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SPOILERS Rewrite The Force Awakens

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SPOILER ALERT

Leave now if you have not seen The Force Awakens.

OK.

Are you gone?

Good.

All things considered, The Force Awakens did a good job with the story. Kylo Ren’s backstory, Han Solo’s involvement, Finn’s story, and Luke’s dissapearance should stay. It can even start the same way, with Poe Dameron getting captured by the First Order before being helped out by Finn.

Where I think the movie went a little iffy is Rey. She should definetly stay female, but her story doen’t seem that original unless Episode 8 proves me otherwise because we still don’t know her full story. We should have known more about her character in this movie. Maybe she was a victim of the Jedi Academy incident with Kylo Ren. She was orphaned on Jakku, and has mostly forgotten about it due to being so young but still knows what she was taught about The Force subconciously. That would make Kylo Ren directly responsible for all her problems. Also, a third Death Star is a little unnecessary when your third act has that much emotion and epicness regardless, but I’m not sure how the movie would fare without it. The First Order wouldn’t suffer any major defeat besides losing the map to Luke Skywalker. Maybe just a regular heavily protected base with Tie Fighters which Poe Dameron and his team damage. I also think R2D2 suddenly awakening was a little too convenient. Maybe another piece of the map is in the hands of the First Order, which the heroes retrieve in the third act, so the map can be complete at the end without having R2D2 in low power mode.

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I can’t really judge character arcs without knowing the whole trilogy plot so i think rewriting that aspect of TFA is basically not worth doing right now, just in my own opinion.

Personally I’d be more interested in engineering a script that wasn’t juat 75% SW77 redone. Keep the characters basically the same but engineer a new plot, new events and things like that.

As a start I’d more clearly explain the whole First Order/Republic status quo. Or remove it entirely and make it clear that the Republic is really the dominant force in the galaxy. Have the First Order just basically replaced by a fractional and marginalised Imperial Remnant or something.

I would work on transitioning Finn’s defection more gradually so it’s not so jarring as well. Same perhaps with some of Rey’s elements. Basically keep the same character beats but develop them more organically.

Oh and Phasma would be the badass stormtrooper with the electrobaton.

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Nepheronia said:

I can’t really judge character arcs without knowing the whole trilogy plot so i think rewriting that aspect of TFA is basically not worth doing right now, just in my own opinion.

Personally I’d be more interested in engineering a script that wasn’t juat 75% SW77 redone. Keep the characters basically the same but engineer a new plot, new events and things like that.

As a start I’d more clearly explain the whole First Order/Republic status quo. Or remove it entirely and make it clear that the Republic is really the dominant force in the galaxy. Have the First Order just basically replaced by a fractional and marginalised Imperial Remnant or something.

I would work on transitioning Finn’s defection more gradually so it’s not so jarring as well. Same perhaps with some of Rey’s elements. Basically keep the same character beats but develop them more organically.

Oh and Phasma would be the badass stormtrooper with the electrobaton.

I think explaining the First Order/Republic status quo is a little prequelish since it’s not really important to the story of the characters. The First Order should be powerful not weak.

I agree with everything else though, but there does come a point where people try so hard at being different that they forget to make a good story. Really the only change to differenciate itself from A New Hope is to remove the Starkiller Base, but then the stakes aren’t as high, so we really need to setup The First Order as incredibly strong. In that first scene, have the village completely decimated by the First Order. Setup the non-Death-Star base as impossible to infiltrate. You don’t need a superweapon to be intimidating. Look at the Empire Strikes Back! They destroy the Rebels and they lost their ultimate weapon.

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Nope, sorry, but we saw the Alliance win. We saw the Empire defeated. Showing us a strong and powerful Empire and a devestated Republic that relies on a Rebellion to fight said Empire yet again is just poor writing. Thematically it makes no sense to break the implicit promise of the OT that defeating the Empire will fix it all and return the galaxy to its status quo of 25,000 years of civilised peace.

There’s mention in supplemental materials about how the New Order is just a remnant in a little corner of the Unknown Regions and is basically not worth shit but we don’t see that in the film. And the film is what gives the impression of theuniverse it is set in. And that universe is Empire Supreme.

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Nepheronia said:

Nope, sorry, but we saw the Alliance win. We saw the Empire defeated. Showing us a strong and powerful Empire and a devestated Republic that relies on a Rebellion to fight said Empire yet again is just poor writing. Thematically it makes no sense to break the implicit promise of the OT that defeating the Empire will fix it all and return the galaxy to its status quo of 25,000 years of civilised peace.

There’s mention in supplemental materials about how the New Order is just a remnant in a little corner of the Unknown Regions and is basically not worth shit but we don’t see that in the film. And the film is what gives the impression of theuniverse it is set in. And that universe is Empire Supreme.

So? If the First Order is just a bunch if weaklings who lose all the time then there’s no tension. You wanna repeat the Trade Federation again? They’re all weak and can be disposed like butter. It’s one of the many reasons why Phantom Menace was a snooze fest. Now that would be poor writing. Yes, it does ruin the happy ending for the OT but does it for sake of a good story.

Yes, Vader and the Emperor are dead and the second Death Star was destroyed, but what about all the remaining Imperial stormtroopers and commanders spread across the galaxy? All it takes is for someone like the Supreme Leader Snoke to lead the brainwashed stormtroopers and create the First Order. The Empire had a lot of time to establish itself.

Let’s move beyond the Force Awakens. What about Episode 8? There’s still so much we don’t know. If we focus on the characters, how else could Finn and Rey mature? What’s up with Luke? They could do the theory that Luke turns evil, but it doesn’t seem the story is going in that direction.

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I love your dichotomic view that if the Empire isn’t shown in the movie as the dominant force by a substantial margin then it must be a bunch of weaklings who lose all the time.

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 (Edited)

Nepheronia said:

I love your dichotomic view that if the Empire isn’t shown in the movie as the dominant force by a substantial margin then it must be a bunch of weaklings who lose all the time.

You said you wanted the First Order to be replaced by a “fractional and marginalized Imperial remnant” and that they are “basically not worth ****”. It doesn’t even matter because having weak villains would be boring even if it doesn’t make sense logically. How can we fear for our heroes when there is nothing to fear? Moving on.

Here are the unanswered questions for Episode 8 :

  1. Why is there a map to Luke?
  2. Will Luke train Rey?
  3. How did Kylo Ren become seduced by Supreme Leader Snoke?
  4. Who are the Knights of Ren?
  5. Who is Supreme Leader Snoke?
  6. How will Captain Phasma have a bigger role?
  7. Will Finn and Rey fall in love?
  8. Why was Rey orphaned on Jakku?
  9. Who are Rey’s parents?
  10. How did R2D2 wake up when he did?

