A new Star Wars happened, and opinions are released upon us like nibbling hounds demanding biscuits

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inu-kun:

This video should be used every time someone discusses "saving" the Escapist.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Johnny Novgorod:

Yet here you are, looking for technicisms to justify the mechanical proficiency of a fictional character against another fictional character. The fact remains that introducing a brand new YA character who is immediately better at everything than all of the established characters is a fanfic move. Imagine Lord of the Rings Episode IV introducing a random young orphan from the desert who has taught herself to be a better swordsman than Aragorn ("Hey you're pretty good at this, have my kingdom"), a better magician than Gandalf (Let's say his staff "chooses" her or something) and teaches a lesson in humility to Sam. You can scrounge up every little technicism to explain to me how this could possibly be feasible... or just admit the writers are a bit desperate to get you to worship such an awesome character.

Looking for technicalities?

I'm sorry if I walked away with different impressions of primary reference materials. I mean you've yet to show me one scene where Han's supposedly being techno-savant has come into play. Everytime I've seen Han try to be a mechanic it's a comic act. Also, Aragorn is kind of a dick in the books; "Check out my magical sword. Look, don't touch. Grrrr." Hell, Aragorn in the books isn't all that comparable to other heroes in the tale.

Why the fuck are you comparing Rey to LotR ... maybe we watched different movies and read different books, but all the POVs from the LotR books are total Mary Sues, and Aragorn and Gandalf are the Mary Sue-ist of the bunch. Sorry, you're telling me to think Rey is more comparatively wunderkind to Gandalf and Aragorn? Have you actually read the books?

Gandalf isn't even shy about it. "I'm more badass than anything you'll meet, save for being brought before the seat of the Dark Lord..." (paraphrasing, but not all that much). As for Aragorn, don't even fucking start. The guy is a comparative giant. Lived three times longer than mortal men, in the books he's convinced he'll just simply take the throne of Gondor and Arnor as if taking candy from a baby because Elrond makes it a part of his condition to be eligible to wed Arwen.

In the books, the only major moral choice he faces is; "Do I help Frodo, or do I just kick in some doors at Minas Tirith because thrones are awesome? Questions--questions--..."

The books aren't shy about the nature of fate (indeed fate is everything) and that fate of Elendil's heir (not Isildur, Elendil... Isildur is like vanilla Elendil, kind of the son no one really wants when compared to his father) is pretty fucking "anything you can do..." territory.

Yeah, no. It's apples and oranges.

Addendum. This isn't that hard.
Any brand new character who is inserted in an established fictional canon written in such a way that the character is immediately better than everyone at everything and is recognized for it is a Mary Sue, who gets the blessing of the older characters to take their place as the focus of the attention. Rey is textbook.

Johnny Novgorod:

Addendum. This isn't that hard.
Any brand new character who is inserted in an established fictional canon written in such a way that the character is immediately better than everyone at everything and is recognized for it is a Mary Sue, who gets the blessing of the older characters to take their place as the focus of the attention. Rey is textbook.

I think you're missing my point ... Aragorn was Mary Sue right from the start. He is literally everything and more that you think is problematic in Rey (barring things like being a mechanic, because apples and oranges ... Aragorn makes up for it by knowing Elvish medicine, history, poetry, etc). Also, yes. She's a fucking protag. And I have serious qualms about your level of general discernment given you compared Rey to Aragorn and Gandalf. Aragorn is to humans what Heracles was to your average Greek (slight embellishment, but not too far off).

Addressing your underlying point, as I told Asita I think Rey isn't that interesting as a character and I'd rather see a down and dirty fighter as representative of the largely barbaric conditions she was raised.

I offered ideas how I would of handled it, and frankly I think lightsabers are fucking shit. But that's not the same as being a Mary Sue... because frankly if I can read LotR happily enough, and nothing in the Star Wars galaxy there seems to have consistent baseline of skill with a laser deathstick wielding, I don't really see it as a problem.

She's had extensive hand-to-hand training. More over she's probably had more real combat experience than Kylo who I would imagine had a sheltered upbringing and sheltered education, and didn't face the same tests that Rey would have. She built a landspeeder from a wreck, she intimately surrounded herself in the bellies of machines, and she made a living scavenging starship parts.

Unless people want to argue that fighting for your life with a quarterstaff doesn't have some formal application to fighting for your life with a bladed weapon.

They taught me bladed weapons and body combat in the army. Pretty sure I could port them to some conception of a laser deathstick. After all, none of the laser deathstick fighting seems all that improbable in the original trilogy. As in you could see someone wielding a cavalry sabre or arming sword in a similar fashion. And frankly I thought the laser deathstick fighting in the prequel trilogy just looks awful and weird.

Frankly I don't see why they went with glowy laser straight edges to begin with. Why not an actual sword? Dress it up a bit. Give it some sci-fi accoutrements, but actual swords could have had some visible character beyond something that you look like you can make in a hardware store.

Kylo and Rey's duel at the end of VII seems pretty fucking awesome to me. It looks like they were actually using weapons.

I would have prefered to watch that duel than any of the garbage in the prequel trilogy which looks like half of them are swinging around their blades hoping to cause an epileptic fit as opposed to actually being warriors with laser deathsticks.

Remember this....

And if this is something people honestly want to watch and inflict on others who have done nothing deserving of such stupid choreography and bullshit, confusing cinematography... well, I'm sure there's a punishment somewhere in the City of Dis worthy of your eternity.

Look at this cinematography and choreography...

Cleanly shot, desperate, savage and in the end, cruel. You actually get the feeling she's fighting for her life and she uses Kylo's arrogance against him, in the end showing a glimmer of potent anger and using it... It's a rugged, aggressive, almost petty engagement of one character driven to the brink of her psychological defences and uses that growing sense of malice to inflict pain on a surprised opponent.

Is there anything structural you find problematic with that?

Because if I want fight scenes to look like ballet recitals, I'll go to the fucking ballet. It's quite obvious Kylo could have finished her off with his feint and then off-balancing her over the cliff side. If anything, it's Kylo's sense of mercy and arrogance that leads to his downfall ... and Rey tapping into that darkest anger, that pettiness, and that malice that he abandons himself in that moment of hopeful restraint from killing her.

