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In what ways did TFA completely nail it, either in terms of filmmaking or in terms of continuity? SPOILERS

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Here continuity can mean attention to universe details, or it can mean aesthetic, or feel, or any combination of these.

Filmmaking can potentially here mean just great scenes, irrespective of their presence or lack of Star Wars flavor. Mmm, Star Wars flavor. We can also talk about acting.

I’ll likely never have the energy for a comprehensive list of plaudits, but I’ll throw out a random few generalizations.

I felt the textures were spot on, not only the weathering of all the physical objects but the “film” itself. Reminiscent but utilizing the advantages of new camera and processing technology.

I haven’t memorized the actor’s names yet, but Finn, Rey, Poe, pretty much the whole cast except Leia (sorry Carrie, you’ll be more in the flow for the next installment, I have no doubt) were fantastic. Committed, earnest performances all around, Leia included.

Vehicle physics were great. Tech was great. The ragged blade of Kylo Ren was such a great touchstone, way more effective than the cross hilt.

Max Von Sydow’s death at the beginning was a device/trick, but a really good one, got us invested immediately. His mystery was welcome. Every story needs unopened boxes, especially serial ones.

BB8 - I fucking love BB8, especially after multiple viewings, and what is way cooler than just BB8 in the movie is that the technology exists in our world to do the mechanical part. There are two remote controlled versions. Way more versatile design than R2 (sorry R2).

Making the relationships between the characters unclear for most of the film was also a good device. Leaving Luke out of most of it was smart as well. The twirling aerial shot at the end felt a bit wrong somehow, but ending with a silent shot of Luke was brilliant. Luke having a beard was also brilliant. I love that he looks kind of like Ben (Obi Wan).

Ok tired of typing now, more later hopefully, but please add your own observations.

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I loved the new Characters too
I think they are the strongest assets of the movie, the dynamic and chemestry was just right.

to be honest i think the complete Beginning of the Movie up to the Space Monster Scene on Hans Ship was just perfect in more or less every way.
It was beautiful shot, nicly timed (not to fast not to slow), the interaction between Fin and Rey was just right…
The Beginning in the small Village showed a nice potrait of Poe and the first Order, and told us that evil menacing bad guys are back in Star Wars 😉

I realy liked the Battle visuals on the Ground as well as in the air… the had a nice realistic (sometimes even gritty) Feeling.

I totaly loved the X-Wing battle in the middle… the mix of Dogfight and Ground Battle was totaly awsome (yes I am a big X-Wing geek… sorry 😉 ) and that long “Poe is the best pilot of the Resistance”-Shot WOW!!!

They did a very good job to show where our old Heros stand today… every development of them is believable - they also felt right.

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My favourite shot in the whole film is Rey sliding down the sand hill. I don’t know why, but the music and way that scene was shot just feels so genuine. You get the feeling she’s done this before. I also really like the scene where Rey is washing dishes, and looks over to the elderly women also watching dishes. I like this scene because you see the sort of realisation in Rey’s eyes that she may well be doing this until she is that age.

Not enough people read the EU.

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LuckyGungan2001 said:

I also really like the scene where Rey is washing dishes, and looks over to the elderly women also watching dishes. I like this scene because you see the sort of realisation in Rey’s eyes that she may well be doing this until she is that age.

Thanks! These are the kinds of details I wanted. Yes! So many subtle things like this were expertly done. Timing, dialogue.

I feel like there ended up being a dynamic where production details like character development and individual scenes were treated with the utmost care, while in other places effort was somehow squandered in the editing. It’s weird.

Another thing I remembered I loved (I’ll keep adding things incrementally) was the purring sound BB8 occasionally makes.

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cyclista said:
Max Von Sydow’s death at the beginning was a device/trick, but a really good one, got us invested immediately. His mystery was welcome. Every story needs unopened boxes, especially serial ones.

I think there’s a hint in there. When Lor/Max mentions his family, and Ren goes “you’re so right” and proceeds to kill him that’s a Vader clue IMO

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I loved the opening shot of the film, with the black Star Destroyer obscuring the planet. On that note, I liked much of the allusion to physical light and dark in the film such as ‘As long as there’s light, there’s hope.’ It was a bit corny, but in a completely Star Wars way.

I loved the introduction of Finn. It could not have been done any better, in my opinion.

I love seeing food in Star Wars. I want that green bread now, and I don’t know why.

I love Finn’s attitude throughout the film, played as a kind of everyman out of his element but trying his best in every situation.

I loved the physicality of the Falcon lifting off from the outpost and crashing into the sand. It made the Falcon real in a way that it has never been before.

I love BB-8. Everything about him.

I love Han’s character. He’s better in this than he was in ROTJ, and considering how phoned in his performances have been recently, it’s almost miraculous to see.

