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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:52 pm 
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Ericubus wrote:
It was a huge fanboy dick-suck, which was appreciated.

JJ was able to cover every prequel complaint I could think of, and throw in all the stuff fans said they loved about the original trilogy too.

One giant pimp slap to the prequels...
Spoiler: show
Coruscant getting blown up. The focal planet from I, II and III and the home of the senate and Jedi temple, BOOM . . . gone. The blast shoots out, splits into 5 fingers, then the middle one touches there. Nicely done, JJ.

I could be wrong, but I don't think that was Coruscant. They named the system, and it wasn't Coruscant (unless Coruscant is a part of the system they named - which is possible, my extended Star Wars lore is shakty).

Even if it was, I don't see how that would be a pimp slap to the prequels. If anything, it's an acknowledgement of them and an acknowledgement of the importance of that location.

Plus, the movie also gave a nod to the clone army, and in doing so offered another nod to the prequels.
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Things we loved about the OT...
Spoiler: show
The glossing over boring political shit to get to the characters and the good stuff. Lovingly done.
[/quote]
Glossing over that shit was a good call, I agree.

But he glossed over it a bit too much. The political landscape is really damn vague and is not at all clear.

In Star Wars and Empire a few stray lines of dialogue told us all we need to know, but TFA doesn't manage the same trick.

So the Republic exists again, as acknowledged by the movie. The First Order is a splinter group, then? We know it was built from the remnants of the Empire, but are they just a rogue army or what? Who are the Resistance resisting? The First Order, it seems, and it appears the Republic supports the Resistance, but how is there a Republic if the Empire never fully died? and why wouldn't the Republic be fighting the First Order? Seems like the First Order and Resistance are BOTH rebellions of sorts.

It's not super vital -- the journey of these new characters is what is most important -- but it does make it tough to put all the war stuff in context.
Monterey Jack wrote:
One thing I found kind of hard to swallow...

Spoiler: show
Rey acts like she believes that the Jedi were "only a myth", and yet, the prequels only happened, what, fifty, sixty years earlier in the timeline? Is that enough time for historical fact to fall into enough dispute to be thought of as "myth"? That'd be like today's kids thinking that the Vietnam War was only made up for the movies. The OT took place only about 20 years later, and yet most people still remembered that Jedi used to be the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy (Luke was raised on a backwater desert planet, and his aunt and uncle probably deliberately suppressed any discussion about the Jedi).

I'm totally fine with this. Stuff like this happens right here in the real world. War torn country, third world, dictators controlling information or a populace that is way out of touch. It doesn't take much to be misinformed or for fairly recent events to feel far in the past.

Hell, for a lot of young people today, Vietnam pretty much IS just what they see in the movies. It's got no bearing on their reality, it's just this thing they sort of know once happened. Throw someone in a backwater country without much contact to the wider world and that would be emplified tenfold.

If there is anything that should be hard to swallow, it's that the series of Yet Another Star Wars Coincidence scenes we get:
Spoiler: show
The gal who happens to come across the droid with the map to Luke also happens to come across the Millennium Falcon?

Which is found by Han frickin' Solo five minutes later?

Who takes them to some old lady who happens to have Luke frickin' Skywalker's lightsaber?

Which is quickly found by a chick who can use the Force?

REALLY!?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:11 pm 
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Monterey Jack wrote:
Another thing that this film did better than the prequels was to have humor that evolved naturally from the characters and their interactions instead of through the obnoxious kiddie slapstick of Jar-Jar.

Yes, the humor was all well done and natural. It wasn't forced or kiddie humor.

I've always hated the "but Star Wars was for kids, too" defense of the prequel humor, because no. There is a difference between being appropriate for kids and being made for kids; between appealing to kids and aiming for kids.

The originals appealed to kids, but were movies for everyone.

The Phantom Menace bent over backwards to be a kids movie while also goofing with politics and whatnot.
Monterey Jack wrote:
I don't see any sort of major Monday morning hangover where everyone tries to convince themselves it was better than it actually was, a la Phantom Menace.

