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So, this thing called Star Wars happened.... - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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So, this thing called Star Wars happened.... [Dec. 22nd, 2015|07:04 pm]
Zoethe
I have been slow in writing my review, mostly because life, but also because my first impression and my second impression were so very different.

I came away from my first viewing of The Force Awakens feeling a resounding, "meh." It wasn't bad, but I felt like it just didn't hold up to the end. I absolutely adored all the new characters, and felt like they needed more screen time than they got. But there was too much retread about it that missed some of the pacing marks vital to make A New Hope the emotional success that it was.

I went and saw it again the next day. and knowing where the flaws were, being able to set them aside, I came out absolutely LOVING the movie. I can't wait to go again. Once again, the casting of the new characters was absolutely perfect, and there were lots of great emotional beats. I still don't think the ending quite pulls off the triumph for which we seek, but there's lots of good stuff going on.


Putting aside the basic, "what's X character's backstory" and "why another Death Star," here are my major, lingering complaints about TFA:

Captain Phasma: When she's captured, they leave her in her helmet, which presumably has ways of alerting others of danger, but there's no alert? She's a badass, but she meekly lowers the shields? And no one in command notices, nor can they override? Seriously???

Hyperspace: We can now talk on comms in hyperspace? That would mean we can be tracked in hyperspace, wouldn't it? And Han is able to come out of hyperspace in the lower atmosphere of the planet? Whatever happened to gravity wells yanking ships out of hyperspace? If they'd done away with interdictors, that would be one thing, but they use them in Clone Wars and Rebels.

Starkiller Base: Putting aside the questionable physics of a planetary body absorbing an entire sun, once that sun is absorbed it has killed the system revolving around that sun, too--no mention of the dead planets left behind. Moreover, once it has been charged and discharged, it would no longer have a fuel source. So it wasn't in the same place to attack the Resistance as it had been to destroy Hosnia; how did they find it so fast? Also, you're telling me that a planet can travel through hyperspace and retain its atmosphere, fauna, and the machinery and equipment we see scattered across its surface??

I can get past a lot of the thing plot, but these things really bugged me.

It's going to make a fortune, beyond what it already has, and it's absolutely worth seeing if you have any interest. Also, the comments on this are open to spoilers, so if you don't want to know, don't look!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2015-12-23 03:07 am (UTC)

Physics? BAH

Good points, and I had the same experience -- the movie gets better each time!

So, let me say regarding all the objections about hyperspace and planets and whatnot ... physics definitely doesn't work the same way in the GFFA. For instance, light from another solar system's explosions apparently travels instantaneously throughout the galaxy, rather than taking months or years. And don't get me started on relativistic time dilation -- or rather the lack thereof. Or that there's no sound in space.

So the first thing you have to do is just forget physics. That solves a LOT of problems.

Captain Phasma - I agree, it was completely bogus that she would be such a badass and let this guy who couldn't pull the trigger earlier intimidate her into betraying her duty. Nope nope nope. That was stupid. I can't even imagine a plausible way to explain it. I saw somebody's theory that she was really in sympathy with the resistance and thus let him get away with it. Not buying it.

Gravity wells: I can explain the gravity well inconsistency by positing that all ships have a default safety feature which pulls them out of hyperspace in a gravity well, but that this feature can be overridden by crazy people.

Dead planets: There are not necessarily dead planets around the star they use for fuel. Perhaps there aren't any habitable planets to worry about in that system. And I am thinking the weapon doesn't use 100% of the energy, leaving them plenty to travel around through hyperspace to their next victims.

But I also heard them describe the thing as a "hyperspace capable weapon," which makes me wonder if not only the planet, but also the weapon's beam itself, can travel through hyperspace. We had that in the EU with the weapon in the Corellian system that sent a beam through hyperspace. If that's the case, the whole planet wouldn't need to go to the victim's system, it could fire directly from the place where it was sucking up energy from a star.

As for the atmosphere and flora/fauna remaining intact ... how do mynocks survive? Obviously leaping into hyperspace involves specifying which matter goes and which stays behind, so I see no problem here.
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From: (Anonymous)
2015-12-23 04:18 am (UTC)

RE: Physics? BAH

This is why I love you in a platonic way. You didn't bullshit at all pointing out all the bs science going on. Like the sun thing. That bothered me while watching the damn movie itself. So damn much. And you already know my other issues. Yet and still I will watch it again next week.


( this is Bill btw)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-12-23 06:40 pm (UTC)

Re: Physics? BAH

My daughters and I have joked about how the vacuum of space is a bit less vacuous. And gravity a bit less gravitational--or more, as needed.
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[User Picture]From: jojomojo
2015-12-23 10:05 am (UTC)

Re: Physics? BAH

I certainly read it as 'can fire a beam through hyperspace' rather than 'planet actually moves through hyperspace itself'.

