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Author Topic: Star Wars Episode VII *spoilers*
theamazeeaz
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I disagreed with this:

quote:
People have asked me why I haven’t reviewed the new Star Wars movie. The answer is simple: I haven’t seen it. And why haven’t I seen it? Because even if it’s really good (formerly rhymed with “load”), even if it’s brilliant, it’s still the seventh installment in a series in which exactly two movies were good and at least three were appallingly bad.

It is missing the one element that made the movies appallingly bad. (For a good time, Google Lucas's opinion of the movie).


quote:
And since it isn’t a reboot, like the unstupid Star Trek movies, it has to include all the history from the stupid installments as if they “actually happened” in this childishly absurd future history.
Well, it did reboot the post-ROTJ book series, but other than using Ewan McGregor's voice, did anything else from the prequels get referenced? I could be wrong, but I don't think so.


quote:
As for those of you who ranted and whined about how nobody better say or post any “spoilers,” here’s a clue: If you don’t care enough to see it when it first comes out, then you’ve already made your choice. Don’t try to control other people’s behavior just because you weren’t willing to make the sacrifices necessary to see it in the first showing.

While I agree that people who don't go see such things right away have some responsibility to avoid their own spoilers, there were trolls who were placing spoilers on the internet *before the release* in websites comments section of things that that nothing to do with Star Wars, like random articles on Gawker (so glad I was was warned away from reading unvetting comments that week).

It doesn't take much to check if someone does not want to be spoiled before talking about something. In this day and age, no one consumes media at the same time, so it's what polite people in my generation do. Along with asking someone if there's anything they do not eat when extending a dinner invitation. I can tell you everything my friends and co-workers cannot eat.

Oh, and I'm sorry my friends have an infant and have not made "the sacrifices necessary". I respect that though.

quote:
Besides, it wasn’t an athletic event or an awards show or even a puzzle movie that led to one big reveal. I mean, come on! What’s to spoil? A good movie, like a good book, can’t be spoiled by knowing the story before you see or read it. Every Greek tragedy told a story that was completely familiar to every member of the audience. The routines of good comedians are still funny on the second, third or 10th hearing.

Nothing to spoil? Ummmm. Really?

There's nothing like going "oh (poop), they're gonna kill him" the second Han walks on that balcony with Kylo Ren, or being misdirected and laughing hysterically when you see what that the garbage that will do is the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.

I'm going to see this movie a third time, and a fourth and several more, but it will be the same movie that I enjoyed the second time. It will never be the same movie that surprised me the first time.

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FlyingCow
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Wow, that really was an "old man blogs (and shakes his tiny fist) at cloud" non-review, with overtones of "get off my lawn" and "why don't people like my stuff as much as this Star Wars nonsense".

Yeesh.

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Dogbreath
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What's sad is that it's pretty much his tamest non-review out there. There are other movies out there (Lincoln, Super 8, Gravity at first) that he refused to watch but, was so confident were terrible that he wrote fairly lengthy, vitriolic - and highly inaccurate - "reviews" panning them. Or rather, panning what he imagined the movies he never actually watched *must* have been like. It's sort of bizarre for a review column, really.
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The Black Pearl
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(gravity stinks)
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FlyingCow
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
What's sad is that it's pretty much his tamest non-review out there. There are other movies out there (Lincoln, Super 8, Gravity at first) that he refused to watch but, was so confident were terrible that he wrote fairly lengthy, vitriolic - and highly inaccurate - "reviews" panning them. Or rather, panning what he imagined the movies he never actually watched *must* have been like. It's sort of bizarre for a review column, really.

Forming strongly held opinions without any basis in fact? Seems so out of character. [Roll Eyes]
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sarcasticmuppet
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quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
[QB] To be fair, there's not a lot of sense of time for space travel for analogous parts of the other movies. For example, how much time passes between Luke and Ben getting on the Falcon to the Death Star to the rest of the movie? We don't really know. Ditto with the Hoth escape to Cloud City (hopefully Luke spent more than a day with Yoda, but still).

I'd disagree. There was time just spent on the ship, playing space chess and teaching Luke how to use a lightsaber before Obi Wan realizes what's happened at Aldoran and they arrive at the system. They don't waste a lot of time on it but it's enough to show that time does in fact pass during their hyperspace travel.
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FlyingCow
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quote:
Originally posted by sarcasticmuppet:
quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
[QB] To be fair, there's not a lot of sense of time for space travel for analogous parts of the other movies. For example, how much time passes between Luke and Ben getting on the Falcon to the Death Star to the rest of the movie? We don't really know. Ditto with the Hoth escape to Cloud City (hopefully Luke spent more than a day with Yoda, but still).