I do. Not because it's on the level of Phantom Menace -- it certainly isn't -- but because I'm seeing a lot of people who ARE talking as if it was some amazing rebirth and pure brilliance and so on.

Like you said, it was a good, fun movie. Good Saturday matinee stuff, and that's awesome.

But once people are done basking in the afterglow, I think they'll see that what this is is the world's most expensive fan film.
Chris Knight wrote:
Right now, I think this is an amazingly well-made fan film.

HAH!

Yeah, you read my mind.

I really liked the movie! Even got choked up during one scene (and no, not THAT scene). It hit all the right nostalgia buttons for me while also giving me new characters.

Nonetheless, it often FELT like a fan film to me.

SPOILERS FOLLOW







Quote:
Wiping out a planet without any fucks given. We saw 8 people on a balcony, and nobody cares about them

Yeah, this whole sequence just made me think, "Why is this in the movie?"

Fact is, the movie would have been almost entirely unchanged without the super weapon story. In fact, it would have been BETTER without it. Instead of attacking the weapon, have the Resistance attacking the base to help with the rescue/get the map to Luke. Same thing, but without the weak Death Star retread, which totally sapped the power from the idea of a super weapon and felt totally rushed.

I mean, we learn about the weapon halfway through the movie, then it's destroyed 40 minutes later.

Eh.

Eliminate the weapon and the plot doesn't change an iota.
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I fucking love Rey's character.

Yes yes yes yes yes. And not just because she's cute as hell.

She was the standout character for me by far. A PERFECT Star Wars hero. Liked everything about her. She is going to be an entire generation's hero, and that's fantastic. Funny, brave, resourceful, but didn't come across like a Mary Sue. I'm totally on board with her being the lead of the new trilogy.
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and there's a continuous shot of the overhead battle with the ground battle below.

Usually that kind of directorial bravado can take you out of a genre flick, but I loved it here. Great little scene.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:27 pm 
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brian wrote:
Was I supposed to know who the old man was in the beginning? Because I didn't.

I don't think you're supposed to know.

I liked that. It's okay to be asked to just go with stuff, depending on what that stuff is. Makes the world feel larger.

I DON'T feel that way about the general political landscape of this world, though.

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I like how the lightsaber fights weren't over the top. Don't get me wrong, I loved the fight in Phantom Menace way back when, but this felt grounded, and in line with what we saw in the originals. Nothing fancy or flashy, yet still immediate.

The reason why this lightsaber fight worked is that it truly felt like two people just flailing. Rey only just learning her powers, Ren a total wild man consumed by rage and self-loathing, both untrained (though Ren had some and really should have mopped the forest with her).
Monterey Jack wrote:
NO ONE gives a shit about "trade disputes" and intergalactic C-SPAN senate meetings, we paid to see cool spaceships and lightsabers and chain-metal biki

Eh, this argument has always failed to impress me.

The prequels weren't bad because they were about politics. They weren't even really about politics any more than IV was about espionage. With TPM, it was a quick blurb to tell you why the Jedi were going to the Trade Federation ship, then it was war and action and bad dialogue and shitty humor. With AOTC, it was a quick blurb to say why Amidala was on the planet, then it was chases and mystery armies and war. The actual politics took up all of five minutes of screen time in each movie.
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but there had to be a better way to dramatize it instead of endless scenes of characters standing in floating platforms delivering wooden, passionless exposition.

Except these scenes don't actually exist. Or rather, each movie has one of them, and they're quite brief.

The (first two) prequels are bad for many reasons, but this isn't one of them.
Eric wrote:
I can't hum any tune introduced later than "The Imperial March" (though both my kids hum that one daily). I do recall thinking the choir-heavy piece of music from the end of Episode I was good, but I can't hum it.

Really? Up until a few days ago, I hadn't seen The Phantom Menace in probably eight years or so. Nonetheless, I could hum the fuck out of Duel of the Fates.
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1. It was Coruscant.

