Open Thread: TFA Discussion, Reax (Spoilers Allowed)

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Interns come running with copies of my take on TFA

Remember: Do NOT visit this thread if you have not seen the film yet and wish to remain unspoiled until you do so. My thoughts on the film are in the comments.

No flaming, no baiting, no trolling, no prequel bashing or comments will be deleted. If it gets out of hand, I will delete this post altogether. Thank you.


319 Responses to “Open Thread: TFA Discussion, Reax (Spoilers Allowed)”

  1. andywylde77 Says:

    Well I have seen some of it and the part where Han dies did make me cry. I thought it was a strong scene. But it did lack a kind emotion that the Obi Wan and Anakin scene in episode 3 had when Obi Wan cuts down Anakin and shows how he cared for him. I did cry at that scene as well. And also cried at the Order 66 scene.

    I know, I know. But that is what SW does to me. But that is the only part I have seen. The whole Kylo-Han part. Other than that I have not seen anymore of it. But I am also not a “OMG SPOILERZ” type either. For me reading what happens in the film and watching it play out on screen is 2 different things.

  2. maychild Says:

    I’ll see it over the weekend.

  3. Joe Bean Says:

    I will be seeing it again.

    I enjoyed it and thought it was fun and in many ways might have been the best acted Star Wars movie to date. Loved the new cast, especially Ridley and Issaac. And BB8 is awesome!

    But I didn’t find it adventurous in the least. For me it was a remix of the OT’s greatest hits with some themes and variations. I don’t know if that is the studio of JJ’s penchant for pastiche or remaking classic films.

    I miss Lucas’ bold risktaking.

    But with this film, I felt that the film was trying to hit some beats, at times rather robotically thus killing the overall effect. Example? The trench run into Starkiller Base was actually lacking in suspense for me; it was almost as if JJ knew that we had seen this movie before and thus trying to add any level of suspense would be more artificial that what he had concocted. And speaking of Starkiller base, it is rather unforgiveable to me that we recycle this very trope that a lot of people blasted Lucas for as lacking in originality in “Return of the Jedi.” 30 years later they couldn’t come up with something else? It screamed of indulgent fan service IMO.

    One other thing that bothered me was that I have no idea what actually is the state of the galaxy after 30 years. Who is the First Order and how do they have resources to build Deathstar 3.0. a dangerous weapon that no Republic would support. Maybe this is the modern day Iran situation, but we have no real understanding of how that works in the galaxy. Moreover what is the resistance and how is it related to the republic? We never had that problem at the start of ANH or TMP for that matter. Hell even AOTC set up the state of the galaxy rather well in the opening crawl. Why couldn’t JJ do it there?

    And then there is Snoke. Who is he? What’s his deal? Why is he in this movie? Probably questions that will be answered later on in subsequent films, but I think he may not have been all that necessary in this film. The Emperor was not in ANH bc he bringing him in would have served no function; ditto here.

    Ditto for Phasma who was built up and then underdeveloped.

    R2D2’s cameo and function in the film… Lazy writing?

    And John Williams’ score didn’t have iconic moment from other scores, though I will admit that the ending number as Rey walks up the Jedi Steps is vintage Star Wars.

    The emotional beats were rather overwhelmed by the break-neck pace. The reveal of Kylo Ren’s lineage was brushed off rather uninterestingly early on. The death of Han (which beautifully lit and shot) was also brushed aside. We had no time to mourn his loss and none of the characters themselves give us that catharsis at all. We get the brief moment with Leia, but I would have liked to see a bit more after the battle. Something like we see at the end of Empire when Luke is hanging upside down in Cloud City and is coming to terms with what he has just discovered. And then he gets another beat inside the Falcon to reconnect with Vader and think that over. Or Obi-Wan after he takes down Anakin. Hell there is even a moment on the ship where Obi-wan holds his head after all the chaos that explores the pain he undergoing.

    In conclusion, I liked it and think it’s a good fun movie, but because of the perpetuation of JJ’s famous “mystery box” and the plethora of unanswered questions this film leaves us with, it might be the one that struggles to stand on its own the least out of context out of all six films.

    • bansheegun Says:

      I didn’t get what people were saying about the score, then I listened to it, and man is it generic. One of the reviews called it very “pedestrian” by Williams standards. Something tells me he was held back creatively but time will tell.

      Oddly enough, this is on point about the film that’s agreed upon by a large swath of people, fans and reviewers alike. The score just wasn’t Star Wars.

      • bansheegun Says:

        I should clarify before I get my head torn off. I’m not speaking for the entire fandom, it’s just based on the reviews and comments I’ve read.

  4. piccolojr1138 Says:

    Magnificent movie. 100 times better than the original trilogy. Almost as good as Revenge of the Sith.

  5. piccolojr1138 Says:

    Concerning the prequels, there is no more than a few references.

    And Abrams’ style is obviously very different. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Episodes I, II and III stand even more now, they have a beauty which is unique in the saga.

    • bansheegun Says:

      What references to the Prequels were there?

      • sw295 Says:

        i remember Leia saying smth along the line of ‘ i know there’s still good in him’. Also they showed us corsucant, but just to blow it up moments later…

      • lazypadawan Says:

        Not sure if that’s supposed to be Coruscant or not. Weirdly enough that scene reminds me of the similar destruction of Vulcan in Abrams’s first Trek film.

      • piccolojr1138 Says:

        – Kylo Ren mentions the possibility of a clone army
        – Lor San Tekka mentions the balance of the Force
        – Maz Kanata mentions the Sith
        – The podracers flags on Maz’s castle (I didn’t see if Abrams changed them since the trailer)
        – And this track sounds very much like “The High Council Meeting” (The Phantom Menace)

        I think that’s all.

      • Kingpun Says:

        Only things I picked up on were the mention of the Sith, and a portion of a musical cue from The Phantom Menace you hear when Anakin’s talking about podracing at the dinner table and later at the end when Palpatine and the Jedi Council are arriving. But the scene doesn’t really have any connection to any plot point really. My guess is it just was what was used to temp score the scene and they liked it enough to keep it. The cue I’m talking about is right at the beginning of “Finn’s Confession” on the soundtrack.

      • bansheegun Says:

        That’s lame. Was hoping for a line about The Clone Wars or something. If they did destroy Courscant I’ll be pissed off big time.

      • Eduardo Vargas Says:

        Coruscant wasn’t blown up. It was Hosnian Prime.

        I guess they are saving Coruscant so that it can show up as the capital once again, though It’s kind of confusing as to what the hell the Republic is going to do now? Bring new senators? hold a new election for chancellor?

        It would really suck if it all descended into anarchy though

      • bansheegun Says:

        So, there is a Republic again?

      • sw295 Says:

        Ok my bad, it looked a lot like coruscant.

        I think it would have been necessary to explain more about what exactly the state of the galaxy is. What is the republic doing ? Are they fighting the first order ? Or are they linked to the resistance?

        The movie lacked some information here and there. But the do have two more movies to give us that information in some form.

      • Tarrlok Says:

        I too would be pissed as hell if Coruscant was destroyed and this destruction was just brushed aside. As if this was some “prequel nonsense” to be discarded just to get in touch with teh OOOT feelz. You simply don’t just destroy the millennia old capital of the Galactic Republic and Galactic Empire, the setting for some of the most decisive events in Galactic history, for something so trivial. It’s like blowing up Earth in a Star Trek film.

        It didn’t look like Coruscant, what with the more low-density urbanisation and classical European-inspired architecture. It and the Starkiller blast that destroyed it were also far too visible from the Resistance base planet to be Coruscant. Good to know it wasn’t Coruscant.

    • Shaman McLamie Says:

      There is a Republic. While the movie doesn’t go into great detail about it. In the opening crawl it is mentioned there is a Republic(I was probably the only person who shouted in excitement when the second paragraph of the crawl showed up) and they are financing the Resistance which is a group causing trouble for the First Order within it’s territory. Which is why they blow up Hosnian Prime the Republic’s current capital planet. If you read the visual dictionary it states the Republic is the the dominant political force in the Galaxy. They change the Capital Planet apparently every few years as a means of pleasing those that felt the Republic government was too corrupt and powerful and favoring only a handful of systems, pleasing former separatist and those fearful of a new Empire. As a side note they now have a Chancellor as their leader. Notice how it’s not the exact same title though?

      • lazypadawan Says:

        So you have to buy outside sources to understand all of this stuff? Geez…

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        I think one idea was to just show the universe and not to explain much. This is inspired by ANH where you do not get background information about the Tusken Raiders etc. Such things are just presented or mentioned briefly.
        Abrams & Kasdan may however also have feared the backslash caused by the “taxation of trade routes” etc. and therefore abstained from too many information (but that’s my interpretation!). Seems not always to have worked.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I think you’re right; the problem is you do have to explain this stuff.

      • Tarrlok Says:

        There were allusions to the New Republic fleet possibly being able to deal with the First Order, but in general, the scale of the film’s setting was very, very small. The First Order is a relatively small, localised threat like most RL threats to world peace since WW2 ended.

        In a way, this is comforting. There is a vast Second Galactic Republic out there – a democracy with all the associated complexity that certain people abhor. The Alliance to Restore the Republic succeeded. Even if its direct depiction in TFA would have prevented middle-aged men in the audience from feeling like toddlers again, it’s ready for the later sequels.

  6. lazypadawan Says:

    I was posting my views just as my internet died. Ha!

    went with my parents as I usually do with my first viewings of each Star Wars film. The theater was sweet; business class moviegoing with La-Z-Boys, in-theater service, nice bathrooms, and an all-around chic atmosphere. They even had some Star Wars specials running, including the Queen Amidala salad with prawns and Qui Gon Vin ;).

    Oh yes, the movie. My mother called it…it’s good, we all enjoyed it and were entertained, but Lucas’s touch is definitely missing. The romantic epic sweep of Eps I-VI, the goofy and whimsical touches, the feeling of being immersed in another galaxy, and Lucas’s gift for aesthetics aren’t there. The visuals don’t have that beauty and some of it is kinda ugly. The creature designs just aren’t as good. It’s not the kind of movie you watch dozens of times to catch little things. Even John Williams doesn’t have a knockout track like “Duel of the Fates” or “The Imperial March.” But it’s hard to think of how this was ever going to live up to any of it any more than I’d expect Suzanne Collins to write a Narnia book as good as C.S. Lewis. We lost those things when we lost Lucas.

    As long as we’re on that note, I’ll get to the film’s flaws first. The movie has a lot of snappy, arch, and funny dialogue but you can tell the script was cranked out in a hurry. It lacks the careful structure of its predecessors and cribs a little too much from ANH. Poe disappears and you are led to believe he’s dead then he suddenly shows up healthy and hale with no explanation. Abrams’s first Star Trek film was riddled with unbelievable coincidences and unfortunately this movie has some of those too, such as when Han and Chewie just happen upon the Falcon in space. The film does very little to set up what’s going on and why, such as why the hell is the Republic fighting the same a-holes after all of these years. Abrams prefers instead to keep the action going instead of doing much exposition, which is pretty much what he did with the Trek films. Those little moments in Lucas’s Star Wars films don’t happen much here. Things must always be occurring, which dumps all of the responsibility for character development and world building on Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow. I have no idea why they decided to be all teasy-weasy with who Rey’s parents are instead of just telling us. (I suspect Luke is her father.)

    But don’t think I’m a basher because I still found things to like. BB-8 is a charmer, Finn and Rey (who are so going to hook up) have some charm and potential growth as characters, and it was great seeing our old crew again even if not under ideal circumstances. (Personally I would’ve preferred NOT to have broken up Han and Leia.) Hux had some mustache-twirling moments and Abrams was at least smart enough not to kill off him, Ren, or Snoke just yet. Finn and Poe have a good rapport (maybe they’re going to hook up).

    The most compelling aspect of TFA for me was the Skywalker family drama, which made me wish it was more up front rather than a subplot. Ben Solo/Kylo Ren is a conflicted guy with a huge chip on his shoulder and it makes you wonder exactly what happened to him because I think he may have mental issues. Leia knows there’s still good in him but can a guy who commits patricide be saved? (RIP Han…I so knew this would happen because I figure it was the only way Ford would’ve done another film). Can his cousin/half-sister or whatever Rey save him? Would she want to? With Luke back in the picture and Artoo activated again, what will happen next? Even though they split up Han and Leia I liked the banter between them; it’s sad because they clearly still loved each other.

    My parents think Finn has to be related to Mace Windu because he just picked up that lightsaber like a pro. His past is murky because he had been abducted and pressed into stormtrooper service. Or maybe he just watched a lot of YouTube videos.

    I’m also on board with the Snoke Is Plagueis theory.

    I don’t know why people have said this takes them back to the ’70s because the film really is a 2015 movie made for an audience reared largely on the MCU, YA flicks, and other staples of contemporary geek culture. It is what it is and we aren’t going to get back the films of George Lucas and his influence. TFA might not be an awesome Star Wars movie but it is at least a good sci-fi action flick.

    • Kitt and Chips Says:

      I read somewhere that Snoke was originally meant to be a Force ghost of a former Sith Lord, but they decided to avoid Force ghosts because the Chinese film censorship board doesn’t like ghosts. Sounded bizarre to me, but it seems the ‘no ghost’ thing is legit.
      It’s a shame if true, because I’d love to see Luke having a chat with the ghost of his Dad.

      I really missed GL’s imagination in the film. Every planet just seemed interchangeable with what we’d seen before.

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        Hmmm… I think it was established that Sith cannot become Force ghosts anyway. During the “Mortis” arc of TCW, one idea was to use Sith Force ghosts, but ultimately, they dropped the idea because it is against the idea of the Force. (I agree BTW, the Sith are selfish, and becoming a Force ghost needs selflessness.)

        Hence, Anakin could show up as a Jedi Force ghost (hopefully he will in EP VIII and IX. “Kylo/Ben, you’re pretty f****d up. Let me tell you something…”)

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I think this scene needs to happen.

    • Noah Evans Says:

      Lazypadawan summed it up perfectly, you did. I mean, I maybe be more critical and nitpicky in agreeing on the matter, but you stated what needed to be stated. Sure, it lacks explanation and Lucas’ poetry in order to be a great Star Wars chapter, but it’s a good sci-fi movie.. well, for messa it’s okay.

      • Noah Evans Says:

        P.S. In addition, the visuals won’t as beautiful (although Starkiller base and the green planets are pretty, especially the Irish Island at the end… love Irishness I do) and as everyone else would state, it is a big rehash of A New Hope with other elements mixed in.

    • Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

      Yeah, I think this summed up my first impressions. Loved the story, hated the presentation. As a Saga film, it disappoints, but as EU, it delivers enough.

      I need to see it at least once more in order to form a full enough opinion to write a full review.

  7. Tony Says:

    I have mixed feelings about this film. Visually it looks great, and the action sequences are done very well.

    But my main gripe is the lack of originality. I’m absolutely fine with repeating iconic lines such as “I have a bad feeling about this” etc. But this film takes it to far. It is effectively ANH 2.0. I was cringing throughout the film, because every minute I was reminded of ANH. From the cantina scene, the death star 3.0, the wannabe darth vader etc. etc.

    I also feel like there was way too much action in this film, and not enough development of the situation, the characters and so forth. Of course this can be done in later films, but why not do it now?

    It’s a risk-free film, designed to appeal to the wider community (and in particular the prequel-haters). Yes it’s a good sci-fi action flick as a poster above said, and I also agree that it is not an awesome SW movie. Because SW has always been about the story, and this film fails completely in this regard.

    (Also near the start of the film, was the remark made by the pilot guy a subtle dig at the prequels? I can’t remember exactly, but it was something like “This one’s going to make things right”).

    • lazypadawan Says:

      I didn’t see it that way and really I don’t want to head off into paranoia-land.

    • Dave Strohmenger Says:

      I didn’t want to see it that way either, but I don’t think it’s insignificant that it’s the very first line of dialogue.

  8. Alessio Pasquali Says:

    Just saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And, all I will say is WOW! And OMFG!!!! It is the best Star Wars film of all-time, even better than The Empire Strikes Back. I have faith this will be our ultimate $3 billion dollar worldwide phenomenon when this is over.
    The Force. Has Reawakened. For All Fans Of All 6 Star Wars Films. 10/10. 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    P.S. And to those fans who worry that this movie acts like the Prequels never existed and that they don’t acknowledge George Lucas as the creator of Star Wars, don’t worry. The Force Awakens does acknowledge the Prequels in very subtle but pleasing ways. I won’t spoil where and when, you’ll have to listen, but they do acknowledge the existence of the Prequels and acknowledge George Lucas as the creator of Star Wars in the end credits and the inspiration for this story and hopefully they will for the upcoming films.

    As, piccolojr pointed out and is spot on accurate with what he pointed out as callbacks to the Prequels. And, yes I understand some frustration as you viewing this as a remake more than a sequel, but, don’t worry. Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII promises to be weirder and more original, especially since he had 18 months to write it. And, when I saw it, people were laughing and cheering, far better than in The Avengers. And, at least they did honor Lucas’s original vision in terms of Darth Vader’s grandchildren with Kylo Ren and Rey. So, let’s give these movies a chance. At least they’ve proven that they are seeing Star Wars as one whole story.

  9. Alessio Pasquali Says:

    And, don’t think Phasma is gone, just because we didn’t see her flee off-world with Ben and Hux. Kathleen Kennedy confirmed Phasma will return for Episode VIII. I am pleased to hear this because, I really wanna see what her face looks like. But, you gotta admit, at least JJ took risks in diverse casting with female stormtroopers, dark-skinned stormtroopers and female leads. Plus, for now, it’s intentional that Phasma had less scenes in the movie, because they did say Phasma is the “Boba Fett” of the movie, which is what they know is getting people to care about her by criticizing the lack of her role. That’s why the Star Wars fan community will see her as such an icon like Boba and Maul. I mean, c’mon guys. Be logical hear.

    • Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

      I would have no problem with Phasma had people not built her up like this. “Finally! A female villain in a Main film that poses a legitimate threat!” And then what happens? She has less to do than Boba, Maul, and Zam Weasel combined.

      Again, no problem with that on its own. It fits the story. But don’t try and sell me that she’s any big diversity push based on this.

  10. bansheegun Says:

    I have yet to officially see it, but is Leia referred to as “General Leia” or “General Organa”? I feel like JJ would use “Leia” just so he didn’t have to give acknowledgement to Bail and, in turn, the prequels.

    • Dave Strohmenger Says:

      Poe calls her General Organa. C3PO starts to call her Princess, but catches himself. I think the mainstream media is making too big a deal of the fact that she’s a general. They don’t seem to realize that she was a general in ROTJ.

      • bansheegun Says:

        I like the fact that she’s a general, personally. Although, it would be cool if she did gain some force knowledge from Luke. I feel like she would have been and Ahsoka-type Jedi if she code that path. Powerful, thoughtful and super independent.

      • bansheegun Says:

        Chose* Damn IPhone autocorrect.

    • Dave Strohmenger Says:

      She does feel a tremor in the Force when Han dies. I think she knew something bad happened, but I don’t think she really knew for sure what it was until Rey and Chewie return without Han.

  11. Alessio Pasquali Says:

    And, I guess we can all agree on one thing: BB-8 is the star of the movie. When I saw him, I was going “Oh MY GOD, I’m glad I got this character more in my Midnight Madness/Force Friday merchandise than any of the other characters.

  12. Von Says:

    I thought the movie was the weakest in the series,the action was kinda dull and the plot was very predictable, I really came in with a open mind and in the end I got disappointed with the film. Unlike those hateboys, I’m not gonna hate on people who love TFA over ep1-3 or the saga in general, I think I might to see it 2 more times to really confirm my stance on this film.

