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Author Topic: The Force Awakens  (Read 20368 times)
Smmenen
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« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2015, 01:29:47 pm »

I think he's good at creating exciting and reverent, yet unmemorable movies.  I thoroughly enjoyed the Star Trek films, and loved the cool scenes, but I barely remember much about them or their plots.  

From what I've seen, his visuals are pretty awesome, and just that scene of the crashed star destroyer has been burned into my brain, but I think nostalgia is against him.  Star Wars was unlike anything anybody had seen before.  These days, that's a pretty hard bar to meet, as VERY few movies spin my head these days.  Entertainment is just too disposable and easily consumed right now.

That said, when I saw that visual and Han Solo again, I haven't been that excited in a long time.

Exactly my fears.

It's interesting to think about the content and structure of the trailer.  The climax of the trailer is the big reveal of Han Solo and Chewbacca - whom we haven't seen since ROTJ, over 30 years ago.  Outside of the cultural context, that makes no sense as a climax.  They simply said "Chewie, we're home."  If you were watching this trailer a century from now or were an alien who hadn't seen the first star wars film, it would seem strange.

It's clear that Abrams is trading in nostalgia, and everything he's doing seems calculated to maximize that resonance.  The first trailer did the same thing, making the sight of the Falcon the big climax.  The idea of using real props etc and not digital is clearly an attempt to capture the ruddish feel if the original trilogy and distance this film from the prequel trilogy.  

My prediction is that this film will be exciting and fun, but feel somewhat empty - like candy that doesn't nourish.  Everyone is going to cheer seeing people from the original trilogy, but we have to remember that Star Wars was a huge hit because it was groundbreaking.  It's true that the original films played upon the cultural resonance of the serials from the 1930s and 40s (as did Indiana Jones), but if Abrams doesn't break new ground, he's going to diminish the legacy of the original trilogy, not elevate it (while making a boatload of money for Disney).  
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« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2015, 02:51:45 pm »

As a life long Star Wars fan who fell in love as a child with the films, I'm psychologically prepared to check my brain at the door, Clap when Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher make their first appearance(s) and likely comment on how incredibly old they all look.

Many Star Wars Fans gloss over the fact that all the films, including the originals, were never renowned for any of the acting (even though Eps I-III brought that to an all time low) but for the ground breaking special effects and the memorable story.  All I can hope for is 160 minutes of edge of my chair entertainment and hopefully no bad CGI lightsaber battles with overweight 63 year old Mark Hamill. 

From this regard, I think Abrams will do a Fine job. 
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« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2015, 03:48:47 pm »

MI3 is a masterpiece, guys. Come on. I remember it vividly and it is one of the best action movies in the decade. Super 8 is also very good, kinda of an update to Goonies. If you don't remember the train scene then you didn't watch it in a good mood. I didn't see the 2nd Star Trek movie, but I find the first one pretty ok. And if the nostalgia JJ Abrams is looking for in Wars is as good as using Leonard Nimoy as Spock in Trek 1, then I'm all for it.
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« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2015, 02:02:40 pm »

MI3 is a masterpiece, guys. Come on. I remember it vividly and it is one of the best action movies in the decade.

The hyperbole is strong with this one.
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« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2015, 04:41:12 pm »

Hahahahaha I've been training. (but I really love the movie and watch it a lot)
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« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2015, 09:44:11 am »

Honestly I'm fine with trailers that don't reveal any plot points. It's getting insane what they reveal these days. Taken 3 for example, I understand Bryan Mills is going to on a blood rage killing Euros until he reclaims what has been Taken. It's fucking Taken. But they show dead Jean grey in the first freaking' trailer. C'mon! I understand I can not watch, but it's tough to avoid the news when half of your friends spend all day on twatter, instachat, derpagram and facebutt.

As for the approach and a new story, the age of the original actors is a bit of an issue. Discounting that it's amazing Carrie Fischer didn't die face down in a bathtub full of cocaine their actual age puts them in NJO era (20-25 years after RotJ) continuity. NJO is not great, the big villain is pretty terrible, the Vong, environmentally conscious bug crab people who are largely immune to the force. I can deal with it being discarded. If they had saddled up when the cast was younger, or chucked them, I'd prefer Thrawn since it was a compelling story with a reasonably interesting antagonist.

In summary, can't be worse than Jar Jar, Anny, and Padme.
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« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2015, 10:56:48 am »

It amazes me that the Thrawn trilogy hasn't been used by anyone since it's so darn good.  It's a Star Wars triology that is a good read for non-SW fans like my self.  Just genuinely good writing and subtle criticisms of things in the original movies.  

