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The Force Awakens: Official Review Thread - ** SPOILERS **

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This thread contains spoilers

This is the official spoilerific TFA review thread. Please post all reviews containing spoilers in this thread. There’s no need to preface your post with spoiler warnings.

WARNING: Any behavior that requires a mod to intervene in this topic and potentially ruin the movie for them before they’ve had a chance to see it will result in an instant and permanent ban for all offending parties. Keep it civil and be on your best behavior. If you disagree with someone’s opinion, do so politely. I’m not kidding about banning people.

SPOILERS BEGIN NOW

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The things you pwn end up pwning you.

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jedimasterobiwan said:

han is killled by his son ben aka kylo ren and luke is in at the end

I’m not sure what to make of you.

Anyway, I found TFA overwhelming on first viewing and need to see it again before I can really render any sort of assessment. It was full of surprises, to be sure, and raised an awful lot of questions. The ending was an enormous tease! I really could have done without the whole doomsday device component, because it felt tacked on.
Like I said, I’m gonna need to see this again to really process it.

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So, went to the midnight screening yesterday here in Mexico and I really, really enjoyed it, had a lot of fun.

I think it will probably, like the prequels, split the fan base (maybe a bit less than the prequels), since it is very close to a remake of Star Wars, with quite a bit of Empire too, and I can see why that’ll bother people, and the Starkiller is kinda dumb.

For me though, while it rehashes a lot of scenes from Star Wars (the cantina bit being the worst and most unneeded offender), it wasn’t such a big deal. I felt this movie was more about the characters than the story. One of my biggest problems with the prequels is not so much the cgi or jar-jar, but that the characters are awful, Qui-Gon is boring, Obi-Wan is boring, Padme is… well I don’t know if there’s an english word for beyond boring and Anakin is a very unlikeable character. On TFA I found the characters quite interesting, fun and with emotions, you can see their friendship ( they don’t have to tell you they’re friends)

It’s a movie with heart and humor and I loved it, and I guess I’m a sucker for nostalgia, which this movie has tons. I loved when Rey and Finn are running and Finn asks about “that ship” and Rey says it’s garbage, the ship of course turns out to be the Falcon.

I also have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Harrison Ford, this is not old, bored Ford, it’s Han Solo from Star Wars and Empire. It is a shame though, we’ll never see Luke, Han and Leia together on screen again, the ewok celebration will forever remain the last time we see them together.

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Thought it was pretty fn kewl.
Liked kyle
Liked rey?
Got over not liking bb
Starkiller not the best
Cgi sith golem could done without
Did Luke go out and erase every map in the galaxy?
Liked the falcon
Loved the action suspense and drama I was totally absorbed.

Then the guy from that hero’s show sucked me back to reality.

4.5/5 that 12 parcel better than the entire PT

I am so relieved

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I thought the movie was fun. Good action, not too serious. The only thing that bothers me is Luke’s lightsaber. In ESB, didn’t it (along with his hand) fall to oblivion down the shaft in Cloud City? Did someone find it and keep it all these years???

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Not sure if you’re familiar with that user, but he has aspbergers or something. I used to think he was, as you say, but as far as I can tell he’s serious as far as he can tell.

Anyway, my immediate thoughts after arriving home from the theater:

Really enjoyable film, overall. JJ’s work as a director was really phenomenal. He captured a great blend of old and new style film. Of course I never felt like I was watching a film from the 70s, but it had the same kind of earnest vibe through many sections of it, including just about every time Han opened his mouth. On that note, I wasn’t expecting Han on screen, just Harrison Ford, despite how many people said he brought the character back. He really did, and I was impressed. He nailed the humor, the sentiment, the action. All of it.

Carrie? Not so much. But I know she doesn’t act anymore. It turned out better than I expected, and not including her wasn’t an option. But you can just tell that, despite JJ probably loving the fact that he’s working with her, the need to use her is somewhat a burden. Most of her lines are short. I may be wrong, but they seem to have DVNR’ed her face. Wrinkles come and go. That was… kind of a bummer (unless I was looking for something that didn’t happen in reality). There was one shot where only a slight shift in camera happened, making it almost a jump shot, probably to piece together parts of her lines that worked best. I think I’m being overly harsh because she was the only weak link among an incredible crew of actors. It was good to have her back. Her non-verbal acting was pretty good, and her one actual scene with a conversation was functional enough.