    • Shamari Stewart Says:

      This is pretty much how I feel also. I was shocked and disappointed by the film. It seemed like a sci-fi flick I might see and be like “it was okay” but nothing special. And like you I came in with an open mind, hell I really wanted to love the movie. It fell flat, the plot is episode IV again and some of the lucky coincidences that occur are ridiculous and never fleshed out (and probably never will be). It wasn’t a god-awful movie but by star wars standards it’s definitely the weaker of the bunch. I miss lucas much more now (and I already missed him)

  13. Alessio Pasquali Says:

    I’ll be seeing it two maybe three more times with my dad, my friends and my mother’s friends, because if my family loves it, I’m proud they did, especially since my mom is now interested in seeing all 6 of the Star Wars films now, especially after being introduced to The Clone Wars.

  14. Jim Raynor Says:

    The day of reckoning is upon us…

    Just kidding. I went in very chill despite difficulties getting to the theater on time and the horrible seat (front row and near the corner) that was left available to me. As I decided when this movie was first announced, I sat down with optimism, a big bucket of popcorn, and a goal of just enjoying the next 2+ hours without any bitterness over the BS running through the fandom. I didn’t need The Force Awakens to be a great Star Wars movie. I just hoped it would be a good time. Now, onto the review:

    This was the movie the Original Trilogy fans said they wanted. No less, and certainly no more IMO. Everyone who said it leans heavily on nostalgia was absolutely justified in saying so.

    I wanted more though, and it was a disappointing experience for me. The movie is NOT horrible. It’s actually rather straightforward and inoffensive. I can’t really pick out any scenes, subplots, dialogue, or characters who pissed me off (nor do I want to take the path of the Dark Side/Prequel haters and be the guy who nitpicks everything to death). My issue with the movie is that it’s totally pedestrian, a re-do of A New Hope without anything truly creative or distinctive about it.

    You can do a nostalgic tribute movie that’s still creative in its own right. Guardians of the Galaxy was influenced by the Original Star Wars Trilogy as well, but it had quirky characters, laugh out loud humor, an inspired soundtrack, and some real heart. The Original Trilogy itself was an inspired mashup of westerns, scifi serials, Japanese cinema, World War II, and other sources that few people would’ve thought to combine the way that George Lucas did.

    The Force Awakens however is content to be copycat tribute standing in the shadow of its predecessors. The movie blatantly copies certain plot points and elements from A New Hope. Jakku is Tatooine. BB-8 is R2-D2. The map to Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Temple is the Death Star plans. Starkiller Base is the Death Star. Kylo Ren WISHES he was Darth Vader.

    George Lucas “copied” himself with how the Prequels mirrored the Originals, but that was part of a grand ambition to tell his own myth with a beginning, middle, and end that came full circle. The Prequels imbued greater meaning upon the Originals by showing how Anakin came from similar (though still greatly different) circumstances from Luke. They showed how Anakin and Luke struggled with some of the same challenges, and how their personal differences and choices led to different outcomes. Taken as a whole, Lucas’s six-episode Star Wars saga is an epic time-spanning tale about generational conflict and growing up. It has something to say about life: that the only way forward is to learn from the past, take a hard look at our attitudes and beliefs, and think for ourselves to do what is right.

    The Force Awakens lacks that deeper meaning. It has no real theme or message of its own, other than that the Original Trilogy was awesome.

    That’s OK though, because a movie doesn’t need a profound theme to be great entertainment. Even so, I felt that Episode VII fell short. There are almost NO surprises or plot twists throughout the movie. No intricately planned sequences, interesting interactions, or clever back-and-forths between the various characters.

    The lead characters are bland with “flat” arcs. In other words, not much character development. I say this as someone who’s interesting in writing, and who’s very willing to look for the strengths and nuances in various characters. That’s partially because of my philosophy about looking for the best in others, and partially because of how Prequel-haters completely dismiss everyone from Jar Jar to Padme and Anakin.

    [Padme’s a nothing character in their opinion, who degenerates into a pregnant crying woman with nothing to do (I’ve argued that she’s devoted to duty, independent and distrusting because of how betrayed she was after the Naboo crisis, and who exhibited “Disney Princess” behavior in how she wanted to escape the confinements of her privileged position. Anakin’s a whiny wooden jerk they say, but I’d argue that he’s the most psychologically deep character in the SW saga and a total execution George Lucas’s intent to show the dangers of fear and pride.]

    But back to the latest film. It truly is an ensemble, and no one really stands out as strong lead. They all take turns sharing screen time, but the movie never really delves very far with any of them.

    Rey is taking the Luke Skywalker spot in this outing with her life on a desert planet and her Force abilities. But while Luke played on the common real life anxiety of wanting to leave your boring life for greater things, Rey lacks that deeper meaning. She’s got the desert planet, and she’s got some Rebel pilot gear that implies that she might dream of something more. None of that was actually said though, and she lacked the well-meaning yet restrictive parental figures holding her down. Luke (immaturely) wanted adventure and purpose in life. Rey explicitly wants to STAY at her boring home planet, waiting alone for reasons that the movie is obviously saving for exploration in further sequels.

    That’s not to say that Rey doesn’t have her own strengths. Her strength and determination are actually made explicit. She’s a solitary survivor, she physically handles herself when attacked by thugs, and she bravely withstood Kylo Ren’s torture. It’s an admirable but basic portrayal of heroism. There’s no deeper psychology at work, no real character flaws that need addressing other than her waiting around Jakku out of some hinted at abandonment issues (again, wait three years for the next sequel).

    Finn has a backstory which is fascinating but almost unexplored in this film. He was taken from his family at an early age, given no name but a serial number, indoctrinated, and turned into menial laborer before being assigned Stormtrooper duty. That’s a dehumanizing, brutal background. In perhaps the movie’s lone shout out to the Prequels, the First Order’s slave-Stormtroopers are compared to the Old Republic’s clone armies. But other than the acknowledgement that he has no name of his own before taking “Finn,” none of that’s explored. None of the deap seated pain and rage that he must be carrying is apparent, and it doesn’t inform his interactions with the other characters other than explaining his (never committed) decision to just run away.

    Finn’s primary characterization is as an inexperienced screw up, barely scraping by every situation to good (if easy) comedic effect. He got lots of laughs and chuckles from the crowd and I, and really seemed to be the one who stole the show. The Force Awakens milked a lot of comedy out of him, thankfully being more goofy and far less self-serious than I had expected.

    I said above that Kylo Ren WISHES he was Darth Vader. That’s part intentional characterization, and partially a shortfall recreating the same kind of villain. He dresses like Vader. He talks sort of like Vader. He threatens to execute subordinates, and he goes further in his rage by throwing outright scenery-destroying temper tantrums. The guy is a Vader WANNABE. An angry manchild. I’m actually not trying to dump on him by calling him a manchild, especially since that was an aspect of Anakin’s characterization and a part of the Dark Side mentality of unbridled emotion. Vader just did it better though, and with more scars (physical and mental) and more thematic meaning.

    Vader also backed up his narcissistic villainy with far more flair and competence. He talked the talk with smug, pithy and quotable lines, and he was a terrifying juggernaut in combat throughout the Original Trilogy (especially during his duel with Luke in The Empire Strikes back). Kylo Ren, however, lacked the verbal and physical power of his idol. He’s a cheap knockoff, but to my disappointment the movie didn’t even go very far in executing the rumored a metacommentary theme of him being a hipster and bitter nostalgic fanboy.

    We knew that the Original Trilogy trinity of Luke, Leia, and Han would be back, but also that they would be in supporting roles. I’d actually say that Han Solo was a full ensemble member, and that once he appeared, he was as important as either Rey or Finn.

    What happened to the Solo/Skywalker family actually provides some of the most interesting material in the movie, as well as the few actual surprises. Unfortunately it’s mostly just talked about. So it turns out that Han and Leia’s child is actually Kylo Ren, that Kylo destroyed Luke’s New Jedi Order, traumatizing his parents and driving both Han and Luke to abandon the Republic/Resistance (in what I can only assume to be an attempt to mirror the “Rebel” nomenclature, they actually named the Republic’s military force the “Resistance” even though they should be laying legitimate claim to the galaxy). There’s a real story here about how life doesn’t turn out how you might have planned, and about running away from your pain by abandoning everything that you hold dear. It’s not really explored in any depth within this film though.

    The plot doesn’t explore much of anything in depth. It starts out as a blatant copy of A New Hope, and then becomes a simplistic sequence of action scenes afterward. Professional reviews have praised this movie as a well crafted and non-stop thrill ride, but my opinion is more restrained.

    The action scenes don’t make much sense (and unlike hardcore Prequel bashers, I’m fully aware that Star Wars action scenes aren’t high on sense). For example, the first action scene on Jakku after the opening and initial escape. The First Order wants to seize BB-8 and the digital map inside the droid, so they send Stormtroopers to grab it. OK…until those Storm Troopers call in a TIE fighter AIR STRIKE to just blow everything up in the area. Way to stick to your objectives there. Later on, they call down another TIE fighter air strike on the restaurant where the heroes are, reducing the entire structure to rubble. How is this supposed to secure BB-8 and its valuable files again?

    The movie is like that, movie from one explosive (if somewhat illogical) action scene to another with little time for the lead characters to actually interact and develop. As the closest thing the movie has to a designated lead, Rey really doesn’t do much actual talking. The characters don’t get much of a chance to show who they are outside of the high stress combat situations that would make anyone jumpy. It’s just a shoot out on Tatooine (I mean Jakku), peril from random smuggler/pirates (whoever those people were that had a beef with Han), shootout on the forest planet where the restaurant was, and battle on the ice planet where they remade the Battle of Yavin.

    On the subject of the battles, everything was seriously lacking in scale as well as creativity. The Original Trilogy gave us a bunch of iconic ships and vehicles. The Prequels were absolutely bursting with unique designs, some inspired by the Originals but all unique with some being downright bizarre. We had gleaming Royal yachts, sleek Jedi fighters, freaky spider droids, massive walking turbolaser artillery, and cool gunships airlifting walkers before flying into the fray with an impressive array of guns. Troops and vehicles maneuvered through city planets with mile-high skyscrapers, cities that were carved into caves, an alien gladiatorial arena, and freaky planets where the flowers were bigger than the people. The armies and fleets were massive, the action tensely paced, and the battles developed with troop maneuvers, tactics, twists, and off the cuff planning on display.

    In The Force Awakens, we have…X-wings and TIE fighters over a desert planet. Or a forest planet. Or an ice planet. The weapons were familiar, the locations were utterly generic, and the armies and fleets were tiny. They mentioned how precious the Resistance “fleet” was, and I kept imagining a fleet of battleships docked somewhere on Leia’s forest planet. I didn’t know until the final battle that their mere squadron of a dozen X-wings WAS the fleet. Seriously, they sent a squadron (maybe a small few at most) to attack Starkiller base. At one point during the battle, they even say something to the effect of “Two X-wings just went down…we’ve lost half our fleet!”

    Granted, the Rebel force sent up against the first Death Star was tiny as well, but that was 1977 and the movie implied that the Rebels were tiny and desperate. The Battle of Hoth, with multiple Star Destroyers, Vader’s awesome new Super Star Destroyer, and huge Imperial Walkers blasting through Rebel lines was a step up in the spectacle. The Battle of Endor, with dozens of battleships, numerous fighters, a bigger Death Star, and a simultaneous ground battle and lightsaber duel, was an even bigger step up. All of the battles in the Prequl Trilogy took the scale and spectacle to a whole new level through the magic of CGI, as well as more starship models than the Original Trilogy ever used. The Battles of Geonosis and Coruscant are grand and magnificent, befitting a galaxy-spanning war.

    The Force Awakens doesn’t have that. It’s a movie that doesn’t think big, and doesn’t think of doing much beyond 1977 or 1980 despite the much greater technology at its disposal. It’s barely even CONCERNED with its final battle over Starkiller Base, cutting away from it after showing just mere snippets of the dogfighting.

    Contrast this with its clear influence, the Battle of Yavin. We were in the cockpit with Luke. We saw maneuvers, strafing runs, and desperate Rebel fighters being shot down one after another. The editing of the original film ensured the pace and a steadily rising tension, all down to the last moments when Luke fires his proton torpedoes JUST as the Death Star is about to fire and obliterate the Rebel base.

    With the new film however, none of the leads are flying X-wings. We have no real investment in any of the pilots as characters. And for pacing, the most the movie really does is say that the Starkiller is “two minutes” away from firing. There isn’t the same sense of desperation or last second triumph pulled from the jaws of defeat. The movie’s action is small in scale, derivative, and lacking in visual flair.

    The movie is so disinterested in the battle that it literally settles on Han walking up to and TALKING to Kylo Ren. It’s not a combative face off, it’s not a hunt, and it’s not the heroes desperately trying to get through to him in the course of a failing mission. Compare this to the tensely paced and edited battle in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where Cap tried to get through to Bucky while simultaneously fighting his friend and trying to prevent the slaughter of millions of people. Disney’s other mega scifi franchise knows how to execute with power and be distinctive even when it’s derivative.

    This of course leads to probably the only big “shocking” moment in the film, when Kylo Ren just stabbed Han. I don’t know, that’s just not how I thought the guy should go. I’m too old to nerd rage, but the moment would’ve had more power for me if Han had actually died fighting or in the course of accomplishing his mission.

    That finally leads to the lightsaber duel between Kylo Ren and Finn/Rey. To the movie’s credit, they showed Kylo being injured before the fight to somewhat even the odds. It still doesn’t explain how Rey (who’s strong in the Force but completely untrained) and Finn (not just a non-Force using Stormtrooper, but a FAILED Stormtrooper) lasted more than a few seconds against him. Near the end of the fight, Kylo expressed a desire to turn Rey to the Dark Side, which somewhat makes up for it. It’s still not enough of an explanation for a fight that was rather lacking in logic.

    Kylo Ren finished the movie the way he was portrayed throughout the film. He’s a wannabe. A fraud. As a Dark Side villain, he couldn’t even take out two newbies. Rey decisively beat him the first time she so much as picked a lightsaber up, except the fight wasn’t decisive because they were separated so that Kylo could survive into the sequels. He’s not Darth Vader, who was near invincible throughout the Original Trilogy. His plain technique and inability to finish the job doesn’t even make him Darth Maul. Maul didn’t talk much talk much but he at least had a cool look and some acrobatic flair, along with enough menace to kill Qui-Gon Jinn, the audience’s hero and father surrogate.

    So the movie ends with no real developments other than Han’s death, Rey being strong in the Force (who didn’t see that coming?), and Rey finally locating Luke Skywalker who shows up at the end in a non-speaking cameo.

    Basically, aside from “Isn’t the Original Trilogy great?” this film relies on “Come back for the next movie!”

    It didn’t blow me away, and to be honest it didn’t entertain me that much either. I’m not going to see this movie in theaters again unless my family makes an outing of it on Christmas Day.

    This movie isn’t BAD, and I certainly don’t want to be the hateful fanboy. It did its job of paying tribute to the Original Trilogy and giving people more Star Wars. The theater I was in was full of people who had a great time, and it was fun clapping and cheering with them at the reappearance of each Original Trilogy character.

    I actually had the pleasure of sitting next to a forty-something woman who saw the first movie in the theater as a small kid. She was well-dressed and she exuded enthusiasm and positivity. Basically the BEST possible representative for fandom. This lady laughed at the jokes, applauded the Original Trilogy characters, gasped at Han’s death, and cheered when the credits rolled. Not wanting to rain on her parade, I smiled and acted as if I enjoyed the film as much as she had. She told me she was glad she came to the movie alone so she could focus on geeking out, and I replied that that’s how I like to see my geek franchise movies as well. It was FUN and uplifting to briefly bond with another fan over Star Wars, with not a hint of online fandom negativity in sight.

    If other fans can enjoy The Force Awakens in such a pure way, then I can enjoy their pleasure. I just hope the next movie shows more ambition than this.

    On a final note, there was a hilarious moment in the theater when the “Star Wars” logo first appeared on the screen. A little boy (eight to ten years old, and thus innocent from all the behind the scenes stuff as well as the online fandom’s hatred) several feet from me shouted “George Lucas for the win!”

    I smiled and thought “If he only knew…”

  15. kenkraly2004 Says:

    wow an amazing awesome film 9.5/10 I enjoyed it a lot.

  16. Simon Maxwell Says:

    I’ve not seen the film and I have no intention of doing so, for reasons I’ve mentioned before and so won’t go into again here. But here are a few thoughts.

    So one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood is true. Han snuffs it. I’m guessing Ford had some Charlton Heston/Planet of the Apes type arrangement here. He would agree to appear in one more Star Wars film as long as he was killed off to guarantee he couldn’t appear in any future films.

    As for Ben Solo/Ken Rylo: this time the villain turns out to be the son of the heroes instead of the hero’s father (as in Anakin’s case). In any case, we’ve already had Ben’s character in the Expanded Universe. Han and Leia’s son (Jacen) turned to the dark side, just as their son Ben turns to the dark side in the Disney continuity. So nothing particularly original about the character of Ben Solo in this new trilogy.

    When it comes to reactions to the film among critics and fans, I’ve mostly been trying to avoid them through fear of coming across comments such as “this is the film the prequels should have been”, or other such nonsense. But the few reactions I’ve read have been overwhelmingly positive. I can’t help feeling though that if Lucas had made this exact same film instead of Abrams, Lucas would be getting slammed right now for things such as Han’s death and the lack of originality in the character of Ben Solo. That’s what annoys me about the Lucas hateboys – their double standards. They bash Lucas mercilessly for CGI or whatever, but have no problem with other filmmakers doing what Lucas does.

    • Shaman McLamie Says:

      Smart move on avoiding reviews because I’ve only found ONE review and I think it was from the Irish Times that didn’t give a jab of some sorts at the Prequels. Still I think people are being overly positive do to all the hype, but when it settles I have a feeling it will get picked apart pretty badly and unfairly.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      I’ll just jump in and say if Lucas had made this movie he would’ve been crucified a million times worse than for anything else he’s done.

  17. Shaman McLamie Says:

    I have so much more to say about this, but thoughts are still swirling in my head and I do plan to see it again later this week so hopefully I’ll have made up my mind on things. With that said I did enjoy the movie. I was actually watching the Marathon and initially didn’t get a very good seat, but a guy I was sitting next to who grabbed a bunch of seats for his friends decided to leave during TPM and I got a much much better seat when I took one of the seats he nabbed. Luckily he didn’t raise issue, or notice when he came back with his friends during Episode III. I was also probably the only person who brought a Jar Jar plush to watch my seat.

    Enough rambling on about my day and what I thought.
    I went in thinking I wouldn’t like Finn very much, but I pretty much fell in love with him. I kind of like how he starts out a coward and just wants to get the hell out. His weaknesses are what make him such a good character in my opinion. Still his obsession with Rey never seemed as well developed as it could have been, but a minor complaint in my books. One of my favorite scenes is when he’s rescuing Poe and tells him it’s the right thing to do and Poe deduces he just needs a pilot.
    Talking about Poe I really didn’t like his character. He feel to cool for school and probably Star Wars. He constantly balks at danger, he almost too good of a pilot, I don’t recall him having one flaw as a character. Hell even Han knew when to be a coward, was greedy to a fault and wasn’t always the brightest tool in the shed. I get a Gary Stu(Mary Sue) vibe from Poe.
    Rey, I’m not totally settled on the character. I was definitely most excited about her, some things I liked about her, somethings I didn’t. The most I can really say definitively is I did NOT like how she could all of a sudden use the Jedi Mind Trick. How does she know to use it all of sudden? I feel like it should have been one of those discovered on accident kind of things. She would yell at a Storm Trooper to let her go and he all of sudden does it.
    I really liked BB-8. I think I like BB-8 more than R2-D2. I currently can’t put into words why I liked this droid so much. How the character panned out I think it would have been better that BB-8 be a SHE instead of a HE, but once again just a minor quibble.
    Thoughts are still pretty unsettled about Kylo Ren just like with Rey, somethings I like others I don’t.
    I really don’t like Maz Kanata she is just a poorly done Yoda 2.0. In my opinion we needed more Pirate less wise Sage in this character.
    Hux was a serviceable character, nothing stellar, but I though he was a good addition and I found him more interesting than Tarkin. I would love to see this character chafe under Thrawn in Episode VIII.
    Snoke character was not much to say about him. I did find his design a let down. He certainly doesn’t look like a Muun so I don’t think he’s Plagueis. He just turned out to be a deformed human and rather generic looking at that. I don’t even know why they CGI’d him if they weren’t going to go big and bold in the looks department with some bizarre Alien, or something.