That ... seems pretty inline with Star Wars. It's an homage to Luke beating his dad down in a fit of rage that Vader could not emulate in that moment, to his own detriment.

And you know what? It made for a fucking good way to close up a duel and you don't fix what ain't broke.

Now, any other complaints? Honestly feels like I've touched upon most things at this point.

With reference materials, might I add...

Consider if you will my side of the argument coming from this as having a knowledge of Star Wars that would be consideredfairly generalized to the primary reference materials and some board and videogames ... I'm far more willing to watch more duels like that than I am anyh dancing, twirling, flourishing fucking nonsense in the prequel trilogy.

Assuming I'm goiung to watch the latest installment for the same reasons 95% of people that will watch it, maybe you might have a problem with your argument given someone like me doesn't feel the same way for reasons of the primary source materials themselves.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Johnny Novgorod:

Addendum. This isn't that hard.
Any brand new character who is inserted in an established fictional canon written in such a way that the character is immediately better than everyone at everything and is recognized for it is a Mary Sue, who gets the blessing of the older characters to take their place as the focus of the attention. Rey is textbook.

I think you're missing my point ... Aragorn was Mary Sue right from the start. He is literally everything and more that you think is problematic in Rey (barring things like being a mechanic, because apples and oranges ... Aragorn makes up for it by knowing Elvish medicine, history, poetry, etc). Also, yes. She's a fucking protag. And I have serious qualms about your level of general discernment given you compared Rey to Aragorn and Gandalf. Aragorn is to humans what Heracles was to your average Greek (slight embellishment, but not too far off).

Me, I have qualms with your reading comprehension. I compared Rey to a non-existent character in a hypothetical LotR sequel that ingratiates herself instantly with the old established characters - NOT to Aragorn or Gandalf. This to make it clear what makes a Mary Sue, and you might as well re-read my previous post for the definition.

I'm reading the supposed spoilers for it, and it looks like a train wreck.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
*snip*

Apologies that I'm addressing so little, but experience tells me that exploding post length is one of the 'best' ways to kill a discussion (both in terms of amicability and interest). Regarding the "dirty fighting Force user" angle: That would certainly be an interesting future direction, but if it had shown up in TFA it would have made a bad situation worse due both to it implying greater proficiency with the Force than anyone that new to the power had any right to be and necessarily bringing up questions on whether or not that should be pushing her to the Dark Side. That can certainly work for someone who had training to keep from getting caught up in the heat of the moment, but for a newbie without training it toes uncomfortably close to "my character's a grey Jedi who can use darker powers and aggression without falling to the Dark Side" territory.

In retrospect, I think this is a major point of disconnect between the two sides. It's not necessarily that Rey shouldn't have reached this point, it was that it happened too quickly without adequate reasoning. Rey reaching that point and surpassing it was to be expected. The problem is in large part that she grew to that point in a span of minutes. The first flight in the Falcon, for instance, had her start off rocky to emphasize her inexperience, but by the end of that same flight she was expertly ducking and weaving in an "aerial canyon chase", which is generally the kind of thing you reserve for when you really want to convey that a pilot is skilled and can beat enemies purely through superior piloting ability (think the canyon chase in Independence Day, the asteroid chase in Empire Strikes Back, and the trench run in Hunt for Red October). Similarly, in the span of a few minutes during a lightsaber duel she went from a hit and run approach which compensated for her lack of experience with that weapon type (this being the first time she'd ever wielded a lightsaber, as opposed to a metal staff which had a much different balance and way of handling) to simply outclassing and overpowering her opponent in a more standard duel.

Much of this I actually attribute to Abrams being terrible at pacing and far too in love with spectacle (see the supernova in Star Trek 2009's backstory, Starkiller Base, Kylo Ren seemingly freezing a plasma bolt in spacetime...). Which is to say that I feel that he didn't consider what the scenes implied, he just wanted to make them "cool".

That said, in TFA's case it didn't help that Rey was accompanied by upwards of a few "paint by numbers bad OC" practices. These included the original cast immediately bonding with her (made worse by the writing flub of Leia apparently deciding that Rey rather than Chewie needed comforting over Han's death), inheriting the Falcon, "inheriting" Chewie, inheriting a protagonist's lightsaber (made worse by being "chosen" by it, a first for Star Wars), and near effortless discovery and use of active Force powers even before she knew she could use the Force (made worse by the fact that the first power she used (psychometry) was a rare Force ability most associated with Quinlan Vos). These are the kinds of things in particular that raise red flags and make the audience less accepting of other points that they might otherwise have excused. After a certain point it feels less like a developed character and more like the writers were simply asking "how can we make the character cooler", which is part and parcel of how bad Original Characters are made.

Johnny Novgorod:
[

Me, I have qualms with your reading comprehension. I compared Rey to a non-existent character in a hypothetical LotR sequel that ingratiates herself instantly with the old established characters - NOT to Aragorn or Gandalf. This to make it clear what makes a Mary Sue, and you might as well re-read my previous post for the definition.

And? Frankly the rest of the post stands on its own, you've done nothing to back up your argument. What about the rest of my post?

If this is what can be expected ... not interested. Have a good day.

I don't mind if you shorten or snippet. I tend to break it up into concise paragraphs, and if you think I missed something let me know.

Asita:

Apologies that I'm addressing so little, but experience tells me that exploding post length is one of the 'best' ways to kill a discussion (both in terms of amicability and interest). Regarding the "dirty fighting Force user" angle: That would certainly be an interesting future direction, but if it had shown up in TFA it would have made a bad situation worse due both to it implying greater proficiency with the Force than anyone that new to the power had any right to be and necessarily bringing up questions on whether or not that should be pushing her to the Dark Side. That can certainly work for someone who had training to keep from getting caught up in the heat of the moment, but for a newbie without training it toes uncomfortably close to "my character's a grey Jedi who can use darker powers and aggression without falling to the Dark Side" territory.