As noted earlier, I'm not sure that that was the case. They were vague about it. Coruscant is never actually mentioned, and while we see a brief cityscape, we see nothing recognizable.
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There was, however, a connection between Solo and Rey. And Chewbacca. Both of whom were watching from across an abyss, unable to intervene.

Yeah, much as I didn't want that scene to happen because Han is by far my favorite characters, and despite it being painfully predictable -- I think I pegged it about 40 minutes ahead of time -- I thought it was handled really well and had some real impact. I totally bought into his connection with Rey.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:42 pm 
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Pender wrote:
Love that the 5 fingers of death killed the prequels with the middle finger. Missed that nuance, so very much appreciated.

But that's not what happened.

Yeesh, I hope this silly line of thought doesn't catch on.
Chris Knight wrote:
So (and spoiler alert I guess), It was NOT Coruscant that went kablooiey, which makes far more sense (the resistance had their base in the outer rim, far away from Coruscant).

According to the novelization, it's some place called Hosnian Prime.

Yeah, the Hosnia System is what they said in the movie.

Like, they flat-out say it. Never heard of the system before, so it stood out in a "why should I care?" kind of way.

Coruscant is never mentioned.

However, people are mistaking it for Coruscant because JJA was sloppy. Not their fault, it's his.
Ericubus wrote:
The whiny Nazi guy says specifically that they are wiping out the senate, which means they are blowing up Coruscant. Unless the senate was moved, which I guess it could have been.

Yep, like I said early, the political landscape of this movie is really vague. Using shorthand is fine and preferred, but in this case the shorthand didn't do its job.
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The balls on Mr. Abrams are impressive, this is a guy that got a full treatment from Lucas, and said, thanks, but we are going in a different direction.

I could be wrong, but I think it was actually Disney who said, "No thanks, George."

But I haven't up with the making of this, so yeah, I could be wrong.
Chris Knight wrote:
It was stupid and unwarranted. You don't bring back a character after 30 years, just to kill him in off a scene that doesn't have any emotional impact. It would have worked in the next film, but he and Leia still deserve a happily-ever-after, considering the build-up in the first trilogy.?

I suspect they're going to bring back ALL the majors from previous movies, so this movie was Han's, next movie will be Luke's, etc.

Plus there is the whole passing of the torch thing. That's something this trilogy is setting out to do. Part of that means saying goodbye while we're saying hello.
Ericubus wrote:
One more nod to JJ. How brilliantly were those trailers edited to not really give away anything? Well done, Sir.

100% agreement. Perfectly done. :thumbs:
Monterey Jack wrote:
Chris Knight wrote:
And why give a shit about the Young Han Solo film being developed, now that we know his fate?


Everyone dies eventually, so why give a shit about anything they do beforehand?

Monty is right.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:24 pm 
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I'm not angry that Han died, just in the way that it happened. It really needed a better setup to see that Han KNEW he was going to die, and was making an ultimate sacrifice to save his kid. To kill him in this first movie, I really believe Han needed to confront him during the battle on Endor 2 in the middle act, and it is there where he realizes what he needs to do (and not Leia telling him to afterwards to go get him). I just didn't get the parental empathy card from his behaviour, just a confused look on his face when the lightsaber goes through him. Eh, maybe I'll pick up on some subtlety the next time I see it.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:49 pm 
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Shoe wrote:
Coruscant is never mentioned.

However, people are mistaking it for Coruscant because JJA was sloppy. Not their fault, it's his.


I disagree with where you are pointing your finger here. I really don't think it's JJA's fault at all. Viewers are reading into this, and putting their own notions into what they THINK is happening. A director can't account for that. I felt there was enough expressed there to make it clear that it wasn't Coruscant from the start of the scene.

