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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Reviews    Movie, Television and DVD Reviews  ›  Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Moderators: Nixon
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  Author    Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  (currently 5908 views)
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: December 17th, 2015, 9:43pm Report to Moderator
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I'm a huge Star Wars fan. It defined my childhood, and,  in common with so many people whom work in the film industry, it is the reason I make films.

Directing films, writing scripts, is merely an extension of the time spent playing with Star Wars figures.

There are no other films like it, nor will there ever be. It was a transcendental experience in a way I don't honestly believe it's possible to achieve any more.

One of the strange things about Star Wars is that there is the dichotomy between the films that actually exist and the trillion different subjective experiences that represent Star Wars for everyone else.

This is partly because it's a very strange Universe. In George Lucas's mind it' always been a fun little kid's adventure, and so much of Star Wars output fits that model... but he invested it with a very deep mythology and despite the light tone, they contain some of the darkest stories ever committed to film.

Which other films, even the most gory horrors, contain the destruction of entire planets? Or the massacre of dozens of innocent children?

It's hard to think of another series that's so soft in tone on screen, but so bloodthirsty off screen.

Off screen Star Wars is one of the most violent series imaginable. Whole villages are wiped out in acts of genocide. People have their limbs chopped off, and their bodies burned to within an inch of their life.

This odd disparity has existed in all the films. They are clearly geared for children, yet the stories contained within them are dark, violent and uncompromising.

This latest iteration continues that trend and it's pretty good.

Not as good as most reviews are saying, and it can never be as good as the Star Wars that exists inside the heads of those of us who fell in love with the series all those years ago.

But it's pretty good.


MAJOR MAJOR SPOILERS:



MAJOR:


Hard to get away from the fact it's literally the first film remade, from secret plans inside a droid, to killing the Death Star to the confrontation between Han Solo and his son which mirrored that of Ben Kinobe and Vader from the first film.

They just changed a few people's names, gender and colour.



But it's still pretty good.

Even though:


EVEN BIGGER SPOILERS:

DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU'VE SEEN IT!!!!!!!'

BE WARNED:


Having read all the books...that's not how Han Solo died, or should die.    

And if you're going to play it like that, at least make it all a bit more emotional. That's Han Solo, man.

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AnthonyCawood
Posted: December 18th, 2015, 10:09am Report to Moderator
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Have to say that I loved it...

I agree that some elements are re-tellings of things from other episodes, but I didn't have an issue with that particularly as I thought there was a knowing reverance to it.

I though the cast were universally excellent, in particular Daisy Ridley who was just great as Rey.

What made this work for me was, I think, purely down to JJ... and the same thing he somehow managed to do with Star Trek too... he made it feel like it was tonally, directly connected to it's predecessors. Despite the improvement in CGI and effects he has crafted a film that felt that it could have been a couple of years after Jedi.

SPOILER - SPOLIER - SPOILER

Personal opinion re Han, I didn't need anymore emotional build up, it's Han fucking Solo and they killed him. The packed screening I was at were in total shock and involuntarily I grabbed my sons arm, at the same time as he was grabbing mine

So my summary, I think it worked better for me tha Scar, but each to their own...

I'll be going to see it again next week if I can get an IMAX ticket again!

Anthony


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: December 18th, 2015, 10:48am Report to Moderator
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I think he did a better job with this than Star Trek, tbh.

I really don't think he got Star Trek at all right. It's too generic, and has lost the feeling of wonder that the original Star Trek had.

It'll be interesting to see where this goes. I've read all the Expanded Universe stuff, which, of course, is no longer canon.

This era was actually the worst over all because it became quite dispiriting...seeing everything they'd all fought for and achieved in the classic era just falling apart around them.

It'll be interesting to see how, or if, they attempt to overcome that. They've made a good start by skipping over the New Jedi Order part, which was particularly downbeat at times.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: December 18th, 2015, 10:55am Report to Moderator
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RE: The Major Spoiler discussed above.


CRAZY HORRIBLE SPOILERS BELOW


AVOID IF NOT SEEN THE FILM


AVOID


AVERT THINE EYES

I think it would have helped the scene to know more about how Ben Solo had become so isolated from his father.

As it was, it felt contrived to me, essentially just there to crowbar a shock into the story because Harrison Ford didn't want to play the part any more, rather than a real plot point.

I also think it came a film too early. I think there should have been at least one point where all the old crew got together one last time on the Falcon. It should have ended with them all in the Falcon finding Luke.

Would have been a far better buzz.


I sort of feel bummed out about it now, tbh. Like I've been permanently robbed of what should have been a perfect moment.
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TonyDionisio
Posted: December 18th, 2015, 12:07pm Report to Moderator
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Great beginning. Great Rey character. Great chase scenes. Great villain until...

... the villain gets unmasked.

Shit saber battles. Shit job from a script perspective (was widely anticipated from the rushed job). Enough death stars already, can't think of any other doomsday weapons, guys?

Failed closure with the whole Solo thing. One of my all time favorite characters dispatched poorly.

Great job setting things up for what's to come. Here will lie a great challenge.

Act 1 = Amazing. Act 2 = Good. Act 3 = ho hum.

I had fun, but I knew I would. Will be interesting to read the script dissections.

Tony.

BTW, I didn't get a Star Trek preview (lol, they musta panic stripped it)

The Independence Day preview looked great in Imax.
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Equinox
Posted: December 18th, 2015, 1:23pm Report to Moderator
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JJ is a genius really. I've never been a big Star Wars fan, I'm more a Trekkie - so the new episode is not anywhere near the top of my movies-I-have-to-watch-list, but I might give it a try for Abrams alone. Initially the new Star Trek movies felt strange, but by now I'm used to the new tone and actors and I think those films are not bad at all. It's a bit difficult to get used to an established franchise which gets modified that extremely, but if you watch the films as a stand-alone movie series, I can really enjoy them. I still miss the TNG universe though.

About Star Wars, To me it always felt more like a fairy tale for kids than a SciFi blockbuster. The same story would work equally well with trolls and elves, the SciFi setting is just secondary here. Also the creatures in Star Wars are a tad too eccentric and unrealistic for me. Hell that rabbit-like thing made me leave the cinema in Episode I because I couldn't stand the idiot brabbling any longer. Skipped episode II and III after that, never seen them yet and don't think I've missed much. If kids seemed like the target audience of episodes IV to VI, episode I seemed as if it was meant for 2-3 year olds.



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Equinox
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Quoted from TonyDionisio

The Independence Day preview looked great in Imax.


Really looking forward to this one. Loved ID4 when it was made, the effects really were jawdroppers for me back then. I think I was 17 or 18 when it came out, if the new one is only half as good, I'll have to see it.


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Scar Tissue Films
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I thought this was a particularly good review.

http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2015/12/16/star-wars-the-force-awakens-review


Only thing I'd slightly disagree with is about Kylo Ren. I liked him, but he needs to be seriously pimped if he's to become a serious threat. He was too easily overcome by an untrained Jedi...which makes him seem extremely weak at this point.

An easy fix, but a necessary one.
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Logan McDonald
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Kylo Ren was by far my favorite character in the film. The choice to have him unmask at times was brilliant as it shows him as a vulnerable character and not up to snuff with Vader yet.

I read his character is actually supposed to be in his late teens so it makes sense that he was defeated by Rey and that he's not in complete control of his emotions as shown with his little temper tantrums to where the years of Rey waiting for her parents on Jakku (which was basically a long mediation exercise) helped her greatly. I’m excited to see where they take his character in the next two films.  I’m sure he’ll be much more of a threat in the next one.