    I’ll probably comeback with even more ramblings, but the last thing I feel I need to bring up is the music. It was quite different then what I’m used to from Star Wars. It was quite Jarring actually, but I did come to like it. Was it just me, or did it have more of a Pirates of the Caribbean vibe to it. Maybe I’m just not used to it yet as Star Wars. I’d like to know from anyone who was a kid for the originals and then saw the prequels did you have the same issue when watching those movies, or did the music instantly feel Star Wars?

  18. Jim Raynor Says:

    Seeing a lot of fan comments (and some critic reviews) praising the “minimal use of CGI.”

    Are they kidding me?

    • Cad Bane Says:

      I saw that as well, someone from the Denver Post according to Wookiepedia wrote about how he praised the film for having practical effects and “honest to God sets” or some such nonsense. It really never ends…

    • andywylde77 Says:

      Yeah I guess a marketing campaign of “practical effects” can have a strong influence on the weak minded? lol

    • Shaman McLamie Says:

      Did they go to the bathroom during those Rathnar scenes, or something?

    • hansolo1138 Says:

      The creatures on Han and Chewie’s freighter, Starkiller Base, Snoke and Kanata, all of the starships…

      This film used more CGI than The Phantom Menace!

      • Shaman McLamie Says:

        The only reason you can tell those Rathnar’s are CGI is simply because of how spectacular they are, but sometimes watching you can tell certain things were puppets and not at all in a good way. I remember in one scene there was this bird thing and it was painfully obvious that it was a puppet and that animal at the waterhole while not bad looking at the front it looked way more fake in the rear. The problem is J.J. Abrams brought in practical effects for the sake of practical effects not for the sake of the movie.

      • Dave Strohmenger Says:

        Have you seen the behind the scenes shots of Kylo walking down the ramp from his ship? There’s a lower portion of the ship, a ramp and nothing but green screen all around them.

      • hansolo1138 Says:

        Crap, you’re right. I thought. They that they were “actually out in a desert, a REAL desert.”

  19. Nick Skywalker Says:

    Average. That’s all I can say about the movie. It was a nice popcorn flick but to me it had nothing that made me connect/resonate with the characters. It didn’t feel like SW at all. Of course, with Lucas being out of the picture that was bound to happen (to an extent), but this felt flat out foreign. I didn’t hate it and certainly won’t be bashing it, but I wanted more.

    One thing that strongly bothered me was how well Rey/Finn wielded the lightsaber. It just seemed unbelievable that these two people, who didn’t even know the Jedi really existed until hours beforehand, we able to use such a sophisticated weapon so well.

    And also, I did not like the ending. There just seemed to be no conclusion or finality. Everything was left so open ended. Obviously, they’re setting up for the next installment but even I and II had a sense of conclusion to them.

    All in all, I compare Star Wars post Lucas to anything Gone With the Wind post Margaret Mitchell. Decent, but severely lacking without the original creator’s touch.

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      The Force Awakens has so many things that the Prequels are accused of having:

      Use of CGI? Check
      Flat and undeveloped characters? Check
      Illogical fight scenes? Check
      Corporate cash grab? Check (Disney’s making annual spin offs now)
      Copying the old movies? Check (but the FANS asked for it this time!)

      Yet the Prequels violated people’s childhoods, while The Force Awakens is “The best film of the year.”

  20. Jim Raynor Says:

    I’m cool with real life people liking The Force Awakens. I’m annoyed with the renewed online attacks on the Prequels and the hypocritical comparisons.

    Latest jaw dropper I’ve seen tonight: “The biggest problem with the Prequels is that we knew what was going to happen.”

    Because this one was so unpredictable, right?

    Think I’m going to stop searching the internet for reactions. I saw TFA, it was OK, and now it’s time to move on and get back to other things in life.

    • Dave Strohmenger Says:

      I’m so sick of the “We knew where everything was going” line with regards to the prequels. We knew Anakin became Vader, there was a Clone War and where Luke, Leia Obi-Wan and Yoda ended up. That’s about it. We knew nothing of Battle Droids, Jango Fett, Grievous, Qui-Gon, Jar Jar, Padme, Dooku and on and on. I hate when people say prequels (of any story, not just Star Wars) are never interesting or there are no stakes because we know where things are headed or who survives. Did they tell their history teachers “I don’t need to learn any of this because I know what’s going on now”?

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Yeah you really raise some great points. For me when I was kid during the OT, I really had no Idea HOW Anakin became Vader? I knew he WOULD become Vader, but as to HOW that I didn’t. Did anyone know that Anakin would be a virgin birth? I doubt it. Qui Gon was a whole new addition. So no one really knew where he would end up?

        The CIS was a whole new faction and didn’t exist before they were introduced. The way the Empire started was not known really. I mean all these people that complain about “how things end up” didn’t have any idea how they got there.

        So for me I was more surprised with the PT than anything. All I knew walking in was that Anakin becomes Vader. How all that played out was a mystery to me.

  21. Shamari Stewart Says:

    I was very disappointed by this movie. I’ll fully admit the hype-machine had me rolling and foaming at the mouth for more good star wars (still has 95% on rotten tomatoes…), so my expectations were high. But I also came into it with an open-mind, I would’ve totally accepted a “good” star wars movie. For me this was “okay”, I would say it’s a worthy addition but ANH was already made. Which leads me to my first issue:

    – The basic plot is ANH, which a lot of people here already stated. I mean a 4 year-old could deduce that. It’s not just “nostalgic” it’s straight-up unoriginal. Nostalgia is nice up to a point, I don’t want to see the same movie twice. The plot of a movie shouldn’t be nostalgic, that should always at least try to be original imo. Here it’s like JJ just gave up and was like “fuck it let’s do A New Hope but bigger a shinier!”

    – Lightsaber fights were really underwhelming. They didn’t have to be as extravagant as the prequels, but damn. These fights were clearly not their focus in this movie. Which, it just so happens, leads me to another 2 things.

    – Finn gets completely owned and is made to look like a chump TWICE. By the end of the movie I was basically like “just lay down man, give it up you can’t use a lightsaber” which is unfortunate, because they hyped him up with the lightsaber and I was looking forward to him doing well with it! I didn’t expect him to beat kylo, but he couldn’t even take the stormtrooper. Just made him look lame to me, and I don’t want him to look lame because I want to like his character. Hopefully he redeems himself in future movies.

    – Kylo Ren gets owned by Rey and she basically just discovered she’s force-sensitive. She’s either super lucky, really damn strong in the force, or Kylo Ren is all bark and no bite. And if it’s the last scenario, that makes finn look even worse. Speaking of Kylo Ren:

    – With his mask: terrifying. Without his mask: a complete non-threat. He just looked sad most of the time to me when his mask was off. And it didn’t make me go “ohhh he’s conflicted and going through some shit” like it did with Anakin because I don’t know anything about him, except that he ditched luke and was seduced by snoke into embracing the dark-side.

    – R2D2 at the end just happens to wake up and has the rest of the map they needed. He was in low power mode and woke up because… he felt like it? I might’ve missed something, but it seemed like an asspull so they can find luke and get Rey’s training started.

    Those were my MAJOR issues with it, I have more nitpicky ones too (snoke’s hologram being ridiculously massive, saw han’s death coming from a mile away, etc), but they’re totally forgivable if the rest of the movie rocks my socks off, which it didn’t because my socks are still on lol.

    However, there are things I liked (even loved? lol) about the movie:

    – Aerial battles were amazing, made me really want to be a fighter pilot.

    – In general I liked all the characters and their backstories and personalities. Poe Dameron is my personal favorite!

    – It’s funny! Funniest star wars movie of all of them I think, which is new and intersting.

    – Stormtroopers were intimidating and didn’t seem like bumbling idiots who never had target practice.

    – Hux’s speech was awesome

    – Creatures looked cool. I was very scared they’d look cheap and stupid-looking with JJ’s emphasis on “practical effects” but it worked out. Not a major thing but it was a concern for me going in.

    – Loved the opening scene. Thought it was really really well-done and got me very excited… unfortunately to be let-down lol

    Still, overall I give the movie a 7/10. It wasn’t a BAD movie at all, but I do expect more from a SW movie. And of course, I won’t bash it mercilessly like prequel-bashers do. People should try to enjoy it and if they do, good-for-them. It wasn’t for me though and I really miss the days when Lucas ran Lucasfilm.

  22. Captain Fordo Says:

    Saw the movie today after waiting a while in line at the movie theater. Force Awakens was meh, and basically proved my assumption that it’s a episode 4 rehash as true.
    I would rate this movie 4/10 personally, and see it Better than empire strikes back (which is my least favorite movie).

    Practical effects my behind, mostly cgi, and unfortunetly hater boys think it’s completely practical…

    Wonder when the haterboys will rage at Han dieing?
    Dialogue was cheesy as expected. Sad to have seen people calling this abomination better than the PT. Movie was not worth the wait time. If you want to see it, go later when the hype dies down.

    In conclusion, weak sauce movie. Was diasspointed with the plot and what happened to Han and Finn.

  23. Martin Hay Says:

    Here’s my take.

    Firstly, it really is a good film and my wife, son and I all enjoyed it. I definitely can’t imagine anybody outright hating it. All of the new characters were very likeable, they gelled well together, and the acting performances were easily among the best of the entire franchise. The whole thing moves at a pretty fast pace and there are plenty of action sequences to keep you entertained. However…

    …it is not without its flaws, despite the glowing reviews. Let’s start with the most obvious: it has virtually the same plot as the first movie. Farmboy (or in this case scavenger girl) from a desert planet stumbles across a droid carrying important information and has to get that droid to the Rebel (or Resistance) base before taking part in a daring mission to demolish an enemy weapon that has the power to destroy entire planets. I mean God damn! The plots are so close that TFA borders on being a remake. And if you ask me, it’s just as well the film is not billed as a such because it pales in comparison to George Lucas’s original cinematic masterpiece.

    One frustrating aspect of TFA is the fact that the film fails to properly explain itself. I mean, I still have no idea what the whole Republic/Resistance/First Order thing is all about. If the Republic is the new government, what exactly is the First Order? Are they at war with one another? Where does the Resistance fit into all of this? Why is Leia, who was a member of the Imperial senate and royal figure of the old Rebellion, not a member of the new government? Why is the Republic standing by and allowing the First Order to kidnap and indoctrinate babies? Just what is going on?! I shouldn’t need to ask such basic questions.

    It seems obvious to me that J.J. Abrams and Co. wanted to tell an old-fashioned Star Wars story that involved the Empire and the Rebellion but couldn’t do so because of what transpired in Return of the Jedi. So they solved the problem by just renaming the two sides! After that I guess they couldn’t be bothered to figure out the pesky details. And given how much Abrams wanted to avoid association with the prequels I suppose it comes as little surprise that he chose to steer clear of the politics.

    And the thing is, the above just tops the list of numerous unanswered questions. Like how exactly did that funny little alien get her hands on Luke’s old lightsaber? Why is Kylo Ren obsessed with Darth Vader and how did he get his hands on the mask Luke set fire to thirty years before? How is it that Finn was able to so easily break free from a lifetime of conditioning to become an immediate hero and all-round good guy? Why was Rey abandoned by her family? And how was she able to perform Jedi mind tricks about three seconds after she learned that the force was real when it took Luke three bloody movies before he even attempted it?! I get that the film-makers are setting up for a trilogy but the sheer volume of unanswered questions here is ridiculous. And let’s face it, Lucas managed to make two trilogies with each of the six movies feeling far more self-contained than TFA.

    I must also say that, for me, the film lacked the spectacle I’ve come to expect from a Star Wars movie. Every one of the previous instalments features at least one of those stand-out, awe inspiring sequences (i.e. the Death Star run in A New Hope or the pod race in Phantom Menace) that stays with you and has you buzzing hours after watching. Despite there being no shortage of action, there is nothing similarly striking or memorable to be found in TFA. The truth is that Abrams lacks Lucas’s visual flair and is unable to build suspense and put you on the edge of your seat in the way Lucas can. There is literally no comparison at all between the Death Star attack in A New Hope – which is like master class in suspenseful film making – and the brief, bland attack on Starkiller base.

    Alhough I can make peace with it – since it seems obvious he’ll be back for Episode VIII – I was disappointed with the teeny, tiny amount of Luke Skywalker we got. But not as disappointed as I was to learn of the reason for his virtual absence. I mean with everything that Luke managed to endure over the course of the original trilogy without losing sight of himself or his true purpose, to be told that he decided to just give up on his mission to rebuild the Jedi order because his nephew wouldn’t do as he was told is some seriously weak sauce if you ask me.

    And speaking of weak sauce, I was staggered by the manner in which Han Solo’s death seemed to matter so little to his original trilogy mates that it was forgotten about within five minutes. I mean, Chewie hung his head for a few frames but then promptly settled back into his co-pilot chair on the Falcon next to Rey; smiling as if Han Solo never existed. And Leia, the love of Han’s life and mother of his child, barely reacted at all. The most she did was get a look on her face like she was trying to remember if she left the oven on! In my opinion, Han Solo deserved much better.

    As I said before, despite the above weaknesses, The Force Awakens is a thoroughly enjoyable movie and I will no doubt be going to watch it again. Probably more than once. And there’s a good chance it will grow on me more with repeated viewings. But for now I have to say that I’m surprised by how effusive the reviews have been across the board. I can’t help thinking that if George Lucas had made the exact same movie, most reviewers would be highlighting the very things I have done. But because Abrams was not involved in “ruining childhoods” by creating the Special Editions, his missteps are being given a free pass.

    Ultimately, I would give TFA 3.5 stars (out of 5).

    • Shamari Stewart Says:

      “I can’t help thinking that if George Lucas had made the exact same movie, most reviewers would be highlighting the very things I have done. But because Abrams was not involved in ‘ruining childhoods’ by creating the Special Editions, his missteps are being given a free pass.”

      Yeah, lucas would’ve been torn to shreds by the media. Many people would’ve refused to go and those that went would’ve complained about his lack of originality and insist that he should stop making films altogether.

  24. Natalie Says:

    I’ve noticed a lot of negative reviews on IMDB from people who also hated the prequels. So it’s not just us saga lovers who have an issue with TFA which was a typical fanboy assumption before the release.

    • Alessio Pasquali Says:

      Do u have a link to the negative reviews?

    • andywylde77 Says:

      I actually read or at least tried to read some of the reviews on IMDB and I came across one from some clown named “FabledGentlemen” I couldn’t believe what this moron was saying? A good portion of his “review” was about the OT and PT. He states how for the PT, Lucas made it just to sell “more toys and that’s it!”

      Then he states that “the fans of the SW franchise have disliked the second trilogy(PT) almost since release”

      Oh you don’t say? So I guess I missed the memo where being a SW fan I was supposed to “dislike” the PT since its release? I guess I better be more aware of my fan status as dictated by others then? (cue eye roll here)

      Then he states, ” I say almost, because many did hang in there for years, denying that the second trilogy was bad. But now most people seem to have noticed.”

      WOW! This is the most ignorant garbage I read in a long time! So from that point I stopped reading anything further from anyone else. It is funny how he labeled his “review” as “Boring and Predictable”

      I have to wonder what he was referring to as “Boring and Predictable?” Was it his “review” or the film? The lines are quite blurry for me right now to see which is which?

      • Captain Fordo Says:

        XD what a hypocritical loser that guy is. Geez, Jar JAr Abrams movie is better than his reveiw.

      • andywylde77 Says:

        HAHA! lol Yeah and that was only the second one in. But I did go back and read some more eventually. There were some OK reviews. But there was definitely a lot that were very unhappy with this film.

    • Marshall Says:

      And one thing I’ve noticed is that they’re changing their attitudes about Lucas. I collected their statements and posted them recently.

  25. Alessio Pasquali Says:

    There was one scene I know all u PT-lovers would laugh at. It’s when Rey, Finn and BB-8 escaped aboard the Millennium Falcon, then Simon Pegg’s fat character, Unkar Plutt, the chubby salesman on Jakku says “HEY! That’s mine.” And, I immediately thought “HA HA! That’s what happens when you go out of your way to crap on the Prequels and George Lucas, Simon Pegg.” 😂😉

  26. andywylde77 Says:

    Well I see Luke did pull a Captain Barbosa ala POTC: Dead Mans Chest! I called that the moment I head Luke may have “little screen time” That was about 2 years ago or so.

    Well I seen the ST Beyond trailer already. All I can say is TFA 2.0

  27. James Says:

    Just saw it an hour ago. to me the first two thirds or so came off as some sort of poorly constructed fan film. But the last third came off as really cool. To me things really picked up after solos death (mostly cause I’ve never liked him. Just my opinion I respect others right to like him.) Here are the positives and negatives.

    + LUKE WEARING TRADITIONAL JEDI ROBES!! yay, the outer robe is light like Yoda’s but the interior is exactly like what you would see jedi wear in 123.

    + Leia sensed solos death. I may not like him but its good to know the film makers didn’t forget she is force sensitive too.

    +Jedi temples get a shout out. If the rumor is true I hope we see more of it in 8. Cant think of a better way to give a shout out to 123. Even if it is a million years old there has t me some familiarity about it.

    – Far to many earth like planets. Took me right out of the movie.
    Not every planet needs snow, trees, or sand. Besides rehashing 456 it just makes it all feel too familiar. The City planet was nice but was to short lived.

    – To much focus on the “OT3” and solo in particular, not enough with the new cast. actually make that the ot2 since Luke didn’t come around tell he last minute or so. Not a bad thing by any means i’m sure the next episode will be loaded with him.

    – Awful pacing, no breathing room, just action action action. Not enough character development. They just decide to do these things with little or no set up behind it.

    – Turns out Voldamort lives on in Star Wars and changed his name to Snoke.

    Plus the inevitabilities. The things We knew about before it came out but i’m still ticked about.

    The return of the sithinallbutname from the eu. I’m happy they respect the prophesy that much but it still rubs me the wrong way. Plus at least he is the “Last of the knights of ren” To many sith wannabe’s would suck.

    The survival of the empire. I like to think it died on Endor with the emperor. At least they said this new order “rose from the empires ashes” still doesn’t work for me much.

    Wow this rant went a little long will end it here.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      As long as we’re talking Harry Potter, doesn’t Kylo Ren look like a young Severus Snape? Once you think it, you cannot unsee it!

    • Bob Clark Says:

      Honestly Snoke looks more like a lightly scarred Uatu the Watcher from the Marvel comics to me. And by that I mean– he looks incredibly fucking stupid. Why they wasted effects money on him and didn’t just use a real actor (like, oh I don’t know, somebody who’s done a lot of Swedish cinema and has a bit of experience playing villains in bloated sci-fi epics) is beyond me.

  28. Jacobesico Says:

    I’m pleased that a lot of you enjoyed the movie. I might see it if my parents want to go.

  29. Abu Sofia Says:

    [new to the site]

    Thanks for putting the site together. I have been looking for a place just to discuss issues in TFA.

    As for the movie, I really felt like JJ had captured the feel of the Star Wars universe. I honestly felt like I was in the universe I enjoy reading and watching. Congrats to him. There was obvious thought put into every costume and design. And though I cringed a bit at how a “new deathstar” was destroyed yet again, I did like its design (even though I would have liked to see this one take a beating but survive). Yet, I must admit that it did make sense that (having harnessed the power of a sun) it should have exploded as it did when it was not firing that energy at some other planet or system.

    I am also so happy that Luke is not a sith. That would have ruined it for me. Luke, for me, is Star Wars (or, at least, represents the best of the SW universe). Though, admittedly I must state that I appreciate how JJ conveyed the inner conflict in Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. I genuinely saw it and was unsure at times whether he would go one way or another and look forward to seeing his further struggle. He is definitely like an Anakin 2.0 and without knowing which way he is going (as we did with Anakin), I am really interested in whether he will ever go back to the light side.