But I don't buy the idea of needing to use the force to actually treat a lightsaber as a weapon. And frankly if the whole lightsaber as Force capacity is a real thing, I'd use creative licence to drop that nonsense as well.... The duel in TFA is pretty indicative Rey uses her anger and malice to score a surprised hit on a Kylo that is actually showing restraint and tries to use the collapsing geostructure beneath as his chance to actually score a convert. Kylo could have killed her with his feint and then off-balancing her at the cliffside, but he showed restraint. It's Kylo's restraint and Rey's anger and malice that she uses to overpower him. Which is a pretty good twist to me, and it does sort of highlight why the Force is dangerous.

Finn uses a lightsaber, and Rey for that matter, like it's actually a weapon. None of this airy fairy dancing bullshit of the prequel trilogy, but rather I feel like Abrams is channeling the original trilogy.

I'm still waiting for people to point out what they think is structurally unsound with this shot. The lightsabers actually feel like weapons with a bit of weight. You could see someone swinging an arming sword in the trade of blows. It looks authentic.

In retrospect, I think this is a major point of disconnect between the two sides. It's not necessarily that Rey shouldn't have reached this point, it was that it happened too quickly without adequate reasoning. Rey reaching that point and surpassing it was to be expected. The problem is in large part that she grew to that point in a span of minutes. The first flight in the Falcon, for instance, had her start off rocky to emphasize her inexperience, but by the end of that same flight she was expertly ducking and weaving in an "aerial canyon chase", which is generally the kind of thing you reserve for when you really want to convey that a pilot is skilled and can beat enemies purely through superior piloting ability (think the canyon chase in Independence Day, the asteroid chase in Empire Strikes Back, and the trench run in Hunt for Red October). Similarly, in the span of a few minutes during a lightsaber duel she went from a hit and run approach which compensated for her lack of experience with that weapon type (this being the first time she'd ever wielded a lightsaber, as opposed to a metal staff which had a much different balance and way of handling) to simply outclassing and overpowering her opponent in a more standard duel.

As opposed to Luke, no military training, no formal flight training, taking down the Death Star?

What are you actually looking for in a Star Wars film?

As I'm saying, I think you missed some critical details in the duel. Because I came away with it that Rey was losing until Kylo tried using restraint and Rey had tapped into her malice and sense of hatred.

Moreover, for people that actually study combat the basics are no different. You don't just study the weapon, you study movement. Yours and your opponent. Archaic fighting schools in Europe like LVD are applicable with a range of weaponry and accoutrement, including traditionally how to use a cloak in combat. LVD is not about mastering a specific weapon, but understanding human anatomy, range of movement, and understanding physiological capability, force pressures and a constant mind as to personal geometry of yourself and your weapons in correlation to your opponent.

You'll find this is the solid core of any trained combatant in martial disciplines.

You can apply the same basics regardless of the weapon.

In fact I was more disappointed Finn as a trained soldier didn't stand up to Kylo longer. I suppose you can argue that he isn't a soldier at heart so maybe was inattentive. But Rey grew up on a savageworld, shown to have needed a knowledge of self-defence and faced realistic chances of being harmed by enemies of Plutt or the like.

Much of this I actually attribute to Abrams being terrible at pacing and far too in love with spectacle (see the supernova in Star Trek 2009's backstory, Starkiller Base, Kylo Ren seemingly freezing a plasma bolt in spacetime...). Which is to say that I feel that he didn't consider what the scenes implied, he just wanted to make them "cool".

I agree, and frankly I'd rather be ententained... 'cool' is preferable to 'lightsaber disco', surely?

That said, in TFA's case it didn't help that Rey was accompanied by upwards of a few "paint by numbers bad OC" practices. These included the original cast immediately bonding with her (made worse by the writing flub of Leia apparently deciding that Rey rather than Chewie needed comforting over Han's death), inheriting the Falcon, "inheriting" Chewie, inheriting a protagonist's lightsaber (made worse by being "chosen" by it, a first for Star Wars), and near effortless discovery and use of active Force powers even before she knew she could use the Force (made worse by the fact that the first power she used (psychometry) was a rare Force ability most associated with Quinlan Vos). These are the kinds of things in particular that raise red flags and make the audience less accepting of other points that they might otherwise have excused. After a certain point it feels less like a developed character and more like the writers were simply asking "how can we make the character cooler", which is part and parcel of how bad Original Characters are made.

Honestly I already offered suggestions how I would of fixed any of this. But bad writing isn't a trait of the Mary Sue. And frankly I would have shot the lightsaber fighting specifically as we saw it in TFA.

As for the Force powers? Well, frankly I think the Star Wars universe has been far too 'magical bullshit' territory for years now. The Emperor works as the dark wizard of the tower with their lightning. But things like surviving 4-5 storey drops in TPM? The sad thing is there is zero consistency of what the Force does. I wouldn't mind just seeing less of it in general. So I agree there. So I don't really care ... andfrankly I would have preferred these scenes alltogether to be replaced with more conventional ideas of narrative discovery.

I would have preferred to see Rey act more roguish ... basically as she was when channeling her loathing into her fight to torment and toy with Kylo towards the end. If that was her baseline, but more manipulative, cunning, and cruel ... perfect. Hell, I would have been fine if she didn't bond with anybody but Finn ... because Finn and Rey actually have reasons to care about one another at least by that point.

That would have been fine with me ... if she simply said; "Let's put the Falcon to some good use, with me or not?"

As for the lightsaber duels? Frankly stuff like that is precisely why I want to watch the latest installment. Because lightsabers are actually weapons again. Not cheerleader batons. Where the blade actually looks like it has weight. Like it's swung as if it were a real weapon.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

As for the lightsaber duels? Frankly stuff like that is precisely why I want to watch the latest installment. Because lightsabers are actually weapons again. Not cheerleader batons. Where the blade actually looks like it has weight. Like it's swung as if it were a real weapon.

Lightsabers aren't real weapons though, and they shouldn't have any weight. A lightsaber is a beam of energy, and energy, by definition, is weightless because it lacks mass. The prequel duels work from a chroeographic standpoint because they reflect how Jedi/Sith can use the Force to amplify their agility and speed, along with making the lightsaber a viable weapon in its own universe. There's no reason for lightsaber fights to resemble real-world fights because the considerations are different (armour is greatly reduced in importance, the blade has no weight, etc.)