I didn’t get a ST3 trailer either. I was really looking forward to laughing at it with the rest of the audience.


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_ghostwriters
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Where is George Lucas when we need him?

Ghostie


A-CAROLING FOR CHRISTMAS

GHOSTS OF APPALOOSA

RISE OF THE AMAZONS

THE SLEEPING TIGER

THE TIME GUARDIAN

https://lifeofrileysite.yolasite.com/resources/Jayonna%20Wick.pdf

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TonyDionisio
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Quoted from Logan McDonald
Kylo Ren was by far my favorite character in the film. The choice to have him unmask at times was brilliant as it shows him as a vulnerable character and not up to snuff with Vader yet.


Kinda disagree with that. The Vader mystery was money. When Ren took off the mask I was let down. They copied everything else from '77, why not Vader?
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JonnyBoy
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SPOLERS THROUGHOUT (naturally)

Just came back from seeing it - I walked out feeling elated that JJ Abrams had managed not to fumble it, and deliver a film that hits a lot of the Star Wars notes people wanted/expected. After Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull I felt 'I wish they hadn't', after this I thought 'I'm glad they did.'

Expectations were sky-high, and this didn't disappoint - so in that regard, the team behind it deserve credit. I even understand why they played it quite safe; as people have said above, this is very close to the plot of the original Star Wars - the desert planet where our hero lives opening, hiding documents inside a droid, the cantina scene, the Death Star and the bomb run down the trench, etc. I could honestly have done without a couple of the nods to the camera - 'There's a way to blow it up, right? There's always a way.', the parsecs gag, etc. i mean I get why they were there, so whatever.

It's also well-directed - the dogfights are visceral and exciting, the camera sweeping and swooping around with a kineticism that surpasses anything in the prequels. The landscapes are used to great effect, and JJ Abrams does a really good job of conveying the relative size of things in this universe - Rey standing in front of the downed Destroyer was a great shot. The action is breathless and brilliantly handled, particularly at the start. The Millennium Falcon escape through the Destroyer, particularly that last flip to bring the TIE Fighter into the path of Finn's gun, had me whooping and cheering - best bit of the film, for me. We know JJ Abrams is a master choreographer of action sequences - look at the opening of Star Trek, or the crash on the beach sequence in the pilot of Lost, or the helicopter flight through the power turbines in MI:III, or the train derailment in Super 8. He gets how to convey the nervous, 'what's going to happen next' momentum of those, and so from that point of view, full marks from me.

But.

As this is a board of screenwriters, naturally it's the writing we ultimately focus on. And as far as the script goes, the more I thought about it on the way home the less of an unqualified success it became. On an emotional and adrenaline level, it delivers. But on a thinking level, I sort of get the feeling it doesn't want you to look that hard - not because, as with the original, it's fundamentally simple (in a good, fairy-tale way), but because there are plot conveniences and pacing issues that make you think this could have done with another draft.

(This is going on a bit, but you don't have to keep reading! )

The first third is really good. Up until the end of that awesome Millennium Falcon escape sequence, when they escape Jakku, I had no complaints whatsoever. Characters introduced well, mysteries set up which you wanted answered, pacing spot on. But after that, the issues begin. I've covered what I feel are the main one below - I know there are ways to answer them if you really try hard enough, and indeed JJ Abrams has tried to do that a bit already, and having only seen it once I await someone to sweep in and point out blink-and-I-missed it lines of dialogue that fill in entire backstories, Steven Moffat-style, but here we go:

---

- is it not mightily convenient that Han Solo and Chewbacca find the Falcon so quickly? I think there was a line suggesting that there was some sort of tracker on the ship, and once Rey switched it back on (useful that it was fully fueled, btw), that led Solo to it. But he still would have had to be in the vicinity of Jakku to get there so quickly. And also very convenient that two rival gangs, both of whom Han owed, were also immediately nearby to simultaneously board his freighter. Just how small is this galaxy? I think the crazy sequence with the escaped aliens is supposed to distract us at that point, but sorry, nu-uh. I'm still wonderin'.

- I know to have over-done this would be to veer into Prequels-type territory, but was anybody else really clear on the political situation in the galaxy, 30 years on? In the original trilogy, it was straight-forward: Empire huge, everywhere, evil; Rebel Alliance small, plucky, trying to survive long enough to inflict meaningful damage. Here, the First Order emerges out of the Empire... but is it now the Empire? How do they have so much stuff? The silly added scenes in the Special Edition of VI show seemingly the entire galaxy - including Coruscant, seat of the Senate and presumably the capital of the Empire - celebrating the downfall of the Emperor. And yet the First Order have seemingly massive armies, and have built a weapon far bigger than anything the Empire managed at its peak. The Resistance - what are they resisting? The First Order? When Starkiller Base's weapon is fired, and blows up those planets - is that the Senate it's just destroyed? So does that mean they've wiped out the New Republic and thrown the galaxy into chaos? I respect that they wanted to keep the focus tight and may have wanted to avoid anything even remotely political for fear of comparisons with the trade embargoes of Phantom Menace. But the lack of context meant I was never clear what the stakes were. Who has the upper hand in this fight?

Was Starkiller Base the entire home of the First Order, or was it just one superweapon like the Death Star (in which case, expect to see it re-built by Episode IX)? The Stormtroopers don't seem to be occupiers as they were in the original trilogy, they seem to hang out on Starkiller Base and attack Jakku, wherever Maz Kanata's bar was, when necessary. So how did no-one know about their MASSIVE space station? You surely couldn't keep that a secret. And I think that the First Order knew where the Resistance headquarters was, unlike in the original trilogy where they're always looking for the Rebel base (which is constantly on the move, the rebels by necessity having to keep moving 'cos, y'know, they're rebels). So why have they not tried to take it with their enormous army and ships before now? Are they evenly matched? And if so, are you really a 'resistance' if you're on an equal footing with what you're resisting? What are they resisting, exactly? The First Order, on behalf of the Senate? In which case, why aren't they just the Republic?

One final thing: Hux and Kylo Ren seem to be zealots (is Snoke in charge here? In which case I get Ren's loyalty, but why is Hux taking orders from him?), but the general level of fanaticism seems to be changeable depending on what the script requires to happen at that moment. Everyone seems to hate Finn - Hux balks at the suggestion that one of his soldiers, trained at birth, could have gone rogue, and there was a contradiction about his track record - 'he's shown insubordination before', 'no this was his first offence', which was confusing. Maybe that's supposed to be seeding a strand in his backstory, I don't know. When that Stormtrooper spies Finn outside Maz Kanata's bar he certainly seems to hate the 'traitor', and attacks him with gusto. But when Captain Phasma - who was ABSURDLY underused, really quite prominent in the marketing but she had maybe three whole scenes, perhaps ten lines of dialogue in the whole film, and I don't think even got to fire that blaster - has a gun put to her head, she's more than happy to power down the shields to save her own life. So is she less committed to the cause than the soldiers she leads? In which case, somebody somewhere promoted the wrong person.

- you can't just not explain how Maz Kanata got Luke's lightsaber. I know they'll be keeping that for the sequel, but a) that's lazy, acknowledging the existence of a plot-hole doesn't make it not exist, and b) having been so let down by the ending of Lost I'm now wary when JJ Abrams sets a mystery up about what the payoff will be. If his track record is anything to go by, the secret to the Force will be that there's a mysterious room with a massive cork in it that you MUST NOT PULL OUT. Or you must pull out. I can't remember.