    Definitely want to see it a second time.

    • Alessio Pasquali Says:

      Thanks for being positive, man.

      • Dawn Says:

        You know, people are having justifiable and understandably negative reactions to what they saw and what was so poorly conveyed and realized in this movie, and they have clearly thought it through quite thoroughly. They have *every* right and reason to that.

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        To be fair, this can also be said about some prequel critics (NOT bashers).

        I find the different experiences posted here quite interesting. It really depends on “your point of view”, or – as Adam/Nilbog has pointed out – what you consider to be the most important aspect of SW to you.

  30. piccolojr1138 Says:

    You can see in the reactions that the movie is clearly not the Second Coming… It is globally well received, but there is a strong critical minority (in real life, social medias, Star Wars forums, commentaries on movie sites…).

    I wonder how the medias will react to that. Their unanimity doesn’t reflect in the audience… If this was a George Lucas’ movie, there would be many headlines like “The fans feel betrayed” already.

    By the way, it seems I loved the movie much more than most people here. I feel strange because I’m not at all of an OT purist (I don’t feel anything when you show me an X-Wing, Admiral Ackbar or whatever), and yet TFA really moved me. Despite all the references, I’ve found the atmosphere very different, and much better.

    • Abu Sofia Says:

      I am not surprised with the criticism. There are some parts to TFA that merit some critic (3rd “deathstar” for example, though others might consider that “keeping it classic”). However, such is the case with any of the episodes. Given what JJ had in front of him, I think he did a great job. Nevertheless, I still had some points where I cringed. But, there is definitely more positive than negative in TFA.

      If JJ was going for an OT feel, he succeeded – definitely. The character development was excellent (especially given the fact that each one, for the most part, is a new character to the SW universe). Feel wise, it felt like a combination of NH and ESB (the mirroring of the storyline and the ending cliff-hanger).

  31. Jack the Red Hood Says:

    My as well throw my own two cents in. I hated it. Almost walked out three times, Was completely bored around 30 minutes into it, and then got furious after Han Solo’s death. That said, I absolutely love that people love it. I went to the marathon of the films and sat next to a guy whose a big OT fan, and we just had fun gushing over Star Wars. Honestly, the only reason I didn’t leave is that I didn’t want him to get upset. And the crowd was awesome. Just about the only fun I had with the movie.

  32. Nick Skywalker Says:

    I guess we’ll have to wait and see but regarding the line that Luke set out to find the first Jedi Temple, would it be the one on Coruscant or was there another one before that one? I was just surprised by it because they made it seem like it was such a big deal when in my head I was like “Um I know a lot has happened in the last 50 years but the Jedi Temple is on Coruscant…” If the planet still exists, I was sure they would be aware of its history…

    • Abu Sofia Says:

      There was a Jedi Temple prior to the one on Coruscant. The one that is actually on Coruscant was built upon an ancient Sith temple after the Jedi defeated them (as related in the novel Tarkin). I am not sure, but I wonder if that is what is meant by the “Sith getting their revenge” as mentioned in TPM.

    • Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

      I have a feeling it was Tython, given the similarity between where we find him and how that planet has been portrayed in other media. The only x-factor is that I don’t recall Tython being that out-of-the-way compared to Coruscant.

  33. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    I’m not going to deny that this movie was entertaining. Actually, it was better than Abrams’ two “STAR TREK” films, which I thought were crap. There are four aspects that I found entertaining:

    *John Boyega
    *Harrison Ford
    *the chemistry between Boyega, Ford and Daisy Ridley
    *the humor

    Otherwise, this film was seriously lacking in any originality whatsoever. And I found this rather sad, especially for a Star Wars movie. As many know, the plot was lifted from “A NEW HOPE”, with a little “EMPIRE STRIKES BACK”, “LOST”, and Star Tours thrown in.

    Rey was basically a Mary Sue character. Only her interactions with Finn made her interesting.
    Ben Solo/Kylo Ren was a poor man’s Anakin Skywalker to me.
    Supreme Leader Snorkle (or whatever his name was) was a poor major villain . . . period. Where was Palpatine or even Tarkin when you need them?
    The new score was unmemorable.
    There were times when the pacing moved too fast.
    Oscar Isaacs and Carrie Fisher were wasted. All right, so was Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker.

    And for the likes of me, I cannot understand why the plot of this movie was made a secret.

    • Nick Skywalker Says:

      That’s a really good point about the secrecy. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, the secrecy looks even more ridiculous in hindsight. It was literally a re hash of ANH. The way Disney/JJ carried on, you would have thought all the secrecy was for something big.

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Oh yeah that was why the secrecy of the movie was so important to them. Because if they gave out any info the people would have caught on and smelled rehash a long time ago and then the movie losses credibility before it even comes out.

        I thought the film already lost credibility when Abrams was brought on board and when they turned their backs on Lucas.

    • Shaman McLamie Says:

      I went into the movie expecting not to like Yoda 2.0, but I had no expectation about Poe Dameron who ended up being a character I instantly didn’t like. The moment he talked to Kylo Ren my impression was that he was a Han Solo Wannabe and not at all in a good way. My impression of him is a Gary Stu, Han Solo Wannabe that was probably a little too cool for Star Wars.

      Rey was a character I though I was going to really like and I didn’t like her as much as I thought for a variety of reasons, but I think you nailed it in the head she is a bit of a Mary Sue. I always got this feeling that she is a fan inserted into the movie especially when she put that pilots helmet on. There were other moments as well.

      I actually did like Kylo Ren. I like the fact that he isn’t Vader and struggles with the fact he can’t live up to Vader. In my opinion being the poor man’s Anakin/Vader makes him a better character.

      I didn’t expect him to show up in the movie too much and wasn’t disappointed by the role he played. How he looked was a big let down to me especially since with all the secrecy. I was expecting something grand and bizarre. That giant lizard alien they’d been talking up, or a big twist and he was a Muun(Darth Plageius), but he just ended up being this deformed looking human and rather generic at that.

      I did like Hux though. I felt he was a serviceable villain and I found him more interesting than Tarkin. He isn’t in a completely dominant position and I can’t wait to see him in VIII possibly chafing under his defeat and to my hopes a certain Grand Admiral.

    • bansheegun Says:

      Interestingly enough, now that the smoke has cleared, I’m seeing more and more comments online from fans that are picking the movie apart. The Starkiller base plot point is getting hammered.

  34. Bob Clark Says:

    Well, saw it. Supported a local art house. Good for that.

    What can I say about it? I can say that it’s about two and a half hours long.

    Other than that, to be quite honest, it’s just incredibly boring.

    • Tony Ferris Says:

      Perhaps as well, you noticed as I did, that its title means absolutely nothing!? It seems to have been chosen for marketing purposes rather than for anything to do with the film’s content.

      • Bob Clark Says:

        Honestly, everything in this meant nothing. I can say without exaggeration or hyperbole, this is the worst SW I’ve ever seen. Granted, I haven’t seen the Holiday Special or the Ewok movies, but aside from decent performances from the kids in the leads (the characters are written as thin as wet tissue paper, however) I can think of nothing to reccomend here. It’s a total failure.

      • Natalie Says:

        Isn’t it supposed to be about the Force awakening in Rey?

    • Natalie Says:

      Please write a scathing review 🙂

  35. Shaman McLamie Says:

    The Music was definitely something that bothered me while watching the movie. I did like some scores from it, but nothing really stood out like in previous films. It didn’t feel Star Wars. I actually got more of a Pirates of the Caribbean vibe from it. I understand that I didn’t grow up with this music and maybe I just need to get used to it. What I’m interested in finding out is did anyone who grew up with the Originals and then saw the Prequels as adults come out feeling that the music wasn’t Star Wars at first, or did it instantly feel Star Wars?

    • Martin Hay Says:

      Yes! I’m so with you on this. Williams’s scores have always been one of the most important elements of Star Wars and I’ve always thought that they were the one thing that inarguably got better with each movie. I mean, the score for ROTS was just breath-taking. So wonderfully layered and wide in scope and style. But this new score didn’t resonante with me at all. Maybe it will with repeated viewings. I wonder if the probelm is that Williams just wasn’t that inspired by Abrams’ movie?

  36. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    Can anyone imagine what Anakin’s reaction to his grandson would be?

    • Shaman McLamie Says:

      I don’t know what Anakin would think of Ben, but I could proably guess he and Obi-wan are probably stoked that Luke kept with tradition and sported the Jedi Mullet.

    • Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

      Possibly something like this (from Jhonen Vasquez’s “Johnny the Homicidal Maniac”):

      “Image a sculptor being confronted by a stranger who, as it turns out, confesses to revere our sculptor. Imagine the flattery known to anybody who is told they’ve inspired some noble aspiration in somebody. The student then presents our sculptor with a work fashioned after the sculptor’s own style – a likeness of the student himself. It is a monstrosity! A @#$!ing mess. Even worse, is that our artist sees that this piece of $#@! before him is a more reasonable facsimile of his own work than he’d like to think. You @#$!ing idiot! Admire ME?!? I’m the VILLAIN in this @#$!ing story@!!!! Okay, first lesson: *rip* Be a better judge of character!”

      Weirdly enough, it’s this aspect of Kylo Ren that endears me to him over any of the other new characters, who I have yet to fully invest in.

  37. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    I am also so happy that Luke is not a sith. That would have ruined it for me.

    After seeing Mark Hamill play the Trickster on “THE FLASH”, I almost wish it had been Luke who had turned evil, instead of his nephew.

  38. hansolo1138 Says:

    Well… I saw it yesterday at 9:00 a.m. I went with my Mom, Dad, brother, and sister.

    I LOVED it!

    Since so many reviews here start with the film’s flaws, so will I. The plot rehashes Episode IV in many ways. Mark Hamill gets second billing despite being in the movie for literally 45 seconds. C-3P0 (in this movie anyway) is a far more annoying, useless, and unfunny character than Jar Jar ever was.

    But the personal character drama was very well done, and, (if you don’t count the Legends EU-most don’t) very exciting and original. Kylo Ren (or Ben Solo as we must now call him) is already as psychologically deep a character as Anakin was in Revenge, without being a carbon(ite) copy, and that is one heck of an achievement. Likewise, Rey is a strong central protagonist, and is not a Discount Luke Skywalker. These two characters in particular have a HUGE amount of potential, and it’s clear from the ending that the sequels will take advantage of it.

    There is one thing I disliked about the movie, but cannot mark as a flaw. In many ways, this movie makes the previous six films look terrible by comparison. The acting is the best that it’s ever been in the franchise by far. The special effects prove how far we have come technologically in the decade since Revenge of the Sith.

    All of that said, I watch Star Wars movies and TV for the story, not the fancy special effects. I read Star Wars novels and comic books for the story, not the cool action scenes. I play Star Wars video games for the story, not the exciting gameplay (unless we are talking about flight simulators).

    This film did boast a sometimes formulaic and unoriginal story, but Lucas re-used plot elements from previous films all the time in all five previous Star Wars sequels. This is NOT the first time someone re-used the space station plot device (Death Star II, Droid Control Ship, and The Invisible Hand), or the concept of a protagonist being trapped on a desert planet (Anakin in Episode I).

    Overall, I would have to disagree with the denizens of this site and opine that this movie is not only a great sci-fi flick, it’s a great Star Wars film. It’s my new third favorite SW movie, behind only The Empire Strikes Back and Revenge of the Sith. Please do not let the shameless hateboy-pandering marketing repulse you: please go see this movie, have fun, rejoice at a new generation’s discovery of Star Wars and…May the Force Be With You.

  39. Eduardo Vargas Says:

    The movie left me feeling empty and cold after it ended.

    What they did to the Big Three was unforgivable in my opinion. Han Solo needed to go out in a blaze of glory, not die like a chump. Luke shouldn’t be made to look like a failure.

    The movie really lacks imagination in the general sense, and even some artistic flair.

    It’s a decent Sci-fi flick, but it’s not a good Star Wars film.

  40. Tony Ferris Says:

    Let me start by saying that I don’t personally count Abrams’ picture as being part of the story that George Lucas was telling. It continues on from Return of the Jedi, and it is necessary to know the previous six entries to follow it, but it’s removed from the closed loop narrative constructed in that original six part serial, and is really its own thing, even for all that it trades on the recycling of familiar elements.

    Lucas’s Star Wars was inspired by old space adventure serials, ancient mythic cycles, and world history. Abrams Star Wars is only inspired by Star Wars. It lacks any real ambition or substance, forfeiting true imaginative vision in favour of what is in effect an over-produced dance mix version of A New Hope, without any of that film’s sense of scale or resonance. And I find it incredibly tired, and banal that we’re back to Rebels (Resistance) versus Empire (First Order).

    It would be churlish though, to call it a bad movie. It’s not. It’s a fun action adventure blockbuster. It feels like a far less idiosyncratic version of Guardians of the Galaxy in fact (which clearly displays a misunderstanding of Star Wars on the part of the filmmakers), but it needs to calm down and draw breath enough to tell its story more completely, and develop its characters. Star Wars characters were rarely afforded great depth, but at least we always understood who they were in broad terms, the trajectory of their lives, and the nature of what drives them, even if it was just something as simple and universal as a desire to leave home and make their mark on the galaxy. Saying that, I do like Rey and Kylo Ren and will be happy enough to follow their story for a couple more pictures, once they’re supplied some more concrete motivations.

    Star Wars used to be a multi-layered, purely cinematic myth, constructed like an epic poem. It was an uneasy fusion of high and low art, very much the self-expression of its author. Now it’s merely a blockbuster franchise, but it seems like it might be a pretty decent one, which is apparently all anybody wanted.

    We’ll see how they go…. 🙂

  41. Nick Skywalker Says:

    Interesting info

  42. Left Feet Says:

    First really like your site its good to celebrate the whole saga.

    Going into this as a saga fan, I wanted it to match the previous six chapters and I think it largely did so. The lack of Lucas involvement was a concern and it did miss his imaginative streak. However there was no doubt in my mind that I was watching a Star Wars film.

    Sadly I think the plot was particular weak, much too close to A New Hope, some characters just disappeared (Poe) and reappeared without any explanation or just disappeared (Captain Phasma). Also there were too many references to past films and adding characters like Ackbar who added nothing. If they are made the film more about the search for Luke Skywalker and less about the Superweapon it may have worked out better.

    Of the Old characters I think that Han and Chewie worked the best and I genuinely felt bad at Solo’s death, really glad that Chewie survived. But most of the other OT characters were wasted. Also I think that it was sad that the OT Big Three did not have a scene together but given the story line perhaps not possible.

    Of the new hero characters my favourite is BB8, a cute droid with a personality very much in the R2D2 role. Finn unfortunately grated after a while and his “comedy” moments felt forced and Poe was not in it enough to really get to know him. A shame as I like Oscar Issac as and actor. I guess that Rey was the character I was concerned about because Daisy Ridley before she was cast is an unknown even in the UK and had only supporting roles in UK television. I thought she did a solid job but no more, I think at times her inexperience showed. I do hope and think that she is Luke’s daughter because I am not sure that I want the only legacy character to be a villain.

    My favourite new character however is Kylo Ren or Ben Solo the only known legacy character. There is definitely an Anakin vibe about him and it would be interesting if Grandad turns up. I found him terrifying with the helmet on and sad and pathetic with it off. Not knowing the backstory of how Snoke seduced Ben and what happened with Luke, Leia and Han was a weakness. Hopefully we should learn more at a later date.

    Despite reservations I did enjoy the movie and I’m glad that there is new Star Wars for this generation of Kids.

  43. andywylde77 Says:

    Some guy went and got a tattoo of Kylo Ren on his arm. That reminds me of the scene in Fanboys when Seth Rogen gets the Tattoo of Jar Jar and kid Anakin on his back and is sporting it off as these 2 guys are going to be huge! lol

    I hope that Kylo turn out to be a better character in the long run for this persons sake. Because tattoos are a pain in the *** to get rid of.

  44. Hunk a Junk Says:

    My short review: The Force Awakens is Star Wars Into Darkness. Like JJ Abrams’ last Trek film, this is a movie that has well-executed character interactions and comedy beats, but is slapped together and uninspired as a story. It’s a mishmash of fan service and callbacks to the OT that is safe and derivative. This is a movie with very few original ideas or sense of wonder. For me, it’s borderline insulting and dead last among Star Wars films. Entertaining in places, but ultimately a hollow experience.

  45. Dave Strohmenger Says:

    I think Chewie had more of an emotional reaction when the doors closed after Han went to look for Luke in TESB than he did when Han died. I did get a bit emotional seeing Chewie in Han’s seat on the Falcon when he rescues Rey. It was like him saying ‘my best friend’s gone and now I have to take charge’. I loved seeing the closeup of Luke with the music swelling at the end. I didn’t know how much I missed Luke until that point. I was always the kid who wanted to be Luke, not Han. I don’t think we needed the aerial shot spinning around them afterwards though. I guess they wanted to include Rey in the final shot since she’s the main character going forward.

  46. andywylde77 Says:

    I am really amazed how many people are bending over backwards to defend this movie? Which isn’t a bad thing, but the defenses are things that could be used for the PT but weren’t for some strange reason?

    I mean Rey goes from “what’s a Jedi” to Uber Jedi master in the matter of minutes? And the excuse being thrown around for that is,

    “Well she is strong in the force” Really? So I am sure these are the same types that probably whined about Anakin in episode 1 destroying a droid control ship while in a fighter, with the help of R2 and knowing he is force sensitive and a great pilot that is shown racing pods and telling the pilot of the Naboo yacht about what the controls of the ship are. This was justification for whining?

    But now comes TFA and all the sudden “the force being the answer to everything” is acceptable? When I seen over so many years that when the force is attributed to Anakin’s skills it is considered a “cop out” by whiny haters?

    Double standards running wild in the SW fandom!

    So now if someone is strong in the force that is all that is needed and no training required? So is Rey even going to train with Luke? Why should she? I mean if she is able to just pull force mastery out of her ass when needed then is there any point of further training?

    I swear the hypocrisy of some of these fans is absolutely astounding! All those years whining about how the PT sucked are now defending stuff they were bashing the PT over. My how the tables have turned!

    I am also glad Lucas wasn’t involved with this because of the reason that if he was this movie would have not gotten the warm reception it did.

    If Lucas would have rehashed the OT to such a ridiculous degree, made a person go from nobody to Jedi master without training in one film, Just X-wings and Tie fighters and trench run against the DS 3? Could you imagine the whining that would have been going on? You would be able to hear it fro Pluto!

    But I will state again, I personally have no problems with the film. It is the hypocritical fans that I do take issue with. Because I have no problems with the film, doesn’t mean there aren’t any. It just simply means that it doesn’t bother me. Just like the rest of the SW films. Or any other film for that matter. I don’t believe I need to preface my opinions of the films with the old, “well this film has flaws, but” No I don’t.

    EVERYTHING HAS FLAWS! So bringing up flaws in a film to try and justify it is pointless. I myself as a person has flaws. Do I need to bring that up every time I talk about myself? No I surely do not.
    But I do like to point out the hypocrisy that members of the fandom seem to enjoy showing off.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      I realized I really don’t understand this fandom at all. The only logic behind totally overlooking things in TFA while treating every perceived flaw with the prequels on par with Nazi war crimes is that one must really hate George Lucas. Seriously, that’s all there was to it.

      • andywylde77 Says:

        You are right. I really try to figure out what kind of fans they really are? I mean is this film simply being hailed by some fans simply for the reason Lucas wasn’t involved? And they just say anything to try and hide that fact? I don’t know but I am willing to assume that it may be the case. Just like how I have seen some people say that TESB is their favorite SW because it is the one Lucas was least involved with? So we know anyway that this new trilogy will be judged by many with a heavy Lucas bias. I mean if they are willing to excuse things in TFA with simply saying, well it was the force” than it begs the question of why is the PT so hated again?