I guess the main actors are too old to really just re-do those books now, but there's no reason you can have the torch get passed to a younger generation who will then deal with the Grand Admiral in a similar fashion.  I've still got my fingers crossed.

In summary, can't be worse than Jar Jar, Anny, and Padme.

A bar so low it took James Cameron to raise it.

(Well, Abrams, but you get the joke.)

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« Reply #37 on: May 04, 2015, 02:47:36 pm »

Well, Disney already told us they consider everything outside the six movies and the Clone Wars series to be non-canon, so all that NJO stuff may not even be there.
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« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2015, 04:16:22 pm »

It amazes me that the Thrawn trilogy hasn't been used by anyone since it's so darn good.  It's a Star Wars triology that is a good read for non-SW fans like my self.  Just genuinely good writing and subtle criticisms of things in the original movies.  

I guess the main actors are too old to really just re-do those books now, but there's no reason you can have the torch get passed to a younger generation who will then deal with the Grand Admiral in a similar fashion.  I've still got my fingers crossed.

In summary, can't be worse than Jar Jar, Anny, and Padme.

A bar so low it took James Cameron to raise it.

(Well, Abrams, but you get the joke.)



Jude Law as Thrawn? Or Kevin Spacey?
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« Reply #39 on: May 07, 2015, 12:25:38 pm »

MI3 is a masterpiece, guys. Come on. I remember it vividly and it is one of the best action movies in the decade. Super 8 is also very good, kinda of an update to Goonies. If you don't remember the train scene then you didn't watch it in a good mood. I didn't see the 2nd Star Trek movie, but I find the first one pretty ok. And if the nostalgia JJ Abrams is looking for in Wars is as good as using Leonard Nimoy as Spock in Trek 1, then I'm all for it.

I like to think I give credit where it's due, even when I don't care for the author behind a given work -- Super 8 is a solid flick. It's definitely the intersection of ET and the Goonies and it is told in the correct time period (1970-something) where you can still have certain plot points and/or character interactions that just would not exist at any point after the creation of the iPhone (mostly because most of these kids would probably have just stayed home and done the whole thing on Final Cut). That said, it's a joint between Spielburg and Abrams - while I think I know which aspects can be attributed to whom, I think it's safe to just call the whole thing a solid joint effort.

Not to be the constant harp about what JJ did to Trek but -- Smmenen nailed it by stating that Abrams is "trading in nostalgia". Maybe I understood an extra meaning there where none was intended - "trading in nostalgia" in the "invariant be" sense of the word. Some people are fur traders, JJ is a nostalgia trader; I think he takes projects like this and relies on the older connections and substance to skirt "hard" storytelling in favor of just being able to say "Remember [this group of characters]? They're BACK in an all-new ADVENTURE!"

I'm nervous that he will simply do as he's done with Star Trek - tell a story which doesn't have a solid grounding in the universe it lives in, just wears it like a skin to get asses in movie seats. So there's nothing tying the story back to Star Wars except for the names and maybe some touchstone imagery. Think Sonnenfeld's Wild Wild West; what could have otherwise been actually a relatively enjoyable flick but with an inexplicable tie back to a beloved, somewhat cult-classic series that ends up alienating fans of the original series for countless reasons.

With all that put out there - given the nasty taste the prequels left in my mouth, I really rather want, nay need, this flick to not suck. I will certainly watch it and I will do my damndest to not bring any outside bitter old bastard feelings that I may have accrued over two Trek movies and several (imho) unengaging and half-realized TV series.
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« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2015, 01:39:29 pm »

I have a lot more faith in Abrams' work on Star Wars than I did his work on Star Trek because his aesthetic is much better suited to the action-adventure of Star Wars than the higher-concept science fiction that Star Trek likes to trade in.
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« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2015, 02:07:45 pm »

JJ is using nostalgia in terms of marketing... He's made it pretty clear that he's trying to seperate these films and only use past elements if it makes sense and propels the plot in a logical way. he DOES NOT want this to be Original Trilogy Redux.

I think the two trailers have been GENIUS in terms of giving our generation the tie that's going to get us excited and thinking about the classic trilogy... but also feels like we're passing the torch.