So, yes, I know you need ongoing story threads that will be explored over future films. But that was my issue with Avengers: Age of Ultron. I don't want to see you moving the chess pieces into position for the next instalment. Give me plot development, not holes that need filling.

[Continued in Part 2 as apparently this is too long!]


Guess who's back? Back again?

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PART II (spoliers continue)

- Han and Leia's relationship is pretty underwritten. I understand having them estranged at the start creates narrative conflict that can be resolved, but I don't think the script really delivers on that. Han seems to suggest that the reason Leia doesn't want to see him is because when she looks at him she sees their murderous son (dunno why mate, he looks nothing like you). But Leia doesn't seem to be very angry or cold towards him when they're first reunited - in fact General Organa doesn't seem very much of anything in this film, Carrie Fisher picking one facial expression and sticking with it throughout. Even when she senses Han's death she doesn't seem particularly bothered, break down or something lady! He's supposed to be the love of your life, and your son just stuck a lightsaber through his chest! The Han-Leia relationship doesn't so much arc as sort of flat-line, the screenwriters apparently thinking referencing their sparring in the original trilogy will make up for them retaining any sort of spark in this. There's no kiss, no argument, no nothng. We get one hug. One. That's it.

The moment when Han dies has a sort of blunt-force emotional impact given the iconic status of his character, but for me it happens too quickly. We don't know enough about their relationship - and they DID have a relationship at one point, unlike Luke who never knew Anakin - to understand the way they speak to each other. When did they last see each other? Did they get on? Did Ben Solo have a happy childhood? Is Han angry about what his son did, is he able to forgive him or is he doing that for Leia's sake?

I think you needed a socking great argument between Han and Leia once he arrived at the base where thirty-odd years of estrangement, and hurt, all suddenly blow up. Maybe they're icily civil to each other during their initial meeting, something is said with others present, and then Han takes her aside and they have a HUGE fight. There's been a complete misunderstanding - Han thought the best thing to do was leave Leia alone, but what she needed more than anything was for him to stick around and help her through it. She lost both her brother and her son, dammit, she didn't want to lose him too! And then an argument turns into some sort of romantic reconciliation, a suggestion that, if he returns with their son, maybe they can rebuild their family. Han will pack in the smuggling, settle down. So when Han dies, we're sad because what's lost is his and Leia's potential happiness, as well as obviously his life. Nothing in that particular set of relationships had any real weight or significance for me, because they hadn't worked hard enough to establish how those three felt about each other.

It was a bit sad to see nobody has progressed as a character in 30 years. What did they go through the original films for, then? Han Solo out there smuggling with Chewie, getting into trouble over unpaid debts - this is exactly where he was at the start of ANH. I thought he learnt something from the trilogy, learned some things were more important than his own small existence, learned not to run away from stuff? And Leia - she's become a general now, but otherwise she doesn't seem to have changed at all. This is a mistake the writers of How I Met Your Mother made with Barney in the series finale: by dismissing a character's growth and putting them back exactly where they were, for me you dismiss and undermine the growth, and experiences that cause that growth, we enjoyed watcing first time round.

I also agree that Han Solo's exit felt rushed. Presumably Harrison Ford only agreed to do one more film? With so much going on, and new characters to introduce and set up, his 'arc' (such as it was) didn't really have space to breath. I know a character should have died, but perhaps it should have been Chewie. Someone we care about, but not someone whose departure leaves big unresolved business behind.

- I know this will be answered, but it's still irritating in its current form: how does Rey become so Force-adept in the space of thirty minutes that she's able to beat Kylo Ren, who's been studying this stuff for ages, in a lightsaber battle? I liked the scene with the interrogation and her finding the power to fight back, that was fine. But as soon as she did the mind trick thing, I thought 'oh. That was easy.' It took Luke three films to learn how to do that, and she's doing it ten minutes later? I know she had been told she had gifts by Maz Kanata, so maybe she was just accepting those, but how did she know the Force even had that ability? And then she has a close-y eyes moment, and suddenly she's destroying Kylo Ren.

Which at the very least diminishes him as a villain for any future appearances - if Rey, who didn't even know Luke Skywalker was real at the start of the film, can beat him before she's even trained, then it's a foregone conclusion if they ever face off again. Or if he faces off against Luke. And I know you can argue 'oh he's distracted by the death of his father, oh he's been shot and clearly in pain so he's not at full capacity', but that's like how people often have to engineer a situation where there's Kryptonite so that Superman doesn't immediately beat anyone. It's narrative convenience, nothiing more. Kylo Ren was comprehensivley beaten by a complete Force amateur. In fact, when did he actually do anything apart from tantrum and whine? I know that was his character, and seeing someone with the Force just lash out rather than be cool and calculating was enjoyable and different. But as we all know, screenwriting is about choices, and he doesn't walk away with much credit at the end. More so than Hux, I guess, who Vader would totally have killed by now.

What does Rey have left to learn over the next few films? She's already beaten Kylo Ren in their first encounter, who appears to be (joint?) second-in-command of the whole First Order. When Luke faced Vader at the end of ESB, he was warned he wasn't ready - and he wasn't, he lost a hand and had to jump down a massive hole to escape with his life. At this rate, Rey will be Neo-flying, Matrix Reloaded style, by Episode VIII (oh God, please don't let that happen...)

- but my biggest issue was the ending. R2-D2, having been dormant for 30 years and with no-one, even his close (or at least old) friends C-3PO and Leia, able to coax him back to life, chooses the exact moment when our characters are assembled at the end to switch back on. What triggered that? JJ Abrams has said in an interview that BB-8 comes up to him and says 'hey, I have this bit of a map. Do you have the rest?', and that somehow reaches R2 in his robo-coma and switches him back on (and whaddaya know! R2 had the map all along). Which is all well and good, but we don't speak droid! How are we as the viewers supposed to know that?

And then the final journey to Luke. Rey doesn't have to work to find him. She's given a map with exact co-ordinates. Personally, I think they could have ended with a shot of Luke on that planet looking out into the distance - maybe he senses the awakening too - and have Rey's quest to find him be part of the plot of Ep VIII. Or, alternatively, I wondered if he might show up in the woods to save Rey from Kylo Ren. After years and years of hiding out, he's felt the awakening Snoke has felt, and so finally emerges from hiding, facing off against his former mentee (like Vader and Obi Wan at the end of ANH). Perhaps that would have been too early in the arc of this trilogy - we may not to get to see that showdown until Episode IX - but I think it could have worked. Luke appears - but perhaps we don't know it's Luke - saves Rey, and maybe they disappear together, back to his hideout planet. Finn wakes up, alone in the forest. No-one knows where Rey is - did she survive? He mourns her loss, thinking her dead (and will do so for most - or perhaps all - of Episode VIII). Meanwhile, at the end of the film, Rey wakes up in a strange hut on a strange island, walks outside, and the figures turns, drops the hood, and BOOM. It's Luke.

I dunno. Just ideas. And I know it's a cardinal screenwriting sin to start rewriting someone's movie for them. But as it is now, Rey is simply handed the complete answer to how to find Luke, which for me happens WAY too easily. I pulled that in a script once, and everyone here called me out on it. And rightly so.