Luke. His lacking and Han’s fate were the two things that I definitely had spoiled for me. His appearance itself was pulled off very well. Very nice last shot. I suppose we won’t know what we were possibly missing until the next Episode or two are out. If Harrison had no chance of coming on for VIII, I’m glad he got all the ‘old folks screentime’ on this go.

I was impressed by the new cast. Driver, as everyone has said, completely nailed it. They cast another great unknown with Daisy. Finn pulled off the humor pretty well. I was pleasantly surprised with him, having seen only nonsense shouting bits in the trailers. Unlike Harmy, I think the Maz CGI worked pretty well. I’ll agree for Snoke, though. No, that face couldn’t have been produced easily with conventional effects. But a fractured face could have been pulled off. Even heavily modified video of a real actor. The Snoke effect really didn’t work for me. It could get better or worse when he’s not a hologram.

Harmy also pointed out that the CGI ships were really unpleasant to his eye. I think almost every one of the gratuitous shots was in the trailers. I thought many of the other ones worked well, and that the problems that the fighter battles did have were due to the ‘camera’ work rather than the action itself. Yeah, could have been better for us cranks who are critical of CGI-fests, but I liked 80-90% of the ship battles, and the rest were surely created with the trailers in mind.

The script, as far as the dialogue goes, was stellar. The plot was enjoyable. I agree of course that it’s on the simple side. It did hit a lot of the points of SW/ANH, but it never felt like I was watching a reboot of that film. It was a major concern of mine, as on paper the parallels were starting to feel huge. But it’s the characters and the actors that brought this script to life, not the plot points. Still, could have used something besides Starkiller. I liked the idea of it being able to wipe out the Rebels even without a strong empire. It didn’t need to be floating orb subject to X-wing attack, though. The real threat in the film was new, and it was about Kylo determining Luke’s location. We worried for Luke and Rey, but the Starkiller was just an excuse to get the X-wings airborne. 😦

I’m still processing how I feel about the plot in general. The pacing, the flow, etc. I thoroughly enjoyed many of the points, and I wouldn’t say the overall plot disappointed at all. But I think the missed opportunities to do more will become louder with rewatches. If JJ really wanted that ANH feel, it could certainly have been more self-contained.

I am curious to see what we grumps thought of the color timing. I thought the color looked nice, overall. Most of the exterior shots had natural timing to them. But there was a lot of variety, and I thought it worked. A lot of blue. A few orange shots, but little of the dreaded orange n’ teal. If anything, blue and red was more common. Also: Lens flare was never something that bothered me, but I think zero lens flare would have been the correct amount for JJ on this one.

My ranking as of right now places it above RoTJ. Subject to change.

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Also, did everyone else not get trailers? Was this them trying to make it like a 1977 experience? Were there trailers after the film? I was really surprised to have it start immediately after the lights went down.

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towne32 said:

Also, did everyone else not get trailers? Was this them trying to make it like a 1977 experience? Were there trailers after the film? I was really surprised to have it start immediately after the lights went down.

Damn. Nah dude, we got a shit-ton of trailers! BvS, Civil War, Zootopia, Independence Day 2: Independencier, X-Men: Apocalypse, a new stop motion film from Laika Animation, and I think some other shit. I don’t remember.

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RU.08 said:
I already read both those points months ago in a “leaked” script overview, that turned out to be surprisingly accurate.

I did read those things (aside from Ben). But I’m glad I avoided leaks that tried to storyboard the whole film and such.

I’m happy to have been somewhat familiar with the sets and scenery, to have it be familiar as I see it all actually executed so well. Perhaps leaks also tapered expectations a bit. I would have been disappointed in Snoke’s look if I hadn’t seen it a few days prior. Same with Luke’s absence.

Still, next time I’m going to go much lighter on the spoilers.

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I got in a very minor fender bender on the way home from the theater that took longer than it should have to sort out, so I’m simultaneously too jittery and too drained to write about this movie in any kind of detail, but in spite of some nitpicky stuff, I really liked it and am absolutely foaming at the mouth to see what comes next. I know that it’s lightyears better than the prequels, but I’m going to have to see it again probably several times before I can figure out where I place it in an overall ranking in relation to ROTJ. Right now, though, I’m just breathing a sigh of relief and basking in the full knowledge that they pulled it off.