Going into Phantom Menace, I had NO CLUE who Padame, Jar Jar or Qui Gon were ... nor did I have ANY care for them...but I swear I can't forget the names Poe, Finn and Rey... and I've seen, what 40 seconds of actual film! O and I actually give a crap about seeing the torch passed and these guys leading us into an action packed Star Wars adventure.
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Smmenen
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« Reply #42 on: May 07, 2015, 03:04:49 pm »

I think the concern over these films is that the emphasis on nostalgia may come at the price of weaker narratives. 
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« Reply #43 on: May 07, 2015, 03:20:06 pm »

http://screenrant.com/star-wars-7-force-awakens-original-trilogy-connections/

"…we’ve obviously had a lot of time [during the development process] to talk about what’s happened outside of the borders of the story that you’re seeing. So there are, of course, references to things, and some are very oblique so that hopefully the audience can infer what the characters are referring to. We used to have more references to things that we pulled out because they almost felt like they were trying too hard to allude to something. I think that the key is—and whether we’ve accomplished that or not is, of course, up to the audience—but the key is that references be essential so that you don’t reference a lot of things that feel like, oh, we’re laying pipe for, you know, an animated series or further movies. It should feel like things are being referenced for a reason."

- I have faith that Kathleen Kennedy would never allow this to be a nostalgia trip without any real substance, moreso than JJ... but a part of me thinks he really 'gets' than he can't rely on past success for this film to be successful even if he's being coached to some degree by her/Disney.
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« Reply #44 on: May 11, 2015, 01:52:46 pm »

I think the concern over these films is that the emphasis on nostalgia may come at the price of weaker narratives. 

See, that's why I actually feel slightly better about Abrams in this universe than certain others; he's at least shown that he can be given a sandbox and play in it. It probably only works for him and his writers that he can drum up a series of new people, precisely because by doing so he doesn't have to try and win where he's lost so many times (again, IMHO) -- writing a convincing version of an older character, not just borrowing their likeness to tell a story that *kinda* fits their persona.

Like, the Big 3 from JJ Trek -- Kirk isn't Kirk just because he wears yellow shirts, sleeps with non-human females and sits in the captain's chair. There is an underlying motive to James T. Kirk which has always compelled him to be in the captain's chair and it comes up a LOT in the older movies. Kirk *wanted* that seat, he didn't need to be coached into it begrudgingly by Chris Pike -- and his transition to Admiral facilitates a discussion about what it means for him to drift away from the chair again, not just as a plot point ("oh no i'm not in command because [reasons] how do i get it back") but as part of his character. Quinto's portrayal of Spock is really, really great, but it lacks that strict adherence to Vulcan traditions which he was staunchly devout to, as a way to prove to those who would dismiss him for being half human that he was an exceptional Vulcan -- and I don't think that's his fault, it just doesn't really live in the script. McCoy is just pissy all the damn time, never a country gentleman or as an intellectual who understands medicine, and he never seems to truly be Kirk's sounding board for ideas when Spock is useless.

Now, we can say that "oh, they just haven't told that story yet" or "it's an alternate universe, why would anything be the same" but the problems there are obvious when you treat the stories as proper character studies. The best Trek stories have always been character driven, and the technobabble only exists to facilitate the interaction between personas. Quick example: there's a scene in the TNG episode "The Masterpiece Society" where Geordi and the scientist from the carefully genetically controlled society are working on a way to save the planet from an incoming Bad Thing, and they make comments about how Geordi wouldn't have even been born in that world; would likely have been terminated as a fertilized egg, since they don't allow such genetic deficiencies as blindness into their society. They ramble a bit about pseudo-physics and reach a eureka moment when the scientist asks Geordi how it is that his VISOR doesn't overload his brain from too much information at once. Then they bring the convo full circle by saying -- look, isn't it ironic that this technology developed for a person who could never exist in your world is going to save it! That technobabble just holds the conversation up, moves the story along, but the substance is the characters coming together over it. I don't think Abrams can write that, I think he just leaves big gaping holes where there is supposed to be Starfleet talk about "shields buckling" and "attempting to compensate" and yada yada, and there's nothing intriguing about that. To me anyway. vOv
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Smmenen
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« Reply #45 on: May 11, 2015, 07:27:18 pm »

I think the concern over these films is that the emphasis on nostalgia may come at the price of weaker narratives. 

See, that's why I actually feel slightly better about Abrams in this universe than certain others; he's at least shown that he can be given a sandbox and play in it.

Sure, he can play with other people's toys - but that doesn't mean he "gets" them.

I don't think his Star Trek films captured the essence of Star Trek very well.  They were largely forgettable action sci-fi flicks.  The point of Star Trek is to paint a largely optimistic/aspirational portrait of humanity's future, in which things like prejudice and greed are overcome, etc.  Also, at its best, Star Trek always tried to present major moral quandaries.  His films involved such issues only in the most superficial way. 