---

That's a lot, but I did actually enjoy it. Overall, I'd probably give it 4 out of 5 stars - but that in itself is a bit sad, when did we collectively agree that logic and storytelling aren't really that important in modern-day blockbusters? Big picture great, but details hazy; it's like in Star Trek Into Darkness, where they revive Kirk: well done guys, you just destroyed death! No-one can ever die in a Star Trek film now, there's no jeopardy as none of our characters need ever be in mortal peril! Oh wait, unless we all agree to conveniently forget about that once this film is over. Let's all just do that, yeah?

So execution of the visuals, performances (particularly of the young leads, John Boyega in particular was good and I look forward to spending more time with Poe Dameron, even though his name invokes memories of Nicolas Cage's character in Con Air), music, overall tone: spot-on. Great work from many, many departments. But that script is flimsy, for me. Some scenes try to get by on referencing the old stuff, and the narrative requires you to not look too closely lest you stop and say 'waaaaait a minute'. Overall, I wasn't disappointed, very much enjoyed it, and left the cinema smiling. But as with the unnuanced delirium surrounding Skyfall - which again, when you actually look at it, doesn't make a lick of sense - I think people are being over the top in their praise.

It's great it's back, and JJ Abrams did a fantastic job of safely and competently handling a near impossible task. But I hope this kind of narrative sloppiness doesn't become the new norm.


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Nice heart-felt review, JonnyBoy. I think you nailed it on the head. Great film that made long-time fans feel like a kid again. And that's fantastic. GJ JJ Abe'rams.

As a script though, once the euphoria wears off, it is clear to me that after 50 mins, this thing was rushed. THey needed .5 to 1 more year to nail this like a prostitute.

But, can't wait for the next 2. Don;t drop the ball on part 2, Johnny-Abrams.
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stevie
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Great review JB!

I had thoughts of gong to see this over the last few months. I saw the original Star Wars in the cinema in 1978 and it was huge.

But I read some early reviews of this one and learned it was basically a rehash of ANH , I couldn't be bothered seeing it and read all the spoilers etc so I know everything that happens lol!

Think I'll stick to watch the original every now and then and pass on these modern films. Like the music industry, the films nowadays are pretty average by what I read about them. The problem is the acting. It ain't like the old days...


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Scar Tissue Films
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Good review, Johnny.


In many ways the new film is as seriously flawed as the prequels, just in a different way.

The Force Awakens got the tone spot on, but the story is derivative and the bad guys seem awful, thus far.


You've got teenage parodies of Vader and Moff Tarkin. Ren has already been bested by a novice. Unless he kills her now, there's little way to restore his credibility (and that won't happen.) Perhaps he'll go to the light side.

PHASMA even manages to out stupid Jar Jar Binks. This is a character that has acquiesced to the killing of millions (you'd presume by the size of the Starkiller) of her fellow soldiers, and destroyed the strategic advantage the First Order have over the Resistance/Republic the first time a gun is held to her head. She's also so wildly incompetent she trains Stormtroopers who refuse to kill.

We're now going to watch the inevitable attempt to make her seem tough when she starts fighting in the next one, but it's too late. They may as well have killed her off.

The only story-line that would make sense now is if she was some kind of plant, deliberately undermining the First Order. She's tall...maybe it was Chewie with a dictaphone.

Let's hope the overgrown Gollum has got something up his sleeve.

The bad guys have a lot to prove for "The Order Strikes Back".
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TonyDionisio
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Yeah,

Once the "euphoria" wears off, this movie has lots to be desired. I'm already in a love-hate feel and i only saw it once. The Death/reveal was horrible.
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JonnyBoy
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So much was right - but like any film, it lives and dies on the script. And once they leave Jakku, that starts to feel a bit first drafty. Major conveniences, unclear motivations, choices undermining characters, pacing troubles - these are all issues we as screenwriters know. And they can be fixed, you just have to put the work in and not assume everything else will make up for it!

It's a well-directed, well-acted, enjoyable film. Just in need of a rewrite! But hey - that's Hollywood, right? Apparently even the near-perfect Pixar dropped the ball on The Good Dinosaur...


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DarrenJamesSeeley
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I Having seen it opening day, my first reaction was that it was good, but not great. A few days pass, and I am faced with a sad truth. I liked Revenge Of The Sith better.  In fact, I have no intention of seeing Force Awakens a second time in theaters. None. Once was enough. If anyone wants repeats viewings, knock yourselves out but....

Look, i liked Force Awakens, alright? But now I'm convinced that, in spite of of the first rebooted Star Trek, I will never be a JJ Abrams fan. Ever.

SPOILS AHEAD

So...let me get this right. Luke Skywalker disappears and everyone is trying to find him. The revived remains of the Empire, now known as First Order, wants to kill the last jedi once and for all. So, Luke Sywalker FAILED to teach Leia the ways of The Force. He FAILED Han and Leia's son who went over to the dark side and who killed off any other jedi students Luke was training (although I suspect he missed one). Han Solo, whose character arc in the OT was well defined, FAILED. He goes back to being in debt as a smuggler. Leia seems to have stuck with 'The Resistance' - wait a minute. You mean the defeat of The Empire at Endor was as liberating as we thought? Hmmm...oh yeah, Leia FAILED as a mother and as a JEDI.

R2 D2 is depressed. Refuses to turn on. C-3PO has a red arm because, metaphorically, his right arm (R2) is shut down.

and the Rebels, now the resistance, are outgunned and overwhelmed.

Welcome back, fans.

Great introduction to Po.  MIA during most of the film. Guy helps you escape, you leave him for dead and leave your jacket behind. Hell, you don't even bother looking for the faithful BB8. Finn finds the driod he's looking for without much problem.

The First Order wants the droid because it carries info on Skywalker's location. They knock out entire communities without caring if the robot might get blown up with it. But it's by reputation. I liked the upgrade, and the possibility of one or more could defect (I suspect Cpn Fassma one to either look the other way, given the fact that she caved into lowering the shields very quickly)

BWhy is a character named Kylo Ren? Why is he dressed like he is? Why does he worship the memory of Darth Vader? We find out that he was formerly known as Ben Solo but he does not have a 'Darth' name. He is, for the most part, not scarred so he really does not need this getup and, given his worship of his grandfather, isn't he aware that his grandfather still had reddeming qualities and chose to re-join in his final moments, the light side of The Force?  There's only but a few answers:

1-  It's a bad attempt at mis-direction on JJ Abrams part for a second film in a row, where a character goes by a  false name to conceal his actual identity. If he isn't a Darth yet, why bother changing his name and if he did worship his grandfather in that way, why not call himself a Darth? Darth Ren. Hey, that works, doesn't it? Folks have correctly speculated that he is related to the Skywalker line, so it wasn't a big surprise.

2- He's a Darth Vader wanna be. He really doesn't need the mask, and wears it just to be mysterious, even though EVERYONE knows who he is/was.

3- He's delusional and is second guessed by FO officers who love to give big dictator-ish speeches.

The squid scene didn't belong in this film. It kills the Raid actors in mere seconds. It drags Finn along and ....well, these creatures only kills the expendable characters I 'spose.

The telegraphing of Han's death. You see it coming, but there was no buildup to it. It's also not a hero's death. And I heard folks say "we didn't actually see him die" Yeah, well, Leia felt the disturbance in the force and Han was stabbed through the chest with a lightsaber, fell down the bottomless chasm and the PLANET BLEW UP. So, unless Han learned The Force and becomes a Force Gost or has a hologram goodbye, that's it for Han Solo. Least until his early years spinoff movie anyway, which now seems llike a moot point.