But in case you're wondering, Last Jedi has lightsaber combat, but I won't say anymore due to possible spoilers (I can't really describe how they're done without potentially ruining the moment(s)).

Hawki:

Lightsabers aren't real weapons though, and they shouldn't have any weight. A lightsaber is a beam of energy, and energy, by definition, is weightless because it lacks mass. The prequel duels work from a chroeographic standpoint because they reflect how Jedi/Sith can use the Force to amplify their agility and speed, along with making the lightsaber a viable weapon in its own universe. There's no reason for lightsaber fights to resemble real-world fights because the considerations are different (armour is greatly reduced in importance, the blade has no weight, etc.)

But in case you're wondering, Last Jedi has lightsaber combat, but I won't say anymore due to possible spoilers (I can't really describe how they're done without potentially ruining the moment(s)).

Well, if that's what Star Wars fans want, as in their fights to look like a dumpster fire, then frankly I'm not interested. Moreover I'm pretty the sure audience member that saw TFA were thinking; looks cool. And for starters, it better resembles the original trilogy. So forgive the cognitive dissonance of the reasons why I think they look like total garbage.

The choreography there was to highlight the speed? Really? Sorry ... but if twirling a laser deathstick infront of your opponent really fast is indicative of combat effectiveness, maybe it's less about couching in terms of real swordplay and more about simply not looking fucking stupid.

After all ... fight choreographer for the original trilogy? Bob Anderson. A sword-master. He taught so many of the sword-fighting movie greats. Fight choreographer for prequel trilogy? A guy that ran away to the circus at the age of 12 ... starting to see a problem here?

Wonder where Star Wars killed its traditional swordplay aspects and literally just became a violent circus act of stupid? Right there.

More over, of course lightsaber blades should reflect some form of big sticks hitting eachother (so they can't just be 'beams of energy', given they're an actual blade and have actual electrostatic resistance therefore not laser but plasma physics(?)). Repeatedly we see the blade falter under strong hits. So when I say the blades have weight, it feels like they're being swung in a way to bash through someone's defence, or lock their blades, or to unbalance their opponents.

If the Star Wars lore is literally getting in the way of decent choreography, despite it being observable in the originals (the whole Luke beating down his dad until utterly defenceless), maybe creative licence rather than nitpicky nonsense should be considered.

As I've said before in this thread, I don't like lightsabers as a concept ... why not jazz up swords with sci-fi accoutrements? Actual swords. For the life of me I don't get why they used lightsabers. One reason I'm guessing is because of rule of cool ... and maybe in the same fashion rule of cool should be the only consideration. Then again, I still think the blades would actually mean something and enjoy the additional character you could have given them by having proper blades.

Another reason might be not having to worry about showing blood.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

But I don't buy the idea of needing to use the force to actually treat a lightsaber as a weapon. And frankly if the whole lightsaber as Force capacity is a real thing, I'd use creative licence to drop that nonsense.

Not at all what I meant. I was referring to your suggestion of "what if she force-pushed a mound of blade heated rock shards into Kylo's face and chest". Interesting way to develop, but necessarily implies greater proficiency with the Force than anyone that new to the power has any right to have.

I did not imply anything about lightsabers requiring the Force (it's not pragmatic without the Force for the same reason that using a knife in a gunfight isn't pragmatic, but that's a different discussion altogether). What I did imply was that Rey used a very different kind of weapon. There is some truth that in reading combat you study motion, but here's the thing. A mace has a very different balance and handles very differently from a longsword. Heck, you can't approach a longsword the same way that you do a rapier, or vice versa. Rey was used to a staff, which is an entirely different kettle of fish from all of those, and certainly different from a plasmabrand that - depending on your interpretation, would either handle as if it were weightless or as if you were brandishing a stick with a gyroscope on the tip. I mean heck, look at the poster image. You don't even hold it the same way. It requires a completely different moveset which she has no [known] experience with, whereas it was Kylo Ren's weapon of choice.

You mention Finn. Here's the thing: I thought that Finn's development with the lightsaber worked. Despite his military training, it's not a weapon he's familiar with and he spends the movie gaining competence with it. That said, while he showed a marked improvement in skill and confidence over the course of the movie, he should not have been a match for someone who had far greater experience with the weapon (and a suite of additional powers, even if we assume force sensitivity for the sake of argument) and indeed specialized in its use for years while Finn had only recently started using it.

Defeat also worked from a narrative perspective as well. I would have been perfectly happy with Finn (and/or Rey) being downed but saved by Chewie in the Falcon and the collapsing base (you know, like how Kylo eventually was, only reversed) because that would have established the need to reach the antagonist's level and surpass him. Of course that obviously didn't happen. That's probably one of the reasons I'm so hard on Rey in this respect: I felt that Finn's development with the lightsaber was the proper pacing for "I don't have experience with this weapon". So seeing that and then having Rey go from a similar starting point to a much higher ending one in a span of minutes and a single fight is like being served a well cooked steak, which, after you take a bite, is thrown back into the oven and overcooked before you're allowed to eat the rest of it.

For what it's worth though, I do agree that Rey approaching it more as a rogue than a warrior would have been a superior choice (both in that it's more interesting and better reflects her backstory and the skills she acquired as a scavenger)

And on a side note with regards to Luke: First of all it's worth noting that:
A) they make it a point throughout the film to repeatedly acknowledge Luke as being an experienced pilot. Biggs vouches that Luke "is the best bush pilot in the Outer Rim territories", he brags about how he "used to bull's-eye back in [his] T-16 back home", and during the trench run when he suggests going full throttle he wryly remarks that "it's just like Beggar's Canyon back home". Similarly, when Obi-Wan first reveals that Luke's father had been a Jedi he drops a comment about how he "[understands] that [Luke] has become quite a good pilot [him]self", and after taking umbrage at Han's hefty price for taking them to Alderaan he claims that they could buy a ship for less and that he would be capable of flying it.
B) He had supernatural aid. Not just the force, but a spirit mentor who was coaching him from the back seat at the time.

Which is to say that Luke's piloting vs. Rey's piloting is apples to oranges. A New Hope made a point of planting "Luke is a damn good pilot" in our minds, whereas with the Force Awakens we get an exchange of "have you ever flown this thing before" "No" before the flight and "How did you do that?" "I don't know!" after the flight to establish that while she had some piloting experience the skill she just displayed were surprising even to her.

