Review—Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILERS!)

Yeah, but she apparently isn’t so good at determining which parts are most valuable. I suppose most of it is just the scrapyard guy being a dick, but it’s almost played like she’s a neophyte who goes into the junkyard and strips the cars of all the used wiper blades and stained floormats and is surprised when she doesn’t get the prices that the EFI computers and rare chrome trim pieces would get. And again, mechanics and scrappers are not pilots, as a rule. I could take an airplane apart, given the right toolbox, and I might even be able to put it back together given certain other crucial bits of information, but I’d need to have a bunch of lessons before I could fly one.


LALALALA I’ll see you all after Sunday.


Who could resist driving the hell out of a car one has fixed? Not me, not you. I’m not going to find a qualified driving instructor before testing the clutch. Damn the manufacturer’s recommendation.


It sure seems to take a lot of hammering this point into their skulls. The first Death Star was brand-new when it blew up Alderaan. It was destroyed utterly mere hours later, couple of days at the most. The second Death Star was destroyed before it was even finished. At least this one got to blow up some planets (anyone know what those planets’ significance was? Were they tactically important, or just in the way?), but still demanded a ridiculous investment of time, effort, and treasure to construct (you’ll remember that Young Tarkin had the first Death Star’s plans in the works at the end of Episode III, some twenty years before the damned thing got finished), and this new one was, what, ten times as big? Twenty?


Agreed. Chewbacca and the lack of him doing things he should have done bugged me. He would have gone up and bear hugged Leia after Han died…I mean he did NOTHING but walk past her…WTF. He has a life debt to Han and now it’s passed to Leia for sure.

Agreed on R2 part…didn’t make much sense.

The John Williams score was very weak…actually the most disappointing thing about the movie. No epic music, no epic song, no epic moment.

As for Luke…they should have not even shown him. End the movie with the Falcon leaving the base. And yep…Luke would come down to meet them for sure. He loves Chewbacca and Chewy is like a brother to him…look at him in Empire giving Chewie a scratch on the neck before battle.

This movie was lacking those moments…I hope the next directors redeem this missing qualities of the film.

I agree about Ren…hes good on paper…didn’t execute it right…should have left him out of the movie more and had Phasma as main villian for most of it chasing down Finn. Ren should have only shown up at the base. And yep if you can hold people and stop a blaster…how do you lose to the kids.

I don’t like how Rey just is super good already. I didn’t like the cell block scene at all.


It just bugs me that Rey turns out to be a better pilot than Finn, and at least he’s been through Basic Training. Then again, he’s former Sanitation and newly-minted Infantry, and has no idea how to shoot or fly in a TIE fighter, so at least they play him believably. I just think we must be missing more of Rey’s backstory than we think if she’s going to be such a talented natural pilot.

But y’know, I just rewatched The Empire Strikes Back last week, and I was surprised to see just how much time the Falcon spent flying through the asteroid field while outmaneuvering TIE and Star Destroyer pursuit, while Han and Chewie were in the back with a toolbox dicking around with the hyperdrive. Leia was in the copilot seat, and I guess I assumed she was doing the flying, but maybe the Falcon just has a ridiculously good evasive autopilot. Which I’d totally buy, knowing how well your average Google self-driving car might outperform any human driver.

I certainly wouldn’t mind Leia and/or Rey being the finest pilots in the movies, if the movies ever gave us any story backup to support it.


It’s actually pretty close to a remake.

  • Stolen plans = Stolen Map
  • Desert Planet and escaping from Stormtroopers = Desert Planet escaping from First order Stormtroopers
  • escaping from Tatooine in falcon = escaping from Jakku in Falcon
  • Giant Base blowing up Alderaan= Giant Base blowing up mulitple planets
  • Catina with Aliens and band and booking passage off = Pirate Catina with Aliens and band and booking passage off
  • Infiltrate Death Star to save damsel = Inflitrate First Order Planet base to save damsel
  • Obi-Wan dies knowingly vs Vader = Han dies knowingly vs Kylo Ren
  • Secret Rebel base with plans going over how to blow up giant death star = secret Rebel base blowing up giant planet star killer
  • Trench Run = Trench Run
  • Leaving to go find Han Solo (empire) = Leaving to go find Luke Skywalker (force awakens)

The really only new things was the Saber fights that weren’t in Star Wars like this…just the short one with Vader/Obi.

