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Chiprocks1

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Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
« on: April 09, 2016, 10:40:48 pm »
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens




Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGbxmsDFVnE


God, this has been a fun week for me. I got to start my Star Wars Marathon watching the final two episodes of Star Wars Rebels, following that up with the Original Trilogy and culminating with Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, THE movie I have literally been waiting to see come to fruition since 1983!!! No, I never got around to seeing this in the theater due to obstacles being put in my way and because of that, I had the painful task of avoiding spoilers. Everywhere I turned, there was something being written about, be it in print of on camera reviews. It was very much a torturous endeavor to navigate through all this. It's not like it once was. With everyone seeming to have a YouTube Channel or their own Forum, information gets out there pretty damn fast. The other thing I had to contend with and probably the biggest hurdle was building The Force Awakens up too much in expectations. I did that once before and got burned with The Phantom Menace. Never again. Kinda. Well, yeah, I failed in that department because I did build it up. Waaaaaaaaaaaaay up.

So, did The Force Awakens live up to my expectations? Hell f*ckin' yeah it did and then some. This is the movie that the Prequels should have been. Not story wise, but aesthetically this is what I wanted to see on the screen. I'm so grateful that J.J. Abrams decided to use as much practical effects as possible. It would have been easy to fall victim to just doing it "in the computer". And that's why the prequels failed. That and the fact the story sucked and the acting was horrible. But in The Force Awakens, none of that transpired. I knew I was in for a ride right from the get-go. I felt connected to both Rey and Finn immediately. They have fantastic chemistry together. Their roles were perfectly cast by Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. I actually liked a lot of the new characters. I found Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) to be very interesting. Poe (Oscar Isaac) was pretty cool too. I really dig BB-8 and Maz.

Now for the story itself. I did see that a lot of it kind of rides the back of both A New Hope and Return of the Jedi. The similarities are unmistakable. But you know what, I actually expected this before I even hit play. But there was a enough tangents along the way to keep me thoroughly entertained. I'm sure there are a lot of people probably bashing TFA because of this. I'm okay with it, but I do hope and expect to get something different, i.e. more original in Episode 8 and onward. I liked how they introduced both Rey and Finn in the manner they did. I wasn't expecting Finn to be a Stormtrooper that defects his post. In the trailer, I always assumed him being in the Stormtrooper outfit in the same manner as Luke and Han in A New Hope.

Now for Kylo Ren. As soon as it was revealed that he was the son of Han and Leia, I knew that Han's days were numbered. It was the only way to further the story if it continued down the trajectory I had envisioned it going. But I have to admit, as soon as TFA was announced and Harrison Ford signed on, I knew they were going to kill him off. An die-hard fan of all things Star Wars already knows the story of how Ford kept badgering George Lucas to kill off Han. Why he was so adamant to have him killed off is still a mystery to me. But with Lucas out of the way, Ford was going to get exactly what he wanted. Sigh. As for General Hux, I'm a bit conflicted. In the International Trailer, there was a scene showing him standing in front of thousands of Stormtroopers which gave off the vibe of Nazi. But in the movie, Hux literally is commanding his Troopers as Hitler. But it was very jarring to see the Troopers saluting him in the same manner. I'm sure this has been discussed throughout the Internet Universe.

I'm trying to remember everything as I'm writing this down. Still processing it all. So I will no doubt come back and post more as things settle down in my brain. I will say that I was very shocked that Luke doesn't show up in the movie until the final scene. I was expecting to see him show up somewhere half way through the flick. Now it makes perfect sense why he wasn't featured in any of the Trailers leading up to the release of the movie. Other than his hand reaching out to touch A2-D2. Speaking of that scene, I thought it was badass in the way Rey was having her Vision of things to come. Really looking forward to seeing her story unfold. Getting back to her and Finn, I'm on board with following their arc from here on out. They carried this flick and did a great job. So, should you Buy this? Hell f*cking yeah you should! FYI, the DVD version I bought was the Steelbook version from Best Buy. I looked online to find it to post here but all they had were the other versions. Now, I'm off to watch the bonus stuff!!! As for this post, I'm sure there are a lot of typos but I'm too lazy to go back and correct all of it. I got more important stuff to do....like watch the movie again.  ;D

One last thing, if there was anything that I was disappointed in, it was the lack of Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Lor San Tekka (Max von Sydow), both of who I was expecting to be major players in TFA. I'm confident that Phasma will have a much bigger role in Episode 8. That is if she can escape the Trash Compactor. Haha.
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Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

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Chiprocks1

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Re: Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2016, 10:41:24 pm »
The Force Awakens Screencaps

Coming soon....
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Neumatic

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Re: Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2016, 11:34:27 pm »
I can't believe you hadn't seen this yet!  Glad you did.  And Steelbook on this side, too!  Sucha  nice presentation, it's worth... 50 portions!

