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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    It's not just high ground. Obi Wan has firm footing, Anakin is surrounded by lava. Anything Ani tries to do, Obi responds with Force push into lava. If they get into another lock, Obi falls over, Ani falls into lava. Anakin has no choice but to try and leap over Obi so his back is no longer to lava, but that's too far for him when Obi's ready and waiting for it.
    Anakin has plenty of choice. He could use the Force to fling lava at Obi-Wan, and then jump while Kenobi is deflecting, just as one example.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
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    Your bread looks like a rotary phone.
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    While he's doing that, he's getting Force pushed into lava.

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    While he's doing that, he's getting Force pushed into lava.
    If that's the case, why wasn't Kenobi getting Force pushed into lava when he jumped? Heck, even when Anakin jumped without any distraction, he didn't get Force pushed into lava, so the movie itself indicates that no, he would not get Force pushed into lava while doing that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Your bread looks like a rotary phone.
    This right here, is some prime quality culinary critique.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post

    Maybe if the movie established high ground tactics earlier in the film so we know how difficult the move Anakin is tying to pull is. But it doesn’t. It establishes the opposite in the fight we just watched. So I’m left scratching my head why anyone would try to end the battle of brothers with essentially a pun.
    Anakin tried to kill Obi-Wan with the exact same move Obi-Wan used to kill Maul.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    While he's doing that, he's getting Force pushed into lava.
    Then Obi burns from lava flung at him. Bad move on Obi’s part.

    Now don’t get me wrong here. This is imagination chess where the rules are not thoroughly explained. We can both make crap up to explain the story in the way we want it to go. That’s the problem. The movie does such a poor job explaining the rules that the climax made me either go “Wait... that doesn’t track with what was set up” or “Huh, how can I rationalize things so it makes sense?” Both are not good for the person trying to just sit back and watch an emotional climax and action scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Anakin tried to kill Obi-Wan with the exact same move Obi-Wan used to kill Maul.
    Yeah there is that. I didn’t add it because I was kinda going by what I thought watching the movie the first time. And well, I just didn’t think of that until it was pointed out to me years later.
    Last edited by Dienekes; 2020-01-04 at 11:47 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    This is imagination chess where the rules are not thoroughly explained
    I was trying to hard to think of a way to put that, but now I'm just going to steal the line "imagination chess."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Your bread looks like a rotary phone.
    This right here, is some prime quality culinary critique.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    Yeah there is that. I didn’t add it because I was kinda going by what I thought watching the movie the first time. And well, I just didn’t think of that until it was pointed out to me years later.
    Me neither. There is a fun progression there:
    TPM: Qui-Gon & Obi-Wan vs Maul.
    The Clone War: Obi-Wan vs Maul happens a couple times.
    ROTS: Anakin try to kill Obi-Wan with the move Obi-Wan used on Maul but Obi-Wan sees it coming and defeats Anakin.
    Rebels: Maul and Obi-Wan fight. They start with their TCW stances but Obi-Wab switches to his (and Qui Gon’s) stance from TPM which Maul immediately does as well. Maul tried to kill Obi-Wan with the move he used on Qui-Gon but Obi-Wan seems it coming and defeats Maul.
    ROTJ: Vader against Luke. Luke ends up on metal structure above Vader. Vader cuts the thing down.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    If that's the case, why wasn't Kenobi getting Force pushed into lava when he jumped? Heck, even when Anakin jumped without any distraction, he didn't get Force pushed into lava, so the movie itself indicates that no, he would not get Force pushed into lava while doing that.
    Because he has a rock behind him to land on.

    Then Obi burns from lava flung at him. Bad move on Obi’s part.
    Assuming Anakin throws accurately...so? Anakin's still dead.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    Because he has a rock behind him to land on.
    Force push down, not out. Or just Force hold-and-drop. Or Force pull. Force move-him-any-direction-except-safe, if you'd rather.

    And, again, Anakin wasn't Force-pushed into the lava when he did jump, so I don't see why Kenobi would push him if he did anything else.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2020-01-04 at 12:04 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Your bread looks like a rotary phone.
    This right here, is some prime quality culinary critique.

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    Maybe if the movie established high ground tactics earlier in the film so we know how difficult the move Anakin is tying to pull is. But it doesn’t. It establishes the opposite in the fight we just watched. So I’m left scratching my head why anyone would try to end the battle of brothers with essentially a pun.
    I always got the impression that it wasn't a case of the battle being actually over, but about Obi-Wan taunting Anakin into doing something stupid. He's clearly in a better position than Anakin, but not a massively better one – there are several things that Anakin could do to even things up (Force Push with lava, go downriver and get back onto solid ground, etc). So instead Obi-Wan gets Anakin to focus on him and attack him directly, which opens him up to having his legs cut off.

    If you watch Obi-Wan's duels throughout the PT, this is generally how he wins his fights. Either he manages to get in a surprise attack from behind (Maul), or he goads his enemy and gets in a cheap shot when their guard's down (Grievous) or he taunts them into a risky attack (Anakin). He's more of a pragmatic/opportunistic fighter, while Anakin is the technically stronger duellist.
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  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    I always got the impression that it wasn't a case of the battle being actually over, but about Obi-Wan taunting Anakin into doing something stupid.
    I agree with this position, because it makes much more sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Your bread looks like a rotary phone.
    This right here, is some prime quality culinary critique.