I'd disagree. There was time just spent on the ship, playing space chess and teaching Luke how to use a lightsaber before Obi Wan realizes what's happened at Aldoran and they arrive at the system. They don't waste a lot of time on it but it's enough to show that time does in fact pass during their hyperspace travel.
We know time passes, but we don't know how much. There was apparently some time that passed between boarding and the next time we see them... as the chess game is already underway and Luke is already training with a lightsaber. That could have been a hour into the trip, or a week.

Given the lack of food/supplies/etc, you'd assume it's a short period of time - but they are very hazy with timing (other than plot timing - which isn't the same thing).

Yoda told Luke that it was the future he saw in his vision... but that could have been hours in the future, or a month in the future. No telling how long he was in flight on his way to Bespin. Or, for that matter, how long Han/Leia were in flight to Bespin while Luke was training with Yoda.

Passage of time is all a bit hand-wavey in Star Wars. I mean, there was 5 minutes to when the Starkiller weapon would fire... and then they showed Rey/Finn looking up at a giant three/four story ladder/staircase thing. There's no way they climbed that with time to spare.

Actual timing is sacrificed for plot timing, for the most part.

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scifibum
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I don't mind not knowing how much time has passed, but it does bother me when a countdown is announced and then things that can't happen within that time frame happen anyway.
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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
What's sad is that it's pretty much his tamest non-review out there. There are other movies out there (Lincoln, Super 8, Gravity at first) that he refused to watch but, was so confident were terrible that he wrote fairly lengthy, vitriolic - and highly inaccurate - "reviews" panning them. Or rather, panning what he imagined the movies he never actually watched *must* have been like. It's sort of bizarre for a review column, really.

It seems at some level, the beast is self-aware, as far as changing perceptions of Star Wars goes. People have been discussing that while the general consensus on the prequels is that they were lousy, many people said they were not at the time. In some ways, the new movies will never be enjoyed as much because of the degree that people casually pick stuff apart, but also, people are analyzing how critical reaction to movies works more too.

OSC's columns go back quite far, and he gladly panned the prequels then. You think he would want to be the very first to tell everyone that they will eventually decide that the movies are awful.

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AchillesHeel
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I was happy to see Greg Grunberg at the Resistance meeting. I was more happy to see him as a pilot during the attack.

Abrams made sure there was a Porkins. Greg Porkins III.

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Bob_Scopatz
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Ah! I thought that was a Porkins! Ha!
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Orincoro
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Porkins didn't pull up... and apparently he didn't pull out either.

Oh, I'm going to hell.

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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
Wow, that really was an "old man blogs (and shakes his tiny fist) at cloud" non-review, with overtones of "get off my lawn" and "why don't people like my stuff as much as this Star Wars nonsense".

Yeesh.

He finally saw it. tl;dr He put it in the top 3 Star Wars films, and will watch the next two if they keep the film team intact.

Since they don't have the same director who knows?

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Bob_Scopatz
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Porkins didn't pull up... and apparently he didn't pull out either.

Oh, I'm going to hell.

[Big Grin]
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FlyingCow
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quote:
Originally posted by JanitorBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
Wow, that really was an "old man blogs (and shakes his tiny fist) at cloud" non-review, with overtones of "get off my lawn" and "why don't people like my stuff as much as this Star Wars nonsense".

Yeesh.

He finally saw it. tl;dr He put it in the top 3 Star Wars films, and will watch the next two if they keep the film team intact.

Since they don't have the same director who knows?

Interesting reading that. It's almost as though he comes out against faith and religion, which is... odd. It was akin in some ways to an atheist reviewing the Book of Mormon or some other holy text.
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theamazeeaz
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Not surprised. Most people put the movie between the two trilogies, but OSC hates ROTJ, because he subscribes to the Marcia Lucas theory of the movie quality (tl;dr, when George and Marcia divorced, he lost the person who could tell him how to fix his broken movies) (with a side dish of HIMYM's Ewok line).

I read your last comment as an atheist reviewing the play, but that's not what you meant.

OSC also uses religion as a means to insult environmentalism, which I've never really understood, as his own religion is something that he takes very very seriously. It is an apt analogy a means to describe a belief system where you sacrifice personal gain for the greater good (don't steal! help the poor! sacrifice these things! vs don't waste things, even when it's easy!).

I thought the Linda Hunt/Maz comment was interesting-- my parents (who are about OSC's age) said the exact same thing about Lupita's character (they did not know who Lupita is).

