Star Wars - The Force Awakens - Did J.J. Abrams and Disney Ruin Star Wars?

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Star Wars - The Force Awakens - Did J.J. Abrams and Disney Ruin Star Wars?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a very enjoyable movie. Put down the pitchforks; J.J. Abrams and Disney delivered.

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Recommendation: You're going to see it anyway, but if you were on the fence, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is very much worth the watch.

Nice that you know your audience so well. And that you can write a review without any sort of major spoilers *cough* everyotherrevieweronearth *cough*

No one's breath is baited, unless you don't do fishing correctly.

craddoke:
No one's breath is baited, unless you don't do fishing correctly.

just....ewwwww

Saw it last night - had my reserve ticket n such. I arrived an hour early - I should've arrived 2 for a good seat. It was fun being a part of the early showing circus - haven't done that since Spider-Man 3, which I deeply regret. And yes, everyone in the auditorium wooped and clapped when an old character was reintroduced, yes even the first time the millennium falcon is on screen, but this was expected so didn't detract from the brilliant film on screen. Abrams really does know how to hit all the nostalgia buttons and I'm glad the new trilogy is in his hands rather than in George's. Loved the movie - it had great comedic timing. Imagine that, a Star Wars movie that made me laugh, on purpose! The villain, while a man-child, has room for growth and I suspect we're going to see with this character what we didn't see with Vader, how he truly became what he became after he dawned the cloak and helmet. So while all the notes might be similar in the next film, the way they'll be presented - a dark lord possibly rising to power and coming into their own, will be very different. There are just so many great things in this movie. I'm not one to visit a theater more than once for a movie - comes with living 30mi from the nearest theater - but I may just for this one. It's an experience you simply have to have.

The result is something that feels incredibly familiar, but also works very well. The tried and true is tried and true for a reason.

Just a point of scientific interest: familiar things are always perceived as better to everyone. It's just a natural part of human bias.

Saw it yesterday at the 7PM premier it was great. its been so long sense I saw a star wars that didn't suck.

Thanks for the view and this seems to be the general consensus from the critics. Im sad you pointed out my biggest peeve I hate hate hate nerd pandering. Same reason that awful show the big bang theory is unwatchable for me. If it was enough to bother you its going to kill the movie for me. It really gets under my skin.

I think the real question is, yeah Abrams is an unoriginal tool, but given the option would you be willing to risk Star Wars to an unknown or an indie film maker like Aronofsky or Jarmusch?

Youd be guaranteed care and originality from jodorowsky but you might get an uneven star wars. I guess we get the benefit of a Safe fun film from Abrams.

Rogue One is being done by Gareth Edwards and some seriously questionable writing talent. Honestly I'm really excited. If they fail it will be in spectacular fashion.

On a sidenote because I have to do this every time star wars comes up, for those not in the know, Ralph MCQuarrie was actually the real mind behind much of Star Wars. If you really read up on it you'll find most everything that made Star Wars "special" was him. Go check out his artworks the man is the Star Wars equivalent of HRGiger. Well... was :'(

And yet every single person I know who saw the movie said "Nooooo, it's totally not just the first Star Wars with a fresh coat of paint!" Oh yeah? Then why has every critically-minded movie reviewer said that it is? That's not a bad way to go about things, but it's certainly not going to make the movie franchise great again if all they do is give us the movies we've already seen. Especially if they give us Return of the Jedi... *shudder*

Before, there were only two excellent Star Wars movies, one good one, and three bad ones. So I guess now there's two good ones.

Sheo_Dagana:
That's not a bad way to go about things, but it's certainly not going to make the movie franchise great again if all they do is give us the movies we've already seen. Especially if they give us Return of the Jedi... *shudder*

But following that logic it will mean we get another Empire Strikes Back so, eh /shrug.

I'd call it less "derivative" and more "reverent". Yes, there were plot points highly reminiscent of some in the Original Trilogy. But they WORKED, and they had enough new charm and detail to really stand out from the pack.