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post

    Assuming Anakin throws accurately...so? Anakin's still dead.
    So, you’re just going to ignore the actual important part of my post about why this exercise is pointless to continue down the argument then?

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Well, yeah, we can all say anything we want.

    Push is the go to move in combat, though, and we get it previously established that a force lock sends both participants flying (so pushing back won't help)

    The difference for me is in assuming that the combatants both know how their magic system works. If Force Lava throw is viable, it would have been much more useful when they were both on those floating platforms.

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    Well, yeah, we can all say anything we want.

    Push is the go to move in combat, though, and we get it previously established that a force lock sends both participants flying (so pushing back won't help)

    The difference for me is in assuming that the combatants both know how their magic system works. If Force Lava throw is viable, it would have been much more useful when they were both on those floating platforms.
    I think that is just a difference in how we watch things. For example in PM I noticed Obi and Qui doing a super speed move right in the beginning. And then the next three movies I tried to count all the times super speed would have solved a problem. I counted decently high. So I’m more prone to thinking that the people I’m watching are idiots. You’re more capable of just accepting that the characters are performing to the best of their abilities.

    Which, honestly, is probably a better way to enjoy movies. But I can’t really do it.

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    First one I really disagreed with you Saph. While yes, it’s the best of the prequels by a large margin. Each of the emotional beats kept being ruined for me by things taking me out of the story. Seeing Darth Vader for the first time? Cool. Seeing him crush droids around him just by talking? Awesome. Seeing him stick his chest out palm to the sky and say “NOOOoooOOOooO!” Had me laughing in the theater.

    Anakin and Obi’s fight scene? It’s the emotional conclusion to the arc of three movies. Watching men closer than brothers take up arms against each other. Only I could not get into the choreography. After a moment of furious well crafted action, they change to just twirling their weapons around them for no reason, followed by the strangest environment transitions where they’re fighting on towers and lava. I don’t even know how many disproportionate elevation clashes they had. Which just makes the final high ground moment seem forced. We’ve seen both these fighters do way more acrobatic stuff only to suddenly have high ground become the winning move.

    Maybe if the movie established high ground tactics earlier in the film so we know how difficult the move Anakin is tying to pull is. But it doesn’t. It establishes the opposite in the fight we just watched. So I’m left scratching my head why anyone would try to end the battle of brothers with essentially a pun.

    I also don’t really wonder if it was better to kill Anakin there. The guy was on fire. That’s not even hatred at that point that’s mercy. Obi leaving him to die a slow death from lava is one cold move.

    Any way. Can’t wait to read your next post. Canon chronology that’s Solo. A film I found thoroughly bland, but has some defenders. Or release order you get Force Awakens a film that is well crafted, but honestly I detest as much as some hate TLJ.
    1. Higher ground

    Maybe it is because I was watching the movie in German, but I never had any complaint with the higher ground stuff.
    I didn't take it literally. The way I have always understood it is that Obi Wan told Anakin that he is the superior Jedi. He is, generally, on a higher skill level than Jedi. And has the moral higher ground. This, to me, fit perfectly the acting of the two, where Anakin was furious and Obi Wan seemed very much one with the Force. Calm yet decisive.
    Yes, he also was standing on higher ground, but to me that was more symbolic than being the one crucial tactical advantage that made him win.

    2. Obi Wan leaving Anakin burning to death
    Yes I found that to be cruel as well. Even after all Annie did, just letting him die here miserably. Emotionally questionable. Plus, strategically not good, as we soon see.
    But I thought this was intentional, showing one more time that the old Jedi had flaws, flaws that led to their downfall.

    Compare to the NEW Jedi: Luke does Not leave Anakin to die after the Emperor almost killed him.

    Story telling wise, I think it is a nice parallel, and if that was done intentionally, kudos!
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  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    Well, yeah, we can all say anything we want.

    Push is the go to move in combat, though, and we get it previously established that a force lock sends both participants flying (so pushing back won't help)

    The difference for me is in assuming that the combatants both know how their magic system works. If Force Lava throw is viable, it would have been much more useful when they were both on those floating platforms.
    Or (and this is a running theme for Star Wars, IMO), it's badly written. The fight is too long, too ridiculous, and way overblown for me. But that's just me, let's focus on arguments not based around that.

    You keep saying that Kenobi could just Force Push Anakin into the lava. Well, earlier in the fight, we see them both Force push each other and cancel each other out. So they could do it again, why not, and Anakin doesn't get pushed into the lava. Or, if you want to go the if X is viable it would have been more useful there," then Force push would have been more useful when Anakin jumped than what Kenobi actually did, so Force pushing there must not have been viable, by that logic.

    Also, as to your claim that Kenobi dying if Vader also dies being acceptable for Kenobi... no it wouldn't be? Kenobi can't afford to assume Yoda will win, just as Yoda can't afford to assume Kenobi will win; they each have to do their very best to defeat their Sith and also survive themselves to maximize the chances of the Jedi getting to the babies. Kenobi dying would be winning the battle to lose the war, so far as he knows. Plunging the galaxy under the dominion of the Empire so long as Anakin dies. Does that sound like a trade Kenobi would make?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Your bread looks like a rotary phone.
    This right here, is some prime quality culinary critique.

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Episode VII: The Force Awakens (1/2)



    Introduction

    I’m really apprehensive going into this one. I want to like it, but I’ve no idea if I will. I mean, it got a 93% critic score and an 86% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and usually high scores in both categories is a good sign. Usually. On the other hand, it’s Star Wars, and that has the potential to skew the measurements in a big way. Fingers crossed.


