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Post 21 Dec 2015, 11:43 am

My wife shocked me on Saturday.
Out of the blue she said we should go see the new Star Wars movie, while this may not sound too crazy to most, you need to understand she has never seen even a moment of ANY earlier Star wars films, she does not like Sci-Fi at all and a few days earlier she had mentioned how the new "Star Trek" movie was doing so well at the box office (and she said "huh, what's the difference both are in space", to which I answered "That's like saying Mutiny on the Bounty is the same as Titanic, both are about boats").

The woman HATES science fiction but she got caught up n all the hoopla over this movie and wanted to be a part of it. We went to a packed house matinee showing at 1:30 in the afternoon and she LOVED the movie! So if any of you want to see the movie but your wife/girlfriend isn't "into" it, go ahead and use this as a reason to see it with them. It was a pretty darned good movie, back to it's roots and a lot of fun.
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Post 21 Dec 2015, 12:43 pm

I saw it today. It was ok, but definitely lacking in places. I did like how they've gotten back to making a film that feels like Star Wars again, but the plot doesn't hang together very well.
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Post 21 Dec 2015, 2:12 pm

I thought the story held together quite well, my only complaint is minor, it felt maybe too much like the original.
Death Star...check
Young kid from a remote planet turned hero ...check
crazy last second flying around to kill the "death star" ...check
bar scene with odd creatures and music ...check
cute little droid ...check
Darth Vader type sinister...check
heck even the woman with the crazy goggles reminded me of Yoda

It was pretty much the same movie redone and I would have liked more originality but it was action packed, had characters you could like, a good deal of humor, and they did a good job melding the old vs the new.Was it the absolute best movie I have ever seen??? Oh hell no, but it was fun and who can ask for a lot more than that?
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Post 21 Dec 2015, 2:33 pm

I could check off a whole lot more than that. It's basically a cover version of the original Star Wars. I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong, but it did get on my nerves a bit.

What irked me the most was the fact that there was no effort to make it work historically. What exactly is the First Order ? You assume that it's just some kind of residual Empire but at no point is it ever explained. Why is there still a Resistance ? Surely after the Death Star was destroyed for a second time this would have meant that Leia become part of the government, so why is she still hanging out with some kind of rag-tag bunch of plucky underdogs ? The answer is quite obviously that JJ Abrams feels that a Star Wars film only works if the narrative is plucky rebels against uber-powerful evil empire, so that's what we're given whether it makes any sense or not. It would only have taken a two minute filler scene to explain this stuff to the audience so why don't we get that ?
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Post 21 Dec 2015, 3:24 pm

People couldn't have been more pleased, definitely for the hoi polloi, just throw an endless barrage of satisfying Star Wars elements at them and don't worry about breaking new ground.

I hope to go back and see it in 3D.
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Post 21 Dec 2015, 7:49 pm

That whole bit about being rebels kind of bothered me as well. They would be the rightful government vs a military junta. Having them as rebels was stupid at best. But it was fun
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Post 23 Dec 2015, 9:29 am

I saw it yesterday and loved it but echo some of the above comments about it not treading any real new ground. On the flip side, unlike each of the prequel movies it didn't try to do too much. I feel like sure, there were some rushed parts, but the pacing was much better. It's very similar to A New Hope in almost every respect, which is both good an bad.

Yes there's a back story that isn't totally explained, but on the first watch-through, it struck me that it would stand alone better than every other movie, save for the original.

I was annoyed by the whole First Order vs Republic vs Resistance thing at first, and how we don't really know what the politics are - but thinking back to A New Hope, that's about all we got too: There's an Emperor, he replaced the Republic and disbanded the Senate - and now he's fighting a rebellion. The only reason this is confusing is that we're trying to put what we saw in Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, and there's a lot unexplained.

I've read in some of the recent "think-pieces" that have cropped up on the interwebs that the Republic made peace with the Empire, which was replaced by the First Order. The Resistance was formed by "Leia & Friends" because they saw the bad things that the First Order was doing and the Republic would not intervene. From what we saw in The Phantom Menace, this actually seems to make sense.
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Post 23 Dec 2015, 11:24 am

We could have done with some kind of explanation for all of that if it is true. It would only have been a 30 sec filler scene.
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Post 23 Dec 2015, 3:20 pm

Sassenach wrote:We could have done with some kind of explanation for all of that if it is true. It would only have been a 30 sec filler scene.