I mean it’s Star Wars out of order almost identically in same scenes.


Spoiler Alert: Snape Kills Boba Fett.


There’s a vast difference between “a remake” and “hitting familiar beats to engage a sense of nostalgia and familiarity while setting up a new plot with new characters”. Yup, there were escapes and rescues in both movies… and in Mad Max. But I wouldn’t call Mad Max a remake of A New Hope, either.

No, it’s not a “remake”, nor is it “identical” to A New Hope.


But now we all know that oscillators can be vulnerable. I expect a lot of DRM on our oscillators from here on out.


This. To use a different example, Tron: Legacy follows the overall arc of the original Tron film pretty faithfully, even going so far as to spend a decent amount of time on a solar sail ship for the mid-film breather. I don’t think there’s an effective argument to be made that Legacy is a remake of Tron, though. Even though they both follow a near-identical structure, the story being told in each film is very different.

To go even farther afield, another good example is the Myst series. When you break it down far enough, the third game (Myst III: Exile) is a pretty blatant retread of the original: you have a central island world with a (rotating!) elevator that takes you to a room where you gain the information you need to unlock the other worlds. The antagonist goads you into visiting these other worlds to bring back something he needs. Each world ends with obtaining a piece of paper that you feed into an object back on the hub world that rewards you with a new message from the game’s antagonist. The worlds you visit even have some superficially similar themes to worlds in the original. But that doesn’t make Exile a remake of Myst, it just means they borrowed the original game’s perfectly functional storytelling template, and hung an entirely new story on it.

The same is true for ANH/TFA. Yes, the films share a lot of the same structure and themes. But the stories themselves are different, and it’s in the telling that a story really stands out. Was it a safe decision to stick so close, thematically, to an existing story? Oh, very certainly. But I don’t think it was a bad decision, nor do I think it hurts the film at all. It was almost as important for this film to redeem the franchise after the prequel trilogy as it was to do something to move the series forward, and I think it treads that line very well by competently remixing the original film’s formula.


Let’s remember that this is the first SW film made by Disney, who needed to prove that SW was still a viable franchise, that they could be trusted with making a SW movie, and that they could set up a new generation of SW stories. I think it’s telling that they chose JJ Abrams to handle it, who is a very competent director known for playing well in other people’s sandboxes. Now that they’ve set the stage and gotten audiences on familiar-yet-new ground, the much less ‘safe’ Rian Johnson is handling the next sequel, which I am fascinated to see.


Oh yeah? Then again, there’s already been an excellent argument that R2 was the secret leader of the rebellion, and this one is even better:


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He’s a great infantryman (in his backstory, he was one of the best cadets of his class) but that’s the extent of his training.

As for Rey, it is heavily implied that she is Luke’s daughter, which is why she is an exceptionally gifted mechanic and pilot. It’s a Skywalker thing and also an indication that she’s not just strong with the Force, but strong enough to be the true heir of the Skywalker legacy.

Where? I’ve heard that mentioned earlier today, but I don’t remember any reference in the movie. I don’t think anyone mentions Luke having any kind of offspring or romantic/sexual relationship (such a mention would have been by Han or Leia, I guess, and if they made such a mention it must have been drowned out by my popcorn chewing). I remember that first trailer (with the re-recorded ROTJ speech about Luke’s family) implying it, but where in the movie does anyone give any indication that Rey might be related to Luke? I’ll pay extra attention when I see the movie again on Monday.

Eh. I’m a good mechanic as was my father before me, but that’s because he taught me how, not because he sired me. Sure, those Skywalker genes might help one be an excellent pilot (the name sure is fitting that way), but the fact remains that Luke honed his skills in Beggar’s Canyon, while Anakin had podracing. If Rey has had any opportunity to fly at all before the movie starts, we’re not shown or told of it.