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Alright. First things first. Best pacing since Empire! Holy shit! The film grabs you and doesn’t let go. That’s a cliched statement, but I think it’s really true! Second, I loved every new character, and thought this was Harrison’s best performance in years! I see a lot of people harping on Snoke. I dug him, man! We saw just enough of him. I can’t wait for his role to be expanded on in the follow-ups. Finn, for me, was the stand-out newbie! Thought Boyega did an amazing job! Rey too. Those two were near flawless together! And Ben Larry Jacen Kylo Ren Solo… goddamn, man. I’m glad I didn’t waste $30 on this Kylo Ren mask, cause I love this villain! Phasma was very underused, unfortunately. But she’s coming back, so at least she most likely won’t be another Maul or Jango.

Okay, so yeah… it’s A New Hope. Almost beat for beat. I swear JJ is the most originally unoriginal filmmaker in Hollywood! My little brother turned to me a number of times just to say “it’s the same movie.” I regretfully have to agree. But honestly though, it’s the perfect First Act in this kind of ‘Hero’s Journey’ tale! If it ain’t broke! Plus, to be fair, even The Phantom Menace used almost the same template. ‘Two robots, on a quest for a member of royalty, meet a boy on a desert planet, longing for something more. The boy then joins the crew and helps stop a technological terror that has wreaked havoc on a planet.’ Phantom was just… more different and original than For– WHAT THE FUCK AM I SAYING??

Lot of callbacks and recycled tropes, but it not only worked as an incredible love letter to the Holy Trilogy, but it’s also the perfect bridge from the old to the new. Episode VIII has no excuse now not to go in a fresh, new direction! If it’s Empire Strikes Back v2.5 I will legitimately be disgusted. But this gets a pass from me. A pass with shining colors and stuff. I can’t wait to see it again!

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It’s still very early, and I may eat my words, but I feel like the Emperor has no clothes. The story was very light, and a lot of important character stuff is told and not shown. It’s markedly less self-contained than any other installment save for Empire.
For us sweaty nerds, we’ll be happy to hash out the meat and implications and piece together what we saw. But I’m afraid this film will not stick with someone who wasn’t already invested in what came before.

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First impressions after seeing it the first time (have my tickets for tomorrow night), and keep it mind, this is coming from someone who dislikes the prequels and refuses to watch the special editions of the OT (Despecialized Editions all the way, luv ya Harmy!): Never before have I had this experience watching a film: Not “Woah, that movie it’s awesome!”, not “Man, how disappointing was that?”. This was J.J. Abrams going back and fixing a big part of my childhood. Watching this was pure, peaceful bliss. Star Wars is back, and it’s great once again.

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This film made me angry. Kinda wish I could unsee it.

I did like:

  • The new characters
  • The humor
  • The closing scene

My nuke-the-fridge moment was Han’s death–particularly the manner of it. It felt like a shitty and unfitting way to treat the character. If they wanted to kill him off, couldn’t he have gone out a little more…heroically? Or willingly sacrificed himself for something? Or at least got some dying words or an honorable burial? Getting thrust through by surprise with a lightsaber, looking sadly into his son’s eyes, and falling down a shaft? Yuck. Why not just feed him to the Sarlacc? What’s next–Luke is skinned alive while Leia is forced to eat her own entrails?

For all the tribute the film was making to the OT, that moment is a brutal violation of its spirit.

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Firstly, no wonder Harrison Ford was so happy in his recent interviews. He finally got his wish since Empire, killing off Han.

Han being my favorite SW character, this is a big pill to swallow. Like gintereane said, it’s the way he died and that we never get to see a Luke-Leia-Han reunion which I thought would be a given in the movie.

Overall TFA was a solid film and is obviously the first of many more to come

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Okay…

Film was really good.

Just a few personal qualms…

-silence up until “Star Wars” appears. I like the additional intro music. The hack job they did for the digital release was still better than silence. I look forward to edits inserting the Fox fanfare.

-BB8 should have rolled in at the END of the Von Sydow conversation, with a quick few last words and goodbye. The pace in that initial sequence seemed really off to me.
–side note: why B-B-8. Every time a character says it, it throws off the cadence of their speech.
Say AB8 and BB8 out loud to yourself and you’ll hear what I mean, how the BB is jarring to say.