I've read reviews. It seems that this movie is kind of a rehash of the first one (i.e. StarWars IV), with similar props, characters, and plot:
death star
young heroine (the modern Skywalker, I expect),
young hero,
cute robots
robots with secret messages
ragtag rebel group,
Darth Vader type villain,
battle to destroy said death star
original cast put into new film in case people don't set the connection

Seems kind of pathetic that a lot of time, $money$ and effort went into a mere reboot or retread (though it is not presented that way). I mean, couldn't they at least come up with a new plot!? Or are the StarWars fanatics content to just see remakes of the first 3 films forever? Countless paperback books about the StarWars universe have been published over the decades. You'd think one or two of those would have been good enough to purchase and turn into this movie!

Wait, I forgot all about the Search for Luke story arc. I suppose that is the new twist on the original Search for Obi-Wan.
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Post 23 Dec 2015, 6:09 pm

Sassenach wrote:What irked me the most was the fact that there was no effort to make it work historically. What exactly is the First Order ? You assume that it's just some kind of residual Empire but at no point is it ever explained. Why is there still a Resistance ? Surely after the Death Star was destroyed for a second time this would have meant that Leia become part of the government, so why is she still hanging out with some kind of rag-tag bunch of plucky underdogs ? The answer is quite obviously that JJ Abrams feels that a Star Wars film only works if the narrative is plucky rebels against uber-powerful evil empire, so that's what we're given whether it makes any sense or not. It would only have taken a two minute filler scene to explain this stuff to the audience so why don't we get that ?

I read somewhere, not sure if I remember where, that the back story about the First Order/Republic/Resistance was hashed out in some off screen merchandise, i.e. books/comics/web sites. Gotta remember in Modern cinema, it is no longer about just the movie as a stand alone product.

******There is a pretty big spoiler as the end of these comments so continue at your own risk.******
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As for the dynamic of the three together, I think it is kind of obvious what happened. When the Emperor died at Endor in Return of the Jedi, the Empire didn't completely collapse. The Rebel Alliance was able to take over a lot of the old Empire as the New Republic. However, it wasn't strong enough to take over the entire Empire. Some portions of it was able to survive under the control of the local bureaucrats. These parts coalesced around and the First Order led by Supreme Leader Smote.

The New Republic, being committed to the complete over throw of the old Empire and a universal democracy, supported a resistance movement within the areas still under the control of the Empire/First Order. They supported this Resistance not just materially but also with experienced personnel.

As for why Liea Organa would be one of that experienced personnel instead of a high government official, that is kind of obvious as well. Her son fell to the dark side, killing a bunch of Jedi apprentices and her marriage fell apart. She ran away. I'm pretty sure she said that in the movie.
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Post 23 Dec 2015, 6:31 pm

That's all plausible, sure, but I wouldn't say any of it was obvious. They could have covered all of that in one short scene (Rey talking to Solo would have worked for that, as a transition between the action sequences).
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Post 02 Jan 2016, 5:39 pm

Sassenach wrote:That's all plausible, sure, but I wouldn't say any of it was obvious. They could have covered all of that in one short scene (Rey talking to Solo would have worked for that, as a transition between the action sequences).


Sorry for the delay in response. I was on vacation and had no internet access. The part about Leia was in the movie in the discussion between her and Han when they meet.

The part about the rest of it, like I said, it is my understanding that it was all hashed out in a tie in product. I just read something at Screenrants from March 2015 there was going to be a series of books that described the action for the 30 years between Jedi and Force.

Having said that, I thought it was kind of obvious and to have explained it on screen would have been unneeded exposition but YMMV.
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Post 04 Jan 2016, 3:43 pm

I don't think it was obvious at all. Sure, you could kind of guess some of it, but everybody I've spoken to who's seen the film has had the exact same criticism I did. Most of them are saying stuff like "well, we need to see what happens in the next film", but all were a bit frustrated by the flimsiness of the plot and the lack of explanation.
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Post 28 Jan 2016, 8:08 am

I haven't seen the Force Awakens yet but that's OK. I already knew some of what went on, if not all of it. I knew--from a Wikipedia article a few years back before this movie was conceived--that in the "expanded universe", OK so the death star 2.0 blows up, the Emperor Palpatine is killed and the "empire" fragments into a bunch of little petty dictatorships ruled by warlords who were former imperial admirals.

Or something.

And the new republic is trying to get the old capital back, yadda yadda.

I'm more into the political thing behind movies like this. But there are some iinconsistencies I am not happy with in the whole series of movies.