    Thoughts While Watching

    • Star Wars! And into the opening crawl.
    • Wait, what? Luke Skywalker has vanished and the First Order’s ‘risen from the ashes of the Empire’ and is hunting him? And Leia’s leading the ‘Resistance’? What about the New Republic?
    • Okay, so we’re watching a Stormtrooper drop . . . I think.
    • Opening conversation is about Leia and the ‘despair’ in the galaxy. So . . . what, Return of the Jedi accomplished nothing? They’re acting as though the Empire is still around.
    • Well, it sure seems that way. Stormtroopers show up, attack the camp, and Protagonist Pilot Guy tries to shoot/run his way out.
    • The Death Star Plans secret information is hidden in R2-D2 BB-8. Seriously, guys?
    • And now Not-Darth-Vader shows up to demand the technical plans map to Skywalker from the dude, who says no, who he then kills. Seriously, guys?
    • ”So who talks first? You talk first? I talk first?” Arrrgh. This dialogue is SO BAD. He’s supposed to be seconds from death and he talks like this? It’s killing the dramatic tension.
    • Shiny stormtrooper shows up, Kylo Ren kills the villagers to demonstrate how evil he is. One stormtrooper, who I assume is Finn, doesn’t shoot.
    • Meet Rey. Her theme music’s nowhere as good as Luke’s, but eh, pretty hard to top John Williams. Wait, it was done by John Williams? Huh.
    • So I guess she’s a scavenger or something. Looks like a Star Destroyer and TIEs. I guess she’s due to meet not-R2.
    • And apparently she’s some sort of indentured servant.
    • This really looks like a carbon copy of Tatooine. Come on, guys . . .
    • The breakfast scene is nice, though.
    • As expected, Rey rescues R2 BB-8 from the Jawas whatever the hell that thing is.
    • Rey speaks a hell of a lot of languages for a labourer.
    • After some torture, Kylo Ren mind-reads the location of the not-Death-Star-plans out of pilot guy’s mind. Too bad he didn’t think to do that down on the planet. He gives some orders to some guy who looks like an overweight NEET cosplaying an Imperial officer. (The person watching next to me described him as ‘bargain bin Captain America’.)
    • Rey decides not to sell BB, gets pursued.
    • Finn breaks pilot guy out ‘because it’s the right thing to do’. Dude, you’re a ****ing Stormtrooper.
    • The TIE is . . . on a leash. Okay.
    • Wait, WTF? Finn couldn’t handle a battle but he just mowed down something like 30-50 of his ex-teammates? This isn’t a problem for him? No? Okay.
    • And now pilot guy decides to shoot the cannons instead of just running. Okay, that makes zero sense, but sure.
    • ”Yeah!” “Yeah!” “Did you see that?” “I saw it!” This dialogue is SO BAD.
    • The villains have a group incompetence meeting. But hey, apparently with the combined firepower of an entire Star Destroyer they can almost destroy one of their own TIE fighters, so go them.
    • Quicksand doesn’t work that way. Fine, whatever, it’s magical sci fi super quicksand.
    • Well, we’ve got our three protagonists. I assume now we’re waiting for the three of them to join up with the droid and head off-planet to the next adventure destination.
    • General NEET (okay, technically his name is Hux, but I really can’t take this guy seriously) explains that his soldiers are ‘programmed from birth’. Uh huh.
    • Person beside me watching Rey get attacked and Finn respond: “And he’s like ‘Pretty girl, must rescue!’ . . . In before she handles them herself before he gets there . . . Yup.” So it’s not just me that’s finding this predictable. (And this person doesn’t like or watch Star Wars.)
    • Finn does not act like a trained-from-birth Stormtrooper at all. I’m not really sure what he acts like, honestly, apart from an American twentysomething.
    • Finn’s attempts at chivalry don’t make any sense at all. They seem to be only in there so that Rey can go through the ‘don’t need your help’ routine.
    • Rey and Finn try to run off witty dialogue while being shot at.
    • And the Millenium Falcon is sitting around fuelled and with the keys in the ignition for Rey and Finn to run into, because of course it is. FFS, guys, you’re not even trying.
    • Apparently in addition to being a master linguist and hand-to-hand fighter, Rey can fly the Falcon just as well as Han, with enough time left over to make snarky comments to Finn.
    • Rey does a bunch of impossible stunts, and . . . yeah. I’m sorry, guys, I’m trying my best, but I’m really losing interest here. This is like a guide on ‘how not to develop a protagonist’. We’re 35 minutes in and I’m already bored. Phantom Menace was more exciting than this.
    • Finn and Rey’s dialogue is Anakin-and-Padme level in how bad it is. I’m spending more time typing than watching.
    • Back on the Flagship Incompetence, a nameless officer breaks the bad news to Kylo Ren, who proceeds to throw a temper tantrum and hack up some control panels. You realise the reason Vader was scary was because he DIDN’T do stuff like this, right?
    • BB-8 is the most watchable character in the movie so far, which isn’t a good sign.
    • And Han and Chewie show up. Okay, that’s actually the first big surprise in the movie so far.
    • Rey fangirls over Han, who’s more interested in having his ship back.
    • Person next to me is asking why I’m staring into space looking so pensive. I guess I don’t look like I’m having fun.
    • Harrison Ford’s trying his best to make this watchable. He’s having some success.
    • So Han’s in debt again, running cargo to try and make it back again. Did someone push a reset button on the universe?
    • It’s kind of depressing how much lamer this incarnation of Han is. Instead of being a dangerous smuggler, he’s a swindler. An incompetent swindler.
    • Random hijinks, some people get eaten alive because that’s funny when it happens to bad guys, and the Scottish gangster tips off the FO about the droid.
    • Oh, hey, it’s not-the-Emperor, and he’s got the Emperor’s giant holo-projector. This is Snoke, right?
    • The fact that Han Solo is Kylo Ren’s father is just dropped casually. This’d have been more of a surprise if I hadn’t had it spoiled ages ago, but honestly, the way it’s delivered is pretty anticlimactic anyway.
    • Guys, Rey’s already the best at like three different things, we don’t need a scene establishing her as a master mechanic too.
    • We finally get some backstory as to why Luke vanished. Apparently one of his new generation of Jedi (aka Kylo) turned against him and ‘destroyed it all’. Okay, so this is sounding very much like the Jedi Academy in the old EU. Thing is, though, when EU Luke had an apprentice turn to the Dark Side, he got back on the horse and kept trying. He didn’t just vanish.
    • Finn is still doing this ‘I’m a member of the Resistance’ thing. Can we hurry it up and get to the part where Rey finds out he’s lying? This is boring.
    • Cantina, mark 2.
    • Star Destroyer does a flyby in front of what’s apparently a planet with a giant gun sticking out of it. Kylo’s talking to Darth Vader’s skull. Pretty creepy.
    • Finn makes a speech about how the First Order’s unbeatable. Which reminds me, where’s the Republic? Why don’t they just go there?
    • Finn leaves, Rey goes after him, he finally breaks the news, they ‘split up’. For about ten minutes, I assume.
    • Rey gets a vision and we see her compressed backstory.
    • So after being given Han’s ship, Rey gets given Luke’s lightsaber as well, except this time she refuses the call.
    • ”Today is the end of the Republic”, delivered in front of a totally-not-Nazi background image. And at this point we’re halfway through, so we’ll pause.