-Music too loud on Jakku. Some of the best Tatooine moments in ANH were sound effect/silence driven.

-Poor editing on conversations with Leia. Oddly, it wasn’t just the delivery I found jarring - the camera seems closer to her face than to Han’s. It throws off that one on one interaction and feels as if all of her shots were done alone in reshoots. She does seem far less comfortable in her lines, but her dialogue was the most poorly written in my opinion. Her “it was Snokes fault” was the weakest line in the film, and considering she’s speaking to the man who abandoned her after their son left, there should have been a little bit more sting in her words, reminiscent of SW and ESB. Here, I feel like she is suffering from the same dumbing down and weakening that the writers handed her in RotJ, the same way Padme (ignoring the deleted scenes) was handled in RotS.

-R2 waking up was just stupid and seemed overly coincidental. At the least it should have been intercut with Rey and Leia hugging to show that Rey’s arrival is what did it.

-Was I the only one waiting for Luke to crack the slightest of grins and force pull the lightsaber into his metallic hand? I liked the long hair though 😃

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Some people call them Force Ghosts. I call them Midichlorian Swarms.

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Didn’t Lucas originally have drafts for VII-IX that he gave to Disney? What did they mistake the draft for Episode IV as the next movie to make or something?

“The Star Wars movie we got is one we’ve already seen more times than we can count” - Forbes review.

It starts in space then cuts away to a desolate place that looks much like Tatooine (except without the podracing, or the Dewbacks for the Stormtroopers to ride). There’s some kind of droid that functions as a mechanic for spaceships, carrying an important messages that must be delivered to the Rebellion, that just happens to find their way to a local inhabitant who as it happens is unknowingly gifted in the force, and also a pretty amazing pilot. At first they don’t want to get involved, but then they do anyway. Then the storm troopers come and they escape from them by flying to safety in the Millennium Falcon, which then gets caught in a tractor-beam and swallowed whole by a larger ship. They then leave from this location with Han and Chewy in the Millennium Falcon to make their way to the Rebel base.

Oh yes and don’t forget there’s a sub-plot where the girl has to be saved from the Death Star, and the scary man in the black mask kills an old man by striking him down with his red coloured lightsabre. And the Death Star fires and destroys large celestial objects just to prove that it works.

Then the rebels plan an attack on the Death Star, which involves flying along a long trench-like channel in their X-Wings and hitting a target so that the whole massive space station gets destroyed. Leia of course stays in the base and plays a significant role in coordinating the attack.

And then the Death Star is destroyed, and that’s pretty much the end of the movie.

Okay, what movie was I just describing? Star Wars Ep. IV or Star Wars Ep. VII? All this movie is is a shameless direct remake, nearly scene-for-scene, of the original movie. There are some additions from the other two films in the OT like Vader talking to the Emperor’s hologram in a large room, Luke using the force to get his lightsabre out of the snow and into his hand, destroying the shield generator on Endor, so that the rebels can attack and destroy Death Star II, and Luke going off on his own to find a mysterious Jedi master who’s living alone like a hermit on a deserted swamp planet.

In fact the movie it seems pays constant tribute to just about every aspect of the OT, even referencing to the “garbage chute” on the Death Star, those Mynocks in Empire, many of the characters/aliens seen in the OT, the death-star laser cannons, etc. But JJ Abrams & Co seem to have gone out of their way to ignore anything from the PT, spaceship and droid designs and all. So much so that they don’t show us the Republic itself, they just show the Starkiller Base (aka Death Star III) fire at them and destroy 4 or 5 Republic planets all at once, of course with no explanation whatsoever as to why the Republic wouldn’t be able to defend themselves (or for that matter why they wouldn’t be able to retaliate against the First Order).

From a review on Forbes titled “The Empire Strikes Out”:

“The film follows the structure of A New Hope to such a significant degree that I spent much of the first act wondering if I was watching the Star Wars equivalent of Gus Van Sant’s Psycho. It also omits or neglects vital connective tissue and merely hints at a far more interesting story than the one we get. Considering what a precedent-setting franchise the original Star Wars was, it is not a little disheartening that this new installment does not blaze its own path, but rather rehashes its former glories for our approval.”
(snip)
“Say what you will about the prequels and their visual callbacks (and wow is series low-point Attack of the Clones a slog before its final show-stopping reels), but George Lucas didn’t just retell the same story a second time out. He told new stories and offered truly eye-popping action sequences (the “Duel of the Fates” in Phantom Menace, the entire last act of Attack of the Clones, and the whole first reel of Revenge of the Sith) that raised the bar for popcorn blockbusters in their day even as the likes of Lord of the Rings and Spider-Man encroached on Lucas’s territory.”