SPOILER HEREIN IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE PREQUELS:
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I thought it was neat how the galactic civil war was brought to a close, and then the chancellor, having the executive powers he managed to grab thanks to the war (that he engineered) declares himself the emperor. The senators, in true, political, lemminglike fashion, all clap (except for Senator Panda Bear or whatever her name is "so this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause!" yeah, honey, you're a real social justice warrior, especially considering your stand-in in the republic senate made the motion to give Palpatine emergency powers in the first place, so he could pull the republic army out of his ass in five seconds--wow, where'd that whole f**** army come from just now?--that he had really been planning for years as his great galactic power-grab.)

If you have the Director's Cut DVD of Revenge of the Sith (ep. III) you'll see the scenes they cut out. They were typically very political and were, in my opinion, too important to have cut the hell out. Damn! There was a whole scene where the secret anti-palpatine cabal which becomes the rebel alliance comes together in padme's swanky apartment on Corscant. Very important scenes, a few of them that they should have left in. It explains a lotta stuff that happened between III and IV (another 30 year gap).

Really in my opinion, II should have been I. I was horrible. But neat in some parts like when we see the Republic Senate for the first time. That was a nifty concept of a senate chamber, especially when you have to represent thousands of worlds. That was cool lookin'. I can just imagine Mitch McConnel or whoever rising from the floor on a gigantic column...and then falling off of it like Yoda.

OK, my point. There was a lotta stuff mentioned in IV (A New Hope) that didn't quite "square" with what went on in the prequels, politically. But at least they resolved it some way.

By the by: Has anyone seen the "Robot Chicken" episodes where they make fun of Star Wars? Where you see Palpatine (now emperor) in the old chancellor's office laughing it up with the blue guy and some other alien about "throwing the whole senate" at Yoda. He picks up the phone. I don't remember the dialogue specifically but it went something like:

OPERATOR: will you accept a collect call from [Vader breathing noise] ?
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PALPATINE: you're where? Wait, WHAT? the whole damn thing? by a bunch of ***** space teenagers? God ************ ********! We just finished paying that ****** thing off!
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PALPATINE: yeah well why don't I tell everybody what a big pussy you were with Panda Bear or whatever her name was? [puts hand over the receiver] Oh, he's crying! [laughs]

I wish I could remember it but I practically crapped my space-pants it was so funny. Then there was the Family Guy Star Wars, in which the opening credits says "And the hot chick is actually the good guy's sister and they kiss. What if they had done it instead of just kissed???" Oh, that's another one. Guess they didn't have that plot worked out yet when they filmed V. Oops.

But I digress.

Some inconsistencies. In IV, when Luke Skywalker gets the droids to "General Kenobi" the Princess Leia recording says "You helped my father during the Clone Wars." And sooething about following your father on "some damn crusade" (mentioning the clone wars).

And who the hell is General Grievous that suddenly appears in III? And we learn the death star was being built by the rebel (not rebel, you know, the secessionists, separatists, whoever?) leaders, not the empire. Apparently, it took 30 damned years to build.

So, like, not all of the storm troopers are clones? Wow. OK I guess that makes sense.

And if Yoda was on that swamp planet for so long? And they didn't find him? And what was he doing all those years?

Does anyone remember when the special editions came out? They showed four scenes of partying because the empire had fallen (see? it's like it fell all at once! more inconsistency!) one on Cloud City, one on Tatooine, and even one on the capital Coruscant and you even see a little statue of the Emperor tipping over in the corner of the screen like it's Saddam's statue in Firdos Square in 2003. They had that in the special ed. originally. But after III was filmed, they went BACK and edited the special edition to show a party scene on Naboo (that you saw in I and II) AND AND! they used to have some old guy that was Annakin Skywalker in the original special edition, that they edited to put in Hayden Christiansen.

When Kenobi and Yoda are on Senator Organa's (father of Princess/Senator Leia Organa) spaceship (that she inherited from her father, it's captured by the empire in the beginning of IV) they talk about splitting up baby Luke and Leia. Leia will be adopted by the Organa family on Alderaan, but Luke---why the hell would they send hiim back to Tatooine to be "with his family"? Isn't that a little friggin obvious? In IV there's an indication that uncle Owen & Aunt Veroo knew about Anakini Skywalker/Darth Vader, somehow.

The famous "galactic empire" speech that I love.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo4cFViNLes
Also, there can't have been too many Jedi left after the huge massacre in III. So I'm wondering who the hell Luke Skywalker stars this new Jedi movement with.

That's all. May the Force be with you!
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Post 29 Jan 2016, 2:23 pm

wow...
Might I suggest you simply try to enjoy the movie and not dissect it?
Sure, while watching an issue or three might bother you a bit (as we all stated here) but by golly, your in depth study of things only detracts from enjoying the film. It's fantasy after all, it really doesn't need to make THAT much sense does it?