Thinking more about the movies, Han really makes them good, mostly as comic relief (the droids are just okay here, Han is the funny one). Finn/Rey had some funny moments, but I'm worried they are going to suffer.

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FlyingCow
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Some of the lines really stood out:

- "a third-grader’s version of philosophy, its deep stupidities all the more obvious the more people talk earnestly about them."

- "feel like badly conceived magic"

- "That would be the story of David and Goliath, and stories in which God ... simply bestows victory on the outgunned kid are not really worth repeating."

- "We got it. Goliath big, David small, God picks. Done. Move on."

- "It all still depends on a bunch of magic people in whom “the Force is strong” – you know, Old Testament prophets who are chosen by God"

- "you only matter in this universe if you’re one of the Chosen Few."

- "I don’t like it when one person handles an ancient relic and immediately has overpowering visions, while other people can touch it and nothing happens. It’s an unearned power. It’s simply Bestowed."

- "I don’t like mysticism"

- "We’re one dragon short of a cliche fantasy"

All of these criticisms can be (and have been) leveled from an atheist perspective at various religions and holy texts from around the world.

Granted, Star Wars isn't a holy text - though the original films did derive a lot of their power from Joseph Campbell's heroic journey (which Lucas leaned on heavily), which follows the heroic story arc through various mythological texts. So it's always had an air of myth and legend, of heroes and magic and faith.

It just really seemed like he was laughing up his sleeve at people who take the stories and tropes in religious texts seriously. He was basically saying that Star Wars was flawed because it is similar to religious texts - which almost seemed to imply that the religious texts are flawed, and Star Wars only adopted those flaws by mirroring them. That bit seemed out of character.

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Orincoro
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To be fair to OSC, he is being fairly consistent in that in his own fiction, even fantasy-esque fiction, he doesn't rely on these kinds of tropes, which are, to credit him, about as lazy and as arbitrary as he depicts them.
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FlyingCow
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I don't know, Ender's Game falls prey to several of these tropes.

Ender was selected to be born, based on the genetics that produced his siblings - and was specifically shepherded through battle school as a sort of "chosen one". Not by any mystical energy force or god, but by a world government. That's not far from the archetypal "prophecy about the hero" concept. Concidentally (or not), the monitor allowed the government to have a measure of omniscience over their chosen ones similar to what a god might have.

The battle game and the later bugger world representations of its scenes is fairly akin to mysticism given that there was no scientific explanation for it in the covers of EG - it wasn't explained as the Hive Queen communicating telepathically through the ansible until subsequent books (and it's not like the buggers' telepathic communication across light years isn't in itself akin to magic without any scientific explanations)

Speaking of which, it was only Ender who handled the battle game and received overpowering visions - not any of the other students.

The whole David and Goliath thing plays out repeatedly throughout the book. The small and seemingly physically "outgunned" outdoing the strong and physically overpowering by use of their wits. That plays out from Bernard in the shuttle, to the mouse and the giant, to Bonzo in the shower, to Mazer's story, to the final battle room battle, to the final bugger fight. And if Mazer and the mouse/giant aren't SF reimaginings of casting a stone and felling the giant by intent, it certainly is a fairly strong unintentional representation.

There's a reason these tropes (archetypes) recur, and have recurred for hundreds (thousands) of years. When done well, they are very powerful - when done cheaply, they are seen as cliches.

What's interesting to me is that if you feel they are unbelievable in fiction, how can you find them believable as fact? As an example, how can one can say that it's ridiculous for a Jedi to have a connection to the force that allows for telekinesis while turning around and believing Moses had such a strong connection to God that he parted the Red Sea?

Just seemed like out of character comments, as they were more "this type of thing is just unbelievable" (which would imply unbelievable in real life even more so than in fiction), rather than "this type of thing is derivative".

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theamazeeaz
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I feel marking Ender as a 'chosen one' is a bit of a stretch because of the non-religious origin. He was also isolated, abused and manipulated into that role
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FlyingCow
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He was chosen before he was born. The government granted his parents permission to have a third child in the hopes of finding the balance between Peter and Valentine - based entirely on two "near misses" within their genetic code. If not for a governmental hand, he wouldn't even have been born.

Perseus isn't born without Zeus sleeping with Danae. Ender isn't born without the government selecting his parents to have a third child. There was an outside third party who had a hand in his creation, and his path was set before birth.

There was an expectation of greatness before he was even conceived, and the isolation, abuse, and manipulation then pushed him down the path they wanted him to go.

Without an outside force saying "this child will be born", though, Ender doesn't save the world.