    First Half Thoughts

    So far this movie is . . . bad. Not absolutely awful – I’ve seen worse – but pretty bad. It feels like they threw A New Hope in a blender, randomly grabbed about half of the chewed-up-mess that resulted, filled in the remaining half with stuff that vaguely fitted and which they thought sounded cool or modern, and served the whole thing up.

    I’m halfway through and my interest is flagging to the point that if I hadn’t committed to reviewing the whole thing, I’d be seriously considering just pressing ‘Quit’ and doing something else. The big goal of the movie so far has been for the Resistance to find Luke Skywalker and defeat the First Order, but we haven’t been given any reason to care about any of it. The First Order are just generic goons, a carbon copy of the Empire that’s sprung up out of nowhere and seem to have no goals other than ‘be evil’. Finn is annoying and unconvincing. Han is struggling to carry the story. The only goal we’ve been given with any emotional resonance is Rey’s desire to wait for her parents, and Glasses Alien just shot the legs out from under that by telling her they’re never coming back anyway!

    There’s still room for the movie to improve into something decent by developing the characters and filling in the gaps in the story, but I’m not sure if it’s going to do it. Was Phantom Menace this bad? I don’t remember it being this bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    Did someone push a reset button on the universe?
    Pretty much, yeah. My theory is that Disney and the scriptwriters looked at all the people complaining about the prequel trilogy - specifically the ones saying "Trade disputes/political intrigue/stilted romance/etc? That's not Star Wars!" - and decided to go as far as they could in the opposite direction without literally remaking the originals.
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    JJ Abrams has no original idea in his brain, and when he does, its only the start of an idea that hopefuly someone else will have to deal with after he gets his paycheck.

    Mystery boxes in mystery boxes.


    But hey! The next one makes the ideas in this one worth it.
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    Yes. Someone else who points out that Finn doesn’t act at all like his backstory. With all respect to Boyega (his acting is fine, he seems to be having a great time in the role) it’s like someone tried to put Starlord in a Star Wars movie with half the humor and none of the motivation.

    It’s infuriating. Stormtrooper turns good is I think the only actual original concept in the movie. And they do nothing with it! Where’s Rex? I need to go watch a Rex montage to get my annoyance with Finn out of my head.

  21. - Top - End - #81
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    For why Rey can fly the falcon and knows how to maintain it, it's explained in the film but not well. She's basically the slave/under the care of. The guy running the scavenger and repair outpost. He owns the Falcon and one of her jobs is working on all of the hips he owns. She worked on general upkeep of the falcon as well as assisting in flight.
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    I'm enjoying this thread immensely, please watch the rest!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    I'm enjoying this thread immensely, please watch the rest!
    Samesies, it's really cool to get a virgin watch analysis after I've seen em all myself!
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    Quote Originally Posted by super dark33 View Post
    JJ Abrams has no original idea in his brain, and when he does, its only the start of an idea that hopefuly someone else will have to deal with after he gets his paycheck.

    Mystery boxes in mystery boxes.


    But hey! The next one makes the ideas in this one worth it.
    Ditto this. When I first saw this movie I thought JJ was just doing a homage to a New Hope with a little bit of a spin on it. Only later did I learn that JJ is just really bad at writing.