Asita:

My bad... and, yeah. Plus it's a screen nightmare trying to do that sort of stuff. Vader uses sparks and stuff to distract and annoy Luke and be a passive-aggressive troll with the environment... I think there were promising signs of it like carving into the tree to created heated wood sparks to splash onto Ren and create a burning obstacle as he advanced. Not enough of that sort of thing of narratively 'kicking dust' dirty fighting.

Well we still train in bladed and unarmed combat even for the modern battlefield. And Rey use of the blade isn't anywhere near as varied as Kylo. As far as weightless argument... even in the original trilogy the idea of strength does bash an enemy's block. That you can bash a lightsaber out of someone's hand.

Blades are useful. You can't go wrong with a machete in terms of utility and as an edged weapon. Austrian military still hand out glock knives as standard kit for all combat infantry groups. The stiletto dagger is still the symbolic fighting knife of the Commando regiments in Australia ('Australian Army Stiletto'). The fact that Luke can afford to construct his own (admittedly we don't actually know if a high ranking rebel gets a solid paycheque) ... I could see a lightsaber be part of a field kit for any soldier. You could use it for impromptu fortification building... two slices and you have soft cover allowing you to toss grenades further from a defensible position. Obstruction clearing? It's like a easy portable acetylene torch. Close quarters combat tool that disregards atleast light obstructive terrain...? Also low cost way of permanently disabling vehicles that are less safety requirements than explosives (collateral kill zones, debris, gases etc), and less time consuming than manual disarmament or disabling. How about a brand new types of bayonet design?

That being said, I kind of get where you're coming with this... I think Finn's organic development with the blade makes sense. But as for Rey I think it's kind of important to note that Kylo was overpowering her in that duel. The reason Finn lost is because he didn't back down. The reason with Rey won was because Kylo did, however, back down. He was dead set on killing her, and only when he saw the landscape beginning to collapse do you see that close up of his face where you almost see tge idea formulate in his head that maybe he could gain a convert rather than a scalp by using this situation to his gain. His arrogance and ironically his restraint transforms a won duel into one that he had lost for himself precisely because Rey does use her anger right as he was trying to restrain himself.

The one reason why I like this duel, is, however, couched previsely in the idea that Abrams is looking back to the Bob Anderson fight choreography of the original trilogy ('OT' here onwards). I'm digging to see the return of the Errol Flynn original inspirations of traditional swordplay that the legendary swordsman created a culture of in Hollywood.

Not the circus athleticism we see in the prequel trilogy ("PT" '') ... that was because the choreographer was a circus performer at twelve. And all hints of that traditional swordplay disappeared. I'm bias about the duels in FTA precisely because we're seeing at least a desire to go back to that Errol Flynn inspiration... and frankly Kylo is hands down the better fencer, just Rey takes advantage of his weakness.

And that to me feels like an improvement over the prequel's ideas of swordplay. More over, the Rey fight and how it was choreographed is done so purposely to highlight the fact that the stupid Gillard fight choreography of the past is over.

To be fair... I think part of the problem of the swordplay argument is you can't shoot the traditional imagery of the OT without making people either seem comparatively strong or weak. But then again ... would you honestly prefer Kylo pulling out the levels of sheer stupid that were oh so common with the PT? Now if only they could dial back the Force stupidity.

Do we really want to go back to backflips after being kicked in the face, in other words?

I'm more inclined to watch more gritty, grounded swordplay over the PT nonsense, and I think if they clean up the Force nonsense, it will become legitimately better for the future SW movies...

Apart from the Arthurian Force nonsense I don't think Rey displays true skill in the duel. More so, she shows anger as fear is transformed into hatred. And couple this with the increased injuries Kylo has sustained. I think there were plenty of lost opportunities to 'Rey-ify' the fight scene. Like when Kylo was barbecuing Finn's shoulder she could have shot at him with her blaster while his blade was locked with Finn's and preparing to disarm him. Giving Finn the tag in and making it seem like a partnership of fighting off Kylo. Which would have been a cooler scene... and played into that idea that Rey being a more roguish type of character, giving her something more to her character... as in the transformation of fighting for her life at the beginning, transforming into a bitterness and hatred that she starts giving in to towards the end.

It would have given both Finn and Rey a greater baptism of fire and solidified their friendship, as well as given Kylo a greater sense of being dangerous... taking shot after shot, some blade knicks, etc.

Also avoided the Arthurian Force pre-fight weirdness.

To be fair, one of the naysayers was a professional rebel pilot if I recall correctly. Moreover, supernatural aid does not a fantastic marksman or pilot make. Leia is Force-sensitive, is shown in scenes to have a knack with machines (which seems to be a running trend of so many Force sensitive protags related to Anakin as in all of them know their way around droids and vehicles)... But being an inherently good pilot isn't one of them. Yeah, I get TPM asserts differently, but I think trying to make all the rules of all the movies fit is a pretty daunting and inherently broken task.

Rey being a good pilot? Well keep in mind like Luke she had her speeder she rebuilt. And like Luke, didn't have any experience beyond the world they were largely dumped on. I think the canyon thing was dumb, and honestly I don't get why they didn't try to fashion it as ANH more in order to make it seem like it was as if coming full circle... losing a wizened warrior, followed by group doing their best to fend off attacks... etc etc.

Anyways... you've made some pretty good points. I think Finn as if a budding pilot to be would have been a better choice. As Finn has proven himself pretty darn adaptable thus far. The last thing we want is the idea of this trilogy developing a cutie mark process of some pony's innate talent.

I would have love to see Rey cast as a morally greyer Obi-Wan. Using deception, trickery, stealth... I think that's the type of Jedi we need. Someone you could look at and feel as if they are just naturally sneaky and deceptive. Jedi mind trick feels way more Sith-like than force lightning or choking someone, moreover this idea of making the path of least resistance... 'original Obi-wan is best Jedi' putting it simply... and I thought they were going for that angle with Rey when she was in captivity...