If anything, it was an ode to Alderan (especially seeing how much was lifted from A New Hope to begin with), only handled better, because at least you see some destruction, as opposed to Leia just skipping off fine without a moment to reflect on the loss of her entire planet. Alderan was faceless, this planet, at least briefly, we saw the surface of.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:40 pm 
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Noto wrote:
as opposed to Leia just skipping off fine without a moment to reflect on the loss of her entire planet. Alderan was faceless, this planet, at least briefly, we saw the surface of.

duuuuuuuuuuuuude. Leia is a bad-ass, insulting Tarkin right up to the point where he corners her to pick a target. When he chooses to destroy Alderaan, all of her strength vanishes, and she falls into Vader's arms. The impact of Tarkin's decision is right there, and you don't need to see a few people on the surface of the planet reacting to their imminent destruction (that never works in any film, btw). The next time you see Leia, she insults the first storm trooper that comes through the door, because she's fucking pissed off. There was no forgetting, and Lucas reminds us of it when she lands on Yavin, and the old dude there "feared the worst," where upon she says "I don't have fucking time for this shit right now, we need to get this droid's brain examined" (I'm pretty she says it exactly like that).

Anyway...

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:59 pm 
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https://twitter.com/KyloR3n

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:03 pm 
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ren's rights activist


That's perfect.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:34 pm 
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Shoe wrote:
I could be wrong, but I don't think that was Coruscant. They named the system, and it wasn't Coruscant (unless Coruscant is a part of the system they named - which is possible, my extended Star Wars lore is shakty).


Just saw it again with my son and extended family. They DO mention it's the "Hosnian System," though only once and only after it's blown up. The big speech building it up is all about "We're going to destroy the Republic and the Senate!" and I think it's reasonable that lots of people (me included) heard that as "Coruscant."

Shoe wrote:
But he glossed over it a bit too much. The political landscape is really damn vague and is not at all clear.

In Star Wars and Empire a few stray lines of dialogue told us all we need to know, but TFA doesn't manage the same trick.

So the Republic exists again, as acknowledged by the movie. The First Order is a splinter group, then? We know it was built from the remnants of the Empire, but are they just a rogue army or what? Who are the Resistance resisting? The First Order, it seems, and it appears the Republic supports the Resistance, but how is there a Republic if the Empire never fully died? and why wouldn't the Republic be fighting the First Order? Seems like the First Order and Resistance are BOTH rebellions of sorts.


I think there's about as much here in the way of hints toward the political situation as there is in Star Wars, BUT I think the situation here is that there's a Republic and a remnant of the Empire that aren't officially at war, except that both of them sort of are, with the Republic essentially bankrolling the Resistance the way the US has tried to do with Iraq or whatever. Admittedly, that's a more complicated situation than "There's an Empire and there's a Rebellion," so probably it needed a bit more.

On second viewing, my nitpicks bother me less. Little things stuck out like the fact that the docking bay doors were opening on Han's ship before they flew the Falcon out of it. It still follows the Star Wars formula pretty closely, but it's pretty established that this series recycles itself already, so that bothers me less than it seems to some of you.

Liking that they've got a (non-background) female Jedi, and also that one of the main characters is black. Like I said, I saw it with a lot of family, and I realized while watching that Finn looks a heck of a lot like my nephew. Not sure if it's always as vital as some people will argue that he can see someone who looks like him in that sort of role, but it certainly can't hurt.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:01 pm 
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Eric wrote:
The big speech building it up is all about "We're going to destroy the Republic and the Senate!" and I think it's reasonable that lots of people (me included) heard that as "Coruscant."

It is reasonable, which is why I said in another post that JJA dropped the ball there. It's not your fault, it's his. I walked away confused at that scene, reading it as clearly implying Coruscant but noticing they said a totally different system. That's on JJA.

(Sorry, Noto, I'm not with you on that.)
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Admittedly, that's a more complicated situation than "There's an Empire and there's a Rebellion," so probably it needed a bit more.

Yep, exactly my point. Star Wars had very little political exposition, but it didn't need much. Empire is a big bad oppressive government. Used to be a different government, but the emperor dismantled it. Three lines of dialogue is all it took.