    • Dawn Says:

      andywylde77 – would you mind if I shared on my FB, with my friends, with you’ve said above? I think it might give pause for thought for at least a few of ’em but even if it didn’t accomplish that, at the very least it’s pretty well exactly what I’ve been saying and there’s no doubt that these are sentiments and fair, just, and bang-on right points which should *absolutely* be made….!

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Oh yeah that is not a problem. I really just want to share my thoughts on these matters because of all the years the PT got bashed and how now the things the PT got bashed for are simply hand waved away by basically nothing or simple solutions that could have been used for the things these people bashed the PT for.

        So yeah please feel free to whatever you like. And I say that for anyone else as well.

    • Frida Nyberg Says:

      I don’t see how she became a “Jedi master” in one film? She managed the mind trick (after several tries), and could pick up a lightsaber. Hardly Jedi master material.

      But I do think both her and Finn did far too well with the saber. Kylo should just have kicked their asses.

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Yep. It just makes Anakin and Luke seem like their path to becoming Jedi seemed like nothing in comparison. Because they were strong in the force as well. Though for Rey if she is already starting out at the top then all there is left to go is down. I just think they should have had her tone down the abilities just a bit especially for starting out. I don’t have any problem with the character herself, just when all the other Jedi train and study the force it seem a little cheap to just have the abilities she had when knowing virtually nothing before.

  47. zch81721 Says:

    Those practical effects! Sorry had to put that jab in real quick lol. So my thoughts are meh. That was it. I was glad they were respectful to George Lucas and the rest of the saga. I was worried it would be a 2 hour prequel bitch fest. Positives. I really liked the new characters. I see huge potential for them to grow and hopefully Johnson and Trevorrow pick up the slack. Really liked the Han and Kylo scene. Liked seeing the old characters. Really happy to see the opening credits say Episode 7! Seriously that actually got the biggest smile out of me throughout the whole movie. No lens flares. Glad this feels like a Star Wars for a new generation. Good action sequences (barely any shaky cam thank god). Glad John Williams turned out new music instead of just rehashing old tunes. Liked the prequel references. (We’re the flags still there? I couldn’t tell). Glad they didn’t force a Han shot first moment. Glad Boba Fett wasn’t in the movie. Now onto negatives. The Starkiller base being the biggest one. It feels like they completely pulled it out of their ass and there was no build up. The two Death Stars did. So you’re telling me the First Order, which has no where near the resources the empire did, was able to build this without the New Republic knowing? I call bullshit. The trench scene also felt very forced. Wish someone yelled “no!” when Han died (I’ll admit this is very nit picky). Snoke felt wasted. Very disappointed he wasn’t Plagueis (or Jar Jar). Why did he need to be CG? Hell why did he need to be there? I knew Luke was not going to have a major role but come on! Could you at least have given him one line? Would have liked to have seen more familiar Star Wars aliens. Like a twi’lek or a zabrak? The new aliens feel very generic. How the hell did Poe get off Jakku? I feel like there is a scene missing? Oh R2 decides to turn on right then? Why not when they arrived? Even though the music was new it was no where near as good as John Williams’s past tunes. I can not remember a single track. Jupiter Ascending had a better tracks. As a Game of Thrones fan Brienne of Tarth was wasted! Seriously?! This Captain storm trooper is suppose to be the new Boba Fett and that was it? As much as I hate Boba Fett even he did more than her (that’s saying something). Really didn’t like how vague everything was. Would have liked more world building. Would like to have scene the Republic. Find it funny how Disney is really trying to avoid the world building in this trilogy as much as they can. Let’s hope future movies fill that out. I really want to see the Ardnt script now. As far as movies go I thought Star Trek 09 was better. Now onto Star Wars. No where near the OT. No where near Sith (which is my favorite) better than Clones. Not as good as Menace (I know I am going to get a lot of shit for that one). That’s my thoughts in a long nutshell. So in short meh.

    • zch81721 Says:

      Also forgot to mention. Felt like I watched a 2 hour trailer to sequels.

      • Cristian Martinez Says:

        The Prequels were for the New Generations, the Original Star Wars fans love to forget about that.

      • zch81721 Says:

        Yeah. Each generation has its heroes. Glad to see this new generation has theirs. The old fans have Luke, Han, and Leia. We have Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padme. And now the next generation as Rey, Finn, and Poe.

    • Falcongunner Says:

      Just saw TFA this morning and ‘Meh’ was exactly my first thought when it ended or as I said to my wife ‘That was what they wanted?’. that said, I didn’t hate it, was heartened by the opening crawl, liked some of the new characters, wished the drama had as much weight as the humour and to be honest what was missing was the Master’s touch (sadly I felt John Williams was missing in action). But two quick observations (apologies if these are noted later on as I’ve not finished the thread) firstly, Luke’s hand-no prosthetic covering…A nod to Anakin’s more primitive limb? (sadly and probably not) the other thing is did any one notice the Rebel (sorry, Resistance) lieutenant (whose name I’ve forgotten from the credits) and who I think is standing near Leia in her last scene with Padme style hair buns? because she is played by Billie Lourd as in Carrie’s daughter!

      • lazypadawan Says:

        Yes, you can spot Billie quite a few times during the Resistance base scenes. I recognized her because I’d watched her on “Scream Queens”; on that show you can tell she definitely inherited her mother’s sense of humor.

  48. zch81721 Says:

    Oh fun little tidbit. They got Ewan McGregor back to do a voice role in the movie. It’s during Rey’s vision. Not gonna lie that puts a smile on my face.

  49. andywylde77 Says:

    So here is another issue that is being brought up. I have seen people saying how this movie is making so much money because it is “good” But when the fact that it gets brought up that PT made lots of money then the hater excuse is “well people just blindly follow anything with the SW brand name on it” Yeah that is it! A whole trilogy made big time money because fans went to see it because it was SW film. Rolls eyes.

    So this logic can’t be applied to this new trilogy why exactly?

    And if anyone is a fan of the Indiana Jones series, know that KOTCS was bashed and one topic that got brought up a lot was that Harrison Ford was too old. That was back in 2008. But now in 2015 people are saying how in TFA that Ford is in top form? So he was too old in KOTCS but in TFA he is in “top form?”

    Double standards

    • Cristian Martinez Says:

      The Original Star Wars fans are saying that. Most people are calling this movie The Fanservices Awakes now, and it wont take long when they want to crucifix the Original Star Wars fans for pushing this movie for so long.

      • Jim Raynor Says:

        Nah, most people love this movie. The box office, solid “A” CinemaScore, and 94% recommendation on PostTrak attest to that.

        We really need to separate TFA supporters.

        There’s the mainstream, the normals and well-adjusted people. The kids and families, the people who went to see the movie but would then go back to their jobs and real lives. The forty-something fangirl I sat next to while seeing TFA was well-dressed in professional attire, as if she had come after a day in the office. She was an absolute joy to see the movie with.

        The mainstream just wants to sit down for two hours of entertainment. They want to have a good time. Arguably they’re not that discerning – this is the same audience that made Jurassic World and the Transformers series a smash hit. And while I think they may be too generous to shallow blockbuster entertainment, I will not think badly of them for that. Their greater ability to be positive is arguably a strength in some ways.

        We also have the obsessed fanboys gushing over TFA. These may include the hardcore prequel bashers and the immature manchildren who could never move on beyond the Original Trilogy. The guys who are in their thirties or even fifties, and still say that the best day of their life was seeing the first Star Wars movie when they were seven years old. These guys might need TFA as validation for their Prequel hate, or they may have taken TFA as their drug to satiate their unhealthy addiction to all things OT.

        Thing is, this hardcore fanboy demographic has ALWAYS been a vocal minority. Movies succeed on the purchasing power of the average person, not on “the fans.”

        The average person loves TFA. The average person also loved the Prequels, as proven by the box office, professional polling results, merchandise sales, and the ratings for the Clone Wars series (millions of kids watched thst show, far more than the number of middle aged men whining on the internet).

        Whenever someone gushes about the box office for TFA, point out that the same argument works in favor of the Prequels.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I’m now convinced that most people who truck out to see a SW movie simply want to see action scenes, splosions, space battles, and lightsaber fights and don’t care very much about anything else. *Shrug.*

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        Good summary, Jim. It is really bad that the media continues with the usual “no one liked the prequels” narrative. I even fear that the average person will pick it up.

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Good point. But the hype will wear down eventually and then people will see things without the hype blinding them. Then the real feelings will come out both good and bad.

      • Natalie Says:

        It’s true people love TFA but a lot of people liked the prequels, too. Many fans are still not happy (including those who hated the prequels). Maybe less so, but I don’t think their number is insignificant. Basically, it’s up to Rian Johnson now to deliver something interesting or the game is up.

      • Falcongunner Says:

        “Help us Rian Johnson…You’re our only hope”

  50. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    I was thinking about the plot for “The Force Awakens”. It occurred to me that it really made no sense to me. If Luke couldn’t be found, why were there pieces of one map in both the BB8 and R2-D2 droids? Why didn’t the person who had created the map simply tell Leia of Luke’s location? Or if it was Luke who had created the map, why didn’t he just show up? And what on earth did Luke’s location have to do with destroying the Starkiller base?

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      ladylavinia1932, I just read JJ Abrams’s explanation from Entertainment Werkly’s website, and it’s worse than the actual plot hole…

      The map is old, and R2-D2 first got his part when he plugged into the Death Star’s network waaaay back in A New Hope. R2 sat on that info until the end when he woke up from his droid depression.

      None of that was in the actual movie, and it sounds like a very strained attempt to create another link to the Original Trilogy.

      And yeah, I noticed that the search for Luke had jack to do with the Starkiller plot. It was an extraneous sidetrack in the new film. Contrast this with ANH, where the Death Star plans were obviously linked to the Death Star.

      Just another symptom of TFA’s shallow imitation of ANH’s plot, duplicating things without the same significance or deeper meaning.

  51. Cristian Martinez Says:

    Sorry but that ship already sailed, the average viewer is catching up and beginning to see that this movie is crap, a bad copy of A New Hope, when the honeymoon is over, we finally would have the chance, maybe the only chance, to crash down the Original Star Wars fans and they fucking hypocrisy, they have destroyed what Star Wars was all about, after all, they deserve it.

    • hansolo1138 Says:

      I don’t think so. If we could somehow destroy the hateboys by bashing The Force Awakens and causing public opinion to sway away from the new movies in favor of the previous trilogy…

      Then wouldn’t we become Plinkett: The Next Generation? To quote Obi-Wan, “Now you have become the very thing you swore to destroy.”

      • Captain Forod Says:

        It’s a good compromise though. The difference is that the original RedLetterMoron plinket didn’t even use any arguments. But it would be worth it in the long run as the hater boys might finally be silenced.

  52. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    I’m not going to completely bash “The Force Awakens”, because I thought it was still fun, especially the scenes with John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Peter Mayhew and Harrison Ford. If a credible plot had been created to focus upon those four, I would have really enjoyed it.

    However . . . Rian Johnson, who had impressed me with “LOOPER”, is doing the next movie. I hope he is imaginative enough to clean up Abrams’ mess.

    • zch81721 Says:

      I pretty much expected this movie to be filler. The next episode will be the real Star Wars. Thankfully Abrams gave Johnson some good ground work to work with.

  53. Jack the Red Hood Says:

    I’d just like to point out something pretty amusing: this movie’s metacritic rating has fallen to a 7.5. That’s barely two points above Revenge of the Sith. I thought the prequels sucked, hmmmm?

  54. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    I must say that I was not that particularly impressed by Kylo Ren. Also, I’m a little confused. While talking about their son with Leia, Han said that Ren – I mean – Ben had too much of Vader in him. Are we supposed to accept the idea that part of Ben Solo’s turn to evil is partially attributed to the fact that he is Anakin Skywalker’s grandson? That is not good characterization to me. And how did the likes of Finn, who is supposed to have no connection to the Force, give him so much trouble in a lightsaber duel? Come to think of it, why didn’t Ren easily defeat both Finn and Rey? Who was responsible for his lightsaber training?

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      I’ve seen the excuse where people say that Kylo Ren is only partially trained, given Suprem Leader Snoke’s line about bringing him back so he can complete his training.

      Thing is, Kylo Ren displayed powers that NO other Force user has ever been shown to do.

      He held a blaster bolt in mid air without even concentrating. It stayed frozen for about a minute, even as he was walking away.

      He can flat out mind read, when other Jedi and Sith have only been to feel emotions. Darth Vader, the prophesized Chosen One, had to rely on drug injections and torture devices while interrogating Leia and Han in ANH and TESB.

      So Kylo Ren is ridiculously good at using the Force…yet he struggled to take down a failed Stormtrooper in a one-on-one lightsaber duel! Finn even managed to tag him on the arm!

      The inconsistencies in Kylo Ren’s Force powers are massive. And I get that he was already hurt going into that fight, but still…

      • andywylde77 Says:

        And how Kylo can take a bow caster hit right to the midsection and just kneel down while the same shot from a bow caster can have storm troopers flying into the air.

      • Bob Clark Says:

        That blaster bolt thing is just bad action movie storytelling right there. And it’s bad because, paradoxically, it’s so good. Stopping laser blasts in mid air? That is a very cool new force power. Using it only once in the film is just plain stupid.

      • Tarrlok Says:

        Though I couldn’t help but like the character, Rey’s sudden power boost in the duel against Kylo Ren was pretty damn cringeworthy. It flew in the face of the established canon, in particular TESB (where a powerful yet untrained Luke gets curbstomped by Vader) and TPM (where Obi-Wan untethering his aggression almost gets him killed). Unless she’s literally being possessed by the spirit of a great swordsman like Anakin, her sudden prowess makes no sense in the setting.

        TFA was very inconsistent with its depiction of power relations. Though it was an enjoyable film, this was far from the its greatest aspect. It compared very poorly to Lucas’ painstaking emphasis on power relations, his handing of brutal defeats to the undisciplined, and his allowance of chance arrogance by the very powerful to let experienced fighters triumph over them. Instead, Abrams and company gave the villain cool yet ephemeral shock-and-awe powers and handed the untrained, undisciplined heroine a victory on a platter through raw power alone. The “nerd’s touch” of Lucas was much missed.

  55. zch81721 Says:

    Also forgot to mention. Am I the only one that thought some of the puppets looked like ass? Now I am all for puppets and animatronics. One of my favorite movies is the Dark Crystal. But some of these looked rough though. Yoda over 30 years ago looked better. That bird for example was terrible. Some of the puppets were too jerky and had very limited movements. People always criticize film makers on using CG but can you see why now?

    • Shaman McLamie Says:

      Yesterday I saw someones comment on Youtube made a month before The Force Awakens came out and in the comment they said they hoped Phasma would be like Boba Fett and not Jango Fett. I joked and said well Phasma certainly is the new Boba and said you’re probably wishing she was more like Jango. Then something hit me. Remember how someone(I think it was Kylo) that mentioned Snoke wanted to start using Clones instead of child conscripts. Well who would be the perfect template for a new Clone Army. Crossing my fingers in hope we see this in Episode VIII(Which hoping is called Wrath of the Republic).

    • Shaman McLamie Says:

      You aren’t the only one. There were moments where I though the puppets weren’t that good and that Bird was definitely one of them. That giant pig thing at the watering hole looked good until I saw it’s rear looked like it’s butt was a curtain. Sadly it appears J.J. implemented practical effects for the sake of practical effects instead of for the sake of the movie. Still most of them were pretty good with a handful of exceptions.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Overall I thought the creature and alien designs on previous films were better.

    • Frida Nyberg Says:

      Yes. It was the one thing that really made me go “ugh”. They looked like they were purposely made to look like 70s-80s technology. Nostalgia-pandering.

    • Tarrlok Says:

      Most of the practical effects were good, if a bit indicative of a narrow vision, but that bird took me right out of the movie. Its motion was periodic over too long a time and so appeared artificial. That was where good CGI would have been useful. Subtle alterations could have been made to its motion to take it out of the uncanny valley.

  56. Shaman McLamie Says:

    Yesterday I saw someones comment on Youtube made a month before The Force Awakens came out and in the comment they said they hoped Phasma would be like Boba Fett and not Jango Fett. I joked and said well Phasma certainly is the new Boba and said you’re probably wishing she was more like Jango. Then something hit me. Remember how someone(I think it was Kylo) that mentioned Snoke wanted to start using Clones instead of child conscripts. Well who would be the perfect template for a new Clone Army. Crossing my fingers in hope we see this in Episode VIII(Which hoping is called Wrath of the Republic).

    • Frida Nyberg Says:

      What’s the difference between Jango and Boba anyway? Zero character development in either of them, and Boba has more lines as a child than in the whole original trilogy.

    • zch81721 Says:

      Oh god that pissed me off. I knew they said she was going to be the new Boba Fett but considering that the fans just gush over him even though there was nothing to him I hoped she would bring the hype without the disappointment. Didn’t think they meant that a 100%. As a Game of Thrones fan when I heard Brienne of Tarth was cast in the movie I got excited. Hell I was hoping she would be a stormtrooper because I just imagined her wearing old republic trooper armor and it totally fit. But damn was she absolutely wasted in this film! Please Johnson and Trevorrow do something with this character!

  57. andywylde77 Says:

    So now a reason I see a lot for Rey’s leap in force ability is she might have gotten her “memory wiped?” Well I never played the KOTOR games but I believe that a memory wipe is something a force user can do. If that is true then I guess Luke may have done this to Rey? And now her memory is coming back? She perhaps had previous training? I can live with all this, no matter how silly and contrived it all is. Because I have n beef with the films itself. Their is some silly stuff in all the SW films. But I give it a pass because I love it all one in the same.

    But the way some people defend this film could have done this for the PT as well. If simple contrived answers are good enough for this film then why wasn’t it good enough for the PT? But it is clear and always has been clear that some people were just too eager to hate and criticize a set of movies for whatever reasons they had.

    Though I still firmly believe that if Lucas was involved and did the exact same things? There would no doubt in my mind that a different tune would be sung by some of these people that are praising it right now.

  58. TheKeyser94 Says:

    Is very hard to guess what the arc of this characters when they don’t have any context whatsoever, Rey is just a Mary Sue, a bad Luke Skywalker, that instead of having a plot device to show his magic space force powers have a lightsabers battle, without any training whatsoever.

  59. Cristian Martinez Says:

    Rey is nothing more than a Mary Sue, worse than Luke Skywalker and his space magic force power plot device moment, and because this movie have no context whatsoever you can really guess or known what her back-story, they would come up with some bullshit out of the hat to explain her magical ability with the lightsaber.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Here’s what I think…if I’m totally wrong and if most of my friends are totally wrong that Rey is Luke’s daughter, she would be a Mary Sue in the classic definition of the term because her role would be usurping the Skywalkers as the heroes of the saga and outdoing them at their own game. Until I’m proven wrong, I withhold judgment.

    • Frida Nyberg Says:

      Very harsh words when we haven’t seen much of her yet. A Mary Sue is a character that is just ridiculously perfect and has no flaws. Just “über-specialness”. I don’t see that at all.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        Those can be hallmarks of a Mary Sue but doesn’t completely define what she is. All she has to be is “better” at whatever it is than everyone else or more special than everyone else. Or, a classic Mary Sue trope is the OC is an “ugly duckling” with dorky quirks until of course she’s given that special moment to shine and that’s when everybody notices how beautiful/smart/talented/all of the above she is. Years ago I wrote a parody of Star Wars Mary Sues called “Hello Jedi Sue.” Jedi Sue was way more powerful in the Force than everyone else, Luke instantly fell in love with her, she and Rogue Squadron defeated an attack by a “stray Sith Lord” even though she had never flown an X-Wing before, she piloted the Falcon through an asteroid field (first time ever!) because Han had a heart attack and of course she also saved his life in the process. Leia wanted her to be her BFF and gave her a ring that belonged to Padme, the only reminder she had left of her biological mother. Jedi Sue seemed to be tragically killed and Leia declared it a worse tragedy than Alderaan. But because Sue was so powerful in the Force, she brought herself back to life to everyone’s delight. She married Luke and then it was revealed at the end that she was Obi-Wan’s long lost granddaughter. It was very easy to write that story after spending the ’90s reading a lot of old and new fan fiction.

