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flaws in Force Awakens (spoilers)

EricBall

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I saw SW VII last weekend so I could stop worrying about spoilers.

While the Force Awakens is a great movie and a worthy and logical successor to Return of the Jedi, it is not without it's flaws.

First is the Death Star Mark III, complete with last minute destruction (IV & VI) following an attack on the shield generator (VI), a short trench sequence (IV), and flying into the structure (VI). Even Han points this out when planning the attack; almost, but not quite, breaking the fourth wall in the process. And unlike the previous movies, this time the activation of "the Weapon" is far too coincidental. In both prior movies the Rebel Alliance is fully aware of the construction of the Death Star and it's activation is better integrated into the storyline.

Second are the "new" characters which seem to be simply copies of previous characters. Ben / Kylo Ren is Ankin Skywalker / Darth Vader, Rey is Luke Skywalker, and Supreme Commander Snoke is Emperor Palpatine. Even BB-8 is R2-D2 carrying around the stolen plans, I mean map. The one truely new character is Finn. OTOH I also have to say Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford did an excellent job communicating the relationship between Leia and Han. Mark Hamill also looks appropriately world weary.

Third are the abilities of the characters. Kylo Ren has force powers far beyond those shown by the Jedi during the clone wars (e.g. stopping a blaster bolt in midair, mind reading). Rey is an absolute savant with the Millenium Falcon, even though she has never been off the desert wasteland of Jakku. Then there is the underused (and over-marketed) Captain Phasma, who could be a Resistance sympathizer given how quickly she disables the shield.

Finally, there's the abilities of the Millenium Falcon: carving the dunes of Jakku and smashing through the forests Starkiller Base with no ill effects, jumping to lightspeed from a standing start and dropping out of lightspeed deep in a planet's gravity well. Whatever happened to getting the coordinates from the navi-computer?

(Is anyone else jazzed about Captain America: Civil War? I was disappointed by Age of Ultron, but Civil War looks more like Winter Soldier, which I enjoyed.)

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I had similar thoughts, and I wondered if perhaps the film was so heavily edited that the why's weren't communicated to us.

 

For example, 'why' Rey had such a quick ramp-up of Force and piloting abilities. (possible, but not sure, answers -- she could have been Force-taught as a little girl, especially if she's a Skywalker; then again, if she *is* a Skywalker, remember young Anakin had abilities before he even knew what the Force was... plus, she could have been familiar with the Falcon, it had sat there for years as garbage)

 

Or 'why' Rey and even Finn could survive a battle with Kylo Ren. (the film did show he was emotionally vulnerable after the bridge/Han scene; also Chewie just nailed him in the side with his bowcaster. So Finn was nowhere near at 100%. But still, surprised Finn could fight him off and not get decapd - then again, Finn had fighting training as a Stormtrooper... but then again not using a lightsaber... )

 

But in the end I've decided to just go along with the presented story. Nothing was as bad as certain scenes from the prequels. (like when young Annie "accidentally" reached and destroyed the main droid ship.. ugh!) .

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Darth Vader jun. looks without helmet as if he was grabbed straight from a Harry Potter set :lolblue:

Still, kinda enjoyed the flic. After all it's been a better start than episode I ;)

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Spoiler time! :D

 

 

I blame J.J. for the Super-Falcon scenes (very reminiscent of some of his Star Trek spaceship stunts), and the ridiculousness of the Death Star III Starkiller Base, which at first I was hopelessly confused about when they blew up all those planets (did they build it in the same system as the New Republic?) until they revealed that it was firing its planet-killer blasts through hyperspace. I thought that part at least was a somewhat decent concept, until it was revealed it had to [stupid idea] suck up an entire sun in order to fire a shot [/stupid idea]. How do they reload? You can't just move an entire planet to another sun (at least, I'm guessing they couldn't). I think that came straight from J.J. And of course, like Vulcan, it had to implode, rather than explode. It was so obvious they were going to succeed, and it took so long to finally get around to it, when the base/weapon/Hoth II was destroyed, nobody in the audience I was with cheered or clapped. It was more like, "Yeah... okay. Again."

 

 

In a movie full of rehashed ideas, the Death Star III was the one they really should have done without. I didn't like it when they re-made the Death Star battle in Return of the Jedi, and I liked it less here.

 

As an aside, I saw this painting by Ralph McQuarrie a few years ago...

 

deathstars.jpg

 

And thought, "How much cooler would ROTJ have been, if the Rebels discovered that the Empire wasn't simply building a second Death Star... but it was mass-producing them all along, and they'd merely destroyed the first one!" Then the battle in Jedi would have been truly epic, as they'd have to figure out how to destroy not only the Death Stars, but also how they're manufacturing the things!