    I did like this movie, I felt it had a lot of fun parts.
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    My favorite of the new films is up next, looking forward to seeing what side of the fence you fall on. Love it or hate it I'm interested.
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    Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2/2)



    Thoughts While Watching

    • All right, let’s do this.
    • The First Order parade is very Triumph of the Will. And looks to have . . . what, 2,000 to 3,000 soldiers or so? Assuming the New Republic’s about the size of the old, that’s about 1 soldier per planet.
    • They fire their giant planet gun. It looks a lot less cool than the Death Star.
    • Wait wait wait, what? Finn can see the blast? So speed of light’s just not a thing in Disney Star Wars?
    • The blast seems to take out 5 planets or so. I think. Hard to tell. There’s sad music, so I guess we’re supposed to be unhappy, but it’s all so hurried that I’m mostly left trying to figure out what happened.
    • Finn’s now on lightsaber delivery duty. His ‘I’m leaving’ episode took even less than 10 minutes.
    • Rey’s also a natural marksman, apparently, while the Stormtroopers go back to their usual inability to hit anything.
    • Actually, these guys are worse than OT stormtroopers. Han is shooting them without even looking where he aims. They’re like 4e minions or something.
    • Finn stabs a stormie. Another stormtrooper yells ‘Traitor!’ and sportingly drops his gun to fight Finn hand to hand. I guess he’s a 4e elite.
    • Han, Chewie, and Finn get captured. Maybe they ran out of hit points.
    • Oh, the Resistance have shown up. I was wondering where Poe had gone.
    • The battle scene is kind of cool, though I wish they’d shut up with the “Whoo-hoo!” and “Oh yeah!”
    • Rey gets hunted by Kylo. She’s using a gun instead of a lightsaber, so you know she’s going to lose this one.
    • Rey gets kidnapped, and Finn turns the ham level up to 11, running towards Kylo’s shuttle yelling “No! No! No! No! No! Nooooo! Nooooo! Reeeeeey!” (Yes, I paused and rewinded to count the ‘no’s.)
    • Old Leia meets Old Han.
    • And Finn meets Poe. They’re weirdly bro-like for two people who spent something like a total of 5 minutes together.
    • So the new objective is to rescue Rey. Okay, I can get behind that, at least that’s something we’ve been given a reason to care about.
    • Droid reunion.
    • Sad Old Couple Leia and Han talk about how they lost their son and how to get him back. It’s all vaguely depressing. This is how our heroes from the OT ended up?
    • Rey’s been taken to the Death Star, and Kylo Ren unmasks to reveal that he’s . . . a teenage prettyboy. Well, it’s different from Vader at least.
    • ”You’re so lonely. So afraid to leave.” I think this is supposed to be one of those edgy romances with a bad boy, but it just feels cringy.
    • Kylo fails at mind-reading.
    • So, I know this is Star Wars and the bad guys are supposed to be incompetent, but . . . if they actually want to get the map out of Rey, isn’t this the point at which they should just torture her? I mean, that’s what the Empire did, and it’s what they did with Poe. Though apparently Poe didn’t tell them anything, so maybe they’re just really bad at their jobs.
    • Rey fails at doing a mind trick.
    • Rey rerolls her d20 and succeeds at a mind trick. What? Seriously? This is stupid.
    • Kylo finds Rey gone and throws another tantrum. This guy is so lame.
    • Okay, I just laughed for the first time. Two stormies hear Kylo slashing stuff with his lightsaber and yelling “GUAAAAAARDS!”, look at each other, and leave. “Yeah, the boss is going off again, just let him cry it out.”
    • We get shown ‘Starkiller Base’ next to the Death Star. It’s like 50 times the volume, because apparently ‘make a superweapon, then make a bigger superweapon’ is the only plot JJ Abrams is interested in writing.
    • The not-Death-Star is aimed at the Rebel Base in a totally new development that is absolutely not copy-pasted from Episode IV. ”Without the Republic fleet, we’re doomed.” What do you mean, ‘without the Republic Fleet’? What happened to it? We saw like five ships get blown up. The Imperial Navy had 25,000 Star Destroyers. That’s the kind of scale Star Wars is supposed to work on.
    • The Resistance figure out a way to blow up the galactic superweapon in about 60 seconds.
    • ”If you see our son, bring him home.” It kind of feels like Leia’s sending Han to his death here.
    • The poor Falcon’s getting really abused in this movie.
    • So Finn was BSing just to get here to rescue Rey. Eh. Whatever.
    • Shiny stormtrooper reappears. I guess Finn’s supposed to fight her, then Rey beats Kylo, then Starkiller Base gets blown up, which I suppose is Poe’s job since he doesn’t have anything else to do. I’m watching the clock at this point, hoping the movie will be over sooner.
    • Well, shields are down. That was easy.
    • 12 X-wings to blow up a planet. Sure.
    • Finn and Solo are about to blow their way into the prison block, when they randomly spot Rey. On a base the size of a planet. Who’s stayed hidden all this time, but they see her completely by accident. You know what, I don’t even care anymore.
    • Rey gives Finn a carefully platonic hug. Need to make it clear that Kylo’s the love interest here.
    • Han, Finn, and Chewie have jumped from the shield control room, to the prison block, to the other side of the chasm where Rey is, and now they’re on the surface watching the dogfight. This is so bad. There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. Characters just teleport as the plot demands.
    • ”Two more X-wings down.” “That’s half our fleet destroyed.” Twelve X-wings is a SQUADRON, not a fleet, you furry-faced excuse for a soldier.
    • The ‘draining the sun’ is over the top but kind of cool.
    • Han goes after Kylo. Yeah, this won’t end well.
    • Han with Kylo’s scene is actually the first genuinely emotional moment in the story.
    • And Kylo kills him. Okay, there goes the only character I really cared about. At least he doesn’t have to get abused by the writers any more.
    • This whole thing of Kylo being ‘tempted by the light’ and and ‘torn apart’ and needing Han’s help to be ‘strong enough’ to turn away from it is really stupid. It’s like the writers wanted to do a switch-up/reversal of Anakin falling to the dark side, but didn’t really understand how to make it work.
    • Charges go off, ‘weapon will fire in two minutes’, yadda yadda.
    • Finn looks so shocked when Kylo Ren appears in front of him. “Wait, weren’t you behind us? This doesn’t make sense.”
    • Rey gets Force Pushed, Finn hams it up some more.
    • Wait, Kylo’s actually having trouble beating Finn in a saber duel? God, this guy’s lame.
    • Rey steps up for her inevitable victory. This is supposed to be a big triumphant moment but it feels so scripted and boring.
    • So does the dogfight. Telling us that the weapon will fire in 30 seconds doesn’t build tension, guys. We know what’s going to happen, we’ve seen Episode IV.
    • Poe finishes the trench run and blows up the Death Star.
    • Lightsaber duel is still going on. The visuals are pretty and it’s a nice idea to have it in a forest, but there are no stakes. Rey isn’t going to die, Kylo isn’t going to die, the battle’s already over because the Death Star blew up, so what’s the point in them even fighting?
    • Kylo, you suck. Go back to your Darth Vader fanboy shrine.
    • Rey emotes at Finn a bit. We know he’s not dead, guys.
    • JJ Abrams is like: “Okay, so they had a Death Star blow up planets, but I’m going to have a SUPER Death Star that’s ALSO a planet and it’s going to blow up FIVE planets! And then I’ll blow up the DEATH STAR PLANET TOO! I’m the best Star Wars director EVER!” I’m really fighting the urge to hit the fast forward button.
    • Okay, so the Resistance sent in one strike team of three people and a dozen X-wings. They lost one man on the ground and maybe half a dozen fighters, and blew up a planet-sized enemy base, all the defending starfighters, and the defending army. It’s the kind of casualty ratio you expect to see in a video game.
    • Leia gets told her husband’s dead, and R2 wakes up.
    • So they’ve got their map to Luke. Wonder what they’re going to do with his character after what they did to Han.
    • Rey tells Finn that they’ll see each other again. Who cares? Rey goes off in the Falcon with Chewie, and . . . is it over?
    • No, unfortunately not. We see her fly to some island.
    • And she finds . . . Luke, presumably. Yup, old man Luke. She offers him his lightsaber back. This is supposed to be very meaningful.
    • Oh, thank God, it’s over.