It always left a bad taste in my mouth that his protege Luke not only abandons his soldiers but also jeopardises the mission... and for no tangible gain... I kind of imagine him after the Ewok celebration writing letters to all the mums and dads as an officer, telling them about the soldiers he got unnecessarily killed just to have an ego test.

Kenobi doesn't just sacrifice himself to be Luke's fairy godmother. He puts himself in that position because it was legitimately the only good outcome squandered if he didn't split off to sabotage the DS and provide the suitable distraction for the others to escape. It was heroic precisely because it contributed tactile moral good without compromising his enlightened code of conduct. If he hadn't of disspated into the Force, they would have tried to rescue him and been captured or killed in the process.

Clearly it would be awesome to have that type of Jedi, someone that doesn't just rattle off about morality but rather recognizes some basic idea of rules-based utilitarianism of 'results matter, just don't lose yourself along the way'.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Well, if that's what Star Wars fans want, as in their fights to look like a dumpster fire, then frankly I'm not interested. Moreover I'm pretty the sure audience member that saw TFA were thinking; looks cool. And for starters, it better resembles the original trilogy. So forgive the cognitive dissonance of the reasons why I think they look like total garbage.

The choreography there was to highlight the speed? Really? Sorry ... but if twirling a laser deathstick infront of your opponent really fast is indicative of combat effectiveness, maybe it's less about couching in terms of real swordplay and more about simply not looking fucking stupid.
(...)

Why all this vitriol? First of all you should look up kendo. Then read up and attend kendo practise to have someone explain to you concept of teno-uchi.
Initially lightsaber combat was stylised to resemble katana fights and no they have hardly any visible weight behind each slash and trust because each attack is mitigated to end exactly at the point you expect to deal lethal damage. If you'd attach a string to the tip of the sword it would seem as if someone is more of trying to snap that whip rather than deliver usual sword attack.

Now, in Lucas early movies that was even further toned down to ascetic moves akin to kendo kata. Yes you don't twirl and spin your weapon like a madman, because that adds momentum to your weapon and your muscles, that leaves openings (slower reaction and inability to change direction of movement) and you end up practically defenseless against someone who is aware of that.

In prequels this emphasis was shifted towards aikido weapon trainings style and well... acrobatics.
That because they wanted to display fictional combat fight form of Ataru which relies on inhumane control of body and ones surroundings with the force. Sure, in actual combat situation, this is excessvely impractical but these regimes (not acrobatics) are used in aikido and sometimes kendo to train rapid stance position changes, fluidity and coordination. Sometimes used to just wear down everyone to the point of complete exhaustion and then have them fight, while they hardly can stand (you learn this way that muscle memorised, ascetic moves are pretty darn effective... and efficient). These are also the closest real thing that could resemble Ataru and that's why they were used.
Calling it dumpster fire is childish. I prefer kendo-like forms too but I can see what they were going for shooting these scenes.

As to TFA's lightsaber combat. Kylo seems to use Djem So (which puts absurd looking weight behind weapon that is weightless but this is ment to depict brutish force induced pummeling style) and Juyo (excesively wide aggresive swings and trusts). For whatever, insane reason Rey developed drunken version of Niman (wunderkind apparently), while Finn just uses lightsaber like a hatchet. If you like that great for you.

However, if you don't like fictional concepts of lightsabers and force you can safely skip on any of SW movies that feature jedi. There are some forms of 'sword' combat in that universe which are simply not realistic at all.

Jamcie Kerbizz:
-Skip-

Read one paragraph past that which you quoted me, get back to me.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Jamcie Kerbizz:
-Skip-

Read one paragraph past that which you quoted me, get back to me.

ok so you just don't like lightsabers at all. Why bother with nitpicking like that then?

There's a lot of anger and negativity surrounding this movie so I'm gonna go ahead and assume I'm gonna like it a lot.

Hawki:
The prequel duels work from a chroeographic standpoint because they reflect how Jedi/Sith can use the Force to amplify their agility and speed, along with making the lightsaber a viable weapon in its own universe. There's no reason for lightsaber fights to resemble real-world fights because the considerations are different (armour is greatly reduced in importance, the blade has no weight, etc.)

The problem is they really don't, though. I can accept lightsaber users doing sick kickflips and whatnot, if not for one problem. In some scenes you can easily see them not even attempting to hit each other. Add to that how flashy everything looks, and i disagree with choreography being good.
It's like someone at Lucas saw a wuxia movie, and thought "huh, this looks cool", and decided to add all that wire fu acrobatics to a SW movie, without understanding how you achieve the desirable effect.

Now i do think fights in the originals look "woody" sometimes, but atleast they don't feel flashy and pointless.

This is also why i think those in TFA are probably the biggest improvement brought to the series altogether: best of both worlds.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

As I've said before in this thread, I don't like lightsabers as a concept ... why not jazz up swords with sci-fi accoutrements? Actual swords. For the life of me I don't get why they used lightsabers. One reason I'm guessing is because of rule of cool ... and maybe in the same fashion rule of cool should be the only consideration. Then again, I still think the blades would actually mean something and enjoy the additional character you could have given them by having proper blades.

Go play KotOR :p

Jamcie Kerbizz:

ok so you just don't like lightsabers at all. Why bother with nitpicking like that then?

Okay, totally not my point. My point was the OT actually had contracted a legend like Bob Anderson. A person versed in the many ways of fencing and traditional martial arts. The PT didn't and frankly for its detriment, it had a circus performer. Suddenly you had people doing controlled one storey backflips after being kicked in the face.

Clearly Abrams in TFA is taking his inspiration from the OT with even more Errol Flynn and frankly I think that bodes well ... hopefully.

PsychedelicDiamond:
There's a lot of anger and negativity surrounding this movie so I'm gonna go ahead and assume I'm gonna like it a lot.

image
Good. Good.

MrCalavera:
Go play KotOR :p

Have ... and all it does is remind how much cooler SW would be with actual swords kitted out with sci-fi stuff. How rewcognizable each sword would have been... that and by using actual sword props without excessive production videoediting they could have put the money towards giving Bob Anderson the salary he deserved.... or cloned more Bob Andersons and brought back heyday Hollywood fencing epics or at least more Lord of the Rings high-fantasy stuff with actually good choreography.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

MrCalavera:
Go play KotOR :p

Have ... and all it does is remind how much cooler SW would be with actual swords kitted out with sci-fi stuff.