I used to theorize about a remake of the original trilogy. As a teenager, I really wanted to see episodes 4-5-6 redone with a better unified vision (No implied incest, better handling of plot threads extending between films, etc.) and modern technology to give everything a polish. With episode 7, I think we're getting that. TFA is relentlessly faithful to the look and feel of the best that the original trilogy had to offer, and to call that "derivative" is unfair.

Also, I feel like the film benefited from a healthy dose of Avengers-style action/comedy. This is the funniest Star Wars has ever been, and it's accomplished without moving into cornball territory.

Look: we were never going to get wholly original Star Wars stories. The Extended Universe tried that, and with a few notable exceptions, we got mediocre content at best out of the deal. If pure originality was never on the table, I'll happily settle for an accumulation of all that works well in Star Wars, and that's what we got. Episode seven wound up exceeding my expectations and being one of the very best films I saw all year.

Coruptin:

MarsAtlas:

Recommendation: You're going to see it anyway, but if you were on the fence, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is very much worth the watch.

Nice that you know your audience so well. And that you can write a review without any sort of major spoilers *cough* everyotherrevieweronearth *cough*

*spoiling Star Wars*

I can't even tell if this is real or not but if it is I'm going to eat your first-born.

It wasn't bad. But it was a rehash of the OT.
Also, Star Wars was never ruined in the first place.

Yojoo:
I'd call it less "derivative" and more "reverent". Yes, there were plot points highly reminiscent of some in the Original Trilogy. But they WORKED, and they had enough new charm and detail to really stand out from the pack.

I used to theorize about a remake of the original trilogy. As a teenager, I really wanted to see episodes 4-5-6 redone with a better unified vision (No implied incest, better handling of plot threads extending between films, etc.) and modern technology to give everything a polish. With episode 7, I think we're getting that. TFA is relentlessly faithful to the look and feel of the best that the original trilogy had to offer, and to call that "derivative" is unfair.

Also, I feel like the film benefited from a healthy dose of Avengers-style action/comedy. This is the funniest Star Wars has ever been, and it's accomplished without moving into cornball territory.

Look: we were never going to get wholly original Star Wars stories. The Extended Universe tried that, and with a few notable exceptions, we got mediocre content at best out of the deal. If pure originality was never on the table, I'll happily settle for an accumulation of all that works well in Star Wars, and that's what we got. Episode seven wound up exceeding my expectations and being one of the very best films I saw all year.

No, it WAS derivative. Knights of the Old Republic was *reverent* with plot points that were lifted straight from OT but weren't nearly as obvious about it.

Honestly I was disappointed by it. I found the new characters bland with far too much of a rush to advance relationships between characters while not enough time was given to establish or even develop them in a significant way, basically Abrams trying to cram too many explosions into a single movie at the expense of character development, also found Rey far too Mary Sue-ish. A certain plot twist reveal, if it can be called such since it's revealed so early, was more just a fact without any emotional investment with the characters involved. I also couldn't help but have a bout of fridge logic with how anything could have survived outdoors on that planet in the final confrontation without some type of protective gear to deal with extreme cold.

That being said some of the comedy was a nice touch especially the humanisation of the stormtroopers who weren't Finn, like having an actual survival instinct at one point. I do hope the next movie will try to pull back the throttle a bit to establish people more and not rush from explosion to explosion.

Now I need to put on my flame retardant suit and despite the risk to my health perhaps it should be asbestos lined.

kris40k:

Sheo_Dagana:
That's not a bad way to go about things, but it's certainly not going to make the movie franchise great again if all they do is give us the movies we've already seen. Especially if they give us Return of the Jedi... *shudder*

But following that logic it will mean we get another Empire Strikes Back so, eh /shrug.

It also means we'll likely get an Abrams interpretation of the already infuriating Ewoks, I predict an entire race of mini, furry Jar Jar Binks... And then give them some nonsense like "Personal transwarp beaming device" to act at a giant deus ex machina for the contrived finale.