    Overall Thoughts

    Jesus, that was bad. You know how I was saying at the end of part 1 that there was room for the movie to improve? It didn’t. At all. It got worse.

    I’m not even sure where to start with this movie. There are so many things wrong with it that I could write for pages and still not be done.

    Okay, let’s try to be positive. What did the movie do well?

    – The visuals are decent, though not as good as the prequels.
    – The music is decent, though not as good as the prequels.
    – The action scenes are . . . decent. Sometimes. In parts.
    – BB-8 is pretty cute.
    – The acting isn’t awful. Better than Prequel Anakin.
    – There’s some nostalgia appeal from seeing all the callbacks.

    Yeah, that’s about it.

    What about the characters?

    Poe - pretty much a nonentity. He’s a pilot. He flies an X-wing and blows stuff up. That’s about it. We don’t know who he is, what he likes, where he comes from, or what he wants, and we’re given no reason to care.

    Finn - Finn pisses me off. He was potentially such an interesting character. An ex-Stormtrooper joining the rebels? There’s so much you could have done with that! You could have shown his training, explained why he serves the Empire, demonstrated where the Empire’s soldiers come from, have him struggle with issues of loyalty where he has to decide whether to shoot his old companions. The film just . . . doesn’t do that. At all. Finn becomes 100% anti-Imperial instantly, and his big ‘conflict’ is whether to sign up with the Rebels or just run away. The hammy over-the-top acting doesn’t help – it would have worked if he was some kind of con artist or entertainer, but it’s awful for a child soldier.

    Rey - So I remember that when TFA came out there were huge flamewars about whether Rey was a Mary Sue. I can see where that comes from (the mind trick scene especially) but I don’t think Rey’s a Mary Sue. The problem’s more that she doesn’t really have any strong characterisation other than “be really really good at everything”. So every time the writers try to develop her, they can’t really think of anything to do except going back to how special she is. I’ve just watched a 2 hour film that’s supposedly all about Rey, and if you asked me to describe what sort of person she is I couldn’t give you an answer.