        I also wrote a Gary Stu (the male version of the Mary Sue) parody where the “hero” was a half-Mandalorian who kicked butt at everything, scored women left and right, and was pretty much invincible. He was like a fanboy fantasy come to life.

      • Left Feet Says:

        For me it depends what they do with her, I think the biggest hint for me that she should be Luke’s daughter is her calling the Skywalker lightsaber to her hand. Ben Solo is the Grandson of Anakin Skywalker but his mother Leia is not a Jedi. It won’t work for me any other way because both Anakin and Luke are stronger in the force than all the other characters in the saga. I have seen other theories that she is a Kenobi or a Palpatine! Or that she is a new Chosen one created by the Force. By making her so powerful in the force, being able to do Mind Tricks, call the saber, there is only one logical identify for her. It undermines the saga if it is not the case.

  60. Bob Clark Says:

    I wonder, where were the miniatures in thia movie? I could see sets. I could see puppets and extras in stormtrooper outfits. But there’s a whole mess of CGI in the film. I mean, there’s big full scale ship models, but miniatures? I dunno…

  61. andywylde77 Says:

    Oh and I thought I would just throw this out there, that now BO earnings ARE a sign of the films success!

    This seems like common knowledge doesn’t it? Well if you ask a PT hater about the BO earnings of the PT, well they will tell you that it made money just because it has the name SW attached to it.

    See the irony in this?

    • Shamari Stewart Says:

      The irony is literally smacking them in the face (if only it would lol)

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Good point! But all these years listening to haters, if someone didn’t know better they would make them think that the PT only made money because of the brand name of SW alone? But now since this new film is making tons of money must be because of the SW brand name? I mean if the is the reason for the success of the PT then it should equally apply to this new trilogy? Shouldn’t it?

        Oh yeah I forgot! That for this new film only the real “true” SW fans are rushing out to theaters to see this in droves. I forgot to apply my hater logic here.

  62. Eduardo Jencarelli Says:

    It took me two viewings, but I finally found my favorite new John Williams thematic score. Rey’s theme is as important to this film as Across the Stars was to Episode II. It’s subtle, but it grows on you.

    It doesn’t matter who’s directing. You can’t ever go wrong with John Williams.

    I’d rank the film squarely in the middle of all 7. Certainly far from the best, but definitely a legitimate Star Wars film as all the others.

  63. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    I liked the movie, but I didn’t love it. And because it almost seemed like a rip off of “A New Hope”, I have to rank it at the bottom of the current seven films.

    • Shamari Stewart Says:

      I’m starting to agree with you in ranking it at the bottom. Some things in a movie I can forgive and look past (I’ve done that with all 6 of the films because as great as they are, they aren’t perfect), but ripping off the plot of one of the previous movies is just unforgivable and I cannot look past that when judging this movie.

      • Frida Nyberg Says:

        It was unoriginal, but not a complete rip-off at all. Even the prequels mirror the older movies, on purpose. The Phantom Menace can be said to resemble A New Hope in many ways, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
        I just hope they get a bit more experimental in VIII and IX.

      • Shamari Stewart Says:

        I’d argue that this movie was a lot more like A New Hope than The Phantom Menace was. But I agree that if it resembes a new hope in a lot of ways that’s okay. I just felt like I was watching A New Hope again when watching this movie, and when I get that feeling I think that’s taking it too far. To the point where the new death star-like superweapon has an opening that they need an x-wing to fly through and fire at to destroy it… stuff like that is way too similar and to me seems very unoriginal.

    • Captain Fordo Says:

      The movie is still better than The dreaded holiday special.

  64. Cristian Martinez Says:

    It more than a rip off, it A New Hope 2.0. but without the context (the little that had) or the substance.

    • Shamari Stewart Says:

      Yeah I would’ve liked more context also

    • Tarrlok Says:

      ANH is the SW film that’s most clearly rooted in the melodramatic space operas of yesteryear, but the context provided by the other five gives it substance.

    • Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

      Honestly, the only offenders of the “ANH 2.0” that can’t be written off as saga parallelism as far as the plot goes (aesthetic is another kettle of fish) are the “Skywalker Map = DS Plans” arc and the Starkiller base bit.

      And honestly, I wouldn’t mind the Starkiller Base if it was built up as a threat across VII and VIII only to show up in IX. Like Lucas had originally planned for the Death Star. The difference is, George made changes because he wasn’t sure he’d be able to make the others at the time. Now, we know for a fact that VIII and IX are coming.

      I guess that’s my biggest gripe with the film. As much as it tries to bank on being Star Wars, it’s rarely if ever consistant in tone and spirit with the original six. It’s an EU novel – a decent one, but seperate from the Saga. And VIII-IX can either go further down the same dark path making this entire section “SW -In-Name-Only”, or steer the story back to something Lucas-like and leave VII the odd duck out.

  65. Shamari Stewart Says:

    Does it irk anyone else when you read/watch someone review or talk about the movie and they say: “It just gave me that classic star wars vibe, you know?”

    And I’m just left thinking “OF COURSE. I mean they were practically beating you over the head with original trilogy characters and references… and PLOT.” I mean even my dad, who grew up with the original movies and loved them, said it was like “the original trilogy’s best hits” put in a new star wars movie.

    I know casual moviegoers aren’t too concerned about that stuff and just wanted to see a good movie (which it still is entertaining to watch, in my opinion), but when “hardcore fans” are gushing over it I’m just like “…. you must’ve seen ANH several times now…. you couldn’t have missed the fact that this feels like the same movie”

  66. Shamari Stewart Says:

    Another thing I wanted to bring up is the mixed feelings I have about TFA’s positive reception and glowing reviews. I’m glad star wars fans like the new star wars movie, and I’m not going to fall into the trap of being a hater that wants all the fans to hate something that I hate (*glares at OT fanboys*). But on the other hand, the fact that this movie is received so positively means that disney and the people working with the next movie are gonna think: “Wow that formula of remaking the originals works huh? Well we should go with that for the next one! And the one after that, if that works!” And then I’m left with none of the new, original star wars content I was hoping to see. All I can do is be as clear as I can to people I know about why I feel the way I feel about TFA, while not exuding an aura of bitterness and hatred of those movies lol (because I don’t “hate” them and I wouldn’t say they suck or anything)

    • lazypadawan Says:

      That’s what I’m afraid of too. This is Hollywood we’re dealing with.

      • Shamari Stewart Says:

        Exactly. I really hope they can create something special in at least one of the next two movies, or even the anthology films

    • cousinbasil Says:

      If they do resort to formulaic storytelling to make a buck from the sheep-like masses, it will prove why Lucas wanted his saga to originally be out of corporate hands.

      Also a lot of the reviews I’m seeing also seem to read as:

      “I love TFA. I admit there were some troubling parts, let me rant for several pages at length. At least it wasn’t the prequels, right? Did I mention I love TFA so much and so should you?”

      I keep thinking, I think at most you like it. Sure you can critique something you love, but some reviews were reaching prequel hate nitpick levels yet declared their undying love for TFA.

  67. Cristian Martinez Says:

    Now I read an article that Lucas don’t consider this movie part of his universe, great, now I have a reason for not getting the DVD, I love the saga, the first six movies, I not want a movie only worship the Original Star Wars fans and ignore the rest like it was the plague, like the prequels never existed, sorry, but Lucas is right, we should ignore Fanservices Awakens, it not canon, it a fanfiction.

  68. zch81721 Says:

    At this point I’m not really mad. I have faith in the next 2 directors and I’m glad the new generation got to see what might be their first Star Wars movie. As much as people are gushing this movie like all J. J. Abrams films expect this one to fade into obscurity in a couple of months if not weeks. Super 8 anyone? There just isn’t anything there to hold onto. Hopefully the trilogy improves from here on out and this is seen as the Jedi or Clones of this trilogy. Not bad but definitely falling short of the other two. I remember when people acted like Resident Evil 5 was the second coming of Christ but now look at it today. So the fanboys better enjoy their moment in the sun because after this week it will be all down hill for them and their precious movie that they begged for for so many years.

    • Captain Fordo Says:

      Why do people bash on Clones. Geez it’s better than Empire strikes back (empire was far drier).

      • zch81721 Says:

        In my opinion I didn’t really care for clones. There a re parts I love but I do feel it drags in some areas. I think it is the weakest in the franchise but that is my opinion. If you like it then good for you 🙂

      • lazypadawan Says:

        Don’t drink anything and you’ll get through the last half hour just fine.

      • Noah Evans Says:

        Cap, I have a personal connection to Attack of the Clones, being the first entry I saw theatrically (age 7 and nearly a half) and for making Anakin my favorite character in the saga, so it hurts when seeing how underwhelmed people feel with it, and letting their underwelmness get to the head.

  69. zch81721 Says:

    Last thing. To all the critics that got this up to 96% on Rotten Tomatoes shame on you! You already lost my respect with Mad Max: Fury Road getting 98% because practical effects and vaginas but now. No. Hand over you’re critic cards now. I’ve seen critics destroy movies like this for small mistakes and yet this gets a pass. You guys roasted Jupiter Ascending (which I thought was the better movie. At least that film tried to do something new) and yet a rehash of A New Hope is soaring at 96%! You wonder why the movie going audience doesn’t trust you.

  70. Martin Hay Says:

    TFA currently has a 95% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes. That means it is more highly regarded by “critics” than any movie of the original trilogy – despite being little more than a pastiche of those films. I don’t know what to do with this information.

    • Hunk a Junk Says:

      Well, I’ve been told many times over the last 16 years that positive reviews and high box office are no indication of quality. So, what to make with this information? Well, to quote AIRPLANE, “I could make a hat, or a broach, or a pterodactyl…”

    • Cristian Martinez Says:

      Fourth paragraph:
      “The fact that he describes himself as a fan is certainly indicative of a distance between himself and the new trilogy, (and that he doesn’t really see it as part of his own created world.) That could imply that Disney isn’t sticking to the roadmap he gave them… but we could just be reading way too much into this.”

      You really, really read the whole thing?

      • Martin Hay Says:

        Yes, I read it. Twice. There is no direct quotation from George Lucas stating or even suggesting that he did not consider the new movies to be part of his universe. That is just what the writer of the article infered from Lucas’s remarks about being a fan. I’m sure you understand the difference.

      • Adam D. Bram (The Nilbog) Says:

        Gee, Yogi, you sure are adamant to become the very thing we have been trying to fight against.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      It means movie critics are unreliable?

      • Natalie Says:

        I’m trying to avoid conspiracy theories here but Disney is a much bigger corporation than Lucasfilm was, no? Do you think if this was done by Lucas it would have gotten as many rave reviews for such a blatant rehash? I mean, the Jedi’s critical reception was pretty mixed when it came out and it still was more original.

      • Dawn Says:

        Oh no they would’ve torn it to shreds beyond a doubt….they would’ve utterly savaged it, and him. It’s this blatant and just infuriating hypocrisy I can’t stand for and on which I’m about to call out quite a few of my friends – make of what they will. But definitely all the points for which Abrams and this movie are being vaunted or praised are *exactly* the same things for which George Lucas would be insulted, derided and screamed at. That being touted as being some “strength” of TFA would be automatically twisted around into some unforgiveable “weakness”, had GL done it instead. Which, as I think it was lazypadawan who pointed out above, such egregious hypocrisy only further proves the point that for some people this is apparently bizarrely personal….some kind of personal vendetta against George Lucas?….and all the more disturbing for that.

      • Natalie Says:

        Damn right Dawn… That said, Star Trek also got rave reviews despite being a rehash with no plot or character development… Things like this make me want to believe in the Illuminati’s plan to dumb down the population lol.

        At least something like Titanic was an amazing technical achievement attempting to show the famous story the way it had never been seen before, despite the cliched plot. What new has TFA accomplished? Recreate what ANH did with 5x (adjust for inflation) budget and actually managed to wow everyone?

      • lisse Says:

        I enjoyed TFA (especially Finn) but only when I stopped thinking about it and forced myself to enjoy it the way my brother (a casual SW fan) enjoyed it. As an H/L fan, I ain’t happy at all, but that’s another story.

        Give it a few months after the hoopla dies down to see critical thoughts. Star Trek and the reaction as well the later backlash is still fresh in my mind and I predict that’s gonna happen here too.

  71. Emir Nantex Says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Granted, the writing was nothing too special, it was more than similar to ANH, but the characters, humor, and action kept my focus off the negatives for the most part. TFA was more of an experience than a movie for me.

    What really surprised me was how much my sister loved it. She said that she was really interested in the Star Wars universe because of it and wanted to see the rest of the movies. Mind you, this is coming from the same person who refused to pay attention to more than half of TPM when I tried to show it to her. I guess Star Wars really is a sort of generational saga. I doubt I’ll ever appreciate TFA the way she does, nor her with The Prequels like I do.

    • Shamari Stewart Says:

      I had a very similar experience with my younger brother so I know how that feels. It was bittersweet for me lol

  72. andywylde77 Says:

    It is funny how I have seen a lot of comments about the CGI of this film. I seem to be seeing more positive talk regarding how great the CGI is. Despite all the marketing for “practical effects”

    I have seen some praise the practical effects, but more praising the CGI. So that whole marketing scheme was for nothing?

    I guess the really ill informed are hailing the practical effects while the not so ill informed know that if they go praising practical effects in a movie filled with more CGI than you can shake a stick at will look foolish. lol

    This movie is just Mad Max: Fury Road all over again. Mad Max: FR was just the climax of Mad Max: The Road Warrior stretched out into a 2 movie as SW: TFA is ANH 2.0 with some of the other 2 OT movies thrown in. Both these movies also harped on about practical effects too.

    Will these people ever learn?

  73. Shamari Stewart Says:

    One thing I think TFA succeeded in doing (at least based on my experience and what I’m seeing/hearing?) is getting another generation interested in Star Wars.

    I was discussing the movie with my brothers and my youngest brother, who’s 14 and pretty new to anything Star Wars related, was arguing against me saying that he liked the movie a lot. Me and my other younger brother (17, who also liked the movie) asked him what he’d rate it out of 10, and he said he’d rate it a 9/10. And this kid is a tough critic, he’s at that age where he doesn’t give a crap about stuff I like and want to share with him because he’s growing up and wants to discover the world on his own. So for him to rate this movie so highly means he loved it, which is awesome! Because there’s now more than two star wars fans in this house lol.

    So I think JJ and TFA did a wonderful job of making new star wars fans and keeping the star wars buzz alive in our culture. Though you could also argue George did that because TFA is so similar to ANH, but I digress. That’s one thing this movie clearly succeeded in doing.

  74. Brian47 Says:

    Well, I’ve seen the movie twice now, once on my own and another with my girlfriend, and I just loved it both times. It fires on almost all cylinders and the fact that it builds its story on the framework of ANH bothered me less the second time. Yes, it’s weird to reconcile with another superweapon and the roles of the New Republic/Resistance/First Order is vague, but it didn’t hinder my enjoyment one bit.

    Even my girlfriend, who’s only seen the OT and that was probably 20 years ago, thoroughly loved it. She wanted to catch up on the previous movies before TFA, but we only had time for ANH. So, she pretty much went from seeing the ’77 Star Wars to the 2015 version with no break!

    The cast is excellent, all around. I’m just so thrilled with the screen presence and chemistry of the new leads, plus how they interact with Harrison Ford. The Rathtar action sequence might seem out of place to some, but I counted it as a fun action diversion, much like the droid factory sequence in AOTC. Seeing the Falcon in action again was surreal!

    I loved the brief mention of a “clone army” by Snoke, that Maz mentions seeing the Sith and the Empire as previous evil regimes in the galaxy, plus those new Force skills that Kyl Ren exhibits. That final duel between he, Finn and Rey is raw and powerful. The final thrill was, of course, seeing Mark Hamill as Luke, even if only briefly. His larger role in Episode VIII can’t arrive fast enough!

  75. Cristian Martinez Says:

    My little hate campaign is making it first steps, I did like four of five memes, they are becoming really popular now, sure, the Original Star Wars continue to be deluded, that isn’t really a surprise, they continue to bash the Prequels, logic arguments are a no, no, for them. But Disney really did my job easy with this movie.

  76. Tarrlok Says:

    I’m interested in what the big Leia, Han and Han/Leia fans here thought about the depiction of the characters and their relationship in TFA. I was always more of a fan of Luke when it came to the OT, but there was a lot about how TFA depicted the other two of the OT3 that I found both satisfying and strangely unsatisfying.

    For one thing, I was unsatisfied by Leia’s total lack of demonstrated proficiency in the Jedi arts. She has quite a passive role in TFA, even with a rank like general. She’s decoupled from the New Republic that she fought hard to rebuild since before ANH. ROTJ seemed to be building up to Luke training her in the old ways, and I don’t see how that panned out. It’s like she failed to live up to the legacies of Bail, Padme and Anakin. My early imaginings of what the ST could be about gave Leia a larger role, so I personally found that disappointing.

    However, I found Han’s confrontation with their son to be one of the film’s best moments. I’ll probably find more to say about it (mostly positive) if I see the film again.

    • andywylde77 Says:

      The whole scene where Han sees Leia again reminded me of Indiana Jones KOTCS where Indy sees Marianne again. That is the vibe I got from it.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      I was a huge Han/Leia fan and well, this is NOT how I would’ve resolved things with them. I get that whatever happened with Ben traumatized the both of them (a la Chewie’s death in the books turning Han into a wandering drunk) but I don’t know, maybe I would’ve liked to have seen a mature couple stick together even through tragedy. Although I liked their banter and it was clear they still loved each other, I would’ve liked to have seen more affection. Anakin and Padmé loved each other passionately until the bitter end after all.

      As for Leia, I walked out of ROTJ with the idea that she too would be trained to use the Force. Luke even told her! Abrams said she didn’t become a Jedi out of choice but this is never discussed in the film. I figured through the magic of mathematics that Leia had to have been knocked up pretty soon after Endor and I could see that delaying things a while but that was the case in the novels too and even then, she eventually became a Jedi.

      But there is the real life issue of Carrie Fisher. There was no way in hell they were going to recast her but she cannot do a feature-length role anymore. So they worked with what they had the best they could.

      I also thought Han confronting Ben was one of the highlights and Han caressing Ben’s face even after that betrayal was the movie’s biggest feel. I’ll bet you money Ford improvised that on the set.

      • Tarrlok Says:

        It’s unfortunate that Fisher isn’t able to do much. I thought she did pretty well with what little she was given in TFA and was hoping Leia would have a larger role in Episode VIII.

        The hand on Ben’s cheek was effectively Han’s defiance of his son’s rejection and cold bloodedness. It can easily be likened it to Padme’s insistence that Vader still had good in him after he choked her. Though I wasn’t stoked by how the character of Han had seemingly regressed to a pre-ANH smuggler state, his relationship with Ben showed that the development of his softer, familial side in the OT wasn’t just thrown away. He began as a hardass without sentiment or faith but ended sentimentally, misplacing his faith in his son but not regretting it. That was good.

        If it was improv on Ford’s part, it was great stuff that’s in keeping with the broader story of SW. I had a lot of problems with the incoherent political side of TFA’s story but touches like that to the Skywalker/Solo family drama made the film enjoyable nonetheless.

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I saw it not just as defiance but out of real unconditional love, that in spite of everything, he still loved his son. Kind of like Obi-Wan in ROTS telling a defeated flaming Anakin, “I loved you.”

      • hansolo1138 Says:

        Harrison Ford: Master of Improvised Acting Moments.

  77. andywylde77 Says:

    It really amazes me how I read comments on many different forums about this movie and whenever I see someone bring up a criticism about it with well thought out analysis, they get jumped on and called a troll, hater, etc. To those people that are pointing fingers and calling people trolls and haters for sharing a concern, all I can say to them is:


    I mean these same people are most likely the same people that bashed the PT for years on end. Now when people say something about this new film they get all bent out of shape and whine.