It’s a good movie, but it’s just a remake of Episode IV, which makes its story unnecessary, and as the Forbes review says, the movie just doesn’t present any new ideas to the Star Wars universe, it just relies on the previously established stuff. Lucas at least brought new things every time - in Empire we got Yoda, cloud-city, and carbon-freeze, in Jedi we got Jabba the Hutt and the Sarlacc Pit, in Phantom Menace we were introduced to Naboo as the home planet of Anakin’s love interest, as well as Coruscant and along with it the Galactic Senate and the Jedi Council, then in Clones we got Kamino - an ocean planet where the Star Wars version of arms dealers create ready-made armies of clones, and of course Geonosis and the Separatists. One of the interesting things we learn in Clones is that the Empire did not design the Death Star, they just stole the plans and built it! And finally Sith shows us the Star Wars version of an Opera, shows us Chewy’s homeworld, and how a State-funeral looks in the Star Wars universe when a much loved public servant dies.

__Valeyard.net

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jedimasterobiwan said:

han is killled by his son ben aka kylo ren and luke is in at the end

Nice review! - I lol’d. 😃

No time to include all my own initial impressions at the moment, but just to say for now that I’m ‘conflicted’…as I REALLY loved a lot of things…yet was a little underwhelmed by certain others. I look forward to reading how others here are finding the movie so far.

 

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Who the hell reads Forbes for movie reviews?

Where were you in '77?

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Really enjoyed it.
Went on my own to a mostly deserted cinema Thursday morning.
Left my cynical head at the door and just watched the movie. Watched it in 3D which to me looked good, bit of ghosting but put that down to the cinema’s set up.
Great depth and depth separation. One massive out of the screen moment as star destroyer struck me in the face! Music and sound felt Star Warsy! (yes I love adding the letter Y).
After the fuck up of the prequels this felt like a Star Wars movie. The humour felt right, to agree with Laurence Kasdan, it had the “goofiness” of the originals (not the silliness of the prequels).
Yes the plot was was flawed and felt rehashy but arent they all?
Casting was great, Harrison ford was an aged Han Solo, Adam Driver stole the show.
I recognised little sound effects from the originals, the wipes felt quite authentic (these little things made me well up!). To see Han bite the big one hit me, I knew it was coming but the way it happened, for me was good.
Technically yes it looked modern but its going to, we live now, not back then. Even through the 3D glasses the colour timing felt right.
All in all an excellent addition to the Star Wars saga.
Its a good time to be a Star Wars nut!
Going again at the weekend with the family and really looking forward to it.
P.S. I was so choked up As the crawl began I forgot to read it! Ive seen the crawls so many times it just didnt register! Im such a big girls blouse!

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This is my first post here, since I learned about this website from a friend.

I am a huge fan of the original series and the expanded universe. So naturally when I heard through the grapevine that Disney was dropping the expanded universe to the level of “legends” I was not best pleased.

I’m one of those fans who didn’t watch any trailers and avoided (as best I could) any information regarding the movie. I went to it with high expectations, and came away feeling a sense of disappointment.

I agree with what RU.08 had to say, and am grateful for his quotes from Forbes. Spot on. There are a lot more issues that, as a expanded universe fan, I would like to add to his appraisal.

I felt the film too closely mirrored New Hope. Which led me to really struggle to maintain suspension of disbelief.

Droid on a desert planet, just happens to come across the force-sensitive scavenger who can pilot the Millenium Falcon as though it were a TIE Defender?! Nope, it’s a good effort J J. A very good effort, but whoever was behind the script, and all of the behind-the-scenes junk (red tape and corporate influences), ruined the movie from the perspective of an Original Trilogy Expanded Universe fan.

I feel strongly that Disney’s choice to dump the expanded universe because it had the potential of spoiling the movie, was a terrible decision, and I saw that played out in The Force Awakens.