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« Reply #46 on: May 11, 2015, 07:32:22 pm »

Quick example: there's a scene in the TNG episode "The Masterpiece Society"

You picked an awesome example to make your point. That scene was so beautifully done. This is the sort of thing missing in the new Star Trek movies.
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« Reply #47 on: May 12, 2015, 10:37:20 am »

I think the concern over these films is that the emphasis on nostalgia may come at the price of weaker narratives. 

See, that's why I actually feel slightly better about Abrams in this universe than certain others; he's at least shown that he can be given a sandbox and play in it.

Sure, he can play with other people's toys - but that doesn't mean he "gets" them.

I don't think his Star Trek films captured the essence of Star Trek very well.  They were largely forgettable action sci-fi flicks.  The point of Star Trek is to paint a largely optimistic/aspirational portrait of humanity's future, in which things like prejudice and greed are overcome, etc.  Also, at its best, Star Trek always tried to present major moral quandaries.  His films involved such issues only in the most superficial way. 



The bulk of my posts on the subject are definitely in agreement with this point. I don't think he's got what it takes for Trek; he *might* just be more at home in Wars, and given the right individual to collaborate with he can make watchable flicks, but ultimately it's true, he doesn't "get" Star Trek. I liken it to humans meowing back at their cats; the sounds are close, sure, but the language is almost certainly gibberish.

Cat: "hey you're home, whoop-de-doo."
Human: "Well socks in places and?!"
Cat: "...oh just stop."
Human: "Bargle rinse! Incrediblunk!"
Cat: "K"
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« Reply #48 on: May 12, 2015, 10:48:50 am »

Here's my question: Was he trying to make a Star trek film for Star Trek fans?

I mean, it really seemed like it was a franchise reboot and an attempt to bring NEW blood into a dying franchise... and imho he nailed that by making Star Trek seem like an action packed sci fi adventure film...there's a much larger audience for that, than a thinking man's sci fi film that questions man's place in the universe, breaks down social barriers and has moral/ethical dilemas... but he tried to throw a TON of bones to the Trek fanatics.

Just trying to play devil's advocate here.
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« Reply #49 on: May 12, 2015, 04:04:03 pm »

Making a star trek movie that captures the essence of star trek is not the same thing as catering to star trek fans. 

Similarly, you can cater to Star Wars fans without capturing the essence/spirit of Star Wars.  That's exactly my concern here. 

My fear is that Abrams is using nostalgia to drive his project rather than a powerful and compelling narrative.  The bits I've heard so far seem ridiculous, to say the least.  The MacGuffin and all.
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« Reply #50 on: May 13, 2015, 09:17:46 am »

essence/spirit of Star Wars.

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« Reply #51 on: October 22, 2015, 09:02:44 pm »



There were stories about what happened.... It's true... All of it... The Dark Side... The Jedi... They're real.

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« Reply #52 on: October 22, 2015, 10:24:02 pm »


Looks amazing!
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« Reply #53 on: October 23, 2015, 08:25:53 am »

I actually shed tears when I saw the final trailer...

I managed a 7PM VIP (assigned leather recliner!) ticket for an IMAX 3D show on the 17th!!!!

I cannot wait!!!
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« Reply #54 on: October 23, 2015, 08:58:35 am »

And did Luke change to the dark side? What do you think?  Very Happy
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« Reply #55 on: October 23, 2015, 10:26:35 am »

Super stoked for this movie.
I can't wait to see that Bastard Sword light saber in action.
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« Reply #56 on: October 23, 2015, 04:00:25 pm »

And did Luke change to the dark side? What do you think?  Very Happy

No way... He's going to be the Obi Wan character to Rey- is my guess.

In fact, I think we're only going to see him for a second at the end of the movie...Rey will hand him the lightsaber and it will go to credits.
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« Reply #57 on: October 23, 2015, 09:59:45 pm »

Doesn't Luke head the Jedi Academy post Return? Shouldn't that be in the movie?
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« Reply #58 on: October 24, 2015, 12:21:26 am »

Let's wait and see. The speculation goes in many directions and a fallen Luke is the hotest rumour:

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/oct/22/star-wars-the-force-awakens-luke-skywalker-dark-side-mark-hamill-jedi
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« Reply #59 on: October 24, 2015, 09:24:03 am »

Let's wait and see. The speculation goes in many directions and a fallen Luke is the hotest rumour:

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/oct/22/star-wars-the-force-awakens-luke-skywalker-dark-side-mark-hamill-jedi

Luke is in the trailer with R2 at 1:33 in this link...
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