    • lazypadawan Says:

      Welcome to my world.

    • Jack the Red Hood Says:

      Truth be told, I wish this wasn’t happening. I’ve been warning friends of mine that Force Awakens would mean the death of Star Wars, and I would supremely hate to be right.Then again, for the past ten or so years, Star Wars for me has been all of the books and comics that have been released since Sith, so it really doesn’t affect me all that much. I just hope they make more in the Legends verse.

      • Cristian Martinez Says:

        Well, true to be told, the Original Star Wars fans have become religious fundamentalist, literally, they don’t care about logic or reason, they only want to impose their set of believes in everyone else.

        This movie show clearly that, it funny, because in the end, the Original Star Wars are destroying what Star Wars was all about, the thing that they accused the Prequels fans for the last 16 years, I would laugh at the irony it wasn’t so tragic, and the worst thing is, that they don’t see that they literally are destroying the thing that say love so much.

  78. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    It means movie critics are unreliable?

    I had learned to stop relying on movie critics a long time ago.

    • andywylde77 Says:

      I am the same way when it comes to critics. Because all critics do is give an opinion and get paid for it. But it still is an opinion.

      Whether it is professional opinion, public opinion, private opinion, they are all still opinions. And none of them are any more right or wrong than anyone else’s opinions. That is why a professional critics opinion doesn’t really mean a whole lot to me.

    • Bob Clark Says:

      I remember when Marshall Fine gave TPM two stars or something, it bothered me. Then I saw the film, loved it and just decided he was wrong. Then he gave a similar score to Fight Club, and I decided not to really care what film critics said if I disagreed with them. I don’t feel assaulted by their views, though I will admit that I felt let down in coming years as I realized there were far harsher critics to be found online, that they were the ones shaping cultural opinion and memory, and that I would have very few supporters to stand up and back up my love for the films in the pages of the New Yorker and the like.

      It’s rather cold and lonely to see this new, mediocre film find itself released right at the peak of Star Wars zeitgeist. Now there’s enough writers in print who grew up with the films to give it the rave reviews none of the previous six ever got. I can’t help but feel left out of this great big cultural party that young and old alike are celebrating. Fandom and criticism have all but fused entirely, and it’s never been a better time to be a fan of the original films, nor a worse time to be a fan of the prequels. What makes me saddest is I fear the younger ones, some of whom may have even grown up with and loved those films and The Clone Wars, are going to be swept up with the fervor and enjoyment of this trilogy and its new generation of heroes, leaving the prequels behind and maybe even joining the old guard in disparaging them in favor of the oldest and the newest episodes. I didn’t think being a prequel fan could get any worse, but it looks as though we’re about to have another indignity piled upon us, one that could effectively become a permanent condition that will forever push us to the sidelines and marginalize our favored films out of the limelight, out of representation in the modern canon of film classics, and maybe even out o the increasingly irrelevant title of corporate approved narrative canon itself:

      We’re about to become middle children.

      “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”

      • Cristian Martinez Says:

        That why you need people like me. To do the dirty work that some Prequels fans aren’t willing to do. The Original Star Wars love this movie. We should remind them how much love they give to the Prequels fans when the last trilogy come out. And crash and burn this movie to the ground. They really make this easy with this movie. Even If I need to take ten years of my life to do this, I would do it without question. After all, it the less we can do to the Original Star Wars fans after all the love that they give us.

      • Hoggle Says:

        While it’s sad what’s gone on with George Lucas, pop culture, Star Wars inter-related stuff after the prequels theatrical period; as a fan that’s secondary to the cinematic & creative genius that went on with the PT theatrical releases, it’s corresponding PT & OT se home releases sets (also THX dirs set), clone war cartoon releases, vid. games & graphic novels etc A lot of very other cool films to me that got made, before, during & after feel like they have some connection or impetus from that all round main stream cinematic period too that the PTs were a major contributing role of.
        While pop culture can be fun, it was never my primary GL or star wars fandom 🙂

      • lazypadawan Says:

        There’s a lot I could say in response to this and I don’t have the time right now to get into detail. But I’ll say that I took a lot of red pills over the past few days about what fandom is and what motivates it. Many assumptions and beliefs I’ve had are wrong. It’s a shame this had to come out now in a time when the culture has yet to truly appreciate/understand the genius that went into Lucas’s six film story. Klimo’s project is just the beginning of that. But I’ve also noticed that the Pandora’s box of scrutiny the bashers opened on the prequels hasn’t been closed. Opinions are all over the place and I’ve noticed sources as disparate as The Huffington Post and The Blaze are grumbling about the film.

      • Kim Says:

        I have not and will not see TFA. I love the ending of ROTJ and I just don’t care to see Luke (barely), Han and Leia as depicted in the storyline for TFA. I grew up with the OT in theaters, and love it and the prequels equally and, for me, that’s a complete story. I don’t have any interest in the corporate version of Star Wars. I don’t care that others enjoy TFA, more power to them, but as a fan of Episodes 1-6, TFA doesn’t exist for me.

      • Natalie Says:

        I’m more optimistic about the future of the prequels. If you look at Amazon charts, the OT blurays are first, then closely the PT and the Saga! If it was the OT only, I’d be worried. Seems like the hype around TFA made a lot of people go back to the saga or at least give the prequels another chance. Then there’re TCW and other content for the younglings.

        There’s also a strong indication that Anakin’s ghost is going to show up in the next Episodes (he was in the TFA concept art). That’s another link to the prequels that cannot be ignored (even Ewan did a voice over for TFA). Hopefully, they’ll do a spinoff with him.

        As far as the younger fans, some of them may switch sides to play cool but a lot of them like to view things differently from the previous generations. I’ve seen a lot of support for the prequel characters on Youtube and other social media.

        The new SW movies at least draw attention away from the prequels at hate on something else (which is what a lot of them are doing already).

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      Film critics are one of the most worthless professions I can think of.

      Most critics aren’t filmmakers or even film students. As I understand it, most of them have journalism degrees. They’re newspaper writers who lucked out with on assignments, getting to write personal opinions about the frivolous subject of entertainment instead of having to present facts or analysis about more important topics like politics and the economy. Other types of journalists aren’t free from bias, but they do face scrutiny from rivals and are frequently called out and fact checked.

      The work isn’t even hard. How many wide release movies come out every week? One to three? It’s not a very demanding task to write up opinions on that many films with and entire week and no other duties to attend to, especially when there is no requirement for thorough or insightful analysis. How many professional reviews get by with smug put downs crammed in the space of a paragraph or two? I’ve seen longer and more thorough reviews in random forum posts. I’ve written longer and more thoroughly many times, for free.

      Critics often don’t even provide the service they’re supposedly good for. In theory, the average person on the street should be able to read a critic’s opinion and get a good idea about whether a movie will be worth his time and money. Thing is, the opinion of the critics is often far from the opinion of the common person.

      Average people want fun and exciting entertainment. Film critics evaluate by a different set of criteria. Arguably, a lot of critics are pretentious and jaded. They’ve seen a lot of movies (perhaps too much) so they yawn at what they claim to be cliche and formulaic entertainment. They do, however, give lots of extra points for experimental, offbeat, or “important” films about serious subjects, even if those movies bore the average person to death.

      The average person can’t really trust what a critic has to say, unless the person is familiar with a particular critic and knows that their tastes are reasonably aligned.

      So basically, we have an entire industry of people who think their opinions are quite important even though they write about a decidedly unimportant subject, whose writing is never truly evaluated, and who don’t serve much of a practical purpose.

      I only use critics in the aggregate (Rotten Tomatoes), because if a LOT of critics love or hate a movie, then that is ONE indicator of its quality. I don’t blindly trust Rotten Tomatoes however. After seeing quite a few “critically acclaimed” films that just bored or pissed me off, I’ve learned to recognize some of the patterns behind how critics give their ratings. I temper Rotten Tomatoes scores with CinemaScore grades (a measure of how well the common moviegoer was entertained). CinemaScore has its own patterns and biases, so I also talk to friends who may have already seen a movie, and I read reviews from one particular critic whom I trust.

      What gets me about The Force Awakens is that the critics have flip flopped on their usual behavior. The critics purport to appreciate the arts of writing and film making. They claim to be defenders of culture, promoting creativity and saving people from lousy mass produced commercial films.

      Critics weren’t the same as fanboys. Even for mass media franchises with GOOD writing, characterization, plot, world building, and indeed good reviews, there are sizable minorities of critics who grumble that it’s all just the same old formula. See the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with such films as Iron Man, Avengers, Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Some similarities but also a lot of differences, with many critics who will emphasize the pros and cons.

      With The Force Awakens, the entire paradigm has shifted. In this case, the critics are ALSO fanboys of the source material. And so we have a movie with a 95% Rotten Tomatoes score, a Critic’s Choice nomination for best film, and (God help us if this happens) a possibility at an Oscar. This is despite the fact that TFA is a blatant imitation of a previous film in the SAME series. It has thin characters who deliver jokes instead of developing along any real arcs, and it’s such an obviously commercial franchise installment that it leaves the job of explaining everything to further sequels. It’s exactly the sort of film that movie critics have been putting down for decades now, only in this case it’s being hailed as “the best film of the year.”

      I do have *some* hope that the world hasn’t gone completely nuts on me. That’s because in the past day, I’ve now seen a (very small) minority of articles pointing out TFA’s derivative nature while stressing the need for Episode VIII to be more ambitious. Let’s hope more people begin to speak out in this way.

      Man, I don’t even hate TFA. I found it underwhelming but OK overall, as I wrote in my own review. I’m just amazed at the over-the-top praise it’s been getting from the media.

  79. Hunk a Junk Says:

    The feeling I’ve been having this week about TFA can be summed up as this: TFA is like that co-worker or classmate who isn’t that bright or hasn’t done their homework, but who skates by on their looks or charm or wit, with people who otherwise should be harshly criticizing them slapping them on the back and complimenting them on their good work.

  80. Natalie Says:

    What the OT fanatics don’t realize is that this movie makes the OT less special. It’s basically the OT greatest hits in new clothes. A lot of kids already think the OT is too old or boring. Why would they go back now that they have the same story retold with modern SFX?

    At least the PT will stand out as something different and worth checking out at least once.

    • Bob Clark Says:

      This reminds me of one of my early, slight misgivings about TPM when I first was basking in its glow in 99. For a while I was a little depressed that Episode 1 being so good kinda made the other films diminish a little by comparison. Obviously the effects were better, but they were also a lot simpler, the shooting wasn’t quite as interesting, the duels were way simpler, etc. What I came to terms with pretty quickly however was the fact that each film had its own unique strengths, and you didn’t need to have everything be the best in one movie.

      I guess that’s not a conclusion that everybody shares…

  81. audioepics Says:

    I have written a review subtly titled “The prequels were better than The Force Awakens” 🙂

  82. Keith Palmer Says:

    I went to see The Force Awakens yesterday at the home-town theatre where I first saw Star Wars itself and The Phantom Menace. In the days before that, I’d stayed out of this thread and been very judicious about what other online sites I looked at, and in some ways that paid off, even though in another way there really weren’t a lot of surprises…

    Anyway, when I was watching it I did have the feeling I liked it better than I’d been concerned I would. I suppose I have the suspicion the “original sin” of TPM, the thing the criticisms wouldn’t have become so ridiculous without the first visceral reaction to, was the goofy slapstick comedy relief, and I did have the sense the constant witty banter mostly involving Finn on one side or another was the thing that came closest to “intended antidote”… but maybe it finally came to seem too relentless, so that instead of thinking “this is Star Wars as it’s supposed to be,” as I was presumably intended to have, I just started thinking it felt somehow out of place, and I found myself missing a good dose of “Jedi stoicism,” or even the sort of witty banter between Anakin and Obi-Wan I’m always conscious some would accuse of “clunking” but which nevertheless came to feel “familiar.”

    Unfortunately, despite seeing the movie at an afternoon showing by the end of the day I was struggling with an aftertaste amounting to “there’s something depressing about the universe presented.” I had tried at points, in anticipating this movie, to “focus on the old ones only”… but I’ve also supposed you don’t necessarily need the setup of the new ones to suppose one trilogy results in “a galaxy regenerated.” It was somehow heartening, as I’ve seen others say here, to see “the Republic” mentioned in the opening crawl and suppose “it hadn’t been for nothing”… but in some ways that just swings around to “well, Luke sure blew it, didn’t he?”

    Anyway, I liked the movie better than Abrams’s Star Trek, the most sticky point of which for me is “Kirk getting command in the eyes of the crew by taunting his commanding officer to the breaking point” (I haven’t seen Into Darkness), and maybe that was what I’d hoped for to begin with.

  83. Stefan Kraft Says:

    Off-topic, but I would like to voice a concern….

    Some here really enjoyed TFA, others did not. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, how do we make sure that all PT fans (regardless of their opinion on TFA) will feel welcomed in the future?
    Don’t worry, I have not seen any flame wars here. Still, it would be bad if some people stopped visiting this blog frequently because they do not feel comfortable here.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      That’s an issue I’ve been thinking quite a bit about lately and I’m posting about it soon.

    • Shamari Stewart Says:

      That’s true. I definitely don’t want to offend anyone who likes the movie or make them feel bad for it, or goad them into an argument or debate about it. It’s just that the movie just came out so people have strong opinions about it and what it means for the star wars universe going forward. Hopefully we can all get along when all is said and done

  84. andywylde77 Says:

    So since this movies release I can’t believe a lot of the stuff I have been reading! Now any criticism of the film is met with comments like,

    You don’t like the character of Rey? You are a sexist!
    You don’t like the character of Finn? You are racist!
    You don’t like this film? You are a PT fan or an EU/Legends fan!
    You don’t like this film?” You don’t have good taste!

    These seem to be the common ones being thrown around on forums as of recently. So now when someone doesn’t like the film, they have to be labeled something by the “majority” that does like the film. Because now NOT liking this film or even having concerns about the film will be labeled as some of the examples I listed above. But when people liked the PT it was OK to call others Lucas worshippers/apologists. Blind SW fanboy. Having “bad taste” in films.

    I have contributed nothing to any of these conversations. I did enjoy the film. I do read these comments though to really get a laugh more or less. And another thing that I have seen, and maybe others have seen this as well is how NOW the OT is getting thrown under the bus to defend this movie! That is something I never thought I would see!

    The one I see the most is how Luke and Anakin were able to achieve their goals in their respective first appearances just as Rey is doing in this new film. But Anakin had raced pods before, just never finished the race. Said in the movie. So when he won Boonta Eve he had prior experience. Luke when he destroyed the DS he already had flight experience and was bulls eyeing Womprats no bigger than 2 meters. Same size as the DS exhaust port. During the briefing the pilot next to him said about hitting the port “that’s impossible” But Luke knew it wasn’t. So I believe the force was attributing to their success accept they didn’t know it.

    But I have seen arguments about how people are comparing them to what Rey achieved. But they don’t want t use the films as evidence as to why Luke and Anakin did succeed at what they did. It is all said in dialogue in the films. Anakin didn’t just take part in hist FIRST pod race. Luke has experience flying a T-16 Sky Hopper with a blaster. But some people just say “because they were strong with the force”

    So now the “Force one size fits all” excuse is OK to use now. When for the PT haters thought it was a cop out excuse?


    • Tarrlok Says:

      “That’s not how the Force works!”

      If only Kasdan and Abrams had heeded the advice in their own script. Say what you will about Lucas’ dialogue writing (and being a self-deprecating sort of guy, he has said much), he at least paid attention to the subtle yet important details of the story like how exactly a character can use the Force to achieve their goals.

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Oh trust me, you don’t have to tell me. I understood what Lucas was going for. What this new creative team is shooting for? Hell if I know? But with Anakin and Luke they were able to accomplish things while not knowing about the force while the force was attributing to those tasks. Now with Rey, the only thing I can think of for her is she had prior training and lost her memory? I don’t even know? I at least hope she had prior training. If she didn’t and all her abilities were just by being powerful in the force, well I am not really too big into that. Anakin and Luke both required training. If they end up having a Jedi that can manipulate the force without even knowing anything about it kind of cheapens the whole concept of the force and all the great Jedi masters that came before.

      • Tarrlok Says:

        Yeah, cheapening of the Force concept is what I’m concerned about. Unfortunately this can happen quite often if story decisions are made by corporate committee with executive meddling rather than a “showrunner” like Lucas.

        Certainly, what happens in TFA can be compared to ANH and TPM, but really, Anakin and Luke use the Force for one-off weapons targeting events against stationary objects, and for augmentation of their flying skills. They don’t pull entirely new skills out of their asses.

        Lightsaber combat is far more complex, as the opponent is also a moving Force-sensitive target with precognition. That’s why Jedi spend decades IU to master lightsaber combat and to develop the necessary discipline to use the Force as needed; that’s why the lightsaber duels in the PT exhibit such flash and speed. It’s on a level beyond just swordfighting…

        Ah, screw all that. Brute strength can overcome all if the heroine is sweet and the villain is creepy. /jk

        Like you, I hope there’s a good explanation. Rey having suppressed memories of training may not be satisfactory. You’d expect an advanced student of Grandmaster Luke Skywalker and Supreme Leader Snoke to be able to grind someone with an initiate’s training into the dirt. Unless she was a prodigy who was so good she made Ben Solo look like a failure (which she’s capable of doing) and drove him to betray the Jedi out of petty jealousy.

        There might be alternatives. Normally Force ghosts don’t interfere like this, but perhaps Anakin decides to literally possess Rey and teach his impudent grandson a lesson. Perhaps Rey is his granddaughter via Luke and he decides to pick sides in a battle between descendants.

        I’ve no real idea right now, except that Johnson and the other dude need to deal with this issue in the eighth and ninth films.

    • hansolo1138 Says:

      Rey knew how to use a melee weapon. Did you not see her kick those thugs’ behinds with that staff of hers?

      Rey knew how to fix a starship. Her job was scavenging starship parts!

      As for the mind trick thing…that was the only part about Rey’s abilities that seemed OP. But aside from that scene, Rey did not strike me as being a Mary Sue for whom everything came naturally. The hate for this new character somewhat baffles me.

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Um did you not see her fly the Falcon? She even says she never flew it before. Aside from a rough take off she was able to fly through crashed star destroyers while evading 2 Tie fighters. Not bad for a “first flight”

        A staff is not a light saber. 2 totally different weapons. She only used her staff on what, those 2 thugs? Oh and she knocked Finn down with it while running. She can wield her staff on any part she chooses She can’t do the with a light saber. As Obi Wan said in ANH, “this is a light saber. This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight” Well for Finn and Rey it isn’t. A drop out storm trooper and a force sensitive novice can apparently wield them too. I also know that she scavenges for parts, but to fix starships? I may have to re watch it again. Because I could go and pick through junked cars for parts but that doesn’t mean I can fix those cars.

      • Shamari Stewart Says:

        A staff and a sword are very different weapons. Mastery of both means someone spent considerable time and effort training with both weapons.

      • Shamari Stewart Says:

        Also scavenging parts for something doesn’t make you an expert in it, but that I didn’t have as much of an issue with. She could’ve learned about fixing ships in a book or through a mentor of some kind. Stuff like that I’m willing to accept. Going from basic staff combat to besting a trained jedi/sith (expert or not, wounded or not), with a lightsaber on her first try is really pushing the boundaries for me. I have to take leaps in logic to accept that in my mind, and I don’t like it. In my mind, either Kylo Ren kinda sucks or Rey’s stupidly powerful.

    • Stefan Kraft Says:

      I think the Visual Dictionary of TFA mentions that Rey has trained flying on a simulator (and finally mastered a number of ships on the simulator). Still, this could/should have been mentioned in the movie (somehow) (?)

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Yes that would have been a nice thing to have her say that she had some kind of experience in piloting, simulated or not. Instead of getting away from Jakku and then meeting up with Finn and them jumping up and down about the great job they just did. And Rey considered the Falcon a piece of garbage yet that ship went through hell in the movie and was able to make it out of every situation.