Now here’s my Episode 8. Before Ben Solo went evil, Luke found a map to an ancient Sith temple which he investigated and found the secret to immortality and mastery of life. That’s how Ben Solo became evil : Snoke wants to become immortal and master life like Plageus. Snoke tells Ben of the legend of the Knights of Ren who wanted immortality but failed(“ren” can mean life or immortal in an alien language). When Ben goes evil, he adopts their name and creates the new Knights of Ren with other immortality lusting bad guys to finish what Darth Vader started. Yes, Darth Vader was trying to master life and achieve immortality during the OT. Is it really that much of a stretch? He did try to stop his wife from dying in ROTS and although the Emperor may be wise to it due to seeing his master Plageus fail, Vader isn’t. It also explains why he still sticked with the Emperor after his wife died, because he still has hope for reviving his wife and reuniting with his family. It’s one hell of a retcon but really humanizes Vader even more!

Back to Luke, he rips the map into little pieces so that nobody will learn the secret to immortality and hid in on the planet of the temple in order to guard it. The Resistance and the First Order mistake the pieces for a map to just Luke and do everything Luke wants not to happen by trying to find him. That’s why Luke has such a puzzled look at the end of the movie because he’s not sure what to think of Rey. Maybe R2D2 was actually manipulated by Snoke to wake up and lead the First Order to Luke Skywalker.

OK, all that was backstory. Let’s get into the present. Snoke is training Kylo Ren harshly, and here we can meet the Knights of Ren, establish their character, and learn about their ultimate goal of immortality. They are all getting prepared to find Luke Skywalker. Cut back to Luke and Rey. “Why are you here?” Luke demands. “Because you called me.” Rey replies. “I didn’t-” Luke is interrupted by Kylo Ren’s ship landing. “Oh, no”.

TO BE CONTINUED

Cause this is seriously getting long

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I thought TFA wasn’t bad, but it certainly had a lot that hindered my enjoyment for the movie. It relied heavily on the OT and did not establish anything new for the most part (Rebels vs Empire, Resistance vs First Order, big superweapon that needs to be basically taken out in a trench run). Sure, there are stuff like the Knights of Ren and Snoke (calling it that he’s Plagueis) and how the Dark Side was handled, and there is a lot more I’m hoping to see in the future. It’s just that there’s a lot that irks me.

Personally, I thought the film should have been more of a race to find Luke Skywalker. The Starkiller base is not a superweapon, but just a base of operations, one of many, for the First Order (if you want, you could have them be building it and it’s not finished). Rey should first be shown to have already discovered her Force powers, but is having trouble trying to concentrate/gain control/whatever. Get another ship to be the Falcon of the Sequels, not the Falcon itself. Show more Jedi who survived Kylo Ren’s betrayal and are now working with the Resistance against the First Order. Also, hint at the Republic secretly supporting the Resistance, outside of Leia. Don’t let the film just be action scene after action scene.

That’s all I have right now. I might come up with more later on.

"Adventure, excitement. A Jedi craves not these things!"

- Yoda

W.S.

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StarChewyWar said:
Here are the unanswered questions for Episode 8 :

  1. Why is there a map to Luke?
  2. Will Luke train Rey?
  3. How did Kylo Ren become seduced by Supreme Leader Snoke?
  4. Who are the Knights of Ren?
  5. Who is Supreme Leader Snoke?
  6. How will Captain Phasma have a bigger role?
  7. Will Finn and Rey fall in love?
  8. Why was Rey orphaned on Jakku?
  9. Who are Rey’s parents?
  10. How did R2D2 wake up when he did?

Now here’s my Episode 8. Before Ben Solo went evil, Luke found a map to an ancient Sith temple which he investigated and found the secret to immortality and mastery of life. That’s how Ben Solo became evil : Snoke wants to become immortal and master life like Plageus. Snoke tells Ben of the legend of the Knights of Ren who wanted immortality but failed(“ren” means life in an alien language and "kylo means master so “Kylo Ren” means Master of Life). When Ben goes evil, he creates the new Knights of Ren with other immortality lusting bad guys to finish what Darth Vader started. Yes, Darth Vader was trying to master life and achieve immortality during the OT. Is it really that much of a stretch? He did try to stop his wife from dying in ROTS and although the Emperor may be wise to it due to seeing his master Plageus fail, Vader isn’t. It also explains why he still sticked with the Emperor after his wife died, because he still has hope for reviving his wife and reuniting with his family. It’s one hell of a retcon but really humanizes Vader even more!

Back to Luke, he rips the map into little pieces so that nobody will learn the secret to immortality and hid in on the planet of the temple in order to guard it. The Resistance and the First Order mistake the pieces for a map to just Luke and do everything Luke wants not to happen by trying to find him. That’s why Luke has such a puzzled look at the end of the movie because he’s not sure what to think of Rey. Maybe R2D2 was actually manipulated by Snoke to wake up and lead the First Order to Luke Skywalker.

Let’s get into the present. Kylo Ren is being tortured, taunted, and “trained” by Snoke. The Dark Side feeds on anger and fear, so this how Sith are trained. Here we learn about the ultimate goal of the Knights of Ren and Snoke : immortality, and we also meet the Knights of Ren themselves. Cut back to Luke and Rey. “Why are you here?” Luke demands. “Because you called me.” Rey replies. “I didn’t-” Luke is interrupted by Kylo Ren’s ship landing. “Oh, no”.

TO BE CONTINUED

Cause this is seriously getting long

My edited Part 1 of Episode 8 is quoted above.

Since the Hosnian system(goverment of the Republic) was destroyed by the Starkiller Base, there has been a power vacuum in the galaxy. Various factions have emerged that are struggling for power in the galaxy including the First Order. Poe Dameron is sent to stop all out war in the Galaxy.

And that’s all I really have.

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I started venting my thoughts in the fan edit thread but this is a more proper thread for it.

NeverarGreat wrote a good crawl for the beginning.
The setting is that Luke has Vanished, the First order is sinister but probably does not possess a massive army. Enough evil however that a covert resistance led by general Leia is needed. The resistance tries to gather allies to fight the first order. Among the allies that needs to be found are ofcourse Luke.

Luke failing to train a new Jedi Order is ofcourse of grave importance to the story but that story can sort of unravel throughout the next trilogy.
The important story is how the Dark Side of the Force is rising and gaining followers again. Starting small as a disturbance in the Force would just make for a better story.
And Rey and Finn being more complex characters that are not sure if they want to be a part of this whole ordeal would also make for something way more believable. The dynamics of the grumpy Han Solo and Leia in the original trilogy was entertaining and compelling. The Force Awakens does not work in that aspect.