Uhh... That's what i meant. The game does have actual swords.

MrCalavera:

Uhh... That's what i meant. The game does have actual swords.

I ... know? I think they're cool! Moreover, if only for ceremonial purposes you could actually see them being common issue to officers ... and thus an actual ethical code of duelling that emerges between two people.

If I remember correctly, the weapon description of the stock standard vibrosword in KotOR actually mentioned they were for use aginst lightsabers and designed to actually block them ... giving one the idea that officers and soldiers actually had a complex fencing tradition that actually makes their expansive distribution make sense, and their use fairly common and purposeful.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Lando Calrissian took first pilot helm of the Millenium Falcon at the Battle of Endor, if Chewie was such an exceptional pilot who knew the MF why didn't he fight in space above Endor?

He isn't going to let Han go fight in a battle and not be there to protect him.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

Jamcie Kerbizz:

ok so you just don't like lightsabers at all. Why bother with nitpicking like that then?

Okay, totally not my point. My point was the OT actually had contracted a legend like Bob Anderson. A person versed in the many ways of fencing and traditional martial arts. The PT didn't and frankly for its detriment, it had a circus performer. Suddenly you had people doing controlled one storey backflips after being kicked in the face.

Clearly Abrams in TFA is taking his inspiration from the OT with even more Errol Flynn and frankly I think that bodes well ... hopefully.

Point is, lightsaber combat is littered with impossible, bordering silly. Read the description of Ataru ie. spinning, somersaults and ...cartwheels. How would Bob Anderson do that? I'd expect his reaction being 'you have got to be kidding me, right?'.

If I wanted to apply your measure of critique to TFA it will also come out pretty bad.
It's nicely shot. It invokes emotions characters have more than being actual depictation of combat.
In case of Kylo, it stays true to universum's lightsaber forms (you can see what is what), part of fight against Finn is great.
Scene in which young arrogant swordsman plays with someone who has no actual skills. Kylo lets Finn recover from every fatal mistake he makes, up until he gets punished for all this toying and disarms Finn angrily. Perfect.

Part against Rey is just like someone had no idea how to do what they were asked to depict. Rey parries some of the attacks with tip of her sword while backing out (frigging master feat in combat). She amazingly controlls distance ...despite stumbling, drives timed counters that leave Kylo open (but she doesn't follow). Goes switly and fluidly from defensive stance into actual, threatening attacks. Ends up at one point in physics defying back arched position where she can handle full weight of her opponent on the guard and recovers and wins the fight.

To be honest they both seem tired (which is correct) but they don't seem to be willing to really threaten life of one another. They look like one drunk and one crippled master swordsman putting on a show for students.

So I loved it.

What an odd movie.

Jamcie Kerbizz:
Point is, lightsaber combat is littered with impossible, bordering silly. Read the description of Ataru ie. spinning, somersaults and ...cartwheels. How would Bob Anderson do that? I'd expect his reaction being 'you have got to be kidding me, right?'.

Like, no? I mean where are these materials actually covered? Because if they're not set with the primary canon, why exactly should we expect audiences to follow? No one I know liked the garbage in the prequels, whether or not they were a Star Wars nut, or whether they had a passing familiarity with the prior movies.

Why the fuck would the average person want more of it? While you have a fair argument of relative skill involved and the actual coherrency with reality, clearly the TFA was channeling Bob Anderson's influences of the original mythos of the universe, instead ignoring the Prequel's circus act inspired theatrics of swordplay.

I get why some fans might not like it, but it was at least a welcome sign to me that the days of old Hollywood swordplay aren't dead.

American Fox:

He isn't going to let Han go fight in a battle and not be there to protect him.

In the expanded universe stuff, didn't they like separate for years right after the E6? Regardless, strong point ... but ultimately in the primary reference materials, I see precisely 8 times the numbers of scenes Chewie fixing things than piloting things.

Which always strikes me as odd whe one poster says 'Han is a mechanic, Chewie is a pilot...'

In fact, all the times Han is shown to be the mechanic, it's for comic effect and for some reason the 120kg furred giant is the one tasked with crawling around air vents of live sparking wires while Han does precisely fuck all, choosing rather to annoy Leia while she's working on enginery ...

Asita:

Addendum_Forthcoming:

But I don't buy the idea of needing to use the force to actually treat a lightsaber as a weapon. And frankly if the whole lightsaber as Force capacity is a real thing, I'd use creative licence to drop that nonsense.

Not at all what I meant. I was referring to your suggestion of "what if she force-pushed a mound of blade heated rock shards into Kylo's face and chest". Interesting way to develop, but necessarily implies greater proficiency with the Force than anyone that new to the power has any right to have.

I did not imply anything about lightsabers requiring the Force (it's not pragmatic without the Force for the same reason that using a knife in a gunfight isn't pragmatic, but that's a different discussion altogether). What I did imply was that Rey used a very different kind of weapon. There is some truth that in reading combat you study motion, but here's the thing. A mace has a very different balance and handles very differently from a longsword. Heck, you can't approach a longsword the same way that you do a rapier, or vice versa. Rey was used to a staff, which is an entirely different kettle of fish from all of those, and certainly different from a plasmabrand that - depending on your interpretation, would either handle as if it were weightless or as if you were brandishing a stick with a gyroscope on the tip. I mean heck, look at the poster image. You don't even hold it the same way. It requires a completely different moveset which she has no [known] experience with, whereas it was Kylo Ren's weapon of choice.

Lightsabers are also very strange weapons indeed; canon is that the blade itself is essentially weightless but exerts a strong gyroscopic effect. They aren't merely difficult for the untrained to wield, they're outright dangerous.

Addendum_Forthcoming:

If I remember correctly, the weapon description of the stock standard vibrosword in KotOR actually mentioned they were for use aginst lightsabers and designed to actually block them ...

They'd have to be made from corthosis, or some rare lightsaber blocking material, though.
And if my memory serves me well, the explanation behind swords being used as normal battlefield weapons in KotOR, was forcefields. That block blaster projectiles, but not a blade.