So I will now go through, scene to scene pointing out the holes. SPOILERS!

  1. Opening Scene - (which I will call Homage to Old Ben Scene). Poe Dameron - aka Immortal “Maverick” (Top Gun reference) - was too cosmetically clean. He’s on a desert planet, presumably searching for this guy for a while. And he looks like he is wearing makeup and has perfect hair… That straight away raised alarms. Then the Imperials turn up. Wow, what a coincidence. Which just happens to be the personal vanguard of the Top Guy (Kylo Ren - aka Vader-Light), wow, what a coincidence. Then it happens that one of the personal vanguard, Finn (aka Mr SuperMook), has a crisis of conscience (and an attack of hyperventilation… sigh). It’s later revealed that this is his first assignment… Personal vanguard to the Top Guy. Newbie Stormtroopers? Nope. Can’t be doing with that. Add on to Kylo Ren stopping a laser bolt in mid air? Nope. That’s a load of Bantha do-do. The droid escapes, well surprise surprise.

  2. The Scavenger - (which I will call Homage to Luke on Tatooine). I’ll be straight, and it’s not about sexism here before anyone flames me. I just did not like Rey, she was too blatantly Padme mkII (or female Luke). Either play it straight, and make her Jiana, or not at all. Anyway! The scene! Not much to say about this, it’s cool to see crashed Star Destroyers. The scaling was cool. But I found the whole thing of scavenging to cash it in for food, oddly un-Star Wars. It reminded me of some sci-fi prison film (can’t remember - maybe Mad Max?). It should have been credits and then she went to the market. The scratching numbers into the AT-AT was confusing and the whole thing about the orphan left on a planet was clearly a plot set-up for the next films. Too blatant.

  3. The Torture scene - (Homage to Han Solo’s torture) was one of the few scenes done quite well. But again, it does raise some questions. Why are Stormtroopers so vulnerable to force suggestion (as seen later on), and yet Mr Immortal “Maverick” can resist? Because Plot! This seemed forced. And someone will probably postulate that Poe Dameron is such a good pilot and can resist because he is Force sensitive - Force Ex Machina again. It destroys suspension of disbelief.

  4. Finding the Droid - (Homage to the Jawa’s). Ugh, this was terrible. In the New Hope it came across quite natural. It wasn’t Luke who found the droids, it was his Uncle. No, in The Force Awakens, the little droid just happens to be caught 100m away from Miss Force-Ex-Machina, Rey. She with a couple of words pursuades the capturer to relinquich BB-88, because… Um no reason given. Anyway, Force suggestion Ex Machina anyone?

Ugh this is emotionally hard to write!

  1. Immortal “Maverick” Escapes - (Homage to every Star Wars escape scene - Mark 1). So the Stormtrooper-who-bricked-himself busts Immortal “Maverick” out. Let’s take a Tie fighter (2 seater version?! - Yep, two-seater TIEs… That’s a middle finger up to every Star Wars technical guide fan out there). The fact that they are even using TIEs 32 years after RotJ, on the flagship of the Top Guy is ridiculous, but anyway! But WookiePedia is already adding in the “special edition TIEs with 2 seats…”. The only redeeming feature of this scene that I was mildly consoled by the fact that the Star Destroyer looked like an Allegiance-Class Battlecruiser - that was a nice nod. But Allegiance-Class Battlecruisers didn’t have hangers… anyway, it was still nice. But back to ripping this to pieces. The humour, praised in other posts, I felt was out of place, forced, and jarring. Then they get to the TIE hanger bay. Immortal “Maverick”, who actually says that he has never piloted a TIE fighter, gets the thing activated and flies the thing regardless. Force Ex Machina anyone? All the Mooks in all the world can’t bring the thing down, as it’s tethered to the ship and flailing around inside the star destroyer… Nope. Did anyone see the Star Trek into Darkness nod? reference: USS Vengeance activates the proton torpedo cannons. It’s exactly the same in The Force Awakens (just they didn’t get to deactivate the ship). Anyway, anyone who reads the technical manuals know that Proton Torpedo launchers are not cannons. The last offending scene is how the TIE is shot up in orbit, but still survives re-entry. Nope. They should have been dead, which would have made for a better story to be honest.

Do I have to continue? It goes on and on and on and on. Anyway. I will try to add some more later.

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