So what made the film worth my time? The actors. While I hated Attack Of The Block Boyaga was entertaining as Finn as Daisy Ridley's Rei is a great discovery. BB8 was also enjoyable.  I didn't mind some of the parallels between this and A New Hope. I felt they were different enough.









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Dustin
Posted: December 21st, 2015, 3:26pm Report to Moderator
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The film is a money generator. It does just enough to rake in the cash.

Star Wars had its day. It's time for something new.


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TonyDionisio
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Quoted from Dustin
The film is a money generator. It does just enough to rake in the cash.

Star Wars had its day. It's time for something new.


MAKE IT SO!

oops, wrong universe!
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JonnyBoy
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Quoted from Dustin
The film is a money generator. It does just enough to rake in the cash.

Star Wars had its day. It's time for something new.


You'd hope Disney would use the billions it's making from Marvel, will make from Star Wars, etc, and the creative freedom that financial security can provide, to do something other than finance live-action adaps of fairytale movies from its back catalogue. Take smart, considered but ambitious risks on introducing the NEXT generation of great stories and characters.

We shall see.


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JonnyBoy  -  December 21st, 2015, 7:11pm
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AnthonyCawood
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Most studio models these days use existing franchises to support new films...

Disney/Pixar had Inside Out, Last Dinosaur and Tomorrowland out this year and next year has Zootopia, The Finest Hours, Moana and Queen of Katwe on it's slate.

Should the mix be more orginal films? Definitely. Will it be anytime soon, no, not while current model works for the studios... Disney has just hit 5bn dollars for the year, why would it change?

Anthony


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JonnyBoy
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Quoted from AnthonyCawood
Most studio models these days use existing franchises to support new films...

Disney/Pixar had Inside Out, Last Dinosaur and Tomorrowland out this year and next year has Zootopia, The Finest Hours, Moana and Queen of Katwe on it's slate.

Should the mix be more orginal films? Definitely. Will it be anytime soon, no, not while current model works for the studios... Disney has just hit 5bn dollars for the year, why would it change?


Of course it's showbusiness first and foremost. I get that. Any private company is accountable to its shareholders, their duty is to protect their profits and investment.

And actually I don't include Walt Disney Animation (and now by extension Pixar) in that. John Lasseter appreciates the value of an original tale, has done back since Toy Story. Pixar is a brand where people now expect high-calibre, original storytelling, which is why I'm slightly disheartened by the upcoming run of Finding Dory (Nemo 2), Cars 3, Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4, with one original story in there. Even they're apparently starting to play it safe.

In terms of live action... I suppose what I'm saying is, where's the next original, surprising action franchise? The MCU has to date turned a profit of just under $7bn. But the comic book bubble will surely burst eventually. No genre stays on top forever. Queen of Katwe, the second upcoming live action film you cited, has a budget (according to Deadline) of $15m. Hardly like for like. Meanwhile, Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Alice Through the Looking Glass (In Wonderland 2) are on their way, with Dumbo, Mulan, Pinocchio etc announced. And even on the Animation front, which I defended earlier, Zootopia and Moana are followed by Gigantic (a Jack and the Beanstalk adap, not IP), Frozen 2, Wreck-It-Ralph 2, and Big Hero 6 2.

I know that's probably just the way the world is, get in line and stop whining etc. But even simply as a movie fan, it's a bit sad. I guess it sort of chimes with TIME's review of TFA:  "somewhere along the way, Abrams begins delivering everything we expect, as opposed to those nebulous wonders we didn't know we wanted." I'd love it if studios gave me the future classics I didn't know I was going to fall in love with, rather than the big-budget pictures their focus groups, tracking and audience insights tell them I'll, to an acceptably safe level of probabilty to commit that investment, like.


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Angry Bear
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All I know is that if you have kids and you tell them, oh my gosh, there's Finding Nemo part 2 coming out!!!! vs there's a new original movie coming called Kitty the Cat goes to space!!! Which one would you like to see? I'm pretty sure the child would pick the Nemo one. Unless they have never seen that movie and are unfamiliar with the characters. Same thing goes for me, sorry to say. I'll stick to stuff I know I've liked in the past. You can even take that out of the movie business and into any other business. If I go to a restaurant and I've eaten a dish there that I really loved, I'm more likely to chose that dish again, rather than pick something new and unfamiliar. I'll take that same theory to appliances even. I bought Samsung's washer and dryer a few years back. Best washer and dryer I've ever had. Super happy with them. I recently needed to buy a new dishwasher and went straight for the Samsung brand because I trusted them to be good. Fortunately, my husband did some research first nd learned that their dishwasher are garbage! But, that shows you how eagerly we are willing to pick something we've had a good experience with in the past over something new. I'm guessing that's why studios stick to the familiar the audience are most likely to pick. My take.  


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TonyDionisio
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Disney drops more money from its pockets than the whole Star Wars franchise in 1 week.

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stevie
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The slew of kids animated movie is the sludge pit of entertainment in my book. They just keep churning them out and the drones keep going and watching. Parents relish that the kids will be kept quiet for a couple of hours ( actually more like 90 minutes now). Pure shit in my opinion.

Actually I'm surprised these rubbish keeps making money as most kids now play far more mature games on the consoles. I guess they still like the cartoony things as well.



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JonnyBoy
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Quoted from Angry Bear
All I know is that if you have kids and you tell them, oh my gosh, there's Finding Nemo part 2 coming out!!!! vs there's a new original movie coming called Kitty the Cat goes to space!!! Which one would you like to see? I'm pretty sure the child would pick the Nemo one. Unless they have never seen that movie and are unfamiliar with the characters. Same thing goes for me, sorry to say. I'll stick to stuff I know I've liked in the past. You can even take that out of the movie business and into any other business. If I go to a restaurant and I've eaten a dish there that I really loved, I'm more likely to chose that dish again, rather than pick something new and unfamiliar. I'll take that same theory to appliances even. I bought Samsung's washer and dryer a few years back. Best washer and dryer I've ever had. Super happy with them. I recently needed to buy a new dishwasher and went straight for the Samsung brand because I trusted them to be good. Fortunately, my husband did some research first nd learned that their dishwasher are garbage! But, that shows you how eagerly we are willing to pick something we've had a good experience with in the past over something new. I'm guessing that's why studios stick to the familiar the audience are most likely to pick. My take.


Ha, fair enough.

It's that old business vs. art dilemma, I guess. Are films ultimately the same as dishwashers? Are we as screenwriters basically dishwasher designers?


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Dustin
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My kids would pick both. With a dishwasher we only need one (most of us do anyway)... with films we can watch two if we please.


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Angry Bear
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My point was that humans tend to pick what we already know to be good or are familiar with wether it's movies, restaurants, appliances or anything else. And, for the record, I only have one dishwasher.  


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Scar Tissue Films
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People...in whatever artistic field... always call for originality.

When originality is delivered...they don't buy it. What they say they want and what they spend their money on are two different things.

It's the same in life: If asked people overwhelmingly say that they support animal welfare, but when given a choice they overwhelmingly go for the cheapest meat.

I remember attending a UK Film council event where people were talking about how to grow the British independent film scene. The woman doing the talk, a distributor, asked the three hundred or so audience how many people had seen certain British independent films that had been on at cinemas that year...about ten hands went up.

Her point was simple...you can't grow the scene because even the most clued up people who actively want a thriving independent scene don't support it.

It's that old Catch 22...there's no money to market different stuff, so no-one goes to see it....and no-one goes to see them so there's no money for marketing.