The Force Awakens has the same amount of exposition, i.e. very little, but since the situation is a little more complex it ends up being a bit vague and nebulous. I think I sort of have a handle on it, but I'm pretty foggy on some of it.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:18 pm 
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Read somewhere else that it's made clear somewhere else again (in the novelization, I think) that the Resistance is a splinter group that broke off from the Republic at Leia's urging, specifically to fight against the First Order, since she saw them as a threat but the Republic was sticking by a treaty signed post-Jedi.

But if you've got to read something to make sense of a movie, the movie dropped the ball a bit.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:38 pm 
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Eric wrote:
But if you've got to read something to make sense of a movie, the movie dropped the ball a bit.

In addition to the novel, there are other books (like the ever-popular Visual Dictionary) that adds far more information than what we saw in the movie. Some of it is pretty significant as well, but I suspect (or hope) the next film might fill in some missing bits here and there...

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:30 am 
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Whoa. This thread went down the fucking rabbit hole in a hurry.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:21 pm 
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With geek talk, you mean?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:54 pm 
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Shoe wrote:
With geek talk, you mean?


Yes.

There are nits to be picked, I guess.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:11 pm 
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Sure.

I'm trying not to, actually, because I not only don't want to ruin anyone's fun, I don't want to ruin my OWN. I'm looking forward to seeing this again!

And there will be plenty, plenty of time in the future to do what we geeks do, after all.

Especially since we're getting Star Wars movies EVERY SINGLE YEAR going forward.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:43 pm 
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So I just rewatched Return of the Jedi. I never really saw it this way, but Luke was kind of the bad guy, right?

Sure, he was saving his friends. But it opens with him choking Jabba's guards, and threatening to kill him.

I don't remember Vader doing anything evil in this film/


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 4:49 pm 
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brian wrote:
So I just rewatched Return of the Jedi. I never really saw it this way, but Luke was kind of the bad guy, right?

Sure, he was saving his friends. But it opens with him choking Jabba's guards, and threatening to kill him.

I don't remember Vader doing anything evil in this film/


I think we all saw it too young to have that reaction, but if you think about viewing it cold, with him showing up in all black and doing things we've seen only Vader do up to that point, you could see it that way. Even moreso if you do what Shoe is advocating and watch the prequels as an extended flashback between Empire and Jedi.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:11 pm 
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Eric wrote:
Even moreso if you do what Shoe is advocating and watch the prequels as an extended flashback between Empire and Jedi.

YES.

That viewing order greatly enhances the parallels between Luke and Vader's stories. Essentially, you watch 2/3 of Luke's story, 2/3 of Anakin's story, then Jedi is the final third of both.

I've watched these movies way too many damn times for anything to be able to change my view of them this late in the game, yet it does.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:17 pm 
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Yeah, it's not-so-subtle that Luke's wearing black the entire movie. He turned to the dark side to save his friends, and uses the force in ways a Jedi shouldn't. He threatens Jabba to not underestimate his power (the same line is used by Anakin in Revenge Of The Jedi). Yoda even says he will become an agent of evil if he doesn't complete his training (which he never did). There's a conflict in Luke throughout the movie, but he's too arrogant to see it. He voluntarily goes to Vader, possibly because he's drawn to the power of the dark side (and he does go completely dark when Vader mentions his sister).

There's a really good plot somewhere in Jedi, but much of it was changed when Gary Kurtz quit. For instance, the entire setup to the third trilogy was cut (Luke abandons his friends at the end, and runs away before tempted to kill everyone - Lucas wanted a super-happy-upbeat ending).

The non-canon comic book sequel, Dark Empire, went with the plot that assumes Luke went dark, and it was damn good.

All semantics really - this new film series will obviously answer some questions about what Luke did after Jedi, and it won't follow the Gary Kurtz/Kasdan plot.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:38 pm 
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Thanks for the breakdown, and now I want to read Dark Empire.

Sounds like a shame they didn't drag Luke to the dark side. Jedi feels kind of hollow as a film. Enjoyable enough but it's missing something.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:18 pm 
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brian wrote:
Thanks for the breakdown, and now I want to read Dark Empire.