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StarChewyWar said:

StarChewyWar said:
Here are the unanswered questions for Episode 8 :

  1. Why is there a map to Luke?
  2. Will Luke train Rey?
  3. How did Kylo Ren become seduced by Supreme Leader Snoke?
  4. Who are the Knights of Ren?
  5. Who is Supreme Leader Snoke?
  6. How will Captain Phasma have a bigger role?
  7. Will Finn and Rey fall in love?
  8. Why was Rey orphaned on Jakku?
  9. Who are Rey’s parents?
  10. How did R2D2 wake up when he did?

Now here’s my Episode 8. Before Ben Solo went evil, Luke found a map to an ancient Sith temple which he investigated and found the secret to immortality and mastery of life. That’s how Ben Solo became evil : Snoke wants to become immortal and master life like Plageus. Snoke tells Ben of the legend of the Knights of Ren who wanted immortality but failed(“ren” means life in an alien language and "kylo means master so “Kylo Ren” means Master of Life). When Ben goes evil, he creates the new Knights of Ren with other immortality lusting bad guys to finish what Darth Vader started. Yes, Darth Vader was trying to master life and achieve immortality during the OT. Is it really that much of a stretch? He did try to stop his wife from dying in ROTS and although the Emperor may be wise to it due to seeing his master Plageus fail, Vader isn’t. It also explains why he still sticked with the Emperor after his wife died, because he still has hope for reviving his wife and reuniting with his family. It’s one hell of a retcon but really humanizes Vader even more!

Back to Luke, he rips the map into little pieces so that nobody will learn the secret to immortality and hid in on the planet of the temple in order to guard it. The Resistance and the First Order mistake the pieces for a map to just Luke and do everything Luke wants not to happen by trying to find him. That’s why Luke has such a puzzled look at the end of the movie because he’s not sure what to think of Rey. Maybe R2D2 was actually manipulated by Snoke to wake up and lead the First Order to Luke Skywalker.

Let’s get into the present. Kylo Ren is being tortured, taunted, and “trained” by Snoke. The Dark Side feeds on anger and fear, so this how Sith are trained. Here we learn about the ultimate goal of the Knights of Ren and Snoke : immortality, and we also meet the Knights of Ren themselves. Cut back to Luke and Rey. “Rey? Why are you here?” Luke demands. “Because you called me.” Rey replies. “I didn’t-” Luke is interrupted by Kylo Ren’s ship landing. “Oh, no”.

TO BE CONTINUED

Cause this is seriously getting long

Since the Hosnian system(goverment of the Republic) was destroyed by the Starkiller Base, there has been a power vacuum in the galaxy. Various factions have emerged that are struggling for power in the galaxy including the First Order. Poe Dameron is sent to stop all out war in the Galaxy.

Quoted above are my previous posts about Episode 8 : The Force Eats Breakfast(temporary title). Now here’s some new stuff.

When the First Order and the Knights of Ren arrived to kill Luke Skywalker, the Resistance retaliates immediately and an epic battle ensues. On the ground, Kylo Ren has his comeback against Rey. Even with the help of Luke, she doesn’t stand a chance. Overwhelmed, Luke and Rey narrowly escape though as a last ditch attempt, Luke tries to destroy the Sith temple. Suspicious of Luke’s actions, the Knights of Ren find what they’ve been searching for for so long : the secret to immortality.

Back with the Resistance, Rey asks Luke how he knew her. Luke tells her that he trained her, but she doesn’t remember because she has a mind block. Luke tries to remove the mind block and she remembers being a student at the Jedi Acedemy before Kylo Ren destroyed it all. Throughout the movie this will be her main motivation : getting back at Kylo Ren for ruining her life basically. But not everything is what it seems.

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 (Edited)

StarChewyWar said:
All things considered, The Force Awakens did a good job with the story.

I disagree with this. I think the overall look of the film – the designs, the non-CGI-monster effects, etc. – was tremendous. The acting was hit or miss. The film’s biggest problem was the story. What was the film’s vision? What did it want to accomplish?

Sometimes you get a film and the filmmaker(s) vision is to tell such-and-such story in such-and-such way. Sometimes their vision is to push a political message. Sometimes you get a snob whose vision is simply to create the most artsy film ever. Sometimes you get a film where the filmmaker just wants to entertain people. And on and on we can think of countless examples.

My takeaway from TFA was that the vision of this film had nothing to do with story, or innovation, or anything that has been traditionally Star Wars’ forte. The vision of this film seemed to be simply to make another Star Wars movie, have it be good enough to not piss people off, and make a lot of money. Introduce some interesting new characters, bring back old and beloved characters, and just have fun and a good time.

Was the film a success? Certainly. By all measures, it seems to have accomplished its goals. Those goals started with the studio execs who chose the director, and JJ Abrams is someone who – I’ve heard this from a lot of people – is a safe bet. He’s unlikely to make anything really good, but he’s also unlikely to make anything bad. If you want to take a franchise like Star Wars and make a safe ripoff, he’s a steady choice. He more or less accomplished what was expected of him, the film is making a record amount of money, and he additionally, to his credit, he had the right approach in several areas to gain extra goodwill with the fans.

But what about the story?

It’s actually terrible and the weakest part of the film. There are a million plot holes. There are a million coincidences. It’s derivative. It’s poorly paced and chaotic. It just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

I’ve offered criticism in the review threads (and I’ve also praised a lot of things I thought the film did really well), but in my next post I will offer some ideas on how I might have written it differently, just for fun.

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 (Edited)
  Can't resist.
  I'll try to stay as close as possible to the original storyline and characterizations.
  THE FORCE AWAKENS: RECONSIDERED
 
  CIVIL WAR! THE GALAXY HAS FALLEN INTO CHAOS OVER THE DECADES SINCE THE EMPIRE FELL AT THE BATTLE OF ENDOR. WHILE CRIMINAL CARTELS AND SEPERATIST MOVEMENTS PULL APART, THE ALLIANCE OF FREE WORLDS CLASHES WITH THE EVIL FIRST ORDER OF THE IMPERIAL TYRANNY TO REESTABLISH GALACTIC GOVERNMENT. THE ORDER, CONTROLLED BY SUPREME LEADER SNOKE WITH THE KINGHTS OF REN, HAS ORDERED IT'S BATTLEFLEET TO CEASE FROM RAVAGING THE MOST HELPLESS WORLDS OF THE ALLIANCE TO PURSUE A MAP TO THE LOCATION OF THE LEGENDARY JEDI KNIGHT, LUKE SKYWALKER, WHO IS RUMORED TO HAVE FOUND THE SECRET TO ULTIMATE POWER THROUGH THE MYSTICAL ENERGY FIELD OF THE FORCE.
LEIA I, QUEEN OF THE ALLIANCE WORLD NEW ALDARAAN AND THE SISTER OF JEDI SKYWALKER, HAS DISPATCHED THE BEST PILOT OF THE ALLIANCE TO OBTAIN THE MAP BEFORE THE ORDER ARRIVES. THE ALLIANCE PILOT RACES TO ESCAPE THE WORLD JAKKU AND RETURN WITH THE INFORMATION THAT MIGHT HELP SAVE THE DESPERATE ALLIANCE... 