  85. roxam91 Says:

    Just came back from it. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually ended up loving it, considering all the negative things leading up to its release.

  86. andywylde77 Says:

    Did anyone catch the part where Kylo Ren confronts Han Solo before he kills him when Kylo says:



    So could Snoke turn out to be DARTH PLAGUEIS THE WISE?

    Well stay tuned…

    • hansolo1138 Says:

      Making Plagueis the main antagonist of this trilogy would be a brilliant move, IMHO. It would not only connect to the Prequels, it would also pit the Skywalkers against their creator. No really, their creator, the being responsible for their strength in the Force. That would make the stakes ridiculously high.

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Well if Plageuis did end up as a part of the ST, I guess he may be using a Skywalker/Solo to take out Luke possibly? I don’t know. Seems interesting though.

  87. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    So, Disney has decided to chuck what was said by Palpatine in “Revenge of the Sith” in order to bring Darth Plagueis back from the dead? Is that what you’re saying? Has Disney went back on its word and decided that any material in the movies can be considered non-canon? Because now, I’m truly disgusted.

    • hansolo1138 Says:

      First off, it’s just a theory at this point. Chill out.

      Second, my guess is that Plagueis could transfer his essence to other bodies with his midichlorian manipulation. That would explain his survival.

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Yeah you definitely know what is going on! You are right and it is just a theory. Also Palpatine could have been lying about Darth Plageuis being killed? Palpatine also said to Anakin in the opera scene about Plageuis was,

        “It’s ironic that he could save others from death, but not himself.”

        So by Palpatines own admission or what this quote implies is that Plageuis HAS saved others from death.

    • Frida Nyberg Says:

      I don’t understand why anyone thinks Snoke is Plagueis. It would be a direct reference to one of the most hated things of the prequels (midi-chlorians), which I guess Disney would want to steer WAY clear of, Plaguies and Snoke don’t look alike at all (methinks Snoke is just another unoriginal-looking bad guy), AND it would completely ruin the whole I-VI story, Anakin’s story of bringing an end to the Sith.

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        Good points from everyone here. Heck, this is stuff for a fun discussion between fans.

        Personally, I would find it interesting if Snokes were Plagueis. He could have survived while Sidious thought that he succeeded in killing his master. (Plagueis may really have been able to cheat death, who knows?) 30 years after RotJ, Plagueis is finally powerful enough to return (similar to Voldemort in Harry Potter?)
        An interesting twist could be that Plagueis realizes at the end of EP XI that he cannot do anything special any longer – the Force *is* in balance and has fully “awakened.”

        Three things however that may ruin “Snokes = Plagueis”
        a) Snokes is no Muun, and if it is still considered canon that Plagueis was a Muun (not sure about that), then Snokes = Plagueis is not possible.
        b) Snokes was a woman for a short time during pre-production. Since Plagueis is referenced as “he” in RotS, this makes it unlikely that Snokes = Plagueis is true. However, they may “retcon” this. (Darth Vader was not Luke’s father AFAIK until the screenplay of ESB was written.)
        c) The reasons Frida mentions.

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        One more reason that “Snoke = Plagueis” will (probably) not happen: Even Pablo Hidalgo seems to have debunked it and to make fun of the hypothesis.

        Heck, I just wish that Palpatine would have mentioned “his good friend Hego Damask” in the Clovis arc of TCW. The banking clan was there, and Sidious could have shared his memories of the Muuns he had encountered…

  88. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    Look … I liked the new “STAR WARS” movie, “THE FORCE AWAKENS”. I honestly do. Heck, I feel it is better than J.J. Abrams’ two “STAR TREK” films. But I am astounded that this film has garnered so much acclaim. It has won the AFI Award for Best Picture. It has been nominated by the Critics Choice Award for Best Picture.

    “THE FORCE AWAKENS”??? Really? It did not take long for certain fans to point out that the movie’s plot bore a strong resemblance to the first “STAR WARS” movie, “A NEW HOPE”. In fact, I am beginning to suspect that J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan had more or less plagiarized the 1977 film, along with aspects from other movies in the franchise. Worse, it has some plot holes that Abrams has managed to ineffectively explain to the media. In other words, his explanations seemed like shit in the wind and the plot holes remained obvious.

    Then I found myself thinking about “THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.”, Guy Ritchie’s adaptation of the 1964-1968 television series. I will not deny that the movie had some flaws. Just about every movie I have seen throughout my life had some flaws. But instead of attempting a carbon copy of the television series, Ritchie put his own, original spin of the show for his movie. And personally, I had left the movie theater feeling impressed. And entertained. It is not that Ritchie had created a perfect movie. But he did managed to create an original one, based upon an old source. Now that was impressive.

    But instead of having his movie appreciated, a good deal of the public stayed away in droves. Warner Brothers barely publicized the film. Worse, the studio released in August, the summer movie season’s graveyard. And for those who did see the movie, the complained that it was not like the television show. Ritchie had made changes for his film. In other words, Ritchie was criticized for being original with a movie based upon an old television series.

    This is incredibly pathetic. One director is criticized giving an original spin to his movie adaptation. Another director is hailed as the savior of a movie franchise for committing outright plagiarism. This is what Western culture has devolved into, ladies and gentlemen. We now live in a world in which the only movies that are box office hits are those that form part of a franchise. We live in a society in which glossy and mediocre shows like “DOWNTON ABBEY” are celebrated. We live in a world in which a crowd pleasing, yet standard movie biopic like “THE KING’S SPEECH” can receive more acclaim than an original film like “INCEPTION”.

    In regard to culture or even pop culture, this society is rushing toward conformity, familiarity and mediocrity. God help us.

    • hansolo1138 Says:

      Even though I really, really like TFA, and even though I believe it does not entirely remake ANH…that was a very well thought-out comment. I might have to give “Man from UNCLE” a try.

    • Shamari Stewart Says:

      I liked the movie too! That’s another thing, I feel like most people that point out its negatives are constantly shouted down even though they too actually liked the movie. I don’t think it’s a “bad” movie, and I’d totally see it again. But that doesn’t mean I’m not gonna have issues with it.

      The plot tried way too hard to recreate moments in the original trilogy, to the point where even if it wasn’t their intention, it looked like a copy/paste of the OT with different characters.

      They blew up the planet where the new republic senate is located before we even knew anything about the new republic. Kinda seemed like an F-U to the prequels (“no more politics!”), might be a stretch but as someone that loves the prequels, I wanted to at least know what the political situation IS in the galaxy. As opposed to the simplicity of the “rebels vs empire” plot of the originals, which wasn’t bad necessarily but I honestly do prefer something more complex than that, even if it’s kind of a background plot to the skywalker story. Like I had to read the novel to find out the Resistance isn’t officially a part of the New Republic military. I shouldn’t have to see the movie multiple times or read the novelization to know that, I should just know it after I see the movie because they should made it clear.

      Then there’s Rey and how powerful she is, and Finn with his comic-relief role, and Kylo Ren with his (apparently) complete lack of skill since he lost to Rey (the novelization helps to clarify this a bit, but again, why do I have to read the book to find this out?).

      I could go on and on but I don’t want to nitpick this movie to death, because despite all of this I don’t think it was a bad movie at all. I might even give GL, John Williams and the existing star wars saga more credit for that than I do JJ abrams and Lawrence Kasdan. I just thought this movie could’ve been so much more than it was and I’m disappointed.

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        Interesting observations. You could get the impression that everyone who has written something positive about the PT has been attacked by some haters, while it is the other way round this time: you did not like something of TFA? Then you get into trouble.

      • Shamari Stewart Says:

        Exactly! I’ve been called a hater many times already even though I don’t hate the movie. It’s very unsettling

  89. LadyJediScientist Says:

    I saw the film earlier this week and I wanted to let it settle first before writing a review.

    First off, I won’t call it a bad film. The Force Awakens is a good sci-fi action film. However, it is a poor excuse for a Star Wars movie.
    The other six films, including the Prequels, were unique and original, even though they were part of a larger series. The Force Awakens is a compilation film of the original trilogy. Scenes and plot devices are just yanked out of the OT (primarily ANH & ESB) and inserted into this film. George would repeat certain themes and scenes, but he was deliberately making parallels between the films so the message he was trying to convey would be understood. Abrams is just being nostalgic and pandering to one segment of the fan base. I am also not certain if there is an overall message or theme for this film other than wasn’t the original trilogy cool.

    The mythos of the saga is either missing or Abrams tries to beat the audience over the head with it. Arthurian legends have always been a part of the mythos of Star Wars. George, however, interwove those legends with history, other mythologies and religions in order to create a unique Star Wars mythos with subtle nods to outside sources. Abrams, it would appear, is incapable of doing subtle.

    He also leaves a lot to be desired with character introductions and development. George gave his characters strong introductions: scenes/sequences whose sole purpose is to draw your attention to that character. There might be action before these scenes or after, but the intro itself is focused on dialogue and character. Even when George re-introduced a character, like he did with Obi-Wan, he would still take time to give the character a memorable dialogue scene. Abrams gives Rey an introduction, along with Han, Chewie and Leia. Poe and Finn aren’t given real introductions. Even Rey doesn’t get much of a foundation. I wasn’t given much of a chance to get attached to or understand the new characters.

    Then there is the matter of the reveals: another weakness of Abrams. Anytime there is a major character reveal, Abrams throws the information at the audience and then rushes onto the next scene, typically an action scene. He does the same thing with a character’s death. He doesn’t give the audience time to grieve.

    The whole film felt rushed. No time for character development, no time for emotion and no time for exposition of any sort. I found the whole situation of the Republic, the Resistance, and the New Order very confusing. The whole universe felt very narrow and flat. The new planets were not really new. George gave us already a desert planet, a forest planet & an ice planet. Additionally, these new planets did not appear to have any indigenous wildlife or cultures. Any aliens which do appear on screen are used as cameos, background, or sidekicks. They aren’t used to give depth to the universe.

    The music was probably the biggest disappointment. Normally with a Williams score, I leave the film with at least one or two themes stuck in my head. Also, there normally is at least one scene that is a musical stand out: the binary sunset from ANH, the asteroid field from ESB, the battle of Endor from ROTJ, the Duel of the Fates (duel in the reactor core) from TPM, the chase through Coruscant from AOTC, and Obi-Wan vs. Anakin on Mustafar from ROTS. I couldn’t think of a memorable musical scene right after I saw the film & I can’t think of one now. Even when Williams was working with Spielberg or Roland Emmerich, the score would still be very memorable and take own a life of its own. Williams was woefully underused in this film and the only time the score stood out was when older themes, like Leia’s theme, were being used.

    Final complaint, the cheapening of the Force. Anybody can use a lightsaber now and apparently any Force-sensitive can do a mind trick without any training. Abrams took the all-powerful Force & reduced it to nothing more than “simple tricks and nonsense”.

    Bottom line, if you love Han Solo, you will enjoy the film. For me, it was high-priced fan fiction and nothing more. I’m not even sure I want to see it again.

    I MISS GEORGE!!!!!

    • hansolo1138 Says:

      “If you love Han Solo, you will enjoy the film.”

      You will…enjoy watching a character you love die by the hand of his own son?

      Even though I love the film, and Han Solo, I find the logic in that comment to be a little wonky.

      • LadyJediScientist Says:

        I’ll amend the statement: Out of the “Big 3”, Han is featured the most. So if enjoy his character, you will probably enjoy this film up until the point he dies. By the way, I still think we got cheated a bit there. Han was a hero of the Rebellion and they couldn’t take the time to honor his passing??😕😩. Also, I was hoping to see Hamill, Fisher & Ford together again on the big screen, but I guess not😕😕

      • lazypadawan Says:

        I know, right? At least Lucas had the decency to have funerals for Qui-Gon, Padme, Shmi, and Vader/Anakin. Obi-Wan and Yoda didn’t but they came back as blue ghosties.

      • LadyJediScientist Says:

        But even with Obi-Wan & Yoda, the audience is given some time mourn. Granted with Obi-Wan it isn’t much, but we at least get to see Luke feeling sad. Chewie goes into a rage, but he isn’t mournful like he is ESB. Also, I agree with your assessment about the overall appearance of the film. Yes, George did the “used universe look”, but he managed to show the audience the beauty of hi universe as well. Most of the sets, particularly the interiors of the ships, look like they have been yanked out of Alien & hosed down with diesel 😝

  90. Shaman McLamie Says:

    So I finally saw TFA again and this time with my dad and trying to pry thoughts and reactions out of him all I really got was “It was okay” Now don’t take this as a knock on TFA my dad did enjoy the film, but he is not at all a Star Wars fan he’s actually not the kind of guy to get sucked into any fandom and buy into the hype even for things he does like a lot. He actually says that about a lot of movies we watch when we’re lucky enough to drag him to the movie theaters, he much prefers watching television.
    While a bit disappointing I didn’t get more thoughts out of him other than he doesn’t like Adam Driver from other roles he’s seen him in, it was a nice reminder that for all the fan ranting, vitriol, theories, analysis and etc. to the majority of people like my dad these are just simply movies to be watched and hopefully enjoyed. That these aren’t just movies for fans, but for a general audience to enjoy. When we talk about Star Wars we shouldn’t forget about them.

    • Stefan Kraft Says:

      Not to forget that it is this majority that is responsible for the lion’s share of the $$$ generated by the movie.

  91. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    Not to forget that it is this majority that is responsible for the lion’s share of the $$$ generated by the movie.

    I pretty much saw that coming. I knew that this movie would make tons of movie, regardless of my own opinion of it.

  92. JustinJL Says:

    Is Disney really wiping out ALL of the EU canon, in the wake of TFA? That seems like a waste of time, energy, and dedication by those who wrote and illustrated elements and stories of Star Wars.

    • Shaman McLamie Says:

      They did it last year. They took all the old EU and put it under the Legends banner.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      That stuff basically got moved to the “it doesn’t count” column but much of it is still in print and will continue to be in print as long as people buy the books. The comics are still available from retailers in trade paperback form.

  93. Von Says:

    I just got done watchin’ TFA a 3rd time and I still think it’s weak. I just felt numb and dumb from watchin’ this film, I think it’s because the movie doesn’t even try to tell a story and it just felt like a 135 min commercial showin’ you X-wings, stardestroyers, TIE fighters, Death Sta-I mean Starkiller, lightsabers, and the new Battlefront game which is also a commercial to this movie.

    I like the new characters [mostly Poe which sadly, didn’t get enough screen time] But Ren/Ben was a dissapointment, Gets beat by a rookie with no jedi training whatsoever even though he’s trained by Luke himself, not to mention as soon he took off that mask, I laughed cuz he was so ugly that he didn’t resemble his parents at all, but Rey most definitely looks like Padme.

    The story was about findin’ Luke right? Then why it shifted to a damn sidequest about destroyin’ Starkiller? They could’ve kept it though the whole trilogy if they wanted to.

    Again, came in with a open mind and I still got bored of it, most SW movies don’t bore me at all and this movie committed the biggest sin when it comes to movies: Boredom.

  94. JustinJL Says:

    Forgive me for my ignorance Shaman and lazy, That is just freaking tragic. I mean how in the world does it not count? I mean even though it is fiction, what possible endgame could be accomplished? Just disheartening. My wife was just over the moon when Disney got Star Wars, she dislikes the prequels as well. On a drive back home with a few of her friends she talked about having a Star Wars marathon. One of her friends asked, “You mean ep. four,five,and six ?” She replied, yes because the prequels were garbage..caca. That hurt my heart. My wife thinks Disney is a deity that can do no wrong. I try to convince her otherwise through what I read from your website. It is very insightful.

  95. JustinJL Says:

    I watched TFA. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t in LOVE with it. Han Solo’s death was obviously very powerful scene. Petsonally, I don’t think that it was warranted. That is just my view on it. Iam sure Ford is very happy to be done with the character once and for all. I thought Abrams could have stretched him out a little further. Oh well. Good popcorn flick. Probably go see the Hateful 8 and probably get a better movie experience.

  96. JustinJL Says:

    Something I found online. You probably already saw this site, but I figured it was worth looking at. Take it easy.

  97. andywylde77 Says:

    Now that TFA has been out for a little bit, I really can’t believe how this one film has really divided the fan base! It is really something else. I am not really all that into TFA but it does suck to see many others claw at each other over this new installment. There have been people getting death threats in comments sections of video reviews claiming that TFA is a bad movie! Now the OT itself is getting torn apart by some to defend TFA.

    It really sucks to watch a fandom get torn apart over dumb stuff. The PT and fans of the PT had to deal with this nonsense for years. Now the fans of the OT may have to start an OT appreciation society by the end of this new trilogy. I do hate to use terms like “OT fans” and “PT fans” because usually fans of the PT are also fans of the OT and vice versa. But I need to illustrate my point clearly.

    But I am happy that I do not get involved in that garbage no more. And I just try to express my concerns with this new SW era without getting into flame wars and such. It isn’t worth it anymore. It seems that all SW means to some people now is how much money it is raking in at the BO? This is what appears to be the most used excuse as to why this movie is “good”. This whole new era of SW has been a real eye opener for me to see just how more this fandom can get. And it only just begun.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Yep! This has been an eye-opener for me too in a lot of ways.

      I am not at all surprised though there are more fault lines. Nobody should be surprised!

      • andywylde77 Says:

        Yeah for the most part I am not as surprised as I originally thought, but still surprised to say the least. I knew all the “better than the PT” garbage was coming. But when I started seeing the OT getting thrown under the bus, that was even more surprising! I have seen and read a lot of stuff that I never thought I would regarding this film and the other 2 trilogies.

        Though at the same time if you read other forums I have seen more posts about people saying that “the PT isn’t that bad” going around. But it is all subjective stuff and I love the SW universe. It is weird though seeing all this stuff transpire in light of this new movie.

  98. Jason Fanning Says:

    Been a fan of Star Wars since Jedi came out (prequels most definitely included; very deep films and depicted a more civilized age to near perfection). The Force Awakens felt rushed and reminded me of Disney’s Marvel properties. Star Wars is Buck Rogers meets King Arthur roughly. Course when you rush a script to meet quota that’s what happens no matter who’s telling the story. Other words could have been better. Liked Rey though, even though she was more super heroine than Jedi in someways, I thought she worked well with Han Solo.

    • Jason Fanning Says:

      This movie felt like the 4th Indiana Jones installment I wanted to see instead of pure Star Wars. In Crystal Skull I thought Indy should of had a more intelligent and slightly troublesome daughter. Maybe that’s one reason why the Force Awakens wasn’t really for me or the last Indiana Jones installment for that matter. To each his own I suppose.

  99. Martin Hay Says:

    I watched TFA a second time and loved it. But then, over the following days, my initial misgivings crept back in and I realised that all of the cricisms I made after my first viewing were still valid.

    The thing is, TFA has a very smooth, slick exterior. It has fantastic acting, witty modern dialogue, and a whole bunch of genuinely interesting and loveable characters. Yet beneath that surface is an almost complete lack of originality. It is little more than a rehash of ANH with elements of Empire and Jedi thrown in. And whereas George Lucas underpinned all of his films with references to thousands of years of history and mythology (as well as the books, comics, B-movies and adventure serials that inspired), JJ Abrams’s Star Wars is influenced by the OT and little if anything else.

    At the end of the day. TFA is a slickly produced, highly enjoyable, but ultimately shallow nostalgia trip. And I’m not surprised that fans of the prequels are less impressed than others since it seems to me that, by and large, we don’t need to be pandered to in that way.

  100. Jacobesico Says:

    Finally saw it.

    It was alright, I suppose.

    It seemed to me, to be a rehash of A New Hope.

    It was enjoyable but I really missed George Lucas’s touch.

    It doesn’t hold a candle to the Prequels. I found the music uninspiring.

  101. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    Why are some people assuming that Finn and Poe would make a good couple? Because they have screen chemistry? Finn also had screen chemistry with Rey. Why isn’t anyone beating the drum for that relationship?

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