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FlyingCow
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And to tie back to Star Wars, specifically the prequels (shudder)... the Jedi tested infants to see their midichlorian count, then based on their scores, they were taken away to be trained. Not too dissimilar to the IF testing children to see their IQs, then taking them away to be trained. (Force sensitivity = genius level intellect)

I know OSC never watched the prequels, so he doesn't know that Force sensitivity being hereditary isn't a normal thing - it's usually the kids who are born with a gift that are taken away at a young age.

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Dogbreath
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He watched the prequels.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Also...like so many epic character's background, Ender is a quasi orphan. Sure his parents are alive & around, but do not act like parents (unexplained in EG, later said to be deliberate in other books).

Ender must face challenges beyond what an ordinary child faces...with no parental help. Emotionally he is an orphan just like the hero architype OSC is complaining about.

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theamazeeaz
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Enjoy!

http://www.hatrack.com/osc/reviews/reviews99/movies.shtml

http://www.hatrack.com/osc/reviews/everything/2002-05-20.shtml

http://www.hatrack.com/osc/reviews/everything/2005-05-22.shtml

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Elison R. Salazar
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
And to tie back to Star Wars, specifically the prequels (shudder)... the Jedi tested infants to see their midichlorian count, then based on their scores, they were taken away to be trained. Not too dissimilar to the IF testing children to see their IQs, then taking them away to be trained. (Force sensitivity = genius level intellect)

I know OSC never watched the prequels, so he doesn't know that Force sensitivity being hereditary isn't a normal thing - it's usually the kids who are born with a gift that are taken away at a young age.

This isn't true. Darth Revan's daughter is an obvious and very powerful result of hereditary force sensitivity.
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FlyingCow
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Never read or played any of the Knights of the Old Republic stuff. In the films alone, the Jedi were not allowed to have romantic relationships - it was an anomaly that Anakin was doing so, and he did it knowing he was evading the rules.

I'm not saying that force sensitivity isn't hereditary - just that it's not how Jedi propagate. They don't marry and have kids - they look to find force sensitive kids born of non-Jedi and train them.

The only family line of Force users in the existing 7 films (so far, pending what we find out later about Rey) has been the Skywalkers - Anakin, Luke, Leia, Ben. No other two Jedi have been shown to be related in any way. And even Anakin had no Force using parent (or father at all), so that's a fairly short family tree.

[ January 12, 2016, 12:47 PM: Message edited by: FlyingCow ]

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FlyingCow
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
He watched the prequels.

Never read his earlier reviews on them, and I took his comment in the Force Awakens review at face value.

"I’m never going to watch episodes II and III because naps are better."

I guess he accidentally omitted an "again".

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
Never read or played any of the Knights of the Old Republic stuff. In the films alone, the Jedi were not allowed to have romantic relationships - it was an anomaly that Anakin was doing so, and he did it knowing he was evading the rules.

I'm not saying that force sensitivity isn't hereditary - just that it's not how Jedi propagate. They don't marry and have kids - they look to find force sensitive kids born of non-Jedi and train them.

The only family line of Force users in the existing 7 films (so far, pending what we find out later about Rey) has been the Skywalkers - Anakin, Luke, Leia, Ben. No other two Jedi have been shown to be related in any way. And even Anakin had no Force using parent (or father at all), so that's a fairly short family tree.

Jedi are like the shakers of peace keepers. You think they would have figured out how stupid this would be. There would probably be more force sensitives out there if they weren't banned from breeding. Maybe there's a secret-Elsa-like agenda going on.

Then again, Star Wars is best enjoyed when you don't think too hard about it.

Speaking of which, I really really don't want Rey to be related to anyone from the OT.

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FlyingCow
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Then again, having strong familial relations between the Jedi is a good way to risk losing them to the Dark Side.

Having the Jedi without children or knowledge of their parents is a hedge against feelings of anger/hate/fear if a child/parent/sibling were to be killed/captured/tortured by one of the Jedi's enemies.

Since it's clear that strength with the Force does not have to be hereditary, the Jedi could easily maintain their numbers without having children of their own. And having more force sensitives out there is not necessarily a good thing.

As for Rey, I like the Kenobi theory. With the Jedi wiped out and the Order collapsed, he has a relationship that results in a child (that he may or may not know about), who then has Rey as a child. It would be an interesting bookend... Kenobi trains Anakin who falls to the dark side, and Kenobi grandchild converts/kills Anakin's grandchild to close the loop.

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theamazeeaz
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Just gonna leave this here:

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

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Elison R. Salazar
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In the Eu there's a lot more going on in terms of relationships.

I do grant that the Jedi having dynasties and lineages would've resulted in intraclan jedi warfare. But with the Sith as being less of a thing.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I'd watch/read that.
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