I did see something, somewhere, which suggested they're in a system with a bunch of suns (which is still a bit physics-defying; I've heard of binary systems but more than that?)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-12-23 06:39 pm (UTC)

Re: Physics? BAH

That really limits the weapon. Didn't they already kill two stars?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-12-23 06:36 pm (UTC)

Re: Physics? BAH

I was "okay" with the hyperspace sending of the energy. But the sun went out, so wherever they were, they'd have to move the planet to another sun.

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[User Picture]From: greybeta
2015-12-23 08:00 am (UTC)
I found it odd that they couldn't access R2-D2's memory banks in the interim. Are they afraid of damaging him beyond repair? Or do droids have rights?

i really hope Chewie and Rey fixed the the fact that everyone and their mother could track the Millenium Falcon.

And the whole thing with Captain Phasma...shouldn't she just allow herself to be killed? Or press a general panic alert? You would think an elite commander would rather die than to betray her side.

The biggest complaint from my friends is that it copies too many elements of A New Hope, but maybe that's just the emphasis on another Death Star weapon. The First Order never has enough TIE fighters to combat the fleet of X-Wings.

One thing I did appreciate was the return to the mysterious side of the Force. Maz can feel the Force in her own way, thought she is no Jedi. Let us never speak of midichlorian counts again.
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[User Picture]From: jojomojo
2015-12-23 10:07 am (UTC)
Even if droids don't have rights (and one hopes they do in the Republic), it might be seen as disrespectful. I mean would you want someone rooting through your memories while you sleep?

(I, too, intensely dislike the 'another death star' though. You've tried this twice before, guys; once you got to use it a grand total of once, the second time it wasn't even finished before it got blown up! At what point do you realise this is a bad capital investment?)
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[User Picture]From: greybeta
2015-12-23 12:58 pm (UTC)
Granted, I wouldn't want someone rifling through my brain while I sleep. Yet, in an emergency, you would think they would have a provision to allow some sort of access to R2-D2's files. If they don't have that access for a contingency, that seems like bad design. But maybe neural networks are far too complicated to risk damaging them in Star Wars...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-12-23 06:29 pm (UTC)
Exactly, with Captain Phasma.

And yes, Maz was great.
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[User Picture]From: cyan_blue
2015-12-24 07:11 am (UTC)
I've only seen it once and came away with the "meh" too - there was way too much recycling of old plotlines for my tastes. There were some excellent moments too, but I'd rate it as better than episodes I-III, and not as good as IV-VI.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-12-24 06:19 pm (UTC)
Go again. Really.
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[User Picture]From: cyan_blue
2015-12-25 08:11 pm (UTC)
I wasn't going to. But patgreene just found the one way to get me to do it - by pointing out plot nuances that I'd missed. Damn it...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-12-26 01:45 am (UTC)
We went for the third time today. Still seeing new things.
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[User Picture]From: cyan_blue
2016-01-03 05:20 pm (UTC)
Ok, I took various folks advice (thanks, zoethe and patgreene) and saw it a second time. Yeah, it was easier to just enjoy it knowing that the critiques I had existed and hence being free to look for other things in the movie.

And boy did I find some new nuances there, the second time:

First: Rey has been to Skellig Michael (Luke's island) before! When Kylo Ren is interrogating her, he sees an image of an island in the ocean in her mind. Unless that's a future vision?

Second: I think Kylo Ren is the one who dumped her on Jakku. The voice of the man who is admonishing little Rey is the same as the voice of Kylo Ren - though patgreene thinks it is Unkar Plutt, which would admittedly jibe better with the wide fingers and wrist, in Jakku tan garb. But on the other hand, Jakku is rather conveniently close to the new Death Star...

Third: the old man at the beginning who has the map chip knew Leia and also knew Kylo Ren from before. I wonder if he was an old colleague of Luke's somehow, but no idea if he is someone we have seen before.

Fourth: Hey, did you catch the doll on the chair in Rey's little abode on Jakku? It is wearing one of the standard orange and white flight uniforms of the Alliance. Wonder what that means...

Fifth: Whew, did I hear the Han-Kylo Ren dialogue differently the second time around - Ren is never asking Han to help him to a better life, he is asking Han to help him kill him. Heartbreaking. I wonder how much Han knew this as it was happening?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2016-01-03 06:44 pm (UTC)
Yes, all the way down. Except I don't think it's Kylo Ren dumping her on Jakku. He's the one from whom they are hiding her. The voice is Unkar Plutt, I'm pretty sure.

My theory is that Rey was left with someone else, and those people then left her with Plutt. But we shall see!
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[User Picture]From: noshot
2015-12-29 02:34 am (UTC)
"meh" was my response exactly.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-12-29 03:06 am (UTC)
See it a second time. Seriously.
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[User Picture]From: noshot
2015-12-30 01:39 am (UTC)
ok but not till its on Netflix. not taking a second gamble with real money.
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