MrCalavera:

Addendum_Forthcoming:

If I remember correctly, the weapon description of the stock standard vibrosword in KotOR actually mentioned they were for use aginst lightsabers and designed to actually block them ...

They'd have to be made from corthosis, or some rare lightsaber blocking material, though.
And if my memory serves me well, the explanation behind swords being used as normal battlefield weapons in KotOR, was forcefields. That block blaster projectiles, but not a blade.

Seems oddly specific the metal is also very effective against lightsabers as well. I get lightsaber wielders are supposed to be rare, but commanders being outfitted with a type of blade that just so happens to be effective against the LS seems like a major coincidence.

The logical answer is; "We need something for melee builds that isn't just a LS..." but in-universe makes sense for back then?
Also makes sense that by the time of ANH they fon't need them at all, anymore.

Thd logic there might be commanderd might be expected to defend the bridge from LS and Force users looking to commandeer the vessel so they might be outfitted with them?

There's a shitload of Jedi and Sith left over even in KotOR... so maybe it was just the fact that commanders had both a ceremonial blade that just so happens to be useful in duels? They still use csvalry sabres for parade... might as well make them usrful against a potential boarding enemy you might face if LS force users are a thing?

How is it that all the stuff in TFA happened despite bla, bla, bla and bla from the original trilogy? Because fuck you, that's how.

Anyway, saw Last Jedi today and I quite enjoyed it. It evoked the narrative of a war movie while still cleaving to the mythic Star Wars tradition. Some of the best lightsaber duels in the whole series.

So, I saw it.

I didn't hate it or anything. It was a fun popcorn flick, though not one that I'm likely to remember too much. I'm already having difficulties remembering the plot (ok, I'm also tired and didn't sleep enough last night or especially the night before... but the point still stands)

The absolute worst Star Wars movie, including even those fucking CG serieses, I have ever seen and an average movie altogether.

Averagely shot (modern) action scenes I generally dislike with frantic cuts, like almost the entirety of everything that happened in space.

Almost zero build up to supposed outbursts of conflicts and climaxes, they often just happen.
-> Generally too many cuts of absolutely anything that could build something up, some kind of hype, like when Luke went out to stall time, confronting Kylo and Co.

Weak melee-choreography. The fucking prequels, Menace and Revenge, outdid this movie and I have barely any memory about Episode II.

Luke was wasted. His planet was wasted. The old Jedi knowledge was wasted. Snoke was wasted (holy shit). Rei was wasted (holy fucking shit).
-> Why? Was that all? Was this and that really enough for their motivation, like, what the actual fuck? Who is this, anyway? Where did they come from? What is this place? ---------NAH! ALL DONE NOW! DOESN'T MATTER, LULZ!

The whole Monacco scene on the Monacco Planet with the single Monacco city on it was absolute fucking shit. It dragged on that I, for the first time in about 23 years, asked myself when this fucking Star Wars movie finally was going to end. That animal-arc, rich vs. poor arc, casino arc was so damn poorly implemented that I really asked myself if I should leave, but I didn't go alone. And before you ask: I don't talk while watching a movie.

Leia's scene in space looked absolutely awful. What the fuck, was Fisher already dead then? But Leia really was the best part in this movie and I am so sad that the whole Po - Mon Mothma - Leia arc, which was really really awesome with all the twists and the final FTL scene of Mon Mothma really was the absolute best thing of this movie. If you could cut this all out, Leia's scenes and arc, Po's misjudgment (which though I at first were on board with), and Mon Mothma's everything out of this movie and put it into a better one, I would have dropped my jaw in awe for finally seeing a EU-esque scene on film. This whole arc was stellar in my opinion.

Reis and Kylos dialogue while Rei was on Dagobah was really wrecking my mental state. They talked like if they were 16 or something, about shit mostly, Luke's involvement in Kylos turning could have been really cool, but the execution of the whole flashback scene was motherfucking weak, like holy hell... and that was all that took it to turn Luke into Yoda? Even Revenge did a better job to show Anakin's character development.

Luke died either too early or he didn't do enough in this movie alone, meaning he should have kicked ass instead of the movie wasting time in Monacco or leave Luke dying for the next movie. He did a force projection to another planet, which is cool, but that literally was everything. With the previous movie hyping him up like a motherfucker.

I like jaded Luke, but his motivation was so weak. I can not accept that just because he """"""""""""failed""""""""" once, with a bunch of dead children and his nephew kinda turned to the dark side as the result of his failure, that he goes into exile for good, despising everything the Jedi said and did, wanting to burn it all. I personally even would agree here, but his motivation was too fucking weak, he didn't even read the old teachings so how should he ever have known that they were wrong in the first place? Because he failed --------------once----------------? What the actual fuck, while writing this it's getting worse for me.

Those set pieces in general, Snoke's red greenscreen room, were unimpressive. It all feels like they shot the movie 2 months ago and began filming 5 months ago. What the fuck, guys...? Missed a date? Rogue One was last year......

Much more, like how did Rei get on the Millenium Falcon after her force-brawl with Kylo? And really, she has 0 heritage despite 7 movies previously, and this one as well except for Rei herself, having the theme of destiny and heritage? I wouldn't have a problem with that, if Rei was weaker in the force. But this is rather minor.

I liked the scenes on Hoth in the last scenes of the final chapter. Except for Fin being saved. This scene up until this was gut-wrenching (I really liked Fin and was quite happy about how he turned out in Episode 7), but he got saved by that multi-talented technician ex-machina chick that unfortunately got introduced when I had to go to the toilet.

I liked the theme of questioning the old, some wanting to destroy it and others not, and in general that Jedis aren't clearly portraied as the ideal standard. But we got a bitter Luke Yodawalker, who just says it is bad, but not why. We got Kylo saying that this needs to be done, but his version of the why was unimpressive.

The humour nose-dived for me in almost every scene, and those animals were worse than Ewoks, being even more blatant in just having the purpous of being exposed to the audience in order to get produced as toys or whatever later.

Movie average, Star Wars shit.

----

edit: Holy hell, my English is the absolute worst right now. I'm deeply sorry for that, honestly, and thank you for reading. I just woke up, if I don't forget to, I will edit this post later. Really, sorry for that.

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