MarsAtlas:

Coruptin:

MarsAtlas:

Nice that you know your audience so well. And that you can write a review without any sort of major spoilers *cough* everyotherrevieweronearth *cough*

*spoiling Star Wars*

I can't even tell if this is real or not but if it is I'm going to eat your first-born.

I can't believe Captain Kirk was the villain the whole time! And then when they had to team up to fight the Tau was just shocking!

OT: It was good, not great. I do think that the movie kind of falls apart after they leave Jakku though. Not enough to ruin it for me but that is what brings it down to good for me.

That and Kylo Ren. Oh dear god Kylo Ren. I won't spoil it because I have some standard but dear god is he annoying.

MarsAtlas:

Coruptin:

*spoiling Star Wars*

I can't even tell if this is real or not but if it is I'm going to eat your first-born.

Leave some seconds for me, I'd also like to inflict a pox upon his home if we can fit that into the schedule.
In the meantime, I've got to schedule some brain surgery, see if they can't poke around the memory part of my brain and make me forget what this joker just said.

Extra-Ordinary:

MarsAtlas:

Coruptin:

*spoiling Star Wars*

I can't even tell if this is real or not but if it is I'm going to eat your first-born.

Leave some seconds for me, I'd also like to inflict a pox upon his home if we can fit that into the schedule.
In the meantime, I've got to schedule some brain surgery, see if they can't poke around the memory part of my brain and make me forget what this joker just said.

And this is why you don't read message boards, or youtube comments, before seeing a movie. Without fail, there will be spoilers, every, single, time! Good luck with that brain surgery. I understand the area around your temple contains vocabulary memory.

vallorn:

kris40k:

Sheo_Dagana:
That's not a bad way to go about things, but it's certainly not going to make the movie franchise great again if all they do is give us the movies we've already seen. Especially if they give us Return of the Jedi... *shudder*

But following that logic it will mean we get another Empire Strikes Back so, eh /shrug.

It also means we'll likely get an Abrams interpretation of the already infuriating Ewoks, I predict an entire race of mini, furry Jar Jar Binks... And then give them some nonsense like "Personal transwarp beaming device" to act at a giant deus ex machina for the contrived finale.

Fret not! Abrams is now done with Star Wars. He only signed on to direct this one film and start a new trilogy. And he did a great job of that. It was safe, it was fun, it felt like Star Wars, and it made you want to see more of the universe again just like Marter said. It wasn't terribly original, but I loved it and am excited to see if the next two will build on the foundation that's been laid.

the force awakens was a poorly made movie i think there was no development of the new characters and the plot was basically a mash up of the return of the jedi attack of the clones and the empire strikes back i felt like i rolled in to watch a film ive seen 3 times before just updated effects and with crappier character development and plot
but at least Harrison Ford finally had his greatest wish come true

I found it to be a very good movie, not great but still a worthy entry in the series. I was impressed by Adam Driver. I have a feeling he may end up being what we wish Hayden Christiansen had been.

The Force Awakens wasn't created by George Lucas so love it or hate it the movie really isn't anything more than a glorified fan fiction. If someone feels the move shouldn't be cannon then turning to the expanded books is just as viable an option as they fall under the same circumstances.

I haven't seen this movie by the way but I have been spoiled to it because that's what you get for using a computer. From what I've heard since being spoiled this movie sounds like they played things too safe. It's essentially just Episode 4 again in the same way that Star Trek Into Darkness was a different way of retelling Wrath of Khan.

I'm happy to hear the reception has been mostly good to great and here's hoping I share that opinion when it's released on dvd. Hopefully episodes 8 and 9 can evolve the formula now that the nostalgia throwback movie is done.

You know, I recall an interview with Alan Moore, where he said that fans were probably not the best people to write a character they enjoyed. There's certainly nothing wrong with with being a fan of something, but if a person was an obessive Spider-Man fan as a kid, and he grows up to write Spider-Man, then he's probably not going to be an objective writer. He's not going to write a work of fiction that is a story in itself, or introduce new ideas, he's going to pay reverent homage to a plot line that's now 20 years old, and that many of his readers are unaware of. The youngsters who read his work will likely grow to do the same, and the story will build a sense of reverence for itself. The problem is that, over time, this becomes rather incestuous, since you stop bringing in outside influences. And, just like real life, over time the incest begins to mutate the result into something a little... Weird.