    As for the villains . . . dear God, the villains. These guys are about as competent and threatening as the Trade Federation from Episode I. Except the Trade Federation was supposed to be a joke – it’s right there in the title, they’re the ‘Phantom Menace’. The First Order are supposed to be a real menace, and they’re not. These clowns are supposed to be a threat to the galaxy? They can’t hold onto prisoners, they can’t win battles, they can’t stop their own people deserting, they can’t even catch an astromech droid! They’ve apparently built a planet sized superweapon powerful enough to wipe out star systems, but three guys and a squadron of starfighters blow it up in fifteen minutes. The only one who comes across as even the slightest bit threatening is Kylo Ren, and Kylo spends the film failing at literally everything he does – he fails to get the map from BB-8, he fails to recapture Finn, he loses to Rey about three different times and in three different ways. His sole villainous accomplishment is to kill Han, and the only reason he managed to succeed at that is because Han walked up to him unarmed and didn’t defend himself!

    I could list more bad things about the movie – the awful dialogue, the huge narrative holes in the setting, the way characters teleport as the plot demands, the lack of any sense of galactic scale, the way it rips off Episode IV over and over again – but I really don’t want to.

    Final Grade

    D-, and that’s probably being generous. It’s a barely-passable action flick if you just turn your brain off and watch the pretty explosions. As a Star Wars film and as a continuation of the saga, it’s crap.
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    Default Re: The Great Star Wars Watchthrough

    Saph, one recommendation - when you're done with the movies, I recommend doing The Mandalorian. It's only 8 episodes, all between 29-38 minutes, so even if you binge the whole thing it's just a really long movie. And I think it'd make a great feather in the cap of a great watch through of all the live action content. Plus, I think you'll love it.

    Bytheway, I'm still greatly enjoying this.

    ETA: one other thing. Grade aside, how much do you still agree with your prediction?
    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    The Force Awakens

    Now we're into guesswork. From what I've read and heard online, I've got the worrying feeling that TFA is going to end up being a carbon copy of A New Hope with the serial numbers filed off. On the other hand, the special effects are supposed to be good.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2020-01-05 at 10:12 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    [*]Wait, Kylo’s actually having trouble beating Finn in a saber duel? God, this guy’s lame.[*]Rey steps up for her inevitable victory. This is supposed to be a big triumphant moment but it feels so scripted and boring.
    So, I hate this movie. Really, find it crap. Think it's worse than TLJ (and strangely a lot of the complaints people find in TLJ I see in TFA). So, assume every complaint you say that I don't comment on I agree with, or perhaps hate more than you.

    That said, there are a few things in the movie I find interesting (at least in theory) or well done.

    Thing one, this fight scene. I like it, much better than anything in PT. Everyone actually looked like they were trying to fight and weren't performing an over-choreographed dance. Driver, or at least, Driver's stunt man (as a lot of the moves happen suspiciously when his back is turned to the audience) is using actual medieval swordfighting techniques that adds weight and to the movement and just feels far more visceral than all the backflips.

    That and that thing he does where he smacks at the wound he took earlier in the movie from when Chewie shot him? That was great choreography. Smacking around a wound makes the pain flare up instantly, so after it dies down it's easier to ignore it. Having had a bit of a rougher youth than I'm actually proud of, I immediately got what he was doing. And thought it added a reminder that Kylo is fighting wounded, hit by a weapon that the movie set up three times before is very powerful. Anyway, I liked it. But, it could just be me trying to find a kernel of joy in this ****show of a movie.

    [*]JJ Abrams is like: “Okay, so they had a Death Star blow up planets, but I’m going to have a SUPER Death Star that’s ALSO a planet and it’s going to blow up FIVE planets! And then I’ll blow up the DEATH STAR PLANET TOO! I’m the best Star Wars director EVER!” I’m really fighting the urge to hit the fast forward button.
    JJ is a hack.

    Finn - Finn pisses me off. He was potentially such an interesting character. An ex-Stormtrooper joining the rebels? There’s so much you could have done with that! You could have shown his training, explained why he serves the Empire, demonstrated where the Empire’s soldiers come from, have him struggle with issues of loyalty where he has to decide whether to shoot his old companions. The film just . . . doesn’t do that. At all. Finn becomes 100% anti-Imperial instantly, and his big ‘conflict’ is whether to sign up with the Rebels or just run away. The hammy over-the-top acting doesn’t help – it would have worked if he was some kind of con artist or entertainer, but it’s awful for a child soldier.
    I have already mentioned multiple times that I agree with every word and thought in this paragraph.

    Rey - So I remember that when TFA came out there were huge flamewars about whether Rey was a Mary Sue. I can see where that comes from (the mind trick scene especially) but I don’t think Rey’s a Mary Sue. The problem’s more that she doesn’t really have any strong characterisation other than “be really really good at everything”. So every time the writers try to develop her, they can’t really think of anything to do except going back to how special she is. I’ve just watched a 2 hour film that’s supposedly all about Rey, and if you asked me to describe what sort of person she is I couldn’t give you an answer.
    So, I mentioned page 1 that I went through a comparison of the main characters of each trilogy to compare them and answer the question of whether or not Rey is a Mary Sue. I ultimately came to the same conclusion as you. However, I also came up with a sort of rule about character power. When you have a character whose characterisation is in some way about them having power the three go to stories about their power that makes them not come across as a boring character are:

    1) They cannot control the power, they have to learn to be better at it. Meaning they start the journey bad. Luke is like this.
    2) They are amazing at the power, they have to learn how to not be a jerk with their power. Anakin is like this.
    3) They are put in a position where their power is not useful and/or they find someone better than them. Luke does this during his confrontation with the Emperor. It's not his power that wins, it's him pleading for the love of his father.