 

(Incidentally, I can't wait for this book.)

 

Back to the spoilers...

 

As for Kylo Ren, I gathered that, besides being injured, he didn't seem to have much training yet with a lightsaber. Certainly, it seemed like he went off-book when he built his (being all sparky and stuff), so his knowledge may not have been complete. Also, his temper may have played into his recklessness when fighting with it.

 

 

Speaking of temper, the death of Han Solo didn't really bother me, and that fact it doesn't, actually bothers me. It should have. And the reason why it didn't, is because it simply wasn't shocking enough. He basically stood there, waiting for Kylo to run him through. It took way too long to build up to an obvious, inevitable conclusion. I think it would have played out much more effectively if Han was making his impassioned plea, and it seemed to be working (with the two of them not holding onto the lightsaber - but a couple of feet apart), and Han said something - comparing him negatively to Vader perhaps - that sent Kylo into one of his uncontrolled berserker rages, and in a split second goes from calm to insane, slashing Han in half, mid-sentence. I thought Kylo's temper tantrums were one of his more interesting character traits - that this was a guy who could go so completely unhinged as to be 100% out-of-control. When Vader (not Anakin) got mad - he was always still in control. This guy isn't. That makes him a danger to everyone, and would have made Han's death more shocking and tragic, than him just standing there, basically letting his son run him through slowly with his lightsaber. It seemed kind of stupid. "Well duh, Han. Way to let your son slowly kill you."

 

 

And finally...

 

 

I have a theory that Finn is actually the love-child of Princess Leia and Lando Calrissian.

 

Han was frozen in Carbonite for quite a while, you know... ;)

 

 

(And yes - I'm totally looking forward to Captain America: Civil War. Hopefully it keeps the same vibe as Winter Soldier, and doesn't get bogged down like Age of Ultron. As for Batman v. Superman v. Wonder Woman v. Doomsday v. Lex Luthor v. Aquaman v. The Flash v. Cyborg... not so much.)

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Eh, you can't slash Solo into two halves in a Disney movie for children. I went there with my 9/10 year old daughters.

 

And Civil War is looking really good. Also I'm much more interested in 'Suicide Squad' than Bats vs. Supes.

 

Funny trivia and 'Flash' spoiler if you haven't seen Season 1 yet:

 

Mark Hamill plays the Tricksters dad there and drops the "I'm your father" line to him :lolblue:

 

 

Hint: Flash sucks, I'd recommend to just read the spoiler and ignore the series :lol:

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Personally, I thought Han was thinking, "I don't think this will work, but I'm doing it for Leia." There was a moment there where I thought Ben might have surrendered, but Kylo decided to commit patricide instead.

 

Nope, not planning on spending money on any of the DC universe movies. Not into Flash or Arrow (although my wife watches). I will watch at least the first couple of episodes of Legends of Tomorrow and Lucifer.

 

I really enjoyed the first episode of the Shannara Chronicles

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Well, SW:TFA is rated PG-13 here, and there's already plenty of violent lightsabering in it, including Han being slowly run through with one. So I don't think Disney was considering this a "movie for children" as such (not that they don't mind the money from all of the toys). I suspect Eric's interpretation is correct - but I just thought it dragged on too long, so by the time it happened, it wasn't a surprise.

 

I'll likely go see Batman v. Superman, but more out of curiosity than anything. But then again, I completely skipped the last Bond film, and I've always gone to those before. I'm becoming more selective about what I spend my time and money to go see. Not interested at all in Suicide Squad - I haven't seen anything in the trailers that interests me. I haven't watched any of the DC TV stuff. I guess only Supergirl is connected to their movies. Seems a bit inconsistent in how they're handling that, but then again, I don't care. ;)

 

I still haven't finished the Netflix Daredevil or Jessica Jones series yet. Need to start catching up on those.

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Arrow is pretty good actually, I can really recommend that. There's a bit of a lull phase in the first season, but once you made it past the huntress episodes it's over the hill. Season 2 is great throughout and I'm currently 1/3 into the third season where it seems to keep the pace so far :)

 

Also loved Gotham. Catgirl is such a cutie and it's great fun to see the origins of each and every Batverse character :D
(Just saw in the latest trailer that Leslie Thompkins is meanwhile dating Deadpool instead of Gordon :lol:)

Flash sucks, start to finish. There's a ray of hope in the story arc dealing with Firestorm, but in the end it's the same garbage as the rest of the series. Only good epsiode is the crossover one where Arrow seriously kicks Flashs butt ;)

From Marvel only the first season of Agents of SHIELD made it to free TV here and I loved every minute of it. Joss Whedon in top form, delivering all the charme that already made Firefly or the first Avengers movie such masterpieces. Also contains one of the best plot twists ever, I didn't see it coming at all...