I love Skellig Michael. I visited Ireland just after filming on TFA but before filming of Episode VIII, and I saw the Skelligs in the distance from the top of the Dingle peninsula. It was a breathtaking view, and now that I’ve seen TFA, I consider my trip to Ireland complete. 😃

I love Luke Skywalker. My girlfriend called him a ‘majestic unicorn’ on first viewing, and I quite agree. Just perfect in a Sean Connery Highlander kind of way.

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I also really love the look on Luke’s face when Rey presents him with the lightsaber. It’s kind of like he regrets what he’s done, but is also sussing out Rey’s intentions, and ending on a twisting shot was perfect, to put both in the spotlight, not just Luke.

Not enough people read the EU.

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In terms of the Sagas itself I liked the return of real sets - acting and reacting in a real environment or sets (or as close as). On my 1st viewing Maz and Snoke jumped out to me - they seemed somewhat fake, yet it wasn’t that the CGi was bad, it was that they were CGI characters in a ‘real’ film. On the 2nd and other viewings they didn’t jump out as much, and to be honest Maz has grown on me and Snoke does have that menace and intrigue about him.

It is probably because of the Prequel sets, the CGI characters in them, the stageiness/falseness of the PT sets, that ‘bad’ feeling about the Prequels, that they possibly jarred with me (and possibly others too?)

I also think they’ve nailed the characters - you actually identify with them, care about them, what is happening to them, what will happen to them in the coming films. I’ve not felt that about a Star Wars film in a long, long time… the filmmakers and the crew all did a great job.

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I liked:
-the opening shot, very artistic;
-the fact that for the first (or second?) time we see actual food in SW;
-the First Order’s (if brief) theme;
-Maz’s hippy attitude on the Force 😄
-that spy’s dressing in Maz’s castle (it feels so 70’s sci-fi 😄 )
-Han’s death. Not perfect, but still moving;

The Original Trilogy’s Timeline Reconstruction: http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Implied-starting-date-of-the-Empire-from-OT-dialogue/post/786201/#TopicPost786201

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We briefly see food in all 3 OT films. Obviously in the dinner scene of ANH, then Luke eats some food out of a tin on Dagobah and later at Yoda’s hut, and there is some food on the table at Cloud City. After that we get Jabba eating a frog thing and the crackers Leia gives to Wikket. That’s all that I can think of.

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NeverarGreat said:

We briefly see food in all 3 OT films. Obviously in the dinner scene of ANH, then Luke eats some food out of a tin on Dagobah and later at Yoda’s hut, and there is some food on the table at Cloud City. After that we get Jabba eating a frog thing and the crackers Leia gives to Wikket. That’s all that I can think of.

Is this the “food in the ot” thread?

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In the PT: dinner at Anakin’s in TPM, eating pears in AOTC, more food at the homestead in AOTC. Nothing in ROTS I don’t think.

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DominicCobb said:

In the PT: dinner at Anakin’s in TPM, eating pears in AOTC, more food at the homestead in AOTC. Nothing in ROTS I don’t think.

McDiarmid chewed the scenery, if that counts.

I H8 mammon and flip it all the birds. Sue me.

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TV’s Frink said:

NeverarGreat said:

We briefly see food in all 3 OT films. Obviously in the dinner scene of ANH, then Luke eats some food out of a tin on Dagobah and later at Yoda’s hut, and there is some food on the table at Cloud City. After that we get Jabba eating a frog thing and the crackers Leia gives to Wikket. That’s all that I can think of.

Is this the “food in the ot” thread?

Just food for thought.

I’ll let myself out.

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DuracellEnergizer said:

DominicCobb said:

In the PT: dinner at Anakin’s in TPM, eating pears in AOTC, more food at the homestead in AOTC. Nothing in ROTS I don’t think.

McDiarmid chewed the scenery, if that counts.

Oh yeah, forgot about that.

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I really liked that scene where Kylo Ren threw a temper tantrum rather than choking the officer, as it was implied he would do. Similarly, I like the giant Snoke turning out to be a hologram (and I like the fact that holograms are more advanced).

The level of humour felt perfect for Star Wars. The sets were great. The new stormtrooper design was perfect.

When I think about it, I think just about the only way it fell short was in the plot and the pacing. Visually speaking, it was fantastic.

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I enjoyed how Poe was relatively angst-free in the movie. It made a nice contrast to Rey and Finn.

I liked when Finn shot the first TIE and it crashed, that scavengers immediately went for the wreckage because it was fresh meat.

The Chewie and the doctor exchange made me laugh.

Even though Mark Hamill’s role was limited, he managed to bring a lot with just one look. Pain, shock, apprehension and surprise.