All that being said: Original IP's are released, often they're just not very good. Films like Jupiter Ascending, Elysium, Oblivion etc. If they were good they'd become the new Star Wars...but usually they aren't.

And usually they're not very good is that the scripts aren't great.

Most of the better films are adapted from novels, or graphic novels imo.
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JonnyBoy
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
People...in whatever artistic field... always call for originality.

When originality is delivered...they don't buy it. What they say they want and what they spend their money on are two different things.

Probably true. I think part of it is brand.

It's the same in life: If asked people overwhelmingly say that they support animal welfare, but when given a choice they overwhelmingly go for the cheapest meat.

I remember attending a UK Film council event where people were talking about how to grow the British independent film scene. The woman doing the talk, a distributor, asked the three hundred or so audience how many people had seen certain British independent films that had been on at cinemas that year...about ten hands went up.

Her point was simple...you can't grow the scene because even the most clued up people who actively want a thriving independent scene don't support it.

It's that old Catch 22...there's no money to market different stuff, so no-one goes to see it....and no-one goes to see them so there's no money for marketing.


Of course, that's true. The most experimental films aren't going to garner as wide an audience, and I'm sure there are dozens, even hundreds, of films around the world that escape the attention of even those of who snootily claim to be more 'up' on this stuff.

But my point is, you'd hope in an idealistic, naive world that Disney (and others) would spend some of the billions they're making on producing solid, enjoyable, even sometimes excellent comic book adaptations to 'pay that forward' and bring new stories, new characters. If they don't all work, you've got your bankers that you can fall back on.

I work for a theatre publisher, and it's a similar argument there: the West End producers here in London are unwilling to take chances on big new musicals, they'd much rather it either have proved it can draw audiences either regionally/abroad or in subsidised theatres before they'll commit the investment to put that show in a massive theatre. But that's changing a bit, there's a recognition that without a steady supply of new material coming through you run the risk of choking the growth of the next generation of talent, and ultimately maybe boring audiences if all you give them is revivals. The success of the mega-hits gives you the freedom to experiment, to trust your taste and use the marketing powers/channels you've established, and the brand you've built up, to take those chances and try and convince the audience to turn out. Fingers crossed the film industry comes to the same realisation.

I kind of like Megan Ellison for this reason - she has money, being the daughter of a billionaire, but rather than take safe bets her company Annapurna Pictures claims to have the goal of 'creating sophisticated, high-quality films that might otherwise be deemed risky by contemporary Hollywood studios.' That seems to me to be encouraging.

Just thank goodness George Lucas was allowed to create Star Wars, Indiana Jones etc in the first place! If he and Steven Spielberg were coming through today, would they have been allowed to make those films? (I know that's a slightly weird argument, because WITHOUT those two - and others - in the '70s, the whole system would probably look different today, so it wouldn't be the same environment now anyway).


Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
All that being said: Original IP's are released, often they're just not very good. Films like Jupiter Ascending, Elysium, Oblivion etc. If they were good they'd become the new Star Wars...but usually they aren't.

And usually they're not very good is that the scripts aren't great.

Most of the better films are adapted from novels, or graphic novels imo.


Ha - Oblivion may not have been an adaptation, but it was in no way original. It was like Planet of the Apes, The Matrix, Moon, Independence Day, a splash of I, Robot and a whole bunch of other films had been put in a blender and turned into a sort of sci-fi sludge. Agreed though, the answer is to write scripts so good people feel they can't afford to not make them, for fear of missing out on the next big thing!

(Sorry this has drifted massively off-topic.)


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Dustin
Posted: December 22nd, 2015, 9:32am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Angry Bear
My point was that humans tend to pick what we already know to be good or are familiar with wether it's movies, restaurants, appliances or anything else. And, for the record, I only have one dishwasher.  


My dishwasher broke recently, so now I have four dishwashers. Some people might call them children.


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TonyDionisio
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What you guys watch today is 2+ years ago by time it gets to the screen. Focus on great stories and you can never be outdated.
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Equinox
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I think the trend goes away from remakes and sequels slowly but steady. Just about all those episode no. 95 revamps come in with declining box office returns. It still works, yes, most of them still break even, but the numbers are dropping. It seems a bit like the film industry still relies on them because they don't have a better idea of what to do. But even they must realize that this concept will be over the hill sooner or later.


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AnthonyCawood
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I'm not convinced the stats back up your thoughts Thorsten... 4 of the all time box office top 10 are movies released this year, and Star Wars will join them very soon.

Jurassic World, FnF 7, Age of Ultron and Minions... every one of them a sequel.

J World is the 4th installment a Universal film
FnF is 7th installment a Universal film
Minions is 3rd installment a Universal film

So if 3rd 4th and 7th installments can all make more money than their predecessors, well Hollywood will keep still backing these bankers... and we keep seeing them.

But as I said earlier and others have said too... these bankers allow studios to make other things with a safety net... for Universal this year those 3 films made over 3 billion and allowed them to also make Legend, The Visit, Everest, Krampus and Crimson Peak to name a few.

I genuinely believe that the Super Hero thing will wane over time, these thing tend to be cyclical, and when it does we'll complain about too many Westerns, or SciFis, or whatever the box office juggernauts at the time are.

I'm with Dustin's kids... I'll see both!


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bert
Posted: December 23rd, 2015, 9:34am Report to Moderator
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I have been scrupulously avoiding this thread, and finally got my chance to check out the film last night.  For me, I can see where the haters are coming from, but I enjoyed it quite a bit, given that nostalgia played a fairly large part of that.

It felt like it belonged in the Star Wars universe.  That was mission critical, and as far as that goes, they knocked it out of the park.  The rest is quibbles with their choices.

It was as great as it could be to see Han and Chewy return to the proceedings. Like many, I hated where it eventually led.  It felt forced and unearned.  That was a big flaw.  And somebody give Harrison Ford a comb already.

No problems with the new faces.  They were unavoidable, and while the new girl is actually pretty good, things came to her far too easily.  That was also a flaw.

Kylo Ren was a swing and a miss.  They are going about this petulant novice thing all wrong.  If they really want a villain that is both whiny and effective -- with annoyingly great hair -- then they need to check out Tom Hiddleston's work in the Marvel Universe.  Whoever is working on the next script would be well served to inject a bit more Loki into Kylo.

The biggest problem for me, however, is that it felt like a chapter was missing.  Han and Leia had a kid?  Trained by Luke until it all went tits-up, with death, destruction, and Luke on the run?  All of that sounds pretty awesome, and this current story would have had far more resonance if we could have seen the previous story instead of a heaping helping of bland exposition.  But exposition has always been a weakness of the Star Wars universe, so in an odd way, it seems almost appropriate to find it here.  

The first half of this thread is a joy to read.  Great thoughts on this film from peers with interesting opinions, better than any review I've read.

It would be nice to steer this back on topic, if we could.  Haters who have not even seen the film sweeping in with blustery, judgmental proclamations serve little purpose.  The second half of this thread is kind of tedious, derailing a conversation I was quite enjoying.


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Quoted from bert
It felt like it belonged in the Star Wars universe.  That was mission critical, and as far as that goes, they knocked it out of the park.  The rest is quibbles with their choices.


That's a pretty good summary. Agree with most of the rest of what you say. I think my top three issues, all of which relate to sloppy writing in the second half, are:

- Rey's immediate, effortless and UNEARNED transformation from 'what's the Force?' to totally adept, ass-kicking master/mistress. Happened quickly enough to make you wonder what Luke was taking his sweet time about in the OT, and also made it laughably easy for her to get out of any tight spots here.