 We see a star destroyer and an X fighter coming up from a desert planet pursued by 15-20 TIEs swarming like bees. The super star destroyer and TIEs are painted with red and black political and ideological insignia( Uniform and trooper armor are too) We see TIE pilots and xpilot but not clearly. We see Kylo in a TIE all over the xwing and it's damaged. In x cockpit we see display with upload bars then a display by BB with a download bars. The xwing swoops down over the surface of Jakku and BB8 drops out the bottom and the x speeds back up into orbit pursued by the TIEs. The x is damaged more and falls into tractor beam of super destroyer. Maybe distance shot of Rey watching the battle with electro binoculars.

  We see BB8 make way through desert have encounters with creatures. We see Rey scavenging. We see Poe interrogated Kylo accuses Poe of seeing the map and demands he imagines it in his mind so Kylo can read thoughts and a certain trooper with a little bit different insignia on armor looking and told to take and search Poe's jacket. BB meets Rey and they travel back to settlement dangers in the desert. Troopers ordered to surface to search for droid. Rey sells parts gets food goes to see friend at ship restoration shop we see a few ships but not MF. little alien friend at shop recognizes BB but signals droid to stay quiet. Friend sends Rey and droid away as 3 searching troopers approach. Troopers decide to kill friend and others because they know too much and aren't helping. Odd trooper argues and is arrested and to be sent back for interrogation. Odd trooper runs and firing goes into desert and takes off armor and pulls Poe's jacket out of backpack. Rey and Finn meet back in settlement Finn says noble reasons and Rey says he needs her help. Chased by troopers. They make way back to friend's ship shop friend tells them to take a ship and hands Rey a lightsaber and says found it in a salvaged ship. Troopers chasing and not the garbage ship then the garbage ship. Rey says helped restore MF and has flown it. Finn asks you've flown this? Rey tentative little "Yeeah" Finn worried repeating "Yeeeeaaaahhh?!?" 
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 (Edited)
   ...continued     "I don't know what this 'Logistics' is, but I want some of it."

  MF goes over surface then up and pursued by TIES. FINN notices ship is transmitting and Rey says it's old  transponder she can't shut off. Jump to hyperspace then they go to fix problems. Rey says MF is a ship shot down during the battle of Jakku. Finn says "The Alliance made this a warship?" Rey says it was back when they were still called The Rebellion. Shut off transponder too late, super destroyer warps in and slow reveal of the enormity of it as tracter pulls it into a side bay. Hide in smuggling compartments. Get out. Poe's ship there. Finn, Rey, and BB8 go running around the innards of the ship. Finn uses knowledge of systems to get around and get some spare armor. Rey is captured and taken for interrogation. Finn goes to get Poe. Finn says noble reasons, Poe says you need a pilot. Finn says have to get Rey, Poe says he has a mission. As restraints removed Poe says you got away, then you are dragged back, then you release me, just as your friend is captured. Do you ever feel you are moving and making no forward progress? Finn says that's been every moment of his life. Poe gets sack and told it's the only way to move around ship. Kylo accuses Rey of having seen the map and demands that she imagines it in her mind, gets into Rey's head and triggers flashes of memory that confuses both of them. Rey shakes as he keeps pressing into her head, then suddenly they see flashes of Kylo's memories, both confused, then Rey takes a deep breath and concentrates on Kylo's mind then tells him his darkest secrets. Confused and upset Kylo leaves. Finn and Poe make way toward Rey in armor.
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 (Edited)
 ...Continued

 Rey uses mind trick to get loose. Kylo in holoconference Snoke says if Kylo loosened a mindblock, this girl will become more dangerous as she regains memories and droid may only have part of map rest might be on New Alderaan and main battle fleet should go there get full map and devastate the world as final test of Kylo. Rey, Finn Poe and BB get pinned down. Suddenly Alliance ships drop in and attack. Finn anxiously tries to convince them he's one of them over the coms Hear familiar voice say "This is Alliance forces" "Uh, I'm one of you Finn, uh...hi" "What? WHO IS THIS?!" Poe gives him code signal and Finn says he can open port by ships but can't get there. Han says open gates they are coming. Finn does and a troop lander comes in, Han on wide ramp as it drops with long coat and blaster drawn Chewie and Alliance commandos right behind. They charge out blasting Han and Chewie make it to the group. Han says they came to help Poe and picked up MF transponder. looks at MF. They need to close doors on troopers and Finn tells Han he was sanitation "What?!" Finn said he opened ports to expel trash. Han orders commandos back to lander, and Han, Chewie, Rey, Finn, Poe and BB8 run for the Falcon. As Falcon leaves Han gets glimpse of Kylo. They fight their way out with Finn and Rey on Turrets and BB8 fixing things. They head for New ALderaan before the battle fleet can get there.
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So anyway, picking up where I left off … having a vision. My philosophy is that you can’t write a script without an outline, you can’t write an outline without a treatment, you can’t write a treatment without a story, and you can’t write a story without a vision.

What should The Force Awakens have really been about?

I was struck by the first trailer I saw in early 2015:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCc2v7izk8w

Prior to seeing that trailer, I had no interest in the new Disney trilogy. I thought the story was over, it had already been told, and all I cared about was “just give me the damn OOT”.

But then I saw that trailer (it was awesome), and I thought, you know what? Yeah, a new generation of young people should have their own Star Wars too. I was sold on the idea of passing the torch to the next generation.


So what gives with the story we got? I think Luke Skywalker should have played the mentor role and not Han Solo. Harrison Ford was terrific in this movie, no question. He wasn’t old Harrison Ford; he was Han Solo, just like old times. But what was his role in the film? Why have him (instead of Luke) act as a father figure for Rey? Especially since it seems like Luke is going to teach her in the next movie anyway.

And so, I think, that makes TFA look like a pointless 2 hour 16 minute setup just to kill off Han Solo.