And by the way, for those of us who like our physical releases, the build-up to this has been a nightmare.  First, two weeks ago the blu-ray rip dropped on all the pirate sites, so we started to get barraged with new GIFs and edited review videos and so on using all that footage.  Then the digital version came out and we had to wait ANOTHER week... LOADED with ads for the movie... for the physical release.  Gah!

I love Finn and Rey, they're just so adorable together.  That bit in the Falcon where they're going on and on about how cool the other one was, how did you do that? etc, that's so great.  This movie just feels more human and relatable than I remember the original trilogy being, there aren't as much airs about it like before.  And Poe.. really glad he didn't die like they had originally planned.  I want him and Finn to go on some derring do adventure in Episode 8, get their bro-mance on while Rey tries to get Luke to teach her the ways of the force (I will say, Luke showing up at the very end is EXACTLY what I predicted would happen).

Isn't it weird that BB-8's voice was provided by Bill Hader and Ben "Jean Ralphio" Swartz?  Meaning there's three actors from Star Trek in this movie, Simon Pegg, Bill Hader and Greg Grunberg.  On top of the connective tissue that Poe and Kylo were both in "Inside Llewyn Davis" and Hux and Poe were both in Ex Machina.

Oh, little thing that bugged me: we only saw ONE shot of Han Solo's ship... it's never named (I've been referring to it as the "Sword Swallower"), I just wanted to see more of it.


Now, aesthetically, how did the movie mesh into the old flicks?  I know they used a lot of the same designs and concept art from the original series, but side-by-side... did it stick out too much?

Man, I would have liked to see your reaction to the movie as it happened.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2016, 11:47:44 pm by Neumatic »

Chiprocks1

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Re: Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2016, 11:48:01 pm »
The Force Awakens did something that I didn't think they would do. First, it propels itself forward to follow both Rey and Finn and see where their adventure takes them, but they also laid the groundwork of everything that clearly transpires between the ending of Jedi and the start of Force Awakens, namely Luke training Kylo and having it all come undone. I really want to see this story told in complete detail and not in passing as it was mentioned by Han in this movie. They have to devote an entire movie to it and I don't think it needs to be part of the Numbered Episodes either. It can be dealt with in these stand alone films like Rogue One is being handled. This would also be a great way to bring back Han (Harrison Ford) and see how his relationship broke with Leia (Carrie Fisher). Not sure how they would be able to deal with the obvious aging of the primary actors though if the story were to cover the last 25 years or so or however long it has been. Not sure how old Ben/Kylo is suppose to be in TFA.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Neumatic

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Re: Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2016, 11:51:42 pm »
A CGI facelift wouldn't be out of the question... heck, I bet they did some touchups on the original actors in this movie as it stands.  I heard they at least did something to Carrie Fisher's hair (speaking of Carrie Fisher hair, did you notice her daughter Billie Lourd in the control room rockin' the classic buns?).  But you're thinking of more like Michael Douglas in the start of Ant Man.  They probably could do it.  But they'd need to do it soon.

But I wonder about the other Knights Of Ren, who are they?  And WHERE are they?  I figure Snoke has them placed in strategic areas all over the galaxy.

Chiprocks1

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Re: Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2016, 11:53:57 pm »


Now, aesthetically, how did the movie mesh into the old flicks?  I know they used a lot of the same designs and concept art from the original series, but side-by-side... did it stick out too much?

Man, I would have liked to see your reaction to the movie as it happened.

I thought it was perfect. Visually it fit right into the Original Trilogy and that in itself went a long way to bringing me into the Universe in a good way. No matter how many Special FX Lucas through our way in the Prequels, it just felt cold and alienating. I could never warm up to any of it. It just looked like some kid got a new PC and just added a bunch of pre-processed sh*t on the screen. In TFA, you could see a lot of care went into making this a believable world inhabited by real people.....and creatures. And having watch Episodes 4-7 back to back, it all looked seamless from one to the other.

