gone and done it. I’ve thought too much about the new “supra weapon”. :/

  15. So now the detractors are arguing that Finn is not a major character in the new Star Wars film.

    Flatearthers have nothing on these people.

  16. Well, I *finally* saw the movie on Friday. I enjoyed it quite a bit while still feeling a bit underwhelmed. I figure that’s unavoidable given all the hype. I tried to avoid as much news and SW discussion as possible, but some of still got spoiled.

    I read quite a bit of the previous posts, and agree with much of what you all said. I’m hoping the sequels fill in the story gaps a bit more. The original trilogy worked like that so I’m fine with that technique. If the expectation, however, is that I need to read books to understand the story, then I think that’s a failure in storytelling. I guess we will see what happens.

    Based on music cues alone, I think Rey is Luke’s daughter. Again, we will see. She did get good fast, but given the implied bloodline, I think it is believable. At least Midichlorians weren’t used as an explanation.

    Overall, I loved the characters, and despised bratty Kylo. I suspect there won’t be a redemption arc for him. And maybe he and Rey are siblings, though you’d think Han and Leia would know. They said nothing. That’s one of the reasons why I think she’s not.

    BB-8 thumbs up? Awesome. :D

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