Joonas Suotamo needs more recognition for the work he did on Chewbacca. His interview makes it sound like he actually cared enough to try and compliment Mayhew. It would have been way too easy to just put on the costume and half-ass it.

JJ and co took a lot of care into making the movie. It was the little things like getting Ackbar and Nein Numb’s original voice actors back. That little bit extra made the movie for me.

It seems like people are really embracing the new characters. In fact, the big question people ask me now about Star Wars is, “Are Finn and Poe gay lovers?” And really how the f*ck would I know? My second husband left me for a man, so my gaydar isn’t exactly what you’d call Death Star level quality. ----Carrie Fisher

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oojason said:

In terms of the Sagas itself I liked the return of real sets - acting and reacting in a real environment or sets (or as close as).

yet it wasn’t that the CGi was bad, it was that they were CGI characters in a ‘real’ film.

to be honest Maz has grown on me

Real sets - great point. I think most people have taken that drastic upgrade for granted. The point about the juxtaposition of real and CG also resonates with me. I don’t know how they could have blended it better, but that would be a reasonable explanation for why so many have objected to both Maz and Snoke.

And I love Maz. She’s got a little of the stereotypical “wise old person” thing, which decreases her depth a little, but I think she looks cool and her facial expressions are fascinating, and her voice is really good. I definitely want her to still exist somewhere in that universe. Also, for a lady thousands of years old she’s kind of cute. I love her line about her boyfriend, followed by “I like that wookiee”. In the theater I was like “what”. A good introduction, audacious, cute, and immediately there is a history there. It will be funny if we ever get to see her and Chewbacca interact, I’m not sure what the best way to play that out would be though. The obvious thing would be to have her chase him around, but that would be kind of cartoonish (lame).

Maybe if she was just doing something to make him uncomfortable, so we get to see Chewbacca socially uncomfortable. Like maybe he’s sitting down and she’s bugging him and he just suddenly gets up and leaves the frame and that’s the end of the scene. Or all this could happen in the background of another scene.

A lot of comments about Hamil’s contribution - yes. That look on his face was all the presence he had in this film, and it was exactly as intense as we needed. That is the face of an immensely powerful man who is almost broken inside.

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DominicCobb said:

John Doom said:

I liked:
[…]
-the First Order’s (if brief) theme;

There were a lot of great themes in the film. This was the only one you liked??

Yep. Half of the themes were remakes of the older ones, while I didn’t find very moving the new ones.

The Original Trilogy’s Timeline Reconstruction: http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/Implied-starting-date-of-the-Empire-from-OT-dialogue/post/786201/#TopicPost786201

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I thought Maz was fantastic. I don’t get the hate. Especially the “JUST A YODA COPY” complaints. What?

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I’ll post a few as they come to mind, but I’ll start with Maz. I dug her sort of announcing Han coming into her place with Haaaan Solooo! It sounds at first as a sort of alarmed warning\heads-up\how dare you, but you soon realize she’s just busting his chops. Reminds me of my years in NYC. Like going into your local watering hole and having the owner or bartender goof on you when you walk in. She was clearly glad to see him and seems like she would do anything for the two of them.

She’s obviously more than just a bar owner. She’s connected and Han took them there for a reason. I’m sorry we didn’t get to see Lupita, but her gift and her talent still came through.

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TV’s Frink said:

I thought Maz was fantastic. I don’t get the hate. Especially the “JUST A YODA COPY” complaints. What?

Yoda had a thing for Chewy too? j/k

cyclista - be interesting and fun for Maz to further reference her fondness for Chewy - it’s a good way of the writers fleshing out the characters well - and I hope we see more if in the future films; even if it’s something like Maz winking at him knowingly and him being all shy & coy and running off pretend he’s busy etc.

A bit like where Rey says to Finn ‘why are you holding my hand?’ when on the run - it not only establishes their character, but that bit of interplay, makes the characters a little bit more real, accessible and likeable.

I think it may have been something missing from the Prequels.

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Loved the TIE Fighter escape sequence. It really established that while Poe Dameron is an excellent pilot, he’s not perfect, especially when working with unfamiliar tech and in a hurry. When they’re stuck on the hangar bay’s tether, it really reminded me of the Original Trilogy where even when the good guys start to get ahead something else would go wrong. Sort of like the Parker Luck if you’re a Spider-Man fan.

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daileyxplanet said:

Loved the TIE Fighter escape sequence. It really established that while Poe Dameron is an excellent pilot, he’s not perfect, especially when working with unfamiliar tech and in a hurry. When they’re stuck on the hangar bay’s tether, it really reminded me of the Original Trilogy where even when the good guys start to get ahead something else would go wrong. Sort of like the Parker Luck if you’re a Spider-Man fan.

I also loved how in that brief scene they established Poe and Finn being friends far better than us being told Anakin and Obi-Wan were friends in the Prequels.