Miyazaki made the same point about the modern anime market, since the people currently making anime are people who only watch anime or read manga.

I think they made a really good point, and I think that's the main reason I hated episode 7. It had just as many plot holes as the prequels, and I think people will realize that once the excitement wears off, and it's able to gestate in their mind a little bit. But for me it's cardinal sin is that it's totally derivative, and self agrandizing. I'm not sure people understand quite yet how unhealthy that is for the franchise.

ok i need to ask this. every reviewer said that this movie pushes all the right nostalgia buttons. what if i dont have any? i didnt like the previous starwars movies so seeing millennium falcon or han solo wont do much for me. will this movie be still good without all the nostalgia pandering?

sagitel:
ok i need to ask this. every reviewer said that this movie pushes all the right nostalgia buttons. what if i dont have any? i didnt like the previous starwars movies so seeing millennium falcon or han solo wont do much for me. will this movie be still good without all the nostalgia pandering?

Don't bother spending the money to see it at the cinema. It really is just a comedy spoof of episode 4, lacking in every area but comedic value, and music.

The plot is full of more holes than a colander...

There is a surprising amount of vitriol in this thread for a movie that, by all accounts, is quite good.

I'm sorry some of you were expecting Jesus to ride down on a velociraptor and baptise the Millennium Falcon. That was never going to happen. It's just a movie, and by any reasonable movie standard, it's a good one. It's time to start recovering from the PTSD you got from the prequels and let yourself enjoy Star Wars again. It's going to be okay.

Remus:
And this is why you don't read message boards, or youtube comments, before seeing a movie. Without fail, there will be spoilers, every, single, time! Good luck with that brain surgery. I understand the area around your temple contains vocabulary memory.

Vokabyoulairee? Naw, fridge, it went link, I feel carrot.

Fox12:
You know, I recall an interview with Alan Moore, where he said that fans were probably not the best people to write a character they enjoyed. There's certainly nothing wrong with with being a fan of something, but if a person was an obessive Spider-Man fan as a kid, and he grows up to write Spider-Man, then he's probably not going to be an objective writer. He's not going to write a work of fiction that is a story in itself, or introduce new ideas, he's going to pay reverent homage to a plot line that's now 20 years old, and that many of his readers are unaware of. The youngsters who read his work will likely grow to do the same, and the story will build a sense of reverence for itself. The problem is that, over time, this becomes rather incestuous, since you stop bringing in outside influences. And, just like real life, over time the incest begins to mutate the result into something a little... Weird.

Miyazaki made the same point about the modern anime market, since the people currently making anime are people who only watch anime or read manga.

I think they made a really good point, and I think that's the main reason I hated episode 7. It had just as many plot holes as the prequels, and I think people will realize that once the excitement wears off, and it's able to gestate in their mind a little bit. But for me it's cardinal sin is that it's totally derivative, and self agrandizing. I'm not sure people understand quite yet how unhealthy that is for the franchise.

Well. What I gather from all that is that it is still better than the insulting and mishandled Prequel Trilogy. I will take more of the same over... that... any day of the week.

Of course, I haven't seen the movie yet. I was waiting for the general reaction and to learn more about the plot. I will be seeing it some time soon. However, I think people claiming it is the best movie ever are kidding themselves. Everything I gathered is that this thing MIGHT be a bit better than Jedi, but that is as far as I will go with the praise. It most certainly isn't better than A New Hope or Empire. It is the same thing with Jurassic World. Sure, it is better than the beyond garbage Lost World and JP3, but it still isn't THAT good a film, and is so much weaker than the original that it still seems like a pointless addition to the series.