Gratuitous. A freakin’ waste of time.

Look, I know Harrison took down $25 million, and everyone else only made $400k - $1.5 million, so this was his show. Maybe he told Disney that he would only come back if they granted him his decades long wish and killed off his character, I don’t know, but it was just bad storytelling. An actor’s salary and prestige, mandates from studio execs … these things should never conspire to ruin what otherwise could have been a fantastic story.

So that’s the first thing I would have changed … I would have sidelined Han, and made Luke the mentor to Rey.

Why would I have done that? Because Han was the skeptic in the OT, that was the nature of his character. By the conclusion of ROTJ, he was no longer a skeptic. His arc had been completed. He missed out on his chance to martyr. After everything he went through in three films, on screen over and over again with Luke, Leia, and Chewie, the people he (and we) loved the most … how could any death with someone he was in one scene with yield any emotional impact whatsoever?

Han just hogged screen time in TFA, and the idea of Kylo being his son was terrible and a monumental waste of time.


So now that we’ve established that Luke should have been the mentor and father figure in TFA, what about the new cast of characters? Here’s what I would have done …

First, Rey should’ve been and was the main character in the story. I would have written her as a brave young woman, strong in the force, but untrained, and unrelated to any other character in the story. She needs a teacher, and until she’s fully trained, she needs someone to keep her safe from the First Order.

Finn’s character is more problematic, but I think I could’ve still worked with the idea that he was a mutinous stormtrooper stranded on Jakku. One thing I would have changed though is that I would NOT have had him fleeing Kylo’s and Captain Phasma’s unit. The nature of his desertion did not need to be shown on screen. Rey just meets him on Jakku and that’s the first time we see him (we’ll get to that in my synopsis), and I would have made his character more mysterious, harder to trust and pin down. He should have been the morally gray character, the skeptic, the Han Solo of this movie. That kind of characterization would have been more believable (given his background), and it would have made his good deeds all that more heroic later on down the line.

Poe Dameron, meanwhile, was billed as a main character, but he was absent from most of the film. As a result, the writers and director turned him into a cartoon. Instead of giving him screen time and scenes to show him bonding and evolving with the rest of the cast in a believable way, they tried to tell us over and over again how awesome he was. Out of all the good characters we’ve ever had in Star Wars, Poe Dameron is my least favorite by far.

So…how to fix him? Well, I would have introduced him later in the film. The opening sequence was completely unnecessary. Somewhere later in the film, maybe around the midpoint, I would have had him join the team. Dameron’s character should also have been more downplayed (at least until he’s more important in future films), and I would have liked to see him suspicious of Finn, you know, kind of like how Luke and Han were frenemies throughout much of the first movie. That dynamic could have paid off in spades.

Last you have the villains: Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, General Hux, and Snoke. First of all, I would have completely cut Snoke and General Hux out of the story. Those two characters are worse than useless. Kylo should’ve been unrelated to any of the legacy cast members, and I like the idea of Kylo and Phasma operating as teammates and co-villains. That would have given Phasma more presence, and not turned her into a total joke in the film.


Finally, what about the setting? The world of the story, in my opinion, really completes the idea of the vision.

I loved the opening shot in that trailer, with Rey speeding past the hazy wreckage of the Star Destroyer and the X-wing lying in the background. What a fantastic shot. The war between the Empire and the Rebellion has long since passed, but has the galaxy been at peace for the last thirty years? No!

Power vacuums don’t lead to peace and prosperity – they lead to more conflict. That’s good, because we need conflict for stories. In my world for TFA, the New Republic is in the process of installing peace and order throughout the galaxy, but there are still dangerous elements out there – terrorists, gangsters / criminals, evil breakaway organizations, etc.

And TFA seems to have been going in that direction with The First Order. Well done.

But what’s the angle here? What’s the last piece of the puzzle that makes the First Order’s antagonism so compelling? This is where we come back to the idea of the vision.

If Skywalker and the rest of our legacy heroes are trying to pass the torch to the next generation, then the antagonists, The First Order, have to be doing the opposite. They should be preying on people’s fears of chaos and disorder, and trying to bring back the days of The Empire. General Leia Organa, General Solo, Admiral Ackbar, Lando Calrissian(?) … these people should all be leading the forces of the New Republic, not something called “The Resistance”.

Luke should not be hiding somewhere like a coward – he should be looking to find and train any new potential Jedi (Rey, hint hint). The First Order should be trying to rewrite history. Discredit heroes. Prevent new ones from rising.


In my next and hopefully final post, I’ll offer a synopsis for my TFA-Revised story. Stay tuned.

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 Continued.... 

 fight their way out and go to New Alderaan It is a mountain and wilderness world. Windswept peaks, Forests of alien trees, a capitol city for refugees pavilions wooden structures frontier town medieval feel, next to the ancient and mystical large temple/castle complex that is queen Leia's residence. Leia is in royal/priestess robes. Prepare for Order battle fleet. Rally in super destroyer bay Fleet Feurer Red gives pep speech. Poe and bb get a fighter. Shield over city/castle. Order comes in and lands troops threaten total destruction. Finn with ground troops han rey and chewie fight high then land to face ren and troopers. Rey and Ren lightsabre duel. Shields drop and destroyers low over city prepares to devastate. Some order admirals gloat about destruction. Alliance fleet and ackbar suddenly drops out of hyperspace comes low over city, Order admiral says "It's a trap!", Battle turns around ships in ROTS style broadsides Gloating order admirals are blown out of sky, FFRed tells Snoke he can still win and destroy Alliance fleet Snoke says they have other concerns get Ren and return. 
 Artoo awakes they get full map. In court chamber of temple/castle four times larger than ANH chamber. enormous doors open into huge courtyard with more people. Finn and Poe have medals Han and chewie ackbar behind queen Leia in more splendid royal priestess robes. Rey approaches wearing Diana warrior/huntress demigoddess costume and Leia hands her the lightsabre and touches her hand as Rey takes it flashes of more memories come. Rey turns and raises sabre high and ignites it as great crowd cheers.
 Indeterminate time later we see MF drop out of hyperspace with Rey, 3PO, and Artoo in cockpit. Go to planet with large cratered moon in low orbit. Robed figure gazing at huge blue-gray moon and towering clouds. Rey offers lightsabre.
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Alderaan said:

StarChewyWar said:
All things considered, The Force Awakens did a good job with the story.

I disagree with this. I think the overall look of the film – the designs, the non-CGI-monster effects, etc. – was tremendous. The acting was hit or miss. The film’s biggest problem was the story. What was the film’s vision? What did it want to accomplish?