    Rey doesn't do any of this (until the third movie... a little). So she is just this super powered character that stomps all opposition after her second try. She's not a Mary Sue exactly, she's just boring.

    As for the villains . . . dear God, the villains. These guys are about as competent and threatening as the Trade Federation from Episode I. Except the Trade Federation was supposed to be a joke – it’s right there in the title, they’re the ‘Phantom Menace’. The First Order are supposed to be a real menace, and they’re not. These clowns are supposed to be a threat to the galaxy?
    And this is the one thing that I thought had potential to be interesting (though it never was). The Empire very clearly drew from fascist ideology and imagery in the OT. Having the new villains being neo-fascists with no clear ideology, are clearly incompetent when compared to those they are inspired by, and seem to have risen up from the descendants of those that stopped fascism the first time. Well, I don't think I need to point out some obvious parallels here.

    It also, gives the potential to watching a pathetic villain grow into a real threat.

    I don't think it's really a spoiler to say they don't do anything with any of that.

  29. - Top - End - #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    Thing one, this fight scene. I like it, much better than anything in PT. Everyone actually looked like they were trying to fight and weren't performing an over-choreographed dance. Driver, or at least, Driver's stunt man (as a lot of the moves happen suspiciously when his back is turned to the audience) is using actual medieval swordfighting techniques that adds weight and to the movement and just feels far more visceral than all the backflips.
    Fair point on this one – the choreography isn't bad at all, and having Kylo be wounded is something potentially interesting. I was just really tired and bored by this point in the movie so I was already prejudiced against it. Plus there's the stakes issue – the battle is over, the Resistance has already won, Kylo has already failed, the only thing this duel accomplishes is to reinforce Kylo's failure by having Rey kick his teeth in even more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    However, I also came up with a sort of rule about character power. When you have a character whose characterisation is in some way about them having power the three go to stories about their power that makes them not come across as a boring character are:

    1) They cannot control the power, they have to learn to be better at it. Meaning they start the journey bad. Luke is like this.
    2) They are amazing at the power, they have to learn how to not be a jerk with their power. Anakin is like this.
    3) They are put in a position where their power is not useful and/or they find someone better than them. Luke does this during his confrontation with the Emperor. It's not his power that wins, it's him pleading for the love of his father.
    This is a pretty good breakdown, actually. I'll try to remember this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    ETA: one other thing. Grade aside, how much do you still agree with your prediction?
    Well, it's not a total ripoff of Episode IV, but it copies way too much. That said, at the end of the day, the copying is a minor problem. The big problem with TFA, and the one I really can't forgive it for, is that it's boring.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    • Sad Old Couple Leia and Han talk about how they lost their son and how to get him back. It’s all vaguely depressing. This is how our heroes from the OT ended up?
    • And Kylo kills him. Okay, there goes the only character I really cared about. At least he doesn’t have to get abused by the writers any more.
    • So they’ve got their map to Luke. Wonder what they’re going to do with his character after what they did to Han.
    Yeah, if you already disliked TFA this much, and had things like this among your thoughts about it... oh boy. I can't say I expect The Last Jedi to go over well with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    As for the villains . . . dear God, the villains. These guys are about as competent and threatening as the Trade Federation from Episode I. Except the Trade Federation was supposed to be a joke – it’s right there in the title, they’re the ‘Phantom Menace’. The First Order are supposed to be a real menace, and they’re not. These clowns are supposed to be a threat to the galaxy? They can’t hold onto prisoners, they can’t win battles, they can’t stop their own people deserting, they can’t even catch an astromech droid! They’ve apparently built a planet sized superweapon powerful enough to wipe out star systems, but three guys and a squadron of starfighters blow it up in fifteen minutes. The only one who comes across as even the slightest bit threatening is Kylo Ren, and Kylo spends the film failing at literally everything he does – he fails to get the map from BB-8, he fails to recapture Finn, he loses to Rey about three different times and in three different ways. His sole villainous accomplishment is to kill Han, and the only reason he managed to succeed at that is because Han walked up to him unarmed and didn’t defend himself!
    Thank you! Dear gods, but this was my biggest, most consistent issue with the sequels (well, the two I've seen - after TLJ I no longer even want to see the conclusion, so I haven't seen Rise of Skywalker). The villains, and especially Kylo Ren, are just pathetic and non-threatening. They can't carry a film. Ren being a Vader wannabe/fanboy is a lame character idea to begin with, but if you had to have him be like that, he cannot be the main antagonist, because if he's like that he can't be taken seriously as a threat. At best he could be more of a comedic secondary antagonist, maybe. Especially when he loses a direct fight with the main protagonist in the first film when she literally had never held a lightsaber before and found out only hours ago that she's even force-sensitive at all. Injured or no, someone with actual training at these superpowers losing to someone in that position just completely undercuts them as a villain.

    Still, at the end of TFA, as disappointing as I found it, I still thought the sequels could be salvaged if the next film did better. Developed the characters, made the villains more threatening, did something meaningful and fun with Luke. After all it wasn't going to be Abrams directing it, so there was some hope the new director would be better. And well, you'll judge for yourself how that went, and I'm sure you can glean how I think it went already.
    Toph Pony avatar by Dirtytabs. Thanks!

    "When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." -C.S. Lewis

    "We each decide our own sense of right and wrong. The rest, I leave to my sword." - Yuri Lowell, Tales of Vesperia

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