Fox12:
You know, I recall an interview with Alan Moore, where he said that fans were probably not the best people to write a character they enjoyed. There's certainly nothing wrong with with being a fan of something, but if a person was an obessive Spider-Man fan as a kid, and he grows up to write Spider-Man, then he's probably not going to be an objective writer. He's not going to write a work of fiction that is a story in itself, or introduce new ideas, he's going to pay reverent homage to a plot line that's now 20 years old, and that many of his readers are unaware of. The youngsters who read his work will likely grow to do the same, and the story will build a sense of reverence for itself. The problem is that, over time, this becomes rather incestuous, since you stop bringing in outside influences. And, just like real life, over time the incest begins to mutate the result into something a little... Weird.

Miyazaki made the same point about the modern anime market, since the people currently making anime are people who only watch anime or read manga.

I think they made a really good point, and I think that's the main reason I hated episode 7. It had just as many plot holes as the prequels, and I think people will realize that once the excitement wears off, and it's able to gestate in their mind a little bit. But for me it's cardinal sin is that it's totally derivative, and self agrandizing. I'm not sure people understand quite yet how unhealthy that is for the franchise.

I agree. This was bugging me the entire time I was watching the film. It feels like people 'playing at Star Wars' instead of just Stars being Star Wars. Like cosplay fan fiction, in the form of a movie.

Extra-Ordinary:

Remus:
And this is why you don't read message boards, or youtube comments, before seeing a movie. Without fail, there will be spoilers, every, single, time! Good luck with that brain surgery. I understand the area around your temple contains vocabulary memory.

Vokabyoulairee? Naw, fridge, it went link, I feel carrot.

Oh great, time for a cognitive recalibration. Just hit yourself really hard in the head. That's what seems to work in the movies.

lastcigarette:
I found it to be a very good movie, not great but still a worthy entry in the series. I was impressed by Adam Driver. I have a feeling he may end up being what we wish Hayden Christiansen had been.

While I will wholeheartedly agree that Hayden was a disaster of galactic proportions I feel that Adam Driver was the most pathetic bad guy I've ever seen. He has ZERO menace to him, with or without the mask. And while I realize he's probably MEANT to be a bit pathetic, as to grow into his evilness over the trilogy...I'm pretty sure he'll fall short. Just like Hayden.

And also, unlike Anakin, I'm almost certain, when we do get his backstory, it'll be total garbage. I cannot imagine a scenario where someone with SO much going for him is going to fall to the dark. With Anakin, it was masterfully done. Really, if there is any reason to watch the middle trilogy, it Palpatines fantastic machinations, both politically in the Senate, and in emotionally manipulating Anakin.

Anakin didnt have anyone. The Jedi Council was suspicious of him, they wouldnt accept him or acknowledge his obvious talent, and they pushed him into spying on the one person that pandered to his vanity. His fall was brilliant and believable. His fear for losing his only family, first his mother and then his wife, was great stuff.

SPOILERS BELOW:

What did Kylo Ren have? A supertalented, experienced jedi, with the emotional maturity that comes from his experiences as a teacher, yes.
Parents that loved him, and lived, yes.
Why the hell should he fall? And fall as much as he did? I absolutely refuse to believe they will manage to make up a good explanation for this, but I will reserve final judgement untill the end of the trilogy.

tzimize:
SPOILERS BELOW:

What did Kylo Ren have? A supertalented, experienced jedi, with the emotional maturity that comes from his experiences as a teacher, yes.
Parents that loved him, and lived, yes.
Why the hell should he fall? And fall as much as he did? I absolutely refuse to believe they will manage to make up a good explanation for this, but I will reserve final judgement untill the end of the trilogy.