Sometimes you get a film and the filmmaker(s) vision is to tell such-and-such story in such-and-such way. Sometimes their vision is to push a political message. Sometimes you get a snob whose vision is simply to create the most artsy film ever. Sometimes you get a film where the filmmaker just wants to entertain people. And on and on we can think of countless examples.

My takeaway from TFA was that the vision of this film had nothing to do with story, or innovation, or anything that has been traditionally Star Wars’ forte. The vision of this film seemed to be simply to make another Star Wars movie, have it be good enough to not piss people off, and make a lot of money. Introduce some interesting new characters, bring back old and beloved characters, and just have fun and a good time.

Was the film a success? Certainly. By all measures, it seems to have accomplished its goals. Those goals started with the studio execs who chose the director, and JJ Abrams is someone who – I’ve heard this from a lot of people – is a safe bet. He’s unlikely to make anything really good, but he’s also unlikely to make anything bad. If you want to take a franchise like Star Wars and make a safe ripoff, he’s a steady choice. He more or less accomplished what was expected of him, the film is making a record amount of money, and he additionally, to his credit, he had the right approach in several areas to gain extra goodwill with the fans.

But what about the story?

It’s actually terrible and the weakest part of the film. There are a million plot holes. There are a million coincidences. It’s derivative. It’s poorly paced and chaotic. It just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

I’ve offered criticism in the review threads (and I’ve also praised a lot of things I thought the film did really well), but in my next post I will offer some ideas on how I might have written it differently, just for fun.

Dude, you really need to do your research. The vision of the Force Awakens? To bring back the magic of Star Wars when the cynicism of the prequels and special editions scared it off. JJ Abrams is just like us. A fan. He loves Star Wars, and wants nothing more than replicate the magic of the original trilogy. So he used practical effects, shot it on 35mm film, wrote it with Lawrence Kasdan(writer of Empire Strikes Back and Indiana Jones), composed it with John Williams, used the aethstetics of Ralph McQuarrie, and made sure George Lucas was not involved at all. He didn’t have to do these things. Its similarities with the original Star Wars is not because lack of imagination but love. This isn’t Jurassic World.

Plotholes don’t matter. The Dark Knight trilogy has billions of plotholes, yet it is one of the most critically acclaimed sagas of all time, up there with the original Star Wars trilogy. I think the story was great. Kylo Ren is probably a better villain than Darth Vader(because of the prequels). Coincedences that get people out of trouble are bad, but coincedences that get people into trouble are great. Coincedentally, they meet Han Solo and then get attacked by two gangs and evil squid aliens. Coincedentally, Rey meets Finn and then they get attacked by the First Order. I could go on.

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Alderaan said:

So anyway, picking up where I left off … having a vision. My philosophy is that you can’t write a script without an outline, you can’t write an outline without a treatment, you can’t write a treatment without a story, and you can’t write a story without a vision.

What should The Force Awakens have really been about?

I was struck by the first trailer I saw in early 2015:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCc2v7izk8w

Prior to seeing that trailer, I had no interest in the new Disney trilogy. I thought the story was over, it had already been told, and all I cared about was “just give me the damn OOT”.

But then I saw that trailer (it was awesome), and I thought, you know what? Yeah, a new generation of young people should have their own Star Wars too. I was sold on the idea of passing the torch to the next generation.


So what gives with the story we got? I think Luke Skywalker should have played the mentor role and not Han Solo. Harrison Ford was terrific in this movie, no question. He wasn’t old Harrison Ford; he was Han Solo, just like old times. But what was his role in the film? Why have him (instead of Luke) act as a father figure for Rey?..


Finally, what about the setting? The world of the story, in my opinion, really completes the idea of the vision.

I loved the opening shot in that trailer, with Rey speeding past the hazy wreckage of the Star Destroyer and the X-wing lying in the background. What a fantastic shot. The war between the Empire and the Rebellion has long since passed, but has the galaxy been at peace for the last thirty years? No!

Power vacuums don’t lead to peace and prosperity – they lead to more conflict. That’s good, because we need conflict for stories. In my world for TFA, the New Republic is in the process of installing peace and order throughout the galaxy, but there are still dangerous elements out there – terrorists, gangsters / criminals, evil breakaway organizations, etc.

And TFA seems to have been going in that direction with The First Order. Well done.

But what’s the angle here? What’s the last piece of the puzzle that makes the First Order’s antagonism so compelling? This is where we come back to the idea of the vision.

If Skywalker and the rest of our legacy heroes are trying to pass the torch to the next generation, then the antagonists, The First Order, have to be doing the opposite…

 I have always considered the OT and it's backstory to be a complete saga cycle. There can be no ST because the story is told. The Kingdom has come. Happily ever after. The Hero's Journey is complete. There is no more. I have always ignored all post-ROTJ EU for exactly this reason.
 I was a little swept up in the idea of more of SW and seeing the OT crew. I thought TFA was well worth the ticket price with much to recommend it (while having great flaws) but I've come away with my anti-post-ROTJ position reinforced.
 Trouble is, the moment we admit that there is ANYTHING after ROTJ, we are consigning the future of our favorite characters to pure tragedy and breaking the promise of victory. It's just illusory and temporary respite so the characters can feel their future miseries more acutely. And we can't trust in any success thereafter.
 I suppose the ST could be set in the distant future after thousands of years of peace, freedom and prosperity, but at that point you might as well create an alternate universe and start with a clean slate.
 Some day, I hope we get a truly retro(with careful modern enhancements) reboot of the PT/remake of the OT.
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Alderaan said:

So anyway, picking up where I left off … having a vision. My philosophy is that you can’t write a script without an outline, you can’t write an outline without a treatment, you can’t write a treatment without a story, and you can’t write a story without a vision.

What should The Force Awakens have really been about?

I was struck by the first trailer I saw in early 2015:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCc2v7izk8w

Prior to seeing that trailer, I had no interest in the new Disney trilogy. I thought the story was over, it had already been told, and all I cared about was “just give me the damn OOT”.

But then I saw that trailer (it was awesome), and I thought, you know what? Yeah, a new generation of young people should have their own Star Wars too. I was sold on the idea of passing the torch to the next generation.


So what gives with the story we got? I think Luke Skywalker should have played the mentor role and not Han Solo. Harrison Ford was terrific in this movie, no question. He wasn’t old Harrison Ford; he was Han Solo, just like old times. But what was his role in the film? Why have him (instead of Luke) act as a father figure for Rey? Especially since it seems like Luke is going to teach her in the next movie anyway.