But that’s a niggling point, I concede. She can tell at a glance that a decrepit YT-1300 freighter is “junk,” and to be honest, I never thought the Falcon ever looked more or less junky than any other ship we see in the movies (except maybe for Padme’s ostentatious chrome ship in that movie I’ve mostly forgotten), but we’re meant to infer that she knows her ships. Or at least knows her junk. :wink: I just wasn’t convinced that she would necessarily be so good at flying one. I also think it’s kinda silly how much Abrams had the Falcon physically bouncing off the ground without sustaining any real damage, but also it’s not too believable having a crashed Star Destroyer and X-Wing sitting remarkably intact on the sand, when they are so easily obliterated in space. Another one of those “Enterprise in the Iowa cornfield” moments, I guess.


I thought the movie heavily implied that she was Han and Leia’s kid. (The father I never had; the interplay with ren; etc.)


If Rey is Luke’s (or Han & Leia’s) daughter, wasn’t that a completely dick move to strand her on a desert planet to live life as a hand-to-mouth scavenger?!?!

I’m only gonna believe she’s Luke’s kid if he doesn’t know he sired a daughter.


It seemed to be the capital planet of the new (free) republic, plus everything else in the same system - which arguably means this was the most successful superweapon they’ve built so far.

Exactly. Notice also the two pearls in Leia’s ring, perhaps signifying her two children.

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Continuing the discussion from Review—Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILERS!):

[quote=“Donald_Petersen, post:55, topic:70920, full:true”]

Where? I’ve heard that mentioned earlier today, but I don’t remember any reference in the movie. I don’t think anyone mentions Luke having any kind of offspring or romantic/sexual relationship (such a mention would have been by Han or Leia, I guess, and if they made such a mention it must have been drowned out by my popcorn chewing). I remember that first trailer (with the re-recorded ROTJ speech about Luke’s family) implying it, but where in the movie does anyone give any indication that Rey might be related to Luke? I’ll pay extra attention when I see the movie again on Monday.[/quote]

There are tons of references. It’s the dominant theory right now.

  • J.J. Abrams said that Rey’s lack of a surname is completely intentional.
  • Story arc parallels are so obvious. Force gifted orphan, living on a desert planet, natural ace pilot and mechanic.
  • Anakin’s lightsaber “calling out” to Rey and Rey receiving a vision from it.
  • The vision Rey receives is of Luke and the destruction of the new temple.
  • Maz Kanata’s constant reaffirmations. “The lightsaber calls to you.”
  • Early the film, Rey dreams about islands in an ocean. Hmm, wonder who she’s thinking of?
  • The pulling-the-lightsaber-out-of-snow scene between her and Kylo. This is a really blatant one. It’s a shameless reference to Luke doing the same thing on Hoth when he was about to become wampa chow.
  • R2D2 remains dormant the whole movie… Until Rey shows up on the base.
  • When Rey has flashbacks of herself as a child, she’s holding someone’s LEFT hand. Kinda weird. Maybe the parent holding her wanted to feel her hand with his own since his dominant hand doesn’t have nerve endings anymore?
  • Also strongly implied that Rey trained at the new Jedi Temple when she was young. She has difficulty remembering exactly what happened but her parents left her on a backwater desert planet, with a wise old man (lLor San Tekka) to watch over her. Sound familiar?
  • X-wing pilot doll. X-wing pilot helmet.

She’s just plastered with hints and foreshadowing.

It’s because YT-1300 freighters were mass-produced, old ass ships even in the original trilogy timeline, so by the time of new trilogy, it’s a straight up junker. It’s the same reason why you don’t see Y-wings in the new trilogy: they’re slow, ancient ships that first saw service in the Clone Wars. The Rebel Alliance only used them because they were too poor to field or develop any other type of fighter-bombers.

Also, those leftover ships are from the Battle of Jakku. Many of those ships were actually hit by EMP cannons, resulting in power outages but no laser damage to the hull. That crashed Star Destroyer (the Inflictor) was put down into the planet by order of the ship’s captain. You can imagine that sand is much more forgiving on starship bodies than rocks.

Besides which, spaceships are pretty damn tough. I wouldn’t expect a tank to take much damage if it was grating alongside a rock wall either.