MORE SPOILERS (should be obvious):

There's a lot of ways to explain this, and personally, I think it felt a little more on the mark than the expanded universe's take on the New Jedi Order. Here's some easy examples of how it could have gone wrong:

1. Luke was trained for war, not as a mentor or diplomat like the traditional Jedi. Also, he was attempting to single-handedly train a new generation of padawans (note that Kenobi only had one and still failed).
2. Luke may have himself flirted with the dark side in between movies (or even during Jedi, such as when he force choked the guard in Jabba's palace). This may have tainted the training he gave.
2. Han and Leia aren't ideal parents. They're both intensely involved in their own ambitious, important, and very public lives as decorated war heroes / leaders / etc. It's common for people like this to send their kids away to be educated rather than brought up in a loving family environment.
3. Kylo Ren may have felt abandoned or inadequate when compared to the other force sensitives. His family name (Solo) may have put on a lot of expectations and demands (like with Anakin) which pushed him over the edge.
4. New sith lord obviously mentoring Ren. Perhaps his influence began during training leading to the betrayal.

Really, I could go on and on here. There's no end to reasons these events could have happened, and a limited imagination is no excuse to claimed that it was poorly planned. The first trilogy was poorly planned out. I'm sure this one has it covered well in advance.

tzimize:

lastcigarette:
I found it to be a very good movie, not great but still a worthy entry in the series. I was impressed by Adam Driver. I have a feeling he may end up being what we wish Hayden Christiansen had been.

While I will wholeheartedly agree that Hayden was a disaster of galactic proportions I feel that Adam Driver was the most pathetic bad guy I've ever seen. He has ZERO menace to him, with or without the mask. And while I realize he's probably MEANT to be a bit pathetic, as to grow into his evilness over the trilogy...I'm pretty sure he'll fall short. Just like Hayden.

And also, unlike Anakin, I'm almost certain, when we do get his backstory, it'll be total garbage. I cannot imagine a scenario where someone with SO much going for him is going to fall to the dark. With Anakin, it was masterfully done. Really, if there is any reason to watch the middle trilogy, it Palpatines fantastic machinations, both politically in the Senate, and in emotionally manipulating Anakin.

Anakin didnt have anyone. The Jedi Council was suspicious of him, they wouldnt accept him or acknowledge his obvious talent, and they pushed him into spying on the one person that pandered to his vanity. His fall was brilliant and believable. His fear for losing his only family, first his mother and then his wife, was great stuff.

SPOILERS BELOW:

What did Kylo Ren have? A supertalented, experienced jedi, with the emotional maturity that comes from his experiences as a teacher, yes.
Parents that loved him, and lived, yes.
Why the hell should he fall? And fall as much as he did? I absolutely refuse to believe they will manage to make up a good explanation for this, but I will reserve final judgement untill the end of the trilogy.

Do you really not know any middle-class well-off teenagers that go emo/goth/'gangsta'? Fortunately for the world, most teenage rebels don't really have a lot of power and get over their idiocy. Unfortunately, losers like Kylo Ren have too much power and end up monsters because of it.

He's like the inverse of Anakin. Anakin was a flawed person trying to be good, but cracked under the strain of his own inadequacies and flaws ("I'm not the Jedi he thinks I am!"). Ren is a 'good' person trying to be bad to make some noise and a name for himself. Unfortunately, starting a garage band and screaming "FUCK DA POLICE! LETS START A RIOT!" while strumming on a guitar isn't an option a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

I think that now that this movie has been an effective "Rally the Fanbase" one, the next ones will be much better. Not a great standalone movie, but an excellent 'consolidate/clean up the past and lay the foundation for the sequels" movie.

Also - I love how the Stormtroopers and TIE Fighters are actually competent, even if they can't face the Plot Armor of the heroes.

Hopefully now that the previous trilogies have been dealt with, the sequels have space to be their own thing.

"135 minutes long"? Huh... It felt longer than that... :p

Other than that, why do I feel like Episode 8 (and/or 9) is going to make some people go "Now, I can like/enjoy Episode 7"?

I was skeptical even after everyone said it was good, but all of the things that could have been bad weren't. Even my biggest problem, that none of how the galaxy got to its current situation from ROTJ that isn't explained, is actually pretty much explained on starwars.com (yeh, in an everythings on Reddit/Wookiepedia world who would have thought star wars stuff is on starwars.com) in the databank there.

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