And so, I think, that makes TFA look like a pointless 2 hour 16 minute setup just to kill off Han Solo.

Gratuitous. A freakin’ waste of time.

Look, I know Harrison took down $25 million, and everyone else only made $400k - $1.5 million, so this was his show. Maybe he told Disney that he would only come back if they granted him his decades long wish and killed off his character, I don’t know, but it was just bad storytelling. An actor’s salary and prestige, mandates from studio execs … these things should never conspire to ruin what otherwise could have been a fantastic story.

So that’s the first thing I would have changed … I would have sidelined Han, and made Luke the mentor to Rey.

Why would I have done that? Because Han was the skeptic in the OT, that was the nature of his character. By the conclusion of ROTJ, he was no longer a skeptic. His arc had been completed. He missed out on his chance to martyr. After everything he went through in three films, on screen over and over again with Luke, Leia, and Chewie, the people he (and we) loved the most … how could any death with someone he was in one scene with yield any emotional impact whatsoever?

Han just hogged screen time in TFA, and the idea of Kylo being his son was terrible and a monumental waste of time.


So now that we’ve established that Luke should have been the mentor and father figure in TFA, what about the new cast of characters? Here’s what I would have done …

First, Rey should’ve been and was the main character in the story. I would have written her as a brave young woman, strong in the force, but untrained, and unrelated to any other character in the story. She needs a teacher, and until she’s fully trained, she needs someone to keep her safe from the First Order.

Finn’s character is more problematic, but I think I could’ve still worked with the idea that he was a mutinous stormtrooper stranded on Jakku. One thing I would have changed though is that I would NOT have had him fleeing Kylo’s and Captain Phasma’s unit. The nature of his desertion did not need to be shown on screen. Rey just meets him on Jakku and that’s the first time we see him (we’ll get to that in my synopsis), and I would have made his character more mysterious, harder to trust and pin down. He should have been the morally gray character, the skeptic, the Han Solo of this movie. That kind of characterization would have been more believable (given his background), and it would have made his good deeds all that more heroic later on down the line.

Poe Dameron, meanwhile, was billed as a main character, but he was absent from most of the film. As a result, the writers and director turned him into a cartoon. Instead of giving him screen time and scenes to show him bonding and evolving with the rest of the cast in a believable way, they tried to tell us over and over again how awesome he was. Out of all the good characters we’ve ever had in Star Wars, Poe Dameron is my least favorite by far.

So…how to fix him? Well, I would have introduced him later in the film. The opening sequence was completely unnecessary. Somewhere later in the film, maybe around the midpoint, I would have had him join the team. Dameron’s character should also have been more downplayed (at least until he’s more important in future films), and I would have liked to see him suspicious of Finn, you know, kind of like how Luke and Han were frenemies throughout much of the first movie. That dynamic could have paid off in spades.

Last you have the villains: Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, General Hux, and Snoke. First of all, I would have completely cut Snoke and General Hux out of the story. Those two characters are worse than useless. Kylo should’ve been unrelated to any of the legacy cast members, and I like the idea of Kylo and Phasma operating as teammates and co-villains. That would have given Phasma more presence, and not turned her into a total joke in the film.


Finally, what about the setting? The world of the story, in my opinion, really completes the idea of the vision.

I loved the opening shot in that trailer, with Rey speeding past the hazy wreckage of the Star Destroyer and the X-wing lying in the background. What a fantastic shot. The war between the Empire and the Rebellion has long since passed, but has the galaxy been at peace for the last thirty years? No!

Power vacuums don’t lead to peace and prosperity – they lead to more conflict. That’s good, because we need conflict for stories. In my world for TFA, the New Republic is in the process of installing peace and order throughout the galaxy, but there are still dangerous elements out there – terrorists, gangsters / criminals, evil breakaway organizations, etc.

And TFA seems to have been going in that direction with The First Order. Well done.

But what’s the angle here? What’s the last piece of the puzzle that makes the First Order’s antagonism so compelling? This is where we come back to the idea of the vision.

If Skywalker and the rest of our legacy heroes are trying to pass the torch to the next generation, then the antagonists, The First Order, have to be doing the opposite. They should be preying on people’s fears of chaos and disorder, and trying to bring back the days of The Empire. General Leia Organa, General Solo, Admiral Ackbar, Lando Calrissian(?) … these people should all be leading the forces of the New Republic, not something called “The Resistance”.

Luke should not be hiding somewhere like a coward – he should be looking to find and train any new potential Jedi (Rey, hint hint). The First Order should be trying to rewrite history. Discredit heroes. Prevent new ones from rising.


In my next and hopefully final post, I’ll offer a synopsis for my TFA-Revised story. Stay tuned.

Luke being Rey’s mentor is predictable and bland. The logical course of the stories of all the major players in the OT is that Luke teaches a Jedi Academy, Leia and Han have kids, and the remnants of the Empire band together. Yawn. If Leia is force sensitive, then her kid might be too. Since having a bunch of goody goody Jedi cadets like in the prequels would be boring, have one of them go evil and luckily we have the perfect candidate : Ben Solo AKA Kylo Ren. How would our heroes react? Hmm, well Leia and Han’s relationship would fall to ruin and Luke would feel really guilty and isolate himself. Leia wants to find Luke, and boom! Story of Kylo Ren.

Luke doesn’t hide because he’s a coward. He hides because of guilt and pain. Also, Harrison Ford is returning for Episode 8. He hates George Lucas more than Star Wars itself.

Your characters are also predictable and bland. Do we really need a mystery surrounding Finn? Mysteries are boring, and it’s counter intuitive to not know anything about one of your main characters. Your Rey is like a shonen anime character. Just training to defeat my enemies. Poe Dameron is not a main character. That would be Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren. Why do you think he isn’t fleshed out in the trailers while the aforemention three are?

Kylo Ren being a villain because villainy reasons is just like the prequels. In the movie, Kylo Ren is not a faceless evil-doer. He’s a human being who’s so lost his morality is backwards. Unlike Vader, he’s not an unstoppable force. He’s an insane fanatic who worships a burnt mask, punches his wounds, and KILLS his father. Han’s death was great. Everything from the lack of music to the performance of Adam Driver was fantastic. Did you understand any of the subtle drama that was in the movie or do you need it to be like the prequels, where it’s made obvious to the point of detriment.

The only thing that I didn’t like about TFA was that we didn’t know enough about Rey and that’s IT. It leads perfectly into a sequel though.