At the controls of a beaten-up, presumably difficult-to-fly-due-to-its-odd-shape (no wings) spaceship you didn't even know worked before now? Effortlessly fly it through the innards of a Destroyer pulling off manoeuvres the trained-from-childhood pilots chasing you can't hope to replicate! (Assuming that's to do with Force foresight abilities, the same reason Anakin was such as a good pod racer in TPM). Stuck in an interrogation room, restrained and with no hopes of escape? Say the magic mumbo-jumbo words you never knew were a thing and walk free! In a lightsaber battle where you're clearly outmatched? Close your eyes, take a deep breath and suddenly utterly defeat your opponent, who's trained at this for years!

Talk about everything coming easy for a character. All she did was BE DRAWN TO (she didn't even find it herself, or stumble across it accidentally) a lightsaber in a box and it started the process. I've read a theory online where Luke is now such a powerful Jedi he's controlling her remotely, channelling the Force through her, so in fact it's not her doing these things (it's Luke who has, in fact, 'awakened'). Which may make sense in later films, but doesn't stop it all being a bit cheap in this one.

- the Han/Ben/Leia arc felt woefully un-fleshed out, so while we had the big milestone moments (Han is back! Han and Leia are reunited! Han and Leia have a son! Han has been killed by his son while sort-of trying to get him to come home!), it fell a little flat for me. This exact thing happened at the end of Lost, where the Man in Black - such a pivotal part of the series - was killed in an incredibly anti-climactic way. The moment happened and you sort of went '...shrug'. Big characters should have big exits to match, imo. Or if you subvert that expectation, do it in some poetic, masterfully-handled, memorable way.

- CAPTAIN PHASMA. The more I think about it, the more I think this represents a lot of the slapdash nature of the writing in the second half. What was she actually doing there? Who is she? What purpose does she serve, apart from to look cool and probably sell toys? She's a crap soldier who's almost solely responsible for destroying the First Order's primary base. I look forward to seeing what happens to her in future films, but not in a 'I love this character' kind of way, more in a 'what on earth are they going to do with completely discredited character' way.

One other tiny moment that rang an alarm bell was Finn at Maz Kanata's castle. He decides to leave because he's scared, or something. Rey says 'stay', he's like 'nah', but two minutes later he's back fighting anyway. Felt like the kind of clumsy-footed, immediately 180-ing plotting that would be ironed out in subsequent drafts, but here was allowed to stay, presumably because (as has been suggested) the frantic timescale of getting this thing out meant there simply wasn't time to give the script the attention it deserved. I've seen Michael Arndt interviewed about the struggles he had in his initial draft, big things like 'when should Luke appear?' and here's Lawrence Kasdan on how it was decided pretty much at the casting that Phasma could be a woman:


Quoted Text
Kasdan had just recounted the whirlwind process of writing The Force Awakens, where he came onboard after a script from original writer Michael Arndt had been thrown out. Hundreds of people had already begun working on the film, and time was of the essence: All these top-tier technicians would be marooned without a compelling document to guide them.

'We were just casting about for all the characters,' said Kasdan, who conceived with Abrams a set of new, younger adventurers that would become entangled with old-guard Star Wars figures like Han Solo and Princess Leia. 'I mean, we were making them up at that moment, as costuming and everything else was happening! It's not like there was a finished script sitting around for months.'


Sounds like a bit of a mess, tbh.


Quoted from bert
The first half of this thread is a joy to read.  Great thoughts on this film from peers with interesting opinions, better than any review I've read.

It would be nice to steer this back on topic, if we could.  Haters who have not even seen the film sweeping in with blustery, judgmental proclamations serve little purpose.  The second half of this thread is kind of tedious, derailing a conversation I was quite enjoying.


Mea culpa, and you're probably right. 'Originality in Hollywood' is another, ultimately pointless conversation. Happy to keep discussing TFA from a screenwriting standpoint with anyone who wants to contribute! This feels a bit like old-skool Script Club, which is nice. (Also helps there are clear flaws, ha.)


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: December 23rd, 2015, 11:54am Report to Moderator
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Yeah, the Han Solo disappointment isn't going way.


The incident needed to be bigger and have more meaning, if nothing else.

Maybe Ren was about to push the button to destroy all those planets...a test set up by Snoke... and Solo had to step forward to delay him, he fails.

This pushes Ren further to the dark-side, but Solo dies a particularly heroic death trying to save billions.

Instead he just dies, for no particular reason. Other than the fact he wanted to die in ROTJ because he doesn't like the character.

Oh well.  
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Dustin
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Shouldn't they have just delayed filming, gone behind schedule, so that they could do the right thing by their millions of fans and deliver a story worthy of spending hundreds of millions of dollars?

What I see from every review is the same thing. The story has weaknesses. As is to be expected from a hastily written script. But this is forgiveable because of a love for the franchise.

A lot to be said for idolisation. Not sure if that's the right word, come to think of it... but it'll do.


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Reef Dreamer
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Going to see it tomorrow...excited.

I'll then read this thread.

What I would say, this feels different to other series. It's revisiting, with some same cast, where we last were when we were young.er. (plus a few years no doubt)

I'm a Bond fan but spectre left me deflated and almost on the side of 'it's had its days'. Let's hope this one makes me want to see another


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PrussianMosby
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They got a lot of things right, nevertheless there were a lot of weak moments.

The monsters coming from nowhere. And what was it about that red haired guy. I was just waiting for Kylo to put him into his place...

Then I completely dislike that Luke Skywalker, the son of a desert planet, chooses a New Zealand coastline spot for his rest. It's like choosing look instead of narration.

There was already so much backstory but they still couldn't accomplish coherence.


The positive: I liked the opening. I loved the scenes around the lightsaber. It's such a powerful weapon that it can uncover memories and myths. That all felt authentic and very original in case of story.

What I also bought completely; despite it is cheesy of course; was the Solo speech about the Jedi, and that all of it is true.

That 100% felt like one of, let's say, Yoda's speeches,

when we realize there's a fundamental conflict about existence in that future world.

That moment I wished they do this the whole movie along. Pure goosebump feeling.


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Revision History (1 edits)
PrussianMosby  -  December 23rd, 2015, 3:36pm
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stevie
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The biggest problem with this 'new' film ( and I guess the prequels to a degree) is that Lucas should've finished them years ago. Episode 7 should've come out in say, 1987 or so. Then the next 2 by 1993 so it was all done and dusted.

That woulda kept the actors fresh and still relatively young. But Ol George was a bit of an odd one as I noted in a bio about him a few months back.

Any way it's here now and it's gonnna cop good and bad reviews like any film.


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TonyDionisio
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Quoted from stevie


Any way it's here now and it's gonnna cop good and bad reviews like any film.


More good than bad. And we get at least 2 more movies to look forward to. I think it was 200 mil well spent.
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Equinox
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I wonder if they change their naming system once they reach episode 100
Seriously, I think it's sad to see all those remakes and forced sequels again and again. Not just with Star Wars but with all these franchises. Be creative guys, give us something new. These films feel like a 20 year old car with a new painting which is offered for the full price again. Just my opinion.


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Dustin
Posted: December 24th, 2015, 4:02am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from TonyDionisio

I think it was 200 mil well spent.


Add another 200 mil for marketing. Those figures are rarely published but it is known that the budget for advertising usually equals, if not more, the budget. Could be, with how this shit has been pushed on people, that the actual marketing bill is double the budget.