Even if you don't like the story, the artwork is fantastic:

Image

Image

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:27 pm 
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I still have those Dark Empire comics in storage somewhere.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 5:56 am 
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Chris Knight wrote:
Even if you don't like the story, the artwork is fantastic:


Same writer and artist did a limited series called The Light and Darkness War. One of those things that, for me at least, stuck in my head for years--I read the first half of it probably in the late 80's and forgot the title, so I couldn't read the rest. Didn't read the end until a few years ago, when it reoccurred to me and I started throwing key words into Google until I found it.

I don't know that my recommendation is entirely glowing. It's a story the guy obviously wanted to tell, about Vietnam casualties in a weird sort of afterlife, but aspects of it are a bit cliched and the ending is a bit too pat. The basic ideas were interesting enough that they rattled around in my head for 20 years, though, so that's saying something. And it's more work from the same creators.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:15 am 
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You have peaked my interest...I'll see if I can track down a cbr.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:55 am 
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Shoe wrote:
Pender wrote:
Love that the 5 fingers of death killed the prequels with the middle finger. Missed that nuance, so very much appreciated.

But that's not what happened.

Yeesh, I hope this silly line of thought doesn't catch on.

I am sure that is how JJ explained it to Disney.

Quote:
"No guys, it really isn't like that. Listen to the dialogue, we're obviously speaking about a whole new something or other. But kind of the same, but not really. So, yeah."

"Okay, JJ, we'll give you the benefit of the doubt."

"Thanks guys. You're all swell."

"You're swell, too, JJ."

"Group hug?"

"Group anal?"


*smooch* *smooch* *smooch*

But you're absolutely right, Shoe.

You always are.

Group anal?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:44 am 
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Chris Knight wrote:
You have peaked my interest...I'll see if I can track down a cbr.


I did. That's how I finished reading it. Forgot to mention: Tesla is a significant minor character. Possibly that's a selling point.

And will you look at that.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:44 am 
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Eric wrote:
Chris Knight wrote:
You have peaked my interest...I'll see if I can track down a cbr.


I did. That's how I finished reading it. Forgot to mention: Tesla is a significant minor character. Possibly that's a selling point.

And will you look at that.

Single moms need attention?

:thumbs:

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:46 am 
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They do, you know.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:11 am 
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After watching this a second time, I really don't see this as a movie for the old fan boys.

Much of the action is set to be seen from the new perspective and that is how it works best.

Even Han's death is more poignant when seen from the new perspective (i.e., Rey and Finn), but I still say the scene is more than adequate for carrying a heavy blow to this old OG guy. I still teared up a bit and Chewie's cries echoed my own inward screams.

But, again, I really see this as a fantastically well-done new movie for a new generation and the juxtaposing of the old story with the new is perfect. The franchise/story/movies and myths that they are built on, are cyclical and I believe Joseph Campbell would absolutely approve of the new icons and how they're mirroring the old icons they're setting to replace.

There's enough new to really have their own voice, but at the same time still echo in the Halls of Eternity.

Because that is what we do and how we tell our myths and legends.

It is why they're eternal.

And it's really why the prequels couldn't really reach the pinnacle that the original trilogy set.

Not enough of the prequels ever echoed the original.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:00 am 
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Attachment:
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force-apocalypse-now.jpg [ 165.88 KiB | Viewed 3753 times ]


"Coruscant. Shit, I'm still only on Coruscant. Every time I think I'm going to wake up back on Endor. When I was home after the second Death Star battle it was worse."

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:48 pm 
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Watched it again yesterday, love it even more, will be going to see it at an IMAX theater next weekend too.

The scene where the Resistance squad first shows up, fucking beautiful, brought tears man, tears.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:29 pm 
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Pender wrote:
Every time I think I'm going to wake up back on Endor

Oddly poetic, given that the Emperor refers to it as the "Sanctuary Moon".

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:53 am 
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Carrie Fisher is now being criticized about her appearance?

Has no one seen or realized POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE is about her own life and struggle?

Give the woman a break. She looks like herself and that's about all we can ever hope for ourselves.

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