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StarChewyWar said:
Dude, you really need to do your research. The vision of the Force Awakens? To bring back the magic of Star Wars when the cynicism of the prequels and special editions scared it off. JJ Abrams is just like us. A fan. He loves Star Wars, and wants nothing more than replicate the magic of the original trilogy. So he used practical effects, shot it on 35mm film, wrote it with Lawrence Kasdan(writer of Empire Strikes Back and Indiana Jones), composed it with John Williams, used the aethstetics of Ralph McQuarrie, and made sure George Lucas was not involved at all. He didn’t have to do these things. Its similarities with the original Star Wars is not because lack of imagination but love.

That’s great. Those were all great choices. But all of those choices should have been a means, not an end.

StarChewyWar said:
Plotholes don’t matter.

You started a screenwriting thread to say this? Sorry for wasting my time in here.

StarChewyWar said:
The Dark Knight trilogy has billions of plotholes, yet it is one of the most critically acclaimed sagas of all time, up there with the original Star Wars trilogy.

lol

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Thank you for bringing the Dark Knight films into the conversation; I didn’t like them very much*. If TFA’s anything like those movies, perhaps I should do well to steer clear of it.

*The first two, that is. I didn’t bother with The Pretentious Nolan Rises.

“Okay, I’m goin’, takin’ off. See ya… bye….” — Chip Douglas

“This concludes our broadcast day. Click.” — Chip Douglas

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Alderaan is definitely on the right trak here.

BUT No, I would not take in Luke as the Mentor for Rey in TFA. I too think that is a bland choice.
Otherwise your ideas make perfect sense.
Kudos!

And what is it with the rude accusations of other forum members. Very un-jedi:ish. Alderaan made a very good post. Thank you.

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Alderaan said:

StarChewyWar said:
Dude, you really need to do your research. The vision of the Force Awakens? To bring back the magic of Star Wars when the cynicism of the prequels and special editions scared it off. JJ Abrams is just like us. A fan. He loves Star Wars, and wants nothing more than replicate the magic of the original trilogy. So he used practical effects, shot it on 35mm film, wrote it with Lawrence Kasdan(writer of Empire Strikes Back and Indiana Jones), composed it with John Williams, used the aethstetics of Ralph McQuarrie, and made sure George Lucas was not involved at all. He didn’t have to do these things. Its similarities with the original Star Wars is not because lack of imagination but love.

That’s great. Those were all great choices. But all of those choices should have been a means, not an end.

StarChewyWar said:
Plotholes don’t matter.

You started a screenwriting thread to say this? Sorry for wasting my time in here.

StarChewyWar said:
The Dark Knight trilogy has billions of plotholes, yet it is one of the most critically acclaimed sagas of all time, up there with the original Star Wars trilogy.

lol

I’ve explained before. Since you are such a screenwriting guru, can you tell me the difference between Story and Plot? Story is what matters most. It is the emotional value of the story. Plot is just what happens. Plot doesn’t matter. Even the greats like Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick don’t give a donkey’s butt about plot. Seen 2001 A Space Oddysey? It starts off with a bunch of monkeys. Then a monolith shows up for some reason. One monkey starts using bones, and then we flashforward to the future. In the future, a guy finds another monolith, and we flashforward again. Now it’s about an AI(artificial intelligence) who went rogue and killed all except one. That one guy goes into a wormhole and sees a bunch of weird stuff. Then he ends up in a bedroom and keeps seeing and becoming his older self until he dies and becomes a space baby. That was the plot. If plot really mattered, 2001 A Space Oddysey would not be considered one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time. The story is what really matters. It makes you think about evolution and life and how you define it.

Way to be a jerk and not even try to argue back.

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I, personally, had major difficulties going in to TFA.
I was nowhere near as prepared for post-ROTJ activity as I had thought I might be (a problem for the above stated reasons.)
I was not at all prepared for a "second act" sort of episode much darker than ESB. I believe I appreciated ROTS more than most fans and it was because I had made a considerable effort to brace myself for a great tragedy.
I find PC for the sake of PC to be extremely distracting and disturbing. Billions of people around the world have been conditioned since they were small children to HATE Western, Christian values. Pandering to these blind, vicious passions in global entertainment contributes to consigning ALL OF US to totalitarian agonies beyond imagining.(not to mention that it's piss-poor awful storytelling.)
I could never be a fan or watch a series like Breaking Bad.

I confess I don't know exactly where they intend to take these plotlines(or storylines.) These are very clever screenwriters and maybe they will subvert expectations.

To story development, Kylo breaking bad is, at least to me, a very great problem. I didn't need to see him kill Han, I was thinking "Uh-oh" 5 minutes into the movie when, with no apparent need or purpose(not even an unjustifiable need or evil purpose), he coldly and contemptuously ordered the village slaughtered. BY FAR the single worst thing in STAR WARS was Anakin killing the younglings. In the OT, we never saw Vader kill a noncombatant. A minute before he strangled Antilles that captain was ordering his men to kill Vader and his troops, and he was still resisting by lying in a matter that could cost hundreds of thousands of troops. We don't know if he personally ordered the burning of the homestead. He spoke with contempt of the "technological terror" as though he knew of and preferred an alternate method for order that might not involve killing billions of defenseless innocents in a destructive conflict. He personally did violence to his own officers in ESB. My point is not that Vader could be excused of the heinous crimes he was assisting(he paid for them with his life), but that we never saw him personally commit the most heinous deeds against helpless non-combatants out of cold dismissive contempt. This made the "There's still good in him" seem not entirely impossible. More importantly, it left a little bit of room for me to accept a possibility of his redemption. I could also tolerate Luke's effort to save his father.
 I don't watch local TV news. Too often they put up things like family members trying assist vicious punks and psychopaths who don't deserve such consideration. If I was the lawyer character in CAPE FEAR, it would have been the shortest feature in cinema history. "So, you've come here to threaten and perhaps perpetrate horrible violence against me and my family? MMM, okay"...*BLAM*..."Send me a postcard from hell and let me know how that plan is going." 
 I can't stand the more intense crime series because I can't tolerate the cold viciousness of the criminals and the stupidity of others around them who don't simply kill them and drop them in a hole. I know exactly why the monsters do it. They are vicious psychopaths who want to rid themselves of any vestige of humanity that might interfere with their sense of power and jollies from doing what we all, underneath it all, know is horrifyingly wrong.

   I think the basic characterization of Kylo is great. Worships the head of VADER, wants to be free to unleash his vicious impulses without guilt, loses his cool and thrashes when he doesn't get his way. Nice contrast from cool collected Vader. I just wish I was interested in something more out of him than being put down immediately. I wish I wasn't so annoyed with those who don't try to put him down immediately.
   
   This is the hazard of going so deep and dark in what is, at it's base, a Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers adventure serial.