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Reef Dreamer
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Loved it, and will go again. As will my ten year old daughter who turned to me and said it was bloodily brilliant.

Out of the mouth of babes

I feel that if you over think these films they lose their magic. They never...ever....make sense. Just enjoy, if you can. If not, then they're not your thing.

Happy Xmas.


My scripts  HERE

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TonyDionisio
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Quickest movie to reach 1 billion worldwide - 12 days. 13 days was Jurassic World. Disney spent 4bill on Lucasfilms -- hasn't even begun to bombard us with Indy remakes yet.

Mickey gonna get some new bling.
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JonnyBoy
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Quoted from TonyDionisio
Quickest movie to reach 1 billion worldwide - 12 days. 13 days was Jurassic World. Disney spent 4bill on Lucasfilms -- hasn't even begun to bombard us with Indy remakes yet.

Mickey gonna get some new bling.


This has been a case study in fantastic marketing - playing on nostalgia, systematically building up the hype...

Just goes to show: with trailers, less is usually more! By way of comparison, the Batman v Superman trailer makes me not want to see it...


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TonyDionisio
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I know what you're saying Jonny, but it's still Superman vs. Batman. That's gotta count for something.
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Dustin
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Quoted from JonnyBoy


This has been a case study in fantastic marketing - playing on nostalgia, systematically building up the hype...


And repeatedly hammering into us. It's everywhere. Even mentioned 'in passing' on breakfast shows by people we know for a fact would never watch it. It's made to look innocent or even disguised as news, but is in fact paid for advertising.

It amazes me at just how easy we are. Even stooping to the level of excuses to back up the programming we don't want to admit is there. N. Korea is just playing compared to how easily we are manipulated as a nation.


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Who you calling easy? Ok, you're right -- I am easy.
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stevie
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From 4am till 3pm yesty arve during the NFL games, every ad break showed an ad for The Revenant. EVERY AD BREAK!  I got so annoyed I read up reviews and spoilers for it ( I wouldn't be going to see it anyway as I don't go to the cinema or watch new DVDs anymore) . And it was hilarious reading reviewers mention how quickly Leonardo's near broken off leg heals and in a few days he's running and riding etc thru the snow.

It was driving me crazy even in the BG  when I was playing Candy Crush and reading lol


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Leo the lib. I used to like the guy. Still think he's a good actor. Hope his streak of Oscar fails continues. Give the rapist bear an Oscar first. Buwahahaha
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Dustin
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Quoted from stevie
From 4am till 3pm yesty arve during the NFL games, every ad break showed an ad for The Revenant. EVERY AD BREAK!


They would have paid a heap of cash to run that through the NFL game.


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Scar Tissue Films
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Quoted from JonnyBoy


This has been a case study in fantastic marketing - playing on nostalgia, systematically building up the hype...

Just goes to show: with trailers, less is usually more! By way of comparison, the Batman v Superman trailer makes me not want to see it...


Totally agree. They showed the entire story line in chronological order, and even gave away a major lot twist and showed the final confrontation.

Seems a waste of time watching it.
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JonnyBoy
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films


Totally agree. They showed the entire story line in chronological order, and even gave away a major lot twist and showed the final confrontation.

Seems a waste of time watching it.


Unless they have a major, impressive ace up their sleeves, you could probably write the beat sheet for the film, right now. Might be fun to do that, in fact, and see how close we get.

Bit like Terminator Genisys (nope, that spelling doesn't get any less stupid every time I type it). I think I read that even the director couldn't believe the major plot points they casually tossed into the marketing. God forbid you should actually walk into a cinema with anticipation and a sense of a jounrey into the unknown.


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stevie
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Quoted from Dustin


They would have paid a heap of cash to run that through the NFL game.


Funny thing is that the ads were for Aussie audiences - the movie starts here on Jan 7. It wasn't to do with the NFL telecast, that just gets shown on an Aussie free to air channel as opposed to Foxtel. But that's the pitiful state of Aussei tv at the moment.  Full of shit reality shows. And they just pump these fucking ads relentlessly.  

Aussie sports telecasts are crap too. The commentators are the worst in the world. And they even mention stupid shows that the channel shows at other times! Ridiculous to see a commentator plug CSI or some other rubbish.  Boganny of the highest calibre.

I watch zero tv about for the NFL and the Aussie Rules and football. It's woeful. Give me books and gaming any day!  And script writing lol


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The SW movie opened in Sydney, Christmas Eve, and yet the TV trailers have been relentless before that and since. I turned to hubby the other night and said: Why are they even bothering? I guess greed knows no bounds even after hitting the billion dollar mark And the marketing! I couldn't get any Dr Who in the local shops for Christmas cause it was all dominated by SW - frustrating.

And Stevie, don't even get me started on TV. Apart from a few new programs on ABC and SBS everything is a groundhog day rehash of last year. If something rates well they just keep pumping it out ad infinitum. Thank God other things are available, and for the SBS library of European movies and TV series.  And of course reading and writing. Would go mad otherwise. Want to watch the addictive nature of gaming though, it's been known to break up marriages.


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Ryan1
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Man, what a crushing disappointment.  This movie was nothing more than a weak New Hope retread.  Let's see, a scraggly teen living on a remote desert planet is pulled into a cosmic adventure, battling Imperial forces and learning that she's imbued with a mysterious power called the "Force", which she uses to help destroy a planet killing superweapon and save the galaxy.  Damn, that sounds familiar.

Force Awakens had absolutely none of the wonder or grandeur of the earlier films and felt more like a tired exercise in connect the dot plot-pointing.  The two leads were absolute ciphers to me, almost like they were mannequins who we followed just to follow the narrative.  And the claims of Rey being a Mary Sue are on the money.  She can fly the Millenium Falcon better than Solo himself, even though she's had zero training.  And can outduel an experienced Dark Jedi who trained extensively under Luke Skywalker and Snoke.  Umm, sure.  There's a point in the film where Finn says to Han Solo something like "We'll just use the Force to break into the fortress."  And Solo responds with "The Force doesn't work like that."  But apparently it does with Rey.  

The scene aboard Han and Chewie's freighter with the cgi monsters running around was pointless and felt like filler.  Frankly the whole movie felt like filler, even Solo's predictable and emotionally hollow death.  

To contrast New Hope with Force Awakens, you can look at the planet destroying scenes.  Did anyone feel any emotion when those four planets were destroyed by the Starkiller?  Probably not, because we knew nothing about them.  But when Leia begs Tarkin and Vader not to destroy Alderaan, and they do it anyway... that had real gut-level impact.  Especially when we see Kenobi's reaction.

The rush job on the script shows all over the place.  It's like JJ and Kasdan didn't have time to come up with a whole new storyline, so they just put a little window dressing on A New Hope.  It would have been much more interesting and daring if they had gone with the Yuuzhan Vong invasion of the galaxy.  

Bottom line, if you saw the first Star Wars, then you've already seen Force Awakens.
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TonyDionisio
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Ryan,

Can't really disagree with any of your points at all. See you at part 8, when JJ parts the world with more billions.
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Ryan1
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Quoted from TonyDionisio
Ryan,

Can't really disagree with any of your points at all. See you at part 8, when JJ parts the world with more billions.


At least the next one won't be written or directed by JJ, so that gives us...a new hope.
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stevie
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Quoted from Ryan1


At least the next one won't be written or directed by JJ, so that gives us...a new hope.


Or The Empire Strikes Back lol



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