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BTW: Nathan, as I understood it the sun will get drained, but recover after loading the gun, so it's good for more than one shot. Apparantly it was loaded for a second shot in the movie already. Odd physics they have, the Star Trek epsiode with the Dyson Sphere was more like it I think :lol:

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Wookiepedia claims it was a mobile ice planet. Doesn't say how they moved it around, though.

 

Nerdist calculated it could actually harness enough energy from one sun to wipe out every planet in the galaxy. So it probably isn't completely draining all of the star's energy. (Of course, the energy needed to be able to fire through hyperspace isn't factored into that.)

 

However they try to explain it, I still think it's a stupid idea. (With the sun extinguished - shouldn't everyone on that planet have frozen solid?)

 

Although you have to give them credit for "going green" and making it solar-powered. :roll:

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We don't know how many planets are in the galaxy, so how would they know how much energy is required to destroy them?

 

As for everyone freezing once the star's energy has been depleted, well, looked like most everything was underground, and presumably they have HVAC systems to maintain the proper temperature for any human-occupied areas. If they can move a planet around to different systems, they sure as hell can maintain a livable environment.

 

I thought it was a neat weapon due to its sheer brutality and ability to strike remote systems and multiple targets at the same time. However, making another Death Star certainly seems quite unoriginal. But, hey, if you want to bend systems to your will, a weapon that can destroy planets from afar without warning is probably a good tool for doing so. My biggest beef was with how easily and quickly they were able to destroy the thing.

 

..Al

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BTW: Nathan, as I understood it the sun will get drained, but recover after loading the gun, so it's good for more than one shot. Apparantly it was loaded for a second shot in the movie already. Odd physics they have, the Star Trek epsiode with the Dyson Sphere was more like it I think :lol:

As much as I like Star Trek, I think the Starkiller weapon in Star Wars is more feasible than a Dyson Sphere. The amount of material required to build such a structure is staggering. The forces that would be acting upon the structure and maintaining integrity of the sphere are also staggering and would rip it apart. There's also the problem of gravity (or rather, lack of it on the inner surface). And finally, the energy radiating from the star located in the middle of a Dyson Sphere would be immense and you'd need some way to capture the energy you need, and bleed excess energy to keep the surface livable. It was cool seeing it in Star Trek, but I think we'd see planets turned into weapons far before we'd see a Dyson Sphere.

 

..Al

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My biggest beef was with how easily and quickly they were able to destroy the thing.

 

Mine too. It was the whole, "Hey - we just have to blow up this one little thing to destroy it (and fly through the superstructure)... again" aspect that was annoying. Too predictable, and no "real" menace. I never felt the Resistance was in any real danger, or that blowing it up was all that difficult.

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As much as I like Star Trek, I think the Starkiller weapon in Star Wars is more feasible than a Dyson Sphere. It was cool seeing it in Star Trek, but I think we'd see planets turned into weapons far before we'd see a Dyson Sphere.

 

I thought the Dyson Sphere was cool, too. But despite it being the most technologically important discovery in the history of the Federation - they never mentioned it again, nor the impact that the technology might have had. That could have been a whole series.

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That would be a cool idea for a show. The surface area of a Dyson Sphere would probably be greater than tha combined surface area of all the planets the Federation would ever find and explore. Larry Niven's Ringworld books touch on this a bit.

 

..Al

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Wouldn't you generate gravity by rotating the Dyson Sphere? That's what the surplus energy could be used for ;)

 

Also there's variants that seem more practicable, like a Dyson Swarm. Or maybe something like the band from 'Elysium' only wrapped around the sun instead.

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Wouldn't you generate gravity by rotating the Dyson Sphere? That's what the surplus energy could be used for ;)

Rotating a sphere would only generate the "desired" gravity in the equatorial area. Above and below that, the gravity would be less. However, stresses on the structure from doing this would be immense, to say nothing about the energy and mechanisms involved in actually trying to rotate such a thing.

 

Also there's variants that seem more practicable, like a Dyson Swarm. Or maybe something like the band from 'Elysium' only wrapped around the sun instead.

Yes, a Dyson Swarm is a more realistic concept. Large ring structures (Ringworld, Halo, Elysium, etc.) would also be very difficult to construct, but certainly seem more feasible than a Dyson Sphere. In the Ringworld books, the ring was placed around a star, so it was still enormous in scale. In Halo and Elysium, they are much smaller (although still huge).

 

..Al

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