I wish I did video tape my reaction to watching TFA because there were a couple of spots I got teary-eyed and would liked to have bottled that up for posterity given how long I have waited for this movie.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Chiprocks1

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Re: Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2016, 11:57:20 pm »
A CGI facelift wouldn't be out of the question... heck, I bet they did some touchups on the original actors in this movie as it stands.  I heard they at least did something to Carrie Fisher's hair (speaking of Carrie Fisher hair, did you notice her daughter Billie Lourd in the control room rockin' the classic buns?).  But you're thinking of more like Michael Douglas in the start of Ant Man.  They probably could do it.  But they'd need to do it soon.

But I wonder about the other Knights Of Ren, who are they?  And WHERE are they?  I figure Snoke has them placed in strategic areas all over the galaxy.

That's the great thing about TFA, it has opened up endless potential stories for the future. I too want to know more about the Knights of Ren. I want more Snoke. I want everything!! I knew that Carrie's daughter was in this and would be dressed the same as her mother, but I never saw her. She got lost in my brain as I was taking it all in and just escaped me in the moment. Of course I will be going back endless times to pick this movie a part.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Neumatic

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Re: Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2016, 12:03:14 am »
It was a small thing, but I really like how they did the control panels in this movie.  You know how I am about computers in movies, I like 'em but they all look more or less the same nowadays, and that design aesthetic doesn't really work for Star Wars.  Somehow they managed to do it, integrate HD monitors and CGI displays with the lights and switches and had them all look like they existed back in the 70s.

I also really like the Starkiller Base interiors, with the rock walls in places.  It sort of felt like a Star Wars take on Ken Adams' Doctor No designs.

I noticed Billie Lourde right away, but I didn't know who she was.  I DID notice Ackbar, of course!  But I also noticed just how many women are in the movie!  There's a huge range of diversity in the humanoid faces, and I didn't even notice that some of the Stormtroopers were women as well, not just Phasma!  That's real cool!  Though I could have gone for more diversity in the First Order officers, but at the same time their ubiquitous whiteness might be on purpose, you know?

Chiprocks1

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Re: Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2016, 12:14:59 am »
The Starkiller Base interiors were some of the best set designs for the movie. I absolutely loved what they came up with. As for the diversity, or lack there of when it comes to the First Order, definitely intentional given how they are modeling it after a certain period of time that we all want to forget. I'm kind of shocked that Disney would be okay with this as there is potential for some kind of backlash, although I haven't heard of any since the movie has come out.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Chiprocks1

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Re: Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2016, 12:20:00 am »
I know that Rey story starts on Jakku, but there was a moment where even I wasn't sure where it was taking place. especially when I saw Rey eating at the foot of the fallen AT-AT Walker. For a split second I thought it was Planet Hoth, but without the snow as if Global Warming had taken effect and changed the climate in a most drastic way. Even though it clearly was not, I like that for that brief moment, I thought it was which would have been cool in my book if it turned out to be Hoth.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Neumatic

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Re: the First Order's ethnicity:

There were protests, but it was more loudmouths going on about "a black guy can't be a stormtrooper, ladies can't be jedis, balls can't be robots" etc etc.  Idiots, basically.  And maybe the whiteness of the First Order's skin is meant to contrast with their lovely black uniforms, to make them look darker.  You think how much more black could they be, and the answer is none.  None more black.

Re: Jakku

It just got so Hoth there that the snow melted.  But then it would be an ocean planet, which I guess could be cool in it's own way.

BTW, I love Rey's bread.  There have been bar scenes, but outside of Jabba's frog, have we ever really seen anyone eat in a "real" Star Wars movie?  I always wondered.


Chiprocks1

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You know what really felt odd? The opening. Not having the 20th Century Fox Logo and fanfare leading into the Opening Crawl tripped me up. I had totally forgotten that Disney was releasing this when I pushed play.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Neumatic

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It IS!  Especially in the movie theater, you could hear the audience think "Wait, is this it, is it starting?"  Weird that the Disney logo isn't even in front of it.  You want that fanfare, you want that announcement to get you riled up, then there's silence, and then BAM the opening titles.  It's like when you taped a song on the radio and missed the first few chords, it's not right!

Chiprocks1

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Disney should have just paid for the right to use the fanfare and logo. Who cares if they had nothing to do with the production. That logo and fanfare is intertwined with Star Wars damn it!!!!!!
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Neumatic

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Or just put their OWN logo in front of it!  It IS a Disney movie!  Maybe they were planning on unveiling the new Disney logo but it wasn't ready yet (it's being attached to The Jungle Book).

 

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